April 28, 2006

It was bound to happen

I broke a toe in jiu-jitsu tonight. Nothing I can do but tape it and limp.

Oh, and complain about it. I've been doing a lot of that.

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Tobacco Talk

Ryan says: Although, I've been known to partake in a plug when I'm out partying with the Good 'Ole Boys.

Ryan says: Which hasn't happened since January, come to think of it. Time to organize another poker party, methinks.

Jody says: filthy habit if you ask me but at least it doesn't affect anyone else

Ryan says: Oh, it's disgusting, but if you're not used to it, it gives a killer buzz.

Jody says: that's what I heard

Jody says: I think its even more disgusting when women do it

Ryan says: I've only seen a couple women do it. And, yes, it's gross.

Jody says: ranks right along with women having barbed wire tattoos on their arms

Ryan says: That can be sexy, but only if the woman is a well-established whore.

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Random Thinks

As often happens when mowing a lawn, my mind wandered to stupid topics yesterday. Amongst said stupid topics was this:

I think the Star Wars movies would have been way cooler had they been infused with expletives. For example, in Return of the Jedi, if Emperor Palpatine had said "Now, witness the power of this fully fucking operational battle station!" I would easily have worn out the rewind and play buttons on my VCR.

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April 27, 2006

Going to pot

I just finished mowing my lawn for the first time this year. So, YAY SPRING!

However, in the process of mowing my lawn, I mowed over no less than five, yes five, volunteer marijuana plants.

Now, I understand that the quality of THC in those volunteer sprouts of wacky weed was probably sub-par and, if smoked, would probably make a person more sick than anything else.

Still, if marijuana in such quantities can establish itself, unbidden, quite prominently in a suburban yard, I gotta say. . . making that stuff illegal has got to be an exercise in futility akin to bailing out the Titanic with a teacup.

That is all.

Posted by Ryan at 05:45 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Shameless Plug

By the way, if you live in Rochester, Minn., or the surrounding area, and you're interested in learning a kick-ass martial art, I highly recommend my current school, the Mario Roberto Jiu-Jitsu Association. Workouts are tough as hell, but it's a blast.

Posted by Ryan at 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 22, 2006

Jet-Lag posting

Okay, it's 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, and I'm jet-lagged like a son-of-a-bitch, so I may as well do something constructive, or at least try blogging. . .

Melissa and I got in at about 3 p.m. yesterday, and I've been in and out of consciousness since.

All right, keep in mind, I try to be an artsy-fartsy guy, so pictures of me and significant others are often forgotten in my quest for the THE great picture. Thankfully, I have a girlfriend who insists on pictures of me with her and me with family members. HOWEVER, she's leaving for Cancun, Mexico today for ANOTHER week of vacation, and she has her digital camera with all her pictures, so I can only post the pictures I took with the regular film camera that I'm scanning in as I go. I'll have to post pictures of me with Melissa and my parents when Melissa gets back, provided I find that ambition.

Anyway, shall we begin?

*(Oh yeah, all pictures here are under copyright of, well, me, Ryan Rhodes, but that should be obvious, unless you're a lawyer--sorry Jeremy."

The day after we arrived, my parents took us via the bullet train (shinkansen) to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. Just a quick note about the bullet train. . . that fucker's fast. Like, a bullet or something. Nothing like feeling as if you're scooting at ground level at over 200 miles per hour. I have mixed opinions about the viability surrounding public transportation such as light rail here in the States, but the Japanese, with their high-density housing, have it down to an art form. I've known this for years, of course, but it's still staggering to see it in action.

At any rate, after our arrival in Kyoto, we had time, before dusk, to visit one major shrine. I can't remember the name of it, but I guess it's kind of famous. Here are some pictures I snapped (click images for larger versions). Keep in mind, these are scanned images, so the Internet quality blows the mighty goat:


Quick fun fact. . . Kyoto's located in the mountains, so Melissa and I were cold as hell! On the plus side, because it was so cold, the cherry blossoms were out longer than usual than would normally be expected on the Kanto Plain (the most populated area of Japan).


