Tuesday, July 31, 2012

july thirty-first

Five for July 31st:

Biked. Beautiful last-day-of-July ride to work, although this afternoon may be slightly harder as the temperatures skyrocket. That’s cool by me: I’d rather have an easy morning commute. I can always shower when I get home.

New traditions. Lisa and I are, effective immediately, not eating in front of the TV anymore. I think it’s a good habit to get into, especially with a kid on the way. We’re also planning out meals for the week in advance, which is pretty awesome. Last night we had pesto pasta with tomatoes from our neighbors’ garden, as well as baked squash (also from the garden). Rad.

Psycho skate. Possible meetup with Andy over on the Hill for some shredding in the evening tonight, once it starts to cool off a bit. Digging my Jolly Roger deck, but may have to set the Elephant back up. I’m addicted to it.

North Sarah neighborhood. See? This city CAN go in the right direction when it wants to. I’m proud of STL for getting something like the North Sarah neighborhood off the ground. To quote the article: “it must be emphasized that the vast majority of the entire four-block span of the North Sarah development was a vacant lot prior to development.”

Netflix. We really need to pull the trigger on getting it back. I’m so far behind on Mad Men, Dexter, and Breaking Bad that it’s pathetic- plus, the Pruitt-Igoe Myth is now streaming. And I miss “Skate Europe”.

Monday, July 30, 2012

july thirtieth

Five for July 30th:

Right neighborly. Hung out with Eric and Nicole for a couple of hours last night in their alternate-universe version of our house. Got the hookup on some eggs and homemade ice cream and talked babies and pets. Good stuff.

Skateboarding. Got in a session at the Belleville park on Saturday morning with Andy (followed by a trip to the exceptionally cool Jolly Roger skate shop where we both got the mega hookup). Also skated around the Loop for a bit before the show Saturday and on the Hill for a little while yesterday. Also, 7 words: Santa Cruz Claus Grabke “melting clocks” reissue.

Great food overload. Dressel’s on Friday night (Lisa was extremely excited to see the return of the beet and arugala salad); amazing homemade tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, Mongolian beef with rice and broccoli in the crock pot.

Saving money. The plan for this week is not spend money on anything. I think I can stick to it: I’ll be riding my bike to work as much as possible (today notwithstanding, as I woke up too late and had an early meeting), and we just stocked up on groceries, so going out to eat shouldn’t be a factor. We’ll see how it goes.

Getting stuff done. We've accomplished quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, and it’s a good feeling. It’s nice to step back after it’s all (mostly) done and take it all in.

Friday, July 27, 2012

july twenty-seventh

Five for July 27th:

Bike commuting. Finally got a ride in to work today after 4 days of inaction. The temperature has calmed down a bit, and new-car mania has begun to slow down. Feeling good.

Band practice. Really solid practice yesterday. After (essentially) two weeks of not playing, we came back with a vengeance last night. Drums are fun, but it was a little more grueling than usual after not playing for a long time.

Ten best. Our show tomorrow night with Glossary and Beth Bombara at Blueberry Hill has been named one of the Ten Best Shows in STL this weekend by the RFT. We'll be playing some new songs- some you may have never heard before, one for the first time ever. Thanks to the RFT for the promo and of course to KDHX for sponsoring it!

Friday jams. Instructions: 1) Go to Youtube. 2) type in "AC/DC full album". 3) Click on "Powerage". 4) turn up volume.

Murdoch Perk. Totally bummed to hear they’re closing their doors for good at the end of the month. I loved that place- great breakfast food, good coffee, and overall just an excellent little neighborhood restaurant. Hopefully we’ll get by there on Sunday for one last plate of banana walnut waffles.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

july twenty-sixth

Five for July 26th:

Congrats Rob and Stefanie. Their daughter was born yesterday, about a month ahead of schedule, but it looks like she’s doing great. Excited to introduce our children some day in the not-too-distant future.

Rad neighbors. We totally scored in the “neighbors” department. Nicole brought over a bag of garden-fresh baby tomatoes yesterday and invited us over to hang out and eat homemade ice cream Sunday. Plus they give us eggs from their chickens. It’s insane. The bummer is that we feel like we have nothing to offer them.

