July 31, 2006

My Interview With Mel Gibson


Please, help yourself to a drink. Make yourself comfortable.


Don't mind if I do. Three fingers of whiskey should do the trick.


Well, I may as well cut right to the issue at hand here. Just before the weekend, you said some pretty inflammatory things about Jewish people.


Now, I should note here that some of the things I said were taken completely out of context, and they shouldn't be. . .


"The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!" is what you "hollered," according to a Los Angeles police report.


Yeah, well, that conveniently glosses over the fact that I was drunk when I said it.


I'm afraid I don't follow.


What aren't you following? I was drunk, see. I was being arrested for drunk driving! I can't be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth during such times of increased stress and intoxication.


So, that's your excuse? That you were drunk?


*takes a long pull off a Wild Turkey bottle* YES!


You can't think of any other reason why you may have said such things?


No. Well. . . *polishes off the Wild Turkey and throws the bottle at my head*


Well, now that I really think about it, the Jews are probably to blame!


What in the holy hell just happened to your face?!


I told ya, I get different when I get to drinking! Who are you, anyway?! You look like a Jew!


Huh? Wha? Me, a Jew? Are you kidding? I'm not even a particuarly good Christian.


Are you sure? You look awfully Jewey to me! You're probably all set to start a war at any second!


Please, Mr. Gibson, please calm down. Can we get him some coffee?


Make it Starbucks! Don't try to pawn off any of that Jewish Juan Valdez shit, either! I'm on to you, Jew-boy!


Where's that coffee! We need it! Now! Here, here Mr. Gibson. Some fresh Starbucks.


*drinks coffee*


How are you feeling?


Much better, thanks! Who are you again?


Um, Ryan. Ryan Rhodes.


Well, it was nice meeting you Ryan. I have to go now. Perhaps we'll meet again someday.


And which Mel Gibson would I be expecting?


Excuse me?


Never mind.

Posted by Ryan at 12:43 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

A Pretty Good Month


Not sure what's behind this spike, but there are apparently A LOT of people looking for that picture of my ass. Like, about 1/3 of all visitors. I'm not sure if that's cool, sad or scary. Probably all three.

Posted by Ryan at 09:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 27, 2006

A Tad Lighter in the Financial Dept.

Late this morning, I shelled out $2,595 for a new central air conditioning unit.

I'm going to go cry for a little while now.

Posted by Ryan at 02:34 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 26, 2006

Wallet Check

You know, I was just going through my wallet, and I realized that I have three ten dollar bills that are all entirely different. There's a ten with the small face of Hamilton, there's a ten with the large face of Hamilton, and there's a ten with the new color-coded large face version of Hamilton.

All of which got me to thinking. . .

If there was ever a time that was ideal to be a counterfeiter, this is it. I mean, cashiers nationwide have been inundated with so many different versions of U.S. currency over the past several years, you could probably pass them Monopoly money and they'd think it was just the latest iteration of the government's attempt to stamp out counterfeiting.

I find it all deliciously ironic.

Posted by Ryan at 10:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

And in Bachelor News

Melissa and I decided over the weekend we're going to get married in Rome. Just a little ceremony. Since neither of us wear jewelry (except I wear a watch for practical purposes, and a necklace, pretty much out of habit) we've decided to buy a couple of inexpensive jobbies while in Rome, which we'll maybe display in some sort of wedding memory display box or something when we're back home. We're tentatively slating this for sometime in 2007.

I love being non-traditional.

Posted by Ryan at 03:55 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

The incredible Shrinking Man

My driver's license lists me as 6'2". That is not correct. That is two inches too tall. Which is weird, because they measured me when I renewed my license. Then again, I wore some pretty thick-soled shoes back then.

I'm just a hairy hair shy of 6'. Like, so close to 6', there's probably only a millimeter keeping me from the 6' foot mark. With normal shoes on, I'm 6'1".

In case you were wondering.

Posted by Ryan at 12:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I'm Going To Baltimore in August

Doug says: http://baltimore.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=Baltimore&s1=MD&c2=Rochester&s2=MN

Ryan says: Rochester wins in the rape arena!!! Go us!

Doug says: I saw that. That's disturbing.

Ryan says: Rah, Rah, Rape-Chester.

