Sorry I haven’t been blogging. I wrote a book instead.

Yep, that’s right. I wrote a book over the last six weeks or so. It’s called “Awful Activities: A Jumbo Compendium of Stuff to do for Immature Adults.”

awful activities ron ruelleWhat did you do during that time?

Oh, you didn’t write a book? Well, then, shut yer yap.

To say I “wrote” a book is a bit of a stretch… I wrote and drew a book. Does that diminish or enhance your views of my accomplishment? Well, let’s frame it this way… Did you write/and/or/draw a book in that time? Okay, then.

So it’s an activity book with one big illustration and a caption on most pages… you, the reader, are supposed to fill in the rest. Wow, so one big doodle and a few words, and suddenly I’m William J. D. Shakespallinger? Of course not. Let’s be honest, this book is rotten and naughty and lowbrow and kind of stupid. I admit, I aimed pretty low here. Does that mean I’m embarrassed by it? Hell no. It was still a lot of work, and I’m supremely proud of this thing. Despite the low ambitions, I think it’s pretty dang funny. And it should bring a lot of snarky happiness to folks worldwide. In fact, I expect it to by my best seller to date. Is that something to hide from? No. It is not.

why did daddy become an atheist

Here’s how it came to be… In December, I was thinking about attending an upcoming comics show in Denver, DINK, the Denver Independent Comics Expo (Most of the letters in “DINK” appear in that title, just roll with it…). So I psyched and prepped myself to finish a graphic novel that had been in hiatus in time for the show. I was… INSPIRED!

what is betsy buryingAnd then… I didn’t get accepted to the event. Crud. But do you think I threw a pity party? Hell, yes, I did! It was a multi kegger of a party with taquitos and many pizzas!!! But eventually I got over it. Then a few weeks later, they announced the next round of folks who could get into the show, and I was in! Woohoo! Except I had lost all momentum as well as a few weeks of drawing on the book, and had to weigh the costs of buying a table. And in even the most optimistic scenarios, I was unlikely to finish the book I had been trying to finish with the quality of art and storytelling that I had hoped for. So, screw it.

Dang. Enter Charles Brubaker, one of my cartoon pals who I have known for a long time despite not actually ever meeting in person. He’s from Tennessee, y’all, and needed a place to stay for the show, and long story long, I agreed to share his table in exchange for room and board and transportation (bonus… on the way to Denver, we get to use the HOV lanes for free with an extra rider in the car!).

offensive cereal spokescharacterSo yay, I was still excited about the show, but had lost several weeks of drawing time for the book. Now what? Well, when they aim low, I aim even lower… I had been toying with the idea of an adult coloring book for awhile, and thought I could make that happen in short notice. The idea evolved into more of an activity book, which requires fewer crayons so that’s a good thing.

Important note… quickly cranking out a piece of work does not fully equate to shoddy production values, half-assed creativity or cynical exploitation. Sure, my new book has all of that, but I actually cared deeply about giving the reader the best lowbrow entertainment I could manufacture in a month. And I’m damn proud of it.

awful activities ron ruelleSo let me ask you again… what fantastical piece of art or pop culture did you create in the last couple of months? I believe everyone… EVERYONE… has one at least good book inside them. One novel, one comic book, one cookbook, one manifesto, one collector’s guide to the world of Stretch Armstrong toys (I would sooooooo buy that book!). Or maybe one album or one painting or one poem. It can be something heartbreakingly beautiful that will bring the world to tears, or something that makes us all slam on the brakes and confront the lie that is our reality face to face, or something lowbrow and stupid that sells a lot of copies and makes people happy for a few minutes. Whatever.

Awful Activities” is my latest offering from my canon of excellently crafted and/or hurriedly scribbled comics. What’s yours?

trailer trash talkAnd now for something truly inspiring… I dedicated this book to some friends who are writers, but who haven’t quite gotten around to publishing that first book. Hopefully this will provide a motivational boost to get over that hump. Here are links to their blogs and/or other online creative outlets.

Tina Foster Caldwell writes from a vintage camping trailer parked on the back nine of her fabulous estate. Sometimes the trailer ventures out into the world. Do not cut her off in traffic.

Sally Holland is a journalist who lends her sense of truth to assorted fables, fairy tales, and fantastical stories.

Joe Wolfe-Mazeres is a music writer, radio host, and novelist who prefers writing acoustically on an old IBM Selectric because it makes his words sound warmer and more authentic.

Renee Gordon writes mostly about her two sons: smart, creative little firecrackers who tend to find the loopholes in any instruction or logical argument provided to them.

Every one of these folks now owes me a signed first edition of their books.

“Awful Activities” is available on my website. But you figured that out, right.

