Update (2/24/2015)

I realized that I posted the updates as a page instead of a blog post, so I’m re-posting it here as a blog post ^_^

Good afternoon everyone!

I have a few updates to bring up:

  • The website is getting a little facelift, I changed the theme and background today. I will continue to make a few changes to the site for the next couple of months, including adding a page for my home business and updating other pages.
  • School is awesome so far! I’m getting the hang of HTML and I can’t wait to try out some CSS coding. With that being said, I’m looking to create a new blog dedicated to autism acceptance and culture within the African diaspora. I will give you all more details about the project in late spring (around May or June).
  • I apologize for the lack of content lately. I will make sure to blog more often. No excuses, even if I have jobs to look for and school work to do.
  • I’m visiting Minnesota this weekend to celebrate the 118th anniversary of my fraternity Sigma Pi and attend an alumni dinner.

Otherwise, that is all. Enjoy the rest of the day and thank you all for your continued support

Day 3 of 21 Days of Writing: Lola Bunny

Lola Bunny in Space Jam (1996)

Lola Bunny in Space Jam (1996) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lola Bunny (©2007 Pharaoh)




1st Quarter (Tip-Off)




My soul’s doubled teamed
like The Answer on game nite




Trapped ‘n pressed
in pure love




Cuddling you
is holstering the O’Brien Trophy,
glistening in the light,
satisfying my needs for warth




I dealt with role players,
first-round busts,
horrible trades,
and free agents that only
look delicious on the menu but
disgust me afterwards




But you, Ms. Lola Bunny,
are my #1 draft pick;
Thank you God, the divine recruiter and coach!
I won the lottery
for you’re my franchise player




My most valuable woman




2nd Quarter (Entering Halftime)




Why you…you might ask?
Put it like this,
I am Othello to you
I remembered my first confession to you
as I told my story
OF how I been an outcast
to society and even family ‘n friends
Yet still able to drive down the lane
and attack my goals with authority




OF my travels
for the gritty 59
to a ghetto suburb that engulfs an oasis
and eventually the star of the North
where Minnesota Nice is subbed in for segregation




OF my…
random facts




Instead of boos
you gave me a world of hugs, kisses, ‘n sighs
Once I told my tale




You cared for who Pharaoh really is
Not for what the Pharaoh should be in your eyes
For you allowed me to open up my heart
Just like you did for me…only to help each other win




Now that’s teamwork!
Or at least its foundation…




My Lola Bunny




3rd Quarter (Down the Strech)




I remember those spring days
as the Quentin McCall
of AFRO 3865
A hot shot scholar yearning
to bleed maroon ‘n gold on Saturdays




I always share knowledge
‘n debate; yet I knew of a
Ms. Baller
who wanted my knowledge
On the left corner
my pupils dribble
and senses elevate
and heart rate pacing
as I scout me
some sweet dark chocolate
The lips are Gatorade…they quench my thirst
Eyes and smile
remind me of a championship ring
from miles away
I don’t see nothing wrong
with getting posted up like Big Aristotle
For I wanna palm your curves




At first
I thought I’ll be nothing more
than your ho’ for learning
used only for “academic purposes”




Until the first time we hung out




That Saturday nite
still etched in my history books
Us strolling up and down Frat Row
Shoot, I wouldn’t be surprised if they called
us “Stockton to Malone” or “Showtime”
The night in which it was filled
with liq ‘n dancing ‘n laughs
and swirling the famous cane




Only 1 problem…it was the wrong Kane




The first time
we walked ‘n talked about non – AFRO 3865 topics
The first time
you confessed why you liked me
Is it because of my talents
or willingness to speak out
or even attractiveness of some sort?
I cannot recall
But the fact that you were real about what you said…
No wonder why I care for you very much




4th Quarter (Crunchtime)




those are my feelings on




Why I’m saying this?




I want you to be more than a teammate
I wanna be your go-to-guy
Ready for action
when needed a pick
to shake opponents off
or when it’s time for
the game-winning point
needed in 5 seconds
before the buzzer




If God and Father Time permits




I dream of us
playing one-on-one
not just for clothes (or maybe not)
but for love, for hearts




One question I’ll leave you with tonight,
precious Lola Bunny,
for you got plenty of time to respond




Am I worthy of becoming your #1 draft pick?




