Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Monday Montage Madness (written on Wednesday... weird)

So it has been awhile since I have really posted anything of interest here on W.E.D. And while the time has passed and things have happened, I have left you the readers (if there are any of you left) in the dark as to the happenings in my life. Why? Largely because they’re not terribly interesting.

But for the sake of prosperity, I will do this in a text-based, virtual montage of my life over the past few weeks. This is often done in movies and television shows to illustrate the passing of time as the protagonist of the story goes about life and sets out to become the great man/woman he/she is destined to become, or whatever else so that the plot of the story can continue with now that time has passed and the requisite (yet boring) mundane character building has occurred. Generally, this is done to music, but as I have not yet finalized the soundtrack to my life right now, I’m going to suggest you find in your music libraries a montage-suitable song and play it while you read the rest of this post. If you like, I can wait for you to get back.

Okay, so I didn’t wait, but then again, the projectionist in the movie theatre doesn’t stop the movie just so you can go pee. And my friend(s), W.E.D. is not available on DVD or VHS, so you’re just going to have to deal with it. Anyway, here goes:

[scene opens with Steve-O reluctantly rolling out of bed in the morning, walking into the bathroom to feed the cats, shave and brush his teeth, followed by adjusting the water temperature in the shower, getting naked and climbing into the shower] Well, okay as this is a fairly common theme throughout most of my days, I may just fast forward through this part, which I can do but you can’t, again because its my life and I am the guy writing about it. However, if you’re hung up on the me being naked part, you can linger if you must, but I do blush easily, so I am going to have to ask you to keep hooting and hollering and any drooling to yourself (unless of course you’re an attractive single woman, in which you can find a link below to the comments portion of this blog where you can leave your name and contact information). Yeah right. Like that would happen. I don’t even hoot and holler when I see me naked.

Anyway, cue montage music if you haven’t already. I have gone to work a bunch, been in a bunch of meetings and have gotten my project well on the way to its final completion on 13 November of this year. This of course is a small miracle given some of the hoops I have had to jump through, issues that I have had to resolve and personalities I have had to contend with, convince, subvert or otherwise bend to my will. I have had a girl I dated for awhile pop back up and express interest in getting back to where we were before she decided to go try things out with her supposedly reformed ex-boyfriend. I have had to deal with trying to decide what exactly my feelings about said girl are, and trying to weigh the opportunity costs of having someone in my life, or not while I wait for the possibility that at some point someone really special will suddenly arrive in my life and will be really interested in being with me. Concurrently, I have been trying to explain my situation regarding love to no fewer than five women who all seem to tell me not to give up hope and that a perfect and special someone is out there and I just have to have faith, that they are concerned that women I know or have met or am simply just friends with are wrong for me and will end up hurting me, and that I am such a catch that I should have no problem finding someone. And then of course I have to deal with the fact that my job blows and quite unlike the goal of continuous improvement that is so pervasive in the working world, seems to be following the paths of continuous demotivation, demoralization and defecation (yes, there’s more and more shit that I have to deal with every day). And yet, I am trying to hang on to the idea that out there somewhere, after some specific yet unnamed date (at least for me), there will be a job created specifically for me by a vice president who has told me and a few other people that he wants me in his organization. I am also dealing with competing personalities (mine and a woman I work with who is convinced that she knows more than I do even though I have had her job/responsibilities, did them faster and better than she does, can do things correctly the first time and with little explanation, and am a person that people know they can count on whereas she’s a clueless bitch who thinks that her higher salary and position mean she’s better than I am. And then there was my trip to Vegas. Vegas was fun and cool, and I saw some pretty over the top things, but I learned that it is easy to get burned out on Vegas after three days. Unfortunately, my conference lasted a full week and when I was trying to come home, the plane had a problem with it and so they wouldn’t let it take off, they moved us all to different flights, people suck, we all had to get our luggage from baggage claim, go to another terminal, go through security another time (only this time with the SSSS designation on the boarding pass, which apparently stands for Special Security Screening Service or, what I later decided would be better named “the harassment lane” as it was pretty much staffed with every TSA person who hated their jobs, hated people and hated anything efficient), and didn’t end up getting home until 5.04a – six hours and 15 minutes from when my flight was originally supposed to land. So getting caught up on sleep has been pretty much the bulk of what I have done over the past few days. At the same time, the Russian girls are sending me stuff through Match.com again. The most recent one has a better grasp of the English language (or at least can write it better, or found someone who can write her profile better), though the “accidentally put my home city in wrong” excuse is still a common theme. Aside from that, apparently Jack and his TextElf union/EELF has gotten rather militant and has been saber rattling and posturing, which just might lead to war, which he will no doubt lead from his spooky-aura house.

