Thursday, January 31, 2013

january thirty-first

Five for January 31st:

January. Made it through the first month of 2013 unscathed, the sun is shining later and later into the afternoon, and spring is coming quickly. Don’t know if we’re totally over the hump just yet, but we’re getting there fast.

Fish fry season. Starting to see signs for various fish frys popping up around the neighborhood, which rules. Definitely one of the coolest things about living in south St. Louis, and certainly one of the only cool things about the February in general.

Guitar overload. Very long meeting this morning where plans for 2013 for our now three different guitar lines were discussed. My head is spinning.

Fell off the wagon. There was no food in the house last night, and I caved in and ordered a pizza from Elicia’s- which is definitely not on my list of approved foods. No regrets, but this morning so far I’ve had a fruit-packed protein shake, coffee, and a banana. Not going to let one slip-up throw me off.

Band practice. Happening tonight, and it’ll probably be mostly working on some new stuff, as we currently have no shows on the horizon, save for our EP release which is still way in the planning stages.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

january thirtieth

Five for January 30th:

Jane. Her best morning-meetup drive yet, compliments of her rapidly developing ability to suck her fingers coupled with a thick cloud cover blocking out the normal blinding sunlight. Also, another long, mostly-uninterrupted night of sleep is in the books.

BMX in 2013. The guys riding today are gnarlier than ever, even just locally speaking. I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that this stuff is going down brakeless, and in some instances with the chainwheel on the left side. So far beyond what I think of as BMX, It’s almost a totally different thing.

Wet basement. Every time there’s prolonged rain, or even just a quick flash of super heavy down pouring, there is guaranteed to be standing, stinking water in our basement, which I supposed is par for the course with a 117-year-old house. Some times are worse than others, but a couple of fans and a dehumidifier usually get things handled pretty quickly, and luckily whoever last worked on the house had the foresight to install a sump pump.

Super Bowl Sunday. We’ll probably be foregoing our usual SBS party with friends in favor of a more chill, baby- friendly hangout over at Lisa’s mom’s house. Maybe we’ll host one at our place next year? It could happen.

Pollo Yucatan. Tried it yesterday for the first time, and it was awesome. There are really few things tastier than grilled vegetables, in my humble opinion. Another Mi Ranchito home run.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

january twenty-ninth

Five for January 29th:

Skateboarding. Amazing time skating at Ramp Riders with Josh, Andy, Bryan and Kenny. Not too crowded, plus it was super warm in there, which was a nice change of pace. Much shredding occurred, and I’m getting better and better every week, which is awesome. Next up: rock n’ rolls to 180 out, and doing anything frontside.

Janey. She had an amazing night last night: she was out like a light from 6:30 pm till 6 am and only woke up once to eat. The idea of us getting that much sleep just a couple of months ago was absolutely inconceivable.

Cool stuff. “Best of Skate Fate” in soft cover, new pair of six-hole Indy 169’s, Powell sticker pack, sleeping with the windows open.

The Hobbit. I’d really love to go see this while it’s still in theatres, but it’s playing at all sorts of weird random times that don’t make any sense. Like, one showing at day at the Chase at 1 pm? What’s that all about?

Mi Ranchito. Tom owes me lunch, and luckily Mi Ranchito has options that fall within the parameters of my low-carb diet. The salad I brought will have to wait till tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2013

january twenty-eighth

Five for January 28th:

Date night. Lisa and I don’t get out too much anymore these days as “just the two of us”, so on the rare occasion it does happen, it’s extra awesome. Dinner at Modesto and drinks at Royale Friday night did not disappoint.

Splinter Cell. Started playing “Chaos Theory” again over the weekend and of course I’m now re-hooked. That’s probably my favorite game of the series. It likely would be the first game, but the fact that you can’t reverse the y-axis (I’m so used to down being up and up being down that I can’t train myself out of it) is too much of a flaw to overlook.

STL weather WTF. Talking about the weather again, but seriously: yesterday the outside of my house was encased in a sheet of ice, and I was out there in Doc Martens spreading rock salt on the steps. Today it’s going to be in the mid to high 60’s. I’m officially over this winter.

