Friday, September 28, 2012

september twenty-eighth

Five for September 28th:

Good night in the studio. One more song in the can, as far as lead vocals, which means we have five out of six down. Did some clean-up stuff on a couple of others, too. Sounding good. Can’t wait to check out the final mixes eventually.

National Coffee Day. I didn’t realize such a thing existed, but apparently it’s tomorrow, and there’s lots of free java out there for the taking. May have to get in on that action. Speaking of that, today is the first day of business for the new Flying Saucer Starbucks, and it appears to be going well.

Office cleaning. Got a ton of crap cleared off my desk at work, rearranged some stuff on the walls, wiped some surfaces down, and just sort of moved things around a bit. It’s amazing what just a little changing up of your surroundings and de-cluttering can do for your mood.

Friday. It’s here, and not a moment too soon. Celebrating the end of a quick and relatively painless week with La Pizza for lunch. Automatic win.

Riding bikes. This week was a total bust from start to finish. Crappy, unpredictable weather and an abundance of stuff to do in the evenings made it impossible. That, coupled with a baby on the way at any time, may mean the end to riding to work for at least a couple of weeks. Oh well.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

september twenty-seventh

Five for September 27th:

Hospital tour. Went with Lisa to check out the scene at Missouri Baptist last night. Pretty impressive, actually, and at the very least we now know where we’re going and what we're doing when it’s "go time".

Studio. Back to Firebrand tonight to continue chipping away at the new EP. May just be Brian, Seth, and myself on this go-round, which is fine- that's how almost all the vocals on the last album were done.

Ultimate skate songs. Sk8 All Day- Cerebral Ballzy, Skate and Destroy- The Faction, McShred/Weakness- Mcrad, Posessed to Skate- Suicidal Tendencies.

In the mail. Care package of baby gear from Kim (thanks again!), new issue of Transworld Skateboarding.

Flying saucer building. Once on the verge of getting ‘dozed, the community-saved, former Del Taco "flying saucer" building is starting its new life as a Starbucks (with a Chipotle coming by the end of the year) tomorrow. I’m an unashamed Starbucks lover, as well as an unashamed modern architecture lover, so this is all good news as far as I’m concerned.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

september twenty-sixth

Five for September 26th:

Henry. His long day at the dog groomer rendered him an exhausted, useless lump of canine for the entirety of yesterday evening, albeit a good-looking one.

Rained out. STL is getting hammered with rain right now. Making up for lost time from over the summer? Our basement is, as usual, getting some water, and a portion of Hampton near Arsenal apparently collapsed. We lost power last night for the first time since we moved in to our house, but it was only for about 30 seconds.

2012 Haro Freestyler reissue. I would’ve killed to be at last week’s Haro Bikes dinner party in Las Vegas and mingled with the legends in attendance, but the majority of my time probably would’ve been spent trying to figure out how to get one of those reissue chrome Freestylers out of the building unnoticed.

Vans demo at JB. Dustin Dollin, Chris Pfanner, Chima Ferguson and more will be at JB today at 4:30 doing a demo, but the weather is looking bleak. This is without doubt the best crew of skateboarders to hit this city in a long time. I may try to make it out there after work if it’s not pouring.

Tonight. Lots going on. See above, for starters. Lisa and I have a Missouri Baptist hospital tour, and then I may go check out White Mystery at CBGB afterward.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

september twenty-fifth

Five for September 25th:

Groomin’ time. Henry is chilling at Spotlight today for his fall haircut/nail-clipping/dog-playing-with extravaganza. His coat was getting crazy, and it’ll be cool to see him cut back into proper aerodynamic schnoodle form this afternoon.

Tap Room. Hadn’t been in awhile, but met up with people there last night for Seth’s 31st birthday celebration. Somehow beat Keith in pool twice, but I assure you it was out of pure luck and not skill. Haven’t checked out the pumpkin ale/stout yet, but the Oktoberfest is great this year.

Coffee. Finally got loaded back up on Starbucks Vias for the workplace. A complete lifesaver after a couple weeks choking down the swill they brew here.

Animal abuse task force. Good to see the STL police department taking some initiative on this issue. Hopefully this is the start of something good.

Tuesday jams. Black Market Karma, Rites of Spring, Band of Horses (new album is killer), Tom Petty.

