Half Past Awesome2018-08-03T12:49:35+00:00

The Best Of You

November 12th, 2017|Categories: New & Unimproved, Tales of Misery|

Eight months. It's been eight long months since last I wrote you, and even then the posts have been about the crazyscary aspects of The Job, and very little about the soul. Essays from times in the recent past have focused on the hard journey towards love (like these old [...]

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Savage Addiction

March 12th, 2017|Categories: Siren Songs, Tales of Misery|

"Springfield Truck 10, respond to XXXX W. XXXXXX St. for a possible J4, with an unsecured domestic situation in progress" "Truck 10 copies, en route. Truck 10 will stage upon arrival, Dispatch, please notify when scene secured by PD" "Truck 10, update, there is no domestic, that was a child crying [...]

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Under The Sea & Into The Soul

February 13th, 2017|Categories: ink, Tales of Misery|

Ink & Time Today Facebook gently reminded me that precisely one year ago I walked into Hearts of Fire Tattoo shop to get some artwork committed to my body. It's my take on a mermaid kissing an old-school deep sea diver, and while the artwork's original, the design [...]

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Lift With Your Heart, Not Your Back

January 2nd, 2017|Categories: New & Unimproved|

One year ago today I wrote this essay right here. It was about embracing your inner weirdo, forging forward through failure and a promise to be by your side as we stumbled through 2016. It was a story not of false hope but that through it all, we'd grow together. [...]

For Every Man, A Sheila

September 16th, 2016|Categories: Take It & Blog Fridays|

"For last years words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice" TS Elliot   Love, always The way he looks at her when we're talking ABOUT her. The way that he describes his often broken past, the triumphs and shortfalls, his kids, his [...]

A Muse Me

June 29th, 2016|Categories: New & Unimproved|

"Spend your years/ Spend your time/ With all these tears/ Not all were mine"* N. Rateliff, "Thank you" Gratitude and ego. Forever there is a balance to strike, these two dogs growling and circling in our minds, and in equal measure I've written about both. And, like lunar cycles, we [...]

L’eggo My Ego

June 8th, 2016|Categories: New & Unimproved, Travelblogue|

SO much good is afloat. So much for which to nod our heads humbly and be grateful. According to something written down somewhere gratitude is one of the highest forms of passion, for the person that lives from a grateful standpoint is one without limits and limiting factors. I think [...]

Everywhere Signs

May 21st, 2016|Categories: New & Unimproved, Tales of Misery|

Like a scene from some Norman Rockwell painting of the Midwest, I was sitting on the porch stoop enjoying some watermelon while lightning bugs began their twilight mating rituals, tiny Vegas signs beckoning members of the opposite sex with bright lights and the promise of a good time. It should [...]

To Soar Again For The First Time

May 10th, 2016|Categories: New & Unimproved|

"Did she push you off the cliff after taking the picture?"       -"Something like that, but not" "You're still alive, that's what matters. Although, knowing you, you'd just figure out how to fly on the way down, anyways." It was singularly the kindest thing I'd heard in a while [...]

  • All In: A Conversation With Randy Lopez
    by Uli Gulje on August 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    He's one of the most loyal, hard-working, devoted people I know. A small business owner, a family man in a BIG way and an all-around genuine individual. He's been through life in a way that might leave some salty, but contrary to that, he's a passionate, grateful, relentlessly authentic dude and just as real as anyone I've ever met. To listen to him describe his upbringing, a life in construction and the very things that shaped him into the man he is today is nothing short of a lesson in respect and love. We talk about our Dads, our kids, marriage and what it takes to maintain a positive attitude when you're a polarizing, passionate person in a vanilla, conformist world. He even quotes Eminem. Take a listen to a gentle, strong man give you an honest look at his own journey; it'll inspire the hell out of you! […]

  • Goin' Rogue: A Conversation With Ryan Mulcahy, The Rogue Barber
    by Uli Gulje on August 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    In this episode of The Real State, I sat down with yet another of the Renaissance Men of The Greater Springfield Area. He's called Bingo games, worked as a Camp Counselor, played drums barefoot in a band for 12 years and narrowly missed meeting his wife when she didn't show up for their first (blind) date. He ran into her the next night, used the cheesiest pickup move ever and the rest was history; in fact they married three months later, and 7 years later have one of the strongest unions around. Now, together with his wife Dacy, they own and operate The Rogue Barber & D's Wax Factory which is a fixture in Downtown Springfield and provides some of the most innovative and personal attention to detail in the business. Ryan travels the country as an ambassador and educator for products such as Hattori Hanzo (remember Kill Bill?), and with the smoothest voice around, he was willing to spend some time with me at 4 By 4 Brewing Company, where we wasted an afternoon laughing, telling stories and just enjoying a wandering conversation about all KINDS of things. Enjoy! […]

