April 29, 2004

Giant Snails

After going on and on about kitties the past few days like some deranged old woman, I have decided to spare you all today and bloviate about something a little cooler: my love for ponies. Okay, my love for ponies is a little too intense for me to write about it. Also, it appears inevitable that the Mavericks will be eliminated from the play-offs, so I can't talk about them (of course, I don't really believe this, I just want to put it out there as my way of un-jinxing them.
And in case this parenthetical note re-jinxes them, I will un-jinx them again by saying that Antoine Walker is a pre-op transsexual). Ruling all of these subjects out, I guess I will just have to talk about giant snails.

For those of you who spent the first part of the week being held captive in a dank cave in Turkmenistan, there has been a giant snail crisis in Wisconsin. I feel confident the blame for this rests solely on the shoulders of Jack Voight, the state treasurer for Wisconsin. When I went up to Milwaukee last November and chained myself to the front door of a Cici's Pizza, I had a point: the giant snails are coming and Jack Voight can't do a damn thing about it. I now consider myself vindicated. Perhaps the next time the people of Wisconsin go to elect a treasurer, they'll pick one who won't taser me when I jump out of his closet, screaming about giant snails. It's called progressive thinking, elected officials; I suggest you get on board now before part 2 of the snail invasion.

But anyway, getting back to the specifics of the story, I read one very interesting point. Apparently, a Miami boy smuggled three snails into the country and left them in his granny's garden. Seven years later, there were 18,000 snails in the garden. In light of this information, I suggest we change the saying from "breeding like rabbits" to "breeding like giant African land snails". Go forth and spread this information; you all have my blessing.

Posted by Cody at 6:20 PM

April 28, 2004

Part 2 of the Octopussy Chronicles

Having decided to get a cat, I was left with the tough decision of deciding which cat to get. Had the decision been left to someone else, they may've selected some cute little kitty, but not me. First, I have serious reservations about a little kitty's ability not to urinate on my belongings. Have you ever tried to get urine out of velveteen? Not only that, but I think a cute little kitty could be bad for my self esteem. Imagine that, through the use of brash lies and grain alcohol, I got a girl to come over to my apartment. Right before she has walked inside my domicile, this woman may have resolved herself to the events ahead. She may be thinking, "I don't really understand why I'm over here and I've done much better in the past, but I'm already this far; let's just get this over with." She then enters my apartment and sees a cute little kitty. She looks from the cute little kitty to me, and back at the cute little kitty. Suddenly, I have gone from being vaguely acceptable to horrendous, because I cannot compete with the cuteness of my kitty. That is unacceptable; I will not sit idly by and watch as all interested female parties attempt to fornicate with my cat.

Thus, when I entered the Humane Society on Sunday, I knew that I wanted a fat, weird looking cat. Not only would such a cat be fun to look at, but it would probably have built up a lot of character after watching people recoil whenever it makes an appearance. That is good; anything that needs with me needs a lot of character. Luckily, when I arrived at Gato HQ, Danza had already read my mind, and informed me there was a fat, deaf cat right around the corner. Obese, deaf feline? Consider me intrigued. I took a look at the animal in question and realized that yes, he had character and some to spare. I could see many nights of he and I sitting at home, him eating, oblivious to the world around him, while I play my maracas as loudly as I wanted. In a word, I saw heaven. To be fair, I took a look around the rest of the cats, just to make sure he was indeed the best. Towards the end of my tour, I noticed a gray, portly cat missing an eye. She wasn't as fat, but she certainly did look odd. Maybe she didn't inspire flights of fancy like the deaf one, but she did fit the criteria. And so, I decided to take the fat, deaf cat and the slightly less fat, one eyed cat into the play area to kick the tires and determine a winner.

While I was waiting to get up close with the cats, I was leaning towards the deaf one; he just had too much character. If I decided to go crazy and start dressing my pets up in human clothes, he'd look very dashing in a tuxedo. My enthusiasm waned when I got to test drive him, though. Yes, he was very fat and very deaf, but his idea of impressing me was wandering around the room, trying not to fall asleep. You call that a floor show? That cat was in dire need of a course in showmanship, and I didn't have time to provide one. This was in direct contrast to the one-eyed cat who jumped all over the place and demonstrated that she was not afraid to start a little crap, if the situation warranted it. That's what I like to see in a future pet: a little moxie. Not only that, but I worried about the fat, deaf cat wandering around my room while I slept, and perhaps settling to rest on my face. Not being able to hear my screams, he'd suffocate me in a matter of moments. If I am to be killed by an animal, I want it to be in a blaze of glory, wrestling a radioactive puma or something similar. Factoring in safety and the sass factor, there was only choice: Octopussy.

Posted by Cody at 6:22 PM

April 27, 2004

Behold the Octopussy

Sometimes, I don't know why I do the things I do. One minute, I'm playing Mario Kart in my room, generally pleased with my life, and then I find myself an hour later, trying to pawn my humidifier so I can move to Kentucky and take up the glockenspiel. Like I said, I don't know how or why it happens, but it does and it may be grounds for medication; I'm fine with this. On Sunday, I made another of these bewildering decisions.

