Well, It Got Me Through the Day Anyway…

I’ve been kinda feeling like crap all day.  Bad week for it.  I’ve got a lot to do. 

When I’m not feeling well and I’m at work, I tend to shut up and just power through the day.  I’m actually ridiculously productive on days like this.  Part of it is my music choice.  Today’s playlist has been on my iPod for a long time, and I think it was a pretty good one.  I titled it “Tucker Crowe’s Greatest Hits.”  Tucker Crowe is the central character of Nick Hornby’s book “Juliet, Naked.”  He’s a reclusive musician.  The playlist is essentially a bunch of stuff that was going through my head while reading the book, stuff the book more or less made me buy/revisit, and stuff that made me think of the book sometime later.  The playlist is pretty old, so maybe there are some other choices I’d make if I did it now…but it got me through work today, and that’s enough for me to want to post it.

A couple of notes…

1. Sorry for the self-indulgence of including some of my own songs on it.  Particularly sorry for the songs that I did that are cover songs.  That probably seems kinda big-headed…but it was all in fun.  I’m not claiming my versions are better than the originals.

2. Sorry it’s so long.  I envisioned it as a fictional “greatest hits,” but it quickly turned into a “boxed set.”  🙂

3. I’m including a few notes about some of the songs/choices.  So hopefully those otherwise uninterested will find that interesting.  I’m also including some links to some of the artists that I know some of my friends won’t be as familiar with for various reasons.  Please explore them if you’ve got a minute.

4. This playlist also kind of informs some of the musical direction of stuff I’m presently writing.  So consider it a little bit of a tease of things to come, too.

Now…with no further ado…here is a really long playlist that makes working on insurance claims all day go a little more smoothly.  🙂

“Tucker Crowe’s Greatest Hits”

