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Tall tales and rambles

Ryan Dyante

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November 4th, 2007

Adjustments

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Let's see now... When I logged in, my information page said it had been 176 weeks since I last updated this thing. That's a streak I'm loathe to break, as it will take me another 3 1/2 years to restore it, but some things are too much fun to not get online and ramble about. You did know that's what I do here, right? If not, listen up: I ramble here. That's what I do here. Ramble.

"So what, then," I hear you asking, "could have brought you out of retirement and back onto this grandiose public stage?" What indeed! If you take a browse through my information page, you might notice a few differences. What's that? You didn't? Must I point out everything?! Alright, fine. Go back and look at my location. See it now? Okay, we're set.

Yes, I am, in fact, moving from the great state of Colorado, a place for which I have much love, to the teeming, crowded streets of New York. Not just anywhere in New York, however; the crown jewel itself: Manhattan. You see, I've gotten a new job. A job that may well be well beyond my capabilities to perform, but I managed to convince my interviewers otherwise. Golly gee whillickers I'm shrewd! These poor suckers'll never know what hit them...

It is, in fact, the impending cross-country move which has caused the restoration of this (un)hallowed undirected information distribution mechanism. If that all went by a bit fast, let me translate: I'm posting to my LiveJournal again... Hold on a second, I need to change the radio station ... There we go. If Pink could die in a fire, that'd just be sensational.

Now where was I? Oh yes. Posting again and all that jazz. Blast it, hold on... Had to change the radio station again. While Pink is dying in a fire, maybe Rihanna can be present, too. Preferrably with her Um-ber-hella, or whatever the heck it is she's going on about.

Getting back to the business at hand, I have bought a DVD Collection of Looney Tunes, a purchase that causes a euphoria that's just great. What was that? That's not what I was talking about? I guess I better go actually read what I wrote and...oh, right. Moving. I'm going to use this silly LiveJournal thing to chronicle my move. Don't expect it to be all insightful, or anything; a journey of self-discovery it ain't. But boy will it be fun! Or, at least, different. So check back! At least for a bit, this humble diatribe factory is back in business, pressing a limited run of random inanity. But that's what LiveJournal is for, isn't it?

12 days and counting... Or maybe more like 11 1/2, since today's not as fresh as it was when I first cracked the carton open 15 hours ago.

June 14th, 2004

The Return of the Thing

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Definitely not the king, but the LiveJournal thing has returned. I decided I've got entirely too many really cool posts on this to delete it. Besides, some people actually even noticed it was gone and expressed disappointment. If that's not an indication that a revival is in order, I don't know what is.

What else... Hmmm. I'm thinking about trying to plan a roadtrip to California to see the motorcycle races at Laguna Seca. Of any and all my friends out there who read this, if any of you are interested in trying to get involved in such a thing, please get in touch with me?

Sweeping changes are in the works.

May 24th, 2004

I hear, and obey...

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I'm going to start living my dreams, y'all. The chocolate wrapper said I should, and only fools disregard the advice their chocolate gives them.

seraphimcloud even said she'd give me a bit of her destiny! Fear, everyone. Fear. Me, strung out on some high-powered Melissa-style destiny? You can bet the fireworks would be impressive. And the hangover after? A plague of no less than biblical proportions.

White noise

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It's a cool night, standing outside in line, waiting... From within the massive walls ahead, glass doors thrown wide and guarded by a rather large man dressed all in black, you can hear the sound... Thump, thump, thump. Everything vibrates slightly from the low notes, a rolling cascade still physically tangible even through thick concrete walls. And you're not even inside yet.

The line moves slowly...some people in a dream, others in a daze. Laughter, talking, joking...the air hums with the anticipation of a loud, soul-soothing night spent dancing and doing anything else that strikes one's fancy. Take another two steps forward in line and wait some more. The music is even louder as it ripples from the building and washes over the eager masses outside. Behind you, the line is only stretching longer; this promises to be a hot night, and crowded.

