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Face facts. Ryan Hogard is more interesting than you are. The quicker you accept this and move forward, the better.

While you and I partake in such pedestrian pastimes as say, watching football, Ryan is baking bread. From recipes out of a Buddhist cookbook.

It’s called the Tassajara Bread Book. Ryan’s Dad brought it home from a trip to San Francisco years ago. Heck, it’s barely even still in print. But no matter, Ryan knows the recipes by heart. Bread machine? Oh please. How quaint. No, Ryan doesn’t use that outdated contraption collecting dust in the hard to reach part of that kitchen cabinet no one uses. You know the one. The bread machine your Aunt Fanny gave you for a wedding present and you’ve never used. No, Ryan uses tried and true bread pans. I ask if he eats his homemade bread with soup, or maybe makes sandwiches with it. He seems to be politely refraining from mocking me for even asking such a question, before explaining he usually serves it by itself as an appetizer when friends come over for dinner. Anything with a pretzel crust is a favorite. He also occasionally bakes desserts. When he’s not baking, Ryan and his long time girlfriend Caity love to cook at home in Central West End. 

“Caity loves anything Asian, so we often make Asian recipes. I would narrow it down to her favorite kind of Asian, but that’s basically impossible. She loves it all.”

Speaking of Caity. While the rest of us mere mortals met our significant others in the usual places, like a bar, through friends, or at a wedding, Ryan met Caity in Russian Literature class at Truman State. Who needs Match.com when you have impassioned discussions about the overarching themes in Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago?

Sure, dev is a fascinating field. But were you working towards a Master’s in Education when you decided dev was more your speed? Ryan was. And he wasn’t just planning on becoming a teacher.

No, his goal was to create education policy.

While the rest of us enjoy hiking at local state parks, Ryan and Caity scale mountains. Recent vacations include 12–13 hour hikes in the Manitoba Springs area of Colorado.

Clearly high achievement runs in the family. Ryan’s older brother Michael is an analytical chemist for an agriculture company in Los Angeles. What a slacker.

The Hogard boys were born and raised in Kansas City, MO by their physician’s assistant father and school teacher mother. The importance of a good education was instilled in both kids early on.

Sports was a part of Ryan’s upbringing, but not a large part. He ran track and cross country in high school. He was also very active on the debate team.

Ryan played guitar in a couple of high school bands. The last one being Petrie’s Lakehouse. He played bass before eventually moving to electric. Petrie’s Lakehouse even released some tracks on Bandcamp. DogBoat, the album I listened to had a picture of the terrier token from Monopoly sitting amongst the ships on the grid of Battleship on the album cover. Another album, Diamondhead, had such provocative song titles as “Sanitation Engineer,” “Crazy Glue,” and “Trampoline Underdog.”

Prior to Paradowski, Ryan worked in a grocery store, liquor store, and as an assistant high school teacher of history and civics. All areas ripe for entertaining stories. But instead, Ryan waxes eloquently about the depressed area where the liquor store was located, which led to many sad cases of alcoholism.

Ryan found his way to Paradowski when he and Caity spent a summer working in her hometown of St. Louis. 

“St. Louis is very similar in a lot of ways to Kansas City,” Ryan said. “We started looking for jobs, and that’s when I came to PC."

"I guess you could say PC isn’t what brought me to St. Louis, but it’s what kept me here.”

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Caity is also a developer. In fact, spending time with her developer father is what piqued Ryan’s interest in dev in the first place.

“I really like the problem solving aspect of dev. You know what the final product is supposed to look and act like, but getting there is the challenge,” Ryan explained. “But it was the creative side of it that really drew me away from education policy.”

“I really like the problem solving aspect of dev. You know what the final product is supposed to look and act like, but getting there is the challenge...”

In addition to dev and his many other pursuits, Ryan is an avid reader. He typically rotates between non-fiction and fantasy/sci-fi. And yes, he still reads Russian literature. Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is a favorite.

“I’ve now read several different translations of it, and I find something new with each reading. One day I would love to be able to read it in Russian. But I have not gotten there yet.”

Ah, yes. Reading Crime and Punishment. In Russian. As all twenty-somethings want to do.

I was frankly relieved to hear Ryan does in fact like to do normal, age appropriate things once in a blue moon. Twice a week, he and his friends have a tabletop board game night. Wednesdays and Saturdays. Betrayal is a recent favorite.

“Wednesday nights are pretty short sessions because we all work the next day, but on Saturdays, we’ve been known to go well into the night.”

So yes, as you can plainly see, Ryan Hogard is more interesting than you. Or me. Accept it. Move on. It’s for the best.