Ding Ding “D” O’Duck Duck “G”


Righting at the Speed of Love

What you’re about to read is not about God. It’s about the nation he’s above. It’s about the United States of America – a country I love and the country I’m from – the country that boldly declares In God We Trust on its currency and the people who prioritize money above human life.

They will have a hard time keeping pace with how this is about to unfold.

Home of the brave, indeed.

Good morning, America! More on moron money in a minute. 

I’ve been in a growing state of confusion for the better part of six years. The words regularly penetrating me these days are ongoing and mind blowing.

Look out, folks. I need a shot before I continue. This will be uncomfortable for some awful people.

By the way, my relationship with Milagro involves only a shot glass.

Lordy, Lordy Look Who’s 40

I turned 40 less than a month after moving to Scottsdale. I never imagined how drastically different my life would become today.

It’s a fucking mess, but in the most glorious way.

On September 13, 2018, I’ll have served a four-year term in Arizona.

It happened when it would create an everlasting impact.

I’m not the only one whose life completely realigned itself. 

I’m still perplexed, but I feel incredibly blessed, beyond measure, and anyone who knows me understands how weird that statement sounds coming from me.

I deserve another shot. This one’s a double.

America’s Multiple Reality Disorder

Multiple realities are what make life worth living. This is a country where only 5% of the world calls home. We are the world’s melting pot. There’s no country more diverse than America which gives America the biggest opportunity.

In God We Trust

There’s a difference between having life and being alive.

There’s no purpose in having, but there is purpose in being. Not all humans are human beings. At the end of the day there are two ways to go. You either die feeling miserable or depart fulfilled, feeling upgraded to a level of love I cannot wait to see.

For now, I’m going to have to deal with just feeling the love, which isn’t a bad penalty box. I’ll be back in the game soon enough. I needed the rest anyway.

There are plenty of people who never thought this much truth would ever surface. Then again, those people aren’t very smart, and I no longer surround myself with people who bury the truth under layers of deception so easily. That’s not what a human being does.

Being a human being is never easy. Shit, hooking up on Scruff isn’t easy.

Circling Back to Trusting God with Money

Earn it honestly. Don’t steal it and don’t take bribes. I don’t recommend accepting anything stamped with God for bad things. But, I don’t care either way. You do you and it looks like you’re happy doing it and that’s great. Keep going down that path.

In God We Trust

God is everything. God is even the Devil. Think about that for a second.

Be careful, money is a double-edged sword and it’s sharp. By itself, money isn’t the root of all evil; it’s the love of money that will ruin your life and the lives around you.

Money is more addictive than any drug you can inject. It’s especially dangerous because your friends love its scent. It smells better than a kilo of coke and they know when you can’t afford them anymore.

Cash Strapped Trust

If you don’t know what’s going on by now, I don’t know what to Tonya.

Everyone had every opportunity to practice their blindfolded triple consecutive quad axels, coupled with kickboxing and creativity, in time for crowbar season.

Crowbars are basically bats. It doesn’t matter whether it has wings and rabies, or made of wood, both are bad news. You won’t know what hit you anyway, and it doesn’t matter. That’s the least of the problems you can’t solve.

In God We Trust

Money is a magnet for greed and a tool used to manipulate the actions of others. It’s a criminal’s temptation and fuels corruption.

Money dehumanizes us because everyone needs it to survive. It’s one of an infinite temptation we encounter every day.

What will you do for money?

“Keep your relationship with God to yourself and I promise I won’t thump you over the head with a giant dildo in casual passing.” Author Unknown

Simply Awesome Pest Control

No more bets.

America has never had a more easily guided walk, at the speed of baby steps, consciously coupled with the slowest, most repetitive, slide show of bullshit ever imagined.” Author unknown as far as I Know.

The risk of playing with fire is that most people aren’t smart enough to know they’re dancing in the flames.

Rectal Dysfunction

You’re in deep shit if your head is still up your ass. An occasional brain fart doesn’t cut the cheese.

It’s time to shit your brains out. The clock is ticking.

Lt. Dan had legs for days; he just didn’t know how many days.

Money Didn’t Sight Light! Holy Crap!

