Friday, December 28, 2012

december twenty-eighth

Five for December 28th:

Tilts at the Firebird. Rad show. It’s insane to me that a band that never practices, and has played only two shows this year can be that tight. Also saw a ton of people I hardly ever see outside of Facebook anymore. Good times.

Coffee discounts. Christmas Blend Vias for 50% off at Starbucks? Yes please. There’s no passing up a deal that good.

Powell reissues. Pretty sure I’m going to snag one or two of the new Powell reissue decks with some of the xmas dough I got over the weekened. It’ll be either the Lance Mountain or the Tommy Guerrero, or both. The Hawk, McGill and Caballero decks don’t really do it for me. I’m over the pig boards. Plus I never had a Guerrero or a Mountain as a kid.

Four-day weekend. This short work week blew by, and there’s no shortage of stuff on the horizon, including chilling with Lisa, Jane, and Henry, Blind Eyes practice, full NYE rehearsal at Utopia, the big New Year’s Eve show, hanging some blinds, and lots of other stuff. It’ll be a fun one.

Last post of the year. This is it. It’s been an interesting year, to say the least, and I’m proud to say I haven’t missed a day of blogging outside of my normal weekends/vacations, etc. Look for a 2012 recap next Wednesday, which I've been working on for the better part of a month (on and off). Seeya in 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

december twenty-seventh

Five for December 27th:

NYE promo video. I mentioned last week that Seth and Curt (and Andy) filmed a short promo video for our New Year’s Eve show, and here it is in all its glory. It actually came out really well, and I implore you to check it out. And more than that, go to the show!

Get A Life. It’s exactly as awesome and hilarious as I remember it. Maybe more. The most underrated show ever. Lisa doesn’t like it, but I can’t really hold that against her. Chris Elliot is definitely a love him or hate him sort of dude.

Jane. She’s taken a new step and is now really, REALLY into her toys. She got a couple of little stuffed animal insects with crinkly wings over the weekend and she loves them, to the point of staring at them endlessly and having conversations with them in baby babble. It’s hilarious and awesome.

R.I.P. Mike Scaccia of Ministry, a guy I used to talk to almost every day when I was doing artist relations. I can’t even recall the crazy conversations we had over the years. Such a nice dude. Also bummed top hear about the passing of Fontella Bass yesterday. She was a crown jewel in St. Louis music history, to say the least. My old band appeared on a Chuck Berry tribute album with her several years ago, which, to me, remains a pinnacle musical achievement in my life.

Tonight. After work I will be getting a large coffee from Starbucks, going to put up a few last-minute posters, possibly going to Infinity if there’s time, and heading to Firebird to see Tilts, who have only played twice this year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

december twenty-sixth

Five for December 26th:

Jane’s first Christmas. It was one to remember. The holidays are always fun, but when you have a kid, it’s exponentially more so- despite the fact that Jane isn’t even 3 months old yet. She did well on Christmas presents (this wasn’t even all of it), and managed to keep it together for some passing-around and family photos. These past couple of days are ones I’ll never forget.

New viewing. Beyond excited to finally have DVD copies of Pretty Sweet, The Cinematographer Project, and the Get A Life complete series collection. So much awesome watchin’, I don’t even know where to start.

Planning the year. I use my iPhone for a lot of things, but when it comes to keeping track of day-to-day, I still go old school. Another year, another Moleskine planner. Already getting it dialed in. Some things are still better in analog.

Family generosity. It’s neverending. I can’t believe how awesome everyone on all sides of our family is. At the risk of sounding corny, this year has really made me appreciate that kind of stuff more than ever. From helping with our house, helping with our wedding, helping with Jane, helping with money, giving us amazing gifts. It’s just overwhelming. I wish there was a way I could adequately repay it.

Killian Martin, Altered Route. This video combines many of my favorite things (urban exploration of deteriorating landscapes, photographic juxtaposition, and incredible skateboarding) into one beautiful piece. Even if you’re not into skating, you should still check it out.

Friday, December 21, 2012

december twenty-first

Five for December 21st:

Blow-off. The day before a long weekend is traditionally a huge eff-off day, and today is already proving to be no exception. The large quantities of junk food (and upcoming catered lunch) aren't exactly helping things in the "productivity" department.

In the mail. Haro Freestyler t-shirt and old school sticker pack, new issues of Transworld Skateboarding and the Skateboard Mag.

