Friday, December 23, 2011

top five for 2011

Top Five for 2011:

Getting engaged. I’m the luckiest person in the world for one reason alone, and that is that I get to marry Lisa. This summer I got engaged on a tropical beach in the BVI to the coolest, smartest, most beautiful, inspirational, and supportive person I’ve ever known, hands down. Can’t wait until September 29th when we make it official.

Henry. He’s the coolest dog of all time, and it’s been great watching him go from being a scared, timid rescue that couldn’t even walk on a leash to the smart, confident, energetic, and totally awesome dog he is today. We often say, “Can you remember life before Henry? Those were dark times”. And it’s true.

Buying a house. After months of searching and looking at probably a hundred houses, we finally found the home of our dreams, which we’re getting for an unbelievable price in one of the most amazing neighborhoods in the city. Even though the process of buying it was a harrowing one, it’s ours as of today, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Traveling. Did a bunch this year. As usual, not as much as I would’ve liked, but enough to satisfy. Started out the year in LA, went to New Orleans with Lisa and family, and traveled out of the country for the first time to the British Virgin Islands with our best friends for one of the most ridiculously awesome vacations I could have possibly imagined. Also went to Toledo, Columbus, and a few other spots for some rock shows, and hit up the Lake of the Ozarks for a long weekend with Henry in tow.

The Blind Eyes. This was a good year for the band. We finally released “With A Bang”, and it has far surpassed our expectations, especially on a local level. We played some of our best shows ever and had the privilege of playing with some of our favorite artists. We started out the year as a 3-piece and are ending as a 4, with the addition of Andy on guitar. This year will be a tough one to top, but I think we’re up for the challenge.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

december twenty-second

Five for December 22nd:

Home stretch. After a week of postponement, we’re finally closing on the house tomorrow morning. It’s been a long, strange trip. I’ll say no more on the subject until the keys are in hand.

Hanging out. What do you do when you have no disposable income? Hang out with friends, take a winter dip in their hot tub, play Farkle, and have a few drinks, that’s what.

NYE Posters are up. I hit up various spots on South Grand and a few other select spots in South City, Seth is tackling the CWE, and the Knife Fighters have the rest. As a side note, how did I not think to have posters printed at work sooner? It’s free and saves me an annoying trip to Kinko’s. Sometimes, the thing you’re looking for is staring you right in the face.

Weekend plans. House work whenever possible, various family events, gift exchanges, hanging out with friends, and trying not to eat a metric ton of horrifyingly bad food.

Blog Hiatus. I’m taking next week off from this blog, which means tomorrow’s entry will be the final one for 2011. While I know this saddens all of you, fret not- 2012 is on the horizon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

december twenty first

Five for December 21st:

Crow’s Nest. Trekked to Maplewood last night to have a drink and check out the Crow’s Nest, the new bar owned by the Bleeding Deacon crew. It’s a cool spot, in the old (old) Atomic Cowboy space, and it’s super close to our new pad. We’ll definitely be back.

Cookies. There’s nothing quite like coming home to a bunch of homemade cookies, especially when they’re your favorite cookies ever. And no, you can’t have any.

Wednesday evening action. Getting NYE posters printed after work, putting up as many as possible, and then hanging with Lisa, Mary and Keith. What are we doing? That remains to be seen, but needless to say it can’t cost anything.

Elephant Skateboards. So, Mike V is rumored to be starting a new skate brand, and those rumors appear to be true based on some pics that surfaced online yesterday. That red Jeff Phillips “tribute” deck looks amazing, and I can’t wait to check them out.

"Updated" Blogger interface. I use the term "updated" loosely. The new interface for this blog is sloppy, ugly, and cumbersome (you have to manually insert breaks between paragraphs?). What a joke. A huge step in the wrong direction.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

december twentieth

Five for December 20th:

Spotify playlists. Are they this generations mix tapes? Lisa’s “2002” playlist features- among others- The Weakerthans, Murder City Devils, and Drive Like Jehu. I’m marrying the coolest girl ever.

Be careful. A good friend of mine got robbed at gunpoint on Cherokee last week in the middle of the day. It’s important to remember that behind the bustling veneer of the main drag, it’s still a rough neighborhood. Park on Cherokee, be smart and stay safe.

