Category Archives: Tea Krulos

Tea’s Weird Week: Random Acts of October

TeaWeirdWeek

Real-life Superheroes, paranormal investigators, conspiracy theory: classic Krulos topics. Three short things related to these subjects have crossed my brain this week and got collected here.

The Legendary Jack

Let me tell you about this guy I know, Jack. Jack is frustrated. It’s hard to catch a break in this world. You put heart and soul into a project, you pour in this passion and you are ignored. Meanwhile some putz will launch into the stratosphere of fame for just the stupidest thing you can think of. It’s a drag, man.

One day recently, Jack told us on Facebook, he was at the check out of the grocery store. While scribbling out a check for the groceries, counting the pennies in his head, he noticed an ad on the check out lane for a guy he used to work with at an oil changing place. This guy now had his own mortgage company. You can bet this guy doesn’t worry if he’s buying generic or name brand peanut butter!

But Mortgage Man Dan will never know the thrill of leaping off the corner post of a wrestling ring, sweat and adrenaline flying off of him as he tackles Baron Von Retchblubber (or whatever his name is) while a crowd in rapture cheers, letting rip a primal scream. Because this Jack is former wrestler JACK T. RIPPER, famous hero (or heel is probably the right term) of a hundred fights!

But wait, there’s more! Zzzzzzap! This same Jack is the mighty Razorhawk, one of these Real-Life Superheroes, founder of the Great Lakes Alliance, founder of the HOPE events.   I joined him in the search for a missing college student in Saint Paul, on a patrol on the streets of Minneapolis, and for a HOPE event in San Diego. I wrote about it in my book Heroes in the Night. Years later, I saw him at a HOPE event in Chicago. BAM!

This Razorhawk, in fact, was the winner of a YouTube reality show titled Academy of Heroes. His co-stars were his Real-life Superhero colleagues: the noble Knight Owl, the nimble Nyx, the dashing Danger Man, the philosophical Phantom Zero, the generous Good Samaritan, and the..uh…mouthy Motor-Mouth! By the end of the show, Razorhawk was declared winner by none other than comic legend Stan Lee himself. Excelsior! 

Real life superheroes with Tea Krulos.Photographs by Paul Kjelland

Razorhawk, the first night I met him in 2009. Photo by Paul Kjelland.

And now, Jack has a more mellow project, but a very cool one. He’s now here, as his motto says, “to chew bubblegum and build models,” but he happens to be “all out of bubblegum.” Now known as the JACK OF MODELS, he has created his own YouTube show in which he carefully builds a variety of car and figure models, shows you how it’s done, and offers a few tricks and tips so you can enjoy this hobby, too.

I’m a fan. You can find the show here:

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv2ZgO3bbhW7rq-CdcYhskw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackOfModels/

Chicago Ghosts

My most read column this month was a reprinting of a rarely seen article I wrote years ago titled “The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter” on Alexandra Holzer, star of the new reality show The Holzer Files. Just recently I had the chance to profile two interesting paranormal investigators for the October issue of Scandinavian Traveler magazine: Dale Kaczmarek of Ghost Research Society, who has been on the supernatural trail since the 1970s, and Ursula Bielski of Chicago Hauntings, who organizes the annual Chicago Ghost Con. Both have written books and offer tours and are all around experts on Chicago ghostlore.

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Dale Kaczmarek with his map of Chicagoland ghost encounters. Photo from Scandinavian Traveler/ Scott Thompson

You can read the article, “Meet the real-life ghostbusters,” here: https://scandinaviantraveler.com/en/places/meet-the-real-life-ghostbusters

I also compiled Dale and Ursula’s picks for “Chicago’s top 5 haunted locations”: https://scandinaviantraveler.com/en/places/chicagos-top-5-haunted-locations

Denver Airport Conspiracy

Ever since it was built, Denver International has been the subject of several conspiracy theories, including secret tunnels, weird art, a cursed horse statue, Illuminati meetings, and more. It’s pretty wild and every time I fly west, I hope for a layover at the airport.
ConstructionCoverUp

While blocking off part of the airport for construction this month, the airport decided that instead of traditional “pardon our dust” signs, they would go full troll with a series of signs alluding to their reputation, including ones that mention the Illuminati, aliens, Reptilians (aka Lizard People), and more. Check out more of the signs here: https://www.curbed.com/2018/9/7/17832102/denver-airport-conspiracy-theories-signs-construction

And if you like conspiracy, well, hang on to your butts because November is Conspiracy Month here at Tea’s Weird Week. I’m doing  some conspiracy related travel mid-November so I’ll be doing some reporting from the road. It’s going to be…interesting.

