No entry today or tomorrow! Work is bonkers and if I want to continue to support my lavish lifestyle, I need to get bonkers with it.
NBA Playoffs, baybay! My favorite professional sport is tennis, and that's largely because it's the one sport I found while growing up at which I wasn't a complete tragedy. However, it's hard to strike up a casual conversation about that sport. You can't go into a bar and talk about the upcoming Davis Cup tie or your predictions for the players who'll have a great clay court season. Maybe you could have those talks in country clubs or something, but they don't let poor, stinky slobs inside just to talk about tennis and drink all the booze. As a result of all of this, I have elevated basketball to the spot of almost-favorite sport. All of that being said, NBA playoffs, baybay!
The NBA playoffs are great for a few reasons.
1. I love to watch 7 ft tall guys cry, whether it's tears of joy or sorrow.
2. I love to watch 7 ft tall guys airball their free-throws. (I'm not sure if I can use airball as a verb.)
3. I love to watch 7 ft tall guys scream, pound their chest, and start dancing.
I'm sure that somewhere, over the next few weeks, all three of those will happen in a 30 second span. That's why I watch the playoffs.
I also watch the playoffs because my favorite sports team, the Dallas Mavericks, figures prominently. Like many years in the past, I am convinced that they will win the championship. Like many other years, I have bet the deed to my house on this. Like many other years, I'm not worried about that bet because I don't even own a house, and the bookies have pretty much run out of hard things on me that they can break. Like a lot of other sports fans, I watch a certain team because I've invested a lot of time in them. For years, I've watched the Mavericks and I've built up an incredible reserve of ill-will towards them for all of the defeats I've had to watch. This leads to me now, pointing at the TV and shrieking, "You owe me this one!" whenever Adrian Griffin approaches the foul line. It's not pretty, but it's satisfying.
Sports are popular, I think, because it gives us a lot of things we lack in regular life. There's a lot of drama and conflict, as well as a large group with which we can identify. There are also cornie dog vendors. If you're feeling the need to get primal, the NBA playoffs are a good place to start. Also, you may luck into some 7 footers crying, and that ain't too shabby on its own.
This weekend, we went to Bandera, which claims to be the cowboy capital of the world. Really, Bandera? The cowboy capital OF THE WORLD?? If that is so, why did I only note one instance of cattle rustling while I was there? Need I mention I actually engaged in 35% fewer shoot-outs while in Bandera than I usually engage in at home? However, they do get some cowboy points because I went on the longest horseback ride in Powell history while there. Begin horseback story.
For a man who uses the term 'rootin tootin' regularly, I haven't been on many horses. In fact, before this week, I'd only been on one, maybe 12 years ago. However, I owed Laura a horseback ride from her birthday last year so we decided to pony up (ha ha ha) in Bandera. The verdict? It was a lot of fun. Also, a little painful.
My horse was a fat, dumpy, short female named Tequila. I was told to keep her away from the other horses, or else she'll start biting and kicking. Immediately, I felt at home, thinking I'd just been handed the equine version of my cat. Once I climbed aboard, I discovered another characteristic that Octopussy and Tequila shared: both like to haul some ass for no good reason. There were many times when the horse decided she wanted a snack or something, and I'd be a good distance back from the rest of the pack. I relax for just a second, and suddenly we're wildly careening up a hill, over very rocky terrain. What's that I felt around my neck? Oh right, that was death's icy grip. Luckily, my girlish screams sounded exactly like horse whinnies so no one picked up on my terror.
Tequila and I had over 2 hours of quality time together. That included many near death experiences, but also a fair amount of good times. At the end, I felt like maybe there was something more for me with these animals. Maybe if the software biz doesn't work out, my future could lie in the equine world. Master rider? No, probably not. Breeder? Unlikely. Horse whisperer? Now we're talking.
Hail storm, 2006! Also, it's my mom's birthday. I've already called my mom today, though, so I'm leaning more towards hail storm for this topic.
