Archive for June, 2009
Right now it’s over 100 degrees in downtown St. Louis and for some god-awful reason the Cardinals are playing a game that starts at noon. Luckily I am watching from the comforts of our 72 degree loft. It looks miserable out there!
I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me, so this lazy afternoon seems like the perfect time to big-up the things that have been entertaining me lately. That’s right, it’s time for another installment of Ach, Ja and Nicht Nicht!
Kickball Sundays– Ach, Ja
I was a bit skeptical about kickball at first. The idea of adults playing a kids game competitively while drinking sounded a bit asinine to me. Plus, The Onion’s St. Louis specific mocking of this activity makes it that much harder to get behind. Damn you Onion!
Last Sunday my sister’s kickball team was in desperate need of subs because half of the team was out for Father’s Day. Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to play in a noon-and-one double-header, a decision I initially regretted when I arrived at Tower Grove Park. It was already 93 degrees and would hit 96 before the game was finished.
Luckily I brought the trifecta of fun for sporting events: plenty of beer, the megaphone and my Captain’s hat. Things picked up quickly once they were introduced.
As it turns out, kickball can be quite fun if it’s not taken very seriously. I pitched both games and I even got a chance to show off my family’s talent for sprinting. I wound up scoring four runs over the two games!
We lost the first game 8-1 and won the second game 12-1. At the end of the two hours I was drenched in sweat, dead tired and all smiles. I’m still a bit surprised at how much fun I had playing this ridiculous game. So a surprising Ach, Ja to Friendly’s Big Balls Kickball League . Wow that sounds absurd.
The Day After Kickball Sundays – Nicht Nicht
Pain! I forgot what it was like to be sore in so many places!
Even though I’ve started running again, I was in no way prepared for the toll kickball would take on my body. The game requires using muscle groups that normally don’t see a lot of action.
They were all screaming in unison on Monday. I was walking around my office like the Tin Man. It’s comical now, but it was terrible on Monday. And I even remembered to stretch before and after the game! This is what happens when adults play a kids game. Nicht Nicht!
The Boys – Ach, Ja
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been excited about a comic book. I was mildly obsessed with them in throughout most of the 90s, and I still have a couple of boxes full in storage1. The last comic I read regularly was Preacher , which published its final issue nine years ago.
The author of Preacher, Garth Ennis, is a filthy-minded Brit with a knack for crafting a story. He’s been busy with side projects most of this decade, but unbeknownst to me he started a monthly title back in 2007. I discovered Ennis’ new title, The Boys , last month and was immediately hooked. For the first time Ennis is using his warped world view to write about superheroes. It has all the great touches that Ennis included in Preacher and any fan of Vertigo comics from the 90s will love it. I’ll stop with my Fanboy gushing now.
The Dirty Projectors – Ach, Ja
I’ve been vaguely aware of this band for a couple of years now, but mostly in the “wow, what a strange experiment” way. They recorded an entire album with orchestra and a choir in a tribute to Don Henley, and they wrote another album about Black Flag, even though no one in the band had ever owned a Black Flag album.
Thankfully the group abandoned the experimental nonsense of the past and actually made a proper album earlier this year. The result, Bitte Orca, is already on my short list for album of the year2. The lead single “Stillness Is The Move” is by far my favorite song this year. Check them out! Macht schnell!
Heat Waves – Nicht Nicht
Seriously, WTF! This past week has been the hottest week I can remember since forever. It’s been over 95 every day this week with a heat index of at least 100. It’s like the globe is going through some kinda warming or something…
It’s been above 80 every morning when I leave for work at 7am. Nothing like sweat stains first thing in the morning! And walking home has been damn near unbearable. I expect this in August, but it’s still June! Seriously. Enough already.
All Star Weekend – Ach, Ja
Downtown St. Louis is already in preparation overdrive for the All Star Game week. I can already tell that the big guns will be out for the event. Like the announcement this week that President Obama will be throwing out the first pitch. How cool is that!
