I just got an IM from Santa telling me that Christmas is coming. That means the pitter-patter I hear on the ceiling at night isn't an army of rats, ready to unleash the plague upon me, but elves scurrying about, doing some holiday elf magical crap. If I were four years old, this would thrill me. However, since I am only four years old in terms of intellectual maturity, I am slightly less jazzed. I blame this because I have to buy gifts for everyone I've ever met, the illegitimate children of these people, plus the midwives who birthed each one of them. You think I can knit personalized sweaters for all of those people? Uhh, not if craftsmanship is an issue!
I don't really have to buy gifts for that many people. Finally, unpopularity presents me with a benefit! There are, however, enough gifts to buy that each time I start to think of it, my wallet bursts into flames. That is why, for the Christmas of 2004, I will be buying my Christmas gifts in bulk at Sam's Club. Yeah, it would be nice if I searched for hours to find that one perfect gift for each person, but I'm a busy man and I can't spare the time (I've got a regional boggle tournament coming up).
And if I really think it over, it seems to me like my friends and family could use a big jug of pickles more than some heartfelt present. What good would some weepy present do you in a catastrophe? Not much, whereas a big jug of pickles will literally save your life. You can eat the pickles, drink the brine, then throw the jug at the band of bloodthirsty highwaymen when they bust down your front door. If that doesn't constitute a Christmas miracle, then you don't know miracles from a enormousbucket of excrement.
Hey, remember when I said yesterday that I was experiencing intense pain because I foolishly attempted to do something physical over the weekend? Well, it's a billion times worse today. It's so bad that, at quitting time today, I doubted my ability to walk out to the parking lot. Thinking quickly, I offered to pay a coworker $20 to crash my car through the window in my office, throw me in the back, and then drive me home. But no, some people don't believe in helping out the less fortunate around the holidays, so I had to walk all 50 ft on my own. It wasn't easy. I blacked out halfway through and woke up an hour later in some family's garage, covered in dirt, squeezing their mops for dear life. I'd say it wasn't one of my prouder moments, but then there have been so many of them, it's hard to gauge.
I didn't mention it yesterday, but I had kind of a grown up Thanksgiving. Over the past few years, I occasionally had a girlfriend around Thanksgiving, but I never did anything with her on the holiday, usually because she was either a stuffed animal or she was just getting out of rehab. But this year, I didn't let any of those excuses get in my way. "If the shakes get too bad, I'll just stuff her with turkey until she goes to sleep," I resolved. Luckily, it never came to that. Instead, we just had a good, normal time, which leads me to think a piano will be dropped on my head any day now.
Actually, there was no reason to worry. When I told the fam I'd be bringing a girl to Thanksgiving, they were probably expecting that I'd pick up a hitch hiker on the way there and try to pass her off as my lady. Then they'd catch her trying to establish a terrorist splinter group in my grandmother's closet and I'd be stripped of my pumpkin pie priviledges for years to come. Devastated, I'd stand in front of all of the desserts and plead, "How do you know she's not one of the good terrorists? She could terrorize on behalf of abused puppies!" Hardly any of that happened though, so I count as a complete triumph. Like I said, we had a good time.
Hot diggity, Thanksgiving was great. I toured the state like some sort of deranged UPS man, bringing sweet potatoes and holiday cheer to all parts of the state. Like I said, I had an outstanding time. However, the Thanksgiving festivities can't go on forever, and on Saturday, I had to return to my ancestral home in Arlington to wind the weekend down. An intelligent man would've enjoyed a restful evening and prepared for the long drive back to Austin the next morning. I, however, have never been accused of being an intelligent man.
I had to rush back to Arlington on Saturday so I could play in our traditional football game. The game is much like the Super Bowl, except we play at the Junior High and all of the players are either out-of-shape alcoholics or frail bed-wetters. It features such plays as "I'll run for 10 yards, then collapse in a heap and hyperventilate for 30 seconds. When I raise up to my knees, throw me the ball and I'll roll in the end zone." That's how it is usually, at least. This year, we played with a bunch of 17 year olds who were tearing ass around the field like the demon child of Dick Butkus and Speedy Gonzalez. Their presence made the game a little less leisurely than it may've been otherwise.