Last night. Ran some Blind Eyes tunes, ran some covers with Morgan and Jason, and wrapped up with Seth, Curt, and Andy filming a promo video for the New Year’s Eve show in the living room (which I didn’t stick around to see produced, but I’m sure it’ll be online soon).

One year of home ownership. This Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of us getting our house. Has it really only been a year? The sheer amount of life-changing stuff that has happened over the past twelve months is absolutely staggering- but all great.

Holiday weekend. This being Jane’s first Christmas, we’re going to be all over the St. Louis metro area over the next few days to visit various parts of the family. Other activities will include… well, actually I don’t know what else is going on. As is customary with this blog, I will see you on the 26th. Hope you enjoy your apocalypse-free holidays.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

december twentieth

Five for December 20th:

Weather report. This morning was warm and sunny, but apparently it’s going to be cold and possibly snowing this afternoon. Looks like we’re going to be saved from the worst of it, though, which is good, as we’re doing a lot of traveling around these next few days.

No rest for the dumb. Fell asleep on the couch last night at 8, woke up at 10, and couldn’t get back to sleep till about 2. The worst part was that as I was dozing off, I told myself that was going to happen. I had a chance to avoid it, but succumbed. Alas.

Jane rules. She’s just more and more awesome every day. She’s all about sitting on your lap, looking out at the world, figuring out how to use her arms, and smiling these enormous grins that would melt anyone. She’s holding her head up like a champ, and she rolled over a solid month before my brother or I ever managed that feat as babies.

Winter in St. Louis. The RFT compiled a list of twenty reasons to love winter in St. Louis. Pretty funny, and most of it is right on. Personal favorites include going to the Climatron, Steinberg rink, and Fish Fry Fridays (as you should all know by now).

Tonight. Band practice. Should be fun- I believe Jason and Morgan will be coming by to work on stuff, weather permitting. Also: pulled pork, setting up that Zip Zinger, not going to sleep at 8 pm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

december nineteenth

Five for December 19th:

Instagram revisited. Looks like they’re owning up to what they claim was “misinterpreted information”, and are backpedaling on their new terms of service. I’m glad, because I really, really like Instagram and didn’t want to stop using it. I was serious, though- I started a Flickr account yesterday in preparation for dropping it. Just goes to show what a little internet backlash can accomplish in the span of a day.

New gear. Looking forward to dialing in that Krooked Zip Zinger I got yesterday and cruising around on it. I think I’ll throw on a riser pad and swap those wheels out for some soft 65mm’s. Either way, you can’t beat two completes for twenty bucks.

RFT interview. Well, I don’t know if I’d really call it an interview, per se, but I contributed to a little RFT article wherein they talked with a bunch of STL musicians about the impending Mayan apocalypse. Not sure if it’ll be in the print edition (doubtful), but you can check it out here.

Powell Peralta holiday swag. They’re going all out this year: two Vato Rat holiday decks (I want that black one) AND a Ripper Christmas tree ornament which, sorry Lisa, I’m totally buying. What can I say? I’m a total sucker for this kind of one-off stuff.

Feeding frenzy. It’s that time of year, where food just appears everywhere in large amounts and you’re powerless to resist. Yesterday was a huge potluck and a plate of awesome leftovers from Lisa’s work party. Today there’s a double-chocolate cake sitting five feet away. Friday they’re bringing in lunch, and so on. Not that I’m complaining.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

december eighteenth

Five for December 18th:

Holiday potluck. Giant crock-pot of white bean chili? Tupperware bin filled with cornbread? Bags of generic chips? Veggie/fruit platters? Check, check, check, and check. Got all the makings of a decent office potluck. Better than a cold sandwich any day.

Instagram. Well, this sucks. Unless some changes happen before January 16th, I’m out of there. As much as I like Instagram- and I really have come to like it a lot- I won’t be putting up with this crap. It’s getting really old. I have a feeling 2013 might be the year of the great exodus from the social media giants as people get increasingly fed up.

Day care. Without getting into too many details, we now have it worked out where Jane will be with family all of the time once Lisa goes back to work. This is a great relief, not just in terms of saving money, but also on the “we can’t imagine dropping our daughter off with a stranger for nine hours” front. Very cool.

Sleeping dogs lie. You’d think having a king size bed would allow Henry enough space to find a nice spot out of the way to curl up and go to sleep, but you’d be wrong- he plopped down firmly against me and stood his ground all night. Not that I mind.

Tonight. Running out to Creve Coeur after work to exchange a twenty dollar bill for two complete skateboards (score), then home to kick it with Jane while Lisa goes to her work Christmas Party. Should be a good time all around.

