I figure I should get this one out before the Seahawks fail and make me angry. I'm already fuming over the ungrateful behavior of the woman I love. I've been paying for the whole phone bill, hoping that eventually we'll both have done enough healing to get back together, but now I know this whole relationship was built on a foundation of sand.
My whole life I've lamented the lack of gratitude I've received from all the friends I've helped with this or that, and now it's reached the boiling point. As a Libra, I'm loath to express anger but when I do, it's not pretty. I've learned over the last two years to channel my anger in a more measured way, but after months of trying to help the woman I love get her life together I've finally thrown up my hands, and used a few less than positive words in the process. I know she isn't intentionally cruel or manipulative, but the results are the same. I'm broke, and she doesn't seem to care.
Next stop? The AT&T store, to pay off this expensive phone and end our association once and for all. All that's left are a suitcase full of wistful memories and an expensive engagement ring that's never been worn. I can't possibly forget how much I love her, but I finally have to start trying.
Dammit. No matter how much you want something, or feel like you've earned it, it doesn't add up to nuthin. Tom Petty already told me; I was just too stubborn to believe it.
So now I drink, curse the Seahawks, and dream of a better life. Not much has changed.
Today I went to Seattle (specifically Ballard) to attend a 12 step speakers meeting. It was great. Potluck dinner, a fascinating talk by a British sex addict, and plenty of loving fellowship.
After that I visited a friend's place nearby and lost my shirt in quarter poker. Thankfully I brought two shirts so I wouldn't be naked. Josh (his real name) hosted an excellent poker party, and he and his fellow Ballard Boy Tim Mattonen made with the funny bigtime. I drank several Guinesses, smoked a cigarette (while on the patch - stay tuned for heart attack news) and played with their adorable scaredy-cat pooch, the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Highlights of the evening? Falling on my ass in a popazan chair not once but twice (thusly scaring the barky piss out of Ruth), and watching the scintillating yet fundamentally flawed 1998 reboot of Lost in Space (starring Matt LeBlanc of Friends fame). Now I'm chillaxin on the floor (chairs are too dangerous) and writing this blog post and trying not to fart loudly enough for the players to hear. This is how a Saturday night should be spent. Recovery never looked so good.
Tomorrow: house hunting in Tacoma and hopefully putting out another exciting episode of the world's greatest podcast. Everything is Awesome, indeed.
Keep being awesome!
I didn't think I'd get this one done today. I was wrecked after work. Not physically; I've had a really easy workday since coming off the overtime list. No, today I was plagued with depressive energy off and on, and by the time I got home I was essentially wrecked.
My bed demanded attention. But before I went out I texted a friend and asked her how she was doing. When you're in recovery, one of the best things you can do is reach out and talk to people you can trust.
At the same time, I made the possibly foolish decision to text The Love of My Life. I wanted to see if she truly never considered me or what I'm going through. The results weren't great.
But then my friend Kandie (not her real name) invited me to the hometown spot, and I got my ass out the bed and rolled Rusty into the car. Sunset Grill and old school homies.
Now Kandie, me and Chaos (not his real name) are chillin in the living room, listening to Stevie and talkin real deep.
Moral of the Story: say yes to last-minute invitations as often as possible. Magical things can happen.
I'm gonna go have a cigarette.
Today was one of those days you wish would hurry up and be over. Loneliness, loss, grief, sorrow, depression, self-pity, a whole smorgasbord of pathetic emotions. The kind of day you'd text your girlfriend and complain about. Except she's gone.
Going to a comedy show later. Hopefully some laughs will make the day decent overall.
Today's weather: early clouds with a few sunbreaks, 75% melancholy.
My folks left for a short trip as I was leaving for work and left all sorts of instructions and stuff in case they die. I slapped together a healthy (boring) lunch and left for work. While there I listened to my funny podcasts, but I couldn't seem to get into a good mood. It was like my laugher was broken. The guys from the Nerdist were on Doug Loves Movies and I remembered why I don't listen to that show. Doug seemed to be trying everything to make them seem interesting.