Rock show. Amazing show on Saturday night. The place was absolutely packed, we played like we knew what we were doing, the other bands were great, the drinks were free, and over $4000 was raised for the LLS. Thanks to everyone who came out or was a part of it.

Skate night. It’s Monday night, which means another ramp session at Ramp Riders is upon us. The warm weather all day should mean that the place isn’t freezing, as has been the case the last couple of weeks. Excited.

Friday, January 25, 2013

january twenty-fifth

Five for January 25th:

Practice. It was an interesting one. Literally three hits into the first song, the bottom head of the snare drum broke, so I played the whole set with a torn bottom snare head. It basically sounded like I was smacking a steel drum the whole time. We got through it though, and despite that minor setback, the set sounded great.

Rock show. Speaking of the band, we’re playing a show tomorrow night at Off Broadway, as you should know by now. The RFT did an article about it, and also called it one of the best concerts of the week! Can’t disagree. It’ll be a really fun night and the proceeds go to a good cause. Come hang out with us.

Raiders of the Archives. Skateboarder Magazine’s online video series highlighting skate collectors- mostly industry people, etc.- are amazing and I can’t stop watching them. They’re all up on their Youtube channel. Watch and lurn.

The great sell-off. Began sorting through boxes of toys in the attic last night and grouping them into lots to put on eBay. Time to get serious about getting rid of some stuff. I’m really only hanging on to my Jumbo Machinders and a handful of diecasts that I really like. Everything else must go.

Weekend action. A legit "date night" tonight: Modesto for dinner followed by drinks at Royale (thanks to Laura in advance for babysitting), playing a show tomorrow night, hanging out with Jane, taking Henry to the park, playing Mariokart, and lots more. It’ll be a fun one.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

january twenty-fourth

Five for January 24th:

Late sleeper. I bounced Jane back to sleep around 5:45 am, and apparently I did a little too good of a job, as she was still sleeping when I left for work and I didn’t get to see her at all this morning. Talk about a bummer.

Thursday morning tunes. Bad Religion, Dead Moon, Hellacopters, Neko Case, fIREHOSE, Belle & Sebastian.

Bulk coffee. Why didn’t I think to check online earlier for deals on Starbucks Vias to use at my office? Holy crap. A 50-pack of house blend for $30 shipped? Count me in.

Mario Kart 64. It’s like riding a bike. One lap in and all my old tricks came back to me. Played the Mushroom Cup this morning and decimated the competition handily.

Loaded up. Bananas, strawberries, apples, pistachios, baby spinach, carbonated water, cottage cheese, raisins, and almond milk. The recipe for success.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

january twenty-third

Five for January 23rd:

Jane drop-off. Week two of the morning meet-up with Lisa’s mom to drop Janey off for the day went much better than last time. Slowly but surely perfecting a route which avoids the headache of highway 40 altogether, plus it’ll aid in keeping the sun out of Jane’s eyes during the drive.

Cold snap. Last week I was outside in a t-shirt, this week I’m sporting multiple layers and my sweet faux-fur winter hat. Next week it’s back up to the 50’s. Whatever the case, spring is just around the corner and I am ready for it.

All quiet on the eastern front. With all of management and a bunch of co-workers out in California for the show, the office has a mellow calmness to it that I’ve really been enjoying the last few days. Too bad it won’t last.

Henry at night. Sleeping with Henry in the bed in the winters is the awesome. He’s like a space heater. The only downside is that he snores like someone’s grandfather when he gets comfortable.

The cost of doing business. I understand (and appreciate) the safety measures Paypal has in place to help prevent people from getting ripped off- i.e. withholding funds from sellers without a very established sales history until it’s confirmed the item has been shipped and delivered to whoever bought it- but still, it sucks having almost $400 sitting there that I can’t get to for weeks on end.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

january twenty-second

Five for January 22nd:

Ramp shredding. Another sore Tuesday morning courtesy of another fun Monday night Ramp Riders. As opposed to last week, the place was practically empty but for a few BMX guys here and there. We had the mini ramp to ourselves for a couple hours and radness ensued.