Day 2 of 21 Days of Writing: Autism and Entrepreneurship

Today, I will show you all proof that autists can be their own bosses and not have to rely on work that is  not commensurate with their passions or experience (and sometimes even higher education level).

According to an Inc. article, about 47% of autistic adults are  jobless. This statistic hits me hard because I’m now one of the 47%. Even though I obtained a Master’s degree in March and held on to several internships and part time jobs, I have yet to land full-time work. I have been searching for full-time employment since March 2013, which is almost a two-year span. How can I prove my independence without meaningful work? I don’t think any one on the spectrum, especially those who have talent, would want to spend the rest of their lives depending on government and family.

Entrepreneur writer Patty Pacelli lays out four qualities of autistic people that will attract employers in her article. Below are excerpts from the article:

1. Intense focus comes naturally to them. Autistic people’s intensity can be an asset that helps them focus on the task at hand. For example, autistic employee Trevor’s extreme focusing ability allows him to wash huge piles of dishes quickly without stopping or complaining. His supervisor remarked that Trevor was “like a machine” and couldn’t believe how hard and fast he worked. Trevor said the repetition was comforting to him and he just “plowed right through it.”

2. They work when nobody is watching. When Trevor worked in maintenance, his coworkers commented that they always saw him doing heavy landscape work outside in the heat. Trevor didn’t know anyone saw him, but he worked hard when alone, never slacking or resting. It was that focus and commitment to do whatever he was asked that made him a model employee.

3. Autistic individuals can bring enormous creativity. Autistic people’s minds are wired differently, and their imaginations can be extreme. Managers should take advantage of this when looking for creative ideas or new ways to solve problems. If they give autistic team members opportunities to share their ideas, those ideas can lead to brilliant new concepts.

4. Autistic employees’ passions lead to productivity. Because autistic individuals usually have intense, specific interests, the best jobs are those that allow them to be involved with those interests. An employee who is perfectly suited to a position because of a passion results in a win-win situation. He will love working in his area of extensive knowledge and be hyper-focused and productive.

Not only should employers be aware of autistic employees’ strengths, they should also learn about some of their challenges, and how to accommodate them for better productivity.

People with autism need clear instructions so they know exactly what is expected of them, along with detailed job descriptions they can refer to often. They are literal thinkers, so language like “Be ready to start working at 9” works better than “Don’t be late.” They are not less intelligent, but they process differently and are usually visual learners, so the clearer the instructions, the better.

As leaders, creating an environment where high-functioning autistic employees can thrive is more than demonstrating social responsibility and diversity. It also yields the business results that entrepreneurs need to not just survive, but thrive.

Despite the qualities that would make us valuable employees, I’m still fear some of us on the spectrum would still be out of work. You see, the workplace is not primarily about your abilities and how hard your work. It’s all about social interactions and norms, with a little work capability. People may be scared of the silent type or person who have obsessions on sci-fi. It doesn’t help that people on the spectrum are usually literal thinkers. Work jokes may go over their heads. Eventually, our struggle to interact with co-workers and bosses can either cost us jobs or not get us one in the first place.

Luckily, I’m trying my hand at home business, where I can utilize my abilities and potentially earn some fair income. All it takes is a cell phone, computer, and a passion for the services you provide. Along with some social media savvy and content management. Personally, I would rather gain my freedom through entrepreneurship. I think people on the autistic spectrum should consider it because entrepreneurship or work-at-home can not only help you make money to earn a living while enjoying the ability to work. Such opportunities can also relieve you from some of the social anxiety. Aspies and autists who run their own businesses can focus on their tasks at hand, and they may mostly do customer interaction over the phone or online (assuming the business is digital). More importantly, businesses and work-at-home opportunities allows for us to spend more time pursuing our obsessions and interests with little to no ridicule. In the home business, I still have time to write, watch football, and catch up on some cartoons and documentaries after taking care of what I need to take care of.

I foresee more of us on the spectrum taking advantage of at-home work or entrepreneurship in the near future. This is a good time to hop on the opportunities to gain independence through being your own boss. There’s plenty of ways to do it and sources to go to. For my way of helping you gain independence through business while enjoying your passions, check out the presentation on my business website.

