I've never been in debt. Okay, that's not entirely true. Yes, I've been in the kind of debt where I had to make car payments, and I'm currently in the kind of debt that says I have to make house payments.
I've never been in credit card debt, however. Truth be told, I've never even owned a credit card. I don't trust them. I've been conditioned not to trust them thanks to many years of living with college roommates.
Most of my college roommates had this weird outlook on credit cards. Basically, they thought credit cards were magical pieces of plastic that just magically paid for things and that they were somehow immune from the the ensuing debt that came about due to excessive credit card spending.
I'll admit it: I was sort of jealous of my roommates and their magical credit cards. After all, they always seemed to have money and, if they didn't, they just whipped out their credit cards. Books? Put them on the credit card. Food? Put it on the credit card. Night out at a strip club? credit card.
And yet there I was writing checks and budgeting like a fool. I remember thinking that I was doing everything all wrong. I mean, there I would sit, meticulously lording over my finances, while my roommates went waltzing all over town swiping their credit cards with the careless glee of a six-year-old with a loaded pistol.
Then, one year, I was a roommate with a guy named Chad. Chad was actually a former high school classmate of mine. He was, and is, a tech-head. He's one of those guys who was born to know technology. Way back in elementary school, he taught me how to write simple programs for the Apple IIc, and he always just seemed to know everything about computers.
But he didn't know shit about personal finances. He whipped out any one of his many credit cards with the swiftness and ease of a Old West gunslinger. By the time we became roommates, he had already accrued over $10,000 in credit card debt.
I remember thinking what an incredibly large amount of money that seemed to be, especially when I factored in the understanding that he also received financial aid, and that he also worked. Granted, he worked at the local Brach's candy factory on the Gummi Bear line, which paid about as well as you might imagine, but it was still money, so I came to the conclusion that old Chad was a pretty carefree spender.
Well, one day, I popped into Chad's outrageously messy room where I noticed, tucked between two huge bags of pilfered defective Gummi Bears, a credit card notice that was slugged "Urgent!" and another that was slugged "Immediate Payment Required" and still another that read "We Break Fingers And Toes."
Then the calls started coming in, usually two or three a day. "Is Mr. Haugen available? We really need to speak with him." No, he's not here. "Are you sure you're not really Mr. Haugen?" Yes, I'm sure. "Well, when he comes in, have him call Mike at Discover immediately." *sound of shotgun cocking* Will do.
Chad was masterful when it came to avoiding creditors. He always seemed to leave the apartment just two or three minutes before a creditor called. It was like he had some sort of sixth sense. Which was all fine and dandy, except that I ended up being the intermediary between Chad and the creditors, so I got to absorb all the impatient anger and suspicion of basically every credit card company on the planet.
It was the day a creditor appeared, in person, at our doorstep that I realized Chad's debt situation was probably more dire than Chad cared to admit. There was a knock at the door, I answered, and a gentleman in a suit that looked both impressive and threatening stood before me. He asked to see a Mr. Chad Haugen, at which point I heard a little scuffling emanating from Chad's room as Chad scurried out the back entrance which, conveniently, was located at the far end of his bedroom.
We chatted together, the ominous creditor and me, for about an hour, waiting for Chad to get home, even though, of course, there was no way in holy hell Chad was going to make an appearance while that guy was in our apartment. I even had to produce my ID, so the creditor was satisfied that I wasn't, in fact, Chad Haugen.
After that, I believe, Chad ended up getting a loan from his parents, or somebody, so he could pay off his credit card debt at least enough to keep the creditors at bay. He eventually got a job working at IBM, which was a long-assed commute from Winona to Rochester, but paid a whole lot more than the Gummi Bear line.
As for me, Chad's experience with credit cards pretty much scared me away from plastic for good.
Far be it for me to crack jokes about a person dying, but sometimes news of the odd just demands that I say something.
According to a Reuters news report out of (and I swear this is true) Godley, Texas, an argument over who was going to heaven and who was going to hell ended with one Texas man shooting another to death with a shotgun.
