Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween!

As you'll see below, I've posted several recent pictures.

Not much to report about. I've been practicing quite a little bit for the big O (Oireachtas = Or-rock-tis). Apart from music practice, the day-to-day life here is pretty much the same: I go out and work with the elderly, eat, go to the gym, eat, pray every now and again, go to Mass, eat, etc. Pretty humdrum, I'd say.

So I celebrated my 25th birthday. The only good thing I can say about being 25 is that I'm now allowed to rent cars from Hertz and Enterprise. Prety lame, but at least it's a benchmark.

It's pretty sad that I have nothing witty or biting to say (some might add that I"ve never really had anything witty or biting to say in the first place). I'm in sort of a holding pattern, which is good.

I'm off to the mall to buy a batery for my watch. I hope all of you are well and that you have a safe and happy Halloween. And, please God, don't give out cheap candy like Smarteez or Peppermints - go and buy candy bars! No bags of pennies, either...or apples with razor blades...they're out of season, anyway.

Cheers!

Ryan

The Jesuits are thinking of updating their habit to be "with the times." This is a prototype. Like it? Posted by Hello

Eric Sundrup and I after a trip to the Holocaust museum. Posted by Hello

A recent picture of our motley crew.  Posted by Hello

Relaxing at Omena. Now, imagine me with an accordion and 4,000 Irish dancers and you'll have the Oireachtas. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Oireachtas!

That's right all:

I'm Back.

For the last two months, I've gone through the whole mourning cycle of my feis life. Today, however, my passion for Irish dancing was resurrected when I was informed that the Jesuits would allow me to play at the Mid-American Oireachtas this Thanksgiving. YEAH! I get to fly to Chicago at 6:09 am on Friday, the 26th and fly home at 11:00 pm on Sunday night...and I couldn't be happier.

So what does this entail? I have to practice my sets, dust off the old metronome, and prepare myself for all of the glitter, synthetic hair, and sock-glue one can possibly imagine. I'd like to make some glib comments or some witty observations, but I'm too happy even for sarcasm. It's just very exciting to have this opportunity to tap into what has, sadly, become normalcy for me: the insanity of Irish dancing.

So in addition to getting buff at the gym, I'll now be trying to sharpen my musical skills. I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I've not learned a new reel or jig in quite a few months, but I think that what I have to offer will be acceptable. If it's not, I'll be playing the Adult Oireachtas (read: a holocaust to the pagan gods) next year. Alas, alas.

Cheers!

Ryan

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Address

Hi All,

I've had several requests for my address at Loyola House, so here it is:

Ryan Duns
Loyola House
2599 Harvard Road
Berkley, MI 48072-1512


Sunday, October 17, 2004

Three Times a Pattern, Four Times a Streak

Yo yo yo,

Yes, so I've achieved something remarkable with my life: I've established a going-to-the-gym streak! Four times in a row, and tomorrow will make for the fifth visit to the mecca of muscle. Going to the gym is sort of like going to church: you hate the thought of it on the way, you really hate it during the middle of it, but when it's all over, you're glad you went.

Tomorrow will established another streak: four times I'll go to the gym freezing my ballz off because I WILL NOT go into the locker room. I must have been attacked by a tribe of crazy old naked men at some point in my life (probably the estranged husbands of the Amazons) and now have this real hang-up about going into a locker room. Luckily, I have repressed that memory (along with, I'm sure, MANY other terrible memories) and shall continue blithely along this path of life.

Nursing home update: they are still old. This is, I reckon, one of those jobs that you can't really do much to change their situation in a sense - they are old and they will, like it or not, continue to get older. Nonetheless, the residents are fun to play with (cards) and talk to about current day-to-day realities (the advent of talkies, the gramaphone, the dictophone, the jitterbug, and as we're in Detroit, the Model-T). On a more serious note, I must confess to having an emotion (rare, too rare for me) akin to empathy or sympathy or, perhaps, it's just gas...but it must be awfully difficult to go from leading a relatively independent life for 80+ years, raising a family, playing bridge and then, all of a sudden, go to living in a nursing home where you color placemats as an activity and only have your meals to look forward to as entertainment (and, with some institutional meals, they are decidedly *Not* entertaining).

Now for my Irish dancing friends, I have other great big news. On Friday night, I, Ryan Duns, the boy who wasn't allowed to take Irish dancing because I'm a horrifying clutz, went to a ceili and danced in a county set where I was, by far, the best dancer. The Best. Michael Flatley. I was the Lord of the Special Dance. Torrey might be the one who earns the accolades for dancing, but I must aver that I'm an as-yet unknown dancing talent, a veritable dynamo.


Perhaps I'm a closet adult dancer and should have my "coming out" party at next year's Cleveland Feis or, better, at the 2005 Oireachtas where I can wear a kilt and mortify friends and family alike. If you think I'm joking, Torrey and Mom, just try me. I've got nothing else to lose, not even my pride.


So that's about it. I turn 25 on Tuesday. That's getting up there in years. If I feel old, I have to feel bad for my parents because they are, in turn, even older. Feel free to post a birthday greeting in a comment box, especially if I haven't heard from you and you've been lurking on my blog.


