Wahoo, we think we've found a house to buy! Compared to the current duplex, it is the Taj Mahal. Of course, the same could be said of a room at the Motel 6 or your local county jail lock-up. Regardless, it'd be a great place for us and we're both jazzed.
We put in our offer last night and got the counter-offer almost immediately. I learned two things from the counter-offer. First, some people spend $6,000 on a washer and dryer. Second, if you buy someone's house, you don't get automatically get their $6000 washer and dryer. I understood their reluctance, so I told them to throw in a washboard and we'd have a deal.
Good Lord willing, we'll be in this house on May 1st. (Our current lease keeps us from moving anywhere for a couple of months, thus the delay.) Since a stable financial situation is critical between now and then, look for the following to happen: stock market crash, then a nation-wide bank panic, then the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 87%, then I get fired and blackballed from any industry dealing with electricity. Some people like to think positively, but I find it much less stressful to think disastrously. That way, as long as my hair doesn't catch on fire, anything's a success.
On an unrelated note, I'm having some email issues with ye olde codypowell.com accounts. If you get anything from codypo [at] gmail dot com, it's not a Cody Powell doppelganger; it's the original CWMP gansta.
I started a new life this morning. At 6:30 AM, I woke up, I put on some clothes, and I hit the gym. How does this contrast with my normal daily routine? On a typical day, I wake up at 8:30 and squirt cupcake frosting directly into my mouth.
So, how was it? Am I loving this new life of activity? Uhh, no. I managed to get to the gym by about 6:45 and I started stretching when it hit me: what the hell was I doing at the gym at 6:45 in the morning? It'd be understandable if I were, oh, Lance Armstrong or Lou Ferrigno, but I'm just a regular guy. Regular people have no business exercising at that hour of the day, unless they're driven to do so by a crazed dictator.
Even though I've whined and moaned constantly about this schedule, I feel like I have to see it to the end of the week. Based on how sleepy I've been so far today, expect me to lapse into a Rip Van Winkle-esque coma by Wednesday.
I was really happy to see the Coen Brothers win for Best Director and Best Picture, as I am a fan of those boys. Proof? I even liked The Ladykillers. I think I could draft a whole theory on personality and tendency towards crappitude based on whether an individual likes Raising Arizona. The proof is in the pudding.
Awww snap, Barack and Hillary debated in my very own backyard tonight and I missed it. I would've liked to have watched a bit. For some reason, I'm more involved in this year's presidential race than in any of the previous elections. I think it's because the choices are so interesting: we have the fiery old coot, the bitchy lady, and the black dude. How'd we go from boring, old, white dudes to this group so quickly?
I still haven't made my mind up on a candidate. In fact, I don't even know about voting. One of my favorite professors in college used to make the point that voting was a completely irrational act. How many elections in United States history have come down to one vote? It's got to be less than than .01% of all elections. I'm supposed to spend an hour each year on an act that has a .01% chance of making a difference? What the hell's the point of that?
And after he said that, a lot of folks in class would get really upset at him. They'd say, "Yeah, but if everyone applied that logic, no one would vote!" Then he'd lay down this killer comeback: "I'm not trying to convince you, I'm only talking about myself!" No one ever knew how to respond to that one.
That's what makes the primaries this year so interesting, particularly in Texas: it's been a long time since an individual vote for a Democratic candidate meant anything in this state. Of course, I'm still abstaining from voting. First, I haven't made up my mind on a candidate or a party. Second, I still don't think this election will go down to a single vote. Third and most importantly, I have no idea which address I registered to vote under and thus I have no clue where to go to vote. Drive around town all day in the name of democracy? I don't think so, founding fathers!
Good news, gang: I think I'm almost getting to be productive at the new job. I feel like I know the people and the processes pretty well, so I'm just about ready to contribute. Unfortunately, our office Wii came in this afternoon so everything I said at the start of this paragraph can be instantly negated. I'm getting ready for lots of these phone calls: "Have I fixed your bug yet? Not exactly. I have, however, added a mustache to your Mii."
Getting settled at the new job was big task #1 for this year. Big task #3, clearly, is getting married and then staying married through the end of the year. Our date is November 1, so really, that's only two months of actual marriage for this to count as a success. I'll probably end up having to move out to the garage for the month of December, but I'm optimistic that we make it into January.
