January 30, 2009

Color me Unimpressed

I find it odd, with all the breathless reporting about the impending "stimulus," no one really seems to know or report on what the hell it's supposed to do, or why. It's just this huge chunk of money that we've apparently just been sitting on. Am I wrong in thinking it's just a collossally bad idea?

I mean, I hope I'm wrong. If it passes, I hope the ground opens up and puppies and kittens spill out across the land, but at its core it just seems like it's destined to create sky high inflation.

Posted by Ryan at 04:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 29, 2009

Random Thursday!

Caroline says: How totally awesome is the picture that accompanies this article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28916090/


Ryan says: Going. . . down?

Caroline says: Which level is the frozen one again?

Ryan says: That's a pretty graphic image, really. Hilarious and awesome, yes, but graphic.

Caroline says: Right? Seriously

Ryan says: Subway? Or Sub-zero level?

Caroline says: I actually said "Holy shit!" out loud. (HSOL)

Caroline says: Next floor: women's lingerie

Caroline says: Um. Want to hear something kind of scary in a brain-wavey kind of way?

Ryan says: I'm not sure, but shoot.

Ryan says: I love that you got the Aerosmith reference.

Caroline says: I've been singing "Dick in a Box" since this morning and I just saw your Twitter update from 39 minutes ago.

Ryan says: And I had no idea why that popped in my head, either.

Caroline says: Love in an Elevator: Fuck Yeah!

Caroline says: That's ... weird.

Caroline says: I almost put it as my FaceBook status this morning, but opted not to.

Ryan says: HA!

Ryan says: I think it pooped in my head because my cubicle neighbors were talking about Rachel Dratch, for some reason.

Caroline says: POOPED!

Caroline says: Best. Typo. EVAR.

Ryan says: Hrm. *embarrassed*

Ryan says: Most non-sensical thing ever written, starting in 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

Ryan says: Dick in a Box pooped in my head.

Caroline says: "Things I Say When I'm Drunk" for 1,000 please, Alex,'

Posted by Ryan at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For the Record

If Twitter is to be believed, and I have no reason to doubt a medium consisting of 140 characters or less, this winter has so far been the coldest in 15 years, at least in this corner of Minnesota.

So, yeah, global climate warming change? You can just go eat a cock.

Posted by Ryan at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 28, 2009

Just so we're clear

There's nothing necessarily wrong about being a smug sleazeball. Now, if you're a sleaze smugball, on the other hand. . .

Posted by Ryan at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 27, 2009

That new gi smell

Well, having burned through the knees of my Double Dragon jiu-jitsu gi, last night I bought my fourth gi in 3.5 years of training(a Hsu gi, which is fun to say. I'm thinking that I should invest in jiu-jitsu gi companies because, man, they're kinda spendy and they rarely last a full year.

Posted by Ryan at 01:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 23, 2009

Cutting Edge

There's something about seeing the phrase "a Web site commonly used by militants" in a news article that just bothers me somehow.

It makes me wonder what the Web page is called. "Jihad Today?" "Talking Points Fatwa?" "Little Green Suicide Vests?" "Insta-Martyr?"

Posted by Ryan at 01:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 22, 2009

Thrusters To Full!

bfmd.jpg There was a time when all mankind really wanted was a nice bottle of Vulva to get them through their day.

Alas, we men are always looking for the next great thing we can use to humiliate ourselves. With Vulva, we made it possible for us to smell like a woman's vagina all day long (now that I think about it, I guess there's no such thing as a MAN'S vagina, so I apologize for the redundancy).

Today, at long last, there's the Digital Thrust Counting Penis Ring, because if there's one thing a man ponders after rolling off his latest sexual conquest, it's "Man, I wonder how many times I thrusted THAT time."

Be advised, my fellow males, the eventual count may be considerably less impressive than you might think. You could be setting yourself up for a major disappointment here. Plus, if you've ever had to deal with the de-bonerfying effect of putting on a condom, I imagine slipping on a thrust ticking cock ring isn't all that much better.

