Friday, March 30, 2012

march thirtieth

Five for March 30th:

The nose knows. I have a picture of Henry as my desktop at work (naturally). This morning I was opening too much crap on my computer too fast and all the windows locked up for a minute, but luckily I was able to get this screen shot before everything cleared up.

Epic evening. Everything went off as planned: took Henry to the park, practiced some new tunes with Andy and Seth, we skated Ramp Riders for about an hour, and I got my sweaty ass to the Firebird just in time to see Kepi and Kevin Seconds. All in all, a successful Thursday evening. And the best part? It didn’t cost anything: free admission to Ramp Riders, Kepi’s guest list, and two friends bought me drinks at the show.

Weekend. I’m going to be flying pretty solo as Lisa has a bachelorette party and a shower to attend both days. Other than practicing on Sunday for a bit, the weekend is pretty obligation-free. I’m sure there’ll be plenty to do.

Mega Millions. Apparently Lisa’s mom bought tickets for everyone in the whole family. Here’s hoping for a win. I can tell you right now that the regularity of updates to this blog will dwindle drastically if I win five hundred and forty million dollars. Sorry, but that's a fact.

1080. The first-ever 1080 was landed by a freaking twelve year old. I still suck at doing 50-50 grinds on 3 foot mini-raps, and a 12 year old lands a 1080.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

march twenty-ninth

Five for March 29th:

Snackage. What was yesterday morning a depressingly bare pantry is now loaded up with all manner of snacks following last night’s grocery run. It’s serious business.

Tilts at El Lenador. Even though I’d been there a few times for miscellaneous events, this was the first time I actually saw a show at El Lenador. Tilts destroyed. For barely ever practicing, it’s scary how tight that band is. Lots of people were out enjoying the tunes, cheap cover charge, and $1 cans of Stag.

Tonight. Action-crammed. Following some reheated pizza, doing a 3-man band practice (minus Kevin, who has to work), then hitting Ramp Riders with Andy for an hour or so skate session, and then hopefully making it to Firebird in time to catch Kevin Seconds and Kepi Ghoulie.

Insane. There are many words I could use to describe this person, but this is the one that I think best encompasses it all. Straight up, certifiable, belongs-in-an-asylum bat-shit nutbar insane.

Around the house. Lisa’s dad came by yesterday and put in a couple of new back stairs and handrail off the porch (you’re welcome, mom), the basement is finally in some sort of order and the workbench has been straightened up, and the lawn is in desperate need of a weed-whacking.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

march twenty-eighth

Five for March 28th:

Drive: My Life In Skateboarding. Scored a super cheap copy of this rare Mike V DVD on eBay, and it should be coming next week. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on Youtube but never the entire thing. Excited to check it out.

New CCS catalog. Why mess with a classic? I hate the new design. It’s like an Urban Outfitters catalog or something. Twice as big, but somehow they manage to get half as much product into it. I know CCS jumped the shark years ago, but this is the icing on the cake. Craptacular.

Last night. Great night for being outdoors. Took Henry for a walk around the park and went to meet up with the Tuesday night bocce crew. The prompt and attentive service on the patio at Milo’s was an unexpected bonus.

The Rise and Fall of Online Empires. Is Facebook next on the chopping block? Most people I know are tired of it and looking for the next thing (that isn’t G+). Pinterest has come up in conversation quite a bit as of late. All I know is, there was a time when I believed Myspace was invincible, too. I’m over social networking anyway.

Thin Lizzy live. This video makes me want to just give up playing music forever. Nothing will ever again be this cool. Why bother?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

march twenty-seventh

Five for March 27th:

Tuesday jams. Ramones live in London 1977 on Youtube, Iron Maiden En Vivo on Spotify, KDHX on the way in.

To-do list. It’s neverending. Need to go to the bank, get groceries, straighten up the basement, put more stuff away, get an oil change, do my taxes, and all other manner of mundane crap. Of course, all I really WANT to do is take Henry to the park and go skate.

High ollie contest. Speaking of skating, Andy got second place in a high ollie contest over the weekend, and it got taped for your viewing pleasure. Skip ahead to 17:20 for his moving acceptance speech.

New hoodie. I finally got my SC hoodie to stop smelling like cat pee by leaving it outside for a night and Febrezing the shit out of it. It was never actually urinated on by a cat- it just smelled like it for some reason. Side note: I have not yet been murdered for wearing this hoodie, and I’m thankful for it.

