Last Random Post of 2010

The arbitrary passage of time is yielding a “new year” in a few hours.  So I thought I’d get in one more post, just under the wire.  And we’ll do it random-style.

  1. Been enjoying an all-day Doctor Who marathon.  And that’s how I plan on ringing in the “new year” as well.  As you may have guessed from the “New Year’s Eve” record that I put out completely for free this year, I don’t think much of New Year’s Eve.  I have no plans.  I planned to have no plans.  I find years where I DO have plans irritating, in fact.  While the rest of you enjoy Amateur Hour, I’ll be enjoying the best of BBC Sci-Fi.  But still…have fun.  🙂
  2. I think I’m starting to come around on the Green Lantern as a comic book character.  I used to not care about him at all, and I still think the “Corps” is entirely too complicated and dumb…but “Blackest Night” was pretty good.  And with the void that has been left in my life by abandoning the Grant Morrison helmed “Batman,” I need something else to read.  GL may fit the bill.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see…  But the movie is starting to look good anyway.
  3. We had some bad weather rip through today.  Tornadoes in the Fenton area—which is pretty clear from where I am, but I do know people there, who I really hope aren’t dead.  So, I hope all of you who were wanting it to get warmer in St. Louis enjoyed your tornado.
  4. I’ve begun working on some of the scratch-tracks for the forthcoming “Two Hangmen” EP.  We keep TALKING about recording it, but we’ve not taken any real action on the thing…so I decided to shit, since I’m sitting on the pot.  I’ll keep you all posted, I’m sure.
  5. Barefoot wines.  Good stuff.  Just thought I’d mention it.
  6. It’s been a while since I’ve done it…but here’s another entry in my ongoing “Facebullshit” campaign, where I post quotes I find ridiculous that other friends of mine seem to have found motivational enough to post in their status.  I’m unsure of where this came from, because I didn’t put the source…so if one of my friends who reads the blog actually wrote it…my apologies, I try to only use quotes from famous people/books/etc.  Anyway…here’s the latest entry in Facebullshit.  —  “If you want to question the meaning of life, why don’t you question the question first?”  Seriously…does anyone know what the hell that’s supposed to mean?
  7. Conan is for some reason in re-runs right now—and I think that continues into next week as well.  I’m all for giving the guys on the show time off for Christmas…but that kinda makes for a boring 10:00-hour when it lasts for two weeks…
  8. I’ve got gift cards to spend, but no idea on what to spend them.  The Kohls one will probably be easy, because if nothing else I will need pants at some point.  But the Best Buy one is going to be difficult, even though I asked for it.  As I mentioned a few posts ago, they’ve gutted their CDs and DVDs, and I’m not really able to find anything I want there anymore.  Ho hum…  Maybe a downpayment on a BluRay player?  They’re going to force us all to convert sooner or later anyway…
  9. I actually had a couple of people ask, so I’ll answer here as well…  No.  I have no real plans to release a solo record in 2011.  The “New Year’s Eve” thing will have to hold everyone over.  But I’m likely to do some downloads on the website sooner or later.  It’s just gotten to the point that releasing a record is pretty expensive (even with CDs dying), and if I put my name on anything this year, it’ll be the Two Hangmen project.  That’ll be good though…so keep any eye out for that.
  10. Work has been a little slow lately.  We’re in a down-season.  It’s weird, though, because this is SUPPOSED to be our down-season, but it didn’t happen last year, so it’s extra down now.  Or at least that’s what I think is happening…  Who can tell?  Anyway…if anyone wants to get into some accidents with commercial trucks over the next few weeks to help us out, that’d be great.  🙂
  11. I think I’m about a month away from buying a new banjo.  I’m officially a member of the St. Louis Banjo Club now thanks to my Dad and Uncle Dan (who is not really my uncle).  As I’ve mentioned on the blog before, my Grandpa’s banjo that I play on and off needs some repairs, so I don’t want to take it out, and I don’t want to rush the repair job (which I will do myself, because I don’t trust St. Louis area luthiers with a 100 year old banjo).  So I’m looking for a new banjo, and if I can manage to get a couple of decent-sized paychecks under me, I should be able to buy one shortly.  (If nothing else happens.  Which it probably will.)  So thanks for the Christmas gift that’s costing me $400, Dad and Dan!  🙂

…and that’ll do it.  Have a happy “need to buy a new calendar” day.  I’ll see you in the Tardis.

The Way We Were – Part 3

Sorry I’ve been gone a few days.  Haven’t been feeling very well.  Still not 100%, but life goes on…

These are the last of the pictures I wanted to share.  At least for now.  Who knows what else lurks at the bottom of my drawers?  (Err…the drawers to my end-table, I mean…though now that I mention it…)

Anyway…let’s go…

Yes. I'm wearing a red coat. I don't know whose idea that was...but...red coat!
This is my brother at a scout camp of some sort, shooting a gun. Probably the only time he ever did that. Personally, I've never shot a gun in my life--even having refused to do so AT SCOUT CAMP. 🙂 Thought this was interesting, as it's so out of pace with who Dave is as an adult. And I think that might be the same Darth Vader shirt as in the last post!
I am assuming that in the moments immediately following this picture, my mother murdered whoever gave her that shirt. I think I'm the one she's pregnant with at that point, because if you look, there are boxes for toys that were probably received by my brother. (Deduction!) Also...Go-Go boots?

