Why I Think “The Walking Dead” Is So Popular


According to the ratings, The Walking Dead is the most popular TV show of all time. Which is kind of crazy because the horror movie genre has struggled to gain mass appeal for so long.

So what makes The Walking Dead different? What excuses it as a generic horror show that anti-horror movie people make time to tune in to each week?

AMC is expecting one of the largest viewerships of all time for a series show on October 23.

What’s the appeal?

I’m in the middle of season four myself, thanks to Netflix. And I’m no different from anyone else. I’m completely obsessed with The Walking Dead. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have an idea as to why.

First, a little background. I don’t care for blood and guts. I never have. If I ever watched anything scary it was scary for suspense. Little violence. I’m not morally against Hollywood violence (to a point), I just prefer to be pshychologically scared. But as the popularity for The Walking Dead grew, I became more and more intrigued.

Sure enough, the show hooked me from the very first scene, when Rick shot the little girl because she was infected by the disease. (Where does that scene fit into the timeline, by the way??)

I think The Walking Dead represents most of our lives. I’ve heard it argued that zombies represent us, mindlessly going about our lives, punching a time clock, day-in, day-out. I disagree with that. I think the survivors represent us. And not because they’re survivors but because they’re trapped.

If you’re like me you feel like you’re in a world where you have no control or say over anything. Because of work and bills and bureaucratic cement walls, we have to live inside our fences, risking our careers or future anytime we step out of bounds.


The best we can do is simply hunker down and wait out all the madness. Especially with these particular elections coming up, we feel more than ever that the world is spiraling out of control. For those of us in America, we don’t feel like we have a say anymore.

Meanwhile, we watch our friends and family suffer along with us. Like the characters in the show, there is nothing we can do to save them. And that’s another way we feel helpless.

And we grow hardened and calloused because of what little we can do to affect our surroundings or the world. We’re like fish in a bowl. Stuck and completely dependent on what the world decides to feed us, if it does.

I won’t be watching the premier of season seven this month since I’m so far behind, but I’m excited to catch up. And I do wish Rick and his company Godspeed as they battle the elements with us.

Comment below as to why you like The Walking Dead. Why do you think it’s so popular?

We Are Not As Free a Country As You Think

Premature Baby

Premature Baby

Two of our kids came to us through the state’s foster system. Despite all the horror stories, we were fortunate enough to not have any drama with them from their biological families. Just the standard and infuriating sluggish court system.

Our newest one, seven weeks old, is a different story. His mom wants him back, and if she can’t get him then her mom wants him. We wouldn’t have much of a problem with this except that his mom did heroine when she was pregnant with him.

All the way up until five hours before she delivered him.

And the state wants to reunite mother and son.

That is all I will say for privacy’s sake. Except that, through rather explosive circumstance that unfolded recently, it is exceptionally clear that had the baby been in his biological mom’s care, he would not have been brought to the ER last week and would have most assuredly died at home. His mom’s expert opinion is that he doesn’t need to be in the hospital. She said this while as a machine was pumping air into his half-dead lungs.

My wife and I were up late last night talking about everything.

We’re engulfed in a nightmare of epic proportions, and we had a decision to make. Do we throw our hands up and say the baby’s going to be given back to his mom anyway? Or do we stay in the ring and fight?

We have every reason to give up. And deep down, we want to.

But we are choosing to stay and fight. My wife wants to protect the baby for as long as she can. I’m choosing to fight because it’s one way I can stand up against injustice in this world.

Walter White once said, “I’m going to hell anyway. I’m not going there lying down.”

I question what freedom is. I question if we in America actually have real freedom, or is it masked? I know we’re not being dictated or shot in the streets, but we have to fight a stalwart and aggressive government to protect the most innocent of lives. Is that freedom?

Folks, we’ll all go to our pride rallies and pay our union dues, but our priorities are really messed up. When did marriage equality take precedence over the safety and care of helpless children? Babies are born addicted to drugs and we’re trying to make sure Steve and Jeeves can get a marriage certificate. Children are being neglected in the home because Mom took too many painkillers the night before, and we’re squabbling over he said/she said politics. Children are being beat because the state decided it was  good idea that they live with their “real” dad, and we’re busy Youtubing the latest panda bear video. What the fuck is wrong with all of us?

