The Captain Says Ach, Ja & Nicht Nicht: Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

Right now it’s a miserable 95 degrees outside, which means summer must be right around the corner.  And seeing that it’s been seven months since my last installment, I’m replacing today’s regularly scheduled Friday 5 with a summer edition of Ach, Ja and Nicht Nicht!

Ach, Ja and Nicht Nicht – Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

A No Prep Summer – Ach, Ja

For the past several summers I’ve been pre-occupied with some type of pending project.  In 2009 I was prepping for buying a house, 2008 I was adjusting to living in downtown St. Louis, 2007 I was prepping for the wedding and moving to Tallahassee, etc.  This year I blissfully have nothing on the horizon.  Finally!  I actually have time to kick back and enjoy the new house, like I did on Wednesday.

D and I enjoying a cigar on the new deck furniture with the pups

And nice weather + free time = a chance to start exercising again!  Rad!

My 31 Year Old Body’s Enthusiasm at Exercising – Nicht Nicht

Mentally I am psyched to start a running program again after such a long period of inactivity.  I have lots of time available and a gorgeous three mile trail around a lake right across the street from my house.  Now if I could just talk my body into feeling the same excitement…

I began walking a few miles a day this week coupled with some light jogging, and my body is already groaning something fierce.  It’s been about a year since I’ve exercised regularly, and my muscles are going out of their way to remind me of that fact.  I’m doing my best to ease back into activity, but it’s tough when I’ve lost so much ground over the past year.  But I have the whole summer to hopefully get back on track.

Brothers by The Black Keys – Ach, Ja

I’ve been a casual Black Keys fan for a number of years now.  I caught their set at Lollapalooza back in 2005, and I listened to Attack and Release more than a few times back in 2008.  But I always assumed they’d stay a riff heavy guitar and drum band.  Adding a bass and keyboard to the mix didn’t sound like it would work, but the results are undeniably amazing.  I think Brothers is their best album to date, and this was reaffirmed last week during their set at the Pageant.  Not only did they manage to sell out the place, they also managed to rock the face off of everyone in attendance.

I’ve been trying for the last week to find a picture of the super rad backdrop they used, but the  normally reliable internet has failed me.  They’re using a gigantic illustration of two hands triumphantly clasped together in a tire framed picture that is quite a sight.  So instead, enjoy this sly little video for their second single, Tighten Up.

Party Down – Ach, Ja

Why is the second funniest1 show of 2010 on Starz where no one will see it?  I like the idea of it being a cool little under the radar show, but I also think that everyone should be watching it.  Ron Donald should be America’s new loveable loser.

The premise of having a workplace comedy that naturally has a new setting every week is brilliant for television.  And having it on a pay channel is worth it just for the creative cussing.  But I can’t help thinking that if Party Down was on HBO it would be as popular and widespread as Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The Cardinals and The Phillies Stinking Up My Fantasy Team– Nicht Nicht

If it isn’t somehow apparent by now, I like baseball and I love the Phillies and the Cardinals.  Both teams have been playing sub-.500 baseball for the last month, which sucks in of itself.  But this subpar performance is really killing my fantasy baseball team, The Wild Turkeys.

My initial strategy for my team seemed brilliant.  Since I’m playing in my buddy Amir’s league based out of Tampa, I figured I could easily load up my team on Cards and Phils players since everyone in Tampa is American League fans.  I was able to stock up with Howard, Rollins and Ruiz on the Phils and Rasmus, Freese, Penny and Garcia on the Cards at a minimal cost.  This was a great strategy at the beginning of the year, and I propelled me as high as 3rd place in the league.  Then came this extended funk from both the Cards and the Phils, and I’m now 11th place out of 12.

So come on Cardinals and Phillies, pick up the pace already.  Do it for yourselves, but more importantly, do it for The Wild Turkeys!  Gobble Gobble!

