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Adoption Fundraiser

1 Oct

Tyler and his wife Jenny have recently adopted newborn twin boys. While this is an exciting (and exhausting) time in their lives, adoption is a fairly expensive endeavor and one that we initiated before COVID shut down the economy. So they are having a fundraiser to cover some of their adoption expenses. ​ ​Please check out the link below for more of their adoption story and to see how you may be able to help.

Click Here to Help

Some Fine Fellas, by Bob Connally

27 Dec

Family and the holiday season inherently go together. Whether it’s time we spend with our families or the desire to be with them if life and circumstances do not allow for it. There are also the memories of the times we spent with those who are no longer with us. But beyond memories there are things that can still make us feel connected to those who have left us behind.


Minisode 118: Teaching

8 Nov

In this minisode, Tyler recounts his experiences as a grad student and teacher.

Minisode 108: Good Days and Bad

16 Oct

In this minisode, Tyler gives and update on his struggles.

Minisode 105: Fighting Hopelessness

17 Aug

In this minisode, Tyler talks about Charlottesville, racism, Donald Trump, and hopelessness.

Minisode 103: Vulnerability

29 Jun

In this minisode, Tyler talks about depression, loneliness, and suicide.

Minisode 99: Depression and Delight

24 Feb

In this minisode, Tyler discusses depression.

Light My Path, by Tyler Smith

8 Jan

I recently discovered the work of artist Owen Klaas. He is a painter who sells his work through his company Fiendish Thingies. When I first saw his paintings, I was astounded. These pieces were dark and moody, and seemed to owe a lot to the German Expressionist films of the 1920s. They were primarily landscapes, featuring bare, ragged trees, angular mountains, and lonely paths winding through the darkness. It’s what the world would be like through the eyes of Dr. Caligari.

And yet these paintings were not altogether hopeless. They did not seem to be mere exercises in a melancholy, eerie tone. Were they simply that, I don’t think I’d have looked twice; I’d have noted the unique visual quality and moved on. However, there was something about Klaas’ work that grabbed me. Within most of the paintings, in the midst of harsh and drab landscapes, there was often a single element that stood out; a splash of color or vitality that broke up the isolated sadness of this world.

This was most clear to me in his piece “Light My Path”. In it, we have a large, ominous full moon shining down on a mountainous forest. In a clearing, however, we have a lone tree, leafless and skeletal. This tree grows next to a narrow path that winds its way towards the far off mountains. Hanging just above the path, from the lowest branch on the tree, is a lantern. It is lit, but doesn’t seem to give off much light. Just enough to illuminate this specific section of the path, it would seem.


A Step to the Block, by Esther O’Reilly

7 Sep


Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph. And any action
Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start.
We die with the dying:
See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead:
See, they return, and bring us with them. – T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding

You can trace every wrinkle on her face. She speaks carefully, measuring each word. Every now and then, she strokes the necklace around her throat. Surrounded by nothing but the studio’s pitch blackness, she seems suspended timelessly in time and space. She looks ahead with now sightless eyes, her vision fixed on something we cannot see. Her words hang in the still air, unpunctuated by narration, music or sound effects. She is 105 years old. She is Brunhilde Pomsel, former stenographer for Dr. Joseph Goebbels.


No Escape, by Tyler Smith

6 Jul


Jaume Collet-Serra’s The Shallows is an effective little creature feature about a young woman trapped on a rock in the ocean, two hundred yards from shore and terrorized by a huge great white shark. As the tide rises and the rock slowly begins to disappear, our heroine must figure out how to outsmart the shark and get back to the beach. Everything is fairly straightforward and the film is sturdily-made, featuring a handful of thrills and a sustained tension throughout.