Archive for January, 2008

The Captain Opens His Treasure Chest Of Pics

I recently found myself with an abundance of free time while my wife was out of town for eight days.  In order to fill this void with something productive I decided to upload all of the digital pictures on my computer onto my Flickr site.  I had no idea what a gargantuan project I was undertaking.  Uploading, editing and sorting almost a thousand pictures can be quite time consuming.  Two and a half weeks later and I am finally finished.  Every digital picture I own is now on the Flickr site.1

If you ever remember me taking a picture of you chances are it is on the site.  In order to make the pictures easier to access I tried to group them logically.  I ended up grouping the new pictures in to three collections:  Events, Friends, and Family.  For those who may be curious, here are the groups that make up the collections and a sample pic.  First up are all of the groups in the Events Collection

Mardi Gras

With Mardi Gras only a couple of days away, I thought I should start with pics from previous year’s celebrations.  Included are the Soulard pics from 2006

And pics from my 2003 trip with DJ to New Orleans.

Halloween

This consistently fun holiday has produced several memorable pics.  Included are pics from the 2005 party in St. Charles

And the 2003 party in U-City featuring me as Ritchie Tennenbaum and my sister as RollerGirl

Beer Olympics

The ridiculously drunken antics of this hollowed competition are finally available.  Included are pics from the 2005 RTK edition

And the vastly superior 2006 edition.

Weddings

I’ve attended my fair share of weddings.  The wedding pics associated with Jamie & Rachel, Chris & Jen, and Mike & Irene have their own groups, and feature great shots like this one from Mike & Irene’s wedding.

Other weddings, like Eric & Sarah, Alison & Geoff, and Brian and Barb, were included in friend and family groups.

Drinking Activities

Other various activities that involved drinking are included in the events collection, specifically New Years 2007, My 27th Birthday, and the 2005 winery trip seen here.

The rest of the pics on the site are divided up according to the various group of friends and family associated with Megan and I.

Hazelwood Crew

These pics are primarily of my friends from high school.  There are numerous different pictures, including this one from the ’96 reunion.

Springfield Crew

These pics are of all of my college friends, including the Sunvilla Tenacious Dustmites, the cast of Suite Ds, and the 420 Madison crew seen here

1709 Crew

Most of these pics are from the two years I lived in St. Charles and the people who frequented 1709, such as these idiots

Sarasota Crew

The wonderful year I spent in Sarasota is cataloged in these pics, so accordingly there are lots of boat shots such as this

Megan’s Crew

All of the pics I possess of my wife and her friends are included here, i.e. lots of hot ladies like these

Cathies Crew

All of the pics I possess of my sister and her friends are included here, i.e. lots of drunk ladies like these

Ruiz Crew

The Monday nite Karaoke crew at Ruiz were a picture happy lot.  My contribution features lots of randomly posed pics such as this

I have also collected numerous family pictures into three collections featuring my Dad’s side of the family

My Mom’s side

And my wife’s family.

Finally, I put several random pictures of myself in a group under my name.  Lots of gems here, including me at my finest like this

So please enjoy the digital fruit of my electronic labor.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Well, almost every picture.  If there is a picture that you are looking for that is not included on the site, it is probably due to low quality, questionable material, or unflattering angles.

The Captain Ponders Politics In Florida

Today is primary day in Florida and I am wearing an “I Voted” sticker.  Regardless of my general support of voting, I am not very happy about the vote that occurred today.  This is specifically because of two decisions made by the Florida State Legislature.  First off, the State Legislature decided to move the date of the Florida’s primary forward despite objections by both parties.  Accordingly, the Democratic Party decided not to recognize Florida’s primary by removing all of Florida’s delegates.  In other words, a decision by the Republican State Legislature resulted in me being unable to help choose the Democratic Presidential Candidate.1

While I think it was stupid for the State Legislature to move the primary forward, I think it was extremely shortsighted for the Democratic Party to withhold delegates from Florida.  Even though the Democrats in Florida had nothing to do with the date change, the national party felt the need to dole out a punishment.  This was a poor decision.  The national party needs to do everything in their power to encourage Florida Democrats to vote, especially considering Florida decided the 2000 Presidential election.  Not counting the votes of Florida Democrats is a surefire way to piss off voters in a critical state.  Great job, assholes.

The second reason I am unhappy with the Florida State Legislature is today’s vote on Amendment 1 .  While I don’t want to get into the details of this extremely confusing amendment, let me just say that it is a crock.  Florida has some real problems with the equity of property taxes, and this amendment will exacerbate the problem.  Amendment 1 will also force local governments in Florida to drastically reduce their budgets.  Local government is a passion of mine and I would hate to see it gutted by the State Legislature.

