This may not rock your world like it does mine, but I received a very strange check in the mail lately. First, an explanation. When you move, I think you lose your spot on the Opt Out list for credit card offers. As such, ever since we moved to Powell Fortress, I've been inundated with a bunch of these stupid offers (89% APR plus 5% cashback on armenian sardines and sardine accessories). Some of these offers come with checks that, if you cash, you immediately become enrolled in whatever shady scam it is they're selling. Homey don't play that. I usually tear these checks up when I receive them, then donate them as toilet paper for the homeless. However, on one recent check, I stopped to examine it before I began the shredding process.
What's so weird about that check? Well, look at the individual who signed it; it is one Garry Powell. My dad also happens to be Gary Powell (differing amount of r's, but same phonetically). Either my dad owns Citibank and is revealing his ruse slowly (pleeeeease), someone is pulling a funnin' on me that's devoid of hilarity, or there's a guy at Citibank that I need to start calling my Bank Dad. I have chosen to imagine the last.
Dear Bank Dad,
You, Garry Powell, have a name that is only one extraneous r away from my real dad's name, Gary Powell. As such, I have adopted you as my bank dad.
Dear Bank Dad,
Is your wife named Pegggy? What color is your mustache?
Dear Bank Dad,
According to my records, I am missing 25 years worth of Christmas presents, birthday parties, and spankings. The next time you're in Austin, set aside the weekend and let's catch up.
Dear Bank Dad,
You're my bank dad, not my real dad. As such, I don't look like you or act like you but might I ... bank like you? Please answer the following questions so this might be answered. First, do you like to write funny things on the memo line of your checks? Second, which mathematical constant did you choose for your PIN?
Dear Bank Dad,
Can I live in the vault? I just want to swim around in the money all day, like Scrooge McDuck.
Here's a sentence I never thought I'd state in public: there's a really funny show on the Oxygen network that I think you people should be watching. It's called Oprah: After the Show, and it's all about getting chill with Ms. Winfrey and winding down from a big broadcast. Okay, not really. It's called Campus Ladies, and it's kinda Strangers With Candy-esque, if you ever watched that. Anyway, it's very funny stuff and since it's on Oxygen, it's on like 50 times a day. When you turn that channel on, it's either this show or it's an infomercial on hot flashes; no matter which one it is, you're in for a good time.
Changing topics, leave it to me to turn a fun, relaxing, office softball team into a venue ripe for lawsuits and firings. On Sunday, we had our first major practice. The whole team was there, including the President of the company. We were taking batting practice, and those who weren't batting were out in the field, switching between positions to try them out. As part of that, we were switching pitchers quite frequently. Well, when I get up there, I quickly noticed that the President would be pitching to me. As he is both a cool guy and the fellow who signs my paychecks, I resolved right then and there that if he hit me, I wouldn't charge the mound. If anyone else pulled that on me, it'd be go time; I'd run forward with my bat like some sort of Mongol invader. Not him, though.
Everyone's having a good time out there, and then he throws me the first pitch. I manage to get a pretty good chunk of it, sending a line drive straight at second base. In all modesty, that ball had some heat on it. Unfortunately, the pitcher, aka the Mayor McCheese of our office happy meal, happened to be standing directly in its path. He gets his bare hand up just in time to prevent the ball from caroming off of his chest.
I was ... a little worried. Some bosses could take it the wrong way when you're hitting baseballs at their internal organs; thankfully, he did not. He even got in a good zinger when he said, "Ouch, I think that was my check signing hand."
I think to myself, "That could've been much worse, now don't do that again. With whatever pathetic muscular control I have, hit the ball somewhere other directly in front of me." He pitches again, and of course, I hit it straight back at him. While the first one was kind of funny, this wasn't nearly as humorous. I was like the guy who didn't know when to drop the joke, except I was most certainly not doing it on purpose. I step back from the batter's box. "Seriously. Stop. Don't even swing if that's what it takes." He pitches a third time. Do I even need to say where I hit the ball? If you guessed anything but 'directly at the pitcher', you are a moron.
