Archive for October, 2009

The Captain Is Awesomely Overwhelmed

In which the Captain takes a minute for some shout-outs before the big move.

It’s been a bit since my last entry and it is likely to be longer until my next.  I’ve been so busy with amazing things that I’ve scarcely had time for drink or blog.  Try as I might to avoid the typical lazy writer’s vice of making a list for summary purposes, the sheer volume of stuff that I want to mention necessitates such a list.  So here’s a somewhat comprehensive list of what’s been putting the ROCK in my Rocktober.

Moving Preparations – 4th time’s the charm!  Megs and I been consistently busy all month prepping for our move next week.  We’ve turned our loft into a box storage facility

And have called a gazillion people to arrange everything for next week.  Then of course there are the numerous To Do lists and To Buy lists to create and then fulfill.  I had no idea that home ownership would require the purchase of so many things.  I spent 1½ hours in a Lowes last weekend, and I was hurrying!

We’ve also been reading and filling out mountains of paperwork in preparation for our mortgage, which is equal parts tiring and terrifying.  But at least now we’re on the home stretch.  We did the final house walkthrough this morning with the builder, and it looks fantastic!  We finally have carpet!

All that’s left to do now is finish packing, sign our lives away at the Closing on Tuesday, and spend the rest of the week transporting everything we own across town.  The big furniture move section is a week from today, and there are still a million things left to accomplish.  It may a bit daunting and incredibly exhausting, but the end goal is absolutely worth it.

Being a Productive Worker – My main year-long project at my job was due this past Wednesday nite, and I’ve been busting my hump to finish it on time.  Three straight 11 hours days allowed me to finish in the nick of time, but it took quite a bit out of me.  I came home last nite and completely crashed.  Now I have to wrap up all my other projects that have been neglected.  Everything must be finished by Tuesday; I took the rest of next week off to move.

Last Day Of Public Transportation – Monday will be the last day I will take the Metrolink to work after 10 straight months of not driving.  This of course means that my p.o.s. car is finally drivable!  A local mechanic was able to work wonders on my car, Chachi, so starting in November I will once again be driving to work.

I have mixed feelings about this change to my morning commute which I will most likely cover in a future entry, but I will certainly miss the ease of riding on a train everyday.  If I had more time and less to do, I would celebrate properly by attending the Second Annual Metrolink Prom this evening.  But instead I’ve got a date with some boxes and packing tape.  And speaking of cool local events…

3 Cheers For The Weirs! – My favorite local blogger, Shortcake, is throwing a benefit show for her Father in 12 days and I wanted to help spread the word.

You can check out all of the details here , but suffice to say this groovey little show is for a really great cause.  This nite looks to be the least pretentious gathering of hipsters that St. Louie has ever seen.  I will most certainly be attending and I would encourage you to do so as well.

Anniversary Thanks – Megan and I had some very heartfelt gifts and congratulations for our second anniversary.  Big-up to my dad for this wonderful fruit arrangement

All my favorites in one eye-catching package!  We appreciate everyone who took the time to help make our anniversary special.  And while I’m on the subject of October weddings…

Congrats to Morgan and Chris – One of my best friends from college, Morgan, got married earlier this month and I couldn’t be happier for her.  She married an extremely decent gentleman1 named Chris in a lovely little ceremony right down the street from our loft.  And even better was the fact that the reception was at a brewery!

Morgan is like the little sister I’ve never always wanted, and I couldn’t be happier for her.  And she just bought a new house that’s like five minutes from my new house, so I will actually be seeing her lots more in the future.  So cheers to Chris and Morgan!

The Philadelphia Phillies’ Return to the World Series – After watching the Cardinals get decimated by a sub-par team like the Dodgers this year, it was a real treat to watch my second favorite team give the Dodgers a beatdown.  The Phillies have been even better this year than they were in last year’s postseason, and they won it all last year.

The Phils’ only real weakness this year looked to be their bullpen, which magically righted itself in the postseason.  Now they look unstoppable, which I hope is the case because they will most likely be facing off against the only true evil in all of baseball, the New York Yankees.