While I don’t have a ticket to the game or to the Home Run Derby, I’m still planning on attending whatever I can manage to sneak myself into. I was already super excited that my old friend Marc will be in town from New York for the festivities. But yesterday something extremely exciting was confirmed; my good friend Amir from Florida is flying in for the weekend and staying with me! Cheers!
Major Lazer – Ach, Ja
I caught this video a couple of weeks ago on Subterranean and I can’t stop watching it.
It’s damn near perfect. The song is great and the video is astounding. It’s a dead-on accurate interpretation of every crappy Saturday morning cartoon I watch from about 1982-1988. It even has the action figure tie in!
And apparently the group is sticking with the theme when they perform live. My buddy Will from SMS has some great pics on his Flickr site from a recent Major Lazer show. That tour looks mad decent, which means that there is little to no chance it will come through St. Louis.
The Impending Canonization of Michael Jackson – Nicht Nicht
The amount of noise in the last 48 hours over the death of Michael Jackson has been deafening. Enough already! I’ve been on a Twitter tirade on this subject since I first heard the news. I’m don’t really want to repeat myself but I feel the need to reemphasize this point: celebrate his music but don’t mourn the man. He’s a child molester, he doesn’t deserve praise anymore.
Sure he had some great songs in the 80s. I have several of them on my iTunes playlists. But he gave up his claim to greatness when he started fondling children3. The Michael Jackson that everyone loved died around 1992. Since then a pale shell of MJ has been steadily destroying his legacy. He wasn’t a legend, he was extremely mortal.
And on a side note: What’s with the celebrity reaction interviews? How is Adam Lambert reacting? How does Ashanti feel? How is the death of Nelly’s idol affecting him? Better question: Who gives a flying fuck?
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Ach, Ja
How did I completely miss this show?!? I had no idea what I was missing! I got turned on to this show way late and now I’m hooked. Several weeks ago Bill showed me “Underage Drinking: An National Concern” and I surprised myself at how hard I laughed. Meg and I blew up our Netflix queue with the first three seasons and burned through them in two weeks. Hilarious!
What a great concept for a show: Four morally reprehensible people own a bar. That’s it. Who needs more? This basic concept gives the show free reign to trash any topic that come along. Plus it’s chocked full of reference humor. My favorite! In September the 4th season comes out on DVD and Season 5 is set to air. I can’t wait, I need my fix!
Two Weeks Till Bruno – ACH, JA!!!
Bruno is coming! He’s coming all over me! Wait…
As you may already know, I am a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen. I loved the Ali G show, I was mildly obsessed with the Borat movie4, but my favorite has always been Bruno.
Gay-panic humor with a heavy German accent is about the funniest thing ever to me. The namesake sketch from this blog is my all-time favorite comedy bit. I still laugh like a schoolgirl when I watch it.
The Bruno movie opens in 13 days and I’m SO ready! As a bonus, Cohen has been doing press for the movie as Bruno. Here he is giving Conan a face full of man meat on Thursday.
As far as I’m concerned, July is Bruno month. I’ll probably see it a few times in the theater so hit me up and we can go be Fabulous together. Ich liebe Bruno!
1 Jamie’s basement
2 Which isn’t saying a whole lot this year. 2009 has been quite a mediocre year thus far, and we’re already halfway through. If it weren’t for Phoenix and Wilco I might have given up already.
3. I mean, no one really talks about what a great running back OJ Simpson was, or the wonderful producing Phil Spector did with the Beatles. They’re murderers. Michael is a pedophile.
4 I was totally that guy that kept saying “Very Nice!” and “Wa Wa Wee Wa” for way too long.
Most of my life I’ve avoided purchasing major electronics. The purchases I did make tended to be of the “last year’s model” variety. I’ve always held onto the philosophy of waiting till “next year” to buy my electronics, because “next year” they will be cheaper and better. For the most part this is true for any electronics, be it televisions, stereos or appliances.