Doug says: Put that on a banner and hang it.

Posted by Ryan at 11:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 24, 2006

Because I'm a Nice Guy

I'm going to link to this coin collecting site for beginners, because I just received an e-mail from some guy who saw my coin collecting blog post from awhile back and asked if I'd please link to his site. So there, I did that. It's the least I could do. I've been experiencing an insane spike in traffic lately, and figured I may as well spread the wealth. Good luck to you, oh coin collecting guy.

UPDATE: Oh, and Rick's feeling lonely, too. And he just contracted syphilis, so send him some good karma, m'kay?

Posted by Ryan at 10:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Just Checking In

Yes, I'm still alive, and yes I'm still a horrendously slacking blogger. Deadlines at work and all. That, and it's summer, and who wants to blog when it's nice out?

Although I did spend about an hour on Saturday deleting comment spam, which I think counts as blogging. By the way, comment spam is getting WAY out of control. It's irritating as all hell, to be honest.

More later, you know, when I find time, and if it's not nice out.

Posted by Ryan at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Things Fall Apart

I turned my weekend toilet and air-conditioning post into my column for next week. Wanna hear it? Here it goes.

I live in perpetual fear of things breaking down. I mean, I'm to the
point where I will horde money—literally HORDE (which is fun to
say)—in preparation for things breaking down.

Now, I'm not talking about little things breaking down, like remote
controls for TVs or garage doors; those are minor inconveniences. No,
I'm talking about big things, like when the temperature climbs into
the 90s and you discover, to your horror, that your central air
conditioning unit doesn't work. Which, by the way, happened to me last

It shouldn't have surprised me, in retrospect. As soon as I heard on
the radio that we were nearing triple-digit temperatures, I should
have just expected that my air conditioner was going to tank.

A funny thing about peak high temperatures, by the way, is that during
such temperatures, the demand for new air conditioning and repairs
tends to spike, so getting any service calls to your home within a
week is a miracle akin to walking on water.

So, there we sat, my girlfriend and I, staring at the prospect of a
long, humid, gaspingly hot weekend. Our solution? Go to my parents'
air conditioned house for the weekend to escape the heat. Which was a
decent, if short-term, solution. But, come Sunday night, we walked
back into our furnace of a house, facing the same uncomfortable
reality we managed to escape for a short while.

Facing the prospect of a night of sweltering sleeplessness, I went
down to the basement to gauge the subterranean environment to see if
it was acceptable for sleep. It was not, not by a long shot, but it
was a good thing I went down there, because it was then that I noticed
water was dripping voluminously from the ceiling, directly below the
bathroom upstairs.

I raced back up the stairs, into the bathroom, to discover that the
toilet had joined in solidarity with the air conditioning unit and
had, likewise, broken down. Water was spraying from every valve, hose
and joint, and the toilet tank itself was cracked. A new toilet was
desperately needed but, it being late Sunday, there was nothing open
that could sell me a new one. My only recourse was to shut the valve
to the toilet off, which I did, only to discover that the valve—having
been installed when Eisenhower was president—just wasn't valve-ish
enough to close all the way, which meant a steady spritz of water
issuing forth. Faced with this damp reality, the only remaining thing
I could do was to turn the water off to the entire house, a power one
only wields in the most dire of circumstances.

So there I was, my body dripping with sweat from the 92 degree heat of
the house, thirsty for water I had just shut off, and quickly coming
to the realization that I had to go to the bathroom worse than at any
point in my life. It was like every cell in my body got together and
said "Oh, you can't use the bathroom? Oh, but you MUST!"

So, it was off to the local convenience store for me, where I picked
up some pop and chips, but not before making hurried and drastic use
of the lavatory, which was thankfully air-conditioned.

Back at the house, I assessed the situation. It was hot, and there was
no running water, which meant no toilet, no shower, no sink and
basically no watery convenience of any kind. Which, as an experiment,
I encourage you to shut off the water to your house for one full day,
so you can gain a full appreciation for just how often you utilize
that convenience we take so much for granted. At least once an hour, I
found myself absent-mindedly trying to turn on the water, only roll my
eyes and say "Oh, dang it, that's right, I'm stupid."