Follow me here:

Facebook: facebook.com/theTeaKrulos Twitter:@TeaKrulos Instagram: @teakrulos

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Tea’s Weird Week: Pumpkin Spice Edition

TWWBeFunky-photo

Fall time! I love it! To me Fall runs from exactly September 1 to Krampusnacht (December 5) and that’s just the way the Krulosian calendar rolls. It’s a time when I feel I traditionally feel highly productive and filled with memorable days. It’s when everything– coffee, beer, cookies, candles, etc. are suddenly “pumpkin spiced.” Mmm! Just kidding, I don’t like pumpkin spice. That hot apple cider though [chef kissing the air emoticon].

Here’s a run down of what I got going on this fall.

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (Sept.13-14): excited to be back after skipping last year. Things kick off with Friday the 13th Fest VI: Haunted House at Walker’s Point Music Hall, and then a day of conference at Alverno College on the 14th. Instead of our own after party, we are encouraging people to attend the wonderful Night Carnival.

Milwaukee Ghost Walks (Sept-Dec.): Fall time is of course also ghost season and you’ll find me leading the Third Ward walking tour most Fridays and Saturdays (as well as other dates) for Milwaukee Ghost Walks. In November and December we’ll do the new Ghost of Christmas Past tour. I’ll also be running my own Riverwest Ghost Tour a couple times in October.

My Birthday (Sept.25): Getting old! Actually, I don’t complain about it. Age isn’t a bad journey.

World’s Largest Ghost Hunt, Old Baraboo Inn (Sept.28): As I discussed in a previous column, I’ll be visiting my friends at Old Baraboo Inn and giving a presentation on the life, lore, and ghost stories related to Al Capone.

Halloween (Oct.31): I mean do I have to say anything? It’s just the best.

Undisclosed conspiracy related trip to Dallas (Nov.14-24): I am so thrilled to be wrapping up a book (American Madness) about conspiracy theory for the outstanding Feral House. Before I turn it in, I’m going on one more adventure to Conspiracyland, or in this case, Dallas. I’d elaborate, but you’ll read more in the book.

Milwaukee Krampusnacht (Dec.5): We already have such an amazing response to the event and lots of fun stuff planned. Tickets go on sale sometime between September 16-18. The best holiday celebration in Milwaukee!

Somewhere in there I’ll also be turning in my manuscript to American Madness, and another shorter project, Wisconsin Legends & Lore for The History Press. What a year!

After December 5 I think I’ll be taking a much needed holiday break.

#ClownWatch2019

08/27/2019: Rahmeek Younger snuck a clown mask (Pennywise, as featured in the upcoming It Volume 2), gun, and 50 bullets into the Brooklyn Human Resources Administration building. After a visitor spotted the arsenal, 911 was called. Younger tried to flee the scene but was tazed and detained. [via Daily Beast]

Next week: #ClownWatch2019 reports on the sociology of horror movies and what all of these upcoming killer clown movies mean.

Links

On Sunday I made an appearance on Eye 94 (which broadcasts on Lumpen Radio in Chicago) to discuss my book Apocalypse Any Day Now. It was a really fun, engaging talk and I especially like the readings from the book they provided, with as Shanna van Volt narrating and International Anthem Recording Co. providing the back-up music.
Listen to the show here: https://www.mixcloud.com/lumpenradio/eye-94-8-25-2019-tea-krulos

Speaking of, you can find Apocalypse Any Day Now here: www.chicagoreviewpress.com/ApocalypseAnyDayNow or wherever books are sold.

Twitter: @TeaKrulos Facebook: facebook.com/TheTeaKrulos

Tea’s Weird Week: Funny Ha Ha

TeaWeirdWeek

Tea laughs it up and weirds out here every Friday.

This column (and my life) focuses a lot on Funny Weird, but today I thought I’d talk about another interest of mine, Funny Ha Ha. People tend to know I’ve written about subjects considered unique or unusual like Real Life Superheroes, paranormal investigators, doomsday prognosticators, conspiracy theorists, etc. But as a freelance writer, I’ve written about a lot of things that wouldn’t be considered to be fringe. Topics I’ve written at least a couple articles on include local music, burlesque, roller derby, food/drink, theater, comic book artists, authors, and interviews with a wide range of Milwaukeeans for the Shepherd Express and other publications.

