Wednesday, October 31, 2012

october thirty-first

Five for October 31st:

Halloween. Jane is ready. Henry is ready. Lisa and I, despite not having anything approaching “costumes”, are ready. Let’s do this thing.

Daylight savings 2012. Coming to an end this weekend. Normally this is pretty much the worst thing ever for me, but with a three-week-old at home and social activity extremely limited as-is, it’s not so bad this time around.

SLU. 51-4 faculty vote of “no confidence” in Biondi yesterday. This is awesome news. The man is a disaster. Even more encouraging was the students protesting in support of the faculty. Get him out of there.

South Dakota. If this isn't a joke (and sadly, I don't think it is), then this country is teetering closer to Idiocracy than I thought. By a lot. Mike Huckabee, of course, doesn't want to be left out either.

Disney buys Star Wars. Big news: gigantic, faceless company that makes children's movies buys franchise that hasn't made a good film for almost 30 years and promises further CGI crapfests. Yawn.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

october thirtieth

Five for October 30th:

New song. Our new “teaser” track from our upcoming EP debuted this morning on Rocket 88 on KDHX. Sounded great, even on my crappy little work speakers, which is a good sign. Go check it out online if you missed out, or better yet, come hear it live this Saturday at Firebird!

New Year’s Eve. Speaking of rock shows, we’re going to be doing another NYE show at Off Broadway with our pals in Knife Fight this year, and despite my somewhat limited availability these days, I’ll be playing on a few songs. Lisa will be there throwing down, big time. Come join in the action.

Coffee issues. Not having any to-go cups at home, and facing the grim prospect of office coffee, I had no choice but to swing by Starbucks for some Vias on the way in. Trying out the Veranda roast, which is really good, but I think in the long term, I’ll stick with the stronger stuff.

Gettin’ paid. Finally, the money from selling that Sims Hosoi became available in my Paypal. I appreciate them being careful with new eBay sellers, but damn. Holding money for weeks at a time is a little infuriating.

Hurricane Sandy. Absolutely crazy footage and photos coming out of the east coast. Hoping all my friends and people I work with out there are doing ok. Don't get crushed by any cranes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

october twenty-ninth

Five for October 29th:

Janey. It’s honestly amazing to watch her grow a little every day. She’s starting to notice things a little bit more, be more aware of her surroundings, and make sounds that aren’t just crying (which, of course, she’s still doing plenty of). Also, Henry has very much taken a liking to her. Good times.

Skateboarding. Managed to squeeze in a couple of quick solo skate sessions over on the Hill over the weekend, which was really fun and much needed. I’m pretty lucky to have one of my favorite spots literally a minute from my house, but I’m craving a trip to JB before the weather gets too crappy.

Food overload. One thing that’s completely awesome about being new parents is the amount of food people bring over for you. Seriously, it’s out of control. Thanks a million times over to family and friends for keeping us well fed. If it weren’t for you, we’d be eating cereal three times a day.

Halloween. The demands of having a two-and-half-week-old mean Lisa and I haven’t even been able to think about doing any sort of costumes, but Jane and Henry are both set in that department. We’ll be kicking it with friends over at Matt and Katie’s this year, which is good, because I already ate all the candy we bought.

Tonight. Going to try to make it over to Utopia for a bit for a meeting with the Knife Fight dudes about NYE, walking the neighborhood and kicking it with the crew.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

october twenty-fifth

Five for October 25th:

Around the house. Jane is still using Lisa as her primary pillow, Henry is back to crashing in bed with us part time, and the attic is slowly but surely turning into a skateshop from the 1980s. Also, I can pretty much change a diaper with my eyes closed.

New tunes and rock shows. We’re going to be advance-releasing a single from our upcoming EP in the next week or so (keep your ears peeled), in conjunction with our first show back after a couple months away from playing live. It’s at the Firebird on November 3rd, and you should go.

End of the nice days. These past few days of sunshine and summer-ish temperatures are probably the last gasp of nice weather we’ll have this year. Sad that it’s coming to an end, but excited for the next spring just around the corner. Besides, I’m ready for some jacket weather.

Wastes of space. Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and Richard Mourdock, I’m looking in your direction. Seriously, go get assassinated.

Grandpa. Very nicely written obituary online and in print today. Also, Jane’s first fifteen minutes of fame!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

october twenty-fourth

I'm going to skip my normal "5 things" today to write a little something about my grandfather, who died unexpectedly yesterday.