I went to the polls today just to vote against Amendment 1 because I’m that strongly against it.  I am worried that democrats will stay away from the polls, and the amendment will pass as a result.  I hope this does not happen.  I also hope the Democratic Party reverses the decision regarding Florida’s primary.  Normally I try not to complain about politics, but I felt quite strongly about these issues and need to vent.  I promise my next blog will feature less politics and much more nonsense, as usual.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Well, technically I could not have voted in today’s primary anyways.  I am registered as an independent, and Florida has closed primary voting.  Still, Megan is a registered Democrat and her vote doesn’t count.  So let’s just pretend I’m complaining on her behalf.

The Captain Dedicates The Year

I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions.  Instead I typically take January as a time to reflect on what the coming year will entail.  This annual ritual has been relatively simple for the last several years, mostly due to large events in my life that were set to transpire.  In 2007 I was due to be married.  In 2006 I was due to graduate from my master’s program.  In 2005 I was due to propose to Megan.  In 2004 I was due to start grad school.  And so on and so on.

2008 definitely has a big event, but one with a more ambiguous meaning.  In September of this year I am due to turn 30.  While this certainly is a significant occasion, it is one that requires absolutely nothing from me.  No matter what I do this year, I will turn 30.  There is nothing to prepare for, no effort is required.  If I go on a pizza and beer diet this year, I will be a 30 year old fattie.  If I shave my head and embrace Buddhism, I will be a 30 year old monk.  If my name is finally selected from the sexual reassignment surgery waiting list this year, I will be a 30 year old woman.

For the first time in quite a while, this year will truly be whatever I chose to make it.  Accordingly, I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want.  This proved to be more challenging than I imagined.  After several weeks of contemplation I still struggled to find the meaning that was eluding me.  I just wasn’t able to focus.  Last nite I had a moment of clarity and what I wanted became tremendously apparent.

Turning 30 signifies to me a need to focus.  I need to really focus on what it is I want out of life.  I need to focus more on the big picture.  I need to focus on the aspects of my life that are easy to ignore.  What I want and what I need in my life is more focus.   Therefore, I have decided to dedicate 2008 as The Year Of Focus for me.

While I’m not sure what exactly this will entail, I do have some ideas already formulated.  First and foremost this year I intend to continue with my focus on exercising and staying healthy.  To that end I have set a goal for myself.  I aim to have a flat stomach by the time I turn 30.  I don’t really care how many pounds I need to lose; I don’t have an ideal weight.  I just want a flat stomach again.1

I have many other thoughts on where I need to focus, but I will save that discussion for another day.  For now I will simply say that I hope this year will be a major success just like The Year Of The Captain.  I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that The Year Of Focus is a victorious one.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Or as Kevin Spacey put it in American Beauty: I just want to look good naked.

The Captain Takes A Rare Survey (and completely makes-up the last question)

1. Would you chew gum after someone else already has?

I prefer not to have to chew anything.  I order all of my food pre-chewed, really saves time.

2. What song describes your relationship status?

Fat and Married – MU330

3. How much does your dog weigh?

Megan desperately wants to get a toy fox terrier, and they weigh under 10 pounds.  But I am a heartless man, so this is not going to happen.

4. Are you a heart breaker, or the broken heart?

Seeing has I have no heart, I would have to say breaker

5. Ever been skinny dipping?

I went through a streaking phase in high school, so I’ve done way more activities naked than most people have, swimming being one of them

6. Earrings or necklace?

I don’t wear jewelry, except for my heavy, heavy wedding ring.  On women, I prefer necklaces to earrings.  Earrings make women look whorish.

7. Who have you talked to most today?

The secretaries in my office.  They helped me with some formatting issues.  It still feels weird to delegate work to other people, no matter how tedious the task.

There was no number 8, so I made this one up:

8.  Friend most likely to stab a hobo?

Definitely BlastMaster Tim.  It’s his hobby.

9. Friend of the opposite sex that lives closest too you?

That would be Mark’s lovely wife Johanna.  She will be out of town this weekend along with my wife, which means its time to drink and play poker with the guys.

10. Color of your shirt?

Black, of the “washed too many times so it kinda looks grayish” variety

11. How many years have you taken a language?

I took three years of high school Deutsche, and all I really remember is “Ich Bin Herr Kartafelkoff”  and “Ich habe barenhunger”

12. Who’s on speed dial 2?

Mr. Spillman.  I put him there back in 2005, when his life really was number 2.

13. What color is your background on your computer mainscreen?

Boring Blue

14. Do you wish on 11:11?

I had no idea that was supposed to be lucky.  Who decided that?  It seems rather arbitrary.  Why not 1:11?  Or 7:77?

15. Good advice if you ever go camping?

Don’t get on the back of a 4-wheeler when a heavily intoxicated guy offers a ride.  Trust me on this one.

16. Are you A BAD influence?

I wouldn’t necessarily say bad, but I definitely wouldn’t say good.  I’d say I’m a strong influence.

