tcr! diaries - podcast

By tcr!

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The ebbs and flows of this alcoholic. It's all true. Sometimes I'm serious. Sometimes I'm not. The episodes tend to be short.

Episode Date
Desperately Seeking Cup of Water

content: Sep 24, 2018 · podcast: Apr 5, 2020

20180924 - Desperately Seeking Cup of Water

I would get one myself but I’ve just settled in for my late afternoon nap. I don’t need a full glass, a full cup will do. I know you’ve been there: partially parched and close to near death as your bones wither down to the marrow.

Plastic cups with the Millennium Falcon are preferred. Thor artwork will do. Toy Story cartoons are forbidden.

Please ring the doorbell and I’ll shortly answer via one-way video yet two-way audio teleconference. Don’t be alarmed, the future is now.

If clearance is granted I will give you a four digit pin with which you may unlock the castle door. Don’t get any bright or shifty shady ideas though, they’re one time use only. Nice try.

#helpwanted #diariespodcast 💦

Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Sep 24, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Did you get some water yet? You want me to run the hose up to your window?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 25, 2018 at 7:01 am

Yes. A hose, please. For water. If it’s not too much trouble.

Mitchell · Sep 25, 2018 at 7:42 am

So I checked on same day delivery it’s gonna cost over $200 to get some water to you in a millennium falcon cup

tcr! tcr! · Sep 25, 2018 at 11:21 am

We shall spare no expense!

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Apr 05, 2020
Just stay there

content: Feb 8, 2019 · podcast: Apr 1, 2020

Candle in the dark

I don’t know where this quote came from but it’s one of my favorites.

The next time you get driven to your knees to pray, just stay there.

I pray when I’m in pain but mostly I try to pray because I’m okay and want to stay that way. I do my best to stay on my spiritual knees because if I let arrogance or pride or hurt overrule what really matters, I know I’ll be humbled against my will and that’s never fun.

But more than that... I’d rather stay in the sunshine than go sit in the dark. Once wrapped in that warm, peaceful glow sitting in a cold, dark basement doesn’t sound that appealing. I’ve made life bad enough.

Okay, saying “wrapped in that warm, peaceful glow” is fruity. I’m not sitting in a lotus position all day channeling Buddha nor am I walking around on rainbows.

But when I have that cosmonaut bond, I’m okay. And I don’t struggle with the everyday headaches of making lists and tying my shoes.

#photos #candles #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

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Apr 02, 2020
Gifts from the cosmos

content: Apr 8, 2019 · podcast: Mar 29, 2020

20190408 Gifts from the cosmos

Life brings me a lot of happiness. Like going to a real estate open house with Maggie just for fun. Or seeing an unexpected cute little flower in my yard. Or eating cherry pie bars with Sara on a normal weeknight.

Most days I remember those are gifts from the cosmos. I only need be my best self and I get all the blessings. God will literally throw shit at me to be happy about.

Here, this is awesome. Take it.

Wait, here’s some more. Take this shit, too.

I got happiness all over me like I’m a clown hit in the face with that very cherry pie.

My eyes will literally tear up from happiness. Grace, peeps.

Then there are times when I’m not feeling the kind of happiness that overwhelms me with gratitude. Some days I feel down right blue. Through and through. That’s just life. It’s not all sunshine and flower petals.

But me being who I am my mind can start looking at those things directly to fill me up. I’ll want to selfishly pick the flowers and make them mine. Hold them tight to make me happy. I forget that those things aren’t the true source of happiness. They’re only gifts.

I won’t be happy for long when I set my eyes on the tangible. My happiness is a gift from god for being my best self.

Then I get the presents. 🎁

#advancedsoul #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Apr 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

Such kindness and truth!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 8, 2019 at 2:12 pm

Thank you!

Kris HB · Apr 8, 2019 at 8:25 pm

May You Be Blessed Beyond Your Dreams 😘 BBYD 💙💚💛🧡💜

tcr! tcr! · Apr 9, 2019 at 7:46 am

Right back at ya!

Momma J Momma J · Mar 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Wonderful grace and happiness

tcr! tcr! · Mar 29, 2020 at 6:04 pm

Yep, all of that!

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 29, 2020 at 9:36 pm

A rodeo clown?

tcr! tcr! · Mar 30, 2020 at 9:51 am

🤠 🤡 🤠

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Mar 29, 2020
Coronavirus overtakes the airwaves

content: Mar 23, 2020 · podcast: Mar 28, 2020

20200323 Coronavirus overtakes the airwaves

Me: Alexa, play WBEZ.

WBEZ: Coronavirus cases in Illinois have surpassed 1,000 and now includes an infant.

Me: Ugh. Alexa, play WNYC.

WNYC: Mayor Blasio said that the city's 11 public hospitals have a week before they run out of life-saving equipment and medical supplies to treat patients with COVID-19.

Me: Well good. Alexa, play WFPL.

WFPL: There are 103 people with positive coronavirus tests in Kentucky as of Sunday evening. Three people have died as a result of the coronavirus.

Me: No. No corona. Alexa, play StarTalk Radio.

StarTalk Radio: On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we sit down with Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, to discuss everything we need to know about the Coronavirus…

Me: What the holy fuck? Alexa, play Science Friday.

Science Friday: Experiencing COVID-19 information overload? Two experts offer clarity on the studies taking over news headlines this week…

Me: Dude, you’re part of the fucking problem. All of you. You’re killing me here with this, the endless corona train of viral lunacy. I just want normal talk radio for like five fucking minutes.


#coronavirus #talkradio #allislost #diariespodcast

fiatlux423 · Mar 23, 2020 at 2:46 pm

Listen to KEXP my friend. Cheryl Waters will make everything better.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 23, 2020 at 4:56 pm

I can’t the website to load anymore

fiatlux423 · Mar 23, 2020 at 5:09 pm

What? I’m listening to Troy Nelson right now

marney0160 marney0160 · Mar 24, 2020 at 11:23 am

I’m listening to the birds outside 💖

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Mar 28, 2020
sometimes you want something so bad

content: Sep 5, 2019 · podcast: Mar 27, 2020

Peeps, you know how sometimes you want something so bad. Think about it day after day, get angry and frustrated because nothing changes… I get it. I’ve had my fair share of being stuck in jobs, relationships, stuck in some kind of mud.

But trust me when I say that good things are being sorted out in the background. Too often it takes a long mother-clucking time but the stars *will* align. Possibly a couple years later.

It’s okay to give up hope now and then, but keep some trust in your back pocket. The cosmos will sneak up and scare the shit out of you with beautiful things. Be ready.

Purple Pepper Plant Flower

PS- I don't play in the symphony but sometimes I pretend I do 🎼 🎶

#photos #flowers #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

Kelly K · Sep 5, 2019 at 3:12 pm

It’s so funny that no matter how many times God has done in my life, exactly what you are talking about, that I still question it for the “next thing”?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Yep, I posted this as a reminder for myself as well. 😊

keamoose keamoose · Mar 27, 2020 at 5:06 pm

“good things are being sorted out in the background” - love it.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 27, 2020 at 6:09 pm

Yep. That’s how they do 😊

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 27, 2020 at 8:12 pm

I am the drummer for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 28, 2020 at 8:37 am

Did eorr ever give you back your drumsticks?

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 28, 2020 at 8:39 am

YES!!! I was like a hyperactive 8 year old at Disneyland too. 😎

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 27, 2020 at 8:14 pm

I have to agree with keamoose too. Love the epistles of tcr.

lisa8 · Mar 27, 2020 at 8:39 pm

Love ya 👏👏💖💖

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Mar 27, 2020
i’m not a hybrid.mp3

content: Mar 24, 2020

Please enjoy another song I recorded sometime in the late 90s, maybe 1996. Of course I wrote all the lyrics and music and played all the instruments. Because that's what you do when you're me.

we have to be whoever we wanna be
we could die if we plow around in their cornfields
we should go wherever we wanna go
i won’t be glued into their cubicles

doors are made to be slammed open
i won’t sit and blink in closets
get your own perception
get your own perception

and this is the waystation
and we are all more than this

we have to break free, it’s within reach
i don’t know about you but they lied to me
the right house, the right car, the right wife, the right job, the right tie
everybody let’s eat

going my ways, directing my plays
starring in my, my show
get your own perception
get your own perception

and this is the waystation
and we are all more than this

bailing hay, on the...
bailing hay, on the mild side

and this is the waystation
and we are all more than this

I guess 25-ish years ago I was sick of living in the midwest. I do enjoy the 70s electric riff and acoustic guitar solos though!

20200324 im not a hybrid

Alias: grahm sexton
Title: i’m not a hybrid

#tcrmusic #diariespodcast

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Mar 24, 2020
it doesn't matter

content: Aug 9, 2016 · podcast: Mar 22, 2020

jet clouds

I had a revelation a few minutes ago. It’s long but it was worth it for me to write it down.

Back when I was maybe 19 or 20 and washing dishes in a restaurant, the baker’s appearance had gone downhill. Meaning she quit wearing her hat and apron and never tucked in her shirt. She looked like she absolutely didn’t care, frumping around and all.

One day my boss asked me what was up with her and I’m like, “I dunno but she looks a little slobby.”

He stood there for a few seconds and then went over to her work station. He said something along the lines of, “you really need to wear your full uniform and tuck in your shirt.” And he said it...not like in a jerky voice...but I could hear some emotion in it. It’s never easy to basically tell someone they look like a slob and need to step up their appearance. People take how they look very personal. I know I do.

He also called her out on this out in the open, not behind closed doors. I heard it and so did everyone else around. I’m not saying he raised his voice but if you were standing within 25 feet you would’ve heard him. I assumed he did this so he would have some backup in case the confrontation got out of hand. Always good to have witnesses. Plus, if you got something to say, say it now. Sitting on something is akin to revving up your engines before barreling off.

So the next day the baker has her hat and apron on, shirt’s tucked in, you could’ve done a photoshoot with her on how to “dress for success.”

But she had a tension around her that was thick as bricks. I didn’t even want to look at her. Any minute she was gonna start breathing fire and shit.


So earlier this morning while I’m getting dressed for work my mind wandered back to all of this. I started to wonder if maybe she wasn’t about to breathe fire, but instead maybe she felt so self-conscious that her mental defenses had gone code red. Maybe she was simply projecting an attitude of “don’t fuck with me” because she was overwhelmed with shame, embarrassment, whatever.

In situations like this I’ve always, always assumed that people like the baker were angry at the other person who called them out. Getting ready for another fight and all. Round two.

But maybe they’re not. Maybe they’re simply angry and upset with themselves. Maybe all that leaky angst is really projected inward.

By default I take things way too personal, assume someone's hostility is my fault, absorb negativity whether it’s mine or not. I’m also prone to be emotional, hold on to things way too long. I mean here I am thinking about the baker and my boss some 20 odd years later.


Anyways, back to my point. Was she upset with my boss or was she upset with herself?

Revelation: it doesn’t matter.

When I need to confront someone I need to say my peace and move on. How they react and act afterward is their burrito to deal with. I don’t need to “police the universe” as they say. When my peace is out in the open, my job is to treat them once again with the love and dignity they deserve. If what I’m saying comes from a good and true place — I can have the confidence to move on and look at any memes I missed while toiling around with life’s never ending anxieties.

Me holding on to my emotion in anyway only continues to feed the tension, propagate the myth that I’m not okay and neither are you. It doesn’t promote my own well being or yours. Me treating you as if “it” never happened lets everyone get on with life. It says that we are indeed okay. I get to see you as a happy, healthy human and I get to be one myself.

We all struggle to fit in, to be accepted. Especially in social situations. Nobody wants to be told that they look like a slob. Sometimes we need to hear that though, it puts us back on track when we’ve wandered off course. I just trust that the people who are pointing out my flaws are doing it because they love me.

Peeps, I accept you as you are, flaws and all. And me accepting you when you fuck up…well, maybe you’ll be more accepting of me the next time I do.

This isn’t anything new, I’m sure any good self-help book will tell you the same.


The thing is though, I can read books all day long but what counts is when I apply the words to very specific situations in my life — in the present or in the past. Internalize them against memories that are still kicking around in my head.

Afterward I get blessed with closure and am able to move freely about the cabin. Or cosmos. Whatever you’re into.

#lettherebehope #jettrails #diariespodcast

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Mar 22, 2020
Corona office bunker

content: Mar 19, 2020 · podcast: Mar 20, 2020

Corona office bunker

I’m sitting in a basement room surrounded by four concrete walls and one door. I haven’t seen, regular natural light since Sunday. My tech job encourages social distancing so there’s no getting out of work. Most of my office works from home regardless of whatever pandemic is harassing the world. I’ve been listening to the same YouTube playlist since Tuesday afternoon.

I’m an introverted social butterfly and the lack of ridiculous public outbursts to unsuspecting cashiers leaves me feeling blue and unfulfilled.

If I eat one more cutie orange I’m gonna puke. My guacamole is browning.

Everything is terrible.

How are you?

PS- we’re gonna come out of this a better species. Wave to everybody you see. Give them a double thumbs up from six feet away. 👍👍

#photos #basement #coronavirus #diariespodcast

keamoose keamoose · Mar 19, 2020 at 12:44 pm

We’re all good up here. Feel free to send me ridiculous unwarranted outbursts as needed to keep morale up. 👍👍

Uncle Timmy · Mar 19, 2020 at 12:54 pm

Keep us informed what happens inside your world!
Looking forward to it!

fiatlux423 · Mar 19, 2020 at 1:16 pm is keeping me going for real.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:02 am

I’ve always loved them guys. I should see if they have a Fire TV app.

fiatlux423 · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:38 am

Who, the KEXP radio station? I love them so much.

threecrates threecrates · Mar 19, 2020 at 1:25 pm

Lots of love and be well my friend. 🤘🏻😷🤘🏻

asquared01 · Mar 19, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Dude! You need to see the natural light! Take care of yourself. I’m an introvert too. Right now, it’s not too different for me since I rarely leave the house during winter. 😂

Kelly K · Mar 19, 2020 at 3:20 pm

I love the PS!
I’m know I’m being all radical here, but maybe change up the playlist, step outside for a breath of fresh air.
I can also call you randomly and ask you if you found everything you’re looking for, and give you a random total for your pretend purchases if that would cheer you up…

flood · Mar 19, 2020 at 6:14 pm

Hang in there! Where is your cat?

tcr! tcr! · Mar 20, 2020 at 10:10 am

Probably off chasing chipmunks in the other part of the basement. That’s the norm come March.

flood · Mar 20, 2020 at 10:12 am

Ours are not liking being cooped up with the dog in this crummy weather.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:01 am

Yep. Lotta cooped up going around!

Irene · Mar 19, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Go outside and get some fresh air every morning when you first get up 😊

tcr! tcr! · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:01 am

Once the weather warms I should start doing that. It was 26F when I got up this morning. 🥶

Irene · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

Correct, but you need to breathe deeply all that fresh crisp morning air blow out slowly just do that a few times and you will feel terrific when you go back inside… in the frigid winter morning air sometimes I can only get my storm door open a crack because it is so froze, enough for me to get my nostrils out and breathe that deep crisp air. LOL seriously!

franh franh · Mar 19, 2020 at 6:40 pm

Doing ok down in Florida. Was gonna come up and visit next week but decided it best to stay out of airports and such. Be up there when things get back to somewhat normal. 👍👍

tcr! tcr! · Mar 21, 2020 at 10:00 am

Looking forward to seeing you!

franh franh · Mar 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

Will be nice to see you too. Be well

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Mar 20, 2020
Initial thoughts on Halloween 2018

content: Oct 23, 2018 · podcast: Mar 18, 2020

I haven’t seen the new Halloween movie, just the trailer and commercials. It looks like they may have largely ignored the later films. Because that would be good. Bad guys should never say, “Oh, I wasn’t really dead. I’ve just been chillin’ here in this decade long coma.” Comas induced by two fiery explosions (4th and 5th films) or whatever. Because that’s dumb.

Writers in the horror genre: take a tip from Star Wars and don’t kill off your villain in the first or second movie. Wait until the third and make it a solid trilogy.

I wasn’t super excited they were making another Halloween movie and I’m a bit curmudgeon’ed before even getting to the theater. Rob Zombie did his Halloween movies not that long (2007 and 2009) so I’m not sure if we need another. We got ten others. And Zombie’s take on Myers wasn’t really that good.

Stephen King’s written literally tens of books and most that have been made into films are in my top 20 list of horror movies you have to see. Carrie, Christine, Cujo, Pet Cemetery, The Shining, etc.

So in this new 2018 trailer, when Michael drops the teeth over the bathroom stall door, I got the feeling he did this as a fear tactic. A way to scare his victim. Pleasurably. One of the great things about the original two Halloween films is that Carpenter and Hill never gave Michael emotion. They also never gave him motive. Never gave him cause or reason. He was simply out to stab and strangle his sisters.

People void of emotions are far more frightening than those who’re demonstrably psychotic. Unknown things are terrifying. Charles Manson acting goofy and outrageous in prison, not scary.

Don’t get me wrong, the teeth drop was a novel idea but I don’t think it’s necessarily what Myers would do. He’s a killing automaton, not a sadistic dentist from Little Shop of Horrors.

And then Laurie Strode. In this movie she looks to be arming up like she’s in Terminator 2. I’d rather have her permanently scarred and traumatized than channeling Sarah Connor.

Yeah, I’m all coming down on this movie. I’m sure I’ll watch it sooner or later like I have all the others. But I can’t say I’m excited. Not at this point. But I do like Danny McBride. But I'm not sure about David Gordon Green.

#movies #michaelmyers #diariespodcast

bee.jonny · Oct 23, 2018 at 10:35 am

It is a direct sequel to the original ignoring all others in between

tcr! tcr! · Oct 23, 2018 at 10:42 am

Ahhh.. That’s good news then.

bee.jonny · Oct 23, 2018 at 10:46 am

Agreed! It came out really good in my opinion

Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Oct 23, 2018 at 11:06 am

It’s pretty good

Lisette · Oct 23, 2018 at 11:50 am

It’s awesome. Picks up modern day without all the crap between original and now

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Oct 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm

I saw it. It’s growing on me. I didn’t/don’t have any emotional involvement in it, it was just mindless gore entertainment. It ignores the stupid sequels and picks up with a genuine story. It seems to me that part of Michael’s M.O. the first time around included frightening people. He does do that teeth thing. And it might not be strictly in keeping with the canon but it’s effective. And the part of Laurie Strode as traumatized survivor that isn’t gonna take it anymore works very well. There is much worse schlock out there.

tcr! tcr! · Oct 23, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Yep. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt now. Sara also insisted we go this Friday night.

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Oct 23, 2018 at 5:54 pm

Did I ever ask you what you thought of “First Man”? I liked it.

tcr! tcr! · Oct 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

I liked it, too! I got a little seasick at times but I’d watch it again. My favorite part: “do you think I’d be out here by myself if I wanted to talk?”

Armstrong might not have said those exact words but regardless, that’ll be with me for the rest of my life. 😁

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Oct 24, 2018 at 1:54 pm

I KNEW you’d get it.

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Mar 18, 2020
Apples don’t fall far, peeps

content: Dec 12, 2018 · podcast: Mar 16, 2020

Apple firecracker circa July 2014
Apple firecracker, circa July 2014

Way back when... in one of the restaurants I worked at, the manager hired his son to bus tables. Nothing exciting there.

But back in the prep room the manager would rough house with the son most days. Take a boxing stance, throw half-hearted punches and jabs, smack the son’s hands when he raised them in defense.

The son never seemed to like that much. I don’t blame him. Not only is it stressful to have someone bigger constantly rough housing, there were also plenty of teenage girl servers milling about as well. A good way to impress the chicks is by getting mock beat up by your dad.

Of course the manager thought it was loads of fun to horse play. I often got the impression that he felt like he was being a good dad. Quality time with the boy and all. Male barbaric bonding if you will.

Do you know what the manager seemed like to me?

A bully.

So then a few years later I went back to work in the same restaurant and the manager/son team were still working there. In the prep room it was the same story, different year. Tough guy, boxer dad. Son taller and annoyed.

And do you know what the son seemed like to me then? After becoming an older teenage? With a healthy dose of wavering self esteem and anger management issues? After a few couple years of being bullied by his own dad?

An asshole. A bossy, rude jerk.

#photos #axetogrind #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Dec 14, 2018 at 8:27 pm


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Mar 16, 2020
We'd pray as a group

content: Mar 7, 2017 · podcast: Mar 14, 2020

We Agnostics chapter from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Some of you may have heard part of this already. It needed an expounding.

So back when I was a teenager and drinking and being out of control and kinda sorta wanting to be sober, my dad suggested I read the We Agnostics (PDF) chapter from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I read it because he asked me to but I was resistant to the whole Higher Power thing.

Not that I didn't believe in God or the destruction of man by alcohol -- I certainly did. My mom and I read The Man from Ida Grove by Harold Hughes way back before I went berserk. I knew the story and how alcoholism could play out. My mom even helped me memorize the Serenity and Lord's Prayer during that era.

Also when I was a pre-berserk kid I'd go off to church with the neighborhood friends and after the sermons and the whatnots, we'd pray as a group. I'd mouth the words but never felt the power and the love of God as they seemed to. Those friends had peace when they were young, a confidence in their place in the world that I was obviously lacking.

Most of my childhood life I was deathly afraid I was going to hell. I saw God to be an angry Santa, all too eager to kick and cast you down below because you weren't living up to expectations. I didn't even know what those expectations were let alone what I was supposed to even be just doing. Other than being a "good" christian like those neighborhood friends.

Atari 2600 Berserk

Anyways... My dad talked to me about the whole electricity part and while it made sense and I could understand the logic and reasoning, I hadn't completely surrendered, wasn't willing to give up control. I was too close minded. I wasn't even on Step One. Still berserk.

I never got into a bathtub with a shotgun like Hughes' did but on my darkest day I was there emotionally just the same.

But once I was "driven to AA" as the 12x12 puts it, the notion of a Higher Power came pretty much right away. I didn't care about We Agnostics' logic or science or explanations. I was at the point where if somebody told me to "stand on my head in the corner to stay sober" then okay.

No more intellectual justifications as to why God exists. No more Wright brothers or electrical currents. I wanted to be sober because everything I was doing not only wasn't working, IT WAS HORRIBLE.

And not only did I have the willingness to do anything to stay sober but after the meetings and the whatnots, when we'd pray as group I felt the power of God. I needed God and God was there. Even though I felt batshit crazy, I had touched that elusive notion of peace and confidence that everything was going to be okay.

It was important for me to be with my kin for the God thing to work, too. I didn't feel bonds with those neighbor kids at church because we played on different levels, probably in different space-time dimensions. The people in the meetings though, they were my spiritual brothers and sisters.

Anyways 2... to wrap this up my point is: my newly sober beliefs in God were all spiritual and not rational. Still are.

My brain is good for math, not finding God.

#alcoholism #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

gogomom · Mar 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm

This is the only part of the Big Book I hated.

As an atheist it was most unhelpful. To summarize, it basically says that it’s OK I don’t believe in God, because at some point, I will.

OK, never going to happen.

I do have a higher power, but it isn’t a deity of any kind.

This and the antiquated language is why people who are not in AA believe that it is a religious program.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Totally with ya… I’d take a hacksaw, some glue, and a magic marker to various parts of the Big Book if they’d let me.

devokar · Mar 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Belief in a higher power of your own choosing is what it states in the steps.

Central to the big book and the AA program is the serenity prayer.

gogomom · Mar 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

> Belief in a higher power of your own choosing is what it states in the steps.

My higher power is my sponsor and the people in the rooms with more clean and sober time than I have.

> Central to the big book and the AA program is the serenity prayer.

I love the serenity prayer - I just leave out the “God” part at the beginning. I also don’t mind the Lords Prayer that closes most of the meetings I attend. I don’t say it, but I do participate in the hand holding and sense of togetherness it provides.

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Mar 14, 2020
A view from the mountaintop

content: Mar 8, 2019 · podcast: Mar 8, 2020

Roads to Memphis on the TV

Whenever I’m in the kitchen cooking I always turn on the television. The TV gets a bad rap but there are good things on, it just depends on what we watch. Believe it or not television is filled with spiritual insights, spiritual motivators, spiritual empowerment.

So then a couple nights ago I was watching a documentary on Martin Luther King Jr. The documentary was more about his assassin, the racial tension, and the like. The whole vibe of that era was unnerving my kitchen as I cooked up the French Toast.

Sprinkled throughout, though, were snippets of speeches and conversations with MLK Jr. And for that I am grateful. It kept the world from going too dark.

The night before he was killed, MLK Jr gave his famous rainy church speech in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before. Death seem to be on his mind but he wasn’t afraid.

Well I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead.

But it really doesn't matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody I’d like to live. A long life. Longevity has its place.

But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promise land.

I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promise land.

Just to put this out there before I say any more, I’m not trying to expand or clarify what MLK Jr said at the Mason Temple. I’m not in the same league by any means and will often want to rip the arms off gas pumps.

These are just feelings and thoughts I had while listening during and not-thinking afterward.

Once we’ve been to the mountaintop life will never look the same. It’ll never *be* the same.

The promised land isn’t something in the hereafter, it’s looking out at the world from a different point of view. Right now. Wherever we are. A view that’s farther than we can see. Both light and dark. Both sunshine and rain, war and peace. There’s the fabled heaven and hell laid out before us if you ever wondered how that all worked.

And that mountaintop view will change our mission in life. For some of us it will alter our course only slightly and for others it’ll be a profound re-dedication of one’s life work.

We’ll want to do God’s will, whatever that means to us.

And life will be okay no matter what. Even if we have to go to hell for a while.

Not many people get to stay on the mountaintop either. We have to come down and tend to real life. But we have to hold onto that view as best we can, never let it fade from our hearts. Or not fade for long.

If the view has slipped from our minds, we know the path to the promised land.

#photos #advancedsoul #tv #diariespodcast

Shawneemicks · Mar 8, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Dude, you blow my mind sometimes. Total respect for Ya.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Thank you!!

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Mar 08, 2020
Unrelenting Happiness

content: Apr 15, 2012 · podcast: Mar 6, 2020

Feelings need not always be put into words. They can just be felt, like tigers or butterflies, snake bites or feline purrs. After they're done (and even if they're not), open your heart to the love, to the glow of the Universe. It's there waiting and it's yours. It's your right, your entitlement and a perquisite to unrelenting happiness.

#lettherebehope #diariespodcast

tcr! tcr! · Apr 15, 2012 at 11:01 am

Drinking from that cup embraces us with a power that withers all evil spirits.

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Mar 06, 2020
A dreamy doomsday broadcast

content: Sep 20, 2018 · podcast: Mar 3, 2020

There’s been an infuse of stink bugs (BMSB). I see them at home. I see them in my truck. I see them at work. The dudes are everywhere. My cats won't even eat them.

Stink bug crawling

Seriously, this past summer I’ve become convinced they’re trying to take over the world.

I’ve never had one actually let loose with the stink though. They seem to be docile little critters, just meandering about town in their brown armor. However, the US Department of Agriculture wants them out of the country for being an agriculture pest. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an invasive species.

So last night I had this dream where I'm watching TV. Don’t ask me what or which station because it’s irrelevant.

Then out of nowhere my program was interrupted with a special broadcast. A dreamy doomsday broadcast. Panic in the streets, cars turned over, red tickers scrolling berserk at the bottom of the screen as pedestrians ran for their very lives.

Beloved readers, the first responders quickly determined the blame (lied, lie, laid) with the darn stink bugs! They’d collapsed a large portion of an apartment building in West Chicago after their hive nest ruptured the very foundation.

The helicopter news footage of said apartments showed a scary scene similar to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building aftermath in 1995. Luckily no West Chicago residents were injured.

But get this: the real mastermind behind both the American Stink Bug Invasion (ASBI) and the consequential residential cave-in was the dude with the mannequins at the Wheaton All Night Flea Market! Zurko was breeding the bugs in the basement like Jame Gumb was with his moths in Silence of the Lambs. Do you see the parallels? I thought so.

Please note: I have nothing against Zurko or his mannequins. THIS WAS JUST A DREAM.

So then the news reporters were trying to get an interview with Zurko. Figure out what his motives were, etc., etc. But he refused to talk since he was dressed up in his mannequin gear. He couldn’t break character!

And then the dream ended.

How are you?