It is for this reason and many others that my softball jersey needs a pouch full of highly potent sedatives, just in case the situation starts to get out of hand.
We had our first softball practice tonight. If it was any indication of the talents of my coworkers, I expect these things to be swarming with major league scouts in no time. Yes, I include myself in the scouted list. However, while all of my teammates will be watched by the honest scouts, I'll get the shady ones who are in league with the mobsters. They're only looking at me because they're trying to throw the season. It sounds absurd now, but if I'm suiting up for your local team a few months from now, bet against them.
What else? Our ice machine has been on the fritz for a few weeks now. If there's one thing I won't accept, it's a month of lukewarm beverages. So, today we had the repair man come out. As I said before, the machine has been broken for a long time. The situation has been so hopeless, I don't even check to see if the machine is producing anything. The fact that the ice maker bar is down is just an absurd, pathetic joke between me and my appliance.
The repairman comes to the house, I let him in, and I point him towards the malfunctioning unit. He asks me, "It's not making ice, right?" And before I can even answer, he opens the freezer door and is greeted with copious amounts of just-made ice. We were both a little weirded out at that point; both cases were understandable. In my case, I expected the thing to be broken. In his case, some deranged individual called him up, complained about a busted, no-producing ice maker, and forced him to come out to the deranged individual's lair only for him to discover that everything that worked just fine. I called him out to my house on account of a busted, no-producing ice maker that clearly had no problems at all. His look read, "This guy is about to murder me or imprison me in a giant bug jar in his basement. I'm betting bug jar." And I felt a little creepy too, although all I wanted was a cold beverage. From now on, I use ice trays.
Hot diggity, our office softball team begins practice tomorrow! Our team name is the Gas House Gang. All day long, the manager has been going from office to office asking all of the team members what position they play. As assistant manager, I knew I had to wow him with my answer. I needed to show both a keen insight of the sport as well as our budding team dynamics. With all of this firmly in mind, I said, "I get to bat, right? Do I need a glove?" Actually, I didn't say that at all. I said, "Put me where you need me; I got range. You worried about the outfield? Put me in center and tell everyone else to stay out of my way. You want a no hitter? Put me on the mound and call nothing but fastballs. Are we having a problem with balls getting past the third baseman? Put me there and the only thing sneaking down that line are the chicks who want to see my behind in action."
I really hope that softball is easier than baseball. When I played baseball as a young CWMP, well... let's say my game had some short-comings. For example, I wasn't much of a batter. I was known to make the occasional mistake in the field. But if you needed someone to slide, you called me. In retrospect, my afternoons in the backyard with the Slip-n-Slide came in very handy there on the diamond. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a living in professional baseball as an exclusive slider. It'd be especially hard for me, since I'd never get on base and when I did, I'd have a hard time between sliding periods. So really, baseball wasn't my thing.
Softball has a few things going for it, though. The ball is bigger, I'm playing against a co-ed team, and most of my teammates and opponents will be several years older than I am. If I can't play to the level of a 55 year old woman out there, then maybe I'm not the athletic juggernaut I'm billed as. Or maybe, just maybe, the Gas House Gang has some really good 55 year old women.
I have had the most frustrating two days of work ever. The lesson is that I should never be allowed anyone's computer ever. Installing and configuring things just aren't in my spheres of competence, and the more important the machine is, the stronger my powers of destruction are. If the USA ever needs someone to disable North Korea's network infrastructure in an afternoon, they should just tell me to go upgrade Kim Jong Il's laptop to Windows XP. The entire country would go down like a stack of dominos.
This may sound surprising to you, as you may think I'm some sort of computer guy. I am, but there are different types. I am a programmer. I am responsible for making the software hard to use and prone to crashing. However, I'm not supposed to be the one who actually has to endure all of that crap. I create, I don't use. That's a job for a support technician or a sysadmin. If you come to me and ask me why your computer isn't working properly, I'll take one look at it, exclaim, "I didn't write that crap!", and turn you into HR for sexual harrassment. Are we clear on this?