The bouncer at the door, a man whose physical accutrements combine to make him uniquely suited for the job, looks down at you and rumbles, "I.D.?" Fishing through your pocket, you provide the large man with what he asks for. Without a word, he examines the plastic and then gestures you on... Now you're inside. The music is still louder. The next man shouts to be heard. "I.D.?" So you show your plastic to the next man too. This one smiles jovially, makes a wisecrack and then laughs as he places the red "Coors" bracelet on your wrist, the key to unlocking literally everything and anything this establishment may have to offer you. And you will learn, before long, that it has much to offer...

Slipping through the entraceway to the massive dance floor, white curtains hanging from the 40-foot ceilings and tied back to ease the passage, you emerge right next to a set of 9 massive subwoofers. They produce no audible sound, but as you pass by you feel the unheard notes shivering through your entire body as your heart hiccups and lurches and your lungs tense under the pressure. Oh yes... Oh yes. There's fun to be had here.

It's dark; the only lights are sporadic flickers from the vari-colored spots and lasers that pan and flash over a small crowd growing steadily larger and more wound-up as the beats get faster. The music gets louder still and you roll through the crowd towards the DJ booth, towards the front hands are in the air nobody is standing still. Rhythm washes over you like a flood as you center yourself between the massive speakers in the rear and the similarly large ones dangling from the ceiling overhead. A flood of audio sweeps you along and drowns everything else out. Your body moves seemingly of its own volition, rocking and flowing into the rhythm that captivates it so.

Around you, everyone is having a good time. The air is hazy with cigarette smoke, and through the air wafts the pungent scent of someone lighting up another smoke, but this time not a cigarette. Most people dance with a cup in hand, bodies swaying and thrashing wildly but with a certain care to keep their beverage safely ensconced in its plastic castle. Over in the edge of the dance floor, a girl staggers by and heads upstairs to the VIP room, clearly high on more than just life. This distresses no one; to each their good time.

The floor opens suddenly behind you, and a lone man walks out into the space, casting his eyes out onto the crowd encircling him in his silent challenge before the rhythm overwhelms him and can be resisted no more. Dropping to the floor, he breakdances wildly, throwing arms and legs around as he moves with the beat, balancing for a long moment on his hands as a lull in the beat cools the need, and then launching into another set of rolls and flailing kicks when the beat renews its urgency. Finally he springs back to his feet and walks around again, a final strut before he moves to the side and kneels, waiting for someone else to take up his challenge. Others enter the break circle, and arms and legs flash in the strobing laserlight as the crowd rides the beat like a massive wave.

Hours roll by, and the temperature rises despite the best attempts of a now highly overtaxed air conditioning system to stop it. Over a thousand people cram the floor as the building nears capacity, contributing their heat to that of others, and no one stands still for long. Water sells for $3 a bottle, a fact that stops few from purchasing it. With the only modestly cool refreshment comes a new wind, and again you mingle into the crowd and lose yourself in the rhythm. From next to you comes a shout that draws your attention, and you turn the person dancing next to you. Fist in the air, he grins at you and shouts something you only dimly hear over the throbbing basslines and soaring treble, easing frequently into ranges so high they can only be called piercing, and that an understandment. Laughing yourself, you lean closer and shout back a request for a repeated transmission. He shouts louder, and this time you're able to dimly pick out a compliment on your dancing. You grin back and knock your fist to his with a nod, and lose yourself once again in the feel of the music.

The night ends abruptly, as any night through which time passes nearly unnoticed almost always seems to end, and suddenly you're back outside. The night that once seemed to cool is now refreshing in the extreme, and clothes come off to bask in the coolness as you walk to your car, a steady ringing in your ears drowning out all attempts at conversation. It will be hours, perhaps days, before your ears recover from the savage assault and subsequent brutalization they have endured, but as you swagger through the parking lot, still swaying and sliding to a beat heard now only in your head, that's the farthest thing from your mind. As you ease into your car, you crank up the music there too, perhaps hoping to catch a small fraction of the rush you're now leaving behind in the darkness. It won't be dark long, though; in the heat of music and bass, of a beat beyond denial, you've danced away the entire night.

May 11th, 2004

At long last!!