Forgot lunch. Getting Jimmy John’s with Tom. Hopefully they have the chairs out and we can sit in the sun.

Monday, March 26, 2012

march twenty-sixth

Five for March 26th:

Housecleaning. At the expense of almost an entire weekend, our old apartment is finally cleaned up and cleaned out. Fingers crossed that it gets rented quick (and we don’t have to pay rent through April) and that we get our security deposit back. Whatever the case, we’re just glad to have that behind us.

Cool shows. This week: Tilts, Kepi Ghoulie, and Kevin Seconds. Next week: Blind Eyes, Mission of Burma, Guitar Wolf. Holy crap.

Lawn care. The lawn mower we bought yesterday is getting returned to Home Depot, because as soon as we started unpacking it, our neighbor was like “I have one of those you can just take for free”. How rad is that? Just need to get the blades sharpened at some point. Lisa’s old weed whacker will be delivered this weekend as well.

Iron Maiden. The new En Vivo DVD is coming out this week. I have enough live Iron Maiden concerts on DVD to last a lifetime (and really, do you need anything BUT Live After Death?), but the extras on this one are going to be amazing.

BBQ. Lisa fired up the mini Weber last night for our first-ever BBQ at the new house, and it completely killed. Filet Mignon, asparagus, and baked potatoes. Total win.

Friday, March 23, 2012

march twenty-third

Five for March 23rd:

Skateboarding. Went to Ramp Riders with Andy last night for a late evening skate session. That place is pretty awesome, but usually overrun with BMX dudes which, in fairness, that place is more geared towards. It was fun as hell nonetheless.

Midwest rocking. Playing the LiveWire Lounge in Chicago on April 13th, and the C-Haus in Beloit on the 14th. We’re also doing a live interview/record spin on WLUW in Chicago on Friday before the show.

Pat Robertson. Perhaps the only thing more absurd than believing in God is believing that God gives a shit about professional football.

Frankie Hill interview. One of my all-time favorites (and ex-pen pal) lays it all out. Good footage to watch as well.

Weekend action. Lots happening, mostly low-key. Hanging out with friends tonight at our place, deep-cleaning the apartment and moving some stuff tomorrow, chilling with Lisa’s family tomorrow night. Sunday should be sunny and will call for some skating, building a handicapped ramp, and maybe barbecuing? Who knows. Seeya next week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

march twenty-second

Five for March 22nd:

The Number of the Beast. According to Iron Maiden’s facebook page, it was released 30 years ago today. It’s my #1 Maiden album with a bullet and definitely in my all-time desert island top 5. 30 years old and still destroys everything in its wake.

Coffee. The stuff at work is so terrible that I think I’m giving it up. It’s worth investing in a few Starbucks Via packets a week just to avoid drinking total swill.

Working out. I need to get back into the habit of running and doing sit-ups. I’ve been slacking on it lately and I feel like crap as a result. Got to trim up for the wedding, anyway.

Last night. Hung out with Tazu and Leon and lent some fresh ears for an album he’s working on for a local band. It actually sounded pretty badass. He’s come a long way since recording the EGR record in Kevin’s basement. The music wasn’t my thing at all, but it was recorded well.

Skate stuff. Put my red Spitfire Big Heads back on. My CCS wheels were getting severely torn up, and I’m pretty sure they’re actually 53’s as opposed to 54’s. I realized that I’m into bigger wheels. May move up to a 56, actually. Also, the new issue of the Skateboard Mag came yesterday and it’s rad. Full Bones Brigade documentary feature with interviews. Get it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

march twenty-first

Five for March 21st:

Last night. It was sort of a giant fail. Lisa ended up working super late, so our plans to go hang out at Milo’s were quashed. Then I missed Andy’s text- he went to skate at ramp riders and apparently it was totally empty and we would’ve had the whole place to ourselves to shred. That said, I did get my ring sized, get a tutorial on the Nook tablet from my mom, and make a grilled cheese, so it wasn’t a total waste.

Laundry room. The dryer got delivered yesterday, and everything is hooked up and good to go. What once was a freezing dirt pit is now a fully functional, insulated, and stylish laundry/mud room. Massive thanks to Lisa’s dad (as always) for making it happen.

Allergies. My head is finally starting to feel normal again, which is a welcome development. It’s not perfect, but I’m not going through ten sinus pills and a box of tissues a day.

Mixing and mastering. Hanging out with Tazu tonight to help him mix an album for a local band. He needs another set of ears and asked if I’d help out. While I’m certainly no producer, I’ve been in enough recording sessions to know what’s working and what isn’t.

