Thursday, September 30, 2010

september thirtieth

Five for September 30th:

Good ride. The weather lately has been perfect for riding the bike. I’ve been slacking on it, though, mostly due to having too much stuff to do after work each day (and just being lazy in the mornings). Rode in this morning and it was great, except for getting stuck at a train crossing for over ten minutes. Also cool: the handlebar bag Lisa got me is great and completely eliminates the need for my backpack- at least for commuting to work.

Insurance. Started moving some of my term insurance over to a permanent policy that I can draw from when I get old and gray. It’s a little more per month, but will pay off big time in the end.

La Pizza. It’s happening today. At least, that’s the plan. Some mid-day pizza by the slice with a salad and diet Dr. Pepper is really a perfect thing- epecially when you get to ride it off on the way home.

Video/photo shoot. The location- scoping with Seth and Doug last night was cool. If everything works out like we’re planning, it should be awesome. Dinner outside at La Vallesana was also great, even though I ordered the wrong burritos.

This week. I’m over it. Ready for the weekend. For the first time in forever, I don’t have any obligations and can take it in stride. Also, I can't believe October starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

september twenty-ninth

Five for September 29th:

Big day for the band. Not only did our Lo-Fi Sessions video go live today (which looks and sounds amazing), but we also found out that we were voted “Best Pop Band” in the 2010 Best of STL awards! I’m buzzing a little bit, I have to say. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

Last night. It was cool hanging out with the band and others at Royale post-practice. There’s something incredibly satisfying about sitting outside in front of a raging fire in the middle of south city.

Meeting. State Farm guy really wants to meet with me for some reason, even though we just had a meeting a month ago or so. Enough already, dude. My policy is not that complicated.

Cherokee street. Heading there with Seth and Doug after work to scope out a location for a possible video/photo shoot. Dinner at La Vallesana with Lisa afterward? Could happen.

Thief. To the person or persons that stole my brother’s stuff: you better hope to Christ Almighty we never find out who you are.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

september twenty-eighth

Five for September 28th:

The Blind Eyes. We have a ton of cool stuff happening. In addition to finishing up the new album, we have press kits going out, posters going up, a video in the works for one of the new songs, and lots of cool shows on the horizon (including our first ever Pageant show and a new year’s eve show). In addition, the Lo-Fi sessions video shoot we did should be up this week, AND we have two songs coming out on the KDHX Space Parlour Live compilation on the 15th. Whew.

New Giant Robot. The new issue is awesome, and I’m not even halfway through. The best part? It comes with a free video game.

USPS Fail. I ordered a t-shirt. The post office says they delivered it. I say they didn’t. Where do we go from here?

Razor blades. A while back, I saw a video online about how to get the most out of disposable razor blades (basically, “sharpening” them against your palm after each use). I put it to the test and it totally worked. Just this morning, I replaced my razor blade for the first time in about 4 months. I used to have to put a new one on every 2-3 weeks easily. Total win.

Jacket weather. I love busting out the jackets and hoodies, I have to admit. As much as summer coming to an end sucks, there are some upsides to autumn.

Monday, September 27, 2010

september twenty-seventh

Five for September 27th:

Friday. Got some dinner at Bleeding Deacon, stopped by the Bottleworks for a drink, and met people for bowling at Saratoga for Seth’s birthday. It was arguably the worst I’ve bowled in ten years, but a good time nonetheless.

Saturday. Lisa finally perfected her hash browns in the morning, and we finished season 4 of Dexter (holy crap). Went to the Montelle winery with Mary and Keith in the afternoon. Afterward, the Tap Room for Scott and Laurel’s wedding reception (where we had some of the best vegetarian lasagna ever), which was totally fun and well-DJ’d by the one and only AZ.

Sunday. Road-tripped up to Columbia with Lisa and Tom to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the Blue Note. Got food with the Como crew beforehand at Billiards. The show was phenomenal and inspirational, despite the low turnout.