Of course, I didn't let them know that. Instead, I made the mistake of trying to keep up with them. This mainly consisted of running after them for a few feet, only to trip and stumble for several yards before collapsing on some kid trying to play goalie during a 9 year olds' soccer practice. This went on for a few hours until, thankfully, my groin exploded. Athletics, you have bested me again, but savor the flavor because it's not happening again. Next time, I'll just pay one of those high school guys to carry me around the field.
No Goulash today! In case you didn't hear, I got the lead in the Thanksgiving pageant and I need to rehearse my lines. Okay, not really, but I have a bunch of stuff to do before I leave for Arlington tomorrow. Save my seat until tomorrow!
What up, fools? Ohh, not too much here, except for the fact that I'm now legally entitled to be a huge jerk to half of the state plus everyone from Oklahoma. You sense my sassiness and holler, "Mr. Powell, explain yourself!" Well, I don't know if living in Austin has finally gotten to me or if it's just a result of eating all of those thermometers, but I'll be a learning man again next semester. Before we get too carried away, I should point that I'll be a part-time, non-degree seeking learning man. No need to start calling me Dr. Powell yet. However, I didn't sharpen those pencils and grease that abacus for nothing; I'm going to learn my freaking butt off.
All of this is to say I'll be a card-carrying UT student in the spring. I do this for two reasons. First, the Mad Libs are no longer keeping my mind sharp; I need something a little harder than those, but less challenging than a Rubik's Cube. Apparently, this is why they invented college. Secondly, I think I'd have some more credibility with my cat if I earned a graduate degree. Right now, I tell her to stop knocking the plants off the windowsill, and she just glares at me and thinks, "Tell it to your undergradate advisor, you sack of crap!" If she thinks I'll scoop up her poop AND put up with an attitude like that, she's got another thing coming.
Also, Rivalry Week showed me something. It's one thing to jockey with with Division III simpletons over the Internet. It's completely different to stalk the parking lot of a Nascar race, looking for an A&M supporter to assault. I just don't think my academic career can be complete without such an experience. And if all of those guys prove to be too big, then I'll just dress Octopussy in maroon and chase her around the house. I'm not too picky here.
In the past two days, almost 400 people have found this site by searching google for "jaleel white gay". God, I'm surprised it only took a year and half for this site to turn into #1 source of Steve Urkel inneundo. Jaleel White Legal Team, I have no idea what's going on here. May the record show that I admire Jaleel White as an entertainer and as a gentleman, regardless of his sexual orientation. And no matter how the Internet clamors, I shall abstain from adding to the white-hot debate regarding Mr. White's legacy of love. Some things are sacred in this life, such as my role as Treasurer in the Central Texas Legion of Family Matters Enthusiasts.
I have to wonder if this is like when the Beatles put out the White Album and it started a rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. Is it possible that Jaleel White, in an attempt to salvage his career, put out a hip hop single with some insinuations about his fondness for man-on-man loving? Can someone get me in touch with Ludicrous or Chingy so I can verify this? I used to have the Instant Messenger screennames for both, back before the incident. I don't want to get into it, but some words were said, some frowny emoticons were expressed, and then I unceremoniously removed them both from my buddy list. Hip hop impresario or not, NO ONE disses on the Dirty South in my presence. (No idea what I'm talking about here. Chingy could be a Sailor Moon character for all I know.)
I won't spread any rumors about Jaleel White's sexual preferences, but I will spread facts. What I'm thinking here is that a loyal reader of Goulash could take one for the team and attempt to seduce him. Male, female, it doesn't matter as long as there's some substantiation. If we get a volunteer, we could probably even take up a collection here on the site to get you two a room at the Days Inn. Or, at the very least, someone may lend you a tent that you could take to a camp ground. Whatever happens is between you, Steve, and a bunch of Internet pervs. Let's not all volunteer at once.
Let this entry prove that Pep Boys can take my money and my dignity, but they'll never take my zeal for living! (Unless I can use it as some sort of coupon for an oil change.) Anyway, perhaps I'm the only one who's noticed, but a certain convivial portly man is coming to town soon with a buttload of presents for me. No, not Dom De Luise; he's refused to give me jack squat since I told him that 'Baby Geniuses' sucked. Like I want another DomDeLuise.com notepad anyway.
