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Tristan and Dad

(photo from Tristan's high school graduation, 2006)
Feast of Saint Bernard

Dearest Reader,

Yesterday I posted a pack of thank you notes for those who had donated to Tristan's legal fund. Most were in other states; some were in other countries.

We are so very grateful.

This morning, in addition to a letter for Tristan, I posted the last payment to the attorney.

Thanks be to God.
Memorial of the Dedication of Santa Maria Maggiore

Dearest Friends,

Again, thank you so much for your generous response to our need. Although we are still a little short in paying off Tristan's legal bills, I think you have endured enough badgering! There will be no more tin cup rattles after this.

Please, if you're on the fence, consider making a donation. Any amount will help.

In addition to previous offers, the charming [ profile] amphigori is "prepared to offer the next-highest person who donates a personalized piece of pen and ink line art. If it's one of your players I am happy for it to be a personalised picture of their character."

Consideration for these thank you gifts will be given to all those who donate by FRIDAY.

Again, thank you and may God bless you.
Commemoration of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney

Thank you to all who have helped us with Tristan's legal bills. Your generosity has touched me deeply. We're nearly there - one big last push should do.

Entries passim will get you up to speed regarding the need, and at least one incentive.

Please help if you can. Spare change would be fine. See if you've got some pennies under your sofa cushions.

Tristan and I in happier days: he graduates from High School
Commemoration of Saint Nicodemus

I promise, dear friends, that this will come to an end soon.

Entries passim will get you up to speed regarding the need, and at least one incentive.

Please help if you can. Spare change would be fine.

Good morning!

Between the attorney and bail, we have sunk some $10,000 into this so far, and the end is near. The final bill due to Tristan's attorney is $2500.

We're fairly well broke, and we're asking for your help. Won't you please donate to the fund? Any amount will help.

As an added incentive, the largest single donor will receive a special thank-you:

a signed, first edition hardcover of The King in Yellow from my personal library, with a beautifully sculpted eldritch cover created by the talented (and slightly mad) Jason Soles.

The book was a gift to me, and it pains me to part with it, but I'm sure it will go to a good home.

More squamous images )

Thank you to those who have so far donated - we are grateful for your support in these trying days.
Well, my friends, last night I received the final bill from Tristan's attorney.

He very graciously offered to continue to represent Tristan through the upcoming restitution hearing gratis, but we need to come up with $2500 to close out the account.

To put that in a little bit of perspective, I'm reliably informed that I could buy four round-trip air tickets Seattle to London for the same amount.

I'm asking for your help. Won't you please donate to the fund?

As an added incentive, the largest single donor will receive a special thank-you:

a signed, first edition hardcover of The King in Yellow, with a beautifully sculpted eldritch cover created by the talented (and slightly mad) Jason Soles.

The book was a gift to me, and it pains me to part with it, but I'm sure it will go to a good home.

Edited to add photos:

Click to make the image larger!

More squamous images )
Feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop & Doctor of the Church
Sounder Train, somewhere near Auburn, Washington

Dear friends,

Thank you for your support. I have been truly overwhelmed by the kindness and love shown to me and to my family in the past days.

Your thoughts and your prayers have been a source of solace and comfort in this impossible time.

I would like to especially thank those of you who made it to Tristan's sentencing yesterday. For those of you unable to attend, the normally negligent News Tribune did a good job at sensitively painting the scene.

The News Tribune Story )

What the article does not say is that, while the sentence was "at the high end of the standard range" it was, in fact, the high end of a lesser charge to which Tristan ended up pleading guilty, contrary to previous reports.

In closing, dear, dear, friends would like to share with you a passage from today's Office of Readings from a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus that struck me this morning:

Why then, man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God? Why render yourself such dishonour when you are honoured by him? Why do you ask how you were created and do not seek to know why you were made? Was not this entire visible universe made for your dwelling? It was for you that the light dispelled the overshadowing gloom....