Time to let go. My favorite black hoodie is done for, and there’s no pretending that it can be saved. There are more holes in it than can be contended with any longer. It’s time to trash it, and give some other jackets and things I haven’t worn in years to charity.

Cold. Fall came out of nowhere in full force over the weekend. Saturday afternoon was sunny and warm, but by evening it was crisp and cool out. Yesterday it was just plain cold outside.

Friday, September 24, 2010

september twenty-fourth

Five for September 24th:

Packed weekend. So much happening this weekend. Rock shows, birthday parties, wedding receptions, road trips, and potentially going to the wineries on top of whatever else. Good stuff. The way I see it, there will be plenty of time to sit around doing nothing when there’s a –5 degree windchill.

Central West End. We really want to live there. I think if we stay in St. Louis, we’re going to have to just ante up and move over there. The walkability of it, and close proximity to my workplace would help make up for the added expense.

Buying food. I have a $100 Trader Joe’s gift card burning a hole in my pocket. I think the potential for most (or all) of that to get spent this weekend is very high.

Promotion. Starting on posters and handbills for the October 8th show at Cicero’s. Next week is a Blind Eyes CD-mailing blitz. I have an awesome list of press contacts put together, and I intend to use it.

Black Keys. Tom hooked me up with a copy of “Brothers”, which I have yet to hear. I really dig the packaging of the CD. I think the only future for CDs lies in interesting packaging.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

september twenty-third

Five for September 23rd:

Coffee. Exhausted this morning due to late night rock show yesterday. Had to stop at Starbucks for a caffeine jolt, which is a rarity for me. Usually I can suffer through office coffee. Not this morning.

Autumn. Today is the day. It’s all downhill from here. The fact that summer is over is bumming me out more this year than it ever has. Probably because this summer was totally amazing.

Fish tacos. Lisa made rad mahi-mahi fish tacos last night with black beans. We also finally cracked open the large bottle of Sierra Nevada that we bought while in Memphis (!) and had yet to drink. Also cool: walking to the grocery store instead of driving.

New music. Does anyone out there have a Mac with iTunes, fully loaded with awesome songs? I am sick of every single track on my iPod and don’t want to re-format it for PC. I need some new stuff to listen to.

Smoke free. I can’t wait until STL is non-smoking. I really can’t. The cool thing is that most venues that I go to are non-smoking, or are starting to host more and more non-smoking shows.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

september twenty-second

Five for September 22nd:

City Museum. Yesterday’s video shoot for Lo-Fi St. Louis at City Museum was awesome. Since it’s closed to the public on Mondays, we had the run of the place. Got to check out the roof and jump in the ball pit, free of charge. Oh yeah, and we got to play a song inside the skeleton of an airplane fuselage dangling 50 feet in the air. Check out a sneak peek here (the real take wasn’t filmed on an iPhone).

Fat kid burn. Yes, I burned the roof of my mouth on a pizza at Milo’s last night. Yes, I should have waited for it to cool down. But I did not.

Slow leak. I noticed my left front tire sagging a bit yesterday. I ran by Valvoline this morning, and sure enough, it has a slow leak. The good thing is, I can have it patched and don’t have to buy new tires.

Fall. The season officially changes over to fall tonight 10:09 tonight, which seems like a totally weird and arbitrary time. I’m sad summer is over, but admittedly, I’m looking forward to a little jacket weather. The irony, of course, is that it’s supposed to be in the 90’s tomorrow.

Camping. I want to try to camp at least one more time this year. I’m thinking we can squeeze an October trip in before it gets too cold.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

september twenty-first

Five for September 21st:

Soft rockin’. First ever Blind Eyes acoustic thing is happening tonight. Come by and hang out. We’re shooting on the roof of the City Museum at 6:30!

Cool shows. Armitage Shanks at Crack Fox on Wednesday, Ted Leo at the Blue Note on Sunday.

Cool events. This weekend is Seth’s birthday party at Saratoga and Scott & Laurel’s wedding reception at the Tap Room. Pumpkin ale: I’m coming for you.