Last night. Cool show at El Lenador. Lots of friends, laughs, good music, and cheap beer. As far as Wednesday nights go, it was a good one. Also managed to squeeze in about 15 minutes of skating on the Hill, which is barely anything, but was still fun.

Band practice. Getting a set together as we’re playing Blueberry Hill on Saturday for the first time, which should be fun. This could very well be our last show for a while, as we’re recording in August, have nothing booked in September, and I’m going to be neck-deep in fatherhood come October. So come out.

Mick Jagger turns 69. I’ll be spending this morning listening to Exile on Main St and trying to forget that his “Dancing In The Streets” duet with David Bowie is a thing that exists.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

july twenty-fifth

Five for July 25th:

Too hot to ride. Failed to ride my bike to work once again. It’s not that I don’t want to, but it’s just too damn hot. At 107 degrees today, I’m just not feeling it. Next week is supposed to be much milder, and I’ll be back on the saddle. Plus I’m stoked on driving my new car right now.

Stag Night. It’s a Seth-booked rock show at El Lenador for Stag Night tonight featuring Sealion, Peach, and Popular Mechanics, who I literally haven’t seen since we played the RFT awards show at Rue 13 a couple years ago. Should be a good time.

Jason Alexander. He knocked another one out of the park with this great article (or, I should say, series of tweets compiled into an article) on gun violence, which basically says it all and says it well. Read it.

Paying stuff off. Mailed my final Yaris payment yesterday (and got the title transferred to my brother), and this week I’ll officially be paying off my credit card. It’s a good feeling.

Chick Fil A. The saga continues. Lord knows (get it?) that I’m no biblical scholar, but I’m fairly certain there's something in there to the effect of "lying = bad". So Chick Fil A is completely cool with being openly homophobic on the basis of the Bible, but outright public lying is ok? I don’t get it. Not that I’m shocked by hypocrisy in religion. Also, they need a new PR guy in a bad way.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

july twenty-fourth

Five for July 24th:

Car action. We’re the proud owners of a 2011 Nissan Rogue and my brother is now the proud owner of a 2007 Toyota Yaris. Everything went off perfectly to make it happen, which is great, as buying/selling a car is not generally thought of as a low-stress activity. It really couldn’t have worked out better for everyone.

Skate slacking. I haven’t set foot on a skateboard in days, partially due to being busy, and partially due to it just being too damn hot outside. I’m hoping to get a little bit in some evening this week when the sun goes down, but it may have to just wait until there’s a break in the heat.

Selling more stuff. Posted my Beck “Odelay” double platinum album from my AR days on eBay yesterday, which will hopefully see some action. It feels good, getting rid of things that are just taking up space. I’ve probably said this before, but the eBay iPhone app is fantastic.

CCS sucks. The California Cheap Skates (whatever, that’s what I still call it) catalogs of 2012 are the most depressing things ever. What was once an amazingly cool, jam-packed skate catalog now looks like something you’d pick up at Journeys in the mall. This last issue actually had caps with basketball and football team logos on them for sale. Gag. Straight to the garbage.

Coffee. Tonight I’m grinding a bag of Jamaican coffee that M&K brought us back from their recent vacation. Excited. We’ve been drinking the Target brand Kona stuff for a few weeks now, and needless to say, it’s losing its luster.

Monday, July 23, 2012

july twenty-third

Five for July 23rd:

New car. We don’t have it just yet, but by tonight (or tomorrow) we’ll be rolling in style in a (almost) new 2011 Nissan Rogue. Had to bail on the 2-door with a kid on the way, plus we’re going to be in need of added cargo space. Happy that the Yaris is going to my brother and staying in the family. Now I just have to find the title.

Treadmill fail. We finally got it, but it’s having some problems. I spent about three hours working on it yesterday morning to no avail. I think I can get it working correctly, but I was quickly running out of patience and needed to step back. We’ll see. It was free, so we’re not out anything, but still, we were both looking forward to using it.

Puppy-dog eyes. Lisa hates that I give Henry food when we’re eating, and in fairness, I don’t do it THAT much. But how can you say no to this?

