I have to brag a little bit here: I get to attend a Tori Amos show on Friday. Awwww jeah! Okay, I must brag even more: this won't be my first Tori show, but my second. Yes, you read that correctly; I will soon have seen multiple Tori Amos shows. Don't be fooled, this hasn't happened on accident. I check the concert listings everyday to see if Tori will be here. If not, I close the door to my office, crank up Under the Pink, and proceed to sob mightily. I deserve nice things! I deserve my Tori!
Ha ha, of course that's not true. Well, the part about the two concerts is true along with the parts about sobbing to Under the Pink, but I'm certainly not seeking these Tori opportunities out. Nope, in both occasions, Laura has forced me. I am tempted to call her a succubus because of this, but then I remember she has to be seen in public AND share a living space with me, so she'd be well within her rights to force me into service as a Tori Amos roadie. (If they let me pick, I'd be in charge of tuning the harpsichord.)
It's Tori Amos on Friday, and then to prevent any awkward grappling with my feminine side for the rest of the weekend, I have my fantasy football draft on Sunday. In fact, I may have to bring my draft sheet to the show just to keep myself in line. Whenever I'm tempted to join hands with the people around me and sing my freaking heart out, I'll take a look at it and say, "Boy, I really should move Mark Bulger up the list." There's a place for listening to Tori while tears stream down your face, and that place is not in public with Tori Amos maniacs. No, that place is in your office with your door closed.
First of all, I'd like to extend my condolences to everyone affected by the hurricane. Hurricanes are nasty customers. I've never been in one, or even near one, but I suspect I wouldn't handle it very well. First, I love canned food like Vienna Sausages. I'd eat the emergency rations the first afternoon, thus forcing everyone to go hungry until HEB reopened. Also, do you really want to be stuck in a small space with a guy who's been eating canned meat all day long? Second, I hate warm beverages, so I'd probably expose myself to great danger trying to find soem ice. Third, people would get tired of me asking if anyone wants to play 20 Questions.
The only natural disaster I've been involved in is a flood. San Antonio floods regularly, but it was particularly bad a few years ago while I was in college. In fact, it was bad enough that the mayor came on TV asking all employers to let their employees go home for the day. To be honest, I didn't think the flood was that scary. It's pretty easy to thwart a flood; you just walk uphill. Whenever I felt threatened by the waters, I found a jungle gym to hang off of for a few hours. Threat neutralized.
A hurricane is way worse, in that you can't really avoid it and it lasts for a long time. The only other disaster I can recall with similar characteristics is a plague of locusts. I'm glad these disasters aren't sentient, otherwise the hurricane and the plague of locusts could join up and destroy civilization as we know it. I want nothing to do with a Locucane/Hurricust. Do I have an ending here? Not really, except that if you ever see a locust, I recommend killing it, especially if it's reading this website. If the ideas contained in this last paragraph start spreading amongst the locusts, I don't like our chances.
I was at the beach this weekend. The last two times I have been to the beach, a hurricane has struck shortly thereafter. What I'm wondering is, what kind of abusive relationship do I have with the ocean? Does it like my presence so much that whenever I leave, it just goes completely insane and trashes its room like a petulant teenager? Or does it hate me so much, it throws a major kegger whenever I leave? I guess it all depends on how the ocean feels towards people peeing in it.
Since I am an idiot, I forgot to bring my bathing suit on this trip. Actually, that was kind of fortunate, since the seat of my previous suit was stained brown from too many tubing trips. It looked like I had a permanent case of poopy pants. What life guard would want to save me if he thought I soiled myself? He'd look at me flailing away, then he'd see my shorts and say, "Forget it; this guy's a goner."