Cool quote. "I tried to read the Bible, but it always seemed like a less awesome Lord of the Rings." -Kevin Nealon on Weeds (thanks to Amy Burger).

Dinner. Lisa made the most amazing squash stew concoction ever last night. Best part: lunch leftovers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

september twentieth

Five for September 20th:

BMX. Checked out the Old School BMX Show at Ramp Riders on Saturday with Greg, and saw some awesome, drool-worthy stuff. Highlights included a never-assembled 88 Haro Sport and some really nice vintage PK Rippers and Hutch Trickstars. Downside: too many Dynos.

Birthday party. Thanks to everyone who came and hung out at the Royale on Saturday evening. Special thanks to Annie for the sweet “Gig” magazines, Steve Smith for the complimentary drink, and Seth for finally spinning “Tenderoni”.

Dexter, Season 4. I’m bummed (and relieved) that it’s coming to an end. We should get the final disc this week. Lithgow rules.

Video shoot. We’re skipping our normal Tuesday practice tomorrow to film an acoustic song on the roof of the City Museum for Lo-Fi Sessions. We’ve never really done anything like this before, so it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Stuff on cats. We had an epic pile going on top of Walter last night, which included 3 pillows, a pair of jeans, a yoga mat, a pair of shoes, and a toy mouse. Also, Lisa is obsessed with teaching him to ride a skateboard, which I don't really see working out in the long run.

Friday, September 17, 2010

september seventeenth

Five for September 17th:

Birthday wrap up. Thanks to all the people who sent happy birthday wishes my way. It was indeed a happy birthday, and you are all the best. Got dinner and sangria with Lisa last night at Modesto to celebrate. This seems to be becoming our default birthday spot.

Josh. Since I don’t write this thing on weekends, I have to give a preemptive, public happy birthday to my brother, who turns 30 tomorrow. Wait, what? My little brother can’t be 30. That must be a typo.

Records. I’m kind of over collecting most things, and records are one of them. However, articles like this make me want to get back on the wagon.

AUCW 3. An Undercover Weekend continues tonight with the final performances of the year. Great lineup. Should be a really fun show.

Beth Bombara. My good friend Beth is getting her record pressed! Can’t wait to hear it. Kudos to everyone who made it happen. I am more impressed with the local music community lately than I ever have been.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

september sixteenth

Five for September 16th:

Birthday. I’m 33 today. This is somewhat amazing to me, because it doesn’t seem possible. The thing is, I still feel like I’m 23, so I suppose that's good. Lisa hooked me up with a new bike bag and some banana pancakes, making this the official “best morning ever”.

Celebrate. We’re going to be hanging out at Royale on Saturday night, probably starting around 8:30 or 9. If you’re reading this, you should come.

BMX. Might be attending an old school BMX swap meet with my friend Greg on Saturday afternoon. Probably not the best idea given my current financial state, but should still be really cool if I can keep the wallet closed. Also doing a toy show with Greg on the 26th. If you want some cheap stuff, come out.

Don’t buy it. Mentioned online yesterday, but worth repeating today: how long until Christine O'Donnell is exposed as some sort of sexual sadist? A month? A year? Don't worry, it'll happen. Anyone who opposes masturbation is hiding something. Mark my words.

Ted Leo at the Bluenote. Only about a week away. Carpooling up to Columbia with Lisa, Tom, and Claire. I’m really looking forward to this show.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

september fifteenth

Five for September 15th:

Acoustic rock. We worked on an acoustic song for Lo-Fi sessions last night and it sounded pretty good. It takes awhile for me to get used to playing with brushes, but after a few minutes it feels normal. Also, our regular set sounded good and fresh after a spell of Fleetwood Mac-related dormancy.

Fall is coming. I can always tell when the seasons are changing by the frequency of tissue boxes I go through blowing my nose constantly.

Bike repair. I’m taking Lisa’s bike to the shop after work today to get a new tube put on after her valve blew the other day. I’ve yet to be convinced that Presta tubes are in any way superior. More work, more parts, more crap to go wrong.

Coal Porter. We’re watching Mary’s dog for the next couple of days while she and Keith are out of town. Always fun.

