When people discover I’m thirty and not married, they immediately attempt to find out what’s wrong with me.* That’s a daunting task because there are likely a LOT of things wrong with me. Past girlfriends, one or more of whom possibly loathe me, might list unbounded egotism, commitment phobia, narcissism and bet-hedging as my more obvious flaws. And some claim I’m an insensitive clod.**
The conundrum is that I do well on most of the common tests of non-rascalism: I’m gainfully employed. I’m a hard worker. I’m of average attractiveness***. I’m fairly pleasant in social situations. I’m not addicted to drugs, gambling, excessive sport-following or other such vices. I bathe frequently. I don’t wear Heelys.
Because of these passing scores, the conclusion is inevitably one of: 1- my expectations in a future mate must simply be unrealistic or 2- I’m a player (that is, a cad, a rake or a rapscallion.)
To disabuse the public mind of that nonsense, I’ve authored an accurate list of the top ten reasons I’m not yet married:
10- Babies scare me
9- I already have all the kitchen appliances I need
8- I don’t change diapers (do you know what’s IN those things?!?)
7- I wear A LOT of cologne
6- I am typing this from the state penitentiary
5- My mom won’t let me date until I move out of their basement
4- After a car accident, I only speak pig Latin
3- Marriage would significantly cut into my World of Warcraft play
2- I do have wives; four of them, on their way from Russia.
1- Caring for my seven cats takes a lot of time
What’s your deal?
* the defect in this one is bleach
** guilty, possibly *** debatable
Okay, okay, I know I’m about to immediately launch into a list of things, but hey, at least it’s an original list, created by RBDN, exclusively for you! So that I can preempt “Ryan, you’re not being nice” comments, you should know that this post is not at attempt to make light of poverty or poor living conditions, but just a collection of first-hand observations from my perambulations.*
I left my house at 4:15 am this morning for a 6:00 am flight to Los Angeles. I know it sounds glamorous to be jet hopping on the weekends, but the reality is far less sexy– in fact, I’m just here in a tier one data center chillin. Literally, I’m really cold– they have this place very icy for all the servers. If I wasn’t on list probation, I’d provide a catalog of fun things to do in a data center, the top ten stupid data center rules (e.g. no cardboard allowed!) or at least I’d enumerate activities I’d rather be doing on a holiday weekend than configuring computer servers. Happy Memorial Day, by the way.
And speaking of Memorial Day, I hope you’re feeling grateful to the men and women of our armed forces for sacrificing for our freedom. That’s not to say they’re above reproach; in fact, remind me to tell you about what I think is wrong with the military (and police forces, in general). But today, let’s focus on those brave soldiers who fight and have fought for us, who have been injured or killed. Let’s remember their families in our prayers. Let’s recall the immortal words of Thomas Paine, in his epic essay, The Crisis:
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Indeed, he who stands now for our liberties, does deserve the love and thanks of us all. Thank you!
I snapped this picture of a beautiful, old, melancholic tree out of the middle of Boondocks, Utah, earlier this morning. I wish I had had my Canon DSLR, but oh, well, sometimes the iPhone has to suffice…
And then I was reminded of a poem I wrote a few years ago. Here that is, in excerpt:
Maybe by M. Ryan Byrd
…and now for a change there is a glimpse of some light
and maybe tomorrow, there’ll be gladness in sight
And so I press onward; there’s really no choice
And maybe tomorrow there’ll be cause to rejoice
And maybe tomorrow I’ll find solace and calm
And maybe tomorrow I’ll find Gilead’s balm
And maybe tomorrow there’ll be love to be had
And maybe tomorrow I’ll no longer be sad
And maybe tomorrow I’ll be stronger and wise
And maybe tomorrow I’ll forgive all the lies
And maybe then I’ll be happy and whole once again
I’ll tell you tomorrow, goodbye until then!
This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to ‘howl at the moon’ from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn’t have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn’t settle for the first thing that comes to him.
I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.
Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the ‘guns’), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.
The Geography Department at Kansas State University kindly mapped out the Seven Deadly Sins on a US map. Where, geographically speaking, are people the most lustful? Where are they most full of wrath? Lust? Greed?
Greed was calculated by comparing average incomes with the total number of inhabitants living beneath the poverty line
Envy was calculated using the total number of thefts—robbery, burglary, larceny and stolen cars.
Wrath was calculated by comparing the total number of violent crimes—murder, assault and rape—reported to the FBI per capita.
Lust was calculated by compiling the number of sexually transmitted diseases—HIV, AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea
Gluttony was calculated by counting the number of fast food restaurants per capita.
Sloth was calculated by comparing expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation with the rate of employment.
Pride, the root of all sins, is the aggregate of all data. the researchers combined all data from the six other sins and averaged it into an overview of all evil.
BJ and VA both pointed me to this site recently: www.Awkwardfamilyphotos.com It’s funny, partly because the pics are so bad and partly because the majority of the photos taken of me during my awkward years [ages 4-present] would fit nicely into this collection. If you ever visit my parent’s home, and I can’t imagine why you would, there is a great family portrait upstairs where I have my tongue, inexplicably, hanging out of my mouth. It’s awkward. It also got sent out in the yearly family newsletter to 200 of our closest friends. Thanks Mom, Dad!