So, I had to buy a new bathing suit. My goal was to buy the cheapest suit that Wal-Mart had. Wal-Mart has a lot of cheap suits, but the cheapest was an neon orange and bright blue number that looked like something from the "Aquatic Rodeo Clowns" collection. Right after I bought that, I knew my days of beach crimes were over. There's just no way I could get away with anything, not wearing that thing. Even at midnight on a night with no moon, some dude on an oil tanker would see me out there in my suit, trying to take the life guard chair, and think I was some kind of lighthouse. They'd interrupt my gyrations as signals, and end up crashing into some ice berg. Blame me? Blame Wal-Mart!
Forgive me if I make this brief. I'm not sure how safe it is for me to poke my head up right now, let alone post on this site. In case you haven't read it or heard about it yet, earlier this week, the evangelist Pat Robertson urged the US Government to assassinate me. Here's a brief transcript.
You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need to continue spending hundreds per year to pave roads for him and pick up his trash and recyclables. His website's dumb, he dresses like a five year old, and he never stops for yellow lights. I say we take him out while we have the chance.
First of all, I'm not sure why he insists that I believe the government is trying to assassinate me. I've accused many people of trying to kill me: my neighbors, my coworkers, the receptionist at the vet's office, Jaleel White and his lawyers. I've never included the government in these charges, though. If anything, I'm an enthusiastic proponent of the government taking other people out; for reference, see the letters I wrote to the State Department about my neighbors, my coworkers, the receptionst at the vet's office, and Jaleel White and his lawyers.
And why single me out, like I'm dead weight on society? Unlike certain pastors whose income is tax-free, I foot the bill for all kinds of government crap. I'm a single man who doesn't own a house and can't afford an accountant; without guys like me, the White House A/C would be set at 85. I won't even dignify the comment about dressing like a five year old, except to say I don't know many five year olds who can match a pair of Hammer pants to a scarf like I can.
In conclusion, if you are one of those special forces guys and you happened to hear Mr. Robertson's appeal, I ask you to please refrain from assassinating me; this plea also applies to any hitmen hired by Pat Robertson. I have learned the hard way that, no matter what you may think, Pat Robertson does not appreciate a good Redd Foxx impression. Nevertheless, a call for my assassination is a little overboard. Such pleas do not belong on television, Mr. Robertson; they belong on websites. Someone set up a Xanga for this guy, and do it quick.
Woo boy, nothing revvs like the engine like a day full of meetings at work. If you ever want to hold a meeting and watch it go drastically awry, ask me to lead it. Just trust me on this one. Explain to your boss that there's this guy in Austin whose website you read, and you really think he has what it takes to chair your meeting. Then, you fly me in (note: I don't do coach, it's business class or bust), you bring me into the meeting room and close the door. Ten minutes later, I guarantee you, someone will run out in tears. This person will be screaming something at everyone in the meeting room. It'll either be, "I hate you! I hate you all! My astrologer was right about my work situation," or "All of yo' asses are dead! Do you hear me?! I'm killing yo' asses dead!"
That is why, if I'm ever told at work that I have to hold a meeting about something, I only invite myself and the guy who refills the water jug. He only comes in once a week; I can handle a grudge coming from him. My regular coworkers? No way. I spend 40+ a week with them; their opportunities to poison me are virtually limitless. While the meeting may be relevant to their line of work, my track record shows no good can come of their attendance. So, if a coworker ever asks me about a meeting I'm having, I just tell them to ask the water jug guy for the agenda.
Wouldn't you know it, today I elected to veer from my previously successful path of collaboration with the water guy. As one might expect, our meetings had some rocky parts. Afterwards, I was in the breakroom buying some cheese and crackers, and one of the meeting attendees was in there, rinsing the salt from his eyes (a design discussion got out of hand, let's leave it at that). I began to go over and say something when I noticed a note on the water jug. It read, "Why didn't you call me? I'm killing yo' ass dead. Signed, the Water Jug Guy." Mea cupla.