The night before, I had done battle with a box of Delicato, leaving me with less than optimal decision-making capabilities for Sunday. Sensing this, the foes of rationality set to work. I was sitting in my apartment that afternoon, watching Freaks and Geeks and getting a little giddy that I now could now see the floor in my garage. I normally don't answer my phone on Sundays, it being the day of rest and what-have-you, but my brain was clouded by the previous night, so I went ahead and looked at it. I noticed I had missed a call from KC. Figuring she was calling me to bail Danza out of jail or something, I put on my britches and checked my voice mail.

She had called me to ask if I wanted to go look at cats at the Humane Society with her. We had previously discussed me getting a cat before, her speaking about it in a very reasoned and concrete manner, whereas I talked of it more in a "Man, I'd like to buy a racehorse and ride it to work" way. I hadn't thought much of it since then. Not only did I lack any kitty supplies plus general kitty knowledge, but I didn't really feel that strongly about getting a cat. And yet, at the moment I heard that voice mail, I knew that in the very near future, I would be fully immersed in my new persona as crazy cat guy. Entirely true to form, I now find myself in just that role. I've tried to rationalize it several different ways, but here's what it comes down to: the gravitational pull around my ring of idiocy is powerful and all-consuming. Once this cat idea floated onto the horizon, I never stood a chance.

Tomorrow, I will indulge you all with the rigorous criteria behind my cat selection. But for now, I urge all of you to gaze up on Octopussy, the one-eyed wonder cat, and tremble. She's mine and I'll unleash her upon anyone foolhardy enough to anger me.

Posted by Cody at 6:24 PM

April 26, 2004


You may not know this, but when I first started stuff doing on CodyPowell.com, long before the days of Goulash, the only things I posted were haikus and limericks about the Dallas Mavericks. Why? Well, the Mavs were in the midst of a play-off run, I had nothing to do with my time, and I was drunk most of the time. Not only that, but I was living in San Antonio at the time, which is full of rabid Spurs fans, and I felt like I had to do something to put those people into place. If that takes a few couplets about Eduardo Najera, then I ask you to bring me my quill and my rhyming dictionary, and do not tarry in doing so.

Last year ended in heartbreak, but my wounds have healed and it's play-off time again. I have been wondering if this year's championship would have the profound effect on me that last year's did. I think this question was answered for me last Tuesday. I was out in California then, the very heart of the beast, and eager to watch the second game in the Mavericks/Sacramento Kings series. Being a bit of a rounder, I headed to the bar in the Holiday Inn for some overpriced beer and some adversarial compansionship. It quickly became apparent to me that not only did no one in there want to watch the game, but no one had the slightest interest in my profanity-laden commentary of said sporting event. This was completely obvious and yet, for reasons I cannot quite pin down, I stayed. Much like Walter in the Big Lebowski, I was finishing my coffee before I left. And so, after two hours, countless bewildered looks from the bartender, and a stereotypical Mavs tragedy at the end of the game, I rambled back to my room to drink shampoo and set my pillow on fire.

So, yes, I will be getting into the play-offs again this year. I won't be sending Don Nelson my undies in the mail last year, but I will shake my poetry leg a little bit. Try this one on for size:
Danny Fortson can't
shoot or pass, but he can eat
a pack of hippos.

And one more, in honor of tonight's game.
Game Three in Dallas.
Winning strategy? Send whores
to Divac's hotel.

Game on, fools.

Posted by Cody at 7:16 PM

April 25, 2004

Junior Mysteries

Stop crying, you big babies; Daddy's back. As you may've surmised, I didn't have Internet access on my trip to California last week. Actually, internet access was a possibility, but I couldn't swing it because I didn't bring my modem. Yeah, I'm talking modems. The entire hotel was kind of antiquated like that. There was no toilet in my room, just a bed pan. We were relayed from the airport in a cart pulled by a donkey. Also, the guy across the hall from me got boiled in a cauldron because the manager thought he was a wizard. Aside from the whole modem fiasco, I had a nice enough time.

Since I was all alone, with no Internet, millions of miles from my home, I had plenty of time to think. As usual, my thoughts turned to vending machines. The question that plagued me was why the vending machines weren't more expensive in California. Everything else there was 3 times more expensive than it'd be in Texas: housing, gas, food, prostitutes, you name it. For some reason, though, Junior Mints were still $.65. I just couldn't wrap my mind around that. Were they fake Junior Mints in the California vending machine? Was someone getting some kick-backs from the Junior Mint money collected in Texas? Was all of this somehow related to OPEC? Only the truth could soothe my troubled soul.

As one would expect, I made this mystery the top priority of my trip. I cancelled all work-related activities, telling them I'd had a recurrence of German measles and if anyone needed me, I'd be swaddled in a blanket in my hotel room, praying for a hasty demise. I procured the floor plans of the Junior Mint factory, a grapping hook, and some napalm, and I got ready to do a little sleuthing. Sparing everyone a lot of unnecessary details, it was not a complete success, which is to say that next time, I'll be shot on sight at the Junior Mints facility. You can take my nightvision goggles, burly security guard, but you cannot take my thirst for the truth.

But anyway, once I got that out of the way, I had a nice enough trip.