Posted by Ryan at 02:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Continued Adventures of Boxles the Clown

bfmd.jpg When we last left our hero (our hero being me), I had just related my tale of the most explosive shart I ever experienced, complete with the ensuing aftermath and clean-up.

As an aside, I mentioned the pair of silk boxer shorts that I couldn't bare to part with, despite said boxers having been on the front lines of the diarrheal assault. I couldn't just throw them in the trash as I had done with my pants because A) they were silk and oh-so-luxurious to the touch and B) they were practically brand new, so it just didn't seem right to toss them. Instead, I soaked them in the bathroom sink at work in scalding water, and then gave them a fairly good cleaning and wringing before tossing them in my glove compartment.

And then I just kind of forgot about them, so they sat in my glove compartment for a couple weeks, where they went from the back of my mind to out of my mind completely.

Well, eventually it came to pass one evening as I got off work, I received an e-mail from a fellow journalism student, Molly, I graduated with that spring. She happened to be in town and wanted to know if I wanted to go out for dinner and drinks.

Understand, this wasn't really a date. Molly and I had been in several classes together and we worked on similar projects. It was more of a "hey, whatcha been up to" opportunity. However, I would not have passed up the opportunity to engage in mindless, angry sex with Molly if such an opportunity presented itself. Dinner and drinks struck me as one such potential opportunity, particularly since I was equipped with the knowledge Molly had broken up with her boyfriend shortly after graduation.

So, I left work and went to pick up Molly at her former apartment, where she was staying with her former roommates. Now, I should note here that I was working at the Winona newspaper, but I was commuting between Winona and my hometown of Harmony, having given up my Winona apartment after graduating. My point being, my '89 Cavalier had all the hallmarks of a vehicle that's practically been lived in. There were old McDonalds bags in the back seat, and frankly countless Diet Pepsi bottles. Basically, I was a slob. Okay, I AM a slob.

Molly, bless her heart, said nothing and simply hopped in and said "To the Hunan," which was the best Chinese restaurant in town. While I was driving to the Hunan, Molly took out her checkbook and started doing some impromptu balancing, when her pen just up and died on her.

"Damn it!" she said. "Do you have a pen?"

"Sure, check the glove compartment."

So, Molly checked the glove compartment.

And then there was this pause.

And then Molly asked "Why is there a pair of boxers in your glove compartment?"

I remember my mouth falling open slightly, as I experienced wartime-like flashbacks to frantically mopping my ass with paper towels, hovering over a sink in the Winona Daily News men's bathroom.

I turned my head ever so slowly to face the glove compartment. Sure enough, there they were; my blue silk boxer shorts, molded into the shape they dried into over the preceding weeks.

There are moments in life when you find it within yourself to be able to think and do things you wouldn't normally deem possible. For me, in that instant, I was able to think through the ramifications of all sorts of lies I could tell to explain the boxer shorts in the glove compartment, much like a chess champion thinking 18 moves ahead. I had to come up with a lie that was least likely to blow my chances of possibly scoring that night.

For example, my first thought was to say "Those aren't mine," but obviously that left me with trying to explain why I had someone else's boxer shorts in my glove compartment. No narrative short of "I'm gay" seemed sufficient to that task.

Then I thought "I keep a spare pair in the glove compartment," but that really would've just left me with trying to explain why I thought it was necessary to keep a spare pair so handy at all times. Somehow, in my mind, it didn't seem likely that Molly would want to have sex with a man who could have explosive diarrhea at any moment.

In a surprisingly quick move, considering the situation, I managed to spin a narrative about going camping with a group of friends a few weeks earlier and how a bunch of us went skinny dipping, thus leading to my boxers in the glove compartment.

Molly asked me all sorts of follow-up questions during dinner, such as "was it all guys, or were there girls there?" to which I responded "some of the guys had their girlfriends, and they went skinny dipping, too." In retrospect, my story sounded more like something you'd read in "Penthouse Forum." I could almost imagine myself writing it down, too: "Dear Penthouse, I never thought something like this would happen to me. . . "

Molly seemed delighted by my whimsical tale of camping debauchery, but it became pretty clear to me by the end of dinner that she wasn't all that interested in bumping uglies with a cavorting nudist.