Last year was the first time in my life I’ve ever strayed from this philosophy. Instead of putting it off, I decided to make “next year” be 2008. Mostly out of sheer nerd-lust, I bought a Playstation 3 and an iPhone. I fell in love with both of them immediately; they had a tremendously positive effect on my 2008.
Now that it’s “next year” I’m finally seeing the downside that I was anticipating. This was most strongly felt this past week when I was reading a review of the newest iPhone that was released on Friday. For the same price I paid last year, I could have an iPhone with double the storage capacity, a video recorder, and a better camera.
Is there anything wrong with the iPhone I own? Of course not, I still love him. Do I need any of these new bells and whistles? Absolutely not. Do I wanna rush out this afternoon and buy the new iPhone? You bet your ass I do.
But besides the iPhone, this electronics dilemma has been weighing on my mind quite a bit lately. Later this year I will be purchasing three major appliances, which is three more than my previous record of zero. Meg and I need to obtain a refrigerator, washer, and dryer for our new house.
We started looking at appliances last month to get ideas; it was a bit overwhelming at first. So many styles, so many brands. Perhaps the biggest difficulty is the projected life span of these purchases. I’ve never bought a singular item that was supposed to last me longer than a decade. Now I’m buying three.
Since our rich Uncle Obama is chipping in eight grand towards our new home purchase, we are looking at newer technology appliances. I’m a bit embarrassed about my excitement while shopping for a front load washer and a double French door fridge. It’s so rad!
While I love the thrill of new technology, I’m trying to stay mindful of avoiding the “latest and greatest” trap. But on the other hand, damn that new iPhone looks awesome…
After a discombobulating week that saw me all over Clayton trying to keep up with work, I happily returned to my office yesterday. The fire in the boiler room at my office left my building without power for a solid week. This forced me to stay very mobile during the workweek which proved to be rather challenging.1
I don’t think I’ve ever been happier while heading into the office than I was yesterday morning. I love my office! Stability at last!
Yesterday I also ran a couple of miles for the first time in over a month. My numerous trips to the Chiropractor managed to clear me of all my lower back pain and I’m cleared to start exercising again. And just in time; I was really starting to dread the notion that sloth was creeping over me.
I’ve gotten lots of great feedback about the old school pictures that I started uploading last week. Don’t worry the best are yet to come, including my infamous mullet-truckers-license picture.
Coincidently, Saturday turned into somewhat of an old school SMS reunion. An old college buddy that I hadn’t seen in years, Lt. Dan, turned 30 on Saturday and a couple of the guys decided to throw him a little shindig at his place. Hippie Dave and Crazy Andy made the trip out, as well as my old roommate Bryan. It was a regular Suite D’s quad jam!
I brought with me the two things guaranteed to turn a party rowdy: A keg of beer
Keg beer and a bullhorn make for a loud evening; it was like turning my mouth into a loaded gun. As a bonus it turned out that Lt. Dan lives right next to a public park with a softball field so I was able to heckle the players from the comfort of his backyard deck. Being an asshole has never been lazier! I’m hoping to hang out with Lt. Dan more in the future, but it will probably have to wait until I move to Chesterfield since he lives West Bumblefuck, Missouri.2 Now that I’m back on a regular schedule I’m hoping to find more time for writing, so hopefully I’ll be posting regularly for the rest of the month. Before I go, let me wish Lt. Dan a Happy 30th one more time.
I feel the same way too, soldier.
1 To be fair, I did get to work from home on Friday which was super-killer-sweet. Pants free workdays are the BEST! 2 i.e. Wentzville
For a Monday morning that started off shitty, it sure did end with a bang! After walking through a torrential downpour, I was greeted by this sight at work this morning:
Apparently the storm knocked out the power to my building and managed to start a fire in the boiler room. Several Twitter updates later and I was headed home for the day. Left at 7 a.m. and back by 9 a.m., not a bad day of work. As such, this seems like the perfect opportunity to update The Captain’s Quarters.
