Tuesday, August 31, 2010

august thirty-first

Five for August 31st:

Practice. We’re doing an extra long practice tonight out at Firebrand to get in shape for AUCW. In case you missed it, the band we’re covering was announced yesterday. Seems like people are excited about it, which makes me excited about it.

Self control. There is a huge box of donuts at work today. Am I going to eat one? No. I’m going to eat my greek yogurt with honey and blueberries, and I’m going to like it. Word.

I want a dog. Seriously. We really want to get one. I just wish our apartment had a fenced-in yard. More and more we’re leaning toward getting one anyway. We’ll probably think it over a little more seriously when we get back from the next trip.

Car troubles. Somebody either tried (and failed) to break into it on Monday night or just plain vandalized it, but whatever the case, one of the panels by the back window got jimmied off. Lisa hasn’t been having good luck with her car lately. In an effort to bring good car karma back, I got an oil change, filled my tank, and Armor-All’d my dash yesterday.

September. It’s hard to believe August- and this summer- is almost over. However, September will be awesome, so it’s hard to complain.

Monday, August 30, 2010

august thirtieth

Five for August 30th:

Oliver. Congrats to Nate and Rebecca on the birth of their son Oliver on Friday! We trekked up to Columbia yesterday to meet him. Very cute kid, despite the IV in his head. Also, lunch at Addison’s was awesome.

Hanging out. It was cool hanging out with the crew at the Bleeding Deacon for Lindsay’s going-away shindig. However, their dog-friendly “yappy hour” on Sunday was somewhat of a letdown.

Festival of Nations. We went to Tower Grove Park and checked it out. It was pretty cool, but I was more impressed with all the cool bikes and dogs we saw while there. Still, it was a very fun and well-attended event.

Loufest. We ended up not going. Unplanned road-trip to Columbia to see babies/trying save money for this weekend in San Francisco made it difficult to justify. Sounds like it went off awesome and I’m sure we’ll be there next year.

San Francisco. Gearing up for the trip and tying up some last minute details. We’ll be staying in Chinatown, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, and spending an evening in Sonoma. Plus a ton more.

Friday, August 27, 2010

august twenty-seventh

Five for August 27th:

Friday. Caffeinate myself through the rest of the workday, dinner at Shaved Duck with Lisa, Mary and Keith, followed by drinks at Bleeding Deacon for Lindsay’s going away get-together.

Saturday. Watch some Dexter in the morning. Probably a trip to Soulard Market to stock on up produce. Likely a bike ride in the day followed by Kevin Seconds at Fubar in the evening? Or we may end up doing something completely different.

Sunday. Kinda open. May go check out day two of Loufest if we’re feeling like spending the dough.

Late night rock show. Played a great set in Edwardsville last night. People dug it. I hate playing shows on weeknights, though. Getting home at 2 am and having to wake up at 6:30 is not ideal for me.

Fall. I’m actually sort of looking forward to the fall season now that the weather is becoming so pleasant. That said I will never, ever look forward to winter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

august twenty-sixth

Five for August 26th:

Dexter, Season 4. Disc 1 showed up in the mail yesterday, and we started watching last night. John Lithgow is awesomely creepy.

Bike Fail/Win. We tried to ride in Forest Park last night and it was a disaster. It’s just not possible to ride on that trail with the sheer number of pedestrians, dog-walkers, and idiots that don’t understand the simplest of shared-space concepts. However, the bike gods made amends: on the way home, we came across an abandoned vintage 1970’s Schwinn Super Sport in great condition, save for some flat tires. We’ll rehab, and use it for a grocery-getter and errand bike. Score!

Rock show. We’re playing tonight in Edwardsville at the Stagger Inn. We haven’t played there in a couple of years, and it should be a blast.

Facebook dilemma. I’m not obligated to accept the friend request of a family member that I A) haven’t seen in potentially over 20 years and B) don’t even remember, correct? Good, because I’m not going to. Just because we’re vaguely related does not mean we have to be e-friends. Plus, apparently he likes Glenn Beck and thinks Obama is a Muslim. I’ll pass.

Travel. Only a week till the trip to San Francisco commences. Cannot wait. Then, camping trip on my birthday weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

august twenty-fifth

Five for August 25th:

Band stuff. The set for AUCW is definitely starting to come together. Last night, a fellow local musician friend came by to work on some stuff with us and it actually sounded really good. More practice of our own songs tomorrow before the show in Edwardsville. Also band-related: there will be a show announcement today that I’m really excited about.