#dreams #stinkbugs #mannequins #diariespodcast

hodges · Sep 20, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Funny. They don’t stink unless you squish them or mow your lawn 😣

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:19 pm

They should call them “will stink ya bugs”

forni · Sep 20, 2018 at 1:13 pm

I will say, I will take a stink bug invasion over this damn mosquito take over we have been experiencing. I love how descriptive your dream was 🤣

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Thanks! I try not to go outdoors much so I haven’t noticed the mosquitoes. However, I did notice that mosquitoes sounds and awful lot like mojitos.

becklyn · Sep 20, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Conventions are regularly held at my house. It’s a game here…. prizes to those who suck the most.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:20 pm

At first I thought you’d prepared a rocket to take them into outerspace! 🚀

undrtow · Sep 20, 2018 at 1:13 pm

1. They stunk if you squish them
2. There will be a stink bug vs mosquito war before 2020

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 6:41 pm

My bets are on the stink bugs winning the war.

Ross Bottino · Sep 21, 2018 at 9:32 pm

My daughter and I name them. We have conversations with them. Track their whereabouts in the room. Wonder about their activities throughout the day. They become like family. We introduce them the visitors. Oh, that’s Fred and Barney… JoeBob is over there. It’s really quite entertaining. I mean it’s not like they have any intention of leaving. I can pick them up and put them outside but I’m pretty sure they just come right back in. I actually considered marking them at one point to prove it’s the just agreed again, but I was afraid nail polish would kill them. And that’s how we manage our stick bug situation over here.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 3:03 pm

OMG that’s hilarious. However, based on the sheer volume of Freds wandering around, I say go for it and him with polish. If he dies, Fred2 will be along shortly.

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Mar 03, 2020
The horror of the fitted sheet

content: May 12, 2019 · podcast: Feb 29, 2020

The horror of the fitted sheet

These pillows and their corresponding cases and this sheet for fitting have all been resting comfortably on my bed in a laundry cocoon for the better part of the day.

Whenever I walk into the bedroom my heart plummets. And then I walk right back out of the bedroom.

Because I never know which corner to start with the fitted sheet. And it really doesn’t matter anyway. Whichever corner I choose is wrong. Then I spend the next half day twisting round and round what feels like a linen Rubik's cube. But there are no colored squares to guide you. No YouTube master patterns to follow.

I don’t even bother with the top sheet anymore either. That’d be one more key tumbler for me to fumble with in a lock of woven madness.

All the while both cats are sitting in feline bemusement, or quite possibly in feline judgment. They have no thumbs to help, only fur to shed on a clothesline fresh comforter.

And then the pillow stuffing. I feel like Real Trump must have when he had to stuff all those jumbo, pinto quesadillos into that supersize Taco Bell sack on Cinco de Mayo of 2018.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my pillow forts as much as Abed and Troy but when will this laundress lunacy ever end? And there’s two more pillows off camera. Because five pillows is the minimum requirement for entry.

So I guess this is what’s really been happening in my Geneva house, this Sunday, this Twelfth of May.

How are you guys?

#photos #thestruggleisreal #pillows #diariespodcast

frantz · May 12, 2019 at 6:59 pm

I have learned that bed linen laundry day is nothing short of a full cardio workout…for I am the lover of the duvet… It’s a wonderful concept that is deceiving…a simplistic idea that is nothing short of madness. The stuffing of SIX decorative pillow shams…pure torture.

tcr! tcr! · May 12, 2019 at 7:55 pm

Decorative pillow shams! The horror!

asquared01 · May 12, 2019 at 7:24 pm

I feel you on the fitted sheet. I always get it wrong too. 😂

bsd schwarz · May 12, 2019 at 7:32 pm

I hate making my bed but it is always worth it at the end of the day. Nevertheless……

bsd schwarz · May 12, 2019 at 7:35 pm

Also-I pulled a crap load of dandelions yesterday. That was what was happening in my neck of the woods.

bsd schwarz · May 12, 2019 at 7:36 pm

I like the color on your wall.

tcr! tcr! · May 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm

Thank you! It’s my favorite bedroom color thus far

A1 Hansen · May 12, 2019 at 8:09 pm

While you have the fitted sheet on the bed correctly, take a vibrant thread and needle. And stitch a little something on the corner or the elastic area. Pick one corner and do it to all the fitted sheets. Maybe pick a corner you will remember? It helps the sheets get done much faster, because I too have the same issue! Same with the USB things! I always pick the wrong end first

Patti66 · May 12, 2019 at 8:27 pm

I’m for quick- I use a permanent marker and put a “T” in the two top corners when the new sheets are on the bed.

Momma J Momma J · May 12, 2019 at 11:34 pm

Good idea! I get so frustrated!

Mick MLG · May 12, 2019 at 8:55 pm

This is why I moved …..

tcr! tcr! · May 13, 2019 at 9:27 am

You got tired of making ya bed? I feel ya.. 😞

Borders on C · May 12, 2019 at 10:10 pm

Pretty photo though. =)

tcr! tcr! · May 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

Thank you! Arranging pillows for a photoshoot is far more appealing that reverse engineering the Houdini escape straitjacket pillow case riddle.

Loizzo · May 12, 2019 at 10:44 pm

If it helps, locate the tag on the fitted sheet (assuming there is one). Once you find out which orientation is correct, burn into your memory where the corner with the tag is, then always start with that corner.

tcr! tcr! · May 13, 2019 at 9:23 am

I had never thought of marking the corner(s) of the fitted sheet but it is a brilliant plan!

I’m envisioning a pirate map of sorts with dashes leading to a treasure chest X. Ye map noting where there be sharks, and where there be safe havens, and where there be death.

And of where be ye fastest route to sailing the seas of fitted comfort.

I’ve attached a quick mockup that’s neither my bed nor my map, but you’ll get the idea. I’m a man not a cartographer.

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Feb 29, 2020
intentionally unclear so I don't tell on myself too much

content: Aug 18, 2016 · podcast: Feb 26, 2020

piano roll

When I stop and think about it, I wanna justify and provide backstories because I feel bad. I worry that people will think less of me. But then on the other hand I’m totally up front and honest with everybody all the time.

I think that life is meant to be cherished and explored and lived and this and this and this. I think about my heroes like Hunter S. Thompson who actually lived and loved his life. I don’t wanna be old and thinking I really wish I would’ve done that.

It sounds corny but my soul cries out for adventure and when I sit at my work desk and push papers around I just wanna roll my eyes.

I suppose I could find different avenues for my adventures though. 😉

I’m grateful that I have Maggie because she keeps me grounded. Who knows what melancholy I’d be having for breakfast without her.

I just need to get my head on straight. All this turmoil over the last year or so, I’ve just wanted to escape the emotional horror. This type of activity that I'm vaguely referencing has played a role in my story since I was like 19. It’s pretty much my goto dysfunctional thing other than drinking and drugs.

Boring is good though. I should cherish low key and zero drama when I have it.

I just wish it was as magnetic as the other.

#thestruggleisreal #diariespodcast

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Aug 18, 2016 at 11:24 am

Cherish Loki was a friend of mine too. After we drifted apart (of the eternal one) I found myself with a realstruggle. C’est la vie.

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Feb 27, 2020
A passel of piggy picking up

content: Aug 21, 2016 · podcast: Feb 23, 2020

20160821 A passel of piggy picking up

I've never been in a hog processing plant. When I lived in Iowa I knew people who had though. Knew people who worked the second and third shifts. Knew people who worked on the kill floor. Work comes up in conversation as it does now and then and every once in a while I'd hear stories.

If a story provokes me hard enough I'll form a complicated, detailed mental playhouse of it. And it'll stick like glue, turn into an everlasting memory that my imagination makes all too real. It'll become part of my story. Follow me around like gum on my shoe. For life.

I often accidentally think of the hogs in whatever warehouse room they're herded into before they actually got to the kill floor. Again, I've never been in such a place but I get sucked into the dirty, gritty gum when the hogs beckon.


It's dark and hard to see in the pre-kill chamber. Because the corporate doesn't want you to. The workers shouldn't see the hogs nor should the hogs see each other. Seeing the animal eyeballs of panic would only amplify the room's sweaty electricity.

The floor is concrete, permanent and unnatural. There's no give to it.

The workers stand behind railings up above. They wear Leatherface aprons, backward capes. They're the unintentional supervillains, paid by the hour.[1]

I'm down with the hogs, moving as part of the chaotic herd. I'm not one of them because I always play the outsider but I am one with their stress.

Hurried hog silhouettes herding in panic. Unknowingly moving, running. The wrong way. Pivoting their front ends left and right because they don't have necks. Looking for an out but only bouncing off one another and continuing their momentum forward.

The room's energy is filled with heated power. I don't know how big it is. It's like being in a nightclub and it's so dark that you become disoriented and lost.

I see flashes of chemically stretched animal flesh as the swine prison spotlights make their way to and from. Sometimes the lights are only a few hanging flood lamps, swaying with a gentle horror.

The pigs wear collars similar to those Rutger Hauer wore in Wedlock. I don't know why they need them.

Wedlock collars

If I were a better artist I'd draw what I imagine as a comic book cover.

It's never quiet either. The hog hoofs march the concrete in nonuniform muffled clapping. There's a constant frenzy of short lived screams. Not death screams but outbursts of piggy alarm. Cry outs. High-pitched shrills of Mel Gibson's Freedom.

The hogs are my lambs...but they were never real for me.

After I typed that last sentence I paused. I realized Clarice isn't real either. But not to me. Movies and characters and plots can (and often do) take non-fictional places in my head. They become history.


In my darkest, blackest, most panicked times my fright is televised internally. As those pigs. In that room. My horror is nowhere near the magnitude as the hogs' and being funneled into whatever electric chamber but...when dread overtakes me and I can't think clearly...I generally see, hear, feel this warehouse space played on some twisted massacre loop.


Not long after Kathy and I divorced, I had an outburst outpouring captured in the song below. The music is much more audibly harsh than the scene I describe above, what I actually hear, but I had a recent breakup swirling and all. It was an attempt though to translate how the hogs manifest when I'm alone.

grahm sexton - tap dance - MP3


Hmm. I didn't intend to go this far down the rabbit hole. I've never told anyone of the hogs before. They've been with me since the first time I saw Carrie and a sadistic John Travolta. The playhouse solidified when I lived up the street from a processing plant.


A couple of years ago when anti-socializing with the terrorized hogs in the slaughterhouse asylum, I told Jimi of whatever inescapable distress I was in the midst of. That I wasn't taking my spiritual antibiotics, that I was just freaking out with the other hogs. I felt as if life had been hitting me with a shock rod over and over again.

I hadn't prayed for a couple of days. Or sought spiritual guidance. All was lost.

Jimi said to me, "Well, ya better start praying again."


The most divine answers are the most simplistic. I lose sight of that easily.

I talked about this not long ago in a meeting but want to reiterate its value to me. The value is the main reason I started writing this blurb that put my hysterical hog factory on public display. In the department store window.

Just because I haven't prayed for a couple of days doesn't mean that I can't start praying again. Like right now.

Often times when I don't do things that I should, my mind goes to this place where I can never do them again. I haven't called a friend in awhile so I can never again pick up the phone sorta thing. And the longer the time since the last, the more I feel like I can't. I have to give up entirely. Too much time has passed and I've lost my chance, the window closed. The department store turned off its lights.

I don't know why this is.

But I can. I can pick up the phone. I can reach out. I can go to a meeting. I can pray. I can pick up where I left off. It's not too late. It never is. I don't have to quit completely. The only one who says I can't is me.

Stop thinking, stop fretting. If I start thinking my wheels start moving. And then they start spinning. And then I never go anywhere.

Stop road-blocking, cock-blocking yourself. That was vulgar I know but whatever.

My point is we can (and should regularly) give ourselves permission to do the things that -- for whatever reason -- we tell ourselves we can't.

Take the piggy out.

Embrace knowing that there are no warehouses. There's only freedom from our own limitations.

#confessional #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

  1. I have no judgment on the workers. America's gotta eat.

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Aug 23, 2016 at 1:36 am

i don’t always know how to say that i appreciate these musing. much.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 25, 2016 at 8:03 am

Thanks :)

tcr! tcr! · Feb 23, 2020 at 3:26 pm


tism tism · Feb 23, 2020 at 3:41 pm

I ❤️ this many many times.

tcr! tcr! · Feb 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Thank you, thank you

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Feb 23, 2020 at 7:36 pm

You’ve been reading my mail…

tcr! tcr! · Feb 23, 2020 at 8:39 pm

We have similar mailboxes 😉

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Feb 23, 2020
Pro-tip: stop acting like a moron

content: Oct 24, 2018 · podcast: Feb 19, 2020

Something like this is what I’m referring to: you’re pulled over along the side of the street at a mailbox, depositing your envelopes on a Wednesday morning.

It’s not Christmas card season but you still got bills to pay or ballots to send. You’re lost in your own world of stamps and bubble wrapped packages. Maybe the taste of envelope glue is still fresh in your mouth. Maybe not.

Regardless, then you pull out into traffic without signaling, without yielding, without common sense. Then you cut across two lanes without haste and turn right.

All of that. That’s being a moron.

It’s more than wearing blinders and seeing only your direct path. It’s putting a bag over your whole head and wandering around life clueless. Bumping into people and obstacles like you're at Funway on Saturday night.

Look, other people will be annoyed when you’re acting like a moron. Expect that. Underline it in your head. You may even get the truck horn.

My point is, we’re all gonna act like morons. It’s what we do. I won’t hold it against you.

But when you see yourself, feel yourself acting like a moron, stop.

Don’t maintain. Don’t forge or plow ahead. Pull up life’s emergency brake, take the bag off, and wave meekly yet happily in complete, acknowledged defeat.

Hang your head if you must. Because people just want to know that you know that you were indeed being a moron.

The key is to stop though. Just stop. 👍

#protip #diariespodcast

gentile · Oct 25, 2018 at 12:35 pm

#cantfixstupid Not even with duct tape :(

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Feb 20, 2020
I don't know the whole story

content: Feb 25, 2017 · podcast: Feb 16, 2020

Magnifying glass

Just even admitting that I don’t know the whole story gives me a certain sense of relief. Mainly because history repeatedly shows that I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

Staying away from conclusions and acting on delusions, just venting and hitting the cosmic pause, well that “whole story” is almost kinda irrelevant.

And the interesting thing for me is that I can only get to the “it’s irrelevant” point after I feel those moments of silly hostility, where “I am right” even though I don’t have the full set of facts.

I suppose, though, a small amount of fulfillment does come with being right but I need to remember that if I’m right that generally means that somebody else is wrong.

Having winners and losers in life, meh.

I’d rather just feel my stuff and move along.

#protip #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

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Feb 16, 2020
Fiercely independent critters

content: Dec 27, 2018 · podcast: Feb 14, 2020

Pro tip: be really good at accepting people’s help.

As humans we can be fiercely independent critters but pride is irrelevant and unuseful.

Wanna know why? You know that good feeling you get when you yourself extend your hand to help, for no other reason than you’re a good person? That warm fuzzy you get when you make the world not all about you?

Don’t deprive someone else offering help that same kind of warm fuzzy feeling. It’ll make them feel good and very well may be the best part of their day.

PS- my dictionaries are telling me that "unuseful" is not a word. They can go fuck themselves. 👍

#protip #helpwanted #diariespodcast

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Feb 14, 2020
i'm hairless.mp3

content: Aug 1, 2016 · podcast: Feb 9, 2020

Back in the late-ish 90s I met this somewhat homeless girl outside my apartment. She asked me if I could give her a ride up to the store and since it was on my way, sure no problem. She talked the entire ten minute trip, showed me page after page of thoughts she had written down. It was almost overwhelming — the sheer amount of creative lunacy she’d come up with.

So the next day she was again outside my apartment when I came home and asked if she could come in while she waited for another ride. I was like, umm.. I don’t think so. Then she asked me if she could just wait in my car for her ride. That was fine I guess. When I left later that night she was gone.. whew.

So the day after that I came out and she was sitting in my car with her notebooks and I was like, "lady you got to go."

Anyways, I wrote this song based on things she said over the course of those three days. I changed the words somewhat so they’d rhyme and added some to flesh it out…but you’ll get the gist.

Oh — and I’m not even kidding.

Moon is washing out the lunacy.
Glowing tides ignite my curiosity.
Pocketful of nuts and no currency.
Sharpening my knives oh so delicately.

Lacerated my tent, HA! I’m hairless.
Bliss of accelerated shady awareness.
Couldn’t stay awake, a milky shake careless.
Counseled my jury in all due fairness.

Not a taste of guilt but I’m always suspicious.
The trial’s finale: I’m victorious.
Heightened my twitch to bitch vicious.
Dimming your headlights is nutritious.

Insufficient evidence is substantial.
I’m Joplin but listen to me sing...

Hmm mmm mmm.
Hmm mmm mmm.

Now then where was I going. Oh yes, insufficient evidence. Insufficient evidence is substantial. Knocked up the president. My visa needs canceled.

Hmm mmm mmm.

#tcrmusic #diariespodcast

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Feb 09, 2020
Burnt part way down

content: Feb 9, 2017 · podcast: Feb 2, 2020

I had a dream last night that my neighbor's house caught on fire, burnt part way down.

When I got home there were firetrucks and paramedics and a bunch of neighbors all standing around. My neighbor was sitting on her steps crying...

As I was walking up all I could think about was "What about my house? Is it okay?"

I guess I'm a pretty shitty person when I'm asleep. 🤔

#dreams #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

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Feb 02, 2020
Get up and brush my teeth

content: Jun 25, 2019 · podcast: Jan 26, 2020

Mirah the cat in blue

I struggle in life more than I’d like to admit. I get frustrated when I need to tie my shoes. I’m restless just living.

I do better when I’m around people but am prone to isolate. I never think about drinking anymore but will make myself sick on licorice.

If I don’t have a big art project in the works I don’t feel complete. I’ll often burn through months building and then burn myself out with the pens and the paints. Then I’ll only want to play video games for weeks on end.

I brush my teeth two to three times a day and then rinse with peroxide. And then use my water pick with three fingers of alcoholic mouthwash in the reservoir. I’m interested in thoroughness.

I don’t like that I can never get the fan oscillation just right and will often wonder what I’m supposed to be doing in life. Because so far I feel like I get really close but the finish line is for those other guys.

It’s like practicing for a play, memorizing all the lines, rehearsing every morning, afternoon, and night. And then when the curtains open only a few people have shown up.

I put on Ludovico or Baroque or Stephen West so I can listen while falling asleep. Then I won’t think and will drift off to soothing piano keys and calming violins and communism.

But I think anyway. I write notes like these in my phone. Sometimes they’re spiritual and fruity. Other times they’re not. The fan blows so loud I can’t hear the music.

And then the cat jumps on me and I get up and brush my teeth again.

I’m not even kidding.

#photos #cats #thestruggleisreal #diariespodcast

lovers.of.catsworld · Jun 25, 2019 at 1:24 am


thewattsolak · Jun 25, 2019 at 6:00 am

Yes yes yes yes. I hear you.

fivewayrack fivewayrack · Jun 25, 2019 at 6:37 am

If only I could put how I feel into words like you do.

Botsford · Jun 25, 2019 at 9:35 am

Seems crazy at first, but then thought provoking, my head can relate.

tcr! tcr! · Jun 25, 2019 at 4:39 pm

In follow-up news, I woke up with this. Apparently I offended the cat sometime in middle of the night.

whittaker7221 · Jun 25, 2019 at 4:55 pm

No wonder we’re in the same tribe! 🤣

tcr! tcr! · Jun 26, 2019 at 7:34 am

I had my suspicions 😉

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Jan 26, 2020
Space drift sunshine

content: Jan 23, 2020

20190307 Confront your feelings

I don't know why but it's important that I make things like this.

👽 #diariespodcast #diariesvideo

tism tism · Jan 24, 2020 at 8:11 am

Disco party in the basement? Matrix remake? Alien incursion?

JJ · Jan 24, 2020 at 9:43 am

Beautiful. 🦕🪐💡

marney0160 marney0160 · Jan 28, 2020 at 11:05 pm

I think you have a ghost in your house!

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Jan 24, 2020
So back to me in my barn

content: Jul 15, 2017 · podcast: Jan 22, 2020

Subtitled: how to becoming willing

Barbie in The Birds
Barbie in The Birds, taken at Stage Left Dinner, St. Louis, Missouri -- June 1st, 2013.

I'm gonna jump right in. Because that's what you do when you're me.

Writing my Eighth Step list was easy enough to do and so was becoming willing to make the amends on that list.

Except to one of my brothers.

I've always felt like what I did to him paled in comparison to what he did to me, my friends, and the rest of our family. I've prayed for the willingness like you're supposed to do but afterward I'm just like “Nah, I'm not ready to do that.”

Flashback to 2013 and the family and I were in St. Louis for the weekend. This particular brother lived not far from where we were staying and I thought about calling him. Went back and forth, debated, wasn't even 100% sure I wanted to see him. But I did because he's my brother and even though he can be an asshole I still love him.

Being realistic about he and I, there's more good than bad in our relationship overall but in the here-and-now the last few times I’ve talked with him have tried my patience and hurt my feelings. He can be mean.

Anyways, back to the 2013 St. Louis visit. I called him, we hooked up, and ended up hanging out at a park. Maggie playing on the swings and it was good, low-key, no drama.

At one time in life I looked up to him as younger brothers do and it was nice to see an older, gentler side of him bubble through. But he can blab on and on. He always does. I mean he talks a lot, like nonstop talking. About himself.[1] I know he’s lonely and misses everyone so I just listened.

While he was yammering my mind wandered to... this would be a great chance to make my amends to him. If I could get a word in.

But then something unexpectedly amazing happened. Something that made me start listening with both ears. He made amends to me. In broad daylight. Right after talking about something else. No build up, no “I got something on my mind and need talk with you about it.“

And it was really cool. He was sincere with the things he said and I believed his motives to be pure, filled with authentic remorse. Still gives me warm fuzzies when I think on it.

Then my conscious nudged me again that "this would be a great time," bring mutual closure to our past lives.

But I didn't.

There are a couple reasons why. The first and foremost being I'm not that spiritually fit to do something when put on the spot. I don’t ad-lib when under pressure. Talking out loud has never been my strong suit.

The other reason was because I kinda felt like this was his time to shine, make his amends. I wanted him to have his moment and not jump in and follow with my own. It almost felt like I’d be piggy-backing.

I don’t know.

Should I have owned up to my stuff? Probably. Do I regret not saying something? Yes. Do I hate myself? Of course not. I can live with it. We don’t always get to do the “right” thing at the “right” time. That’s how life goes.

Whenever Step Eight comes up in meetings my brother and me making my amends to him is always front and center. It’s one of those things where “how free do you want to be” walks in the room and then I roll my eyes. It’ll be something left undone until I do it. Another dangling string of responsibility. And I hate responsibility.

So today do I feel willing to make those amends? Not really. I'm still sore from he and I's last exchange over text message in 2015. The one where I ended up blocking his number.

block contact

Really, it’s not about having willingness on my part. It’s about having forgiveness. He can be a self-centered, self-absorbed[2] asshole. It's like you can make your amends but if you keep being an asshole, then piss off.

Yeah, I know… Recovery is all about me doing the things that I need to do and not focusing on other people and what they need to do.

But I have too many mixed feelings about it. I shut the door[3] on our relationship and am hesitant to re-open it. I haven’t missed him the last few years and am not interested in resuming where we left off. Life's too short and I got other shit I'd rather being doing than listening to drivel.

Okay, so my point. Spoiler: it’s nothing new.

How I feel is based on what I do. If I act like a good person then I'll feel like a good person. If I take a higher road in life I'll feel better about me. And then feel better about you.

Sometimes I can get stuck on praying for the willingness because “I’m not there yet.” But more often than not I just have to do it, quit floundering, quit getting ready, and get the shit done. Regardless of anything that's happened in the past or where I’m at in the present.

Did I really want to go to the DMV a couple of days ago and renew my driver’s license? No, but I did it anyway. I’ll never be "ready" to do something that I don’t wanna do.

Do I have something that I need to say to my brother? Yes. I mean he went and got the shit done and here I’ve been floundering with it. For years. I do admire him for that.

So next steps? I’ll let the cosmos be my guide. And I'll be ready when the stars align.

#advancedsoul #twelvesteps #diariespodcast

  1. Yeah, I can get caught up in my own stuff when I'm excited but I try reel it in when I'm talking with somebody else. My brother has no reel. No rod.

  2. One time he called me and the first few minutes were like...

    Him: Yammer, yammer, I did this, I did that.

    Me: Hey, did you know it's my birthday today?

    Him: Yeah? Happy birthday mother fucker. Yammer, yammer, I think this, I thought that.


  3. I'm a big fan of shutting the door on people when they get abusive. Or when they even get close. You rampage through people's lives, their whole lives, and there gonna be long term consequences.

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Jan 22, 2020
I gradually lost sight of her

content: Oct 30, 2018 · podcast: Jan 20, 2020

Fall driving

I was driving to work this morning as I do. A black Honda Civic sports car pulled up alongside me, a lady about 10 years older than me behind the wheel. When we got to the next stop light she continued to inch her Honda closer and closer toward the intersection.

I said to myself, “You wanna race? I’ll give you a race. I’ve got a 1999 V6 that runs good on regular gas.”

I didn’t have my racing gloves with me but that didn’t matter. And then I couldn’t go full balls when the Christmas lights lit up anyway. With the other cars in front of us and all.

So then as we barreled north, she in her black car and me in my black truck, she continued to apply horsepower. As did I. As the traffic would allow.

But then I had thought that wasn’t my own.[1] Here’s this little older in a sports car, probably having the time of her life. Roaring around like Thelma and Louise and then here I am wanting to take that away from her, not even attempting to be my best self.

And then I slowed down.

Let other people win, peeps.

#trafficnews #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

  1. Because my best ones are never mine

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Jan 20, 2020
No horse blankets

content: Apr 10, 2019 · podcast: Jan 18, 2020

No horse blankets

When I got to the place where I couldn’t stand myself anymore, where I didn’t want to be the person I’d always been. And not do the same things I’d always done, I can see now that’s when I had reached the breaking point.

The pain of being me had broken my very soul. Fuck.

It wasn’t the drinking, it wasn’t ever the drugs. It was me. It wasn’t the traffic or the other drivers. It wasn’t other people at all. Well, it was some of those people...but when that blanket of denial was pulled back just far enough I could see, when a light came on that cast a clarity almost too bright on what I’d been doing to myself nothing ever looked the same again in the days after.

Thinking back to that moment and all the desperate, frantic pain, tortured to tears, completely sober and sick of being myself, that’s when I turned a corner and walked down a path I’d only heard other people talk about.

And that’s when the spiritual revolution began.

No horse blankets.

#photos #alcoholism #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

vaughn3 · Apr 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Well said

tcr! tcr! · Apr 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Thank you!

glenn.cremer glenn.cremer · Apr 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm

I had never heard it put that way, but well said.

tcr! tcr! · Apr 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm

Thanks ❤️

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Jan 18, 2020
A backlog of taxes

content: Nov 12, 2018 · podcast: Jan 12, 2020

Dire Wolves skull

I spent the majority of my adult life either toiling around to get my head on straight or hiding in the shadows from the truth.

A backlog of taxes and overdue books.

Pull up a little bit farther at the red light because I don’t want to look at the dude next to me. It’s not that I didn’t wanna go to college. It’s just that my ship was listing and the captain was drunk in his cabin.

You hurt my feelings. I didn’t hurt your feelings. I’m just not gonna do what you want. If a crime involves another person, the real offense is hurting the person on the other end.

Saying I’m sorry often does not let me off the hook. And that’s all fine and good but what’s not fine is not doing something because we’re afraid. That’s bullshit.

An ass full of laxatives and tangled fishing hooks.

Half of what goes on in my head I don’t want. And when ill behaviors no longer feel comfortable that’s a sign that we’ve grown.

Read as much into all of that as you want.

#photos #confessional #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Nov 12, 2018 at 10:54 pm

You’ve grown!

tcr! tcr! · Nov 13, 2018 at 7:49 am

About 2” since you last saw me.

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Jan 12, 2020
Inwardly summiting a spiritual Mt Everest

content: Dec 29, 2019 · podcast: Jan 11, 2020

Poinsettia in the sun

Seeking equality, fairness, the greater good...that does something remarkable for me. It breaks my selfish bubble. It makes me a whole human being. It gives me freedom.