After a few days of installing and configuring some applications on our new server, I'm more secure than ever in my career choice. I only had to install and tweak two applications, both used in our development process. Two measly pieces of software. Somehow, I found a way for that task to consume three entire days, along with a few hours over the weekend. That's for two applications. If my boss were to ramp that number up three or four times, it's entirely likely that I'd never be seen again. And they weren't three fun days; it was like being a POW, held at the whims of Microsoft. Instead of hooking my genitals up to a car battery, I had to edit the registry for hours at a time, which is almost the exact same.
Anyway, I'm done now. One might think this entire experience has caused me to reconsider my own code and perhaps endeavor to make it more user-friendly. But no, it's pretty much done the exact opposite; I want to share my pain. The only way to console myself is to create an end user experience that's as tortuous as the one I just endured. If you ever download something from CodyPowell.com and the characters are printed upside-down, diagonally across the screen, and little, invincible vampires start flying out of your DVD drive, don't come crying to me about it. After all, I'm not a user.
I hit a major milestone in my life over the weekend: I had to buy the Weight Control cat food for Octopussy. Is this necessary? Most definitely, for she is a fatso. It is her bulk and her bulk alone that keeps me from filling my house with faberge eggs. Her weight trajectory has been a lot like Marlon Brando's. I imagine before I got her, she was similar to Brando in "Streetcar Named Desire" or "On the Waterfront"; she was sleek, muscular, and primed for ass-kickin'. After a month or two with me, she entered her Don Corleone phase, where she was definitely heavy but it was okay because it gave her some character. It pains me to say it, but now we're headed towards "Island of Dr. Moreau". Not only is that a creepy mental image, but it sounds incredibly expensive. If Starr Jones could shed the pounds, so can Octopussy.
This gets me to thinking about weight loss. If someone were to give me the choice being too fat or too skinny, I think I would pick too fat. Why? Well, who would you rather be friends with, a fat dude or a super skinny dude? When I think super skinny dude, here's what I think:
1. Possible Drug Addict
3. Likely to scream at me about my diet
Meanwhile, when I think fat dude, here's what I get:
3. Knows a lot about gravy
Just from that list, who would pick super skinny over fat? Just imagine a day with the skinny guy, with him making you jog and then forcing you to try some sort of artichoke and soy enema. Meanwhile, the fat guy is just sitting around, eating hot dogs and talking sassy to his neighbors. Don't insult me by asking me to declare the winner here.
All of this raises an important point about my cat. While she will be slimming down, it won't be too much. She'll still saunter around the house like a little chubbo, I just won't worry about her crushing my skull while I sleep. In other words, we're going back to the Corleone phase.
Danza asked a good question in yesterday's comments about my grudge against maple syrup; check that out. Maple syrup may be my least favorite item on the planet. If I'm eating pancakes that come with syrup, that's fine; I have no problem with the taste. If someone else is eating pancakes with syrup and they start breathing into my face, then I break out a pitchfork and begin to jab them in the ass with it while screaming profanity. I hate the smell of maple syrup. If an evil overlord ever kidnaps me and wants to know the security code into Powell Fortress, he only needs to eat some pancakes with maple syrup and breath into my face. Not only will he know the security code, but I'll wet myself and begin to hallucinate. I just cannot take that smell. Anyway, I explain the genesis of that whole thing in the comments so go read that if you want.
And that brings me to two more grudges, both of which are against little animals. These hated animals are, drumroll please, squirrels and grackles. I have stories for the two of these. Let's do the squirrel one first. Trinity, my alma mater, is lousy with squirrels; the campus is covered in trees, squirrels live in trees, thus I was surrounded at all times. At first, this was no problem. I could walk around the campus and giggle at the squirrels without wanting to shriek and dive into a drainage ditch. Over time, I discovered that the squirrels, being around people all day, were used to human contact. To them, it was no big deal. In fact, they got really, really close to you as you walked. They'd follow beside you on foot and they'd run along tree limbs right over your head.