You think cell phones are all the craze in the U.S.? Holy hell, try Japan on for size. When I lived there in 1992-1993, cell phones were a rarity, now they're EVERYWHERE. On the trains, everyone and their evil dopplegangers were clicking madly with their thumbs on their cell phone keypads. Some were playing games, while others were obviously text messaging. Still, it struck me as amusing to see these two beautifully-kimonoed ladies happily clicking away.


Just because the cherry blossoms were out longer than usual doesn't mean they weren't falling from the trees, which meant I couldn't resist this picture. I was going to crop this picture, but I'm too lazy, so sue me.

On to DAY TWO in Kyoto!


The Japanese are the masters of landscaping. Period. They could make a sewage treatment plant look like a work of art. In fact, maybe they have. Honestly, you could sit and marvel at the intricate detail for hours and come away relaxed as hell. Pictures don't do justice to scenes like this, because the sound of running water and birds and people disemboweling themselves just can't be conveyed by film.


Here's something I didn't know: the Japanese at some point crossed cherry trees with weeping willows. Truthfully. The result is amazing, I think you'll agree.



Ah, the Golden Pavilion. I'd wanted to see this in person ever since I constructed a model of it in 1992. The original was burned down by a mentally unstable individual in 1950 and then rebuilt in 1955. If I understood correctly, the current pavilion consists of 21 kilograms of gold. This site is incredibly popular, so getting pictures with no one in frame is a complete and total bitch. Especially when the weather was as shitty as it was for us, and everyone and their sister was carrying an umbrella.


I'm a sucker for Japanese stone lantern photos. This is the first of quite a few I took. I haven't developed about three rolls of film, so what you'll see in this post is only a precursor sampling.

Well, with Kyoto behind us, we move on to Tokyo itself. Meiji Shrine to be exact.


Meiji Shrine is the location of many traditional Japanese weddings and holidays, so you see a lot of kimonos and traditional wear. Here we see a mother with her aspiring Geisha daughter and her son, who has recently heard about a surprise attack on some location called Pearl Harbor and is eager to do his part for the war effort.


Little known fact: women like these are the real reason America decided not to invade the Japanese mainland.



Did I mention the cherry blossoms rocked? The cherry blossoms rocked.


Of course, the other flowers and colors are nothing to sneeze at either. Unless you're allergic, I guess.




These were taken in Kamakura, another former Japanese capital, about an hour train ride from downtown Tokyo, provided you catch an express train. I actually took a lot more pictures in Kamakura, but an entire roll of film was lost due to my own stupidity, which I'm still kicking myself about. Thankfully, Melissa took pictures of most of the same shots I took with her digital, so I'll try to post those when she gets back from Mexico. Plus, I have three more rolls to develop as well.

Anyway, back to jet-lagging it. *smooch*

Posted by Ryan at 06:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 17, 2006

Airplane Ambience

By the way, on the airplane trip to Japan, across the aisle from me was some guy who took an Ambien before the flight. Is anyone familiar with that freakin' drug? Because, that dude was OUT of it. I mean, I've seen drunk guys who were more with it. I'll write about it more extensively later, but I'm just curious if anyone of you has had any experience with Ambien, because I'm seriously thinking I should avoid that shit for life.

Posted by Ryan at 04:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

April 15, 2006

In case you've been wondering

I'm in Japan right now so, you know, posting will be light.


Posted by Ryan at 04:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 07, 2006

It's That Time Again

NOTE: I started this fisking Friday night, but then I lost Internet access and wasn't able to post it.

How do you know Nick Coleman has completely lost his journalistic marbles? Well, I mean, besides by reading virtually anything he writes. I'll tell you how: he quotes a commenter from Craigslist.org.

After the appalling murder in Uptown of Michael Zebuhr, a visitor who died after a street robbery on March 18, Twin Cities blogs and discussion forums zeroed in on the likely culprits. The killers, many agreed, were Somalis.

Or, as one enlightened soul put it in a posting on craigslist.org, "dirty somali ....." I've deleted the expletive he felt free to use.

Now, Coleman has had it in for bloggers since before he could write his name which, according to my trusted sources, was about three years ago. But, honestly, the man should know better than to lift a venomous quote from a blog or forum and hoist it up as proof of ANYTHING. I mean, how freakin' LAZY CAN YOU GET? While he's dishing up the hateful comments from blogs and forums, maybe he could amble on over to Democratic Underground, where he can REALLY bathe in hateful rhetoric.