Still, I like to think Molly is out there, somewhere, telling all her friends about this cool guy she knew in college who was totally into nude camping orgies. It's better than a story about some guy who shit his pants and kept the boxer shorts in his glove compartment.


Posted by Ryan at 01:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Happy Mirth Day To All of Us!


I wrote a Mirth-Day post last night, but I want it to be JUST RIGHT. It's the boxer short sequel to the "Whoops I crapped my pants" post. Stay tuned!

Posted by Ryan at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 21, 2009

Calling all cars

Ryan says: Working downtown is COLD!

Caroline says: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrizzle

Ryan says: 2004 called; they want their jargon back.

Caroline says: 2000 called; it wants its lame joke back.

Ryan says: 1998 called; it wanted to inform you "lame" is sooooo 1996.

Caroline says: 1984 called; it wants you to conform.

Ryan says: Oooh, how very Orwellian of you.

Ryan says: George Orwell called; he's suing you for copyright.

Caroline says: Death called; wants to remind you Orwell is dead.

Ryan says: Copyright called; they want to remind you that, under current law, copyright applies until 50 years following the author's death.

Ryan says: Lots of calls coming in today. . .

Caroline says: The D-bag club called; wants to officially invite you to join.

Ryan says: 1998 just called me; they informed me copyright was extended to 70 years after death.

Ryan says: Pathetic called; the extension was called the "Sonny Bono Act."

Caroline says: Serious cat called; wants to ask "Are you serious?"

Ryan says: I don't respond to catcalls.

Caroline says: Hiss and boo.

Ryan says: Vaudeville called; they want their hiss and boos back.

Ryan says: Actually, Vaudeville probably telegraphed. . .

Caroline says: FAIL

Posted by Ryan at 10:18 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 20, 2009

Inaugural Liveblog

11:05 a.m. -- MSNBC.com reports, and I swear I'm not making this up: "The National Mall swelled into a vast, pulsing scene of expectation Tuesday. . ." A new president, or a freakishly awesome dildo? You decide!

11:10 a.m. -- Star-Tribune reports, and I swear I'm not making this up: "From Kenya and Indonesia, where Barack Obama has family ties, to Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, Obama represented a volcanic explosion of hope for better days ahead." Is the Media aware that it's pornofying the inauguration?

11:13 a.m. -- I feel compelled to "try my hand" at an inaugural lead paragraph, using current articles as a guide. *Ahem*

"The rapturous orgy of inaugural onlookers anxiously awaited the annointing of their new president, who promised to baptize them in a rolling wave of sweet Obama juice."

11:20 a.m. -- Rochester Post-Bulletin article headline, and I swear I'm not making this up: "Minnesotan still haunted by German invasion"

Wait. . . what?

11:28 a.m. -- Just in case you weren't aware:


11:40 a.m. -- Caroline says: So, there's an inauguration poem. Care to offer your own version of an inauguration poem?

Ryan says: Oooh, OOOH!

Caroline says: I KNEW it.

Caroline says: I'm listening to this poem now. It's not really poemy.

Ryan says:

It's rumored our President Barack
Is equipped with a 20 inch cock.
A dick so enlarged,
You KNOW who's in charge.
Other leaders just stand there, in shock.

Caroline says: Good God, man.

11:56 a.m. -- New President Stares Menacingly At Teleprompter


12:07 p.m. -- You wouldn't think the inauguration would lend itself to a baseball season opening day metaphor treatment. . . you'd be wrong.

12:27 p.m. -- MSBNC.com reports, and I swear I'm not making this up: "New first lady wears Isabel Toledo." Oddly, you can sing that headline to the tune of "Where in the world is Carmen San Diego."

12:42 p.m. -- For good measure, here's a simply awesome Fark PhotoShop thread.

2:47 p.m. -- Sorry for the light posting. Despite all the hope and change that's in the air, I'm still apparently required to do work. Damn.