Posted by Cody at 7:01 PM

April 19, 2004

Squalor City

People of Santa Margarita, California, I would like to direct the following statement to you. When I touch down tomorrow for 4 days of training, I expect to see boundless enthusiasm for both rocking out and pipeline compliance. If you so choose, you could combine the two and see where that leads us. But so help me God, if I notice any member of your community lacking the passion for either one of those, I'll barricade myself in the Holiday Inn so fast, you'll think I'm some sort of half-man/half-cheetah. This is one paragraph you can take to the bank.

Since I'm going out of town for work tomorrow, I have no idea if I'll be updating for the rest of the week. After the Bicentennial massacre, I think we could all use a little break from the 'lash. By "we", I of course refer to myself and the army of Malaysian 7-year olds who write this thing for a penny a word. Mahathir, Abdullah, and Mustafa, take a few days to go out and play with some elephants or something. Of course, if you're not back on Sunday, I will put a bounty on each of your heads. We've got a winning team here at Goulash and I'll be damned if your third world escapades break it up.

I feel as if I must add a PS to yesterday's entry, the Bicentennial recap. I spent all day yesterday in a sleep-deprived, hung-over haze. Today, when I returned to the real world and regained my familiarity with the standards of acceptable familiarity, I came to a disturbing realization: my apartment is trashed, smelly, and broken. I take a pretty laid-back attitude towards all this, as I know one must crack a few eggs to make an omelette. Nevertheless, I'm quite grateful to be leaving town for a little while, meaning the only one who'll have to deal with the squalor is the unfortunate squatter who takes up residence in my adobe. Let's make a deal, Mr. Squatter: As long as you clean the joint up, you can have all the hobo parties you want.

On that note, I take my leave of Austin. Who knows if I'll be able to update while on the road, but I'll give it a shot. If I'm unsuccessful, stay alive, people of Goulash, I will find you upon my return!

Posted by Cody at 6:26 PM

April 18, 2004

Bicentennial recap

The Bicentennial was held this weekend, and to tell you the truth, I didn't have that much fun. What was supposed to be a high-class afternoon of croquet and lobster bisque turned into booze soaked evening of wildnerness exploration and pinata fires. In other words, it was the greatest night in the history of Powell Manor. Read More for the pics and the breakdown.

The point of this get-together was to celebrate the 200th post of Goulash, and also to distribute the prizes for the haiku contest. As is the custom with most haiku contests, the prize was a chocolate cake with the winners' names on it. Note that at this point, the names on the cake did not include Stephen's, even though he was a rightful winner. When this was noticed, the cake makers were thrashed and thrown in a tar pit.

A special recon mission Saturday afternoon by Cooter, DFJ, and myself turned up this, which was to be the treasure of the evening. At this point, it has yet to be engulfed in flames.

The original plan, to stuff Raphael with little bottles of liquor, did not come to fruition. In retrospect, this was a good idea. We settled for candy instead.

HoPo and the Dinasaur flesh out their plans to kill me and steal the pinata. Keep dreaming, ladies.

A shadowy figure emerges from the parking lot. He locates a dirty, drunken, disheveled man and asks the most unnecessary question ever, "Is this the goulash party?" Welcome home, Stephen Fay, haiku champion.

Damon brandishes the pinata whuppin' stick. Things are about to get lively.

Danza winds up.

We've known Stephen for 15 minutes and he's already blindfolded and fighting for candy.

Raphael spills his delicious candy innards.

Boj gave Raphael a viking funeral out in the woods behind my apartment. The Austin Fire and Police Departments made appearances shortly thereafter. We agreed to disagree on the subject of pinata fires.

Following the pinata fire, the women made the wise decision to segregate themselves. Danza looks on with longing in his eyes.

I heard someone say one time that it was possible to have a party without a circle of Jager. I promptly boxed her ears and told her she could forget about Mother's Day this year.

Ditto for the topless box.

Ultimately, the Bicentennial was a rare night where both triumph and destiny collided. Two years from now, when Goulash is super famous and I have my own brand of cereal, we'll all act amused when Matt Damon and Star Jones light the pinata on fire at the Dodecacentennial. But on the inside, we'll be shaking our heads because those fools have no idea. No idea at all.

Five months until Tricentennial. Clear your calendars.

Posted by Cody at 10:52 PM

April 15, 2004


Are you trying to tell me you expect something between the 200th entry and the Bicentennial event? You a-holes are never satisfied.

Well, the Bicentennial rapidly approaches and it's giving me a serious case of ants in the pants. I was so worked up about it last night, I eschewed my first and second loves (the ladies and my homies, respectively) and stayed home so I could eat club sandwiches and drink beer. Maybe that's not how you lock it down when you're worked up, but it's a method I've relied upon for some time. And tonight, I'm feeling the same way, which means I could either froth at the mouth here for several paragraphs, or get an early start to infuriating my neighbors. The choice is clear. Look for some disturbing pictures on Sunday.