In the end, thanks to my emergency horde, I purchased and installed a
new toilet and got the water running again, and a new central air unit
is slated for installation this week.

Of course, that means that my car is slated to break down next month,
followed by the furnace come November. Getting ahead in life is harder
than they say.

Posted by Ryan at 12:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

House of Blues

In addition to my non-air conditioned house peaking at 92 degrees inside last night (we did get a temporary window AC unit for the bedroom, so at least we could sleep), I realized that the toilet was severely leaking water onto the floor due to a bad seal. Upon closer inspection, I could see that it was a seal that could not be repaired, fixed and/or patched. A new toilet is required.

Which I could have lived with, but. . .

The water shut-off valve to the toilet is so incredibly old, it won't shut completely, so it continue to spray a considerable amount of water that couldn't just simply be caught in a bucket, since said bucket would fill in about 10 minutes. So, I had to shut off the water to the entire damned house.

I went to Home Depot and bought a new valve, but when I got home, I discovered that the new valve was slightly different than the old valve and couldn't simply be swapped out. By the time I made that discovery, all hardware stores in the city were closed.

So there we sat, in 92 degree heat, no working toilet, and no running water. It was an uncomfortable and irritating night.

To do list for today includes purchasing and installing a new toilet, and the search for a reasonably priced central air unit continues. Fun times. Fun times.

Posted by Ryan at 01:58 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 14, 2006

And his point is?

Nick Coleman reports on Night Court, apparently.

Posted by Ryan at 08:47 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Heat Wave

Although some people in America believe that Minnesota is a cold, wind-swept barren land of ice and snow, I'm hear to tell you that it's only that way for about four or five months out of the year.

In the summer, it can get hot. Damn hot. Like, holy hell I'm burning alive hot. Mix that in with the Minnesota humidity factor, and you get some unforgivably uncomfortable days in a Minnesota summer.

For example, it's supposed to hit the triple digits this weekend. That's WARM.

I mention all of this only because my central air conditioning unit died a couple weeks ago. Dead. The compressor is shot, and its a 20+ year old unit, so repairing it is kind of stupid. So, I need a new unit, but there's no way I'll get a new unit ordered, delivered and installed before this weekend, so I'll be enduring this sucker the way the frontiersmen did.

I'm so not looking forward to this.

Posted by Ryan at 02:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Fine, I'll Post It Here

The Rochester Post-Bulletin's blog is having commenting problems, so I'll post my comment to this post at my own blog instead:


Is it Rochester design or by mistake,
That seemingly every building is for lease?
And a run 'round vaunted Silver Lake,
Results in shoes caked with poo from geese.

Let's tune and tune the radio dial,
And catch both Rochester stations,
Neither have been good for quite awhile,
Thank God there's Internet radio in this nation.

Now let's go grab a bite and dine,
There's Denny's, Perkins and The Ranch,
Residents love their steak and wine,
But at good ethnic food they tend to blanch.

A slogan's in need, to replace "rah, rah,"
Something to capture city charm,
And strikes a certain sense of awe,
Without causing much alarm.

How 'bout "Rochester Welcomes You,
With food that's always bland!"
Or, "A City's That's in Tune,
With Music You Won't Stand!"

I kid, of course (well, mostly)
Rochester is quite nice,
But to be so "rah, rah" boastly,
Makes me retch not once, but twice.

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Posted by Ryan at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can't Call Me Teacher's Boy Any More

There's a rarely-spoken fact about high school that's nevertheless universally understood: that being, no one is beyond the cruel reach of peer ridicule. No social group is immune from criticism, from the mightiest jocks to the lowliest stoners. Everyone has a chink in the armor everyone else is eager to exploit.

Oh, sure, jocks are often hoisted upon a hallowed pedestal, but whispered in the dark hallways by fellow students is the fact that the star running back is also about as bright as a Christmas tree bulb. Oh, sure, "Erwin The Geek" may have aced the last 28 exams and is the only person in history who can calculate the entire value of "pi" in his head, but he has enough acne oil oozing from his face to lubricate an 18-wheeler, and he throws like a total girl. And so on and so forth.