Not only is the World Series gearing up to be a epic battle of good vs. evil, it has already spawned an epic ½ hour of comedy.  Last nite’s all Phillies episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia was instantly one of the Top 5 funniest things I’ve seen all year.

I’ve gone on record declaring my love for the Philly Phanatic, and I was overjoyed to see him fight Greenman on the show last nite.2

So in summation, LET’S GO PHILLIES!!! clap clap clap-clap-clap LET’S GO PHILLIES!!! clap clap clap-clap-clap LET’S GO PHILLIES!!!

Cathie is 30! – Finally, I want to wish my sister Cathie a happy 30th.  Today is her birthday and she deserves to live it up.  As it so happens, she just landed at noon in Las Vegas for a three day celebration.

She’s been saying for about a month now that she’s gonna try and find a guy during her first 12 hours in Vegas and marry him before midnite.  I’m pretty sure she’s joking, but then again who knows with her.

Cathie was my best friend growing-up, and to this day she still probably knows me better than anyone else on the planet.  Even though she’s prone to long periods of irrationality and off-key singing, I still think she’s the best sister I could ever want.  And she’s hella talented to boot; here’s her playing in my favorite local band, Paper Dolls .

I’m bummed that I wasn’t able to travel to Vegas for her birthday celebration, but this new house thing rightly trumps everything.3 Luckily, I was able to have a little mini-celebration for her last Saturday nite.  Considering it was the last weekend of her twenties, I figured she would enjoy spending it the same way she did for most of the first half of her twenties, with Allen Ross!  Here us with Mr. Ross on Saturday.

So happy Thirtieth birthday to Cathie.  I’ll end with one of my favorite pics of us together, taken almost exactly ten years ago.

I was almost 21 and she was still 19.  We were both so excited about starting that magical decade called the Twenties.  Looking back I’m happy to say that Cathie and I had one hell of a good time in our Twenties, and our Thirties show no signs of slowing down.  Cheers to Cathie!

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Despite having attended Saint Louis University and being a prould SLU-zer.

2.  Technically, Greenman fought the Philly “Frenetic” since it seemed that the show couldn’t land the rights to the real Phanatic.  Much like Eastbound and Down, it was quite obvious that the MLB wouldn’t let such a crass show use anything they have trademarked.

3.  The move is also canceling my chance to go to a World Series game!  My Uncle Dave bought season tickets for the Phillies this year, and I’m pretty sure that I could have talked him into letting me have one.  But flying to Philly for the weekend the day after we move is a terrible idea.  Oh well, I guess the Phillies are just gonna have to make it three in a row next year…

The Captain Puts Some Hoodlums In Their Place

This past weekend someone stole our doormat.  While this wasn’t exactly the end of the world, it did piss me off something fierce.  With no real recourse, I decided to write a sternly worded letter and post it on our building’s list-server.  I thought I should repost it here for your reading pleasure.  So, all you fans of passive-aggressive bitching, enjoy!

To Whomever Stole The Doormat In Front Of 706 Last Nite,

Seriously? Why would someone steal our doormat?

Now granted, we’ve had to put up with a lot of crap living in this building before.  From surprise power outages, to the frequent blaring music from the nearby clubs, the hallways occasionally reeking of marijuana smoke, and the mailman with no sense of time or consistency.  None of it felt personal, not even when someone broke into my car to steal 3 quarters.

But stealing my doormat, that feels personal.  It means that an outsider snuck into the building and went doormat shopping, or worse, someone in the building went doormat shopping at their leisure.  So either the building’s security is lacking or the people living inside the building are lacking.  That sucks.  Big time.

We are moving out in less than three weeks, and I was determined to focus on the positives of this building during the moving process.  But this is going to make it very difficult for me to retain any sort of nostalgia for 2020.

So, to whomever stole the doormat in front of 706 last nite, you were the official last straw.

Burn!  Take that nameless ruffians!

Ciao,

The Captain

The Captains Deuces Are Mild

Today is so important that it has not one, but two milestones.  It’s twofer Tuesday here at the Quarters!  On October 13 we are celebrating both two years and two weeks.