Woooooooooooo, let's hear it for workplace productivity! This time, I'm not talking about my unfortunate habit of napping in the toilet stall in the men's room, but ACTUAL workplace productivity. I've been working on something for nearly six months at work (with others) and we just finished it up today. It's sweet, that feeling of accomplishment. Not quite as sweet as when I set the Travis County record for greatest number of vitamins consumed without vomiting, but what is? It's still pretty sweet. If you happen to see me around town, please stuff my pockets with cash as your way of saying thanks. If you happen to see me around town and I'm not wearing pants, please call my parents and then buy me some pants.
What else? A certain internet no-goodnik and furry fetishist continues to stir me up with his idiotic notion of a poetry war. Lybrand, you couldn't rhyme your way out of fat camp. At the same time, you couldn't rhyme your way IN to a leper colony. What I am saying is: you suck. And just to emphasize, here is a poem.
Look at that big, stanky butt on Lybrand
Wiggling it to and fro as he grandstands
Singing a ditty
To a cat he finds pretty
While getting inappropriate with a man's hand.
Good Lord, I disturbed myself with that one.
It's August, I'm in Texas, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to burst into flames the next time I leave my house. Don't misunderstand; I like both summer and warm weather. I also like Haiwaiian Punch. However, if every time I went from indoors to outdoors, someone dumped a bucket of Haiwaiian Punch on me, I'd begin to get a little frustrated. And if they did this for like 4 months straight, I'd probably start travelling with a dart gun. Unfortunately, I have not yet found way to hurl my poison darts at the sun. This is not to say I'm done experimenting with that idea, though.
Okay, so it's hot here and summer lasts for a long time. Everyone in Texas knows this, and it's why Santa Claus gave us air conditioning. Still, I just think that after several thousand years of hot-ass summers, we could use a rest. Even the Beatles broke up after a few years, and look how big they were. You know, I propose the climate of Texas does the same. Hopefully summer could pull a Lennon, thus marrying some crazy Japanese woman, starting up a wildly inconsistent solo career (although the good stuff was so very good), and get gunned down by a madman somewhere in NYC. Please let this be the case. I'm willing to let Spring play McCartney if someone can just guarantee the Lennonization of summer.
Since I'm rambling incoherently about the seasons, I have one more point: Winter gets assigned a character in Old Man Winter, but none of the other seasons are so honored. To me, this is incredibly unfair. Starting now, Spring should be referred to as Crazy Uncle Spring. Summer could be referred to as Rudy the Summer Parakeet. If you wanted to remark on a particularly brutal summer day, you could say, "Boy, that parakeet sure is a-flappin', isn't it?" What character would Fall get? Hmm, let's go with Sheila, the Autumnal Lesbian.
In case anyone thinks I'll start taking this site seriously now that I've hit entry #501, Will challenged me to a poetry fight. I'm not sure how these things work exactly, but I imagine it's just a lot of slanderous stuff that rhymes. As anyone who's heard my quintet of bawdy limericks about Ving Rhames can attest, I'm pretty good at this kind of stuff. Your goat is mine, Lybrand. Round one, fiiiight:
What do you say to a man who tickles you in your sleep?
And watches Japanese porn at night until he begins to weep?
Keep your chin up, Will
You may soon find a Jill
Who could go for an incontinent, kleptomaniac creep.
Booooooya! You got served, and served good. Speaking of limericks, I once wrote a limerick for Laura that was pretty good. Observe:
There once was a girl named Laura
Who spent most of her time with the Torah
She went to a seder
Pulled out a tater
And yelled out, "Papas ahora!"
Unfortunately, the very nature of battle poetry keeps me from presenting such sentimental thoughts. I must go directly for Will's jugular before he goes for mine. When I have crushed him, then I will recite a beautiful funeral oration entirely in haiku form. We've got to get to the funeral before I can start making the poetry niceys, though.
Hey-o, this marks my 500th entry on Goulash! Let's say I spend 25 minutes and write 300 words for each entry; that totals out to 12,500 minutes (a little over 200 hours) and 150,000 words I've spent on this site. Boy, I don't find those numbers depressing in the slightest!