Slowly, I began to worry that one day, a squirrel would jump from a limb, land on me, and start biting my face. I don't know why that sprung to mind, but the squirrels were just so close. It seemed like it'd be too tempting for them not to do that. After I had that lodged in my mind, I spent the next 3.5 years running across campus, covering my face in my hands. To this day, I dislike it when a squirrel is too clsoe to me.
Now, the grackle thing. A few years ago, I went to lunch at Taco Cabana (fast food Tex Mex, for those who've never seen one). I was having a bad day and so I ordered a surefire pick-me-up: nachos. I took the nachos out to the patio, set them down on the table, and got ready to dig in. Unfortunately, before I could start eating, I noticed that I didn't have any napkins. The messiness to food ratio on nachos is incredibly high, maybe the record, so I went back in to the restaurant to grab some paper. I was gone maybe 30 seconds and when I came back, my table was absolutely covered in grackles. The grackles were eating my damn nachos. I don't know if grackles just naturally flock to nachos, but they were going to town on those things. I expected one to ask me for some jalepenos.
I got mad. I'm not sure how to scare birds away without firearms, so I just ran up to the table and started screaming at them. Here's the thing: they wouldn't leave the table OR stop eating; it's like they enjoyed tormenting me. I didn't want to touch them since they have beaks and they probably dip those beaks into animal carcasses or something. (If I'm getting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, it's not from fighting the grackles at Taco Cabana). Since I couldn't touch them, I just screamed more. The whole patio was empty except for me and the birds, so I couldn't call for back-up. Eventually, the birds got full and left. The little bit that was left was covered in grackle germs.
I went inside, back to the cashier to explain the situation.
"Hi, I bought some nachos just a second ago. I took them outside to eat on the patio, and while I was in here getting some napkins, a bunch of grackles swarmed the table and ate a bunch of my food," I said.
I explained the situation again in more detail, and when I finished, the cashier squinted her eyes, shook her head, and said, "Man, that's gross."
"Since I didn't get to eat the food, can I have another order of nachos for free?"
She conferred with her manager. He eyed me warily. The verdict, of course, was no. And this is why I hate grackles. Not because they ate my food and refused to leave, but because they did so in an improbable-enough fashion that I couldn't get a refund or more food for free.
I hold grudges. Usually, these grudges aren't over important things and they're almost always directed at inanimate objects, but I grudge nonetheless. Cancel my favorite TV show? I begin a grudge (Fox). Spoil too quickly? I begin a grudge (strawberries from Albertons, I try to split the grudge evenly between those two parties). Many years ago, I had another grudge against applesauce. I don't remember why now; I really need some index cards or something to track these things. I'd consume a lot of different stuff (astronaut ice cream, street vendor hot dogs from Mexico, vienna sausages), but applesauce never had the pleasure. It just felt right to avoid the stuff.
Let's fast forward to this morning. I'm late for work and we're out of my typical breakfast treat, a peanut butter granola bar. "What to eat? Oh look, there's something in the back of the closet that looks kind of fruity (I utter the same line when deciding what to wear each day). Holy cow, it comes in cups! This can't be terrible!" If you're catching the uber-subtle hints I'm laying, I picked up some applesauce. At that point, I didn't remember the grudge, I just remembered my growling belly.
I got carried away at work today and I forgot all about the applesauce. Around 4 PM, I felt my strength began to fade. I knew that if any of my enemies found me then, I'd be in deep doodoo. I needed some sustenance; I needed some applesauce. I walked to the office fridge and I dug my cup out. I was excited. I like applejuice and I like cold, mushy things, which seems to suggest that I'd like applesauce. I opened the lid, broke out my spoon, and took the first bite. At first taste bud contact, I remembered, "Oh yeah, I don't like applesauce. It tastes like cold mashed potatoes." Whether it tasted like cold mashed potatoes or not, I had the image in my mind and I couldn't stop thinking about it with each bite. I ate the whole thing, as an unpleasant lesson for me to remember my grudges.