I would like to introduce that fellow to some Somalis I know. But maybe he would rather pass. Mr. Big Mouth was wrong: Police have not arrested any Somalis in Zebuhr's murder. Instead, they have arrested a number of good old born-in-the-USA Americans.

This is what Nick Coleman has been reduced to. . . matching wits, such as they are, with a commenter on Craigslist.org, hoisting this commenter's bigoted brain drool up as if it's indicative of people's attitude in general. This from the man who once complained of demagoguery?

What we almost had here was a 21st century lynching: No one ended up swinging from a tree, but some people were definitely in the mood.

Oh, for crying out loud. Right, Nick. Yeah, whatever. According to some Internet commenters, the moon landing was staged, Kennedy was shot by his wife, and Princess Diana was assassinated by Rudy Giuliani. In other words, Nick, you have no business whatsoever putting any stock at all into what some crazy dumbass commented on some forum. A lot of people on the Internet are bat-shit insane. That's your story. Film at 11.

"I was worried about something like that happening," says Omar Jamal, head of the Somali Justice Center, who met with Uptown residents after the shooting. "If I had turned on my radio and found out that a couple of Somalis were killed out of vengeance, I would not have been surprised."

Except, you know what? It didn't happen. There's no story here. None. Without the nutball Craigslist.org comment to draw from, Nick's swatting at air.

As for the rest of the column. . . well, it's Nick Coleman, so what can I really say? He can't think, and he can't write, but we've known that for years.

Posted by Ryan at 10:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 05, 2006

Could Someone Explain. . .

Why anything about Katie Couric is considered major news? Nude Yoga? Love the nude woman stretching.

Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells. Danni Wells.

Posted by Ryan at 02:26 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

April 04, 2006

You Want That Under Where?

Writing a weekly column has its challenges, not the least of which being coming up with something to drone on and on about as the calendar reaches deadline day each week.

I can't say I live a particularly adventurous life, so I depend on life's little silly anecdotes to crop up once in awhile, which I then dutifully share with you, my valued readers.

Of course, sometimes, I have no such anecdotes to share. Sometimes, the anecdote well runs dry and I struggle the uber-struggle to come up with a column idea. Sometimes, nothing, and I mean nothing, comes to mind.

Then my mother e-mails me, asking me to buy her lotion and panties, and BOY HOWDY if I don't have a sudden, ready-made column idea.

My parents live in Japan, and my girlfriend and I recently planned a vacation to visit them in Tokyo. My mother, realizing she had an opportunity to get her hands on some hard-to-get American goods, sent me the following e-mail:

"Good to hear that you're excited about your trip. I have some shopping I'd like you to do for me: At the bath shop by Macy's, buy me a tube of creamy body wash and a matching one of the bath lotion—just pick a nice smell; I know you'll avoid the Old Lady scents, even though that suits me. Next, in the lingerie department of Macy's, buy me five pair of Olga panties, style #00873 (look on the tag inside)."

I sat still for awhile in front of my computer, wondering if I had really just read what I thought I had just read. I was okay with the lotion request, I guess. I could see myself buying lotion. Lotion is okay. But, somehow, the mental image of me rifling through an Olga panties display, scrutinizing the tags. . . well, let's just say there were certain discomfort issues when I boiled it all down and realized I'd be buying lotion and panties for my mother. I mean, if I'm going the lotion and panty route, I may as well buy her a box of chocolates and maybe a Barry White CD. The more I thought about it, the more horrified I became.

I replied to my mother, asking her (praying, really) if she was joking with me. I asked if it was her attempt at a late April Fool's prank, or maybe my Dad was playing with me, pretending to be my Mom. To which my Mom responded:

"EXXCCUUUSEEEE MEEEE!!!!! It's not my fault my panties are in bad shape—too many washings. The sad story is that I just didn't bring enough new ones back with me this fall, so I need some more. I could get by with three new ones, but I figured—as long as you were at it—why not go for five. Why do you find this so hard to believe???? Haven't you ever had undies that self-destructed???? As your mother, I happen to know you have had that problem. If you really think you can't handle this assignment, I suppose I can struggle to the end of the year with panties with no elastic drooping down around my navel. Could you live with that kind of guilt?????"