At work, we have quite a few people who aren't from Texas. Today, when hail started pelting the ground during a thunderstorm, I heard someone say, "IT'S SNOWING IN APRIL?! It's like 90 degrees out there!"
First, I had no idea that hail was uncommon in other parts of the country. Tell me, do you guys eat as much mustard as we do? Regardless, consider yourselves lucky, rest of the world; hail is terrifying. I'd much rather get struck by lightning than pounded by hail, because at least lightning is over quickly. Also, I bet it's kind of warm. But hail is cold, and after the first hit stuns you, the rest would batter you into some kind of human jelly. That's gross.
Second, I think that confusing hail and snow is pretty funny. It'd be good to take it the other way. You have some guy from Texas who goes up to New England during the winter. He's walking through the parking lot of a store, when he starts seeing those white blobs hurtling towards him. He dives under a car. "IT'S HAILING IN DECEMBER?! Everyone, take cover if you want to survive!"
In other news, I continue to royally screw up my fantasy baseball team. Imagine this. Before the season starts, someone comes up to you and says, "After you draft your team, one member will get his own show on ESPN. Every week, millions of people will tune in just to watch him. Are you excited about this?" You'd probably say yes and then thrust your hips. However, I am here to tell you that in reality, that's an extremely bad turn of events. At least it is if you've drafted Barry Bonds and the show isn't about how great he is, but how steroids have wrecked his career and made him lactose intolerant.
Barry Bonds, even if you took steroids, I refuse to dislike you; I encourage all of my fantasy athletes to dabble in performance enhancers. But no home runs?! If you're not even going to try, then how about you swivel that melon head of yours towards a pitch so I can put you on the DL? The Sobchak Sexmachines need some points, dude. I call on you to deliver.
You want a good pun, right? 'The Porpoise Driven Life'. Get it? Do ya get it?! Tell me I'm not the only man in the universe who finds this hilarious, as I'd then suspect everyone around me of being a robot/alien/dour European. (For those who don't know, the Purpose Driven Life is some book that many serious adults read. I believe it calls for the wholesale eradication of turnips, belt buckles, and dandruff shampoo. I agree with those ideas, but I disagree with anything that has a purpose.) Anyway, since I just came up with this, I thought I'd explain a few of the principles behind a Porpoise Driven Life (copyright CWMP, 2006, rights through perpetuity).
1. Eat lots of fish.
2. Echolocation! Use it or lose it.
3. Avoid sharks, unless you've had time to rig up a trap. (Best trap: the ol' piano rigged up with some rope. Cut the rope and watch as, very slowly, the shark eats ebony and ivory and whatever else is included in pianos (piano wire!).)
4. Appreciate your spade-shaped teeth. A porpoise often gets confused with a dolphin, but the major difference between the two is that a dolphin has conical teeth, while a porpoise has spade-shaped teeth; anyone who's memorized Wikipedia will know this. Dolphins are featured on t-shirts, cartoons, and in zoos; trashy women probably get tattoos of dolphins in hard-to-fathom places. But no matter how much dolphins are loved, who's got the spade-shaped teeth? That's what I thought.
5. Porpoise power!
And I think that's all I can come up with for right now. (Idea for future entry: expand to manatees.)
Well, it's really, really hot in Austin right now. So hot, in fact, that we're overwhelming the electric company with our air conditioner. The result? They're doing some rolling blackouts, or so I've read. If there's ever a time I've kicked myself for not buying a coal-powered air conditioner, this is it. At the very least, I could've sprung for a few ladies with palm frocks to fan me and, when their fanning arms tired, feed me grapes.
You may think it's unlikely I could actually get women to do this, but it could happen. Just imagine this. You live in Afghanistan, your husband makes you eat mud for every meal, and your village wants to stone you to death for smiling behind closed doors. One day, you receive a flyer in the mail from America. You can't exactly understand the crayon writing, but you think some weird dude is offering you $4 a week, copious Funyuns, and a personal guarantee against death by stoning in exchange for serving as his ceiling fan. Would you take that? It's at least a push, you've got to give me that.
