09 November 2006

Membership Drive

A new feature on Roman Numeral J, where i attempt to recruit new readership by telling stories about people using their full names, thereby making them "find themselves" when they randomly google themselves. Today's subject: Ryan Gjerde.

As a side note for this new feature, the stories told are not necessarily "true", but they are accurately retold from my memory of the occurance. It was the fall of 1998 & my roommate miron & i were throwing another really quite terrible party. In attendance, besides miron & myself were my girlfriend Brooke (i think), Ryan Gjerde & possibly Sandy (or maybe Toni {or maybe & Toni}). The party was so bad that conversation had turned to Ryan Gjerde's middle school journals he had made for a grade in 7th or 8th grade. He'd been describing something he'd done in them, and then said suddenly, "Want to see?"

We all did, of course, and he ran accross the hall. Only years later does the question really occur to me, why had Ryan Gjerde brought his middle school journal to college with him, particularly, because this was his senior year... I mean, i can sort of see it as a freshman thing, with the thinking that it might be "an interesting conversation piece" and helping to "get to know people", but three years into college, it seemed an odd thing to have along...

[please permit a short aside about Ryan Gjerde - this may be the part where things i say are not entirely "true", but at least they're "truthy". - Ryan told a family history story, about how in the 1800s (or earlier... or later) when his family were living around in Iowa, they were being discriminated against because of their foreign heritage & Norsky sounding name, so they decided to change it. Their family officially changed their name, in an effort to seem less ethnic, from Gjerde to Knudson, no joke (though possibly a lie). After a few years of seeing this hadn't worked, they went back to their original name, Gjerde]

So, Ryan returned to the party with his middle school journal and read out two very memorable pages, the first words that almost rhyme with silver (pilfer, sliver, gold), followed by words that almost rhyme with orange (door hinge, cringe, gold). Both of these lists were incredibly long, very funny, and well constructed (particularly for a middle schooler). Shortly thereafter some more people showed up and the party rose from totally lame to kinda crappy.

And so, faithful readers, we come to the end of the membership drive, with the hopes that Ryan Gjerde has found us and will continue to enjoy the blog about once every 6 weeks, thus tripling readership. Also, this feature reminds me of two separate blogs i'd considered starting, but never got around to. One would be a blog called "After Further Review" (or some similarly terrible punny name) and would be reviews from everything from coke blak to plastic corpses to Hollywood blockbusters. The other would be called "This One Time..." and people would tell stories about other people they know. Both would ideally be open enrollment sort of blogs where lots of people would submit, but i only want to start them if anyone is interested in writing at least occasionally.

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