The earth was adorned with flowers, groves and fruit; and the constant marvellous variety of lovely living things was created in the air, the fields, and the seas for you, lest sad solitude destroy the joy of God’s new creation. And the Creator still works to devise things that can add to your glory. He has made you in his image that you might in your person make the invisible Creator present on earth....
The entire sermon is worth reading, but this was the part that particularly struck me today.

It is a glorious world out there, created for our delight. While we some days do our level best to ruin it, to make the world a place of terror and filth and hatred, it is in the end a beautiful, wonderful world, and we should make the time to notice it every day.

So go out there and spread some joy.
Today my son, Tristan Andrew Ryng, was sentenced to 27 months in the state penitentiary.

It was 105° today in Tacoma. Set a record, it did, six degrees higher than ever.

I am very tired.

Today, I looked into the eyes of a man who wished to murder me, and I could not gainsay him.
Commemoration of the seven Holy Sleepers of Ephesus

Dearest Reader,

Saturday was spent at Tacoma's Ethnic Fest, an excuse for sampling foods from restaurants previously unknown and browsing through merchant kiosks of cultures entirely unfamiliar.

The weather has been beastly hot, though the nights have been cooling off. This is, no doubt, due to the angel of hot night time weather deciding he couldn't stand up to [ profile] singingbarista's suggestions for defeating him; so he just threw in the towel.

Sunday was a surprise party for our pastor, Fr. Carmine Sacco, SJ. He was celebrating his 65th anniversary of becoming a Jesuit. No, that number is not a typo. He's baptising the grandchildren of people he baptised...

Sunday evening was a rousing splatter of Call of Cthulhu, just so Tristan would have one last game before his sentencing on Wednesday. Thanks to [ profile] chordam7 for running the game and to Robin and Corey for hosting. And! most especially to [ profile] sulky_girl and Robin for transportation to and from Olympia.

I took this morning off work for a last meeting with Tristan's attorney, followed by some time with Tristan to work on his statement to the court, should that be warranted. The words are his, though I did help by asking him questions and getting his thoughts put in order. Although what we wrote was very short, he could not read it aloud without tears.

Whether or not he actually reads it in court is up to his attorney.

I also wrote a statement for the court, which will be entered into the record during sentencing. I made Tristan's attorney cry.

Statement of Thom Ryng in support of Tristan Ryng, his son )

I had planned to go into work after the meeting, but after speaking with Tristan's attorney I decided to call in. After sitting down with Tristan, I'm a bit shattered, so this was clearly a good decision.

Blathering just a bit now, dear reader, but I hope that you will forgive me. I'm good for very little else today.

Tristan's sentencing is on Wednesday at 3:00 PM at the Pierce County courthouse in Tacoma. It will be a melancholy affair, but please, if you wish to come out and support Tristan, please come down.
Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
On the Sounder Train

Dear Reader,

Work continues to be a succession of crazy deadlines. Our current round of corporate videos required my working until about 10:30 Friday night, and some small edits and corrections on Saturday morning. To clear my head I went for a walk.

In the process of wandering the neighbourhood in pursuit of a pipe rack at no less than nineteen assorted yard sales, garage sales, and estate sales (a pursuit in which I was wholly unsuccessful) I became rather too warm. The temperature was upwards of 85°, and at some point I became dehydrated and simply stopped perspiring.

While the condition did not go as far as heat stroke, I was plainly not doing well by the time I arrived back home. I drank a large amount of liquid refreshment and, fortified by a "MythBusters" marathon on the televisionary engine, I slept on the couch much of Saturday afternoon.

Fully recovered by Sunday, after Mass Francine and I constructed another section of back yard fence.

Work has continued on various Cruenti Dei projects, including Turn 12, a Renaissance Rules expansion, and background for a new continent or two. Francine found a fantastic application called NoteBook by a company called Circus Ponies. It has proved indispensable in the writing process of these new books.

