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KeithSpeak - June 2008


June 1, 2008

This was rich. I met a self-styled ‘humour gourmand’ who shakes my hand wildly and blurts, “You’re the digital Dave Barry!"  "Nuh-uh,” I shot back, “Dave Barry is the analog Keith Ryan!” And we both laughed like it was a cracking good joke, ha ha ha ha ha, which it wasn't so much. Then he actually says to me - much to my utter astonishment, "If we were on a giant TV right now, maybe up on a spaceship where everybody in the world could see us, they would see just you and me, a couple of good time Charlies out for a laugh. Ha ha ha ha ha." What?! Ok, I chose to look past the 'humour gourmand' thing, but this fantastic new fantasy was way too modern for me. Before he knew what hit him, I got away by feigning a deadly contagious illness from which I wanted to spare the 'humour gourmand' (even though we were out on the street and I was potentially infecting and killing everybody within reach). No malice toward Dave Barry or anything, but I want those 8 minutes of my life back.


June 2, 2008

I saw a designer do this as a one off, but it hasn’t been commercialized. Why Not?


Why not make kitchen cabinets out of plywood and then attach a picture frame front where you can slip into the frames gorgeous high resolution photographs sized to fit that cabinet front. The way kitchen cabinets line up next to each other, you could have spectacular panoramas all across the walls or drawer fronts, or you could photograph expensive wood finishes (cherry, mahogany, exotic woods, etc.) and make your cabinets look like they were made out of them. Imagine your kitchen full of pictures of your pets, kids, or favorite movie star. How about collages, crossword puzzles or anything else you can imagine? Giving your kitchen a makeover would merely require changing the pictures. Why not?


June 3, 2008

Man, I can’t believe I went on about kitchen cabinets yesterday. What the hell’s the matter with me? Maclean’s magazine has called the current glut of home related television programming ‘house porn’. Have I been seduced by house porn? Crikey. 


June 4, 2008

All day long, all Julianne could think of was Lou.


June 5, 2008

I should have something to say on this day of all days. But I don’t.


June 6, 2008

Sure, John would admit he’d been drinking. But the stuff he saw! 


His dead brother Herman as a ghost.


 A jumping horse.


And finally, himself alone, waiting for the next apparition to appear, as John no longer trusted his senses, and believed that bad things always came in threes. 


June 8, 2008

You guys! Thank you for the rousing response to the publication ofThe Best of KeithSpeak. I’m humbled that you’re all so pleased (except that rude guy in Cleveland who said he was in the hospital due to my book causing him to stay up for days on end because he couldn't stop reading it - "It was so addicitve!" - and he finally fell asleep and fell off his chair and fell on the floor and they feared he might have a concussion so he was hospitalized, but not before calling his lawyer who sent me a letter claiming that I was trying to inflict harm upon his client by making the book, in his words, "read like crack cocaine". Jeez.). Where was I.


June 9, 2008

An agent from London called and asked if I was looking for new representation. Are you a film or literary agent, I queried. Why film, of course, she replied, why would you need a literary agent, you’re an actor. Ahhhh, says I, now cognizant of the confusion. Wrong Keith Ryan, I explained. There was a pause. Yesssss, she says eventually. Look, Mr. Ryan, if you don’t want to switch agents, just say so, but don’t prevaricate and pretend you’re not who you are. It’s disrespectful of me and makes you look bad. Good day.

Sheesh. Take that, eh?


June 10, 2008

This was so cute! A mother squirrel led her three little babies to the pile of leftover sunflower seeds underneath a winter birdfeeder outside my office window. The three little babies sat in a line and watched as the mother dug down and found a seed. She then literally demonstrated how to eat it! It was a little classroom. It was so cute! By the second seed, all three babies were digging for their own.


June 11, 2008

Bush is on his farewell tour of Europe where they all get to wish the moron a last good riddance. Why can’t we do that here?


June 12, 2008

This picture of one of our metal fence panels has balanced composition, context, the abstract, the symbolic, and intellectual engagement. Though it lacks any kind of emotional attachment and begs a complete understanding of exactly what you’re looking at, still, it’s rather compelling, though not pretty in the least. Art, eh?



June 13, 2008

We keep getting all these solicitations for dubious Web awards which are in themselves mostly just come-ons for entry fees in contests you’ve never heard of and couldn’t care less about winning. I always reply by sending them the information to my contest, The Keiths. The prestigious Keiths. Sure, the entry fee is steep, and the actual award statue is a bit plasticky, but the honor, that speaks for itself, you winner you. 


June 14, 2008

Saw some friends for dinner last night and several times we laughed ‘til we cried. That was fun.


June 15, 2008

I thought you might find this interesting and entertaining. This is a video by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor of a talk given at TED of her first hand account of a stroke. It’s utterly fascinating and incredible to hear.



June 16, 2008

I have watched this video 3 times and I am still struck by the power of Dr. Taylor’s experience.


June 17, 2008

Tiger’s win in the U.S. Open was something to watch. And his 14th title is seemingly the tipping point, making Nicklaus’s 18 championships, now inevitable. Which means that sometime in the future, we will all get to watch the day when Tiger wins No. 18. Oh, imagine the ratings that Sunday! And more importantly, will Jack be there?