Honey Nut Cheerios. Or the Aldi version thereof, anyway. It’s the jam, now and always.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

march twentieth

Five for March 20th:

Spring. Starts today. Hands-down my favorite season of the year, even though it already feels like summer outside. I’m a chump for not riding my bike in this morning. I am wearing shorts, though.

Justice for Trayvon. George Zimmerman needs to fry.

Ray Bones. Drilled it for rails yesterday and kinda screwed it up. I’m terrible at drilling rails. Whatever, it looks fine and works, which is all that matters.

National Pizza Co. It's decent enough, but I don’t know what all the fuss is about. La Pizza, Elicia’s, and Pi destroy it without even trying. Still, pizza is pizza. I'd get it again.

Rick Perry. Not that mocking him is exactly a tall order, but once again he’s getting what he deserves. I don’t know how the women of America aren’t rioting in the streets.

Monday, March 19, 2012

march nineteenth

Five for March 19th:

Rock tour. Spent the last few days on the road with the band. Played Springfield, Fort Worth, and two shows at SXSW in Austin including a house party, which was a total blast. Had a ton of laughs, met a boatload of awesome people, saw some sights, and ate a bunch of good food. Can’t beat it.

Texas. While Austin is an amazing town, the rest of that state has to be the most aesthetically boring place on the planet. It’s flat, featureless, and every building looks like the outside of a Pottery Barn and appears to be less than ten years old.

Off the road. Road trips are great, and while I wish we could continue touring for another month, it’s always nice to be out of the van, especially following a 12 hour drive.

So long, winter. Today is the last day of “winter”, but you wouldn’t know that by stepping outside into the 80+ degree daylight. Kicking spring (and Monday) off in style with some J Church on Spotify.

Trip tips. Pack a bunch of food in advance so you don’t blow a hundred bucks on overpriced gas station crap, don’t always trust the GPS, bring skateboards for pre and post-show recreation.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

march fifteenth

Five for March 15th:

SXSW. The bags are packed, snacks are purchased, and the van is gassed up. We’re heading out of town this afternoon to start the long trek southwest. Excited to play Springfield, Fort Worth and Austin for the first time. Should be a party. Wish us luck.

Laundry room. Lisa’s dad was over bright and early finishing up the tile floor in the laundry room. Can’t wait to actually be able to do laundry at our house and not have to trek across town to our old apartment.

Royale. Got the dippy melt for the first time last night. Mind: blown. Abstained from getting a beer merely for the fact that I couldn’t justify it- we have a two-month supply sitting in our fridge following the housewarming party.

Heat wave. We’re having one. In March. It’s an odd feeling, contemplating turning the AC on before spring is even technically here.

Short hiatus. As mentioned above, I’ll be on a rock tour for the next few days, so no updates till Monday. If we’re Facebook friends or you follow me on Twitter (which you probably do), I’ll be posting pics and stuff from the road. Seeya next week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

march fourteenth

Five for March 14th:

Chicken chase. I had to corral a chicken that had escaped from our neighbor’s yard this morning and get him back over the fence. I’d never held a chicken before. It was a lot heavier than I thought it’d be. Definitely an interesting way to start the day.

In bloom. The whole neighborhood exploded in a sea of spring colors yesterday. My allergy-ridden head also practically exploded yesterday, but I finally got some medicine to cool that down. Also, our yard has officially been awesomely transformed thanks to Lisa’s uncle.

Hanging out. Clifton Heights Park with Henry, food and bocce-watching at Milo’s with Mary and Keith, Gelato di Riso and a nighttime walk around the Hill with Lisa.

Tonight. Eye doctor appointment. Hopefully getting a free pair of holdover contacts. Figuring out my ring size. Packing for tour

2012 Music Awards. Looks like we got a nomination for “Best Indie Band” this year. Very awesome! More info on the showcase and voting stuff right around the corner, I’m sure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

march thirteenth

Five for March 13th:

Landscaping. Lisa’s uncle came by yesterday while we were at work and totally landscaped the front of our house as an early wedding gift! The raised beds in the front are cleaned out, the bushes are trimmed down, and everything around the house has been freshly mulched. It looks amazing.

Show news. A couple of big announcements yesterday- we’ll be headlining the outdoor stage at the KDHX showcase at SXSW this weekend, and we’re playing the Loufest lineup release party at Plush on April 3rd. Good stuff.