Monday, December 17, 2012

december seventeenth

Five for December 17th:

Cover tunes. There's really few things I can think of that are more flattering than a group of people taking time to learn your song and play it live. Thanks to Rough Shop and co. for doing just that for their 2012 holiday show. It’s amazing to me that this weird little Christmas song we wrote five years ago manages to keep living on, and I was stoked to be able to see it go down in person. Check it out.

King sized. We’ve been talking about it forever and finally made it happen: we are as of Saturday the proud owners of a brand new, king size bed. Not Queen, my friends- King. It's our Christmas gift to ourselves this year, and weirdly, it makes our bedroom look bigger.

Holiday party. Good times, rad food, and lots of laughs as always this year. Lisa and I walked away with a Twister game and a martial arts double-feature DVD, which is a pretty good haul so far as I’m concerned. It also marked our first time out of the house together as “just the two of us” since Jane was born.

Band practice. Really good one last night at Utopia. Everyone was there, including Kevin and Morgan for the first time. Songs are sounding amazing. I think this is going to be the best year yet. Bonus: ran into Tazu as I was leaving, and skated Andy’s huge homemade pool board for a bit.

Milestones. It may not seem like a huge deal, but Jane rolled over this weekend, three times in a row (side note- as I was writing this, I got a text from Lisa that she did it again). She’s no pro at it yet, but wow. It seems inconceivable that she’s entering the beginning stages of, like, being mobile. Yikes.

Friday, December 14, 2012

december fourteenth

Five for December 14th:

Rocking. Good time last night in Edwardsville. Decent crowd for being on first, we played well but for a few clams here and there, and didn’t get out of there too crazy late. Well, I didn’t, anyway. Thanks to James for letting me borrow his drums.

Hanging out. Lisa brought Jane by my office yesterday to meet coworkers, and we got some lunch in the Loop afterward. She's getting so much easier to just go out and do things with. It's awesome.

Elephant Skateboards. Probably my favorite of their videos yet: The title says it all. Oh, and how did I forget to mention this? The upcoming Elephant Black Flag "My War" deck. Definitely on the ever-expanding "must have" list.

Friday jams. It’s Friday. Kicking it off in style. So far: Embrace, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Cerebral Ballzy, Love, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Weekend action. Busy one coming up: Hanging NYE posters, Rough Shop show at Focal Point (reputable sources say they’re doing a cover of the Blind Eyes’ “Christmas AM Gold”), Seth & Lindsay’s annual holiday party, buying a new bed, doing some skateboarding, practicing, chilling with Lisa and Jane, and enjoying the balmy (if somewhat rainy) weather. See you all on Monday.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

december thirteenth

Five for December 13th:

Sleep patterns. So, on Tuesday, Jane had the worst night of sleep she has ever had since coming into this world. Then, last night- one night later- she had without question the best night of sleep she has ever had since coming into this world. I’ve given up on trying to make sense of it.

Rock show. Tonight, Edwardsville at the Stagger Inn with Kentucky Knife Fight. Always a good time. To quote Andy; “come on by and get fornicated by lightning”.

Interview’d. The RFT will be running a little article on what local musicians think of the impending Mayan apocalypse (or something), and I was asked to be a part of it. I guess it’ll be in next week’s print issue? Or maybe just online. I’ll link it up when it happens. As usual, I gave very serious and compelling answers.

Deals on wheels. Nailed down a mega-score for two completes on Craigslist (one Girl Justin Biebel and one Krooked Zip Zinger) for $10/ea. Yes, twenty bucks for two complete skateboards. Insane. Picking up next week.

The universe is screwing with us all. Ravi Shankar dies the same day Paul McCartney announces he's filling in for Kurt Cobain at a Nirvana reunion concert? I cannot believe this is coincidental.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

december twelfth

Five for December 12th:

Two months. Our little Jane is two months old today! Time flies. She was so excited for the occasion that she celebrated by keeping us awake all night long. Thanks, baby. That said, she seems to be having a good day despite her lack of sleep.

Press. Picked up the new copy of Eleven Magazine yesterday to discover not one but two Blind Eyes-related articles, much to my surprise. Seth did a little year-end recap as well as pretty in-depth interview on the NYE gig and our somewhat unusual relationship with cover songs. They’re everywhere, so grab one.