Since last July, the term “blind trust” has become a common theme and grounding reminder between me and a special friend.

Creativity, music, muses, mistakes, curiosity, compassion, and truth – which takes the longest to expose – are my personal development tools.

Having friends with mutual respect doesn’t harm the process, but introduces a whole new level of disappointment and hurt, that makes you stronger if you’re an adult who can admit mistakes.

Does time heal all wounds? Here’s a hint. No. Time eases pain, but pharmacies don’t sell it.

Ok, I’m taking my dog to the park so I need to wrap this up.

Remain committed to yourself and be loyal enough to be trusted. “Blind Trust” is scary, but it’s the best feeling when it was the right decision even though it’s the most vulnerable feeling.

Now, where did I put that tequila? Three shots this time! I feel like I just bowled a 300. A boy can dream!

In God WE Trust

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We Know when We Know


Marooned & Golden

Welcome to Miracle Arena, otherwise known as Mother Earth, where nobody exists by accident.

You – and all your broken pieces – are here for a reason.

Yes, clichés are annoying. They’re overused, trite, simple, and patronizing truths that nobody sounds smart saying. Then again, I never claimed to be smart. Here comes another!

The truth is, you’re a living miracle.

It takes us nine months to breathe on our own, but our time on Earth is the real womb. It’s time to level-up your effort for the greater good.

Life is poetry in motion and we’re all in this together. It sounds like a bullshit sandwich, but it tastes as good as an orgasm feels.

Believe it or not, it’s your decision.

Born in the USA

The minute you’re born, innocence is lost, and free will is gained. You’re scared, confused, and crying. You have no control over any part of your situation.

The worst part about the entire ordeal is that the ordeal is your reality.

From that moment on, you make decisions – all day, every day, for the rest of your natural born life. You’re now free to fuck up your life, along with the lives anyone else you can depress.

It’s easier than you think!

Houston, we have a problem. A big one.

You have exactly until you die to become someone you’re proud to be.

Your World Revolves Around You

Being the master of your universe comes with responsibility, and therein lies the problem.

It’s not difficult to think you’re important, but to believe you are is entirely different.

Behave accordingly. Act like a miracle if you want to be one.

When someone acts important while being completely oblivious of how they affect others, bad things happen. It happens to families and friendships all the time, but damage caused by self-absorbed behavior extends far beyond those immediately affected, eventually.

Look in a mirror long enough that you don’t destroy the person staring back. Take time to see what’s in the mirror before you break it.

Care about others, but worry about yourself. Whatever you do (or believe or share or plan or desire or try or say) is a reflection of the relationship you have with yourself, which ultimately manifests itself in any and all relationships you have with others.

Be the person you want to know.

Live a life you’re willing to defend. Don’t lie to yourself, it doesn’t work. The truth always finds its way to the surface. There is such a thing as ‘too little too late.’ 

You are the company you are.

We all have choices and I’ve chosen to be pro-life to the extent that I care about mine.

Cherries bury a lot if the bowl is big enough.

A Miracle & the Bouquet of Bullshit

It’s scary as hell to not have all the answers. I sure don’t, but the more I search my soul, the more comfortable I am with myself…and everything I remember ever happening to me. Time; it takes time, and I’ve been busy. It hasn’t been easy. Bold decisions have a way of bringing out your best.

In your conscious being, the eyes you use to see – those are yours. The brain you use to think – that is yours. The heart you use to hurt – that is yours. The soul you will always be – that is yours.

Everything else is ancillary; everything else is there for your benefit. I know that sounds selfish, but it’s not. It makes everything else significant.

Everyone exists to teach you lessons and give you ideas. Everything and everyone else exists to allow you an opportunity to improve and help you find your place in the world.

Everything we dislike or disagree with are there to help us recognize our own flaws.

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Take time for yourself. Nothing about your life has anything to do with anyone else, except yourself. Accept yourself. If you think I’m full of shit, I’ll leave you with this: You haven’t tried hard enough.

You have exactly until you die to become someone you’re proud to be.