After work I had an existential crisis. My neighbor had let Rusty out so I didn't have to go back to the Harbor, but I didn't know what to do. I swung into a park near the bridge and tried to take a depressive nap. I realized pretty quickly that these difficult feelings were coming up because I wasn't doing anything to numb them.
I wasn't drinking, I stopped smoking, and most importantly, I wasn't chasing desperately after a woman. I miss Hilary every day, and it sucks not to be with her, but because I've made this choice to break my love addiction I have to learn how to deal with the inevitable consequences of that decision, without trying to get some other chick to make myself feel like a man.
Part of recovering from any addiction is forcing yourself to do things you don't want to do. I realized that my desire to go to sleep was my brain's way of running from my problems. I reached out to someone I trust (my dear friend and cohost Shakim Leckie), and just the simple act of reaching out helped me make my next move.
I went to the open mic at Reyna's in Parkland, figuring I'd eat, read Dune Messiah, and maybe see someone I know. While there, I did just that, but I also got to see Shakim do his thing, and even got a sneak peek at his newest masterpiece. I didn't talk much, and didn't stay past his set, but just forcing myself to go out and be around people was a good idea..
Things aren't perfect. Far from it. I'm still not over my lost love. In fact, I came across some old recordings we made back when we were planning our own podcast and it made me wistful for the good times. But hey, I'm not stupid. I know shit back then seemed great, but under the surface it was anything but. It just felt good to listen back to good times and hear the sounds of two bosom friends laughing and having a great time.
Love had potential then. I'd like to think it still does. But for me, at least for a little while, love will have to wait. I can listen to the old sounds without getting too sad because I know that at the time I believed it would be great. Hopefulness is a beautiful thing. Even if life sometimes tears at the edges, hope can remain intact.
So stay hopeful, my friends. We're all in this together. With luck, we'll find the person (or persons) who fits in the best possible way. Until then, I'm gonna keep laughing. And listening. Cause after all, that's what I do.
Keep being awesome!
You've got to be kidding me.
I'm trying everything I can do to fit into this new life inside my parents' house, yet still retain a certain level of autonomy that I may pursue life in the best possible way. This should not only be reflected in the decor and layout of my room but also in the sort of boundaries that will make for successful cohabitation.
These boundaries should include the relative privacy of the content aired on devices within the bedroom. Said individual's sanctum sanctorum as it were. Said individual's devices occasionally air some salacious material that can sound quite aggressive.
So when your son goes to every possible length to lower the sound or even run it through headphones, and thinks everything is squared away, he realizes the door to the hallway has been wide open the entire time.
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
P.S. A family member seemed quite alarmed that I was sharing so much with the Internet. This person believed that future employment or dating success could be questioned by my disclosures. Whatever, Gramps. Put some pants on.
In this extra special bonus episode, Jeff and Erica Knapp get down to business, sharing their darkly personal stories of sexual abuse and the path of healing. They also share some personal work that touches on their struggles to deal with the aftermath of abuse.
Closing Song: "On the Riverside" - Fiver's Dream
Painting by Jake Bowkett - "Forest Riverside"
by Jeff Richardson
Well here we are. Day two of the epic adventure I'm calling Awesome Blog. Not a great title, but hey, I'm just getting started.
Let's see. Today I got up, took an epic bath, as I am wont to do on my days off, and read Dune, one of my favorite books. Once I finished, I sort of languidly lounged until the water got too cold and my cellphone alarm went off in the next room.
After that I did some other stuff. Who am I kidding? My life is pretty dull. However, I did get up and do some outside work with my dad moving summer furniture under the deck and then we went out to lunch at this fancy-ass place in downtown Gig Harbor.
Hoo boy. I don't make enough money to even pretend I belong in a place like that. Ten tables, a wall of wine, a wraparound outdoor seating area with a vast view of the Sound, the harbor, a lighthouse, and a bunch of mammoth richy-rich homes across the narrow sea.