Too Soon! I Told the First Challenger Explosion Joke

For a lot of Americans, we share a bond of “Where were you when…?” and fill in the blank for some nation-altering event. Where were you when you heard Pearl Harbor was bombed? When you heard JFK was shot? When Neil Armstrong stepped out of the lunar lander? When you first heard 9/11 was happening?

space shuttle challenger

Depending on your age, maybe you weren’t born yet, or not yet cognizant of certain national tragedies and triumphs. At some point in college, I decided I should not date anyone born before the JFK assassination or after the first moon landing, the rationale being: I debuted about halfway between those events, and if we never have anything else in common, at least we both were around (or not around) for those events.

If you are of a certain age, the question is, “Where were you when you heard the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded?” I was a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. Specifically, I was in the entrance lobby of Clement Hall, my dorm, standing near the Ms. Pac-Man game (it was the sit-down version where two players sat opposite each other waiting for their turn.) I ran into my friend Mary, someone I had known since grade school. She asked me if there were any current events that were worthy of mentioning in her journalism class that she was running late for. Someone nearby offered, “Hey, isn’t there a shuttle launch today?”

And here’s where it gets surreal. I, completely unaware of what had actually just happened, jokingly said, “Yeah… and it crashed and blew up!” Mary didn’t believe me, so I urged her to walk around the corner to the TV lounge where a group of students were watching the launch… or rather, they were watching the horrifying aftermath. And my jaw dropped further than it ever had before. Some joke.

I felt a pang of guilt for several hours after, wondering if I had caused the disaster with my flippant remark. I decided that it was way too egotistical of me to assume I had that kind of power, and got over the guilt. In retrospect, it may have been the first joke ever told about the Challenger explosion.

So that’s where I was 31 years ago today. Funny how you remember stuff like that.

¡Punctuation and Grammar Need Work!

symbol swearingI had an idea while I was writing late last night; the middle of the night is my most productive creative time; I’m sort of like Batman that way but without going all vigilante; so behold the Oxford semicolon! Cool, it’sn’t?

Another thing you may have noticed; I was also wondering why the double contraction is not a thing; because it is not. It isn’t. It’s not.
Why not “It’sn’t?”
That’s fun to say out loud, it’sn’t?
Whyn’t try using that? Yes, “whyn’t” should be a legal contraction as well.

¡Henceforth, let’sn’t write without correcting these oversights! ¡And we should start using those upside-down exclamation marks at the beginning of sentences like they do in Spanish!

¡See, when Mexico sends us punctuation, they send us the best punctuation! ¿Don’t you love knowing ahead of time if the words you’re reading are a question, or if you’re supposed to yell them? ¡¡¡We should start using those upside down warning pucnts immediately!!!

!That’sn’t an exclamation mark at the beginning of this sentence; it’s an upside-down semicolon; I think you should have the right to know if a semicolon is forthcoming in a compound sentence. !Sadly, there is no “upside-down semicolon” button on the keyboard; someone should work on that posthaste.

lovely night¡!Now I’m yelling at you; with my new punctuation rules everyone should have seen the yelling and the semicolons in this sentence from a mile away! ¿See how well that works?

¡$%^&¢*€‹›‡! Sorry… That was just me “symbol swearing” at you. ¿Did you notice I had the courtesy to use the Mexipunct at the start of all that profanity? !:Note to reader: I haven’t figured out what to call those upside-down prepuncts yet; “prepunct” seems like a good word; this sentence also featured a completecolon, hence the upside-down completecolon preceding this sentence. In Spanish, they just call this “inverted punctiation”. If you say it like a soccer announcer, and in Spanish, it sounds more exciting.

“¡Estoy utilizando la puntuación invertida en esta sentencia! ¡¡¡¡¡Goooooooooooooooooal!!!!!”

But in English, “inverted punctuation” sounds lame. ¡I’lln’t sleep until this is corrected!

bartolo colon
¿Cómo usted dice los “dos puntos” en español? ¡Bartolo Colon! ¡¡¡¡¡Goooooooooooooooooal!!!!!

¡!: Re: “completecolon”: There should be a word for “colon” that’sn’t easily confused with that thing in your body up in which they shove a camera to look for lumps when you turn 50; happy birthday to me! /The whole colon/semicolon thing suggests that one is superior to the other. ¿BTW, did you notice I used an upside-down slash to warn you that a slash was coming? ¡You’re welcome!

!There’s a North Dakota and a South Dakota; there’s a North Carolina and a South of the Border; they sound equal. ¡!/But the whole Virginia/West Virginia dichotomy suggests one came before the other and is more important; sources inform me this may indeed be the case! /We should fix that for colon/semicolon. ¡Henceforth, I shall call it the completecolon!

South of the Border
¡Pedro le acoge con satisfacción al sur de la frontera!

:There is an upside-down completecolon at the beginning of this sentence and it means one thing: a completecolon will be used in this sentence.