  • What'choo Fighting For?
    by Uli Gulje on August 3, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Jeff Weeks is a fellow firefighter, casual musician, father and husband, but he's also working on something much bigger than meets the eye. Although he owns Hot Fusion screen printing, he's thrown himself into a project he's called "Fight For It" where the shirts they're making are about raising awareness about causes that desperately need more attention. Tune into an fun conversation with an awesome friend! […]

  • Not A Shadow Of Doubt: A Conversation With Shadow From Q102
    by Uli Gulje on July 27, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    If you listen to Q102 here in Springfield Missouri, you know the voice of Shadow Williams. In today's conversation she brings her own brand of kick-ass confidence to 4 By 4 Brewing Co. to sit down over some delicious pints and we wander around a decade of friendship, how she got into radio, the proper pronunciation of "cilantro",  busting each other's chops and just having a good time laughing at one another.&nbs […]

  • The Growler: a conversation with 4 By 4 Brewing Co. brewer Chris Shaffer
    by Uli Gulje on July 20, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    He's thoughtful, wicked smart and after a lifetime of interesting endeavors just wants it quiet while he concocts some of the best beer I've ever tasted. He's Chris Shaffer, THE brewer of 4 By 4 Brewing Co., which not only sponsors this podcast, they offer a great experience on the Southeast side of Springfield, MO. in a family-friendly environment chock FULL of great brews. From his time guarding missiles in the Air Force to finally making the break from a corporate gig to be the full-time brewer in this partnership of friends, "The Growler" can be found in this giant laboratory whipping out a delicious blend of science and art. Enjoy a conversation with someone I've come to call a friend! […]

  • Death Becomes Her
    by Uli Gulje on July 13, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Michael Harris is a tour de force of love and compassion. She founded Grey Matters Fund (@GreyMattersSWMO) after going through brain cancer herself. Married to the boy she met in 4th grade after a few long diversions, she is Queen Bee of The Church of Skatan, a safe haven/local half-pipe where locals and tourists alike find themselves on a Sunday afternoon, doing their best to shred 40' of chaos. Michael loves PBR and Hamm's beer, her children, her community and all of us who feel lost in this world. In this conversation, she de-mystifies death, gives us insight into her father's influence and displays for all her ability to be about as genuine and real as a person can get. I'm grateful for her friendship, grateful for her time, and stoked that she and Troy have opened their home to wayward souls like mine. Enjoy! […]

  • Into The Mind Of Max
    by Uli Gulje on July 6, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    At 13, he's already an accomplished archer, an avid gamer, a lover of science and also one of my two favorite people in the whole world; he's Max, my second-born son, and one of the kindest kids I've ever known. On the 4th of July we sat down over some Crystal Lite and had a laugh over the funny stuff as well as taking a moment to delve into subjects as serious as gun control and school bullying. It's a short one, but it's worth a listen. Enjoy! […]

  • Gay Enough For Ya?
    by Uli Gulje on June 29, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Elyse Riley is a one-woman powerhouse of energy. From her work as a Sheriff's Deputy to Realtor/business owner, her tireless advocacy for the LGBQT+ Community and at-risk homeless youth, her passion for dog rescue and local charity work, there aren't too many fires Elyse doesn't have an iron in, yet she still finds time to be a wife, rugby player and dedicated friend. In this conversation, we talk about her endeavors, her perspective as a gay woman in a part of the country where tolerance isn't always in abundance. She's hilarious, loyal, witty and one of my best friends, even IF she is a cop. Enjoy! […]

  • How Do You Say Bin Laden In Italian? A Conversation With Jeff Butler
    by Uli Gulje on June 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Former Navy SEAL, CIA case officer and current Springfield Firefighter Jeff Butler is a man who's worn many hats in many parts of the world. He sits down with Uli to talk about his training in the military, his family legacy in the SEALs, the importance of Benny Hinn as the world's greatest televangelist/actor, why he likes hoppy beers and learning how to speak Italian in the CIA. Tune in for a random conversation about how he got here, and what he's learned along the way. […]

  • Killing 'Em With Kindness: The Jen Davis Interview
    by Uli Gulje on June 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    In her professional life, Jen Davis is an absolute success; she's the number one Buyer's Agent in units sold nation-wide in the Keller Williams Realty. What's her story? How did she get there? In a word....kindness. That kindness professionally transcends into her personal life as well, which is why she's absolutely one of my favorite people and a genuine friend. Always willing to help, and always with a smile, Jen makes everyone around her want to be a better person and grateful for it. Listen in as she graciously gives of her time to talk about how she got here. […]