Sunday Night Dinner party. Mark, Keith, and the dogs were over for dinner and hanging out. Lisa made some tikka masala that destroyed, and Mary’s cucumber salad was a good counterbalance. Rad stuff. I got my ass handed to me at Clue, as is usually the case.

Riding. Due to car-buying and car-selling obligations after work, had to abandon plans to ride in today. It’s always something. That said, riding around in 105-degree heat didn’t really sound that appealing to me this morning anyway.

Friday, July 20, 2012

july twentieth

Five for July 20th:

The weekend is nigh. Drinks with Scott, car shopping for a more family-friendly ride with Lisa (so long, Yaris- it’s been a good time), hopefully picking up that treadmill, possibly kicking it with Mary and Keith, killing weeds, tikka masala in the slow cooker, and maybe sneaking in some bike riding or skateboarding if there’s time.

Bike riding. Rode in today, finally. One out of five days this week is a total failure in my book, but it really was unavoidable. Next week will be better. I picked a good day; though- it was overcast and almost cool out for most of the ride. Pretty gnarly headwind heading northbound, but other than that it was all good.

Shipping. One cool thing about selling stuff on eBay, at least for me, is that I have the luxury of being able to use my work to ship packages out. This not only saves me an excruciating trip to the post office, but also saves me money due to the fact that we get some pretty awesome bulk shipping rates. Plus, the warehouse has more empty boxes and bubble wrap than they know what to do with. It’s a win-win.

15 minutes of fame. Our wedding photos have made their way to a wedding blog, go check them out! I guess this is what happens when you're so damn photogenic.

Baby update. She’s doing great: Lisa went to the doctor today and everything checks out. Her heartbeat is good and everything is where it should be. Only a couple more months to go until she’s an actual baby, which is both strange and wonderful.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

july nineteenth

Five for July 19th:

Thursday in a nutshell. Once again, no ride in today as I had to lug that giant box in to work to ship it out. Early AM meeting, shitty coffee, listening to Japandroids. Band practice after work, possible quickie skate jam on the hill beforehand.

Completed tasks. I’m happy to say that every last thing on my “to-do” lists for yesterday and today got done. I was sure I’d drag my feet on at least one of them, but I pulled it out- from re-assessing life insurance policies to buying stamps. Solid.

Our name in lights. Snapped this picture yesterday while putting some posters up around the Loop. Pretty rad. You should go.

Dust bowl 2012. Getting a little bit of a break this weekend before we’re back into triple-digits full force for another week or longer. I’m just used by now, but at this point, I’m pretty much looking forward to fall.

80’s movies I want to see again. The Last Starfighter, Flight of the Navigator, My Science Project, Ski Patrol.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

july eighteenth

Five for July 18th:

To-do list. It’s a long one today, and none of it is very cool. All stuff like “meet with insurance agent” and “call credit union”, but it all has to get done. Luckily I’ve already checked a couple of things off of it.

Riding fail. I haven’t been able to ride at all this week for a number of reasons- all legit- but still, it sucks, as I was more or less planning to ride all week. Maybe tomorrow?

Henry. If I’ve learned one thing after having two dogs in the house for a few days, it’s that Henry likes to be the alpha, especially when it comes to being in the house- and it’s really hard for him to turn it off. Guess my plans to someday get a second dog may have to go on the back burner for awhile.

Diet root beer. I usually get tired of sodas after awhile and stop buying them, but for some reason, diet A&W has remained a constant buy for about 4 months now. I can’t explain it.

Old photos. In a fit of boredom, I iPhone-photographed a bunch of old pictures from my teens and twenties last night and have been posting them sporadically on Facebook today. Check ‘em out if you’re equally bored.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

july seventeenth

Five for July 17th:

Last night. Leftover chicken tacos, trip to Target for some coffee and packing materials, quick and impromptu old school skate jam on the grind rail over on the hill.

Home gym. Cleared out a section of the basement over the weekend that will soon house our new treadmill (which we don’t have yet, hopefully this weekend), plus our bike trainer and some weights. It’ll be awesome to not have to drive anywhere to work out.