Johnny Joslin, 20 was allegedly shot by Clayton Frank Stoker, 21, on Sunday. The two had spent Saturday with two other men night bar hopping in Fort Worth, about 40 miles northeast of Godley.
I'll admit it, after a good night of bar hopping, I've been known to carry on deep theological discussions, usually with the toilet bowl. "Oh, God, why did I drink so much?! Oh, Jesus, I'm going to throw up, I just know it. Holy Mary Mother of God, here it comes. Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh. . . *gaaaaaaacckk*
Okay, seriously, I've had religious conversations with my friends over a few beers, but it's always civil and good-natured. We don't sit around with double barrel shot guns under our shoulders just in case we don't agree. Besides, we've all pretty much resigned ourselves to purgatory, so arguing over who's bound for heaven or hell is really pointless.
Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said a witness who was the designated driver for the group told police the four men were sitting at a table outside a trailer park after their night on the town and entered into an argument about religion. The talk became heated when the subject turned to who would go to heaven and who would go to hell.
JOSLIN: Ya know Clayton, I've been thinkin' bout you, and I just don't think yore heaven material. Remember that girl you was bangin' last week that turned out to be 17? Yore goin' to hell fer that one fer sure.
STOKER: You shut up yore mouth, Johnny. I plan on marryin' little Cindy Ellen Layola Fairmont Masterson just as soon as she turns 18 and passes her GED. In God's eyes, I'm lookin' purty good.
JOSLIN: Aw, hell, Clayton. You said that bout little Tanqueray Elizabeth Fredrickson McGill Hampton, and she was 16. Nope, I'm purty sure yore bound fer hell.
STOKER: I'm a warnin' ya Johnny, you shut up yore mouth or I'm a' gonna get mighty angry.
Stoker said he would settle the argument and went into a house and returned with a shotgun, which he loaded and placed in his mouth, Alford said the witness reported.
STOKER: Mmmbfll, mbbll, mrrff! (translation: I'll show YOU who's going to heaven!)
"The victim Joslin then took the gun out of Stokers mouth, saying, 'If you have to shoot somebody, shoot me,"' Alford said, citing the witness report.
JOSLIN: If you have to shoot somebody, shoot me. (Hey, I can't come up with all my own dialog here.)
The shotgun went off, hitting Joslin in the chest and killing him.
I'm thinking Joslin ended up in the heaven reserved for really stupid people.
Bubble, Bubble, toilet Trouble
As a testimony to what extent I'm pretty much a happy go lucky guy, consider the following:
Just over a month ago, I became aware that the toilet I use was not properly swirling my bodily refuse into the sewage land of nevermore. In other words, "It warn't flushing right." It goes through the initial motions, twirls lazily around the bowl, but its turd sucking proficiency leaves much to be desired. I discovered, however, that if I fill a pail of water, and pour it into the tank as the flush commences, the toilet will consent to the entire flush, with authority. Anything not nailed or glued to the bowl will be sucked powerfully down the chute. So, I've been doing this for just over a month; carrying a full bucket of water into the bathroom with me each time I have to shit. To other people, this would be viewed as an inconvenience. To me, it's just an extra flushing step. Still, the roomie/landlord should get it fixed. It just ain't right.
I Just Don't See the Appeal
Requiem is about four people addicted to drugs. One is
an older widow addicted to diet pills/speed. her
loneliness and comments about why she gets up in the
morning are scary and true and what you hope you can
think and what you never want to think ever.
Her son is a heroin addict. When he visits her it
breaks my heart.
He and his girlfriend and their friend are trying to
get more heroin, obviously.
I can't explain it, Ryan. It's so sexy and dirty and
gross and wrong and fast fast fast it's like being
face to face with the dirt and really liking it if
that makes any sense. i wrote this essay one time in
college about an acid trip and that's what this
reminds me of. it reminds me of that hot oily sweat
you sweat on drugs and the hot oily things you do and
i missed it. god i missed it. it made me clench my
teeth the whole time, the whole movie.
please please watch it.