Posted by Ryan at 11:06 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

It occurs to me

Keeping in mind the Internet is basically a haven for a lot of insane people, over the years I've read countless musings about how the Bush administration would declare martial law and seize power indefinitely; I've waded through more crap about "October events" and "moving to Canada" and "there will be no more elections," and just kind of on and on like that.

And yet, here we are, on the verge of yet another peaceful transfer of power.

Gosh, it's almost as if we have some sort of Constitution or something.

Posted by Ryan at 08:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 19, 2009

OMG, it's. . .

Caroline says: This make me lol: http://icanhascheezburger.com/2009/01/13/funny-pictures-finding-jesus/

Ryan says: This one's better: http://www.bookcaseangel.com/images/jesus.gif

Caroline says: WTF is wrong with you.

Ryan says: OMG! It's Jesus!

Caroline says: You punch that asshole, you're bound to get burned, son.

Ryan says: I think this is the first time, in all our years of knowing each other, you've finally asked: "WTF is wrong with you."

Caroline says: Because, deep down, I've always known that you're not quite right.

Ryan says: Butthole Jesus = rock band.

Caroline says: Kind of like Butthole Surfers, only more Goddy.

Ryan says: No way.

Ryan says: Yahweh.

Caroline says: sigh

Ryan says: Admit it: Butthole Jesus was the high point of your day.

Caroline says: Admitting that would only let on how sad my day was.

Ryan says: LOLO!

Ryan says: You didn't expect Monday to consist of dog butthole Jesus, I reckon.

Ryan says: Good ole DBHJ.

Caroline says: Monday? No. Maaaaaaybe a Wednesday. But not Monday.

Ryan says: I played the DBHJ card two days too early. Damn.

Caroline says: Rookie mistake.

Ryan says: Oh, man, your "WTF is wrong with you" comment almost had me in tears.

Caroline says: Then my work here is done.

Ryan says: You were thinking icanhascheezburger, and I slapped you with DBHJ.

Caroline says: That you did.

Ryan says: Awesomeness overload.

Caroline says: What surprises me is what little time you needed to respond to my Jesus link with the DBJH link. Did you have that on standby?

Ryan says: LOLO!

Ryan says: No, I just did a GIS search on "OMG it's Jesus."

Ryan says: A full page of just that one image.

Ryan says: So many to choose from.

Caroline says: Baby Jesus, bless the Internets.

Posted by Ryan at 03:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Don't Know Why. . .

But this made me laugh until my eyes nearly fell out:


Posted by Ryan at 11:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Little, Yellow, Different, Better

Caroline says: Hey, have you caught any of the new Scrubs eps yet?

Ryan says: No, but Mel has a ton queued up on the DVR.

Caroline says: A ton? There's only been four eps.

Ryan says: Right, but we haven't seen most of last year's eps, either.

Caroline says: Ah, OK. Come to think of it, I don't think I saw many of last year's eps either.

Ryan says: You mentioned this year's eps aren't bad, IIRC.

Caroline says: They aren't bad ... they're different.

Ryan says: That sounds like a great marketing slogan.

Ryan says: Keebler Porn Crackers: They're not bad. . . they're different.

Posted by Ryan at 11:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2009

WHOOPS, I crapped my pants

Via Twitter, longtime blogging colleague, Leblanc, steered me towards this, which is just chock full of awesome, and it also got me to thinking about the worst example I can recall of gambling on a fart and losing spectacularly.

Back in the summer of 1998, I had just graduated from college and was tenuously holding onto a business/city council reporting gig for the Winona Daily News. Actually, I was covering for the regular reporter, who was on maternity leave, so I basically knew I'd be out of a job in three months. Then again, at $6 an hour, I wasn't looking to make a career out of it, but I thought the experience would look good on the resume when I actually did go out looking for a career.

At any rate, one fine, sunny day in June, I was tasked with going out to get a story about a nearby hog farm that also was a plant nursery and craft shop. I know, it doesn't sound like a feasible business model, but in rural Minnesota the entreprenurial spirit can give birth to some business oddities. Don't believe me? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pork and Plants.

So, I went out to Pork and Plants that day, put on my journalistic $6/hr. reporter's hat and, by God, I got the story. And what a story it was! It had pork. and it had plants. It had suspense. It had intrigue. Mostly though, it had pork and plants.