California. Normally this time of the year I’d be flying out to Anaheim for the winter music industry trade show, but I’m sitting this year out, which is fine by me. Family responsibilities are too great to be leaving town for a week, and on top of that, I’ve gone the last few years and am ready for a year off.

Craigslist pic view and map view. Definitely a big step in the right direction, pic view in particular. It’s such a simple and obvious thing, but it makes using Craigslist even easier than it already was.

Jane. She’s growing up so fast that it’s making my head spin. Her hand/eye coordination is really developing, as is her general awareness of her surroundings. Lately, she’s all about staring at herself in the mirror, shuffling around in her crib, and mercilessly slapping her toys.

Quality reading. My brother dropped by last night to return my LOTR trilogy, and hooked me up with this relic from my childhood. I was a huge Metal Gear fanatic as a kid and loved this book. Can’t wait to sit down and reread it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

january twenty-first

Five for January 21st:

Hanging out. It took some massive planning and packing of gear, but we were able to pull off dinner and hot-tubbing over at Mary and Keith’s on Saturday evening with Janey in tow. It was our first time taking out the Pack & Play to use as a crib, and it worked great. Henry, of course, had a blast. Couldn’t have gone better.

Skateboarding. Skated the Hill on Saturday for an hour or so, and tonight I’ll be hitting Ramp Riders with Andy and Josh for a session on the mini. Set up my old school Gator reissue last night, which I may bring along to mess around on.

Weekend of awesome food. Meat loaf takeout from Bottleworks, some of the best ribs ever courtesy of Keith, subs delivered from JJ’s, pulled chicken and veggie bowls, and much more. Through all that, managed to keep the carb and processed-food intake pretty much in check, but this week it’s back to the healthier stuff.

Attic action. After much experimentation, I believe I finally have the space fully maximized and dialed in as of this weekend. Three words: Mario Kart 64. It’s on.

Weather shifts. This winter has been insane. From the 60’s to the 20’s in a matter of days. I don’t know how my sinuses are remaining intact. One cool thing is that it was literally still sunny out when I left work on Friday. The worst is definitely behind us.

Friday, January 18, 2013

january eighteenth

Five for January 18th:

Guitars. Huge thanks to my aunt Jill for setting me up with a couple of free guitars last night- a Fender acoustic, and a 1980 Gibson Sonex Deluxe! Definitely one of the coolest and most unique guitars I’ve ever owned. Super awesome.

Band stuff. Good practice last night, and the new song is moving swiftly toward greatness. Our next show is next Saturday the 26th at Off Broadway with Jon Hardy & the Public, and it’s free (with a suggested donation of $10- all proceeds go to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma society of STL). It’s a great bill and a good cause.

Lunchboarding. The weather is looking nice, and I have some extra time to kill at work, so lunchtime may consist of an hour or so skate session in the Loop. Skateboard is in the car, the sun is out, and my contacts are in. I think it just might happen.

Jane’s best night ever. I think Jane had her longest and most restful night of sleep of all time last night, only waking up one time to eat, and letting us sleep till after the alarm went off twice. When she sleeps well, we sleep well, and everyone is happy.

Weekend. Keeping it mellow tonight. Tomorrow Lisa is cross-fitting and afterward I’ll be skateboarding at JB with Andy (or BMXing over on the Hill, we’ll see). Possible food/drinks at Bottleworks with Lisa and Jane in the late afternoon? It's been awhile. Running some errands on Sunday, including picking up a 2013 calendar from Euclid Records and giving Henry a much-needed bath.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

january seventeenth

Five for January 17th:

Walking tall. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but Jane had a blast pseudo-standing for the first time yesterday. One small step for Jane, one giant leap for Janekind.

Top snacks. Pistachios, strawberries, apples, homemade walnut and raisin trail mix, cottage cheese, protein smoothies with fruit and veggies. Also, if you’re not doing 95% of your shopping at Aldi, you’re a fool.

Thursday night action. Heading out to my aunt Jill’s house after work to pick up some guitars she’s very generously giving me (!), then heading home for a quick bite before band practice. Hopefully I’ll get some Jane-time in before she goes to bed.