I continue to re-read The Lord of the Rings. What astonishes me about these books is how much I missed on previous readings. In details great and small these are proving extremely Catholic books. Some of the details - as small as odd phrasings that in previous readings I simply glossed over - have changed my understandings of characters and even events.

Of course, it might simply be that I'm more aware at 42 than I was at 12, or even at 30.

One particular detail struck me so forcefully that I searched the very internets for confirmation of my observation, finding it in Paul Kocher's book Master of Middle-Earth. It is just this: that every event in The Lord of the Rings is told from the perspective of the smallest person.

Depending on the chapter, this is Frodo, or Pippin, or even Gimli.

This is a detail easily overlooked - indeed, I overlooked it the previous twenty or so times I've read the books - and yet it completely colours the narrative.

For those of you in the area, I'd like to re-extend my invitation, found here.
Where: Pistachio House. If you need address or directions, e-mail me or respond to this post with your e-mail address.

When: Saturday, July 18, starting about 3pm. If you show up earlier, you may be put to work cleaning. :)

Details: This is a potluck! We have a grill for use (and a fire extinguisher, should it become necessary). BYOB. And you might think about bringing a camp chair, as the number of chairs here will not come close to sufficiency for the numbers expected.
Again, remember: "silly, not stupid!"
Feast of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome
On the Sounder Train, near Sumner, Washington

Dear and faithful reader,

I've been sleeping poorly, mostly due to continuing nightmares in which my son prominently features.

To take my mind from this troubled vale (and perhaps to entertain or excite you, my one faithful reader), I present some interesting links.

Jackson dies, almost takes Internet with him - best recent news headline

Carcosa intrudes: the astounding Amargosa Opera House of Marta Becket.

And speaking of Carcosa, here is an extremely interesting essay on Beauty and Desecration: explaining why "we must rescue art from the modern intoxication with ugliness". Just fascinating.

Yesterday being the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, I was reminded of a place I found beautiful: the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Nowadays, you can tour part of it without ever going to Rome.

Those who enjoy maps, or history, or the shady edge of myth may enjoy the Atlas of True Names.

Just when you thought the world could not possibly be any more surreal, here come the superheroes.

Speaking of surreal, go read a few of Greg Homer's book reviews.

And then there's the physicist trying to build a time machine.

I think that should be enough for now.
Commemoration of Saints Zeno and Zenas

Dear single and faithful reader,

I have not been posting much of late. Mostly it's because I hate to whine to you. My job is killing me by inches, but I have a job, which is more than I can say of many of my friends. I've written not a word on two different stalled novels, but Cruenti Dei thrives. And so it goes.

And then there was today, which in my current state permits me to share this poem, which I have just written and not revised at all. Caveat emptor. Or something.

A Sort of a Sonnet Written on the Occasion of My Son Pleading Guilty to Homicide

There is a place where water meets the sea
A beach of bled-white powdered bones ground fine
As moments for a perfect sand that coats
Every choking lung and gritty grey lips
That purse as if to kiss each dead moment.

And only here is the mystery stripped,
The mystery of human suffering
Stripped bare as bones, bleached as a desert bone,
Stripped bare for what it is - the swirl of motes
In a single reedy shaft of sunlight.

We fail because we cannot bear to be
In that bright place where water meets the sea.

I am leaving work to go to the Cathedral. Then home.

yours, as always,

Shrove Tuesday
(Mardi Gras, if you prefer)

Gentle Reader,

After 128 days in hospital, my son went home to his mother's house on Saturday. I meant to post this earlier, but I was hoping to include some photos I took of the day. I still haven't uploaded the photos, so I figured I'd better post before too much more time has passed.

Tristan can walk with the help of a walker, though slowly and haltingly. He was sent home with both a walker and a wheelchair, which he can transition into and out of without assistance.

He's still on 20-hours a day bed rest, but it beats 24 hours a day.

Keep praying.

I promise I will upload the photos soon.
He stood up for the first time since he was run down. Briefly.

He said his physical therapist cried. So did I, a little.