First, today is officially two weeks until Meg and I close on our new house!  We went for our weekly construction update this weekend and we found several reasons to be excited.  The dishwasher is installed and it’s super rad.  The first layer of paint is on the walls and the carpeting is sitting in the living room ready to install.

We have a ton of work to do before our end of the month move, but every time we see the progress on our home it all seems worth it.

Today is also, and more importantly, our two-year wedding anniversary!

Meg and I had a pre-celebration for our anniversary on Saturday.  We decided to take advantage of living downtown while we can, so we took the train to Forest Park for a picnic on Art Hill.1

Saturday had a gorgeous autumn afternoon, perfect for a couple of bottles of wine and lots of laughs.

We giggled our way through the Art Museum2 before heading for the train back downtown.   We rounded out the evening with a quiet dinner at Triumph Grill.  Tonite we are heading to our favorite Italian restaurant on the Hill for a proper anniversary dinner.

With so much going on in our lives at the moment, we’ve decided to keep our anniversary pretty low key and mild.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not thrilled to be married to astonishing woman like Megan.  I still feel as lucky as I did two years ago on the beach when we were married.  And in two short weeks we’ll finally be in the home we’ve both been working towards for the past several months.

I usually don’t need much of a reason to celebrate, and today I have two great reasons.  So here’s to the first two and the last two.  Cheers!

Ciao,

The Captain

1  I was originally planning to watch the Cardinals playoff game that afternoon, but I had a feeling that it would only make me angry.  When I got home around 7 and saw the 5-0 score, I was super glad I skipped it.  The Redbirds were a straight-up embarrassment in the Postseason.

2  We couldn’t stop laughing after a security guard informed me that I had to wear my backpack over one shoulder instead of two.  This made absolutely no sense to either of us.  Was this guy a security guard or the cool police?

The Captain Is Building A Home Part Zwei

It’s been a little over a month since I posted my first house pic blog .  In September our house went from just framing to an actual building.  With a little under a month left until our house is completed, it seems like a great time for a photo blog update.

And here’s an action shot of the drywall going up in the basement.

While the drywall was going up, all of the outside wall work was also being completed.  All of the siding and brick work was finished by the time we returned from Florida.

And the driveway and entrance steps were also poured while we were gone.1

A couple of days after we were back, the drywall was finished.

Next up was laying the flooring.  Here’s the hardwood in the kitchen going down.

Around this time, we noticed our garage was suddenly filled wall to wall with boxes.

All of our cabinets, doors, counters, sinks and more2 lived in our garage for a couple of weeks while they were slowly installed throughout our home.

The cabinetry in the kitchen went up pretty quick, and the appliances followed in suit.

The stove and microwave are in but I am still waiting on my personal favorite, the dishwasher.

And speaking of appliances, we already bought our refrigerator, washer and dryer.  We found a great deal over Labor Day weekend and snapped them up quick.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to talk the store into waiting to deliver our three appliances, so they are currently hanging out in my mother’s garage.

This past week, the builders were busy installing trim on all the walls and fixtures all over.  The most exciting change was the electricians making their first appearance.  The lights went up in all the rooms!  Here’s the master bathroom taking shape.

Here’s the kitchen and dining room finally starting to look inhabitable.

And that’s where the house stands as of this weekend.  The really exciting stuff is due soon, with the plumbing and painting scheduled for this week.  Very soon our house will actually start to look like a home.  Only 23 more days!!!

Ciao,

The Captain

1  Which is a good thing, because I totally would have written something juvenile in the concrete like “Property of The Captain” if I was around while it was drying.

2  I am happy to report that most of these items were supplied by Huttig Building Products , a local company that where my Aunt Jackie has worked for a number of years.  I actually temped at Hutting for a month after graduating college when I couldn’t find a job and I’m glad we was able to spend our money somewhere that lent me a hand years ago.

The Captain Sets Sail For October

Editor’s Note:  You may have noticed that the last two entries had post dates of September 17 & 18 even though they were not actually posted until over a week after these dates.  The Captain intended to post these entries while aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship, but promptly changed his mind when he discovered the internet usage fees of $7.99 a minute.