And I’ve always had a fun time writing about comedy. Really, how can you go wrong? You sit around and laugh, then write it up.

I’ve written a few articles on the local comedy scene here in Milwaukee, including a round-up of local open mics and an article on Milwaukee Comedy Festival back when they were on year 2 or 3 (they just did their 14th year!) In more recent years I wrote on the Milwaukee comedy scene in general in 2015 and did an “Off the Cuff” interview with Matthew Filipowicz of Laughing Liberally earlier this year. Fun stuff.

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Art from the Shepherd Express article on comedy.

Anyway, one of my favorite publications to freelance for is Scandinavian Traveler. I was contacted by them years ago when Risto Pakarinen editor (and author of a new novel, Someday Jennifer— congrats, Risto!) read my book Heroes in the Night and asked if I would be interested in penning an article on Real Life Superheroes.

Since then I’ve written a few articles for Scandinavian Traveler, including one on Chicago chocolatier Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat (a very delicious assignment), the Mars One program, and some checklists I compiled while I was on vacation in San Francisco.

Risto gave me an extremely delightful assignment for the July issue of Scandinavian Traveler, asking if I’d write about the improv school at the legendary Second City Chicago for their “10 Trips with a Purpose” cover story. I took a trip down to Chicago and participated in an improv class. I also interviewed artistic director Mark Hovde about the comedy biz and Second City’s amazing legacy as the starting point for comedians like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Meyers, and so many other comedians that went on to Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central, and other comedy careers onstage and in writing rooms.

Here’s a PDF version of the magazine (my article is page 71-74): https://scandinaviantraveler.com/sites/default/files/st1907.pdf

ClownWatch 2019: 08/01/2019: IndieWire reports that the Alamo Drafthouse will have a “clowns only” screenings at 17 theaters on September 5 of It: Chapter 2.
Moviegoers are:

“encouraged to come dressed as a clown – the wig, the makeup, the oversized pants and suspenders, the blood-curdling makeup — and sit through this coulrophobia-inducing fright fest with a theater full of fellow clowns.”

Great googly moogly, what could go wrong?

The Week in Links

The Apocalypse Blog Book Club’s late summer selection is Feed by Mira Grant. Next selection will be made early October. The groups meets in person in Milwaukee and has online discussion world wide. Join the club here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1482975718409410/

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2019 is happening Sept.13-15. See a speaker line-up and get tickets here: https://milwaukeeparacon.com/2019/07/26/milwaukee-paranormal-conference-2019/

The Milwaukee Krampusnacht 2019 event page is live!: https://www.facebook.com/events/520974881979502/

Twitter: @TeaKrulos Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheTeaKrulos

Zombie Squad: Milwaukee

zsid
While working on my book, one group I encountered and became intrigued by is Zombie Squad. It’s a national organization that meets up to discuss surviving a zombie apocalypse, with zombies being a useful metaphor for disaster preparation in general. The local chapter had a table at my Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (in 2015) and I went to a meeting they had last month. I’m going to try to make all their meetings and check out the annual ZombieCon in June, which takes place in Missouri.

To tie in with their meeting this Friday, I wrote a short bit on the group for Milwaukee Record, which you can read here: http://milwaukeerecord.com/city-life/we-make-dead-things-deader-gearing-up-with-zombie-squad-milwaukee/


The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php

They are updating the Doomsday Clock tomorrow morning and I got to tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be good

clock

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is an organization and publication that was formed in 1945. The idea, basically– “oh shit we just created an atomic bomb and that might not have been such a great thing, so let’s keep tabs on where this is going.”

In 1947, the nerve-wracked scientists debuted the Doomsday Clock, a metaphorical visual aid to show just how close we are to nuclear annihilation. Some years the clock ticks forward to Doomsday (aka Midnight on the clock) and other years, to a sigh of relief, it falls back in time. Over the years, the organization has added other factors to consider, in addition to nuclear proliferation: climate change, bio-weapons, and cyber threats.

