Haven’t blogged in a while and wanted to write something. Having some trouble getting the juices flowing though, so I decided to find one of those “getting to know you” surveys to spark some ideas. And this survey has almost 100 questions. So that’s a post. Sorry! At least this one’s a better survey than that last one I took and made you read.
- Who is your hero?
I don’t really have one. Heroes tend to let you down. I have people I admire for individual qualities and I’ve got musicians or writers who I would call INFLUENCES…but “hero” is such a worshipful term I’m really not comfortable applying it to anyone.
- If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Kinda like it where I am. But I’d like to visit Ireland, Scotland, England, and Canada(land), and maybe I’d end up in one of those if I had the choice.
- What is your biggest fear?
Spiders. And dying alone. So dying alone with a spider.
- What is your favorite family vacation?
We didn’t really take a lot of them. We went to Arkansas to visit family a lot when I was a kid. Sometimes it was the whole family, sometimes less. So probably that I guess? We didn’t ever do the Disney trek or go travelling or anything like that.
- What would you change about yourself if you could?
I’d spend less time doubting whether or not I’d like to go out.
- What really makes you angry?
People getting involved in things that were fine without them.
- What motivates you to work hard?
People getting involved in things that were fine without them.
- What is your favorite thing about your career?
I like at least most of the people I work with. They don’t often get involved in things that were fine without them.
- What is your biggest complaint about your job?
When people get involved in things that were fine without them.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
This is a hard question because I have trouble crediting myself with things. And even when I know I’ve done something good, by the time I realize it, it’s already in hindsight and I’m working on the NEXT thing… So…
I’ve had a pretty good recording career. We’ll go with that.
- What is your child’s proudest accomplishment?
I guess something its mom didn’t tell me about, since I was unaware I had one until this question.
- What is your favorite book to read?
I read a lot…it’s hard to say. “Catcher in the Rye” stuck with me. So did “Lincoln in the Bardo,” more recently. And a bunch of other stuff… There are even comic books I’d put on this list like “Bone” or “Blankets” or “Maus.” “Angela’s Ashes” impacted me greatly and so did several Vonnegut books of course (“Cat’s Cradle,” “Slaughterhouse Five,” etc). A couple of spiritual authors like Brennan Manning and Tony Campolo have meant a lot to me in the past too, although a lot of my “spiritual” reading ended when I started unindoctrinating myself from my Bible College years and listening to the MESSAGE of Christ rather than poking at every Greek letter…
I could go on and on… But those are the books and authors that popped into mind. Plus a controversial thought at the end to grow on.
- What makes you laugh the most?
A lot of things. Usually just any conversation where the participants (myself included) just let themselves be silly and sort of daydream or spin into madness. Also cat videos.
- What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?
I’m genuinely trying to remember the last time I went TO a theatre. I don’t do that very often. It might have been “Elvis & Nixon” with my dad back in 2016. I liked it. With what’s come out about Kevin Spacey since, I’ve got some mixed emotions though.
- What did you want to be when you were small?
Everything at one point or another. But probably mostly a famous musician.
- What does your child want to be when he/she grows up?
Again, you’ll have to ask its mom, I guess. Also please let me know who she is and how and when this happened, if you don’t mind.
- If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Meet my child.
- What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
I’m not really into sports. I don’t enjoy playing anything, that’s for sure. But I do enjoy watching the occasional soccer game and I like to watch darts. I also enjoy both the Winter and Summer Olympics. And if wrestling counts (it should) then that’s it hands-down.
- Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?
Car. The rest of that sounds like there’s way too much wind involved and it’s probably rough on the ol’ nutsack.
- What would you sing at Karaoke night?
I’d need four friends and we will ROCK THE SHIT out of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.
- What two radio stations do you listen to in the car the most?
KDHX and KSHE, I guess. The former way more than the latter.
- Which would you rather do: wash dishes, mow the lawn, clean the bathroom, or vacuum the house?
Wash dishes. I actually kind of like doing dishes. The water’s warm, you can listen to music or a podcast or something and still count it as “productive” and you feel kind of accomplished once you’ve put them into the washer and started it. (I hand wash then put them in the dishwasher. This is the only appropriate method. I will fight you.)
- If you could hire someone to help you, would it be with cleaning, cooking, or yard work?
Probably cleaning. I get lazy about it. Like for years at a time.
- If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably corned beef and cabbage (with potatoes and/or carrots).
- Who is your favorite author?
I think it’s probably Kurt Vonnegut.
- Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?