It's been a wild ride, though. I remember when we first started. You, still in training pants, and me, learning the hard way not to eat shaving cream. We've come a long way since, now that you've given up on bladder control entirely and I've moved to my gravy-only diet. Good times, good times: lots of words, plenty of readers, and tons more yarns, aching to be let free in this space. Go me, go you, go Goulash!
We continue our march towards 1000 on Sunday.
I hate to be like this, but you weinerbiscuits in the Goulash Mix CD Challenge BETTER GET TO RESPONDING! So far, I've received a paltry four responses, one of which started with a marching band (but really picked up after that) and one of which came from someone who didn't even get a CD in the first place. That's a pretty lame response rate. You people must think the Goulash Mix CD Challenge is one of those things you can promise the world to and the neglect completely, like the trombone in your closet or your mail order bride. That ain't happening. The Goulash Mix CD Challenge has teeth, and it'll sink them into you if you don't play by the rules.
(Of course, I'm still not done sending out the CDs. Stephen Fay, if I didn't hate the post office so much, I would've sent yours like a week ago. If you want, until the CD is in your hands, I'll come to your house and sing you to sleep. Or you could just wait for me to send it. Let us hope you choose wisely.)
(And exactly what teeth was I discussing previously? Well, I have the addresses of those who haven't responded AND I have pets who are virtual poop machines. I also have envelopes. Don't make me put those elements together, because you know I will.)
If you've already sent it, you're cool. If you've already sent it, I've already received it, and I accidentally set it on fire during a recent bout of night terrors, you're even cooler. And if you haven't sent it because you've been too busy dipping bars of gold into a deep fryer and then trying to eat the result, then you're pretty much the Fonz.
Evolution is a sham. Sure, Darwin and his successors were all smart dudes and ladies, but I am here to tell them that their intellectual legacy is chockfull of manure. Why can I state this with such confidence? It is because on nearly every civilized person in the world, there is a glaring instance where evolution should've stepped in already. Want to know it is? Bend over. Take off your shoes. Stare down at those white/black/tan/mauve bastards covering your feet and toes. Until someone can convince me otherwise, I assert that the prevalence of socks on feet totally and completely annihilates the concept of natural selection.
Think of all of the trauma caused to us by socks. They stink; they're hard to match; old people probably pass out trying to put them on. In a just and efficient world where humans were truly advanced due to natural selection, we'd all already have sock-feet. We'd call them 'Sockies'. They'd be big and furry, kind of like hobbit feet, and the fur would change colors according to the color of our pants. What if we were pantsless? That's easy; our sockies would change colors according to our mood.
I am 100% certain that at some point throughout the course of human history, someone has been born with Sockies. Some freak mutation caused it, I'd guess, and the living was sweet. Forget about a sock budget and the nights of frustration trying to match errant pairs up; Sockies had that dude covered. He moved from casual to formal to rural settings with the greatest of ease. It was such a good deal, people began to mate with Sockfeet Man so that their children would be blessed with the gift of Sockies. But guess what? Either because natural selection is flim-flam OR because Darwin conveniently forgot to mention the Sockies exception in the whole theory, Sockfeet Man's legacy died out. Sockies went the way of parachute pants and Delta Burke's acting career.
We must take a stand. If we ever want to remove the tube socked nightmare that is our undies drawer, we must write to our scientists and national leaders. We must tell them, "We're not mad about the whole evolution thing. It was impolite of you to mislead us, but you have a chance to correct this: starting right now, direct all of your efforts towards a medication/surgery/Christmas Carol that will bring the Sockies dream to the uneducated masses. We don't request this; we demand it."
To make a long story short, I spent the night matching socks and drinking detergent. Things got a little weird, but I believe I'm thinking with a brand-new clarity.
