News flash: life becomes much more terrifying when you lose your wallet and your cell phone.
All day long, I was worried I was going to have to identify myself for some strange reason, and upon failing to do so, probably end up wrongfully imprisoned for a few years. Why would I be there for a few years? My lost cell phone has all of my phone numbers in it; I'd be stuck in the clink until I came to the attention of a charitable public defender.
Once I got over that, I started worrying about all of the stuff in my wallet I'd have to replace. For example, the wallet has my old student id. I'm going to have to start paying full price at the movie theaters now? JUst to put Hollywood in its place, I'd enroll in one Spanish class for a semester, get a new id, and probably shatter the grading curve in the process.
The worst part of all of this is that shortly after I realized I was missing all of this stuff, I got in my car and discovered the gas tank was empty. I live 7.7 miles from work; I didn't even want to calculate the odds of me going 15 miles total of hilly terrain in morning and afternoon rush hour traffic in Austin without running out of gas. Luckily for me, I drive a standard and so I was coasting all over the roadways today. I'd get up to 40 mph, throw it in neutral, and hope for strong wind. Did it work? As I'm writing this from home and not from the dumpster of an Exxon, you may assume that it did.
The happy ending here is that the wallet and phone were in Laura's car all day. In the future, I'll keep these in my pants and my pants on my person.
This fellow contacted me recently, saying he was working on a site that catalogues Austin's bars, their offerings and prices, and so forth. Could I help with some market research? As someone who enjoys both the internet and alcohol, I can indeed.
The survey is here: http://www.questionpro.com/akira/TakeSurvey?id=948793. If you fill it out and list me as the reference, then some money gets donated to a charity of my choice (National Parkinsons Foundation). If you have a minute, do it up.
I've mentioned here before that the house we just bought came with a big fish tank containing several fishes. Knowing that as well as my tendency to do strange things on accident, how long do you think we were in the house before I accidentally swallowed a mouthful of water from the fish tank?
If you guessed 2 and a half weeks, you win! If you happened to be the person swallowing nasty fish tank water (ie, me), you lose!
In my own defense, it's not like I dunked my head in there and started gulping. We were trying to switch the water out, and I tried a little too hard to start siphoning the existing water. It's been about a day now and I can say with 70% certainty that I don't have fish-borne AIDS. Aquatic scurvy is still a definite maybe, however.
A few people have asked how we did at the Pun Off this weekend. Before I tell you, I'll say that Zyvarb and I consider ourselves to be the people's champs. We don't need some group of judges from the punning establishment telling us that we're awesome; all we need to hear are the wild and deranged cheers of our fans.
Is it any surprise then that the judges did not look upon us favorably? Of course not. We ended up with, out of four scores of ten possible points each, scores of 7, 7, 7, and 8.
I think an asterisk goes along with those scores, though. As you saw in the video from Monday, we were talking about cars and Star Wars. The girl who went right before us happened to win first prize in the contest. What did she talk about? Cars and Star Wars. I am serious: her whole routine was about cars, and she did touch on Star Wars. It was... a little strange.
Since there was this serendipitous, simultaneous discovery of cars/Star Wars puns by two different contestants, I only think it's fair that we share our scores. I believe, and someone verify the math here, this means the Pith Lords get to share first place. Tyranny of the Pun Off voting, consider yourself subverted.
I believe I've mentioned here how there's a big competition in Austin every year called the O. Henry Pun Off, and how my attorney Dean Zyvarb and I have always wanted to enter. Well, it was this past weekend and I can now officially scratch this one off of my life's to-do list.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present... the Pith Lords.
Let's not discuss how we fared in the competition itself.
Well ain't that the luck. We buy a house, and a week later, two big ass tornados head straight for it. Good news: the first one missed us. Bad news: the second one won't get here until after midnight, and Old Man Powell needs his sleep, even when death is on the line. Probable conclusion: this is the last post from Castle Powellskull.
(And yes, the reverse jinx is totally in play here.)
I alluded to this before, but I'm fleshing it out tonight: now that we've bought this house, we're now the owners of 20+ fish. I tried to count them multiple times, but they're fast and many of them look the same, so let's just say we now have 23 fish. I have increased my number of pets by over 1000% in less than a week! At that pace, every animal in the universe will be mine by October.