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Finally, finally, darling voyeurs, the 1000RR is broken in. Oh yes, we know what this means. I can at long last ride the motorcycle like it was built to be ridden. No more short-shifting at a measly 7,000 RPM; oh no. Now I can shift at the full 11,650 RPM redline. All that untapped power, taunting and teasing for so long, has at last relented and tumbled into my lap with an eager eye and come-hither smile.

And we all know, yes we do, that yours truly is an absolute sucker for speed. What can I say? When that old flame of mine comes calling, speaking those soft promises of such heady euphoria, the wind screaming by and the engine purring away beneath me like some kind of enormous cat being lovingly stroked by her master's hand... I just can't say no. And so I give in, and fall, quite happily I might add, into a full-on orgy of extreme velocity. Now don't get me wrong; I'm still a considerate lover. I spend mile after mile just warming it up, getting it all ready and eager, holding off the craving until the desire becomes a need so insistent as to be nigh-on physically painful before finally relenting...and then...

...and then, I crack that throttle wide open, baby. Oh yes. I don't play games when I'm ready to go, and that's just how the bike likes it. I can hear it screaming away beneath me with each shift, "Faster, faster, faster, faster!!" And I oblige it, eager to please and be pleased myself.

Now for those of you who haven't had the privilege of feeling what it's like to go from 0-60 in under 3 seconds and from 60-100 in 3 or 4 more, allow me to clue you in on what must be described as one of the most exhilirating rushes to be experienced in this life. I've flown in a plane, but racing down a highway on my motorcycle still feels more like flying, to me. Feeling the wind rushing over me, hearing it howl through the vents in my helmet as it strives in vain to wrest me from my perch atop my shiny black steed... There is no comparable rush I've ever experienced. I never feel alive anywhere else like I do from astride that monster bike. (Well, there was one other place, but...) Oh, how I adore it! And crave it. I don't go long without riding; I need it like a crack addict needs cocaine.

Seriously, folks. You can't imagine what it's like to have those extra nearly 5,000 RPM winking at me seductively from the higher side of the 7,000 RPM mark, just teasing and teasing, whispering their sweet, sweet promises of horsepower and heady acceleration. Just thinking about them makes me shiver. And to control that urge, for mile after mile... So hard!! Failure to do so, however, might shorten the life of my bike, and cut short all our good times together, so I strove with all my might to curb the urge.

But now, at long last, I know! I finally know how those extra RPMs taste, and let me tell you, darling readers, they are scrumptious. Tease that they've been for these last 1,000 miles, they fulfilled on every last promise and more when they finally relented and became mine. See, I don't think most people can understand quite how different this is from a car. So allow me, if I may, to attempt to share the difference with you.

In first gear on Josh's Prelude, he can go about 35 MPH. When he redlines his car out in 5th gear, it will top out around 130MPH. This happens at about 6,500 RPM, and five gears is all he has at his disposal.
On my 1000RR, in first gear I can reach a speed of 85 MPH, at 11,650 RPM. If I pegged my rev limiter, I could probably hit 90 in first. And that is only the first of my six gears. I'd love to tell you how fast my bike will go when I top it out in 6th, but... Well, I haven't done it yet. I can tell you, however, that it'll do 150MPH in 5th with RPMs to spare. I know this, because that's as fast as I've had a chance to take it. Given that I'm reaching these speeds on public highways, I don't tend to push as hard as I could. Imagine if you will the malevolent grin on the face of the highway patrolman that manages to nab me at that kind of speed. 150 in a 75? Yes, officer, here's my driver's license; you can just go ahead and cut that up right here. Can I brace myself against the hood of your patrol car whilst you anally rape me? Why thank you.

I apologize for the graphic content of that previous sentence, but we all know that's exactly how it would go.

It's just too much fun, though! I own a motorcycle that will violate any speed limit in the entire country in first gear. And I'm just weak-willed enough to give in and do it, too! I do it, and I bloody well love every last moment of it, because I am an evil, evil man, and a speed freak of truly epic proportions, as Catherine could well tell you from experience. And then, if you can believe it, even with all that speed potential, come the cars that want to race me.