Where are the groups and crowds advocating that the foster system be torn down and changed from the ground up? Why aren’t the law-abiding citizens taking a final stand for a no-tolerance law? Meaning, once you have your kid taken away from you, that’s it, you’re done. No second chances. You want to have more kids? Fine. But stay clean this time.

You don’t tamper with young life. And all of us who survived childhood have no right to ignore those babies and children who are suffering in the blind hands of the state and the incapable hands of their parents/relatives.

Don’t you see? It’s a recycling system.Keep throwing the kids back to their lower-class surroundings, and they’ll grow up to be just like their parents living on welfare and food stamps, who in turn will likely give birth to children addicted to heroin and meth and cocain. It’s job security for the government.

I am not a racist or a bigot. I am 100% for anyone who wants to change their life. I feel bad for people who are living in desolation. And I understand it is a freaking hard world to live in and even harder not to fail. I get all that. And I also understand that there are people who can change their lives around for the sake of their kids. But today, I’m not talking about them. They are not a majority. They’re an extreme rarity.

So, my question to you is, what are we going to do to earn the right and the freedom to protect our children? Let me be uncomfortably clear: WE DO NOT HAVE THE FREEDOM TO SAVE CHILDREN. They are only saved if and when the state decides they’re ready to release them from bondage.

Who has the answer? Who has a plan? Who has the balls to stand up with me and, as Steve Jobs said, make a dent in the universe?


A Big October Scare

14448907_10210932544653816_335374217269917758_nAs of now we have three kids in our family. Our oldest, two, we adopted last summer. Our middle, almost two, should have been adopted forever ago but bureaucracy’s a disease that lingers for no good reason.

Our youngest, six weeks old, came home to us a couple of weeks ago. Without going into detail, he’s been back in the hospital since Wednesday night when he went pale and lost oxygen on us and vomited up blood.

Even in the hospital, hooked up to monitors and breathing machines, there have been many terrifying moments. We were even both called into the hospital yesterday morning in case we needed to say goodbye.

That sucked really bad.

He’s doing moderately better now.

My heart goes out to my wife and kids because they are so connected with him. I don’t connect with babies or bond with them well, and won’t pretend to. But the thing that hurts most is that, as I sit in the ICU holding his marshmallowy-sedated hand between paragraphs, he might not give us his first laugh or cheer and applaud with the other kids when the Disney castle comes on the TV. To be apart of our family is to love Disney, pizza, and Volkswagens.

This little guy is supposed to be there under the Christmas tree in a couple of months so our kids can obnoxiously shove their new toys in his face. We’re supposed to see his eyes widen as we drive by Christmas lights. He’s supposed to take his first steps in our house and make messes learning to eat with a spoon and go see Toy Story 4 with all of us.

He’s supposed to toughen our middle kid up and I’m supposed to help him pick out his first car.

Yes, we always assume we will adopt the kids we foster because that’s what we signed up for.

It’s been an incredibly bad year on pretty much every level, one that I will be happy to forget. We just want 2016 to be over, and we want this little baby to be there to wave goodbye to it and step with us into a better year. Despite who the president-elect is.

As the CEO of Endever Publishing Studios, we still plan on releasing our first two novels later this month. Please stay updated with Endever news as we continue to work hard at delivering the best quality entertainment the book industry can offer. Endever on Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram.

This Post Breaks All the Rules

Socially speaking, I’m not allowed to write this post.

Even the business world would frown on me.

Because we’re supposed to only present our best selves, right? And as a business owner, I’m supposed to give the impression that I’ve got it all under control.

To a degree, these are good rules. Personally, I don’t like it when people show up to work and start crying about their broken marriage. But I don’t hold it against them. I don’t tell them to stop. I just ignore them if I don’t want to hear it.

So if you don’t want to hear it, I suggest you stop reading now. Because I’m about to unleash as a father, a husband, a middle-class citizen, an aspiring bestselling author, and a brand-new business owner.

This post breaks all the rules. I trust you’ll forgive me.

I’m mad. No, I’m perpetually pissed off. My wife sees it, my kids see it, and I wake up and go to sleep each day feeling it.

Today I had to take our foster son to the doctor to get staples removed from his head. A quick two-minute procedure. But since Kentucky passed a new law mandating that foster parents have to get consent from the kids’ social workers before a doctor can do anything, they have to get permission from the already-hard-to-reach social workers. We were at the doctor this morning for almost an hour. No response. We called and called. I ended up having to reschedule and leave with the staples still in his head so I wouldn’t be late for work.