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A Bigger “D” in Darby is Darby’s Biggest Dream


Darby’s Dream is a Grower

Darby is a fulltime, unemployed acronym armed with the hunger of a dream. That dream is growing, and it’s getting harder and harder to feed!

Dreams Are Realized By You!

Lucky for Darby, she believes in her message.

What Did Darby Do?

Darby did what any crazy dreamer, with the heart to change the world, would do if they only had the chance.

Darby recognized the chance.

She built a Thanksgiving table so big, it held enough food to serve an entire army – in every country – in the world, and others!

She even provided all the food!

Thanks, Darby!

Then, some awful people covered the table with small ass plates, and took credit for hosting the best Thanksgiving dinner in the universe. They thanked everyone for coming, and couldn’t wait to host again next year.

They told Darby that people ate dinner off the plates they provided, and not her table, as part of their “Screw All People” picnic collection


At that point, Darby forgot everything she believed about herself.

She felt the life she lived was one big, giant lie. She began feeling things about humanity she never felt before.

That is, until she actually hit rock bottom. At that point, all she could think of is what she’s stood for all along.

Dreams Are Realized By You!

Finally! It took long enough, but Darby felt something she never felt before. It liberated her to next level status, within her mind.

She didn’t have a single fuck to give.

Dreams Are Realized By You!

Darby Recognized Another Chance

Good luck taking that away.

Sometimes it takes a groundswell of humanity to realize the secret to life is simple. It’s an internal journey. Yes, I’m sorry to disappoint you.

Things always get worse before they get better!

Your external existence will never soar if you don’t understand and reinforce the foundation of your internal existence.


If you experience pain, loss, anger, depression, or anything bad, you still have something to learn, and that’s the truth.

Even life has loopholes. Bitch!

Repeat and Believe

Nobody lives a life they never imagine. Life is a game of wonder. Next time you’re in front of a mirror, recite Darby’s words to the person you see.

Look at your sexy self with your eyes open wide, and say it with a smile. It’s worth a shot.

Dreams are realized by you.

Imagination Work is a Virtual Brain Gym

It’s never too late to dream. You can always discover, create, tweak, fine-tune, evolve, enhance, and achieve dreams.

However, there’s a caveat. It’s work, and not necessarily work you get paid to do. At least, not at first. It’s work that might pay off down the road.

Your imagination becomes exponentially more active the more you open, stretch, strengthen, and train your imagination.

Imagination training is exhausting even though you don’t pick up weights. The only thing you lift is your spirit, which, ironically, ultimately lifts you.

Darby’s World War Work of Art

Pick up your supplies and draft yourself.

Darby’s is the imaginary amusement park in my mind. It didn’t take long to create because I never built any walls. Walls are for pussies.

It’s a passion concept that works because people effectively communicate with one another, especially themselves.

It’s a perpetually expanding universe.

Darby’s always feels bigger than the time before, and everyone is welcome. The only people who go are those who want to be there! Every trip to Darby’s is pure entertainment.

I go because it’s like no other place on Earth.

Minds are off leash and imaginations run wild. Everyone’s human, cordial, kind, and happy. Seriously, it’s fucked up. You should come!

My Dream is Virtually Real

We exist and evolve in a dream within another dream, ever-evolving. It’s hard to keep track of which one’s which. All I know is that I bump into a lot of other dreamers.

After coming to Arizona, my life flipped like an anti-gay politician in some kind of public bathroom.

It took me years to realize the real lies with my real eyes.

Question Everything to Understand Anything

What I didn’t realize is that, all along, my life had been upside down for years. That was a tough one to figure out. Coming to Arizona actually turned it right side up.

Life has a way of correcting your alignment and course.

I’ve done a lot in my life I cannot shout proudly from a mountain top, but I’ve learned from the culmination of my mistakes. At the same time, I can’t say I have any regrets. I’ve faced, accepted, and owned the crazy things I’ve done.

Meeting and getting to know people who open up about things they’ve done (or do) that society has no business judging motivates the fuck out of me to tell as many stories as I can.

I do what I do because I’m always evolving. I’ve changed my mind countless times about things I thought were true.

Be real and you will begin seeing opportunities that you never thought possible.

Understand, however, it takes a lot of time.