A couple in high school, I think…but I’m having trouble remembering them. My brother (and some others) sometimes call me Wayne, which probably counts since it’s not my middle name. I haven’t really had many that have stuck. People who try are usually greeted with strong negative reactions and drop it. Just call me Derek. Or Wayne. I’ll answer to Wayne.
- Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
It depends on the surprise. “Hey Derek, there’s free cake!” That’s great! “Hey Derek, there’s an active shooter!” That’s bad.
- In the evening, would you rather play a game, visit a relative, watch a movie, or read?
Any of those will be fine. You pick. What time? Can I bring anything?
- Would you rather vacation in Hawaii or Alaska, and why?
Alaska. I prefer cold climates.
- If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Probably pretty much what I’m doing right now, just without an alarm clock looming over me.
- If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?
I don’t know. Maybe one of the years where I could see The Who when Moon was still alive or something.
- How would your friends describe you?
You’d have to ask my friends.
- What are your hobbies?
Numerous… Mostly pop-culture stuff. A lot of people would count my musical meanderings as a hobby. I read a lot. Watch a lot of TV. Stuff like that. I also enjoy making stuff, so I try to find projects to work on or things to do around the house that feed into that.
- What is the best gift you have been given?
That’s a tough one. I come from a very generous family and “best gift” changes over time too–like when I was 11 it might’ve been the ticket to see Styx play live in St. Louis. When I was 14, it might’ve been my bass amp. When I was in my 20s it might’ve been the roof over my head while I was half-assing my way through college. I know that I value gestures more than things, though… And thankfully there have been enough of those that it’s overwhelming trying to narrow it down.
- What is the worst gift you have received?
Smash Mouth’s Greatest Hits.
- Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
- List two pet peeves.
(1) When you can hear people chewing.
(2) People commenting on what they did, saw, heard, or smelled in a public restroom.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
I try not to think that far ahead.
- How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I don’t know, a million?
- If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
I’d abuse them. It’s best not to give me any.
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’ve thought about this. I wouldn’t tell anyone about it and I wouldn’t outwardly try to show it off. But I’d buy a lot more dinners and stuff like that and probably worry a little less. I wouldn’t do one BIG thing, I’d just spend when I wanted to, knowing there’s a nest-egg there. I mean, I might pay off a credit card or my student loan…but in general, I think you’d be surprised by how little it would change me.
- What form of public transportation do you prefer? (air, boat, train, bus, car, etc.)
I don’t take public transportation. I have no opinion.
- What’s your favorite zoo animal?
Bears, maybe? Or the masturbating monkeys? One of those.
- If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
I don’t know. I’m not sure there’s a pivotal moment or decision that would really significantly change that much and those that would probably wouldn’t ultimately be beneficial to anyone. I’d take back a thing or two I said or avoid going to events I know in hindsight that I didn’t enjoy. But there’s not one specific thing that leaps to mind as “THAT is the ONE THING!!!”
- If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
That’s an excellent question and I’m choosing to answer it with as little seriousness as possible. I would go to dinner with Gordon Ramsey, Guy Fieri, Paul Prudhomme, and Emeril Lagasse. We would go to White Castle.
- How many pillows do you sleep with?
More than you’d think. I’ve got a firm “My Pillow” and a buckwheat pillow under my head. Then I’ve got a number of other pillows just kind of AROUND in case I need them because of my back pain… Sometimes I’ll need to put a pillow under my back so I can have some support there. Or sometimes between my knees if my sciatica is hurting my hip. Or sometimes in-between my ankles if my knees hurt. All told, I think there are up to five pillows on the bed at any given time.
- What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep (and why)?
I think like four days. I was depressed. Didn’t eat for a few of those days, either. Wasn’t a good period.
- What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top in?
I really have no idea. I don’t know that I’ve been in too many tall buildings and when I have been, it hasn’t been important to me to remember the number of floors.
- Would you rather trade intelligence for looks or looks for intelligence?
I’d trade both on Tuesday for a hamburger today.
- How often do you buy clothes?
Pretty regularly. I’m kind of a t-shirt collector, so I get those frequently. Pants and socks and stuff as needed. I enjoy buying clothes, so I do it often.
- Have you ever had a secret admirer?
How in the fuck would I know that if it was a secret?
- What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. And sometimes St. Patrick’s Day.
- What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
It isn’t something I’m proud of, so I’ll pass on this one.
- What was the last thing you recorded on TV?
Looks like it was The Graham Norton Show on 3/9.