Monday, September 24, 2012

september twenty-fourth

Five for September 24th:

Fall. It’s official- fall is here. And not just technically, either: I saw my breath outside this morning (shudder). Let's start things off right, with a bunch of lists-within-a-list, shall we?

Around the house. Yard work, bathtub-unclogging, setting up the pack & play, and getting the closet door in the baby’s room fixed thanks to Lisa’s dad.

Rad weekend. Highlights include drinks with Seth, Lindsay and others at Urban Chestnut on Friday, Clifton Heights party in the park on Saturday, and paddle boating to the Grand Basin in Forest Park on Sunday.

Feeding frenzy. Sausage and apple-stuffed baked squash, homemade chili with corn bread muffins, bag of amazing black seedless grapes courtesy of our next-door neighbor, pumpkin pie concretes at Mr. Wizard’s.

Busy week. Work meetings, birthday parties, rock shows, skate demos, band practices, grooming appointments, and hospital tours all in the books.

Friday, September 21, 2012

september twenty-first

Five for September 21st:

Skate videos. New stuff, old stuff, it’s all good by me. That Schmitt Stix ‘87 team video showed up in the mail yesterday- a stark contrast to this brand new Elephant Skateboards/Skateboard Mag road trip video that just went up. Actually, the contrasts aren’t really that stark. Fun is fun. Also, more STL video lovin'.

Last night. We walked Henry around the neighborhood, then met up with Lindsay and Seth for an impromptu dinner at Mi Ranchito. It’s weird being there at night. Also, had a couple of margaritas and they put me out cold when we got home. I’m such a lightweight.

Parenthood prep. Lisa had her first of her now weekly final-stretch doctor’s checkups yesterday, and the baby is doing great. Everything is on schedule to happen on time. Doing a tour of Missouri Baptist on Wednesday so we know where we’re going and what we’re doing.

Maplewood. It’s amazing to see how much it has changed since I had my first apartment there fifteen years ago. It went from being a nothing-to-do neighborhood full of wandering slack-jawed nutjobs to a totally happening neighborhood full of restaurants, bars, art fairs, breweries, and all sorts of stuff. Seriously, when I lived there, the Bottleworks was a boarded up Shop n’ Save. I got the shaft on that deal.

Weekend action. This week absolutely flew by. Plans for the first fall weekend of 2012, in no particular order: using up Red Lobster gift cards, having various houseguests over, Clifton Heights “party in the park”, lawn care, skateboarding, hanging out with friends.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

september twentieth

Five for September 20th:

No ride. Spotty morning weather and a super-early meeting at work out the kibosh on riding my bike to work today. Back in the saddle tomorrow.

Battlestar Galactica. Initially I was merely going to revisit the first few episodes, but it looks like I’m just rewatching the entire series from start to finish, as I’m already into season 3. Definitely one of the best shows ever.

Junk food. I’ve been eating too much crap lately. Pop Tarts, fries, peanut M&Ms, soda, ice cream, and too much other garbage. It’s seriously time to cut it out, especially with winter- and a new baby- around the corner, and opportunities to exercise lessening.

Tonight. Hitting up No Coast after work for some new hardware. After that could be some skating on the Hill for a bit, possibly going to this week’s Thursdays at the Intersection at Grand Center with Lisa, Seth and Lindsay, or chilling at home. We’ll see where it all goes.

Henry. I love that he sleeps in bed with us, but lately he’s been totally taking over, which is a pretty hefty accomplishment for a dog that weights all of 18 lbs and is only slightly bigger than an average cat. How he manages to do it is beyond me. Luckily, he’s like a lump of clay at night, and easily moveable.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

september nineteenth

Five for September 19th:

Riding. Another cold(ish) morning ride; which is pretty invigorating once you adjust to the chill. The ride home should be amazing- mid 70’s and sunny. Hopefully they get the precariously closed sidewalk around the entrance to 44 fixed soon.

Rock show. Checked out the Fine Lines/Cheap Time/Bob Log III show at OB last night, although I had to split before Bob played due to tiredness/working in the AM. Cheap Time absolutely crushed it. Listening to them on Spotify now. I suggest you do the same. Also, thanks to Kevin for the guest list spot.

Chili 5-way from Steak n’ Shake. Sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered.

