So Put Jan 17th on Your Calendar…

Blue Tattoo has our first gig, and it’s January 17th at “The Chapel” with a band called “The Fishpaws.”  I think we’re opening.  Times and whatnot to follow…but I’m pretty sure it’ll be 21+, for those of you who are younger than the average age of the band (which is like 31.5, I think) — I sometimes forget about that rule, since I haven’t been a minor in a while.  For the record, I still think it sucks (even though I completely get it).  Nevertheless…the gig should be cool, 21 or not.  🙂

 

In other news, I’ve been spending all day downloading the “Purple Chick” Beatles remasters.  Basically this genius on the Internet remastered all the old Beatles stuff (including a bunch of songs not available on the actual records, which many casual fans — like myself — have never heard) and put it on the Internet for free.  There’s some Googling necessary, but you can find it pretty easily.  I’m not going to link to it, because it’s not necessarilylegal.  But it’s pretty cool.  (There are discs and discs worth of false-starts, outtakes, and stuff like “just the horns from Sgt. Pepper.”  It’s freaking ridiculous.)  Sounds WAY better than the CD masters which have never really been given a proper treatment.  With these out there for FREE if the Beatles people ever get it together to do a proper re-release, they’re going to have their work cut out for them to top it.  I’d imagine these will be the standard that future Beatles re-masters (if any) are judged by.  (If you’re interested in the downloads, e-mail me.  I think there’s some way to do that through WordPress, but I’m not sure…if you’re a friend, you’ll have the address.)

 

Current Watching:

  • The Drew Carey Show, which is on TV for once!  I thought they stopped showing it.
  • Later, The Simpsons…

Writing…

I have been neglecting my blog a little lately, for which I apologize (mostly to Angela).  It’s mainly been because I’ve been writing other things.  I try to write something every day.  Most days, that manifests in a blog post.  In the past couple of weeks, it’s manifested in either stuff for work, or working on one of several other things I’m working on.

 

I’m writing three short-stories.  One is a re-vamp of a love story I started a couple of years ago (but never finished).  One is a loose-framework based on some songs I’d written (also a couple of years ago).  The last is…actually I’m not sure what it is, because it keeps evolving and I keep scrapping parts of it and just keeping random sentences I liked.

 

The love story is semi-autobiographical.  Kind of starts at the end and traces things back…not in the “Pulp Fiction” way, though.  More in the “I’ve had an epiphany about what got me here” way (like “Casino,” but without Joe Pesci crapping it up).  I like it, and I hope I actually finish it this time.  I may have even mentioned it here in like 2006.  It’s called “Assessment.”  At one time, “part one” was like 53 pages.  Now it’s approximately five.  I’m hoping to max-out at about 30-50 pages of it for the complete story, if that much.

 

The “loose-framework” thing is based on some songs I wrote for an on-again/off-again concept record called “New Year’s Eve.”  It’s a very short libretto about a guy who has a really crappy year.  The libretto is a lot darker than the songs, and is meant to be a “story-so-far” leading up to where the record starts.  Kind of like what Pete Townshend wrote in the liner-notes of the “Quadrophenia” record.  I really like it, and I’ll probably do something with it, even if I don’t do the record.

 

The other thing has been heavily Vonnegut influenced.  It’s got a sci-fi touch to it, but not traditionally so.  “Sci-fi” is probably a misleading term for it, actually.  It’s just kind of a thing where the consciousness of the narrator is allowed to shift between time-periods.  More like an assortment of memories being altered as they’re remembered.  It also touches on concepts of war, religion, race, and apathy.  It’s probably going nowhere, and I haven’t bothered naming it.  It’s just an exercise, really.

 

I’m also in the process of writing a fourth thing.  I’ve been reluctant to tell anyone about it, but it’s coming along well-enough that I’ll spill a bean or two.  It’s called “Restless.”  The term I’m using to describe it is that it’s the “non-linear, un-biographical autobiography” of my life.  It’s a bunch of stories that are true and are the moments that’ve really shaped my life.  But there’s very little of the typical “I was born in a log cabin in Illinois” stuff.  (I wasn’t, by the way.) 

