Category Archives: Writing about Writing blah blah blah

Tea’s Weird Week: I Kicked 2021’s Ass (or Maybe it Kicked Mine)

The 2021 Tea’s Weird Week columnhead, designed by Addo Workman/ Cut it Out Studios

This is the last Tea’s Weird Week column of the year before I take a holiday break from it. Well, what can I say–2021, like 2020 was a pretty insane, surreal year overall. I mean, 6 days into it and there was a violent, conspiracy-fueled mob who stormed the Capitol. There were challenges for me, personally, but it was also one of the best years I’ve had as a writer.

One thing that was spectacular was that it was a year that I expanded the mediums I work in and this also involved collaborating with other people, more so than I’ve done in a long time. Writing can be a very lonely art, so it was great to work with others on a podcast, documentaries, and events.
Here’s my 2021 highlights!

January: The launch of the Tea’s Weird Week podcast. My great crew for the show includes my co-host Heidi Erickson, sound engineer Andrew (aka Android138), and our trivia master, Christen (aka Miss Information). For our first year we recorded 36 episodes as well as a couple specials and bonus tracks. We did some fun stuff like getting live interviews at Midwest Haunters Convention and UFO Daze. You can catch up on Tea’s Weird Week here: Tea’s Weird Week Podcast | (teakrulos.com)

The Tea’s Weird Week crew at Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

April: I returned as a walking tour guide for American Ghost Walks, running tours for the rest of the year. The “Ghosts of Christmas Past” tours this weekend and next wrap up the season. More tour info: American Ghost Walks | Haunted History Tours and Ghost Walks

May: I was honored to receive a gold Milwaukee Press Club Award in the “Best Short Hard Feature” category for an article I wrote for Milwaukee Magazine about citizen journalists titled “Reporting Live from the Street.”

June: I also won a National Indie Excellence Book Award in the “Current Events” category for my book American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness.

July: Also American Madness related– production begins on a documentary adaptation of the book. Eric and Kim Hayden are producers. The Haydens have been great to work with and we’ve been slowly and steadily getting interviews and other material to tell a great visual version of the book.

Me with the Haydens and members of the California Initiative at Superhero Desserts in Alameda.

September: After a virtual only event, Milwaukee Paranormal Conference returned Sept. 24-26 with events at Faklandia Brewing, Alverno College, and a variety of locations on Sunday’s Activity Day. It was great to be back and see familiar faces.

October: I wrote an article for Milwaukee Magazine on Kenosha area “horror hosts” titled “Terror on the Tube,” and that article is being adapted into a documentary short. Alicia Krupsky is director, me and Christopher House are producers, several other talented people are involved in the production, too. Production began in October. I also took a trip for about 5 days to California to help shoot interviews for the American Madness doc.

The horror host doc crew with Dr. Destruction.

December: Milwaukee Krampusnacht returned Dec. 5. Organizing that event is a lot of work and this year was especially challenging. But it looked like everyone had fun, so it was worth it.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dec. 9 was the official release of my book Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches, a collection of short stories I wrote about a drug store/ greasy spoon diner I worked at in my youth. It’s published by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press and you can order here: Tea Krulos • Brady St. Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches — Read the Future (vegetarianalcoholicpress.com)

Here’s a TWW Pharmacy episode: Tea‘s Weird Week, S3 ep 10 (Finale): A Brady Street Pharmacy Fever Dream (podbean.com)

Release party was at Lion’s Tooth, a great independent bookstore here in Milwaukee. The owners asked if I could cover a few shifts working there in October and of course I said yeah, cause they are awesome.

Me at the Lion’s Tooth release for Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches

What a year! The Tea’s Weird Week column and podcast will be back sometime next month, mid-January. Between now and then, I’m going to try to take it easy. I’ll be working on a couple articles for Milwaukee Magazine and the documentary projects, but also hoping to catch up on some reading, movies, and enjoying some holiday time. If you’re reading this, congratulations on living through another crazy year and I hope you have a lovely holiday season. See you in 2022!