I say it once a week and I'm going to say it again now, with only the slightest hint of urgency in my voice: the official chariot of Goulash is on its last legs. See, it's been on its last legs for so long now, no one believes me when I say this. They just assume that either Pepe will cart me for generations to come, until cataracts have blinded me and prostate woes have forced me into installing some sort of toilet bench in the front seat, OR that both Pepe and I are going out in a tremendous fireball later tonight in the parking lot of Wendy's. Due to my sincere aversion to both fireballs and Wendy's, I know which one I'm rooting for.
Fortunately, the state of my truck makes the new car buying process a simple one. I'm not exactly losing hundreds of dollars in trade-in value with each week that I don't unload the truck. Every month, I get out an Excel spreadsheet and calculate what it costs to drive Pepe vs. what it'd cost for a new car. This month, we're looking at something like $1.50 vs. $400. At some point, I'm going to have to start calculating the depreciation in coupons or some hyper-inflated South American currency.
Eventually, it's going to happen: Pepe will give out. And then, I'll have to take him to some dealership and engage in a very painful conversation. "That's my truck out there," I'll say. "I'd like to know what I can get for that." Some greasy dealer guy with a perm will take a look at it and say, "Well, I don't really have the authority to make this kind of deal, but I'll trade you that box of donuts straight up for the keys." With tears in my eyes, I'll whimper, "What about sprinkles?"
Thursday. Thursday. Thurrrrrrsday. Thursday entries are difficult because I've got to put this baby to bed for the weekend. I've got to tuck it in, rub its belly, and see that it's got enough Fruit Roll-Ups so it won't starve to death before Sunday. Luckily, I'm largely considered an expert in all three of those activities, especially belly rubbing. If there's a guy you want to be with in a hostage situation, it's me. I'd just wait for the kidnappers to look away for a second, then I'd sidle up next to that belly and go to town. Whose fingers will he be cutting off to send to the police? Hint: not ours.
Here's a little quibble I've been saving for a while now. It frustrates me when I go into a restaurant and the waiter asks me if I've been there before. If I haven't, I tell them no and they proceed to inform me about the most basic tenets of restaurant operation. "Here, you folks have to choose your food off of a menu. They're made out of paper and you're not supposed to eat them. Once you pick your food, you tell me and I give that order to the cooks in the back. Unlike a few other joints in town that shall go nameless, our food is cooked with heat. Once that's done, I bring the food out, you eat it USING YOUR SILVERWARE. When you're done, I'll badger you about dessert and then demand money. Sound easy enough?"
In my mind, the only place that has the right to ask me that question is Medieval Times. You see, it's both dinner and tournament, so there's a great potential for confusion. Also, you eat with your hands. A place like that is gray space galore, so it's only fitting to demand answers. But Bennigan's? Come on, man. Zip it and cart out some jalapeno poppers. Unless there's a gimmick, leave me out of these conversations. And then, when I start using the curtains to wipe my mouth and I'm running around the place in a big diaper, you'll have only yourself to blame.
Oil is currently at all-time high, and the price of gold keeps rising. As an inidivdual who relies on a donkey for transporation AND keeps his money in rolls of nickels, none of this concerns me. I let those chumps who haven't gone off the grid worry about those trifles, and worry they do; it's hard to leave my adobe without hearing some lady in jean shorts talking about the price of gas. For a long time, I gloated over the fact that none of this affected me. Oh, I was insufferable about it, going so far as to wear a sandwich board around my neck that read, "Unlike you chumps, the gub'ment don't keep my money. Ask me how." I thought I had it all figured out, until it all came crumbling down this weekend. Unlike oil and gold, the price of something important has risen: underwear.
Every year, right before school starts, there's a tax-free weekend here in Texas where you can go and buy clothes without having to pay sales tax. Running a little low in the undies dep't, I checked it out this past weekend. Even though the bags of undies weren't marked, I threw caution to the wind and bought a 4-pack. Heck, with the money I was saving from sales tax, I could've purchased a 4-billion pack, or so I figured.