Deep Purple. In the epic battle of “In Rock” vs. “Fireball” vs. “Machine Head”, “In Rock” has prevailed. All hail.

NYE show poster. Nate from Knife Fight finished them up last night and they’ll be going up around town this week. They’re awesome.

House closing. T-minus four days until I’m once again a homeowner. Totally excited to have this process over with, and start on phase two. Also excited to have parties, more than one floor, and more than one bathroom.

Monday, December 19, 2011

december nineteenth

Five for December 19th:

Rocked out. Put in about seven hours of practicing at Utopia last night for NYE. I’m feeling good about the songs, but that might have been the longest straight practice session I’ve ever done. Needless to say, I’m burnt.

Unseasonably warm. Once again, it was in the mid fifties this morning. It’s the week before Christmas, and you could’ve camped out last night. Crazy awesome. Didn’t even need a jacket yesterday. I dig.

Closing week. I’m remaining optimistic that this week will pass without any issues arising and we will be able to close on the house on Friday as planned. Of course, at this point, nothing will surprise me.

Mondays. They’re much more awesome when you get to meet your fiancee’ at Mi Ranchito for lunch.

New stuff. Leather bound notebook and coffee mug (compliments of Martin strings), new issue of TW Ride BMX, bag of Turkish coffee, two awesome kites.

Friday, December 16, 2011

december sixteenth

Five for December 16th:

House inaction. We were supposed to be closing on our house today, but due to circumstances beyond our control, it’s now next week at this time. What’re you gonna do? At least it’s Friday, and this week zoomed by.

Weekend. Weather is supposed to be sunny and warm-ish. Lots of stuff going on- Pat’s annual Holiday party, skating, rock practice, and more.

Lisa on vacation. I’m jealous of her whole “ten days off” thing. Again, a bummer that it can’t be spent working on our new house, as was the plan, but a vacation is a vacation.

Barack Obama. The good news? The Iraq war is over! The bad news? You can now be indefinitely detained for no reason without a trial, your rights as an American citizen be damned. Obama shan’t see my vote again.

The Strokes. “Room On Fire” is a much better album than I remember. I’m glad I gave it another chance. Also, Spotify rules.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

december fifteenth

Five for December 15th:

2011 Personal Property Taxes. Paid. Big ups to the collector of revenue for actually sending me my bill this year! Can’t pay a bill you never receive, Gregory FX Daly. You may want to make a note of that.

Top spins. I’m still floored by yesterday’s KDHX end-of-the-year lists. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be at the top of either- let alone both of them. I can’t really adequately express how much I appreciate it.

Minor Threat. This morning’s soundtrack via Spotify. While it seems most people prefer the first album, I definitely tend to lean towards “Out of Step”- although they’re both awesome.

STL in December. Yesterday saw spring-like temperatures complete with a thunderstorm. This morning it was in the mid 60s. Never underestimate the weirdness of Midwest weather.

Updated Netflix. Despite that getting it to work initially was a massive headache, the updated version is a thousand times faster and better.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

december fourteenth

Five for December 14th:

Cookies for breakfast. Probably not the best idea, but there was a table full of them at the office today. What was I supposed to do?

Closing date. Looks like it’ll be early next week now instead of this Friday. Can’t say I’m shocked. It’ll all work out, but I’m bummed not to be able to spend this weekend working on the house. That said, maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, as we have a holiday party on Saturday night and an epic, 8 hour NYE practice on Sunday.

The weather remains the same. I stepped outside to walk Henry this morning and almost did a double take. Is this spring? I seriously could’ve got by with a light jacket.

Press. “With A Bang” is officially the #1 played album on KDHX for 2011 in both the national and local categories, and has made more than one DJ top ten list. Additionally, Seth talks about recording the album in today’s issue of the RFT. Thank you to everyone in the local music media community from the bottom of my heart.

Metallica measurements. I figured out this morning that a standard, 8-hour work day can be measured in approximately 57 spins of “Master of Puppets”.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

december thirteenth

Five for December 13th:

Spotify. Downloaded it onto my work computer yesterday and it’s changing my life. The staleness of my iPod was beyond depressing, and listening to fresh music all day is making a difference. Discovered some new stuff, as well.

