Tuesday, December 31, 2013

top five for 2013

Top Five for 2013:

Jane Martha. Jane’s first complete year has come and gone in an instant. I could go on all day about her- in fact, this “five” list could be devoted to nothing but Jane. But, to sum it up as concisely as possible: watching my daughter grow up and being a part of it is the most gratifying and wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced. She gives me something to look forward to each and every day. There is simply nothing better than being her dad.

Lisa. It’s likely that these two will forever top my year-end lists. Super proud of my wife for soldiering through a pretty intense year and coming out on the other end stronger and more accomplished than ever. Kicking off 2014 with a prestigious and well-deserved new position at Wash U, and continuing to prove herself to be the best mother and wife ever.

Bike commuting. Truly one of my favorite things in the world to do. I rode my bike more this year than ever before- not a single week this spring/summer did I drive to work more than I rode, which to me is a real accomplishment. Hoping to keep the tradition alive starting in a few short months.

Skateboarding. The obsession continues unabated. I’ve had so many good times and made so many awesome new friends since getting back into skating a few years ago that it’s hard to imagine life before it. It’s truly the fountain of youth. Summer mornings at JB and winter evenings at Ramp Riders are just part of life now, and I love it.

Words, pictures, music. Three big things that continue to provide me with a creative outlet on a daily basis are writing and photography- or, to be specific, this blog and Instagram. I utilize both so consistently that I almost don’t even notice it anymore. On the music front, this year’s addition of an electronic drum kit in my attic as allowed for me to get my musical fix at home, which has been awesome, as previously I could only play drums for 2 hours a week at practice. All good stuff. Hope you’re all enjoying it too.

Monday, December 30, 2013

december thirtieth

Five for December 30th:

Skate Gods. They were smiling on us over the weekend, as temps got up near 60 degrees on Saturday. Session at JB went down all morning with everyone out taking advantage. Also hit up Ramp Riders for a first ride on the fresh mini-ramp yesterday.

New Year’s Eve. Our fourth NYE at Off Broadway is tomorrow night with Middle Class Fashion. A set of original tunes from each band followed by a covers set custom-tailored for blown minds. Ten bucks and free 4 Hands beers to the first 50 people through the door. Hope to see your smiling faces there.

Breaking habits. We’re in the process of trying to completely wean Janey off the bottle, which so far isn’t too bad. However, the pacifier is next, and I am not looking forward to that.

Cool stuff. Another 3.5 day week, Tilts at Firebird, 2014 family Zoo membership, new carabiner, 31” Darth Vader, Venom’s rejection letter from EMI, November eBay watch, breakfast sandwich, RV show in January.

End of the year list. Last year I did a big, elaborate, time-consuming photo essay to conclude the year. Needless to say it was tons of work and took a month to put together, so I bagged it for this year. Besides, if you follow me on Instagram you've already seen it all anyway. Top five for 2013 coming tomorrow.

Friday, December 27, 2013

december twenty-seventh

Five for December 27th:

Onward and upward. Today is Lisa’s last day at her job before embarking on the next phase of her working life at Wash U. It’s been amazing to watch her career absolutely take off over the last few years. I couldn’t be prouder.

De-cluttering. It’s about time to go through the house with some cardboard boxes and trim the fat.

Being a dad. Stuff like this makes unpleasant things like going outside to scrape ice off of your car in the morning a considerably better experience.

Cool stuff. English breakfast tea, setting up a new board, Jane’s school holiday photo, impromptu lunch at Seoul Taco with Lisa, Schlafly Coffee Stout, Obits on Spotify.

Weekend action. It feels like it’s Tuesday, but it’s actually Friday, and that is fine with me. Full weekend coming up: taking advantage of the 50-degree weather for a sesh at JB tomorrow, the final xmas gathering of the year, Tilts show at Firebird, and the last of the New Year’s Eve practices.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

december twenty-sixth

Five for December 26th:

Christmas. This was without doubt the most fun one ever, due wholly to the fact that Jane is now old enough to enjoy it- even if she can’t completely understand what it is she’s enjoying. Great times with family and friends.

