Archive for September 18th, 2008

The Captain Says Ach, Ja and Nicht Nicht: Part Drei

With wedding season officially over my life has slowed down considerably.  I finally have time to appreciate the little things that make life more enjoyable.  That, and a chance to bemoan everything else.  Seems like a perfect opportunity for another installment of Ach, Ja and Nicht Nicht !

The onset of Autumn – Ach, Ja

Normally I’m not very excited about the changing of the seasons.  This year is different; I am actually pretty stoked for Fall.  This is primarily due to the fact that I haven’t experienced a traditional Autumn in three years.

While Florida weather is preferable to the Midwest’s for most of the year, Fall is the exception.  In St. Louis, the weather has been almost perfect for the last week.  Right now it’s still balls-hot in Florida and it will continue to be until November.  Mellow weather in September is somewhat of a shock to my system.

I’m also enthused to watch the changing of the colors.  In Florida the colors change from green to brown in the blink of an eye; Reds, yellows and oranges are foreign to me.  Even the idea of four seasons is pretty novel at this point.  I’m sure in a couple of years I’ll be tired of the seasons again and ready for Florida’s Endless Summer.  Bur for now I’m planning on falling in love with Fall all over again.

Kill The Messenger – Ach, Ja

Chris Rock is back , and just in time!  The best stand-up still touring and one of my personal faves is set to air a new special next weekend, just in time for the election.  Chris Rock is undeniably funny, but he is so much more than just a jokester.  His insight into race relation, sexual relations, and political relations are unmatched in today’s world.  He says things that even the Daily Show couldn’t get away with saying.  His comedy specials are an event, and given all the nonsense that has happened recently, this next one could be his best.

St. Louis City Traffic Division – Nicht Nicht

Parking downtown sucks.  I’ve managed to accumulate several unpaid parking tickets during my current residency downtown.  While I knew that this would eventually bite me in the ass, I was not prepared for the gigantic bite in store.

My car was parked at an expired meter overnite last week.  By the time I went down to move it at 10 am, the City of St. Louis had managed to tow it.  When I called the traffic division to find out what had happened, they informed me that my car had been towed AND booted.  The tow1 cost me $150, and the boot removal cost $50.  Talk about overkill.  Why would a car need to be towed and booted?  That seems a bit excessive.

I had to spend over $500 to get my car back.  When I finally sat in the driver’s seat to leave the lot, I noticed another ticket on the windshield.  What a racket!

Dee JPees Big Adventure – Ach, Ja

I’ve been a huge fan of mash-ups for a number of years, and it started with D.J P .  I was a regular when he spun at the Burgundy Room on $5 bottomless-cup Mondays back in my college days.  Since then he has managed to put out several incredible mash-up discs that earned him a job as the house DJ at a Casino in Las Vegas .

He’s been promising to put out a double-disc Best of album for over a year now, and he finally released it this week!  My copy is in the mail and will be in permanent rotation in my car for the next several months.  I encourage everyone reading this to pick up a copy .

St. Louis Sports Team Office Management – Nicht Nicht

Both of St. Louie’s pro-sports teams have been terrible this month.  The Rams started their season with a big thud, and the Cardinals look to finish their season the same way.  While it’s hard to judge which is more upsetting, it’s relatively easy to see who deserves the majority of the blame.

The Rams’ main problem is their reprehensible coaching staff.  Scott Linehan and company are simply embarrassing.  The Rams have a decent set of players and a coaching staff that has no idea what to do with them; real Busch League management.  How many more blowouts will it take before the owners fire the coaching staff.

The Cardinals’ late season collapse can also be attributed to poor management.  While the coaching staff has made some poor decisions lately, they haven’t had a lot to work with this year.  This seems to be more of a front office problem.  At the trade deadline, the Cardinals’ new GM looked at his banged-up squad and his dreadful bullpen and decided not to do anything about it.  Any move, even a little one, would have brought some energy to the team.  Predictably, the Cards ran out of juice and lost their way out of the wild-card race.  I expected more from a team that seemed so exciting at beginning of the season.  Hopefully the Cardinals have a more productive off-season.