!There’sn’t a button to make an upside-down completecolon forepunct; if there were, it would just look like a regular completcolon. Let’sn’t waste any more time before getting on that task.

):¡(Note to self: get on that whole “upside-down completecolon” thing; while you’ren’t sleeping, you should also invent a warnpunct for an upside-down parenthesis that doesn’t just look backwards; we’re going to need those too; this sentence used one, and it looked awful in hindsight and foresight.)

¡And we should all start speaking with hashtags!

#weshouldallstartspeakingwithhashtags #letstalkabouthashtagsinanothercolumn #Poundsign #octothorpe

Things That are Bad to Step on Whilst Barefoot (In no Particular Order)

Some things are just bad to step on or in, especially when not wearing boots, shoes, or galoshes. The author does not condone stepping on any of these for fun or by accident. Call your doctor immediately if this happens to you.

spilled coffee groundsCoffee grounds. Dry grounds that missed the coffee maker will stick to the soles of your feet and the caffeine will seep into your system just before bedtime.

Chicken poop. Any poop, really, but especially chicken poop. There’s a reason they specifically call someone a “chickenshit.”

Chicken poop with hay mixed in. Although it’s fun to pull on the hay to see if you can remove the entire clump in one piece.

pile of Lego blocksLego blocks. Parents know this to be true.

Duplo Blocks. Not as sharp as regular Lego blocks, but big enough to be ankle breakers.

Those really tiny Lego blocks they make for babies to hold with their tiny little hands. These can also seep into the soles of your feet if you don’t act quickly.

Wet cement. Do you know how much heat is generated as cement dries?

Lava. Do you know how much heat is generated when lava is born?

Hot coals. Do you know how much heat is generated when you perform a stupid ritual like this?

Spent Fireworks. Do you know how much heat is still there even after several minutes? Celebrate your independence safely.

Bed of nails. These do not generate much heat unless they have been sitting out in the sun for hours.

slim goodbodySomeone’s entrails. To be honest, this is indicative of a much worse problem.

Your own entrails. To be honest, this is indicative of a much, much worse problem.

Endive salad. To be honest, this is only on the list because I often confuse the words “entrails” and “endive,” with one being being something you eat in a salad, and the other being something you eat if you are a zombie.endive salad

Gum. Unpleasant though it may feel, when this seeps into the soles of your feet, it will make your blood smell like spearmint, which is actually kind of cool. Except you can’t smell it unless you’re bleeding. Which is so not cool.

The ashes of a famous serial killer. When this seeps into the soles of your feet, it will let him take over your body.

A bottomless pit. Although to be fair, since there’s no bottom, you’d never hit the floor. But you would probably scrape yourself on the sides something fierce, and it would be hard to climb out without your shoes.

The ocean, after a freighter from Denmark capsizes and spills millions of Lego blocks into the sea, and they wash up on on the beach and in the shallow surf. This will ruin your vacation.

dogs in motion
Pets. In the interest of kindness, you generally should not step on your pets. As a helpful reminder, remember this palindrome: STEP ON NO PETS.

So let’s be careful out there!

2016 Didn’t Totally Suck … Here’s Some Stuff I Enjoyed

dumpster fireWell, 2016 was not optimized for maximum enjoyment. But to prove that 2016 didn’t totally suck, here’s a bunch of stuff, mostly pop culture things, that I really dug this past year. I stand to not gain financially from most of these links, so this is my gift to you.

beck wow
So there’s apparently a new album from Beck forthcoming. In the meantime, this song makes me happy. Wow!!!

steve burnsDo you like unicorns? Do you like rainbows? Ever wonder what Steve from Blue’s Clues has been up to for the last 15 years or so? He’s been rocking out big time, that’s what. Here’s a clip from his upcoming psychedelic record that will be adult and kid friendly.

south of franceI went to a concert by one of my idols, Bob Mould, in April. I stood five feet from his microphone as he ripped the shit out of a vast history of his material from Hüsker Dü, Sügar, and his solo würk. Despite his terrific performance, I was even more entranced by the heretofore-unknown-to-me opening act, South of France, from Denver. They delivered shimmering, bright, reverb-filled pop songs that had the audience (most of whom also had never heard of them) singing along. I went home and downloaded their entire catalog.

yellowsubmarineThe Yellow Submarine lives on in Hot Wheels and Lego form! Collect all both of them!

deadpoolNot since Robocop and South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, have I seen a movie crack its knuckles and ask, “You wanna see some R-rated entertainment? Well, this is going to be big, naughty fun!” Deadpool delivered in so many ways, right from the opening credits.

zootopiaThen again, not every movie had to be raunchy… Zootopia was a smart, beautifully animated, lushly detailed, kid-friendly flick juxtaposing some dark plot twists and uplifting moments. And those dancing tigers! Grrrr!