Otherwise, I pray that one day, the world will be more accepting of autistic entrepreneurs and employees. Our abilities and minds are a terrible thing to waste.

Day 1 of 21 Days of Writing: Updates


Happy Sunday everyone!! Sorry about my long absence. A lot has been on my plate lately, from the never-ending job search to burying one of my uncles. But at the end of the day, I’m still here and I’m still fighting on, like a badger.

I proud to announce that I’ll join the party and do the 21 day writing challenge with my writing buddies. Due to my hectic life events, I didn’t get to start on time. Better late than never, right?

I’ll keep this short. However, I do have a few udpates:

– I am back at it with the job search. It’s still a painful search, figuring out which jobs would be a great fit for me and which ones are public transportation accessible. I expanded my search to higher education positions. I hope that would help.

– Spiritual journey has been up and down. I was out of the loop, as far as reading the Bible online, for two months. Now that I have a smartphone, I started reading my Bible and Qur’an again.

– Between January 2nd and 4th, I will be staffing Kollision Con at Rosemont, IL. Which means that I will also take pictures there. As always, I will post con pictures on my Flickr account and Facebook like page.

– I’m writing for Football.com again after being on hiatus for several months.

and lastly,

– For those you don’t know already, I’m running a home business where I help people and businesses save money on essential services like cable, satellite TV, text message marketing services, Internet, energy, healthcare, etc. I also train people to help those who are looking to save bucks on such services. Please look at my website to learn more about the opportunity and the services I provide and let me know if it’s of interest of you. Also follow my following accounts related to my new venture.


That’s all. Look forward to some more extensive writing tomorrow. In the meantime, have a good night!

The State of the Black Autist (for Autistics Speaking Day 2014)

from queenunique.wordpress.com


I proud to say that since my initial diagnosis in 1990, society has come a long way from the “dark ages of autism”. Growing up, I had only a few options: be institutionalized, spend the rest of my life with family, or spend my adult life in rehabilitation centers. I dreamed of going to college, not spending all my school years in special education, enjoying independence, and pursuing a career in whatever passion I desire. Only a handful believed that I can actually achieve it. Back in the 1990s, I don’t recall having heroes on the autistic spectrum. Sure you have the savant on films, but that’s about it. There were no real-life autists and aspies in my book. The world seemed unprepared for dealing with people on the spectrum, because they weren’t as many supportive programs.

In 2014, I admit that it’s actually a great time to be an aspie or autist. You can be the IT whiz, writer, professor, artist, activist, athlete, musician…any passion you love, you can do know with little objection. I see more people on the spectrum attend mainstream classes and excel at post-secondary institutions. We don’t have to rely on just Raymond Babbit for inspiration. There’s Stephen Wiltshire, Sondra Williams, Donna Williams, Dr. Temple Grandin, and others who are role models for the autistic community to follow and emulate. More efforts are being made to employ people on the spectrum. We can live independently and even go to groups that are tailor-made for our needs, without relying on parent-oriented orgs like Autism Speaks.

I’m liking the chances that I have today, but I feel like I’m still an outcast to my own community. Perhaps it’s because that not only I’m autistic, but also African-American. I wish my ethnic group can be more supportive of the African-American autists. I don’t why autism can be a taboo subject. Maybe my community was taught that autism is the devil and it needs to be fixed, considering that the African-American community is built on Judeo-Christian beliefs. For some believers, the autist is a gift from God and needs special care. Sometimes for black autists who are capable of independence, this could mean facing constant overprotection from family and friends.

I think this fear also have to do with the notion on trying to “be normal and cool”, like the entertainers and athletes. Or perhaps being autistic can suck for an black person like me because intelligence and geekery equals “acting white”. Talk about your crab in the barrel situation!

Also consider the access to health care centers and schools that can help autistic people. In the inner city, or any area that is primarily of African descent, health and autistic programs are not as abundant, accessible, and adequate as ones in other neighborhoods are. In Atlanta, for example, 40% of autistic children in the metropolitan area were diagnosed at only schools. Basically, you can only afford the school psychologist to try to evaluate the autistic child.