With my notebook smoking from all the notes I jotted down, I bid the proprietors of Pork and Plants a good and hopped back in my car--a 1989 Chevy Cavalier--for the ride back to the office.

Listening to my Rush Chronicles cassette tape, I was feeling good as I thought about the Hemingway-esque treatment I'd give to my Pork and Plants article. Perhaps it was the drowsy effect of the sun radiating through the car's windows, or just my general contentment with the world, but whatever the reason, I felt justified in letting loose a nice, rollicking ass rattle.

And, for about a half second or so, the fart went off without a hitch. Truth be told, it had the potential in its early stages of possibly ranking amongst my top five all time butt toots; it had a nice, deep tuba-like quality that promised a hearty aromatic bouquet would no doubt follow, with. . .

And then all hell broke loose.

People often use terms like "opening the flood gates" or "turning on a fire hose" or "really crapping my pants," but none of those really do justice to just what transpired that day. What exploded from my bowels that day was so forceful and unexpected, it nearly made me swerve into the ditch. I don't remember exactly what I screamed at that moment, but from what I recall of the incident, it went something like "AHHHHHH! AHHHHHH! AHHHHhhhhhhHHHHHH!"

Something I learned about crapping my pants that day was that, when I crap my pants while sitting in a cloth car seat, I instinctively clench and elevate my buttocks so that I'm in effect hovering over the seat without making direct contact. It was as if my mind made a snap judgement that said "Okay, the boxer shorts and pants are gone, man, but we can at least save the car seat."

So it was I found myself in a full press clench, hovering over my car seat, held aloft by sheer power of will, for the remaining three or so miles back to the office. During that time, my mind was dedicated entirely to the game plan that would play out once I was safely parked. I knew, for example, there was a pair of jogging pants in my trunk and, even though they hadn't been washed in weeks, they were most assuredly preferable over the soggy trouser mass I was inhabiting at the time.

Moving with deliberate, yet gingerly haste, I retrieved the jogging pants and stagger-stepped my way into the newspaper office, intent on only reaching the restroom, uttering a silent prayer that it would be unoccupied. It was, indeed, all mine, but you haven't lived until you've tried to mop your ass off in a bathroom sink, horrified that at any given second someone would enter the bathroom and you'd have to explain the frankly inexplainable situation that led to me being naked from the waist down, mopping my backside with paper towels, to say nothing of the unspeakably filthy boxer shorts soaking in the adjacent sink. I was willing to trash the pants, but the boxers were brand new silk jobbies that felt like I was wearing God's beard, so no way was I giving those up without a fight.

Eventually, which is to say in under five minutes, I had the situation under control. I ended up stowing the damp boxers in my glove compartment, and neglecting them for about a week, which led to an unfortunate dating anecdote that I won't share right now; suffice it to say. . . SURPRISE!

And that's how I ended up with the short-lived, but hilarious summer nickname, "Boxles the Clown," or just Boxles for short, given to me by "friends" I thought I could confide in (understand, at the time, I took this incident way more seriously than I'm conveying here).

Posted by Ryan at 12:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

They're not even trying any more

Went into my blog publishing engine this morning and perused the comments, expecting to do battle against the scourge of comment spam that's undergoing a resurgence here in 2009. Lately, spammers have been getting better at disguising their work, but today there was a spammer named "Enlargement."

To be fair, I did hesitate before deleting it, if for no other reason but because I admired its sheer cheek.

Posted by Ryan at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2009

Mark Your Calendars


Explanation can be found here and here.

This could be the biggest thing to hit blogging since the Friday Five or, more notably, the Cheddar X.

Posted by Ryan at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2009

Phoning it in

I received a new cell phone in the mail last week. Mind you, The Wife requested new cell phones, lest you think phone companies have begun bombarding households with new cell phones every other day, which would be kind of an interesting distraction, now that I think about it, but never mind.

