Thursday, May 31, 2012

may thirty-first

Five for May 31st:

No ride. As was expected, spotty storms today forced me to forego my bike commute to work. Call me a fair-weather cyclist, but I’m just not that hardcore. That said, we could use the rain, and tomorrow’s weather should be amazing, so I’ll pick it back up for sure.

Tire troubles. Last week I blew a tire on my bike on the way home, and yesterday I noticed one of the tires on my car was really low. I went to fill it up at the gas station and sure enough, there's a nail in it. I swear my car tires are nail magnets. I’ll have to get it patched over the weekend. Lame.

Starbucks. I’m getting more and more into the blonde roast. Way less bite than the dark roast, which of course I still like. It actually reminds me of a much tastier Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Ants. I don’t know how they keep finding their way into our laundry room, but they were better off staying where they were. Their whole colony is now nothing more than a pile of poisoned corpses destined for our vacuum cleaner. Victory: humans.

Tonight. Running home for a quick walk around the ‘hood with Henry, taking our lawn mower to South Side Hardware to get the blades sharpened, and heading to Andy’s for a long practice for the RFT showcase Saturday. 8:15 at Sidebar. Seeya there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

may thirtieth

Five for May 30th:

Trash/treasure. Nabbed three baby gates from a neighbor’s curb that they were tossing out for big trash pickup day. They’re in perfect condition and will save us that much more money in a few months. And they’re good for pets too! Score.

Biking. Made it home in about 26 minutes yesterday afternoon, which is literally faster than it takes me to drive most days. Rode in this morning despite the lingering drizzle. According to the Google bike maps, my route is exactly 6.3 miles each way. I actually thought it was a bit longer than that.

Skate Europe Germany. I don’t know why this episode of Skate Europe isn’t on Youtube, but it’s probably my favorite of the series. Features a young Chris Pfanner and an in-depth interview on Claus Grabke. Worth watching.

On my desk. A whole bunch of crap that I don’t want, including 3 XL promo t-shirts, a vinyl banner from a reed company, and a copy of Modern Drummer featuring an interview with Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini were sitting on my desk this morning. Talk about a shit show.

Breakfast of champions. I’d like to think the 75-cent package of frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts I bought from the vending machine this morning didn’t completely negate my entire ride in this morning, but it’s quite possible. What can I say? I was hungry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

may twenty-ninth

Five for May 29th:

Baby action. Thanks to everyone who offered up congratulations and good cheer on Friday when we announced the upcoming birth of our daughter. It makes us all warm and fuzzy. Time to start decorating the baby’s room and nailing down some good names.

Memorial Day weekend. Three days of solid awesomeness. Went skating with Andy at JB Saturday morning, had friends, neighbors and dogs over for a bbq in the evening, float trip on the Meramec river on Sunday (where we saw a real-life episode of “Cops” unfold before our very eyes), long walk around the neighborhood with Lisa and Henry followed by more skating at JB with my brother in tow on Monday.

Biking. Good to get back on my bike after four days of no cycling. The light rain that happened early this morning made for a pretty cool and shady commute to work, which was nice. The 87-degree ride home may be a different story.

Getting some sun. Nor burnt, but definitely baked. Between riding bikes, skating, floating down rivers, and generally being outdoors, my farmer tan is in full effect.

Quality viewing. Original, prequel-free Star Wars flicks (unfortunately not without some level of George Lucas late-90’s bastardization), South Park and Ridiculousness marathons.

Friday, May 25, 2012

may twenty-fifth

Five for May 25th:

Baby girl. Time to spill the beans: Lisa is pregnant, and we found out yesterday that we’re having a girl! We could not possibly be more excited. She’ll be entering the world on or around October 10th, so you all have plenty of time to gather boxes of hand-me-down baby clothes and give them to us.

Pi. Consistently the best pizza in STL, and it’s not just hype. The crust by itself is better than most other pizzas. Don’t get me wrong- I still love me some Elicia’s.

Long weekend. Plans include skateboarding, potluck, barbecuing, potential band practice, grocery shopping, and general maxing/relaxing.

Wedding photos. They finally came yesterday in the mail, in what has to be the nicest CD sleeve I’ve ever seen. We haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, but it’ll be cool to see them.

Bike repair. Dropping my Giant by Maplewood tonight so my brother can give it the old once-over. I haven’t really had it serviced in almost two years, so it’s long overdue, especially given how much I’m planning to ride this summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

may twenty-fourth

Five for May 24th:

Big radness. Some awesome stuff coming down the pike that is super exciting. Vague? Yes. More soon.