When I went to check out, the cashier told the cost of my items. "That's not right," I said, "I'm only buying 4 pairs of underwear." She scanned it again, and woe unto me, the price was right: $14.00.
Since most of the people reading this have already seen my underwear, I don't really need to state this but I will anyway: I don't wear lavish undergarments. If they sold Ziploc bags with legholes in them, I'd wear them with pride. They don't, so I just buy regular man panties. They do the trick, but $3.50 a pair? It seems like if I'm paying that much, they should be worn on the outside of my pants like a codpiece. The only downside of this plan is that I'd still have to wear underwear inside of my pants, thus bringing the total number of pairs on my body to two. I can't wear two pairs of underwear at the same time with a good conscience; it's just too decadent.
I went ahead and forked over my dough like a chump, but I am determined to have the last laugh. Should my new, expensive underwear malfunction over the next few years, I am sending them back to Hanes and the postage will most definitely be due on receipt. Accompanying them will be a note: "I paid good money for these and you made me look like a fool. For this, I will no longer be buying your undies. In fact, I won't be buying any other brand either; I'll be making my own. To cushion my feelings and help a brother out, please repair the pairs I've sent so I may study the design for my line of Powell Homebrew Undies." Underwear kingpin or not, no one makes a fool of Cody Powell.
Some of my coworkers are having a weight-loss contest that spans the next couple of months. First prize is some big money. While I'm a huge fan of office-place contests (see Pie Baking Contest and Chili Cook Off), I did not enter. It's not like it slipped my mind; I am not entering on purpose. I ruminated on it for a long time and came close to paying the entry fee, but ultimately, my personal beliefs keep me from doing so. We're paying people to lose weight here, while we're paying people to gain weight in sub-Saharan Africa. It's an earth-wide game of Fatsos vs. Skinny Minnies with the grand prize of beaucoup bucks, and I refuse to take sides.
I refuse to take sides because there is a clear solution to the problem. All we have to do is ship Team Fatsos to sub-Saharan Africa, and ship Team Skinny Minnies here to NW Austin. Their weights would even out in no time. Not only that, but suddenly Africa would be crawling with white-collar office workers. Imagine you're a simple bushman out in Nigeria, and one day, your tribal color copier goes down. Who can you ask for help? Well, with this plan, they'd only have to look for the portly white people. Want to talk about copays? Bam, you're set.
Those of us who aren't part of the Body Fat Exchange Program would get something out of it also. Imagine that one day you go into work, and Paul, the fatso from accounting who makes your day a living hell, isn't in his office. Instead, the office is filled with oxen. "Whose are these?" you ask, and one of your coworkers tells you, "They're Mr. Mugobanjo's, Bob's replacement. He said he'll give us rides on them later." All of a sudden, you're too busy learning how to skin a panther from the guy to get frustrated about your job. The Body Fat Exchange Program is the ultimate win-win. I don't have any resources/plan for implementing this, but I except it'll come along anyway. You see, most of us really, really want to learn to skin a panther.
Memo to Wimbledon: no need to start engraving my name on any trophies.
At lunch today, I went and played some tennis with a friend from work. He played at a Division I school in college, so I was looking forward to a spirited encounter. It was spirited, but I don't know if it was an encounter. An encounter typically has two parties; I was so drubbed so thoroughly, I'm not sure if I counted. We definitely had encounters at the water dispenser, where I pull more than my weight. Also, we had an encounter on the way there, where I was fiddling with the air conditioner and talking about shampoo. But out on the court? Not so much, no. The man could've placed a bowl of mashed potatoes on my side of the court and entered into as many rallies as he got from me.
Ten years ago, I would've been very discouraged by that. No matter how absurd they were, I had these delusions where I could turn pro in anything. While I didn't admit it out loud, I prepared myself for the possibility that I'd be the world's first professional baseball/tennis/indy car racer. How would I balance that with my duties as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court? Why, I'd just have to excel at time management as well! One of the good things about getting older is that these bizarre, unrealistic fantasies slowly fall by the way side. The even better part is that they fall away silently, subsumed by goals that someone besides Buckaroo Banzai could accomplish.