New. Vintage SC t-shirt, pack of mechanical pencils, pair of contact lenses, painful cut on right pointer finger, rare Schmitt Stix ’87 team video on DVD (coming), mattes for framed pictures in living room (coming).

Baby time. We’re in the home stretch. Even though Lisa’s technical due date isn’t until October 10th, she could be here any time now. My phone is next to me at all times. This weekend we’ll be installing (and double checking) car seats and packing (and double checking) the hospital bag.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

september eighteenth

Five for September 18th:

Happy birthday Josh. My little brother turns 32 today, which seems inconceivable to me. Speaking of that, the September birthdays on Facebook are out of control. Everyone’s a Virgo.

Biking in. Completely awesome morning for a ride. Definitely the coolest morning I’ve encountered yet this year. Getting to work and not dripping with sweat from head to toe is a nice feeling. Also, rode in in jeans, which I almost never do, but wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting it to be.

Mitt Romney. Just making sure I have this correct- the republican nominee for President was caught on video saying that not only is half of the country a bunch of hopeless losers, they're also UNDERTAXED hopeless losers. Alright then.

Tonight. Three options on the table: go to Milo’s and hang out with the bocce crew, go see Bob Log III at Off Broadway, or hang out at home and not spend any money. All sound good for various reasons. I’ll have to play it by ear.

Get a Life on DVD. Finally. I can’t even begin to understand how it could take this long for this series to get a proper DVD release, but I can assure you this collection will be on my shelf by the end of the year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

september seventeenth

Five for September 17th:

Thirty-five. Even though I generally put no stock in age, it’s nonetheless kind of weird for me to hear that number. I still feel like I’m 18, though, and I still get carded regularly, so you’ll hear no complaints from me.

Dining room makeover. Got a call out of nowhere on Friday at work from a woman who wanted to buy the huge china cabinet that dominated our dining room since we moved in. She came and got it, and Lisa and I spent the weekend slowly transforming the room into something we actually like. A great weight has been lifted.

Birthday action. House party/ backyard hangout with friends on Saturday night; new hoodie, cinnamon rolls, bag of peanut M&Ms, Starbucks, general radness on Sunday. Thanks to all who partied with me, called, texted, or otherwise wished me a happy birthday via some sort of social media. Biggest thanks to Lisa for making it all awesome.

Things our daughter will be able to see from her bedroom windows. Hot air balloons being launched from Forest Park, fireworks, family of chickens, airborne ducks, 180-degree view of most of the city.

Riding. Had to skip today due to the deadly 8am meeting/hitting snooze for forty minutes/not getting enough coffee/supposed to rain this afternoon combo, but I’m definitely planning on hitting it as much as possible the rest of the week, weather permitting. Gotta get while the gettin' is good.

Friday, September 14, 2012

september fourteenth

Five for September 14th:

New look. As you can tell, I changed up the look of the blog a little bit. The old template I was using was starting to look cluttered and I was sick of it. Variety is the spice of life, I always say.

Last night. Got some good work done in the studio. I went from “pretty happy with how things are sounding” to “really happy with how things are sounding”, which is a pretty good jump so far as I’m concerned. Hopefully we’ll get some updated rough mixes soon.

Jacket weather. It’s for real. We had the windows open last night and the house was freezing this morning. This weekend looks like it’s going to be great- highs in the mid 70’s, lows in the 60’s.

Friday morning jams. J Church, Howlin’ Wolf, Cerebral Ballzy, Band of Horses, Van Halen, Fugazi.

Weekend action. In no particular order: hitting up the Forest Park balloon glow, mowing the lawn, turning 35, having people over to hang out, walking Henry, skateboarding, cleaning the house, being outdoors.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

september thirteenth

Five for September 13th:

Studio progress. Seth knocked the vocals out for one song with two to go, and some guitar overdubs were happening when I took off. Going back tonight for round two. The goal line is in sight.

Best workday lunches. Mi Ranchito (chicken soup for $4.75 can’t be beat), La Pizza (lunch special, two slices), Snarf’s (only if there’s absolutely no one else in line).

Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. I’m an unashamed lover of this seasonal drink. Had my first one of the year last night- with a double shot, no less- and it was glorious. Kinda pricey as far as drinks go, so I don’t get them often, but they’re well worth every penny.

Sticking it to the man. You, sir? The man who paid a $137 parking ticket using 137 hand-made $1 origami pigs placed inside two Dunkin Donuts boxes? You are my hero.

