Thursday, February 28, 2013

february twenty-eighth

Five for February 28th:

Classic decks, new colors. Powell is keeping the gravy train rolling down the tracks with a batch of the Bones Brigade reissues in new colors coming out this summer. The one that really blows my mind is that baby blue Tommy Guerrero- straight out of Animal Chin. Want it.

Band practice. After two rehearsal-free weeks (Valentine’s Day followed by a bad snowstorm), we’re back to it tonight. We have quite a bit to work on, and personally, I’m just ready to play drums for a couple of hours. Think it’s going to be a good one.

Meet and greet. A bunch of new outside reps in the office today for training means minimal management and a table full of free bagels, coffee, fruit, and other snacks. Count me in.

Cool stuff. Ten days till’ daylight savings, takeout from Panda Pavilion, Ben Raybourn “Magnified” Thrasher video, sea salt and black pepper pistachios.

Facebook. I’m really-legitimately- inching closer and closer toward ridding myself of it once and for all. There’s a number of reasons- privacy concerns chief among them. I also don’t like feeling like I’m a slave to a website, and sometimes I DO feel that way, which I’m ashamed to admit. A good number of people I know that have dropped the site and are none the worse for wear, and I think I may be joining them soon. More than anything, though, it's just getting old.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

february twenty-seventh

Five for February 27th:

Daylight savings. As of today, daylight savings begins in eleven days. ELEVEN DAYS. I can’t believe we’re already almost over the hump. Warm evenings, riding to work, skating outside, taking Jane to various STL parks… We’re almost there. I can feel my mood improving just thinking about it.

Real deal popcorn. Microwave popcorn is crap. It tastes like shite, and leave it in ten seconds too long and the whole house ends up smelling like burnt plastic for hours. Get a jar of kernels and pop them on the stove. The extra five minutes is worth it. End of rant.

Dusted. We barely got a sprinkle of snow overnight and the roads were about as bad as they’d be after a light rain, but that didn’t stop the endless onslaught of morning news reporters milking it for all it was worth. Give it a rest, guys.

Cool stuff. Ugandan skateboarding scene article, cup of legit (non-Via) Starbucks, new setup, good drive in with Janey, hitting the midweek point, early Aerosmith.

Kentucky Knife Fight. My good friends in KKF are releasing a new record on Saturday, and you can stream the whole thing free(!) till the end of the day Thursday. Don’t dawdle, and get out and support.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

february twenty-sixth

Five for February 26th:

Monday night action. Good times at Ramp Riders last night with Andy and Bryan. Unlike the last few Mondays, the crowd was small- just the three of us- and the skating was plentiful. I was expecting a zoo due to the crappy weather of the last few days, but I guess everyone stayed home.

St. Louis streetcars. Looks like some small bit of progress is being made on the downtown streetcar project, which is cool. While I’d personally rather see Metrolink expanded, any advancement of STL’s public transit system is good by me. Speaking of getting around without a car, biking-to-work weather is coming up quick, which rules.

Dodged a bullet. Looks like we’re just going to get some rain and a little wet snow, but that’s nothing compared to what’s happening a short drive west of us. I’ll take a bit of rain over two feet of snow any day.

Cool stuff. Elephant skateboards “Board #1” deck, SC Rob Roskopp t-shirt, leftover pasta, eking out a couple of back smith grinds, listening to Jane talk, brown striped hoodie that I always forget I own.

Tuesday tunes. The Cramps, Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, Shudder to Think, Led Zeppelin, the Muffs.

Monday, February 25, 2013

february twenty-fifth

Five for February 25th:

Fish Fry number two. We checked out the Epiphany fish fry on Friday night, and it absolutely slaughtered our old standby, Joan of Arc. It was much cheaper (even with drinks), it came with dessert, there was more seating, and the fish and mac & cheese were some of the best I’ve ever had. I think we may have a new standby.

Skating. Hit Ramp Riders with Andy early Saturday afternoon for a quick and impromptu session on the mini ramp, and it was awesome. The place was empty but for some BMX dudes and I skated great. The bummer? My Real deck is done for. I can feel it flexing, and it’s one bad ollie away from a snap. Going back for more tonight.

Jane facts. Things she likes: flying, sitting in her high chair even though she doesn’t really fit in there yet, petting Henry. Things she does not like: crowds of people she doesn’t know very well getting in her face, as evidenced by some as-yet-unheard screeching she laid down on Saturday. Take heed.

Cool stuff. Classic Kiss on vinyl, Bondi Bowl coverage, Whole Foods veggie pizza, summer vacation planning, almond cake at the office, 58mm wheels, Michonne.