Posted by Cody at 6:08 PM

April 14, 2004

Bicentennial Post: Being Ben Schumin

Alas, the Bicentennial Post is upon us and my two interview subjects, Warwick Davis and Ben Schumin, have still failed to respond to my questions! Weep not, sweet people of Goulash, for I am a try baby, not a cry baby, and thus determined to make something good of this. As such, I took the questions I posed to Schumin and sent them to a team of Goulash All-Stars, to get their take on how Schumin might answer. The resulting interview, featuring P Diddy, Danza, The Deuce, and myself, is something that can only be called "Being Ben Schumin".

The keen observer will note how Paul's answers are right on target with Schumin's, while the other three sets are slightly more bizarre. If the real Schumin (or anyone else who I sent the questions to) wants his answers posted, you know the email address. Enjoy.

Since we last spoke in November, the life of Schumin has been action-packed. You've graduated, gotten a job, and undertaken a major remodelling job on your room. What was the best part? What about the worst part?

Paul: The best part was graduation, although it freaks me out when I think of myself as an alumnus. The worst part might have been messing with my room. However, it was very rewarding.

Cody: Well, the worst part is easy: the snake attack following graduation. The best part? Probably the fudgesicles I ate immediately following the snake attack.

Eric: Well, the best part is definitely the UCB inspired "Hot Chicks Room" that I installed. I took a class at Home Depot and they walked me through the installation process. I may have lost a finger on the mitre saw, but it was well worth it! I would say the worst thing that's happened since November was being denied a chance to show my stuff in the Women of Wal-Mart spread for Playboy. Why should my Y chromosome deny the world of the opportunity to see me in all my splendor? I mean, if Hooters has to take male waitstaff, I don't see why Playboy gets to discriminate. It's 2004 for Christ's sake! Live in the now!

Patrick: The best part would have to be the room remodeling. It was like making my own personal episode of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. The worst part would have to be sodomy.

Now, about your job at Wal-Mart. You seem to like it quite a bit. Do you think you'll be there for a while?

Paul: I enjoy my job a great deal. The Service Desk is my own little cave of sorts. However, I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that there will be a day that I will no longer be a people greater at Wal-Mart. But let us not look past the fact that I will continue to frequent all of the area Wal-Mart’s as a paying customer for years to come. I know of all the best buys and I purchase my shirts there

Cody: I'm there until the American people lose their love of cheap, crappy stuff, or the free Diet Sam's Choice in the break room runs out.

Eric: Well, maybe... Let's just say there's a little internal conflict at my store. You see, that old hag Ruth is trying to weasel in on my territory and make Head Greeter. She's sleeping her way to the top. That's well and good over in the Lawn and Garden section, but if that 73 year old hussy wants to get ahead in the Greeting game, she's gonna have to tussle with me. I swear, if she gets promoted, I'm gonna drive the Schuminmobile right into the propane case and watch that store burn to the ground. And it will too because I'm NOT going to pull the T1-900 FireAlarm activator located nearby

Have any website devotees made it to the store yet? How do you think your coworkers would react?

Paul: I have not run across anyone at the store, but I had a guy stop me in D.C. once. Also, one of your patrons knows a former classmate of mine. Both were very strange occurrences.

Cody: They have not made it inside the store, although some have loitered around the mechanical pony ride in the front of the store. This is because I want to keep SchuminWeb as segregated as possible from Wal-Mart. It's a nice store and all, but the people there are savages.

Eric: I bet Ruth would sleep with them too. Damn, 73 yr old slut...

Any chance you'll harness your retail expertise and open up a Schu-
Mart? I find this idea very exciting, with walls and walls of Schumin
Web merchandise.

Paul: That’s a bit much, take it down a notch.

Cody: Schu-Mart? Intriguing. Would I have to tend to the merchandise, clean up, and run the cashier all at the same time? We'd need an army of Schumins for that. Half of the army would work during the day, half during the night. While each half isn't working, they're out in the community, doing barbershop quartet for the elderly.

Schumin: Interestingly enough, I am working on my own store. I'm teaming up with that French-Canadian geek who does that bitchin' Darth Mol impersonation. We're going to sell T-shirts, coffee mugs, mouse pads, and the like. And here's the kicker: everything costs 1 hug. That's right, take what you want but you've got the hug both of us once...at least. We're going to target our advertising at cheerleading tryouts, tanning salons, and sorority houses because lets' face it, if we're giving stuff away for a bear hug, we're going to want to wrap our arms around some quality tail.

With regards to the room remodelling, you really went to town on that
thing. Have you ever thought of going on one of those "Trading Spaces"

Paul: Remodeling my room was a wonderful experience. I worked extremely hard on it. First, I sorted through everything in my room. I threw away or donated everything I had no use for. Everything that I kept, I took out of my room so I could paint and redecorate. I went through quite a bit of paint, but kept it within my budget. I purchased a number of things from Wal-Mart to accompany my newly decorated room. The shelving units have worked nicely. I think my parents were just glad that I finally got all of my crap back into my room. They were not big fans of the task at hand. As for doing “Trading Spaces”, I have no use for that as I have already redecorated my room.

Cody: I'd be interested, but there's no way they'd take me, because they know I'd completely undermine the designers. We're doing what I want, when I want, and if the neighbors don't like it, I'm burning the joint down.