Now before anyone gets their cocoa stirred about that last paragraph, I should say that I'll take anyone for this job; gender and nationality do not matter. Canadian guy? The fan's that way. Lady from Cameroon? Just tell me approximately how many Funyuns per day you require. Half-man, half-octopus from the Kingdom of Atlantis? Go fetch me a sweater, I predict it gets breezy in here. (Accepting applications at cody at codypowell dot com.)
I had a rootin', tootin' Easter weekend. Contrary to popular belief, waking up at 7 AM and driving 300 miles, after drinking copious amounts of malt liquor the night before, is not a completely bad way to spend a Saturday morning. You have lots of time to examine some of the larger issues in life, like "What is wrong with me?" and "Is it possible that I'm mentally retarded, but somehow escaped detection for 25 years of my life?" and "Why hasn't the largest class action suit in history been filed against the makers of High Gravity Steel Reserve?"
Now, about the malt liquor. I had some old collegiate buddies come back to San Antonio (shout out to the Right Brand) to celebrate some birthdays and such. Someone had the idea that, as part of the celebration, we should all bring bottles of malt liquor, cover up the labels, and then hold a tasting to determine the best and worst. An interesting idea, but not one I'd encourage others to try; hobos love this stuff for a reason, after all. Unfortunately for me, the dumber the contest, the more I'm driven to participate (see Blueball).
There are a lot of bad things about San Antonio. In my opinion, all of these are offset by the great things about the town, like the fact that it's the best place in the world to buy malt liquor. It's sold everywhere, and the variety is astounding. After a short amount of screwing around, Will and I found a convenience store where the cashier was in a cage and the only magazine they sold was called Panty Freak. "This," I declared, "is malt liquor heaven." And it was. It was there that we purchased the fateful bottle of Schlitz, which was the near unanimous winner of our contest. It was also there that, after our purchase, the cashier, "Thank you, now go right home. Be safe." When a lady in a bulletproof cage tells you that, you realize it's no time to dilly-dally.
Anywho, the party was fun, I got to see a lot of people across the entire weekend, and I generally had a very good time. It would've been the best Easter ever, had I not had enough malt liquor lingering in my body to kill Billy Dee Williams.
Laura is quite the world traveler. This travels rarely include me, and I can't fault her for that; I can barely handle a trip to the dry cleaners with myself. However, one thing for which I can fault her is her tendency to book flights that leave at 5 AM. On the kind of departures she takes, the only people on the plane are bank robbers trying to flee the country and high dollar prostitutes. Now I'm cool with her fallin into either group there as long as she cuts me into the loot. My problem lies with the fact that, on these butt o'clock flights, I have to drive her to the airport. My 9 AM drive to work is an adventure on its own. When you move it up 3 hours and expand it in length 10 times (I live realllly far from the airport), it becomes a journey into the hazy area between life and death.
Case in point: the Christmas drop-off. She was flying from DFW, which happens to be about 5 miles from my dad's house. Even with that as our base of operations and the fact that I had made this trip literally dozens of times, I messed it up. The drop off went fine, as it always does. The return trip did not go as smoothly. One minute, I'm right down the street from my dad's house. Thirty five minutes later, I'm pointing a flashlight at the sky to see if the buzzards were circling yet. I had no freaking clue where I was. I was literally 1/2 mile from my Dad's, and then I found some kind of wormhole that transported me to Denton County. I knew then that I would never make a good conquistador.
We had another instance today. Laura's going to the Bahamas for Easter and she put me in charge of driving her car safely back from the airport. Just like the time before, I knew where the airport was and where I needed to be; just liek the time before, something went dreadfully wrong in applying that knowledge. Things were going well right after I dropped her off, but then the grogginess took over. It only took two street signs to send me into a paralyzing moment of east-or-west? mania. Before I could make up my mind, the east-bound road peeled off on a u-turn, thus taking my lane with it. Luckily, there was an unoccupied field right ahead into which I could skid safely and then soil myself. The car is fine, I am fine, and the only thing damaged is my already-tenuous grasp on airport drop-off skills.