June 18, 2008

Mixed Martial Arts have exploded in Europe. There is a big card this weekend featuring Team Stieglitz from Vienna,

a stable of cultured and refined MMA fighters who have come to Edinburgh to take on this man,

Horton “Beware the Heat” Drake,

and this man, Gene “the Machine” Lujack, seen here beating on this man,

Reg, “Cocky Test Pilot” Chitchester, who retired shortly after the Lujack mauling, moving to rural Dover with a few sheep, a dog, his fourth cousin Annabelle, and a pub within walking distance. He says he’s far happier than when he was a cage fighter and getting his face smashed in all the time.

Tickets are still on sale.

June 19, 2008

So Tiger Woods is out for the rest of the season and will miss the next two Majors. Can the PGA manage without him? I think I speak for every man, woman, dog and child when I say, A Tour without Tiger? Ho hum.

June 20, 2008

At five in the morning the dogs woke us up by going crazy. Susan and I know what that means, and sure enough, upon checking, there’s a brown bear in the yard just outside my office window. It had already climbed in the fence, damaging it I might add, and was hanging out where the old birdfeed used to be. It took us almost two hours to get rid of the beast, which was finally accomplished by my going down to the barn, starting the diesel tractor and driving it into the yard toward the bear. Only then did it climb the fence and skedaddle. The dogs took another hour to calm down. Susan went back to sleep. Jeez, rural living, eh? 


June 21, 2008

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, today is the longest day of the year. I plan on spending mine doing something I want to last a long time. I mean, today’s the day for that, right?


June 22, 2008

I’m up in our field when a car with Oregon plates pulls up on the one lane dirt road that borders our property, stops, and a perky young couple hop out to engage me. Hi, he says, we’re Ken and Jennifer from Hood River, and we’re thinking about buying some property up here. He motions off towards the woods, Is it ok if we walk through there and look around? Sure, I say, except you might want to watch out for the bears. The perky couple stop in their tracks; lose their perk. But isn’t this part of the city? she queries. I can’t believe you have bears in the city! That would never happen in Oregon. The man agreed with her, never in Oregon. He turns to his girl and motions towards the woods, Do you want to try it anyway? Her jaw drops and she looks at him like he just suggested they do it in the road. Hardly! she spits, and gets back in the car. (Here comes the best part). He tries to turn the car around on the one lane dirt road, one side of which has a two foot deep drainage ditch that he promptly drives into and cannot back out of. They both exit the stuck automobile and ask if I have a cell phone to call a tow truck. When I say that I don’t, and that the nearest phone is at the neighbor’s house, right through there, pointing to the woods, they look at each other like they’re in Deliverance and I’m the banjo playing kid.



June 23, 2008

Cheryl and Suzanne Begby of Begby Bullet Houses are taking inventory of their cutting edge of tomorrow, futuristic cone-like abodes. Made out of ballistic metal and impervious to most things including nuclear attack, rustlers, certain diseases, wild animals and extra people, they have been snapped up by the Department of Homeland Security because, as one official said, “If anybody ought to have bullet shaped houses, it should be us.” Suzanne laughed and let on, “They also thought the little portholes were cute!” “Heck, we only have five left,” tallied Cheryl. Both gals smiled and walked into their rosy financial futures as no bid contractors in the war on terror. 

June 24, 2008

The burden of being ahead of your time, when you are way past the cutting edge and into what will be, is the loneliness, oh yes. The masses (and all your friends) lag far behind your forward thinking visions. The only other ones out there with you are those just like you, and we know how rare that is! Really, it’s like being a celestial pianist playing a heavenly Steinway in a divine manner with no one else to hear your virtuosity except other people ahead of their time, or those that are dead and in the vicinity. It’s a burden in that kind of way. I'm just sayin', that's all. 

June 25, 2008

You should see the e-mails I have been getting lately.


Dear Keith,

How can you say the things you say? I mean, really!



Dear Keith,

The things that come out of your mouth just stun me!



Dear Keith,

I hate you, but I keep coming back. Now why is that? Could it be that you owe me money?!

Arnold, your lawyer, who has been calling your office three times a day for a week and you never call me back and I’m starting to get pissed off. Don’t make me come over there. Don’t!


Arnold, yeah, well it seems that every time he wants to talk to me it’s about something awful and possibly criminal. It ruins my day, but it absolutely makes his. 'Cause Arnold kinda likes the calamity, see. He rolls around his office in his powerful wheelchair warning me about this and protesting against that and tossing out strategies and case points and who wouldn’t go mad? But I guess I should see him, find out what he's in a flap about (You’re being sued! Here's how I see it...). Anyway, it seems lately I’m either offending people or avoiding people. What’s up with that? 


June 26, 2008

Is this,


a.) Sheila E’s baby picture

b.) The youngest water dowser in the Guinness Book of Records

c.) My sister, preparing a smackdown of the kid who said she looked like a boy and dressed like a refugee


June 28, 2008

Early this morning I'm making coffee when I notice the bear claw marks in the apple tree just outside the kitchen window. Bet that hurt.


June 29, 2008

An idiot child has run a country into the ground. Isn't that criminal?


June 30, 2008

Bravo to the Spanish side for winning Euro Cup 2008! They were terrific from start to finish. Good stuff it was.



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KeithSpeak                                                     July 2008



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