Yes, yes, I know. How stupid can a person be, right? You could go spend $250,000 on a Lamborghini, Ferrarri, Bugati or other exotic sports car of your choice and I would still crush you on my $10,999 motorcycle. So why then, given that, would someone in a mere Super Sport Camaro try and race me? It defies logical reason, but I long since abandoned any pretense at believing that people are logical, or reasonable. And so, I've been raced on the highway, on my 1000RR, by not one but two Super Sport Camaros. Allow me, if I may, to relate the tale of one them to you.

The scene is late at night, on a far-from-deserted stretch of high-quality American asphalt which we commonly refer to as "Interstate 25." I've been riding for about 120 miles. At this point, my motorcycle has about 600 miles on it, meaning I am still not allowing myself to open it up. I've just driven through Pueblo, and at last traded up the 50MPH speed limit of the city in exchange for the 75MPH speed limit of the open highway. All is right with the world as the stars smile down upon the sleek, shiny blackness of my motorcycle, only now two weeks old. As I had wound my way through Pueblo at a mere 70MPH (I do try to keep as close to the speed limit as I can, after all, and the speed limit was 50), I had chanced to pass an inky black Camaro, with the Chevy blood-red double-S, indicating a Super Sport model. Fast, or so they say.

I thought nothing of it. Surely he wouldn't be so foolish as to try and play games with the monster that is my 1000RR, for we are two entirely different brands of fast. There's fast, and then there's butt-puckering, sweat-dribbling, eye-popping fast. My 1000RR is of the latter variety. But oh, readers, how wrong I was! How blind and foolish wrong! Having left the city behind, I had been putting along at 90, reveling in the sound of the wind and the hum of 4 cylinders working in perfect harmonic motion when to my side shot a black blur. You've got to be kidding me. Yes, all, it was the Camaro. Having passed me, and shown me his intentions, he the proceeded slowed down until I caught up, at which point he settled in and drove alongside me for a ways before downshifting hard and tearing off again.

But I'm not ready, I whined to myself. I only have 7,000 of my 11,650 RPMs to use, and he has all his!! Mommy, that's not fair! He's not going to get to see how fast I really am! But I couldn't help myself. The motorcycle was screaming in defiance, and speed came a-calling, knocking on my door with the kind of violence it reserves for only the most extreme of situations. I had no choice. This Camaro was going down, even if I had to crack that 7,000 RPM egg a little early. Throwing wide the throttle in sixth gear, without downshifting, I went after him. 90...100...110...120 and I flew by him. Rats. He'd let off already. Again he pulled up alongside me and rode there, waiting, waiting...and tore off again. This time I reacted quicker, and passed him going about 110. But I was still not satisfied. I was going to have to... Yes, I was going to have to use 5th instead of 6th.

Again the Camaro resumed his place next to me, and I nonchalantly dropped a gear to 5th...and waited like a coiled pit viper with a nasty hangover. Somebody was going to get bitten, and it was going to be the guy in the black car, for sure. The Camaro gave its usual shuddering lurch as the driver downshifted in preparation for another go, and I casually opened the throttle on the bike. The engine howled to life with savage glee and I streaked off down the road like some kind of rocketship bartering for space flight. Or, at least, that's what it must have looked like to that Camaro, poor sod. I saw my 7,000 RPM mark go by, but I wanted to make sure the lesson was given in full so I continued on to 9,000, about 130MPH in 5th, before letting off. The Camaro was nothing but a pair of dimly visible headlights behind me as I sat up and let off. Lesson taught, the Camaro never did pull up next to me again. Good boy.

Mmmmm... So nice. So nice.

April 26th, 2004

Silence of the Man

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I wonder what defines me, as a man. Do you care either way? This bike is fast, too fast for someone with my relative inexperience. I've been called stupid outright for my progression through the motorcycle world. A 600F4i was too much to learn on, a 954RR after a mere eight months of riding a ridiculously arrogant upgrade, and now step up again to a 1000RR, still faster, after but two years more is more proof that I'm a fool. Some people don't understand. I don't have time to slow down. This life, that I sometimes think I no longer care for, is pouring out faster than I can drink it, trickling away wasted down my cheeks. I don't want to start at the beginning; I'd rather start at the end, or at least in the middle, and not read the directions. But I'm not defined by my bike.

