Archive for December, 2007

The Captain Takes Over The Happiest Place On Earth

Before I inevitably starting bitching about it, let me start by saying that I do not think that the Disney Corporation is intrinsically evil.  There are MANY things I wish that they would do differently, but I don’t place them on the same level that I place soulless, life-crushing behemoths like Wal-Mart .  I guess you could say that I have a love-hate relationship with the company that Walt built.

Last weekend Megan and I made a trip down to Orlando and stayed at Disney World on Saturday.  Megan’s benevolent parents are nice enough to let us use their time-share at Disney from time to time, and Saturday was one of those times.  We met up with our friends Amir and Julie who also happened to be in town for the weekend.  We didn’t actually spend much time at Disney, but instead went shopping most of the weekend.1

Apart from our spacious resort room, the most time that we spent at Disney World was on Saturday nite at a place called Downtown Disney .  This is basically the outdoor shopping and restaurant district at Disney that doesn’t have an admission.  While Downtown Disney is very neon and chocked full of touristy nonsense like Planet Hollywood, it also has some decently authentic stuff.  This is where we gravitated, specifically the Irish Pub.

I enjoyed a plate of sausages and several mugs of Boddingtons while gawking at the sheer number of overweight tourists wearing shorts and sandals with socks.  They had a pretty groovy Irish band playing in the bar, and the hostess wearing the skimpy dress got up on the bar several times and danced a jig.2 Quite a good time.

Afterwards, the four of us hit a couple of bars.  We ended up at some Cuban bar that was packed full of Cuban dancing to the live band.  Once we settled in here one of my favorite people made a rare appearance, Tipsy Megan!

Tipsy Megan is a lot of fun.  She laughs at everything and demands to dance every five minutes or so.  I actually indulged her for a song and tried my best not to look ridiculous dancing next to a bunch of highly skilled Cuban couples.  I did not succeed.

Still, we had a great nite and the trip overall was quite relaxing.  This is because we didn’t spend that much time actually at Disney World.  Even though I enjoy a trip to Disney, after about 48 hours I start to complain about everything around me.  I will spare you a rant about the amount the insane amount of drivel that Disney produces .  Lets just say that being surrounded by Disney for a prolonged amount of time slowly drives me crazy.

Alright, I need to focus on the positive.  First, Disney World is where the Atlanta Braves’ spring training facility is located.  Why is this important?  Because the St. Louis Cardinals will be playing a spring training game at Disney on a weekend in March, and I’m planning on attending.  I am officially throwing out an invitation to my friends to attend the game with me.  The games are on Sunday March 16 and Monday March 17 , anyone who is interested let me know.

The biggest positive about Disney World is that it services as a convenient location for ESPN awards shows, such as the one my neighbor Mark attended a couple of weeks ago.  He was at Disney to attend the college football awards shows, and actually got to meet many of the biggest stars in college football.  Here’s Mark with Mr. Missouri, Chase Daniels.

Mark, being the awesome guy that he is, managed to snag me a hat and get it autographed by Chase.  Not only that, he also snagged an autograph from Florida’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow!  How badass is that!  I have to give Mark a big Ach, Ja for being such a thoughtful guy.

Disney World is what it is.  I’m learning how to accept Disney as best as I can, especially seeing as I will probably be in Orlando a lot in the near future.  So yeah, I’ll try to be less like the Donald Duck I am usually am and more like Mickey Mouse.


The Captain

1  Actually, Amir and I rushed through our shopping and then went to a near-bye cigar shop.  What a great way to kill time while the wives were shopping.  We got to relax on these big leather sofas and watch a movie (Naked Gun 33 1/3 for some strange reason) while smoking our stogies.  Good times.

2  You should have seen all of the middle aged fathers stare at this girl while she was dancing.  I could definitely tell this was as close to a strip-club as most of these men would get in a long time.

The Captain Needs To Borrow Your Ear

After all of the bitching I did last week about this time of year, I feel the need to balance it out with some positive thoughts about December.  There is one thing in particular that I enjoy about this time of year, creating my yearly Modern Rock cd.  This year marks the sixth installment!  If you don’t know that to which I am referring, let me take the time to explain a little.

Ever since the advent of bubble gum pop and rap metal in the late nineties I’ve consistently heard from my friends the same sentiments: “Music really sucked this year,” “No one puts out any good tunes anymore,” “Where are all the good new bands?”

While I understand why people feel like this, it is simply not true.  Great new music is made every year; some of my favorite songs were put out this decade.  The difference is that being exposed to great new music has become increasingly difficult as time progresses.  Radio stations play pure drivel now-a-days, and MTV doesn’t even bother to play music anymore.  The end result is that hearing new quality rock music is difficult for the average fan.

Well, back in 2002 I decided to do something about this problem.  That year I burnt a disc of my favorite songs from the year so I could listen to them in the car.  I played the disc while visiting my buddy Mike in K.C. and he asked me to burn him a copy.  This gave me the idea to burn some copies and distribute the discs to my friends.  I dubbed the disc “Niks Piks:  Modern Rock 2002”, and gave out copies as Christmas presents.

I received a very positive reaction from my friends, so I sent out even more copies in 2003.  This time I included a bonus disc with a genre mix that I created.  This started a trend that has continued to today.  Last year for Modern Rock 2006 I even had my buddy Rob design a logo:

So here it is at the end of 2007, and I am hard at work finishing up Modern Rock 2007.  This is a process that I enjoy immensely.  Giving out these discs is my way of spreading Christmas cheer; it is the highlight of this time of year for me.

Now that I’ve explained Modern Rock 2007, let me ask you for a little help.  I’m looking for some input from my friends on the track list.  Just so I’m clear, this disc will only feature songs that were release this year or at the tail end of last year.  The disc usually includes mostly rock songs, but occasionally one or two eclectic songs has been thrown in as well.

So, please feel free to give me any suggestions.  What was your favorite song this year?  What was the best new band you discovered?  Know any great obscure songs this year that deserve to be heard by everyone?

I’m looking for as much input as possible from my friends.  Many of the songs that ended up on previous year’s track listings were suggestions from friends.  I’m looking to finalize Modern Rock 2007 within the next week, so please send me your input now.  Leave me a comment on this site, send me an email, myspace me, call me, write me, text me, you can even send me a telegraph, just let me hear your suggestions.

Once Modern Rock 2007 is finished, I’ll post a blog to discuss the final product.  At that point I’ll also collect addresses from anyone who wants me to mail them a copy.  So until then, lend me your ear and send me your suggestions!


The Captain

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