Flatted out. Got a flat on the way home yesterday. Luckily it was a slow leak, so I was able to get a couple of miles out of the tire with my hand pump before it was all over. Made it all the way to the edge of Dogtown before beginning the walk of shame. Note to self: carry more repair stuff when riding.

Tonight. No practice as we’re having a belated birthday dinner with Lisa’s family at Pi. Western Addition, I’m coming for you.

Thursday jams. Tilts, Motorhead, Pretty Things, Rolling Stones.

Powell Element cases. I want one or all of these things. Not enough to write an essay about it, but I want them nonetheless.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

may twenty-third

Five for May 23rd:

Lisa birthday action. Gifts, palak paneer and tikka masala at Rasoi, gelato at Di Riso accompanied by a stroll around the Hill, home to watch Ancient Aliens. Pretty chill, but hey, it was a Tuesday.

Record ride time. I’m pretty sure I got to work today faster than I have yet, in just under 25 minutes. There are all sorts of factors (traffic, when you hit certain stoplights, high wind, etc) that play into getting this kind of time by bike, and everything worked in my favor this morning.

The big sell-off. Tonight I’m trekking out to my mom’s to pick up boxes of stuff to bring home and sell off. I figure it’s been in my mom’s closet for almost 4 years, time to get rid of it. There’s plenty more where that came from.

In the mail. Looks like my package of goods from Thrasher should be here today, and the free pair of Mike V Airwalks I won should hopefully be here this week as well. My current skate shoes are wrecked, so the sooner the better.

Stair repair. Lisa’s dad is swinging by today to hopefully replace that cracked stair in our back stairwell. It’ll be nice to be able to use it again, especially for letting-Henry-out-in-the-morning purposes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

may twenty-second

Five for May 22nd:

Happy birthday Lisa. My lovely wife Lisa’s birthday is today, and we shall celebrate heartily. Lisa, you’re the greatest and I love you. Happy birthday. Get ready for a crazy and awesome year.

Work must-haves. Box of Starbucks Vias (French Roast), granola bars, dental floss, deodorant, change for the vending machine, iPhone charger.

More riding. Yes, I rode again today. Bike commuting will be an ongoing theme here as long as I’m super into it, so who knows how long that’ll be. All the parts of my old route that I didn’t like are out of the picture, the weather has been amazing, and I’ve been killing some of the big hills like it’s no one’s business.

RFT Music Showcase. We’re playing at 8:15 at Sidebar, so don’t be late. Rolling out a couple of new ones in addition to all the old favorites. Check out this great write-up on the band as well!

Weather report. We spent the last couple of evenings kicking it on the porch with Henry and enjoying the breezy weather. It’s the first time we’ve really been able to take advantage of it since moving in. Good stuff.

Monday, May 21, 2012

may twenty-first

Five for May 21st:

Family budget. Our list of post-wedding things to get done is getting whittled down more and more. Our budget is finally planned out and it’s looking like if we can actually stick to it, we’ll be good to go. Definitely have to start saving some serious money.

Biking. Rode in today, and despite the headwind, it was a killer ride. I’m going to try to ride in 4/5 days this week. In keeping with the “saving money” theme, this is an easy and totally satisfying way of making that happen.

Saturday. Got up, went skating at Kingshighway, road tripped to Columbia, saw “The Dictator” with Rob while Lisa attended a baby shower, got some food on the patio at Flat Branch, and drove back in time to hang out with friends at the Taste of Maplewood festival and pick up Henry. Good stuff.

Skate crap. Elephant brand Mike V pro model with graphics by the one and only Natas Kaupas, brand new April eBay watch over at Skate and Annoy.

Sappington Farmer’s Market. I need to mention once again how awesome this place is. It’s like Whole Foods without the pretentiousness. Yesterday was free sample/super sale day, which ruled.

Friday, May 18, 2012

may eighteenth

Five for May 18th:

Rocking. Six new songs in the works for an EP that we’re planning on starting in August. They’re starting to really come together, and Andy’s contributions have definitely started to factor in to our sound.

Bike To Work Day. Saw a few more people than usual on the ride in today, which is cool. The temperature is creeping back up, but it’s still prime riding weather.

Weekend action. Possible skating for a bit tonight before picking Lisa up at the Airport, short road trip to Columbia on Saturday, getting drums from Andy’s and stuff to sell on eBay from mom’s pad. Lawn mowing, house stuff, kicking it with Henry.

Thrasher. Subscription: renewed. Another year of toilet reading and another free t-shirt. Can you ever have too many Thrasher shirts? I don’t think so.