  1. “Anthem” by Leonard Cohen – Performed by Derek Brink as an acoustic demo.  I’m thinking of doing it regularly as a cover.  I do it a little more up-tempo than Cohen does, and I think I serve the song fairly.  May even spring for fair-use of the copyright to put it on an EP…that’s how much I like it.
  2. “In Between Love” by Tom Waits
  3. “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  4. “Take it Easy” by The Eagles
  5. “Dark End of the Street” by Dan Penn and Chips Moman – Originally recorded by James Carr.  The version I used is Frank Black’s cover of it from his “Honeycomb” record.  It’s pretty faithful to the Muscle Shoals sound, but Black sings it in a higher register.  I like that…but I like it even more when the harmony kicks in.  It’s done in a lower register by none other than the song’s co-author Dan Penn.  And the word for it?  “Smoooooth.”  So smooth, I added an extra “ooo.”
  6. “White Light/White Heat” by The Velvet Underground – This version is an acoustic version preformed by Reed and Pete Townshend on the “In the Attic” DVD/CD set that Townshend released with his (still?) girlfriend Rachel Fuller a couple of years ago.  LOVED Reed’s performances on that thing.
  7. “Best of My Love” by the Eagles
  8. “Sweet Jane” – by the Velvet Underground
  9. “Behind Blue Eyes” by Pete Townshend/The Who – Chose to use Townshend’s solo version from his “Lifehouse Elements” record he put out a while back.  It has a sparse quality I really dig.
  10. “The Name of This Thing is Not Love” by Elvis Costello
  11. “Sweet November” by Derek Brink – Released as a “demo only” version through my website.  Presently still online…soon to be gone forever.
  12. “Be the Rain” by Neil Young & Crazyhorse
  13. “Susanne” by Leonard Cohen – Performed by Derek Brink as an acoustic demo.  I recorded it the day after I saw Cohen in concert.  He did this song that night (as every night) and it was spooky and spiritual.  Tried to re-capture that myself.  Failed.  But I liked how the guitar came out.
  14. “Peace in Our Time” by Ray Davies
  15. “In the Time of My Ruin” by Frank Black
  16. “Darkness on the Edge of Town” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  17. “The Real World” by Ray Davies
  18. “Lola” by The Kinks
  19. “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan
  20. “Massif Central” by Frank Black – Acoustic version from the “Christmass” EP.  One of my favorite FB songs.  One of my favorite songs.
  21. “Where is My Mind?” by The Pixies – but done by Frank Black on the same CD as above…
  22. “Shelter from the Storm” by Bob Dylan
  23. “Either Side of the Same Town” by Elvis Costello
  24. “Down to You” by Frank Black
  25. “Dirt in the Ground” by Tom Waits – And yes, I went with the original recording, which is so sparse, it’s almost scary.
  26. “Backstreets” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
  27. “Celluloid Heroes” by The Kinks
  28. “Sweet Annie” by Tree by Leaf
  29. “Jesus Gonna Be Here” by Tom Waits
  30. “Now and Then” by Pete Townshend – Used the live “Maryville Academy” version.
  31. “Nothing Clings Like Ivy” by Elvis Costello
  32. “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed
  33. “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” by The Kinks
  34. “Exit Wounds” by Tim Barry
  35. “On My Feet” by Derek Brink – Originally written as “part two” of my track “Off My Feet” from the “Things I Meant to Say” record.  Hasn’t made it to a record yet…but this demo was done with the intention of it becoming a Blue Tattoo song.  Don’t know if it still will or not.  Technically, don’t know if the band’s still called Blue Tattoo or not either…so…
  36. “I Dreamed of My Old Lover” by Elvis Costello
  37. “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by The Eagles
  38. “Please” by Derek Brink – Off the “Out from the Light” record, of course.
  39. “Tangled Up in Blue” – Bob Dylan
  40. “Jesus was an Only Son” by Bruce Springsteen
  41. “Walter Reed” – by Michael Penn – An acoustic version appearing on the “deluxe” copy of “Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947”
  42. “Oh! Sweet Nuthin'” by The Velvet Underground
  43. “The Real Me” by Pete Townshend/The Who – Used an acoustic version (which I’ve since ripped off in my own act) from the aforementioned “In the Attic” DVD/CD set.
  44. “Most of the Time” by Bob Dylan
  45. “4th Time Around” by Bob Dylan
  46. “American Splendor” by Eytan Mirsky – Eytan Mirsky has recently visited my blog and even commented on a post or two.  I promise that the inclusion here is not me just trying to get another post from him.  🙂
  47. “Who Loves the Sun?” by The Velvet Underground
  48. “Alison” by Elvis Costello
  49. “Do it Again” by The Kinks
  50. “Like a Hurricane” by Neil Young – In my opinion, this is the song that created the “alt-country” genre.
  51. “Sad & Sweet” by Derek Brink – Another demo I put out on my website.
  52. “Don’t Try to Make Me Real” by Pete Townshend
  53. “Rain on the Scarecrow” by John Mellencamp (I think he’d dropped the “Cougar” by this time, but I don’t recall off the top of my head.)
  54. “Meet Me in the Morning” by Bob Dylan
  55. “Walk on the Wildside” by Lou Reed – Fun fact: The saxophone at the end of the track was played by glam-icon David Bowie.
  56. “Strange Goodbye” by Frank Black – Fun Fact: This song was performed by Frank and his ex-wife…after their divorce.  Strange indeed.
  57. “Born in this Town” by Derek Brink – FYI…one of my favorite things I’ve written…
  58. “Down By the Riverside” by Michael Penn – Which, incidentally, is the song that got me into Penn’s music, due to its appearance in the “Comedians of Comedy” movie.  I’d heard “No Myth” before…but this one sold me.
  59. “I Can Tell” by Michael Penn – Also from the deluxe edition of “Mr. Hollywood…”  Really emotional, powerful song.
  60. “Pale Blue Eyes” by Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground – Acoustic Version performed by Reed and Pete Townshend from the “In the Attic” thing (again).  I love, love, LOVE this version of this song.  It was already great…but it’s even better.
  61. “You and Your Perfect Life” by Derek Brink – One of the better things I’ve written in the last year.  Made available as a free demo on my website.  Might go onto a full record, re-done and cleaned up of course.  VERY inspired by the Hornby book that started this whole list.

…and that’s how I spent my work-day.  Hope at least some of you found that fun.  Hope you’ll also check out some of the stuff you don’t know.

Upcoming Retirement. (It’s some other guy…not me…)

I found out on Friday that the man who was my advisor when I was a student at SLCC is retiring.  Keith McCaslin taught (at least) four generations how to preach.  He worked at SLCC for 43.5 years.

