My Job

Most people don’t think my job’s very interesting. A lot of days I agree…but then I perform some basic analysis of my tasks, and things perk up a little. For those who don’t know, my day job (which is what I’m talking about here–not my musical life) is managing the Library at St. Louis Christian College. Recently, the previous Librarian resigned, and I’m running the show for a year, until they bring in a new, CREDENTIALED Librarian. (I put the word “credentialed” in all caps because the importance of it is regularly stressed in academic circles…and nowhere else…because in real life, it doesn’t matter what degree you hold as long as you pay your bills on time.)

In the past month I’ve:

  • Thrown away three full garbage bags of useless papers.
  • Revised the “rules” of the Library–twice.
  • Re-organized at least three documents that were poorly typed or contained outdated lists–some of which were improperly numbered in the first place. (I mean, seriously…the document I just did was enumerated in the following sequence: 1, 2, 1, 3, 3, 1, 5, 6, 7…and then it was correct from there on. How do you even DO that???)
  • Arranged for multiple students to get paid via the Work Study program, who were working for FREE in previous years for some reason.
  • Saved us over $9000 on our automation process in one conversation.
  • Cut our periodical budget in half–which actually was assigned to me to do, and was HARD.
  • Arranged for longer hours in the Summer to benefit our students who take night-courses in July/August.
  • Improved staff and inter-office communication (I think).
  • Re-arranged the office to create more space for people to move/breathe.
  • De-cluttered the walls.
  • Worked toward some basic beautification of the Library.
  • Arranged to have the walls painted for the first time in like 10-years–and they’re not going to be PINK this time!
  • Bought a coffee-maker (which sounds small, I know, but you have no idea what a thing like that can do for morale).

…and most importantly, I think… I’ve made it a priority to talk to and pray for/with my staff. I think one of the most important things a manager can do is to let his/her staff know that they are recognised and cared for as individuals–especially if those individuals are hourly workers without health benefits (**COUGHneed-to-unionizeCOUGH**). Now, I’m smart enough to know that I’m always going to be “the boss” and that at least one of them probably does an unflattering impression of me behind my back, as a result…but nevertheless, I feel like I’ve done some bridge-building that, frankly, I’m not sure was present before.

Don’t get me wrong, the previous Librarian and I got along most of the time (or at least we kept most of our objections to ourselves and just rode it out)…but I can count on one FINGER the number of times I felt like I’d been prayed for at my job. Sure, we’d have occasional conversations that were roughly to the effect of, “So how are things?” But, y’know…surface level stuff. I, on the other hand, have a prayer-request board, and I drop notes to my workers letting them know that I’ve prayed for the stuff they’ve written up there, and we have a prayer time in our meetings that isn’t just a formality.

I don’t know when or how exactly I came to CARE about my job…but I guess I must. After all, why else would I do it for this little money? πŸ™‚ I guess you find ministry where you find it. At my gig, I’m often preaching to the choir more than pulling souls out of the fires of Hell…but I’ve often wondered exactly who decided that the choir wasn’t worth preaching to in the first place. To me, it’s just as important to encourage and support those who ARE on the right track, so they keep doing right by God. Evangelism springs from that…but I can tell you for a fact that people who’re in Bible College aren’t always too sure of their salvation. Shoot, I know people who’ve gotten DEGREES from Bible Colleges who, if you asked them, probably would tell you they think they’re going to go to Hell. Some have fallen from grace…others never had it in the first place. I want to help change that…and for me, it starts with my staff (which, I’m relatively sure, is going to Heaven).

…so…yeah…that’s pretty interesting to me.

Current Listening:

  • Nothing…I left my iPod in the car and I’m too freaking lazy to go get it.

Website Stuff

As those who were waiting patiently for my website to re-emerge for MONTHS know, I’ve been a bad, bad Internet personality. Okay, we all know I’m no Star Wars Kid or Turtle Man to begin with…and I’m certainly no JenniCam, though I’d like to think just as many of you would like to watch ME shower as watched her, since we do have roughly the same body-shape. Nevertheless, I’ve ignored my web-community for a while.

…but the site is alive again, and it’s better than it was…and it’ll be BUZZING next week.

I’ve been hard at work getting some stuff ready for web-release on (or about) June 30 (Monday). I’ve been recording and mixing some web-specific audio for ya’. I’ve got full commentary tracks coming your way, which are full downloads of my two current records with me talking over them, like a DVD. I’m not sure if anyone else has done that…and if they have, I’m not sure what type of person would listen to it…but if Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Frank Black, or Willie Nelson did it, I’d certainly download it. So, that’s something.

Along with that stuff, I’m pouring over my music-archives to see if there are any music-downloads that are of interest…and I’m recording some new ones. I think you’re going to dig the first download of the music. I hope to put some really weird/interesting stuff on there soon. Only catch is that some of it requires approval of others who also played on it…so, we’ll see what happens.

