Flat Out Tired… (It’s a Pun)

Woke up and got in my car.  A light came on indicating I had a tire that was low on air.  Usually, that’s not a big deal.  Typically it just means that I’ve got to stop by a gas station and top it off…but it was about 20 PSI low.  That’s bad in a tire that’s supposed to hold 35 PSI of air.  I looked the tire over and it had a nail in it.

Okay…so that means the spare has to go on, right?  I checked the air in the spare and found it 30 PSI too low.  That’s bad too.  It turns out that it’s got a faulty pressure valve.  It won’t TAKE more air.  So, it’s useless and sooner or later I’ve got to get a new spare for my car.  (Hopefully sooner.)

Nonetheless, the spare HAD to go on to get the damaged tire back onto the car once it’d been patched…  So, car goes up on the jack, tire comes off, spare goes on…and jack breaks, bending into a shape that can not be defined by Euclidian geometry (with apologies to Cthulhu, that’s not a good thing).  I BARELY got the lug nuts on to get to the tire place, and I felt it wobbling all the way to the shop.

…but the (repaired) tire’s on again…and I worked from home because by then it was 10:00 and I didn’t want to lose any more time at work than I had to by driving in at that point.  And all told, it wasn’t THAT expensive a repair, but it was still money I don’t really HAVE to mess with until after my next paycheck.  (This month’s been kind of expensive.)

The worst part is, this is at LEAST the fourth or fifth flat I’ve had in the less-than-2-years I’ve had the car.  In the WHOLE of the time I had my last car (10 years) I had, I think, three flats.  Are they just not making tires as well, or did I offend the gods of going to work?  Your call.

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Current Listening:

  • Rufus Wainwright — “All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu” — On the plus side, one of the FEW things I’ve bought for myself since the last paycheck that wasn’t food or bill-related was Wainwright’s new record.  It’s pretty good.  (I’m only a listen and a half through it, so it might grow or shrink in my opinion over time.)  I mentioned it here a little bit ago, too…it’s just him and his piano playing songs that are kind of darker and sadder.  My cup of tea!  I must admit that it suffers a little bit from the sparse arrangement.  Gets a little wearing on the ear after a while and I’m afraid some of the songs might not be fully appreciated as a result.  BUT, it’s short enough that once you start to notice that, there’s really only 15-20 minutes of music left.  So, to sum up…  Not my favorite thing he’s done…but it sure doesn’t suck.

A Day Late and About $200 Short…

Sorry I didn’t blog when I said I was going to…but you probably should’ve seen that coming.  That’s right.  I’m blaming YOU.