Thursday. It feels weird being back at work today, as the last couple of days felt like the weekend. We’ll see if anything actually gets done.

Gift haul. Got some amazing presents this year: Powell Peralta “Ban This” Caballero deck, new 2014 Moleskine planner, new sweater/flannel, the complete Harry Potter book collection, a pair of Vans/Haro Freestyler collab shoes, and lots of other goodies. Thanks to all.

Cool stuff. Bottle of good wine, play kitchen for Jane (that I still have to assemble), tons of good holiday photos, eucalyptus shampoo, 24 hours of A Christmas Story, good friends getting engaged.

Red Lobster. If this is true, we have a gift card we’d better get on using before the end comes. Say it ain’t so, cheesy biscuits.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

december twenty-fourth

Five for December 24th:

Holiday crush. Two solid days of Christmas madness spread out between three separate arms of the family begins in mere hours.

Winter solstice. We’re over the hump for short, dark days for the year, which is one bit of positive news in the gloom of the winter. It was 7 degrees when I left for work this morning, so needless to say, I’m ready for spring to get sprung.

No blog. Taking tomorrow off as is the custom. No one’s on the Internet on Christmas day anyway. Similar hours next week with New Year’s.

Cool stuff. Super 7 Instagram, new layer of masonite on the Ramp Riders mini, holiday lunch at work, “World Record” named one of the Best Music Releases of 2013 in the RFT, pre-bedtime stargazing with Jane and Lisa.

Tuesday tuneage. Bad Religion, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Guns n’ Roses, Black Hollies, The Faces, Led Zeppelin.

Monday, December 23, 2013

december twenty-third

Five for December 23rd:

Short week. Tomorrow is a half-day and will be, as is the tradition, a total blow-off. Hanging around, eating food, and leaving early to meet up at Lisa’s mom’s to kick off the festivities.

Practice. Ran and timed the whole NYE cover set front to back last night for the first time, and it sounded great, despite the absence of bass guitar on some songs. Final, all-hands-on-deck practice is this coming Sunday, after which there’s no turning back. We either have it or we don’t.

Iron Maiden rules. Here’s an example of how to correctly and professionally take advantage of what some bands might see as a shitty situation.

Cool stuff. New issue of The Skateboard Mag, box of donuts at work, then & now SF earthquake photos, pancakes at Chris’ with Lisa and Jane, Marcus “the Magnificent” Malone, Pussy Riot freed, hand-delivered homemade xmas cookies from Anna.

10 to Spin. Seth did a Blind Eyes Christmas edition of “10 to Spin” over at Speakers in Code. Good tunes, and comes with a free download. Check it out.

Friday, December 20, 2013

december twentieth

Five for December 20th:

Another day at the office. When left to our own devices (with the assistance of a photographer from Modern Drummer), stuff like this happens.

Breakfast fail. Continuing the grand tradition of my one-year-old eating more awesome food than me, this morning Jane had French toast while I had some lame-ass cereal.

The Onion. This post detailing a fictional Twitter feud between Barack Obama and the Audubon Society had me rolling.

Cool stuff. Renewed TWSkate subscription, perfect Cru Jones’ RAD Mongoose repro, Black Hollies on Spotify, morning drumming, James Hetfield soundboard, 60-degree late December temperatures, NYE posters.

Friday. Despite this being somewhat of a short week as I was out sick Monday, it was still a complete dragger and I don’t expect today to be any different. No real plans for the weekend save for practice on Sunday evening and hopefully getting in a session at Ramp Riders on their freshly-relayered mini ramp. See you out there.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

december nineteenth

Five for December 19th:

Tea for one. I’ve been developing an undeniable preference for tea over coffee over the last month or so. I still love a cup of Joe first thing in the morning, but once I get to work it’s pretty much herbal/black tea all day. Will it last?

Est. ‘73. Two super interesting and cool segments on the history of NHS/Santa Cruz debuted on the Berrics site yesterday with more coming down the pike. I’m a total sucker for this type of thing. Check ‘em out here and here.

Hüsker Dü. Warehouse: Songs and Stories has been playing pretty much nonstop on Spotify the last day or so. It’s just one of those albums. Interesting fact: the band broke up after a show at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO on the support tour for this album.