The Grandparents. Jane saw every last one of them over the course of the last three days. Having family in town is a pretty cool thing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

february twenty-second

Five for February 22nd:

Snowblind. Well, we actually got hit pretty hard yesterday. The plus? I got out of work early, and made it home without issue due to the Rogue’s sweet all-wheel drive and antilock braking capabilities. The minus? Band practice was indeed cancelled. Oh well.

Modot. Props to the STL road crews for killing it. I couldn’t believe how good the streets were this morning. Getting in was a breeze, and even the ghetto streets by my office were plowed, which I'm pretty sure has never happened. Well done.

Rough night. Jane had a pretty bad one last night. Not the worst, but she was up with enough frequency that both of us had to get up and handle her a few times. Just a matter of time till teething happens, and this becomes the norm. Ah, parenthood.

Cool stuff. New issue of the Skateboard Mag, SMA Jim Thiebaud "Villain" reissue, getting paid, possible weekend snowboarding, Big Rig Bounty Hunters, popcorn Friday, waterproof gloves, Henry Rollins’ columns in LA Weekly.

Weekend. Probably going to be pretty low-key due to the snow and ice, but we may be hitting a fish fry tonight, some parties tomorrow, and who knows what on Sunday (besides watching The Walking Dead). There are some cool shows happening also, which I’m going to play be ear. Seeya Monday.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

february twenty-first

Five for February 21st:

Weather freakout. Watching people overreacting to winter weather is one of the most entertaining, yet simultaneously depressing things about living in St. Louis. Is it like this in other cities? Do reporters go to grocery stores in other cities and interview morons buying bread and eggs? Jeez.

Blast from the past. Unearthed my ticket stub from the famous Tony Hawk/Sinister Dane concert/video shoot at the Firehouse in 1994. I completely forgot Hosoi was on the bill, and never showed up. Having seen “Rising Son”, I think I can probably figure out why he wasn’t there. Neil Hendrix ended up filling in for him, I believe. Good memories.

Tonight. Practice, after a weeklong hiatus. No amount of snow and ice shall keep the rocking at bay. Well, I say that now, anyway. Looking forward to playing some music and hammering out some business, weather permitting.

Cool stuff. David Gonzales CCS interview (CCS still sucks), getting Jane to laugh, all-wheel drive, giant bag of frosted mini-wheats, Gorilla Biscuits on Spotify.

Hidden passageways. This sort of thing has fascinated me since I was a kid and continues to do so.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

february twentieth

Five for February 20th:

Dear Spotify. Your new layout is pointless, ugly, and confusing, and eff you for not letting me make playlists anymore. You’ll never successfully bully me into premium.

Pheed. Seemed like it was on the verge of being the next social media phenomenon a couple of months ago, but the buzz seems to have fizzled out a bit. It’s still cool to get on there and check it out, and hopefully it picks back up, because it's actually pretty awesome.

Record Exchange. Looks like it’s not just Euclid Records that’ll be switching locations soon- apparently Record Exchange is moving to a bigger location. Yes, a bigger location than where they currently are, which is literally a building that once housed a public library. Trying to move that place and sort through the sheer volume of inventory they have is a horror I can’t even fathom.

Cool stuff. Dr. Mario on Wii, January eBay Watch, making up songs for Jane, fresh tubes of chapstick and toothpaste, O’Fallon Hemp Hop Rye.

3Doodler. A friend of mine hipped me to this Kickstarter page yesterday. This is probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. If you do nothing else today, watch the video and have your mind blown. I’m getting one.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

february nineteenth

Five for February 19th:

Skated out. Two days in a row of going for it pretty hard and I’m done for. Last night at Ramp Riders was fun as always, but I had to call it a bit early due to overall soreness and mangled grip-tape fingers. Also, I never thought I’d be more into riding bowls and ramps than just street stuff.

Calm before the storm. Looks like winter isn’t done with us yet, according to the always-reliable STL weather forecasters. Thursday should be interesting, but luckily the following few 50+-degree days should make quick work of whatever hits us.

App issues. There has to be a better way to manage the storage space an app is using than to delete and reinstall it. Talk about a pain in the ass. Also, the fact that a 23.6 MB app can somehow amass 941 MB of data usage is ridiculous. The big culprits on my iPhone are Instagram and Splice, which I will be watching like a hawk going forward.

Cool stuff. Being a dad, soup at Mi Ranchito, busting out the pea coat, Gevalia coffee, new friends made through skateboarding, Raiders of the Archives on Youtube.

