Saturday, May 20, 2006

Capt. Nemesis is not ...

  • A partner of ours. It has been suggested that, in private, we’ve made some kind of deal with him in order to stimulate interest in our project. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s someone who discovered us. He likes what we do, and he likes to have fun; often with us.
  • A competitor of ours. No, no, no. He’s out there, doing his own thing. In fact, he was doing it long before we came along. As a matter of fact we’re happy to know a person with the individuality and purpose he shows. His reasons for planning his own journey are personal and he recently gave them. Another in his situation might curl up in a corner and not even watch the world go by. He, on the other hand, has chosen to do something he’s always wanted to do, and we see that as life embracing and life affirming. How could we not support his efforts.

  • A destroyer of our ambitions. Hell no. We are writers, story tellers and videobloggers. We latched on to an idea we thought would be intriguing to many people. It certainly intrigues us. But, as it happens, a circumnavigation in an 11 foot boat—and probably in an 8 foot boat—isn’t of interest to enough people to gratify our needs. So, our plans will be altered. We’ll continue to be what we are and to do what we do. To begin with isn’t going down. Nor is its character going to change. We can’t help being artful and we can’t help being funny. It’s a winning combination, as far as we’re concerned—and obviously, as far as you are concerned as well, which is why you’re still with us.

We still want to sail around this beautiful world of ours. We still want to have the adventures that that will entail. And we still want to document it all. Hopefully, that will intrigue an even wider audience and give us the opportunity to make many, many more of them anticipate the next move and to laugh when it happens.

In the meantime, if you need a tiny boat with its dangers and discomforts, keep your eye on Captain Nemesis. We’re convinced he’s going to do it. We’re not convinced that he’s going to succeed, but we hope he does and we support his efforts, 100%.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Navigating Stoned

Okay! I’m behind in blogs. "So, sue me, sue me, shoot bullets through me." That’s from the musical Guys and Dolls, by the way. And, to what do we owe this nostalgia?

Well, I’ve become keenly aware, lately, that among our young people in America–and I suspect in the rest of the world, too–there’s an unbelievable dearth of general knowledge. Even more shocking, it exists in areas that are of interest to them. It seems they learn only what they must learn–say, to pass exams, or to do a specific job, or to hang with certain friends–and, beyond that, there’s absolutely no curiosity.

I suppose that just mentioning this situation can get me branded an old fart. So be it.

Here we are, trying to get a guy around the world and a recent poll on education just came up with startling statistics: about 49% of college age kids couldn’t find California on a map–in fact they couldn’t identify the Pacific Ocean. Another huge percentage didn’t know where Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan or Israel are. My God! And we’re telling them to keep their eyes on the Galapagos Islands.

One of the most frequently viewed videos on the Internet is one featuring two kids jumping around and lip-sinking to the Pokemon song. It has had over 10,000,000 hits. No wonder people take drugs. If they’re that damned stupid they’re better off stoned out.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Forbearing, Clement, Unruffled, Longanimous Me

Me, impatient? Hell, no! Eric’s impatient, though. He wants to start building the boat. That’s understandable because it’s the guys ambition–but it’s not his only reason for living. Were it that he’d surely be a nutser and my impatience would be to be rid of him. He’s not a nutser. He’s often weird in his way–as we all can be. But he’s a hard worker and a very reliable person. And he hardly ever complains. It’s not clear, however, if the lack of complaint is an attribute or the conviction that none of us will listen to him in any case.

Some of our viewers have expressed impatience. You want us to push Eric into the water. Some of you will even allow us to build the boat before he goes in the water. Well, all things take time. Much of that time is spent trying to raise the money to build the damn thing. But, in the meantime, we are providing you all with something to watch and to laugh at. We’re obviously succeeding at that because you’re still here.

I’ve trolled around the net and looked at a lot of Vlogs. I didn’t stick around long for what I found. In a lot of cases I ran away. Sometimes I hung in for a few minutes–often to see if things would get better, often wondering if they could, possibly, get worse. I’ve heard music–perhaps I should write it as "music"–that was just assaultive. I’ve seen pictures of people who thought they were cute and were not, and who thought they were funny and were not, and who were being serious and that was ridiculous (not funny), and who were trying to be ridiculous and turned out to be offensive. Every once in a while there’s something that’s charming and winning; not too often though. As for things that are informative–meaning with information one wants–there isn’t much out there, at least not to stumble across. The internet has tons and tons of information–much of it very valuable–if you know what you’re looking for. Go to a search engine with a topic and you’ll soon be in 7th heaven. Go trolling around the net and you’ll learn that a girl named Suzie met a boy named Roy at the mall and they both hate someone named Nimsy. Then Suzy, Roy and Nimsy will send you to a site where you can hear bad hip-hop and you can watch amateur dancers moving to silence because the sound is so bad–which may be as well.

All of that does make me impatient.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Pleasing 'Em All

We all share this globe on which we live and, hopefully, we all get something memorable from the experience. (There are, of course, those whose best memories will always be of that wonderful day when they disturbed someone with a well aimed criticism or a well timed snub. Well, to each his own joy.) Not long ago, when my partners and I decided to do this thing we were aware of some truths: this whole deal could be interesting to many people; we tend to be irreverent and many people enjoy seeing and reading that; we want an audience, but there’s no way in hell we’re ever going to mold ourselves to appeal to some strict segment of an audience, and finally there’s nothing on earth that pleases everyone.