Summer cold. I feel something coming on, and I can’t tell if it’s a cold or allergies. I feel lucky that I’ve somehow made it as long as I have this season without having to deal with one. I knew it was just a matter of time. I blame the changing weather.

Lo-Fi Sessions. Looks like we will be doing an acoustic set for Bill Streeter’s “Lo-Fi Sessions” sometime in September. The best part: it will be shot on the roof of the City Museum!

Bike ride. We’re riding Grant’s Trail today after work. Should be a great evening for a ride. I would’ve rode in this morning, but didn’t get moving quickly enough.

Lunch fail. Cottage cheese and an apple for lunch? Do not want. Trip to the grocery store is imminent.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

august twenty-fourth

Five for August 24th:

Band practice. Tonight we work on cover stuff for AUCW and hopefully get some time to squeeze in a set of originals for our show on Thursday. Next week, we’re doing an extended practice out at Firebrand.

Hanging out. Lisa and I will be meeting people this evening at Milo’s for post-practice bocce watching, drinks, and sitting outdoors.

Man Vs. Food. We started watching this off and on a week ago or so. It’s a fun show to watch, but I will never understand competitive eating. Scarfing down a 2 lb, 20,000 calorie cheeseburger doesn’t sound like something I would ever want to do for any reason.

KDHX. Just found out that everyone’s favorite local independent radio station is moving to new digs in Grand Center over the next year or so. This is awesome news for a great organization, and I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Healthy choice. Dinner last night consisted of grilled tofu with homemade barbecue sauce, cauliflower gratin with capers, and salad with beets and candied pecans. Totally. Awesome.

Monday, August 23, 2010

august twenty-third

Five for August 23rd:

Moonlight Ramble. Although it got off to a late start, the Moonlight Ramble was a blast and I can’t wait to do it again next year. We did the longer, 19-mile route and it felt like it went by in no time. Riding with a group of 10,000+ bicyclists through the streets of St. Louis in the middle of the night is awesome.

More riding. It’s going to be beautiful all week, which means lots more riding. As much as I hate witnessing the slow transition into the winter months, the cooler days and evenings are pretty nice. Besides, there’s still plenty of summer-ish weather left to be had.

Rock show. Have you forgotten? I almost did. We’re playing Thursday night in Edwardsville at the Stagger Inn! It’s the annual back to school show and sure to be a crazy one. You should go.

Rush. Lisa and I watched the Rush documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” on Saturday. While I love rock docs, I don’t understand how anyone on the planet can possibly like this band. Honestly, I had no idea their lyrics were that over-the-top terrible. Think I’m kidding? Watch it with the subtitles on and try not to cringe every few seconds.

Monday. This week is already going to be a long one, I can feel it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

august twentieth

Five for August 20th:

Friday. Midtown Alley Street Fest downtown tonight? Free, cool bands (Sleepy Kitty, Tilts, etc) and cheap drinks. Possibly followed by a long-overdue trip to the Silver Ballroom.

Saturday. Probably keeping a low profile during the day for the Moonlight ramble at midnight. Hopefully it won’t rain, and we’ll be able to do the longer, 19-mile route. Not that we can’t do that if it does rain, but it’ll make things a little more fun.

Sunday. Ramble recovery. This might include a bloody mary at Rooster. Then, finally watching "Airborne” on Netflix with my friend Tom.

iPod. One of these days, I will remember to recharge it. Until then, NPR. Also, I need to find somebody who has a Mac that is loaded with awesome music, because I am sick of pretty much everything on there.

Dessert. Lisa made a crepe with Nutella and banana last night. Wait, wait- a’la mode. And yes, it was amazing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

august nineteenth

Five for August 19th:

Ride time. It’s amazing to me that it only takes about 15 minutes longer to ride to work than it does to drive. Also cool: it’s taking me about the same time to get home on bike as it does to get to work on bike, despite the fact that the afternoon is hotter, has more traffic, and is basically uphill the whole way.

Last night. We went to the Vine on South Grand for dinner and got some gelato at Gelateria after. I hadn’t been to either place yet, and both were awesome. The young drum corps that set up across the street and played some marching beats was a nice touch. Also went to Jay International, where Lisa had never been, and marveled at the sheer volume of interesting foreign packaged food.

Cape Fear. Saw it for the first time yesterday. De Niro’s character was probably one of the best I’ve ever seen him play. Man, how the mighty have fallen since 1991.

No beer. I haven’t drank any beer for almost two weeks. No real reason, other than it was making me feel bloated. I haven’t been feeling bloated lately, so I guess it’s working.