You know what I hate? Squirrels. I'm not sure whether they're being cute or they're plotting against me. You know what else I hate? People who brag about their personal site. Beware, a rant is a-comin'.
There's a group of people like me. By that, I don't mean folks with unhealthy Redd Foxx obsessions, but people who run frequently updated, personal sites. (Observe that I didn't say blog. A blog is a highly-pressurized, spelunking accessory, not a personal site.) Within this group, there are a few varying sub-groups. One sub-group litters their site with posts about how you, the reader, need to get your friends to read the site, and how you, the reader, need to submit the site for a bunch of dumb-ass web awards, and how you, the reader, should consider yourself blessed to read the site for free. (Observe that I'm not trying to be snarky with the you the reader thing, I just used a bunch of second person there.) It's a bunch of desperate, pathetic egomania. Another sub-group doesn't give a damn about popularity and treats their site like the vaguely embarrassing waste of time it probably is. Let us guess into which group I fall.
What the hell am I talking about here? Well, a few weeks ago, nominations opened up for the Bloggy Awards (and no, I am definitely not linking to that abomination). When it happened, I suddenly saw a bunch of posts across a variety of sites that were basically begging for award nominations. "Vote multiple times! Tell your friends! Steal a computer and use that to vote also!" It really stuck in my craw. It takes a lot for something to stick in my craw, as I'm not a 70 year old. This did, though.
I think these people are missing the point behind personal sites. I've had one for a while now, around nine years I think, and it's never once occurred to me that my site is something that needs more attention. In fact, I am terrified that friends, family, and acquaintances may discover it accidentally. If people ask me about it, I disavow all knowledge; I keep a cyanide capsule in my pocket in case those conversations get too uncomfortable. Perhaps I'm taking it to an extreme, but I have to think I'm going in the right direction.
Maybe we just have different aims. On my site, I create something very personal that makes me content and causes me to drink less. I have no idea if anyone reads it (my stats have been broken for a year), and I prefer to think that no one does. If no one reads it, it's just mine and I like that thought. On this other group's sites, they create something very impersonal. It's not for the creator, it's for everyone else. It's for strangers and Googlers and people who care about the Bloggy awards and anyone who wants to make a second of their lives 10% less boring. I don't get that. Viva le Goulash! Any form of blog awards, drink a cup of pee!
Here's a little muzak note: I found a good band yesterday. They're called Oranger, and their latest is available via Emusic and Rhapsody.
I don't think I ever shared this little anecdote, but it's something that happened to me maybe three weeks ago. I'm at home for lunch, and I pull out of our driveway to head back to the salt mine. My cell phone rings. I stop the car right in front of our neighbors' mailbox, since I am more lethal than the bird flu when I'm driving and talking. I pick up the phone, and it's the car dealership, telling me my license plates are ready to be get picked up. We're maybe ten seconds into this conversation when I see this huge, furry blur dart from someone's backyard. It heads right for my car and misses it narrowly, passing right behind the back bumper.
"HOLY CRAP," I yell into the phone. (In actuality, I screamed a great deal of profanity but I'm trying to keep this clean for the kids.) I have absolutely no idea what just happened.
The lady from the dealership springs into action. "Sir, are you okay? Are you in physical danger? Do you need me to call an ambulance?"
I turn around in my seat just quick enough to get a glimpse of the beast as it jumps over the neighbors' fence. It's a great, big, hairy thing with antlers.
Breathlessly, I exclaim into the phone, "Lady, you should've seen that deer!"
Her response: " ... Okay, well, please pick up your plates as soon as possible."
It was a wild scene. Fifty feet from my bedroom and I'm in the wild kingdom. If that doesn't vindicate my decision to carry a crossbow in my car at all times, I don't know what will.
Two other points. First, here are a few pictures from our Jamaican sojourn. If you ever wondered what I look like with suntan lotion on, now you'll know.