Messing With Her Head
Tall Girl I woke up totally crabby today
Tall Girl but, since it's my bday tomorrow... I'm feeling much much better
Tall Girl I was very VERY irritable this AM
email@example.com Oooohhhhhhh, Lisa used the word "irritable." Nicely done. You get a gold vocabulary star for the day.
Tall Girl *L*
Tall Girl thanks
firstname.lastname@example.org Your next word shall be "discombobulated."
Tall Girl What does that mean?
email@example.com All fucked up.
Tall Girl that sounds how I will be WAY later on in the evening tomorrow
Tall Girl you had better be ready to hang all night
Tall Girl Melissa is coming
Tall Girl it's going ot be a blast!!!!!!!!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org You're really intent on getting Melissa and me together, aren't you?
Tall Girl no
email@example.com Yes you are. Yes you are.
Tall Girl I just really like you both
Tall Girl no
Tall Girl I just think you're both very cool
firstname.lastname@example.org Well, you got that right.
Tall Girl P.S. NO SHOTS tomorrow night
email@example.com Except for tequila.
firstname.lastname@example.org And Jack.
email@example.com And Scotch.
firstname.lastname@example.org And Vodka.
email@example.com And Jager.
firstname.lastname@example.org And Yukon.
Tall Girl UCK
Tall Girl I already feel a bit ill
Tall Girl just thinking about it
Tall Girl I'm getting my nails done tonight
email@example.com I'm going to try to put my discombobulated room back together tonight.
Tall Girl good luck
Tall Girl are you going to be able to hang all night or what?
Tall Girl I don't want you wusing out on me
firstname.lastname@example.org Probably not all night, no. But, we'll see.
Tall Girl I will not let you leave
Tall Girl You'll be handcuffed to me
Tall Girl so, unless you want to walk around all night with a girl wearing a crown, I suggest you plan to stay
email@example.com You'll never even miss me with all your friends.
Tall Girl did you just read what I typed or did that go over your head?
firstname.lastname@example.org Let's see, "handcuffed," "Girl wearing crown." Yeah, I think I saw what you typed. Tim may get a bit cheesed if we're handcuffed together, so I'm not worried.
Tall Girl well, it's my birthday, and NO ONE will be doing anything to defy anything that I want
email@example.com Except for hapkido.
Tall Girl so, if you think you're leaving early, and I want to handcuff you, then I will
Tall Girl YOU WILL SKIP THE fuck/03.jpg">fuckING HAPKITO FOR ME ONE NIGHT
firstname.lastname@example.org I don't know. . . I have another promotion test coming up.
Tall Girl it's my birthday
email@example.com Probably won't see you until 8:30 at McMurphy's.
Tall Girl IT"S MY BIRTHDAY
Tall Girl THIS IS BE+IGGER THAN XMAS
Tall Girl WHAT????????????????
Tall Girl you're not planning to come until like 8:30??????????
Tall Girl WHAT?
firstname.lastname@example.org I have an apartment that looks like a fucking bomb went off in it. I'll get there when I get there.
Tall Girl :(
Tall Girl I'm doing the quivering chin thing
email@example.com That has never worked on me.
Tall Girl if you end up ditching me on my birthdya
Tall Girl I will not be happy
firstname.lastname@example.org Maybe I'll drop by for half an hour or so.
email@example.com Of course, something better may come along, so we'll see.
And Iranian Justice for All
Here in America, if you've been indicted as a co-conspirator in the worst terrorist attack on US soil, and you try to enter a guilty plea, the judge may actually send you back to your jail cell to think hard and long about it (see Zacarias Moussaoui trial story). But in Iran, things work a little bit different. I'm referring, of course, to my beloved news of the odd.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian man, convicted for raping and killing his 16-year-old nephew, will be executed by being thrown off a cliff in a sack, a newspaper reported on Thursday.
Now that's a tough judicial system! Imagine death row in Iran, with inmates praticing for their eventual cliff toss by slamming themselves repeatedly against the walls and their steel beds. "I WILL survive the cliff toss! I WILL survive the cliff toss!" Alas, such preparation would be in vain.