17. What color are your eyes?

Right now they are greenish with brown speckles.

18. Would you rather have your name or your siblings name?

I think Catherine Paul Charles has a certain ring to it, so I’ll say theirs.

19. Would you do anything for someone?

I wouldn’t even do anything for myself, so the chances of that happening are non-existent.

20. Have you ever been called a bitch?

I had a gay friend call me bitch once.  I promptly removed my cock from his mouth and left the bathroom stall.

21. Favorite color?

Clear-shaded free alcohol

22. Do you use smiley faces on the computer?

I think typing symbols are for people with limited vocabularies, so no.

23. What song is on?

“It’s my fault for being famous” by the White Stripes, off their killer new EP.  White Stripes with Beck, it’s win-win.

24. Are your grades good?

I consider myself a B+ student.

26. Would you date anyone on your friends list?

Seeing as I am not single, I will say no

27. Does your best friend have a myspace page?

He does, and it is full of nonsense, just like him.

28. Whose page did you visit last?

I looked at L.J.’s this morning to see if she jumped off the Charger’s bandwagon.  She had.

29. Last time you went out to lunch?

Last week with Megan to Panera.  We eat there way too often, and I assure you it has nothing to do with the over-abundance of scantily clad college girls.  Nothing.

30. Do you watch the Gilmores?

This is a guilty pleasure of Megan’s.  Mine is more like Rock of Love.

31. Have you ever enjoyed listening to Jack Johnson?

Occasionally.  He’s decent, but I would usually rather just listen to G-Love.

32. Have you ever seen or enjoyed watching the O.C.?

I actually watched the first episode by accident with Lauren while I was staying with her in San Diego.  I had the same reaction as when I accidently watched the first episode of 90210 – “This show is ridiculous, it will be canceled immediately.”  I consistently underestimate America’s love for teeny-bopper California crap.

33. Do you have one or more Britney Spears C.D.s?

She’s a musician?  I had no idea.

34. Which radio stations are your favorites?

I like the one with the morning show featuring the slightly-racist-fat-guy and his wacky-yet-not-at-all-funny-sidekick.

35. Are you a Lost fanatic?

Sadly, yes.  I’m so hooked that I watch the missing pieces clips on the ABC website.  Thank god the show isn’t on weekends, so I don’t have to feel as pathetic as the nerds who used to stay home on Fridays to watch X-Files

36. Still have pictures of your ex?

Yes, and I have a few I bet she would pay good money to have returned or destroyed.

37. Do you have a song by Ozzy Osbourne in your library?

Mama I’m Coming Home.  I prefer late-80s-bad-hair Ozzy.

38. Alanis Morsette?

This is not a question.  I don’t think she is terrible, and I was glad to see her poke fun of herself with the Humps cover.

39. Do you watch Family Guy?

Not regularly.  The show is funny, but it is also highly disposable and way too topical.

40. King of the Hill?

Also not regularly.  That’s more of my sister’s territory.

41. Do you read trashy romance novels often?

And how!  Actually, that is way my mom’s department.  She used to read so many when we were kids, she would take them to Aunite Ann’s used book store in the Florissant Oaks shopping plaza and trade them in BY THE POUND!  That’s some serious love right there.

43. Do you sing obnoxiously in the car?

Is there another way to sing in the car?  Melodically?

44. Do you sing obnoxiously in the shower when no one’s home?

Only when I sneak into other peoples houses to use their showers while their not home.  That way if I get caught, the singing will be the least of my worries.

45. Have you ever watched a little kid’s show?

I still watch Seasame Street on Noggin occasionally, and also catch Sponge Bob from time to time.

46. Have you ever pretended your crush was with you when they weren’t?

Yes.  Let’s just say I was alone and was not wearing pants.

47. Did you draw pictures for your first crush back in elementary school?

I’ve dislike drawing since the first grade.  Drawing is for people who can’t write.

48. Have you ever liked a boy but didn’t ask her/him out because you were afraid?

If your trying to trick me into admitting I’m gay, then it’s not gonna work.  I didn’t ask him out because I anxious, not afraid.  Wait, Dammit.

49. Have you ever written a poem or story about your life?

My blog is like one long, pointless, constantly updated story about my life

50. Have you ever spent over an hour thinking about nothing but a certain person?

Yes, and his name is Captain Raoul

51. Have you ever liked someone solely because of their appearance?

It was called college

52. Do you eat all the servings in the food groups on a daily basis?

That would require way more work than I typically put into food consumption

53. Are you ever a freak about cleanliness or organization?

Usually no.  However, I get a little freaky when it comes to organizing music, DVDs or books.  Not really sure why.

54. Have you ever been to South America or Africa?

Does Epcot count?  If so then I’ve enjoyed a margarita in both.