I don't belong here. This stage in life that I find myself in is not populated with denizens in my age group. Perhaps if I was 42 instead of 22 I could feel as though I fit in. Always too fast. Getting to places I shouldn't be, doing things I shouldn't do. There's always a price to pay, but that's something you find out too late to change the outcome. There's no way. It's hopelessly idealistic to think that I can make it all work out the way I want, just by the strength of my will alone. That's no consolation, though, when something that you never expected to fail falls out from under you despite your best attempts. I'd never failed before... But I'm not defined by my failures.

The suicide of a brilliant mind, I understand too much. Please, don't play those games with me; I hate being able to read through the facade. Don't think that just because I can write so beautifully, and make you laugh, that any of it is representative of me. I'm just showing the world what it wants to see, and playing my own game. You just can't quit when the stakes are this high; after all, there's so much more of life left to live and you have to remember: none of us are going to get out of this alive. Life is a suicide mission, and I'm playing the game with my poker face on. That's why you don't see how much it hurts when you play me so wrong... But I'm not defined by my brilliance.

Perhaps I'm an eight-year-old in a box, scrabbling at the white walls and searching for some place to hide because I'm afraid of growing up. This life feels so old, the texture of my soul like leather dried too long in the sun. I'm older than I look, but younger than I feel. I'm not ready to be an adult, but I never knew how to be anything else. Where's the childhood I left behind? Or was that just another dream I made up on the playground at school, where all the rest of my dreams were dashed? I wish I would have played tag in elemtary school, but my world was already just a fantasy that broke whenever I bumped into reality too hard. Is it wrong to live inside my own mind? Just because I'm smiling, that's no reason to think I'm not crying. Oh audience, judge betwixt me and this mad comedy that is my life; I can't bear your laughter any more, for the jokes all seem by rote to me, and the acting reeks of false bravado. But I'm not defined by my childhood.

Phase shift, moving on to another me from a different place and time. Somehow I blinked and my life was over before I saw the ending. I hope I went out well, but those are the questions we never ask ourselves. I never knew you, me; maybe there was never anyone there to know in the first place. So inexperienced, and yet so old, how have I filled so many years with nothing and felt the whole time as if I was doing something? When I look back, the trials of the day that seemed so heady and alive, the races I ran and the ones I sat out, all the lies that turned out to be the truth and the smiles that were nothing but masks... How did I miss it all, when it was right there waiting? Flying down the interstate of life, I was so concerned with getting where I was going that I forgot to take a few side exits just to experience them, let alone all the bathroom breaks I missed. But I'm not defined by the stories I don't have to tell.

There's trouble in paradise, because things are never quite as they seem. Take a read, take a listen; open up your eyes because there's just so much you're missing. Step into this little sideshow over here; take a look at all my hopes and fears. I'd lay it out and make it all clear, but even if I spoke the words the people listening wouldn't hear. The carnival is over, but there's always another town to play; just another proof that things never go my way. I'm trying to tell you, stop walking away! It's not a wall you're hitting, it's an unopened door; all you'd have to do is open it up and you'd learn so much more. It's not that I've kept secrets, it's that no one took the time to ask the questions. The devil is in the details, but there are angels and angles hidden in there too that everyday eyes never see. Just because it's clear to you doesn't mean it can't still be foggy to me; I'm trying and I'm trying, why won't you help me see what you see?! But I'm not defined by the things I'll never understand.