Cool stuff. New issue of TransWorld Skateboarding, goofing off with Jane, Bottleworks, electric mug warmer, cheap 1/8-1/8 cables, warm weather, band practice tonight.

Kombi Campers. I had no idea that VW were still making these at all, but apparently they are. Unfortunately, not for much longer. The end of an era I assumed had already ended.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

december eighteenth

Five for December 18th:

Top spins. Super awesome to see World Record #2 in both national and local spins on KDHX this year. To get 93 plays out of a 5-song EP that was released not six months ago is just amazing. Thanks to everyone at KDHX for their continued support.

Take heed, websites. Imagine all the things you can do in the world. I would do all of them before actually signing up when confronted with a "sign up now" box preventing me from reading an article online.

To-do list. Making a long-overdue dentist appointment, fixing the stairs in the front of the house, ordering new contacts, replacing the furnace filters, and getting pictures of Jane printed are all on there. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

Cool stuff. Holiday cards in the mail, chipotle tabasco, new H-Street swag, Family Guy season 11 on Netflix, Stefanie getting published, The Faces of Real Estate.

40K. Somehow, this blog is getting near the forty-thousand pageview mark. Who’s reading this thing? Anyway, glad whoever you are likes it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

december seventeenth

Five for December 17th:

24 hour bug. No posting yesterday due to the sudden attack of some sort of sickness that overtook Lisa and I for a day and rendered us wholly and completely useless. Luckily whatever it was ran its course pretty quickly and I’m pretty much back to 100% today. Big thanks to Debbie for taking care of Jane and providing soup and 7-Up.

Relayering. The mini at Ramp Riders is getting much-needed re-ply job done this week. This being the primary thing we skate through the winter, it goes without saying that this is a welcomed development by all. Excited to check it out when it’s finished.

Selling crap. A box of miscellaneous Gundam action figures and models that I listed over a week ago had no bids. I assumed it was going to be a bust, until the last day when it exploded, and ended up going for almost $100 on 27 bids. I was thinking I’d get $30 out of it. Done deal.

Cool stuff. Feeling like a human being again, new issue of Ride BMX, GT Demo Tape on Youtube, Mark’s basement ramp, Filmage at Mad Art, holiday party action, tray of sugar cookies at work.

Tuesday tuneage. Devo, Them Crooked Vultures, Japanther, Bad Cop, Mushuganas, Led Zeppelin, Kirk & the Jerks, Fugazi, Descendents.

Friday, December 13, 2013

december thirteenth

Five for December 13th:

Friday the 13th. I feel like we’ve had a lot of them this year, but maybe I’m just mixing up my years. It all tends to run together after awhile.

Keep it local. In addition to being sourced locally, produced humanely, and benefiting the local economy, the new E-I-E-I-O burger at Stacked sounds absolutely awesome.

Staving off sickness. Chalk it up to Emergen-C, copious amounts of hot tea, Nyquil, or just dumb luck- but I’ve somehow managed to remain mostly un-sick through all of this tumultuous weather, which would normally have reduced me to a snotty mess by now.

Cool stuff. Italian Roast Vias, getting paid, fresh-baked brownies, playing Bristle Blocks with Jane, NHS museum, drumming to Fugazi.

Weekend action. Lots happening: Filmage tonight at Mad Art Gallery followed by Seth’s annual holiday party, Ramp Riders for an afternoon session tomorrow afternoon, 12 Bassists of Christmas show at Off Broadway, and NYE practice with MCF on Sunday night. Hanging out with Lisa and Jane at all points between.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

december twelfth

Five for December 12th:

Press. We were recently named one of ten St. Louis bands that should be famous. The RFT ran an article in this week’s issue, where I answered some questions and what-not. Pick one up. Congrats to Bruiser Queen for snagging the cover shot.

Shredding. Super fun session last night with a whole slew of Old Man Skate Cartel dudes. Ramp Riders was as busy as I’ve ever seen it, which is great. Hoping to get there on Saturday for one last run on the mini before they re-layer it next week.