Second (and this is only for myself because I know I'll forget and have to search for this later), I came up with a great Halloween costume. For later reference, think "diablo sandwich".
I've got a big day at the work place tomorrow. Please, no one bonk me on the head with a mallet or shave obscenities into my eyebrows. If you insist on shaving obscenities into my eyebrows, please make them easily changeable; I'd recommend POOP, since I can do a lot with all of those letters, perhaps transforming that into P88B or something. Is that really better than POOP, you ask. Well, maybe. At least with P88B, I can say it's my ham radio call sign. I put it to you, the readers of Goulash. Who would terrify you more: the fecal matter enthusiast or the ham radio nutjob? That may be one of those eternal riddles.
Anywhosies, the reason tomorrow is so important is because we're doing a demo of the big project we've been working on for several months now. The bigwigs will be there, reputations are on the line, and yours truly will be the master of ceremonies. Can you say 'Recipe for Unemployment'? Demos are scary. You can work on something for months, testing it over and over again, and then the first time you have to show it to someone else, the computer bursts into flames and shoots mustard gas into your boss's office. "How the hell did that happen?" you might wonder. There's no point in trying to figure it out; them's the demo rules.
I've been preparing, though. I came up with a script. I ran through it with some coworkers. In my life, preparation usually doesn't prevent failure, it just makes it a little more frustrating since I was supposed to know what I was doing. I'm acting like that's not the case; I'm acting like a winner. Someone cut me off on the way home and rather than take the affront meekly, I followed them to the next red light, jumped on their hood, and shrieked, "YOU DON'T CUT THIS WINNER OFF!" I realize now I may have to tone this new persona down somewhat at the meeting. That's fine; winners can do these things.
I have returned. How was Jamaica? It was a lot of fun. The drinks and food were plentiful, the weather was temperate, the water felt great, and the nude beaches were extraordinarily naked. However, it wasn't all sunscreen and giggle fits. No, I learned some lessons on this trip. Fools better recognize these words to the wise.
1. If you're staying at a place where the drinks are free, you may want to consider leaving your 32 oz. cup at home. If you carry it with you, you could find yourself spending a whole afternoon serenading a mermaid, which is actually a clump of seaweed with clumps that vaguely resemble boobs.
2. If you happen to discover some fellow travelers engaging in sexual activity on the beach late at night, resist the urge to yell at them. Yes, I know how tempting it is. Consider the fact that you may encounter these people again. Consider another fact, that these people may travel with a large group. Consider a final fact, that this group may be drunk a lot and that the oceanside paramours may've gotten a better look at you than you thought. It's not a vacation if I haven't enraged a group of strangers to the point where they want to kill me.
3. If you want to make every other possible bad situation look much, much more appealing, go to the Miami airport. Just go there, walk around for a while, and try to make it onboard some planes. Five years from now, when I'm crushed to death by a rampaging elephant that's escaped from the circus, I will take it with a smile. I could eat a moon pie full of bees and I might even dance along to the attack. Nothing at all can phase me now, because I went through the Miami airport twice.
All in all, the trip ruled. I hardly get burned at all, and all of the Jamaicans were tremendously friendly, even the ones who tried to sell me women and drugs. What's more, jerk seasoning and Red Stripe comprise my bloodstream, so I'm either invincible or about to die. As soon as I upload my photos, I'll post the link here.
One more note: bummer to hear that Lou Rawls died. He released my favorite Christmas cd ever, so he shall be missed. If you want to hear the man at his best, get a rerelease that Capitol put out last year called "Live!" and listen to a track called "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water" (you can hear it on Rhapsody, if you have that). Great, great stuff. If anyone has that song, send it to me and I'll post it here.