Okay, I'll never be the best tennis player in the state. There are, however, many things I could be the best in the state at. One example: posting to this website. By my last count, I have roughly 500 more posts here than anyone else in the state. Heck, we could expand that to the everyone who's ever lived and I'm STILL numero uno. That's a nice notch on the belt to have. What else is there? Well, I've never met anyone who could beat me at Virtua Tennis for PS2 OR who could make better sweet tea. Someone who could beat me at both? Forget about it; only an army of mad scientists could produce a force so potent. I get older and I get better, but not always in the ways I expect. It's good to keep these things in mind.
Soooo, the weekend was a success. Any weekend where I don't burn the house down counts as a success. By that criteria, I have many successful weekends, but the unsuccessful ones really take a toll on the ol' wallet. But this one was an actual success, in that I saw a movie (Murderball: good), went down the river (Guadalupe: also good), and ate some macaroni and cheese (Velveeta: hard to beat). Sadly, I wasn't doing all three at once. If you ever do catch me doing these actions simulateously, you'll know that the Make A Wish Foundation was prominently involved. To coordinate something that beautiful, it takes some dollars. It would also require a floating, water-proof cheese box, an idea so glorious, it'd rend the universe apart. In light of that, maybe it's good I didn't do all of them at once. Allow me to dream, though; allow me to dream.
Oy! I recently had to take my cat into the vet. She's not sick or anything, I just wanted to get her fitted for a glass eye. Not a regular glass eye, but one that looks just like one of those Magic 8 Balls. You'd say to the cat, "Octopussy, will I ever get over Billy Dee Williams?" Then she'd look you right in the eye and you'd see it: Outlook not favorable. I'm a big fan of souping up pets.
In order to take the cat in, I needed some form of pet carrier. Last Christmas, being the benevolent Santa Claus-type I am, I bestowed upon Octopussy one of those fancy plastic pet carriers. It was a pretty nice deal, so nice that I wrote in to the manufacturer asking if they had a version for humans. As nice and valued as it was, I hadn't seen it since I moved roughly a month and a half ago. I had a good idea where it was, but the search proved to be fruitless. I expanded the search to the rest of the house, and still I turned up no kitty carrier. With the appointment looming, I opted to go for Plan B.
I went out into the garage to look at our cardboard boxes. The bounty there was overwhelming (see recent move), and I had to engage in a brief debate on which box was more appropriate, the one for the subwoofer or the one for the breadmaker. Before I could make my decision, I saw something stowed high on a shelf; suddenly, my decision was made. It was a picnic basket. I quickly enumerated its benefits: it had handles for carrying, plenty of holes for breathing, and easy access to the storage area. Also, it made the entire ordeal feel a little more pleasant, as if I were heading to the park to eat some sandwiches and cantaloupe. However, instead of pulling out bologna on rye, I'd be unleashing a one-eyed cat with a weight problem. I counted that as a technicality.
Then, as I reached up for the basket, I spied the actual carrier. As tempted as I was to use the picnic basket anyway, I knew I had to err on the side of dignity here. My cat has it rough enough to begin with, just living with me. Once I start ferrying her around in a picnic basket, I'd probably have to start up a suicide watch.
Also, I could see this whole scenario ending in a call to the authorities. They'd try to make an example out of me and I'd end up doing hard time in Huntsville. After the emotional wounds healed, the cat would come to visit me. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I'd say, while she gave me a look of great understanding. "You've got to help me get out of here; I can't take it anymore." She'd turn her head quizzically, and I'd be forced to lay all my cards on the table. "Octopussy, use the picnic basket. Smuggle me out in the picnic basket!"