If the unnamed man survives the fall down a rocky precipice, he will be hanged, legal experts said. He has 20 days to appeal the court sentence.
Here's a thought. Maybe they could forego the whole "tossing him over the cliff in a sack" formality and skip right to the hanging. You know, save the Iranian people the tax expense for dry cleaning all those cliff tossing sacks. What really gets me about that sentence is "legal experts said." What kind of law school did these experts graduate from? "Let's see, I'll have to consult the precendents set in this case. I'm a little rusty in the area of cliff tossing.' I'm pretty well versed in 'hand and foot chopping,' but it's been awhile since I've tried a case involving the cliff tossing treatment."
Under Iran's Islamic law, applied since the 1979 revolution, pederasty, homosexuality and adultery are among a long list of crimes punishable by death.
I'm betting they don't watch a lot of "Will and Grace" over there in Iran.
Forgive Her, She's Blonde
firstname.lastname@example.org You should get roller blades. You could roller blade with me.
email@example.com And don't forget about the August wedding.
Tall Girl /August 14
Tall Girl ?
Tall Girl that was my parents wedding date
Tall Girl of course, they are divorced
Tall Girl oh
Tall Girl well, close enough
Tall Girl I think rollerblading would be cool
Tall Girl you know I had a big accident a while back
firstname.lastname@example.org So, go get a pair.
Tall Girl I fell down
Tall Girl slid across the pavement
Tall Girl torn up knees, arms, legs
Tall Girl I was crying
Tall Girl we were in a group
Tall Girl I was screaming
email@example.com You're 27 years old, for crying out loud.
Tall Girl take me to the hospital
Tall Girl I was 20 then
Tall Girl I'm not 27 for 7 more days
firstname.lastname@example.org You made it sound like the accident happened last week. You dumbass.
Tall Girl well, I got rid of my rollerblades
email@example.com Well, buy new ones. Sheesh.
Tall Girl I think I might
Tall Girl would you just be running?
firstname.lastname@example.org No, I have a pair of rollerblades.
Tall Girl cool
An Ode to Spammers
I checked my e-mail inbox today, as I so often do.
Many messages awaited me; in fact, 102.
I can't quite grasp the concept of a 27-year-old taking Viagra,
But "Jenny" with no last name says it will help me climax like Niagara.
I have no need for better mortgage rates, and my debt does not exist,
So the more I get these Spam e-mails, the more and more I'm pissed.
The faster that I click "Delete," the faster they come at me,
A Spam a minute I now count, and there's no end that I can see.
I'll end by saying, "Knock it off" to all you Spammers out there,
What you opt to do instead of Spam, I really do not care.
As for the Spammers who will not stop, I offer up this curse,
May you be trampled by barely legal teens, or something far, far worse.
Perhaps your penises will grow and grow, until blood can't reach your head,
What good does a 20 inch penis do, when you're lying there all dead?
I hope that you get crushed by debt, and you're forced to go on the lam,
Because when you're running from the law, at least you cannot Spam.
I Really Don't Like This Bin Laden Guy
I like to think of myself as a pretty nice guy. I get along with most people, and I can tolerate those that really irritate me, and I don't get mean or violent unless somebody gets mean or violent with me first. Still, even though I've never met him, I have to say, I really don't like this Osama Bin Laden guy.
Now, I understand that he's somebody's son (one of over fifty siblings), and I imagine that he has quite a few friends that really enjoy his company but, overall, I wouldn't mind repeatedly delivering body blows and lacerating his internal organs for eight consecutive hours.
It's not that I'm being unreasonable. I have no doubt that he firmly believes in whatever laughable causes he professes to believe in, but every time I hear the term "9/11," I find myself harboring a deep dislike for the man, so much so that I wouldn't mind suspending him in a pool of animal waste for the remainder of his pathetic existence.
I can understand that he's a busy man, what with his agenda to destroy the American infidels and everything we represent (such as freedom of speech, gender and racial equality, and 99 cent coffee), but I kind of get tired of seeing his hairy face everywhere I go. For some reason, I'm gripped by a strong desire to knock out all his teeth and then make him swallow them, and then break his nose in such a way that it goes into his brain.