I'm very lucky, in that I have a neverending supply of great memories of my grandpa. I remember him pulling nickels out of my ear, taking me and my brother to the zoo, baseball games, and endless terrible movies. I remember the long car rides when I'd tag along on his business trips, carrying his briefcase for him while he called on stores, selling furniture. The motel rooms, the swimming pools, the continental breakfasts.

I remember his innumerable tales from WWII. His stories were captivating and hilarious- accidentally shooting a cow in the middle of the night for refusing to halt, threatening a P.O.W. with his life when he wouldn't give him a second carton of milk.

I remember his house, the scene of every major family event of my youth, as clear as day. I remember the oil stains in the garage, the hula hoops hanging on the wall, the box of dusty lawn darts. The perpetually full jars of pretzels and butterscotch candy in the living room. I remember the red and black checkered carpet of his small office, with its desk drawers stuffed full of strange Masonic awards and Army memorabilia. I remember his desktop calendar, covered in my doodles, and more drawings of mine, framed on the wall, some of my proudest moments as a young boy.

Of course, these are just my memories, and only a very small portion of them. Those of my mother, her sisters and brother, and the rest of the people that knew him will all be starkly different, but undoubtedly very similar.

My grandfather was a family man to the bitter end. There was nothing he was more proud of. He died as he lived, surrounded by family. It's almost unreal to think that this gigantic, larger than life person could actually pass away; I was convinced it was never going to happen. Part of me honestly didn't think it was possible.

It's comforting to me to have these memories to fall back on, and I hope the rest of my family can find that same sort of comfort in the days ahead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

october twenty-third

Five for October 23rd:

Janey action. She’s the raddest. Nothing else to say about it. A total sweetheart. She’s getting more and more alert every day, and we’re all locking into (and getting used to) a routine with her, which is making things easier for everyone.

Rad food. Anna and Allison brought over a completely amazing polenta and veggie potpie for us last night, complete with chips and cilantro-free guacamole. We’re swimming in awesome leftovers. Plus I got Mi Ranchito for lunch for the first time in a couple of weeks yesterday. Win.

Cardinals. It was fun while it lasted, but without question, the better team took that series. Ah well. We’ll take it back in 2013. Also, a note to Bar Louie in the Central West End: I realize it was a Monday night, but you should really consider more than one bartender next time the Cardinals are in game seven of a playoff series. Just a thought.

Skate stuff. New Transworld Skateboarding “product issue”, pack of old school pins, new Mondays with Mike V, and a short documentary on Mike Ternasky and Plan B’s heyday.

Guns N’ Roses. This is probably the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen. Don’t watch it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

october twenty-second

Five for October 22nd:

Jane Martha Picker. Our daughter was born last Friday, October 12th, at 4:20 pm. 8 lbs, 3 ounces, and 21” of cuteness. She is amazing and beautiful, and truly I don’t even know where to begin. Here goes.

Lisa. I’m convinced she is going to be the best mother ever, just due to her seemingly unending patience and limitless love for our baby. No matter how late it is or how little she’s been able to rest, she’s there for Jane without complaint. It’s inspiring.

Being a dad. So far, so good. No major catastrophes. It’s one of those things that you’re so unsure of how to do it that once it comes around, it just all works itself out. We’re learning the ins and outs of parenting an infant slowly but surely, thanks in huge part to the help and support of family, friends, and neighbors.

New routines. The hours of lost sleep really aren’t that difficult to deal with once you get the hang of the routine. It took us a few days, but I think we’re there (knock on wood).

Must haves. “White Noise” iPhone app, wet-wipe warmer, clothing with easy access to the diaper area, A/V monitor, awesome family and friends bringing meals over, lots of patience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

october eleventh

Five for October 11th:

10/11/12. Another baby-free day- so far, anyway. It’s really starting to feel like she’s never coming out of that belly. I’m still holding out hope for that novelty birth date, but it’s looking unlikely at this point.

Rock practice. Looking forward to playing some drums tonight. We’re playing our first show since I don’t even remember when on November 3rd at Firebird. It’s nice to finally have some shows booked, and something new to work on.

Mr. Wizards. I never thought I’d utter these words, but it’s true: their pumpkin pie concrete is better than Ted Drewes. It has bigger pieces of pie, it’s less blended than Ted Drewes (so you can actually taste some custard flavor), you have the ability to choose sizes, AND you can get it made with yogurt if you’re watching the waistline. Sorry, old friend. You’ve been outshined.

Playoffs. Figured out yesterday that you could listen to the Cards game on, so the whole office tuned in for the 8-0 stomping of the Nationals. Good stuff. Hopefully we see a repeat performance this afternoon.