So anyway…here’s a random post…

  1. My jaw has been a little stiff this week.  I think I over-extended it eating a burger from Five-Guys last week.  (Incidentally, they have the best burgers you can get at fast-food speeds…though they’re a little bit more pricey than they need to be.)  Doesn’t hurt or anything.  There’s no swelling and I’m pretty sure I didn’t break a tooth or anything.  It’s just a little tight and I’m being careful of how wide I try to open it to eat.  Minor inconvenience…but felt like writing about it.
  2. Doctor Who debuted their new Doctor this weekend.  It was pretty good.  At first, I wasn’t really buying the new guy, but he grew on me.  There was a particular scene at the end of the show where they did a quick visual recap of the previous ten Doctors then had the new guy walk through the projected image and announce, “Hello.  I’m the Doctor.”  Whatever else could be said about the episode, that scene was pretty freaking pimp.  (They pimped my Doctor! …sorry…)  All in all, I think I’ll like the new guy.  I’m not sure I’ll like him more than David Tennant (his immediate predecessor), but he’ll certainly fill the role well, if it stays on par with the first episode.  At least they proved that they still know how to WRITE the show, which is about 75% of the battle with this kind of program.
  3. The kids sections at bookstores make me feel like a bad uncle.  I don’t know what to buy.  Apparently Tessa’s too advanced for the stuff that’s actually labeled as being for her age group…and I don’t know what’s supposed to be good.  Ended up buying her a little stuffed Elmo (it doesn’t require tickling, doesn’t hokey OR pokey, and doesn’t do any of that other crap…it’s just Elmo) and a copy of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”  She kissed Elmo on the nose and handed me the book before wandering off…  So that works.  Wasn’t as big a hit as the duck on a stick thingy that Susan got her, or the toddler-sized bike that my dad got her…but didn’t have to be.  Either way…Barnes and Noble and Borders both suck if you only buy stuff for kids when you HAVE to…
  4. Got a new phone.  It’s another touch-screen.  I’m not a fan of touch-screens, since my last one sucked so hard…but this works okay so far.  I’ve got the Internet with me where-ever I go and it’s highly customizable…so as long as the screen holds out, we’ll be fine.
  5. I’m running low on money already.  I got paid on THURSDAY and I’m already broke again.  Ugh…
  6. Upon review, Pearl Jam’s last record belongs WAY higher ont  my top ten of ’09 list than #9.  Should’ve been in the top five, easily.  I’d revise…but who cares?
  7. The best whiskey I’ve ever had in my life is made in Ireland (of course) and is called Paddy.  It isn’t available in the States, unless you know someone who can bring you a bottle from the Duty Free store on their way home.  But a CLOSE second has to be Bushmills, which is also Irish (or course).  (Best American whiskey, btw, is without a doubt Maker’s Mark.)  Dunno why I’m sharing that…I guess it’s just a hint that if any of you go to Ireland, I’d appreciate a bottle.  🙂
  8. There’s this thing on Facebook that has been supporting a girl who needed a heart transplant.  Apparently yesterday, the girl got her heart—which is awesome.  It’s a really good cause, and I’m not in any way trying to take away from it…  There is one thing I’m seeing that bothers me a little, though.  Tons of my friends are posting in their statuses that we need to pray that the transplant keeps and the girl has a full recovery…but I haven’t seen anyone suggest that people pray for the family of the person who died in order for her to get that heart.  Somebody lost the most important person in their life, and though the result of their loss is awesome, I’m sure the family would appreciate a little thought from some of us, too.  Just kinda thought about that a little bit ago…  I do hope the heart transplant holds out like it should.  It’d be a shame for someone to have hope and lose it…and it’d be a double-shame if someone else died for nothing.  (Of course, being that I don’t know either party, this is just a man’s-humanity-for-man thing…but nonetheless…)
  9. Our server at work died on Friday.  I didn’t get any of my actual job done.  (Hoping to log in remotely for a bit tonight.)  Even if I get a bit done tonight, it’s probably going to be a LONG day (or two) of catch-up tomorrow.  Here’s hoping I get some sleep tonight!

…and that’ll do it…  I’d promise to have something interesting to talk about soon…but I don’t know what it’d be!  🙂

I’m Still With CoCo, but I’m a Little Disappointed

So it’s official.  Conan O’Brien has a TV deal.  That’s good news.  The bad news is that it’s not on a network.  It’s on TBS.  Right before George Lopez.

A few problems there…

  1. TBS got so bad that they couldn’t even sell WRESTLING after about 1998.  And the best they’ve got now is George Lopez.
  2. What demographic does TBS appeal to?  People who want to watch old Charles Bronson movies?  Is that really the Conan audience?
  3. Conan would’ve been a GREAT fit among Fox’s Simpsons/Family Guy viewers…but unfortunately, Fox couldn’t guarantee him a time-slot in most of the country due to local affiliates showing the news and/or Seinfeld reruns at the 10:00 hour.  Way to drop the ball, Fox.
  4. Major downward move from network to basic-cable.  I know a couple of people who don’t have cable (I know, it’s shocking)…they won’t see the show.  That sucks, because I’m sure Conan will be great.
  5. George Lopez has been talking like he’s the cock of the walk.  (He’s half right.)  In the interviews I’ve read, he seems to be acting like the whole deal is his doing and like CoCo’s his opening act.  Whereas, in truth, George Lopez is like 10 pounds of suck in an 8 pound bag.  We get it George…Mexicans and Americans do things differently.  (But I guess I should respect the guy for being able to stretch that into a 20 year career…)  Enjoy the brief bump you’re getting from this.  It ends on Conan’s first night when people flip away from your show to Craig Ferguson.
  6. If CoCo did have to move his show-show to cable…why not Comedy Central?!?  He’d have fit right in with Colbert and Stewart.  It was probably a time-slot thing there, too.  I think the Colbert Report and the Daily Show air at the time Conan would’ve wanted…  It’s a shame that people think the time-slot is more important than the production—and I’m talking about the stations and the performers on that one.

…and that’s the downside.