Gelato. Been craving some chocolate/hazelnut hardcore lately. Who’s up for a walk over to Di Riso?

Monday, February 18, 2013

february eighteenth

Five for February 18th:

Fish Fry number one. Went to Joan of Arc for the first fish fry of the season with Lisa, Jane, and Lisa’s mom and stepdad. In true south city fashion, the first person we ran into was the Mayor, making the rounds. The food was great, we got a good parking spot, and we managed to beat an enormous crowd by mere minutes. Total success.

Skating. Finally hit up O’Fallon’s legendary YAP skatepark yesterday for the first time with Andy. It was every bit as cool as it was made out to be, but it’s a real haul getting out there. You sort of have to make a day out of it. I met a ton of cool people and the weather was great. Can’t beat it. Ramp Riders tonight.

Chubbie’s. New burger place in the Loop that Tom and I have long been anticipating and does not disappoint. The food is awesome (seriously awesome); prices are low, lots of variety, and fast turnaround for those of us that can’t wait an hour and a half for a sandwich.

Cool stuff. Jane’s new exersaucer, The Walking Dead, squash stew with Eric and Nicole, Bones “New Ground” video, GTA: Vice City revisited, much-needed haircut. Bummer: my watch broke, and I feel naked without it.

Stinking dog. I don’t know what the hell Henry got into, but he came into the house from the backyard yesterday covered in leaves and dead grass and literally smelling like an unwashed goat in a petting zoo. Poop-stink and all. Whatever the case, he was straight into the bath.

Friday, February 15, 2013

february fifteenth

Five for February 15th:

Valentine’s eve. We celebrated in style- with a heart-shaped pizza and a bottle of pink champagne. That’s about as much as you can ask for with a sleeping four month old in tow.

Bones “New Ground” video. Comes out today, and I have a free download of it sitting in my inbox. Excited to check it out this weekend- the word on the street is that Ben Raybourn’s part is killer, which is no big shocker.

Fish fry season. It’s officially here, after many months of thumb-twiddling. Literally the only thing that makes the month of February tolerable. What better way to signal the imminent arrival of spring than with a styrofoam plate of steaming fried fish and macaroni & cheese?

Cool stuff. New issue of TWS, pink peanut M&Ms, box of Italian Roast Starbucks Vias, lunch break skating. Bummers: mom’s cat at the vet, busted baby monitor.

Weekend action. Fish fry tonight at Joan of Arc, hanging out with the crew tomorrow, Eric and Nicole at our place for dinner, skate session at YAP on Sunday (my first time there), Walking Dead, and much more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

february fourteenth

Five for February 14th:

Jane’s first Valentine’s Day. Yeah, it might be a Hallmark holiday or whatever, but hey. It’s still fun, and all holidays are automatically more fun with a kid. I’m looking forward to eating at least half of the Reese’s peanut butter heart I got for Lisa.

Ramp riders. Awesomely fun time last night. I felt like I skated better last week, but I’ll take what I can get. In fairness, my contacts were being weird and making things difficult for me. Whatever the case, it was cool seeing Greg and meeting some new people.

Taste of spring. Going to be up near 60 and sunny today, and the weekend is looking like it’s going to be a good one as well. Are we out of the woods?

Cool stuff. Cheap t-shirts, firing up the gas grill, printed pictures of Jane, awesome neighbors, new bearings, old school stickers, gel bead air fresheners, lists within lists.

No practice. Rocking has been postponed a week due to Valentine’s Day obligations to girlfriends/wives, and shall resume next week as normal. I’m really glad we have those four new tunes on tape, because they would likely be lost forever otherwise.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

february thirteenth

Five for February 13th:

Skate night. Excited to hit up Ramp Riders tonight with the normal Monday night crew. Bonus: my old friend Greg rides BMX there on Wednesday nights, so we’ll be able to hang out a bit as well. Good times shall be had.

State of the Union. Skipped it for Happy Gilmore. Not that I didn’t want to watch it, but come on: Happy Gilmore. Grizzly Adams did have a beard! I’ll catch the highlight reel.

Fish Fry Wednesday. To some people, today has some sort of spiritual meaning that involves smearing charcoal on your forehead (I know- adorable), but to me it just means fish fries are starting up this weekend. Bring it.

Cool stuff. Devo on Spotify, giant tub of biscotti at work, waking Jane up in the morning, good leftovers, unscratched sunglasses, cheap wine.

