Archive for June, 2005

Pictures last weekend: 3 of Kim’s cool grandma / 3 of Captain Dork

Thursday, June 30th, 2005







now I’m one of the cool people!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

My kickass girlfriend bought me paid LJ time. Sweet! Now if only I knew what to do with it. New technology frightens me. And bees. Wasps too. New technology and any of those flying buzzing stinging things really.

new role model

Monday, June 27th, 2005

Ryan was still awake this morning and tried to tell me about how he spent all Sunday night/Monday morning partying with the police (some annual banquet) and the police getting called on the police, prompting the police to shout “Fuck the Po-lice!” and on and on and blah blah blah. It probably was interesting but I’m sure you had to be there.

Far more entertaining to me this weekend, was my friend Kim’s grandma. After a million years of school, Kim was throwing her graduate school graduation party. My girlfriend and I went and felt just a wee bit out of place, being some of the very few non-Vietnamese people there. We sat not far from a table of ladies who were having an animated non-english discusion about something. Their volume level seemed to increase every couple of minutes, but I couldn’t really tell what was going on.

Finally Kim came over and translated. Grandma, the “ringleader” was encouraging everyone to have a drink with her. Followed by another drink with her. Followed by another drink with her. Apparently this was something of a tradition at any of the family gatherings. Suddenly I noticed several of Kim’s cousins were sitting quitely far from the table and and even in another room. These 20something year olds were hiding from their 81 year old grandmother, because they just could not hang with her. Year after year, this tiny little asian woman has consistantly drank everyone else under the table.

Kim’s sister tried to tell me the name for grandma: Quan bo? Qui cho? Qui gon? I just couldn’t get it. But I did have Kim pass on my admiration to her. I really wanted to have a drink with her, but I had plans to drive home more or less on the road. However I think I will have to invite her up for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Ryan and his police buddies just don’t stand a chance.

No earplugs can stop him

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

My bedroom is located directly above the garage. In this garage is Ryan’s truck. I’m sure at some point he went over with me in great detail how the engine works, with the carburetor running fuel through the flex capacitor to power the hyperdrive – what I know about cars could fit in the glove box of a Yugo. What I do know is the engine is loud. Real loud. It’s so loud it shakes my whole room. So when I’m in a dead sleep and one of his drunk friends decides to fire it up, it can be a little disorienting: “OH MY GOD IT’S THE BIG ONE!!!”. Earthquakes in Michigan are pretty common after all.

I’ve mentioned to Ryan a few hundred times that it’s generally not a good idea to mess with a narcoleptic’s sleep. If I played the “hide the insulin” game on my diabetic friend Mark, I doubt he would appreciate it. Ryan will always apologize and feel bad. However my girlfriend diagnosed him best as having “selective memory”.

So yesterday he bought a boat. A big boat. Parked right outside by bedroom window, it takes up the entire length of the driveway. He said it has the equivalent of two of his truck engines. I would have been happy to take his word for it. He decided though that the only way I could truly appreciate the hurricane force of his boat was with a demonstration. A demonstration at 5am this morning. I am impressed.

while I’m on the subject

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

Really I don’t want this to turn in to the “Tales of Ryan” journal – my life is interesting too, really! Sort of. Well no, not at all. If I was the subject of a reality TV show it would be “Steve’s Life tonight on the Sleeping Channel”.

So, it’s 10:45pm. Ryan is vacuuming again. Specifically he is vacuuming broken tile with one hand. He’s holding the other hand up in the air balancing a bag of ice covered with electrical tape. Only 40 minutes earlier neither the tile nor his hand were broken. It’s amazing though what you can do with a hammer, a crow bar, a little determination, and some really bad aim.

“The only way I’m leaving is with my money or in handcuffs”

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

Given her choices, the bank teller decided option two sounded best and hit the panic button.

The night before he was pulled over for doing 135mph on his motorcycle through a 45mph construction zone. This made the cop angry for some reason and he took Ryan to jail. Nothing a little bail money couldn’t fix along with calls to his lawyer and 95 of his cop friends. Turns out the officer didn’t use safety lights while pursuing at high speed through construction which is a big no-no. He also screwed up the date and time when he wrote the ticket, so it’s as good as tossed. This is fortunate, because all though Ryan is strong, I imagine he would find it difficult hauling his two ton DJ trailer by hand.

Yesterday, he went to his bank to see the manager for the fourth time. Ryan had spent much energy and creativity in to getting approved for a second mortgage. The bank finally gave him the green light, providing him a check card with access to $90,000. He excitedly took the card to his debtors, so he could pay off all his bills, only to find the card invalid and that the account “did not exist”. The bank manager assured him he would fix it and personally call him back, but never did. So Ryan went to the back to the bank hot and in full “GO” mode.

The bank teller girl would not give him access to the account and would not let him see the manager. This sent him in to a red fury of shouting and profanity. The other patrons of the bank suddenly remembered they had prior commitments elsewhere and left. So when he offered to leave in handcuffs, the teller girl saw it as the perfect solution to her problem.