As many of you know, I live my life with a certain sense of irreverence.  I don’t take too many things seriously, and if I do it’s either because it’s a very devastating/serious situation, it’s really pissing me off, or I’m over-tired.  I must’ve been over-tired every time I’ve ever seen, spoken to, or been reminded of Mr. McCaslin…because I always took/take him seriously, ha ha.  Really, though, I respect Keith McCaslin more than I could possibly express in a blog post…but let’s give it a shot…whaddya’ say?

To begin with, after I graduated from SLCC, I began working there.  My professors became my colleagues.  I called every one of them by first name, except for my direct boss, the President of the school, and Mr. McCaslin.  As far as I’m concerned, his first name is “Mister.”  Not because I don’t think of him as a friend, but because I think of him as one of the few people I’ve met that is deserving of being called by his title.  He earned his “Mister.”  And he stood out as that type of man to me almost immediately. 

Mr. McCaslin was ridiculously supportive of me during my entire tenure at SLCC, both as student and as colleague.  When I was a Preaching student (that’s what my degree is in, by the way…I’m a certified Preacher…go figure), Mr. McCaslin often praised my work.  I delivered an “expository” sermon in one of his classes (that’s a sermon that focuses on one particular text and digs into it specifically, without jumping into other parts of the Bible—an EXPOSitory sermon EXPOSES the truth of a section of scripture).  We weren’t supposed to know how to do expository sermons until the next level of classes.  He briefly gave us an overview of the expository method in that class, but we weren’t required to know it until the next course.  As such, most people didn’t even take notes…but when Mr. McCaslin spoke, I ALWAYS took notes.  So, I delivered my expository sermon.  I sat down and—completely breaking with his typical private grading method—he said some words that are forever burned into my brain.

“In all the years I’ve taught Preaching, that is the best example of an expository sermon I have ever heard from a first-year Preaching student.”

I don’t know if he knows how much it meant to hear him say that.

After I was handed my walking-papers at SLCC, Mr. McCaslin was the very first person to stop by my office and tell me he was sorry to hear I was leaving.  When I told him I wasn’t leaving, I was being laid off (the letter the college sent out about it was a *touch* misleading), he shook his head and said, “I was afraid it was something like that.”  I can’t quite explain why…but from him, those were strong words.  I don’t know if he knows how much it meant to hear THAT either…  Mr. McCaslin, along with his wife Liz, who I worked with at the Library (and who, oddly, I CAN call by first name, but it’s not from lack of respect) also came to my “goodbye” lunch.  Mr. McCaslin was one of the few professors who did.  I will never forget that.

I’ve thought about Mr. McCaslin a lot since leaving SLCC.  I have endless memories of the time I was able to spend with Mr. McCaslin.  Classes he lead while I was there.  Sermons he gave in Chapel (and I say “gave” because each one was a gift to those of us lucky enough to be in the seats).  I remember each advisory session—even though most of them were very brief.  I remember each meeting in which he chose to speak up while I was on staff.  (He didn’t often have much to say at the meetings…but when he did, everyone listened…because we all knew he was right.)  I am honored to know Mr. McCaslin, and if I have one regret about my time under his tutelage, it is this…  Sometimes I feel a little bit like I let him down.  I’m not in anything RESEMBLING a Preaching Ministry, and sometimes I feel bad that the outlining skills he taught me are mainly used for blog posts and podcasts.  But…on the other side of that, he is a good man and I know that he is happy that I am happy.  And that’s nice.

In closing…  (And, by the way, he’s always told his students to NEVER transition into their closing remarks by saying “In closing…”  So don’t tell him I did that, ‘kay?)  I ventured the question on Facebook of “How do I sum up the amount of respect that I have for this man?”  My friend Alex put it best.

Irreplaceable.

Congratulations on a long, vibrant, God-blessed career Mr. McCaslin.  I am SO glad that you get some time to sit back and relax, content in knowing you’ve done the Lord’s work.  Not a lot of people in ministry ever get to do that.  I can’t think of anyone who deserves that reward any more than you do.

Thanks for everything.

————

As a side note:  Sorry it took me so long to write this.  I said in the last post that I wanted to write something about the theology in Neil Peart’s lyrics.  I didn’t think that through when I wrote it.  That’s a huge task and there’s a LOT of source material to work from.  I started it and wrote a little every night—each night thinking, “tonight’s the night I’ll finish it.”  It is now entirely too long and extremely uninteresting.  So…

Short version:  I don’t agree, but he makes some very valid points, asks the same questions I ask, and just arrives at different answers.  At least he’s well-reasoned on it, even if he’s sometimes too aggressive, in my opinion.