By the time black autists enter adulthood, like me, they are totally screwed. Black unemployment is general is a pain, on top of all the other pressures that the black community already have to face, like lack of education, broken families, drugs, gang culture, etc. Unemployment and underemlpyment is still an issue for people on the autistic spectrum in general. Throw in the struggles to interact with people and the odd reactions to certain mannerisms, and you witness the negative cloud that is over the black autist.

But no worries, it more hopeful for the black autist than you think or see in the media. I thought I have no autistic hero to emulate in the black community, until I read about Maurice Snell. He graduated from college and now holds a position at Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago. If he can rise up to get the job that he loves, then so can I!

Black people on the spectrum can do it too. But it will take plenty of love, willpower, and support. Families should look more at the positive sides of the autistic spectrum, or matter of fact, accept the autist or aspie more instead of nick-picking at their ways of life. I wish that my ethnic group can buy into more autistic ACCEPTANCE than AWARENESS. Geekery is fine; it doesn’t “strip” my blackness or African-American heritage. We should form self-advocacy groups specifically for the black community.

But more importantly, we, the autistic people in the African Diaspora (including myself) should not worry about those who try to derail our dreams. We can take examples from the Stephen Wiltshires and Maurice Snells of the world, and be shining lights in our community. Furthermore, we should know that the autism community at large has our backs. Besides, we are all bond by a condition that non-autistics still can’t grasp and understand the benefits that comes from it.

Intro to Upcoming Book (Teaser #1)

Good day/evening everyone! Finally finished the introductory chapter to my upcoming book, tentatively called “The Wonderful World of Pharaoh”. Feel free to comment and critique on it.


I wish I could buy into a universal world, where everyone adheres and thrives under the same social norms. An utopia in which we won’t be misreading signals or bicker over ways of living. I assume that people in such utopia don’t have to call each other weirdoes or lames because they don’t have to worry about different worlds. Or I can dream of creating an earth – like atmospheres field with islands of various social expectations. You don’t have to bow down to a mainstream culture and suffer bouts of conformity. Inhabitants in that world can see their way in their own, private, and visual manner in each bubble.
Sadly, the world as we know it doesn’t operate in either way. We live in a world within multitudes of worlds and perspectives. Human share at least two different worlds at once. There is the physical world, which is the planet Earth and its environments/resources. Then you have a universal world; everyone in that world agrees on a set of social norms and taboos that can be understood anywhere, no matter what culture you may represent. Let’s be real: universal worlds are NOT utopian or totalitarian. I don’t see a leader make the whole world follow a set of rules. Good luck controlling approximately six billion people by enforcing a static set of social norms! On the other hand, it would also be difficult to govern six billion separate mindsets. Even if a government was created to allow separate worlds to exist as isolated islands, everyone would still either clash or stick to their own rules and social norms.

Along with the physical and universal worlds, you may also experience personal, customized worlds within those two primary, preset realms. It can range from two to infinite additional worlds, and it all depends on various factors. One must consider things such as ethnicity, medical conditions, education, family upbringing, critical event that may influence ideologies, social status, etc. Some can juggle multiple worlds at once. Others thrive on focusing on living in their own little world, without much regard for their other worlds.

For example, I sit on a bench to enjoy a placid, bright day at Rainbow Beach in Chicago. To the naked eye, I am located near 79th Street and South Shore Drive in the Cheltenham/South Shore neighborhood, on the beaches of the great Lake Michigan. A pedestrian may see me stare at the skyline, the children making sand castles, pretty ladies strolling on the pathway, or youth spiking a volleyball over the net. That’s what I call the physical world. It’s the things, the concrete and immediate ones, that you can recognize.

Keep in mind that there are more worlds than the physical one and that you may be experiencing two worlds at once. Going back to the Rainbow Beach example, you may also pickup on how I see the universal world within the physical realm. You’ll probably assume that I’m at Rainbow Beach to relax, take a break from work, escape the sweltering heat wave, meditate, or search for a mate. Besides, I think we all go to the beach for any of those usual reasons. But then there are more worlds to consider within the confines of Rainbow Beach. You might see two common worlds: the physical and the universal ones. However, Rainbow Beach can mean many more things than just its standard definition. That beach may be my retreat from the violent Chicagoan streets; it might be my little island of heaven. Or it could be a reminder of how much I missed my hometown, since I can see the Chicago skyline from that area. Maybe Rainbow Beach reinforces my affinity for water and the lakefront. Who knows what else I can draw from Rainbow Beach! Aside from the sea of possible viewpoints, I’m using the Rainbow Beach example to illustrate how you can experience worlds with a know physical location.