If I'm really focused on something and then I go to bed right afterwards, I tend to dream that I'm still engaged in that activity. An example? If I'm road-tripping it for many hours, then stop and go to sleep somewhere, I will continue to dream that I'm driving. The only difference is that instead of passing Accords and Camrys, I'm passing the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and Snoopy parade floats with Andre the Giant riding shotgun. (If real life were like that, I'd never go to sleep.) The dreams are always very vivid and scary, which is why I've put together a little of activities after which I shouldn't go right to sleep.
After last night, I have two more activities to add to my don't-do-before-sleeping list: watching Big Love and organizing my fantasy baseball team. I had this terrible, terrible dream last night that I was trapped in the cult compound from the show with Brad Wilkerson. Only one man could rescue us: Bill Paxton. I'm sure it's been said before, but it's not exactly a promising mental health beacon when you wake yourself up by screaming, "Save me, Bill Paxton!"
(In case anyone is wondering about my opinion of "Big Love", I'll share it. First, to really summarize what's going on, the show should be called "Big Love, featuring Bill Paxton's butt cheeks". That much Paxton hiney is unwarranted. Secondly, I think there may be too much conflict on the show. Every major character, and some minor ones, has an overwhelming problem to face. A few more weeks, and I expect this thing will turn into American Gladiators, polygamy edition.)
Not much content tonight because we have a softball game tonight and I have to get psyched up for it. How do I do that? I stand in a dark room. There are several CD players in there with me, all of which are playing different Bjork albums very, very loudly. Periodically, I smack myself in the face with a stalk of broccoli and whisper, "HOME RUN!" Oh yeah, I'm naked. Game on!
Now, a few scattered shots.
- I encourage everyone to get Josh Rouse's latest, "Subtitulo". I am one of the three people in the USA to have bought his live DVD, and I assure you his latest album is a much better use of your money.
- Our air conditioner is broken! The latest time I slept in a room this hot, I was in a Burmese prison for threatening a soap opera star. (Those people take their daytime tv seriously.) It sucked then, it sucks now.
- Tonight, we're playing Team Surly. I'm going to try to get ejected from the game before it even starts. That way, when they beat us horrendously and begin their merciless taunting, I can say, "Oh yeah? Well you didn't beat me!" And this will lead to me playing their entire team and, if plans work out, beating them. I'm not sure how, it's probably going to take some kind of blimp explosion.
And that's all you get.
Tom Delay resigned recently, and I'll bet the comedians of our country are having a field day with it. I'd verify that statement, but I traded my TV for a box of Nutter Butters. Anyway, I tailored a list of almost, but not quite jokes about this event.
Tom Delay walks into a bar. The bartender takes a look at him and says, "Get out, I don't serve your kind here!" He points at a sign on the wall that declares, "No politicians allowed." Tom takes one look at the sign and says, "But I'm a periodontist!"
How many Tom Delays does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three. One to hold the light bulb, one to hold the press conference afterwards, and one to eat all the Almond Joys.
The Pope, the Dali Lama, and Tom Delay are all in an airplane. The plane begins to go down. The pilot says, "Listen, there are only three parachutes. I need to take one so I can tell everyone what happened to the plane." He takes a parachute and jumps out. The Pope says, "Listen, I need that next parachute. I'm the head of one of the world's major religions." He takes a parachute and jumps out. Tom Delay says, "I think I'd like that last parachute. I'm one of the major political figures in my country, and my party will be helpless without me." The Dali Lama thinks for a minute and says, "Take it, my son. I pooped my pants the minute I heard we were going down, and I don't want to spread that mess."
What would you get if you crossed Tom Delay with a duckbilled platypus? Sasquatch's worst nightmare.
What do you call Tom Delay in front of a plate full of oysters? Ned Beatty's soulmate.