You see, The Wife has a tendency to regularly drop her phone, which probably has something to do with her right hand consisting entirely of thumbs; okay, she's just clumsy. At any rate, she dropped her old phone enough times that it had finally started malfunctioning like R2-D2 after a super jolt of electricity. And, because we're on some sort of dual shared cell phone plan, I received a new cell phone along with her new cell phone (even though my old phone was working just fine, thank you very much).

As I've stated before, I hate phones. My preferred medium of conversation is absolute silence. If that's not possible, I like to convey my messages via the written word. In other words, I'm an e-mail guy, or an instant message guy or, if necessary, a FaceBook guy. I am not, I should note, a texting guy; how people can keep solid friendships alive through texting is frankly beyond me.

Getting back to the original point, I now have a new phone. It's a nice enough phone, I guess. Rather than the flip-open phone I used to have, the new phone is one of those slide-open units that seemed so hip two years ago. It's kind of frustrating, actually; after training myself to open my flip phone with quick wrist twist, the new phone requires a whole new maneuver I haven't yet mastered--kind of like hailing a cab motion mixed with a Spiderman web sling. It's very complex, trust me.

The thing about cell phones that continues to bother me is they haven't yet leaped that technological hurdle that allows seamless back and forth communication. With cell phones, only one person can speak at a time. If both participants try to speak at once, the words collide up on some orbiting sattelite and cancel each other out completely. Under current cell phone technology, the following conversation is common:

ME: It's funny you should mention that, because. . .

OTHER PERSON: What did you think about. . .

ME: I'm sorry, what were you say. . .

OTHER PERSON: Nothing. Go ahead and tell me. . .

ME: No, wait, seriously, you were saying something about. . .

OTHER PERSON: It was nothing, please go ahead and. . .

ME: *pause*


ME: Are you still there?

OTHER PERSON: Yeah! Yeah I'm here!

ME: Oh, good! As I was saying, I . . .

OTHER PERSON: I was going to tell you about. . .

And it kind of goes on and on like that until you're able to establish a rhythm. Come to think of it, this may be why texting is so danged popular. . . at least you're able to complete a thought. ROTHFLMAO!

Another thing about two years worth of cell phone innovation is that the new phone now has all these bells and whistles, like the ability to play music and record digital video, which would be great if I suddenly found myself in a Hollywood producer's office and wanted to pitch my great idea for a movie version of "Doogie Howser, M.D." Otherwise, such additional functionality is basically useless. It's like they're trying to disguise the fact the device basically fails at being. . . you know. . . A PHONE!

So, yeah, I now have a new phone. If you really want to reach me, however, you'll probably be able find me on FaceBook.

Posted by Ryan at 05:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 12, 2009

Monday Gross Out Convo

Caroline says: "Your dad and friends" would be a great sitcom title. If it was about your story when you came out of a swimming pool with a condom on your shoulder, it would be "Your dad and shoulder condoms."

Ryan says: Or. . . "Shouldering Your Dad's Burden." Okay, I just threw up a little bit, in my mouth.

Caroline says: I didn't realize it was possible, but you not having any distractions has made you more disgusting.

Ryan says: What's worse, from now on there's a very real possibility I'll equate "ejaculation" with "burden."

Ryan says: "Ejaculation with Burden" would be a great name for a rock band.

Caroline says: And, thanks to you, now I'll equate the little MSN notification sound to some very disgusting thoughts of yours. I have it worse.

Ryan says: Actually, now that I think about it, "Ejaculation with Burden" could be a self-help book, with the narrator named Burden. Together with Burden, you'll learn how to reach ejaculation carefully and efficiently, with no messy clean-up.

Caroline says: Can one of the book chapters please be called "Splort!"?

Ryan says: That would obviously be the last chapter.

Caroline says: Oh, I assumed the final chapter would be called "Burden's Balls: Sometimes Premature Ejaculation Happens. Don't let it get you down."

Ryan says: That's a mouthful. . .

Caroline says: Well, if you swish it around in there for a few minutes, it's easier to swallow.

Ryan says: I'll have to defer to your expertise in this particular instance.