Myself, I had a plethora of personal faults and failings my fellow students could have belittled me about, and indeed they did. For example, I still, to this day, get the occasional guffawed comment from childhood friends about the time I shot myself in the foot with a B.B. gun. Or the time I lost a tooth after dropping from a pull-up bar. Or the time I. . . you know what. . . I don't have enough column space to list all of my embarrassing anecdotes. Suffice it to say, my nickname was "Spaz," which should tell you everything you need to know about my less-than-stellar high school reputation.

Yet, despite all the ammunition that I constantly made readily available to my fellow students with which they could have easily decimated my fragile mental state, the one theme they constantly fell back on never ceased to confound and infuriate me.

I was a very good student in high school. I wasn't "Erwin the Geek" smart, but I received my share of "A" grades. Likewise, I wasn't a world-class athlete, either, but I was good enough to be a respectable varsity wrestler.

So, without being able to conveniently pigeonhole me into one of the usual corners, the criticism I often heard leveled my way was: "Yeah, well, what do you expect? His parents are teachers."

This barb always struck me as incredibly unfair. It was maddening to think that all my accomplishments could be dismissively waved away because my parents happened to teach at the same school I attended. If I made the honor roll, it was never because of anything I did; no, it was because my parents were teachers.

What made the "because my parents were teachers" zinger all the more infuriating was that I couldn't adequately respond to the charge. I couldn't, for example, shoot back, "No, they're not!" because they quite obviously were. There was my Mom, walking to the office. There was my Dad, standing in front of the classroom. It wasn't something I could necessarily deny.

I would often stew for minutes on end, trying to think up an appropriate response, something that would have equally as much punch while being equally as unfair, but I could never come up with anything. Somehow, firing back "Yeah, well, your parents are dairy farmers," just didn't seem to cut it.

But now, at the age of 31, and with my parents having officially retired from teaching this year, I can finally, FINALLY respond to the "because my parents are teachers" remark by confidently stating "No they're not!"

Sure, it's an empty and deeply unsatisfying victory, but I can't claim victory over much of anything nowadays, so I'll take what I can get.

Posted by Ryan at 09:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 12, 2006

The Internet is for. . .

Well, I'll let this most hysterical video explain it.

Posted by Ryan at 08:30 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

July 07, 2006

I've Got Your Civility Right Here

Something I've noticed quite a bit lately, particularly as more and more newspapers jump into blogging, are commenters repeatedly lamenting a lack of civility.

Which is basically true. online commenters can be some of the most in-your-face, unapologetic cock-knockers you can possibly imagine. Some make comments just to yank chains, others are just overpowered by the instant gratification inherent in being able to spout off at a moment's notice, while still others are just generally dinks.

All of which I don't really have a problem with. I've been blogging now for nearly four years, so I've become accustomed to invective-charged comment threads, whether here or at blogs far more popular than mine. My introduction to Joshua, for example, was chock-full of literary sparring matches that make "un-civil" comments I've read on newspaper blogs seem like a Dr. Suess book.

The lack of civility, frankly, has been more amusing to me than anything else. But it's also been interesting to witness as a social phenomenon. What follows are just some observations I've made regarding the in-civility of the online world.

1) In the real world, you would rarely, if ever, see the kinds of comments being made that are made on blogs, with Joshua probably being the exception, as I suspect he has no social filters to speak of. The online Joshua is pretty much the real world Joshua. But he's the exception, not the norm. In the real world, people who are complete strangers typically don't engage in conversation by starting out with "You're a stupid dumbass." In the real world, people are far more courteous, for a number of reasons. Firstly, in the online world, you can't see who you're up against; you can't read their body language; you can't see if there's a two year old in their arms; that kind of thing. In the online world, a 14-year-old going through puberty has the same amount of grunt and swagger of a champion UFC fighter.

2) In the online world, people rarely apologize or admit they're wrong. True story: I've even been guilty of this (no, really). I've lost count of the number of comment threads I've read where someone is clearly being pounded into the dirt by a debater who is head-and-shoulders ahead of them in both logic and facts, and yet the person being pounded into the dirt will never, ever admit they're wrong. Instead, you'll see countless dodges and changes of topic; anything so the person being being clobbered can claim victory over SOMETHING. Fark.com flame wars are a classic example of this. In the real world, this kind of behavior is far less frequent, in my opinion. Oh, sure, it happens, but not with the regularity you see online.

