Okay, let's talk fantasy sports. My basketball league is wrapping up in the near future, and I'm sniffing around first place. Essentially, my ending spot depends entirely on Darko Milicic and Andrew Bynum. I must tell you that if you're ever in a battle for first place, the preceding line is the absolute last thing you want to find yourself saying. Mark my words: in one week's time, Darko will be on IR and Bynum will be selling funnel cake out in the stands. As long as they can squeeze a few blocks into those activities, I have no problem.
I'm also in a couple of fantasy baseball leagues this year. One team is a shared undertaking with me and Diddy, meaning that no matter how much I hate it, two spots on the roster are devoted to Freddy Sanchez and Mark DeRosa. (If Paul ever runs for President, I expect those guys to play key roles in his Cabinet.) I should note that the same could be said for me and Nick Punto. Unlike Sanchez and DeRosa though, Punto has a long and distinguished career in diplomacy and monetarism, which is why I have no choice but to place him highly in the Powell Administration.
My solo league is where I'm really excited, though. Here, I might've well as called my team the Colorado Rockies II; I'm lousy with guys from that team. First, I hope someone in that clubhouse is distributing massive amounts of steroids. Second, somebody check their airline pilot for sobriety before all flights. Any kind of team-wide catastrophe would not only rock the sport of baseball, but it'd lead to a supernatural amount of profanity-laden tirades on the league message board. Not even Punto could save me then.
Have I mentioned lately that I'm dabbling in golf? Well, that may not be accurate; to call my feeble attempts "dabbling" is like handing your nephew a $5 microscope and declaring he's dabbling in quantum physics. Whatever the case, I have hit the driving range a few times lately with one Mr. Zyvarb and I have a full report on the experience.
Like everyone says, golf is really hard. It is also fun whenever I occasionally manage to stop flailing the clubs around like a lunatic and make contact with the ball. That doesn't happen much. A typical 5 stroke sequence for me is:
Strike ground 2 feet in front of ball, lodging club in dirt
Solidly struck ball that goes 2" off the ground for a good 80'
It keeps me humble. One other thing that keeps me humble is that my golfing amigo and I just discovered that some of the clubs we were sharing are actually women's clubs. In our defense, we know nothing about golf; we just picked up the metal things in the bag and started swinging them around. They could just as easily have been shovels or rakes for all we knew. The facts can't be avoided, though: a number of the clubs say Lady Cobra on them.
My masculinity is not threatened. Sure, I've been seen in public, flailing away miserably with a set of borrowed women's clubs. I'm just going to assume, though, that a lot of those people thought I was the spokesman for Lady Cobra, trying to make an ill-conceived point on gender equality. I'll take that over an idiot who can neither play golf nor read the word Lady on his clubs.
This weekend, I took off on a trip to Shreveport, Louisiana with Danza and Diddy. How was it? Well, my memory is a little unreliable when it comes to that evening. If you're really curious, I suggest you ask the security staff of the El Dorado Casino; they're probably piecing together the security footage right now and scratching their heads.
All I know is this: when I woke up on Sunday morning, I found in my wallet enough money for a year's supply of Junior Mints. Either I won it or a crazed philanthropist got tired of me splitting 10s and handed me a wad of cash so I'd leave his table. Anything is possible here, and I wouldn't rule out a combo of the two.
I also had my meal of the year. No, it wasn't the shrimp, nachos, and omelette I had at our comped breakfast the next morning, although that did hit the spot. It was a little joint called the Village Grill. It was so good, the guy seated next to us made an elaborate marriage proposal to his girlfriend, causing the entire restaurant to erupt in applause, and I didn't know about any of this until the next morning. That's because I was weeping with joy over my salad and trying to commission an artist to sketch it in commemoration.
It was a good time. El Dorado has probably distributed our pictures to their roof snipers so we never make it inside again, but we still had that one night.
Has anyone happened to check their calendar and then reference that date against my birth certificate? No? Well, if you had, you'd know that we're getting awfully close to a special date. March 22 is both the day I was born and the day I received a Sega Genesis when I was 9; clearly it is worthy of celebration, and I urge everyone to stay at home that day. If we all band together, we can start a grassroots holiday. If I'm not mistaken, a similar blog rumor is how President's Day started.
I don't really like my birthday that much because I don't have any say of it. What if, just this year, I want to push my birthday back to December so I can share the pain of everyone born near Christmas? Or what if I want to skip my birthday this year and enjoy a double birthday next year? I think if it's your birthday, such ideas should be fair game. I also think you should have immunity from law enforcement for just that day, but this is a separate idea.
Birthdays get a little trickier as I get older too because I have to purposely keep from buying things for myself so that others may purchase them as presents for me. (Diabetics, I urge you not to try this with your insulin.) I imagine that's really hard for the elderly. If you're 80 and you want a particular gizmo from Golfsmith, why wait three months and rely on your grand nephew to buy the correct thing? Meanwhile, you're sitting around the house thinking, "If I shatter a hip before I get that golf gizmo, asses are getting torched." You're literally burning daylight if you wait until your birthday to get that. I would just buy it and chalk it up to senility; old people have that right.
