Archive for January, 2009
Now that I finally have some free time on my hands I can get back to the things that I have been neglecting. First up, my weekly Top 5 list. I was recently reminded of how much I enjoy random lists while reading my favorite blog, Shortcake . Stephie made a list of ten things that should freak her out but instead inspire enjoyment or indifference. The Captain’s Quarters made the list as her bizarro-world twin, which I guess is a compliment??? So in keeping with the bizarro-world theme here’s my first of many Top 5 lists for 2009.
Top 5 things that should inspire enjoyment or indifference from me but instead freak me out.
1. Pizza Hut’s Natural Pizza
Normally I have no problem with pizza, but this one really freaks me out. It’s advertised as having a multigrain crust, all-natural pepperoni and sauce with no high-fructose corn syrup, with the implication being that this pizza is healthy. Sure it’s healthy, except for the fact that it’s a pepperoni pizza! Come on, all natural pepperoni?!? Really?!?
2. Childproof locks on Bic lighters
For some reason I compulsively rip off the childproof lock on Bic lighters in my vicinity. Generally I am in favor of childproofing dangerous things, yet I hate that little metal flap with a vengeance. Luckily my brain can intercede if I happen to know that the owner of said lighter has children, but that is the only thing preventing me from administering a swift removal.
3. Movie commercials that feature the tagline “From the producers of…”
This is so utterly meaningless that I am freaked out it is actually used in advertising. When was the last time anyone watched a film and thought “Wow, this is really well produced. I wonder who wrote the checks to pay for the expensive set pieces.”
4. Hobo Clowns
Clowns in general freak me out but none more so than the dreaded hobo clown. If clowns are generally happier than normal people, then it must take something truly terrible to make a clown sad. Just look at that sad, creepy face. He’s desperate; there is no telling what he might do to me.
5. The St. Louis NBC affiliate continuing to advertise themselves as “First in HD.”
Whenever I hear a local news advertisement on channel five, I tend to yell profanity whenever they repeat this claim. Who cares that you were first in HD? Shut up already! Maybe this was impressive during the few months before all the local stations made the switch, but now it is pointless. While you’re at it why not use “Newschannel 5: First in Color.”
While I was quite busy over the past month with lots of important stuff I still managed to make time for a few random, fun activities. With the day off today for this wonderful government holiday and nothing to do, it seems like a good day to recap with the help of pictures. First up is New Year’s Eve.
This is my favorite type of holiday, light on the tradition and heavy on the celebrating. After spending the last two in New Year’s in Sarasota at Amir’s place, I was a little bummed about having to freeze it out in Missouri. Luckily, Jen and Chris volunteered to host a low key event at their house. Realizing that we were spending the evening with the high school theater crowd, Meg and I decided to nerd it up a bunch by bringing the Emotions Game.
All you need is a tripod, a camera with a timer, and twenty slips of paper with written emotions. The result is an hour of fun and twenty goofy pictures. I put all of the finished products on my Flickr site, but here are my two favorites. Acting!
As you can see I was into performance in my school days. This made it all the more strange when I recently attended a junior high wrestling event to support my brother. Charlie is the youngest of the four children in my family and by far the only one that has shown any interested is sports participation. The only sporting events I attended in high school were the ones where my sister’s squad danced at half-time.
The event it self was organized chaos at best. I was crammed in the bleachers with a couple hundred other fans in a gymnasium with eight wrestling matches occurring simultaneously.
Even though he came in fourth place I was proud that at least one of my siblings can kick a little ass.
The week before I started my new job I had a couple of great nites for celebration. And nothing is better for excessive celebration than a Girl Talk. The mash-up extraordinaire came to the Pageant for an exhausting evening of dance music. I wasn’t sure going into the show how exciting it would be watching one man with a laptop on a large stage. Girl Talk solved this problem by inviting half the audience onstage with him.
Just kidding! Actually the main floor was way too packed with hipster d-bags, so Bill, Sarah, Liz and I went upstairs with the rest of the old folks. There we found plenty of room to dance in our seats and much shorter bar lines. It was win-win!
As far as the show itself, it was what it was. There is no need to overanalyze the music. Mash-ups are fun, dancing is fun and the show was fun. Good times.
Last weekend I was back at Chris’ place for Poker Nite. I love playing poker with a group of friends for one main reason. I’m not that good but for some reason I usually win some or all of the money. In the main hold-em tournament I was the runner-up out of fourteen dudes. I won $50! Cheers!
And that my friends is how the Captain has been celebrating.
The last three years of my life have been action packed. In that time span I’ve had three different employers, three major long-distance moves to prepare for, three new homes in new cities and one wedding to plan. I lost about thirty pounds and then gained about twenty of them back. I’ve driven a boat into the Atlantic Ocean in seven different cities. I’ve attended eight weddings in five different states. I’ve flown more times than I can count.
I guess what I’m getting at is that the last three years I’ve been constantly on the move. I haven’t had much time to slow down and catch my breath. Well that’s about to change big time. I have officially declared 2009 as The Year of Stability.