So that pretty much catches you up. Or if not, at least gets you close. At least it will if you can overlook the lack of spacing and paragraphs in the above (though for the whole montage thing to work, you really can’t break or pause anything, so it was done on purpose). And hopefully I will be able to soon look back on a lot of this and laugh. Right now, however, I am trying to figure out if it was a bad career move to invite my boss’s boss’s boss to a training session that I found out later I can’t even attend and had to rescind my invitation, right after he sent me a personal e-mail commenting that he was rather impressed with the way I had been handling the project. Ah well. Guess these things just sort of happen to people. Even protagonists after the passage of time/character building montage.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"There was a purpose to this when I started, but I seem to have forgotten what it was..."

“What are you doing?”

“Going after her, what does it look like?”

“You’re insane. You know that, right?”

“Probably.”

“There’s a war on… and you’re heading smack dab into the heart of it all....”

“Yep.”

“For a girl…”

“Yep.”

“Who says she doesn’t love you…”

“Looks that way.”

“Why?”

“Because I have to.”

“No you don’t! You’re just hanging on to the past!” I could hear the tears building up in her voice. I didn’t even have to look at her to see it.

“Maybe I am. But I don’t have much of a future if I don’t sort it all out. I can’t keep living in the present unable to tell what is real and what isn’t.”

“But… but I thought we were real,” she said finally breaking down into sobs, her face buried in her hands. I turned back to face her, setting the pistol I had just cocked back down on the dresser.

“I’m sorry…. It’s just that I have to see this through.” More sobs. Slowly I walked towards her, eventually embracing her in my arms. Perhaps she was thankful for the comforting gesture or just wanting some sort of security, but she quickly wrapped her arms around me and held tight. “Every day I get up and don’t know if I am truly awake or in some sort of dream. I want to know what is real. And this is the only way.”

“It’s a stupid way,” she sobbed.

“I know.”

“Then way?” she looked up at me with tear-stained eyes.

“Because I have to.” And in that very instant, her face hardened. A split second later, her knee hit me in the nuts and I crumpled to the floor in pain.

“Don’t give me that bullshit! You’re going after her because you love her not me! Fucking bastard!” She turned on her heel and started to leave the room, no longer caring that I was laying on the floor doubled over.

“You… you don’t understand,” I breathed, still trying to recover from the blow. “I need… no, I have to be able to… to close this chapter before I can write a new one with you.” She stopped, but did not turn back. “I love you… and I want to be sure that I am always there for you. But… I need to tell her that I’m done. Otherwise she’ll never leave me alone.”

“Really?” Her voice had softened once more, and although she had finally turned back to look at me, she wasn’t doing much to help me as I struggled to stand.

“Yes.”

“How do I know for certain that you’re telling the truth?”

“You can’t. And I can’t do anything to convince you. That’s something you have to decide.”

“What if you’re lying? I don’t want to be hurt again.”

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You’re not instilling a lot of confidence.”

“What does your heart tell you?” I finally managed to pull myself back up with the help of the edge of the bed and a bit of effort.

“When will you be back?” she said after a rather awkward and lengthy pause.

“I don’t know.”

“What if something happens?”

“I don’t know.”

“What if I never see you again?”

“You will.” She walked back over and hugged me tightly. I took her into my arms and held her close.

“Promise?”

“Promise.” She smiled and then kneed me in the groin again. The smile persisted as she watched me crumple again before leaving the room.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Meditations in dialog: trivializing the world through fictional escapes

Part of this, I must confess, was originally posted as a comment to a post on my friend Trey’s blog (see Brain Food Bistro under links). His original post, “Kerouac eats some spicy couscous” was quirky and enjoyable and sparked off something creative inside of me. And as I am still trying to fight off the grumbly, introspective and not-so-light-hearted mood I’ve been in as of late, I decided that I’d use this as the basis for something I’ve kind of wanted to do ever since I came up with it for his website.