To be perfectly honest, no, I couldn't live with that kind of guilt. There's no more powerful guilt like panty guilt. The mental image of my mother literally "struggling" with her tattered panties struck me as incredibly sad. What kind of son would I be if I couldn't get past my petty insecurities to save her from her pathetic panty situation?

What really drove the panty spike through my heart was the intense punctuation of my mother's e-mail. My mother is an English teacher by profession, so to see all those extra and unnecessary exclamation points and question marks underscored for me just how dire and desperate she had become, shuffling mournfully in her perforated panties.

Then, to really make her panty point, she had the audacity to turn the argument around on me and call attention to my own shameful past of underwear decimation. It occurred to me then, as I remembered back to my youth—and my father and brother in their Swiss-cheese unmentionables—that my entire family tears through underwear like Hulk Hogan with a tee-shirt.

As if thinking about my father had some conjuring quality, I noticed another e-mail in my inbox, this one from my Dad:

"Panties, or socks? What's the difference? She didn't ask you to buy used ones. Glue on a beard and wear dark glasses, go on in, and get 'em. I can't quite remember the word for panty phobia or whether or not there is a cure."

I was still enduring the tormenting mental images of my mother struggling in her destroyed panties, so this fresh assault from my father was akin to diving into the Dead Sea with my body covered in fresh paper cuts. Great piles of shameful, selfish, ungrateful guilt spilled over me like panties from a fallen Victoria's Secret display.

At that point, it wasn't an issue about IF I'd purchase panties, it was an issue of HOW MANY. I know my mother asked for five pairs, but my guilt was such that I was considering 30 or more, while throwing in the chocolates and Barry White CD for good measure.

Panty guilt, man, it's the worst.

UPDATE: As per Amy's and Melanie's suggestion, I did a Google image search on "Olga," as I was told that there are plenty of hot Olgas out there. To be honest, I'm a bit torn. On the one hand, there's this, which makes me happy. But, on the other teabag-filled hand, there's this, which makes me very sad, in a testicles-on-a-rock sort of way.

Ryan says: You'll never believe what Mom asked me to do.

Jody says: ok, I'm being filthy minded here but what?

Ryan says: So, first, she asks me to buy a certain lotion to bring with me to Japan. I'm fine with that.

Ryan says: Then, she writes:

Ryan says: Next, in the lingerie department of
Macy's, buy me five pair of Olga panties, style #00873 (look on the tag
inside), size 7.

Ryan says: Honest to God, I thought it was Dad fucking with me.

Jody says: was she serious?

Ryan says: YES!

Jody says: and OLGA panties to boot...yikes

Ryan says: I KNOW!

Jody says: AND brake open the packaging to make sure its the right style

Ryan says: I wrote back:

Ryan says: Mom, I can't help but feel you're messing with me about that panties
request. Five pair? When you'll be home in a month? What are you
planning on doing? Did you develop some sort of problem you're not
disclosing? Is Dad eating them? What the hell? Dad, did you write that
as a joke, pretending to be Mom? Is this a late April Fool's joke?
Even Mel blanched when I showed her.Seriously, what the hell?

Jody says: I don't know but I have a feeling you will be arrested for sure if you are digging around in panty packaging

Ryan says: Mom wrote back:

Ryan says: EXXCCUUUSEEEE MEEEE!!!!! It's not my fault my panties are in bad shape---too many washings. The sad story is that I just didn't bring enough new ones back with me this fall, so I need some more. I could get by with three new
ones, but I figured--as long as you were at it--why not go for five. Why do
you find this so hard to believe???? Haven't you ever had undies that
self-destructed???? As your mother, I happen to know you have had that

If you really think you can't handle this assignment, I suppose I can
struggle to the end of the year with panties with no elastic drooping down
around my navel. Could you live with that kind of guilt?????

Ryan says: Then Dad chimed in:

Jody says: gawd...this keeps getting better

Ryan says: Panties, or socks? What's the difference? She didn't ask you to buy
used ones. Glue on a beard and wear dark glasses, go on in, and get 'em. I
can't quite remember the word for panty phobia or whether or not there is a

Jody says: hahaha

Jody says: why don't you just get her favorite type of menstrual protection while you are at it

Ryan says: I just can't believe this.