Selling on eBay. Having easy access to a warehouse full of free boxes of all sizes, plus packing materials, tape, and a shipping department that can ship stuff on the cheap makes e-selling about a million times easier.

Warm weekend. Going to hit the mid 50’s on Saturday, which will hopefully spell out a skate trip to JB in the morning, but will definitely spell out some hanging-out in Clifton Heights Park with the crew.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

january sixteenth

Five for January 16th:

Janey. Today is her first Wednesday at her Grandma’s house, and with the exception of a few minutes of crying, the drive to the mid-way meeting point went fine. In fact, she fell asleep in her car seat, which is a rarity. Overall, it was a good first go-round.

Highway commuting. Speaking of that, I forgot how much driving on the highway at rush hour sucks. I’m pretty lucky in that my morning drive is all side streets and zero interstates.

Eating well, day three. Going on my third day of no processed foods and mega low carbs, and not only do I feel amazing but I’ve already dropped 4 lbs. I was basically about seven over my usual weight, so I’m more than halfway back to normal. Insane.

December eBay Watch. I try to link to these whenever they come up, because being somewhat of a connoisseur of skate art, they’re right up my alley. The big highlight for me this month is that Santa Cruz Bod Boyle Stained Glass deck, which in my mind is one of the sickest graphics to ever grace the bottom of a skateboard. Why SC bothers with those lame Simpsons boards when they could reissue this is beyond me.

Fighting creationism. There’s still some hope for humanity after all. I can tell you what *I* was doing at age 19, and it wasn't this. Kudos.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

january fifteenth

Five for January 15th:

Ramp Riders. Super fun time last night. Some of the dudes there were absolutely killing it. I went ahead and sprung for a 10-session pass, which will probably last me 6 months and save me $35 in the process. Anyway, it was great and I’m sore as hell today, which is the sure sign of a good time.

Free furniture. Chair for the bedroom plus a much-needed cabinet for the guest room from one of Lisa’s coworkers, coffee table from my mom. It’s nice having a house that isn’t half-empty.

Fireball Island. Hands down the best board game ever made. I finally got mine back after many years, and I’m itching to play it. Board game night soon? May need to happen.

Eating well. Day two and I already feel eons better. It’s really not as hard to lay off the breads and processed foods as I always think it’s going to be. The key is to just make sure you have enough good stuff around the house to make it happen- and at this point, we’re fully loaded.

Random awesomeness. Free pair of bamboo 5B drumsticks at work, latest eBay auction went for $360, new issues of The Skateboard Mag and Transworld showed up in the mail yesterday, fresh pack of Starbucks Vias on my desk, and got to play with Jane a bunch this morning.

Monday, January 14, 2013

january fourteenth

Five for January 14th:

Lisa and Jane. Lisa is back to work today after three amazing months of being a full-time mom. She is inspiring as a human being, and is without doubt the best mother ever. I couldn’t be prouder of her. Luckily, Jane is in the hands of family three days a week, and Lisa will be back with her Thursday through Sunday.

Eating right. I decided over the weekend that I’m going to low-carb it for the next couple of weeks. Just generally feeling mushy- a result of a couple of months of minimal exercise and little regard for what I’ve been eating. Need to get back on the health wagon. Also set up my bike on the trainer in the basement to start getting some workouts in.

RV show. Despite having to skip out on Rooster for breakfast, our first trip to the RV show with Jane was a resounding success. She had a blast strapped to Lisa’s chest taking it all in. Plus, for the first time ever, we actually started looking at prices and figuring out what we could potentially afford down the road.

BMX fail. Three minutes into riding on Saturday, I heard that familiar hiss of a tire losing air. Talk about a bummer. Luckily my brother was at the shop, so I swung by and he set me up with some new tires- but not before it started raining and the temperature started to drop about 40 degrees. Just wasn’t in the cards, I guess.

Skateboarding. Mini-ramp session at Ramp Riders tonight with Andy and Josh. Last week was a blast. Bringing out my reissue Caballero Chinese dragon this go-round, along with a normal 8” popsicle stick. Radness shall ensue.

