Rescue Me From The Mire

Some might know that for the last few months I've been posting a new rhyming poem on Tuesdays on my xanga site. I've decided to share them with the rest of the world on this site as well. I might even go back and post the old ones in the past on this site. That is if I get ambitious. Until, enjoy this gem for the week...

Some good friends who I do admire
The other night gathered around a fire
Almost like the hobbits from the shire.
To start it we could have used a quire
As that could have made it higher.
Some quality meat we did acquire
Yet much remained when we did retire.
The smoke permeated that evenings' attire
So I must now go use the washer and dryer.

There was a project called Enquire
That predated the Web ten years prior.
On the Web I learned that only a entire
Can a champion race horse sire.
And just like humans often perspire
Plants release water when they transpire.

When my mortal life does expire
I have but one silly little desire
That you send me off on a pyre.

As I finish this poem I do inquire
Does this self portrait inspire?

Currently listening to: Bill Mallonee -


Just A Matter Of Taste

Today, an acquaintance of mine and I took off on our bikes for a Sunday afternoon ride. We started off along the river, but the head wind was so strong the surface of the river appeared to be flowing upstream. So we decided to do some urban riding and head to Walmart. Walking around a Walmart in a foreign country is like going back to visit a home you used to live in. It has a familiar feel, but there are a lot of different things on the shelf. Plus in both cases you can't just take things out the front door without the police being called. Trust me on that one!

Well, today's big find at Walmart was the fish. Now, fish is a favorite meat over here, and I've seen the large fish sections in the stores before. I just never saw the "Large Fish" section.

On the way back from Walmart, we decided to stop off for some gelato. I've posted about this fine gelateria before, and probably will in the future.

Due to a lack of long term goals, I've made one goal to sample every flavor they offer at the Terre De Glace. While most might think that could be easy, think again. It is not a challenge for the weak stomached. Today I bit off two of potentially the oddest flavors, Cheese and Sweet Potato.

To tell you the truth, it wasn't that bad. Tasted like frozen sweet potato and cheese. And as a combination of flavors, it worked. I just fear the day that the only flavor left is banana.

Tonight I want to leave you with some helpful information on how to launder 50 million British Pounds. Don't say I didn't give you anything.

Currently reading:


We Are Thrown Together

Another week past
Some more haiku for you all
I hope you like them.

Tried to break the rules
We are smarter than they think
And now they know it.

Getting iPod fixed
Another hard drive crashes
Apple products stink.

R - Y - A - N - D
C - O - R - D - E - L - L
My name, a haiku.

She's gone way too soon
A friend is in mourning now
Wish I could do more.

Time is so precious
Make the most of what you have
Are you wasting yours?

Johnny 5 got free
Fell in love with A. Sheedy
Guttenberg can act.

Currently listening to: Billy Sprague -


Part Of The Queue

It is time to tell the story behind why I got stuck in Seoul, forced to spend the night in a computer room.

It started a few weeks ago, when I heard that Oasis was going to be performing their first show in Korea. I talked with a couple friends about trying to score some tickets, but our hopes were soon crushed by the information that the show was sold out. We were even told there was a waiting list for tickets that might become available, but it was too long to even bother. Thus the plan to go was scrapped.
Then this week came, and I had already switched my day off to attend the concert. I decided to head to Seoul anyway and see what could happen. Those who know me well, know that when I have a history of odd things happening when I adventure alone like this. Well, Tuesday did not disappoint, as I was able to score a ticket at the door. The sales people apologized as it was a "standing floor ticket," which translated means I would be on the floor. I was a bit shocked to see that my ticket was in section A, which for those alphabetically challenged ended up being the first section on the floor.
There I was meters from the stage, watching the Gallagher brothers work their way through some of their classic tunes, as well as some of the new stuff. Musically they put on a great show, but visually it was less than expected. They also didn't display any of the anger that has been displayed either through fits or verbal assaults that are often associated with their shows. When I told one friend that they didn't even cuss, she said that is like seeing the Pope officiate a ceremony without praying.
All in all it was a pretty sweet show. It is just unfortunate that more performers don't make their way to Korea. And I'm telling you, there are some desperate fans over here. So desperate that Michael Bolton has two shows this spring and Kenny G. just performed his second show in a year's time. Although, it is a shame that I can't see the Godfather of Soul in Seoul.