“This is not couscous,” she said softly. “It is a mediocre tapioca with some half-assed blend of spices.”

“How can you say that?” he retorted, clearly taken aback by her criticisms.

“Stop trying to hide your lack of commitment in your food. You are now and always shall be a simpleton. I should have kissed Walter and not you.”

This statement particularly hurt, because Walter was his dog. It also confirmed a nagging suspicion that had always been lurking in the deep recesses of his consciousness – namely that the one amazing night they had shared only happened because she was too drunk to say no.

“You could have said something sooner. Five years is old age for a lie,” he spat. There was no reason to hold back. Why should he spare her feelings now? It wasn’t like she had ever returned the favor.

“Why? It was a good run. You did everything for me, you bought me things… it was the life of a princess. Why spoil it?

“But now seemed like a good time?”

“I always knew you’d catch on eventually. It was only a matter of time. It just happened that today you decided to stand up for yourself.” She shrugged nonchalantly, yet even still the gesture seemed cold and mocking. “So, are you going to fix some real food for us tonight or is this it?”

“Screw you,” he said softly.

“Excuse me?”

“Screw you!”

“What?” she stared at him, clearly stunned.

“You heard me. You know what? Just go. Get out. This is over.”

“Oh don’t be like that…”

“No, get out. Now.”

“But… but I…”

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY LIFE! NOW!” he shouted, throwing the wooden spoon he was holding into the sink and ripping the apron off.

“Can you drop me off at…”

“Fuck no! Get out of my fucking life; get out of my fucking house! Just get OUT!”

“Fine,” she hissed, sounding even more like a harpy than usual, before turning and walking out of the kitchen. He waited till he heard the front screen door slam closed till he started breathing again. He was shaking. She was gone. At least for now.

That wasn’t how it should have happened. The plan had been to have a nice picnic in the park, and although he was sure she was going to start complaining about having to be outside in the heat, he had been looking forward to it. Not anymore. With a sigh he opened the refrigerator and grabbed a beer. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t even eleven thirty, he wanted it – maybe even needed it. That and some time to think. He grabbed the bottle opener, popped the top and walked out onto the back porch taking a huge swig.

“It’s five o’clock somewhere,” he told himself out loud. “Here’s to us.” Walter looked up at him from the porch without moving his head. Apparently the heat had drained what little energy a dog of that age would have. Walter was a good dog, but those eyes… especially now. He felt like he was being judged, and while Walter and he were buds, he wasn’t sure Walter would side with him on this one.

“Screw you, Walter,” he spat. “That bitch wouldn’t know couscous from meatloaf.”

Of course that was a life. She had renounced her vegan ways in a frenzy of beef fondue three years ago. Of course they had been drinking heavily at the time. This made it all so much more pleasant when she vomited everything back up onto the drapes. Even then, she was high maintenance. If only he had known sooner. He might have gotten her to foot the bill.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't complain. At least I'm posting something new.

Lately I have been preoccupied with work, life, people, stuff, etc. Because of this, I am finding that everything I try to write turns into a rant or a grumble and is anything but entertaining (see last post).

So, instead of trying to force something, I'll leave you with this random dialog exchange that I wrote instead. It never really happened. Make of it what you will.

“I don’t agree. You shouldn’t put yourself through hell just because you’re trying to prove a point.” She was clearly frustrated with him for being so pig-headed, but knew that the entire discussion was futile from the start. And that only frustrated her more, because in reality, she loved him and couldn’t bear to see him in so much pain.

“If I don’t, she won’t understand.” He took another sip of his beer, trying to hide his irritation.

“She doesn’t understand now.”

“That’s because she hasn’t had a chance to notice.”

You talk to her every day. You do everything together. When you’re out of town or in town, you’re still always together.

What’s your point?

Nothing. Never mind.”

What?

“Nothing. It’s no big deal. I just wish I could help cheer you up.” She knew that was a lie. Hopefully he wouldn’t. Of course he was too self-absorbed in his problems to notice, but still. It was killing her to watch him like this – to put himself through so much pain and suffering. She had been there before with someone else. And it hurt. A lot. But there was nothing she could do. She was his friend; she had to be supportive. She had to be there for him. That was her job. Even if it killed her inside to see him like this, see the way he was being treated by someone who clearly didn’t feel the same way, and to have to keep her feelings bottled up inside.

“Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For trying.”

“To cheer you up?” She shook her head and smiled. “What are friends for? Besides, I know you’d do it for me.” Another lie. She wasn’t sure he would, but she wanted so badly to believe it. It was just hard. With the way things had gone lately, it was hard to believe in anyone.

“You truly are amazing,” he smiled.

“Oh stop. If I am so amazing, why am I still single?”

“You just haven’t found the right person yet.”

“Oh like I haven’t heard that before.”

“Okay, I know that sounded trite, but seriously. There is someone out there for you. And when you least expect…”

“When I least expect it, that’s when it is going to happen and I’m going to meet the perfect person.” She was trying hard to keep the annoyance out of her voice, but no matter how hard she tried, she could still hear it. “It’s not a race. I’m not eighty years old. There’s still time.”

“Exactly.”

“Well, that is all true, but here I am. I’m still single. I don’t meet anyone. Every relationship I have had in the past ten years has pretty much ended badly, generally because the person I’m with screws me over and leaves me for someone else. It isn’t exactly a confidence builder, you know.”

“Nobody said it was easy.”

“Would you stop?! You’re not the one sitting here trying to reconcile your notion of where you are now and where you wanted to be! I am! I wanted to have a family. I wanted to have kids! I wanted to go to PTA meetings and soccer games and museum school information sessions! No, I’m not eighty, but there’s not much chance I’m going to have kids at the rate I’m going!” She had lost all control over her frustration and annoyance. She was yelling at him. And that kicked her in the gut and made her feel even worse than she did before. He didn’t need that. He didn’t deserve that. He was the one who was hurting, and it wasn’t time for her to unload her worries on him. She watched him try to soothe her and calm her down, but whatever he said, she didn’t really hear. She was too busy beating herself up for her outburst. Yes, it was true and she needed to say it, but not now. Now was not the time. And honestly, she told herself, even if it was, he was probably not the one to tell it to.

“I’m sorry,” she finally whispered. “You didn’t need that. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

“No, it’s okay.” It wasn’t, but she tried to let herself believe him. She wanted to believe him. But then again, she wanted to believe him because she still was clinging to the idea that maybe he would wake up and see that the girl he was with was not right for him, and that maybe then she would have a chance. Albeit a slim one.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mikey Found Dead: Choked on Life!

To be or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ‘t is nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?
[William Shakespeare]

Life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s hard to take being on the top—or on the bottom. I guess I’m something of a fatalist. You have to have a sense of history, I think, to survive some of these things.... Life is one crisis after another.
[Richard M. Nixon]

Life’s a bitch.
[Socrates]

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the past few months about life. The thing is, every time I start, the first thing I have to deal with is the fact that life didn’t turn out how I expected it to. And I guess I am finding out that this is completely normal. Which is really hard to swallow.

How is it that so many people were raised believing that life was an open book of possibilities, only to find out that we were all mislead? Are we all making horrible choices? Are we blindly wandering down paths that lead only to our disillusion, disappointment and despair? I don’t want to believe that we are, but at the same time, I look at how many of my friends are living their lives the best that they can and finding out that nothing is what they expected.

I have a friend who is a single mom, trying to support herself and her kids. I have a friend who lost his job and had difficulty finding another one, so much that he had to live without electricity in his house for several months before he could build up the courage to ask for help. I have a friend who lived much of his life with his parents, jaded by the fact that even though his degree was widely sought-after, he could not find a job. I have a friend who got pregnant on accident and the father of the baby has put as much space between himself and responsibility as possible.

These were not the plans they had envisioned for themselves growing up. Nobody sat on the playground with their friends playing single mom house or pretending to have a nervous breakdown. Nobody played bill collectors and struggling families. The girls didn’t sit in class mindlessly doodling their maiden names on the back of their spiral notebooks while imagining life after having been married and divorced to their crush on the other side of the classroom. We were going to be astronauts, doctors, scientists, ministers, engineers, and architects, not wage slaves trying to eek out a living in an existence we hate.