Friday, January 11, 2013

january eleventh

Five for January 11th:

Springtime in January. Getting up close to 70 degrees today. It was still a little too cold and wet to bike in this morning, but I’ll still be taking advantage as much as possible, as tomorrow winter is supposed to make its swift return.

Rock band. Good practice last night: started working on a new song, and nailed down a bunch of stuff for the EP, which we really needed to hash out. Still lots of work to do, but we’re getting there. Look for an early spring release.

Mi Ranchito. Rarely is it thought of as a dinner option, but I swung by for some takeout on the way home yesterday. I’ll say this: they do not skimp (which is good, because it’s twice as expensive as it is during the day). We could have easily got one thing and split it, there was so much food. Out of control.

Newborn must-haves. White noise machine, multiple pacifiers in all rooms, sleep sack, well-inflated exercise ball for bouncing to sleep, wet-wipe warmer, monitor camera with night vision.

Weekend action. Celebrating Jane’s 3-month birthday tomorrow. Sunday is our annual breakfast at Rooster followed by the RV show downtown (year three!), this time with Jane in tow. Should be an adventure. Picking up stuff from my mom’s, more work in the attic, and who knows what else. See you on the flipside.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

january tenth

Five for January 10th:

Parenthood. If there’s one thing I’m sure of after being a dad for going on three months, it’s that no matter what happens, you simply cannot count on anything being the same from day to day. Plan all you want, try to make sense of it, try to establish a routine. Doesn’t matter. We’re on Jane time.

Band practice. Tonight, we’ll be working out a set for our free show (!) at Off Broadway on January 26th with Jon Hardy & the Public, followed by planning out some details for the upcoming EP and some ideas for 2013 in general.

Bike commuting. If the weather tomorrow is as nice as they’re saying it’ll be (sunny with a high of 66 degrees), I’m totally riding my bike to work. End of story. No better way to cap off a work week, and may as well get while the getting is good.

BMX. Speaking of bikes, this video features without a doubt the sickest BMX riding I’ve ever seen. I read an interview with Scotty Cranmer a couple of years ago and was blown away just by the magazine photos, and had seen some video of his riding, but this is next-level stuff. Check it out.

Soul Men: The Making of The Blues Brothers. Fascinating article with tons of amazing behind-the-scenes info on the making of one of the best movies of all time. Read it and weep.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

january ninth

Five for January 9th:

Thrasher magazine. Two issues in the span of three months have come with a free DVD, every few magazines has a sticker sheet stuffed inside, and their re-order swag is the best, bar none. And, of course, their articles are awesome (this year's KOTR article is insane). Still the top of the heap.

Selling stuff. Listed a couple of big-ticket Transformers on eBay yesterday and the bidding started up within an hour. Feels good to slowly but surely lighten the load of stuff in my house, and make some money in the process. Sure, it’s a bummer to part with some of these things, but at the same time I really can’t justify having this stuff I’m not super interested in anymore following me around. Onward and upward.

Lunchtime skating. Took advantage of the unseasonably warm and sunny weather and took the Zip Zinger for a few laps around the Loop yesterday during lunch. Fun stuff. May do it again today, as a matter of fact.

Portlandia. Season two is finally up on Netflix and the first couple of episodes do not disappoint. The Battlestar Galactica episode alone had me rolling.

Janey. She’ll be three months old this coming Saturday! Time flies. She’s truly getting more and more amazing by the day. I never could’ve conceived of how cool having a kid would actually be. They really do grow up fast.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

january eighth

Five for January 8th:

Dad’s birthday. I feel like a bad son for forgetting my dad’s birthday, which was yesterday. I guess I can give myself a little leeway on that given he hasn’t been alive for 26 years or so. Insane to think he would be 70 now. Happy belated birthday, old man.

Space heater in the bathroom. Perhaps the single smartest thing I’ve ever done.

Ramp riding. Totally amazing time with Andy and Josh last night at Ramp Riders. We sessioned the mini-ramp for a couple of hours, talked shit, and listened to metal at loud volumes. Apparently one of the dudes we were skating with for awhile used to be a professional BMX rider and was on the cover of a couple of magazines back in the day. Anyway, it doesn’t get much better for a Monday night.