Currently listening to: Oasis -

One Irish Rover

The fifth and final in the "Stuck in Seoul" Series I'm revamping a post I've had sitting in the draft file for a few days. I'm done at this PC Bong, but you can relive some of the fun by reading all five posts from this fun filled evening.

A friend of mine recently directed me to the text of
Bono's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. a couple weeks ago. You have to respect a man who understands how fleeting fame is and uses it for a positve impact in this world. Here is a man who could be sitting on the Irish countryside watching the checks come in from his many albums, but no, he has chosen to speak out for Africa, AIDs relief, and poverty relief. Bono once called Johnny Cash "the most male voice in Christendom," and "every man knows he is a sissy compared to Johnny Cash." Well, I guess since Johnny's passing, Bono has decided to take over the role.

Speaking of U2, here is an interesting article on the church of U2 or at least one man's perspective on how a church could learn from four boys from Ireland. I think it is an interesting read. As one who has stood in the front row of a U2 concert, I can agree with some of the ideas presented.

And for more good reading on the band, as well as the message behind the music, I'd suggest you check out Rhythms of Redemption's Walk On section. It is run by an Irishman I've had the fortunate opportunity to hear and meet a couple times. He is an excellent writer who knows music as well as things of faith.


Department Stores And Toilet Paper

I just remembered that the dorm is out of toilet paper. I hope I can get to the store before anything crazy happens.

And yes, I need sleep.

My Olympic Dream

For the next entry in the "Stuck in Seoul" Series, I going Olympic. Today, as I was wondering around Seoul, I took a walk through Olypic Park. As I passed through there, I thought about the current games, as well as what the games represent. The idea of the world coming together for friendly competition is a noble thing. I hear about the two Koreans entering the opening ceremony together, and it gives me hope. I read the story of Andre Spitzer approaching the Lebenese team in 72, and I tear up. It makes me wonder if it isn't the individual people of various countries that cause all the problems and wars, but the leadership and the few in charge.

And as I walked along, I also thought about the other Olympic host cities I've been in. Tonight I did my research and found I've been in seventeen cities that have hosted an Olympics. Twelve of the summer cities, and five of the winter cities. Now if I could only get to one of the cities when it is actually in progress.

Friends Are Friends Forever

Post number two in the "Stuck in Seoul" Series was suggested by Chris, a coworker and dive buddy of mine. He gave me a couple ideas, which might appear later in this short lived series, but for now the topic is MySpace. For those not in the know, MySpace is an online social networking thingy. According to the website, it is a place where you can "meet your friends' friends" To tell you the truth, if someone is my friend, I seriously question their taste in friends.

The funny thing about Myspace is that each person's site lists their "friends," but are they really friends? If this were so, Neil Diamond, Danny Elfman, and Chair would be my friends, as they are listed in my friends list. But last time I checked, I never had a conversation with any of them.

In fact, a couple days ago, I created a Myspace for an inatimate object. Initally, I asked eight or so other inatimate objects to be my friends. Now I have over 58 friends, and over half of them are real people. Come on people, you are asking an inatimate object to be your friend! What has our society become?

I need to get back to thinking of a new topic for my next lame post... Until then I leave you with two videos about Myspace. The first is about "The Angles." The second is a piece from the Daily Show on the whole social networking craze.

First One Was A Sweet One

My coworker suggested I find out what is in the middle of an Oreo. So for the first post of my "Stuck in Seoul" Series, I did some research...

Did you know there are 6 ounces of white stuff in a 20 ounce package of regular Oreos.

Here is a recipe to make your own Oreo filling.

Ever wanted to really look close at an Oreo? Plus they give the list of what makes an Oreo.

And for the vegans out there, Australian Oreos are good, American Oreos are not.

Sittin' In The Railway Station

I'm in Seoul right now, as I missed the last train home. Luckily this country has what is called PC Bangs, which are places where you can use computers all night long. And when the option of hanging here or getting a hotel room was done, the cost of this won. So I will surf the web for the next few hours. I'll also be chatting with some friends. In the first little bit of my chatting, I decided I'd post a new post here every hour or so while I wait. This to give me something to do while I fight off the sleep or the desire to play hearts online. If you have any ideas of a post, please message me. I think the links to my message login are to the left.

Until the next post, stay groovy.