Why am I going on a tangent about worlds, you may ask? I can be expressing my passion for studying metaphysical and spiritual ideologies. Or blame it on the anime and cartoons; those two factors are loaded with whacky and vast worlds. Yet those are not primary reasons why I’m going into detail with multiple worlds. Instead, I’m borrowing a page from W.E.B. DuBois’ philosophies on identities, in which a person is carrying two or more personas in one body. Originally utilized to explain how African-Americans view their dual identities in America, you can say that DuBois’ notion of “double-consciousness” can be applied to any situation where a person is floating between two or more identities that conflict with each other. Those with multiple identities may have difficulties coping with how their peers view each persona and how those affect certain aspects of their life.

have so many worlds that I navigate within a finite space. I am a brony, spiritual being, photographer, believer in polyamory, humanitarian, South Sider from Chicago, football junkie, foodie, life-long student, romantic, troubled soul, etc. If I keep going with the listing, then you’ll assume that my head is saturated with interesting worlds I travel back and forth to. I will talk about some of my interests and personas later. But for now, I want to explore two primary identities readers should examine more closely; one of them needs special attention because it’s a world only a brave few can describe.
On one hand, I am human, just like everyone around me. Yes, I am a six-foot, 270-290 lb. dreadhead who can pass for a lineman or linebacker. Otherwise, I’m similar to the average Joe. I have feelings and I express them verbally. I eat, sleep, move around, poop, and piss like a human being. My five senses are present, though I do need glasses sometimes to look at tiny or far away objects. I can be adventurous and have fun with you if I’m in the appropriate situation. I get in trouble just like everyone else, bleed just like you, and try to answer life’s questions like everyone else. And best to believe that I am capable of playing sports or making sweet love (if I wanted a mate)!
At first glance, you may perceive me to be human. I guess I’ve been playing normal well for quite some time. You can’t tell that I’m different right? I don’t think so. Other than exhibiting a few personality quirks, I can pass for a neurotypical with flying colors.
But what if I tell you I have another identity? Perhaps this human/normal thing that I have is nothing more than a façade. It’s because I’m also autistic. Furthermore, autism is my dominant identity, not human. Being autistic is being a foreigner in his or her motherland. I operate and function like a neurotypical in the human world, and if you didn’t know any better, you would assume that I’m a natural-born citizen of that world. However, I don’t feel like a citizen of this Earth, but rather an explorer from Planet Vegeta or some mystical territory. I view the world much like a dog roaming the barren alleys, relying on senses and patterns and visuals. From what I learned, humans usually rely on feelings, abstract thought, and social concepts. I’m functional (somewhat) in those departments, but even close to fluent. But I am fluent in recognizing and explaining concrete details. I use my five senses and brain to navigate this jungle called life. I concentrate on one thing at a time with sharp focus, as if I’m buying into Coach Schottenheimer’s “one play at a time” philosophy.
Those are cool traits to have, right? You’re the most incredible person in the world (in my books) if you can shove all your social mayhem and focus on what you love to pursue best. I can empathize with you on that one, but some neurotypicals my give us the evil eye when we go on with our lives with that mindset. I believe that a few really give a damn about the logical viewpoints of autists and aspies. We’re aliens, even though we bleed, piss, and shit like non-autistic people. However, I live in the social world, dominated by concepts, idioms, and emphasis on peer interaction & social norms.
There are reasons why the whole different world spiel is a reoccurring theme. As mentioned before, autistic live in two parallel worlds. There’s the neurotypical world, where daily life is governed by constructs, cues, and norms….with chunks of (complex) emotions. And then you walk into the world of autists and aspies, where logic, patterns, and animalistic thinking dictate how daily lives and routines operate. What I mean by animalistic thinking is the type of thinking that Dr. Temple Grandin once explained in a BBC documentary: both animals and people on the autistic spectrum rely on their senses and concrete details to navigate their surroundings. For example, a scent from a person can give me numerous information, such as the age of the person, state of mind, taste in fashion, personality, brand of cologne/perfume, lotion flavor, etc. Senses and details matter to autists and aspies. I wish that the higher powers could have forged an Earth-like planet just for autist and aspies to inhabit. But then I won’t have to write my essay series, or find a legitimate reason to write it. Haha!