Eric: have, although I prefer the original British version "Changing Rooms." You know, it really gets my gizzard, every single show on TLC nowadays is just a rip-off of a British show. You can catch them all on BBC America. Damn I'm hungry. Hold on, I'm gonna go make myself a Hot Pocket.

Recently, you wrote about having a hard time finding pants that fit. I too share this problem. Have you ever thought about wearing a kilt? Would that be against the Schumin Web dress code?

Paul: I would buy pants after work if Wal-Mart had my size, but they do not. I can only buy shirts there. Instead I must look online and buy pants on a trial by error basis. I do not foresee me wearing a kilt at any point in time, thus being against the Schumin Web “dress code” even though no such thing exists.

Cody: Kilts are definitely a consideration, except for the fact that you generally don't wear underwear beneath them. As you know, I wear 200 pairs of underwear each day and I'd have a hard time reconciling this with the beautiful culture of the Scots.

Eric: I have a fondness for kilts, I must say. I find that most pants don't allow enough room in the crotch. Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Oh, he's just trying to brag about his third leg." But that's not true. What I'm referring to is my jumblies. My boys need room to swing, if you know what I'm saying. The kilt, and the complete freedom that comes with it (no more underoos, yay!), are a welcome change in the Schumin world. P.S. I am hung like a horse though.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming election? I see you as an Al Sharpton man. Will you be offering up an endorsement to any of the candidates?

Paul: I see you as an Al Sharpton man.

Cody: Let’s be completely honest here: any endorsement I make will completely sway the election, which is why I’m waiting until right before the election to make my preference known. I don’t want any rioting in the streets on account of BFS.

Eric: I boycott anything to do with the Electoral College on principle

Let's do some hypotheticals. If you could be any TV character, who would it be?

Paul: I’d love to be Cosby, but I’m not black.

Cody: Carl Winslow, from Family Matters.

Eric; I'd be King Friday from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. I mean come on, I'd rule the whole Kingdom of Makebelieve! I'd get to make it with Queen Sara and then give X the Owl the beating of his life. Uppity bastard.

If you could throw a pie in the face of one person, who would it be?

Paul: Everyone who does not appreciate my work on Schumin Web.

Cody: Carl Winslow, from Family Matters.

Eric: Hmmmm... X the Owl or that geriatric slut Ruth??? Can I get two pies?

Patrick: Bruce Vilanch. I won't tell you why. That's between me and him.

You're a fan of game shows. On which game show would you be the best contestant? Also, if you were to travel back in time to go on Family Feud and Richard Dawson tried to kiss you, what would you do?

Paul: I would perform very well on the feud, but I don’t have much confidence in the family. Sis would not fare well. As for the kiss, I’d imagine I’d react too late to do anything about it. I would most certainly turn many shades of red and the whole experience would be tainted.

Cody: Win, Lose, or Draw, presuming Burt Reynolds pulls his head out of his ass and gets in the game. And if Dawson tried to kiss me, I would giggle coquettishly and then see to it that all tapes were immediately destroyed.

Eric: I think I'm best cut out for Game Show Mania. With my extensive background in Progressive Rock, I'd own. So I travel back in time and Richard Dawson leans over to kiss me. Here's what I do: I do some cool ninja maneuver and get him in the worst atomic wedgie of his life. Then, at knife point, I force him to open an investment account in my name and buy as much Microsoft stock as he can... wait, is Microsoft around then? I don't think it is. And really do I need Richard Dawson for this? Screw your Big Money, Dawson, I've got a time machine BITCH!

Patrick: I'd be on Whammie!, the lesser-known show of the Press Your Luck dynasty. I've been watching nothing but Tivo'ed Whammy for weeks now, and I think I know how to beat the
system like the guy who cheated at the original. They'll have to rewrite
the script for the Press Your Luck movie to include many a shot of Bill Murray running the halls at WalMart.

Let's say your arch-nemesis drops a piano on your head. Your funeral is a teary-eyed affair, with the mourners struggling not to throw themselves on the coffin. What goes on your tombstone?

Paul: I would think that SchuminWeb.com would be on there as it has been such a large part of my life for the past 8 years. I celebrated 8 years just a few months back.

Cody: Tough question. I’ll go with, “I’m telling you for the last time, Biggie killed Tupac.”

Eric: Pepperoni and extra cheese. BWAH! You remember that commercial? I loved those. No, seriously. Best. Commercial. Ever.

Patrick: Pineapple and canadian bacon.

Finally, the last few months of Schumin Web have been a lot of fun, watching you settle into your post-collegiate existence. What do we have to look forward to? Please say a "Win a Date with Ben Schumin" contest.

Paul: I think you’ve lost it.

Cody: Everyone can look forward to some photo essays, my continuing misadventures at the Waynesboro Wal-Mart, and the definitive proof that Goulash will never touch SchuminWeb. And Win a Date with Ben Schumin? Don’t you wish, you sick asshole.

Eric: Well, I'm either going to get a dog or follow DC Talk around the nation on their upcoming "Free at Last" tour... I haven't really decided yet.