His nurses and the staff threw him a little party with a cake.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Pistachio House, Tacoma

Gentle Reader,

Francine being ill and confined to the couch, last night's festivities were muted. There was champagne and cheesecake and midnight kisses, but the majority of the evening's revels consisted of rambling about Pistachio House and vaguely listening to the television.

We are clearly the exciting, dangerous people your parents warned you about.

Speaking of parents, mine visited last week, the first time they'd spent Christmas with us. They flew in from Chicago on the 24th, and their flight was only delayed three hours. It was great that they were here, and it was wonderful that they were able to visit Tristan in the hospital.

Tristan is gaunt, but mostly in good spirits. As the nerves in his reconstructed right ankle knit together, he has experienced some excruciating shooting pains. It's difficult to be there for that, but I rather imagine he's having a rougher time of it than we are.

a photo )

The snow of the last few weeks made it rough to get around - the local municipal authority snow contingency plan seems to consist largely of hoping it melts quickly. After two weeks, warmer weather has now come, and Tacoma (at least) is back to cool weather and rain, our winter norm.

The rain forced us to beg a ride to Mass this morning, but it's now given way to blustery winds and cold. I believe I shall stay in the rest of the day, drink coffee, and perhaps write.

Again, clearly exciting and dangerous. Beware!

I wish you, dear reader, the very best of the new year, and may the blessings of God come upon you and your house.
It has been some time since I've posted here, and longer still since I've posted regularly.

For this, I deeply apologise to you, my one loyal reader.

My only excuse is this: it has been a trying time, and I've been working long hours.

In the past few months, I've spent weeks at a time out of state. I've been to Charlotte, North Carolina; Palm Desert, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (twice, thank you); and most recently to Los Angeles, California.

I'm awfully tired of business trips, and there's another one in the offing: a return to Charlotte in the New Year.

In addition, I've been spending some time with Tristan, though probably not as much as I ought.

Numerous responsibilities and projects have fallen to the wayside, including this journal.

So what, you may ask, compels me now to write? What new disaster, what new calamity, has stirred my (electronic) pen?

Just this: today is my 42nd birthday.

I thank all of those who have taken the time, quite unbidden and unexpectedly, to wish me happy returns of the day. Thank you.

Of course, if you really loved me, you would have taken me down to the pub for a beer. But I digress.

Looking back at the past year, as one often does on these occasions, prompts me to ask in a somewhat plaintive wail, "what the hell was that all about?"

There were certainly times of joy: co-habitation gave way to glorious wedded bliss. Chronic unemployment fell to relatively lucrative and more or less creative work.

And yet, there was death and disaster in equal measure, tiring my soul and emptying my bank accounts.

I am so very weary so often these days.

So what can I say at 42? At the age of the Ultimate Answer?

Not much, it turns out.

I can say that God is good to me. There is nothing that has been taken that He has not first given me. Why disaster strengthens faith is beyond my ability to discern, but that it is true is now beyond any ability to dispute.

I can say that there is no earthly thing more precious than friendship, than love. It continues to pour out on to me through all the difficulties and the delights.

And I can say that I am continually astonished that the world is so very different than most people - myself included for a very long time - seem to think.

This world is magical and mythical and musical. And if you, my single and beloved reader, doubt that this is so, I invite you to behave as if it were. A week should do. You will be astonished.


Last week on the bus, I sat across from an elderly gentleman wearing brand new jeans and a clean, unpatched coat. His hair was long, lanky, and yellow, and his face was creased so deeply it looked like furrowed earth.

He had a plastic garbage bag on the seat next to him, filled with precious things. He had a soda can that smelled as if it contained kerosene. I suspect he was flammable.

As I approached, he lurched over and touched two fingers solemnly to the seat I was about to take. Then he sat back upright and polished off whatever was in the soda can.

As we went on, he puffed madly at an unlit cigarette butt and muttered to himself. I made the mistake, I think, of trying to ignore him for some time.