But the upside—and this does dwarf the downside—is that Conan has a show again, and is likely to bring a lot of the old crew with him.  I’m looking forward to that.

…but sorry, “I’m With CoCo” Facebook fan-page…I REFUSE to start saying “I’m with LoCo.”  Seriously.  George Lopez isn’t funny.

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Quick Movie Review

  • Reign Over Me – Released in 2007 and starring Adam Sandler.  I’m not a Sandler fan…but this was pretty good.  I didn’t quite buy the end of the movie…but it was overall good and featured an AWESOME cover of The Who’s “Love, Reign O’er Me” by Pearl Jam.  (Side note—I’m a life-long Who fan, but Pearl Jam now has the torch.  At the Rock-Honors thing in honor of The Who, Pearl Jam performed before them and blew everyone on the bill away.  INCLUDING the honorees.  They actually out-Who’ed The Who!)  Good movie that dealt with its subject matter in a way that not only didn’t irritate me (it references 9/11/01) but actually really WORKED for me.  This one passed me by at the time, but Christine (at work) handed me her copy and told me I should give it a look.  About seven months later (super-sorry, Christine!) I finally did.  Worth it.  I give it 4 out of 5 Daves.  (That’s a rating system my brother uses on his blog…and I’m stealing it.)  🙂

For the Record… (That’s a Pun)

I may have jumped the gun slightly in announcing my intention to write a bunch of songs based on Kurt Vonnegut Jr’s works.  I still plan to do it…but I don’t think you should expect the record to happen in 2010.  I want to finish all of Vonnegut’s books before beginning recording…and I’ve got a way to go.  Apart from reading copious interviews, articles, and Wikipedia entries about the man himself (which will likely comprise at least one of the 10-12 tracks I could see this thing taking up), I’ve read a lot of his books, including his most highly regarded works…but there’s a LOT left (for which I’m actually kind of grateful, since I love reading it).

Here’s a list of Vonnegut’s works—and I’ll highlight the stuff I’ve read in—uhh—red.

  1. Player Piano
  2. The Sirens of Titan
  3. Mother Night
  4. Cat’s Cradle
  5. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
  6. Slaughterhouse Five
  7. Breakfast of Champions
  8. Slapstick
  9. Jailbird
  10. Deadeye Dick
  11. Galapagos
  12. Bluebeard
  13. Hocus Pocus
  14. Timequake
  15. Canary in a Cathouse
  16. Welcome to the Monkeyhouse
  17. Wampeters, Foma, and Granfalloons
  18. Palm Sunday
  19. Fates Worse than Death
  20. Bagombo Snuff Box
  21. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
  22. A Man Without a Country
  23. Armageddon in Retrospect
  24. Look at the Birdie

…and he also wrote a play called “Happy Birthday, Wanda June.”  It’s largely regarded as terrible, and I doubt that I could find a copy if I tried…so I’ll skip that one.

In all, I’m about half-way there.  To be fair, a LOT of that progress has been made in the past three months…but still.  The record isn’t coming out this year.  Hope I didn’t get anybody’s hopes up…but it’s likely that my Dad is the only one interested in the project in the first place!  (More’s the pity for Dad…)

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Restaurant Review:

  • White Barn in Florissant.  Review so far is negative-six out of a possible (positive) 1-5 stars.  To be fair, it was their first night…but I was sitting in my car for about 20 minutes and the line didn’t move AT ALL, so I left.  (I subsequently read on Facebook that the average time between placing your order and receiving your food was a famine-inducing 45 minutes!  And bear in mind, that’s PER CUSTOMER…so if you’re ten cars back, you’ll be there for HOURS.)  Take a lesson from Steak ‘n’ Shake (whose business was booming, likely as a result of the terrible service at White Barn)—throw a damn burger in a damn bag and let people go home.  Maybe in a couple of weeks they’ll have their act together…but if it stays like this, the ten customers they’re able to serve in an evening won’t keep the doors open.  I’ll try again in about a month, if they’re still there.  I hear they’re great when they actually manage to cook something.  But for now…boo!

A Few Things

Here’s my first real post under the new blog template.  Thought it’d be appropriate to do a “random” post.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I only have a few things on my mind…so we’re keeping it brief.