Friday morning jams. J. Church, Flight of the Conchords. The humans are dead.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

may seventeenth

Five for May 17th:

Bike commute. My route to work takes me through some awesome neighborhoods: start out in Clifton Heights and go through Dogtown, Forest Park, and the Loop before ending up at the office. Coincidentally, tomorrow just happens to be national “ride your bike to work day”. I feel like I’ve barely been in my car at all this week, which is pretty amazing.

Animal abuse. If you're responsible for the torture and murder of a dog, you should be executed on the spot. I would gladly take that job, if it ever comes available. In my estimation that dog's life is automatically worth a million times what yours is, anyway.

Band practice. Tonight. New songs to work on, shows to prepare for, demos to record, and dick, fart, and “your mom” jokes to make.

Old school setup. Set up my OG Powell Vallely with G-Bones last night and took it over to the hill for a half hour mini-sesh. While there’s no arguing the profoundly improved usability of “popsicle stick” boards, I’ll always have a soft spot for old school shapes.

Selling stuff. Time to get serious about thinning down my collection of stuff that I don’t use or care about anymore. There’s a lot to get through, but we need every dollar we can get. The ability to do it all on eBay via my iPhone will make things markedly easier.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

may sixteenth

Five for May 16th:

Last night. Amazing ride home, kicked it with Henry for a while, and went skating on the Hill with Andy for an hour or so. Good Tuesday night, all said.

iPhone. What did I do before I had this thing? Those were dark days. I’m continually astounded at the amount of stuff it’s capable of that I didn’t really know about, being a non-iPhone owner for so long. Seriously, never going back.

Grand Theft Auto. Been itching to play III, Vice City, and San Andreas again. However, I need to get some adapter thing to play them on the 360 though, which I’ve been dragging my feet on for months. And it'll likely be several more.

Year in review in photos. I’ve been following this blog for a long time, and his “year in review in photos” is one of my favorite things he does. Go check it out, and look at the ones from prior years, too. Inspirational.

Coffee. Fresh ground Kona Peaberry. It’s beyond good. I may have to throw down some dough for another bag once this is gone, because I don’t know if I can get by without it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

may fifteenth

Five for May 15th:

SF bound. Lisa is en route to San Francisco- without question my favorite US city- for some work training and general hang-outtery. I’m bummed that I can’t go along.

Apollonia. Impromptu dinner there last night. Way better and cheaper than Olympia, in my humble opinion. Their gyro sandwich and steak fries are pretty unbeatable. Probably my favorite Greek in the city.

Getting extreme. Rode in to work today. Pushed hard and made it in 25 minutes, a new record. Too bad I forgot to bring my water bottle AND use my new “Map My Ride” app.

Skateboarding. The plan is to skate the Hill for awhile with Andy tonight, but I’m pushing for a trip to JB. The potential for huge crowds is outweighed by the beautiful weather and the fact that it’s light out till almost 8:30. I’m cool with whatever, though.

Rush Limbaugh. I’m ashamed- actually ashamed that I live in a state that would honor a scumbag like Rish Limbaugh with a statue in our capitol building. I'm an unapologetic Missouri-lover, but this is nauseating.

Monday, May 14, 2012

may fourteenth

Five for May 14th:

iPhone. Well, I finally got one after putting it off for years. While I’m still sort of bothered by how quickly iPhone technology becomes obsolete, the benefits of having one outweigh that concern tenfold. Spent the evening downloading apps and figuring it all out. It’s rad.

Wedding pics. Our wedding photographer posted some pictures from the big day over on her blog. They came out great. Can’t wait to see the rest of them.

Lawn work. We got a ton of work done on the backyard this weekend: planted a bunch of stuff, mulched, edged, weedwhacked, and organized. It actually looks like something now.

Mother’s Day. Early brunch with mom, Josh and Nicole at Winslow’s Home (not nearly the level of pandemonium I was expecting) followed by a BBQ at Lisa’s mom’s house in the PM with her family and Henry.

La Vallesana. Despite my love for the old, dumpy shack that used to be La Vallesana, their burritos and horchata are still second to none in this city.

Friday, May 11, 2012

may eleventh

Five for May 11th:

Last night. The master plan went off without a hitch- tore home, mowed the lawn, band practice was great (new song is sounding amazing), and Midwest Mayhem was, as always, a total party. I wasn’t counting on not being able to sleep at all, however, so today is going to be rough.

Romney Sucks. Dude, come on. We all do and say stupid things when we’re kids that we’re not proud of later in life. I know I have. Romney saying he “doesn’t remember” this incident insults the entire country’s intelligence.