It's so unlike me to have these feelings and impulses, especially for someone I've never met. Perhaps if Mr. Bin Laden could come to Minnesota, we could get together for drinks and talk things through, and then I could break a bottle on the table and slit his throat from ear to ear. There I go again. What is it about this guy that gives me such an attitude?
I think it's because he's such an asshole.
"A Very Moving Experience" c. Ryan Rhodes, June 2, 2002
There is an old joke that says, "good friends help you move, but great friends help you move bodies." I would add to this that "really great friends help you move hide-a-beds down three flights of stairs."
A couple of weeks ago, a good friend and former roommate of mine, Mark, who was recently married, asked me if I would be willing to help him move his and his wife's stuff out of their old apartment. Of course, good friend that I am, I said yes.
I said yes to Mark's request because I had lived with him for three years, and I knew that his worldly possessions were few, so moving him would not be a chore. I did not, however, take into account his wife's possesions.
LeAnne, it turned out, owns just about everything. Upon entering the apartment, I was greeted by so many boxes, I thought I had mistakenly entered a warehouse.
After assessing the insane box situation, I began moving items down three flights of stairs to the waiting moving truck below. It was during my fourth laden trip down the stairs that I realized it was about 88 degrees outside. And it was humid. And it was getting dark. And I had better things to do.
In an attempt to speed up the moving process, I started carrying more and heavier things. Eventually, my eyes set on a large empty trunk that I was relatively certain I could manage. So, I firmly grasped the handle and gave it a pull, only to have the leather straps rip off loudly into my hand. With a shrug, I threw the handle into the trash and began carrrying the trunk clumsily down the stairs.
"Oh, you have to be really careful with that," said LeAnne as I came to the bottom step and banged the trunk against the door frame. "This trunk came from overseas with my family a long time ago. It's an antique."
With that, I raced back up the stairs and fished the handle out of the trash, stuck it my pocket, and pondered the next best course of action. Although I have no idea what it means for a trunk to come from overseas, I knew that I didn't like the ominous word "antique."
I eventually presented the torn handle to Mark, and he said he would take care of it. For Mark, taking care of it meant telling LeAnne that he found the handle lying near the trash. The most astounding aspect of this lie is that LeAnne bought it, and I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.
As the number of boxes diminished, we set our attention on moving furniture, with our first target being the large hide-a-bed that sat there just daring us to move it. Of all the torturous furniture contrived, hide-a-beds have to be the most demonic. How so much steel and wire can be packed into such a small area, yet look so comfortable, is beyond comprehension. Still, it fell to Mark, Chad and me to move the mammoth beast down three stories in 88 degree heat. I was not pleased.
Rather than carry the impossibly heavy device down the 100 ft. hallway, we opted to slide it on its backside, a decision that saved us roughly three weeks of lower back pain. Because we were dealing with something that cost $150 two years ago, we didn't feel too much obligation to be careful. Still, we eventually had to navigate the hide-a-bed down the stairs, at which point there was much cussing and swearing.
Thankfully, we had LeAnne's dad standing behind us telling us we were doing everything wrong. Strangely, as my legs quavered, my arms shook, and sweat poured down my face, his words offered very little in the way of encouragement.
"Guys, hey guys, you're really not doing that right," he chided. "Guys, you're probably ripping the skirt off the couch. Be more careful."
It was at this point that I dropped the couch, turned around, and explained in a calm tone that I would gladly move the couch back upstairs if LeAnne's father wanted to carry it down himself. He declined.
All told, it took three hours, countless trips up and down the stairs, and 10 glasses of water to move everything into the truck.
I'd almost rather move a body.
Book Extract Removed
That's right. I removed that last post. Why? Because, I didn't feel comfortable having that many boner references posted glaringly for all the world to see. That, and it was just too damned long. No one wants to read through that much black text splashed against a turquoise background. It hurts the eyes.
Instead. . .
A Little News of the Odd
Guilty Executives Pick Ethics Lessons over Jail
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Reuters) - A federal judge who admits he doesn't "fool with the stock market" said he gave two executives who pleaded guilty in a fraud scheme a choice: lecture students about business ethics or go to prison.