I'm actually talking about a DIFFERENT convivial portly man, one who sneaks around your house at night, saying "Ho ho ho!" and eating cookies. No, not Boris Yeltsin, although it's comforting to hear that he does this at houses other than mine. I'm referring to the Pope of Christmastown himself, Mr. Santa J. Santaclaus, and the paegantry of December 25th. In case you don't know, December 25th is the date when, way back in the day, Santa gave birth to his first elf. As legend has it, Santa named that elf Jingle Bells. Ever since, Americans have celebrated this day by watching themed Old Navy commercials and giving each other rainbow socks with individual toes.
While it is over a month away, the holiday spirit has clawed its way into my brain, like some sort of alien parasite. I blame this entirely on the fact that I started work on my Christmas CD tonight. Sadly, this CD isn't just me with a harmonica, hollering about eggnog, backed by a jug band composed of elves. Instead, it's a Christmas music mix CD. It's always impressive how I only have to listen to three or four Christmas songs before I'm spending $100 on Ebay for a sweatshirt with a reindeer drawn in puffy paint. THAT is the magic of Christmas, and hopefully I can capture a teeny bit of said magic with my CD. I think I'm off to a good start, because I already have a song on there called "Christmas Card From a Hooker".
To Pep Boys:
You take hundreds of dollars from me, then proceed to lose my car keys. What are you guys, some sort of league of supervillains?
(Apologies, but I spent way too much time today dealing with idiotic car service people and now all I can think about is kicking people in the testicles. First up, the mechanic with the Chicken McNuggets who made everyone in the waiting room watch Will and Grace while he was taking his break. If it's all about making you comfortable, why don't you just strip down to your undies and have the customers feed you grapes? This could continue for hours.
A proper entry will come tomorrow.)
In a move that will surprise absolutely no one who's actually seen my car, my vehicle appears to be on its last legs. This morning when I went to start it, it let out a long, uneasy grumble before it came to life. Then, once it was running, it sat there grunting and huffing for a while, like a Bulgarian man trying to return a defective waffle iron. Not being much of a manly man, I immediately began to run through all of the car tips I could conjure up.
First tip I remembered: if a car is grumpy, fill it with chocolate milk. I already had the siphon out before I remembered that didn't apply to the car, but to me. Never a man to pass up a milk silphoning, I drained the whole thing myself there in the parking lot. A little girl passed by and said, "Mommy, that man scares me." I replied, "It's okay, little girl, I'm just doing some automative maintenance." Then I lapsed into a lactose-induced coma for a few hours.
Second tip I remembered: feed a tune up, starve an oil change. Again, I realized I was mistaken, but not before I had crammed my exhaust pipe full of ham sandwiches. Quickly turning lemon into lemonade, I fashioned a crude sign and began selling these charred, exhaust-laden sandwiches as "Cody's Smokehouse Barbecue" from the back of my truck. Cody's Smokehouse Barbecue: the only barbecue joint in Austin that serves a 20 page indemnifying affidavit with each special recipe. Extra pickles on request!
At this point, I capitulated my "Head Greasemonkey" title and resigned to paying out the wazoo for some professional service, as they call it. Once I was done with the hooker, I started calling mechanics. Hey o! Note to the Austin Vice Squad: just kidding about the hooker. I couldn't find a single one who knew how to flush a radiator.
Does every guy realize at some point in his life that his friends are completely terrifying, or is that just me? It's like having an eccentric relative. Growing up, he was just a beloved quirky figure, always good for a giggle or two with his wacky ways. But then one day you come home from school early to find him biting the heads off of pigeons in the backyard. Oh, you still giggle, but it's those weird, high-pitched giggles that sound vaguely like sobs. Also, you can't help but pee your pants a little. Not a good situation, and that's kinda where I was at 3 AM on Saturday.
Thankfully, I don't need friends any more since I got Halo 2. Before you laugh at how a supposedly "grown man" gets so worked up over his video games, think about if we really DID go to war with the aliens. Who do you want manning the turret on your warthog ATV: your Uncle Lester, who gets the shakes from his gout medication, or me, the guy who's spent literally hundreds of hours preparing for the situation? There's a reason the aliens won't be calling any strikes down on McNeil Drive; they've seen the high scores.