Hanging out. It was cool seeing everyone out at the Royale for Matt’s birthday. I could drink their Moscow Mules all night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

september fourteenth

Five for September 14th:

Sleep. While I was sorry to have to miss out on seeing Rad on the big screen last night, I was more than happy to actually get some sleep after Sunday’s restless, hot, cat-meow-filled night.

Practice. Tonight, we get back to playing our own songs and working on some acoustic stuff for Lo-Fi sessions. Also, looks like we may be doing a super sweet New Year’s Eve show! More details coming soon.

Mi Ranchito. Looking forward to lunch today with Lisa. It’s late enough in the year to justify getting the shrimp soup.

AC. While I’d like to believe it’s cool enough to cut the air conditioning off and open the windows, it’s not. The house was a crisp 85 degrees yesterday. Ahwell, soon enough.

Posters. I was going to hand-draw a flyer for the show on October 8th, but realized that I don’t really have the motivation to sit down and hammer one out like I uesd to. So I did it like I always do: windows paint. Whatever works.

Monday, September 13, 2010

september thirteenth

Five for September 13th:

AUCW. What a time on Friday night. It went over better than I ever expected it to by a long shot. Everybody had a blast, the energy level was over the top, and there were no major snafus. Can’t really ask for a better show. Thank you infinitely to everyone involved. AUCW on Saturday was equally amazing. Our next show is October 8th at Cicero’s opening for Blake Schwarzenbach’s new band, forgetters. Be there.

Hiking. Lisa and I went to Castlewood for a 3-mile hike yesterday. Totally fun time and the weather was great. We’re now looking into getting mountain bikes so we can ride the trails.

Apartment. Our place is now dusted, vacuumed, scrubbed, stocked with food, and the basement is straightened up. It’s a good feeling.

Rad at the Moolah. One of my favorite movies of all time is showing for FREE tonight at the Moolah! I’ve never seen it on the big screen. Anyone want to go? Bonus: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure is also playing.

Birthday week. I turn 33 on Thursday. Holy crap. I was 23 five minutes ago, I swear.

Friday, September 10, 2010

september tenth

Five for September 10th:

An Undercover Weekend. Our final practice was last night, and tonight it finally happens. I’m finally feeling like we’re ready for it, which is a good thing. Hope to see you at the Firebird. I promise fun.

New phone. Still getting adjusted to not having a RAZR anymore. It’s weird. I could operate that thing blindfolded, and I’m still fumbling around with my new one every time I want to do something. It’s cool, though.

Bottleworks. They have the best hummus in town, and Pumpkin Ale is back. What else do you need?

Payday. It's today. This is good news for my bank account, especially after last weekend.

Cooking at home. I’m having trouble remembering the last time we cooked anything at home or actually went to buy groceries. We need to get it together.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

september ninth

Five for September 9th (the long SF weekend edition):

Thursday. Lisa picked me up from work around 3:30 to get to the airport. We hit a few snags when we got there, but after a couple of stressful hours and with the help of some people at United Airlines, we got everything sorted out. Ended up getting into SFO earlier than we expected to (plus, got to see the third “Shrek” movie on the plane), and took the shuttle to our hotel in Milbrae. Checked in, walked down the street to a diner for some food, and came back and crashed out.

Friday. Got some (surprisingly good) continental breakfast at the hotel and got on the BART into San Francisco, arriving around 10 am. Since we had about 5 hours until we could check into our hotel, we dropped off our bags and walked the city. Our hotel was located right at the gates of Chinatown, so we started there, went through the Italian district, up telegraph hill, and down to the wharf where we stopped for some lunch. We then took off for Ghiradelli Square, and walked up some very steep hills to Lombard Street, back over to Union Square. We stopped for a bottle of wine and some water, and hung out in the park for awhile. At this point we were both pretty tired, so we went back to the hotel to check in and take a nap. We crashed out for an hour or so and made our way over to the Mission for some dinner and to check out the neighborhood. We tried one place which seemed cool from the outside, but we were quickly turned off by the family-style seating and strictly vegan menu, so we split and walked down the street to a place that turned out to have one of the best veggie burritos in SF.