Box o’ goodies. Got a package from So Cal Skateshop in the mail yesterday containing a ton of reissue Bones Brigade stickers, a Ripper Christmas ornament for use next year and all years forthcoming, and the crown jewel: a new SC coffee mug for work.

Jane. Long night for the little girl. She was up every hour on the hour with some pretty gnarly gas, and consequently Lisa and I got very little sleep. Luckily, Jane and Lisa can nap today, and I can caffeinate myself. I think we’ll be ok.

Monday, January 7, 2013

january seventh

Five for January 7th:

Weekend wrap-up. Drinks with Katie and crew at Sasha’s on Friday, Mary and Keith at our place last night for tacos, Corona knockoffs, and Downton Abbey (which for the record I could care less about), got the Christmas stuff put away, drank some Starbucks, and, best of all, got to introduce Jane to Godzilla.

Ramp riders. Hitting it up for the first time in probably a year with Andy and Josh for some skating away from the biting wind. It’ll be a good time. I should really go there more often; it’s super close, it’s indoors, and it’s relatively cheap for a session.

The attic. Finally getting around to doing something with it after almost a year of it not really being anything. Slowly but surely, it’s becoming a totally awesome hangout spot, music room, and second guest room.

De-cluttering. Really feeling lately like a good pre-spring cleaning is in order. Time to start getting serious about selling off stuff that I don’t really want anymore, and making a pile of other crap to either donate to Goodwill or just throw away.

Maximum awesomeness. Giant box of Sweet & Salty Nut bars, getting paid on Friday, mild upcoming weekend weather, box of goods from So Cal Skateshop.

Friday, January 4, 2013

january fourth

Five for January 4th:

Over the hump. The shortest day of the year is behind us, and it’s already starting to show. It didn’t really get fully dark till I was back in South City last night, which rules. Spring will be here before we know it, and that means bike commuting will be just around the corner.

Xbox revisited. Scheffer got me the hookup up on his old OG Xbox over the weekend for cheap, so I can now play all my old games without getting railroaded into buying some $150 memory card to make them work on my 360. Sorry, Microsoft. I’m no chump.

Fish fry season. We’re getting there, slowly but surely. By my calculations, the first one should be happening on Friday, February 15th- although last year, we were able to sneak an early one in at Joan of Arc when they were doing a “test run”. Either way, fried fish is on the horizon, and I’m ready for it.

Lance Mountain reissue. Picked it up from Infinity last night and yes, it’s killer. Totally timeless graphic and probably one of my favorite classic Powell shapes. Interestingly, they made them with the old school truck bolt patterns, which I guess for the sake of being true to the original is a cool thing. I’m glad I got at least one of those reissues, because I definitely can't afford the whole lot.

Weekend action. I wish every week could be a short one. Aside from birthday-partyin’ tonight at Sasha’s with Katie and krew, there’s not a ton going on. Chilling with Lisa and Jane, maybe taking down some Christmas decorations, and doing a little skating if weather permits.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

january third

Five for January 3rd:

Shred dawn. Couldn’t get back to sleep after a 5:20 am Janey wake-up call, so I started the morning off by finally finishing up “Pretty Sweet” on DVD and drinking a pot of coffee. The crash is inevitable at this point, but that's just how it goes sometimes.

Skate stuff. Picking up my Lance Mountain reissue from Infinity after work, which I’m super excited about. Also, on a similar note, my Christmas present from Lisa came in the mail yesterday- finally, my iPhone is protected in style.

Being a dad. Going on twelve weeks of fatherhood soon, and it just gets better and better. Looking back at pictures of her from her first couple of weeks, it’s stunning to see how much she has grown in such a short period of time. The giant smiles I get from her every morning are better than anything ever.

Thursday morning jams. Justice, Jets to Brazil, Kiss, Television. Dig it.

Financial planning. We met up with our Edward Jones guy last night to work on getting our retirement accounts back on track and planning for the future, which we admittedly fell a bit behind on during the chaos of 2012. Time to get serious.