What kind of a half-baked idea is that? That's like sending a crack head out to lecture about the dangers of drug use, or sending a KKK member out to tout racial tolerance.
"Who wants to go to jail? They were very contrite. I think they feel like this might make up for some of their lapse of good judgement," U.S. District Judge Scott Wright said on Wednesday in a telephone interview.
And what, pray tell, constitutes a lapse of judgement? Glad you asked.
Both testified against a third executive at Owl Securities & Investments who was involved in the scheme, which defrauded investors and aimed to bribe Costa Rican politicians in an effort to build a Caribbean port in the Central American country.
EXECUTIVE #1: So you see class, that part when I defrauded investors and tried to bribe Costa Rican politicians, that was wrong. Don't do that. Instead, try bribing Colombian politicians. They're much more malleable when money is involved and. . . whoops, I guess you shouldn't really do that either.
EXECUTIVE #2: Don't get us wrong, the Costa Rican port idea was a sound one. We just messed up a little when we tried to illegally use investor money to fund the project and bribe politicians. You should write that down.
Wright said the two executives would be available to lecture students from high school to law school "about what fraud and cooking the books has done to the corporate world -- people are really losing their trust."
And what better way to restore that trust than to march two corrupt executives out into the lecture circuit? I should really be a judge.
My Little Unseasonal Joke
As far as I know, this joke does not exist, although it could. It came to me yesterday when I saw a picture of Santa Claus and Rudolph online. Don't ask. Anyway. . .
Q: What do you get when you give Spanish Fly to all of Santa's reindeer?
A: You get Comet on Cupid on Donner on Blitzen on Dasher on Dancer on. . .
Hey, why aren't you laughing? That's comedy gold, people!
Time For toilet Talk
I don't know what is is about having female roommates, but for the nine months I've lived in my current apartment with Amy and Emily, I've obsessed (well, by my standards) over the cleanliness of my commode. Now, with male roommates, I could care less. So long as the porcelain fixture was capable of swirling my digestive refuse out of sight, I didn't mind a moss of pubic hairs on the rim or a build-up of hard water shellac in the recesses of the bowl. I figured a good monthly cleaning was all that was required.
Now, I keep careful tabs on my toilet, whisking away stains or dust whenever they catch my eye. I'm forever terrified that one of the roomies will come in and see my toilet in less than pristine condition. There's a commercial where three guys are huddled around the TV and one guy asks how the owner keeps his toilet so clean. Now, I never engage in such conversations with my friends, but I was genuinely interested to hear the commercial guy's solution: Scrubbing Bubbles Wipes. They dissolve in toilet water, don't you know?
Elated, I went out and bought a packet of the wondrous wipes, along with a couple of toilet tank disks so my john remains filled with a blue liquid cleanser. There's something magical about blue toilet water, as if I have my own personal Oracle of Delphi five steps from my bedroom door.
"Oh, great toilet oracle, tell me how I might better serve you so that you maintain a sparkling bowl quality that will be looked favorably upon by my gender opposite roommates."
Granted, the sink and shower are shunned and denied the cleaning obsession bestowed upon their turd sucking bathroom utility counterpart, but if I ever learn that Emily uses my shower regularly, you can bet I'll be in there cleaning the tile vigorously, with my tongue if I have to.
And why do I do this? Simple. Because girls know other girls, and girls talk with other girls. And the last thing I want is to strike up a conversation with a beautiful woman who happens to know Amy or Emily, and who knows me as "the guy with the grimy toilet."
That's an impossible first impression to shake.
I'm No Ebert, But. . .
So, the roomie rented two movies yesterday, Monster's Ball and I Am Sam. At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to watch either of them, but since the only thing I could find to watch on my own television was an early and poor episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I ambled upstairs, plopped myself on the couch opposite Amy, and settled in to watch Monster's Ball.