Saturday. Woke up to a foggy, overcast, and cool day. The breakfast at the Hotel Des Arts consists of some dry bagels, some bread, a toaster, and a carafe of coffee. We did our best with it, and set off to pick up our bikes for our planned ride across the Golden Gate. About halfway through the walk to the bike rental place, we realized we were both still hungry, and if we didn’t get something to eat, we would be miserable by the time the ride was over. So, we stopped at some little restaurant and got egg & cheese croissants with more coffee. Picked up our bikes (some sort of heavy Trek rental-fleet type deal) and picked our way through the wharf over to the Golden Gate bridge. The ride across the bridge was amazing, but very cold and windy. Still, the bridge was packed with bicyclists on one side and pedestrians on the other (nice touch), and we made it across and into Sausalito in no time. Once in Sausalito, the sun came out and it warmed up immensely. We walked around Sausalito for awhile and ate some lunch at a table overlooking the water and the entire SF skyline on the other side of the bay. Hopped on the ferry back over to SF, which was a really awesome ride that took us right by Alcatraz. We relaxed at the hotel for awhile and recovered from the ride, and figured out the MUNI route over to Haight-Ashbury. We went to the Giant Robot SF store and Amoeba records (where I picked up the new Iron Maiden album which I don’t like very much), and walked down Haight for awhile, checking it out. Cool neighborhood. With no predetermined dinner place in mind, we stopped into a Thai restaurant for awesome vegetarian spring rolls and yellow curry (but the tofu could’ve been better). We planned to go get some drinks at one of the neighborhood bars, but ended up crashing out upon getting back to the hotel. 2:30 am: awoke to two Europeans having very loud, drunk sex somewhere in the hotel. Wonderful.

Sunday. After dealing once again with the meager breakfast offerings, we plotted our route into wine country with a planned stop in Muir beach. Checked out of the Hotel Des Arts, and walked a mile or so to the rental car place to pick up our car, a heavily-perfumed Chevy Aveo which, once the perfuming wore off, reeked of cigarette smoke. We headed out of SF and into the lush vineyard-filled landscape of northern California. After discovering that the stop in Muir beach was going to be a huge hassle, we decided to skip it. We stopped at a Whole Foods in Sonoma and picked up an impromptu picnic lunch, which we ate in the town square at the one picnic table available. The picnic table was situated next to a duck pond with some of the strangest-looking waterfowl I’ve ever seen. Went down the street to a skate shop that had a bunch of awesome old-school decks and t-shirts that I was tempted to buy, but did not. After that, it was wine-tasting time. We went to 3 different wineries and sampled 17 different wines, some of which were among the best I’ve ever had, and finally decided we’d had enough and went to check into our bed & breakfast. We stayed at a place called Beltane Ranch, which is a working ranch situated on a piece of amazing property overlooking rolling hills. We took showers, hung out for awhile, walked the property and generally relaxed. Drove back into the town for dinner at a place called the Bluegrass cafĂ©, which was really good despite the loudmouth douchebag sitting behind us, trying to impress his girlfriend by talking about how he had Avatar on DVD.

Monday. Lisa got some coffee from the kitchen and we slowly woke up, as the reality of having to travel all day started to dawn on us. We walked the property again and drank coffee. The sheer amount of vegetables, fruits, and flowers they had growing at the ranch was overwhelming. The lady who ran the place brought us breakfast outside to the table we were sitting at, which was extremely awesome as the sun was still low and the morning was cool and crisp. Finally, it was time to split. We packed up and began the day-long process of getting home. The drive back to SF was, of course, amazing, and we got an early enough start that we were able to drive through San Francisco a bit more and check out the park where the opening scene of “Full House” was filmed. Arrived at the airport, checked in the rental, and took the tram to our gate. We got through security with an hour and a half to spare, so we grabbed some lunch at an “Asian Fusion” place at the airport, which was actually surprisingly good. The flights back were relatively painless, just one 45-minute layover in Phoenix where I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the year. Made it back to St. Louis around 11:15, thus ending our long weekend. There is probably much more I could have elaborated on, but I figure this post is long enough as it is. Pics of the trip coming soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

september eighth

Five for September 8th:

SF wrap-up. I promise I’ll get to this this week. It’s going to take some time to go through and write everything down. No time at the moment.