But wait, there’s more. So much more. Seeking balance and harmony for all...brings me out of my despair. It brings light to my darkness. It brings healing to my pain. It lifts me up and out of feeling down and blue, up to the level of okay I was looking for much of my life. And being okay inside and out is the remarkable place I was talking about earlier.

When I make life not all about my pleasure or my suffering, oh wow is it good. It’s elevation.

Like inwardly summiting a spiritual Mt Everest and bringing everyone else up top to share the view.

You probably already knew all of that but it took me almost a lifetime to figure out.

#photos #goteam 😊 #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Dec 29, 2019 at 5:56 pm

I’m glad you got there!

tcr! tcr! · Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

As am I!

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Dec 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm


jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Dec 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm

I wanted to put the praying hands thing people use but my standard issue is better/closer to how I feel.

tcr! tcr! · Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

It’s a good standard issue

marney0160 marney0160 · Dec 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm

Words I needed to read today. Ty 💖

tcr! tcr! · Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm

You are most welcome!

chrisrich · Dec 31, 2019 at 5:51 am

Wonderful words!

tcr! tcr! · Jan 4, 2020 at 10:02 am

Thank you!

Uncle Timmy · Jan 4, 2020 at 10:08 am

Dont ever stop writing your thoughts.
Hits home every time!

tcr! tcr! · Jan 4, 2020 at 10:15 am

Thanks man! I haven’t felt much like writing these past few months but positive words like yours pump up my motivation.

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Jan 11, 2020
Ice cream anxiety

content: Nov 1, 2018 · podcast: Oct 27, 2019

Golden hockey mask

If we’re at a social gathering and it feels like I snub you that’s because I’m not a social butterfly. I’m more like a social moth. My wings are dusty. I check the doors to be sure they lock. I have debates with myself about what I'm supposed to do next. I have the social skills of a turtle. Just give me some lettuce.

Large groups of people don’t necessarily make me nervous, just uncomfortable. I don’t like people sitting or standing behind me. I don’t like it to the point where I’ll change seats. If I can’t see everything I feel somewhat flustered. I like to keep an eye on things.

That might sound cliche or overused or whatever but it’s because it’s a real thing that affects more people than it should.

Talking one-on-one and sometimes one-on-two is fine. I've researched effective communication skills and social graces. One of the best things I learned was to ask other people specific questions about what's going on in their lives. People like to talk about themselves and then I don’t have to talk about me. High-five.

If someone invites me to come sit with their group I’m ready to get up before I even sit down. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of people at the table as much as that my fingernails are too long or my shoes are too tight or my eyebrows are messed up.

And it’s not that I’m stressing about those things but I’m acutely aware when I touch things of just how long my nails are.[1] Or if my feet are hot because my shoes don’t have enough circulation. I feel it when there’s an eyebrow guy out of place and usually my whole world comes to a grinding halt until I deal with him.

I don’t write these things because I need a hug. I write them because I feel bad when thinking about the people left sitting at the table after I’ve abruptly left. You didn’t say anything offensive nor did you smell bad. Well, maybe you did but I’m not going to get that close to know.

Because guess how many homecomings I went to in high school? None. How many school dances did I go to? One. And then I left after 15 minutes. Those aren't “poor me” stories, just evidence of a long standing reservation with public suspicion. Well, it’s not suspicion. It’s ice cream anxiety.[2]

Shit happens when we’re kids and it shapes who we become, who we are. Regardless of how much we heal you can’t unbreak bones. We can burn our diaries but our DNA is infused with what we wrote. Our history doesn’t have to dictate our lives but it will cast a doubt moving forward.

Anyways, I do better at standing than sitting. Sitting is a commitment. Plus, what if there’s a fire and I need to leave immediately? That’s never happened to me but it’s a sound excuse. I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out but my thoughts wander, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. If I had boobs I would be unstoppable.

I check for my keys fairly often when I’m not at home. Doesn’t matter the situation or circumstances. Sara and I could just be having dinner and I’ll still want to know where my keys are. It’s not a nervous habit because I don’t feel nervous. My heart does skip a beat, though, if I don’t immediately feel them in my pocket.

Where the fuck are my keys? How am I going to drive home? People will look at me if I have to break into my truck. I’ll get all this attention that I don’t want. Keep your flashlights to yourself.

So there’s a dude in my neighborhood, moved in when I was drinking. Liked comic books and superheroes. I met him at a neighborhood party and I thought “oh, we could be friends!”

But we never did. I see the same antisocial behaviors in him that I know and love in myself. So I don’t take it personal when I see him in the alley and he only waves.

In related news one of the things I loved about drinking was that at those parties, the lights would dim after I got a few drinks in me and the sounds weren't so loud. Really in reality, everything was the same but drinking made…everything not so much.[3]

Do you guys remember that one New Year’s Eve party where I was recounting a riveting tail of wonder and amazement to a fascinated and captivated crowd of more than twenty? And then after my grand finale where I saved the day everyone cheered and clapped? That one time when I was the public speaking hero?

Yeah, I don’t remember that either. Because it didn’t happen. Most likely it never will. I’m not the life of the party but I will cheer you on to be. After I floss.

I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m fairly confident that I can hold my own talking individually with you about Jame Gumb or Bill Wilson or Bobby Flay. Just don’t ask me to play Cards Against Humanity. That’s too much pressure.

#photos #socialproblems #fridaythe13th #diariespodcast

  1. They’re never long because I’m not gonna let that happen

  2. If you don’t know what that means I don’t blame you

  3. If that doesn’t make sense that’s okay

asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:33 am

I can relate to so much of what you described. I suppose for me it’s social anxiety. I don’t like going to parties, I don’t like large groups of people that I don’t know and it’s even worse if everyone knows each other and I’m the new person. We have an invitation to a Thanksgiving party we haven’t replied to b/c of my anxiety….I’ve only met the couple once. John knows the husband well but I don’t want to go to someone’s house with a bunch of people I’ve never met. Then I wonder why I don’t have friends…this type of thing right here. :(

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:50 am

I set time limits for how long I’m willing stay somewhere. With a group of people I don’t know, that limit would most likely be 15 minutes. Then I can leave everybody murmuring amongst themselves.. “who was that dashing man in the golden hockey mask?”

asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

If you’re at least making a 15 minute appearance, you’re a better person than me. I’ll be replying “can’t go” to that invite. 😬

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

How about you guys go for 10 minutes? Drop off a can of that cranberry sauce that makes people swoon? And then announce boldly to crowd, “we’re taking turkey pot pies to the homeless shelter on 5th Avenue.” Nobody would blink as you slammed the door on your way out.

keamoose keamoose · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39 am

Yes, exactly.

Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:52 am


prokop · Nov 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

Get out of my head. Haha.

fleming · Nov 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

I know, right??!! I think there are a lot of us out there, just “faking it till we make it”!

Mona · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Story of my life.

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm

One time when I was in college I went up to give a speech. In front of the whole class. 20 seconds in I said, “I can’t do this.” And then I went and sat down. 👍

jenkins_arts · Nov 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Snazzy. That’s a technical term.

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

As is fancy!

jenkins_arts · Nov 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm


Mitchell · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Totally get it uncle Trav I am very much like you believe it or not I looked up/still look up to you for years

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Love you man!

Mitchell · Nov 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Love you too unc

threecrates threecrates · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Incredibly written as usual pal. Love this! ❤️

tcr! tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

Thanks man! 🍬

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:55 pm

It happens to me out of the blue. Everything can be ok and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with panic. I’m never aware of “what happened” if anything.

tcr! tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

Might be a short circuit. Of course I’m not a doctor or biologist.

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Oct 27, 2019
I've lit my life on fire

content: Jul 12, 2017 · podcast: Oct 14, 2019

Lit on fire

If you haven't heard this story, you're in luck.

The first week or so I was sober I was sitting in a meeting and said, “I’ve lit my life on fire.”

When I was drinking I wasn’t capable of caring because I was drunk and numb to my life burning. But being freshly sober I was like, “Oh my fucking god. My life is on fire.” I was freaking out, anxious all the time, having panic attacks... And I really, really didn't want my life to burn down.

As I was talking during that meeting, I was looking around the room and most people were nodding because they, too, had set their lives on fire at one time or another. Knowing that others could relate to what I’d done and how I was feeling gave me some hope. It made me feel accepted, that I was in the right place. My whole life I’d waited to belong somewhere and now I finally had. On more than a superficial level.

And that was all of Step Two’s “power greater than me” that I needed. My head was too full of tops spinning to think on grandiose spiritual terms. The meetings and what I found there were good enough.

All I really knew was that when I wasn't at a meeting I felt batshit crazy and when I sat down at one, I had a little sense that everything was somehow going to be okay. If only for the moment. Maybe. I wasn’t gushing at the seams with positivity but at least I was around people who understood what I was going through.

So then I was talking with my sponsor and I asked when I was going to be restored to sanity and he said “when you work the rest of the steps.”

I think about the beginning of How It Works often, especially the line where it says the steps are the suggested program of recovery.

Just not drinking isn’t enough. Just going to meetings isn’t enough. I won’t feel sane because I’ll keep being me.

  • Until I gave up in Step Three because I accepted my way didn’t work, I was gonna keep feeling insane.
  • Until I took and shared my inventory, shared that ugly, nasty shit, I was gonna keep feeling insane.
  • Until I was beaten by my shortcomings (just like I was beaten by alcohol) and asked God for help, I was gonna keep feeling insane.
  • Until I made my amends, paid restitution for the damage I caused, I was gonna keep feeling insane.

After the Ninth Step the Big Book says, “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness... We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”

And ya know what? When I was well into my amends I started to feel more than somewhat sane. My sanity had been mostly been restored. Without me even knowing it.

And today my life isn’t on fire. I don't feel batshit crazy anymore. Mostly... 😉

#alcoholism #lettherebehope #twelvesteps #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Jul 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm

I had no idea you were suffering like this. I know you had to do this yourself but I wish I could have helped!

tcr! tcr! · Jul 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm

It wasn’t that bad. A mere flesh wound.

tam.the.terrible · Jul 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

My life has been in flames more times than I care to think about it. Fall down 7 times get up 8. ❤️

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Jul 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

Fat Charlie the Archangel
sloped into the room….
—-Crazy Love, Vol. II by Paul Simon

Fat Charlie’s life is on fire at approx 1:50.

Monohon · Jul 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Come on Travie!

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Oct 14, 2019
Back to regular life

content: Apr 19, 2019 · podcast: Oct 6, 2019

Do you know what I really hate?

When somebody is being over-the-top nice after they’ve fucked something up.

Do you know what I really like?

When someone offers up a sincere apology and then gets on with the day.

Own it. Regret it. Forget it.

Take five minutes, have a real conversation, and then go back to regular life.

If I don’t acknowledge I can come across like an unsympathetic magician. Trying to trick you into paying attention to my magic rabbit and hat. All the while my other hand is holding a bloody knife. I’m not fooling anyone.

And then if I’m dancing around like an out-of-the-ordinary, out-of-control ballerina with an obviously fabricated sugary song and dance, it only makes whatever transgression worse. It prolongs the distress.

Human alien hybrid riding pegasus

Elaine said to me seven years ago, “…and don't grovel.”

I get “wanting to make it better” with flowers from up my sleeve and I’m sure I’ve tried to pull rosy ruses myself. But keep it to a minimum. Otherwise it’s a black reminder. The fuck up lingers like a red rubber band, stretching the hurt out for way longer than it needs to.

Humility. Brevity. Authenticity. I won’t go wrong with these.

#relationships #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Apr 19, 2019 at 11:08 am

Great philosophy

tcr! tcr! · Apr 20, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Learned the hard way 😉

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Apr 19, 2019 at 4:21 pm


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Oct 06, 2019
The summer of 2019

content: Sep 27, 2019

Morning green lights

Peeps, it was a busy summer.

Most of it was spent cleaning and packing up my house. That was a lot. I lived there for 11 years, the longest place I’d ever lived in my life. I threw away countless bags of trash, of life debris and clutter. ⛸

In June Sara and I went to see Ludovico at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago. Maggie and I went to Gay Pride in Aurora. Sara took all of us to Cantigny Park for my 47th birthday. We played mini golf in the dark during Swedish Days.

In July there was the case of the stolen bicycle and Maggie turned 14. We went to Minneapolis to check out the Mall of America and Paisley Park.

Maggie started high school in August, too. 😳

Five chipmunks were caught and released over the summer. I took over 450 photos. I didn’t keep track of how many restaurants that Sara and I went to.

This month of September we went to Nebraska for Sara’s sister’s wedding. During the sermon or whatever the pastor shared a story about an older couple with a successful marriage. When asked how they had stayed together for so long the husband replied, “I always figured it was her turn to get what she wanted.”

That’s how you win.

In healthy relationships life isn’t all about getting what we want but most of it is giving people what they want. Keeping that Christmas spirit of giving all year round is one of the foremost keys to happiness.

In a similar thread Jimi messaged me not long ago, shared something that Cokie Roberts’ husband had said regarding their marriage. It was that the most important life choice we can make is who we spend it with.

So in August Maggie and I moved in with Sara and her kids. It wasn’t on accident or on a whim that I chose Sara. She’s beautiful, kind, selfless, and intent on everyone having a good life. 💝

Speaking of life choices, today is/was my last day at the job I’ve had for the last 13 years. See, I could’ve stayed at my job and in my house in Geneva and been mostly comfortable. But then again and I hate to say this but life can suck when you’re stuck in second place.

I’ve lived much of my life in the moment, in the here and now, but sometimes it’s better to look bigger picture.

What we’re doing and what we really want to achieve.

Where we’re going and where we really want to be.

Who we’re with and who’ll really give us the fairy tale.

I’ve gotten divorced, I’ve moved, and I start a new job on Monday. Go team. 💪

#photos #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

Botsford · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:08 am

Life is good! Enjoy the ride😊

Pelletier · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:09 am

Can I give you BOTH a “Happy” and a “Sad” like?…… Gonna miss you at the office.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:25 am

Maybe we’ll all hook up again at MATS next year!! 🚛

Rich J · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:17 am

Who’d a thunk it. Your life change has led you on an incredible journey so far, hasn’t it?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:26 am

It most certainly has 💫

Laurie · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:21 am

I am so very happy for you! You are a great guy! ♥️

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:26 am

Thank you!

asquared01 · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:23 am

Sounds like a fantastic summer! Congratulations on the move and the new job! :)

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:27 am

Thanks!! It was pretty fantastic. 🎉

flood · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:40 am

It’s so great to hear how well you are doing- congratulations!! 😊

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:32 am

Hard telling where I’d be at if it wasn’t for the good people at the Kane County Judicial Center! 😊

flood · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:58 am


sprout · Sep 27, 2019 at 10:50 am

Congrats, old friend. Happy that you’ve found the happiness you deserve.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:36 am

Thank you. The last time you were in Chicago was November 2013. I think you’re overdue. 😉

Ritter Parcel · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:35 am

So happy for you and Maggie! You both deserve happiness. Cant wait to meet Sarah hint hint lol

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:37 am

So when are you and Mike coming to visit? Bring Justice, too!!

Ritter Parcel · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:45 am

Mike, he has spoken lol

Lewis · Sep 27, 2019 at 11:49 am

Very cool…best wishes to you and Sara.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm

Thank you!

cormanang · Sep 27, 2019 at 12:09 pm

TEAM TCR rules. I am happy for you my friend.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2019 at 5:36 pm


jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm


Momma J Momma J · Sep 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm

I’m so happy for you, so proud of you!

Raes · Sep 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Life is a journey…and new beginnings to look forward to.

tism tism · Sep 27, 2019 at 4:29 pm


franh franh · Sep 27, 2019 at 4:56 pm

Couldn’t be happier for you buddy. Life is good.

elaineorr · Sep 27, 2019 at 5:26 pm

Lots of good thoughts

Irene · Sep 27, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Were you able to transfer within your company or is it a brand new job? Best wishes to all of you on your new beginnings !! How exciting, how fantastic, make the best of everything… Much love!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 28, 2019 at 10:10 am

Whole new company, fresh start… And thank you!!

Irene · Sep 28, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Good for you. Good luck!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 28, 2019 at 10:50 am

PS- there’s a lot of false starts in life. Keep going… 💖

annekothe annekothe · Sep 28, 2019 at 11:29 am


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Sep 27, 2019
jolly green.mp3

content: Sep 21, 2019

Please enjoy another song I recorded sometime in the late 90s, maybe 1998. Of course I wrote all the lyrics and music and played all the instruments. Because that's what you do when you're me.

I am surfing the lifestyle that I was shown.
I am riding the aftershock, a tidal wave…
A boy that you have grown.
You have sown, you have stoned.

Who else am I to blame?
Dare I say the trouble lies in how I learned,
how I was raised?
How I was burned? How I was shamed?

Didn’t go to Harvard or enroll at Yale.
Wanted to grown up an astronaut instead I got…
A jail cell. Was a dope slot, addicted to shots.
Can’t think for myself.

I’m not a boy.
I can think for myself now.

Inflated with the airs of rage.
Every breath is one of hate.
Mean jolly green giant of field of defiance.
Stones for you. Burns for you. Shocks for you.

And you.
And you.
And you.

I’m not a boy.
I can think for myself now.

Now I live the lifestyle that I choose.
It’s got nothing to do with you.
Threw away your noose, I let myself loose.

Boo-hoo for you, singing your blues.
Eating your abuse. Duck, duck, goose.
I tie my shoes so fuck you.

paint your fingernails

Alias: grahm sexton
Title: jolly green

#tcrmusic #diariespodcast

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Sep 21, 2019
Not even the here and now

content: Mar 3, 2017 · podcast: Jun 21, 2019

Time goes by and we move on and people come in and out of our lives and then we try hard to remember them when everything's quiet but the memories fade and we're only left with glimpses and fractures of what was and reminders that nothing is ever permanent, not even the here and now.

Also: be somebody's hero today. 😉

#timeisirrelevant #diariespodcast

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Jun 21, 2019
Whether alcoholism is an actual disease or not

content: Mar 23, 2017 · podcast: May 25, 2019

The Doctors Opinion chapter from Alcoholics Anonymous

I have back and forth feelings of whether alcoholism is an actual disease like hepatitis or something. I guess at the end of the day it doesn't matter to me, doesn't change that my soul was sick. Emotionally distraught to the point it was affecting everything from my sleeping to my shitting to my relationships with Maggie and my cats. You that know me personally know my story.

Did you ever see Back to School with Rodney Dangerfield? It's from the mid 80s, light hearted, goofy, classic Dangerfield.

There's a scene where he's arguing with his professor about selling widgets. Dangerfield gets hung up on what exactly a widget is and the professor exasperated finally says...

It's a fictional product, it doesn't matter.

That's a powerful train of thought for me. Sometimes I can get hung up on wanting to debate a topic and often it's because I'm wanting to deflect looking at my own issues. I resist so I don't need to peer inward.

When I'm deflecting I need to remember to self-critique. Maybe there's something I'm avoiding. And if so, the debate "doesn't matter."

It's weird how I remember these lines from movies and they graft themselves into, make up part of my spiritual being. 😉

Anyways. Is alcoholism a true medical disease? I don't care. What I do care about, what does matter is that I can't drink responsibly. I drink irresponsibly to the point of excess. I get frantic when I don't drink. It becomes the only thing I care about. Above all else. That's what does matter.

Also, as a last thing. I do think it's a proper medical illness. The way alcoholics are utterly consumed by the cravings and will drink to literal death, well that's just not a lack of willpower.

#alcoholism #healthnews #protip #diariespodcast

zumpknows · Mar 23, 2017 at 9:44 am

This may have been a stumbling block for me when I was trying to bargain with alcohol, but there was no doubt that it was an addiction. Maybe it was a selective addiction, but it was my addiction to battle. And the battle became easier once I surrendered.

coolcrosby · Mar 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I agree that alcoholism is a disease; moreover, and more importantly all the overwhelming scientific and medical consensus is that alcoholism is a disease.

SOmuch2learn · Mar 23, 2017 at 3:47 pm

I agree that alcoholism is a disease. It helped me understand and accept my alcoholism after I read Under the Influence by Ketcham and Milam.

gafflebitters · Mar 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for this post, I agree with you and I have similar movie experiences.

LokiGrue · Mar 23, 2017 at 3:54 pm

As the long suffering spouse of an Alcoholic, I am sick of the “It’s a disease” mantra—it’s an excuse to not make the fucking choice to stop fucking drinking.
It’s a “Disease” so it can get an ICD-10 Code, and people can get Insurance paying for treatment. Follow the fucking money.
I’m sorry. She’s relapsing and I am tired of the excuses.

LokiGrue · Mar 23, 2017 at 12:28 pm

The “disease” is just an excuse, not a reason. Are you getting help for yourself by going to Alanon?
I don’t do “Higher Powers.”

SOmuch2learn · Mar 23, 2017 at 4:40 pm

I don’t do “god” either. I’m an atheist but found both AA and Alanon very helpful. I just let the stuff that doesn’t apply to me slide off—I wear a teflon shield.

I am very sorry about your wife. Alcoholism is heartbreaking. I would have gone crazy without the support I gained from Alanon.

Anonymous · Mar 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm

I am sorry your wife is relapsing. Do you really, really feel that she is ‘chosing’ to drink over you/your family?

It may help to understand what is going on in her brain…. what makes her different…. why she struggles to not relapse….

This short 3 minute video should give you a little more insight, and (I very much hope!) something to understand and then work together to get help with.

It is not her fault that she has developed this condition, but it IS her choice to find something that helps her to move forwards.

LokiGrue · Mar 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm

I’m sick of this shit. Thankfully we’ve no children. She knows that I’ve drawn a line in the sand: She has two choices: Continue to drink and be served with Divorce papers, or not drink and we will stay married.

She keeps whining “it’s not that simple!” Yes, it is actually. It may not be easy, but it is simple. And I have had enough. Another drink=Divorce.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Ya, I don’t blame you. Living with an alcoholic gets old real quick. And then nothing ever changes no matter how much we plead and beg and threaten. Just take care you and let your wife take care of herself. Just my 2 cents. :)

Anonymous · Mar 23, 2017 at 6:22 pm

Your decision to make of course, but I think sadly…. at some point, whether in the near or distant future… you will be serving those divorce papers. Without help, it is extremely unlikely that she will be able to refrain from drinking for any meaningful length of time.

All the medical evidence demonstrates that her brain has been altered by repeated alcohol use. The pathway in her brain that associates alcohol = reward is stronger than all the others.
Whilst you may chose not to believe it, and to maintain that she has a choice in the matter, that doesn’t make it any less true. You are correct, it is not easy. But she is also correct, it isn’t that simple.

Once someone has become alcohol dependent, it is NOT a choice any longer.

stankost · Mar 25, 2017 at 6:11 pm

I think you have a valid point, it was a “personality disorder” few years ago,now it is a “disease”, but ICD had qualified “homosexuality” as mental illness in the past, but today you will be crucified for such statement, so I am also not convinced that alcoholism is a disease (it can lead to a bunch of medical problems of course). However, it is not easy for an alcoholic “just not to drink”.

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May 25, 2019
diaries for 2018 - book now available

content: Apr 29, 2019

diaries for 2018 tcr eyes closed

After all my moaning my 2018 diaries book is now ready to be put in your shopping carts. If you have an unfulfilled diaries magazine subscription don’t buy the book. Your paperback will be in the mail soon.

The ones available here on the site are autographed, too. Paperback and Kindle editions are available on Amazon, non-autographed of course.

You should buy my book. And then tell your friends about it. And share it on social media, as you do. And then leave an Amazon review. I know that’s asking a lot but it would mean the world to me and I’d be eternally grateful. 💙 Sharing and reviews really do help.

It’d be really cool if I could just do my writing (both spiritual and ridiculous) and earn a living doing such. As it is now, I do both when I have time. I hate making room for those things that are truly important. I just want to do those things that absolutely make truly my heart sing all the fucking time.

I have at least 15 pieces that I’ve started writing but haven’t had the chance to finish. I have to feel what I’m writing or else the words come across like a piece of shit. And the writing zone isn’t something I can just turn on when I have 15 minutes to spare.

And then I have at least 50 podcast episodes I could record but again, I have to be in the mood. Otherwise the words come out of my mouth like I’m an uncaring automaton.

Anyways, I’ll quit bemoaning. Go buy my book. 😊

Peace out, death to dogmas.

#diariesbook #diariespodcast #forsale

Get the diaries for 2018 book

tcr! tcr! · Apr 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm

PS- The cover only went through four progressions. Sara vetoed the first cover straight away… 😊

Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Apr 29, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Sara was right.

tcr! tcr! · Apr 29, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Absolutely right. She usually is 😊

JJania · Apr 29, 2019 at 2:56 pm

I’ll be getting my paperback Wednesday.

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Apr 29, 2019
If I'm feeling the same way

content: Oct 17, 2018 · podcast: Apr 19, 2019

Truck with pink cloud

If I’m feeling the same way a few days later about something I need to make peace with it. Or not.

It’s true that the only thing I have to do with my feelings is feel them but sometimes they linger. They don’t resolve. And then I have to do something. I need to take action.

Often times that action is just accepting whatever happened that caused my unrest to begin with. If the situation involved another person, for example, how would I act around them if it didn’t happen at all?

That’s how I accept things. It’s not hard once I decide that I want to move forward in life. Regardless of where my feelings are at.

Acting differently than how I feel isn’t denying my feelings or pretending whatever didn’t happened. It’s me deciding that I’m done with all that and am going to move on even if my heart is telling me something else.

It’s not usual when the only closure I get is accepting that I won’t get resolution. That’s a realization I get to in my head because feelings can be icky and sticky.

Like watching somebody leave when I want them to stay. I give them a hug and a kiss on the cheek, watch them get into the car and drive down the street. My heart twists as the taillights drive away. The physical bond between us stretches and dissolves as the car gets smaller.

To the left. Around a bend. Disappear. Gone is gone.

I turn and hobble up the sidewalk, the fallen leaves are too coincidental. The chilly air a nuisance, the gray sky unwanted.

Inside the tears drip down like droplets over the outside of a boiling pot. Steam on the lid and mist in my eyes making it too hard to see what’s inside. Everything’s overflowing. Everything’s too much.

The house isn’t empty but I’d rather be by myself. Alone I turn off the stove and the pot and the water start to cool. Just a minute ago the somebody was there and now I only have a fading memory.

Okay stop. Enough with the melodrama.

There was never a stove. Nor a boiling pot.

Feelings are beautiful, magical things and experiencing them makes us whole human beings. They’re the yin to the intellect’s yan.

But they don’t run the show and allowing them to will only end up making life miserable.

#advancedsoul #diariespodcast

Richard · Oct 19, 2018 at 5:18 am

Got it.

marney0160 marney0160 · Oct 20, 2018 at 9:04 am

Nice! Thanks for the reminder…

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Apr 19, 2019
Pillsbury's Candy Apple frosting

content: Oct 14, 2018 · podcast: Apr 18, 2019

Pillsbury Candy Apple frosting

Sometimes I’ll got out on a culinary limb. A daring yet delectable escapade, laying out loads of cash for adventurous taste combinations that send the conservatives repulsed to the bakeries of safety.

For example, in this year of 2018, this month of October, I dropped Candy Apple frosting from Pillsbury into my basket, impromptu style while in the aisles of Blue Goose. A one-handed yet non-acrobatic feat that impressed shoppers clear yonder to the western deli department.

Basket maneuvers aside, be aware impulsive and intrigued icing shoppers, concede to my financial frosting fiasco. This cake topping may look moist and delicious on the box but the taste and texture is more akin to sweet, fluffy lipstick.

There may be a market for apple red lipstick for the baked cakes but I'm not included in it.

One might ask how I know what lipstick tastes like. That would be a very good question to ask.

🍰💄🤔 #photos #allislost #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Oct 14, 2018 at 11:23 pm

It looks nasty!

tcr! tcr! · Oct 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

I thought it looked delicious! Like a thick, fire engine red pillowy pudding.

Kelly K · Oct 15, 2018 at 6:26 am

Fantastic review! Wish I had been there to see the basket drop.

tcr! tcr! · Oct 15, 2018 at 10:14 am

Usually I’m in Blue Goose once a week. Perhaps our grocery paths will cross one day.

Kelly K · Oct 15, 2018 at 5:18 pm

I can only hope!