Barely Out Of Tuesday

For some stupid reason, I added a Rhyming Tuesday to my Haiku Friday over on my Xanga postings... Thought I'd share this weeks with you all. And please don't suggest any other poetic days of the week. These two drive me batty as it is.

For four summers I worked a camp near Kalamazoo
Where I taught kids fishing and the art of canoe.
Once in a town in France I had some cheese fondue
In a place the week before James Bond had been to
When we left we told the owner merci beaucoup.

There are many things I wish I knew,
Like what is the proper way to woo?
Why do the British call a line a queue
And refer to a bathroom as a loo?
Will we all really die from avian flu?
Why do people think violets are blue,
Because we all know it is not exactly true.
I do know most Ikea furniture uses a allen screw,
Sammy Hagar, not David Lee Roth sang on OU812.
To end this stupid poem I will give you
M.C. Escher's self portrait for all to view.


I'm Just A Poor Boy

It is time once again for another installment of haiku. Read, rinse, and repeat if necessary.

I made a movie
By just adding subtitles
You can do it too.

"Weird Al" sings a song
Mixed with images from Lost
First was a Queen hit.

Less than two months left
Baseball returns to Daejeon
Go fighting Eagles.

Valentine of Rome
He's the patron saint of love
And also the plague.

Hey you reading this
This haiku is about you
Just thought you should know.

Today's travel tip
When going through custom checks
Declare severed heads.

Currently listening to: James Blunt -


Of Recklessness And Water

Many of you know that I have a pretty strong anti-fast food policy when it comes to dining. Well, I'm adding another reason to the list of why I refuse to take my chances in the shadows of the Golden Arches.

In other odd news relating to disease, soon there will be a new way to fight the avian flu.... Kimchi Konditioners (I made up that name - so if it catches on, please give proper credit). Yes my friends, you can battle the heat and avian flu with one electrical device. It doesn't say it in the article, but rumor has it they are working on a sauerkraut version that will be marketed in Germany and other parts of Europe.

Currently craving some:


Dancing On The Valentine

Two years ago I tossed out a Valentine's Day Song I help write with a couple guys, including a member of the Battle Creek Crunch. This year, I give you a really bad poem with extra cheese. Enjoy!

It is February 14th which is Valentine's Day,
One of the celebrations I wish would go away.
It is not that I'm too cheap to buy a bouquet,
But if you ask two of my ex-girlfriends to say
They would tell you around this holiday I sent them on their way
As the relationships had gone into some form of dismay.
I am sorry to say I used the "lets be friends" cliche.
Have I told when I got in trouble for yelling, "I'm not gay?"

Now don't get me wrong, for some girl to love I do pray
I hope I find her before my hair starts to turn gray.
Even if it all falls out I'll never wear a toupee.
To find her must I travel to the city of Bombay,
Should I make another trip over the Strait of Calais?
At this point I don't care if she is from Green Bay.
When we are together all will be right under the Milky Way
That is as long as she doesn't make me take up ballet
And bore me instructing me in the ways of Piaget
If she is lucky she can ride with me to see Coldplay
Or stay home and watch the Office with Ricky Gervais.

BTW, if you know a nice girl who will not betray
Tell her to fill out this form, okay?

Currently listening to: The Kelly Family -


Trade My Sandals For My Skis

What has become of me? I've spent this morning cleaning my apartment. Don't get me wrong, it needed it. But I could have spent the day skiing in Korea with some of the students and staff. Sure I've read stories about Korean skiing which state they ski like they drive. And I assumed if the only bowling shoes I can rent in this country are two sizes too small, I would have no luck with ski boots. Or maybe it is that I'm spoiled, spending many days on the mountains of Switzerland. But as I was cleaning my tub, a voice in my head asked what in the world has happened to me. That voice told me that the high school version of Ryan, who thought skiing in Iowa was cool, would gladly kick the tub cleaning version of Ryan's gluteus maximus.

I'm reminded of the scene in The Kid where Rusty asks his older version of himself, "So ... I'm 40, I'm not married, I don't fly jets and I don't have a dog? I grow up to be a loser!"

Currently reading:

The Picture Is Blurred

This week's theme at Photo Friday is "blur." Here is a photo I took my recent trip to the Philippines.

I'm slowly putting more photos up from the trip on my flickr pages.