Skate. Might have to bust out some sweet boneless drops and weak ollies in the parking lot tonight, followed by a viewing of “The Search for Animal Chin”.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

august eighteenth

Five for August 18th:

Band practice. We had a good one last night, and I’m starting to feel better about our covers set for AUCW. Still a ways to go, for sure, but it’s beginning to shape up.

Bike commute. The ride in was awesome this morning. Totally cool and cloudy enough to keep the sun at bay. I’ve recently been contemplating removing the new pedal cages from my bike, but I’m beginning to like them more. Hopefully this weather will continue into the weekend for the moonlight ramble.

Cereal for dinner. Sometimes you’ve just gotta do it. Cinnamon oatmeal squares with vanilla almond milk sounded particularly good yesterday.

Work. I think I do a pretty good job of not taking my work home with me, especially the overly annoying parts of it, but I have to admit; it has been getting to me the last few days.

Camping. Really want to go again before (or shortly after) fall sets in. Johnson Shut-Ins?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

august seventeenth

Five for August 17th:

Not fair. Lisa is out with Stefanie and Rob right now, getting breakfast pizza at Benton Park Café, and I am drinking shitty coffee at my desk. It just seems wrong.

Poetry slam. It was cool seeing Stefanie read at Duff’s last night to a totally packed room, and surprising to see so many people I knew from different circles there. Went to Herbie’s in the CWE followed by the patio at Royale for cocktails afterward.

Amazing weather. St. Louis is going through a little break in the excruciating heat, and it’s automatically putting me in a great mood. Tomorrow: bike ride. I would've done it today, but immediate post-work practice forbids it.

New windows. We’re getting some new, functional windows installed in our apartment this week. Especially cool is the fact that we’ll now be able to open the screen out to the balcony without the storm window crashing down in a terrifying cacophony.

La Vallesana. Their new awning over the patio is cool, but it takes some of the charm away. Also learned that, in the future, I want the horchata-flavored water, not the straight horchata. But their veggie burrito totally rules.

Monday, August 16, 2010

august sixteenth

Five for August 16th:

Happy birthday mom. Still going strong at the ripe young age of 63. Here’s to many more!

Skating. I bought a reissue Powell Mike Vallely complete skateboard from my friend Anchovy on Friday. It’s amazing how quickly it all comes back. I’d been wanting a new deck for a long time, and am totally excited to mess around with it again. It was definitley time to retire my old Vision Gonz.

Band practice. Finally get to practice again tomorrow after more than a week off. I always feel extra rusty when I don’t play drums for that long, so we’ll see how it goes.

Weekend. Highlights included dinner at Everest Café, skating in the parking lot across from our apartment, hanging out with mom, drinks with Mary and Keith at Shaved Duck, and walking the neighborhood/sitting outside on the balcony last night thanks to the break in the heat.

Tonight. Going to see Stefanie’s poetry reading with Lisa and Rob at Duffs, followed by dinner/hanging out, likely in the CWE.

Friday, August 13, 2010

august thirteenth

Five for August 13th:

Friday the 13th. Don’t know what we’re doing tonight. Maybe a stop by the Silver Ballroom, where we haven’t been in forever. Anything else going on?

Saturday. If there’s time, we’ll hit the Black Bear KDHX benefit brunch in the morning, then we’ll be hanging out with our respective families during the day. Lisa will be in Grafton, and I will be in Chesterfield, getting lunch with my mom.

Sunday. Rob and Stefanie are coming in town and will be staying with us until Tuesday morning. Fun will be had.

Street department. The St. Louis street department can suck it. Thanks a ton for deciding to rip up/work on all three (for me) major north-south thoroughfares (Kingshighway, Hampton, and Skinker) in the middle of morning rush hour. No, really: brilliant.

Cool stuff. 1) Got my copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life yesterday and I’m looking forward to starting it. 2) Hung out at Keith and Mary’s place last night and sat outside, talking about Mexico and drinking Mojitos. 3) This new bar looks like it’s going to be really cool.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

august twelfth

Five for August 12th:

Drum store hookup. Thanks to Fred Pierce for hooking me up with a new (free!) rod for my hi-hat stand. I realize that a rod for a hi-hat stand is not that big a deal, but still, getting it gratis was very cool and unexpected. Now I no longer have to play with a sawed-down hi-hat rod, which makes for some uncomfortable drumming at times.