Posted by Cody at 6:16 PM

April 13, 2004

Entry 199 Anxiety

I had a unique experience at the doctor's office today. When I woke up, I felt odd. I wasn't vomiting out of my belly button or anything, but I was short of breath, couldn't think straight, and felt tingly all over. Fearing that Monkey Pox was finally about to do me in, I hoofed it up to the MD's office where I was subjected to a battery of tests. I was there pretty much all day, and I was starting to get worried about my condition. After several hours of me peeing into cups, the doctor finally sat down with me to give me the news. He did not look happy.

"Mr. Powell, I've got some bad news," he said, shaking his head slowly. "This is the most advanced case I've ever seen."

I took out a paper bag and began to hyperventilate into it. "Lay it on me, Doc: is it terminal?"

"Terminal, no. Radical, yes. It appears you've got Bicentennial Fever, and you've got it bad. I'm prescribing some Flintstone vitamins and one weekend of rocking out. Here's some Mad Dog 20/20 to get you started; now get the hell out of here, you weinerbiscuit."

Chalk another one up to science.

Despite the cheery tone of the above lines, all is not well with the Bicentennial. A certain actor renowned for his roles as the Leprechaun and Willow Ufgood, has elected not to respond my interview questions. Big mistake, Davis; that is so Hollywood. I expected something like this to happen, so I sent Schumin an urgent telegram on Friday, begging him to come to my rescue. He agreed, but taking a page from Warwick Davis, he hasn't responded to my questions yet. In Schumin's defense, he has been busy. This is the reason why I'm not weeping uncontrollably and throwing myself on the railroad tracks. However, if I have no response from Schumin by this time tomorrow, I will be forced into doing something drastic. Let us hope I don't have to resort to this. Schumin and Warwick, the burden is upon you.

Posted by Cody at 6:10 PM

April 12, 2004

Air Pockets

No entry yesterday due to Internet problems. On a regular day, that would've led me to storm my neighbor's apartment, thrash him fiercely, and then commandeer his cable modem, but I was sick yesterday and thus lacking the energy for any rascalism. As I have heard them say on the WB, "My bad, homediddlies!" You may now apologize profusely for any bags of flaming poop left on my front door.

Next week, as I previously said, I head up to California for work. This ought to be fun, as I imagine I'll spend most of my time hobnobbing with movie stars and winning surfing contests. One thing that won't be fun is going through airport security. While I understand that these people serve a vital function and we're all safer because of them, I don't understand why they continue to regard me as the deadliest man in aviation history. I am a short, pitiful white boy; the only person I endanger is myself. If I ever tried to punch anyone, I'd be so overcome with emotion, I'd probably begin to menstruate. And yet, while all of this is common knowledge, I continue to get the business every single time I go on a flight. These scoundrels never fail to make me step out of line, open up my bag, take off my shoes, and ultimately, weep for my mommy.

I expect next week's trip to be even worse, both because this entry will surely place me on some sort of terrorist watchlist and also because of an item in the bag I'll be checking. Without getting into too much nerdery, part of the reason I'm going on this trip is to test out a new device in the field. The hardware in question is essentially a gray box, which encloses a little circuit board that ticks constantly. While I can't vouch for the thoroughness of their training, I fully expect the security guards to look at this, look at me, and then proceed to riddle my body with bullets. I should just start giving my stuff away now.

My plan, as it stands, is to bring copious amounts of documentation, so that after I regain the ability to speak following the taser attack, the federal agents and I can have a good laugh, and then maybe I can get bumped up to first class. It's either that or smash this thing up with a hammer, swallow it, and then piece it back together when I land. No matter how fond my coworkers are of me, I don't see anyone volunteering to help on that job, so it's back to Plan A. If anyone sees me getting flogged and hogtied at the Austin airport next Tuesday, please throw me a Nutter Butter or something; it'll be the last treat I get for a while.

Posted by Cody at 6:52 PM

April 8, 2004

Rule Numero Uno

Ohh Thursday entry, you are always the hardest. Do I slam you out of the park and leave my audience panting for more, or do I mail you in and then steal off into the desert? Today, I am shooting for the latter. Not because I don't have anything to write about (although this does play a part), but because today's entry violates the cardinal rule of Goulash. And what's the point of me typing and then laminating the rules of Goulash if I'm not even going to pay attention to the most important one? Sometimes, I disgust myself.

But anyway, for those of you who don't have the leather-bound Goulash rulebook, rule numero uno is: I don't do Goulash if I don't have to work the next day. As you'll see on the company calendar, I get tomorrow off, yet I'm still typing here. I can do that because there are exemptions to even the cardinal rule. If any of the following conditions are met, I can violate the cardinal rule:
- I happen to have a Sacajawea dollar in my possession
- I finish an entire carton of fruit punch by 6 PM
- I beat a mule in a footrace
- I'm accidentally referred to "Lanny"
- I satisfy that day's productivity requirements for my homemade razzleberry jam business
- I have a dream the night before about starting a jug band with the Sasquatch
- I receive a profane phone call that day from Rowdy Roddy Piper
- The post falls on the last Thursday before the Bicentennial post

I'll leave it to the reader to determine how many of those conditions apply to today (hint: all of them). But anyway, exemption or not, I have nothing to say, except that Easter is coming, I can't get my X Box to work, and I'm getting tired of flossing. If evolution wasn't a myth of the liberal media, we'd have self-flossing teeth by now. I'll save that for another time, provided I'm not cut down in the streets for sharing such incendiary opinions. Vaya con dios, amigos.