Here’s some Doomsday Clock highlights:

1947: Doomsday Clock debuts at 7 to Midnight
1953: 2 to Midnight, the closest to Midnight the clock has ever been. This is the year the H-bomb was created.
1991: 17 to Midnight. The end of the Cold War pushed the clock the furthest it’s ever been from Midnight.
2015: The clock ticks to 3 to Midnight. Only two other years chimed this close: 1949 (when the Arms Race was heating up) and 1984 (the height of the “mutually assured destruction” days of the Cold War.)
2016: The clock remains stuck at 3 to Midnight. It is, as the Bulletin notes “not good.”

You can see a longer timeline of the clock here: www.thebulletin.org/timeline

What will 2017 bring? I think it’s painfully obvious that tomorrow morning we will see the clock edge even closer to Midnight.

Let me give you just two quotes from the 2016 presidential campaign:

“I would bomb the shit out of ‘em. I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I would blow up the pipes…every single inch. There would be nothing left.”– Donald Trump on ISIS

“…carpet bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out.”–Ted Cruz on ISIS

Just a small sample of things the Bulletin had to consider this year, in addition to other nuclear threats, and a new administration who believes bigly that climate change is a hoax and not a priority.

Tomorrow I will be up bright and early to grab donuts and coffee and watch the Doomsday roll in. The Doomsday Clock reveal and press conference will be live streamed at 9am CST here: clock.thebulletin.org and I will be tweeting out my reactions here: @TeaKrulos

Hold on to your butts.


The Apocalypse Blog explores the topics of Tea Krulos’s third non-fiction book, which is about doomsday predictions, prepping, and pop culture. It’ll be published in 2018 (if the world survives that long). His first two books, Heroes in the Night (2013) and Monster Hunters (2015) are available from Chicago Review Press here: http://www.chicagoreviewpress.com/krulos–tea-contributor-296670.php

Putting Milwaukee on the VoiceMap

VM
A few months ago, I was contacted by a company called VoiceMap. This app offers audio tours of locations around the world, some of them are pretty traditional tours, some of them have a creative twist. VoiceMap uses GPS triggered files to narrate the story as you walk. The company is based out of South Africa, with an office in Singapore, and an international cast of contributors. I’m happy to be the first VoiceMap contributor from Milwaukee (or for that matter, Wisconsin).

One of the folks from VoiceMap encountered my strange adventures via the old Google and suggested this might be a platform I’d be interested in. I was. I had a couple ideas, but I thought it would be best to start here in my backyard, the neighborhood of Riverwest. A couple years ago, I wrote a story for the Riverwest Currents about neighborhood ghost stories, so I decided to base the “Riverwest’s Ghost District” tour on that.

It was fun! I eventually learned how the entire writing/ recording/ editing process works for this and now the route is done. You just need to get the VoiceMap app and then you can download routes, including mine, which is a 99 cent download. You can find it here: https://voicemap.me/tour/milwaukee/riverwest-s-ghost-district-2

I’m keen to record my next one (after I catch up on a couple other things), which will be a tour of Brady Street.

 

May

Tea Krulos - Bloch Article-5

Really great mix for me this month. “#Save Uptowner” was a collection of quotes from people associated with the tavern, explaining why the bar (over 130 years old) is an important institution to many, which appeared in Riverwest Currents. I also wrote a nice, breezy profile on Jessi Mechanic for M, which I think turned out well. I did a fun historical look at Robert Bloch (author of Psycho) who lived in Milwaukee as a young author, my second piece for Milwaukee Record. On the blog angle, I wrote my “Monster of the Month” column on one of my favorite experiences for my book Monster Hunters and I wrote a piece about frightening things that have happened to me out on in the field for this blog.

Next month, the word count will take a huge jump as June 1 is the official release date of Monster Hunters (available now: HERE).

I did quite a few promo interviews for the book on both local and paranormal themed podcasts, websites, print, and radio shows. I won’t list them all, but here’s a Q and A w/ Shepherd Express and a podcast interview with Milwaukee Record’s “On the Record” show.

12. “#Save Uptowner,” Riverwest Currents, May 2015. (page 2)

13. “Making Music in Brooklyn,” M Magazine, May 2015.(page 96)

14. “Bloch-buster: Milwaukee’s Connection to Psycho, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert Bloch,” Milwaukee Record, May 6, 2015.

15. “Monster of the Month: Squishes (aka Michigan Bigfoot),” Forces of Geek, May 16.

16. “The Four Most Frightening Things That Have Happened to me While Working on Books,” teakrulos.com, May 26, 2015.

Total 2015 word count: 16, 080