Unnecessary demolition. Ooooh, good. I was wondering when the Loop would get in on the "tearing down perfectly good buildings" action that the rest of St. Louis is so heartily enjoying. Hopefully they put something cool like a CVS or a PF Chang's in there.

Saving money. It’s easier than it sounds and necessary with a baby on the way. Selling stuff, riding to work as much as possible, and eating out as little as possible is actually going pretty far. It’s amazing how those little things add up.

Peeing on the seat. I’m not saying I never do it- that would be an outright lie- but I’d like to think most if not all of my infractions happen late at night when it’s dark and I’m stumbling around half-blind and half-asleep. The people I work with, however, apparently have absolutely zero concept of aim.

Monday, July 16, 2012

july sixteenth

Five for July 16th:

Weekend action. Dinner at Bridge followed by the Maplewood Art Fair with Lisa and Herm on Friday; housework, hanging out with the dogs, and general chilling out Saturday; skate session at JB with Andy and Sean, a gummy-worm fueled trip to the Joan of Arc flea market, and more housework on Sunday. Lisa killed it on the chicken tacos and the homemade Orange Julius.

Posters. The show posters for our Duck Room gig on the 28th look killer, thanks to Carl from Beth’s band. Seth got a bunch up over the weekend and I’m getting them down to the Loop today. Should hopefully be a good show, and potentially our last one for a little while? Could very well be.

Bike-free Monday. Had to forego riding this morning so I can bring home a box big enough to ship an item I recently sold on eBay. You read that right- after months of talking about it, I’m actually starting to sell some stuff. Planning on riding the rest of the week, though, weather-permitting.

Monday morning jams. The Deathray Davies, Mr. Airplane Man, Tilts. Having Spotify at my office instead of having to rely on my iPod has been life changing, and has turned me on to some really amazing stuff.

Baby stuff. The baby’s room is starting to look like a baby’s room. At least, I think it is. Lisa got her old dresser painted and it looks great. It’s all coming together. Still plenty to do, but it’s going to be awesome when we’re done with it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

july thirteenth

Five for July 13th:

4/5 days of riding. I was all set to skip riding my bike in this morning, but a fire truck and ambulance were blocking our driveway as I was getting ready to leave, so ride in I did. I was feeling a little achy after the last few days but the ride was no problem, so it all worked out. Thanks for forcing my hand, St. Louis first-responders and possibly dead neighbor.

Time flies. It just dawned on me that 20 years ago I was getting ready to start my freshman year of high school. Twenty years? Seriously, that’s insane. I’m not that old, I swear it.

New reissues. Powell-Peralta posted a picture on Instagram yesterday showing what appeard to be some new deck transfers rolling off the press, including, to my surprise, the Per Welinder Nordic skull- one of my favorite graphics ever. I really, really hope they put that into production, because I need one. Two, even.

Friday the 13th. Tentative plans are coming together that include food (potentially downtown), skee-ball, and hanging out with friends and dogs. All good by me.

Haro freestylers. The old school team is back together: Brian Blyther, Mike Dominguez, Ron Wilkerson, and Dennis McCoy. Good to see Haro is giving some love to the old guard. BMX guys from the 80's definitely do not get the same kind of love and legendary status that skateboarders from that same era do, which is unfortunate.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

july twelfth

Five for July 12th:

Slappy Wednesdays. Skated the Hill with Andy for the first time in a couple of months last night. I love that spot, actually. Totally devoid of traffic and lots of cool stuff to ride, including a couple of banks, easily-grindable curbs, a giant, skateable retaining wall (portions of which are totally overgrown with weeds right now), and plenty of smooth pavement. Super close to my house, too.

Day 3. If I ride in tomorrow, it’ll be 4/5 days this week, which is good by me. It would’ve been 5/5 if my bike weren’t being weird on Monday. Also, these mellow, mid-70 degree mornings are where it’s at.

Three-man rock jam. Working on some tunes tonight for recording in August. It’ll be a 3-piece practice as Kevin won’t be able to make it, which actually sometimes isn’t the worst thing when it comes to tightening up guitar parts.

