November 30, 2010

This just hits close to home

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November 24, 2010

The Talking Heads

According to a rough estimate conducted entirely within my own mind, I've been shaving my head on a daily or bi-daily basis now for nearly 15 years.

That's a decade and-a-half of head shaving trial and error, complete with nicks and cuts and, in one instance, a kinked razor blade that basically chisel-plowed my head until blood actually started flowing into my eyes--I still have visible scars from that experience.

Obviously, I didn't just start shaving my head one day out of the blue. It was a calculated decision that had been jump started by genetic destiny. I was basically finishing the job begun by my grandfather's genetic hand-off via my mother.

Because of my extensive head shaving expertise, I view commercials about male hair replacement and coloring from an odd perspective. Provided I continue to shave my head--and there's no reason I can see why I wouldn't--I will never have any need for a hair weave or toupee, and certainly no need to color my hair in any way.

However, because I'm a hopelessly bizarre individual who insists on injecting my own experience into television commercial scenarios, very strange commercial variations play out in my head.

For example, there's one hair coloring commercial, in particular, that always makes me laugh when I imagine putting myself in front of the camera. The commercial is for a product called "Touch of Gray" by "Just for Men." By the way, why is it called "Just for Men?" Is it somehow toxic to ladies? If so, why would men want to put the stuff in their hair?

Anyway, in one "Touch of Gray" commercial, the same guy appears on two ends of a couch, presumably during a job interview. One guy has an impossibly dark, full head of hair, while his doppleganger on the other side of the couch looks like he has a snowball on his head.

"My hair says 'energy,'" says Mr. Dark Hair.

"Mine says 'experience,'" says Mr. Snow Ball.

Eventually, the twins morph together to create a "touch of gray," which really seems to impress the seductive, professional woman in the room who doesn't have any dialogue but who has bedroom eyes that really make you wonder just what position the guy is interviewing for.

I can't help but put myself into that commercial, and not just because it would give me an imaginary chance to score with the seductive, professional woman. Every time I hear "My hair says 'energy,' mine says 'experience,'" I just wish I could be sitting between the two guys and say "Mine says 'whoa! What happened to his hair?! Is he energetic? Is he experienced? I can't tell what kind of person he is without judging him by his hair! He's like a blank chalkboard! Maybe he has some old childhood photos I can go by?! I just don't know how to proceed!"

This column was in no way an indictment of the human proclivity to judge others by the most superficial of reasons. I just wanted to point out my shaved head has a lot to say.

Posted by Ryan at 02:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 18, 2010


Overheard a guy on his cell phone this morning: "Hey, I'm not saying you're a complete idiot!" The key word there was "complete." The guy was probably still an incomplete idiot. Which actually sounds worse. I mean, if you can't even finish being an idiot, your follow-though must be just pitiful.

Posted by Ryan at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2010


I've discovered parenthood is just a series constantly evolving routines, and each new routine almost entirely erases your memory of the previous routines. You just look at your current routine and think "well, this is how it's always been, I guess."

But, you know that's not true. After all, there was a six month stint of breast milk and breast pumps and bagged and frozen breast milk and, really, just a long LONG period where it was all about the breasts. But, it's all very vague. Those snippets of daily life not captured on Flip videos are destined to eventually be lost to gray matter indifference.

Ah, yes, the Flip videos. I have scores and scores of Flip videos. The only problem is, the computer that houses the videos went on the blink a few months ago, and I've been working from an old machine I had built back in 2003. It still works great, having been constructed by only the finest, loudest hardware, and I just haven't found the time to drag my ailing new computer to the appropriate gadget fixer.

Honestly, I don't much care if they can resurrect the machine; my only concern is retrieving the Flip videos. My boy's entire first year resides on broken down Bertha, and I'd feel awful if it's lost due to me not doing due diligence in the almighty "BACK UP." It's ridiculous. I have MP3 files that I downloaded via Napster back in 1999 backed up on no less than five USB thumb drives, but for some reason I couldn't be bothered to drag and drop the Flip videos to the same media.