On Thursday, will I begin to exercise such rights? We'll see.
Dear God, thank you for ending SXSW. I only participated in two days, but they were both loaded with free drinks, preening hipsters, and people distributing porn on 6th Street. I whole-heartedly support all of that, but it wears a man out. Let's break the weekend down.
On Friday afternoon, my legal counsel and I attended the Jane magazine party, as we did last year. As with last year, I don't think we had legitimate invites, even though someone from Jane read my post from the last party and offered to put us on the list. My response: "Thanks but no thanks. When I enter a social event, I do so through the back door, dressed like a caterer."
It wasn't quite that glamorous, but we got in anyway. There was a long list of bands, but I'll single out the highlights: The Comas and Scissors for Lefty. I hadn't heard of either, but they both rocked the house. There was free Miller Lite, Seagrams, and York peppermint patty brownies too. If I'm diagnosed with a horrible illness sometime soon and I want to go out with dignity, I implore someone to whip up a batch of those brownies with some rat poison or something. I would go out with a smile on my face and love in my heart.(In case anyone has to do this for me, see if York will underwrite the death brownies; that's got to be great advertising. Leave out the free booze though, or else I'll go to sleep while watching Raising Arizona as soon as I sit down.)
There were some interesting folks at the party to talk to, and I really hope that guy from Sony takes my suggestions seriously. Play n Sniff CDs will not make themselves, people.
The next day, Saturday, Laura and I gained entry to another fancy party through another act of brazen stupidity. The party was for Nylon, which is apparently another magazine. On the invite, it requested your name and your affiliation. I know it will shock you, but listing CodyPowell.com won't even get me into a crooked bingo parlor. Instead, I made up an affiliation. I said I was the media rep for Black Hole Brewery. Whether that exists or not, I have no idea. I do know that Black Hole Brew was the beer that Coach McGuirk drank on Home Movies, and so I yoinked it in homage. It worked; I will not apologize.
This other party was very, very crowded, and it was a lot harder to get a drink. As a crabby guy who likes his free drinks, that's a clear negative. However, the bands were kicking, and the highlights here were the Fratellis and Malajube. I enjoyed both thoroughly. I will also tip my cap to the bartender, who made bloody mary so hot that I was biting on my knuckles and hollering for Mama halfway through. Crowded, but good, and made all the better through my deceit and malfeasance. In all fairness, I live in this city and feel as if I should be invited to everything.
If you're doing SXSW stuff, I encourage everyone to find a way into the fancy parties. The bands are good, the drinks are free, the brownies are rapturous, and your credentials can be pulled straight from your hindquarters.
Yeeeeeeah dawgs, tomorrow is the best Friday of the year, Jane Magazine's SXSW party. Just like with last year, I have sleazed my way inside with my legal representation, Dean Zyvarb. Well, I think we're in; should some of you get a phone call from me begging to borrow a mariachi uniform, know that we've reverted to Plan B. Whether we're hobnobbing with the elite or slinging Night Train with the hobos, we're having a good time. Expect a full report on Monday.
There's something particularly interesting about SXSW this year in the Powell household: I have visitors. They're not really my visitors; they're Laura's brother's friends. However, since Laura and her brother aren't here, I'm calling the shots. The rules of the house, as I've described them:
1. Don't feel weird about pawning Laura's underwear, makeup, or college diploma.
2. Do feel weird about addressing me as anything other than the Commodore.
3. Stay away from my booze, unless it looks crappy, in which case you're obligated to drink it.
4. We start every morning with a 6 AM Wii Bowling tournament. Should I beat you, you will write a one act play on a topic of my choice. You have 30 minutes to write this, and gratuitous nudity is encouraged.
5. Octopussy calls the shots in the back bedroom. If she crawls into your bed and demands attention, you will be a tender, compassionate lover.
6. Guests may not use the toilet; there's a reason I dropped a shovel on your bed.
And that's all we've got. Back on Monday with some SXSW musings, hopefully including the story of how I became part of Amy Winehouse's posse.
Hot diggity dog, who wants some Benchfest pics?
If your answer is anything but "Me, me," then you're lucky I don't box your ears.
What do you say when one of the best weekends of the year, a hootenanny scheduled for months, threatens to get ruined by a looming respiratory infection? Some would say, "You win, physical well-being; let's stay home, put on some sweats, and watch 'Murder, She Wrote' until we start to find Angela Lansbury strangely attractive." Yours truly does not subscribe to that newsletter. Rather, I say, "Haters to the back," then I cram both into the same weekend and barely make it out alive.