 

It’s being arranged in order of one event leading to the other, but not necessarily in chronological order.  Maybe in chapter one I’ll begin talking about my mom, and that will lead to me talking about how it took me so long to cut my hair (as an adult) because I struggled with image issues about my ears ever since I was a kid (because mom grew my hair long to cover them).  So I’m suddenly dealing with my adult life, when I was talking about being 14.  Then in chapter two, maybe I’ll jump back and talk about my first day of school (I don’t, but I could theoretically do that), and we’re back in time to Mom being alive and my hair being long again.  Each chapter is arranged more by subject than year.  I doubt that I’ll try to sell it to anyone…I’ll probably just end up posting it here or as a download on derekbrink.com.  After all, I’m not famous or anything…why would anyone want to PAY to read my autobiography.  Sure, it worked when Frank McCourt did it (“Angela’s Ashes”), but he had the immigrant thing going for him…  My story’s probably only interesting to a few people…so I’ll probably end up posting it here.

 

So…that’s what’s been keeping me busy.  I guess that’s been more interesting to me lately than writing about…whatever I usually write here.  🙂

 

I’ll try to blog more often, but if I don’t, please don’t feel like I’ve stopped loving you.  🙂  …and I’ll keep you posted on if any of the above develops further.

 

Quotable Quotes:

  • “You don’t know what it is, to be hungry.” – Vladek Spiegelman, survivor of Auschwitz
  • “It is not God’s will for everyone to be happy.  It is God’s will for everyone to be saved.” – Anonymous
  • Re: Charlie Daniels’ “Duets” record: “…who with?  Everybody?” – Teague

Long Survey

I stole the following survey from my friend Daniel on Facebook, and apparently, he stole it from someone called Julie.  It’s a long one, but kind of fun.  Enjoy!

 

A

 

  • Available: Yes, but I’m pretty busy with work and I’m not looking for anything serious.
  • Age: 28
  • Annoyance: The sound of people chewing.
  • Animal: 1-2-3-4-5 against 1. 5-5 5 against one…

 

B
 

  • Beer: Guinness or the like.  If you can see through it, I’m not interested.
  • Birthday: May 29, 1980.
  • Best Friend[s]: Nikomas, Dave K, and the guys in my band.
  • Best feeling in the world: I don’t remember her name right now.
  • Blind or Deaf: I’m already half deaf (my left ear), so can I just go half blind as well and call it even?
  • Best weather: Winter.
  • Been in Love: Yes.
  • Been on stage?: Lots.
  • Believe in Magic: Johnson?  Sure, I guess.
  • Believe in Santa: Ana?  Sure.  They have his leg in Texas.

C

  • Candy: I’m mostly a Twix and Snickers guy…but anything with chocolate.
  • Color: I mainly dress in earth-tones, so probably brown or black or something like that.
  • Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate
  • Chinese/Mexican: Mexican, I guess.  I think I have a better chance of learning Spanish than Chinese.
  • Cake or pie: Depends on my mood.  I like both.
  • Continent to visit: I gots to get to British Europe one of these days.  I’d also like to see Germany.
  • Cheese: Sure.

D

  • Day or Night: Night, but not always by choice.
  • Dance in the rain: Sometimes.  More likely to sleep in it.

E

 

  • Eyes: Hazel, leaning toward green.  Also bloodshot.
  • Everyone has: The innate spark of the divine and inner beauty.  (My first instinct, though, was “to poop.”)
  • Ever failed a class?: Yes, indeed.

F

  • Full name: Derek Lee Brink
  • First thoughts waking up: The f-word, followed by considering calling in sick.
  • Food: I’m a food addict.  I’m virtually always eating.

G

  • Greatest Fear: Loneliness–not being alone…loneliness.
  • Goals: None.
  • Gum: None.
  • Get along with your parents?: Yes, but my mom’s dead, so that’s not too hard.
  • Good luck charm: I carry a small cross in my left pocket and I have crosses drawn on my boot-heels to chase the devil away.  Seriously.

H

  • Hair Color: Red, but leaning toward strawberry blonde, I’m told.
  • Height: 5’9″/5’10”.  I seem to get both, depending on who’s measuring.  So it’s probably like 5’9.5″ or something.
  • Happy: Sometimes.  Not often enough.
  • Holiday: Thanksgiving.
  • How do you want to die: In a way so impressive that people aren’t even sad.

I

  • Ice Cream: There’s something they have at Maggie-Moo’s.  Better Butter, or something like that.
  • Instrument: Guitar, bass, hammered dulcimer, banjo, mandolin, a little piano, a little drums, tin whistle, harmonica, didgeridoo, lap-steel, jews-harp, ocarina…I try to passably learn one a year.

J

  • Jewelry: I occasionally wear a “trinity” ring, and I’ll wear a cross now and again…but otherwise, not much.
  • Job(s): Librarian.  Musician.