Rad practice. Holy crap, we had an awesome practice last night. I’ve gone from being a little bit nervous about Undercover Weekend to being really excited about it. The guests we’re going to have helping us out are going to blow minds. Mark my words. Also cool: Seth did an interview with the Post-Dispatch last night for an article about AUCW. I’ll link it when it comes out.

Morning commute. Great ride in this morning. It was actually somewhat cold, which would have been an odd experience had we not faced the fearsome chill of biking over the Golden Gate bridge this past weekend. Got to get as much riding to work in as I can before the winter gets here.

Coffee. Tried out an inexpensive Kona blend this morning at home. Eh. It’s not terrible, but it’s no Henry’s.

United Airlines. I don’t mind flying at all, but I hate airports and I hate airlines. That said, big props to United Airlines for being totally cool and helpful when we ran into some crap pre-flight this past Thursday, and also for having a totally comfortable plane with in-flight movies and Starbucks coffee.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

september seventh

Five for September 7th:

San Francisco. It was a totally amazing trip. Details coming soon, but for now, gotta get caught up. Deluge of emails and voicemails is overwhelming, and there’s not enough time to elaborate on it all.

New phone. Got my new pseudo-smartphone all up and running. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, until Verizon gets the iPhone.

Iron Maiden’s new album. I picked up a copy of it at Amoeba Records in SF. I’m hoping it grows on me, but so far, I don’t like it.

Rock show. Practice tonight for AUCW this Friday at Firebird. Don’t miss it!

Cats. Walter and Hazel made sleeping last night somewhat of a chore.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

september second

Five for September 2nd:

San Francisco. Only a few hours until we take off for a long weekend in SF/Sonoma. I’ve always wanted to go there, and I’m super excited to check out a new city.

Rain. The last few days have been soggy and uneventful due to a ton of rain. Another reason I’m looking forward to getting out of town- but that said, it’s supposed to be really nice here as well over the weekend.

Food. Lisa can’t stop talking about the Nutella and banana crepes that are available all over San Fran. I hope they’re as good as she says they are, because I can’t stop thinking about them. There’s also a top-rated vegetarian restaurant we’re excited to check out.

Family Guy. I’ve been catching up on episodes I haven’t seen yet via Netflix. That show gets progressively funnier with time, as does South Park. Too bad the Simpsons couldn’t keep the humor alive.

Upgraded. Finally bit the bullet and upgraded my phone. So long Razr. No, I didn’t get an iPhone- but it definitely has some of the functionality I'd want out of one. I don’t really want to deal with switching carriers, and Verizon should have the iPhone in a couple of years anyway.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

september first

Five for September 1st:

Good practice. Our long rehearsal at Firebrand last night really paid off. The songs are actually sounding like they’re supposed to. Doing it again next Tuesday, and we should be good to go. Big thanks to Brian for letting us use his space.

Packing for SF. Got to get on that this evening. We’re both going to be traveling light for this trip. No checked bags are a good thing, especially when you have connecting flights.

Iron Maiden. Their new album has been out for a couple of weeks now and I still don’t own a copy? I must be slipping in my old age.

Phone issues. My old trusty RAZR is really starting to get bad. A fully-charged battery is only lasting about half a day now. Say what you will, but this phone has been a total workhorse. It has been dropped more times than I can even recall and not once have I even had to do so much as reset it. Alas, maybe it’s getting to be time to call it a night.

Compilation tracks. Some songs we did live in the studio at KDHX are going to be featured on the 2010 “Space Parlour Live” compilation album, which is going to be released on October 15th at the Firebird. And oh yeah, we’re playing.