Pete Parisi on the STL Walk of Fame. This needs to happen. Seriously. World Wide Magazine was an amazing show, way ahead of its time, and actually introduced me to a side of STL I never knew existed, being a kid growing up in the suburbs. Sign it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

september twelfth

Five for September 12th:

No ride. Had to skip today as we’re going to be in the studio tonight, and it just doesn’t make sense to not go straight there as Firebrand is fairly close to my office. We’ll see how I feel about tomorrow- same scenario. May just suck it up and ride anyway.

Recording music. Speaking of Firebrand, I’m excited to get a couple of evening’s worth of work on the new EP in. Listening to some of the rough cuts with vocals right now and it’s sounding pretty awesome. Hopefully we can get this thing wrapped up this week and start mixing it down.

Cold and flu season. Either my allergies are acting up due to the changing weather or I’m just flat-out getting a cold, but either way I woke up this morning with a serious case of the sniffles. May have to make a stop for some Emergen-C and cold medicine tonight.

Last night. Great ride home, hung out with Henry, skated the Hill for a little bit, then met up with Scott at the Royale. Sat outside and had some brisket tacos and Schlafly Oktoberfest. Home to watch a few episodes of Battlestar Galactica on the couch with Lisa before calling it a day. I love it when a plan comes together.

Jumbo Machinders. I don’t actively collect them at all anymore (even though I still have tons of them), but videos like this still make me drool.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

september eleventh

Five for September 11th:

Bike commute. Day 2. The ride in to work was amazing, despite almost getting murdered by a giant pothole. The weather cannot be beat, and I even remembered my water bottle today.

One month to go. Yesterday actually marked exactly one month until our daughter’s “scheduled” birth date- however, she could really come at any time. We’re as ready as we’ll ever be, and are both beyond excited. It’s crazy to think that in a matter of a few weeks, potentially even a few days, our lives will change forever. Let’s do this.

Tuesday night. Ride home, hang out with Henry, go skating, meet Scott for food and drinks at the Royale (brisket tacos, I’m coming for you).

Van Halen. When listening to them, as I often do, I can't help but think that every song ever recorded could be vastly improved with the addition of some randomly interspersed David Lee Roth shrieks.

Fall. Even though it’s technically still a couple of weeks away, it sure feels like it’s coming on. The air is crisp and cool, it’s getting dark earlier (which sucks), the pumpkin-flavored everything is out in full force, and my eyes are itching. Normally I’m all about the endless summer, but this one was so brutal that I’m actually looking forward to some jacket weather.

Monday, September 10, 2012

september tenth

Five for September 10th:

Riding in. It’s going to be a beautiful week, and I’m going to be biking in as much as possible. Hopefully every day, but I may have to skip Wednesday/Thursday as we’re in the studio those evenings. Still, may just ride home and drive out there. Not like there’s any pressing need for me to be there right at 6.

Weekend recap. Friday: Dinner/drinks at Sandrina’s with Lisa. Saturday: Childbirth class at Missouri Baptist, Vietnamese takeout in the backyard with Seth and Lindsay, AUCW night 2 at the Firebird. Sunday: Dog-walking, car seat installing, skate session on the Hill, backyard chili cookout with Lisa, Mary and Keith (plus dogs), board games.

Strange encounters. An old lady stopped her car while I was skating, and in a scolding-ish manner asked me where my helmet was. I guess she thought I was some teenage roustabout. I informed her that I was 35 years old, and to please mind her own business. Where's YOUR helmet?

Undercover Weekend. Didn’t make it to Friday’s show, but Saturday’s was excellent. Palace covering Abba was the standout by far- probably the best AUCW set I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen almost all of them and played it twice. I would’ve been scared to follow that set.

Mondays with Mike V. A great web series of yesteryear is back with new episodes. Number 1 just went up. Check it out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

september seventh

Five for September 7th:

DNC. Saw both Biden and Obama’s speeches, and both were spectacular and right on the money. Definitely a stark contrast to the underwhelming and stuffy RNC, not that that comes as much of a surprise.

Yard work. Our yard has been growing like crazy since the heat wave broke and the rain started happening again. Went through an entire roll of weed whacker wire edging the front and side of the house yesterday, but it needed it badly. Weed-whacking the small hill next to the driveway was like cutting through a small forest.