Your mother jokes. 34 years old, and still making/laughing at them every day. Some things never get less awesome.

Red Lobster. I want it, yet cannot have it. Crab legs and cheesy biscuits will have to wait until June. This whole “having no disposable income” thing kinda blows.

Bones Brigade documentary. Looks like there'll be some showings at Sundance in January, which gives me hope that it'll be available on DVD sometime in 2012. Really, really looking forward to seeing this.

Henry. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he looks damn good in his blue sweater. Excited about being able to just let him out in the mornings.

Monday, December 12, 2011

december twelfth

Five for December 12th:

Weekend action. Keith’s birthday at Bottleworks, awesome daytime weather (skateboarding at the banks), dinner with Lisa at Dressel’s, epic rock practice at Utopia, getting more house stuff in line (continuing into this week).

Diet root beer. Second only to Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi, diet A&W is at the top of the heap for sodas. I was binge-drinking it yesterday (i.e. I had two bottles), which is weird, because generally I don’t drink a lot of soda. Just sounded good for whatever reason.

House prep. This is the last week to get stuff in line before we close on Friday. Mostly making calls, signing papers, and making sure everything is in place. Luckily, this phase is almost over, and the fun stuff is around the corner.

Great weather. It’s worth mentioning again: it’s mid December- almost Christmas- and it’s still pretty amazing outside. Cold at night, sure, but the daytime has been sunny and warm. Hoodie weather. No snow, no ice. Other states are buried already, and we’ve had a dusting of flurries at worst. I’ll take it for as long as it wants to stick around.

Rolling Stones. Is there ever a bad time to listen to “Exile on Main St”? No, there isn’t. I could listen to it every day, all day. Case in point: now.

Friday, December 9, 2011

december ninth

Five for December 9th:

Half marathon. Lisa officially signed up for the 2012 Go! St. Louis half marathon in April. I’m considering it, but right now, with everything else going on, I can’t quite commit. I’ll probably end up feeling better about it once the house stuff settles down. Speaking of, we close a week from today. Psyched.

Netflix. After a couple of weeks of non-functionality and about ten phone calls, we finally got our Netflix online back up and running. Who knows what the issue actually was, but it’s working. Bonus: How I Met Your Mother is now streaming.

Weekend action. This week blew by. Got a bunch of stuff planned for this weekend, including more house stuff, Keith’s birthday brewery crawl, rock practice, and more.

Rick Santorum is a douchebag. Like the lotus, his douchebaggery continues to blossom again and again.

Skate Videos. Andy gave me the hookup on a couple of burns last night, including the epic “Stay Gold”. Probably my favorite non-old school skate video ever.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

december eighth

Five for December 8th:

Pho Grand. We had to get out of the house last night, as stir craziness was setting in. Luckily, Pho Grand is cheap, close, and awesome. Their Jasmine tea is rad.

Sunshine. It’s cold, but the sun is out, which is good by me. Skated a bit in front of the apartment before leaving for work today. I’ve still got the pop.

Band practice. The amount of drumming planned for this month is a bit absurd. In addition to normal Thursday practices, I just got an email requesting a marathon, 8-hour practice for NYE at Utopia next Sunday.

Albert Pujols. That’s a level of sheer greed that I don’t- and won’t- ever be able to understand. Don’t let the doorknob hit ‘ya where the good Lord split ‘ya.

This morning. It’s only 10 am and already a bunch of lingering questions about the house closing next week have been answered, I nailed down some details on the trip to LA next month, popped some sweet ollies, and received an unexpected call from Greg Cartwright of the Oblivians.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

december seventh

Five for December 7th:

Everything is coming together. Slowly but surely. Yes, it still feels like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, but we close on our house in nine days and I couldn’t be more excited. Keeping my fingers crossed that stuff just goes as planned.

Yesterday. Shit got crazy with the whole Blind Eyes/ Yokohama thing. It’s all water under the bridge now, but still. Can’t believe what that turned in to. Being in a band can sure be zany sometimes.

Powell Peralta holiday stuff. VCJ-designed Ripper greeting card? Check. Limited edition Christmas deck? Check. Not actually getting either of these things, but I’m glad they exist.