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Apr 18, 2019
Let the ideas go

content: Oct 11, 2018 · podcast: Apr 14, 2019

I have ideas all the time, things I wanna do around the house or to my truck, or books I wanna write or pictures I wanna take. If it’s a really good idea I’ll get excited about it. If I’m really excited with my idea, I’ll actually do it. If I have other things going on, I’ll adjust my schedule to turn my idea into a real thing.

If I can’t budge my schedule because I have other priorities, then I forget about my idea. I don’t write it down. I’ll just let it die in my head. Because if my idea is really good I’ll have the same idea again. If my idea wasn’t that good, it probably deserves to fade away.

When my ideas die, I don’t feed bad or feel like I’m not enough. I don’t get discouraged because I don’t have the time or whatever. I just let the ideas go. I can’t do everything I ever wanted and that’s okay.

And that one idea, if I didn’t have enough passion or drive to make it happen, isn’t going to change the world anyway. It’s not gonna make me a whole person nor is it gonna be a silver bullet to end world hunger or a golden chalice to bring about world peace.

I may have read the gist of all of this somewhere else. I can’t remember. But letting ideas go is an idea I had (mine or not) that's worth sharing.

#protip #diariespodcast

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Oct 11, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Snoopy is a catch-all for me because he’s so cool. And this image in particular, he’s just Joe Cool. Shit eating grin and zero given. That’s “why Snoopy?”

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Apr 14, 2019

content: Apr 6, 2019

Please enjoy a song I recorded sometime in the late 90s, maybe 1998. Of course I wrote all the lyrics and music and played all the instruments. Because that's what you do when you're me.

The additional vocals/voices are messages left on my home answering machine. When those were a thing.

You are not a slave.
You are not a fucking slave.

2486 5017-6 18509 55

To accept the charges press 1 now.

The more I am made to feel leashed and shaved,
the less I am enticed by the dull warmth.
Radiating your cage, butterflying lice.
Radiation your face, acne price.

Touch. Punch. Fuck.
Touch me now. Punch me now. Fuck me now.
I am cold.

You might scare people with that message.
It was a good ‘un. Wouldn’t scare no body.

The more I am tricked by grandpa thoughts and fleshed bricks,
the less I am willing to forgive the scars.
Wound to lick, skinned up bars,
human ticks, candy jars,
control fix, dysfunction par.

Touch. Punch. Fuck.
Touch me now. Punch me now. Fuck me now.
I am cold.

You are not a slave.
K, you’re aren’t very commercial but that’s okay.
Fuck commercialization.
Fuck the diabolic clown cauldron, alright.
You are not a slave.

You might scare people with that message.
But you are not fucking a slave.
It was a good ‘un. Wouldn’t scare no body.

To accept the charges press 1 now.

So does your whore.

The more I am molded with foil and Christmas coal,
the less I am ready for hot pocket guilt.
Redundant scolds, nasal silk,
50s hold, pinball tilt,
coward bold, razor built,
heart of mold, blood of milk.

Touch. Punch. Fuck.
Touch me now. Punch me now. Fuck me now.
I am cold.

But you are not fucking a slave.

paint your fingernails

Alias: grahm sexton
Title: FMN

#tcrmusic #diariespodcast

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Apr 06, 2019
He was a nervous, jittery guy

content: Oct 10, 2018 · podcast: Apr 5, 2019

Teen Paranormal Romance

Years ago I used to work with this client, aliased Jack, who would continually get on my nerves. He wasn’t a bad guy but every now and then he would email[1] me a question, looking for an answer to something we’d been over and over again.

I would read his email and think, “Why the fuck are you asking me this? We’ve already talked about it. More than once. I got better shit to do than repeat myself. For the third time.”

I saw the email conversations as nothing but ridiculous.

No, the world’s not gonna blow up if you click that button. If it could blow up, my annoying little friend, you wouldn’t be able to see the button, let alone click the fucking button.

Obviously customer service doesn’t run in my blood. I like talking with my friends and family but I’m not a big fan of talking to people when I “have to.” By and large there’s little interest in me to hand out warm fuzzies to the clients. I like to write code at work, not give hugs.

So back to Jack.

I was thinking about him this morning because thoughts come and go, as they do. He was a nervous, jittery guy. Anxious pretty much every time I spoke with him. He would often get five steps ahead of me when we were reviewing his projects and I’d be like, “dude, slow down.” I would actually call him “dude” which is my polite way of saying “you moron.”

But time equals clarity and so I tend to think with those calls and emails what he was after was reassurance. He was looking to be comforted in someway if you will. Don’t make that weird because it’s not. But maybe he was homosexual, I don’t know.[2]

I doubt if him wanting a professional “hug” was a front-burner thought. It’s not unusual for people to create little messes in their mind, get themselves all worked up and bent out of shape, and then lean on somebody they trust. Someone who’ll tell them it’s okay, that everything’s fine. Someone who'll offer solutions to their problems.

And then life can be right for a moment.

I don’t know for sure that’s what was up with Jack but it’s what I’m inclined to think.

Being in touch with what other people are feeling or needing is not something that comes naturally to me. I’m a man, not an empath. I have to consciously pay attention to those around me or else I’ll be content in my own imaginary land of Hobbitses and/or Synthetics.

That will sometimes get me in trouble, too.

Here's a quote by David F. Swink:

Having poor empathy skills can lead to serious consequences. It can lead to conflict born of misunderstanding. Without it we can feel lonely within a relationship. Lack of empathy can cause companies to make catastrophic blunders that alienate their customers or employees and it can even incite violence.[3]

Hopefully I’ve never incited violence. I do have the occasion thought of hitting someone on the head with a hammer though.[4]

Thinking about Jack in the here and now it’s easier to see where his antics were coming from, hindsight being 20/20 and all that. There’s nothing I can do about that relationship now but I can maybe carry a little extra empathy into my present day interactions with Jill, aliased of course.

Last paragraph: sometimes we make amends to someone by being a little bit nicer to the next guy.

  1. He stopped calling me once he figured out I always sent him to voicemail.

  2. I was being silly just then.

  3. Source: I Don't Feel Your Pain: Overcoming Roadblocks to Empathy.

  4. Again, I was being silly.

#advancedsoul #relationships #diariespodcast

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Apr 05, 2019
What did you expect was going to happen?

content: Jul 18, 2017 · podcast: Apr 3, 2019

One time she asked me in a hostile voice: what did you expect was going to happen?

It was rhetorical and stunning like a conversational taser. I had no counter, no retort.

My behaviors and their followup consequences weren’t relevant when we started talking. Emotionally blinded and tunneling with rage on the pain she’d dealt me and not the pain I'd dealt her. Hers was the most recent and according to my Truxion Manual the last person to hurt somebody is what you talk about.

Sitting where I am now years later I don't blame her. For a good many things. Looking back I now expect her to act just like she did.

#relationships #diariespodcast

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Apr 04, 2019
I don't deserve nice things

content: Oct 9, 2018 · podcast: Mar 26, 2019

Worm in the street

Some time over the weekend I had a dream that it was Wednesday after work and the robot vacuum hadn't done his scheduled cleaning. And then I was crushed and frustrated, defeated and agitated, almost to the brink of tears.

Another substantiated claim that I don't deserve nice things.

It was worse when I was drinking, that train of thought. I’d like to say it surprises me that I still have that thought but it doesn’t.

Really though it’s not about deserving as much as “can’t have nice things.” Because I’ll put myself in impossible situations. Where I’ll never win.

It’s a dysfunctional pattern carried from when I was a teenager or something. Which leads into the struggles of a life inherited. From a previous life. More realistically it’s probably from my genetics. Family of origin stuff, a television spin off.

Desperately pleading that things would get better. But they won’t. They can’t. I stay in those situations because I’ve dug a hole. It’s pretty much impossible to get out. I don’t know how to do anything else.

And we don’t find nice things in holes. They don’t have them.

After spending over a decade in a hole it becomes familiar and comfortable. I can distract myself with my imagination, satisfy myself with make-believe. I can put a nice rug here and maybe a lamp over there.

Sometimes I strive and strain to climb out. But it just doesn’t work. And then I give up. Yet again. It’s easier just to give up, accept that everything’s terrible. Because this is just how it’s going to be.

Obviously I don’t feel spiritual every day. And then I flounder around for a day or two. Maybe a week. Read a spiritual book. Go to a meeting. Hear something that puts me back on track. Points me again in the right direction.

How I feel is not who I am.

God’s got a bigger plan. Maybe I’m not supposed to have nice things right now.

Keep the faith, peeps. Let go absolutely.

#allislost #advancedsoul #diariespodcast #nicethings

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Mar 27, 2019
Seven Sledgehammers

content: Oct 4, 2018 · podcast: Mar 22, 2019

Seven Sledgehammers

Lying is the absolute worst.

“No, I wasn’t drinking. What the hell are you talking about?”

Telling lies. To another person. Makes them crazy. They start to question their own sanity.

Someone has a pretty good idea about something and then we go and sow a row of doubt. It’s twofold. Not only are we handing them a flat out lie, we’re also giving them personal conflict. We’re insisting they stop questioning us and question themselves.

Self-doubt is one of the worst things we can serve somebody. It’s a car wreck for the soul. Twisted metal and broken headlights. Sure, the fender can be bent back but it’ll never be true.

It’s funny that we tell our kids that it’s not what they did that was so bad, it was that they lied about it. And then we grow up as adults and do the same thing. But on a Rushmore, monumental level.

I don’t know about you guys but if someone lies to me that’s just it.

I wrote the above back in August. And then it just sat there not feeling finished.

It’s all fine and good but it’s also abstract. The real stories in life aren’t. The car crash here is that I lied to somebody yesterday. A flat out lie as mentioned above. First time I can remember since I stopped drinking.

I lied because I don’t like this person. I don’t trust them. Being honest gives them ammunition and I don’t like the thought of loading bullets into an unstable person’s gun.

I am kind of disappointed in myself, though. Lying goes against what I believe, who I want to be. In all situations. In all dilemmas.

However, I don’t feel too bad for lying to this particular person. They lie to me on the bimonthly basis, the latest just this past week. I know they lied because I looked it up. I didn’t crucify this person for it but I wanted to. I mean really wanted to.

I could justify the whole situation with some notion about how spiritual truths need not apply in all situations. Cold wars and nuclear armaments. I won’t make more of a case than that because I don’t really have one. Plastic tanks and toy soldiers, peeps.

Would I do it again? Tell a flat out lie? Probably not but I don’t know. Sometimes somebody shines a hot spotlight on us and shit just happens. I don’t like how I feel about lying for sure. I don’t like playing the odds that I’ll get caught. Driving fast doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I don’t want to smash up, crash up somebody’s fender.

So there’s my confession. Two Jim Carrolls and a bottle of wine.

#confessional #diariespodcast

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Oct 4, 2018 at 12:02 pm

I was just thinking about this this morning. When someone asks me something personal, and I don’t feel like answering, I lie my head off to them about it. I mean I was “literally doing battle with pirates” so how could you dare want to know? Or even if I just think the person is stupid. No, I was using my ultra-light aircraft and just floated above all the traffic. There are other exceptions, starting with if I don’t like the person. I’ll lie.

The best reply to all of these situations though is the blank stare. About 5 years ago when I first started at a job, an idiot wanted to know something. After the silence, she says, “Jim I think if you don’t want to answer something you just don’t!” Another person was present, and the second person giggled. I enjoyed that giggle. She let me know she gets me and she was on my side. The inquistor was probably too thick to know how obnoxious they were being, so it might have been all for naught but she eventually stopped asking me stuff like that.

tcr! tcr! · Oct 4, 2018 at 12:43 pm

“an idiot wanted to know something” … this could be title of many a book.

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Mar 22, 2019
Quite possibly hungover

content: Oct 2, 2018 · podcast: Mar 20, 2019

The scene was once again my truck.

I was sitting at a stoplight and a minivan pulled up in the lane next to me.

The wife appeared to be driving and, who I assume to be the husband, was slumped over in the passenger seat. Quite possibly hungover. Renounced pathetic in his silence and downward, saddened gaze.

The engrossing part of this travel tale was that she was scolding him with both hands and all that. Arms flailing. Eyes furious. Teeth gnashing. Murderously chewing his ass upside and down there behind their minivan windows.

This would be a day I would not ever forget if I were him. The guy looked defeated as he sat there frumpily slumped. Acceptive of whatever verbal beating his wife was handing down.

I don’t know if he fucked the dog last night or what, but guys, this dude was in trouble. 😯

#trafficnews #relationships #diariespodcast

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Mar 20, 2019
The case of the conspicuous lawn furniture

content: Oct 2, 2018 · podcast: Mar 18, 2019

One time when I was drinking I put a lawn chair in the middle of the yard that runs along the side of my house. My thought was that it’d be the perfect spot to keep tabs on the neighbors from a slightly covert location.

A couple days later when I was sober I remembered the lawn chair and returned it to the back deck. I felt somewhat embarrassed afterward as it was a somewhat embarrassing place to have lawn furniture. Sitting shamefully in the grass along the side of the house.

If you ever see a guy sitting in a lawnchair in his side yard, it would be safe to assume he’s drunk.

#alcoholism #homeimprovement #diariespodcast

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Mar 18, 2019
Dedicated and duplicated prayers

content: Oct 1, 2018 · podcast: Mar 17, 2019

When I’m around you guys it’s easy to be my best self.

I would almost say that it comes naturally. I don’t even think about it.

But there are other times when I’m around other people when there’s nothing easy about being a good person. It takes 100% of my concentration. It takes dedicated and duplicated prayers. It takes front-burner, fore-thought action.

It takes getting to know and being comfortable with my anger beforehand so it’s not overwhelming when I’m around the jerks who live only in their own worlds, who live from only their own point of view.[1]

It takes regular and routine reseting so I don’t get lost in the chaos. It takes pretending to care even when I honestly don’t.

Because at the end of the day people are going to hurt us. They’re going to give us reasons to be angry. The trick is to love them anyway. At all costs.

#advancedsoul #diariespodcast

  1. Granted I do, too, at times but somewhere along the way I was clued into thinking about you guys, too. Your wants, your needs, your feelings before letting what I want become too much of a priority.

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Mar 17, 2019
Almost empty McDonalds

content: Sep 29, 2018 · podcast: Mar 15, 2019

Almost empty McDonalds

I’m sitting in the McDonalds on State Street in Geneva. Because Egg McMuffins.

This is also the place where Maggie’s mom and I told Maggie that we were getting divorced. It was the most painful conversation I’ve ever had. The most painful day ever. Watching her little nine year old face panic as the conversation unfolded.

It wasn’t a long conversation but it lasted forever to me.

A therapist said to do it in public so the hurt would live outside the home. Sometimes breakups really better are in public. Sometimes it's the better way out.

And as we were driving back home, the three of us, I thought to myself, “I’m never going to that fucking place again.”

But here I am. Cuppa years later.

Because one of the best things I learned was to “give it some time.”

For as long as it takes. Don’t make up your mind. Just put it down. Don’t rush healing. Don't rush the feeling. Let the pain fade. It will if we don’t force its end.

#photos #protip #diariespodcast

Irene · Sep 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm

That’s an interesting theory about a public place. I had never ever heard that before. I guess it would really just depend on all the people involved as to whether or not you wanted that displayed in a public place… Definitely food for thoughtful! Time has a way of healing everything

Irene · Sep 29, 2018 at 12:16 pm

I know I messed up I meant food for thought!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 29, 2018 at 12:40 pm

I knew what you meant 😊

Irene · Sep 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Figured you would, but who knows what anyone else would think 😊

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Mar 15, 2019
Do you ever wake up cranky for no good reason?

content: Sep 28, 2018 · podcast: Mar 14, 2019

And then when you’re walking down the stairs you say “fuck those guys” but there are no guys there?

And then when you’re standing in the kitchen getting your lunch ready you see a teeny purple flower on the floor and say “get the fuck out of here” and kick it under the stove?

And then Alexa plays Kiss Me Deadly and then you think to yourself “Why does Ozzy get to hold heaven in the palm of his hand? Fuck that.”

And then when you’re driving to work your phone vibrates in your pocket so you pull it out and see it’s an email from Amazon Prime Video. They’re canceling your Comic-Con HQ Subscription because the channel is no longer available. And then you say “I don’t give a fuck about that. I never did.”

And then when you're sitting at your work desk pondering all the fucks you’ve said before 9AM this very morning, you remember that not all the stories end with a spiritual revelation.

Happy Friday, peeps!! 🙄

#thestruggleisreal #diariespodcast

tism tism · Sep 28, 2018 at 9:49 am

You’ve given the balance of your fucks away before noon!!!!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 28, 2018 at 10:57 am

I know!! I’ll always keep a reserve though. Because there are some days when everything is exaggeratedly terrible.

tism tism · Sep 28, 2018 at 11:09 am

You so smart. :-)

Karly · Sep 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

So if you gave a “fuck that” for each thing in your morning to emulate that you had zero fucks to give…..did you really give zero fucks? I feel like this needs a mathematical theory written about it.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 28, 2018 at 10:55 am

Yep. I can’t say “zero fucks given” though, that’s somebody else’s mantra. But yeah, your equations line up.

Mitchell · Sep 28, 2018 at 7:03 pm

Omg can so relate just one of them days is how I look at it

chrisrich · Sep 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Is “Fuck that” a prayer? I want to think a sponsor told me that but maybe…… i just wish a sponsor told me that.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 30, 2018 at 8:42 am

It’s definitely a prayer. A “letting go” kinda prayer generally reserved for cloudy days.

chrisrich · Sep 30, 2018 at 9:14 am

Ok I’m running with that!!!!

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Mar 14, 2019
Withholding the Cheese Puffs

content: Sep 21, 2018 · podcast: Mar 12, 2019

Guys, I just witnessed a heated couples exchange inside one of our local Walgreens.

A man was outright denying his wife of her Friday snacks because apparently she “already had her daily allotment of cheese puffs.”

She then retorted or snorted, “Oh no, I’m a get my cheese puffs” with the bitterness you’d expect of dreams shattered in full view of the other drugstore patrons.

I can see both sides really. I mean they sell a 20 ounce plastic tumbler of them (Market Pantry brand) at SuperTarget so they must be good. On the other hand... Well, I can’t think of another hand. I can’t come up with one good valid reason to deprive your girl of cheese puffs if she wants cheese puffs. You won’t get lucky tonight withholding their fluffy orange texture.

Anyways, I thought for sure she was gonna hook his leg with her cane and send him to the floor in a crumpled heap of senior citizen. I’m sure it wouldn’t be the first time.

I grabbed my receipt from the cashier and made my least hasty exit. The couple then disappeared down the food + drinks aisle so I have no finale for this yarn. Sorry.

And now as I sit in the Walgreens parking lot on the corner of State Street and wherever I am, I’m enjoying these sweet, first, few drinks of this refreshing can (16 ounce) of Coca-Cola. It’s not the good stuff that the aforementioned SuperTarget imports from Mexico but it’ll do on this Friday afternoon.

16 ounce Coke can

Anyways 2, happy weekend everybody. I hope this is your best one yet.

#photos #snacks #soda #diariespodcast

ahrens · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:04 pm

What’s up with the branch with leaves on it in your car? 😉

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm

I got it at the second Nightmare on Chicago Street I ever went to up in Elgin. It was laying on the ground in its own crumpled heap of plastic greenery as I was making yet another of my least hasty exits. When I got back to my truck I stuck it into my cigarette lighter outlet thing and it’s lived there ever since… 🌿

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:41 pm

WAIT. That’s a lie. It’s not in the cigarette lighter outlet. It’s in the keyhole next to it that controls the airbags!

I didn’t want to run the risk that this garden-variety plastic ivy one would find at your neighborhood Joann’s art and craft store would catch fire.

In related news… One time I put my truck key in the keyhole, hoping it would open the door way to Narnia. But alas there was no such transportation reward. Only shed tears in the salty realization that I would indeed have to go to work. 😢

ahrens · Sep 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Thank you for your honesty. My first thought was maybe it was eucalyptus and you had a koala bear. That would be pretty rad. Please know, I do not judge a man’s greenery he keeps in his car.

McIntyre 13 · Sep 21, 2018 at 10:37 pm

This thread makes me smile. 😁 Or maybe it’s just my muscle relaxant kicking in. Either way thanks for the laugh guys

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:29 am

My two cents but the koala ain’t a stranger to muscle relaxants.

Shari H · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Look…if you’re gonna feed us interesting tidbits on conversations overheard. You’re gonna hafta stick around for the ending. You’re public depends on you!

Roda · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:18 pm

MFer, don’t mess with my comfort food after a hard day on a Friday.

Redmondton · Sep 21, 2018 at 6:41 pm

Pint can legit, strong work

Murisa DM · Sep 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm

Are you an author? You should write a book… your stores are so funny and so well written.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

I regularly submit my stuff to publishers, etc. but so far nobody’s been interested. 🙄

Finkler · Sep 21, 2018 at 10:24 pm

I loved this!!
We do love our cheese puffs tho..

Pad Nevin · Sep 21, 2018 at 11:02 pm

Literally clicked the comment section just to ask this question. Past few posts I read are the most simplest interactions that can and likely happen daily and you make it interesting to read.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:11 am

Thank you!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:34 am

I write more serious stuff, too.

ahrens · Sep 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Walgreens is always located at the corner of HAPPY and HEALTHY, not State and “whatever”

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:27 am

I don’t know. I go into the St. Charles’ Walgreens on the corner of Main Street and Sweet Tomatoes a couple times a week and there’s one cashier that’s borderline anti-happy.

Seriously, she asks for my Walgreens Rewards card each and every visit regardless of how many times I’ve said, “Listen shopping gestapo, you’re not tracking how many sodas I buy in the name of steep discounts and customer perks!”

Well, my wit’s not that quick in public or under Freddie’s pressure so that’s what I like to think I’ll say the next time I’m standing in her aisle as she’s questioning the cards in my wallet and reviewing a 3” ecig box with a scrupulous monocle, flipping the box over and over again looking for the 2” barcode.

It’s on the fracking back where 90% of the barcodes in the world are!!!

ahrens · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:14 am

Ok. First, Henry is my homie. He is so nice.
Next, ecigs are bad news. When you know better, you do better. You have one set of lungs, take care of them.
Finally, I use my bucks on Cheetos 😂

Mustari Jones · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:27 am

ahrens, you are friggin killing me. 😂🤣

Mustari Jones · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:29 am

This is LITERALLY the best thing on the internet this weekend.

ahrens · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:34 am

This is such a deep conversation, right? Love it.

ahrens · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:44 am

Perhaps Walgreens is not your scene. For all of the times I have entered my rewards number, I have yet to be rewarded. CVS is where it’s at. Once you get over the fact that your receipt is as long as 3 football fields, you realize you win the lotto during every shopping experience. I earn all of these bucks for whatever reason and I just roll with it. Some people are addicted to crack and/or bath salts but CVS is my weakness.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm

There’s this dude named Henry that works at the CVS close to my house. He’s worked there ever since I moved to my neighborhood back in the 00s. He, too, asks for my CVS card every time I see him. Even if we’re not in CVS. One time I was out feeding homeless children on the upper west side on a sunny Saturday, not unlike today. Henry pulled up, in what I assume to be his blue BMW and Keanu shades, and said, “CVS card…” in his oh so cool Nigerian accent.

I might spring for a CVS card if they sold ecig paraphernalia by the pound but they seem to be anti-nicotine these days. And then they got those midget shopping carts that people still insist on filling up like their at Costco on Randall.

Regardless, the real question is what do you do with all your earned bucks? Do they automagically discount your next receipt when you go in?

ns kraut · Sep 21, 2018 at 9:52 pm

That will be me and my husband in 30 years. He already tells me i can’t get more cheese its. I need a cane…

tcr! tcr! · Sep 22, 2018 at 8:14 am

You could probably buy one at Walgreens. If not, Riley Drug (also on State Street and whatever) carries them. I’ve tried their canes out. Clean finish, solid construction, helpful staff.

Steer Steerup · Sep 23, 2018 at 9:15 am

She’s diabetic and shouldn’t have carbs. He cares about her.

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Mar 12, 2019
Stop looking for proof

content: Sep 21, 2018 · podcast: Mar 10, 2019

Stop looking for proof

Looking for reasons why things would fail used to be a big part of my day.

I devoted hours to it. Always poking around under the hood for clues to prove that whoever I’d gotten close to was up to no good. That I was going to get hurt. That people were evil.

Reviewing all the data at frequent intervals.

If that all sounds dumb it’s because it was.

I didn’t trust people or the cosmos. I knew the fingerprints were somewhere, I just had to find them. Keep dusting, keep analyzing. Always teetering on the brink of crazy.

Where is the evidence?

When I didn’t find any, it didn’t matter. I knew something was there somewhere. I just had to keep looking. Patiently waiting for some unspoken testimony because sooner or later I’d get a confirmation, a conviction, and then all my doubts and nightmares would come true.

And then if I did get absolute confirmation that there was indeed absolutely nothing going on, I couldn’t even relax with the sound judgement that everything was good. I was too battle-exhausted from my search. I was too shaken by the possibility that it could happen, that I could find something.

I needed to stop looking for proof. Do you know what happened when I did look? I made the very people who loved me crazy. I pushed them away until they left.

I’m divorced twice. It’s a real thing that we bring what we most fear into our lives by being absurdly afraid of it.

Looking at my case files it's pretty clear now that it was never about the other person or what they were doing. It was about me and my insecurities. I needed to “quit” all the scrutiny if I wanted to have a healthy, peaceful connection with another person.

With Sara, I still keep a close eye on things but in this very moment I look for proof why things *will* work. Reverse the numbers and flip the math. Cherish the very reasons why love wins. Embrace what flows freely when I be my best self.

And then all my hopes and dreams come true.

#lettherebehope #relationships #diariespodcast

tism tism · Sep 21, 2018 at 11:43 am

That is a very hard thing to do. Congrats to you sir. :-)

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Yep. Dealing with my insecurities was the hard part for me. After that then the search for clues wasn’t important. 😊

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:16 pm

You deserve this. Unreasonable Happiness is your birthright. Claim it.

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Who’s the critter in the frame?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I believe it to be a praying mantis but usually I don’t know what I’m talking about.

sprout · Sep 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

This rings very true for me, as it most likely does for many. Especially those of us who come from a world of using and abusing, there is often more hurt, abuse, betrayal than not. But growing older and learning to trust your partner… that’s actually a way of trusting yourself. And that has been the hardest part for me. Thank you for sharing this. It gives me some things to reflect upon and appreciate today.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 21, 2018 at 2:44 pm

> there is often more hurt, abuse, betrayal than not
For sure. There’s a reason why we are the way we are. I also believe that you can trust yoruself. There’s nothing but good inside you. 😊

Momma J Momma J · Sep 21, 2019 at 11:34 am

Truth so beautifully written!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 23, 2019 at 1:42 pm

Thank you! 🙌

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Mar 10, 2019
Like I'm going to fall over

content: Apr 17, 2018 · podcast: Mar 8, 2019

I haven’t been writing as much because I’ve been struggling with my nicotine addiction. All sorts of things happen and don’t happen when I try to quit.

Sometimes I’ll spout off something about quitting on social media or whatever but lately I’ve just been keeping my struggles to myself. Because unless somebody was a daily smoker for over 30 years, they don’t really get it. I know people are trying to help but move along. Sometimes we just need to vent.

And then vaping made my addiction even worse because I could do it anywhere at anytime. I would vape at Maggie’s school during her recitals and in team meetings at work, too. I would use my vapor in the dentist’s restroom before I went in to see them.

When I go into withdrawal my ears will ring. Ring to the point that I can hear them in the next room. My head will start to hurt. Like I have a vice slowly squeezing my temples. It’s not a sharp pain but dull and warm and oh so intense. And when it’s really bad I’ll start to get lightheaded. Like I’m going to fall over. Detox always makes my stomach bloated and gurgly regardless of which drug it is. My intestines will fill with witches brew and putrid toxins.

I’ve not been sleeping that great at night which makes it hard for me to concentrate throughout the day. Concentrate on writing or whatever. And then because I’m tired I drink more caffeine. In the early evening when I’m dragging both feet I'll make a couple cups of coffee because I’m missing my old smoking friend. I’ll jump from one drug to another. Trade this addiction for that one. I didn’t realize I was even doing it at first with the coffees because when you’re a drug addict the addiction is sneaky and silent.

I've quit smoking probably 20 times and generally end up smoking again because the physical pain gets to be too much. And I know that if I smoke or vape or whatever all that pain goes away.