Wedding stuff. Invites have been sent, RSVPs are coming back, catering has been organized, we’re registered for gifts, and the locales have been nailed down. There’s a ton left to do, but at least we’ve made a dent.

Snotfest. You’d think that after about six straight weeks of nasal congestion the human body would just run basically out of snot. Apparently that is not the case. I’m ready to stop blowing my nose every 60 seconds.

Tonight. Going by the eye doctor after work to order some new contacts and hopefully get the fresh scratch on my glasses buffed out, walking Henry at the park, potential visit with mom, and heading to Milo's for some early-spring outdoor sitting and veggie pizza with Lisa, Mary, Keith and crew.

Monday, March 12, 2012

march twelfth

Five for March 12th:

Housewarming. Great time Saturday night hanging at the house with our friends. Thanks to everyone for coming out, bringing gifts, and leaving us with more beer and wine than we know what to do with.

Get in the van. Just in time to take advantage of record-high gas prices, on Thursday we hit the road for our first shows at SXSW in Austin. Playing Springfield and Fort Worth (also for the first time) on the way down. Should be a fun extended weekend, but I’m not looking forward to the daylong drive back on Sunday.

Dentist. Apparently I made an appointment six months ago for a cleaning today that I completely forgot about until last week when they called to remind me. Guess I’m keeping it, but that’s a bummer way to start off a week.

80 degrees. Going to try to ride the bike to work tomorrow and take advantage of this amazing pre-spring now that it’s light outside till 7.

Doonesbury. The comic strip that newspapers (remember those)?across the country are refusing to run. You'd think they'd embrace something like an edgy Doonesbury comic just for the fact that it might make someone actually go purchase a copy. I guess these people still don't realize the internet exists?

Friday, March 9, 2012

march ninth

Five for March 9th:

Friday. About time. And it’s payday, which makes it extra awesome. Fish fry tonight. We’re contemplating a new locale, but may just end up at Joan of Arc as you can’t really go wrong there. Who’s going?

Weekend action. In addition to fried fish, there will be hanging out, housewarming partying, skating, meeting with wedding people, and springing forward numerous clocks. I’d like to get some more stuff moved from the apartment as well, including my BMX, which I plan to ride home. Of course.

Rockitude. Good practice last night. Set list is nailed down. Excited to go do a little touring next weekend and finally play SXSW. Just found out the drums are getting backlined for the main show in Austin, which is awesome news. Less to drag around through crowded streets is fine by me.

Women. Are they people? It’s a very interesting debate. We might not know in this lifetime, but I’m glad the issue has been tabled.

Coolest kid ever. This little dude gets my vote. I'd say he's earned it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

march eighth

Five for March 8th:

Already spilled on brand new jeans. Collected rainwater, pasta sauce, coffee, small amount of mouthwash.

Customer service. Lisa had a monumentally bad experience with AT&T yesterday (shocker) which will ultimately end their relationship, and apparently the fact that I’ve been a customer with US Bank for the last twenty years doesn’t mean much to their service department either. Go fuck yourselves.

Tonight. I’m completely digging the 7pm start time for band practice instead of 6. Having an extra hour to get stuff done pre-rock is great. Hopefully the weather clears up and I can take Henry to the park. Also going to try to squeeze in a haircut. We’ll see.

Daylight savings. This is it. Daylight savings starts this weekend. The goal line is in sight. Pretty soon there will be after work barbecuing, chilling on the front porch, evening bike rides, and all other manner of glorious, non-winter stuff.

Animal Chin deck. This is so amazing- the “Slash Skates” graphic from the beginning of “Animal Chin”. Because, “you know, the whole gore type of, blood, and bullets, and death, and being crushed, and the brains coming out the ear, and the skull with the dagger through, and, eh, snot, you know, the whole death/gore/dismemberment whole type of "go for" type of thing....after all that is what skateboarding is all about.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

march seventh

Five for March 7th:

Skateboarding. Got the new Ray Bones gripped yesterday at No Coast and set it up when I got home. It’s amazing. Definitely bringing it with us to Austin next weekend. Also picked up a couple of magazines and some spare hardware.

Snacks I didn’t have to pay for. Haribo gummy bears from a co-worker, Panera bagels from the Vic Firth rep, bag of 100-calorie yogurt covered pretzels.

Thin Lizzy. This morning has been a veritable Lizzy-fest. Listened to “Jailbreak” on the way in, and have been streaming “Johnny the Fox” on Spotify since I got here. Next up: “Fighting”. So much rock.