My books make a good gift. here’s the best links to order each one:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021)
American Madness (2020)
Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020)
Apocalypse Any Day Now (2019)
Monster Hunters (2015)
Heroes in the Night (2013)

Tea’s Weird Week: Horror Hosts

I’m still recovering from October. What a month! Definitely one of the busiest I’ve experienced. I did a bunch of tours for American Ghost Walks, did some podcasts, took a trip to California to work on the American Madness doc and…oh yeah, started a new project– a documentary short based on an article I wrote for the October Milwaukee Magazine. The doc’s working title is Kenosha Horror Hosts.

This all started back in 2016 when I met a horror host from the Kenosha area, Deadgar Winter, who has a show called Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics. That same year I also first encountered Dr. Destruction, a horror host with a show called Crimson Theatre, also based in Kenosha.

A horror host show features a zany character (or cast of characters) that introduces an old horror film (or independent features) and they do short skits as “bumper segments” when going to commercial breaks.

Vampira is cited as the first horror host. Actress Maila Nurmi hosted The Vampira Show in 1954. Her life story is really interesting and amazing and if you’re looking for a good book, I highly recommend Glamour Ghoul: The Passions and Pain of the Real Vampira, Maila Nurmi, written by her niece Sandra Niemi (published by Feral House, who published my book American Madness).

The original Goth Queen, Vampira.

Some other famous examples of horror hosts– Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (she was supposed to be a Vampira reboot, but her producers decided they would just rip Vampira off and not pay her), Chicago’s Svengoolie, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Joe Bob Briggs to name a few.

I got Svengoolie’s autograph at the 2015 Chicago Ghost Con.

After I met Deadgar Winter and Dr. Destruction, I thought there might be an interesting story there and I filed it away in the back of my brain. When I saw that two of Deadgar’s co-hosts, Celeste and Morgan Parker had split off and started their own show (Hexen Arcane), I decided it was time to do the story up. Then I discovered there was a fourth show in the Kenosha area– Nightmare Cinema with Uncle Wolfman. Whaaaaaat. Four Kenosha horror host shows?

While working on the article I just had a kind of light bulb moment where I could see the story being a great documentary short– it’s a story filled with colorful characters. My Tea’s Weird Week podcast co-host Heidi Erickson introduced me to her friend, filmmaker Alicia Krupsky, who agreed to be director. Christopher House, a co-founder of the Twisted Dreams Film Fest is a producer and cinematographer. Stephen Vincent Anderson and Heather House have provided additional camera work and we’ll have more talented people helping with production.

The documentary crew at Dr. Destruction’s haunted manor, an attraction at the Jerry Smith Pumpkin Farm in Kenosha. L-R: me, Christopher House, Dr. Destruction, Alicia Krupsky, Stephen Vincent Anderson.

We did a few shoots, including the bulk of interviews we wanted last month and it’s been a blast. Winter is going to be a good time to work on editing. We’re hoping to be done in late spring or early summer and will be entering Kenosha Horror Hosts into film fests. In the meantime, you can read my Milwaukee Magazine article here (or listen to me read it on this week’s Tea’s Weird Week podcast, link below): A Look Inside the Surprisingly Large Web of Local Horror Hosts (milwaukeemag.co

My article in the October Milwaukee Magazine.

Tea’s Weird Week S3 ep07: Halloween Hangover: Happy witching season! Tea reads his article on Wisconsin horror hosts from the October issue of Milwaukee Magazine. Tea and Heidi discuss Tea’s encounter with a street preacher while leading a ghost our, QAnon thought JFK Jr. would appear to them in Dallas, Zuck’s BBQ bottle and more. Miss Information has trivia and we close out with a track by Rexxx, “Animal.” 

Listen here: Tea‘s Weird Week S3 ep07: Halloween Hangover (podbean.com)
Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

Check out my latest books:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

Tea’s Weird Week: Tune Your Air Guitars and set them to “Autumn”

Hello, this week I’m just listing some stuff I got going on this autumn, which I think of as the months of September, October, and November, my favorite time of year.

-Fall is, of course, a great time to take a ghost tour. I’m leading some of them for American Ghost Walks, including one tonight, Aug. 27, that is a benefit for the upcoming Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (more on that in a minute): americanghostwalks.com

-The Tea’s Weird Week podcast returns with season 3 September 10! Me, Heidi, Android138, and Miss Information return to talk about rougarous, witchcraft, and more. You can catch up on seasons 1 and 2 here: Tea’s Weird Week Podcast | (teakrulos.com)

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is happening September 24-26. Here’s a quick breakdown: September 24 is a Paranormal Party at Faklandia Brewing, the conference proper happens 10-5 September 25 at the Alverno College Bucyrus Center and includes speakers and vendors, that evening there will be some tours and September 26 is an Activities Day with events happening at different venues around town throughout the day.