And then I stopped this morning and bought a pack cigarettes because the hellfire withdrawal had been kicking my ass for the better part of two days. I’ll do that every now and then, buy a pack, smoke one or two and then throw the unsmoked away.

I never tell anyone when I buy a pack of cigarettes because everybody is always disappointed. Because I’m the poster child for success or something.


It was snowing this morning. In the middle of April. And as I was standing outside the gas station smoking, a guy came up to me and asked for a cigarette. He had to be at least 20 years younger and wasn't wearing a winter coat. He was missing half of his index and middle fingers on one hand. He had a plastic grocery sack full of things he hadn’t bought recently.

He seemed reluctant to ask me for a smoke but he still did because nicotine is a powerful bitch. I gave him three cigarettes and he was more than grateful. I could see the look of relief on his face. I treated him with dignity and respect because all people deserve that no matter where they are in life. No matter what really.

He reminded me of my 19 year old self when I lived in Cedar Rapids with one of my brothers. No job, no money, and desperately needing something to fill my soul. Standing in the morning snowfall regardless of the cold, feeding my addictions however I could.

Somehow I made it out of that era with all my fingers and toes attached. But I easily couldn't have. Somehow I made it out of that life alive and now have my own house, a career, beautiful daughters, a gorgeous girlfriend, and all that.

Somehow I made it over the hump and to the place where I have a choice in life.

Driving away I wish I would’ve given him the whole pack. I wanted to tell him that he could make it out, too. Make it out of whatever place he was in. That life is bigger than where your next cigarette comes from.

But I didn’t think about any of that until I was driving away. Plus, I’m suspicious by default.

Anyways, never underestimate the impact you have on people, especially strangers.

#confessional #smokersunite #diariespodcast

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Mar 08, 2019
Confront your feelings

content: Mar 7, 2019 · podcast: Mar 8, 2019

20190307 Confront your feelings

I've been writing and recording music for close to 30 years. This is the latest track. You should listen to it with headphones.

The words below are various thoughts I've had and one-liners I've collected over the last year. They seem to go hand in hand with the audio. We can't be a fruity butterfly all the time.

Intolerant. Not verbally just mentally.

Disenfranchised. Disenchanted. Disillusioned.

All fabulous words.

Inadequate to my own hopes.

Approval makes us do things we wish we wouldn’t have done.

There’s no punchline. It’s all set up and no delivery. Just like my life. Everything is terrible.

If you don’t confront your feelings they will confront you.
Leonard Snart

Don't take yourself too seriously.

Here's the big secret: nobody's happy.

#diariespodcast #diariesvideo #allislost

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Mar 08, 2019
The notion that I can quit

content: Sep 19, 2018 · podcast: Mar 7, 2019

Flowers with raindrops

My favorite Freakonomomics[1] podcast is from a few years back. It’s beautifying titled, The Upside of Quitting.

It’s also the only podcast I’ve listened to more than twice. The episode is one of those things that changed everything. It’s become part of my spiritual condition. The notion that I can quit has become part of who I am.

We’re all familiar with the dogmatic mantra:

Winners never quit.

That’s all fine and good if we play football but not if we’re dying inside because our life is horrible.

Let me give you three examples:

  1. If we’re in a relationship where we feel suffocated or maybe where we feel lonely, we need to quit. Get out of it. Things aren’t going to change or get any better just because we’re sad.
  2. If we go to a job every morning and feel miserable, we need to quit. Desperately pleading to the almighty or flat out ignoring the crisis won’t make our misery stop. It’ll be on our minds tomorrow. Before we even get to work.
  3. If mowing our yard is simply dreadful, we need to quit cutting the grass and get somebody else to do it. Spending a Saturday with yardwork nagging at our soul will only end up ruining our whole weekend.

Suffering isn’t a badge of honor or something to be proud of. It’s bullshit. And we won’t sleep any better until we quit believing that anything but first place will do.

There’s something to be said for loyalty and persistence for sure but quitting when the situation demands it is something that’s often overlooked or ignored altogether. Sometimes it’s easier to just stay stuck than revolt. But staying stuck is not something we’ll ever want to tell our grandkids about. Wouldn’t it be grand to tell them the story of the great revolution that made the world magical again?

Quitting is decisive and final.

It’s not fruity, metaphysical, or abstract. It’s concrete and effective. We feel release when we quit. All the hurt will stop.

Sometimes it takes time to quit, especially when we’re in the middle of something big or entangled in something painful. When I quit drinking it took months.[2] Getting ready and absolutely wanting to quit was most of the battle.

The road we walk is ours. Our future is up to us and not our partner, not our boss, and not the dandelions. We don't have to be along for just their ride.

And we have to firmly believe that we deserve nice things as well. I’m telling you now that you do. The moon and the stars are all hanging in the sky just for you.

Quit. What it that's making you unhappy. Quit.

#photos #flowers #protip #freakonomics #diariespodcast

  1. Not familiar with Freakonomics? Don’t worry it all began when... “New York journalist and author Stephen J. Dubner went to Chicago to write about award-winning economist Steven D. Levitt for The New York Times Magazine.” Find it on your local NPR station.

  2. I started wanting to quit drinking in June 2011. Needed to in August. Should have in December. And finally did in February.

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 19, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Very cool.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Thankies 😊

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 19, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Unreasonable Happiness is your birth right. It’s been credited to me but I heard it somewhere. Sitting with others of my ilk.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:04 pm

I often hear you say that in my head 😊

JJ · Sep 19, 2018 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for the tip… look forward to listening to on my a.m. drive.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:05 pm

Let me know what you think.

Botsford · Sep 19, 2018 at 9:42 pm

Boy what we do to quit, some of the hardest decisions I have ever made was just that!!! After all the agony the relief is so worth those good choices! Thanks for the reminder 😊

barberblademaiden · Sep 19, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Find the NPR This American Life episode about the New York super in the 70s. It’s the wildest thing I’ve ever heard, listened to it a bunch of times over the years

tcr! tcr! · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:07 pm

That sounds vaguely familiar! I’ll investigate. 😊

barberblademaiden · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm

There are bags of acid and assassinations it was epic

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm

You’ve given me reason to live.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 10:24 am

Sweet! I’ll put it on now. Hopefully it’ll go with my glitter.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 10:36 am


barberblademaiden · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Dammit, you’re getting all sorts of ideas, aren’t you

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm

I definitely want to booby trap something now.

sinceresarcasm · Sep 19, 2018 at 10:14 pm

I’ll have to check this one out!

sadiebug92 · Sep 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Quitting college=best choice of my life. Quiting certain energy draining jobs…also very good choice. 🤷‍♀️ now I carhop during lunch hours, am available for my family and don’t feel like I’m dying on the inside.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 20, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Good for you. Dying on the inside means we ain’t living inside or out.

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Mar 07, 2019
Is he bonafide? I have my suspicions.

content: Sep 19, 2018 · podcast: Feb 26, 2019

narcissistic | ˌnärsəˈsistik

adj. having an excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance

20180919 Is he bonafide

Everybody knows the definition but I don’t think one really knows until experiencing daily life. With one. Up close. For years.

They can be tricky because we want them to like us. We crave their approval yet they seldom offer any. And then if they hug us we can breathe again. They’re malicious and berating yet adorable and charming.

Walking in a sea of flowers with landmines buried underneath. Be even more wary when the vain are parading around town in a love bus.

#relationships #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Sep 19, 2018 at 1:28 pm

Very true!

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Feb 26, 2019
Stuck behind a school bus

content: Sep 12, 2018 · podcast: Feb 23, 2019

Sometimes when I’m going to work I get stuck behind a school bus. And then I roll my eyes… Today I watched a handful of parents corralling their kids, funneling them toward the awaiting bus. There were enough kids that I needed to count them so as to know when I could be on my way.


And then everything changed.

Two of the kids were swaying, almost dancing. Little horses waiting to run. Smiles on their little faces, overly eager happiness as they waited their turn to board. Their day ahead would be magical. It already was.

“We’re gonna do math and reading and writing and maybe some science.”

If you’re ever feeling down, go watch some kindergartners waiting for the school bus.

One dad looked especially proud, his heart overflowing with love as he readied his daughter’s coat and straightened her collar. She was his finest achievement by far. His little girl with yellow barrettes and her white backpack with pink butterflies.

Having my own daughters I know the pride and the joy that she gave him. Kids change everything. They increase our capacity to love and give us a reason to.

And then this father looked like he didn’t want to let his daughter go as she turned around. His heart seemed to break when she took a few steps away to mingle with the other little ones. Kisses blew from his mouth when she climbed the big steps up into the bus. This is a few weeks into the school year, too, so it’s not like it was his first day sending her off to school.


The whole time standing a few feet beside him was another dad. He was a little self-conscious, like maybe he couldn’t put himself out there in front of the other parents so emotionally. There’s a mandate for him to play it cool but I could tell from his expression that he felt similar to the first dad. That was his baby growing up and heading out, too. He was just keeping his emotions in check so as not let the crowd see. That’s okay. Not everybody is supposed to be unchained. But guys, the first dad’s heart was too full of love to care who knew.

So here’s the last yet equally important part of the story.

I live in white suburbia with a picket fence and three bird feeders, but the interaction between these fathers and daughters took place in a lower income neighborhood. The parents and children were of all different colors, all different shapes, all different sizes. Those school kids accepted each other no matter what. That little one with yellow barrettes wasn’t afraid of people that looked different because those other souls are all she’s ever known. I hope she carries that with her for the rest of her life.

And where they lived made no difference in how much that father loved his daughter and her white backpack. It didn’t matter to him that he was on the corner of a patch of weeds and she didn’t care that they lived in an older apartment building with a crumbling parking lot. It didn’t change the spring in her step or the bounce in her hair as she was off on her adventure.

The sun was shining on them both even if there were clouds in the sky.


#schoolnews #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

DD · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Very well written , thank you

tcr! tcr! · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:12 pm

No, thank you! :)

connolly · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Congrats job well done

tcr! tcr! · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Thank you 🙏

Desirae · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Absolutely beautifully written! Brought a tear to my eyes thinking of my girls. Thank you

Lange Castronova · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Love is love no matter where you live!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm


Stewart · Sep 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm

World peace starts in the hearts of every individual. Thank you for setting a good example.

Kelly K · Sep 12, 2018 at 11:26 pm

This is beautiful and puts things in perspective.

Irene · Sep 13, 2018 at 2:25 am

Love it! Very well written

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Feb 23, 2019
Each and every fallen crumb

content: Sep 10, 2018 · podcast: Feb 18, 2019

As I was sitting again at a stoplight on Randall Road this morning meagerly minding my own matters, I casually looked to my left and noticed a dude in a car beside me having his breakfast. It was an Egg McBiscuit from McDonald’s. Or whatever they call them.

In another era I, too, ate mobile breakfast sandwiches behind the wheel before work so I knew of his quest.

These years I craft my McMuffin clones at home, fine tune them to my exact specifications as if I were indeed Chef Michael of Schaumburg.

Now then this non-clandestine commuter was also drinking heartily from a Diet Coke. In a plastic bottle, mind you. I don’t know about you guys but that didn’t sit well with me. Not that I have anything against Diet Coke or bottled soda but cola and eggs should never cross paths in my mind. Or in my mouth. Maybe Chef Michael would disagree.

Even more, I questioned the crispness of this soda. “Dear god,” I prayed, “let this man not be guzzling from last night’s cola bottle.”

Anyways. His refreshment is beside the point.

As he was lost in his own world of crumbling biscuit and melted cheeses, as he was navigating the creases of his wax paper with advertising tattoos, I wanted to raise my octopus coffee cup like a chalice to him in like a good morning salute. Let him know that he wasn’t alone in his adventure, alone in the cosmos.

my octopus coffee cup

That there was another traveler traveling a similar path on this very day. Watching him feast from my mechanical four-wheeled steed, nary but a few hours from dawn’s first light. To salute him in a way that let him know I approved of him savagely attacking his breakfast quest.

And also that I admired his simultaneous command of the steering wheel, McBiscuit, and the very Diet Coke bottle I so despised.

But I didn’t.

Engaged and supportive readers, I was worried that I would break he and his horse’s stride. Because seriously, this dude was going after each and every fallen crumb from his McBiscuit. I doubt if any escaped. Or if he abandoned any yellow scrap of folded egg as his mouth-scissors cut their way through the biscuit-bites.

So, sadly there were no traffic salutes. No shared stoplight connections.

Alas, our cars are often akin to isolated bubbles of oblivion. And having another driver willingly acknowledge whatever self-pursuit we’re pursing can make us feel uncomfortable in our upholstered seats and fastened buckles. I didn’t want to embarrass him as he was so eagerly and delightfully fueling his body for his next adventure.

When the light changed from halt-red to go-green his travels took him west and mine took me farther north.

Now as I sit eating the couscous I didn't spill yesterday, I wonder to myself if that dude's day could possibly have gotten any better. Any better than those few minutes he had alone. Enjoying his solitary but obviously satisfying, portable goodness.

I hope so.

#randallroad #missedconnections #diariespodcast

curtains · Sep 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm

People watching is true entertainment! Thanks!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm

You are most welcome!

Mark · Sep 10, 2018 at 1:07 pm

thats 3 minutes of my life i’ll never get back

Cmon Eileen · Sep 10, 2018 at 11:37 pm

Were you waiting for the biscuit eater to toss his trash out the window and speed away? I was.

Mark · Sep 11, 2018 at 3:07 am

and then go to a mattress store where the power was out and run into a skunk

Kelly K · Sep 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Great imagery!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

I do what I can while waiting in traffic.

tamaraholby · Sep 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Great read!

Dorencz · Sep 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

Your story is way better than the guy I saw picking his nose yesterday. 😂

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

The next time he does that just honk your horn. Ain’t nobody need to see that.

Ritch Ason · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm

This makes me want to write about what I did one time…I was eating a sandwich, putting on mascara, and driving with one hand. I was young. And I was speeding down route 64…I got pulled over. And my license was expired by one week. Into the clink. My one and only time lol.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm

What kind of sandwich?

Ritch Ason · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

I believe it was some sort of ham and salami I worked in the deli at the Walts grocery store in Wheaton and they sent me for a deliver to Saint Charles. All the butchers were really good looking (my future husband was there) so I was getting dolled up. LOL….

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 10:48 pm

I knew there was a boy in your story somewhere 😊

Ritch Ason · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Uh oh I better delete that lol

Angie Bee · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Gifted writer, you are

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 10:50 pm

You I give thanks 🙏

nis · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

I LOVE this!

jentel · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

We need to get you some books on tape or an Audible subscription for your travels. 🤔

tcr! tcr! · Sep 11, 2018 at 9:25 am

I have a hard time with Audible. People going on and on about how they were listening to podcasts with it but then I go and look how to get my podcast listed with them. Did I find anything helpful? No, of course not. I can’t have nice things.

Anna KL · Sep 10, 2018 at 4:53 pm

This is cool 😂👍

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 10:50 pm

Thank you! 😎

tamaraholby · Sep 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm

I once saw a man playing a guitar in his car on 88

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 10:50 pm

I hope he was in the backseat 🤭

tamaraholby · Sep 11, 2018 at 8:39 am

no front seat , driving

jfender · Sep 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Dr Pepper for me!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 10, 2018 at 10:49 pm

Dr. Pepper is the only thing I’ll drink at Doughocracy in Geneva.

sinceresarcasm · Sep 11, 2018 at 12:53 am

How are you at public speaking??

tcr! tcr! · Sep 11, 2018 at 7:23 am

I do fairly well once I get going. It’s that whole anticipation thing though. Driving to the speaking engagement and all I can think is… what if when they call my name and I’m walking to the head of the class, my left shoe is haphazardly tied and I do the typical impromptu trip/fall but this time I’m not able to roll it into a saving grace, come out on top like champ somersault.

sinceresarcasm · Sep 11, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Have you ever heard of The Moth?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 11, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Yep! My girlfriend and I were at their Technology storyslam in Evanston this past June. It’s also one of my favorite podcasts.

sinceresarcasm · Sep 11, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Yessssss!!!! I so want to enter and make my way to the GrandSlam! You would be great on stage!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 11, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Do it!!!!

vk swartz · Sep 11, 2018 at 7:08 am

Enjoyed your story!

Redmond · Sep 12, 2018 at 11:20 am

You had me at ‘crispness’

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Feb 18, 2019
He might be from Singapore

content: Sep 5, 2018 · podcast: Feb 16, 2019

Guys, don’t go south on Randall Road anywhere near Route 64 in St. Charles. It’s been raining, there’s bumper-to-bumper traffic, and your life will be put on hold.

There’s also a weird cat sitting on the east sidewalk looking at me. I think he might be from Singapore. Or Elburn.

Worst still, the 7-Eleven hung up a handmade “NO LOITERING” sign. It’s in bubble letters, too. I hate bubble lettering. 😢

Update: okay, they’re not bubble letters. But they are square block letters. And they’re in CAPS which means they’re shouting. I’ve never even loitered at that 7-Eleven.

Because have you seen their sister store on State Street in Geneva? They got multiple tables and multiple chairs and actively encourage loitering. See, this is how you win in the convenience store wars. You don’t drive people away with your shouting and block lettering and other nonsense.

Also, at first I misread the sign to say, “NO LOTTERY” and then I thought, “oh, the sh!t’s gonna h!t the fan now.” People can get angry and pushy in the 7-Eleven when it comes to their lotto tickets. I've seen Aunt Loretta and what happens.

#trafficnews #randallroad #cats #7eleven #diariespodcast

undrtow · Sep 5, 2018 at 4:45 pm

I heard there’s a coyote party there but not until later tonight.

fleming · Sep 5, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Or Elburn???? Oh my God…I’m still laughing!!!!🤣🤣🤣

sveagrabarek · Sep 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Probably elburn. The cats there are very shady.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:25 pm

So the rumors are true.

liz.sadigh · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

I can confirm.

tamaraholby · Sep 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Is the kitty ok?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:29 pm

It was a white cat with black patches and the patches look like dents in his hide from a rough, battle scarred life. I assume he ate all the Bigfoots in his 20s, after he got out of the Cat Marines or wherever they serve.

I guess him to be in his 60s now but I still wouldn’t tangle with him. There was an open can of Hormel Chili beside him and since I didn’t see a can opener around, he must’ve opened it with his teeth. Maybe his claws, too. For leverage.

tamaraholby · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:47 pm

I was born and raised in the birthplace of Hormel. That chili and a can of spam will last forever. Oh and a twinkie

hodges · Sep 5, 2018 at 4:48 pm

The 7/11 on Randall and 64? Who loiterers at a intersection with no foot traffic? You are right. Stay. Away.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Oh. I’m sorry. In my haste I forgot to mention the 7-Eleven with the sign is on 64 and 17th, a few blocks east. But the one on 64 and Randall probably has a similar policy. Loiter at your own risk!

hodges · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm


hodges · Sep 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm

Party tonight at 8. Picnic tables. 7-11. Geneva!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm

Maybe we can get them to make a real sign!

McGivney · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Gotta love traffic 😖

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:37 pm

Traffic makes me sadder and also angrier than anything else. Well, I can get pretty angry at the Target/Starbucks people who don’t know how to grind beans for a French Press. I get home and open the bag expecting to see coarsely ground beans and instead see a floury brown powder.


tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:37 pm

So what’s really funny is that I was banned a while back from the “What’s Happening in Geneva” Facebook group for posting similar anecdotes. I was also banned from WH in St. Charles, WH in Batavia, etc. etc.

I’m glad I have a blog because you all deserve to know the real stories.

hodges · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:39 pm

My badge of honor. Banned from Trump Facebook. Oh well. Left what’s happening in st Charles on the basis of meanness and belittling.

hodges · Sep 5, 2018 at 5:56 pm

And. You are funny.

tamaraholby · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:13 pm

You know it’s better to talked about then never noticed

Mona · Sep 5, 2018 at 6:43 pm

You were banned because your magazine was perceived by Kevin Ketchum to be competition for his local magazines. That’s my guess anyway.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

Yeah, I wanted to leave my magazine out of the story and keep the focus on my personal wit and charm.

hbp · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm

This is fantastic… I’m still giggling

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 8:44 pm

Thank you!

The Golberg · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Best. Post. And Stream. Of. The. Day! 😂😂😂

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Thank you so much!

Damien F · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm

They also don’t like to pay out on scratch offs over 20$

DW Caputo · Sep 5, 2018 at 7:42 pm

That store sucks. Refused to give me lottery tickets because my daughter was with me. Really. WTF. SHE WASNT 21.

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Feb 16, 2019
Crosswalk of Certain Doom

content: Sep 4, 2018 · podcast: Feb 12, 2019

Crosswalk of Certain Doom

The scene, of course, is my truck as I’m headed to work.

Driving along Riverside Avenue and following a Toyota Corolla. The speed limit is 35 mph and we’re both sailing along about 40. There’s maybe two or three car lengths between us.

Other cars are around but they’re only slightly involved.

Up ahead is the Prairie Path crosswalk at the intersection close to Moore Avenue. There are two or three people standing with their bikes waiting to cross. Those crosswalks are always a gamble, as you never know what the other drivers will do if people are waiting.

The car in front of me doesn’t change speed and I look over at the Fox River. Not more than a second later I look back at the Corolla I’ve been following and the taillights are lit up. We were still doing about 40 only moments before and then she comes to a complete stop in about three or four seconds. The cars driving in the opposite direction don’t bother.

I stomp my brakes with both feet. My computer bag, my lunch bag, and my trail mix all fly forward and hit the dashboard.

Now then. Let me step up to my soapbox.

- - -

1. People out in groups riding their bikes at morning rush hour are most likely out for recreational rides. Maybe not, but with their racing gear I would tend to think so. So... you can’t bring the whole world to a stop so they can get across the street. They can wait.

If anything, don’t make it a last minute decision. Doing the “right” thing at the “wrong” time will only get us in trouble.

- - -

2. Most of the time people don’t see us or what we’re doing in life. I’m not that important that every other driver is out there thinking, “The King of Geneva is headed to work. I better layout the red carpet and be on my absolute best behavior. Did anybody polish the trumpets to announce his trip?”

While driving earlier in the morning another lady pulled out in front of me. Her windows were covered in morning dew. She hadn’t bothered, at the very least, to roll down her windows so she could see.

I watched her turn right in front of me, moving at a snail’s pace, no wind in her sails. Slow going because she had 2% visibility. I kinda wanted to really lay on the horn because she was obviously in the wrong and a hazard to society.

But I wasn’t in a hurry so whatever. I just saluted her as if she were my superior.

- - -

3. There’s a difference between expressing our feelings and getting even. The former is what I’m doing now. Getting even would’ve been me riding either lady’s ass until my frustration passed. It would’ve been me roaring around like I was a villain in Mad Max, and then cutting them off and thereby teaching them a lesson.[1]

Yes, I did swear like a furloughed drunken admiral at the earlier crosswalk of certain doom.

And I would’ve scolded her if we were face to face, but me revenging behind the wheel isn’t going to prove any points. Nobody’s gonna throw me a parade, nor will it give me any long-term, deep-down validation that I was right. Revenging is gonna give me a list of all the times other people pissed me off. It’s gonna keep me angry until I’m old and dead.

More importantly: it’s okay to be agitated when people step on our toes. Feel that, deal with it, love it. We’ll never get to the point where our only feelings are the ones we want, or to the point when everybody does the “right” thing at the “right” time.

What can happen, though, is for us to learn how to be okay with and also becoming highly skilled sailors at navigating life’s rough waters.

We’ve had heavy thunderstorms, lightning, rain, all of that in the Fox Valley the last week or so. We can’t stop or change nature, it does what it wants.

And it’s our nature to have a full weather system of feelings, too. It’s natural for us to be annoyed with people just the same as it’s natural for us to be sleepy come bedtime.

Sweet dreams.

#trafficnews #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

  1. Protip: people don't learn to be better drivers by me riding their ass in these scenarios. They learn that other drivers are jerks.

Harrison · Sep 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Holy shit you spent some time pulling this together. I hope you did it on your employer’s dime.

Krezel · Sep 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Giggle. If it helps today I will call you The King of Geneva! I haven’t a trumpet but I can turn my guitar amp up to eleven! ☮️

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 2:48 pm

What will you play? Crosstown Traffic by Jimi Hendrix?

Krezel · Sep 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm

How about, I can’t drive 55?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 5:46 pm


DA · Sep 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

But isn’t it the law that drivers have to stop at those crosswalks for pedestrians or bikers?

gentile · Sep 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

I’m sure it is, but at the same time, the point is that if you’re going to stop, don’t make it a split second decision. Like slamming on your brakes in front of a semi, you won’t win every time.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 3:01 pm

I might be misinterpreting it but it sounds like only when they’re in the crosswalk.

Roda · Sep 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm

I hate that crosswalk of certain doom. Maybe a little bridge should go over it. Or it could be re-routed to coincide with the stop light intersection. I wish I had a pool.

matt bear · Sep 4, 2018 at 2:46 pm

My kids and I cross that spot all the time. We don’t wave people to stop or expect it but people are nice enough to do so

gentile · Sep 4, 2018 at 2:47 pm

This made my day! I haven’t driven in 15 years and could rant for hours about how the drivers in this town never stop at the line and constantly block crosswalks! People will literally see me riding down the sidewalk and block the cross walk anyway….

MMiller · Sep 4, 2018 at 2:48 pm

A STOP sign is posted on the east and west side of the bike path that crosses Rt 25. That would indicate to me whoever is using the bike path is to stop for oncoming traffic.
Illinois law states you are to stop for someone in the crosswalk. Very confusing!

undrtow · Sep 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

TLDR; Always stop for bikers and walkers in the crosswalk. Problem solved. Probably…because TLDR

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Well, that wasn’t really my TLDR but I’ll allow it.

undrtow · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:14 pm

I’ll admit to a short attention span, but that was similar to a short novel in social media terms, don’t you agree?

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:29 pm

I do agree 😊 but my TLDR is more along the lines of “it’s okay to be agitated when people step on our toes.”

undrtow · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Ah, touche.

Storck · Sep 4, 2018 at 4:11 pm

One second of distraction is all it takes. Hell I was reaching for cheeto the other day on a drive through Canada. Next second I had two wheels on the gravel shoulder scaring the piss out of me. Life is fun.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 5:48 pm

I gave my cat a Cheeto once. She ran off with it in her mouth like a stubby little orange cigar.

Harrison · Sep 4, 2018 at 5:48 pm

The Cheeto made me do it!

tyner · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Slow down and drive defensive.

runde · Sep 5, 2018 at 8:04 am

Some one pissed in your Cheerios this morning huh? Also a lot of cyclists commute in “racing gear” and change at work. But the car shouldn’t have locked up the breaks but if you had to slam on yours too it means you were following too close.

tcr! tcr! · Sep 5, 2018 at 9:27 am

> it means you were following too close
Not necessarily.

llutz · Sep 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I loved your post…you crack me up! #reallifeishilarious

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Feb 12, 2019
Generous with my humility

content: Aug 31, 2018 · podcast: Feb 9, 2019

Red candle in the dark

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
— Step 8 of Alcoholics Anonymous

When I got to the Eighth Step I was kind of disappointed that they use the word “harmed.” I didn’t like it because I didn’t like the thought of me actually hurting people. We get a taste of peace after working the previous steps and then Step Eight comes crashing in like a bowling ball. Announcing we'd done harm.

And I felt bad. Like I was supposed to.

The other problem I had with Step Eight is that I was pretty timid for much of my life and my drinking. And I felt like others had harmed me just as much, if not more, than I had harmed them. Yeah, I'm sure every alcoholic says that.

Anyways, so then I was thinking about Step Seven, and humbly asking God to remove my defects of character. Selfishness was one of my most glaring defects. Selfish with my time. Selfish with my understanding, selfish with my forgiveness. If you hurt me then I had nothing but intolerance for you.

But if I want to be rid of that selfishness then I need to practice the opposite as they say. For me to do my part in Step Seven I need to be generous in Step Eight.

Generous with my honesty by honestly looking at myself and what I’d done. Generous in my forgiveness for others and what they’d done. Generous with my tolerance. I needed to be generous with my humility. The humility that they call for in Step Seven.

And once I found those things the willingness came easier. The willingness to make amends. To them all.

If I’m generous then becoming willing to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness, to make those amends wasn’t so hard.