Last night. Short and sweet session on the Hill, gripped up a deck in the attic skate laboratory, got some groceries, walked Henry to the park, ate some quesadillas with Lisa, hit up Mr. Wizards (see above), and finished off season 2 of The Walking Dead.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

october tenth

Five for October 10th:

Due date. Well, here we are, after nine long months. It’s today, but not looking likely that it’ll happen as anticipated, which of course is usually the case. Maybe she'll come tomorrow, fulfilling my wish for her birthday to be 10/11/12. Oh well, she’ll get here when she’s ready. It’ll be soon no matter what.

Auction action. The eBay auction for that Sims Hosoi I got on Craigslist has a bidder, which now guarantees I’ve more than doubled what I spent on it. I have a feeling with almost 50 people watching it there’ll be a nice little bidding war toward the end. Not going to go for mega huge bucks, but every little bit counts.

Cardinals in the playoffs. Feeling good about today, after the thorough stomping of Washington on Monday. However, the fact that these games aren’t being broadcast on normal network TV is absurd. Figure it out. Who has the MLB network? Insane.

Fall. It’s full-on at this point. 30-degree mornings, leaves changing colors, getting dark earlier and earlier. The transition from massive heat wave to chilly autumn seemed instantaneous.

Checked out. I’m sure I’ll get back into the swing of things after the baby is born, but for right now, that’s legitimately my only concern. It’s making all the other things I do on a daily basis seem exponentially more meaningless with each passing hour.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

october ninth

Five for October 9th:

Two days. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that our baby has inherited our “punctuality” traits, because her due date is tomorrow. Knock on wood. We’ll see what happens.

Last night. Went with Lisa to pick up a new board I scored on Craigslist for mega cheap (planning to flip it down the road), ate some food, walked Henry, and watched a bunch of episodes of Walking Dead. Not a bad way to cap off a Monday night.

Bones Brigade Documentary. Finally, we have a release date, and the list of pre-release packages is absolutely off the charts. The Lance Mountain and Tommy Guerrero deck reissues are amazing. I’d love to get one of the Tony Hawks, but why does Powell keep reissuing these damned Pig decks instead of their classic 80’s shapes? All said, that’s a minor complaint- all this is totally awesome.

iPhone suckage. Looks like the “lock” button on the top of my iPhone is broken. I found a few videos online about how to fix it, and it looks like a pretty easy repair, but I have to wait for a repair kit to come in the mail before I can do it. Luckily there’s a touchscreen workaround way to lock it up in the meantime, which I’ll probably keep using to avoid wearing that button out again.

Halloween candy. There’s a small- small chance that Lisa was correct when she said that we shouldn’t buy Halloween candy at the beginning of October because it would be gone by the 31st.

Monday, October 8, 2012

october eighth

Five for October 8th:

Baby week. Well, we hope so, anyway. Lisa’s official due date is this Wednesday, but of course things could start happening any time. Hoping for sooner rather than later. In the event of a newborn child, there shall be no blogging for probably a week or so, but if we’re Facebook or Instagram pals, there’ll be no shortage of updates.

Around the house. New cabinet for the front entrance (finally, we have something there), folding table/workbench for the attic (courtesy of my Aunt Jill), artwork for the baby’s room.

Weekend of awesome food. We went a little overboard going out for food this weekend, figuring time for doing such things was getting increasingly limited, at least for awhile. Highlights included Saturday breakfast at Southwest Diner, Sunday brunch (with Bloody Mary that knocked me on my ass) downtown at Rooster with Nate and Rebecca, and dinner at Mai Lee with Keith, Mary, and Pat.

The Walking Dead. Finally, season two is on Netflix Instant. About 7 episodes in so far. I forgot how totally awesome this show is.

Skating. Put together the Elephant Jersey Devil deck I got from Andy and skated it a bunch this weekend. That setup is totally awesome, seriously one of the best boards I've ever skated. Perfect shape and pop.

Friday, October 5, 2012

october fifth

Five for October 5th:

Weekend is upon us. I seriously woke up this morning bummed out, thinking it was Thursday, so realizing it was Friday was a nice surprise. Providing Lisa doesn’t go into labor, weekend plans include (potentially) watching a playoff game, lunch with Nate and Rebecca, hitting some neighborhood festivals, and skating.

Skate swap. Traded a set of 129 trucks and a Jolly Roger pool deck for an Elephant Jersey Devil, a set of Satori 54mm wheels, and a totally sweet Christian Hosoi sticker. I’ve been jonesing for a Jersey Devil for awhile now, and those Satoris are my favorite wheels ever. I’m setting that thing up this weekend for sure.