Just to let everyone know, I sent out my part of the Goulash Mix CD Challenge today. I did not get to pick the stamps, though, so don't start thinking I'm some Edna Ferber fanatic. Just because your envelope will contain an Edna Ferber stamp, you don't need to send me any Ferber shirts, aprons, or collectible figurines. Just like everyone else, I enjoy a little Ferber now and then, but they shang-haied me at the post office before I could get to the Tasmanian Devil stamps. You get my last resort, that's all I'm saying.
Last night, I had a weird dream about a pet murder and the detective who was assigned to the case. I have no idea if pet murders are actually investigated and I hate it when people share their dreams, but this little anecdote actually has a point. At the very end of the dream, the salty old detective stood up, assayed the crime scene, and announced, "Yup, this was a definite dogicide."
I woke up right afterwards, and I've had dogicide on the brain ever since. It's such a good word that I can't help myself from using it. I used it on the dog a few times this morning when trying to get her to shut up, and it's all been downhill after that. This afternoon alone, I threatened to commit dogicide on the printer and the air conditioner, and I've been dogicided once myself by a traffic light. Is there a point to this? No. Is there ever a point to dogicide, though? That's a question for the pet detectives.
Numero uno: my entry in the Goulash Mix CD Challenge goes out tomorrow. Batten down your hatches, neighborhood post office, and stock up on your Ronald Reagan stamps. It is a little late, yes, but more than a little rockin'.
Numero dos: One of my big plans for the summer was to learn how to make guacamole. See, one of my good points is that my goals are very accessible; they're both easy and repeatable, and because of that, it's like a constant ticker tape parade for me. A lot of other folks might shoot to cure cancer over the summer, or build a deck. Even if you could cure cancer or build a deck over the summer, you could probably only do it once over the course of an entire summer. If I really got on the ball, how many bowls of delicious guacamole could I make? Dozens. And who's to say that if I made enough bowls, the dish wouldn't eventually begin to cure cancer and build decks on its own? I'm not saying that'd be my initial goal, but it doesn't seem completely far-fetched. Somehow, I lost my point here.
Anyway, despite such a reasonable project for the summer, I haven't made any progress. Sure, I've taken the occasional note this summer on my plans for the guacamole, such as, "It will be green" and "It will be served refrigerated". I don't have any recipes or blueprints, though. All I have is the same thing I started with: a hankering for a condiment. I must endeavor. I must put on my floppy chef's hat and fill the bed of my truck with avocados. And then, perhaps most terrifyingly, I must mush them until they're edible. No one said the act of goal-seeking was glamorous.
If you ever find yourself playing blackjack at 7 AM, you should know that's either a very good or very bad thing. This past weekend in Shreveport, I found myself in that boat and, somewhat surprisingly, it wasn't because I was trying to win my last pair of socks back from the casino. No sir, I bathed in triumph the entire weekend. If you happen to hit up the Hollywood casino sometime over the next few weeks and all they're serving in their restaurant is fish sticks and ketchup packets, you'll know they've been torched by the Powell Principle. The Powell Principle states that I lose 4 out of every 5 times I gamble, but on the fifth time, I ride that pony til it collapses.
So, I got very lucky over this weekend, but it had an interesting effect on me: it didn't make gambling any more alluring for me. In the movies, someone has a big night and suddenly, they're hooked; the next thing you see, they're pulling the gold from their fillings for one last spin of the roulette table. For me, it's had the opposite effect. I was there for a long, long time, consuming a lot of free drinks, throwing my money around like a Hilton twin. I'm no gamblingologist, but I realize that's not the formula for repeatable jackpots.
It was luck, an obscene amount. I was so lucky, I should've given up on the gambling thing and gone out prospecting for platinum. And because I was so lucky, I'm almost scared to enter a casino ever again, just because I know a grand piano will crash onto my head immediately afterwards. Either that, or I'll encounter a ravenous polar bear in the men's room. I'd like to say that's me being hysterical, but it's the Powell Principle, a proven scientific notion. I don't just buy polar bear insurance on larks, people.