#forgiveness #twelvesteps #beagoodperson #diariespodcast

RecipeForIceCubes · Aug 31, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Very well stated. I was in a cycle of feelings and buried guilt myself. After I made some amends many others became easier and what I received back was mostly positive outcomes. Some people were neutral and others simply had forgotten what I was trying to apologize for.

The living amends I have either chosen to have or simply must carry with me due to absenteeism of the the person/people help me daily also. Keep it rolling Friend. One day, hour or minute at a time. AA will always have our backs.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 31, 2018 at 2:10 pm

It’s truly a blessing that we can honestly let go of those cyclical feelings and buried guilt with Steps 8 and 9.

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Feb 09, 2019
No smoking at the entryways, peeps

content: Aug 30, 2018 · podcast: Feb 7, 2019

And then there was that one time a few years back when I was standing at the front door of the work building. It was a cool autumn day and I was enjoying a beautiful cigarette.

Enjoying the smoke, the solitude, and the cars going by.

The cars going by

The side of the building I was on wasn’t the main entrance but it’s the public entrance that everybody sees. All the cars in the world drive-by kind of place. And I stood at that specific door because nobody was ever around.

I’d also use myself as a prop to keep the door open because it’ll lock behind you.

Propping the door open

That particular day the owner of the building happened to walk by. He startled me as I was daydreaming about mannequins or telephone poles or something similar. I felt like a busted teenager when our eyes met. Caught skipping class and smoking on school grounds.

Plus, I was obviously violating the 15 feet law. No smoking at the entryways, peeps.

Tom looked at me. Then looked at my cigarette. My heartbeat rose slightly as I prepared for an earful, a scolding. A deserved verbal whipping.

He looked back at me and said, “you need an ashtray here.”

I smiled and said, “probably.”

Then he left.

And that was the day I learned that, even if people are doing something they aren’t supposed to, we can still go above and beyond. That we can not only treat them with dignity and respect, we can also go out of our way to make their lives better.

#photos #beagoodperson #smokersunite #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Aug 30, 2018 at 10:05 am

Look for the good in people!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 30, 2018 at 10:55 am

Yep. I try to assume the best in life.

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Feb 07, 2019
On racism, bigotry, and prejudice

content: Aug 27, 2018 · podcast: Feb 7, 2019


n.  A person who believes a particular race is superior to others.


n.  One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.


n.  An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.

Just so I'm clear...

A racist hates your race. A bigot hates anyone who doesn't agree with them. And if you're prejudice then you're an ignorant hater.

I'm pretty sure I'm not a racist or bigot. I will admit, however, there've been times when I have been prejudice. Where I've made up my mind on something without reviewing the latest facts and then plunged head first into the pool.

Researching an issue isn't fun. It's so much easier to spout off from the hip with whatever info I already have. Assume that I'm "right" now because I was "right" yesterday.

That's not a good idea for long though. The world changes. It reminds me of this tweet from @MelvinofYork:

Why yes internet stranger, I have tweets that contradict each other. It's a timeline, not a deposition

Politics evolve. People grow. They remodel their houses.

Life is dynamic, peeps. It's not as stagnant as I often subconsciously assume.[1]

Of all the things I wanted to be as a kid, closed-minded wasn't one of them. As Jimi once said, "there are many other good books out there."

In the here-and-now, shutting the door on a topic because I've made up my mind is bullshit.[2] Do I wanna be an uninformed ass in life or do I wanna give people a chance and make informed decisions?

Even more, do I wanna hold on to my ideas because they’re the only ideas I’ve ever had? Because I don’t wanna take the time to think about the bigger picture?

We're better than that.

Okay, this has been all over the place. But whatever, I do what I want.

#beagoodperson #diariespodcast

  1. I might even change my mind about the unions.

  2. The idea of hate toward another for unreasonable reasons doesn’t count in my disdain. It’s shallow and dumb.

fleming · Aug 27, 2018 at 10:30 am

VERY well said!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 27, 2018 at 10:37 am

Thank you!!

Momma J Momma J · Aug 27, 2018 at 11:36 am

Open minded - maturity

tcr! tcr! · Aug 27, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Yep, for sure!

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Aug 27, 2018 at 3:55 pm

THANKIES. Not just cuz you mentioned me, but for the eloquent treatise on intolerance, hate, bigotry. You da man!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 27, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I don’t know if I was eloquent but thank you! You’re a regular point of reference in my spiritual life. 😊

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Feb 07, 2019
The 5 gallon bottle was empty

content: Aug 29, 2018 · podcast: Feb 7, 2019

5 gallon water bottle

Today when I was driving to work I was thinking about the water cooler there. Yesterday morning when I got in the 5 gallon bottle was empty. At one point in my career I would’ve thought, “who do I have to blow to get somebody to change the water?”

Yesterday I didn’t think that at all. I just changed the water bottle so I could fill my glass.

And that, peeps, is how I be happy. Instead of complaining, just doing the next right thing when it’s in front of me is how my soul stays full.

Way back when I cooked in the restaurants it was all young people in the kitchen. The dishwashers were all teenage kids. It wasn’t uncommon for them to slack off or get behind. And then somebody from the cook’s line would go back and say, “who do I have to blow to get some plates?” Yeah, that’s where that all started.

And it was all fun and games, that’s how you were accepted into the tribe. Played in the reindeer games. Because complaining is sociably and professionally acceptable. It’s okay to tell the world that you’re miserable. Many people will even cheer you on when recounting your daily struggles.

But the interesting thing is that there was never any, “you did a great job keeping up today.” Sure, it was a restaurant and nobody really took it as a serious career path but that kind of self-centered mentality of only complaining when other people don’t do their jobs followed me around for decades.

As I’ve said before when I write/post these things, it’s not that I’m trying to give you guys a sermon but it’s more documenting the revelations I’ve had or whatever. When I write them down they stick better in my head.

The key point for me here is that I’ll never be happy having the “who do I have to blow” mentality. Regardless of what anybody else is doing, I’d rather be at *peace. “Who do I have to blow” spills over into other areas. That negativity sticks to my shoe like sandy gum and then I’m tracking that shit into the house.

So I just realized that when I write stuff down it’s easy for me to get creative with the sandy gum when I’m being my pessimistic self. And then when I’m being optimistic I feel like a fruit loop.

Anyway, back on topic. What’s even more interesting about the restaurants is that the guys who I really enjoyed cooking with were the ones who stood apart. They took part in the camaraderies but they were also their best selves regardless of how many dirty plates had stacked up. They didn’t knock people down or flip them shit when it wasn’t necessary. They walked their own path regardless of what the herd was doing.

Those are the kind of people I wanted to stand next to my whole life. In high school and college, at my corporate job, and even when I drag myself out to be sociable today. People like Don and Kris and Jimi. I do my best to be like them in the here and now.

Yeah, there’ll always be slackers and no, I won’t do their job but I do my best to be the kind of person my younger self would want to stand with.

At work I change the water bottle now because the water bottle needs change. But really, it’s not just about getting the job done. It’s actually about taking care of the other humans I share the world with.

And it lets me show off my muscles. 😉

#advancedsoul #diariespodcast

chrisrich · Aug 30, 2018 at 6:39 pm

I got sum stuff that needs doing over at my house.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm

As long as it’s not more than 50 pounds.

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Feb 07, 2019
Stop keeping score

content: Aug 28, 2018 · podcast: Feb 4, 2019

Marks on the blackboard

What I mean by this is something along the lines of:

Last time I came home you didn’t look up from the TV so the next time you walk in I’m not going to stop watching it either.

Scorekeeping is a way for me to exert control in a situation where I feel like I have none. When I feel helpless, putting marks on the blackboard helps me claim some power.

I will punish you when you hurt me, give you the silent treatment when you don’t pay attention to me. Won’t fold your laundry because you were more interested in your phone at dinner than talking to me.

That kinda bullshit.

Keeping score doesn’t work though. It perpetuates the infinite, dysfunctional loop. It’s sprinkling more salt on my wounds. And theirs. It’s me locking myself in a box with all the things that’ve ever hurt me. It’s me saying that keeping track of what you’ve done wrong is more important than the overall health of our relationship.

If I want to have healthy relationships I need to practice healthy behaviors. Talk to people about what’s bothering me as things come up. And if they don’t take my feelings into consideration, if they aren’t willing to compromise for the greater good then fuck them. We deserve better.

I better compromise, too. Take what people say with an utmost urgency because they’re taking a chance on me. Going out on a limb and showing their own vulnerability.

And please don’t think that I’m some kind of spiritual dynamo here. I’ve kept score my whole life and you know what I got? At the end of the day with that blackboard filled with checkmarks?

I got a list of resentments as long as both arms.

I got a pile of hurt long after they were gone. An index of crimes and criminals. A mental spreadsheet with dates and times going back to the first day when I didn’t feel like I could tell you what was wrong.

One time when I was married to Kathy I unloaded my scorecard on her, spread all her felonies out on the bed for her to see. I can’t imagine how she must’ve felt knowing that the whole time we’d been together I was silently keeping score. When I think back on it now I’m embarrassed. More than that, I’m ashamed. I was a real champ.

Sure, in my early 20s I didn’t know my ass from a hubcap but memories like that are what push me to be a good person in the here-and-now.

Resentments aren’t good company.

And then when a good soul does comes my way I won’t be ready. I’ll start a new scorecard. You’ll have a clean slate but a slate none-the-less.

How about I just erase the blackboard. And throw away the chalk. Retire the standing army. Learn to deal with myself and my feelings. Communicate with those I care about and care about me.

I look back on certain parts of life and think, “boy I really fucked that up” ... but the good news is that for the last few years, I feel like I’ve done my best work. Been my best self and that’s a pretty good feeling. So much more than tallying your scores and balancing the books.

Each day I’m given a fresh chance to be a better person. It’s a new day to give people another chance. If I want power in life, if I want control then that’s where it’ll come from. Being my best self.

#relationships #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

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Feb 04, 2019
More than the company of misery

content: Aug 25, 2018 · podcast: Jan 30, 2019

Raindrops on the a conifer

If I’m worried I can be replaced,
then I can be.

If I’m worried I’m not enough,
then I won’t be.

If I’m worried I’m unwanted,
then I will be.

If I’m worried I’m unlovable,
then I am.

How about instead of worrying,
instead of fretting and toiling
that I just put it out there that
I’m available and willing,
caring and devoted,
eager and excited?

People love a warm sun beam
more than the company of misery.

And happy Saturday, peeps!
It may be gray outside but
the world still needs you.

#photos #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

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Jan 30, 2019
tcr! diaries podcast survey

content: Aug 24, 2018 · podcast: Jan 30, 2019

tcr diaries podcast survey

I’m interrupting the regularly scheduled episodes to announce a listener survey created by yours truly. It’s informal and there won’t be a test later. And I love your feedback!

It’s also quick and should take you less than 30 seconds.

Go now:

On with the show.

#tcr #webdev #diariespodcast

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Jan 30, 2019
Ain't nobody told you.

content: Aug 22, 2018 · podcast: Jan 28, 2019

Cicada on the sidewalk

Earlier this month when I was giving my recovery talk at the church in Montgomery, I was sitting at a long table facing everyone. Like I was a teacher at the front of the class or something. It was the first week of August and hot so they had fans blowing. I had to talk louder than normal and that wasn’t easy. I may yammer away on social media and on my blog but in groups of real people I’m not a fan of speaking up or standing out.

One of the things I mentioned when giving my "sermon" was that drinking never really made me feel like I was better than anybody else. That was something I was never after, being better than you. Drinking just brought me up to a level of “normal” that I thought the people around me had. The warm alcohol burn gave me a feeling of “okay” that it seemed like everybody else had. And I didn’t on my own.

When I was a kid everybody was older than me. Everybody was taller than me. I didn’t feel as big as the other humans. Always smaller. Constantly looking up, both emotionally and physically.

In fourth grade when we moved to a new neighborhood with a new school and new people and all that, I felt even smaller. Navigating new waters in life. Riding my bike down to the Des Moines river with my friends. Growing up but still struggling with staying little.

Even now I still find myself looking up to people. When I’m at meetings, when I’m with my peers, and when I’m at home. I don’t always feel on the same level as those souls around me. It’s not that I’m plagued with low self-esteem or whatever but I don’t always feel like I’m playing on the same field as most people. Some people are self-assured by default. That’s not me.

Also, earlier this month I posted a link to AC/DC's Who Made Who video. When I heard the line, “ain’t nobody told you” it was an emotional enlightenment if you will. Where something clicked and I had a moment of self-awareness. As a teenager it put words to a feeling I’d had for I don’t know how long. Yeah, it doesn’t translate exactly to feeling less-than but it did and does describe to me the feeling of being without. Of missing something. Of being in the dark.

The only time I feel “normal” now is when I’m tuned into the cosmic signal. Pick up the divine frequency. Become one with the fan that blows across me while laying on my bed. Let it blow me in the direction I need to go. The search for wholeness is complete when I find and embrace the god within.

When I remember to do that then I come out of that slightly nervous place and a confidence that’s not my own fills most of me. I’m not scared of life and somehow muddle my way through not feeling less-than. People tell me that I’m calm and confident. I say “ha.”

Look around. That dude over there that you’ve thought had his shit going on this whole time? Probably not. When I learned that I wasn’t the only one who wrestles with low self-esteem, that other people around me struggle, not only did that refresh my tolerance for pesky humans, it boosted my own self-worth. I’m not the only one who’s crazy here.

I almost wrote that I can tell when I haven’t plugged in, that I’m acutely aware. But that’s not true. Sometimes it’s hours later that I realize. Emotions can overtake me, blind me to what’s really going on. It’s like a hazy lace a few inches out that warps my perception. And then the ground is shaky and my feet unsure.

The other day I was writing about the spirit painting for me, through me. Sometimes when I talk or write, the words just come flowing out. But when I’m on the topic of self-esteem in the here-and-now I’m tapping into vulnerability and the words are not like water. They’re more like rocks tumbling out. One by one. Falling heavy.

Ain’t nobody told you.

The only thing that makes me whole, makes me calm doesn’t include people, places, or things. It’s remembering that I’m part of the cosmic spirit, that underneath the flesh and bone we’re all nameless, faceless equals. Each a shimmering, glowing brightness and together we light the universe. Fruity, I know but it’s my god concept. Ethereal and throne-less. Heavenly and infinite. People never die in my world, they only let go of their physicality.

In related news, cicadas are a superfamily. That's how I feel about you guys.

Here’s the last thing I wanna say to wrap this up. As you guys know I usually dictate much of what I write to my phone while driving. In my truck I let my mind wander and things bubble up. I wanna write, “the truth is revealed” but that sounds too corny. But saying something out loud, just talking helps the words flow naturally. It gives my thoughts an honest voice since I’m not trying to impress anybody with being cool. Just being true to myself.

Anyway, I was walking down the hall to the work office this morning and still talking to my phone, dictating a sermon. Getting some last minute thoughts down. Usually the office floor is empty when I get in so I was just yammering away. I rounded a corner and almost bumped into a younger guy, right when I was saying “hazy lace.”

Oh good. Lace. In another era that would’ve filled me with embarrassment from head to toe.

But you know what? I don’t give a fuck. I don’t feel shame for being me when I’m walking a spiritual path.

#photos #advancedsoul #cicadas #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Aug 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm

How did you learn to understand yourself so well?

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm

I learned how by communing with the ancient frogs who live on the slopes of Mt. Giluwe in New Guinea.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 7:59 pm

Seriously though, that’s what the recovery stuff is all about. 😊

sveagrabarek · Aug 22, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Here’s to family.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 23, 2018 at 7:17 am

You got a fresh one!

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Jan 28, 2019
Pull the pin on their grenade

content: Aug 17, 2018 · podcast: Jan 26, 2019

Four days after the car wreck of Nov 1989 - 1
Four days after the car wreck of Nov 1989

And then there was that one time when I was in high school and in a car wreck. Of course I was drinking so the details are all a blur. I had huge gash on the top of my head after hitting the windshield. I would tend to believe there was enough blood to make people worry.

My friends and I are outside the car and the police are there and it’s all a big commotion. The car’s smashed, there’s broken glass, flashing lights blue and red.

And I’m just there acting like an obnoxious prick. It was one of those times where I felt like I could act like a jerk so I did. Entitlement can come in all forms. I’m still surprised the police didn’t put me in handcuffs.

So then the ambulance came and my friend and I are taken to the hospital. I remember being in an operating room and the staff, doctors, nurses, or whoever are trying to stitch my head up and I’m continuing to act like an asshole. Cussing, swearing, an all out belligerent jerk.

People were just trying to do their job and I was making it 10 times harder than it needed to be. Lashing out at them because they were there and I was drunk.

And why was I so angry? I don’t know. As a teenager I think mostly what I felt was just frustrated. Not really being in touch with my emotions I couldn’t even tell you back then that I was frustrated. It was just what I felt. I needed another cigarette.

Annoyed, discontent, restless, irritable, those are the reasons why I listened to so much angry music in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a conduit, an outlet I could plug in to that helped release just a little bit of that overall emotional cramp. Put on the headphones and have the music so loud I couldn’t hear anything else. Including the very things going on inside that wanted to get out. That would set me free.

Looking back decades later I know why I was so distressed at 17. Because I never dealt with anything. You’ve all heard that before. Garbage bags of hostilities piled up inside from situations I was in that I never allowed myself to feel. Bullies in school, spiteful older brothers, or whatever. Take your pick.

And as everyone knows volcanoes blow when there’s too much pressure. I hate that analogy because everybody uses it but it fits.

Back to the hospital. Frankly I’m surprised that people even work in emergency rooms in the middle of the night because I’m sure I’m not the only drunken asshole they’ve had to fix. People like my mom, my sister, my niece, people like Sara. Nurses who dedicate their lives to caring for souls, toxic and warmongering.

I don’t remember what happened after my head was stitched up. I don’t remember going home or remember the next day. Probably because it’s been so long ago. But what I do remember is that nothing changed in me because of the wreck or because of my behavior that night. I just went back to being my quiet self and throwing fits when I got drunk enough.

What I’m most ashamed of is that night the girl who was sitting on my lap during the crash ended up with a broken neck. And nobody knew it at first because I was out there being my worst self.

Four days after the car wreck of Nov 1989 - 2

After I got sober I saw handfuls of kids when speaking in treatment centers and lockups who were filled with the same kind of rage. Subconsciously waiting for someone or something to pull the pin from their grenade.

And I think that once someone goes too far down the angry path there’s little we can do to snap them out of it. Frustration layered over hurt, the torment, the pain with no where to go, those are too powerful of forces for us as parents and adults to pull them out of.

If only we could touch them with a magic wand like the fairy godmother and Cinderella’s pumpkin and take away their pain.

But we can’t. We can only love them until they can love themselves.

And don’t worry moms and dads. We as parents can only hold the bow and aim for the bulls-eye. Our kids as the arrows will go where the wind blows. Or however that saying goes.

Even after another car wreck and broken nose, countless stitches and staples, too, I somehow turned out all right.


#alcoholism #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Aug 18, 2018 at 1:51 pm

You had critical injuries and you are lucky to be alive! Unless we are talking about two different auto accidents.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I was talking about the Nov 1989 accident. I think you’re thinking of the Dec 1990 accident.

Momma J Momma J · Aug 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm

you’re right

Momma J Momma J · Aug 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm

You have turned out just right!

glenn.cremer glenn.cremer · Aug 22, 2018 at 8:29 am

Never did figure out why the cop returned your driver’s license to your grandmother’s the next day. He took it at the hospital because I said you weren’t able to consent to a blood test (you didn’t even know what month it was). He said that was refusal to take the test, I said whatever.

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Good thing I had people like you looking out for me when I obviously wasn’t looking out for myself!

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Jan 26, 2019
I only fought with the police once

content: Aug 22, 2018 · podcast: Jan 25, 2019

I only fought with the police once and there was only one of them. And it was 3 in the afternoon. And I was drunk and feisty. And then he tackled my 19 year old self in an alley and one side of my face ended up in some gravel. And then I went to jail with a swollen eye. And got to spend the rest of the evening sobering up.

About 9pm or so and no longer drunk, I decided I would never fight with the police again.

Scarface for PS2

#realhorrorshow #thepolice #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Aug 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

Wise decision!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

I think so, too. 😊

marney0160 marney0160 · Aug 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I’m right there with ya dude! 😜

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 9:39 pm

My only regret is that I wasn’t wearing a leprechaun outfit.

marney0160 marney0160 · Aug 23, 2018 at 6:16 am

Bahahaha! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Irene · Aug 25, 2018 at 10:20 am

Great decision! At least it only took you one time…

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Jan 25, 2019
The turn signal of my existence

content: Aug 15, 2018 · podcast: Jan 21, 2019

The scene is my truck. I’m driving home after the workday and merge into the left lane.

The car in front of me also merges into the left lane. The almighty nerve.

I shout, “Nice turn signal mother-clucker!! 🤬”

And then I look down and see that I myself also did not use my turn signal.

Who’s the mother-clucker now?

#trafficnews #diariespodcast

fiatlux423 · Aug 15, 2018 at 5:23 pm

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Aug 15, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Only about once or twice a day for me…now.

Momma J Momma J · Aug 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm


tcr! tcr! · Aug 15, 2018 at 8:39 pm

I think I have moments of clarity more in my truck than anywhere else.

Momma J Momma J · Aug 15, 2018 at 10:07 pm

Those moments usually happen when you least expect it, when you’re not trying to find the clarity

tcr! tcr! · Aug 16, 2018 at 7:56 am

For sure!

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Jan 21, 2019
When I drive up 7th Avenue

content: Aug 8, 2018 · podcast: Jan 20, 2019

White plastic chair

When I drive up 7th Avenue on St. Charles’ east side, headed toward Main Street I see this older guy sitting in his garage. It’s pretty packed in there but he’s got enough room for a lawn chair right up front by the overhead door.

I’ve seen him in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the early evening. Not everyday and not every time but he and his chair are fairly reliable.

Earlier this spring there was about a month when he wasn’t there and I was a little concerned that something had happened. Don’t worry, he showed up on his perch not long after.

He’s always flying solo in his white chair but one time I did see what looked like his daughter and grand kids leaving his house. And there he was, still sitting in the garage, watching them walk to their car.

After I go by I often want to turn around and go back. Stop and talk shop. I want to say that I haven’t had grandparents since I was in my 20s and back then I was too caught up in me to enjoy their company.

I wouldn’t ever really stop though. I’d worry that he would think I was going to take advantage of him or something. He’s kind of a brute, too. From the look of him I would guess that he eats nails and drinks gasoline.

But it'd be kinda cool if we could just hang out. Maybe look at some of his tools. He could tell me stories of when he was in the Navy or something.

He’d probably say I was moron when I tell him my plans to dig an underground bunker in my backyard like I suspicion that dude has on the corner of 7th Street and Prairie Street on the west side.

#meanwhile #diariespodcast

Wallace · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm

it’s sad that we don’t approach people more often to hear their story. humans are poor communicators :(

tcr! tcr! · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Maybe if I was out walking and happened to meander by his house and he was also in his chair, then I might go up and say “hi.” Maybe. He might throw his chair at me and tell me to get off his lawn. 😊

tracy · Aug 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Just go introduce yourself. I do it all the time. Sometimes they’re cool with it, sometimes they’re not.

lisa · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm

He would probably love the company

SarahBranock · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:38 pm

My daughter and I go past him several times a week on our walks and he is always friendly and says hello. 😉

CE Parker · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Great post, there are so many branches to where this could lead. He’s obviously got some time so I’d say go ahead it won’t hurt.

LisaD · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm

I’d say go talk to him. He’d probably like the company. 😊

Jodi EB · Aug 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm

I miss my Grandpa everyday! There are several nursing & assisted living homes in the area. Go one evening or weekend & ask who needs company!

Chuck · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Being kind is a gift to give someone elderly.

donna · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Do it now before there’s an empty chair

Raes · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:19 pm

I actually saw this man over the weekend. Perched on the chair by the garage. It was hotter than blazes when I drove by. I bet he has some great stories.

DH · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm

I’ve walked by and said hello and he’s said hello back - I have often thought that we need the right moment or opportunity to engage people but as time goes by I recognize that sometimes we need to just make things happen. You should go with your intuition…

Chuck · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:21 pm

A friend of mine wrote a book (for pre-teen) called ‘Catching Crazy’ and the basis of the story was kinda like this. Spoiler alert, the old man dies. Befriend him

pamela · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm


April M · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm

I say “go for it”! We only have this ONE LIFE to act on our ideas, outreach to others when we feel inspired, and spread joy to others in this world. Just do it…you’ll be happy you did.

Jenny McClain · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm

You’re a wonderful writer!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Thank you!

pamela · Aug 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Very nice

tcr! tcr! · Aug 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm

I’m kinda surprised that three other people knew the guy I was talking about. Your comments have inspired me to do something. I’ll keep you guys posted if more of this story unfolds.

Lea Jackman · Aug 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Write the next chapter! He is friendly. (We live across the street.). His daughter is delightful as well. Life is too short not to act on those thoughts. You’ve got nothing to lose and you both have everything to gain!

Schafroth-Kraut · Aug 9, 2018 at 6:20 am

Stories always unfold. Life is a pick your own adventure book. Pick the right one.

Theresa Cook · Aug 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Great writing! Keep us posted!! I would love to hear where the story goes.

donna · Aug 8, 2018 at 4:25 pm

He might be your long lost relative!

donna · Aug 8, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Keep a journal of the ol Man in the white chair

tcr! tcr! · Aug 8, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Well, I made a special trip by his house on my way home from work. His garage door was shut so maybe he’s having a nap. 😴 When I’m retired I’m gonna be napping at least twice a day. Plus, it is 80°F outside and with his house facing west it probably gets pretty hot come around 3 o’clock.

But in other news, for those who’ve commented on my writing, I just wanted to put it out there that I do a printed monthly magazine and a fairly regular podcast. If you’re into those kinda things.

Momma J Momma J · Aug 8, 2018 at 11:57 pm

I look forward to the monthly magazine! I find myself tearful and I find myself laughing out loud - I highly recommended - not because I’m his mother but because it’s so good!

petti · Aug 9, 2018 at 12:40 am

Omg have no regrets go meet him. He may need a friend.
If you don’t want to go by yourself. I will go with you

Mary F · Aug 9, 2018 at 1:27 am

I live in the area now I want to go see if he is outside one day on my way to work. I love this story please keep us posted.

Fitzgerald · Aug 9, 2018 at 2:49 am


tcr! tcr! · Aug 9, 2018 at 7:14 am

Are you grading me here? 😉

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Jan 20, 2019
When I be my best self

content: Aug 5, 2018 · podcast: Jan 17, 2019

diaries for July 2018 spread

I’ve been working on my magazine pretty much since I got up, trying to get the July issue all done and off to the printer. Sometimes the pages and layouts just spill onto my screen effortlessly. It’ll sound kinda corny but when I do my best creative work it feels like the cosmos is directing me. That whatever I’m doing just comes out all on it’s own.

Same goes with writing or whatever, too. They’re not my words, they come from somewhere else. It’s like being funny. Everybody knows that we’re not funny when we’re trying to be.

So if I force shit, it just never works. I end up frustrated and hating it. I need to let go and let the cosmic river take me where it sees fit.

Anyways, I’d earmarked today to get this latest issue finished. I was plenty social yesterday and Maggie’s with her mom and I got nothing else going on. I just wanted to be alone and channel my expressive side. Plus, I needed to make things a priority now and then or I won’t get them done. And I had early 80s music on and everything. The B-52s.

But the last 4-5 pages weren’t coming together. I was pushing crap around, rearranging content, deleting shit. Forcing my artistic hand and nothing was working.

And then a thought came to me that wasn’t my own. Because I’m selfish and my best ideas are never mine.

I messaged Sara:

I don’t know if Hope is still with you or what your plans are until this evening, but if you wanted to hangout for an hour or two or whatever my magazine stuff can always wait.

We set up plans for a couple of hours later and then, because I got out of me and what I wanted, put someone else before all that, the stars aligned and everything fell into place. Those last pages of the magazine came together with little effort and little time. The universe spirit moved my hands to paint for me.

Okay, that was definitely corny but it’s true. When I be my best self, the best things happen to me. My magazine is more or less done and I get to see a beautiful girl.

And then Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran came on and life was complete.