- What was the last book you read?
I’m a few stories into George Saunders’ “Tenth of December.” It’s good.
- What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
I guess Chinese food. Or maybe Greek because I do love lamb. But I get Chinese more often. So probably that.
- Are you a clean or messy person?
I’m a fucking slob, thankyouverymuch.
- Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
Tough call…most of my favorite actors are too old. Maybe somebody like Paul Dano would be age appropriate and he’d be great at it.
- How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
Depends on the morning and what’s happening with my back. Anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
- What kitchen appliance do you use every day?
Microwave, I guess.
- What’s your favorite fast food chain?
I eat at a lot of them. This is hard. Wendy’s maybe?
- What’s your favorite family recipe?
My grandma’s banana nut cake. Oh shit…I forgot to call her tonight. I meant to do that.
- Do you love or hate rollercoasters?
Indifferent. I feel like if you’ve ridden one you’ve ridden them all. I’d go on one, but I’d probably think going to the park was a waste of money.
- What’s your favorite family tradition?
I guess we have them, but I don’t really think of them that way. Probably the longest standing one and the one I’ve made it a point not to compromise is Sunday dinners with Dad, though.
- What is your favorite childhood memory?
I don’t really have one. I don’t mean that in any kind of philosophical way or sad way. I just really don’t do well at recalling my achievements, accomplishments, or happy occasions. I often have to be reminded of them. There were a lot of them. That’s good enough.
- What’s your favorite movie?
This is a VERY hard question, but my default answer is “12 Angry Men.” I might have to do a podcast episode on this topic some time.
- How old were you when you learned Santa wasn’t real? How did you find out?
I don’t remember. It seems like it wasn’t that big of a deal. My parents always gave me better gifts than Santa did anyway. I was in my 20s before I realized they did it that way on purpose, though.
- Is your glass half full or half empty?
I can’t remember where I put the fucking glass and it’s a red Solo cup, anyway. I’ll just get a new one.
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?
Nothing too crazy. Mostly I’ve just put in way too much drive-time on somebody who wouldn’t do the same in the past.
- What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Food, water, and shelter.
- What was your favorite subject in school?
Music and art classes. You know. The ones they don’t want to fund anymore.
- What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
The first thing that came to mind was chicken hearts, but there’s probably something weirder.
- Do you collect anything?
I covered that above, kinda… But yeah. CDs/vinyl. Movies. Books. T-shirts. Guitars. And things related to those interests–sometimes a figurine, sometimes a poster, etc… Hear all about it every week on my podcast, Empty Checking!
- Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion?
People need to get away from streaming media and go back to collecting physical products. And I think they WILL. It’s just going to take some time and a plunge in Google or Apple’s bottom line that makes them fuck over their customers on storage space to wake people up. Or just ONE really good hacker who fucks up everybody’s “cloud” and they realize they really can’t depend on it. Or Netflix going under. There are a lot of ways it COULD happen. I’m interested to see which one takes place. And when it does, friends, come to me and I will help you replace your lost Frank Zappa CDs.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Depends on the setting and situation. But by default more of an introvert.
- Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest?
Well, to begin with, the human body has WAY more than five senses. That’s a significant simplification of a very complex set of inborn attributes.
For example, we don’t JUST have a sense of touch. We can touch something and have the sensation of knowing it will be sticky, furry, hot, cold, etc… And that’s what most people mean. But the human body also has an innate sense of knowledge of its relationship to itself. Close your eyes. Now keep them closed and touch your two index fingers to one another. How did you do that without seeing your hands? You used your body’s sense of itself. This sense is the same one responsible for “phantom pains” when someone loses a limb. The body’s knowledge of itself fascinates me on a deep level.
We also have a sense of morality, a sense of humor, a sense of self-value, and there are those who would even call our ability to anticipate a reaction based on sight/sound/etc, otherwise known as “intuition” as its own sense in and of itself. The human body is a complicated wonderland of senses that are far more numerous than the five we’ve come to identify. Here is an article from Cracked that cites sources indicating it may be anywhere from 14 to 20 on average, based on most studies. (The body’s awareness of itself–proprioception–is mentioned in the article.)
- Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise)
I don’t think so. And I really wouldn’t want one. I don’t like people making too big a deal about my birthday, especially if there are a bunch of strangers around. And I’d want to have the benefit of knowing I was going to have to be around a group of people who all wanted to talk to me all night.
- Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous?
No one that springs to mind, but there may be someone I’m forgetting.
- What do you do to keep fit?
I do not.
- Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken?
Probably. But we’ve never formalized it. We joke occasionally that for example when you’ve overloaded the trunk of your car and things are destined to fall over and break but you close it anyway and mutter, “nah, it’ll be fine,” THAT’S the Brink family motto. But in general, I don’t think we’ve officially got anything. Unless referring to something that isn’t working as “well, this shittin’ thing” counts. Dad started that one and I know I use it regularly.
- If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
By Official Decree of the Office of The Derek: Everybody stop being dicks and follow the goddamn road laws because YOU’RE the reason we HAVE them; you don’t know better, you’re part of the problem, and YES I’M TALKING TO YOU.
- Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?
Mr. Koontz, my choir teacher is the first who comes to mind. He was a warm, encouraging man and he always had kind words to say to me. He believed in me and made me a section leader in the choir, encouraged me to get into our chamber choir, and constantly guided me toward doing my best. If anyone reading this ever finds him on Facebook, please let me know. I’d enjoy saying hello.
Then the same for Mr. Hudson who was my science teacher in Jr High and then in 9th grade. When my mom died, he kept me after class into his prep-period on the day I got back from being out to deal with it and asked me if I was okay, told me he’d lost his dad when he was my age and said if I needed to talk to anybody he’d be glad to make time for me. I’ve thought about that a lot and I’ve tried to do the same for people I’ve known since who have lost a parent. I’ve not found him on Facebook either.
I’d like to tell both of those guys how much their little gestures meant.
Then in college, I had the pleasure of turning similar professors into friends…and they are on Facebook and know what they mean to me.
- What three things do you think of the most each day?
I’m assuming we’re talking about material things here…so I’ll say:
(1) My laptop because I use it for a lot of stuff including most of my hobbies.
(2) My phone because I’m addicted to social media.
(3) My bed, because I wish I were in it.
- If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Caution: Words may be harmful.
- What song would you say best sums you up?
This is impossible to answer and I am not even going to try. There are too many fucking songs.
- What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Good question… It might be interesting to have a chat with Brian Wilson. I’d love to pick his brain about sound production and the beauty of the small background parts that no one cares about except for the writer. Or I know Rufus Wainwright frequents Starbucks, based on his Facebook page, and it seems like he’d be fun to talk to. Or maybe someone like a Jenna Fischer because I could start with “I’m from St. Louis too, where’d you go to high school?” and she seems nice based on her twitter. Or one of my favorite comics like a Patton Oswalt or Marc Maron. And I always thought I’d get along with Sally Field for some reason.
But really that scenario has got to be weird for them because they don’t know me AT ALL and I know a lot about them…so ideally just somebody with whom I could talk about more than just the thing they’re famous for… I know Neil Peart of Rush hates when fans come up to him and fawn over his music, but if somebody doesn’t recognize him and wants to talk about the weather, he’ll talk to them all day. (So I know what my move would be with Neil…after a two hour conversation about bird migration patterns, I’d end with, “Tell Geddy and Alex I said hi.” and then get punched.) Whatever the case, I’d try to make it more than just the “OHMYGODYOURESOGREAT!” fan gibberish and have a conversation THEY can enjoy as much as I do.
- Who was your first crush?
I don’t want to put a person’s name out there. She’s a very nice person and she’s a mom now.
- What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window?
From the office I can see a street and a parking lot. From my kitchen, I can see my yard. That’s about it.
- On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are?
Maybe like a 6-8 depending on when you catch me. Sometimes I’m a solid 3.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I didn’t even plan for 5.
- What was your first job?
That the state made me pay taxes on? My parents wanted me to enjoy being a teenager and I was probably part of the last generation that COULD do that…so I didn’t get a real job until I became a part time library worker in college. But I played in a bunch of bands and roadied and stuff before that, and it sure felt like work, and there was some money thrown around for it.
- If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join?
The band I want to join doesn’t exist. It’s me and a list of my musician friends who get together and we play songs we wrote and we all like playing together and we’re great. But most of them are too busy. And I’m too lazy.
- How many languages do you speak?
Most of one.
- What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
Whenever we get together, whatever that means.
- Who is the most intelligent person you know?
I haven’t tested.
- If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be?
Like a clinically depressed basset-hound maybe? An extremely forgetful cat?
- What is one thing you will never do again?
Graduate from high school.
- Who knows you the best?
Probably either my dad or my brother. Maybe both.
Well, that was thorough. Sorry again!
- Decemberists – The Crane Wife
- Snow Patrol – Eyes Open