After a virtual only event last year, we’re excited to be back. Thanks to an American Ghost Walks sponsorship, the main conference event, Paranormal Party, and some of our activities are all free events this year (some of the activities like our tours and Yoga in the Cemetery event require a paid ticket, but they are very fairly priced).

Check out the schedule and more info here: Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Returns Sept. 24-26, 2021 | Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (milwaukeeparacon.com)

-And hey, my birthday is the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (Sept. 25). If you want to show your appreciation for me still being alive, come hang out at the conference and/or buy one of my books: About the Author | (teakrulos.com)

-If you missed the announcement, I’m quite thrilled to be working with a talented production company led by Eric and Kim Hayden to develop my book American Madness into a documentary. I talk with them almost every day about the project and it’s going well. I’m going to spend the first week or so of October out in California to help set up some interviews in the San Francisco area and then Los Angeles. It’s been over a year since I’ve done any travel outside the state (I took a quick trip to Seattle in July 2020). Looking forward to the voyage and sharing developments on this project in the near future!

-In 2019 I wrote a TWW column titled “October is Mad Ghost Boo Biz” meaning that anyone associated with paranormal stuff has a pretty busy month. So when I’m back from California, there will be plenty to do– ghost tours, library appearances, podcast interviews, etc. There’s an “upcoming appearances” tab on my site here if you want to see me in person.

-I don’t usually hype articles I write before they’re published, but I got a good one that will be in the October Milwaukee Magazine about local horror hosts.

-November is a little less hectic, much of the time used to push through Milwaukee Krampusnacht (Dec. 5) details and prep for the release of my collection of short stories Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories & Sketches, official release date December 7 from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press.

It’s going to be a hell of a busy fall…but all really fantastic projects!

Check out my latest books:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

Tea’s Weird Week: Drunk in the Back of a Cab, Listening to Coast-to-Coast AM, 2017

This story was inspired by my appearance on Coast-to-Coast AM Friday night. I started writing this when it occurred in 2017, but I ditched the story…until now.

At 2AM, I locked the door to the Riverwest Public House and was alone in the bar. I was drinking whiskey and listening to The Damned, The Light at the End of the Tunnel compilation. I had first heard this album sometime in high school and remembered it one day at work and was like hey, great fucking album, and then started listening to it every night at closing time.

Closing the bar was a time of great peace for me– washing glassware, tossing bags of garbage in a pile by the door, stocking beer and bottles of booze, slowly walking the length of the bar, giving it a rub down with a bleach water soaked rag. Last step– have a drink and count out the drawer, then call a cab. I had just moved from Riverwest to Bay View.

The bars were closed and all of Milwaukee in a drunken sleep, so the taxi arrived quickly. I was a bit buzzed myself and crawled into the back seat.

“Do you mind if I listen to this?” The cab driver asked, gesturing to his radio dial. I heard the familiar voice of George Noory, primary host of Coast-to-Coast AM, the long running, gold standard of weird radio. I could hear Noory was discussing something extra-terrestrial related with a guest

“I don’t mind at all, I’m down with Coast-to-Coast,” I told the cabbie. He smiled and we headed to I-94.

I stared out the window as we crossed the Hoan Bridge. I always loved the view. I would say it’s beautiful, in an industrial way– cold and dark, no signs of life except the grinding and clunking of machinery. Blinking red lights and miles of pipes and smokestacks belching smog passed by as the Yellow Cab cruised over the mostly abandoned bridge. We were hit with a blast of the sewage scented lake, an acrid but familiar smell.

I could have told the cabbie that I, the bartender he had picked up, was in fact a guest on Coast-to-Coast a couple years prior. But I’m not the type of person that likes to walk around telling anyone and everyone about who I am. So instead me and the cabbie sat in silence, listening to the radio while I looked lovingly out the window at the rusty landscape passed below.

I love this strange city and my life in it. Noory continued his interview with some guy who is a UFO expert– someone who chose an odd path in life, a person who opened a door to a surreal dimension and never came back.