That leaves big task #2 which, right now, is acquiring a home of some sort. Laura's big on a house, while I would prefer to entertain other options, like a houseboat of questionable seaworthiness or a really bitchin' hot air balloon.
We have a great deal on our duplex right now, but I just can't handle another year of landlords, strange neighbors, crap that never gets fixed, and all of the other headaches that renting provides. Can't I pay a lot more money to get much larger headaches? I'm just ready to live somewhere and stay there for a while. The house hunt is actually heating up, with us going to peek at some properties on Thursday. I think that's when this goes from being an interesting idea to something a little more concrete. I predict it'll be like that scene in The Jerk, where Steve Martin mistakenly thinks he gets to live in the gas station bathroom and he starts planning the elaborate interior decorations.
You people have no idea what I went through on Friday night. In the span of 10 hours, I went through three different travel hells. The first was Rental Car Hell, where I walked into a rental car agency to return a car and found every single employee occupied with an irate, profanity-spewing customer. You know what? The customers were right! You know how there's a Take Your Daughter to Work Day where people take their daughters to work so they can get an idea of a real work environment? This must've been Take a Random Dumbass to Work and Let Them Run the Credit Card Machine Day. There was some righteous anger in that room, and I wanted to grab a pitchfork right with those people.
The second hell was Connecting in JFK Hell, where I had 30 minutes to make a flight connection across terminals in JFK on a Friday night with an incorrect boarding pass (thanks for that part, JetBlue). This, of course, led to the one instance in history where the rental cops examined a boarding pass and thought critically about the data contained on that piece of paper. When I do make make it past that hassle and get to the plane just in time, we proceed to wait to take off for an hour and a half.
And the third hell was kind of expected at this point: JetBlue Loses My Luggage and Runs Out of Doritos. The end result was that I got home after 2 AM Saturday morning. However, Jetblue does have DirecTV and Office Space was on, so it wasn't a total loss.
If you're ever staying in the Sheraton in Needham, MA, and you can't get the internet in your room to work, turn on both light switches. I don't know why the hell it works, but before I did so, I wrestled with cables for two hours tonight with no success whatsoever. I called downstairs and immediately, the lady scoffed at me and told me to turn the lights on. She said it like, "Uhhh, have you tried turning on the Internet switch? You know, the switch on the wall that, when activated, allows the Internet to exist?" Listen lady, I live in a space-age duplex where the Internet switch is apparently hidden and permanently lodged in the On position. Leave my technical skills out of this discussion!
How's New England? It's excellent. I'm really liking my job, and I'm ready to take my week's worth of wisdom and apply it to the mean streets of Austin, TX. I learned a good New England term earlier this week: raw. When it's cold and wet outside, you groan and mutter, "What a raw day." If you're really feeling it, you could say, "It's a pisser of a raw day," although that's kind of advanced. Random observation: the people of Boston like the Red Sox more than anyone in Texas likes anything.
Anyway, I'm headed back home tomorrow, where more craziness surely awaits me.
You heard it right: I made it up to Massachusetts safely. I don't even know where to begin with this trip, but I guess I have to share this little anecdote from when my flight landed.
I got in to Boston on Sunday evening and I went over to the rental car place to get my ride for the week. When I got to the counter, the cashier and I began to converse.
"Cold enough for ya?" she asked.
I fake laughed. "Yes, it's plenty cold, considering I'm from Texas."
"Texas?! Well, I'm sure know you know how to drive in the snow," she said.
I paused. Theoretically, I know how to do that and every few years, I get a chance to put these theories to the test. It's never pretty. I told her, "Yeah, I guess I know how to drive in the snow."
"Good," she said, "because you're going to need to be an expert this week."
Sweet bearded Jesus, that wasn't what I wanted to hear; I started to get a little nervous.
She messed around on her computer for a little while longer and then she frowned. "Listen, in this kind of weather, you're not going to want the car they reserved for you. Can you possibly call someone and get them to upgrade you?"
I started to get a little more nervous. Did they reserve a moped without a windshield for me? It was 9 PM on a Sunday and I had absolutely no idea who to call. At that point, after being on a plane forever and putting up with a bunch of travel crap, the rational part of my mind broke. I said, it doesn't matter what the car is, I'll be fine. I also said that no, I wasn't interested in any insurance.
To summarize, for an icy week in the North Pole, I get a death trap with no insurance. That's how she made it sound at least. In reality, the car is this bright-red Chevy HHR, which is a wagon-type thing. My thinking is, any car that boxy has to be safe. Also, I don't possibly see how I could get into an accident with another car when I'm in a vehicle that brightly-colored. I'm probably visible from space.