Payday. That means a well-deserved lunchtime trip to Mi Ranchito for some cheap and awesome soup.

In the mail. New issue of Thrasher (that, plus new issues of Transworld and The Skateboard Mag will make for good hospital reading), Bones “Oh Gee” (OG? Get it?) t-shirt with stickers. You can never have enough.

Coming soon. It just occurred to me that this past week may well have been the last full week of my life of not being a dad. I'd say the likelihood of that is actually very high, given Lisa's prognosis from the doctor this morning. Both scary and incredibly exciting.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

october fourth

Five for October 4th:

39 Weeks. As of today, Lisa is officially at 39 weeks, and the baby is less than a week away from her projected due date. Things are about to get crazy.

Debate #1. Well, Mitt Romney definitely outperformed Obama, albeit to the tune of 27 myths in 38 minutes. Also, Milton from Office Space apparently moderated the debate. I hope they at least gave him that piece of cake he was promised.

New IOS for iPhone. I’ve heard nothing but disaster stories from everyone who has upgraded to the new operating system, and I can now add Lisa to that list. Her phone just literally stopped working. Word to the wise for anything Apple-related: wait till the bugs are ironed out. How do they keep getting away with this crap?

Skateboarding. Got a quick session in over on the Hill last night. Fun and mellow, but much needed after almost two weeks of nothing. Got to take advantage while the weather is still warm and the daylight lasts past 5 pm.

Arrested Development. The Bluths are back.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

october third

Five for October 3rd:

New blog header. Time to change things up. I was getting pretty tired of looking at the “ninja finger” I’d had up there for so long. Can’t let things get stale around here.

Cardinals are in the playoffs. Well, whaddya know? I guess I’ll start paying marginal attention to baseball again.

Pumpkin chocolate chip bars. Left over from Lisa’s weekly gamin' night. It’s what’s for breakfast.

Magazine subscriptions. I was planning on re-subscribing to Ride BMX magazine anyway, but throw in a free t-shirt and you’ll get me every time. What can I say? I’m a total sucker for that crap.

Skate fail. I've barely set foot on a skateboard at all recently and it’s bumming me out. In fairness, the weather last week was a disaster and every day it’s getting dark earlier and earlier, but still, those are all excuses. I need to make it happen.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

october second

Five for October 2nd:

Eight days. The countdown to our (projected) due date ticks away. Officially less than ten days to go, which is absolutely crazy. Could be any time now. I’m ready to go at a moment’s notice. Let’s do this thing.

Deal of the year. Picked up an amazing score on Craigslist yesterday- a vintage Sims Christian Hosoi, complete with OG Indy Stage II trucks and Powell Street Bones wheels. His first pro model. Considered one of the “15 most coveted skateboards ever”. Forty bucks. Normally I’d keep it, but with a baby on the way it’s already up on eBay.

Aldi Raisin Bran. Your claim to be “bursting with raisins” is false. I’m calling you out.

Vans. New line of limited edition Bones Brigade Vans are out now. That powder blue pair is awesome, but I wish they had them in a low top. If I’m going to go high top with a pair of Vans, they’ll be Half-Cabs for sure.

Presidential debates. I’ve been watching them religiously since the Kerry/Bush race, and I’m excited that they’re back in season- although nothing will ever beat 2008’s Biden/Palin debate, which was a floor-wiping of epic, celebratory proportions.

Monday, October 1, 2012

october first

Five for October 1st:

October. Hard to believe we’re already into October after the insanity of the last nine months, but here we are. This will be the biggest month of my life- ever- and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.

Garage sale scores. Spyderco mini pocketknife (10 cents, talked down to "free"), vintage wooden Pepsi crate ($2), titanium keychain flashlight ($1), two pairs of jeans (my exact size and brand, $1/ea), extra car seat base ($5), tons of baby clothes and accessories. All said and done, we spent exactly $20. Can’t do any better than that.

Eating food and socializing. Using up some Red Lobster gift cards on Friday night; Saturday lunch at Bottleworks with Lisa’s mom, plus early evening drinks and snacks at Perennial with Mary, Keith, Lindsay, Seth, and Pat; dinner Sunday at Pho Grand followed by Gelato at Del Leone with Herm.

Band practice. We actually got together and played some songs for the first time in almost two months yesterday. Sounded pretty good after we got into the swing of it, but the last few multiple weeks of inactivity took a toll on me, drumming-wise. Practice will definitely be spotty (at best) for the next couple weeks, so every little bit counts.

Seoul Taco. Word on the street is they’re opening their new location in the Loop this week, which is awesome news. It’ll be nice to have quick another lunch option.