I will share a few more details. This past weekend marked Benchfest, an event hosted in DFJ's backyard that featured a veritable who's-who of Southwest Arlington, Texas's finest. No description of this event could do it justice, so I'll just throw down a few of the key elements: pinatas, crawfish, man-eating dogs, lottery tickets, and wooden swords. It falls on the same weekend every year, and after you've attended once, I defy you not to look forward to the next one. Since I'm giddier than most, I had literally been counting the days.
At the beginning of March, a nasty, junky, whooping cough started circulating around the office place, laying out my coworkers left and right. I know how to read a calendar and I also know my immune system; my plan was to get the bug early so I could recover in time for Benchfest. However, no matter how many times I asked others to sneeze on me, I didn't feel the slightest tickle in my throat. That is, I felt nothing until three days before Benchfest.
Through some rough calculations, I figured that I'd be at my sickest on the day of Benchfest. That was fine; if I'm going to die, let's do it at a notable social gathering. During the actual Benchfest event, I realized that I actually felt pretty good. Typically it's hard to have fun when I'm sick, but I had absolutely no issues on Saturday; I quickly concluded that the whole health bug was a hoax. The night was awesome and the pictures will follow.
Then, Sunday afternoon, I went to drive back home to Austin. Roughly 30 miles in, I realized that not only did I completely miscalculate the due date of the Super Bug, but that the only way I could possibly get back to Austin that night, in the driving rain and snarled traffic of I 35, was if somehow Santa hooked his sleigh up to my vehicle and led me back to my house. I was wiped out, I had a fever, and whenever I tried to breathe, I sounded like the Cancer Man from the X Files.
I pulled into a Motel 6 in Hillsboro, procured a 7'x7' cube for the night, and proceeded to flood the bathroom when I couldn't get the faucet to stop running. Luckily for me, I was asleep through the whole thing and I also don't live at the Motel 6. I woke up early yesterday morning, thinking I'd have no problem making to work. Thirty minutes into the trip home, I realized that, no matter how many honey buns I consumed, I felt even worse. I drove home, I slept, and I'm a little better today.
I'll upload some pics tonight or tomorrow. As for now, I made it out alive and I'm pretty jazzed about that.
Status report: Laptop procured, Vista operational.
I'm liking the new machine so far; there's nothing quite as satisfying as crunching away on a new keyboard. It's a pretty machine, it's fast, even with the new OS, and Vista has some neat eye-candy. One neat desktop feature is something called gadgets; they're little doohickeys you stick to your desktop that can show you the weather, a calendar, stock quotes, etc. (I believe that's something that's been in OS X for a long time now, where they're called widgets. Gadgets, widgets... good luck tracing the lineage on that one, patent lawyers!) Also, if you're a lunatic like me who hates that XP stuffs all of your files into C:\Documents and Settings\blah blah blah\..., you will take great joy (seriously) in the new directory structure. It's much, much simpler. What about Minesweeper? It is as challenging as ever.
My one major complaint thus far is that, sometime during the past 3 years, Dell changed the keyboard layout of their laptops, as well as the location of the headphone jack. Those bastards. You call that a business?! Also, it takes a little while to boot up and to shutdown. Can anyone else with Vista confirm or deny this phenomenon?
I would share more of these keen insights, but I have roughly 8 * 10^53 more apps to install tonight. We'll talk more tomorrow, if I make it that far.
I'm a little under the weather tonight, so we'll back to actual content tomorrow. That is, unless I'm still under the weather tomorrow.
While we're on the subject, 'under the weather' is a really strange phrase. The only people who aren't, technically, under the weather are people in airplanes, hot air balloons, and zeppelins. I should also include people who just got shot out of a cannon. Is there something about being shot out of a cannon that makes you feel wonderful?
(One more group who's not under the weather: astronauts. They get to eat dehydrated ice cream and urinate in their space suits all day; of course they're feeling good.)
Last night, I thought someone broke into my bedroom. It was quite late and I opened my eyes just long enough to see some short guy dart into my closet. Listen: I don't care what time it is, you don't just break into my house and rummage through my closet. I realize how stunning my wardrobe is, but I really must put my foot down.
I realized I was probably making all of this up, but I wanted to verify that. I went to the closet, turned on the light, and looked around. Sure enough, no one there. However, I had hanging up one of those long, plastic sleeves you cover your clothes with while traveling. Now if you were caught in someone's closet and you had to choose one spot to hide or risk being captured, wouldn't you hide behind the travel sleeve? It was 3 AM, but I recognized the logic.
Rather than actually walk in and check behind the sleeve, I picked up my shoe and threw it. I threw quite hard right at the sleeve, and as expected, I found no one hiding behind there. Unless, and I'm only thinking of this now, there was someone hiding behind the sleeve and he didn't cry out because he was incapable of feeling pain.
That's considerably more disturbing.
I don't have a softball game tonight, so I'm going to watch the Departed. Pun alert: I was thinking of making a movie about a criminal who goes around stealing little kids' go-carts, and the way in which the kids deal with the loss. The title?
The Decarted. (Failing that, we'll make him steal Pop Tarts (or hussies, I guess) and call it the Detarted.)