There.

rrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRUSH!

My brother wrote a way better post about the show than I’m going to, so go read his review…   But short version is, the Rush show in St. Louis was a lot of fun. 

(Fair warning — This post is kind of random and choppy, but I’m not going to clean it up.  Sorry.  I’m tired.)

The set list was a nice mix of old and new and the “time machine” format led to a lot of nice surprises like “Marathon,” “Presto,” “La Villa Strangiato” (in the ENCORE, no less!) and my personal favorite instrumental piece of theirs “Leave That Thing Alone” creeping into the set.  There were some audio problems on the lawn that detracted a little bit.  It was a really tinny mix for a lot of the show.  So much so that even though it wasn’t very loud, my hearing’s a little dull today.  (And I’ve survived Motorhead!)  It was so bad that some sounds were clipping out entirely.  At one point that even led me to speculate, “Does Neil seem a little bit off to you guys tonight?”  Oops.  Upon realizing that was impossible, I apologized to the Gods of Rock and continued enjoying the show.  🙂  (The second set and encore were much better mixed and put any of my doubts to rest.  I think the venue just didn’t know how to handle a three-piece that has the layers of a nine-piece and it clipped out.)

The guys in the band were in true form.  Though I initially doubted Neil Peart (what is WRONG with me?!?) he certainly shut my mouth with his drum solo.  And…okay…  Drum solos suck.  They’re boring.  They’re self-indulgent.  They rarely display any real talent and sound entirely random and wanky.  They’re as long as two or three songs and leave you wondering why they didn’t play a couple more and tell the drummer to suck a sausage.  (Mmm…sausage.)

Usually.

Neil Peart is the ONLY drummer whose solos are worth watching.  It seems almost impossible that so much sound can be coming out of one man and that he’s playing so many things without it just sounding like mush.  But he does it.  His solos, though played on a rhythm instrument, seem to have melody (the musical abstraction, not my newborn niece—she’s cute, but she sucks at drums) and harmony flowing through them.  And yes…they’re wanky…  But until YOU’RE Neil Peart (looking at YOU Mike Portnoy), you’d best just sit there and watch it happen.  You’ll be glad you did.

Alex Lifeson was over on his side of the stage doing what he does, too.  A lot of people overlook him.  It’s not his fault.  He’s in the same band as the greatest living drummer and bass player in the world.  The guitarist is bound to be shorted.  But Alex is probably among the best guitarists out there, too.  I don’t think he’s the best—that’s still David Gilmour—but I’d say top-five.  Maybe top three.  He doesn’t just go out there and masturbate all over the stage like a lot of the prog-rock guitarists (looking at YOU John Petrucci).  He goes out there and “GASP!” serves the song.  He stays out of the way, yet produces the backbone of the song.  It’s almost a role-reversal between him and Geddy.  Until the guitar solos, anyway.  They guy can shred with the best of them…but until “Working Man” comes along, he just doesn’t.  He’s not about that.  He’s about producing beautiful, weaving parts that are at the same time moving and also HUGELY rich in sound and tone.  (Seriously…best guitar tone this side of Gilmour.  I’ve been trying to rip it off for a couple of years…)  So…not much else to say about him…but go Alex!

Then there’s Geddy.  Long time hero of mine.  I’ve played bass since I was like 13 and as soon as I was able, I started learning how to play Rush songs.  (I can still rock “Red Barchetta,” “Fly By Night,” etc, etc from memory even though I haven’t actively practiced them in years.)  His voice isn’t as high as it used to be.  It’s apparent that they’ve dropped a key or two for the live performances of some songs…but the dude’s 57 and still hits the high notes better than me on my best day.  Good on him.

I think everyone there agreed that Geddy’s hip-check to the Kings of Leon was the moment of the night.  He said something to the effect of (copied from Dave’s blog, because I’m too lazy to type it myself): “”So this is where that pigeon thing happened, right?  Well I just want to let you know…No matter how many pigeons shit on him (gestures towards Alex) we’re not gonna stop.”