The Captain is back in the landlocked Midwest after an extremely busy month.  I’ve actually be back a little over a week, but I’ve been too busy with my job and a massive mound of laundry to update the Quarters.  Today being the first day of October seems like a great opportunity to sum up the rest of my September.

Megan and I came ashore on Saturday the 22nd with about 60 hours left of our vacation.  We promptly returned to Orlando with her parents and rented a separate car for the weekend.

After a quick pit stop at one of the wonderful outlet malls in Orlando, we made our way to Tampa for a long lunch with my extended family living in Florida.  The whole Florida contingent of my father’s clan was in attendance, including my 82 year-old grandma and 87 year-old great aunt, both of whom are still full of life and complaints about their neighbors.

I ended up hamming it up with my family for a couple of hours before Meg and I made our way down to Sarasota for the rest of the weekend.  It’s only been a couple of months since I was last in Sarasota, but it’s been over 1½ years since Megan last visited.  We were both super excited to return to our former home by the bay.

Our good friends Amir & Julie were kind enough to host us for the weekend

Which meant I was forced to inhale copious amounts of Wild Turkey and flavored tobacco.

The Baxendales were also on hand to share a drink or two

Which meant the return of my sunglasses that I left in Florida last trip and, more importantly, the return of Rob Face!

That Rob, he does not disappoint.

On Sunday we had the perfect divide and conquer kind of day.  Meg and Jules hit the outlet malls for six hours while Amir and I watched six hours worth of football at Siesta Key.  It was win-win!1

Amir grilled up an ungodly amount of seafood Sunday evening, which slowed me down to a crawl by the time the Cards-Cubs game was on ESPN.

On Monday morning we managed to find time for a beach stroll on Longboat Key before heading out of town.  Man do I already miss that beautiful, empty beach.

Even after ten days straight of staring at the ocean I still wasn’t tired of the view.  The waters of Sarasota are where I really learned to be a Captain and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  It was especially hard to say goodbye to the beach knowing that it will be a long time until I see one again.

After prying myself off the sand we managed to squeeze in a quick lunch with my grandma and crazy Uncle Gary before heading to Orlando to catch an evening flight home.

Returning to work was pretty rough after ten days off, but I jumped right back in and I managed to catch back up by the end of the month.  The busy season in my office is August through November, so it was really hard to leave right in the middle for such a long period.  This will probably be my last September vacation for quite a while.

Complicating my return home was the fact that I once again managed to somehow throw out my back  while on vacation.  I was hobbling pretty badly when I first returned home, but it has slowly been getting better since.2

Besides work, I was really busy with the massive buildup in both the laundry bin and the DVR.  Two big events occurred over this past weekend that need to be mentioned.  The first, obviously, is that the Cardinals were the first team to secure a trip to the playoffs.  Bust out the Champagne, it’s a celebration bitches!

Congrats to the Cardinals for a very hard fought and rewarding year.  I’m super stoked for the playoffs in October.  Anyone got an extra ticket?

The other big event from this past weekend was my younger brother Paul attending his first Homecoming dance!  Wow does that me feel old.  My first Homecoming was fifteen years ago!  At the time I remember feeling very grown up.  Let’s just say I feel a little different about it now.

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the mini press conference that was the pre Homecoming group pictures at the St. Peters Rec Plex, where I snapped this little gem.

I’m trying really hard not to embarrass my brother so I will simple say that he and his date looked good together and leave it at that.

On a final note, I found some time last nite to upload all of the cruise pictures to the Captains Quarters Flickr page.  And with that, my September is officially over.  Danke to everyone who made it one to remember.

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  Unless you count Amir and I’s hometown teams, the Rams and the Browns.  That would be Lose-Lose.  Actually, more like Epic Fail–Epic Fail…

2.  With a lot of help from Megan’s godfather, Sonny the Chiropractor.  I don’t care if Chiropracty is an art and not a science, it’s still wonderful to me.

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