Attention, ladies and gentlemen. You may no longer lick my ears. This may prompt the question from you, "When did I ever lick Cody's ears to begin with?" Come on, don't make me humiliate you with specific instances (that one time at the lake after you'd gotten into the Peppermint Schnapps). The fact is, my right ear may no longer be licked. For the sake of clarity, I present the following:
Things you may still do to my right ear
Sing to it
Bake it spaghetti
Things you may not do to my right ear
Jab pointy things into it
Fill it with fire ants
Lick it (note: new addition to list)
The reason for this is because I have an infection in it. Not a big one, I'm guessing, since I didn't even know I had it until I went in for my physical yesterday. And perhaps not a potent one, since I can still hear a hummingbird burp from three clicks away. But it's an infection nonetheless, and the only way I'm going to get through this is a mixture of acetic acid, water, and no slobber. Lick the ear and you'll be licking your death warrant, one of those special new kind that only become valid after coming in contact with moisture.
Now that we've gotten the important stuff out of the way, I should tell everyone that I'll be doing a little goulash hiatus until Tuesday of next week. I'm taking a little trip. I'm going to the land of jerk chicken and red stripe, the place indirectly at fault for every white guy I've ever seen with dreadlocks. It's a joint known as Jamaica, and if I don't come home with a tattoo of Ziggy Marley on my butt, I'm demanding a refund. See y'all in a while.
1. I will be nicer to poor people.
2. I will be nicer to rich people.
3. I will be meaner to the middle class; I have nothing to gain by winning those people over.
4. I will investigate alternative, earth-friendly energy sources, like biodiesel, cold fusion, and paying homeless people to drag me around in a Radio Flyer (note: they will indeed be paid, see resolution 1).
5. I will eat my vegetables.
6. I will cease burying my unwanted vegetables in my neighbor's backyard.
7. I will cease lying to my neighbor when he asks about all of the rotten vegetables in his backyard.
8. I will learn to tapdance.
9. I will not disclose my newfound aptitude in tapdancing, lest rumors start to spread.
10. I will learn to play the banjo.
11. I will first purchase a banjo.
12. I will take my banjo act on the road, giving a discount to seniors and students (graduate students pay extra).
13. I will play a variety of original and covers. I will prominently feature the works of Roy Orbison.
14. I will investigate whether or not I have to pay royalties to the estate of Roy Orbison.
15. If I do not have to pay royalties to the estate of Roy Orbison, I use his portion of the proceeds to plant trees around orphanages.
16. I will affix a plaque to each tree that reads, "Roy Orbison wanted this tree to go to the orphans."
17. If the orphans do not appreciate my gift and defile it in some manner, I will dress up like Roy Orbison, burst into their bunks late at night, and say, "Roy Orbison is back from the dead to tell you to leave my trees alone." I will say that in his familiar, nasal twang.
18. I will learn Mandarin.
2006 in the hay-ouse! I hope everyone had a rocking New Year's/seventh night of Hannukah. I did. Boy howdy, did I ever. Laura and I were in Houston for Darby and Jenny's wedding. I was an usher in the affair, and I ushed with a vengeance. I ushed with such spirit, some mistook it for malice. But no, I wasn't motivated by any ill will, but affection and a longing for the bar service at the reception. I got to see a lot of my old collegiate comrades, eat plenty of shrimp, and hang with the SB Crew. I also drank a lot, in case you're unfamiliar with my wedding-going habits.
The best part of the whole thing was spending two nights in a hotel. In our room, we had the biggest damn bed I've ever seen. A whole African village could've slept on that thing with us. At home, we have a queen sized bed and it suits me well. I can really spread my crap out on that, but after we got back today, I can't bring myself to look at it. Before I can sleep on it, I feel like I need to extend it a few feet with some plywood and carpenter's glue.
What else can I say about that trip? The service itself was very nice and extremely complicated. If I were to ever be in a ceremony that involved, I'd need my limbs rigged to some master wedding puppeteer. Also, the ceremony marked the first time I'd ever worn a lavender hanky in church. In secular settings, it's a regular occurrence. As part of my duties as usher though, I had to lavender it up. And let me tell you, I liked it. It was the first time for the lavender hanky in church, but definitely not the last.