So, here we are, in a phrase from an earlier time, doing our own thing. We’re aware that that may cloud our message for some. It will for those who must take their every interest with a dour straight face. But, dammit, part of our message is that life is good and there’s humor and fun in all its aspects. Some people get it and some don’t and there’s not a damn thing any of us can do to change that.

It is, really, a pleasure when someone does get. So, here’s a review we just read in a blog
called Proper Course:

“Finally we have one of the most original sailing blogs to hit the scene, The Captain Humphreys Project. Actually a vlog, not a blog, a humorous daily video blog about a former bartender planning to sail around the world in an 11 foot boat. A very professional production. But I haven't quite worked out yet whether it is about a real sail-round-the-world project or just a theme around which to develop some hilarious comedy sketches. Time will tell. In any case, compelling viewing. Check him out.”

I give sincere thanks to this blogger who signs himself “Tillerman.” It is so nice to live in a world where others can also grin, smile, laugh and guffaw. That, of course, includes all of you who come here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What’s the Use?

One of the reasons – in fact the main reason – I haven’t been keeping up with this blog writing is that I have the impression that no one reads the damn things.

I’m a professional. I write very well. What I write is all cogent and pithy and often quite funny. But professionals require some sort of payback. If I were not like that I suppose I’d be closeted somewhere with my word processor churning out maudlin poems or creating a memoir that would never end and never see the light outside of my electronic box. That is not going to happen even though I can, at times, lose heart.

Of course, I’m not going to do that. Among the things I dislike intensely, maudlin poems and unsolicited memoirs are high on the list. Somewhere on that list, too, are epic poems about obscure historical events and theatrical or screenplays that the authors insist on reading to me. In the latter case, if the author is also an actor he will, invariably, play out all the parts he’s written as he reads – in a variety of moods and voices, of course. And listening isn’t the worst part. The worst part comes at the end when one is expected to respond with glowing reviews. Well, I can lie with the best of them. And I have done. And I will confess that I haven’t lied out of generosity. I’ve lied out of pure self-interest: the thought of a having to contend with a depressed actor is far worse than the dissembling necessary to forestall such an event.

So, I won’t go on with this, in large part because I’m just about convinced that no one will read it in any case. There’s just one last thing to say on this subject, however: will someone, for Christ’s sake, say something about it?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pillow Talk

The snow is gone from the great blizzard of 2006. The temperature is now brutally low after a couple of days in the 60s which melted all the snow. And, David and the Captain have gone downtown, to Union Square, to participate in a pillow fight.

That’s right. A pillow fight is what I wrote. It seems a giant one was organized for this day, by whom I do not know. Nor do I care.

This is not a matter of indifference. I’ve always enjoyed a good pillow fight. No one gets hurt and everyone has the chance to unleash his pent-up aggressions. Wham! With all your might you smack someone and the person laughs and smacks you back. Oh, sure, you try to block the oncoming blow. That’s reflex and part of the battle. Then someone else clobbers you from behind and you laugh. There’s only one problem with it that I can see: that’s travelling on the subway to Union Square carrying a pillow. The chances are excellent – in a city the size of New York – that most of the other subway passengers don’t know about the event. They’re going to wonder what you’re doing with a pillow, in the middle of the day, on a commuter train. Chances are they’ll come to the wrong – and not necessarily good – conclusion.

"I don’t mind homeless people sleeping on the subway, but this is ridiculous. They’re bringing bedding now."

If they recognize David and the Captain from pictures on the Internet: "Wow! I thought those guys were successful. But they seem to be looking for a place to spend the night."

"Where are their blankies?"

"Their girlfriends threw them out with the only things they brought to the relationship. What losers."

"If they asked me for a date I’d know exactly what they have in mind."

Wait! Looking at that last line I’m not so sure the conclusions would all be wrong.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

4 Four Eyes

It just came to my attention that the four of us all wear spectacles. I’m not sure if that has any particular meaning. I can make it seem meaningful, however.

Will I bother? I don’t think so. Although, it does make us all look rather professorial. And there’s the rub. The question must arise: can four unathletic looking guys be serious about such a physically grueling stunt? Well, why not? It doesn’t take beefcake to sail a boat. And it doesn’t take beefcake to encourage someone else to do it. Hell, we don’t even have to push the thing into the water. We just have to get it to the water’s edge and shove it gently. Then we have to point a gun at the Captain and tell him to get in.

Actually, we don’t even need the strength to lift a gun. He wants to do it. At this point I believe you’d need a gun to keep him out of the boat. He’s been telling women, all over town, about his plans. Some of them have become quite intrigued by the idea – so intrigued, in fact, that he may have to get into the boat and sail away in order to save himself. You see, I have no idea what else he’s promised them, beyond the vicarious pleasure of his adventure.

Beware, I say, to all those women who become interested in the Captain. He can be very moody, very difficult, and quite unpredictable. The other day I was standing talking to him on Broadway and a very lovely girl approached us and said, “Hi, Eric.” He didn’t return her greeting. You’d have thought she wasn’t even standing there. “Eric? Hi,” she repeated. He sighed, deeply, to display his strained patience with her. Finally, not looking at her, he said as if to the world at large, “I told you, it’s Captain, or Captain Humphreys.”

I thought she might burst into tears, or tell him to go to hell, or just walk away. She did none of those things. She burst out laughing. “You see,” the Captain said to me, “They all think I’m a riot.”