That’s what I love about life. You never know– that person standing in front of you in line at the grocery store might dress up in a homemade superhero costume at night to patrol the streets. The person sitting next to you on the bus could be a UFO expert…or a serial killer, I suppose. This cab driver– a novice conspiracy theorist?

And the person you might pick up in your taxi late one night might be a bartender who also happens to be a dude into a hell of a lot of weird shit named Tea Krulos.

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

Tea’s Weird Week, S2 ep13, Ask Us Anything!

Tea Krulos and Heidi Erickson answers questions submitted via social media– find out about frightening weird encounters we’ve had and our deepest secrets. Plus we share weird news– Mothman sighted at State Fair, the MyPillow guy goes full Captain Ahab, killer robots, and the Big Mac champ of Wisconsin (and the world). Miss Information reveals trivia answers (and our winner) and we close out with a track from Victor DeLorenzo‘s new album Spoken Drum, “Bow.” 

Thanks to our sound engineer Android138 and all of our guests this season. We’ll be back in September. 
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S2 ep13: Ask Us Anything! (season finale) (podbean.com)
Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

Check out my latest books:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

My “Citizen Journalists” Article Won a Gold Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award

I’m honored to say I was announced this week as winner of a gold Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Award in the “Best Short Hard News Feature” category. MPC is the oldest operating press club in North America (e. 1885). The entrants were judged by my peers at other press clubs around the country.

I think some people just have a vague idea that I write about “weird stuff,” but I take what I do seriously. I’ve freelanced on a wide range of topics– food/drink, art, music, independent businesses, interesting personalities, reviews, everything from short blurbs to longform pieces. I think that the more experience you have writing, the more you recognize what you’re good at.

The award was for an article I wrote last year for Milwaukee Magazine titled “Reporting Live from the Street” (the online version has the different title “How Citizen Journalists Captured the Chaos in Kenosha” and is a bit longer than the print version.)

Citizen journalist Brandan Gutenschwager aka BG on the Scene in Kenosha.

I started piecing together the story the day after the shootings by 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha last August, where Rittenhouse killed two people and injured a third. I was watching the news the next day (I watched more cable news this year and last than I have my entire prior life x 3, easily) glued to the reports. I noticed that all of the footage from that night had watermarks on it from “The Rundown Live” and “BG on the Scene.” I happened to know Kristan T. Harris of The Rundown Live, as he participated in some past events I had done, and I wrote an article about him for Milwaukee Record about his bid to be presidential nominee for the Transhumanist Party– he’s an interesting guy.

I learned that Harris, Brandon Guteschwager (BG on the Scene), and others like them were people that are sometimes called “citizen journalists,” independent reporters who livestream from protests and other events to share footage of what’s going on at street level. It is because of the footage of Harris, Gutenschwager, CJ Halliburton (CJTV), and Andrew Mercado (Mercado Media) that we know what happened that night in Kenosha. If they had not captured it, I think it’s entirely possible that Rittenhouse would have walked away from the scene and disappeared into the night unidentified.

That night was far from the end of the story. Rittenhouse was released on a $2 million bail, paid by his admirers (including Silver Spoons actor Ricky Schroder and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell). After making bail, he was spotted at a bar in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin hanging out and singing karaoke with the Proud Boys. And I’m sure people will take to the streets again when Rittenhouse goes on trial (which was pushed back to November).

As for the citizen journalists, they have continued to travel across the country covering events and they’ve shot footage that you’ve probably seen of protests in Minneapolis, the January 6 Insurrection, and other locations. I’d like to thank Kristan T. Harris, Brandon Gutenschwager, and CJ Halliburton for the interviews for the article– their candid accounts of what happened that terrifying night really made the story. I’d also like to thank Kate for her feedback on the article, my editor Chris Drosner at Milwaukee Magazine for his help and supportive words, and everyone else on staff there that I’ve had the opportunity to work with.

You can read the article here: “How Citizen Journalists Captured the Chaos in Kenosha,” Milwaukee Magazine.