The cops were on the scene in minutes. She pointed Ryan out and they slammed the cuffs on him instantly. This didn’t help Ryan’s mood much: “You have no idea what a mistake you are making. You better take these fucking cuffs off right now!” One of the officers warned him they could discuss it back at the police station. Ryan agreed: “Please take me to jail! You’ll lose your jobs and have a lawsuit like you’ve never seen! Taking me to jail is the best thing that could happen to me! Do it!” Coming from anyone else that would be an empty littleman threat, but Ryan actually has the connections to pull that off. The cops didn’t know this, but when Ryan is “on” he can be very persuasive and it gave them cause for pause.

Ryan explained to them why he was so angry. “All I want is my money. I’m not here for anyone else’s money, just my money, and they will not give me my money. What would you do in my position?” The cops asked the bank manger if this were true. The manager stammered: “Uh..well..we have been having some problems with his account…”


The cops released Ryan immediately and apologized. One of them angrily asked who hit the panic button. Ryan pointed to the future ex-bank teller.

Of course I wasn’t there for any of this but most of it probably happened. At any rate, the summer is still young so I will start saving for his next bail now.

Just another typical bike/kite/chainsaw filled day

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

One day after the wrath of God struck our neighborhood, the wind was still pretty strong. I decided to give the stunt kite I received for Christmas another shot. The soccer fields at the local high school are the best place to fly, and they are very close to my house. When you drive a car. But because a tank of gas takes up a third of my annual salary, and my gut looks like a six pack of marshmallows, I decided to ride my bike.

Now the last time I rode a bike for any distance greater than the length of a driveway was 1997. The front tire was a little low for some reason. This made for slow progress and one freakin scary ride over the bridge. In the middle was a narrow stretch of sidewalk. On my left was a 50 foot drop into a river so polluted I would glow in the dark if I fell in. On my right was deadly rush hour traffic. My redneck neighbor Randy admits to feeding his family with roadkill, and I had visions of being on the main course: “Ohh I’m starving! Pass me the Steve and gravy!”

I survived though and made it to the gas station where I refilled the air in the tires. I found that I could go much faster after that. I also found that when paying attention to new found speed and not to where you are going can be unpleasant. I didn’t wipe out when I flew off the curb, but my back sure did absorb the shock. It’s a wee bit stiff today.

Finally made it to the fields, where I proceeded to not fly my “stunt” kite. I think by “stunt” they meant spin uncontrollably before crashing in to the ground. If it were stunt motorcycles or planes that might be entertaining, but I just wanted my kite to fly. Across the street I saw a mother and a little boy looking on. I couldn’t hear them, but I’m sure their conversation went something like this:

Mom: “Son promise me when you grow up, you won’t suck that bad at stunt kite flying.”
Kid: “Mom, I don’t suck that bad now, and I’m only three!”

Eventually I gave up and returned home without incident. There I found my roommate Ryan unloading a supervacuum, aluminum ladder and a giant chainsaw.

I wish I had the words to describe Ryan, but simply none will do him justice. Especially when he is “GO” mode, which was the case here. Yesterday the storm had knocked a large branch from a nearby tree on to the roof. The insurance company told him he would have to deal with it himself, and that’s all it took to send him in to overdrive. When I returned from the watching the game, the branch was gone. So was the tree.

Or to be more accurate, the tree was now at the corner of the yard stacked in a neatly organized pile. Basically he had done the work of four men and still had time to meet a new neighbor and tour his house. He is a people magnet though. And completely insane. Fortunately though by 1am he was finished powervaccuming the house.

Wanted: Media Relations Director (must have common sense equal or exceeding that of a grapefruit)

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

Today on the drive to work, the radio was playing clips from a media relations training video for the San Francisco 49ers. It featured their PR director Kirk Reynolds delivering an important message to the players about building a strong relationship with the media, accepting the diversity of San Francisco culture, and respecting female reporters in the locker room. Naturally he gave this message from the showers wearing nothing but a towel surrounded by topless women.

Apparently this was just the icing on a degrading, racially slandering gay bashing cake. In a mere 15 minute video he managed to alienate the mayor, the Asian community, the lesbian community, the Asian lesbian community (boy were they pissed), the women community and the human community of San Francisco.

After a source leaked the video to the local media, he was forced to issue a statement:

“Did I push it too far? I did,” Reynolds said. “The ideas of the tape are appropriate for the locker room — though some of the subjects were inappropriate for the values of this organization, and mine, frankly.”

and mine?? So when he was pretending to be a minister at a lesbian wedding ceremony encouraging the brides to get it on, no one could have been more offended than himself, frankly. Why the 49ers asked him to resign is beyond me.

Now it may be instinctive to call this man an idiot, because…well he is. But is there a grain of genius buried under his several multiple layers of retardation? I have to admit if my training videos in high school had featured topless women, I would probably be a professor at MIT by now. Provided of course they were Asian lesbians.