It was your typical man meets woman story: a white man executes a black woman's husband for some sort of crime that apparently justifies execution, even though you never actually learn what it was he did; man's son (who is trying to follow his father's footsteps as a corrections officer but was kind of put off by the whole execution thing) kills himself shortly after the execution while a disinterested grandfather looks on; man goes to a Cafe to eat ice cream, served to him by the black woman who's husband was executed a few scenes earlier; man quits job as corrections officer, burns uniform, and buys a gas station; woman tries walking home with her overweight son, who is then hit by a car, even though you never actually see that happen; man drives by the woman and her son and notices that they're in some sort of distress; man and woman load the overweight and car-struck child into the man's car and take him to the hospital where he dies; man decides suddenly that his longstanding intolerance of black people is probably not justified so he starts offering to drive the black woman to work, where he continues to order ice cream (and a plastic spoon); man drives woman home from work, at which point the coolest sex scene in all cinema history ensues; man realizes he just slept with the wife of the man who's execution sparked his own son's suicide, so he throws up; man names his newly-acquired gas station after the black woman; black woman meets the man's unfathomably racist father and runs off, justifiably horrified that anyone can be so icky; man puts his insanely racist father in a home and spruces up his own place with a nice new coat of paint; woman gets evicted and man invites her to move in with him in his spruced up and racist-father free house; man initiates cunnilingus to a much appreciative woman; man steps out for ice cream; woman suddently realizes man was the corrections officer attending her husband's execution; man returns with ice cream; man and woman sit outside eating ice cream; man says "I think we're gonna be all right." End credits.
Are you confused yet? Good, because it's a confusing movie. A brilliantly acted confusing movie, but a confusing movie nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed the sex scene between Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. I give that scene a 3/4 engorged penis. So, to recap, Monster's Ball features a lot of death, a lot of ice cream, a gas station called Letitia's, an ultra-awesome sex scene, and a strange love between a woman and the man that attended her husband's execution.
So, should you see it? Sure, why not? Go ahead. It's not like you have anything better to do.
Where Have You Gone, Long Weekend?
It never fails. I look forward to a long weekend the way a dog awaits a full dish, trembling, sometimes drooling. Four days! That's like, FOREVER! And then it's there, and then it's gone. It makes me wonder sometimes whether all this emphasis on working and employment is really such a good thing. Sure, it puts food on the table and beer in my system on weekends, but it rips my precious time away, time that could be better spent sleeping and dreaming about insatiable female space aliens who need to procreate with earth males with shaved heads to save their planet. Work sucks compared to that.
My weekend consisted of a two day golf tournament, which meant waking up at 6 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. A major rule I try to follow is that weekend mornings shall not begin prior to 9 a.m. And, considering my golf game this weekend was atrocious, waking up early, in retrospect, was a totally pointless exercise. My hometown also had their annual 4th of July weekend street dance (or, more appropriately, gravel parking lot dance). For Harmony, this is a HUGE event. I guess I had fun, and I talked with dozens of people I haven't seen in a long time, but it still seemed like work, and here's why. I get along with most everyone, with a couple of exceptions. But, at the dance, I would be talking to someone who would start ripping on someone else, and expect me to join in, even though I truly like the person they're ripping on, so I haphazardly try to defend them and point out how decent they actually are. Case in point: I was talking to a good friend of mine I haven't seen in a long time, and he started tearing into a girl standing about 30 feet away. I then had to point out that the girl was actually really awesome, and that we go out to eat occasionally, and that she's my roommate. And that's the way the entire night went. So, it was exhausting. Fun, yes, but exhausting.
And then, suddenly, and perhaps tragically, it's Monday. And my badge won't allow me access into my building, and security has it's thumb up the butt and won't answer the emergency phone, so I waste 15 minutes waiting until someone in security acknowledges that the phone is actually ringing. I tell them my problem, and they inform me that they're having difficulties with the badge scanner, to which I think "No. Really?" So, now I'm at work. Welcome to Monday, everybody. Watch your step. It's a long ways off until Friday.
Final Blog Before the Holiday Absence
Happy Fireworks Day world! Okay, it's a day early, but I probably won't be blogging over the next four days, so I had to say it now.
FRANTIC CROWD OF SCANTILY CLAD female READERS: No, Ryan! Don't go! Stay here and entertain us with your rapier wit and sarcasm.
RYAN: Sorry, ladies, but I must also visit the real world from time to time and attempt stilted conversation with actual people I don't know.
FRANTIC CROWD OF SCANTILY CLAD female READERS: We love you, Ryan! We want to remove your pants and. . .
RYAN: Ladies, please, don't make this any more difficult than it is. I shall be back on Monday. Till then. *smooch*
FRANTIC CROWD OF SCANTILY CLAD female READERS: Eeeeeeeek! *swoon*
Pupils Blow Raspberry at the Recorder
According to a Reuter's news report out of London, the humble recorder, played by generations of schoolchildren, received an unwelcome blow on Wednesday when researchers revealed the average child hates it.
I remember the recorder. Truth be told, my childhood recorder is still floating around somewhere in my parents' house, probably buried in with my scrapbooks and photo albums. Who doesn't remember fumbling through the scale with the plastic ear assaulting "recorder?" I can still, if I concentrate really hard, remember the fingering required to belt out a squeaky rendition of "Hot Cross Buns" or "Mary Had a Little Lamb."
Cheap and easy to play, the simple wind instruments have been the staple of any music teacher keen to get their pupils making a noise -- however excruciating the practice might be for their parents. However, a survey of more than 1,000 schoolchildren revealed most youngsters would far rather learn an instrument with a bit more street credibility.
Street credibility? Are schoolchildren today gathering in alleys after class to buy a kilo of trumpet?
CHILD #1: Hey, I've got some good instrument today. Check it out; 100 percent pure Kenny G. quality saxophone.
CHILD #2: *dips finger and tastes* What shit are you trying to pull here? That's been cut with at least 20 percent recorder. Get outta my face!
By the way, why in the hell is it called a "recorder" anyway? It doesn't record anything. At least I don't think it does.
Gawd those things were damned near impossible to play. You could barely breath into the things before they they started squeaking at such an impossibly high pitch, dolphins started washing ashore with broken eardrums thousands of miles away. In order to successfully play a note, you had to learn to puff so little air, it wasn't enough to make an ant blink.
There was nothing quite like the sound of a class of 30 children honking and tooting away at the same time. You could hear classroom doors slamming shut all the way down the hall as teachers tried to seek silence from the torturous wailing. I kept getting in trouble because I used my recorder to whack the girl I liked who sat in front of me in the back of the head.
Ah, the recorder, a child's introduction to winning a girl over with music.
Come to This Site to Find. . .
Yes, it's time once again to see what brings people to this esteemed blog, focusing, of course, on the strange Google searches initiated by desperately lonely folks with totally bizarre fetishes.
-- blogspot.com+exposed+thong: Now that's a very focused search. This person was looking for a very specific exposed thong. And yet he/she found my site. I'll bet they were quite disappointed to find, instead of an exposed thong, a turquoise blog consisting of no pictures.
-- Rubber+Torture: And what exactly is rubber torture? Answer: the time differential between rummaging through your desk to find a condom and the time it takes to slide it on. The trick here is to maintain an erection during this torturous interval.
-- nice+moving+kaaba+pictures: Again, this is a very, very specific search. I wasn't aware that the kaaba moved. In fact, I'm sure it doesn't. If anyone has any idea what this search was intended to find, please let me know.
-- Fred+Durst+Handcuffs: Yes, the new line of Fred Durst criminal restraints, featuring a shiny chrome finish.
-- 12 people have come here searching for H&M panties. So, there are actually people interested in the paper thongs. Frightening, particularly when one search was looking specifically for Wear+Once+Paper+Panties.
-- Men+Wearing+Negligees: Okay, here's where the weird fetishes come in. When it comes to men wearing negligees, this site is much like 7-Up and caffeine; Never Had It, Never Will.
-- Her+Dirty+Socks: Who's dirty socks? And how did they end up online?
-- peeing+"were taken": No clue on this one whatsoever.
So you see, this blog is far more interesting than I thought.