Let's dispense with the ordinary, take a step into the unknown and cast off the masks. Surely all these postured and posed words are not all there is to me and you. Tell me something meaningful, something real, just a truth before I go. I'm reaching out because I want to know; I'm holding you close because you matter to me. I'm fighting for you because I care about the victory; even if I should lose, let my side still win. The product of another wasted life, a childhood over in the blink of an eye and an adulthood entered and experienced before its time; it was never allowed to age properly before it was drunk. In the end, what may have been a fine wine was thrown away and wasted before its time, just because the bike moves too fast and I don't know how to slow down. I'm speeding, speeding, hoping that if I go fast enough I can outrun my own inner demons, never understanding that wherever I go, however fast I get there, I carry them all with me all along the way. There's no way to escape the thoughts, and the scars are all a permanent roadmap to my soul. How did I throw away something so good, and lose the only thing that ever brought me peace from all my night terrors? Does the end really justify the means, I wonder, or is that merely another way to rationalize all the dreams that die in the gray between the darkness and the light? It's too soon, too soon! I thought my sacrifice would buy more time than this, but the Disney world that a child grows up in always falls apart too soon. The truth is too heavy to be borne alone, but beggars don't marry princesses; they die alone in the gutter, and all that was them fades with them. But I'm not defined by the social graces I will never attain.

If you think it's hot out there, you should come inside. This peek inside my mind is more than most people get, but for you I'd give you the full tour. There's nothing I'd hold back, but perhaps that candor is more frightening and terrible than the unknown we all supposedly fear so much. If ignorance is bliss, then why do we all try so hard to find out? They're all just fictions, in the end, and I'm a person I made up and a role I played too well. In a world of color, sometimes I miss the clarity of black and white because there is a beauty to that simplicity that so many never see. Fast forward, change tracks...if only I could change my face and my personality like the songs that you listened to as you searched out your self-discovery. Where was I when I was making all my decisions? Stare down the face in the mirror, but if you call him names he'll only call you names back and nothing will be proven. The intelligent conversation you tried to have... I wasn't listening, or maybe I didn't hear anything because you were just moving your lips and not uttering a sound. All this glass and plastic only gets in the way. Trust me to play such a cruel trick on myself, and wake up the next morning to stare at another unfamiliar ceiling. All the life in the world, it happens just one floor above this quiet harbor in the basement where my ship now languishes. But I'm not defined by myself.

I'm not the labels they gave me; they just chose not to see. And I'm not the labels you'll give me, either. Just because I can never measure up to all I wanted me to be, be to me and be to you... I'm not the sungs I've sung. Ask not the songs to be sung, nor the bells to be rung, for the answer is all and none. The answer is all, and none. If it feels like I've said a lot to say nothing at all, then there lies the silence of the man. Perhaps my reticence can be more eloquent than my words could ever hope to be.

April 18th, 2004

(no subject)

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savannahjan has already seen this, but for the rest of you, especially angelo_dolce, check out my new poster! Isn't that sweet?! It's a 600RR, not a 1000RR like what I have, but the two look quite similar, and I think the 600RR is a gorgeous bike too.

Hmmm. A LiveWire commercial just came on and reminded me of a nefarious evil scheme I hatched yesterday. See, I'm a very careful mother hen with my nefarious evil schemes; I incubate them quite carefully so that they'll hatch into the best little nefarious evil schemes they can be. After all, only a healthy evil scheme can grow into a full-sized caper or, in certain rare cases, hijinks! Anyway, back to my scheme. I've decided on a most diabolical scheme, and I'm going to put it into play. Let me spell it out, careful-like, so's y'all will know. Especially one of you...and that person will know who he is. I've decided that, from now until the end of the summer, every time I am near a grocery store, I'm going to walk in and make a purchase. A special purchase. I, mystery person, am going to purchase 2 two-liters of LiveWire Mountain Dew. I'm going to store up those two-liters for the duration of summer until I have a massive stockpile. I will then use that stockpile for a very evil purpose...to bribe someone. See...if'n you was here, you'd be able to drink these!

So, whilst savannahjan and I were roller-skating yesterday, amidst a veritable platoon of birthday-party crazed young'ns, I had a thought... It went a little something like this: "These little ones...are the traffic jams of tomorrow." I thought this as she swerved to avoid one particular young man, maybe three feet tall, who had entered the flow of traffic, without using a blinker, and proceeded to cut across all seven lanes and then drive the wrong way down the skating floor. In fact, the whole two hours was spent busily engaged in attempting not to crush one of the little buggers. If any of them grow up to drive like they skate... Ladies and gentlemen, we are all in trouble. Especially those of us who ride. We're basically doomed, in fact.