The last few years I’ve let the wind carry me whatever direction it was blowing. No more. This year I am going to be a rock.
For the first time in quite awhile I have nothing looming on the horizon. Nothing to prepare for, no big event around the corner. My life can be whatever I want it to be this year.
My goals for the year are fairly simple. I want to finish the year living and working at the same places where I began the year. I want to pay off some debt and work towards saving for a down payment on a house. I want to limit my intake of soda and alcohol. I want to excel at my job. I want to be active and stay healthy throughout the year and not just in short bursts. I want to spend more time with the people that I love.
And above all else I want stability again. 2005 was the last year that I was able to maintain consistency throughout my life. That year I managed to make it through two semesters of grad school and two internships, I took two vacations to Hawaii and I even managed to trick Megan into saying yes to my marriage proposal.
To some it may sound somewhat dull for me to aspire for stability, but I think it sounds exciting. And I am fully aware that stability often leads to some mighty lame blogs but I promise I will avoid the typical pitfalls. Next time I will highlight all of my wacky adventures from the last several weeks that I have yet to mention.
I’m feeling quite optimistic about The Year Of Stability. Everything seems to be in the right place to make 2009 the pillar of strength that I am hoping for.
Every year around this time I dedicate the upcoming 12 months with a yearly moniker. It’s my way of tying hopes and ideals to plans for the year without having to make any New Year’s resolutions. In the past I’ve had pretty good luck with naming upcoming years with only a few notable exceptions.1
Last January I declared 2008 would be The Year Of Focus. Perhaps I would have done better with The Year Of Trying To Focus instead. When I decided on the name I was still in Tallahassee and I was living a much different existence. I had an idea of how I thought 2008 would turn out and let’s just say that it didn’t involve living in downtown St. Louis.
By the end of February I discovered that my life was about to take another sharp turn. Another new job, another long-haul move, another new home; everything was changing and with it my focus changed too. By the time that Megan and I were completely established back in St. Louis it was already over halfway through the year.
At this point I became rather pre-occupied with my looming thirtieth birthday and its overarching significance. I finally had something to focus on but I didn’t really like the results. Besides feeling old, turning thirty made me really examine my current station in life. The things in my life that I wanted to change became much more apparent as thirty approached. After the big day I had a firm understanding of what changes I wanted to make but no clue how to go about it.
This is where The Year Of Focus found its legs. I did a lot of soul-searching and focused heavily on changing the parts of my life in dire need of an adjustment. By year’s end I had pinpointed the changes I wanted to make and I was right on the cusp of attainment. 2008 ended in great uncertainty, teetering on the edge. And then 2009 came and
everything fell perfectly into place. I finally obtained the job that I had spent years looking for and in the process ended up right where I want to land. Now that I’m here I can’t wait to stay put for awhile! And so with that I am saying goodbye to 2008 and The Year Of Focus. Please join me in welcoming 2009, which is now officially The Year of Stability.
1 I was so sure that 2005 would be the Year Of The Cardinals that I bought a season ticket package. It sucks being a year early.
I Got A New Job!!!
I started on Monday and could not be more excited. The past week has been a whirlwind of preparation for the new job and resulted in my lapse in blogging. I had planned to write two more 2008 year in review blogs but time did not allow. It’s hard to find time to look back when your life is charging full steam ahead.
Let me back up a bit. I found a job opening back in November that seemed perfect. Better experience, better pay, better location, better benefits, etc. I went in for my first interview the week before X-mas and left feeling pretty confidant.
The organization contacted me and scheduled a second interview for January 5. After the initial exhilaration this resulted in me spending most of the first few days of 2009 feeling anxious about the pending interview while I was writing up my Modern Rock Discs. I did as much pre-interview preparation as I could but I was still nervous, mostly because I really wanted to get the job.
The interview started out better than to be expected. About half-way through the process I realized that the interviewer was trying to sell me on the job. Sold! He asked how soon I could start and I replied, “Immediately!” I agreed to start the job in one week’s time without really thinking about what that meant.
It took about half-an-hour for me to really grasp the situation. I had less than a week to make the transition between jobs and bazillion-and-one things to accomplish beforehand. Somehow I managed to get all of the important things done last week and also to find time to partake in several other activities that I had already planned. More about that next time.
Right now it’s all about the new job. I’ll be working on budgets for local government which is exactly what I’ve wanted to be doing since graduate school. My salary is increasing as are my benefits. I’m getting a much bigger office on the eighth floor of a building in downtown Clayton1. And I don’t have to drive to work anymore!
I live about three blocks away from a Metrolink station2, and my office building is two blocks away from the Clayton Metrolink station. Yesterday was my first day taking the train to work and I already love it. A little bit of exercise and a lot more time with my iPhone sounds way better than driving in my book.
I guess I’m rattling on a bit but I can’t help it; I am just so thrilled about my new job. I was ready for a change and this fit the bill perfectly. Next time I’ll say goodbye to 2008 but for now Hello 2009!
1 For those of you not familiar with the St. Louis area, Clayton is finical district to the west of downtown.
2 Metrolink is the light-rail train system in St. Louis.