I also uploaded an audio file of myself reading the article via the Tea’s Weird Week podcast channels. You can listen here: TWW Singles: Tea Reads his Award-winning Article About Citizen Journalists (podbean.com)

Thanks you all for your support. Being a freelance journalist and an author working with indie book publishers is awesome and thrilling, but not particularly lucrative. If you want to support me as a writer, one of the best ways is to buy one of my books, buy one for a friend, leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, or share on social media. Here are links to all my books via the best places to buy them:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

Monster Hunters (2015, Chicago Review Press)

Heroes in the Night (2013, Chicago Review Press)

Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book collection of my columns from last year)


Tea’s Weird Week: Bouncing Off the Wall

There was no Tea’s Weird Week column last week and it’s because I hit a wall and just could not write at all. Not in the least bit. It was the first time there was an unplanned skip in this weekly column.

It’s strange cause the week started off great– my friend’s at Lion’s Tooth, a wonderful new bookstore in Milwaukee, had me in to sign more copies of my book American Madness. They told me it’s selling pretty well there, so I was happy to visit, sign their stock, and pick up a few books and a t-shirt for myself. (Keep it rolling, order from them here: https://www.lionstoothmke.com/american_madness.html#/ ) Good stuff.

But the next day, Monday, I had a deadline for two short articles. If you don’t know me outside of my “weird” work, I freelance for some local publications here in Milwaukee on a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to) art, music, food/drink, local businesses, performance art, comedy, interviews with local people doing interesting things. Freelancing, like anything, has advantages and disadvantages. I really enjoy getting out to meet new creative people, learn about new things, and see some behind the scenes stuff. I’ve never had to write a story that I didn’t want to work on. That said, freelancing is often a roll of the dice and sometimes stressful and frustrating.

Anyway, two short articles– super easy! I could open up two laptops and type both these suckers out at the same time! But for some unknown reason, it really burned me out. A couple other small things happened– nothing terrible, nothing earth shattering, but the combination of a few irritations and failures made me incredibly bitter, mentally exhausted, and in serious doubt that I have any legit skill or talent by Tuesday evening. I looked at my writing projects in development– there’s about 5– and I just saw wheels spinning, kicking up dirt. What a long week…wait, it’s Tuesday?ah shit. Non-fiction writer’s block is different than the fiction version, but it is a thing.

I didn’t have any other deadlines on the horizon, so I decided to choose the best possible option for that particular time and place I was in, which was to fuck off for the rest of the week. This is not something I do often, but I got to tell you, sometimes you need to use a well placed FUCK IT.

Writing is a tough business. There’s quite a few people I’ve met who have given up on the writing thing because of the painful, intimidating gauntlet of rejection– the cold, uncaring void that will drain the pages right out of you, the struggle to find the right words. My experience has been that writing is a practice of love, pain, humility, patience, fun, grief, the highs of accomplishment, the lows of self-doubt, and much more.

I make a lot lists to keep my writing on track, but I threw them all out last week. I sure as hell didn’t do any writing. I cleaned my office, I planted some seedlings, I went for walks and thought about life, I did the dishes, I had some drinks and watched some TV. On Monday, I got moving again– slowly. It was time to get back into the game. I guess, for better or worse, I’m a writer.

Here is my 2 cent writing advice– you will want to quit, you will think you suck, you will want to burn it. Don’t. When you hit a wall, take a break if you need to, but don’t give up– dig under it, climb over it, bounce off of it, crash through it like the Kool-Aid Man. Oh yeaaaah!

Looking forward to future projects/ events really helps me not give up. Here’s some positive things coming up for me:


Tea’s Weird Week podcast, season 2– soon, working on it. Should be back in a couple weeks. Check out the podcast page for links to season 1 on your favorite podcast platforms: https://teakrulos.com/teas-weird-week-podcast-4/

-Milwaukee Press Club Awards– I’m one of the finalists in the “short hard news” category, they’ll be announcing in a virtual event May 19 whether I got the gold, silver, or bronze. I’m honored to be nominated.

Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories & Sketches is a collection of short stories I wrote about a greasy spoon/drugstore I worked at in my youth. It’ll be out next year from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press.

-Like I said, I got several writing projects in development, though nothing sold or on deadline yet. We’ll see what happens with all that.

With that, I’m going to move on to some hopefully wall-free writing while I’m still “on.”


Follow me:
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Check out my books:

American Madness
Apocalypse Any Day Now