The Rolling Stones. Today marks the 50th anniversary of their first show, which doesn’t really seem that crazy given they’re all ancient. Nonetheless, one of my all time favorite bands. I’ll have to break out some Exile on Main St later on. In the interest of full disclosure, that probably would’ve happened anyway.

Houseguests. Shit gets crazy tomorrow as both Herm is coming in town for the night and crashing at our place AND Mary is dropping off Coal for a week while they’re on vacation. Henry’s going to be one worn out dog this time next week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

july eleventh

Five for July 11th:

Smooth sailing. Totally great, cool-weather ride in to work this morning. People were out in full force in Forest Park already, mostly zoo-bound families and such. I forgot what it’s like to have a summer vacation.

Writing. I’ve now had two legitimate, actual offers to write for two legitimate, actual St. Louis-based publications, which is crazy, as I’ve never thought of myself as a “writer”. I suppose I should do at least one of them. I’m flattered, but when it comes down to it, I’ve never really written anything for anyone but myself before, and my fear of failure is high. I need to suck it up.

Instagram. It’s becoming my favorite social media app. It really does give you the false sense of being a good photographer. Not that I think I’m a bad photographer, necessarily, but it’s all filter tricks, and anything looks better in black and white. Follow me at @mattpick13.

Next show. Coming up at the end of this month, July 28 at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room with Glossary and Beth Bombara. KDHX has been kind enough to sponsor the show, which is all the more reason to be there. Plus, we’ve never played there before. It’ll be an adventure!

Netflix. Looks like we’re going to be getting it back after a few months without it. Hopefully it actually works with our wireless service this time around. That shit was getting old.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

july tenth

Five for July 10th:

Bike action. It was like gliding to work on a magic carpet this morning thanks to the new chain and gear overhaul my brother gave my bike yesterday. It’s amazing what a difference a few little tweaks and some new parts make. Plus, the weather was awesome. It gets no better.

Tuesday morning. New “Thrasher” interview issue, pack of blueberry pop-tarts, Starbucks French Roast (Via) instead of the normal office crap, Neko Case on Spotify, shoes off.

Skate and Annoy. The May eBay Watch went up last week, but I just saw it yesterday. Definitely some drool-worthy stuff in this one, including some real steals that I’m sort of kicking myself for missing. Not that I actually have money to spend on this kind of thing right now. Whatever the case, definitely one of my favorite things on the internet.

Chumbawamba breaking up. Anarchist fans of "Air Bud 2", "Dirty Work", and "Fanboys" are breaking out their soundtrack CDs in memoriam today.

Jon Lumley in the year 2042. After a bit of a break, there are some new drawings up. I kinda lost motivation to do it after Jon actually stopped working here, but recently got back into it. Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Monday, July 9, 2012

july ninth

Five for July 9th:

Rain. Finally got some serious down pouring last night after weeks of 100+ degree temperatures and zero precipitation. Our lights flickered once or twice, but luckily didn’t lose power. This week marks a break in the heat, which is good by me.

Bikeage. My bike started being weird on the ride home Friday. Something is definitely up with the chain wheel, and I’m taking it by Maplewood Bikes after work for my brother to check out. Hopefully it’s an easy fix and I’ll be able to ride the rest of the week.

Fireworks fail. The fireworks that were supposed to happen at Sublette Park on Saturday night didn’t happen, despite signs all over the place on Friday saying it was happening, and no mention of cancellation online. I mean, I get it, but come on. Lame, dudes.

Recording dates. We’ll be at Firebrand starting August 17th for a 3-day recording session to start working on the next batch of tunes. Super excited to get some new stuff on tape, the new songs are sounding really good. Not sure if it’ll be for an EP or an eventual full-length record yet.

Weekend action. Sicilian pizza at Vito’s, listing stuff on eBay, trip to the country for late lunch at Lisa’s dad’s farm with Henry followed by gravesite-visiting, hanging out with Mary and Keith, hot ass skate session at JB, cabinet-refinishing, weed-pulling, watching “Explorers” on my iPhone.

Friday, July 6, 2012

july sixth

Five for July 6th:

Treadmill. Looks like we’re getting a free one, courtesy of Lisa’s aunt! So long, Club Fitness membership. Between riding all the time and now being able to run at home, I officially have no further use for you.