(Explanation: the house came with a fish tank and the fish tank came with fish.)
One thing I was looking forward to was naming all of those fish. I've tried a couple of times to actually do that, and I just don't have the heart for it. First, it's hard to keep them separate, even for the moment it'd take to name them. In fact, it's so hard to keep them separate, it's entirely possible that instead of 23 fish, we have 3 fish and a really reflective tank. In this case, I am definitely overfeeding those 3 fish.
Second, to put it bluntly, there's no point in naming something that's going to live for maybe another week. I've managed to keep me and Octopussy alive for several years now, but we're robust.
I do still like the idea of having fish. They're nice to look at, and I enjoy shopping for weird fish tank decorations. This evening at the pet shop, I saw this wiggly skeleton busting out of a treasure chest. You think I can pass that thing up? For now, I remain a fish owner.
It occurred to me just now that I never did plug the folks who greatly, greatly helped get us into this house. We were fortunate enough to have a tag team of awesomeness in our realtor and our mortgage broker, and not even for a moment did the real estate market stand a chance against their combined forces. The mortgage man is Michael Llewellyn with Westwind Mortgage, and the realtor is Tom White with Keller Williams here in Austin. If anybody wants to be set up with this dashing duo (no, not in that way), just let me know and I can send along their email addresses.
I inadvertently learned the best way to fill up one's inbox with lots of mail from well-meaning, but perhaps slightly strange individuals. Step 1: clean out your garage. Step 2: find lots of still decent stuff that you have no use for. Step 3: go onto Craigslist. Step 4: post this list of stuff and note that it's all sitting in your driveway, and can be had for free.
I completely and totally underestimated Austinites' love of free bikes.
What's slightly interesting is that I posted that ad earlier this afternoon, I answered roughly 30 emails on this free crap, and I actually have no idea whether anyone has picked up the stuff or not. It's at the old house and I've reached the stage of the moving process where, when it comes to all of that crap that's still there, I don't care if it's stolen, it's traded for drugs, or it's dismantled and then reassembled into weapons to be used against the elderly. Moochers of the world, unite and take that crap!
In other news, all is well at the new and improved Powell Manor. In my opinion, it's not a home until I've watched Lebowski in it and I crossed that off of my to-do list on Saturday.
Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but I've been engaged in maybe the most fun activity in the world. An ice cream eating contest? No, friend, that's the second most fun activity in the world. A week-long tickle fight? No, that's probably not even in the top 15. The most fun, of course, is moving.
The good news is that I think we're pretty much all moved over to the new house. There are two things left at the old place: my desk and the lawnmower. As soon as I picked that desk up, I realized it wasn't making it; it's both really heavy and slightly wiggly. Heavy and wiggly is a lethal combination when moving, especially if it's going up stairs. As far as for the lawnmower, well, my hatred of lawn care has combined with my hatred of moving to form a Voltron of disgust. I would seriously rather buy a goat and let it graze in my backyard than go get that freaking lawnmower.
Anyway, all of that is minor stuff. Instead of that, I focus on the nice things about moving, like all of the space and the large quantity of fish that we got along with the house. Since this is my first home purchase, I don't really know the answer to this one: do most houses come with stocked aquariums? I just assume that's the norm.
The fish are actually neat to watch and I think that, collectively, all of us realize that the odds aren't good for their survival. We try to focus on the good in the new house, though, and not the inevitable fish genocide of 2008.
Powell 1, Global Real Estate Market 0!
We were able to close on the house with no problems this afternoon. Immediately afterwards, we started the moving thing. And by the moving thing, I mean this endless loop of put box in car, swear heavily, remove box from car, continue to swear heavily. The good news is that we moved all evening and... it looks like we made absolutely no progress.
We actually did move a lot of stuff though, enough that we'll be sleeping at the new place tonight. I'd lay money on the possibility that I'll wake up in the middle of the night, walk towards the toilet in our old house, and fall down the stairs. To prepare for this, I set up a little crash landing zone. There are a lot of pillows down there, a few band aids, and then a soft serve ice cream machine, just because.
Anyway, more to come after the weekend when, good Lord willing, all of my heavy stuff will just disappear. Maybe it will end up at the new house, maybe I'll have to replace it. I'm not going to get too wound up about the details, since the stuff isn't that nice to begin with.