Finally, the Dallas Mavericks rule. Yes, I say that every year, and I would say it even the entire roster were filled with portly Laotian women who had no idea with regards to the mechanics of the game. I mean it this year, though. Please go ahead and get on the bandwagon. Then perhaps I can use you as a character witness when I get carried away with a misguided display of affection for Dirk Nowitz, and accidentally cut off the tip of someone's finger. It's Mavs fever; get out the Neosporin!
Have I mentioned yet that in about two months, I'll be going back to Vegas? Yes, apparently neither my money nor my dignity is precious to me, so I'm heading out west again to freely distribute them to blackjack dealers and transvestite hookers. Wait, I got that wrong so let me clarify: I won't be frequenting any transvestite hookers while out in Vegas. I am, however, expecting that I'll be forced into service as one immediately after my credit card gets cut to shreds by some bastard of a pit boss. There's just no way I'm getting around that. Luckily, as the commercials say, what happens in Vegas as a temporary tranny hooker, stays in Vegas. AM I RIGHT, FELLAS??!
Lest I get carried away, the trip to Vegas isn't all fun; I have a goal to achieve. The past few months, I've been thinking of projects on which I could collaborate with Fat Elvis. At first, I thought I could ghost write his autobiography. You get the best of both worlds then: Fat Elvis's name on the cover, and my sparkling prose on the pages. And if I got a go on that project, I would NOT shy away from the more delicate subject matter. Orgies, ganglang executions, dog fighting rings: if Fat Elvis experienced, it'd be in the book in uncomfortably graphic detail. It wouldn't all be Fat Elvis in Sunday school, if you get my drift.
But then I got to thinking that there's a little more to the Fat Elvis legend than just his life history. Yeah, let's get creative with this. If you were a superhero, wouldn't an aging, obese Elvis imitator in Vegas be the best alter ego? By day, he's Las Vegas's beloved Fat Elvis, entertaining audiences for 10 minute stretches at a time. Then, by night, the fat suit comes off and he's transformed into the criminal underground's worst freaking nightmare, the Rockabilly Renegade. The Rockabilly Renegade gyrates his enemies into paralysis, and then he stomps them to death with his blue suede shoes. Move over, Batman, Superman, and all those Pokemon guys; the Rockabilly Renegade has come to boogie woogie on your graves. (I'm thinking it'd be either be a comic book or a series of ultra-violent silhouettes.)
If anyone wants to help me turn the preceding paragraph into a PowerPoint show for Fat Elvis, please let me know. We only get one chance here, so let's try not to f it up!
Halo 2 came out yesterday and I forgot to purchase it. What's the point in being a huge dork if I can't even remember when video games come out anymore? It's certainly not for the sexy ladies on the Farscape newsgroups. I'm actually disappointed in myself over this. As a result, I have brought this up constantly today at work. Here's the conversation that I've repeated several times.
Random Coworker: Hey Cody, how's it going?
Me: Well, Halo 2 came out yesterday and I forgot to buy it.
Random Coworker: That's too bad.
Me: Yeah, I make myself want to vomit in digust. Why don't you do me a favor and just bludgeon me to death with the fax machine?
Random Coworker: Hey, I think my phone is ringing.
Me: Doesn't sound like it...
Random Coworker: I better go check, it's tricky like that!
In order to redeem myself, I will now disclose that I've been working on another site lately that's so dorky, it makes Goulash look like Soul Train. It's called the vlog and it's all about programming. If that's not enough to regain my geek stripes, then from now on, I'm aligning myself with the hip hop community. If you see a dude who won't stop screaming about his X Box and happens to possess lots of gold teeth and an alarm clock around his neck, please don't call him Cody. Instead, call him Gravy Boat 69. That's my rap name.
I feel compelled to write about my Junior High experiences today. I'll share one story, and then go back to refusing to acknowledge the entire period.