The dude at the counter was nice. Walked us to our table, gave us our water, brought our menus, and blah blah blah. Behind me was a super foxy redhead and a kindly older lady talking about this and that. At this point you probably know I got problems with pretty ladies, and today was no exception. The music was real quiet, so of course I couldn't help but eavesdrop.
Two minutes in I realized this woman was not for me. Of course, I never could have afforded her anyway. Plus I was in a hoody and dirty sneakers, my daily uniform, which couldn't be helping my game. Not to mention my shaggy blond locks, which have needed a cut for months.
Here is the central problem with love addiction. When we're in the depths of our disease, we don't care what makes our attractions seem ridiculous. Even though this woman was clearly too young for me, out of my league, raised rich (which um, no thank you), and on top of all that, I'm looking like I stepped out of a college dorm room in the 1990s, I still thought I might have a shot.
Here's the really dumb part: even if I had had a chance at snagging this chick, what would I have gained? Some uptight fancy girl who'd think I'm charming for about five minutes, and then run screaming to the nearest yacht club once she realizes I'm an insane, foulmouthed, working-class musician with a history of failed relationships? Seriously. Dumb. But that's the headspace I've been occupying for the last twenty-six years.
See, when you fall in love at age thirteen to a girl you never even try to talk to because you're ashamed of your own shadow, you're not really building up the necessary skills to be successful at dating. And then when your wife leaves you for your sports buddy at age thirty-five, and the only women who will date you are either a) in their twenties, b) as crazy as you are, or c) completely diabolical and only after what little money you have left, you're not exactly in a stable position for long term domestic tranquility.
Maybe if I hadn't been abused at age twelve; maybe if my wife hadn't snared me and controlled me and isolated me for thirteen years; maybe if I hadn't stumbled from one dysfunctional relationship to the next in a vain attempt to find a surrogate for the kind of love and support I didn't receive in childhood, maybe then I might have had a chance to woo this fancy girl and get the kind of woman who could help me get my shit together and possibly get my business up and running and finally make something of my life. But then what? I'm stuck with a woman who I like more for her looks than her soul and I end up being just as lonely as I am now, only with more money.
Fuck that. I got a life to live, a career to build, and a desire to find the right woman for me who can show affection, laugh at my dumb jokes, and give me the business in a light-hearted way, the way I've always wanted someone to treat me but had none of the confidence or calmness to receive. Part of me hopes that The Love Of My Life will work on improving the way she handles problems and deals with anxiety, and comes out of her shell enough to show me a little affection when I really really need it, but the simple fact is she's probably never coming back and I'm just gonna have to accept it.
Improving myself may mean that I never find a woman who fits everything I'm looking for. Hell, maybe I'll find out I don't even like women that much and spend the rest of my life going to movies alone and reading my favorite book for the twenty-seventh time. But I hope like hell that I can get her, because goddammit, I've loved her all my life.
by Jeff Richardson
Blogging is hard. But it's something I used to do all the time. Long before I was a ridiculous funny guy, I was a writer. I wrote all kinds of crazy things: video game ideas, roleplaying campaigns, nerdy genre stories, half-baked novels, you name it.
And then I discovered blogging. It was 2005. The war in Iraq had been going nonstop for two blood-soaked years. The siege of Fallujah had begun and the country was on fire with sectarian violence. Meanwhile, back in the States, the anti-war movement was just starting to get on its feet. I'd seen the Kucinich campaign rise and fall, John Kerry taken out through dirty tricks and rigged voting machines, and Bush and Cheney tightening their hold on freedom here and abroad.
I'd believed that blogging was nothing more than boring journals of ordinary people talking about their cats. I was mistaken. I found several blogs using hyperlinks to connect words and phrases to other websites, including legitimate news sources. Suddenly I had a tool I could use to assist the anti-war effort. I'd taken part in numerous protests, and I was on the board of a volunteer group trying to raise awareness, but here was something I could do every day. As someone who'd been writing since he was five years old, this was an opportunity to flex those muscles and gain some level of notoriety in the process. A fun way to feed my narcissistic impulse, and maybe, just maybe, to change the world.