 

And this is the follow-up to that shirt. 🙂 My Dad assures me that this was when Mom was pregnant with me. In fact, I think they may be going to the hospital to bring me into the world (I was a C-Section, for those who might wonder why they'd stop in the middle of her being in labor to take a picture).
This is how I particularly like to think of my father. This was apparently at some form of gift-giving event at my Grandma Herweck's old house. So I can guarantee there was no alcohol involved. Dad's just like this. Even now.
Yep. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that when people looked at me in this outfit, they saw Superman. People could've said, "Hey Derek" and I'd have been like, "I don't know who you're talking to. I'm Superman." On a side note, I still own that fan in the background, and if you look closely, you can see a baseball bat my Dad stole from a guy who stole it from Bob Uecker. (That's not quite accurate...but it's a long story, and if Dad wants to tell it he can get his OWN blog!)

And that’s it.  Hope you enjoyed these posts, reflecting on what it used to be like when I was kinda cute.  Sorry about what happened over time.

Next time:  Other stuff!

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Current Listening:

  • Alice Cooper – “Theatre of Death”

The Way We Were – Part 2

Okay.  Let’s resume.  Here are some pics from the old days, long, long ago. 

Before DVD…

Before cell phones…

Before laptops…

Before cordless telephones…

Before flat-screen TVs…

Before Justin Bieber…

There was…

This stuff!

This is from a birthday of mine where I got a drum set. (Not like a REAL drum set, but an almost-real one.) That's Grandpa Brink showing me how to hit the drums...as though I wouldn't have figured that out. I mean...you take the thing and you hit it...
My father tells me that these were the clothes we wore in my Uncle Ronie's wedding. I don't remember that, really...but I was very young, as you can see. I like this shot because you can tell that this was clearly my mom's idea. She's the only one in the picture who actually looks happy. 🙂 There was apparently not a moment's doubt in her mind that this picture would be perfect. Sorry, Mom.
This appears to be from my mother's unfortunate and ill-advised period of experimenting with wearing African tribal garb. (I think the baby is my cousin Cory. He's like 20-ish now.)
Apparently, I was a TRACK STAR! Not just a track star, but an all-caps TRACK STAR. I did not know that. If anyone had told me that, my life-path could have been very, very different.
With apologies to Dave, I like this shot. I remember and kinda miss that car. If you hover over the picture with your mouse (seriously...stop reading my blog on your iTouch, Dad), you'll see that I titled this one, "We've got a long way to go and a short time to--woah! Cool Darth Vader shirt!"
Thought I'd end on this one, because it's cool. These are the Johnston siblings. (That's mom's side of the family, in Arkansas.) I have no idea when this was taken, but I think George Shirley died before I was born... Anyway, starting in the back, that's Benny, Donald, Eddie, Gerald, George Shirley, (and the ladies) Stella, Clara, Marguerite (Deet), Naomi (Nay Nay), Elmarie (Grandma--At least I THINK that's her...makes sense...), and Cornelia.

Hope you’re enjoying these.  As always, if you’d like to embiggen the pictures, you need only to click them.  I’m only doing one more of these posts.  Then we’ll get back to nonsense.

One More Time for the World…

It is 11:15 on Christmas Eve as I’m writing this.  I’ve made it in just under the wire.  This is a small, but I like to think a NICE tradition for me.  A few Christmas Eves ago, a friend of mine died from Hodgkin’s Disease.  Earlier today—as I do every Christmas Eve—I listened to some music his band recorded back in the 90s, when cassettes were king.  And now, as always…

Here’s to you, Paul.  I still miss you.  I still think of you almost every time I plug in a bass and turn knobs trying to find the sound I’m looking for—YOUR sound.  Thanks for always making time for me when I was a geeky, awkward teenager.  Thanks for always letting me play your bass for a while when I showed up at your gigs.  Thanks for giving me your phone number last time we bumped into one another.  Sorry I didn’t get around to calling.  And thanks for being part of a band I loved, and for playing a really mean harmonica.  Merry Christmas, man.

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Thanks for indulging me again in that kinda sad, kinda sweet tradition.  And just to break up the maudlin vibe…here’s a picture of me on a Christmas long ago, being very happy about getting Skeletor’s castle as a gift.

The Way We Were – Part 1

I’ve been digging through old pictures of my family from when Dave and I were kids.  As such, I’ve got some pretty embarrassing and/or interesting pictures of all of us.  I thought I’d share a few.  (Don’t worry Dave.  Nothing TOO bad…  And don’t worry everyone else.  No naked baby pictures.)  I’m going to split this up over a few posts, just so you don’t have to sit and wait for like 20 pics to load all at once.  I think I’m doing three posts over the next 3-5 days.  And I’ll provide plenty of commentary in the captions.  🙂

Click any picture to embiggen.  Let’s rock.