In 9th grade for Biology, all of the students had to make a bug collection. It was a huge deal (we had to turn in around 50 insects), and we were supposed to work on it for the entire year. As one might predict, most of us didn't begin work until the week before this was due; in our defense, we had more important things to be doing, like hyperventilating over the opposite sex. Anyway, this major panic ran through the class, as people began to realize there was no freaking way they could finish this assignment on time. Some enterprising 14 year old then discovered there was a shop in town that actually sold insects for collections like this. Within a day, everyone in the entire class knew about it. The teacher warned us that if you bought your bugs, you'd fail. Almost everyone purchased them anyway. As a result, everybody possessed these immaculate collections when it came time to turn them in. Everybody but me, that is.
For some unknown reason, I had actually been working on my bug collection that entire year; trust me, it's not like I planned ahead. Instead, my mom knew about the project. Once a week, she'd yell at me until I took a coffee can and a flashlight out into the backyard, where I'd stumble around in the dark, wading through mounds of dog crap, looking for insects. By the end of the year, my collection wasn't impressive (I had less than half of the bugs, and most of them were duplicates). Nevertheless, I had so much frustration invested into it, I was determined to finish the damn thing. So, the week before the collection was due, I kicked it into overdrive, spending hours and hours all over my neighborhood. For a week, I lived like a homeless guy, spending all of my time by sewers and dumpsters. Unlike a homeless guy, I wasn't peeing into jars and huffing glue out there; I was engaging in SCIENCE!
By the end of the project, I just didn't care anymore. Short of insects, I started putting spiders and pieces of lint in there. Also, since I had spent all of my time searching for bugs, I didn't have much time to prepare the collection. We were supposed to make these elaborate displays for the bugs, but I instead opted for a plastic box and a sheet of styrofoam. In addition to that, we had to use these special insect pins to pin the insects to the display, but since I did all of this at the last minute, I had to use regular straight pins from my mom's sewing rooms. Those straight pins were much, much bigger than the pins we had been told to use. As a result, whenever I tried to pin a bug, it feel to pieces. Whatever, I just wanted to finish.
When I finally got it to class and I compared it to my classmates', I began to make preparations for repeating the 9th grade. Their collections were perfect. They had these fancy finished boards with velvet inlays. Inside of them, all of their bugs were pinned and labeled perfectly. In contrast, mine was full of random bug pieces and made up names. I was tempted to say that I had a fancy collection when I left for school that day, but I'd been accosted by a group of Satan-worshipping, entymology haters who insisted on trading my awesome collection for their completely retarded one. Instead, I took the man's way out, weeping uncontrollably and peeing in the corner of the room.
We got our grades back shortly thereafter. All around me, my classmates joined in an uproar. Apparently, they had done very, very poorly on the assignment. "Sweet Jesus," I thought, "if they didn't get good grades for their crap, I'm going to be sentenced to the gulag for mine." Instead, I got something like a 125% on my assignment. Was this a mean-spirited practical joke? Had the teacher been drinking again? Were my teachers ordered to be nice to me because I had cancer? I wanted answers. After class, I asked her why I did so much better than everyone else in class. She began to laugh, and said, "There is no way you bought something like that." In retrospect, that's probably not a compliment.
As I said yesterday, I reached an important culinary milestone this weekend: I made gravy. For those of you unfamiliar with the complexity of gravy creation, let me state that it is difficult. You know how people are always saying "Well, it's not exactly rocket science..." with regards to easy actions? Well, the original saying was "Well, it's not exactly making gravy..." but people had to change to the easier discipline of rocket science because gravy is so hard to make, it's almost mythological. It'd be like saying "Well, it's not exactly like stalking and killing a unicorn with an arrow made from the teeth of the Cyclops..." Such a line would go over well back on Mount Olympus, but not at Arby's.
Not only that, but I am an incompetent cook. Whenever I make a sandwich, I have to dial 911 first because the odds are good that I'll need my stomach pumped later on. The CIA heard of my accidental poisoning prowess and tried to recruit me, thinking I was an assassin. I told them no, that I'd only use my lack of skill for the powers of good. Shortly thereafter, I started up a very lucrative business as an exterminator. I'd bake a plate of cookies, put it in the middle of the kitchen floor, and then come back 15 minutes later to find everything in the house dead. I had to stop after a while, because the cookies were so potent, they'd eat through the floor and contaminate any aquifers in the ground below. Much like King Midas, everything I touch in the kitchen turns into a biscuit of death.