I’m also midway through the photo-taking process for the “Guitar Gallery” for the “Pictures” section. Hope to have that running next week–though that may take some photoshoppery and whatnot, so it might not be right on the 30th. I’m not sure if that’ll be interesting to anyone who’s not a musician…but I hope so. I tell some stories about the guitars, too, that are kind of cool. Each guitar I own has a story attached, and I kind of think of them in the same way that some people think of the paintings they hang in their houses. Each one is its own piece and has its own story…so I hope people will check that out when it hits the net.

I’ve got an open-door policy about my web-life. I don’t censor myself too much–which has occasionally gotten me into trouble. In turn, I also don’t want to limit the people who visit my page. If anyone has any suggestions for the site or stuff that they think would be cool, I’ll be more than glad to steal your ideas. Just post a comment on the blog.

…as a side note, you may notice a few new links to the right…check those out. I’ve particularly been enjoying Marc’s “Sweet Thursday” blog lately.

Anyway…just thought I’d throw that out there. I’m a fan of whoring my stuff. πŸ™‚

Completely unrelated to all that, I’m on the last disc of the George Carlin box-set right now. I’ve been watching his stuff since hearing about his death. It’s been a fun journey and I’ve been laughing a lot. Really a shame about that guy. Every time I see George, it reminds me that life is short, so you may as well let people know what you think. That’s a lesson I wish more people would learn, and that I’ve been trying to take to heart, especially over the past year or so. Honesty’s all we have…who cares if it offends somebody? You only live once…may as well use the words you want to use and say the things you wanted to say. Makes me proud of my musical career, especially as I’ve been living it out in the past couple of years. And maybe that’s why my website’s finally alive and kicking again.

Ehh…not much of a post, but at least it’s here. So…there you go…

Gonna finish up this DVD and then–uhh–I don’t know what!

Current Listening:
…well, right NOW, Carlin…but in the car is Hayes Carll’s “Trouble in Mind.”

Stimulating Idea

I’ve had a thought…

I’ve not spent my “economic stimulus” check yet. I was planning on just letting it SIT in the bank account, mostly because I wanted to do the exact opposite of what Bush wanted me to do with it…

…but I’m thinking that maybe he has a good point…

…maybe I SHOULD spend it on America…

…maybe I should give it to the Obama Campaign.

One more Carlin post–and it’s from Kevin Smith

As many of you know, George Carlin (I’d like to think of him as St. Carlin, now) appeared in several movies directed by Kevin Smith. There are those who think that Kev did for movies in the 90s what Carlin did for comedy in the 70s. I’m not 100% on that, but the influence of Carlin on Smith’s work is apparent. Smith cast Carlin in a few of his movies–even giving him the rare chance of playing a dramatic role in the oft-unappreciated “Jersey Girl.”

On the View Askew message board, Kevin had this to say about George, and it’s one of the most touching tributes I’ve seen so far–and on a side note, I’d just like to chastise those who’re quoting Jack Burns who barely even SPOKE to Carlin after the comedy team’s break up. I’d also like to say that Dane Cook sucks, because people have been hailing him as the “next” Carlin…but the guy just sucks. Screw Dane Cook and everybody who looks like Dane Cook!

Anyway…

From Kev:
“Dammit.

My favorite memory of Carlin is sitting in the audience at one of his Vegas shows as he did his ‘People I Can Do Without’ routine. When he got to ‘Guys over the age of ten who wear their baseball hats backwards’ he tossed in ‘Kevin, you’re exempt from this.’

My introduction to George’s brilliance was ‘Carlin at Carnegie’ in the early days of HBO. Changed my sense of humor forever. Sixteen years later, I was happy to have met the man, let alone worked with him. Honestly, I was lucky to have known him at all.”

Classic Carlin – In My Eyes, Anyway…

I mentioned late last night/early this morning that George Carlin died. That saddens me, as I’m a big fan of Carlin’s. I’m not going to say I loved every word that came out of his mouth…and I’m also not going to claim that I haven’t SAID every word that’s come out of his mouth. πŸ™‚ However, there are certain words and roles of his that I’ve appreciated more than others. Here’s a list of my favorite Carlin moments, many of which you might not be aware. We all know about his stand-up, so I’m not going to get into that…and I’m aware that he was Rufus in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” but screw that and everything else with Keanu in it. Sure, Carlin was the best thing in that movie, but that’s kind of like someone taking a huge crap, finding a pearl in it and saying, “Wow! That pearl’s the best part of the crap I took!” I’m just baffled by why people sifted through it in the first place.

…anyway…here’s a list of amazing Carlin stuff you might not have seen, but that I love.