Caroline says: Just so you know, I'm leaving because of the weather, just in case you've e-mailed me anymore disgusting thoughts and haven't heard back from me ... it's not because I'm dry heaving in the bathroom. It's because I'm home.

Posted by Ryan at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2009

Life's a test

Gah. I had one of those ghastly dreams last night that stand as unofficial proof our minds perpetually totter on the edge of the schizophrenic abyss.

It started out as a athletic locker room dream; usually, these morph into me trying to figure out my old padlock combination and eventually being confronted by piles of old workout clothes that hadn't seen a washing machine in well over a decade. Last night, however, the scene reformed itself into a classroom/church pew. My wife was preparing to take a Scantron test, and I gradually became aware that she was expecting me to take it as well, so I took a seat.

I was told this was going to be a life test, and in order to succeed at life, we had to pass, but in the same breath, the teacher told me, specifically, that I didn't have to take it if I didn't want to. I assumed if I didn't take it, I wouldn't succeed at life, so I asked for a Scantron.

Then things started to get weird. . .

Somebody had used my Scantron before me, but they only filled in every other number, so we were instructed to fill in the remaining ovals; this was done, we were told, to save on Scantrons. I'm not positive, but I think all the news about the Franken/Coleman ballot recount played a role in this mental manifestation.

Anyway, as with all dreams, numbers and letters largely don't make any sense at all, so most of the test questions were in the form of symbols. One question, in particular, sticks out in my mind: There was a drawing of a dog eating an apple, complete with seeds, followed by a picture of the dog taking a dump, followed by a "leads to" arrow, ------->, followed by four options. Those options were: a wagon, a cheerleader, a horse, and an apple tree.

Obviously, a dog pooping apple seeds would logically lead to a new apple tree, right? Well, that's what I thought, too, but the only problem was, the letter options on the test didn't match up with the options on the Scantron. Whereas the Scantron had "A, B, C and D" ovals to fill in, the test showed "W, X, Y and Z." Frustrated, I went up to the teacher for clarification.

The teacher told me that "W, X, Y and Z" should be thought of as "A, B, C and D," and instructed me to go back to my seat. When I got back to my seat, however, I discovered all my stuff missing because the other students hid it. Angry, I started to shout and threaten the other students so they''d give my stuff back. The teacher informed me that was no way to comport myself during a life test.

And that's when I woke up.

Posted by Ryan at 05:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 08, 2009

Watching the Worm Turn

It's been fascinating to witness newspapers first ignore bloggers, then criticize bloggers, then start blogging, and now basically craft their content in the form of a blog.

It's only a matter of time before they start focusing almost exclusively on poop and fart jokes, and posting pictures of all the employees' asses.

Posted by Ryan at 12:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

2009 Hope and Change

As much as I hoped blog comment spammers would change their wrongful ways in 2009, this first week of the year has seen an absolute inundation of comment spam I've had to deal with. Of course, this only makes it even more difficult for legitimate commenters to actually, you know, COMMENT, since the powers that be behind the mu.nu comment filter are forced to tweak whatever impossible comment rules they're operating under at any given moment.

In other words, you might want to direct your comments to my Twitter or Facebook accounts. That, or you can e-mail me.

Posted by Ryan at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 06, 2009


Newsweek: What would Apple be without Jobs?

My guess? It wouldn't be very productive.

Bah dum BUM!

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

Posted by Ryan at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 05, 2009

Having a ball

Last week, a friend of my wife asked us to donate three garbage bags full of clothes and other assorted things to charity (they're going to be out of town when the charity collection wagon comes by). She told us we can keep anything that grabs our attention.

For the most part, nothing grabbed our attention.

Until I noticed a small box that contained Chinese stress balls.

For those not familiar with Chinese stress balls, or Chinese health balls, or Chinese exercise balls, or whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-them balls, they're basically two spheres with bells inside them that you're supposed to rotate in the palm of your hand to relieve stress and promote general health.

Those of us in the West tend to be more direct and just call it masturbation.

Anyway, seeing those Chinese stress balls tucked in with all the other charitable donations jogged my memory back to a class trip I took to China back in 1993, when I was just a wee lad of 18 years old.