Winter’s Bone – Ach, Ja

It’s been a slow year for movies in 2010, but I’m hoping this will change for me tomorrow.  Megs and I are meeting my college roommate Eric and his wife for an opening weekend viewing of Winter’s Bone.  The film is set in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, right outside of my college town.  The entire film was shot on location last year in the Ozarks, and supposedly looks exceptionally accurate.

I first heard about the film in an article back in January when it won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance.  Since then I’ve been anxiously following the film to watch for its release.  The story of a teenage girl tromping through the Ozark woods to find her meth dealing father sounds like my kind of film.  See for yourself.

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24/7 Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill – Nicht Nicht

Not only is this the worst environmental disaster in the United States, it’s also the most depressing news coverage ever.  Even at the height of all the gloomy news coverage during the Iraq war, there were at least a few stories about newfound freedom or restoring power to a region to brighten my day.  There is no good side to this story.

I understand journalists have an obligation to cover a story this monumental, but it makes me avoid the news altogether.  About the only positive thing to say about the disaster is that all those people I used to mock for getting a worthless degree in marine biology are now plenty busy.

Seed Bombing – Ach, Ja

With so much bad news about the environment, I was

I want to start seed bombing .  It combines all the good feelings of helping green my surroundings with the excitement of using guerilla tactics.  I found this website selling seed bomb vending machines and I’m convinced that downtown St. Louis would really benefit from having one.  Maybe I should plan a seed bombing day downtown.  Who’s with me!?!

AMC – Ach, Ja

AMC just keeps getting better.  2009 was a great year for their two dramas, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, which just happen to be my two current favorite shows.  And if last year was back-to-back home runs for AMC, this year looks to be a grand slam.  First out of the gate this year was the unbelievable season three of Breaking Bad.

Without a doubt, this is the most stressful show I’ve ever seen.  At any moment I’m just waiting for something terrible to happen to one of the characters.  And it’s that anything can happen feeling that makes me love the show so much.  And it features Bob Odenkirk’s wonderfully sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman.

Next month is the return of Mad Men(!) on AMC, followed by the wild card of the bunch, Rubicon.  And October will see the debut of my favorite comic now in television form, The Walking Dead!

Those four shows + constant reruns of The Karate Kid and Goodfellas = my new favorite network AMC!

Upcoming Surgeries – Nicht Nicht

It’s been a week of bad news health wise.  First, I found out that Desmond’s broken leg is now internally infected.  So instead of getting his cast off soon, he must now get surgery on his leg or risk losing it.  And of course the surgery is ridiculously expensive.

Second, I found out that one of my front two teeth that were damaged in a camping accident six years ago is now abscessed.  So it’s getting yanked next month and being replaced with a pricey bridge.  Two costly surgeries in less than a month really sucks, especially since they are both the result of random accidents.  It’s really soured me on medicine in general.  Now when I see something cute, like the vet techs writing “The Constant” on Desmond’s cast,

My first thought is negative.  Yeah, he’s constantly expensive.

Captain Mike at Scott Air Force Base – ACH, JA!!!

Last weekend was probably the most excited I’ve been all year.  My college buddy Mike was in town with his wife to look at houses in the Metro East.  Mike is currently stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and just accepted a new post at Scott Air Force Base.  He’ll be moving to Shiloh, Illinois at the beginning of September!  So not only will I finally have another Captain to drink with

His tremendous wife Irene will be here too and only 35 minutes away from our house!

Mike and Irene stayed with us all of last weekend and Megs and I had a marvelously relaxing time.  I know I must have had fun, because I didn’t manage to find time to take any pictures or tweet anything2.

It’s been ten years since Captain Mike lived in the same town as this Captain, and it’s long overdue.  So here’s to St. Louis’ newest Captain.  Cheers!


The Captain

1.  Second to Parks and Recreation, which coincidently also now stars Adam Scott.  Although I heard that Adam leaving for Parks and Recreation has put a third season of Party Down in doubt. And now NBC is talking about canceling Parks and Recreation.  Please don’t Arrested Development these two shows!!!

2.  And, sadly, that is becoming a rare occurrence.  Damn you easy to use technology and social media.

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