#diariesmagazine #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

sadiebug92 · Aug 5, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Beautifully written. Love the honesty. ❤️

tcr! tcr! · Aug 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Thank you!!

sadiebug92 · Aug 5, 2018 at 5:12 pm

You’re welcome :)

Momma J Momma J · Aug 5, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Sometimes just need to take a little pressure off the creativity part of us which of course is what you did. You might consider dropping in your magazine from monthly to bi-monthly?

tcr! tcr! · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:54 pm

I’ve thought about it but months are easy to keep track of 😊

sara sara · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:56 pm

No, we ate tacos and THEN life was complete. 💃

Momma J Momma J · Aug 5, 2018 at 8:58 pm

Love it!

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Jan 17, 2019
In this icecapade parade (or life became balanced)

content: Jul 25, 2018 · podcast: Jan 17, 2019

Wherein fate is for people who have given up, part 3 of 3.

Toy train caboose

I’m going to jump right in because this story is already long enough in my head. And it’s taken far too long to write. I’ve grown weary of fate and all that it doesn’t have to offer. I’m ready for closure.

So there’s this lady I kinda work with, helping with a project of hers. I get the feeling she got a few dysfunctional nuances about her. Most likely some anger management issues stoked by a little low self-esteem.

My heart goes out to her every now and then, when I see her socially wobbling. My own self-esteem has been a struggle for more of my life than I’d like to admit. So sometimes I want to give her a shoulder to lean on until she can find her balance. Watching people wrestle with and within themselves is heartbreaking.

But. When she turns and looks directly at me inflamed, raises her voice, then all bets are off and I stop caring if she’s a suffering human being. She kinda likes to fight. There’s an overly aggressive drive in her of sorts. One of her nuances. And when we argue it’s paramount that she wins. And that everybody knows she’s right. All along. Even if all evidence and witnesses are saying that she’s wrong.

I’m not interested in being right in the here and now. Or fighting. And she seems to need to do both. But fighting to be right is a fight no one will ever win. Everyone goes away a loser.

I cover up and brace for impact most days. What else am I to do when she comes charging in, other than take a defensive stance, preparing to fend off her oncoming assault? The answer is to pray, of course, to stay plugged into the cosmos so I’m walking a spiritual path before getting into the boxing ring. Pray beforehand for guidance rather than praying afterward for help. Prevent rather than correct kinda thing.

But it’s like, fuck I don’t want to have to do spiritual pushups each and every time prior to seeing this lady. I don’t ask the cosmos for guidance before I hang out with Sara or Maggie. When I’m with them everything just is. There’s no drama or stress. We hold hands out of love. We don’t take jabs at each other because the greater good of our relationship is more overall important than any one person. That’s how you both win.

Okay, so this is the point in the show where things get more specific. Up until now I’ve just been setting the stage for you avid readers.

Over the past few months she started taking a keen interest in my daily well being. Hourly well being as it came to be.

Between 9 and 10 AM she would send me a message and ask me how I was doing. And then I would say something like, “I’m doing good, working on your project.” I always tried to be professional and polite but I’m not going to engage more than superficially with someone whose goal is to be right. Fuck that.

And then she got in the habit of sending me another message, around maybe 11:30 AM. Again, she would ask me how I was doing and I would respond that I was doing good. In my head I would say, “I’m doing just as good as when you asked me an hour ago.”

But wait, peeps! There’s more. She started messaging me in the afternoon, too. I shit you not, this happened almost every workday. Three to four, “How you doing? How’s it going? All good?” type of messages.

It didn’t really even feel like she wanted to know how I was doing. Sometimes it felt like she thought she was being cool, doing finger guns, master of the universe shit. Maybe she didn’t have anything better to do. Maybe it felt good for her to ask caring questions, take an interest in another human being because up until then she never really had.

Humans are complex creatures and our relationships with them can take place on many levels. It’s not always this factor that’s coming into play. Or that factor. Sometimes it’s a combination of both. Sometimes it’s a third factor. Pour in a quart of passive-aggressive and you have a milkshake most people don’t wanna talk to.

I don’t know her ingredients, well her propellant exactly. Why she kept bugging me because I’m sure it was obvious by now that it was getting on my nerves. All of them. Even the baby nerves just born were shouting, “Oh hell no. Not this drivel again.”

It got to the point where I wouldn't even respond to most of her messages. I would answer the first one of the day but then ignore any that came after that. At work I don’t transplant hearts or build rockets but what I do does take brain power. And then every time she would message me it’d interrupt what I was doing, totally break my train of thought.

Think of it like a mechanic under a car with someone routinely coming in the garage asking silly questions. Sooner or later the mechanic is gonna roll out from under the car and say, “I’m fucking working here, you dumbass.”

And I’m a big boy at work. I’ve been doing my job for a long time and if I need help or have questions, I ask. My ego is pretty much non-existent in the workplace. I’ve mostly learned my lessons and what happens when said ego gets too big. I just want to do a good job at work and then go home.

One morning I counted how many times she messaged me how I was doing. Three times that particular day. Before 10 AM. Jesus Christ Almighty. This is when, in this icecapade parade, I quit even acknowledging that she sent any of them.

Where’s my socket wrench? I’m gonna smack somebody upside the head.

And you guys know my go-to for people who get on my nerves. I write them off.

Somewhere in this story I was bitching to Sara about all of this and she said maybe she’s worried, because I was being short with her, and that’s why she kept asking how I was doing. And then I thought, “Good. She should be worried because she’s really pissing me off.”

And yeah, I did write her off a long time ago. It was easy and called for. Totally appropriate as far as I could tell. Monkey throwing poop at you, you best move along. Because they’re gonna keep lobbing their shit.

However, working with someone every day, even remotely, that you’ve written off is an exercise in agony. I don’t like shutting down. I don’t like being cut off from the sunlight and that’s how I feel when I build walls to keep people out. Loving you critters and having you love me is what makes the world go ‘round.

Anyways, there’s all the fruity spiritual stuff and then there’s real life. In any corporate world there’ll be bitches clawing their way to the top. And sometimes scratching you in the face because their childhoods sucked. Because they’ve never dealt with why they have that low self-esteem. Sometimes I get the feeling some people don’t even know that they do. It’s kinda like when the woman on NPR said, “I never knew I had anxiety. I just knew I needed another cigarette.”

I settled into the fact, that this endless stream of comms, and the ring fights to be right are just how it’s going to be with this lady. A spinning airlock door I wasn’t going to get out of until our paths led us far and away from each other. Because people don’t change and my spiritual skills only have so much mileage. My patience for morons is only so high.

And then I’d been thinking about fate way too much this past summer. Because it’s been in the back of my mind and under my skin since forever. Sometimes it feels like I’m doomed. Sometimes it’s easier to just give in and give up to the melancholy than to keep disobeying gravity and fighting fights with people I’ll never win either.

Toy train 2

So I prayed and put this big ball of bullshit into the cosmos’ hands.

And then I didn’t feel any better. Nothing changed. The “how you doing” messages kept coming. And we still kept boxing.

I’m not a big fan of how I’ve felt throughout this whole story. Dysfunction was normal for the better part of my life and since I started looking for fruity enlightenment, bad behaviors don’t feel right any more. They feel yucky. I don’t like being at odds with people.

Because I think too much, I was thinking one night that maybe Sara was right. Because she’s way more compassionate than I am. Compassion in her DNA. So maybe that low self-esteem underneath was what was triggering that lady’s barrage of “all good?” messages. It’s obviously what’s behind her need to be right. People who’re okay with themselves don’t need to prove anything to anybody.

And then I was reading something that Pema wrote in her book[1]When Things Fall Apart ...

Compassionate action is a practice, one of the most advanced. There’s nothing more advanced than relating with others.

So maybe the message lady was anxious by my lack of acknowledgement, by my lack of participation in she and I’s conversations. If someone was all but ignoring me I’d probably be worried that I’d done something that hurt them. And without self-analysis it’s easy to fall into the trap of never looking at what I myself am doing.

The real story here isn’t about the lady though. Or our fights. Or even our messages.

It’s about me.

I kinda sorta believe that we sit in the same grade until we’re ready to move onto the next one. And that can suck when we feel like we’re repeating the same lesson over and over again. It’s pretty easy for me to shut down and run away. Never legitimately learn from whatever assignment is on my desk. But then I never grow. I’m stuck eating the same leaves, day in and day out.

So I needed to do something about and in my dealings with this lady. Just for me. Regardless of what else happened.

Sara also said that the lady and I were caught in a “dysfunctional, infinite loop.” When it becomes all too evident that my self-defeating patterns are running the show, I can’t live with them anymore. Because I don’t like feeling stuck. Knowing that I am stuck. I want to be a bigger person, be a better man than I was a year ago. Be bigger than the guy who was treading water in useless swimming metaphors.

And then I was thinking a thought that wasn’t my own. One of those thoughts that wasn’t my idea, one that doesn’t come to me by default ...

People deserve your full attention.

I’d wrote about that topic not long ago but only in reference to people I care about. It had nothing to do with, nor had I any intention of applying that to people I’d written off.

So then the next morning when the first “how you doing” message popped up, I concentrated 100% on the conversation. I stopped multitasking, shut off the headphone music, and even turned away from my desk so as not to be distracted. I didn’t do anything but directly engage in the conversation, focused solely on what she was saying.

It can be difficult for me to do the opposite of what I’m accustomed to doing, even more so when other people are behaving badly. But I did it anyway. I took a step in the right direction and let the god within take me where I needed to go spiritually.

I acted like I cared about her and her feelings. Because she was human. A whole human being. I tried to be as loving and accepting with her as I am with my friends.

At first she seemed a little wary, a little unsure about getting my full participation but within a few minutes she was completely gung-ho to be gabbing. It felt like both of us came out of that spinning airlock. Life became balanced. The wheels were no longer in motion and the runaway train stopped and let us both off.

People want to feel a part of. They want to feel accepted, that they count.

Looking past their shortcomings isn’t always easy but it is possible when I do some real soul searching and look at the world from a cosmic perspective. Get out of the minute details and look at life from afar. Stop using my magnifying glass to scrutinize someone else’s most annoying traits.

When our morning message conversation was over, I felt better and I hope that she left the conversation feeling good about it, too. I think she did as she lightened up on sending as many messages from then on. Maybe my attitude change had a positive impact on her attitude. It doesn’t matter, though, because I felt good about me.

I can talk spiritual truths all day long but when I live the change I want to see in the world I get to stand in the sunlight once again. The loop no longer exists. I can move around in life and not live behind the walls I’m too good at building. Because when I build walls they keep everything out, not just the certain someones I’m not getting along with.

Every now and then I’ll still get more “how you doing” messages than I’d like and I can still get pretty frustrated with her. On my worst days I’ll again flat out ignore her and her bullshit for sure.

On my best days I’m confident in who I am and what I believe and engaging in the fight provides little interest and little value. Confidence is a bonus point from humility. It lets us walk with our heads held high. It lets us move forward because everything we do will be okay no matter what.

And when I do feel like I’m entering that dysfunctional loop, mostly it’s plain as day and that awareness makes it easier to take a step back.

Do I really wanna get in that ring again? Not really.

The cosmos will heal us, teach us when we’re ready and receptive.

Toy train 3

At the end of the day do you know what I really hate? Being full of loathing. Look toward the future and assume it’ll be dreadful. “Hate” because when one’s heart has been touched by love, the doom and gloom from yesterday sit in piss unappealing.

Fate is for people who have given up. After living with a predetermined future for this long and having concrete examples to the contrary, I can say that I no longer see it as valid cosmic force. I have plenty of my own real life evidence that says the opposite. Personal experience is always what changes my mind.

And really, I’ve found the future to be mostly irrelevant. We live in this very second and what we do this very moment is all that matters.

That’s where the change takes place. That’s where miracles happen. That’s where we decide how our lives will be today. The cosmic now.

If we do our best work in the here and now then when we look back, our memories will be wonderful.

#fatedebate #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

  1. Sara got me that book because her heart is that big.

Momma J Momma J · Jul 25, 2018 at 4:44 pm


tcr! tcr! · Jul 25, 2018 at 5:12 pm

I’m assuming that’s a good “wow” 😊

Momma J Momma J · Jul 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm


tcr! tcr! · Jul 25, 2018 at 9:11 pm

Good 🤩

Shawneemicks · Jan 16, 2019 at 11:05 am

Awesome insights my man

tcr! tcr! · Jan 16, 2019 at 9:06 pm

Thank you! It was a long fought battle that mostly turned out okay in the end. 😊

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Jan 17, 2019
Treading water (or unfasten your seatbelts)

content: Jul 12, 2018 · podcast: Jan 16, 2019

Wherein fate has limits, part 2 of 3.

Treading water

Toward the end of my drinking it was like treading water. Never going anywhere, not having any fun, just struggling to do the bare minimum to stay afloat. A soggy, pathetic, emotional mess.

I was well past my reckless youth, going out and getting into trouble, wrecking cars, being thrown in jail. Well past the padded room I chased an orderly out of with a safety pin. It was just me, the liquor, and myself. Paddling in a sea of cold air in a dark, damp basement.

I’m going to mix and match reality and imagination. Analogies and metaphors. Because that’s what you do when you’re me.

So to continue with the useless swimming metaphor, I would watch people up on the beach barbecuing, playing frisbee, soaking up sun rays. My family was there, too.

And there I was, what felt like miles away, growing physically tired of the repetitive stokes. And miserably alone. Really though, everybody was only a few feet away, just up and around the stairs.

A few years ago I used this same metaphor but in that story there was an anchor and a chain weighing me down. In the years since first writing of it I’ve change my mind. That rusty chain implied an external force that had me moored. But that’s not true. It was only me and my inner turmoil that kept me treading water on the futon.

Every now and then my ex-wife would tell me that I needed to come in from the water, be with them up on the beach. Sit with them. But I never listened. I couldn’t hear what she was saying over the water and my splashing. It was all too loud. It was all but impossible to listen. I couldn’t focus when I was drunk. My head sunburnt with hellfire hangovers. My eyes closed after my favorite sunglasses were washed away.

I would often think to myself, this is it. I’m not gonna die from exploding diving tanks in a fiery crash. I’m just going to be stuck here treading water, corroding over the decades. Because I can swim against the tides all I want but there’s no escape from the thrashing whirlpool, the sticky tarpit of fate.

And then maybe one day when I don’t have any strength left I’d just slip away. Lethally injected with alcoholic strychnine. In yet another metaphor. Poor me.

Anyways, one day in between waves (or days depending on your makeup) I’m spying my family up on the beach and then she starts packing up the car. I cried out in panicked silence as my insides unfroze.

“Holy shit she’s really gonna leave. She’s not playing around this time. The trunk is open and she’s actually putting the picnic basket and shit in there.”

And then I freaked. Swam to shore like a true Olympian. Like a flock of sharks were nipping at my toes. Whatever cosmic harpoon that had me tethered to myself had finally been cut.

When I reached the sand and the shore and the safety of solid ground, dear lord, the panic didn’t stop. It multiplied. In color. I hadn’t done the whole sober living thing since 152nd Street. And I sucked at it.

So I ran up and down the beach like my hair was on fire in a full blown, year-plus-long panic attack. Being out of the water and on my feet was messy. My eyes needed to adjust, my fingers needed to dry out. I needed to catch my breath.

And then I got a new futon. Because the old one had been torpedoed to death. With bullshit.

So I guess my point to this story is that when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, we will swim for our lives. Fate be damned.

#alcoholism #fatedebate #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Jul 12, 2018 at 2:13 pm

So glad you made the choice to swim

tcr! tcr! · Jul 12, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Me, too!

Sammons · Jul 13, 2018 at 12:39 am

Me too!

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Jan 16, 2019
Do you wanna know what will really suck?

content: Jul 28, 2018 · podcast: Jan 15, 2019

Empty bird bath

It’ll be when you notice that the someone who you’ve spent years of your life with is now gone. You’ve already grieved in the months since they left and now it’s been a few years and then you realize again, for no apparent reason, that they no longer live in the home you once shared.

And you’ll think about all those moments you let slip away when you could’ve held her hand but instead chose to be grumpy because he didn’t do the laundry that one time.

Yeah, that’ll suck. Maybe you’ll want to rewind the clock and postpone that twentieth fishing trip of the summer, but dude you can’t.

Remember that time you got pissy because you saw him looking out of the corner of his eye at a cute girl who walked by? Do you know why he did that? It wasn’t because he didn’t love you, it was because he’s human. And that’s what people do. If someone says they don’t look, they’re lying. So what if she’s checking out some hot guy that has more muscles than you. She chose you and that’s much bigger than any fleeting animal instinct.

Because after you’re done doing all the yard work for the weekend you’ll be looking around and admiring what a good job you did, but no one will be right there to share it with you. That person may have been laid to rest or they might just be on the other side of town but either way they’ll be gone. The neighbors won’t pat you on the back either. They’ll just be glad your dandelion forest has been cut down.

Sure, that might be a lovely castle you built for yourself but being a king or queen living alone is dreadful. And your new clip board won’t mean a fucking thing.

Ask yourself what’s more important. Is it that the dishes are done or that you have someone to hold and love for the rest of your life? There will always be more dishes to do but there won’t always be somebody home.

It’ll be after 5 o’clock on a Saturday night and the only person you’ll have talked to is the Hispanic lady in the drive-through window at McDonald’s. And she’ll barely be able to speak English.

So go ahead and chase your dreams like Edmund did when he first climbed Mount Everest but after you’re done get your ass back to base camp and kiss the woman that kept your dinner warm. If you don’t have someone to share your triumphants with, what’s the point in having them?

And the next time that he’s watching some dumb documentary on the History channel about WWII technology, grab some couch and just be with him. Even if Panzer tanks do have you rolling your eyes. Don’t wait until the moment you walk by an empty couch with the TV off to figure out that you made a mistake and missed your chance for happily ever after.

And all those things you hold dear, that are oh so important, like emptying the cat litter or finishing that video game, they’re all inconsequential when paired against a living, breathing person who loves you.

And, on the off chance, that person is still with you now then hug them dearly.

People need time to grow into their best selves. You do, too. Enjoy the journey together. It’s not one you’ll want to make on your own.


PS- I normally stay away from writing in the “you" perspective but for this story it seemed fitting. Because it’s not all just about me.

#photos #relationships #birdbath #diariespodcast

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Jan 15, 2019
You cannot unbutton this jacket

content: Jul 8, 2018 · podcast: Jan 13, 2019

Wherein fate is a miserable state, part 1 of 3.

Black and white Metra train

Rivers want to roll downhill. You can put a dam up and stop their flow but their destination won’t change. They all dump into the sea. And eventually your dam will give out and then you or somebody else will build another dam but yet, still the river flows downhill. With all man’s technological marvel, water is what it is.

That’s abstract and non-personal but also a good pre-game show.

Because then there was that one time we were leaving a neighborhood Christmas party. As I’m walking down the sidewalk with family in tow, I slipped and fell on a patch of ice. I saw it coming like a slow motion horror flick. Time slowed to a near stand still and the whole audience screamed, “don’t go down there!!” But then I kept going toward certain doom anyway and gravity did its thing.

There’s nothing you can do about gravity. It’s the Terminator that can’t be talked to or reasoned with. It will always be there. Pulling you down. Because that’s what it does. Gravity has only one job and it never fails. It never quits.

Even though I tried to be as careful as I could I still went crashing down on the frozen, slippery sidewalk. In front of the everybody. Just as they all knew I would. I felt as if everybody but me expected me to fall. Because I had it coming. It was in my cards.

That’s how I see fate. A piece of shit gravitational, cosmic force and it’s coming for you. It won’t let you down and does exactly what it’s supposed to do. Good luck cheating it. Because you won’t. Nobody can.

Fate’s never been anything good to me. Never thought of fate as having a positive outcome. Maybe that’s my true nature of pessimism shining through regardless of how many pictures of sunsets and flowers I take. Underneath the cosmic candy coating is a thread, not vindictive, but menancing inevitable.

A distant dead end terminal that's only getting closer. And then I’m riding the runaway train. That’s going to derail when it smashes into the concrete wall of fate. And I’m the engineer who can’t do anything but watch in horror. Feel the momentum and the chugging that keeps me off balance as I’m unwillingly whisked away to the last stop.

I can only know that the crash is coming. It’s for certain. It’s just fate. There’s no getting off and there’s no stopping the wheels. They’ve always been in motion. The engine’s supercharged and the brakes are out. Fate’s seatbelts are fastened and I can struggle all I like but too bad, I’m stuck in this seat.

Along the same lines, the calendar says biblical armageddon up ahead, around the bend. And there ain’t shit anybody can do. History’s already been written and the words read rapture. And I’ve never been good with religion. So I’m fucked. I’ve never measured up anyway and according to fate, I never will. It’s already been decided. The scripture’s ink is dry and red. One cannot unwrite or undo fate. There’s no redos and you only get one shot. Plus you didn’t even draw the arrow or take the aim.

Just like time, fate wants to happen. In the sci-fi shows I watch where the characters time travel they generally have this as a central and understood theme: changing the course of history is all for naught. Because even if they do something different, events happen anyway. The end result is still now and will always be the same.

And if possibly, on the off chance, someone does alter the timeline to cheat and beat fate then the cosmos is pissed and things far worse unfold. Nice try. But no.

My interest in time travel, physics, and the like is not because I want to unlock the mysteries of the universe, but because I want to unlock the door, disengage the bolt that holds my fate in place. To feel confident that one day I’ll walk past the ice without falling.

Unfortunately what I feel[1] now is that I can struggle all I want, swim against the tides but there’s no escape from the thrashing whirlpool, the sticky tarpit of fate. I’m stuck with this black and bleak outcome forever. What I want long term is irrelevant. Fate is unavoidable. It’s determined.

Of course when I rewind to the Christmas icecapade it’s true that I’d been alcoholic drinking in the hours before I fell. But how many alcoholics are doomed, feel doomed to their intoxicated fate? I doubt if it’s their idea. No alcoholic ever said, “I’d like to spend my life in isolation and despair, hurt all the people I ever loved and cared about. Give up my sense of humanity and devo to an incoherent mess, too drunk to even wonder what went wrong but burdened with emotional suffering and a liquor that keeps flowing like a feast, a celebration to the gods."

The last six months or so that I was drinking, well that’s just the way it was going to be. That it had to be. And there was zero I could do about it. Chained to a stupor on the futon, watching black-and-white movies where the monsters were just off screen and coming for you. The shot focusing on the terror building in the B-movie bystanders as the monsters off camera were moving closer. And closer. And closer.

Fate’s a death sentence and nobody wants to die. But you have to. Fate is seriously a haunted undertone and undertow my whole life. The current insists without compromise that you will go where it wants you to go. Even if you drown.

Fate’s food coloring that’s stained my soul despite my best efforts to convince myself otherwise.

And karma’s got nothing on fate either because, even if you’re good, you’ll still crash your bike. Because that’s what was meant to happen all along. Because fate overrules destiny. We’re all just peons squeaking protests over in the corner of our garage.

Don’t take this all as my argument in favor of fate. I’m not a big fan of the concept. But this is how I feel when I take an honest look. Since Halloween.

Look at the evidence. How many people have you known that went off on a life tangent that didn’t make any sense? That was horribly self-destructive but then they kept going anyway?

That was just their fate. Sure, people can be stubborn and human in the things they do but self-preservation seems like it’d win out over all else. But it doesn’t. Seems to me that we’re being forcibly led (dragged) by something much bigger. And for a flock of humans that finality isn’t good. And again, they don’t have a say in the matter. They don’t have a choice. Magnetized to choices they don’t wanna make.

But back to Halloween. In the 1978 movie there’s a scene where the main character, Laurie, is day dreaming in high school. Preoccupied with her own thoughts. The teacher is droning on and slowly her voice begins to fade. And then Carpenter’s eerie piano kicks in and Laurie sees the bogeyman outside, standing obvious, behind a car. His time is not now but he wants her to know that it’s coming.

And then Laurie is snapped back to class when the teacher tells her to “answer the question.” Laurie quickly obliges with what seems to be an answer she knew all along, with an answer she had physically witnessed a split second before.

...Samuels felt that fate was like a natural element. Like earth, air, fire, and water.

Her teachers agrees.

That’s right, Samuels definitely personified fate. In Samuels’ writing fate is unmovable, like a mountain. It stands where man passes away. Fate never changes.

The end.

#allislost #fatedebate #diariespodcast

  1. It’s a feeling, not a belief. Intellect tells me I’m being silly with this, but feelings tell me things are real.

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Jan 14, 2019
Just one can of my favorite soda

content: May 22, 2018 · podcast: Jan 13, 2019

20180522 Just one can of my favorite soda

I was telling Sara last night about the time I was in a grocery store and they had 12 packs of my favorite soda. Unfortunately I couldn’t buy just one, the man was sticking it to me (and the world) by forcing me to buy all 12.

So I did what any teenage anarchist would do. I ripped opened the box and pulled out just one can of my favorite soda.

Delighted with myself I took le single can of soda up to the checkout aisle and fetched a crisp one dollar bill from my wallet, feeling confident that would more than cover the cost.

However, when the checkout guy in his maroon apron tried to scan the barcode it failed two or three times. He then gave me a puzzled look and asked me where I had found this particular can. I told him that I got it outta a box in the soda aisle.

His bepuzzlement quickly turned to annoyance and he firmly let me know that I couldn’t do that. The cans weren’t marked for individual sale and therefore wouldn’t be in his system.

Avid readers, that was the day I learned the customer is not always right.

#soda #rebellion #videos #diariespodcast

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Jan 14, 2019
Looking for a road to walk

content: Mar 13, 2017 · podcast: Jan 6, 2019

That God could and would

One of my absolute favorite lines in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is the last pertinent idea of How It Works (PDF):

God could and would if he were sought.

We only have to seek god, that is all.

Half the time I don’t feel in touch with anything but I’m looking for a road to walk, searching for spiritual footing. I'm questing, out to slay demogorgons and smell the flowers.

When I first got sober I had to climb out of that damn hole I'd dug and unfortunately when I got out there was a huge hill before me. And then it was all uphill from there. The good news though is that the incline isn’t as steep the higher we climb, the farther we go.

No matter what I'm going through, the pain, the anxiety, the fear, the emotional puke -- they all gradually relax their grips the more I keep walking through whatever fire has been lit.[1] Then one day I realize that my feets are no longer smoking and only mildly warm, just a smolder.

It feels chaotic at times because the pain seems to come in lightning bolts that I was never expecting.[2] I've always felt blindsided by them. What the fuck was that? And then it can take months or even years to recover from those bolts. It'd be nice if pain went away as fast as it seems to come but it doesn't.

So what I do is pray for miracles because God could and would if sought. God just does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Lightning bolts can come out of the blue but so do miracles.

As an example: we'd moved to Oregon state in late 2000 right before the tech bubble publicly burst in 2001. It was impossible for me to find work and financial times were lean and then dire. In 2004 I hadn't worked full time in I don't know how long. I'd applied for jobs of all shapes and sizes, had my resume on all the online job boards, blah, blah.

I mean, you have applied to everything on wheels from Toyota to Schwinn. You're gonna get a job any day now.
Caroline Butler, Mr. Mom

And then one day I'm watching Mexican Wrestling in broad daylight and I get a phone call[3] from a recruiter looking to fill a contract spot at Microsoft. Again, what the fuck was that? I couldn't believe it. Why the hell would someone call me of all people to go hammer on a keyboard at Microsoft?

I worked there for a year as a contractor and then full-time until late 2006, met some of the best people I've ever known. My world was all of a sudden bigger inside and out. It was one of those eras in life that I still treasure when I look back.

My point is that one phone call from Vinny changed everything, changed everything from there on out. For the better. It's like when you're walking down a street in a shady neighborhood and then turn right and all of a sudden you're in the safest, hippest part of town.

Even though I was drinking at the time I knew that telephone ring was all God's grace. It wasn't anything I'd done, wasn't anything I'd surely deserved.

It's easy to loose sight of hope when the times are dark but expect miracles, peeps. They're coming soon to a theater near you -- just be open to receiving them and then embrace them when they come.

And please don't think I've transcended up to any spiritual, moral higher ground. Some days I get sucked into playing video games for hours because I don't wanna climb no damn hills. Or I'll watch Mexican wrestling because it makes me feel good and distracts me from responsibilities and real life.

 It's risky but I do it because I don't have any real consequences.

So with all that said, my actions seem to influence how I feel much more than the other way around.

If I act like an asshole then I feel like one. If I act like a good person then I feel like one, too.