And then I caught some of his words - a fragment, really - "carpe diem".

I began to listen more closely. His muttering was fairly indistinct, and I caught no further words for some time. He did stop, I noticed, every once and again. It finally occurred to me that he was having a conversation with somebody I could not see.

And then I finally caught a solid phrase - "benedicta tu in mulieribus". It was the Ave Maria, the Hail Mary. In Latin.

I looked up at him rather sharply as I caught his words.

He stared back at me, wild-eyed, stopping in mid-sentence.

And then he stood up and got off the bus at the next stop.

What did it mean? I confess, I've absolutely no idea. There was a time when that would have bothered me.

You might think him a sad, mad drunk, and perhaps that's a fair assessment. I don't know.

But as today is December 17th, I invite you, my single dear, dear reader, to pray for the wisdom to see the world in all of its hidden splendour.

I pray for that most every day.

Of course, it's part of a very long list.
Tristan was struck by an SUV while crossing the street in the early morning hours of last Saturday while I was in Pittsburgh. The driver left him in the road, where another vehicle ran over him. Only then did a witness to the second hit-and-run call 911.

His pelvis was badly broken, both legs were damaged, his right ankle was crushed, and two tiny bones in his left wrist were broken.

In addition, there are numerous bruises and scrapes. Big ones.

He also suffered a concussion and some minor damage to his right eye. A week later and he's still seeing double out of his damaged eye.

He's been through at least fifteen hours of surgery in the last few days, and his prognosis is good. He may have another surgery on Monday.

There do not appear to be any life-threatening injuries, or brain damage, for which we are all very grateful.

The pain medication his making him slightly loopy, but his biggest complaint is that he's not allowed to eat or drink for a bit due to some minor damage to his pancreas.

Tristan's Mom has been at the hospital more or less constantly, and he's had a long line of visitors. Francine and I have been there quite a bit since I returned from Pittsburgh, and I anticipate that we will be spending quite some time there into the immediate future as well.

Those interested in updates on Tristan's condition can go here:

We will try to update this daily. For privacy reasons, registration is required.

Please pray for my son, and for the drivers of these vehicles.



30 Apr 2008 21:55
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (CS Lewis)
So. Tristan came home last night.

I went to work for a two-thirds day while [ profile] sulky_girl went through the bureaucratic nightmare that is bailing out an accused felon. This is, apparently, an all-day affair.

He spent the night at our house. We talked until deep into the night.

This morning, I made breakfast (perish the thought), and we went down to the barber college to get our hair cut. It was as good a day as could be.

He's back at his mother's now, sleeping in his own bed, and surrounded by India's artwork and presence.

I apologise both for being so disjointed and for not providing more information. I haven't quite processed the emotions yet, and right now I'm fairly exhausted. So many details.

Thank you, everyone, for your support, emotional, spiritual, financial. The support has been truly overwhelming to both me and to Tristan. This is just the start of a long process, but it is made so much easier to face with the outpouring of love that we've received.

Thank you.
Please help us out.

We need to raise $7000 soonest.

$5000 for bail and $2000 for the attorney to start.

Our friend Corey has set up a Paypal link for Tristan's defense fund here:

Prayers too.

This is all just a little unreal.
This post should have been about my job. Or the garden. Or maybe the strange trip I had to Westport Connecticut. Or really, anything but this.

Yesterday, Francine and I got back from Mass and had a little breakfast. She was going to leave at about noon to make some photocopies and teach a knitting class. My plan involved laundry and answering some Cruenti Dei questions. Watering the garden.

Francine's daughter Michaela called at 10:59 in a complete panic. "Is Tristan OK?"

Now, for those that don't know, Tristan is my son. You can read a little about him here.

Michaela had heard that Tristan and his girlfriend India had been in a car wreck. No details.

Calls were made. Family gathered. We finally discovered just one confirmed detail: at 2:45 Sunday morning, Tristan was arrested by the Tacoma Police and charged with vehicular homicide.