Darby is a Bug that can Tug our Boats

We are the captain and crew of our individual ship, and it’s full of personal baggage whenever we’re daring to float.

By the way, nice baggage! There’s something familiar about it. It looks homemade, without lifetime guarantees, kind of like mine. Did you design it yourself?

I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine.

Dreams Are Realized By You!

Live in the Present to Live Your Dream

Life is one hell of a gift, and a gift is a present. This moment, right now, is the present. The present is your dream. Live in the present to live your dream.

Sweet dreams, everyone!


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No Reese’s in the Puzzle Pieces


No One Puzzle Evolves Solo (NOPES)

NOPES have a tendency to be negative, overtly pained, and extra stuck in a puzzled state of life. Humanity made a quick slip to level NOPE. This is a puzzle for NOPES.

Forget Hope and Change; it’s NOPE, NO CHANGE. Most people in the general population feel (or felt) like NOPES at some point in life.

In 2015 and 2016, I was Extra Stuck

For two solid years, I was pinned down on a regular basis, but nothing permanent.

My former employer failed at getting my signature on a confidentiality agreement. The devil is always in the details. That’s why I started Devilish Smirk.

Most times, I was pinned down due to varying degrees of violations against me, including me holding myself down. That last part was me being nice.

It takes a key wit to make people, who fuck with your life on purpose, a little nervous.

There were a few times I didn’t mind the pinning. Now that I’m single, perhaps there will be opportunity for more, but I digress.

The pieces are there, all around us, every day.

Something Changed in 2017

I spend 68 days in St. John and it changed my life.

While I was on St. John, I had an experience like never before. While walking along the water’s edge of Salt Pond, I stopped for minute to stare at the moon’s reflection in the pond. I laid on the sand and stared into space.

I closed my eyes and made eye contact with my mind’s eye and heard everything I watched within, and my mindful awareness shot to the sky. 

Upon opening my eyes, I could see the darkest, but brightest, star-filled sky above appear close enough to touch. I felt connected to it, as a part of me slid up into the darkness, somewhere in the cosmos.

It felt like a ride.

I started to shake my head and laugh quietly to myself. Physically, I was still on the beach.

No, I wasn’t on any hallucinogenic drugs that night. I didn’t even have a drink that night.

All at once, bits and pieces of mostly mental garbage disappeared from my life.

  • I wasn’t stuck in (or under) anything.
  • Nothing was stuck to (or in) me.
  • I was solo.
  • No longer did I feel like a NOPE.
  • I placed the “N” in NOPE, at the end.
  • I felt OPEN and, for the first time in my life, at peace.

I felt a deep sense of relief from my twisted burden of some kind. Without anything extra on top, I realized I wasn’t stuck.

I was free to open my mind and explore the infinite possibilities all of us are given at birth.

The Puzzle OPENS!

The pieces are there, all around us, every day.

A Puzzle is Born

The puzzle pieces didn’t come out of a box. You did, and so did I.

And this is what I looked like:

A switch flipped and everything brightened a tiny bit. I could see further, in all directions, than the day before.

My eyes opened and I woke up.

For the first time, I saw the world through the eyes of a human puzzle without limits.

I elevated myself.

The pieces are there, all around us, every day.

I am Travis, and I am Puzzled!

First, the Bad News

Life is no ordinary puzzle. It isn’t built in a day and takes more than a week. Life can, however, fall the fuck apart in a day

Everything falls apart before you can piece anything back together.

Life is designed to, literally, frustrate the hell out of you. There aren’t solutions to your life’s puzzle in the back of any book.

The pieces are there, all around us, every day.

It’s Time for Good News

Life is a puzzle without borders. No frame will ever contain the full picture.

An effective strategy is building your beast from the inside out. Slow, steady, and future-conscious are three thoughts coming to mind.

Regardless, you have a lifetime to create your life’s masterpiece.

Congratulations! You get to use your imagination.

Imagine that.

The pieces are there, all around us, every day.

Humanity’s Collective Piece

Humanity has great potential to change the world and has never been more equipped to succeed.

Carry this piece proudly and make a difference while you can. If you smile, someone else will smile. Smiles are contagious. It’s great when more people smile.