K

  • Kids: I love kids.  They taste like chicken.
  • Kickboxing or karate: While you’re getting into your “stance” I’m smashing a brick into your face.  Wuss.
  • Keep a journal?: Used to.  Now I blog.

L

  • Longest Car Ride: Not sure.  I’ve done a lot of driving.  Probably the most impressive was the one from STL to Minneapolis with no stops.
  • Love: I hear it’s all you need.
  • Letter: Q.  It’s the funniest letter.
  • Laughed so hard you cried: Recently, recounting a weird dream I had.

M

  • Milk flavor: White.
  • Movies: I love movies, but I hate movie theatres.
  • Motion sickness?: Not usually, but it depends on who’s driving.
  • McD’s or BK: I’m assuming you mean McDonald’s or Burger King…but I’m mostly a Wendy’s guy.

N

  • Number of Siblings: One.
  • Number of Piercings: Above the belt?  None.
  • Number: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, or 42.

O

  • One wish: To always have at least $750.

P

  • Perfect Pizza: I’m not really that picky…but Dominoes sucks.
  • Pepsi/Coke: Coke…but prefer Dr. Pepper, if you’ve got it.

Q

  • Quote: Well that seems kind of silly, but okay…here you go: “

R

  • Reason to cry: Pain or allergies.
  • Reality T.V.: SUCKS.
  • Radio Station: I don’t listen to the radio.
  • Roll your tongue in a circle? Yeah.  And I’m single, ladies!  (What?)
  • Ring size: Depends on the finger.

S

  • Song: Don’t Fear the Reaper by BOC, and not because of that Will Ferrel sketch.
  • Shoe size: 8-8.5, depending on the shoe.
  • Salad Dressing: Ranch.  I’ll put Ranch on anything.
  • – Sushi: Not usually, but I like mussels.
  • – Skipped school: Frequently.
  • – Slept outside: Not of my own will.
  • – Smoked?: I wish I was smoking right now.
  • – Skinny dipped?: Yes.  And it was awesome.
  • – Sing well?: I like to think so, but it’s all relative.
  • – In the shower?: No…on the couch.  My laptop’s not waterproof.
  • – Swear?: As much as I can without getting fired.
  • – Strawberries/Blueberries: Strawberries…though my aunt Clara makes a good blueberry pie.

T

  • Time for bed: I’m an insomniac, and I take offense to this question.
  • Thunderstorms: fine as long as the lights stay on.

U

  • Unpredictable: Gas.

V

  • Vacation spot: I don’t take vacations.

W

  • Weakness: Getting kicked in the nuts.
  • Which one of your friends acts the most like you: I hope none of them…God forbid there be another one of me.
  • Who makes you laugh the most: Probably my brother.
  • Worst feeling: I don’t remember her name right now…
  • Wanted to be a model? Only if I could be Rick The Model Martel.
  • Where do we go when we die?: What comes from dust returns to dust.
  • Worst Weather?: Summer.

X

  • X-Rays: All of the Rays I know are still called Ray.  Sorry.
  • Ex’s: Numerous and irritating…and that’s an “e,” dingus.

Y

  • Year it is now: 2008
  • Yellow: Terrible Coldplay song.

Z

  • Zoo animal: Penguins.

LAST PERSON WHO…

  1. Slept in a bed beside you? Hmm…”slept?” I don’t recall.
  2. You went to the mall with? My dad, last time, I guess.
  3. You went to dinner with? My brother last week.
  4. You talked to on the phone? Somebody who called the Library and didn’t know what they were talking about.
  5. Made you laugh? Jason Lee on “My Name is Earl” (Happens to be on right now.)
  6. Hugged you? I don’t remember.  I hug a lot of people.
  7. Said they loved you? My Grandma.
  8. Held your hand? Also My Grandma.  It was weird.
  9. Spoke with? Candice, I think.

The End.

 

Current Reading:

  • The Pulitzer-Prize winning Comic Book “Maus” by Art Spiegelman

An Open Letter to the Best Buy Near My House

Dear Best Buy,

 

So…what happened?  You used to have a really good selection of DVDs, but now it’s crap.  I mean, sure, you have tons of the Special Edition of “Animal House.”  But I don’t want that, Best Buy.  I want other things.

 

I understand that you’re making the transition to Blue Ray (even though a large majority of the world ISN’T)…but even your Blue Ray section sucks.  Where you used to have about six racks of quality DVD selections, you now have only two rows, and only ONE of Blue Ray.  The rest of the area which used to hold DVDs is now filled with video games.