Ted Drewes. Our first Great Pumpkin concretes of the season happened last night, and they were amazing, as they always are- although I wish you could get them in a smaller size. Pumpkin-flavored stuff is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner.

Ben Raybourn. Probably my favorite skateboarder out there right now. He’s got style, has balls of steel, isn’t just a ledge/stair/handrail guy, and isn’t scared to put out videos where he’s absolutely murdering everything in his path on an old school Vision Jinx without a shred of irony.

Weekend action. Birthday party, childbirth class at Missouri Baptist, hanging out with friends, Undercover Weekend, skating, sleeping. What else is going on?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

september sixth

Five for September 6th:

Day off. No ride today. Headache this morning, and couldn’t rally. Plus, I really need to tackle the yard tonight when I get home, which is something I never want to do once I’ve just come off a ride.

Rad. Even though I’ve seen this movie a million times, it was rad (see what I did there?) to see it on the big(ish) screen at the Bottleworks- with my brother, no less, who certainly appreciates it as much as I do. I think I could watch that movie once a week for the rest of my life and never get tired of it.

No practice. Another band practice-free Thursday due to cancellation, which honestly is not that big a deal, as we have no shows coming up and nothing to work on but the new EP. The biggest bummer is not being able to play drums for weeks at a time, although I supposed if I really wanted to I could set them up in my basement and play a bit.

Bill Clinton. Caught a good portion of his DNC speech last night and was impressed, as I always have been by ol’ Bubba. Looking forward to Obama’s address tonight.

Henry vs. the green beetle. New video up on Youtube, filmed by Lisa, featuring our dog squaring off against a small insect. Definitely a must-see.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

september fifth

Five for September 5th:

Bikes and more bikes. Killed the ride home yesterday (22 minutes), rode my BMX for awhile (fun, but the brakes on that thing suck), and rode in this morning despite predictions of rain. I’m hoping Accuweather is correct and it’s over by the time I get out of here at 5, otherwise it’ll be a wet slog back to south city.

AUCW video. You should check this new Undercover Weekend video out, if just for the sweet picture of me at 1:34. And I guess the rest of it is pretty cool too. It’s no secret that our set as Fleetwood Mac a couple of years ago was one of my favorite shows ever, and it’s great to see this thing continue to grow. Hopefully we’ll do it again in 2013.

Night moves. Taking Henry out for a walk around the neighborhood after the sun goes down is where it’s at. Clifton Heights Park is amazing after dark. Last night’s walk was cool, calm, and Leinenkugel’s-infused.

Video editing. Downloaded a video editing/splicing app that I finally got around to messing with last night. It’s awesome and super easy to use. The iPhone continues to blow my mind- I can literally shoot video, edit it, add sounds/music and text, export it, and have it on Youtube in a matter of minutes.

Rad at the Bottleworks. Speaking of BMX- even though I’ve seen it a trillion times, you could do worse than to go to the Bottleworks tonight, plunk down $4, drink a beer, and watch Cru Jones take on Bart Taylor at Helltrack. Fact.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

september fourth

Five for September 4th:

The grass is greener. I mean this literally. All of a sudden- and by that, I’m talking within a matter of two days- we had a yard again. I forgot what it was like to mow green grass. The flowers and rose bushes in our front yard are in bloom. It’s like spring all over again.

Henry’s birthday. Henry turned 2 yesterday. To celebrate, we took him to Forest Park to romp around the trails by the waterfall, bother the ducks, and pee all over everything. Here’s to many more, little dude.

Prenatal pictures. With the baby due in a mere 5 weeks, we decided it was necessary to memorialize Lisa’s pregnancy with some professional picture-takin’. Met up with the photographer last night in Tower Grove Park and spent about a half hour snapping some photos. I have to admit, the preview she posted last night looks pretty amazing.

Bikes. Finally, a week with no evening obligations to interfere with bike riding. Pedaled in to work this morning, and I’m planning on riding my freshly cleaned and aired-up GT Performer tonight. Will I still be able to pull some flat ground tailwhips and boomerangs? We shall see.

Skarfing material. Homemade chipotle macaroni & cheese, pulled chicken sandwiches with corn on the cob, banana walnut bread, Fro-Yo, Golden Grahams.