STL is awesome. Haters are always gonna hate, but the fact is that this city is amazing. Oh, you hate it here and you're moving to Chicago/NYC/LA? Cool. See you in two years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

february twelfth

Five for February 12th:

Four months. Our little Jane turns four months old today. One-third of a year already! Can’t believe how big she’s getting and how much she’s doing today that she wasn’t even close to doing even a month ago. I also made her giggle for the first time last night. Fatherhood is truly awesome.

Weird dreams. I had a couple of them last night. Unlike most of my dreams, this morning I actually remembered most of what happened in them, and could pinpoint the things that happened yesterday that had an obvious hand in triggering them. The brain is strange.

Smoothies for breakfast. The Vega blend mix is kinda pricey, but well worth it. It’s surprising how filling a fruit and protein packed smoothie in the morning is. Quick to make, easy to clean up, and super healthy.

The Pope. There’s nothing I can say regarding his upcoming resignation that the Onion didn’t already say better. Some of their best work ever.

Shenmue. Been wanting to replay Shenmue 2 lately, but I’m just going to get to the end and be bummed that there has never been (and likely will never be) a Shenmue 3. Someone really needs to make that happen. Such an awesome series.

Monday, February 11, 2013

february eleventh

Five for February 11th:

Judah Friedlander. He killed it at the Firebird on Friday. My sides were hurting by the time it was over, plus he actually followed through on his promise from his RFT interview and bought Imo’s Pizza for everyone in attendance, and hung out with the crowd after the show. Good times.

Walking Dead. Finally, it’s back. This is literally the first show in longer than I can remember that I actually go out of my way to watch. Plus, Cutty from “The Wire” is now on the show now, and you really can’t go wrong with Cutty.

Bottleworks. We never think of that place as a brunch spot, but it works well if you’re willing to wait till 11 to eat. Good food, super close, relatively cheap, and Jane-friendly.

Mardi Gras. My sole strand of Mardi Gras beads this year was given to me by the cashier at U-Gas while buying a bottle of vitamin water. Needless to say, it was quite a party.

Skating. Hit up JB on Saturday morning with Andy and Bryan for a couple of hours. Hadn’t been there in forever, and despite the lingering cold, much shredding went down. Our normal Ramp Riders Monday evening session, however, is going down on Wednesday this week.

Friday, February 8, 2013

february eighth

Five for February 8th:

On a roll. We’re pumping out new songs like never before. In the last three practices, we’ve come up with the foundations for four new tunes, all of which are really good and quite different from one another. Cool stuff.

Weekend action. Grilling on the back porch, Judah Friedlander at the Firebird, skateboarding at JB, Forest Park with Janey and Lisa (maybe the Zoo?), hanging out with friends, and watching the return of the Walking Dead.

Growing up. Next week, Jane will be four months old. There’s nothing in the world that compares to watching your kid grow up before your eyes. It’s amazing, and also sort of scary how quickly it all happens.

Snowstorm. The northeast is about to get pummeled with snow. Why is that blog-worthy? Because unfortunately, a good chunk of my territory at work is about to be buried. Could be a slow few days for me next week. I’m glad the majority of it will be happening over the weekend.

Bike campers. I don’t really know how practical these are, but they’re still incredibly cool. I can’t imagine going on too long of a ride hauling something this gigantic around on your bike, but being a huge fan of all things camper, I like the idea of it.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

february seventh

Five for February 7th:

Black Flag. It’s official: they’re reuniting with Ron Reyes (who is my favorite of their singers, sorry Henry) on vocals and doing a new album. Will it be any good? That remains to be seen. Perhaps not by coincidence, Elephant Brand Skateboards finally released the “My War” deck yesterday, which is insanely awesome and I plan to get at least one of.

Just around the corner. Backyard barbecues, sitting around the chiminea on sunny evenings, picnics with Lisa and Jane in the park, commuting to work by bike, and south city fish fries.

Instagram on the web. It’s not just an app anymore. Well, I guess mostly it is- you can’t actually add pictures via the web browser version, so online it’s more or less a gallery. Kinda cool I guess, but I’ll probably still keep it to the handheld device.

Skating at lunch. Went down to the Loop yesterday and cruised around for a bit. When it’s sunny and warm in February like that, you have to take advantage. May do the same today if the rain keeps at bay.

Tonight. Home to hang out with Jane, drink some tea, grab some food, and head to band practice. Will we remember either of the two new songs we started last week? Unlikely, but that’s what the built-in recorded on the iPhone is for.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

february sixth

Five for February 6th:

Skate Fate: The Best of Skate Fate. Finally got around to picking this book up and I can’t believe I waited so long to get it. It’s a best-of compilation of Garry “GSD” Davis’ (inventor of the boneless!) skate zine, which ran from 1981-1991 and features a treasure trove of amazing photos, interviews, and other awesomeness. Super cool.

