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Reverse the numbers

tcr! · 6 days ago

lightswitch

March 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

While congregating with Saint Henry, Frank had learned to look for the god within. Addictive people look to the outside to fill their holes. Reverse the numbers and flip the math. God’s already inside, just turn on the light.

#advancedsoul

6 comments

fiatlux423 · 6 days ago

wtf travis

tcr! tcr! · 6 days ago

Too early for god math?

fiatlux423 · 6 days ago

never a good time for math to be honest

tcr! tcr! · 6 days ago

I like math on Tuesdays.

fiatlux423 · 6 days ago

Bro it’s Thursday

tcr! tcr! · 6 days ago

Child’s play

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If Iā€™m feeling the same way

tcr! · 6 days ago

Truck with pink cloud

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

It’s true that 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 a 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 they were there and now I only have a memories fading.

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

2 comments

Richard · 5 days ago

Nice.
Got it.
Thanks.

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marney0160 marney0160 · 4 days ago

Nice! Thanks for the reminder…

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He was a nervous, jittery guy

tcr! · Oct 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

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.”

And because time equals clarity, I 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.

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 did have the occasion thought of hitting someone on the head with a hammer though.

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.

#advancedsoul


  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.

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I don’t deserve nice things

tcr! · Oct 9, 2018 at 9:52 am

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

Really though it’s not about deserving as much as “can’t have.” Because my mind doesn’t work that way. 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. I don’t know for sure, go ask Moses.

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

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Dedicated and duplicated prayers

tcr! · Oct 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm

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


  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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Sep 29th, 2018 at 9:51:41 am

tcr! · Sep 29, 2018 at 9:51 am

As Lynyrd’s mom said… “all that you need is in your soul.”

#advancedsoul

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My morning prayers are pretty simple

tcr! · Sep 27, 2018 at 8:51 am

Flowers in the morning

God, take me where you want me to go, teach me what you want me to learn, let your will override mine. Keep me on the spiritual path, help me love the other humans.

It’s usually a variation of that anyway. Sometimes I say them before I leave the house. Sometimes I say them when I’m driving to work. Some days I mean every word and other days I’m just mouthing the letters.

Some days I don’t say them at all.

But it’s simple. I’m not Saint Francis over here. And most importantly, they remind me that I’m not El Presidente.

#photos #flowers #advancedsoul

6 comments

Momma J Momma J · Sep 27, 2018 at 9:32 am

You express yourself so well - it’s a gift you have!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2018 at 10:07 am

I’d like to take credit for my expression but then I’d be running for office of Presidente.

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ajgoodarzi · Sep 27, 2018 at 10:09 am

Wow! Really like that!

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2018 at 2:51 pm

Thanks! I like it, too. Keeps me on the beam and all that. šŸ˜Š

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JJ · Sep 27, 2018 at 6:12 pm

Remember your ego is not your amigo. šŸŒ®

tcr! tcr! · Sep 27, 2018 at 6:33 pm

Haha! Nope šŸ˜Š

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Crosswalk of Certain Doom

tcr! · Sep 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm

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 to 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 left 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. It’s 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.

#trafficnews #advancedsoul


  1. People don’t learn to be better drivers in these scenarios. They learn that other drivers are jerks.

25 comments

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.

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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! ā˜®ļø

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

šŸŽø

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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.

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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.

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Matt Baer · 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

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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….

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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!

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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 šŸ˜Š 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.

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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.

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Harrison · Sep 4, 2018 at 5:48 pm

The Cheeto made me do it!

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tyner · Sep 4, 2018 at 6:03 pm

Slow down and drive defensive.

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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.

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llutz · Sep 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm

I loved your post…you crack me up! #reallifeishilarious

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The 5 gallon bottle was empty

tcr! · Aug 29, 2018 at 11:15 am

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 jobs, and even when I drag myself out to socialize. 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.

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. šŸ˜‰

#advancedsoul

2 comments

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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Stop keeping score

tcr! · Aug 28, 2018 at 9:48 am

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 it watching 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.

#relationships #advancedsoul

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