Combining difficulty plus ineptitude, I have no idea how the gravy got made. Maybe it was like one of those life-or-death situations, where the adrenaline kicks in and suddenly you can throw a Sherman tank through a wall. Or maybe it was one of those 1,000,000 monkeys at a 1,000,000 typewriters things, where idiots have tried for ages to make gravy and I succeeded out of plain luck. More likely, the recipe I had was for jello and through my own astounding inability to follow directions, I came up with something that tastes good mashed potatoes. It's probably best I don't analyze this one too much.
Man, I'm too tired tonight to do an entry. The weariness is understandable, since I spent all weekend making gravy. No, 'making gravy' has nothing to do with poo poo or a tawdry sex act. However, much like a tawdry sex act, it involved a whisk and some fried chicken drippings, and my hands were covered in grease burns at the end. More info tomorrow.
Evening is upon us and I haven't even thought about Goulash all day. Don't get in a huff, fair reader; that's not normal. Normally, I spend all day at work in a stall in the bathroom, writing that day's entry out on toilet paper. Whenever someone else enters the bathroom, I cover my tracks by yelling out, "Maaaan, I gotta poop!" I then fake that act until the person leaves, at which point I begin writing again. It's a pretty sophisticated act of trickery, and it'd be perfect if it weren't for the fact that I'm now known as the programmer guy with the spastic colon. I can live with this.
Actually, that's not what I do at all. Usually, I come up with the 'lash on my lunch break each day. That didn't happen today, though, because I went right home at lunch and picked up my X Box controller. I didn't even make a sandwich; I just sat down and started playing, cursing, and shaking my fist. You see, I had a score to settle with the Miami Dolphins.
In case you need any more evidence that I'm not a well adjusted adult, I take my Madden 05 franchise way too seriously. Last night, in the course of my latest NFL season, the Dolphins kept beating, in increasingly ludicrous fashion, my beloved Dallas Cowboys. Now I'm not one of those sorry suckers who can't take a loss. If anything, I'm the complete opposite, since losing is like second nature with me, even with video games. But not losing like this, where the computer just flukes the crap out of me. In the first game, I was right about to score the game-winning touchdown when suddenly, my player fumbled on the 1 yard line. The Dolphins recovered, and their 3rd string quarterback threw a 98 yard touchdown on the next play. "Hmm, that wasn't fair," I thought. So, I played it again. This time, I was ahead when my quarterback accidentally threw the ball at his own head, thus killing himself. His headless corpse then scooped up the ball and scored a touchdown for the other team. I screamed at the heavens, "Madden, you will pay!" Repeat that scene until bedtime, and you'll get an accurate representation of the frustration I was dealing with.
Today at lunch, I took all of this fury out on the X Box. No matter how crazy it got, I was determined to stick with it and triumph. I fought off random interceptions, punt return touchdowns, and random cougar attacks until I reached the brink of victory. Ahh, it tasted sweet upon my lips. And then... and then... well, I don't want to talk about what happened next. Those of us who were there will understand completely when I start babbling something on my deathbed about that goddamn Junior Seau. Unable to take it anymore, I quit the game and just let the stupid computer simulate it the rest for me. Apparently, the Cowboys won that time. I didn't stay to watch; I was out in the yard, burning an effigy of John Madden.
Wow, the election is over, and some people are really, really pissed off. If it's any consolation, you people would be even more pissed off if my candidate had won, since his first act of business would've been to blow up the UN and then mandate homosexual marriage for everyone. Be thankful that certain idiots like myself only get one vote, and that these certain idiots usually negate their votes by trying to eat the ballot. Can I finally stop posting about the election now? For the last few weeks, I've felt like someone who, long ago, was commissioned to serve as Jaleel White's personal assistant, and was then forced to stick around way after the glory days of Family Matters had passed.