  1. “Dogma” – a movie by Kevin Smith. George played Cardinal Glick, a Cardinal with the Catholic Church. That was a pretty funny appearance for those who know Carlin’s past and his basic opposition to the Catholic Church. He played the part really well, and provided some really good laughs in the movie. One of Smith’s best movies, and Carlin helped make it that way. If nothing else, we have him to thank for revealing the “Buddy Christ” to the world.
  2. “The Simpsons” TV show. Carlin played an occasionally recurring character in “Munchie,” a guy who used to know Homer’s hippie-radical mother. He showed up about as often as Homer’s mom, which wasn’t too frequent, but it was always nice to see him. A lot of people somehow don’t notice that it’s him, but his timing and vocal prowess come through pretty clearly to me.
  3. “Shining Time Station” – a TV show for kids. Many people think of George Carlin as an abrasive, offensive, vulgar, rude, grumpy dude–and they’re right. But there are (or were, anyway) kids who thought of him in a completely different light. To them, he’s “Mr. Conductor,” a diminutive train-engineer who guided along the story of the show and helped teach them lessons each week…or morning…or whatever. I didn’t religiously watch the show, but I clearly remember running across it on PBS and my jaw just about dropped seeing him. I remember thinking, “That’s George Carlin!” and then a couple of minutes later, “Wow…this is terrible, and I’m going to stop watching it!” I think Carlin felt that way, too–and he even referenced it in a TV special when he made a joke about kids being irritating and then said, “And just remember, this is Mr. Conductor talking!” Nevertheless, he did the show, and he did it for kids…and I’m thinking he liked making that contribution. And I’m thinking it because he was also on…
  4. “Thomas the Tank Engine” where he was the narrator of the US series. No one really realizes that one either. It’s amazing that a guy that conservative groups and religious nuts labeled as “crude” did so much work for kids…and some of those kids were probably sitting in the homes of the rightist nuts who hated him, too…and I hope he got a kick out of that.
  5. The VERY short lived “George Carlin Show” where he played–you guessed it–George O’GRADY… Ahem… Anyway, the show was pretty terrible, and he knew it, but it was his one attempt to do something for prime-time, and actually once or twice it managed to be kind of funny.
  6. “Welcome Back Kotter” where he played “Wally the Wow.” Carlin was a DJ who was a former Sweathog working at a radio station that Freddy “Boom Boom” Washington almost left school for. Not a major role, but memorable enough to make my list, anyway…and it’s pretty cool to think of Carlin and Gabe Kaplan in the same room.
  7. My favorite thing Carlin’s done is a movie that was universally panned, largely because of the off-screen relationship of two of its stars…I am of course speaking of “Jersey Girl” (which is a GREAT movie, and you should really give it a chance). Carlin played Ben Affleck’s father, Bart Trinke. Before this movie, I’d only seen Carlin do funny roles. You’re introduced to him as a kind of sloppy-drunk street-cleaner, but you quickly fall in love with him. There’s a scene at the end of the movie between Affleck and Carlin that’s deeply touching and kind of makes me teary-eyed. (I won’t spoil it for you. Rent it.) It actually made me think, “Wow…I’ve got to be a better person and be better to my dad.” And that came from George Carlin. The dude actually changed my life…and that’s a fan letter that I’ll always regret having never written.

So, there you go. I’ll call that the “Seven Things You Probably Didn’t See on TV” list.

George Cariln Went Away

It came over the wire just a little bit ago. George Carlin died from heart failure. I saw George perform a few years ago. Good show, and I’ll miss him.
I don’t have much to say about it, because when such a funny man dies, it seems like a little bit of laughter dies with him…but I did want to post a couple of pictures of George, and post a quote of his that I think is particularly poignant. I also purposely titled my post with the term “went away,” because years ago in a TV special, Carlin said that was the only metaphor they allowed in their house for death. You either say the person’s DEAD, or that they went away. It would be tasteless to say anything else about the man himself. πŸ™‚
(Quote is after the pictures, and contains uncensored profanity, FYI.)

Words to live by:
Rat shit, Bat shit,
Dirty old twat
69 assholes tied in a knot.
Hooray!
Lizard shit!
FUCK!

Rest in peace, you grumpy old bastard. πŸ™‚

www.DerekBrink.com is GO!!!

The long wait has ended…my website lives again! I assure you. It’s true.

There is still some stuff that needs doin‘, but it’s certainly operational. A bunch of stuff is slated to be added during the week of June 30th and I’m excited about the new features I’ll be able to offer, especially the “downloads” page, which will be rockin‘ in a BIG way very soon.

Click on over and tell me what you think. If you notice anything not working right, please shoot an e-mail to the admin via the link in the left margins.

Thanks for being so patient!

www.derekbrink.com

Current Listening: A buttload of Frank Black/Black Francis/Pixies.