 

Okay.  First of all…screw Blue Ray.  I’m not ready for a new format yet, and neither is most of working-class, DVD buying mid-America.  So you can suck it on that one.  But beyond that, even if you’re GOING to stock a format most people don’t want yet, you could at least keep the same volume of products.  Why are you down to three rows of movies when you used to have six?  And what’s with all the video games?  I’m an adult (and a fat one, at that).  I’m not going to be playing the Wii any time soon.  I outgrew video games long ago (okay, except for the time-wasters at ArmorGames.com, when I’m bored at work — err — on my personal time and designated holidays, I mean).

 

Look.  I’m basically a nerd.  I like music, movies, books, and comics.  I don’t have room in my life for video games and neither do the majority of your target demographic.  I know you probably sell a lot of them to soccer moms and hockey dads who are just looking to set their kid down in front of something and get some time to themselves.  But I’d imagine you sell more music and movies to guys like me than you do video games to bad parents.  What was wrong with where you USED to keep the games?  They were out of the way of those of us who have a purpose in life, yet still in a trafficked area for the kids and those about to fail out of college.  Instead, you’ve moved a product aimed at people with no money into MY territory.

 

Look here, Best Buy…  I spend hundreds and potentially thousands of dollars on DVDs (depends on the month).  You’re taking away the supply, yet I still have the demand.  This is basic math…  I’ll be taking my demand elsewhere.  And the real kicker is that I’m probably going to be paying someone else (like Barnes and Noble) MORE money for the same product.  But I’d rather spend more somewhere that has what I want and gives a crap about their loyal customers than go to a place that edged me out and buy stuff I don’t want, just because it’s what’s left on the shelves.

 

…and there’s always the Internet, which actually probably saves me some money, but I’ve now got to wait for delivery…

 

Plus, I’d just like to mention that the guy I asked about the “Threevening with Kevin Smith” DVD yesterday wasn’t at all helpful (he didn’t even look it up) and tried to sell me on Blue Ray, which pretty much sold me on not spending money at your store anymore.  I would’ve gotten his name…but I get the suspicion that I’d just get the same from whoever his manager is…poor leadership = poor workers.

 

If I were the only one who felt this way, it’d be one thing.  But I know I’m not alone.  Wanna know how?  Because I was listening to the other nerds in the DVD aisles (we were crammed in pretty tight, by the way) complaining about the lack of selection and muttering “f*ck Blue Ray.”  Bad move, Best Buy…bad move.

 

Please write back.

 

-Derek, the Voice of America.

 

Quotable Quotes:

(This one’s actually a conversation I had with the dude behind the desk at a comics shop.)

  • Me: “Have you read any of the Marvel Zombies stuff?”
  • Dude: (Without looking up from the desk) “SUUUUUUCKS!”

Okay…it’s Fine Now…

I now have no problems with it looking a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.  Hang your lights.  Dust off your Santas.  Re-straw your mangers.  Polish up your Yule Log (gross).  The season is officially upon us.

 

I like Christmas.  I could do without the crowds at the places I shop, though.  As someone who FREQUENTS Best Buy, Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc…some of you have a lot to learn.  You’re making it difficult for the regulars.  Shoot, Best Buy now partitions us off from the cash registers like cattle instead of letting us check out like real people.  I blame you and your line-jumping, Soccer-mom-with-a-headache.  I blame you, Last-minute-shopping-stepdad for the lines at Walmart.  I blame you, Guy-who-didn’t-know-he-had-to-buy-for-Grandma for the delays at the bookstores (and she’s not going to like the book you got her, by the way).  Most of all, though…I blame myself for not shopping online.

 

So this year, I’m trying to do all of my Christmas shopping on the Internet.  That said…Dad, Dave, Valerie, Susan, etc, etc…I need your Christmas list SOON, so I can get to work on it.  I’ve only got 20-some shopping days left!

 

And the rest of you…enjoy your line.

 

Current Reading:

  • Just finished “A Star Called Henry” by Roddy Doyle this weekend.  I really liked it.  Makes me want to read more of his stuff.
  • I now have “The Bloodstone Papers” living in my coat-pocket (that’s where I keep the books I’m reading during Winter).  It’s by Glen Duncan (author of “Death of an Ordinary Man” and “I, Lucifer”).  He’s pretty good, but this one’s dragging a little for me.  Maybe it’s because I know nothing of the culture of India, so I feel a little detached with the book being about an Indian family, even though it’s barely even a point in the story so far.
  • Hoping to get lots of books for Christmas, too…and I’ll post a list thereafter.