More good news is that the hotel is literally 1/8 of a mile from the office. I don't really have much of an opportunity to destroy the Pimpmobile. Tomorrow will be my one chance, when it's supposed to snow and ice heavily overnight. I've already made up my mind, though; I'm walking to work. The hotel is on top of this hill and I have absolutely no idea how to get down that hill on an icy morning without taking out a few trees and mailboxes along the way. I would rather cover my pants in leaves and bark and attempt to slide down that hill on my ass than risk anything involving 4 wheels, little red wagons included.
More importantly, the job seems like a good one thus far, and I like my coworkers. Hopes are high.
Last day of work at AI tomorrow! If ever there were a time to make some enemies, that's the day. Unfortunately for me, I work with a bunch of good, nice people. My solution? Make enemies with the people at the company next door.
I don't know exactly what it is they do over there, but immediately after my exit interview, I'm taking a baseball bat to their laser printer. If the security guard tries to stop me, I'll bust out the following killer line on him: "Oh yeah? Not only do I not work here, but I don't even work at the place next door!" Game, set, match, Powell.
Tonight is Thursday and Thursday houses my dark secret. For reasons I'll never understand, I'm engrossed in Celebrity Apprentice. I don't even like the regular Apprentice, but there's something magnetic about watching Stephen Baldwin and Marilu Henner sell yogurt on the streets of Manhattan. If there's one lesson I've learned from this show, it's to never, ever underestimate the star of Biodome. Some see that particular movie as a stupid flop, but I see it as a grueling capitalism training camp.
In closing, I am officially recommending the new Nada Surf album. Have a good weekend, all, and as usual, watch for the Baldwin brothers.
I start my new job on Monday, and I spend that first week in Boston up in the corporate headquarters. I think I've mentioned this already. What I may not have mentioned is the fact that Boston is also known as the North Pole, and is renowned for its frigid, icy temperatures and seal-friendly landscapes.
Being from Texas, I don't have a lot of cold weather skills. I don't know much about scraping ice off of a windshield, I'm not sure which way to breathe to keep my lungs from turning into ice, and I wouldn't know how to drive off the Abominable Snowman using only a harpoon. It goes without saying that, like everyone else in Central Texas, I have no damn idea how to drive in ice or snow. Much like waltzing, I do it maybe once a year and it ain't pretty.
How does paragraph 1 relate to paragraph 2? When I get to Boston, I have a 30 minute drive to the airport. I just checked the weather forecast for Sunday evening, when I arrive and make the drive; the low for that time period is 6 degrees and I'm just going to assume that includes icy crap.
I always like to start off my first day of work with something impressive. Tell me, friends: what is a more impressive start to a new job than totaling your company-provided rental car before you've even started the job?
In the interest of keeping me off of the streets and out of your garbage can, here's a plan. If you live in Massachusetts, stay off the streets on Sunday night. I'm not going to give you a time period for that, because it honestly could take me hours to get 15 miles from the airport to the hotel.
Stock up on your canned goods and bottled water. If your wife may give birth that night, just go ahead and induce labor now. And if you do find yourself on the road then and you see a car going 2 MPH towards Needham, please give me a little push.
How was yesterday? The Super Bowl was tremendous; it was a great, exciting game, and I tend to root for underdogs when no immediate family is playing. The rest of the day was a poop sandwich.
We went out for a fancy dinner on Saturday night, and the food and company were both great. We had a tremendous time, and while I was a little overstuffed, I was satisfied. Little did I realize, my body was about to start the Great Digestive Riot of 2008.
Do you ever have one of those days where it's like you're engaging in a contest to see how many bodily fluids you can eject at once? Sunday was one of those days for me. From 4 AM until the time I went to sleep, I was like a great, big baby. Not some cute baby either, but one who won't stop going to the bathroom and throwing up out of some strange baby spite.
The good news is that I feel much, much better today. My guess is that I accidentally threw up my tained internal organs yesterday, and I generated some good, clean organs overnight. (Note that this does not give anyone the right to dope me up and steal my kidneys.)
Is anything going on in the world of Powell? Well, I'm continuing to go crazy over Mario Galaxy. There's a 50% chance that if you ask me a question in real life, I'll answer in Mario-speak. Marooooooo!