Hazy Shade Of Winter

I've written about eight different entries to this blog this week that might never see the light of day. But each time I got near the end, something prevented me from hitting the "publish" button. Was I afraid of offending, offering the brutal truth, or exposing more of my life for all to see? Perhaps someday they will find their freedom from the abyss known as "Drafts." Perhaps not. So until I get motivated to toss more brain dibble out there, here are some haiku:

Package in the mail
Five pounds of pistachios
Life is good sometimes.

Winter I once loved
Playing in the snow was fun
But now I'm just cold.

The head and the heart
Why can't they work together
Instead of fighting.

Bad news on the phone
But before I pass judgement
Could it have been me?

Two roads before me
Both would be an adventure
Just need to step out.

Actor bit by wolf
But don't worry he'll be fine
And will act again

Currently listening to: Martyn Joseph -


But It Didn't Really Rhyme

Every day on the trip started with prayer
Even on Monday when we met the mayor
Who told us to go to the coffee purveryor.
Did I mention the bricks were stacked in a layer?
Luckily the trip was without a naysayer,
But why did I get hit on by the bass player?

A couple games of hearts I did deal
I hope soon my stomach will heal
And I can fully enjoy a nice meal
Perhaps some nicely cooked veal.
To all you art fans I once again appeal
With a self-portrait of Charles Willson Peale.


I Slowly Go Insane

Well kids it is story time here in this small corner of the internet I call my blog. So grab some milk, your blanky, and take a seat as I give you a couple stories from the Philippine trip.

Story #1
I'm standing in a bookstore checking out the classics section. I'm hoping to pick up one of the great Russian novels, but no luck. While I'm standing there scanning the shelves, I notice that they are playing the hits of Richard Marx on the speakers. As one who enjoys the works of Marx almost too much, I found myself singing audibly, "Oceans apart day after day..." I soon noticed a young girl staring at me rather oddly, which I dismissed due to my rather large size in comparison and not because of my knowledge of all the lyrics. Very soon, she walked by again followed by a friend who was also singing along, "Can't you see it baby..." I would have thought it odd, until yet another customer walked by with "where ever you go" exiting his mouth. I had to laugh, and wonder what is it about this anthem that caused us all to sing along? Was it that we were each hoping someone out there was aware we were "Right Here Waiting" or was it just a catchy tune littered with cheesy lyrics that beg to be sung? But before I got to deep in thought, my mouth began spewing, "we used to walk down by the river..."

Story #2
The purpose of the trip was to build home with Habitat For Humanity for some of the homeless people in Tagaytay City. One of the people we met had a great job working at Clark Air Base until Mount Pinatubo erupted destroying 4,979 homes and damaged another 70,257. The Americans pulled out of the base, and all the Filipinos lost their jobs. Like many others, he had to leave an area he called home and has been living in various situations that are not pleasant. He recently was kicked out of an apartment he rented for the equilivant of $20 a month. For the last few months he has been working with Habitiat to copmlete his sweat equity. Until Thursday he had no home to call his own for his wife and child to live in. It was an honor to be a part of the dedication of his new home.

Story #3
Here in Korea, Seoul National University is regarded as the top school, and those who attend are the lucky few. Well, we found out that the hole for the septic tank was started by a group from SNU, but abandoned as the volcanic rock in the ground was too tough to dig through. As our team had doubled the size of the whole, I wanted to encourage them by telling them that some college students from Seoul National couldn't even do this. But when I told them this, some students informed me that the students at Seoul National are known for "being smart, not strong."

Story #4
It was meal time on flight back home and the choice was beef or fish. Well, by the time they got around to me, the beef was gone. The nice flight attendant offered me the fish, but I've seen Airplane! and don't take those risks. She said she would double check to see if there were more beef. A few minutes she came back and asked me if I would like shrimp instead. I agreed and ate well. When someone in my row noticed my meal, I uttered, "you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them."

Well, that will do it for today's story time. Soon, I'll give you some excerpts from a speech I gave during my time in the Philippines. Until then, "Hold on to the night, hold on to the memories..."

Currently reading:


The Heat Is On

Arrived back from trip
Unpacking and cleaning now
Dang it is cold here.

Out of comfort zone
Will this change my long term life
Or just for a time?

The suitcase is full
Clothes full of volcanic dirt
And lots of mango.

Went to a party
No one else wanted to go
They missed hot pig's blood.

Currently reading: