I love magazines. Some of the happiest moments of my life consisted simply of sitting in an airplane reading the Economist, lost in the big thick glossy parade of news and stories from everywhere, assembled with skill, and presented without a slime trail of ignorant comments at the end.
That's probably the most concise and hilarious description of online comment threads I'll ever read. Nailed it.
As a ThunderJournalist who is not above hosting contextual ads on my site, I don't really have much of a critical leg to stand on when it comes to criticizing others who do so as well.
That said, a certain local daily newspaper has been sporting the following online ad:
I mean, GAHHHHHHH! Right? Grandpa's wearing a Speedo and flexing his geriatric man boobs to highlight his pace-maker. If I saw that ad appearing on this lowly ThunderJournal, I couldn't ban it fast enough.
NOTE: Posting the ad for the purposes of ridicule is not the same thing as hosting it as a paying advertisement. Just so we're clear here.
My Geode Twin (TM) Caroline and I will be conducting a joint liveblog session next week. In preparation for this momentous event, I'm asking you, the three remaining readers of this blog, to provide ideas about what we should liveblog about?
Should we dabble in a specific genre of pun? Is there a news item we need to ridicule? Should be go into depth about our bathroom proclivities? You name it, we'll liveblog about it to the best of our abilities.
We look forward to hearing from you. Please comment here or e-mail me. No suggestion will be dismissed unless it is.
According to the frantic blast of 24/7 news I'm inundated by almost every day, I'm supposed to be thinking deep thoughts about healthcare reform, and I should be at the edge of my seat worrying about what we're going to do in Afghanistan, and I should stay in very close proximity of the fainting couch just in case the economy takes another dive.
And I don't even OWN a fainting couch.
As it is, despite a world that is apparently tearing itself apart from its head to its buttocks, my most immediate, pressing and important concerns revolve entirely around trying to keep a baby from crying.
The sound of a crying baby. . . check that. . . the sound of MY crying baby has become the sound by which all of my recent life decisions and actions have been taken. I will go to extremes never before considered possible to prevent or limit the sound of my baby boy crying.
-- I will change diapers most haz-mat workers wouldn't dream of approaching.
-- I will engage in babbling dialogue so inane, even the cats think I'm mentally challenged.
-- Speaking of the cats, I've sprayed them with a water bottle several times for "meowing too close to the baby." As bizarre as it sounds, I deem it a necessary act.
-- I will carry a baby around the house until my arms are on the verge of full revolt and seccession.
-- I will turn the television volume down so low, it can only be detected by satellite dishes operated by the Search for Extraterrestial Intelligence (SETI).
-- I will sleep so far on the edge of my bed, I wake up sometimes wondering if I am, in fact, levitating.
-- I have subconsciously learned where every squeak exists on our hardwood floors, to the point I look like a ninja attempting to sneak his way through a feudal Japanese enemy castle.
-- I will actually resist flushing the toilet if I know the baby is sleeping in the next room, and you wouldn't BELIEVE some of the stuff I've left behind for later flushing, either.
-- I've been known to actually get silently enraged at the mailman, a man I've never even met, for delivering the mail "too loudly."
-- I've developed an entirely new, silent form of gesture-based communication with my wife, which we use to convey surprisingly complex conversations.
-- Although it hasn't been as much of an issue since the temperatures dropped to more winter-like norms, I nevertheless seem to recall sacrificing a chicken within a pentagram in my basement, chanting in Latin an ancient curse meant to bring about the complete, irreversible destruction of every Harley-Davidson motorcycle ever created.
-- I considered writing a lengthy plea to the local police and first responder units to please, please, PLEASE start using some form of whisper-quiet siren.
-- I started working in my garage on a new form of whisper-quiet siren. Once complete, I'm planning on marketing it as the "Shhhhhhhhhh!" I'm confident I'll make a fortune on it, especially once new parents start lobbying their city councils to approve the new siren on all emergency vehicles.
-- I've amended my nightly prayers to include the line: "And God, thanks for holding off on the thunderstorms since the baby arrived; keep up the good work on that one."
And that's just been the first two months. I can't imagine how long the list will be after six months, although it probably won't be quite as long as the healthcare reform bill working its way through Congress.
Nothing should be that long.
It's hard to believe I've been writing this blog. . . sorry, ThunderJournal. . . for nearly eight years now.
Eight years of mental meanderings, nefarious links to Homestarrunner, Ding Fries are Done, Vulva and Lord knows where else I've taken this online fun house over the years.
I sometimes even forget that "Rambling Rhodes" was originally a Blogger site. You can actually watch the Internet evolve just through my archives alone: from text only, to pictures to creating and posting videos. And it all seems like it happened yesterday, in the blink of an eye.