samantha beeIn the absence of Jon Stewart and “Stephen Colbert,” I had to find new heroes as my news sources. John Oliver rose to the occasion. So did Keith Olbermann. The “real” Stephen Colbert is finding his groove. But the the most pleasant/angry surprise was Samantha Bee calling the Cheeto grifter a “crotch fondling slab of rancid meatloaf” among other things.

josh blueIf you don’t know him, comedian Josh Blue is unnervingly hilarious. Belinda and I saw him in Boulder testing new material for his upcoming tour. The disclaimers that it was only a test, no refunds, was unnecessary.

daft scienceDo you like the Beastie Boys? Do you like Daft Punk? If not, I don’t want to know you… so here’s Daft Science, a mix of both by DJ Coins. It’s a couple years old, but I just found it this past fall.

super bowl 50Trigger warning for folks in New England or Carolina… Super Bowl 50 was a lot of fun for folks in Colorado, at least. Never mind the following season quickly turning into a disaster, at least the Denver Broncos gave some hope to folks around here that 2016 wouldn’t suck completely…

spock leaning on a rivieraYou may be cool, but you’ll never be Spock-leaning-on-a-Riviera cool. And if you didn’t act fast this summer, you didn’t get your hands on this miniature version of that iconic photo.

pee wee hermanPee-wee Herman’s blog. Because being a grown up is overrated. This is where I get the rest of my news, by the way…

Now let us never speak of 2016 again!

This is a test of the Ron Blogcasting System

No, seriously, this is just an experimental post to see if this is working. Just testing to make sure links work, too. This is a test of the Ron Blogcasting System

Love that costume! Oh, good, the captions work!

Random thoughts I borrowed from somethere to test how well this works… Some ad wants me to enter my last name to discover its origin. It’s “Cockroach.” It’s a giant disgusting bug. I’m not proud of it, but I’m not ashamed of it. It’s just who I am. Oh, and I crawled all over your waffle iron last night. Hope you washed it before you made breakfast. Actaully, I am kind of proud.

I watched a lot of sports on TV this weekend. Such wonderful displays of physicality and athleticism. There was some good sportsmaniciousness and effortation as well. I felt a sense of excitementalotomy while witnessing the competitionosity.

Great. Now that “Starbucks’ December holiday festival of no particular denomination” have leaked, we can now speculate on whether the War on Christmas has begun. By the way, I hope they don’t really leak. That would be messy.

Thanks for not reading this post.

Hello world! This Post is Just Garbage .

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

Amazingly, the above test sample they start you with has almost no SEO appeal, and that’s bad. But I’m afraid to erase it in case it’s the linchpin of the entire site, so I will just edit it.

ocd cookies
I want to test the caption and alt text functions, so please enjoy these cookies whose boxes sort of line up but don’t, which is either clever or annoying.

You’re still reading this? This post is just garbage , might as well be Greeking. Let’s test that.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet short loin porchetta tongue, ribeye biltong pork chop pork beef picanha doner bresaola alcatra. Corned beef tongue bresaola biltong meatloaf sirloin picanha tenderloin shank pancetta leberkas cupim turkey strip steak filet mignon. Venison jerky chuck brisket tongue pancetta ground round pork loin beef burgdoggen. Shankle corned beef spare ribs, landjaeger brisket cupim turkey alcatra pork loin doner strip steak leberkas kielbasa pig pork. Ham t-bone corned beef boudin beef ribs chicken. Short ribs pig tongue frankfurter bresaola chuck meatball jerky tri-tip t-bone spare ribs.

Apparently there’s a baconizer on WordPress that is adding bacon related terms to my Greeking. Neat! You know what else is good? Beer. From cans.

beer cans

Chicken tongue brisket, jerky tri-tip pork loin ham drumstick spare ribs hamburger ball tip flank jowl pork belly. Shoulder drumstick pork chop, chuck burgdoggen pastrami boudin beef ribs hamburger porchetta. Pancetta shoulder pork meatloaf jerky pork chop. Beef filet mignon ham hock strip steak sirloin doner shankle biltong.

And there’s chicken, too! I am not making this up. In fact, there is a chicken in my kitchen right now.

chicken in house

Turducken ground round pork belly leberkas. Shoulder landjaeger tenderloin alcatra filet mignon kielbasa cupim, salami beef ribs. Venison jerky short loin rump. Tail bacon alcatra rump, ball tip tongue sausage fatback doner landjaeger venison. Meatloaf porchetta hamburger, tri-tip bacon meatball kielbasa pancetta kevin filet mignon.

Wow, Turducken? Mindblowing.

Anyway, Welcome to the Ron Ruelle Blogcasting System. I will share this space with My friends Rex Silo and Darby Cockroach, who are not affiliated with me, but are giving me money exchange for the prestige of being on this site.