Life is a Work in Progress

As long as you navigate this planet, remember that life is no ordinary journey. Life operates on simple terms.

The only rule you need to know in life is The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” That’s it! It’s called the golden rule for a reason.

The more people you treat kindly, the more people you impact, and the brighter your light shines.

About that Puzzle 

The Final Piece

The final piece is one we all have in common. It’s the same piece we’re all missing until the end. Yes, I’m talking about death.

What happens after is anyone’s guess.

Death will provide the last piece to your puzzle.

I sure hope Death has that missing peace.

“Death puts the Rest In Place.” 


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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Trust


The Business of Being Alive

Whether or not you have a job, you’ll always hold the top spot in your personal business. It’s a secure, life-long position for which you were chosen to sit at the helm.

Now, either show up to work, or go some kind of bankrupt. 

That’s how business works.

Do you Trust Yourself?

Always trust yourself. Ultimately, you’re responsible for your life choices. Never put that stock in anyone else.

You’re the only person you can rely on 100% of the time.

Photo Credit: Travis Garrod

Trust is the kindling for the fire in your soul. It’s the root of self-confidence. Confidence enables you to explore passions enough for them to bloom. Eventually, trust becomes natural, confidence gains momentum, and you begin developing into the passionate being you were born to be

It’s a cycle only you can ride. Start peddling.

In Life, We Trust

Decisions come from within, but trust is more than a feeling. Trust is bigger than expecting someone to follow through with a commitment or promise. People can be trustworthy, but that only elevates them as a contributor to a collective goal, of which everyone has a part.

Vices and Virtues, Dust to Trust. Graphic Created by: L. Sebastian

Dust to Trust

Bad things happen to thicken our skin. Life isn’t easy and, at times, feels defeating. If you haven’t experienced heartache in your lifetime, I’m sorry.

The events that break us, make us.

Here are some of the events that affected my family, and others since the turn of the century.

  • My cousin died from an drug overdose in 2006. He injected himself with gel from a morphine patch, normally prescribed to cancer patients. He didn’t have cancer.
  • In 2008, my aunt (mother’s side) died from her addiction to alcohol and OxyContin on Christmas Eve. She was found dead, by her teenage son, on her bathroom floor.
  • Denver, my first dog, was diagnosis with a brain tumor.
  • On August 31, 2011, Denver was put to sleep.
  • On September 13, 2011 (my 37th birthday) my grandma (mother’s side), died of complications associated with diabetes and pneumonia.
  • My grandma (father’s side), died in April 2013. She lost her battle with colon cancer and lymphoma. Dementia set in toward the end.
  • My grandpa (father’s side), died in March 2015. He was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. He refused treatment and died shortly thereafter.
  • On February 17, 2016, my second dog, Marco, was put to sleep.
  • In February, 2017, a friend died from a heart attack while riding his mountain bike on a national park trail.
  • In February, 2017, another friend (and former employee) died in a hotel room. I cannot tell you if it was either a relapse, or suicide.
  • On April 3, 2017, another aunt (mother’s side) died from complications related to  diabetes and pneumonia. The previous summer, she fell into a coma for nearly a month. She recovered temporarily, but her body was breaking down. She passed peacefully in her sleep.

I did not include events that only affected me, personally.

Trust This

Everything falls apart before you can piece anything back together.

Believe everything that happens to you in life will work out in your favor, despite the chaos you encounter.

There are good and bad decisions, but there are no right or wrong ones. How we deal with the outcomes defines us individually.

Your subconscious mind knows your truth and you’ll never convince it otherwise.

A guilt-free conscience is the best prescription for quality sleep.

Embrace each day as an opportunity to push forward with an open mind and a kind soul.

A life of privilege isn’t a privilege at all.

The longer you live without experiencing pain or heartache is a disadvantage.

Betrayal and loss are experiences everyone needs.

Everything happens for a reason.

There’s no such thing as coincidence.

Nobody enters your life by accident.

In life, we all walk a path, but everyone has free will.

Life is an adventure of your own choosing.

What will you choose next?

Be nice. Be kind. Do the right thing.

Love wins.

Trust That

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