This was Christmas in (I think) 1986---hence the awful sweater. My parents had no idea what they were starting by giving me this guitar. It was actually just one of those things where they gave me this because they'd gotten my brother a guitar as well. It was clearly a move to keep me from getting jealous. So what happened? Dave didn't learn to play anything until just a few years ago. I've been playing for somewhere between 15-20 years.
This is probably where me and Dave rocking together began. And yes. I'm wearing a diaper. Thanks for noticing. But hey...how about that HOT reel-to-reel player in the background?
This is the only picture I have, or indeed have ever even SEEN of my Grandpa Herweck. He died a couple of years before I was born. Love the Charles Nelson Reilly bow-tie.
This is my mom. She died in 1994. I'm going to guess that huge collar and confusing blouse pattern died long before that.
This is my Dad as a little kid, alongside my Grandpa Brink. Grandpa died in the late 90s. Dad didn't. Way to go, Dad! (Seriously though, how awesome is Dad's hat in this shot? It looks a lot like one my nephew is wearing in a recent picture, actually.)

…and to close it out and to both set the bar and show my lack of prejudice for embarrassing pictures…  I leave you with this train wreck…

Wicked hot! There are suspenders. There is a pink shirt. There is a similarly pink background. Those are also white shoes. My foot is propped up on a stool for some reason. And I look like I KNOW I own the freaking room! Thanks a bunch 1980s!

Hope you enjoyed round one.  Tomorrow will NOT be round two.  Tomorrow is another post in a Christmas Eve tradition for me.  It’s kind of a sad/kind of a sweet tradition.  So be prepared to be bummed out and say, “Well, it’s nice that he does that.”  …and we’ll return to the hilarity on Christmas Day.  🙂

(Oh…and I may throw some of this stuff up on my Facebook page, too…just for fun, if you’d like ’em all in one big gallery at a later date.)

Christmas Songs

Seems like everyone on the Internet is talking about their favorite/least favorite Christmas songs right now.  Well, if that is the way the wind is blowing, let no one say that Derek Brink does not blow.

So here we go.  I’ll explain them as I feel is necessary, but for the most part, I’m just going to let these stand on their own.

LIST OF CHRISTMAS SONGS I LIKE:

And this is pretty much it.  I’m not a big fan of Christmas music, as I find most of it to be plastic, sentimental crap…but this is the crap that works for me.

  • White Christmas
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts Roasting…”)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree — I stand by both of these last two, despite my brother’s insistence that I should pick only one.
  • Feliz Navidad — Screw you people who don’t like this one!  How can you not be just flat-out cheered the f*ck up by the “I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!” part???
  • God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen
  • Holly Jolly Christmas
  • Winter Wonderland
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • We Need a Little Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Fuck Christmas — By Eric Idle of Monty Python fame.  I linked to it last year.
  • Happy Christmas, War is Over — I stand by it…but I will agree that it’s overplayed.
  • Silver Bells, depending on the version

 And now…

LIST OF CHRISTMAS SONGS I HATE:

And I actually trimmed this list down SIGNIFICANTLY to the ones that REALLY irritate me!  I’m more apologetic on this list, as I think I need to justify my hate to those who question it.

  • Mary Did You Know — Of course she did, you moron.
  • Away in a Manger — Mainly because of the “The little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes…” line.  Bullshit.  He was a flesh and blood BABY who was surrounded by wild animals in the desert.  He cried.
  • Little Drummer Boy — Especially the version done by Richie Petrie on the “Dick Van Dyke Show” Christmas special.
  • The First Noel — It’s just too long. 
  • Carol of the Bells — I used to LOVE it…but then I sang it in choir for four years.  Then it got played in every store I walked into for six years.  And I’m just sick of it.
  • O Holy Night — Again…used to LOVE it.  But every store I’ve walked into THIS year has been playing this song, and everybody in the world has done a version of it…and most of them drop it a key or two to “hit” the high note.  It’s just getting pathetic.
  • All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth
  • Do They Know it’s Christmas
  • Sleigh Ride
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town — Especially the Springsteen and Jackson 5 Versions.  But I’ll let the Phil Spector version live on.
  • Up on the Housetop
  • Wonderful Christmastime — This song may be the entirety of the reason I hate Paul McCartney.
  • Anything performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra — It was cute for a while.  Now stop it.
  • Silver Bells, depending on the version.

LIST OF CHRISTMAS SONGS I’M STRANGELY INDIFFERENT TO:

  • Silent Night
  • Christmas Shoes
  • Blue Christmas
  • O Christmas Tree — But it does always turn into “O Whacking Day” (from The Simpsons) in my head.
  • Santa Baby
  • Merry Christmas, Darling
  • You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  • I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas — Though I DO want to punch the kid (or lady?) singing the original version.

And there you go…I played along.  🙂

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Current Listening:

  • Zappa in New York — I promise, I’ll listen to something else soon.