KDHX. It’s weird to think we’ll never again play live in their Magnolia Avenue studio. I think I’ve played there four of five times over the course of two bands. It’s cool to see them moving on to bigger and better things, but I’m going to sort of miss that old building.

Cool stuff. Gevalia French Roast coffee, how to beat a red light ticket, a great impromptu family photo, indoor campouts, workplace cleaning and clearing, Emergen-C, taking Jane for shoulder rides.

Deep freeze. It was a cozy 13 degrees on the drive in to work today, which is balmy compared to Chicago, where it’s zero degrees. This winter is going to be a tough one.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

december eleventh

Five for December 11th:

SoHa. May have to become a regular Tuesday night go-to spot. $2 burgers, $2 drinks, a roaring fire, and one minute from our house equals a total win.

Rocking and rolling. Another good practice last night with MCF at their haunted practice room in the converted Lemp brewery. Sounding really tight and we nailed down another couple of tunes- and even got home at a reasonable hour.

The Onion. This article literally had me in tears last night.

Cool stuff. #8 of 250 Jim Thiebaud REAL reissue, Hold Steady at Off Broadway in January, peppermint tea, bad puns, Richie Jackson Promotional Film, amazing Monty Nolder knockoff.

Get the Led out. A friend who works at Spotify has informed me that Led Zeppelin goes live today, finally. They’re putting up two albums a day until everything is up there. About effing time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

december tenth

Five for December 10th:

Frozen hands. We have officially entered the time of the year where my hands are ice-cold for about four straight months with almost no reprieve. Lame.

Holiday shopping. Pretty much got it wrapped up at this point. It’s actually kind of nice to have it done early and not be trolling the picked-over department store wastelands two days before everything closes because I dragged my feet for so long.

Don’t do it. E-tailers of the world: to send me an email confirming I just unsubscribed from your email list is to invite death.

Cool stuff. Tent City 10 year anniversary, Thiebaud reissue getting close, first full-band NYE rehearsal tonight, leftover pasta, Metallica live in Antarctica, Assault skateboards holiday lineup, breaking out the sweaters.

Tuesday tuneage. Torche, Badfinger, Pentagram, the Creation, the Donnas, Dengue Fever, Vic and Gab, Keygrip, Bonesetters.

Monday, December 9, 2013

december ninth

Five for December 9th:

NYE. Really psyched on how things are coming along for NYE this year. We’re taking a whole different, much more mellow approach to practices and general setup, and it’s working great. Songs are tight and sounding amazing. RSVP now.

Working in the attic. Got a bunch of stuff organized upstairs over the weekend- boxes consolidated, junk thrown away, things listed on eBay, and some furniture rearranged. Good stuff.

Henry. Poor dude is not feeling well. Don’t know what’s up, but he’s been out of sorts for a few days. Changing up his diet to see if that makes his stomach better, but we may have to take him to the vet soon if it doesn’t work.

Cool stuff. Robot shelf 2013, fresh-baked cookies at work, Ishod gets Skater of the Year (my vote was Sandoval, but Ishod killed it too), playing with Jane, hitting Ranchito for lunch.

Weekend highlights. Killer practice at Lemp, our first time to Rise for coffee and Strange Donuts, super fun afternoon session at Ramp Riders with Andy, Chris, Jesse and crew, impromptu dinner with mom, Lisa and Jane at CPK.

Friday, December 6, 2013

december sixth

Five for December 6th:

First snow. Really just a dusting in the metro area and the roads are totally clear, but of course the news stations are in full insanity mode and nearly every school is closed. Ahh, yes. Good to see you again, winter in STL.

Band practice. Making really good headway on NYE tunes. Nailed down two more last night, and have two practices with MCF coming up that should shore things up even tighter. Advance tix here. It’ll be a fun night.

Nelson Mandela. There will never be another one like him in our lifetimes.

Cool stuff. Goofin’ with Jane, skaters of the year picking skater of the year, Miss Rock Fantasy 1983, discovering new bands, Trader Joe's mac n' cheese.