Sticker wars. Here’s a perfect example of why the Internet is awesome. Out of nowhere, a bunch of pro skaters from the 80’s began one-upping each other with pictures of their vintage skate sticker collections on Twitter (a big portion of it compiled by Thrasher). Particularly impressive to me is Lance Mountain’s pile of “Smash Skates” prop stickers from the movie Thrashin’, but the whole thing is worth a look.

No bikes. Lack of sleep and want of La Pizza for lunch meant driving in today instead of riding the bike. The good news is that next week’s forecast looks as awesome as this week’s, so I’ll be able to take advantage yet again.

Cherokee Street. Tonight is taco night. Vallesana? It’ll be a good evening to sit outside and drink some horchata.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

may tenth

Five for May 10th:

Ant farm. Lisa spotted some ants in the laundry room yesterday, and the colony spent the day feeding on poison. Enjoy, my friends- for the icy cold grip of death is near.

Obama comes out. Good to see Obama is back to supporting the very thing he said he supported publicly in 1993 and mysteriously stopped supporting when he became a Presidential candidate. That crap aside, this is nonetheless a huge step in the right direction.

Bike riding. The weather is amazing and I rode in again today, plus I figured out a different route that cut nearly 15 minutes off the commute. The fact that I can ride my bike to work in basically the same time it takes to drive in is somewhat astounding to me.

Tonight. Busy evening: ride home, mow the lawn with a quickness, band practice at 6:45 followed by Midwest Mayhem at the City Museum. Some coffee may have to come into play at some point tonight.

Old apartment in the news. Some kid fell off the balcony of the apartment Lisa and I moved out of a couple of months ago. Either ours, or our landlord’s who lived across the hall. Craziness!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

may ninth

Five for May 9th:

Last night. Plans for iPhones and Milo’s patio were quashed in favor of Yolandas and Dos Equis at El Paisano followed by the season finale of The Voice (Juliet Simms got robbed).

Biking it. Rode in to work this morning for the first time in I don’t remember how long. It’s the perfect weather for it, and as always, it was totally amazing and made me wonder why I don’t do it every chance I get. Definitely going to have to get back in the habit. Also makes me want to bust out the BMX soon.

North Carolina. Someday, this decision will be a shameful relic. Currently, you just look like a gigantic bunch of irrelevant jackasses.

Skate session. Possible late-evening jam on the Hill or at Ramp Riders with Andy. Hell, it’s light out late enough that we could even hit JB for an hour or so.

Carlos Beltran. Bringing the thunder this year. Albert who?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

may eighth

Five for May 8th:

Mi Ranchito. Their chori pollo is one of my favorite Mexican dishes on the planet, and on the lunch menu, it’s ridiculously cheap. I’d probably get it every day if I could.

Cool down. This week is looking awesome, weather wise- sunny and in the mid 70’s for highs. A welcome change from the outdoor inferno of this past weekend. Definitely calls for some extensive dog walking, skating, and lawn maintenance.

Hot off the press. That interview Lisa and I did with our realtors for their May e-newsletter came out today. It’s pretty funny that they picked us to do it. There’s a great picture in there of us with Henry, at least.

Tonight. The plan: Finally take care of getting our iPhones, and hang out with the usual Tuesday night crew at Milo’s.

Tuesday jams. This day is dragging ass, but the sweet tunes of Danzig, Jets to Brazil, Electric Frankenstein, and Egg Hunt are making it somewhat more bearable.

Monday, May 7, 2012

may seventh

Five for May 7th:

Brutal heat. This weekend was a scorcher, and it’s only early May. Low 90’s, but in direct sunlight with no cloud cover or anything even approaching a breeze, it was a little rough. Nothing a few bottles of water and sunscreen can’t handle, though.

Skateboarding. Hit the hill on Saturday for a bit and then super sesh Sunday with Andy at JB and the park in Arnold. Dropped in for the first time in the bowl at JB which was awesome. The slab park in Arnold blew by comparison and I bailed. As a side note, my long-anticipated Elephant Street Axe is totally awesome and did not disappoint.

Cinco de Mayo. Great turnout to the Cherokee Street festival, but the oppressive heat made it somewhat unbearable out of the shade. Still, the tacos el pastor and fishbowl margaritas were pretty amazing. The party at Matt and Katie’s was excellent as well- met some cool people (including Avery for the first time), ate more Mexican-inspired fare, and cooled down.

Adam Yauch. RIP. The Beastie Boys will always be great, and it’s crazy that one of them is dead- yet Keith Richards lives on. This world is a weird place sometimes.