Posted by Cody at 6:24 PM

April 7, 2004

Easter Blues

Easter. East-er. Ea-ster. No matter how I pronounce it, it is still my least favorite holiday. I do not like eggs, I do not like rabbits, and I can't find any bonnets that fit me; I hate Easter. And it's not as if my hatred of this holiday stems from one big grudge like the time the Easter Bunny gave me rabies. No, my dislike for it is as all-encompassing as it is rampant.

First, it's the one holiday with no distractions. With Christmas, you have presents; with Thanksgiving, you have food; with the Halloween, you have peeing on the door step of the people who gave you a box of raisins. But with Easter, all you have is your extended family and a bunch of hard-boiled eggs. How does that even count as a holiday? And so, without a good distraction, you are left with family members who see each other twice a year, getting into a fistfight over a sleeping bag. Just so there's something, there ought to be a customary game of Easter kickball. If you strike out, you're pelted with eggs and disowned.

Second, I have had some bad egg hunt experiences. In my family, we always had these massive egg hunts across some fields at my grandparents' ranch. It was really competitive as to who found the most eggs, which didn't work well for me. I cannot find a pair of pants in my 500 sq ft apartment; there's no way on earth I'm finding an egg in an enormous pasture, even if there are a bunch of them. And on the very rare occasion when I somehow snuck into the top standings of the egg hunt (generally through some combination of cheating and family pity), my prize would be something horribly inappropriate. Imagine me at 8 years old, asthmatic and allergenic as hell, busting my ass across the boonies of East Texas for some eggs, in the hopes of getting a really cool prize at the end. Somehow, I sneeze and wheeze my way into 2nd place and what do I get? A jug of antifreeze. Happy Easter!

I could continue with this list for the rest of day, but I'm not going to. For the first time in a few years, my family is doing the Easter thing again; I see it as a new start for me and Easter. Now that I've purged my angst, I'm going to try to go in there happy, well-adjusted, and ready to win some antifreeze. Wish me luck.

Posted by Cody at 6:15 PM

April 6, 2004

Warming up for the Bicentennial

On April 17th, we're going to eat so much cheese and crackers at my house, we'll all have to wear sweatpants. Why is this? Because April 17, 2004, is the day of the hallowed Goulash Bicentennial, where we'll gather together in Austin to celebrate 200 posts of Goulash. I can't remember if I've written about this exhaustively, but since some people continue to ask me when it is, I thought I'd go ahead and lay the hammer down here. April 17th, Austin, TX, at my apartment. If you don't happen to know where that is, go door to door until you find it. If your knuckles are allergic to the knock-knock motion, you can just email me and I'll let you

Since this ought to be one hellacious hootenanny, we should examine what sort of behavior is and is not acceptable. The last thing anyone wants is to be deprived of Topless Box priviledges because of an etiquette faux pas. So, let's break down what you can and cannot do at the Bicentennial.

You can:
- Have a moderate amount of fun without parental supervision.
- Go for seconds on the vegetable platter.
- Enjoy a round or two of risque Scattergories.

You cannot:
- Steal my underwear and then pawn them.
- Drink all my booze and then urinate freely on my belongings.
- Eat my rubber plant.

Are we clear on that? These rules will be posted on each wall in my apartment in neon paint, in case anyone forgets. Unless a wealthy benefactor steps up to the plate, this baby is going to be BYOB. It will also be BYOSP (bring your own stewed prunes) and BYOP (bury your otter's pudding). I swear to God, if I saw one container of otter pudding that's unburied, I'll light myself on fire and take all of you with me. Let's not let that get in the way of having a little fun,

Posted by Cody at 6:06 PM

April 5, 2004

Time Change Vigilante

There are two major events going on in the world about which I could write. I could either tackle yesterday's time change, or I could get funky about the baseball season starting up. In either case, the only loser is you, the reader. With that in mind, I say I shoot for the stars and go for both.

Time changes are sticky wickets. For the first 18 years of my life, I didn't have to worry about them because I knew my parents would make sure I was operating on the same clock as everyone else. That worked out well since I was relatively sure they weren't going to pull a trickaroo on me. Even if they were, they'd pick something a lot better than neglecting to change my alarm, like renting out my room to a puma breeder. Once I got to college though, I had to handle the time changes on my own. My friends, knowing how hopelessly incompetent I am at real life, would always warn me beforehand. The conversations would go something like this:
Friend: "Hey Cody, watch out for that time change tomorrow!"
Me: "You too, man!"
Friend walks off.
Me: "Wait, what just happened? Did you say something was happening tomorrow?"

Disaster was an inevitability in these situations, and I'd either forget to change my clock or I'd get all flummoxed and start changing it the wrong way. One year, I was operating on Greenwich Mean Time for a month and a half before someone corrected me. This gets me to a larger point, one that I feel very strongly about: we should have no time zones and no time changes. We wouldn't even have to use numbers for the time, we could just make up whatever time we wanted. For instance, right now, I could declare it is 15 Underwears past Tangerine o'clock (for those of you in the military, that's 27 Underwears past). I don't know if this would accomplish anything or not, but I'm tired of getting treated like a rented mule by Father Time. Drastic times, meet drastic solutions.