Of course, given that they’ve been going for like 35 years yet the geniuses at Rolling Stone magazine have decided (and more than once put in print) that they aren’t “significant” enough to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (aka – “The Old Boy’s Club”), Rush is pretty used to getting shit on.  Even Steven Colbert called out the HoF on their idiocy on his show a couple of years ago when he had Rush as guests.  He asked them the question (paraphrased): “Despite all you’ve done, you have still not been asked to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Any chance your next record will be called, “That’s Bullshit?”  (The band laughed it off and took the high-road.)  Last night’s show was more than proof enough that they deserve to be there.  It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at a Rush show.  Haven’t seen the band in about 10 years and somehow they’ve gotten popular in that time, I guess.  Used to be you could decide on the day of the show that you were going to go see them and you’d still be able to get a pretty good seat.  There were only three of us going and there was nothing under the pavilion available to fit us.  We had to settle for the lawn.

Which is really my only complaint about the show—even though I’m really happy that they’re drawing that kind of crowd thee days.  The venue STILL sucks.  It sucked when it was Riverport (one of the few things Axl Rose and I agree about) and it sucks now.  In some ways it sucks WORSE since they no longer even have kids directing traffic in the parking lots.  But we did manage to park and make it out of there in not TOO unreasonable a time-frame.  Still…”sitting” on the lawn (which we didn’t actually do since the grass was still kind of wet and we forgot to bring anything to sit on) still blows and is just for the kids.  My back and knees are both still stiff and shaky.  But physicality aside, the show itself was great as per-usual from the guys.

Of course, I bought the requisite t-shirt.  I wanted a different one though.  They have a cricket (the sport, not the bug) shirt that I really liked.  (I’ve decided that, being a fat guy, I’m going to start wearing more athletic-looking stuff.  Why?  Because it stretches.)  The booth we went to didn’t have the size of the cricket shirt that I needed and it was too close to showtime to go to a different one, so I settled for a cool grey one that I like almost as much—and cost less.  (In fact, the entire NIGHT cost me less than HALF of the cost of just the t-shirt I got at the Iron Maiden show in Chicago.  Seriously…what the f**k, Bruce Dickinson?)  So I walked away happy with that.

I wanted to go into greater detail about the two new songs they played (“Caravan” and “BU2B”) but that will have to wait, because this is already ridiculously long.  Short version is that I liked “BU2B” better than “Caravan” even though it’s about being an atheist and how stupid Christians are…  In fact, expect a full post about that topic next time.  Same blog space.  Same blog…uhh…template?

Additionally, none of the pictures I took are any good because my phone’s camera sucks.  Seriously, the last phone I had didn’t work most of the time, but at least it took good pictures and had a “zoom” function.  For a “smart phone” this camera’s pretty stupid.  So no pics.  Sorry.

Oh…and it’s nice that after 20 years, they’ve finally vindicated me in my pronunciation of “Peart” by means of the show’s closing video, where Neil himself informs Paul Rudd and Jason Segel (yes…those guys showed up in video form…long story…) that it’s pronounced “Peer-t.”  So suck on that everybody that’s said (and spelled it) “Pert” over the years!  (Just seems to me that if you respect someone, you should at least know how to say and spell his name.)

Okay.  Sorry that was so long and probably boring for non fans.  You should’ve read Dave’s post.  I did warn you.

Oh by the way…

If you want to talk to me about the “Liberal Media Bias” that’s supposedly out there…

…then why didn’t I hear ANYTHING in the media about the last combat troops leaving Iraq on the 20th?  That probably should’ve gotten some applause from the Obamanauts out there, no?  Even when I Googled it, I got suggestions for “last combat troops leave Vietnam” and NOTHING about Iraq.  Wow.

Those crazy, crazy, Liberals.

Congrats to the troops for living through Hell.  I pray that you never have to see it again.

Random Updates

Wow…haven’t written hardly at all this week.  Sorry.  Here are some random updates to get something on the page.