The China I witnessed in 1993 was Communist in name only, and I don't imagine things have gotten more Communistic in the last 15 years or so. If anything, China was/is more of a fascist state that pragmatically embraces capitalism, so long as it allows them to put lead into everything they make.

I don't suppose it's probably the case any more, but back in 1993, the Chinese government printed two types of currency: one type was for the Chinese people, and tended to be more unstable than Tom Cruise; and the other type was for tourists and other foreigners, and tended to track more reliably against the U.S. dollar.

As a result, one of the first things I encountered outside of the Beijing airport was a phalanx of Chinese money changers eagerly wanting to exchange their volatile peasant currency with the more stable tourist currency, typically at a 2:1 margin or more. For an impressionable 18-year-old, the chance to double my money that soon after landing was very compelling, but our teacher/chaperone advised against such foolishness.

So, how does all of this relate back to Chinese stress balls? I'm getting to that, so just shut the hell up.

Towards the end of our Chinese trip, we went to a well-known shopping building in Beijing (I think; it could have been Shanghai. . . it's been awhile), where we were told they only accepted the tourist-approved currency, although there were plenty of money changers outside trying to convince us otherwise.

The building was basically a museum that happened to be selling all of its exhibits. There was, for example, a model boat sculpted entirely from ivory which, if memory serves, was selling for many thousands of dollars, as well as several other items that you would buy only if you routinely shit gold. Interspersed amongst the higher end items were more reasonably-priced goods. And, amongst those goods, was a display of Chinese stress balls.

Now, I had already bought a pair of Chinese stress balls earlier during the trip. I had actually haggled a pretty good deal for the pair at one of the shops at The Great Wall, so it was only due to a combination of curiousity and boredom that I approached the stress ball display at all. I grabbed a box from the display, opened it, and started twirling the balls in my hand.

And then I dropped one.

The ball hit the floor with a sickening and definitive crack, while the bell inside it let out a mournful, dying "gong." The ceramic shards on the floor left no doubt in my mind that I had irreparably damaged the stress ball. And, to my absolute horror, I realized a shop-keeper standing nearby had witnessed the whole pathetic thing.

I quickly scooped up the broken ball from the floor and glanced nervously at the price tag on the box which. . . it's not that the balls were horribly expensive, but they were about five times what I had paid for the pair at The Great Wall. I honestly considered putting the balls back in the box, placing the box back on the shelf and walking away, possibly whistling innocently. Unfortunatly, that damned shop-keeper was apparently reading my mind and had started walking towards me.

Summoning what little acting skills I had, I started twirling the balls in my hand, both the pristine one and the horribly fractured one, and I feigned my most interested, pondering look, doing my best to look like a customer really considering a buy.

Before the shop-keeper could get close enough to inspect the scene, or the balls, I put the balls back in the box, walked over to him, and said "I'll take these."

Now, there are some things that transcend language and cultural barriers, and in that moment I experienced one such thing. I knew he knew I broke a ball; and he knew I knew he knew I broke a ball. There was just ever so small a smirk gracing his little Chinese face. But, bless him, he let me save whatever little bit of tourist face I could by not letting on further he knew about the broken ball. I simply paid the exorbitant price and was just happy not to be going to some Chinese gulag, which I'd been told were not pleasant accomodations.

And then, once outside the building, I threw the balls in the trash.

Posted by Ryan at 10:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Same song, same dance

Headline on MSNBC.com: "Is Mideast Peace Hopeless?"

Only for the last 20 centuries or so. But, who's counting?

Posted by Ryan at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2009

Good to Know


Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

Posted by Ryan at 11:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Okay, so the following ad is running on MSNBC.com:


Consider this for just a moment: that's 21.5 lbs. a week, which is just a tad over three lbs. A DAY. Even the controversial Auschwitz Diet couldn't claim those kinds of numbers.

Consider me a bit unconvinced.

Posted by Ryan at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

You know you're getting older. . .

. . . when New Year's consists of playing Nintendo Wii with two married couples, and everyone is concious, in the back of their minds, that they can't be too loud, lest they wake the baby upstairs.

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