More post later! I just had to get my poster out there for all you people to be jealous of! You know you want one!

April 16th, 2004

What cake mix?

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I, lovely readers, have come to a conclusion. A veritable revelation of enormous and life-altering import was received last night. So lean a little closer to those screens, all; I'm about to cut loose with a story of a night that literally changed the course of my life. Given that I haven't lived very long since then yet, it's hard to guage just how much it changed the course of my life, but believe you me, I can tell it has. Oh yes. I'm a different man, ladies and gentlemen. A completely different man.

From the cupboard was removed a rectangular box. I'd liven the story up with the exact dimensions of said box, but I don't know them. Rather than making some up, I'll just say it was a rectangle. Now that we've got that detail cleared up, allow me to continue my tale. The box was removed from the cupboard and opened. The dough boy on the box grinned evilly, chuckling his demonic little "Hmm! Hmm!" from beneath his over-large chef's hat as the contents of the box were removed and poured into a gleaming silver bowl. It was... It was...

Oh, I can't bring myself to utter that name... That name above all names! I need a moment to collect myself, alright?

...

Alright, I can go on now. It was a cake mix, people. A cake mix. The ingredients were added in the types and proportions decreed by the soon-to-be-discarded box which had once housed the dry components of the spell. Spell, you say in an incredulous tone. Spell, I agree with a nod. With every silvered spin of the beaters the spell began to take shape, willed into existence with an almost casual flick of mother's wrist as she moderated the speed of the mixing device. "Whirr," said the mixer. "Glop, glop, glop," said the spell...I mean, cake batter. "..." said I. (I really couldn't think of what the sound of hands extending greedily towards said bowl of batter might be, and how to express such a sound with a word; I'm sorry!) "Whap!" said mom's wooden spoon. "Naughty!" said mom.

But then, behold!! Hark and lo, for there was a ray of light shining on the horizon! The spell was complete, and mom, in her infinite gentility, extended unto me, me, the lowliest of all cake wizards, the silvery magic wands which had been used in the process. Being a wise cake wizard, I wasted no time in licking said wands clean. Mixing up a cake spell can be quite a dirtying process!

It was then, as I watched the spell being inserted into the spell kiln for incubating while it matured, that I received my revelation. I, my audience of rapt eyeballs, am not cut out to be a cake wizard. Nope. Not at all. Because I can tell you this one thing: Any cake spell I mixed up? It would never reach the incubator. The spell batter tastes too good to be denied. And thus the course of my life was forever altered. For you see, I had been planning, since I was three, to be the greatest of all cake wizards. I'd make some joke to tie all this in to Harry Potter, but I've never actually read any of that, and so such a joke eludes me like a date on Friday night. Please allow me to substitute this Lord of the Rings joke for your regularly scheduled Harry Potter one: I was going to be the one cake wizard to bake them all, and in the darkness ice them. Yes, folks. That was going to be me. The One Baker. I had it all planned, right down to the evil laugh.

But now... Now no one will hear that evil laugh, for I am a cake wizard no longer. Try not to feel too sad, alright?

And now, if you'll excuse me... I hear some cake batter calling out my name from a nearby grocery store. This batter isn't going to make and eat itself, you know!

April 12th, 2004

And now, a quote...

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"Ryan sighed. 'Someone's been filling your head full of Froot Loops again, haven't they?'"

Why yes, yes they have. This quote brought to you by too much driving. 585 miles in 7 1/2 hours. Figure out that average speed!

You'll never take me alive!!! Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahamwahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahaha!! Ha! Ha.

Hooverphonic

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I present, for your reading pleasure, a brief glimpse into one of my favorite music groups. Hooverphonic. Yes indeed, with a name like Hooverphonic, you know it's going to be good. Or really, really suck. One of the two, I guess.