Man, it's been cold the past few days. It reminds me of my youth, growing up on the tunda, with nothing to protect me from the brutal winter air but a parka made from caribou fur. Ahh, we were simple Eskimos then, united only by our love of whale blubber and our hatred for timberwolves. Wouldn't it be cool if an Eskimo read this, realized what an idiot I am, and sent me a lengthy response about how, in actuality, Eskimos love timberwolves and frequently marry them in misguided displays of affection? Through the power of the Internet, that stuff happens. I can't imagine something like that occurring long ago, unless I got kicked off a sea voyage in Alaska for tiring of sea chanties. Then, I could get adopted by the Eskimos, who'd teach me their ways before also kicking me out because I got tired of Inuit chanties. It's the circle of life, baby.
Lest I forget to mention it, basketball season started last night and I've already contracted a lethal case of Dallas Mavericks fever. Along with the usual gang of misfits, the Mavs added the world's largest Russian (who looks like a giant Bronson Pinchot) and an enormous African guy named Didier Ilunga-Mbenga (who, sadly, does not look like a giant Mark Linn Baker). I'd hate to be the translator involved when those guys start bitching to each other about their pituitary glands. Yeeow, look out!
We've got a successful voter in Austin, TX, and his initials CWMP! Hollllla!! The election officials for Williamson County didn't make it easy for me, though. My plan, hatched several months ago, revolved around voting against the incumbent in each race; political scientists may call it the "Keep those a-holes on their toes" school of voting. However, that idea exploded spectacularly today when I received my ballot and saw that the incumbents weren't notated on there. Uhhh, earth to Williamson County, your ballot isn't very accomodating to those of us with crazy voting schemes! (I smell a lawsuit there somewhere.) I did not allow this setback to impede my rocking of the vote, though.
My plan scuttled, I did the only sensible action: I started whispering to the people in the other booths, asking them who was on the Court of Appeals.
"What? Stop bothering me! I'll tell the poll worker if you don't leave me alone," they'd implore.
"No, you don't understand," I'd plead, "I just want to know who to vote against. Help me, or I'll follow you home!"
Ultimately, I found little success with that strategy. Not only were my fellow voters amazingly ill-informed regarding the races, but my research efforts received little sympathy with the election workers. The supervisors made it clear that if I didn't shape up, I could kiss my "I Voted" sticker goodbye. I realized then that if they took that sticker away, I'd have a hard time rubbing my electoral participation in the faces of felons, illegal aliens, and children. "But I live to ridicule those groups," I thought. Suddenly, I was filled with resolve, and I quickly got down to the tricky business of crazy voting.
I'm almost completely certain now that I managed to succeed in my original strategy of voting against the incumbents. I did this by avoiding lots of races, and voting soley for third party candidates, figuring all of them were too crazy to currently hold office. In the event I was wrong, or my vote accidentally installed some sort of maniac into office, I will not hesitate to place the blame on those responsible; Williamson County ballot creators, how the hell do you people live with yourselves?
In true to form fashion, I have delayed voting until the day of the election. My designated polling center is the retirement home across from the street from my apartment. If I must wait several hours to vote, I'm glad I get to spend the time in the most enjoyable environment possible, a nursing home. I already made myself a t-shirt that says, "Silence your ventilators and your anguished moaning, I'm here to select a railroad commissioner!" At least I'll finally have a good reason for showing up to work covered in bed sores and pumped full of some old lady's thyroid medication.
This is my first election while living in Austin. So far, it seems a lot different from all of the others, namely that people here appear to care a whole lot about all of the races, even the minor ones. Austinites are so riled up, they air mud-slinging commercials for the State House of Representatives candidates. To emphasize how unusual this is, I didn't even know Texas had a state House. In my defense, how can I be expected to keep up with these things when the assembly only meets twice a year at a Wendy's? I look forward to witnessing something magical tomorrow afteroon when we combine the vehemence of this electoral passion with bewildered senior citizens.
I have one last point regarding all of this, which will almost certainly go unnoticed. The election tomorrow certainly carries a lot of significance, but we shouldn't allow its results to obscure more important things. Most of us are probably aware of this, but I didn't realize it until yesterday when I found out that someone close to me unexpectedly lost a parent. Events like that put all of the petty squabbling into perspective for me. Whatever happens tomorrow, we'll have a chance to change in the near future; that isn't so with some happenings. Tomorrow's just an election, and I hope we can treat it as such. Regardless of who wins, we'll all make fun of the winner for the next four years anyway.