But that is reality. We are stuck with it. And the only means of support we have are our friends and family. That is, if we have the support of our friends and family. Who do you have that you can turn to? What friend do you go to when you are down, having trouble or just want someone to listen to? Who do you have that you can call up and tell that you just need to get away, maybe go and have a beer, or whatever? Who do you have that is willing to drop whatever they were doing to be there for you? To support you? To listen?

Hopefully, as you read that last paragraph, you thought of the person you look to. For many of you, your first thoughts were of your spouse or significant other. Maybe it was of a particularly good friend or a relative with whom you are very close to. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it is someone who you know will always be there for you and who is willing to do anything they can to help you. Not because they have to or feel obligated to do so, but because they want to.

Now I ask you, who does that person in your mind turn to when they are in need?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Tastes like there's ginger... a little chinese all-spice and... um... battery acid?

One of the things that I discovered on my trip to Scotland was that the people who create food flavorings have decided to make the U.K. their laboratory. Whether this is due to the fact that most of the traditional cuisine lacks the adventurous spices of your Thai, Mexican or Italian or because the jalapeno was not brought to the Celts by Vikings, I don’t know. I mean what else would Odin want on his nachos? Though he might be thinking twice about it when he was sitting on the throne there in Valhalla, feeling the burn and hoping that the guy in the stall next to him would be willing to pass him a few extra sheets of two-ply (“Dammit Loki! It isn’t mischief to use a whole roll!”)

The reason I have decided that the U.K. is the food flavoring laboratory of the world is because you can get just about anything flavored chips [from the Scottish/British word, “crisps”, which basically means chips]. Cheese and onion? Tomato? Barbecue spare rib? Prawn [shrimp] cocktail? Worchester sauce? Roast chicken? Marmite (which is apparently a yeast-extract spread, much like vegemite, that just sounds completely disgusting)? All of these are flavors that I have seen printed on bags in Tesco [a chain of supermarkets that is not entirely unlike the love-child of a Wal-Mart grocery and a Walgreen’s, who then carried a few lines of car parts, electronics and house wares, and is ironically, not owned by Wal-Mart].

The frightening thing is that barbecue spare rib actually tastes exactly like a pork rib (and sadly less like barbecue), that the roast chicken tastes like it was pulled directly off the rotisserie at Boston Market, and that the Worchester sauce was poured directly from the bottle and somehow ended up as a flat (though available with ridges if you know where to look), potato-based snack food. And yet, that’s what makes them horrible.

Perhaps it is my American taste-buds, but when I want potato chips, I want potato chips, not a three course meal that comes in small, individually-sized bags, packaged to resist crushing, and that I can smash up and put in my sandwich. No, I jealously horde the “normal” flavors like cracked pepper or salt and vinegar.

But hey, that’s me. Perhaps the realization of Bertie Bot’s Every-Flavor snack-food empire scares me. Perhaps I’m not ready for the ‘recently fertilized loam’, ‘magoro sushi with wasabi’, or ‘lutefisk’ flavored chips yet. Perhaps I am just far too conservative and adventure-adverse in my culinary explorations.

Or perhaps I am not alone in being terrified by the thought that there could be ‘spinach couscous’ flavored crisps out there ready for testing in the lab. Bertie Bot had earwax and booger flavored beans, much to the dismay of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Something tells me we should be equally worried.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Yes, it is coming in very clearly... I see a hazy cloud of countless indeterminate possibilities in your future...

This morning as I checked my e-mail, I found something that struck me as rather telling. “ANNOUNCEMENT: The regular meeting of the Clairvoyant Society will not take place this month, due to unforeseen circumstances.” Or perhaps it wasn’t telling, which was the problem. Now before you start changing your plans and fearing for the fate of the world, let me tell you that this was sent as a joke and that it does not mean that your last trip to the fortune teller was wasted, the tarot cards you bought are a fraud, and the mechanical swami at the boardwalk isn’t going to make you big overnight so that you can go dance on a giant piano keyboard in FAO Schwartz with some old guy who runs a toy company.