Now I'm back. This new blog is unlikely to stop any wars or help any left-wing politicians get elected, but with enough effort, and a little luck, perhaps it will feed my need to be heard. And, if I do it right, make a few thousand people see the world in a slightly different way.
And if I really nail it, maybe I can make a few of you snort PBR through your nose. A boy can dream, can't he?
In which the further adventures of Erica Knapp are chronicled and her husband takes part in the discussion; some interesting content is left on the cutting room floor; and lessons of the cult are explained.
Closing Song: "Six Swans" by Aaron Willsie
In which Jeff is introduced to fellow TBTL fan Erica Knapp and her brother Aaron; they discuss a multitude of issues relating to growing up as members of a cult; Jeff explains the gaps in pop culture they missed; Jeff describes his favorite Presidents and can't decide which is supreme; Aaron explains why sad things make him laugh; Erica's dog meets his end under suspicious circumstances; the love between a sweaty soccer star and their mom; and much more. Stay tuned for Part 2 in which Erica's husband Ryan expresses his undying love in a vain attempt to make Erica cry.
Closing Song: "Virtual Insanity" by Jamiroquai
In which Jeff and guest host Chris Wood interview the fabulously talented young comedian, Amber Sayman of Olympia, WA; Jeff regales the crew with his rendition of a U2 song; Shakim's absence is noted due to lack of dungeon maintenance; Marky Mark makes a disturbingly offensive appearance; Surgeon General Amber Sayman explains the dangers of tobacco; Chris and Amber debate having ladies as Rangers; Amber uses pretentiousness as an anxiety blanket; Amber pontificates on the nature of the patriarchy; Jeff's flows bring redness to Amber's cheeks; Jeff survives near-certain death on his mail route; Jeff's poetry is rejected by a local literary journal; Chris survives a terrible illness; Jeff orders Chris to return to Virginia;
Closing Song: "The Beat" - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
This episode was voted the 3rd best episode of Season One!
In which Olympia comedian Chase Roper visits Mailman Studios to discuss his epic journey into adulthood; guest host Marquis Carter reveals embarrassing family secrets; we learn of Chase's psychic mother and her strange "allergy"; Jeff reads another love poem; Chase's son reveals his appreciation for diarrhea; Marquis prepares to slam his fellow comics; and the boys discuss their various struggles with mental illness.
Songs in this episode:
"Four Walled World" - Temple of the Dog
"Barracuda" - Roger Fisher and the Human Tribe
In which guest cohost Fred Bowski, future legendary master, Esquire, joins Jefe to discuss the oncoming catastrophic devastation facing the Pacific Northwest; cybernetic government bike messengers; lahar sirens; the majesty of Michael McDonald; the spiritual implications of transgendered people; Fred's journey to fatherhood and not growing weed; Rent-a-goat; future childrearing dilemmas; pony lessons; hobbits, dwarves and wizards; long walks on the beach and wandering hands; the Art of Charm and Jeff's painful attempts at learning improv; and so much more.
Closing Song: "Magic Clap" - The Coup
Here it is, kids! The continuation of the best episode of Everything is Awesome. Guest host Darby Welch is tremendous! You're gonna like the way it sounds, I guarantee it.
Guest Host: Darbylane Welch-Michieli
Oracle: Camille Leinweber
Special Guest: Emily Bittrick, Comic
In which Jeff welcomes new guest host, the incomparable Darby Welch, to the show; we meet the Oracle and learn of her amazing powers of discernment and clarity; issues of sex and masturbation are explored; we discuss the differences between feminism and equality; Darby admits she has a "Charles Manson Celebrity Crush"; the ladies describe their struggle with cutting and eating disorders; Amy Schumer's Train Wreck gets a review; we learn about bike polo; and we decide that Emily is going to be a huge star and should get used to receiving random compliments.
Closing Song: "Troublemaker" - Weezer
This episode was voted the 5th best of Season One and is our #1 most downloaded show ever!