Bike commuting. 3/5 days for the week. Technically 3/4 for workdays, given the holiday on Wednesday. Not bad. It was a hot one coming in today, and it’s going to be a much hotter one going home. Luckily a decent chunk of my ride is shaded, but the ride up Skinker could be a slog. Couple of bottles of ice water and I should be good to go.

Weekend. Pretty mellow weekend coming up. Trying to get the back and side yards weeded and in order, catching fireworks on the Hill with friends tomorrow, possibly doing some skating on Sunday, which will hopefully coincide with a break in the heat.

Friday Jams. So far: Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and the New Pornographers.

T-shirts. Powell recently reissued the “Choose”, “Skate Like a Man”, and “Fly” t-shirts, and I want them all.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

july fifth

Five for July 5th:

4th of July. Aside from getting some Ted Drewes with various family and friends of family, we basically took it easy. Pretty tame as far as fourths of Julys go, but that’s how it is when it’s 106 degrees out, a Wednesday, and your wife is six months pregnant. The downtown fireworks were barely visible from our front porch, so we’re going to try to go see some legit ones this weekend.

Skateboarding. Went to JB for a couple of hours yesterday morning. Fun session with the normal early AM crowd. Skated the railslide bar for a while in a parking lot on the Hill afterward before calling it a day.

Coffee crimes. Went to the Bread Co. in the Loop this morning and refilled my coffee cup from yesterday that I still had in my car. Whatever, you’ve all done it.

Break in the heat. It’s crazy that highs in the mid 90s are considered a “cool down”, but after almost two weeks of 100s, indeed it is. Hopefully we get some much-needed rain this weekend. This summer has been one for the record books.

Tonight. Attempt to wow/weed whack the front yard, shower, band practice, knock out some new songs, kicking it with Henry and Lisa.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

july third

Five for July 3rd:

July third. Excited to have tomorrow off. Early AM skateboarding at JB with Andy and Josh, possible late lunch with mom and crew, bbq and (hopefully) fireworks watching from the front porch in the evening. No blog tomorrow.

Biking part 2. The ride in this morning was short and sweet, helped in no small part by the minimal traffic that usually precedes a day off. Yesterday’s ride home was amazing; overcast and cooled off by about 20 degrees.

Andy Griffith. R.I.P. The death of Andy Griffith essentially invalidates tomorrow being America's birthday. I mean- what's next, universe? Apple pie? Baseball? Slim Goodbody? Guess he’s traveling that Matlock expressway to the clouds.

One hit wonder. The guy who punched out Danzig is writing a book about punching out Danzig. This generation’s “War and Peace” has been penned, ladies and gentlemen.

Baby stuff. The nursery is starting to come together, schooling is nailed down, we’ve pretty much settled on a name, and yesterday’s ultrasound was full of good results. Super excited.

Monday, July 2, 2012

july second

Five for July 2nd:

4 day week. Having a Wednesday off is kind of unusual, but you won’t hear me complaining. The plan is to hang out with friends and see if we can catch the downtown fireworks from our front porch.

Instagram. I'm really getting into it, and find myself using it more and more, and other social media a little less. Just a matter of time till every moron on the planet finds a way to infiltrate it, but for now it’s rad.

Food. We checked out Bailey’s Range downtown on Friday for the first time and finally hit up the long-awaited Southwest Diner by our house on Saturday morning. Neither blew our minds, but they were definitely good enough to warrant future visits. Also had a blue-collar sushi party at Mary and Keith’s on Saturday, which was a hit.

Skate stuff. Went to the City Sk8 grand opening on Friday night. Definitely a cool shop with plenty of stuff no one else has (including a Salba witch doctor reissue I want). Skated for a little bit on Saturday on the hill, and went to Plan Nine skate park Sunday with Andy and Josh. Skating indoors in AC is pretty amazing at this point.

Biking. Going to shoot for riding to work this week as much as possible, starting with today. This morning was great, mid-70’s and low traffic. As long as the mornings are mild, I can deal with the crushing afternoon heat.