Dexter Season 3 – Ach, Ja

Next weekend also sees the premier of the new season of Dexter.  I started as a casual fan of Dexter, but I have grown into a committed one.  When the show started, I had a tough time buying the serial-killer-trained-by-his-cop-father premise.  Over time the show as done an excellent job making the premise seem realistic, while making the characters more complex and compelling in the process.  And while Season 2 ended a little too neatly, it set this season up for a fresh start.  There is a real potential for greatness here and I’m hoping Dexter can live up to it.

Vampire Weekend – Ach, Ja

In a year full of good music Vampire Weekend is easily my favorite band this year.  Their album is phenomenal; it’s one of few recently that is solid from start to finish.  Last month they released an extremely clever video for my favorite song on the album, Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.

I’ve been anticipating Vampire Weekend’s show at the Pageant for months.  The band made their first trip to St. Louis last week and put on one hell of a show.  I wasn’t sure how some of the songs would translate live, but everything sounded awesome.  The drummer is tight, and he gives the band a very succinct live sound. With only one album under their belt, the boys played every song they knew.  The show only lasted an hour but that was to be expected.

Besides the music I had a blast people watching; it was hipster d-bag central.  The place was packed with the early-twenties-too-cool-for-school crowd trying really hard to look cool without trying.  Endlessly amusing, especially the guy wearing this shirt.

Entourage – Nicht Nicht

I’ve been a casual fan of this show since the beginning, but it’s gotten harder to watch over the years.  The new season started this month on a bad note, and seems committed to getting worse.  I used to find the smug and self-congratulatory nature of the show humorous, now it just seems shallow.  The actors and the writers all seem to think they are as famous as the characters the show portrays.

Entourage has often been referred to as “Sex And The City for Men.”  I used to disagree with that notion, but now it seems that the idealized world Entourage is nothing more than male escapism.  Sad.

My Beat-To-Hell Cell Phone – Ach, Ja

I’ve been using the same cell phone for the last 4 ½ years and the poor thing is ready to die.  Most of the buttons are broke or missing and it’s covered in dents and scratches.  I’d say it’s on its last leg, but that leg probably left when the antenna broke off.  I’m finally getting a new phone this weekend, so I want to give the proper send-off to my phone.  I’ve been with my phone longer than I’ve been with Megan, which is like an eternity in electronic years.

Flooding In North County – Nicht Nicht

The rains from Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on my old neighborhood.  There was so much rain last weekend that the tiny creek behind the shopping centers near my mom’s old house severely overflow

I love this area of North County, my old stomping grounds.  This is like two blocks from where my best friend DJ lives.  The Dierbergs in the picture is one of my wife’s favorite places on the planet.  I hope that Florissant has a speedy recovery.

Mad Men – Ach, Ja

Holy smokes what an amazing show! Megs and I made it through season one on DVD last week, and are currently watching season two from the DVR.  I can’t say enough good things about Mad Men, and plenty of others have tried.  The best quote I saw was “A Moody Masterpiece.”

While the period references, the sets and the plotlines are great, I think my favorite part of the show is the ensemble cast.  As Lost and The Sopranos has shown, multiple characters in such a densely layered world can provide years of good drama.  This show looks to be compelling for years to come.

Whomever Busted The Lock On My Car Door – Nicht Nicht

The next morning after I got my car back from the tow-lot I discovered that someone broke into my car the previous nite.  It looks like a screwdriver was used to break the driver’s side lock.  Not only was this infuriating, it was just plain ludicrous.  While it’s not out of the ordinary for a car parked on the street downtown to be broken into, mine should be different.  My car has a giant dent in the hood and a club on the steering wheel, which should make it immune to left.

I also make sure keep absolutely nothing inside of my car, which should prevent would-be thieves from breaking in to steal something.  Instead some asshole breaks the lock, empties out my glovebox and finds nothing, goes through the CDs in my visor and decides he doesn’t want a copy of Modern Rock, and leaves.  Someone broke into my car and stole nothing!  Dammit!2

I’d say I had a rough week, but I guess it was my car that really took the brunt of the pain.

Ciao,

The Captain

1  While $125 for a tow definitely sucks, the $25 lot fee was just plain ridiculous.  It takes a special kind of greed to charge $25 a day for having a car parked in a junkyard.

2  Well, at least said asshole didn’t get anything out of this either.  Still, how dumb do you have to be to look into a car with a club and nothing else inside and still decide to break in?

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