Friday. Should be a pretty mellow weekend coming up, which is fine by me: besides practicing on Sunday night, no real concrete plans to speak of. Probably get a session at Ramp Riders in somewhere, and chill Janey and Lisa as much as possible. Potential for breakfast at Southwest Diner is high.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

december fifth

Five for December 5th:

Arctic wasteland. Yesterday I was strolling around the Loop drinking iced coffee with my sleeves rolled up. Today I was outside scraping ice off my car. Oh well. It is December, after all.

Everything Will Be Forgotten. Spot-on article about the Kingshighway DIY park (and the people behind it) at Skate and Annoy. Also has a great video you should check out if you haven’t already.

IKEA. The speculation is over: STL is getting one, it was made it official yesterday. I don’t really get excited about big-box store openings, but the fact that it will be in STL proper (and not, say, Chesterfield Valley) is a great thing for the city. Will I be a regular there? Not likely. Will it be cool to have 5 minutes away? Absolutely.

Cool stuff. Donuts at work, Dengue Fever on Spotify, Jef Hartsel slappy edit, candy cane Oreos, free Anthrax poster, playing drums at home.

Winter weather must-haves. Waterproof gloves, insulated skullcap, pea coat, Doc Martens or equally grippy shoes/boots, ice scraper, windshield wiper fluid, rock salt.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

december fourth

Five for December 4th:

Hate to say I told you so. I used to get into heated debates with a particular high school English teacher over her assertions that every novel we read was dripping with symbolism in every sentence. This article validates every point I made to her- sometimes, there’s just no deeper meaning, and you're simply seeing things that aren't there.

Sriracha. It has officially replaced bacon in the "thing everyone talks about consuming on the internet to the point of annoyance" department. Yeah, we get it. Sriracha popsicles or whatever. Hoo-ha.

Janey update. She’s talking up a storm these days, and even though it’s still almost 100% babble, there are more and more actual words sneaking in there. She’s also graduated to fully sprinting around the house instead of cautiously walking.

Cool stuff. NYE show poster, key lime Greek yogurt, lunchtime Loop skate cruising, Ranchito plans with Tom on Monday, new episodes of It’s Always Sunny on Netflix, clearing more photos off my iPhone.

Last gasp. We’re heading straight toward a brutal cold front, which should be hitting sometime tomorrow. However, today will still be in the 60’s. Go out and enjoy it while you can.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

december third

Five for December 3rd:

Welcome to St. Louis. Sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid 60’s today and tomorrow, freezing cold with potential for snow on Thursday and Friday. No complaints here- any 60 degree December days are fine by me.

The future looks bitchin’. Make no mistake, I have no love for Amazon, but there is no denying the cool factor of flying robots delivering packages to your doorstep a half hour after you buy them.

Skated out. Between three trips to JB over the long weekend and closing down Ramp Riders last night, I’m done for. Need a few days off to let my ankles recuperate.

Cool stuff. Starbucks xmas Vias, Seoul Taco burritos to-go, Cold-Eze, new issue of Dig BMX, meeting cool people, the Pace Salsa Twitter saga.

Tuesday tuneage. Bouncing Souls, Mushuganas, Swingin’ Utters, Dead Moon, Bad Cop, Soundgarden.

Monday, December 2, 2013

december second

Five for December 2nd:

Thanksgiving weekend. Amazing weather interspersed with tons of great food and lots of good times with various family and friends. Jane had a blast gorging herself on turkey and stuffing, but was (as expected) partial to the cranberry jello. Also, in keeping with our yearly tradition, the tree is officially up.

Skate and destroy. Took advantage of the spring-like temperatures with three sessions at JB. Get it while you can. Hopefully hitting Ramp Riders tonight, but that’s up in the air. Also, set up a new 8.5 Slave deck and re-gripped my 1031 Danforth.

Jane gave me a cold. It was worth every last snotty kiss.

Cool stuff. Leftover pizza, spring travel plans, new issue of Thrasher in the mail, Walking Dead mid-season finale, Schlafly Winter ESB, floor mats for the Rogue.

December. Already? Where did this year go? Seriously. It seems like it was just yesterday I was riding my bike to work in the sweltering summer heat.