There is only one Earth in the universe, therefore us aspies and autists share it with non-autistics. Despite my distaste for some of the social norms, I must obey the rules of the neurotypicals in order to survive the chaos called life. I am bombarded with visuals and literature on how to be “a normal person” on a daily basis. I see it in mainstream movies, where they are saturated with social norms. The ads I see on TV dictate how I should behave. Institutions, like school and places of worship, have knacks on molding me into an average, respectable human. And people are quick to point out my “weaknesses” if I pull out my first generation Pokémon cards. If an action seems off to them (even if it’s not a wrong vs. right thing), then I’ll be hammered with concerns or jeers. I’m an outcast if I see the world differently from what I was programmed to see it. And yes, some of my quirks may seem strange to their eyes. For example, turning a fan on while the heat is circulating the house or not dressing up for church can lead into unnecessary debates. I have my reasons behind certain actions, and most of them are preferences, not good vs. bad (some of them can be stemmed from my autism, like turning on less lights).
On one hand, I see those who mock my “autistic way of life” as bullies and complete assholes. They seem to get a kick out of judging the autist or aspie, though some may have at least working knowledge of what autism is. They appear to purposely mock their mannerisms. But then you have those who don’t know any better or are misinformed. You may have never heard about autism until I wrote about it or someone you know has the condition. Or maybe you were listening to fictionalized accounts (some are them are inaccurate) of those living on the spectrum. I’m not surprised if you see as a savant or man-child prone to tantrums, if my routine gets shaken up. Perhaps you might have strong knowledge of autism. Or, you may even exhibit traits of it, but your family, peers, or community doesn’t want to hear what you have to say. I’m assuming that they have their own fears, myths, or prejudice on that matter. I believe that, in general, the African-American community is not big on topics surrounding mental and developmental disorders. Though I don’t want to get into detail until later in the book, I can say that it boils down to “trying to play normal and cool”, like Shaft, Snoop Dogg, or Michael Jordan.
I’m writing my essay series for two kinds of people: those in the spectrum who are facing similar predicaments as myself and those who don’t understand our struggles to live in a predominately neurotypical world. I’m aiming for the latter because I’m tired of others telling our stories without regards for the autistic community or taking the time to learn about our daily lives, especially as adults. In fact, I don’t think people ever get to listen to stories from autistic adults often. My book shouldn’t be taken as gospel; my account of being autistic is unique, and the same can be said for previous essays and memoirs written by those in the spectrum. However, I pray that you can get a slight handle of the struggles and benefits of living on the autistic spectrum. People can again more insight to how I, as an autist, operate in the “normal world” and why I can sometimes feel like an alien on my own homeland.
To those on the spectrum, I hope that the journeys in my collection would be exciting rides for you too. I want to help remind my aspie/autie family that our voices are out there and we will be heard with attentive, objective ears. We write such non-fiction pieces to inspire those on the spectrum to be themselves and live out their obsessions. This is especially important for autists and aspies of African descent. It’s a rarity to find successful black people on the spectrum; I only managed to come across one who is officially diagnosed with autism: British artist Stephen Wiltshire (eeyup, the guy who can draw the city of Manhattan using photographic memory). We ought to see more aspies and autists of color doing their thing and sharing their stories. I’m far from a celebrity figure or person of importance, but writing my thoughts on the world of the autist can at least spark something.
With all being said, are ready to travel through the wonderful world of Pharaoh? Sorry if I was long-winded with my speech. Don’t worry about fluff and fillers, because those things are reserved for anime. You will come across interesting facts, funny anecdotes, and repressed memories….all are thrillers. But please be aware of references to booze, sex, “God-talk”, cannabis, and all the taboo stuff. I’m sure some may not be ready for an aspie who cares about Mary Jane. However, unexplored territory must be visited if you want an authenticated view of Pharaoh’s world. At any rate, y’all will come home from this expedition with enlighten.
So what the hell are y’all waiting for? Hop on the flying nimbus, relax, and enjoy the journey through “Pharaoh’s World”.