Now, while I have no intention of abandoning my ThunderJournal, it's pretty obvious that it isn't quite the prolific ongoing narrative it once was. I'm not sure at what point it lost a lot of its allure, but when I started paying more attention to FaceBook and Twitter, maintaining this site just became a bit more draining than it used to be.
As hard as it is to believe, I also don't feel as though I have as much to say, which is remarkable since now I'm a father and should have plenty of material to drone on endlessly about. But that somehow seems like a lot of work. Maybe when the baby doesn't require so much of my time and attention, I'll sit down and write reams about every little thing.
Then again, I don't know if I will. The ubiquitous nature of digital images and video are frankly often more entertaining to create, and generally far less work to produce and upload. So, maybe this site will become more of a visual rather than literary outlet. I guess there's more than enough room here to accommodate both.
It's just amazing to me that it's been almost eight years. I was 26-years-old when I started this thing. I hadn't met my wife yet.
This ThunderJournal is like a loyal canine. I wouldn't think of putting it down unless it just becomes too painful to watch.
Well, the Vikings won today, so that's pretty cool.
On the other hand, the Packers won today, so that sucks.
On the third hand, which grows out of my back, Aiden slept for seven straight hours last night, so that was certainly a plus.
On the one foot, now he's awake and seems to have no intention of going to sleep any time soon.
On the other foot, I watched "The Tale of Despereaux" tonight, which was really quite good.
On the third foot, which I don't like to talk about, I watched "Knowing" last week, and the sheer suck-fest that was that movie's ending has tainted my entire weekend.
Ryan: "Cadbury rejects hostile bid from Kraft Foods" I'm envisioning a butler shaking his head.
Caroline: Can one reject a hostile bid? I wish it were that easy, right?
Ryan: It all comes back to the Price is Right. "I bid 501 fucking dollars, ASSHOLE!"
Ryan: Now THAT's a hostile bid.
Caroline: "I bid 501 fucking dollars, DREW CAREY."
Taking the ball from these fine folks, I decided go one further and provide my own commentary.
Mr. Beaknose Scowlbrow is shown here scowling at his framed certificate of achievement from Brylcreem University.
Sarah "Squarehead" McNoNeck, shown here sporting her signature olfactory glasses, explains to prosecutors how it's possible to have ears that apparently exist on the back of her head.
The ever androgynous Gary Busey, caught here after his/her left eye fell out of the socket, explains how you, too, can morph your nose into one that resembles that of Lord Voldemort.
In this action-packed frame, Scowlbrow explains to Busey the benefits of an education from Brylcreem University, while Scowlbrow's assistant, Forehead ForMiles, the only known man to have an eye for a nose, sniffs out the fine print of Scowlbrow's certificate and suspects it may be a fake.
Here, Busey clearly is showing the strains of being lectured about Brylcreem University, with his/her now corpselike face retreating even further into his/her neck. Try as he/she might, the only response he/she could muster was "You rang?"
Busey manages to compose him/herself ever so slightly, managing to change out of her previous square earrings into something a bit rounder. The left eye remained out of the socket and was last seen rolling towards the courtroom door. In the interim between this frame and last, a rogue ferret ferociously attacked Busey's left cheek and also made off with Busey's upper lip.
In a shocking twist that left the courtroom dumbfounded, Busey contorted his/her face into a passable visage of former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Scowlbrow forcefully explains to Busey that such facial contortions will not be allowed in the courtroom. Busey responds by letting all discernible facial features practically disappear.
In this frankly terrifying illustration, John Kerry is seen attempting to hug a hesitant David Spade as the 2004 election results were announced. Kerry's nose is an approximation, although it may have been seriously broken, considering the vast quantity of tears gushing forth.
Ryan: This month should be re-named "Suck-member."
Ryan: And, yes, I see what I did there.
Caroline: It's good that you acknowledge that right after you said it.
Ryan: You ever notice that some of the coldest months end in "ber."
Ryan: Lousy Gregorian calendar. . .
Caroline: humorless bitches
Ryan: A Geodian calendar would be super awesome.
Ryan: Instead of "May." It's complicated. You wouldn't understand.
Caroline: uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh. Oh I understand.
Caroline: Geodian calendar should be named after dickbags! Good thing Coleman can't be turned into a month name.
Ryan: Hrf! Crappy-Column-tober.
I had a dream Sunday morning wherein the furnace was ablaze. I was frantically trying to put it out when my wife yelled downstairs, "It's fucking hot up here!" To which I responded "The fucking furnace is on fire!"
It seemed very dramatic at the time, but in retrospect it's funny as all hell.