Book shipment fail. My copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life apparently showed up yesterday, but since it was shipped USPS, I now have to go pick it up at the post office after work. Double fail: it was shipped “postage due”, so I have to pay an extra $2.77. Lame.

Yogurt. I’m not a huge yogurt fan (I’m talking about regular yogurt, not frozen yogurt. Everyone knows I love that), but Lisa’s non-fat yogurt concoction with honey and blueberries is perhaps the best thing ever. I realize that a lot of these posts have to do with how awesome Lisa is at devising meals, but what’re you gonna do.

Moscow Mule. Walked down to the Royale last night for dinner and drinks. Whoever was bartending made one of the best Moscow Mules I’ve ever had. Note to Royale: you should keep that drink on the menu.

Atlanta. Looks like we nailed down the dates for our trip to Atlanta yesterday. October is turning into a busy month.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

august eleventh

Five for August 11th:

Good recording session. We made a ton of progress on the album last night, finishing up two more songs. It’s really cool to hear a song come together for the first time. Only a couple of things left to do before this thing is in the can.

Sleep. I didn’t get much of it, which sucks, because I didn’t get home till about 1 am. For some reason, I can never sleep following a night in the studio. I don’t really know why that is. Today, I’m running on fumes (and coffee).

Brawl. The Reds AND the Cardinals are a bunch of bitches. Quit fighting and thank your lucky stars that you’re getting paid millions of dollars to play a children’s game. Bunch. Of. Bitches.

Poster art. Check out this great poster for this year’s An Undercover Weekend! We’re playing the first night (September 10th), but you should try to get out to all three nights. The lineups this year are top-notch.

Lunch. Due to my late wake-up this morning, I see Jimmy John’s in my near future.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

august tenth

Five for August 10th:

Studio. Tonight we’ll be in the studio, (hopefully) tying up quite a bit of loose-end vocal stuff for the next album. I’m being cautiously optimistic, but it feels like we’re in the home stretch on finishing this up.

Weezer. I used to love Weezer, I really did. I was a devout “Blue Album” and “Pinkerton” fan, and I loved all their old singles and such. However, that Weezer is long dead. If they ever do something un-ironically again, I might give them another shot.

Food. Lisa killed it on dinner last night, making stir-fried kale with tofu over couscous. It was ridiculously good and will make for top-of-the-line lunch leftovers today. Lisa is the undisputed champion of being able to create meals out of seemingly nothing. I bow to her skillz.

Slaughterhouse-Five. Re-reading it for the first time since I was in high school. I have to admit, I’m not always the biggest Kurt Vonnegut fan, but this book really is great. Next up, I’ll be reading a Dexter novel that I scored for a dollar while in Memphis.

Steve Slater. I don’t really know if all this talk of him being some great American hero is quite deserved, but still, it’s a funny story and you have to admire the dude.

Monday, August 9, 2010

august ninth

Five for August 9th:

Awesome trip to Memphis. Weekend road trip down to Memphis was amazing. We toured Stax and Sun records, swam in the pool, ate a ton of great food, and rode the trolley down to Beale Street, which was actually very fun. Pics coming soon to Facebook. Planning to try to get down to Atlanta in October following our September trip to San Francisco.

Tonight. Bike ride and/or jog around south city after work. Got to work off some of Memphis’ excess a bit, plus the Moonlight Ramble is only a couple of weeks away. Also laying off the bread, beer, and other carbs this week.

Album promo. Time to get serious about sending stuff out for review. Speaking of reviews, here is a great one that surfaced last Tuesday, in case you didn’t already see it.

Rental. Lisa gets her rental car today while her normal ride is in the shop getting fixed from last week’s sideswipe. Wish we’d had that for this past weekend. My car is great and all, but the lack of cruise control is somewhat of a bummer on long drives.

New project. I have this thing I've been thinking a lot about lately, and I’m sort of working on, but it’s still in the baby stages and still may or may not actually happen. I know that is pretty vague, so sorry about that, but I’ll let you know more as I get it happening. Just know that something cool might happen. Maybe.

Friday, August 6, 2010

august sixth

Five for August 6th:

Weak week. Hit-and-run car accidents, sick cats, pinched nerves, unplanned expenses, and general dissatisfaction with some everyday things defined this past week to some degree or another. When it rains, it pours. Next week will be much better.

Memphis. Tonight we’ll be en route to Memphis. Our hotel has an outdoor pool and is right on the trolley line to Beale Street and other places. A little worried about finding vegetarian food, as Memphis is so barbecue-centric, but I think we’ll manage.