  1. Did some looking for the bathroom remodel today.  I genuinely thought I’d love this project, but this blows ass.  First off, I’m limited to Home Depot—and Home Depot isn’t my favorite.  (They also once tried to arrest my brother…but that’s a story I’ll let him tell on HIS blog, should he ever choose to do so.)  Lowe’s is much better with a better selection and nicer people.  (Seriously, the guy that was working in lighting at Home Depot looked me up and down, decided I wasn’t going to buy anything, and walked right by me without so much as a “finding everything?”  What a dick.)  But beyond that…I just don’t imagine ANY of that flooring in any part of my house, much less my bathroom.  But, I think I’ve basically landed on something neutral that will allow me to paint in some decent colours at least…  But it did also lead to the following question…
  2. Are bathtubs bigger now than they used to be?  The bathroom at the house is 58″, wall to wall.  From what I can see, the bathtub is FLUSH against BOTH walls (no recesses are apparent) and measures at—you guessed it—58″.  Yet every tub I saw was 60″.  That seems to be a problem…  Anyone have any advice?  Am I doomed to this 1960s, powder blue bathtub for the rest of my life?  Also, I’d really like an 18″ tub depth to replace the current 13″ one.  I hope that’s possible.  I’d love to be able to get the hot water up to the part of my back that needs it.
  3. Moving on…  GOING TO SEE RUSH TOMORROW!!!  I really, really NEED this show.  Extra bonus that I’m going with my brother and our friend Tim, just like in the old days (though I will miss Marc being there, too).  Plus, I hear that a BUNCH of my old SLCC (and other) friends are going, too.  Hoping to arrange a big meet-up, or at least accidentally bump into some folks.  This should be awesome…assuming it doesn’t suck.
  4. Short reviews of the three CDs I mentioned in the last post (longer reviews coming in this week’s “Empty Checking“).  Maiden – Honestly, a little disappointed…but not terrible.  I’d give it somewhere from a C+ to B-, depending on the day.  Mellencamp – I love it.  Grade = A.  Iron and Wine – Good sitting around, relaxing music…bad for driving in rush-hour.  second disc’s better than the first.  B to B+.
  5. Here’s a fun game you can play at church.  When they’re singing the songs, replace the name “Jesus” with “Elvis.”  Laughter ensues.  A few examples:
    • “My Elvis, I love thee.  I know thou art mine.”
    • “What a Friend we have in Elvis.”
    • “All to Elvis, I surrender. King, I give myself to thee.”
    • “Elvis loves me this I know, for Sam Phillips told me so.”
    • “Elvis, Elvis, Elvis…there’s just something about that name.  Master, savior, Elvis…”  🙂  (That one’s my favorite…)
  6. Electricity in my basement’s still out…but I think the problem has been traced to the junction box.  (Did I mention that?  That none of the outlets in my basement work, for some reason?  The lights are all fine, but the outlets are all dead.)  It sucks.  My guitars are all quiet and the guy who wanted to do a demo with me is probably getting a little pissed off right about now, too…  When it rains, huh?
  7. A guy nearly killed me and two other people on the highway on Thursday morning.  He cut across three lanes without looking.  There was swerving, brake-slamming, honking, swearing…it’s kind of a miracle no one was hit, hurt, or killed.  Subsequently, I was trying to figure out a way to ram him so hard that his car would explode, but mine would be fine.  It was a couple of minutes before I realized that the math was beyond me and I just flipped him off.
  8. Brief list of fast food places that are dead to me:
    1. Jack in the Box
    2. Jimmy John’s
    3. Imo’s Pizza
    4. Arby’s  (They didn’t actually do anything wrong, but for some reason they make my stomach hurt these days.  Dunno why.)
  9. I keep getting people saying nice things about the “New Year’s Eve” project.  That’s cool.  So far, not a single douchebag has said anything bad about it to me.  That’s almost unprecedented.  I know a LOT of douchebags!

…and that’s all for now.  I’m sure I’ll have things to say after the Rush show.  Tune in to Empty Checking a little later this weekend (tonight, maybe?) for reviews of the above stuff…some other stuff…and the following stuff…

Comic books purchased this week (because I haven’t mentioned it yet):

  • Batman Beyond – Issue #3 of 6
  • CBGB – Issue #2 (Apparently it IS a recurring series!)
  • Uncanny X-Men – Issue # 527
  • The New Avengers – Issue #3 (Heroic Age Tie In)
  • The Sixth Gun – Issue #3
  • Darkwing Duck – Issue #3

————

Current Listening:

  • Ruuuuuuush!

Return to the Random

Just dawned on me that I haven’t done a random-style post since before I did the “New Year’s Eve” posts.  So let’s go!