 

  1. My cellphone isn’t working very well.  It’s a really crappy touch-screen and the screen is so bad that I’m not really able to dial out right now.  (I might be able to figure out how to call the LAST person that called me back…but that’s about it.)  The texting seems to still work with a little effort…but it sucks.  Do not EVER get a touch-screen phone from Verizon.
  2. I had the best Reuben I’ve ever had today.  There’s a deli a little bit down from where I work (in the COOL—if not slightly douchey—part of town) called Pickles.  I’d never been there, but Christine (at work) said they were good and I didn’t want Chinese again (which everyone but Christine and I was having delivered).  So Christine and I got sandwiches from there.  Got the corned beef Reuben—they also make it with pastrami, which I’m probably going to try next time.  Just a really great sandwich with about a pound of meat on it.  It was a good three inches thick on MARBLE rye (that’s some good freaking bread), sauerkraut, and the most playful piece of melted swiss on top.  You’ve gotta try that place, if you’re in town.  I’ve only had the one sandwich, but if it’s any indication, they’re amazing.  I’m already trying to find an excuse to go there again…or see if they deliver.  🙂
  3. I mentioned a while ago that I’d been thinking of doing a record of entirely songs inspired by the writings of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.  That idea is still very much with me (though I should probably finish reading everything first).  I’ve got some songs rolling already and I think this might be where my next record is headed.  Or maybe it’ll be an “online only” thing.  Not sure yet.  We’ll see.  But…I do want to reveal the working title of the project.  It’s based on something Vonnegut wrote/drew in his novel “Breakfast of Champions.”  Vonnegut illustrated the book himself and advised that his art-skills weren’t necessarily on par with Michelangelo…  As an example of what readers could expect to see as an illustration, he described this: as “my picture of an asshole.”  Eventually, it got shortened down to just an 8-point asterisk and he even inserted it into his professional signature.  It’s kind of a big deal, in-joke among Vonnegut fans.  As such, I’m thinking that the cover of the Vonnegut CD will be a Polaroid photograph of me, and the title will be “Derek Brink – A Picture of an Asshole.”  Probably won’t put it on the merch table when I play churches…but it kinda works and it makes me laugh.  Maybe I’ll spell it “a**hole” though—with 8-point asterisks, of course.  🙂
  4. In completely unrelated news, and in order to provide the weirdest transition I could think of…  My Grandma’s birthday was yesterday.  She turned 85 years old.  Talked to her on the phone for about 20 minutes or so.  She’s hoping to make it to my niece Tessa’s birthday party next weekend.  Hope she does.  Haven’t seen her in a little bit.
  5. Re: Tiger Woods’ return to golf…  Don’t care.
  6. Thanks to the iPad coming out, there’s been a lot of discussion about e-books floating around.  The iPad does WAY more than store e-books, but that seems to be a major selling point of the thing.  (Along those lines…I know they’re trying to avoid saying it, but if they want to sell one to people like me, they’d be better off just saying, “It’s like a laptop with a touch-screen.  You’re welcome.”  But I digress…)  As an avid reader, I’m not a fan of e-books.  It’s not a techno-fear thing…it’s that I think the entire idea is flawed.  How many books does a person typically read at once?  One, right?  (Unless you’re a college student or doing some sort of research project, in which case I kinda get it…but most of us read a book at a time.)  So why carry around thousands of them?  Plus, for those of us who read in the tub…I’m not going to take a $500 iPad with me into water.  I can see where e-books are good for things you’re not going to want to keep for very long, like a library book (or rental…or however they do that…), but let’s not forget…  Every hard drive eventually fails.  Then it’s bye-bye books, and it’s pretty much your fault for not having a hard copy.  (This, incidentally, is also how I feel about those suckers who only buy their music digitally then their laptop crashes…)  So…when it comes to e-books, I’m against them.  However, I do get what people like about the other functions of the iPad…though I don’t think it’s going to stick around forever like most of the Apple fans seem to.  At least not under that name.

…and that’s it for this round.

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Current Listening:

  • Rufus Wainwright – “Release the Stars”  — And I’m very excited about his upcoming “All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu” record coming out later this month (in the States…it’s already out in the UK).  That one’s just him and his piano and he’s doing a few of the Shakespearian musical sonnets on it alongside his original material.  He’s one of those guys who can just be accompanied by his own piano playing, yet SOUND like a symphony (as evidenced by his “Grey Gardens” performance on a not-too-long-ago episode of the Jonathan Ross show).  So I’ve got high expectations for “Lulu.”