Jody says: she really should have asked Mel to do it

Ryan says: She did say Mel could do it, but then Mel brought up a valid point: "Would you buy panties for MY mom?"

Jody says: no, you wouldn't but you would be more inclined to buy them for her DAD...meaning its more of a gender thing

Jody says: ok...bad bad bad analogy

Ryan says: I wouldn't buy underwear for her dad.

Jody says: regardless...what are you going to do?

Ryan says: But, besides that, even if Mel DID buy the panties, she'd be buying OLGA panties, which doesn't strike me as the brand of choice for the 31 year olds of the world.

Jody says: I know...OLGA of all fucking names...why don't they just call them HAG or something else nasty

Ryan says: As I told Mom in a follow-up e-mail, if I'm going to buy five pairs of droopy geezer underoos, I'm getting a column out of this.

Jody says: LOL

Jody says: did she take offense at the word GEEZER

Ryan says: Well, obviously, I didn't word it QUITE like that.

Jody says: you should of just to see what reaction you got.

Ryan says: I knew you'd get a laugh out of all of this.

Ryan says: Mel says I should buy her a bunch of leopard print thongs.

Jody says: well, I'm only laughing because I can just imagine Reg's response if she would have asked him

Jody says: but she knows better than to ask him

Ryan says: Oh, Gawd, he'd commit seppuku.

Jody says: If he had to wander around the women's department looking for OLGA panties...he'd shit twice and die

Ryan says: I didn't even know there was a brand called OLGA panties.

Ryan says: Old Ladies Getting Around.

Jody says: Old Lonely Grannies Association

Ryan says: TMI: hhttp://www.freshpair.com/catalog_section_women_id_7_brand_15.html

Jody says: what makes me laugh about your mom's email is when she said the panties would hang down by her navel...I thought they were supposed to be down there, not up under your breasts

Ryan says: If that's what makes you laugh, you have serious problems.

Ryan says: freshpair.com?

Ryan says: And here I didn't think I'd have a column this week.

Jody says: which style is the one she wants...never mind, don't care to knw

Jody says: well, she's right, they sure aren't hanging BELOW the navel

Ryan says: You don't care to know? I'm the one who will be rifling through the racks to find a size 7 in a particular model.

Jody says: I feel for you

Ryan says: Keeriiist.

Jody says: I guess going on a shopping spree every summer with her for clothes for yourself has some drawbacks

Ryan says: That's just it. . . I don't really have a choice here.

Jody says: no...you dont' which makes it all the more funny

Ryan says: Panty guilt would be unbearable.

Jody says: I realize that she is asking something that a 60+ year old woman thinks is no big deal but to a 31 year old male, she's gotta be a little more aware of what you must be going through

Ryan says: Lotion and panties. Why don't I just buy her a box of chocolates why I'm at it.

Jody says: dinner would be appropriate too

Ryan says: You know, I'm laughing, but I'm also horribly embarrassed here.

Jody says: I know...its hysterical from my end

Ryan says: I KNEW you'd enjoy this.

Jody says: I'm not being snotty...just realizing from a woman's perspective that I'd never ask a male, let alone my son, to buy me underwear

Ryan says: No, I know you're not being snotty. I told you because I knew you'd enjoy it.

Ryan says: And I fully expect you to relay this information to Reg.

Jody says: Oh I will

Jody says: I'm on the phone with him right now and he's giggling uncontrollably

Ryan says: *sigh*

Posted by Ryan at 09:10 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

April 03, 2006

Bad Blogger

What can I say? With intermittent (to put it mildly) access to my blog and posting at work, I'm a silent Sally.

Which, if I am being actively blocked, is kind of funny. I used to blog, maybe, about 10 to 15 minutes a day, if I blogged at all.

Smoke breaks, if taken every hour or so, can eat up almost four times that.

Whatever. Maybe I should buy a laptop with wi-fi, and SAY I smoked, although it would look odd typing on a laptop while people smoke around me.

I'm just waiting for some scientific study to say blogging causes cancer.

Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker. Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker. Dark Knight. Heath Ledger. Batman. The Joker.

Posted by Ryan at 10:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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