3) In the online world, everyone's an expert. The next argument point is a simple Google search away. Oh, you may not have the first clue about what you're about to argue about, but that doesn't really matter. You have a point to make, damnit! On Google! On Yahoo! On Wiki! On Jeeves! As per the observation laid out in point #2, the Internet means never having to COMPLETELY admit you're wrong. Search engines ensure a healthy comment war into infinity if need be.

4) The online world is not a very healthy place on which to build communities. The Internet is a fickle place. Oh, sure, I consider bloggers such as Johnny and Joshua and Mitch and Amy friends, but it's not the kind of friendship where I'd drive them to the airport or visit them in the hospital (well, I MIGHT, but it would have to be a pretty special case, like head cancer or something). An online friendship is kind of an ethereal thing. And, as the Plain Layne thing illustrated, you can never really, fully trust online friendships. So, it's a little amazing to me to see the kinds of communities that build up in support of such blogs as Daily Kos. There's some nearly fanatical people who hang out there. Blogs ARE their friends. And blog friends aren't typically reliable or good friends, certainly not as tangible as real-life friends. They can definitely morph into real-life friendships, but I personally wouldn't rely on that.

5) For a large part of the Internet, the world has become a very black-and-white place. You're either racist or you're not. You're either pro-abortion or you're not. You're either pro-gay-marriage or you're not. You're either Republican or you're Democrat. You're either liberal or you're Conservative. You're either a wingnut or a moonbat. There's surprisingly little room for middle ground discussion. If, for example, I were to say: "I'm conservative when it comes to tax policy, but I'm pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage and I think prostitution should be legal," the only thing some people would hear would be "I'm conservative," and the lines would be drawn thusly. It's gotten tiresome as hell, which is a major reason I don't participate in lot of such discussions.

6) Un-civil debates can be a freakin' scream. I personally love them. The power to call someone a "raging ass-monkey," knowing full well about the only reprisal I'll get is being called a "stinking shit-stain from hell" is quite possibly the main reason the Internet was invented. For me, the online world is my escape from all the civility of the real world. It's a digital Wild West where everyone's armed and prepared to shoot if someone even dares look at them funny, knowing full well no one's really going to get hurt.

newspaper blog commenters may lament the lack of civility online, but to them I offer up the kind of advice I imagine Joshua would tender: "Grow the fuck up already. Jesus."

Posted by Ryan at 01:44 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Not If He Had Really STRONG convictions


Posted by Ryan at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I haven't Ripped on Nick Coleman Since the last time, so. . .

Today's installment of Nick Coleman can't stick to a point, and basically can't write, either, is brought to you by. . . me.

I've been thrown out of spiffier joints than Toni's Market & Deli in my career.

Do tell.

But I can understand why I got 86'd Thursday from the convenience store at 35th Street and Chicago Avenue S.

People are fed up with people getting shot.

Not me! More death! More carnage! More popcorn! Bring out yer dead!

Toni's is where Minneapolis' 32nd murder victim of the year died, a 21-year-old who was shot outside and staggered into the steel-barred grocery before collapsing on a floor mat, which is now bunched up against a wall beneath a sign saying "No Loitering."

This is what constitutes "irony" for Nick. A "No Loitering" sign! And a 21-year-old died there! Oh the IRONY!

If a dying youth came through the door of my store, I would not be happy. So I wasn't surprised that "Toni," the owner, wouldn't give me the time of day when I introduced myself. People in the neighborhood say Toni is a good guy and runs a clean shop, but murder can give a corner a bad name and he was in no mood to talk.

Now, if it were me doing this "investigative" reporting, I'd respect Toni's right not to talk to me. He's under no obligation, after all. He's not required to talk to any news person, and in fact maybe he has a legitimate reason not to want to see his name or his store splashed inside a newspaper, particularly for a crime that he and his store is not responsible for. But does Nick respect any of this? Of course not! He decided to be a monumental PRICK!

News people should carry bells and wear signs that say, "Unclean." Some of us lepers still think it's important to try to get an idea of what's going on, though, so I make an effort. But I understand when someone doesn't want to talk.