In which Jeff interviews podcasting legend and TBTL afficionado Mike "Clip Clop" Frizzell; Jeff laments the health of his doggy Mr Rusty Barnacle; we discuss the relative merits of geoducks on the Japanese boner population; Mike describes his original podcasting foray and transformation to TBTL acolyte; the process of becoming a bank robber is expained in great detail; Mike marries his TBTL sweetheart; the LRB is formed; Mike recalls his time as TBTL insult artist; and a good time is had by all.
Closing Song: "Smithereens" - The Social Animals
In which a good ole boy from San Diego (California) introduces the fellas to such topics as growing up, joining the military, getting married and having a kid, we learn about how a comedian's set should grow and develop, we discuss the return of the word "liberal" and what it means to us, Jeff takes an IQ test and does the smart thing by not telling his score, Josh's daughter Madison attempts to bring down the show, she laughs into the microphone and attempts to eat it, and many more interesting tangents are revealed!
Closing Song: "One Man Can Change the World" Big Sean
This one was voted the 4th best episode of Season One!
In which Jeff interviews the boys of Chrysalis Effect, they discuss their origin stories, express a wide variety of opinions on a great range of subjects, horse around and sing little ditties, and play some rad music to close out the show.
Featured songs include "Oh Darlin" by the Beatles
In which comedian Shelby Dodson describes his journey through standup comedy, we discuss a great many issues from Jeff's Facebook Feed, including the Confederate flag, gay marriage, and Game of Thrones, plus a litany of local art happenings and small businesses it would behoove you to investigate!
Featured Song is "Linger" by Ridgeway
In which guest Shelby Dodson reveals facts about his childhood, including dirt track races with the Right, his parents struggles with methamphetamine, we share our writing and discuss the writing process, Shelby unleashes a sweetass rap he created back in the day, and we generally bullshit at a highly comedic level. This is Part One of a Two Part Episode, so stay tuned!
Closing Song - "Radiation Vibe" by Fountains of Wayne
We bring to you our first ever episode taped live in front of an audience, and it is magical! It was a crazy show full of comedy, music, and tomfoolery and even Jeff's mom got into the act!
Normally we run down a charming list of things talked about during the episode, but seriously, it's a party. If you don't mind the sound quality, you'll laugh your stupid ass off. Melissa comes back, Fred's in the house, all sorts of great comics and musicians, and Jeff is free to spend his money like a drunken sailor, so tweet at the mother effer already and get you some free drinks. All you gotta do is hang out with the poor loser.
Song in this episode: "Wardrobe to Narnia" by Ian Schuelke
Warning! This is a raw episode sans music. Our guest Andrew has three new tunes on mixcloud, which we are efforting to get into this episode. Download now for the interview and come back in a few days for the whole shebang. In the meantime, listen to the songs on Mixcloud!
In which Elbow Coulee's Andrew Tuller comes to the studio for an in-depth conversation on the differences between country and urban life, ladies misrepresenting themselves on Tinder, Andrew tells the sort of joke one should never tell on podcasts, the writing process is explored in detail, and Fred and Jeff experience the season finale of Game of Thrones in real time and Jeff becomes apoplectic over something in the last scene that is total and complete horse hockey.
Songs included in this episode: TBD
In which Jeff and Fred interview the Comic Critic Mark Monlux and learn of a great many things, including a seedy black market for second-run cinema, his approach to writing, the creation of his great books of movie criticism, "Seldom Seen Films", and "Blockbusters".
Also, a special two-episode recap of Game of Thrones, featuring Episode 8 "Hardhome", and Episode 9 "The Dance of Dragons".
In which Jeff celebrates the culmination of his divorce, Shakim awaits the arrival of a precious baby girl, Jeff and Shakim discover their essential characters through a Game of Thrones personality profile, the end of the Richardson era of live sound, the further adventures of Where Dem Dragons At?, Jeff reveals a heartbreaking childhood malady and its subsequent surgical correction, and so much more!
Closing Track: Kurt Lindsay "High Road"