Pro tip. If you see a picture or post on Facebook prefaced with the term "Too funny NOT to share!!”, there's a 100% chance it's not actually funny.

End of the year lists. They’re starting to trickle out here and there, but the majority of them are still on the horizon. As you can probably guess, I’m somewhat of a fan of random lists, so I’m excited to check more of them out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

december sixth

Five for December 6th:

Flurries. Yeah, it’s starting to snow outside. Flurries are no big deal, obviously, but I think the honeymoon is over. Thus begins the long, slow trudge toward spring.

New gloves. Lisa hooked me up with a pair of brand new Gore-Tex gloves and they’re changing my life (see above post). The gloves I had been using for the last five years were literally purchased in the dollar bin at Target. The new gloves are warm, waterproof, and stylish. Score.

Mondays with Mike V. The entire webisode lineup finally got posted online. Mike Vallely has always been one of my favorite skaters and seems like a pretty awesome all-around dude. Whatever the case, this series is cool and fun to watch.

The Blind Eyes and Yokohama. Apparently a bunch of our songs have found their way onto a series of Yokohama videos recapping portions of the 2011 LA Auto Show. I suppose any press is good press. Where’s my free Scion?

Weird dream. I had a dream last night that I was auditioning for Metallica, but we never got around to actually playing anything, we just hung around some weird house all day. It was Lars, James, and Jason Newsted, but no Kirk, so apparently I was auditioning to be their guitar player. I realized I hadn’t practiced any of the songs and panicked, which woke me up in real life.

Monday, December 5, 2011

december fifth

Five for December 5th:

Grocery stock-up. Loaded up with food for the week and snacks for the workplace. Also, saw a woman leaving the store with a cart filled with nothing but heads of iceberg lettuce.

Skating. Got a session in at the banks- a totally awesome and seemingly undiscovered spot on the Hill- with Andy on Saturday afternoon while it was still pleasant outdoors. The best part about this spot is that it’s literally in walking distance from what will soon be our new house.

Realistic children’s drawings. This could be one of my favorite things I’ve come across in many years of using the internet. Totally fascinating.

Pricing out. Lisa and I went on the hunt for appliance and flooring deals over the weekend, and they are definitely out there to be had. Doesn’t sound like that great of a time, but actually, it was really fun.

Sushi night. First one of the winter at Mary and Keith’s on Saturday. It doesn’t get much better than fresh sushi, saké and beer followed by a dip in the hot tub for an awesomely inexpensive evening.

Friday, December 2, 2011

december second

Five for December 2nd:

Rocking. Good practice last night. Actually worked on a couple of new songs, both of which are sounding great. Between playing shows and releasing the album in 2011, we hardly wrote anything new, so it’s cool to be pounding out some fresh original material.

Friday. And not a moment too soon. Dinner/hanging out with Como friends tonight. Trip Daddys EP release party tomorrow. More practice on Sunday. What else is happening?

Mi Ranchito. Hitting it up with Tom today for a late lunch. Their soup rules and it’s totally cheap. No better way to kick off the weekend.

Schlafly Coffee Stout. Is there any better beer in the world? The answer is no. This year’s batch is the best it has ever been.

Two weeks. Closing on our house and it still feels like we’re chasing our tail on everything. It’s driving me slowly insane, but I’m confident things will work out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

december first

Five for December 1st:

December. Where did this summer go? Where did this year go? I can’t believe it’s already December. That doesn’t even seem possible. That said- this month should be totally awesome for a number of reasons.

House stuff. Another wrench has been thrown following the appraisal that may require a bit of work over the weekend to take care of in order for the loan to go through, but it’s cool. Not stressing it. Not stressing it.

Rock show. JD McPherson killed it at Off Broadway. The album is full of horns, pianos, and other instrumentation, but they completely pulled it off as a three piece of guitar, bass, and drums. Mark of a good band, if you ask me.

Band practice. Our first actual practice of our own material in a long time is happening tonight. We’ve been spending every practice for the last few weeks rehearsing covers for NYE. It’ll be cool to play some of our own stuff.

Café Americano. Had to happen this morning. Paid for by change I found in my car. Hope you like pennies, Starbucks.