Because, you know, being a law-abiding, working middle-class citizen is no different than grade school. Can’t be tardy! (My particular day job is actually good in this regard compared to others’, but you get my point.)

Which is half the reason I’ve started my own business. I’m tired of being told when to show up to work and when I’m allowed to go on vacation. That is, if my insurance hasn’t robbed me as blind as the previous month.  I’m tired of getting permission to be sick.

I hate that the foster care system is crap deteriorating to shit that even makes the bacteria sick, never getting better, always getting worse.

I hate the state giving drug-addicts every chance under the sun (and then years-worth-of-chances after that) to get their kids back only for them to likely be abused and neglected even more, just so the faceless assholes running our government can come out looking like the good guys. All the while we foster parents are trying to do a good thing for these kids and we’re treated worse than the felons!

I can’t do a single thing about it and that really pisses me off!!!

I hate that running a business and writing a book takes nearly all the risk and energy in the world. And it’s driven by pure fear. I hate that no hours in a day is not just a cliche saying. It’s really, really, really, really true. And that sucks so bad.

I’m terrified that I’m going to fail. I’m terrified that you’re all going to read my book and hate it. (I’m not so terrified that you’re going to hate the other authors’ books because they’ve got more talent than I have in one of my graying hairs.) But the bigger fear is that you’re not going to buy our books. You’ll like the pages and posts and share the excerpts, but come book release, you’ll shrug it off.

I’m terrified that my kids won’t discover their passions until late in life, like me. And they’ll be stuck clocking in at a job they don’t care for making money for someone they don’t even know.

I’m terrified that my wife and I will just be done with each other. I’m terrified that I really can’t change. I hate that I love my kids so much and that one day they’re not going to care. I hate that I can’t take care of babies. I make them cry. My rapid heart-rate and boiling blood freaks them out.

I hate that I don’t know how to raise my kids.

Just on my way to work this morning (I made it on time, no thanks to the foster care system), blasted the music and just screamed. I’m sick of working my ass off and being robbed nearly half of my paycheck by our insurance. If you don’t know that money is only going to fatten corporate wallets, then you need to do your homework. (Where do you think your premiums are going if you still have to pay extreme medical bills?) And that doesn’t account for taxes.

I’m sick of the hardest working people getting paid nickels and dimes and the comfortable corner-office inhabitants getting perks and hiring maids to dust out their Ferraris.

I can go on. And believe me, each day I do. But I’m not going to be another one of those bloggers who pretends everything is great and that my life is all peaches and flowers. I’m a human being with real issues and real problems and real effed up emotions.

I’m a terrible husband at best.

I’m a paranoid and angry father.

I’m a terrible writer.

I’m a terrified business owner.

I’m completely unraveled.

You’re all going to comment and say things like, “It’s okay, we feel your pain,” or “You’re a great writer! I’ve been following you for years!”


In fact, you’re as messed up and in as bad of a situation as I am. Gripe. Just let it out. Writing this didn’t fix anything, and honestly, it didn’t make me feel better. But at least I’m not lying or presenting a false image. Because this is who I am. This is how I feel.

And I’m really sorry, but I’m going to keep trying my hardest. Because I’m just. That. Stupid.

I’m Back!

I hate that blog title because it insinuates that I’m just a casual blogger and just remembered to post something after an eight-month hiatus. Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything on here, but let me fill you in on what’s been going on in bullet-points:

  • I tried to earn a Dad of the Year award by spoiling my kids and taking them to Chuck E. Cheese’s each Saturday.
  • Sarabeth said that place is dirty.
  • I laughed it off.
  • “Come on, kids! Do you want to spend another Saturday at Chuck E. Cheese? Show me your happy dance!”
  • One sick kid.
  • Two sick kid.
  • One very sick dad.
  • Spots. Fever. Chills. Hallucinating (apparently). Bed rest.

Basically that bed rest is what did me in. I developed a blood clot in my left leg because I hadn’t moved in over a week. The blood clot developed because I had my ACL repaired ten years ago and had a blood clot then. Apparently they’re famous for encores.

So that required an impromptu trip to the ER. Mind you, this is after a stubborn and determined walk around the zoo with the kids and an uphill walk to the library even with my leg swelled to the size of an elephant’s testicle.