Now, baseball. Baseball has been dead to me since they started pitching overhand.

Posted by Cody at 6:10 PM

April 4, 2004

Show Me Your Poteets

The angry mob who stormed Powell Manor yesterday got a cruel shock: I was not here. No ma'am, I was out championing one of my many causes, this case being esoteric, small-town food festivals. As such, I found myself yesterday in Poteet, Texas at the Poteet Strawberry Festival, one of the few places on this earth where a man can still enjoy strawberries AND carnies at the same time. It was one hell of a ran-tan, and I accumulated plenty of memories which I will now share with you, a group of anonymous internet perverts.

The Poteet Strawberry Festival is some big-time stuff, bringing in over 100,000 people a year. Yesterday alone, they had a hypnotist, a tractor pull, and some duck races. Having checked out the website beforehand, I knew about all of this and I prepared accordingly. I arrived in Poteet fully hydrated, properly attired, and utterly determined not to cry, no matter how vicious the carnies got. And yet, despite all of these preparations, the very first spectacle that we saw took me completely by surprise.

It was called Game Show Mania, and it was basically a simple trivia game, with a light up scoreboard, fancy microphones, and a host who looked as if he should be MCing an underground, battle to the death tournament in Malaysia. In other words, very cool stuff. He brought up some rubes from the audience and made them play the game, asking things like "What's the smallest state in the USA?" and "In what city does Batman live?" It was nothing too difficult, and the people of Poteet were up to the challenge. But then, at the end of the game, the host decided he needed to kick it up a notch. He went into the multimedia aspect of the game, where he'd play a clip of a song and the contestants would have to guess the musicians.

This section of the game started off easy enough, with the host playing a bunch of well-known songs and the players getting the right answers. The crowd was getting into it; we were rockin'. The host, sensing what was going on, decided it was time to push this thing to the limit. And so, with all due gravity, he posed the following immortal line to the crowd: "You guys like progressive rock?" Poteet's response: "Uhhh, ok?" While the next clip, a blearing assortment of keyboards, guitars, and lyrics about Charlemagne, left the crowd puzzled, the host was jumping all over the stage, singing along, and flexing his air guitar chops. This went on just long enough for it to become obvious that no, Poteet did NOT like progressive rock, as only nerds do, and only a huge weinerbiscuit would be familiar with such a song. The host sighed heavily, told us the band was Yes, and then said he was sure someone would get the next one. Cue the exact scenario, with the audience and players scratching their heads, while the host is struggling not to give in to the music and take his clothes off. Again no answer, but this time, the band was Foghat. Now he was visibly disappointed. How dare we come to a strawberry festival without the requisite knowledge of Yes and Foghat? At this point, the crowd wordlessly agreed to beat up the host after the show, if any of us came across him. Shortly thereafter, the game was over, but this incident will forever remind me just how quickly a game show can go awry.

In addition to this, I took a tour of some trailer homes, drank a bunch, struggled to contain my vomit on some of the rides, and won a crazy hat in a rigged game. Here's a picture of me looking intense at the duck races, standing next to a crazy woman in a yarn wig who followed me around all day.


Posted by Cody at 5:44 PM

April 1, 2004

I Can't Think Up An April Fool's Prank

Okay, it's April 1st. I should be doing an April Fool's prank, like everyone else on the WWW. Here are the three I thought of:
1. I give up on Goulash.
Pro: I imagine some sort of telethon would be organized to get me to continue.
Con: Everyone and their freakin' momma claims to quit their site on April 1.

2. I get sued by Carlos jacott.
Pro: It'd certainly be believable.
Con: Could be the catalyst for actually getting sued by Carlos Jacott.

3. I fake my death, move up to Saskatchewan, and am never heard from again.
Pro: Get the student loan people off my back.
Con: Sounds kind of complicated.

As you can see, none of that crap is going to fly, so I'm just calling off the whole April Fool's Day thing. You can take everything I say in good faith here. All I serve on Goulash is truth and beauty, and you can take that to the bank. So, on to today's entry, about my hatred of pimentos.

Wait, what's that? A knock on my door?

15 minutes go by.
A loud kaboom is heard, followed by a crazed laugh.

Son of a bitch! I opened the door, and there was this wizard looking guy out there who turned me into a pixie. Maybe I'm not actually a pixie, I could be a sprite or something. But I am definitely a cheerful, mischievious, diminuitive creature. Ohhh, why must these things always happen to me? I'm going to have to buy an all-new wardrobe and start pulling trickeroos all the time. Not cool.

Due to this startling turn of events, look forward to a new pixie-centric Goulash, where I document the tribulations of being a mythical being in today's turbulent world. It will be sadder, more profane, and most importantly, absolutely true. I hope everyone is looking forward to this journey as much I am.

Cody W.M. Powell, world's newest pixie/sprite

Posted by Cody at 6:31 PM