A priest, a rabbi, and Tom Delay are walking down the street. They saw a little girl crying. The priest says, "She's crying because she's separated from God." The rabbi says, "No, she's crying because her people have suffered." Tom Delay says, "Actually, she's crying because --- SOMEBODY STOLE MY UNDERWEAR!"
Baseball has started! I look forward to my hometown team, the Texas Rangers, going out there and taking a giant dump on the field every game. Judging from the first game of the season, the Ballpark in Arlington will be a tremendous compost heap by June. It's a good way to take our minds off of the steroids thing, though. Instead of everyone saying, "Wow, those guys are enormous. I don't believe all these homeruns they're hitting," they'll say, "Good Lord, these guys suck. Did you pay for these tickets? You did? I'm divorcing you."
Now I shall tie this into my own life. Whenever we have a softball game, I wear my Rangers hat. I do this for a few reasons. First, I don't like the company issued hat; it'd be completely impossible to catch a fly ball in it (my ultimate dream). Second, wearing the Rangers hat makes for a truly unfunny joke. During a game, when I inevitably throw the ball over the head of the first basement and into on-coming traffic, I like to point at my hat. If you've ever watched a Rangers game, it makes sense; I really belong in their outfield. There's no way a guy can fall down, drop the ball, strike out, and then assault the umpire as much as I do without getting drafted by them. Unfortunately, my teammates don't seem to get it. Admittedly, it's a terrible joke, but it goes completely unrecognized in a game. Here is my depiction.
(Situation: I have just made an error. The opposing team somehow scores 100 runs off of it.)
Me: Sorry guys, but you should've expected it. *Points to Rangers hat*
People in the dugout: *whispering* What'd he just say? Why is he pointing at his head? Does he have a tumor? *yelling* Hey Cody, why don't you lay down for a minute?
At work today, the men's room exploded. After it had been repaired, someone put a sign on the door that said WET FLOOR. I walked by shortly thereafter and I started to think, "What's the best possible combo I could make there by only changing a letter or two?" I came up with a few good possibilities.
WET FLOUR. Someone was on the toilet, trying to make cookies, when they dropped their ingredients into the bowl. Result? Wet flour. Make sure you're wearing shoes.
WET SLOOP. Would that really be a problem for a sloop? I think that putting this sign up would be like a poor man's Magritte painting.
WET FLOPR. This one made me laugh out-loud, although I have no idea what a flopr is. It sounds awfully dirty though. If the bathroom had a sign that said WET FLOPR on it, I'd probably go use the bushes outside or something. It just doesn't sound sanitary.
WET FJORD. Who's been letting Scandinavians use our potties?
PET FLOUNDER. This one's a stretch.
WET POOP. Eww. Probably the most effective sign if you want a little bathroom privacy. Also, completely hilarious to think about someone exiting the bathroom, and then returning a minute later with a Wet Poop sign.
Man, you guys have no idea how lucky you are that this is free.
The weekend was a good one. I made my inaugural '06 tubing trip down the Comal River. "Tubing at the beginning of April? Lunacy!" Friends, I will show you the way. The water's too cool? Drink a beer. The sun's not warm enough? Shut up, or I'll throw a water moccasin at you. You're hungry and I refuse to leave the river? Eat one of those little bags of Cheese Nips that I brought and get your butt back in the water.
I am serious about the Cheese Nips; I heartily encourage everyone to bring Cheese Nips to your next river trip. They make for a nice little treat after hours on the river, when you start thinking about killing a raccoon just to get some non-liquid in your belly. Also, I imagine Cheese Nips make good river currency, should you find yourself stranded in the water for hours and hours. (Cheese Nips, pay me for this plug. Also, not everyone can bring Cheese Nips, lest we experience river currency inflation and suddenly find it takes boxes and boxes to buy a Natural Light.)
In conclusion, I am a big believer in the early spring trip. The crowds are sparse, the prices are cheap, and the only thing you have to fear is some sort of water monster that only attacks drunk people in April. As for me, I plan on going again on Saturday.