NYE video. We’ve done the NYE show for three years now and weirdly, I think this is the first video that has ever surfaced from any of those nights. Here we are doing the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” to an appreciative crowd. Watching this gets me excited for next year’s show.

Stuff to do. Jonathan Richman tonight at Off Broadway or Judah Friedlander Friday at Firebird? I think it’ll have to be the Friday show. As much as I love some JR, I’ve been to his last 3 STL shows. Time to go out and be social in the evenings is limited, and always better when you don’t have to wake up and work the next day.

Wednesday rock jams. Tom Petty, the ACBs, Shudder to Think, The Bomboras, Mastodon.

Janey day. Smooth sailing this morning to meet up with Lisa’s mom. Our new route is now pretty much as dialed in as it’s going to get, having been slowly but surely tweaked over the last few weeks. I’m excited to get some time to hang out with her tonight when we get home.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

february fifth

Five for February 5th:

Refuel. My “desperation blend” of half regular, half-decaf coffee at home was not working. A quick stop at Starbucks on the way in fixed that problem: a Grande coffee (almost went Americano, but bailed) and fresh pack of Colombia instants for the workplace are now in hand.

Monday night skate sessions. Great one last night, proven by the fact that I’m even sorer than usual this morning. Brought out my 8.25 and that’s the way to go- 8.0 is just too small for ramp skating and my giant feet. I’m progressing every week, which is awesome, but pretty soon I’m going to need to start coming home and taking ice baths.

Jane. Her sleep schedule is getting better and better. She only woke up once last night, which I don’t think has ever happened. We really need to enjoy it while it lasts, because teething is just around the corner.

RFT Music Awards. Has it really been (almost) a year already? Music Awards voting for 2013 is starting up soon, and of course we would really appreciate the love. Get in on the ground floor.

Car crap. Last week Lisa has a dead battery, and this week we get a giant chunk of road metal stuck in our tire in the middle of North County in the dark with a sleeping baby in the back seat. The good news is, we barely had to pay anything to deal with these issues, and in the grand scheme of things, it could've been much worse. That said, I'm over it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

february fourth

Five for February 4th:

Late bloggin’. Today was hectic- Last night we had car trouble, and I spent all morning driving all over the St. Louis metro area taking care of that craziness. Lucikly, all is well and the cost was low, plus I got a free car wash out of the deal. Now that I’m caught up and can take a breath, let’s do this.

Awesome food. This weekend was full of it. Homemade Asian cuisine at Fran and Charlie’s place, breakfast burritos with Seth and Lindsay, turkey meat loaf from Whole Foods, chili at Lisa’s mom’s.

Snowfall. Came out of nowhere, attacked, and disappeared as quickly as it showed up. I did note that it was my first time ever shoveling our driveway, which despite its roughness was actually much easier than I thought it would be.

Skateboarding. Andy and I planned to skate the mini at No Coast on Saturday, but for some reason no one showed up to open the store, so we went to Ramp Riders for a quick session. It ended up being completely awesome, and we’ll be back there tonight as per usual.

Rolling over. Jane is now rolling from her back to her front like a seasoned pro, sometimes stopping to grab a toy at the halfway point. She’s not as good at rolling back the other direction, but she’s getting there.

Friday, February 1, 2013

february first

Five for February 1st:

Practice. A brief but very productive practice last night. Came up with the skeletons of two new songs, which hasn’t happened in quite some time. Cool to finally be back to writing some new stuff.

Van Halen. Compiled an “Ultimate Van Halen” playlist on Spotify yesterday, which is probably going to be the only thing I listen to today. Weirdly, there’s no Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone on it.

Crappy morning. I woke up later than I wanted to, the windchill was –6 outside, I lost a brand new contact lens, and we were out of almond milk. Woe is me.

Flip Lance Mountain brigadier deck. Damn, this thing is killer! Great shape, awesome VCJ-inspired graphic, wheel wells, actual screen print… I need one. Plus, Lance Mountain is the man. Oh yeah, and Santa Cruz just threw out a slew of reissue radness. All droolworthy, but where's my Jason Jessee Neptune?

Friday. ‘Tis here, and this weekend is looking like a good one. Dinners and brunches with friends, parties, hanging out with the family, and skating are all on the agenda. See you on the other side.