Well, I'm pleased to inform you that Hooverphonic doesn't live up the high suck-factor inherently suggested by its moniker. It is, in fact, a marvelous production of sound and voice. Quite lovely, to sum it up. Which is, of course, why I mention them. All the uninitiated amongst you would do well to jump on your illegal MP3 downloading engine of choice and help yourself to a few tasty morsels of Hooverphonic goodness. Seriously, folks. With an album name like "Blue Wonder Power Milk," how can this be anything but exceptional. See? I rest my case. It just can't be, and I'm sure you know it.

But, in case you're a particularly potent breed of doubting Thomas...or doubting Susan for the ladies in the audience, allow me to lay before you, for your reading pleasure, a few additional pieces of evidence. Please, ladies and gentlemen of this most distinguished and classy jury (yeah, I'm actually referring to you good people with that), follow me to exhibit A.

May I present to you Exhibit A? I may? Wonderful. Let's move right along to Exhibit B, then.

Exhibit B is a quick lyrical snippet from a song descriptively entitled, "Tuna." Now I have no idea what she may really be saying, as opposed to what I think I'm hearing. I feel the need, most profoundly, to get that right out there in the open. But check this out anyway, because I'm certain, should you take a moment to avail yourself of a chance to listen to said musical masterpiece, that you'll hear what I mean. It goes a little something like this, folks. "My chronic good feeling will never stop, 'cause everybody knows exotic fish will never be able to walk as long as they live." I know, I know. That's a whole new level of lyrical goodness right there.

Step lively, now, and we're on our way to Exhibit C, which I shall henceforth refer to as...Bob. Bob here is another song trimming from a different song on the same exquisite "Blue Wonder Power Milk" album that brought you the previous exhibit. Titled "Renaissance Affair," this particular ditty has no shortage of wonderful moments. Any song that sings about the glories of hotel showers just can't fail to be a hit. That, however, is not Bob. If it wasn't for the fact that Bob is in the same song, in fact, those two things would be completely unrelated. You see, Bob is all about emotion. Raw, pungent emotion, with a hint of tenderness on the side and a dash of wistfulness. Alright, so maybe it isn't pungent. I took a quick whiff of the CD where I believe this track resides and, well, it didn't really have any odor at all, let alone a pungent one. But the rest is good. Feast your eyes one Bob, folks. The vocalist sings, "'I miss you,' over time, almost fades. I miss your touch, and your embrace." And then she sniffles. Oh, sweet magnificence, she sniffles! That's emotion, darling readers. Emotion for sure. How can you fail to be touched by such a profound display? Have you ever missed someone? That's just what it's like, right there.

Moving away from Bob, now, and onto Exhibit ISM. Exhibition ISM here will raise many any eyebrow, I'm sure, and it's likely to not be on display for long. Things like this get, shall we say, over-exposed if left in the sun too long. For your voyueristic viewing pleasure I present to you a piece of factual information, exposed for all to see: Hooverphonic, y'all, has done a cover of a Depeche Mode song. Their rendition of "Shake the Disease" is a sumptuous display of musical excess, sweet and juicy in its sheer over-abundance of auditory ecstasy. Frankly, it's just a guilty pleasure on the old ear drums. Younger ones, too.

Oh come now, discerning jury members! This is a superb offering! How can you resist? So give in. You know what you have to do, so do it! Vote guilty. Guilty of being a lyric labyrinth of musical mastery. Throw off the shackles of auditory ambivilance and join me! Make yourselves guilty too, of copyright infringement, and download today! Or, for the more law-abiding amongst you... Wait, wait. Are there any law-abiding individuals in my readerbase? One? Alright, ma'am. In that case, I'd suggest you purchase the CD legally from your local music retailer. Start with "Blue Wonder Power Milk," and no obligation to continue. If you're not entirely satisfied with your purchase, please feel free to microwave it, or use it as a coaster. Should you choose to microwave it, please note that it only needs about 3 seconds. Oh, and that it won't smell or taste good once cooked, in addition to, of course, no longer dispensing its load of ear-pleasing soundwaves.

And yes, that one person in my audience comment is directed at a real reader, and she is a she. You know who you are!

Heard Hooverphonic before? Like them? Hate them? Sound off on my comments board, chitlins.

Ham and sausage wishes, everyone! Kudos, and I'm out.
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