Coffee. The grinder is back home, so we’re going to be swimming in good coffee for the next couple of weeks. Brewed up a pot of fresh-ground Northwest this morning, which was killer, and after that we have a giant bag of Kona Peaberry to get through.

Friday, May 4, 2012

may fourth

Five for May 4th:

Weekend. Folk School trivia night tonight, Cinco De Mayo on Cherokee followed by a late-afternoon party tomorrow. Hopefully getting a bunch of home and non-home related projects finished up between those things.

Friday morning radness. Torche, the Smiths, Greenleaf, NPR, clean boxer shorts, slice of banana walnut bread and a grande dark roast, first twenty minutes of “Public Domain”.

Practice. Despite being cut short last night due to Andy’s insistence on going to see the Melvins at Firebird, the new songs are sounding great. We’ll be unveiling at least one of them- hopefully two- at the RFT Music Awards showcase on June 2nd.

Elephant Skateboards. The first shipment should be hitting Infinity today, which means I’ll likely be making a trip to South County after work.

Junk food overload. Rich’s last day means tons of food at the office, including brownies, peanut butter rice krispie treats, chips, and all manner of other terrible stuff. Not complaining.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

may third

Five for May 3rd:

Bloodbath. The Cardinals destroyed the Pirates last night. By the third inning, the game was over. We bailed during the seventh inning stretch and beat the traffic home. It was fun, but I like a little more of a nail-biter. This game ended before it even started.

La Pizza. That’s what’s happening today for lunch. Haven’t been there in forever. Taking Rich out, as his last day is tomorrow. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

iPhone. Hopefully (finally) getting one this weekend. Lisa and I are consolidating our phones and getting the hookup on some new gear. But why the hell are these so friggin' expensive? This is seriously hindering my ability to accessorize.

Vert search. I don’t skate vert, I've never skated vert, and honestly, I probably never will. I’m way too big of a wuss. Still, this video series is awesome and exemplifies what skateboarding is all about. Also, Jeff Grosso still rules.

Modern Drummer. Apparently, I have a subscription to it that I was not aware of, as a copy came to my office today with my name on it. How'd that happen?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

may second

Five for May 2nd:

Living in the city. Food and drink with friends on the patio at Milo’s, gelato at Gelato Di Riso afterward. Their gelato is out-of-hand awesome.

Cardinals game. This evening we’re braving the unseasonable heat to watch the birds battle the Pirates from deep in right field. The bummer? Can’t drink, as it’s an event for Lisa’s work and she works with underage kids that’ll be there. The good part? Can’t drink, so it’ll save us potentially 40 bucks we would’ve otherwise spent on 3 beers. AND the tickets were free.

Cool articles. The top ten most notable career suicide albums, Jon Stewart on religion (I disagree on a couple of points on this one, most notably that Atheism is in any way a “faith”). Good reads if you have some free time.

In the mail. New issue of Thrasher, Lisa’s actual wedding ring, Wired subscription renewal card (ain’t gonna happen again, boys).

RFT Music Awards poll. It's that time of year once again! If you’re so inclined, vote the Blind Eyes for “Best Indie Band” this year! If not, no worries. We’re playing the showcase on June 2, so we’ll see you there either way. Details coming soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

may first

Five for May 1st:

May Day. This month started out on a funny note, as Lisa tried to take Henry for an early morning walk only to get caught in a torrential downpour a block from our house. I sat on the porch with coffee and some towels as they came tearing down the sidewalk. Henry wasn’t a very happy camper.

Skate stuff. I won a couple of pairs of the new Airwalk Mike Vallely skate shoes yesterday in a Twitter contest (!?), new issue of Transworld showed up, and there’s a new Elephant Jason Adams video that debuted today (eh). But what’s up with this? I guess it’s a good problem to have. Also, check out this No Coast video made by Andy’s cousin Luca, who skates with us every now and then. Very cool.

Fully out. Yesterday marked the final day of rentership of our apartment on Lawn. Swung by yesterday and dropped off the keys. Chapter: closed. And it’s a good feeling. Here’s hoping we get at least some of our security deposit back.

In the mail. Came home yesterday to a 2-lb bag of whole bean Hawaiian Kona coffee by the front door- a wedding gift from a friend in Hawaii. Totally amazing. Now if I can just convince Lisa to bring home the coffee grinder, we’ll be good to go.

Last night. As far as Monday nights go, it was a good one. BBQ on the back porch (steak, twice baked potatoes and green beans) followed by a walk around CHP with Henry. It was a perfect night for doing stuff outside- mild temperature and no bugs.