OOh, Jamblaya update. This stuff is great. I made it for both carnivores and a version for the veg-heads who hate to eat baby animals. If you want the recipe, I'll sell it to you. Just write me.....proceeds will go to the "Terry O'Malley's Aunt Jambalaya Fund." With all the monies earned, I'd hope to buy him a coffee and a bagel. So donate now.


I'm outta here!

Cheers,


Ryan
AKA: Raul el Gato Rojo (Ryan the Red Cat)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Quick Update

Hi All!

Not much of note to report. We began our hospital experiments this week, and I am stationed at a local nursing home. It's really nice, actually, though on my first day I learned what may turn out to be an immutable truth: old men have dirty, dirty, dirty minds. Really dirty. I'm not going into detail here, but be sure to ask me about it sometime.

YMCA Update: I've gone twice!

I like the Y. That's the hipster lingo shortening the already short acronym of YMCA. I am dismayed to say that I am a terrible weakling, but that also gives me hope: I can't get any weaker, and I can only get stronger.

Immutable truth of the Y: Old men like to be naked. It's disgusting. I walked into what appeared to be a geriatric orgy or pow-wow on Friday....and it was just shower time. Totally not my bag. I understand now something of martyrdom.

Okay, I need to go and make my lunch so that I can avoid the mystery-meat extravaganza that awaits us at the nursing home. Yesterday we had difficulty ascertaining whether it was a "meat that smelled like tuna" or a "tuna that looked like meat" sandwich. Tapioca or Rice pudding? Urine specimin or a shot of apple juice? Such are but a few of the many mysteries we plunge ourselves into during this experiment.

Cheers!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Sad Tidings

Well, my friends, I have something most terrible to confess.

It's worse than me giving up Teen Titans (Happy Barthog Day, DREW!!)

It's worse than me leaving the Jesuits.

It's worse than my deciding to be Amish



I got a membership at the YMCA.



Yeah, so I've realized that I am probably the only person under the sun who could qualify for worker's compensation due to injuries sustained while playing the accordion. I am such a huge loser, to be sure, but damn it I'm in a lot of pain! The muscles in my back are absolutely useless so I'm either going to suffer arthritis in my old age (which isn't far off) or I can seek to remedy the situation by going to the gym. I'm choosing the latter option.

So tomorrow I'm going to the YMCA. I'd better be greeted by a sailor, a garbage man, a cop, and an Injun and there had better be singing. Lots of singing.

Let's see....is there anything fun to talk about?

No. I'm so sad about this...I'm actually going to do something physical. This is such a terrible nightmare come true. It's like being sentenced to an Oireachtas of adult dancing (that's a code for my Irish dancing friends. If you don't know about Irish dancing, then you're missing out on something so funny that it makes people "in the know" wet themselves with laughter.)

Ooooh, one good thing. My uncle, Terry O'Malley, will be sending me a recipe he got from his Aunt Jambalaya. The recipe is named after his relation - Jambalaya - and is a delicious dish to be sure. We're going to make it for the candidate's weekend so that the "Prospective fresh meat" (AKA Candidates) have a taste of our hospitality.

I do have to admit some shock: Hagan Duns, the younger, female, and vastly inferior version of ME has yet to start her own blog. I don't get it. She's always a few miles behind me in EVERYTHING but this is ridiculous. I have it on good authority that she's been sneaking up into my old room and sitting in my comfy chair, trying to have deep and profound theological "thoughts" like I used to do. Sadly, Hagan, you'll never catch up to me. At 12, your life is over. You should give up and become a physicist or a doctor -- you'll never be a theologian, a job with a lot of skill required.

Cheers!
Ry

Friday, October 01, 2004

More bits

Greetings everyone!

First off, Kudos to Mrs. Koczera for sending us some non-fair trade coffee. The blood, sweat, and tears of children that go into each and every batch of Dunkin Donut's coffee gives it that capitalist flavor we all know and love so well.

After almost a month, I have finally had a meal here that I didn't quite fancy: quail. There were all these quail carcasses lying upon a bed of stuffing. There legs were spread wide open to the heavens (I felt like a FOWL Gynocologist) and, if I didn't know better, I'd have thought I was in Pet Cemetery. It was pretty scary. Besides, unless you eat the bones of these things, there's not much to them in terms of substance. Thank God for Little Cesar's Pizza.

Apart from that and the crusade I recently called against the Moonies, all is going rather well. I've undergone tremendous growth, too: the Eucharist is not the same thing as Euchre, the card game. I believe in God (there's a thought).

Okay, now let me get something off my chest. There are about 25 people at mass every day. The way we do Communion, we pass the plate around (like an hors dourves tray) and there's usually some left overs at the end of the line. You know, several pieces of the Host. From my standpoint, if you have to consume the extra Host, does that count for more grace, as sort of an act of theologically super-sizing Jesus? Should I be jealous when I only get ONE and the glutton-for-gluten next to me consumes like eight pieces of JC? First Wendy's with the Biggie Size, then McDonald's with Super Size and Extra Value meals, now it's the Church....I'm so confused. I wonder how many carbs each Host has...

Now, one final thought. I have begun my master work in Moral Theology. It'll be about sex (of course) and entitled: The Rhythm Method of Theology. It'll be a whole book about doing theology with sexual allusions. Could be a hot time, no?

Cheers all!

Ryan