Broken habit. I just sort of realized that I’m no longer putting two spaces after a period in a sentence, a bad habit which went all the way back to “computer class” when I was in second grade. I don’t know why they taught us to do it like that, but they did.

Simply Thai. Their yellow curry is boss, but I wish we would’ve got the fried sweet potatoes instead of the spring rolls.

Neck. It’s feeling a million times better, but still not up to 100%, which sucks, because today would have been a perfect day to ride to work.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

august fifth

Five for August 5th:

Pinched nerve. I woke up at about 5 AM to a “chhkkk” sound and instant pain in the right side of my neck. I must’ve been sleeping really weirdly on it. 2 Ibuprofen and a long, hot shower later, it’s feeling much better, but I still can’t tilt my head all the way to the right. At least now I can turn it.

V-touch. My knockoff iPod Touch has been coming in really handy at work lately, as it has the ability to pick up a super-clear radio signal in my windowless basement office. It also has a great video capability. The best part? When you turn it off, a screen comes up that says “bye-bye!” I need to use this thing more often.

Studio. With Kevin on a short tour with Thee Fine Lines, we have a week off from practice. We’ll be heading back to Firebrand on Tuesday for more work on the album, and to nail down plans for the showcase in November.

Cool shows coming up. We’re working on a couple of really awesome shows coming up in the next few months, both in and out of town. More as it happens.

Prop 8. Every American should be proud of yesterday’s ruling on Prop 8. Here’s to it going all the way to the Supreme Court for permanent change for the better.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

august fourth

Five for August 4th:

Hazel. Our cat had a bad day yesterday. We learned her limp is the result of a small fracture, she has a minor flea infestation, and she had some pretty bad reactions to the shots she received. Now, we have to try to keep the cats separated as much as possible while she heals up, which is not easy in a small apartment. It’ll all work out, though.

Awesome photography/photoshop. I posted this all over the place yesterday, but if you haven’t done it yet, check this site out. I am in awe of this guy’s skills.

Memphis trip. The sick kitty is throwing a curveball at this weekend’s trip to Memphis, but we’ll make it happen. Anyone mind coming by and trying to shove a pill down a fully-clawed cat’s throat on Saturday?

Ride tonight. We’re planning on a ride around town tonight, weather permitting. Hopefully the heat won’t be too overwhelming.

iPad. I used one in person for the first time the other day, and I want one. I can’t believe how inexpensive they are, too. When my PC laptop finally craps out (hopefully not anytime soon), I’ll probably get one.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

august third

Five for August 3rd:

Tragedy. The STL music scene suffered an enormous blow yesterday with the unfortunate and untimely death of Fattback guitarist Dave Hagerty. I just saw them play a few days ago at their EP release show, and it's weird to think I'll never see them again. What a shame.

111. The temperature today will feel like one hundred and eleven degrees outside. Yikes. I feel bad for the people that work out in the warehouse. I feel like I should bring them all lemonade or something.

Practicing cover songs. We’re getting started practicing a set of cover songs tonight. For what, you ask? You can probably figure it out if you think hard enough.

Aldi’s coffee. We bought some “donut store style” coffee from Aldi’s the other day on a whim. Actually, it isn’t terrible. It doesn’t taste like Dunkin Donuts coffee, but the packaging sure looks like it should. I love knockoffs.

Shark Week. My friend Amy said it best: “shark week is to bacon as bacon is to zombies...”

Monday, August 2, 2010

august second

Five for August 2nd:

City riding. We did an awesome bike route around South City last night. It takes about an hour to do, and is a great and simple workout.

Show overload. Saw Beth Bombara & the Robotic Foundation, Foundry Field Recordings, Sleepy Kitty, Tight Pants Syndrome, Jet W Lee, Bruiser Queen, and the Safes on Saturday. Plus we played. All in all, a full day of great bands.

Pop Luck 2010. Thanks to all who came out for the first ever Pop Luck show, and to the excellent folks and Black Bear Bakery, Off Broadway, and KDHX for being so cool and accomodating. Thanks also to all the STL media outlets that covered it. We were super happy with it and are looking forward to doing it again next year.

Zucchini bread. Lisa made vegan zucchini bread yesterday (partly for my brother, who we found out last night is actually no longer vegan), and it turned out to be completely amazing. Add some vanilla ice cream, and it’s the best thing ever.

Breakfast buffet. They went all out for our Monday morning meeting at work today. Bagels, lox, cream cheese, fruit tray, donuts, yogurt, and coffee cake. Now that is how you start off a work week.