“I’ll be fine,” I kept telling Sarabeth. “Let me just run it off.” So I stretched, jogged, did Yoga, and continued doing the Happy Dance with the kids from Chuck E. Cheese’s Youtube channel. Some habits die hard.

Finally Sarabeth put her foot down (because I no longer could). She made me ask a trusted crmekjgxgaebxcadoctor and he said to haul ass to the ER pronto. The kids and I finished our snow cones (I was still going for Dad of the Year), I dropped them off at home, grabbed a book, and told my wife they’ll probably keep me overnight.

They did. For five nights.

The only reason the clot didn’t reach my lungs or my heart was because apparently I was born with abnormally narrow tummy vessels. So the clot couldn’t fit, even though it was trying.

Twelve episodes of Breaking Bad, four CAT Scans, three ultra sounds, two surgeries and about a trillion-and-a-half blood tests later, my leg was as good as new – new like a newborn baby’s who can’t walk.

Oh, speaking of babies, I came home from the hospital to a phone call saying that the state of Kentucky has a child they would like for us to take in. A normal couple would have said no, except this normal couple made a promise years back that we would never say no to a child. No matter what.

And, my mom-in-law was in town already, so she was happy to be around for the arrival of a new kid.

All of this to say that I’m alive and well, my publishing company is still (miraculously) on track for releasing our first two books next month, and we’ll be continuing the story of “The Underneath” by popular demand.

So… how’s your month been?

Let’s Get Physical!


The Olympics. While our athletic representatives are busting their butts to stack up our gold, Sarabeth and I have been doing our patriotic duty keeping the economy going by ordering pizzas, calzones, Chipolte, and lots of ice cream to root on our favorite Olympians.

First off, let me just say that we were totally robbed last night! I mean, what the hell, it’s track and field, not diving!! It’s a foot race! Not a stretchy-hand exercise! I say, good job, Allyson, you’re a winner in our house!


And why are people so upset with Gabby Douglas? What’s with this hashtag-CrabbyGabby crap? Folks, she’s an Olympian, not an actress. Her focus is on her performance as an Olympian. We and the media should not be enticing her to focus on her bloody facial expressions, too. If we want to be judgmental on anyone, I say release the four horsemen on Aly Raisman’s parents. I mean, they should be cheering and yelling and smiling for their little girl – she’s in the Olympics! If it were our little girl out there, we’d be screaming with foamy fingers and painted faces for little Kat.


Okay, so I got that off my chest. As you can see, the Olympics bring on a lot of stress, which brings on a lot of binge-eating, which brings on some questions. My wife asked one the other night.

Why have the Olympics at all? She doesn’t mean it like, Why are you wearing that plaid skirt with pink spikes in your hair and Clogs on your feet? She means it like, I love the Olympics, but when you get down to its origins, what’s the point? Like, why did Greece, in 1800-something, decide to reinstate it? 

I’ve been pondering this question for a few nights now, and I have my ideas. But I decided I wanted to hear your thoughts. What is it that draws every country together every two years to compete in high vaulting, bobsledding, Karate, and even handball? Why spend millions of dollars to promote people to compete in sports that, in the end, don’t matter? Like, if the world went to hell, how would trampolining save anyone? Why are the Olympics such a big deal and why do we have them? As much as we love them, what’s the point?

Tweet your thoughts to @AToy1208 or comment below!

Not What It Seems


Since I was young I’ve had bad hearing. Thirty-percent hearing loss in one ear and forty-percent in the other. Something like that.

As a result I used to get words words wrong all the time.

For instance…

I thought there was an N in early: “Earnly.”

I used to say “supposebly” instead of “supposedly.” (Except I don’t know what sentences would require me to say that word, but if I said it, that’s how I would have pronounced it.)

I pronounced helicopter: helicockter. 

And if something was corny, I’d say it was horny.

A lot of times things aren’t what they seem. Your life could be heading in a direction completely different from what you expect.

I heard of a guy at work who got passed up for a promotion. Turns out the boss was holding out for a better promotion which he didn’t get because he let his performance slide.

I thought those spots on Michael Phelps were because he sucks at Nerf. Turns out it’s a form of therapy involving suction cups.

I once thought my highest aspiration was to be an author. Now I own my own company.

So take my advice with a great assault and remember that things are hardly ever what they seem.

And check out Endever’s serial novel, “The Underneath” if you’ve caught up with your Olympics viewing.