Francine and I went down to the Pierce County Jail to try and see him. I was told (by a guard rather incredulous that I should even ask) that only his attorney could get in to see him.

Beverly ([ profile] sulky_girl) and her mother, sister, and [ profile] robinsnow arrived and we gathered in our dining room. Robin has a more coherent account than I'm likely to give, but since her post is friends-locked I hope she will forgive me for posting chunks of it here.

There were all kinds of rumors, but this seems to be what happened.

Tristan was at a party at some apartments near N. 9th St and Pearl St. The accident took place in the parking lot. He crashed into a tree. He was unconscious and listed as a "John Doe". His girlfriend India (for whom he bought a promise ring and adores) was killed. He was arrested for vehicular homicide and is in the Pierce County jail. There is a record of it on the Tacoma Police Department website and there were no charges of DWI. Bail is $10,000.

He was put into an observation room until this evening for a suicide watch. The counselor there talked with Beverly on the phone and decided that he is not at risk for suicide. She (the counselor) asked him if he wanted to stay in the observation area or go into the general population. Apparently there are a lot of screaming people in the observation area, so he said that he wanted to go into the general area.

His arraignment is (today) at 1:30. According to the mother of one of his friends, during the arraignment, the judge asks if there is anyone there for him, and, if lots of friends and family stand up, the judge knows that he has lots of ties to the community and is probably not a flight risk.

Corey and Beverly are talking about setting up a PayPal account for his defense fund. His parents have contacted a lawyer with experience in this area and who takes his pay in payments.

According to one of his friends (Vince), the oil pan and the windshield from his car are still in the parking lot along with lots and lots of flowers. Tristan's My Space page icon is a picture of him hugging India.

Both Beverly and I finally got to talk with Tristan in the evening. He sounds a wreck.

Please, if you are anywhere near Tacoma, come to my house today at noon or noon-thirty. We intend to descend upon the court en masse.

And please, pray for my son.

And pray for the soul of India Escobar.

to my own [ profile] shibe111. Huzzah!

(My son is 20 today. Frankly, I don't think he's looked at LJ in a year, but there you go.)

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)


5 Sep 2006 10:29
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Get thee to a Wombattery!)
It's the first day of school. We had no less than three priests at our opening ceremony this morning, something I'm told hasn't happened in thirty years.

For Victoria, tomorrow is the first day of school. She'll be in the castle for the first time. Her hair will be red.

My son Tristan, the graduate, was on the front page of The News Tribune yesterday. They spelled his name wrong, but there was a very cool photo on the print edition.
Yesterday, my son Tristan graduated from High School. I am so proud of him.

Yeah, he can't believe it either.

Read more... )

Sadly, most of my pictures were blurry or overexposed; these were the best of the lot.

Happy 18th birthday Tristan!

Now we get to register you to vote.

And for the draft.


Holy cow, where did the years go?

I remember the day. I remember watching the television in the waiting room when Lt. Col. Oliver North testified before congress. I remember being there when you were born - how you howled!

You screamed for the first six hours of your life, proving you have the Ryng streak of stubborness. You were so loud, you could be heard in other wings of the hospital.

You were so tiny, so strong.

They put you under a sun lamp for the first day or so - I think we still have the vinyl "sunglasses" they velcroed to your head.

Anyway, it's been a long time since then, and you've grown into a very fine young man.

As for what I've tried to teach you; take what's important and leave my mistakes behind you.

I love you son.
We went to dinner last night for Tristan's birthday at a local Italian eatery beyond compare. It's expensive, but always good for two meals.

Had the strangest dream last night, almost cinematic, but I only remember fragments. One scene in particular stays with me, a bittersweet love quadrangle in a sleepy Spanish hotel. Two tourist couples meet and discover that they'd married each others' childhood sweethearts. Very peculiar in a Hollywood-Shakespearian kind of way.

This evening to [ profile] mrsoles' for Resurrectionist rehearsal. Maybe I can tape the All-Star game...