My laptop sucks. I was battling my ancient Dell laptop all evening trying to watch Waiting for Lightning on iTunes. It kept freezing up and unfreezing five seconds or so later, so I’d have to rewind and rewatch over and over. It was a three-hour ordeal, and on several occasions I nearly put my fist through the monitor. The movie was pretty cool, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again under less strenuous circumstances.

Starbucks Christmas Blend. New week, new box of Vias for the office. Took a gamble on the Christmas Blend, which I haven’t had before. Turns out it was a good choice.

Instagram. The latest Instagram update is a huge improvement. Better interface, quicker camera, and a new filter to top it all off! I never thought I’d be excited about a new Instagram filter, but here we are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

december eleventh

Five for December 11th:

NYE Posters. Nate sent out the final design for the New Year’s Eve show posters yesterday and they look killer. Andy dropped off a stack of ‘em last night, and we’ll be putting them up around town starting yesterday. Hope to see you all there.

Waiting for Lightning. I guess when they said it would “be available on iTunes on December 7th”, they meant “available to rent on iTunes”, which seems to me like a pretty lame bait and switch, but whatever. I went ahead and rented it, and will check it out later this week. I’m sure it’ll be on Netflix Instant before long anyway.

Frosted in. Had to break out the ice scraper this morning for the first time this winter to get my windshield de-frosted. It’s all downhill from here.

Mi Ranchito Mondays. The tradition lived on yesterday. It was pretty much the perfect day to take advantage of their insanely cheap and amazing lunch soup deal. I could eat it every day.

Landfill Harmonic. This documentary trailer has been making the rounds today, and for good reason. As someone who works in the music industry and deals with school band and orchestra on a daily basis, this is pretty amazing and humbling to see. Check it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

december tenth

Five for December 10th:

Off Broadway. Went out Friday to see the Phonocaptors reunion. It was like stepping into a crazy time warp- I saw at least ten people I probably hadn’t seen in ten years or more, some of whom I’d forgotten about entirely. The band (with Jimmy Griffin on second guitar) totally brought the thunder. Good seeing so many old friends. Thanks for the drinks.

Cold snap. A week ago today I was wearing shorts. Fast-forward to today, and it’s the coldest day of the year so far. Oh well. It is December after all.

Around the house. Moved Jane’s room to the smaller bedroom over the weekend with immediate good results. She slept like a rock the last two nights. It’s more comfortable, less drafty, less noisy, and much darker. Her old room will become the new guest room/office combo. Overall it’s a much better use of the space. Good stuff.

Meatloaf cupcakes. They’re exactly as awesome as they sound. Potentially even more so.

BMX. I’ve been salivating over vintage BMX bikes recently. I’ve decided that a goal of mine in 2013 is to score an 86-88 Haro Freestyler for cheap- either a complete, or just a frame and fork- set it up, and ride it. We'll see if that actually happens.

Friday, December 7, 2012

december seventh

Five for December 7th:

Metallica on Spotify. Yes, Metallica have done a lot of incredibly lame things over the last couple of decades- videotaped therapy sessions, ill-advised collaborations with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull, and of course, ironically, the Napster battle- but none of that can take away from the awesomeness of their first four records, which are finally on Spotify. Go stream them and forget “St. Anger" exists.

Practice. Good one last night. Got a set together for the show next week, made some headway on a few NYE covers, and got some business discussed. Short and sweet.

Waiting for Lightning. The long-awaited Danny Way documentary finally gets released today on iTunes. I’m assuming it’s going to come out on DVD as well, but I don’t really see myself re-watching it too many times. Excited to check it out either way.

Henry. He’s currently at Spotlight, playing with other dogs and running himself ragged before getting his groom on. It’s been awhile since his last cut, so he’s shaggier than usual.

Weekend action. Hanging out with Lisa and Jane, Phonocaptors reunion tonight at Off Broadway, which I might try to go to, moving some rooms of the house around, skating a little bit. May also hit the toy show on Sunday morning, which I haven’t been to in forever. Sunday drinks at the Tap Room. Good times.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

december sixth

Five for December 6th:

Slow-cookin’. I don’t believe it’s a stretch to call the crock-pot the greatest culinary invention of our time. On top of consistently producing the raddest food imaginable, it requires almost zero effort and minimal clean up. Plus it provides tons of leftovers. Number one with a bullet.

Mail drop. New issue of TransWorld Skateboarding, new CCS (which, while still being lame, is marginally cooler than the summer catalogs). Coming: Haro Freestyler shirt and old-school sticker pack, TW BMX t-shirt in the right size, a few more USB iPhone charger cables.

