About last year.

So, last year, right guys?

It was a rough stretch for a lot of folks, myself included. I won’t go into each aching detail but, for the most part, 2016 ate my lunch in more ways than one. Sure, good things happened, great things happened. But I also got bowled over more than once by the tumble cycle of life’s off-balance washing machine.

The best thing that happened last year was that I launched this podcast in March. (Yeah, also my best friend got pregnant and another best friend survived a bad experience, those were great too, haha.) As is often said: hard to believe it’s been almost a year already.

I’ve had an incredible amount of fun making the Nowhere Dispatch thus far. Towards the end of last year, I went through some unusually tough experiences that knocked me out of commission.

I am a mentally ill person. I have severe depression and anxiety disorder, among other things. One of the defining features of these conditions is that I have a tough time recovering from bad situations. So, as a result, I spent much of the end of 2016 sprawled on a couch, sucking up countless hours of daytime TV because I couldn’t handle much more than being a gelatinous blob.

One of the quirks of mental illness is that I can get really wrapped up in dark subjects. This can be handy, especially when it comes to this podcast.

In the weird, shaking dawn of 2017, I’ve found myself getting wrapped up in work on the podcast and I notice the world falling away. I’m still in the middle of some very difficult and challenging situations but working on these episodes helps me keep my feet on the ground and my head screwed on straight.

Again, and with total humility and gratitude, thank you for listening to the Nowhere Dispatch. You guys are one of the best things I’ve got going in my weird, confusing life at the moment. So I’ll keep churning out strange and creepy stories as long as you kots and koshkas keep clicking that play button.

I’m looking forward to the next episode and my one-year anniversary of the podcast. I just checked my stats after being logged out for awhile and the listener response is better than ever.

Let’s keep on wandering farther into Nowhere.

Creepy Sh#t Part 2 – Sam’s Demons

Have you ever seen one of the many horror movies set in a rural area? Whether they’re supposed to take place in modern times or in a bygone era, in many of these films you will see a character that can only be described as a religious nutjob. Bible-thumpers, fire and brimstone preachers and even cannibalistic commune members are cast as representatives of the zealots and whackos who pervert religion into something purely evil.

In case you were wondering, no, we’re not all like that down here. Do we have religious bigots and a high watermark of prejudice? You betcha. But the folks who proselytize the harder-edged flavors of faith don’t often ascend the ranks of crazy to claim the title of murderer or psychopath.

That being said, religious prejudice is an ugly stain on what could be, and one day may well be, a truly progressive and inclusive area of the country. We realize that some of these folks are holding us back. Trust me, we’re working on it.

I am a staunch defendant of the right to freedom of (and from) religion and I am a vicious opponent of intolerance, whether it’s from or towards religious folks. I grew up in church and the vast majority of these people are hardworking, kind, big-hearted people who would bend over backwards for you if you showed up hungry and in trouble on their doorstep.

Not all of them, though. Some of them distrust science, others actively hate and mock it. Some of them vote Republican, others lean so far right they’re essentially bumping elbows with fascism. Some folks take it a bit too far, is what I’m getting at. This, I believe, is the source of the rumor about the religious crazies who wield pitchforks and slay teens on the big screen.

I sat down with my friend Sam to talk about the ways that blind religious devotion can hurt, and even ruin, relationships. Sometimes you can believe something so strongly that you can’t see around it to notice that you’re hurting yourself and others.

Tune in to see why the demons we can’t see may be the creepiest of all.