Provided I can retrieve the Flip videos, at some point I'll need to create DVDs, which will be an interesting task, considering I have zero video editing skills. I imagine the finished product will just be a seemingly endless series of one- to five-minute clips, with the first clip showing my boy being hoisted from the C-section incision, and the last clip showing him smearing his face with birthday cake. Everything in between will just be precious fodder that will reduce my wife to nostalgic tears and chocolate eating.

We'll look back and think "Ohhh, I remember that routine; my God that was an awful time. I miss it so much."

Then again, with twins on the way, we'll be reliving all those times again, in duplicate. Can't wait.

Posted by Ryan at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2010

Don't see it

I keep hearing Lady Gaga is this generation's Madonna. Honestly, I can't really see the comparison between "Like a virgin, touched for the very first time" and "Cuz I'm bluffin' with my muffin."

Plus, Lady Gaga hasn't yet appeared in softcore porn with Willem Dafoe.

Posted by Ryan at 08:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 10, 2010

Hooray! We're Screwed!

One evening, about a month or so ago, my wife experienced some extreme abdominal pain. I can't profess to understand exactly what she was feeling, but I kept flinching and dodging, expecting an alien to burst forth from her chest at any moment.

The pain was so great, in fact, we loaded the family into the car and drove to the emergency room. However, as soon as we pulled up in front of the emergency room door, the pain vanished. With non-existent, non-specific pain, we knew going into the emergency room at that point could be a marathon-length affair, and we already had a toddler wailing away in his car seat because it was almost an hour past his bedtime. The solution? Go back home.

As a precaution, my wife made an appointment the next day to have everything checked out. You see, she had taken a pregnancy test the week before, which came back positive, so we just wanted to ensure everything was okay. Modern medicine being the marvel it is, that initial check-up simply involved a pregnancy test, so we weren't particularly surprised to receive results a couple days later confirming exactly what peeing on a stick had already confirmed in less than a minute.

Having re-confirmed her pregnancy, the hospital asked her to come back in to determine if everything was okay following our almost-emergency-room visit from the previous week. As part of the examination, they performed an ultrasound.

Now, I have a 13-month-old son, so I saw quite a few ultrasound images during his formative womb months. Therefore, when my wife placed the ultrasound image on the coffee table, I could tell from 12 feet away something was different this time around.

Instead of a familiar single circle, there were two distinct circles, almost as if my wife's uterus was wearing a pair of cheap, thick novelty glasses.

"Well, that's twins," I said in a surprisingly zen voice.

"Yeah, twins!" my wife confirmed.

"So, like, we're going to have three babies in diapers," I calculated correctly.

"Hooray! We're SCREWED!" we both exclaimed.

And, we are screwed. I mean, we're very happy and excited, but we're also very screwed. There's really no getting around the fact we're screwed. We're already drowning in diapers and sleep deprivation with one child. We figured we could adequately function with one more baby in the house, but this whole twins development basically has us freaking out.

For example, my wife and I came to a sudden conclusion shortly after the ultrasound doomed--I mean, enriched--our lives. She called me one afternoon, and it was like our brains had sparked the exact same thought at the exact same time.

"We're gonna need a new vehicle!" we said, almost simultaneously.

And we totally need a new vehicle. During our son's entire first year, I had to ride in the back seat of my wife's VW Jetta, because the rear-facing car seat pushed the front seat so far forward, I practically had to kiss the windshield if I sat up front. To put it mildly, such a vehicle is not equipped to transport three babies in car seats, in addition to two adults. And don't even get me started on my Cadillac Eldorado. It's a two door, for crying out loud--ADULTS have trouble getting into that back seat.

So, we've been kinda, sorta shopping around for a minivan. I say "kinda, sorta" because, in the back of our minds, we both have no idea how we're going to pay for a minivan. I keep checking the ultrasound to see if maybe there's a briefcase of cash floating around with the twins. So far, no dice.

And so begins the next iteration of "Rambling Rhodes"--or "Coated Scrotum," as it currently stands--which may just as well be re-named "Minnesota Twins," or "Dead Man Walking." Regardless, this ThunderJournal could become a lot more. . . interesting. . . in the coming months and years.

Posted by Ryan at 02:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 07, 2010

Blog Silence Explained Visually

Below is a visual representation explaining why this ThunderJournal has been quiet as the grave lately.


I've been, shall we say. . . sorta busy.

Posted by Ryan at 06:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
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