First up, Meg and I bought a house! Seriously! We signed the final papers yesterday!
We found a new development in the Creve Coeur area that we fell in love with immediately. Actually, it’s kind of a funny story. Back in January when there was some speculation that President Obama was going to unveil a First Time Homebuyers Credit, Meg’s and I decided to start an aggressive savings plan with the hopes of buying a home this year.
Around March when the details of the tax credit were announced, Megs and I crunched the numbers1 and discovered we would be able to purchase a home in 2009.
The wife and I are big fans of new construction, so we decided to search St. Louis County for any new complexes. We were only able to find one development in our price range, but it was in a killer location. New villas are being constructed across the street from the south entrance to Creve Coeur Park, which seemed too good to be true.
As cliché’ as it sounds, these villas were the first placed we looked at and we fell in love immediately. We spent the rest of March looking at other homes, but it only reinforced our desire for this location. Plus, the company building these villas was running a killer special in March which was too good to ignore.
On the last day of March we began the proceedings for building a unit for ourselves, a process that ended yesterday.2 I’ve been waiting until everything is finalized to discuss this but now it’s official! The name of the development is Mill Ridge Villas.
Construction begins in July, and our home will be finished around Halloween this year. Meg and I are beside ourselves we’re so excited. Looks like the Year of Stability just kicked it up a notch! So expect several more updates on the home purchasing process in the near future.
My other excitement from the weekend was my adventures in scanning from Saturday nite. I spent a couple hours on Saturday nite using my in-laws scanner to digitize some great old pictures. I managed to scan about 100 pictures, and I plan to use the rest of the month to disperse them. I plan to upload three pics-a-day to Facebook and Flickr as follows: 1 pic of me circa 1991-2007, 1 pic of friends from high-school, and 1 pic of friends from college and beyond. Check these sites for daily updates, or check back at the end of the month for a Super Pic Recap!
Well, I’ve got a whole afternoon to myself which I will be using to completely reorganize my iTunes library. Plus, the Cardinals are playing a rare afternoon game on a Monday. Seriously, Best Monday Ever!!!
1 Seeing as my official job title is “Budget Analyst” I had better damn well be able to come up with a personal budget to figure out if we can afford buying a home.
2. I handed them the largest check I’ve ever been responsible for yesterday and it felt fantastic. Dolla dolla bills y’all!
Today was a bad day for many people that I know. I was reminded of just how far downtown St. Louis still has to go.
I’ve been walking to Union Station to catch the Metrolink every morning for the past five months. I’m so used to the walk by now that I notice any small changes in my surroundings almost immediately. This morning I noticed yellow police tape around the entrance to the bar across the street from Union Station, Maggie O’Brien’s. I figured that someone probably broke in and stole a flat-screen TV, which is now a common occurrence downtown.
When I got to work, I checked the Post-Dispatch website to see what had happened. The Post didn’t have many details, but it indicated that there was a robbery and that an employee had been shot. The eventual details that followed were tragic.
The bartender that was shot was close to several people in my sister’s circle of friends. Dolan was the main bartender up at one of my favorite downtown bars, Jack Patrick’s. He died at the hospital early this morning.
Another bartender from JP’s, Brett, was also working last nite and was attacked by the robbers. He relayed the tragic details of the nite to my sister. It’s too gut-wrenching to write about, but you can read the police account here if you’re interested.
My sister’s whole group of friends is in a state of shock tonite. I didn’t know Dolan, but I know he was well liked by everyone that knew him. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by this senseless tragedy.
I really just can’t believe that something this terrible happened at Maggie O’Brien’s. It’s only three blocks from where I live; I walk by it ten times a week; it’s where my mom met her second husband for chrissake. Why would someone rob Maggie O’Brien’s, dammit?!?
It’s a tragic reminder that downtown St. Louis still has serious problems and a long way to go towards fixing them.