You want to get an idea of what's going on, eh? Then talk to the police, you fucking meathead. Toni just had the misfortune of having a kid die in his store. He's not a detective. He's just a store owner who's having a pretty bad fucking day. So, Nick, maybe you could stop being a smarmy little asshole.

I went to use the cash machine and grab a Pepsi.

In other words, Nick decided to wear out a welcome that was obviously never extended in the first place. This is how Nick operates, using his little soapbox of a column to belittle those "beneath" him. Watch how he repeatedly zings Toni while at the same time disingenuously saying how he "liked" him.

That's when Toni told me to get out of his store or he would call the cops. I enjoy meeting cops, so I just waved and told Toni to do what he had to do.

Don't you just want to beat Nick severely about the neck and face? What a fucking absolute prick. Because Toni doesn't want to talk to the press (not an unusual occurence), Nick's basically treating Toni as if he's somehow guilty by association for the murder of a 21-year-old, and he's using his column to piss on the store owner. This from a guy who routinely speaks about the trials and tribulations of "the little guy."

After I brought a Pepsi to the counter, Toni threw it into a corner. I started to get the idea he was serious.

Oh, really? So, when he wouldn't give you the time of day when you introduced yourself, you just assumed he was being silly? You know what, Nick? Go fuck yourself.

To make a long story short, I avoided arrest and Toni and I worked it out to the point where he agreed to sell me a Pepsi (one that hadn't bounced off a wall).

We said goodbye, and he actually said, "Have a nice day."

What a bunch of sophomoric, juvenile, condescending asshole-ishness. Coleman knows full-well that he's using this column to harm Toni's business. This is nothing but a mean-spirited hatchet job meant to belittle someone who didn't want to talk with the mighty NEWSMAN. Which makes the next line all the more irritating.

I liked Toni.

Don't you just want to rip his teeth out with a pliers?

It must be terrible to witness a murder or feel as if your safety or livelihood is jeopardized by a rising tide of violence in the city.

Yes, it must, so maybe you shouldn't provoke them, you cock-hole.

More people should be like Toni.

Don't you just want to cock-punch Nick?

People should get angry.

At dick-heads like Nick.

The kid who died on Toni's floor was named Joe Rogers and he died at 10:30 in the morning. Only the fact that it was Independence Day prevented his demise from being noticed by children who attend day-care and summer programs at the Pillsbury House, directly across Chicago Avenue.

Only the fact that it was Independence Day, huh? Unless, the day-care and summer programs were held INSIDE Toni's store, I don't imagine the children would have noticed Rogers' demise anyway, Nick.

As it happened, hardly anyone saw him fall. That's the way we prefer it. Out of sight, out of mind.

Yep, most murderers try to conduct their work during a parade, on a float if feasible.

Concern over crime has made many -- including me -- call for more cops, less tolerance of bad behavior and tougher sentencing.

Less tolerance of bad behavior? Care to elaborate on that pretty open-ended concept, Nick?

But enforcement is only part of the answer. Politicians who balanced budgets on the backs of the poor and then passed billion-dollar stadiums should be called to account.

There he goes again, trotting out his most favorite phrase evAr! "Balanced budgets on the back of the poor." And, of course, if politicians hadn't passed the stadium deal (which stinks, but whatever), gang and drug violence would be a thing of our imaginations only.

"It's time to start telling the truth about what's going on," said Tony Wagner, president of Pillsbury United Communities. "Our priorities are all screwed up, and we've developed a hostility toward children. There doesn't seem to be the interest or the resources to help young people build relationships of trust with caring, responsible adults."

We've developed a hostility toward children? WE'VE DEVELOPED A HOSTILITY TOWARD CHILDREN?!!! Uh. . . huh. Just the other day, I was standing next to a nine year old, and just for the heck of it, I back-handed her across the face. God, that felt good.

If that's too touchy-feely for you, Wagner can put it more bluntly:

"If you don't help kids connect to people who care about them, why would you expect anything different than what we're getting?

Sooooo, it's our responsibility to help kids connect to people who care about them? And the job of parents is to do WHAT again?

"You get what you don't pay for."

In recent years, we have seen devastating cuts in youth programs. The results are visible outside Pillsbury House, where a bus shelter promotes the city's beautiful new Guthrie Theater and the ceiling of the shelter is covered with gang graffiti.