Album action. The final bit of recording for the EP has been done and Brian is working on the first mix of it now. Going over options for album art, mastering, and production. Always a slow process, but it’s good to be making some headway on it.

Janey in the crib. Needless to say, it looks like we’re going to have to re-think our strategy of Jane sleeping in her own room by herself right off the bat. Trying a few different options to ease her in to it. Like everything with a new baby, it’s all about trial and error until you figure out what works.

Allergy-free. I don’t know how it’s possible, but somehow I’m not suffering from any level of seasonal allergies this winter. Usually when the weather does stuff like this warm/cold/warm back-and-forth, I’m a mess. Knock on wood.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

december fifth

Five for December 5th:

Thrasher Skater of the Year. David Gonzalez gets it, and deservedly so. There seems to be some rumbling that it should’ve gone to Guy Mariano on the basis of his “Pretty Sweet” part alone, but I’ll have to reserve judgment as I’ve yet to see it. From all accounts though, it’s the part of the year if not the decade.

Jane. She spent her first night in her own room last night, in her crib. She did ok, but woke up a bit more than usual. Still, the earlier we get her adjusted to it the better. As sad as it was not having her in there with us- more so than I thought it would be- it was pretty nice to have some personal space back for the first time in almost 2 months.

New jeans. Braved the mall crowd over the weekend to pick up a new pair of 1969’s at the Gap. They’re the best jeans ever- perfect waist, cut, color, and fabric. The downside? I wear them out pretty quickly. I should just go buy like ten more pairs before they discontinue them or something.

Fox News. They’ve given Karl Rove the boot while simultaneously getting obliterated by Jon Stewart over their latest salvo of bullshit on the supposed “war on Christmas”. How anyone takes this network seriously is beyond me.

Still nice out. Getting up into the mid 50’s today with plenty of sunshine. It’s no high 70’s, but for early December, I’ll take it. Hopefully I’ll be able to pop over to the Loop for a bit this afternoon to take advantage of it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

december fourth

Five for December 4th:

Blogging. 684 posts later, I still thoroughly enjoy writing the daily "five things". I really hate days where I feel like my creative output is at zero, and luckily I always have this to fall back on.

Out in public. As our little girl becomes more and more adaptable, we’re able to get out of the house and into the world more and more. Case in point: met Lisa and Jane for lunch at Mi Ranchito yesterday, which mere weeks ago would’ve been almost an unthinkable feat.

Perspective. The other day I saw a guy sitting in a fast food uniform at the bus stop in the cold, waiting for a ride to work. Right before this happened I was getting all pissed about some trivial job-related thing while driving in to my office in my warm car, sipping on coffee, wearing jeans and a hoodie. Needless to say my attitude changed immediately. Well done, universe.

How I Met Your Mother. The latest season finally showed up on Netflix instant and we’re already almost totally through it. Whatever, I love that show, and the fact that it’s going to be around for at least a couple more seasons is good by me.

Bones Brigade documentary. Finally showed up in the mail over the weekend literally two weeks after most everyone else got theirs including every shop in the country. What’s the point of pre-ordering? Lame. At least I got a t-shirt out of the deal.

Monday, December 3, 2012

december third

Five for December 3rd:

Springtime in December. Talking about the weather is sort of a cop-out, but I would be remiss not to mention the fact that on today, the third day of December, it’s going to be almost 80 degrees outside, and I’m wearing shorts.

Bottleworks. More than ever, it’s becoming our go-to for easy food and drink. Close proximity to our house, and a super baby-friendly atmosphere. Going there on Sundays for afternoon hanging-out is the new thing, and it’s awesome. Bonus: they don’t skimp on food when it comes to takeout.

Weekend action. Long walks in the park with Jane, Lisa and Henry, picking up toy robots from my mom’s house, solo skateboarding on the Hill and with Andy outside Utopia, hanging out with friends on the patio at Schlafly, practicing for NYE, and getting home in time for The Walking Dead mid-season finale.

El Gordo’s Revenge. If you ever wanted to see what I was all about at age 20, look no further. Super rare footage of my first band, right after we released our new record in 1998. Includes a few songs that never got recorded, and an interview with Kevin and I where we very effectively illustrate how seriously we took nothing at that point in our lives. Good stuff. I'm glad it didn't get lost forever. Spotty audio on the first song, but it clears up quickly. Dig it.

Monday morning jams. Man or Astro-Man?, Rocket from the Crypt, Van Halen, Detroit Cobras, Flatliners.