55. Do you know how to knit?

Yes, but I chose not to

56. Do you have a cell phone or iPod with a patterned cover?

I think patterned covers are silly, like vanity license plates.  Some things don’t need decorations.

57. Have you ever written love song lyrics yourself and put them in a song?

You mean like “I Want Your Sex, Megan” by George Michael?  No.

58. Do you keep a diary or journal online?

Their called blogs, and only cool people have them.  So yes.

59. When you open your closet, what is the color?

I wasn’t aware that open space had a color.  I’ll say “Snarky T-Shirt Red”

60. Baskin Robbins or Coldstone?

Megan is the one that usually craves ice cream, and she prefers Coldstone.  I don’t see what the big deal is.  They basically just make a Blizzard on slab with a putty knife.  Give me Dairy Queen anyday.

61. Physics or chemistry?

I’ll say physics, since chemistry is basically just physics anyway.  I’m a bigger fan of meteorology, mostly because I like hot chicks standing in front of green-screens.

62. Earphones or headphones?

Earphones.  Headphones make the wearer look like they are trapped in 1985, especially when they still have the fuzzy padding over them.

63. Pink or teal?

No shit, I actually had to wikipedia “teal” because I couldn’t picture it.  I am exceedingly bad with colors, so I will say neither.  I prefer solid colors to shades.

64. Earrings or a ring?

Ring.  Even though I’m still not used to wearing mine yet, it is way better than an earring.  My dad has had an earring in his left ear since I can remember.  He currently has three earrings:  a lightning bolt, a small loop, and a Dale Earnheardt “3”.  I wish I was making this up.

65. Commitment or casual dating?

Either answer is likely to get me in trouble some how, so I’m gonna skip this one.

66. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars?

I would say Star Wars, but the second trilogy cancels out any coolness associated with the first trilogy.  Lord of the Rings would be cooler if it wasn’t based on the longest book full of the most boring details that I ever stopped reading.  So I guess Mr. Potter wins by default.  Not to dork out too much, but I was always more of a Dragonlance fan.

67. Fly or road trip?

I’ve done quite a bit of both lately, and I have to go with road trip.  Airports are terrible, soul-crushing places filled with terrible-yet-expensive food and the most amazingly bored-yet-rude people in the country.

68. Starbucks?

Not a coffee drinker.  Even if I was I don’t think I’d patronize Starbucks, much for the same reason that I don’t listen to NPR:  I don’t want to be THAT guy.

69. What is your favorite Disney movie?

It is a proven fact that the only two decent Disney films ever made were Jungle Book and Fantasia.  Well, the pink elephant part in Dumbo was pretty sweet…. Ok, three films but that’s it.

70.  Why does Bill feel the incessant need to fill out these damn things?

My guess would be either due insecurities regarding his genitals, his latent homosexuality, or his abundance of spare time at work.  Probably the last one.

The Captain Enjoys Staying In The Lines

I am neither mechanically nor artistically inclined.  In junior high I was forced to take an art class and a shop class.  I was exceedingly terrible at both.  My drawing capabilities would best be described as “elementary”, and the birdhouse I crafted was eventually condemned.  Since I have no idea how to create things with my hands, I do not really appreciate the beauty of craftsmanship or art.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s all magic to me.  Magic pixies enchant other people’s hands and they are able to create.  This seems like the only plausible explanation to me.

As such, I really enjoy easily accomplished activities that make me feel a teeny bit handy or artsy.  Color by numbers makes me feel like Van Gogh.  I get a pathetic sense of excitement when I purchase an item that requires some assembly.  I take pleasure in reading the directions.  I may be the only person I know that actually likes changing a flat tire.  Look at how pleased with myself I am!

Besides taking undue pleasure in simple projects, I have been busy keeping myself entertained.  My lovely wife left home for an eight-day trip on Friday.  She was in Chicago this past weekend, and is currently in St. Louis for a few days before heading back to Florida.  I have spent most of my time alone thus far doing what I would assume most men would do.  This mostly consists of staying up late drinking on the couch in my underwear while watching bad television and dumb movies.1

With so much alone time and an uncanny ability to amuse myself, I had a great weekend that is not really worth discussing.  The most noteworthy event in the last couple weeks was the return of the cows.  Sometime before Thanksgiving, the cows that lived across the street mysteriously disappeared.  This saddened me more than I would care to admit, and I felt guilty every time I ate beef in December.  About a week ago the cows mysteriously reappeared across the street, and Megan and I have been in a slightly better mood since.

While this herd is a bit louder and much stinkier than the previous herd, I am still glad the black-and-white bovine buddhas have returned.  I hope these heifers mangage to stay in the lines and don’t get shipped off to the slaughterhouse anytime soon.

Ciao,

Raoul

1  or “living like a single man again” as Amir refers to it.

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