  1. Charter Cable sucks.  The signal keeps scrambling every 5-10 seconds and no one at the company is any damn help.  I really wish they weren’t the monopoly cable-company in this area.
  2. Bought the new Iron Maiden, the new John Mellencamp, and Iron & Wine’s 2009 release.  That was a weird combo.
  3. Got an oil change.  Apparently I was about 800 miles overdue.  I thought the “1” in the hundreds place of the sticker was a “7.”  Oops.  So it was badly needed…but seriously, Valvoline?  $40?!?  Really?!?
  4. I grabbed myself a bottle of Bushmill’s “Black Bush” Irish whiskey over the weekend.  I’ve been a big Bushmill’s fan for a long time, but I’d never tried the “black.”  Apparently it was aged in sherry casks.  Really adds a dark, woody, smooth quality to the drink.  I highly recommend it.  It’s almost like whiskey stout.
  5. Played a few tunes with my brother tonight.  I think we’re going to record a six-song demo just to have something to play for people.  Hoping to get someone in to play some snare drum with some brushes for us, too…but that’s all the drums they’ll be allowed!  (Okay…maybe—MAYBE—one cymbal for effect.)  Looking forward to that.
  6. Should start meeting with a dude in the next week or so to play some bass and see if we’ll be working together.  We’ll see.
  7. Our office at work is growing and growing, and tomorrow is the “big day” for some major happenings in the office.  (Don’t want to say too much, because it’s boring to everyone but us, and also it’s not really anyone’s business how our office works.  So there!)  🙂  Kind of exciting.
  8. Looks like there’s going to be some major remodelling happening at the house pretty soon.  New back door.  New bathroom.  Paint on the walls.  Trash in the…uhh…trash.  Should be cool!
  9. Anyone else seen the new Kellog’s commercial that uses “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy I’ve Got Love in My Tummy” as the background music?  Anyone else really disturbed by the fact that they’ve got KIDS singing that?  (Maybe I’ve just got a dirty mind…but eew!)
  10. Update: I have not watched ANY of the movies I said I was going to.  Oops.  Hoping to at least get “Inglourious Basterds” under my belt by the weekend, since it’s borrowed.
  11. I ate at Rally’s (or Checkers, to some of you) today.  Ordered the Bacon Cheddar Fries.  I can pretty much guarantee that they used neither actual cheddar nor actual bacon.  And I paid for it later.
  12. I’ve been massively behind on my Vonnegut reading.  I’ve had a bookmark midway through “Palm Sunday” for about 2 months.  I don’t know what happened.  I think maybe I’ve just been reading more comic books and haven’t been making time for book-books.  I’ll have to correct that.  I feel like I’m missing out.

Well…that’s it for now.  Might be going to see Rush on Sunday…but we’ll cross that bridge later.  Tune in to “Empty Checking” this weekend for the reviews of the CDs I bought, as well as reviews of any of the comic books I’ll buy tomorrow.

Until then…try not to suck, okay?

————

Current Watching:

  • Cheers.  Gonna try to watch some Red Dwarf before going to bed, too.

Pictures I Stole

My friend (and coworker!) Tara came to see me play with the Feldman Group last month.  She took some pictures and posted them on Facebook.  In true Derek Brink fashion, I hit “Save As…” on all the ones of ME, and I thought I’d share them here.  All due credit to Tara Black, who is an excellent photographer and is available for weddings, parties, baby-photos, and funerals.  

Wait.  Not funerals.  Sorry. 

Anyway…please enjoy the pics (and my comments in the captions).  🙂  

Easing you in with a shot of Mike playing guitar. I really dig this shot. Thinking I'm gonna draw Mike's attention to it.
I always dig shots like this.

Ah my Facebook friends...slowly chronicling my alcoholism one picture at a time.
From the "Derek kinda looks like Neil Young" files.
I look really shocked by whatever's going on just out of frame, don't I?
I like this one a lot. It really shows off my beard.
I dig this one a lot too. I'm an active guy. Those are motion lines. (Twenty Internets awarded to those who know what I'm referencing there.)
...annnnd from the "He may be fat, but he sure can ROCK!" files...

And on another note.  Thanks to all the people who’ve been downloading New Year’s Eve.  I’ve gotten some really nice Facebook comments, e-mails, and so on.  Glad it’s hitting a chord with some folks!  I’m really pleased with it, and it’s always nice to get the kind of feedback that makes you think that maybe you’re NOT crazy.  🙂