Lists. Things to remember to bring on tour, stuff to do around the house, things that still need to be done for the wedding, items to buy for our housewarming party.

Great outdoors. Took Henry for a long walk last night around the park, and went out for a game of fetch this morning. The weather is so awesome right now, it would be criminal not to take advantage.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

march sixth

Five for March 6th:

Bully Beatdown. If I told you I did anything last night except watch about 8 consecutive episodes of Bully Beatdown, I’d be lying to you. That show is impossible to turn off.

Called out. Things like this and this need to keep happening, not only to call out the absurdity of things like this, but to put shitheads like this in their place. This photo sort of says it all. I applaud wholeheartedly. Keep it coming.

Show photos. In addition to the KDHX review yesterday, apparently there were a couple of photographers in the audience on Saturday. They have delivered the goods: check out some pics and short reviews here and here.

Amazing weather. 74 degrees and sunny (albeit windy) in STL today. Hopefully I’ll get some time after work to enjoy some of it.

Shitty coffee. I enjoy coffee. I’m a fan. I’m no snob. I love a cup of diner coffee like a love a cup of fresh-ground Kona. That said; the coffee at work yesterday was so immensely terrible that it was almost depressing. I couldn’t make a pot of coffee that badly if I tried.

Monday, March 5, 2012

march fifth

Five for March 5th:

True/False. Amazing time in Columbia despite the chilly weather. Managed to squeeze in three movies (including “Searching for Sugar Man”, which is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen), hang out with lots of friends, and discover the wonders of homemade granola. Not bad for a trip that lasted less than a day.

Rock show. Great time on Saturday night at Off Broadway. I can’t believe how well we played those old tunes. Even the last practice, while good, was kind of shaky. Thanks to everyone that came out. KDHX reviewed it, so you can ready all about it if you weren’t there. Also, how have I played at OB a hundred times and not known about that backstage area upstairs?

Taking care of business. Painted the laundry room, moved in the washer, cleaned up the basement, bought groceries, and picked up envelopes for the wedding invitations. There’s a never-ending list of things to do, but we’re chipping away at it, slowly but surely. And really, it’s just getting started.

New duds. Santa Cruz “Classic Dot” hoodie, jeans that actually fit, new pants and shirt for the wedding.

Sims Screamer 2. They keep on churning them out. I’m puzzled by this one, but that’s not surprising- there doesn’t really seem to be any rhyme or reason to these reissues. My guess is that it’s a lot easier to release “team” decks than ones with people’s names on them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

march second

Five for March 2nd:

True/False Film Festival. Heading westward tonight for the True/False film fest and to hang out with Como friends. We’ll be able to squeeze in some food and a couple of films tomorrow before getting back on the road.

Rock Show. Saturday night at Off Broadway! We’re playing all of “Modernity”, front to back, and debuting a new song as well. Plus we have 100 free download cards to give out, so make sure you get one!

Band practice. Practicing over at Andy’s is awesome. We can go as late as we want, the room sounds great, and he is always stocked to the rafters on snacks. It’s a totally different vibe than Kevin’s, and I’m digging it. Plus it’s insanely close to my house. Last night sounded great with plenty of laughs.

Henry. He’s chilling at Mary and Keith’s for a couple of days, hanging out with Coal Porter and Marvin, and getting some energy out. I’m sure at this point he doesn’t even remember us.

Tying the knot. Trying to get the majority of wedding stuff nailed down in the next few days. It’s going to be a stressful next couple of months, but well worth it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

march first

Five for March 1st:

March. Only 20 days until the official start of spring. Barring another deep freeze, we should have a pretty amazing spring, flowers-wise. Can’t wait to see our neighborhood once stuff starts to bloom.

Skateboarding. Ray “Bones” Rodriguez deck, Santa Cruz hoodie, Powell stickers, new issues of Thrasher and TSM in the mail. Also, Elephant is announcing their first (technically second) team pro today.

Sandrina’s. Best bar food in the city with a bullet. Lisa and I had to drop in for some chili and grilled cheese last night. Why not? It’s on the way to Schnucks. Seems like as good a reason as any.

Thursday Spotify jams. The Monkees, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Nerves. I always forget how amazing the Nerves are. “Hanging on the Telephone” has to be one of the best power-pop songs ever.

Travel. Springfield, Austin, Beloit, Chicago and more with the band, possibly Nashville for work, Indianapolis with Tazu for Iron Maiden in July, and hopefully some sort of white-sand beach in the gulf for our honeymoon.