That being said, I often wonder just how much money we as a society spend on trying to predict the future. I know that at one point in college, you couldn’t go anywhere in the lounge in the student center without seeing a bunch of us sitting on the couches or laying on the floor reading each other’s tarot cards looking for those fundamental truths of the universe such as ‘did I pass that baby p-chem exam?’, ‘does Ryan actually like me or not?’, and ‘do I break up with Melanie now that I’m miserable or do I wait until she chases off all my friends and ruins my life too?’ Of course we also tended to be sure to do this on ‘tour day’ when admissions brought all the wide-eyed prospective students and their parents to campus to see what a bastion of staunch, conservative, Christian morality and idealism the school was (especially as it was a private Christian school). Of course several of us rationalized this as it was something that we studied in a psychology class (States of Consciousness) as a type of ‘consciousness map’ much like horoscopes and fortune cookies whereby the mind attaches real life events and symbolism to ambiguous or vague statements in hopes of finding some sort of deeper meaning (really, the whole theory is quite interesting and I found that I really like playing with it, much like I like playing with all those nifty cards with colorful pretty pictures).

Of course we also studied the I Ching in that same psychology class (after the mandatory 15 minute meditation session… at 8.00a… yeah, we ‘meditated’ alright… many of us even went to the ‘meditation make-up’ sessions that were held at the end of the semester that were intended for the people who overslept or skipped class so that they could get credit). It was there that I first became acquainted with the phenomenon known as ‘The Cosmic No’.

If you know nothing about the I Ching, it is a fortune telling method that involves the use of six lines, either solid or broken, in an arrangement that corresponds to a set ‘outcome’ (basically, an ambiguous or vague statement written down in the accompanying booklet that the people selling it to you were thoughtful enough to provide, which is a good thing because what good is a thousand year old divination tool without a means to interpret the prophesies?). Of course we didn’t have tiles with the different combinations on them, we were flipping coins. Who knew that thousands of years ago some monk in China could have performed the same divinations we were by reaching into his pocket, pulling out a piece of local currency and flipping it six times?! Wow, if only those guys selling the fake-bone tile sets had performed their own divinations they’d have figured out that I could take a photocopied version of the translations and a penny out of my pocket and save myself $30! Suckers!
Anyway, so we started flipping our pennies (heads was a solid line, tails was a broken line) and recording the results. We were doing this in groups of three, so I was with a sorority girl and some guy who might have been on one of the sports teams (not important to the story… I checked by reading the ice in my coke this morning. I assume melted = not important, but then again I’m in Texas in the summer). The girl’s I Ching came out to say that her life was nice and that her boyfriend was cheating on her or something like that. I think this was confirmed since he was holding hands with another girl across the room (point awarded to the Cosmos). The guy was curious if someone was going to win some game, which the Cosmos said something about injury and failure. This was interpreted to be ‘no, you ignorant twit I don’t have time to waste predicting sporting events I have to control the destinies of millions of people’. As it happened, the team lost (Cosmos leads 2-0).

Finally it was my turn. I flipped my penny as instructed and dutifully recorded my results. We then scoured through the photocopied tome of wisdom wherein all the truths of Destiny had been recorded by wizened Buddhist monks since time began (or at least during the Tang and other astronaut breakfast-drink dynasties) looking for my fate. Perhaps I should have been more concerned when we didn’t find it. But hey, I was young and immature. What did I know? I jokingly called it ‘The Cosmic No’ and foretold, sarcastically and with biting humor, (what? From me? No!) that it basically meant I was screwed.

Naively we sought out our professor asking for his guidance through the murky grey clouds of possible futures. Knowingly, he listened to my problem, reached towards one of several books on the table and began his research. Sagely, he shook his head when he failed to find it in that book, reaching for a second. And then a third. Finally settling on the last great tome of knowledge, the largest and most complete collection of lines ever recorded by wizened Buddhist monks from before the Bling-Bling dynasty, which did indeed contain my combination of lines.

And it basically meant I was screwed. Niiiice. Thanks Fate! Thanks Destiny! Thanks wizened Buddhist monks from the Prawn [ironically also Scottish for ‘shrimp’ like you would find in shrimp cocktail or gumbo or fried pop-corn style and dipped in a tomato-based cocktail sauce] dynasty!

But that’s okay. I lived to tell about it. When Destiny gives you lemons, you just have to take them and make lemonade. And mix it with alcohol, because alcoholic cosmic lemonade is really good. Especially on a hot day. Though your ice will probably melt, which generally means whatever it is you’re thinking about isn’t important in the grand scheme of things (or at least in terms of all things Cosmic).