I just try to be the best me that I can in any given moment. And then I seek god's will. That's all.

Last thing: just look for God and worry about the finding later.

#alcoholism #advancedsoul #lettherebehope #diariespodcast

  1. Generally I lit the fire

  2. Generally because I've got my head stuck in the sand

  3. I never answer the phone so the mere fact that I did is a miracle in itself

teresels · Mar 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Sought, not even necessarily found

tcr! tcr! · Mar 13, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Yep, exactly

Pris257 · Mar 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

That was a good read. I especially liked this:

So with all that said, my actions seem to influence how I feel much more than the other way around.
If I act like an asshole then I feel like one. If I act like a good person then I feel like one, too.

tcr! tcr! · Mar 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Thanks! :)

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 15, 2017 at 3:20 am

Worthiness. Stark raving here. Can’t stand it.

“…Obi Wan, You’re my only hope.” #lettherebehope

tcr! tcr! · Mar 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm

I need to make the #hashtags clickable in the comments

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Mar 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

so i been reading what you wrote about climbing that mountain of spiritual enlightenment. john f. used to tell me (he told PGC the same thing, i suspect) that after i attain enlightenment the first time some neanderthal ottumwa resident says something that they’re likely to say, i will be right there amongst ‘em in about .2 seconds. the human condition, (not ‘rhoids) isn’t lust, it’s anger.

the first thing of note recorded in the bible is when cain goes upside the head of his brother. dispatches his brother to his maker without undue ceremony. and for little or nothing. this is the human condition and our attempts to conquer it are doomed, methinks. we need to make friends with that part of ourselves, (i’ve always known that part but always forgot what came next) so we will be better able to forgive and love the part of ourselves that bashes some bozo’s head in during a traffic incident. if we do that, we’ll be better able to forgive and love the bozo in question for unnecessarily crossing our gilded path.

keep the words coming. spiritual revolution happens (sorry ghandi) with outbursts of murderous fucking rage and attendant slew of vile invective ‘bout our brothers.

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Jan 06, 2019
Desperately seeking a Democrat for light housework

content: Jun 29, 2017 · podcast: Jan 3, 2019

Yes, you will be expected to clean. Netflix will be off-limits, however, you may bring headphones. But not your individualism. Independent thought is encouraged but keep moral outrage to yourself. This is a job not a march. Liberals are okay so long as you bring your own cleaning supplies. Hippies may also apply but will be required to check the hemp at the front door.

Cross-posted to craigslist →

#helpwanted #diariespodcast

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Jan 03, 2019
Within a 10 block radius

content: Jul 9, 2018 · podcast: Dec 30, 2018

So this past weekend I pulled into the gas station to get some supplies. It’s the weekend and it’s sunny so the gas station is plum full of cars. I pull up close to the building in an empty spot. It wasn’t an official parking spot but gas stations are free-for-alls when they’re busy. One guy had even parked right in front of entrance to the gas station so whatever.

I go in and get my supplies, wait in line for 10 minutes while Aunt Loretta picks out her Powerball numbers. My favorite thing.

Also, before I say anymore, don’t make this about you. Because it’s not.

I come back out, get in my truck, and am getting ready to leave when a guy, a big dude, tries to squeeze in between my truck and the gas station. Of course he could’ve easily walked around on the other side but no, he chose to squeeze through the narrow corridor between my truck and the station.

There wasn’t even a sidewalk there for crying out loud. Well, there was but nobody could walk on it with the ice machine, firewood, stacks of blue washer fluids taking all the walkway real estate.

So I’m sitting there close enough to literally touch him as he shimmies by. About a foot past my driver side window he starts shaking his head in what I can only assume to be judgmental disbelief that I had the ABSOLUTE NERVE to park where I did.

Shit like that gets on my nerves like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t do well when people judge me for situations they put themselves in to begin with. Like I’m somehow at fault because he couldn't squeeze his 600 pound life through the two foot gap I left.

So then I yell out in all of my spiritual glory, “FUCK YOU” loud enough for anybody within a 10 block radius to hear.

He doesn’t turn around but instead continues toward the gas station door.

And then I realize that wasn’t another of my finest moments.

PS- I want to stress that I see this as something along the lines of me going into the Big and Tall stores and then shaking my head because nothing on the racks is in my size.

#socialproblems #diariespodcast

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Dec 30, 2018
I eat more when I'm happy

content: Jul 2, 2018 · podcast: Dec 22, 2018

Based on my scientific observations and the data I’ve collected as of late, I’ve found that I eat more when I’m happy. When I’m stressed I don’t want to eat at all.

Now then, please note that I’ve gained 37 pounds over the last two months.

In related news, I don’t know why I wear white. Because then everybody knows what I’ve been eating.

So the interesting part of this story. While I was amusing myself with my formula on the drive to work, a feeling came blurting its way into my scientific stream of thought:

“Now, since this is all over, you can finally have your way.”

I don’t know why that thought came barging in, it just did. Shit bubbles to the surface for no apparent reason. And this time I was like “wow” since it was so far removed from what I’d previously been thinking and I immediately recognized it as residue.

Feel the emotions and let them go. I bet 99% of the time there isn't a reason as to why we have them.

#moreevidence #diariespodcast

asquared01 · Jul 2, 2018 at 2:59 pm

Same here! If I’m upset/stressed, I don’t eat.

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Dec 22, 2018
Post mortem, Bourdain

content: Jun 25, 2018 · podcast: Dec 19, 2018

Young Anthony Bourbain

The thing that I had a hard time wrapping my mind around with Anthony Bourdain's suicide is that I kept thinking he was supposed to be above all of that. I wanted not to be surprised but I really was. I felt let down at first regardless of what I said.

I don’t have the kind of heroes or as many of them as I did when I was a teenager but Bourdain may have been the closest thing I had to a celebrity hero as a grown-up.

From the time he was a teenager, through his 20s and 30s, on into his 40s and 50s, and then even in his 60s I admired and respected his different phases and who he ended up as a human being.

With his death I kept thinking annoyed, “you don’t give up.”

When people lose their hope it can sometimes rub off on us. There’s nothing good enough out there to look forward to kinda thing. When the future’s not bright and the struggles of everyday are too much then what’s the point?

I never saw Bourdain as wondering what the point was though. Or running out of hope. But then again I only saw what made it into his TV shows.

Kinda sucks that real-life heroes are only humans, too.

#anthonybourdain #allislost #diariespodcast

fleming · Jun 25, 2018 at 10:42 am

I loved Bourdain, too, watched him throughout the years, and always thought he had such sad eyes, like he was carrying the weight of the world. After periodically reading he suffered from depression, alcoholism and heroin addiction, this sadness made sense to me. I also read he had relapsed with the heroin and that broke my heart, but I understand when the last vestiges of hope are gone and the pain is so overwhelming, death seems to be the only option for relief. I am so sad he is gone, but will never…as some will say…will never call him a coward or selfish. Imagine the pain he must have suffered to resort to suicide, and feel only loss and sympathy.

DeeDee · Jun 25, 2018 at 11:15 am

I luv him too!

elongdo · Jun 25, 2018 at 11:51 am

He keeps showing up in my dreams but I am not sure what he is there to teach me.

tcr! tcr! · Jun 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Well, my take is that I know you you’re a traveler and I know that you love good food so my guess would be that you’re to write a cookbook.

elongdo · Jun 27, 2018 at 12:34 am

Anthony Hopkins made an appearance last night so I am leaning away from cookbook. #truestory #benadryl

elaineorr · Jun 25, 2018 at 11:56 am

Maybe what we learn is that when we ask someone how they are they they say, “Having a bad day,” or even “so-so,” we need to ask, “What’s going on with you?” or “How can I help?”

prokop · Jun 25, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I felt the same. It’s just so sad.

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Dec 19, 2018
Unless I'm a celebrity gardener

content: Jun 22, 2018 · podcast: Dec 15, 2018

Spiral staircase

Not long ago I was reading an article wherein the author said that people aren’t going to care about what you’re doing. Like if I plant a wonderful garden people aren’t going to come from miles around to see it. They won’t throw flowers and shower me with attention.

Unless I’m a celebrity gardener, nobody will care.

How the author believed it did work was like this: if I care about you and your garden then you in turn will care about me and my garden. Of course there’s no black and white rule that you can apply to all people or all situations but I do think there’s a lot to be said for me caring about you and you reciprocating.

All the people that subscribe to my magazine, I’ve established relationships with them. Showed a true interest in them as human beings. And not because I want them to subscribe but because I legitimately care about them and their lives. Because people can smell a rat.

I don’t want to go off on a ratty tangent but I do know that my life is much bigger, much more meaningful when I get to experience another person’s sorrow and happiness. And as a bonus I get to have people care about me and my pursuits. Humans are special. Valuable creatures. If I want to be treated as such then I better do my part.

It’s not always easy to stop and listen to what people are saying when we have plates in the air spinning but what I’ve found is that being there for another’s triumphants becomes so much more fulfilling than experiencing mine own.

Okay, I’d like to think myself all that and a bag of chips but I’m not that spiritual. I don’t fully engage all the time with everyone else’s wins.

However, when I do life is pretty good. Another's joy will lift up my soul and foster my own creativity. My struggles aren’t that impossible and my plates don’t spin nearly as fast.

And if the china falls, whatever.

#relationships #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

Karly · Jun 22, 2018 at 9:58 am

You had me until that last line. Replace “whatever” with primal scream and all out panic….and then I’m back in. Lol

tcr! tcr! · Jun 22, 2018 at 10:18 am

That’s funny. I like to use examples like breaking china because they make me uncomfortable with the thought of them actually happening.

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Dec 15, 2018
Red faced robot

content: Jun 20, 2018 · podcast: Dec 12, 2018

Red faced robot

So I have this thing that I’ve been doing ever since I was a teenager. It’s not a healthy thing and I’ve struggled to let go of it ever since I stopped drinking.

Most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it until after I’ve already done it.

In the last several weeks I realized just how bad the behavior is. How it takes me out of the moment and distracts me from all that I have and all that's truly important.

So I've paying attention in life and seek not to put myself in the situations that prompt my bad behavior in the first place. And I pray for graceful nudges to keep me on the right spiritual path. Me being who I am, it's all too easy for me to wander off on a self-seeking tangent.

And I’m proud to say that I’ve done fairly well at not doing it.

What is it you may be wondering? That is another very good question but it doesn’t matter.

Anyways, what really sparked my attention to this behavior is that I had somebody do the same thing to me recently. After I’d been doing my best not to do it. And it didn’t feel good. It was a real eye-opener of just how bad it can be when you’re on the receiving end. Karma defined if you will.

And then in related news, what the real story is, is when Sara told me that she didn’t believe in karma.

The notion that karma is false hasn't left since. Maybe karma is dogma, a made up law to keep people in line for fear of cosmic reprisal.

And then I thought that Sara's most likely a spiritual revolutionary.

Karma keeps me out of the moment, keeps me waiting for yesterday's falling dominoes to finally catch up and knock me down in the present. It feeds my suspicion and keeps me thinking that I don't deserve nice things. Because of the bad things I've done.

Karma also gives us a reason "why" and typically that's never important. To our internal struggles.

What is important is me being the best me that I can be. In the here and now.

#photos #robots #advancedsoul 🤔 #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:14 am

Please tell us what Behavior you are referring to!!

tcr! tcr! · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

Irrelevant :)

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:18 am

It doesn’t matter.

Momma J Momma J · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:19 am

Not irrelevant to me, your mother!

Momma J Momma J · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

Hi Jimi - it matters to me, his mother!

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:28 am

Ok. We’re both pretty sure it wasn’t anything monstrous. I doubt he’s capable of anything our imaginations can conjure. I’m on your side, Jeanie. :)

Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Jun 20, 2018 at 10:31 am

What did you do to those dolls?

heather heather · Jun 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

I bet it’s picking your nose

tcr! tcr! · Jun 20, 2018 at 5:04 pm


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Dec 12, 2018
Reich Between the Eyes on the Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus soundtrack

content: Jun 19, 2018 · podcast: Dec 8, 2018

Peeps, the soundtrack for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus was released today digitally. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for it just as I have. I’ve only listened to the first five songs but it’ll punch you in the teeth for sure. If you’re into that.

Reich Between the Eyes will be one song I’ll never listen to while driving for sure. I can feel the road rage amplifying already.

Also, Bethesda put the whole album up as one animated still on YouTube if you need it. Two and a half hours of solid Wolfenstein hard hitting velocity.

The next time I’m angry cleaning I’m just going to throw the latter up on my family room TV and get to it.

And lastly, while I've been waiting for the Wolfenstein and Tomb Raider sequels, I've been playing way too much Fallout 4.

#musicvideos #wolfenstein #diariespodcast

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Dec 08, 2018
Share the road with bikes?

content: Jun 14, 2018 · podcast: Dec 7, 2018

How about they go the speed limit? Or obey the traffic signals? Or decide if they’re going to be on the street or the sidewalk?

I ride my bike as much as anybody. Okay, that’s not true. I have a bike in my garage and I’ve only ridden a few times this year.

But I’ve seen the guy at Sammy’s Bikes race around town, blow through stop signs, make wild ass turns without warning, weave around cars, all like he’s in a race to win the World Cup.

When I do ride my bike if I’m on the sidewalk then I act like a pedestrian. And if I’m on the street I act like a car. I stop at stop signs even if nobody’s around.

I do my best to follow the laws in either case. Because I believe in the greater good.

Yes, I still protest in my garage but I’m not a big fan of anarchy in the streets. I’m much more interested in communal well-being than getting my rocks off on my 10 speed.

#bikes #socialproblems #diariespodcast

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Dec 07, 2018
I fucked this up

content: Jun 13, 2018 · podcast: Dec 5, 2018

Yellow lily hiding in the leaves

I set up an auto-renew feature on a client’s website not long ago so members could check a box and have their member account renewed each year. It’s a win-win for the client and the member since neither would need to do anything. The client would collect their membership dues and the member would have uninterrupted access to the site. Hurray!

However. When the first member selected the option their credit card was charged twice. And then of course it happened to the second member.

After each duplicate charge I thoroughly reviewed my code to see what was going wrong and for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. I was even tempted to just disable the feature and not tell anybody. But that wouldn’t be the right thing to do even if it did solve the problem from my end. I ended up telling the website to send me emails anytime anything happened with the auto-renewals.

This morning I got up after only sleeping six or so hours and I saw a handful of emails from the site. Of course the latest member had two charges on their credit card. Again. It’s one thing to screw something up and look like an idiot. It’s something else to look like an idiot and bill a client’s member an extra $125.

When I’m tired I don’t have much patience. I’m easily frustrated and it doesn’t take long for me to give up on life. And maybe yell at the cat because she wants her breakfast.

But often times giving up is exactly what we’re supposed to do. When we can't see the flowers for the leaves.

Let go and stop trying to fix and manage and control things that we’re not suppose to. Let go of the mess we’ve made of things. Being full of imperfection, it’s a given that we’ll screw things up. And it’s totally cool to say “I made a huge mess and I need help cleaning it up.”

So then after I was at my wit’s end and I remembered I need to give up in life, I prayed. I asked the cosmos for help and guidance in fixing a huge problem I created.

After we let go we’re set free. Free to see things how they really are. Clarity won’t come when I’m frustrated and unhinged. It comes when I have a clear mind and a positive outlook. When I’m anchored to a spiritual rock. I need to find harmony inside and out if I want to move forward when I’m stuck.

Society won’t often reward us for admitting defeat or being vulnerable or saying I fucked this up. Especially in the corporate/business world.

But when I am those things regardless of my circumstances or environment, I’m rewarded with tranquility and contentment on the cosmic scale. Sometimes I even get a steel blue striped donut.

Anyways, here’s the email conversation I had with the client after I went to work and spent less than half an hour on finding and fixing the auto renewals bug.


I deeply regret to say that these duplicate charges have been my fault.

After reviewing all the code again this morning I see that PayPal lets you set the recurring charge amount and then also an initial charge amount for auto renewals. I had set an initial charge because I misunderstood PayPal’s documentation to mean that would be the first charge.

In any account I’ve removed the initial charge amount and I’m really hoping, crossing my fingers it puts this issue to bed once and for all.

Again, my most humble apologies for the headaches.

Well I am glad to hear you found the solution to the issue. No worries, at least it is taken care of.



PS- Most people won’t argue with you when you admit you’re wrong or made a mistake. They just want to get on with their life, too.

PS2- After I wrote this I was looking around work for a photo to go with it. And then I went outside for a few minutes because it's sunny and I like sunny. The cosmos gifted me with the perfect image. Serendipity, peeps.

#photos #flowers #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

edox edox · Jun 13, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Wish I could like this more then once. Well said.

tcr! tcr! · Jun 13, 2018 at 1:03 pm


fleming · Jun 13, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Good job!

tcr! tcr! · Jun 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Thanks! At the end of the day I just want to do a good job at work. And have snacks while I’m there.

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Dec 05, 2018
It forever influences the present

content: Jun 12, 2018 · podcast: Dec 3, 2018

Excavator demolitioning

I was talking with one of my friends several months ago and I brought up something that sounded an alarm in her. What I’d just touched on triggered an unhappiness almost like ripping someone’s blanket off on a chilly night when they’re sound asleep.

I don’t know who first used the blanket analogy but I love it so much that it works its way into the things I write.

But anyways, you fuck people up and you won’t be able to take that shit back.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t be my best self with certain people because of the torrid history between us. Even though I can forgive people, there can be so much damage in the past that it forever influences the present. And then also, the future will be permanently stained.

Okay, maybe that’s not entirely true, that relationships can “never recover” but both people really have to want it. They have to fill the present with astounding moments and create a backlog that more than rivals the historical damage of the past.

What I’ve seen, more often than not, is that people can never get there. At least not both of them.

And sometimes it seems like you just run out of time.

#relationships #photos #HeavyMachina #diariespodcast

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Dec 03, 2018
A frantic game of animal tag

content: Jun 11, 2018 · podcast: Dec 2, 2018

On this morning, the 11th of June I was greeted with a squeaky chipmunk in the basement just as I sat down with my first cup of coffee. It filled my heart with joy as the two H-Ks (hunter killers) and a lone chipmunk played a frantic game of animal tag.

A frenzied game of hide and seek if you will. Where if you lose needly claws hooked to hair trigger tendons pulled by honed muscles will rip into your hide and not too often let go. You'll be lucky and kiss your mother if you narrowly escape with only a minor puncture wound.

Ah yes, the screams of blood filled, animal murder first thing in the morning.

And then as I'm putting the basement things back in order after I've caught and released the chipmunk, I hear Pearl in her litter box taking a shit. All the excitement and exercise must've got her bowels working.

💩 #cats #chipmunks #diariespodcast

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Dec 02, 2018
The geese on Riverside

content: Jun 6, 2018 · podcast: Nov 29, 2018

Every time the geese hold up traffic on Riverside for more than five seconds, 50 cars deep pile up in both directions. I just want to punch them in the face. Every last one. The geese and the cars.

Also: don’t wave to people while they’re out with their dog and the dog is taking a poop. It’ll make them uncomfortable. Both the person and the dog.

#trafficnews #socialgraces #diariespodcast

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Nov 29, 2018
So then I rewrote parts

content: Jun 6, 2018 · podcast: Nov 27, 2018

Because they hurt our feelings draft 5

One time when I was eight or so I was out in the front yard washing my bike with the hose. I especially liked spraying the pedals and watching them spin out of control. My bikes have been near and dear to me ever since I learned how to ride and I took great pride in washing this one since it was my first main bike.

My oldest brother, who is eight years older, came home during my wash cycle with a carload of his friends. They were all teenagers and way cool in their rock band t-shirts and long hair.

I always wanted to be around them but that never happened much during the Allison Avenue era. I was still playing with my Star Wars guys and they out were out driving around, smoking cigarettes, and whatever. But just having an older brother part of the fight club was good enough to make me feel part of something cool.

While my six foot tall brother was walking up the driveway he said to me and my bike, “you can’t polish a turd.”

Nice 🙄

I just stood there, unable to retaliate, not even knowing how. Scorn like that is how someone goes from innocently washing their bike to someone who is suspicious by default. Because that’s how you demolish someone.

That brother was often relentless with his taunting and ridicule. Even worse is that he had the real capacity to be charming and loving but then that was always heavily salted with his hellfire and damnation.

He may have just been giving me a hard time as older brothers do.[1] But then again, It was really much more than that. When he was around it was a psychotic war zone. Bombs could drop any minute so I lived on edge during during the times of peace. One minute we’d be laughing it up in front of the tube and then when I wasn’t paying attention he’d snap me with one of them big red rubber bands. I could think up a bunch of horror stories but I don’t want to.

Anyways, time went by as it does and we both grew as people, evolved into more than who we’d always been. We even lived together for a few years in the 90s. Rented a house, being 20 somethings and all, getting on with our lives.

One sunny 90s morning I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom strumming my acoustic while my girlfriend, Kathy, was laying on the bed doing her own thing. And then he came into the bedroom and in one sentence belittled my guitar skills.

I don’t remember exactly what he said because I was instantly pissed. Shaming me in front of my girlfriend had made me so angry I couldn’t even talk. Not to mention that I was a far better guitar player than he was. Of course, he wasn’t really saying that I wasn’t a good musician, he was simply putting me down in order to prop himself up.

And that particular time I don’t think it was simple ribbing, not from his tone and plus it was in front of Kathy. And she was pretty cute. And I wanted to trust him around her but I didn’t. He wasn’t a saint in that arena either.

Pausing and looking back again, trying to see him as a fundamentally good human being, maybe, possibly he was just giving me a hard time. He may have even felt that he took it too far that time based on my reaction. I don’t know.

What I do know is that both of those public shamings are still with me. I remember holding my flattop guitar and holding the garden hose with him looming over me both times, using his words to cut me.

In 2013 Maggie and I saw him for a couple of hours. We were on a weekend getaway and he was living less than an hour from where we were staying. I wanted to put all the past behind us. I wanted Maggie to know the person who I would often share good stories about. And while we were there sitting in the park and Maggie swang he gave me a honorable apology, said that he was never the older brother that he should’ve been. I’ve told that story before.

But scorpions are scorpions.

I hate to be pessimistic but I have a hard time believing people fundamentally change. At the atomic level. I’m not completely sold on this idea but…bad behaviors only seem to go dormant and often will spring back to life on a moment’s notice. I don't trust a dog who is known to bite not to bite it just because it’s gotten older.

We can forgive and forget but abuse stays with us forever. Sticks and stones will break your bones and words can cut you to your soul. Yeah, we can do our best to let it go and move on but sometimes hurt runs too deep and then you’ll be out mowing your yard and shit like this will bubble to the surface. And before you know it you’ll have a manifesto on why you don’t talk to your brother.

But that’s part of the process. If feelings surface unprovoked it means we’re not finished with them yet. I think sometimes people are too eager to forgive and forget, myself included. Sometimes we don’t fully acknowledge our pain and then try to shuffle it out the front door before we’re through with it. That doesn’t work.

Sara and I were discussing this whole topic not long ago. On a recent podcast she listened to the person talked about “leaning into our pain.” Sometimes we have to weather a storm and it takes years before the sky clears and we’re able to stand in the sunshine. The miserable clouds will part if we’re patient and willing, though.

Embrace the demons that haunt us. But always keep in mind the goal is to set them free, not to give them safe harbor for an eternity.

So then in 2015 my brother called and left a vulgar voicemail, swinging his verbal clubs in a way I hadn’t heard for over a decade. Drunk and disorderly and par for the course when he dials your number.

He was saying something along the lines of how my whole life that I hated him because I wasn’t courageous enough to be him. That I’d only fumbled around my whole life and my music was shit.

No, I hated him at times because he was an asshole.

And it was on that day that I was all done with him. I blocked his number and closed the mountain door to keep him and his torment out forever. I wrote him off for good that time.

There’re far too many people in my life who I enjoy being around to deal with his shit anymore. One of my sisters told Maggie one time that we choose who are family is. I also believe that we choose who our family is not.

On an iPhone when you block someone’s number their voicemails go into Deleted Messages in case you really do want to listen to them later. Over the next several months he left me several more voicemails but I never listened to any of them. Sometimes I wonder if there was a heartfelt apology in one of them somewhere.

But then again for the most part I don’t care. Apologies mean nothing if you keep being an asshole. If you continue to build a person up and then rip them down like it's normal family behavior, normal social interaction.

I get that as a child he was wounded, scarred and battered. It wasn’t his idea to act like a monster, to punch my friends because he himself was fucked up. But being an asshole as an adult because of what happened when you were a kid is bullshit. I couldn’t imagine talking to my siblings (or anyone else for that matter) the way that my brother talked to me.

While Sara and I were talking about feeling our pain, she said that while being a nurse she learned that everybody has a tragedy, everybody’s got a heartbreaking story.

Pro-tip: don’t give people their own.

And then the final part of this story is that I have to be really careful when writing on this subject because being a writer I want to tell a good story. All of my stories are true for sure, but when I get emotional and angry it’s hard not to exaggerate the torment.

Our memories of what really happened don’t always line up with the truth. We remember painful experiences often much more intensely than they really were.[2] It’s just hard to be factual when people hurt our feelings. Because they hurt our feelings.

Not only do we have those traumatic memories but we also have the hours and days with those memories that can warp how we remember things. It’s not just what happened but also that we live with what happened for the rest of our lives.

So just maybe my brother wasn’t the villain I remember him as. I’m inclined to believe that people generally aren’t. There's only been a handful of times that I've set out to be an asshole. And I don’t want to discount the fact that he was a jerk because most people who know him would say that he was. But then also, I need to be careful that my unintentionally bent imagination doesn’t become my version of the truth with how I remember the things he did.

I’m sure when I was younger I would intentionally bloat my stories so people were on my side, so I could justify feeling hurt. In the here-and-now I sometimes do that as well, but never on purpose because really, at the end of the day I just want to be honest. I don’t want to minimize or maximize. There’s a lot to be said for the truth. And my pain only hurts me. I don’t want to lug agony around anymore. I don’t want it to define who I am.[3] I just want to feel my shit and move on. I got other shit to do.

I took a screenshot of the voicemail transcript he left in 2015. Because that’s what you do when you’re me. While proofreading all of this I went back and looked at the voicemail screenshot just to see how accurate my memory was. The transcription didn’t quite line up with what I wrote that he said. I can remember things happening a certain way but that doesn’t mean they really played out as my memory recalls.

So then I rewrote parts of this to bring it in line with the truth.

#advancedsoul #diariespodcast

  1. To his credit, little brothers can be annoying for sure. They don’t know how to act so they act out and that can get on people’s nerves.

  2. Don't say I’m trying to take away your pain because I’m not. 😉

  3. What would be left if our pain was gone? Who would we be? We’d be free.

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Nov 27, 2018
One particular night in Wyoming

content: Jun 5, 2018 · podcast: Nov 23, 2018

UHaul with Kia

And then there was that one time in 2006 when my brother and I drove halfway across the country in a U-Haul the size of Montana, pulling the Kia on a trailer. We were on an epic journey, moving from the state of Oregon to the state of Illinois.

One particular night in Wyoming we were ready to call it good for the day, might’ve been around 11:30 pm. My brother insisted we get off on the next exit and look for a hotel. He was ready to get his drink on and that didn’t sound half bad to me either.

We found a “hotel two blocks away” sign and headed in that direction. When we got there I slowed way down to scope out the lodging grounds. The motel was less than desirable. The sign was only a quarter lit, the parking lot crumbling, there were air conditions hanging out of the windows. And one of the room doors was open.

My brother said to me, “Hell son, yer bed probably already warm for ya.”

“Fuuuck no” I said as I eased the gas pedal down and we rolled past whatever Deliverance Inn we’d came across. Last thing I want is for somebody to be watching TV when I get into my hotel room.

PS- I don't remember where we were when I took the photo shown. I think Nebraska. Maybe not. I think I was all done taking pictures by then.

#photos #HickvilleUSA #diariespodcast

Momma J Momma J · Jun 5, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Tell the story about the map in Chicago

Kris · Jun 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm

Deliverance Inn. You come up with the best terminogies.

tcr! tcr! · Jun 6, 2018 at 9:46 am

Thanks! :) That’s pretty much what that hotel was, too.

Karly · Jun 6, 2018 at 8:11 am

And all I can focus on is whether or not it really is Nebraska… I need to know the answer!

tcr! tcr! · Jun 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

It may have been farther west. Thinking back I was pretty much done taking pictures after the first day or so.