Right. See also: the New York City subway system. Graffiti is omnipresent in practically every metropolitan area.

It's a tale of two cities, the gleaming and the gang-ridden. And, in a corner grocery, blood on a floor mat.

And, in the gleaming offices of the Star-Tribune, a petulant, cranky, completely untalented columnist uses his position to belittle a store owner who didn't want to talk to him.

Nick Coleman, go fuck yourself.

Posted by Ryan at 12:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 06, 2006


Caroline says: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/07/06/russia.putin.reut/index.html

Caroline says: like a kitten who's been through the chipper

Ryan says: WTF?

Caroline says: what

Ryan says: Why would he kiss the boy on the stomach?

Ryan says: I mean, can that be any more creepy?

Caroline says: It could always be more creepy. Think Rachel Ray.

Ryan says: Well, that's true. Rachel Ray is creepy.

Caroline says: Like if he did a raspberry on the kid's stomach.

Caroline says: that'd be weird

Ryan says: Or tongued his navel.

Caroline says: Baka boo!

Ryan says: Ho dee doh!

Caroline says: Touched him like a kitten.

Caroline says: We-ird.

Posted by Ryan at 02:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

That's An Intimidating Security Force You Have There


And this concludes today's episode of "Headline Not Matching The Photo Very Well."

Posted by Ryan at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I'm not sure why, exactly, but my blog traffic has been nearly double its normal rate over the past three days. There seems to be considerable interest in this NSFW picture.

Other than that, I guess I can just chalk it up to me being awesome.

Posted by Ryan at 11:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 05, 2006

Nosy Neighbor News

Every neighborhood, it seems, comes equipped with its own fully armed and operational busy-body. You know who I'm talking about. In fact, you may BE who I'm talking about.

When I bought my house two years ago, I met the local busy-body within a week of moving in. I was in the midst of sanding my hardwood floors when I saw her loping slowly along the sidewalk. I stepped outside to empty a load of sawdust, at which point she started toddling my way to introduce herself.

Now, I'm not against being neighborly. I'll strike up idle chit-chat if it means ensuring neighborhood tranquility, but there was something about this particular woman that clanged alarm bells in my skull. There was just something about her that said to me "this one's going to be a bit of an irritation in the future."

Her name is not important. What is important is that she's the modern day equivalent of the town crier, an expert on all the mundane things that happen within a four block radius. She's like a living, breathing miniature newspaper, with an opinion/commentary page that's roughly 20 pages long. There's nothing too boring that happens in our neighborhood that she won't comment on.

I've generally grown to grudgingly tolerate the neighborhood busy-body. I mean, I figure she's probably bound to die before I do, and I take comfort in that. No matter how annoying she is, I can always, in the back of mind, think "I'm going to outlive you, so HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Over the long Independence Day weekend, however, my tolerance of the neighborhood busy-body was stretched to its limit, its breaking point, its precipice, if you will.

My girlfriend and I have a firepit in the back yard. It's completely legal and adheres to all city ordinance specifications. We enjoy our back yard fires immensely.

Well, the day after conducting one of our evening combustion rituals, the neighborhood busy-body came toddling on over to the yard.

"If you have a fire as big as the one you had last night ever again, I'm calling the fire department," she scolded, and she was dead serious.

Now, our fire pit is about two feet in diameter. It's not exactly Vulcan's forge. At a maximum, we can maybe produce a flame about four feet in height. The thought of a fire truck showing up to extinguish our tiny flame would have struck me as humorous, if I weren't so pissed off. I mean, my girlfriend and I are both 30 years old, so being scolded like that borders precariously on the insulting side.

There's a part of me that wants to just dismiss the busy-body as just that: a busy-body. But there's another part of me that secretly fears that the busy-body achieved her busy-body status through some sort of neighborhood coercion which I don't know about. Maybe she does have some pull at the local fire department. Maybe she knows the police chief. Maybe she knows voodoo, and has a doll specifically designated "Ryan Rhodes."

For the time being, my girlfriend and I have agreed that we just won't have any back yard fires for awhile, which makes me a little made, because I think it constitutes a victory for the busy-body. I hate to think she won this round.

But, then again, I'll probably outlive her, so HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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 12:09 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
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