Sunday, May 16, 2021

My life is shit and I can't even record it...

 I'm writing this through a phone app...

Tonight I dropped my laptop while walking from one room to the next and the screen completely shattered. It's broken. It's bad. It's almost unusable. I can patch it into my TV via HDMI cable, but I'm sure you understand why that's not ideal...  I can't see a THING on the actual screen. It's just a black and white static image of nothing,.. My laptop that is less than 1 year old is absolutely broken and worthless. Because I walked down a hallway.

I'm working on a stopgap. I want SO BADLY to do a show for you. But I can't. Technology, alongside fate, God, goodwill, karma, and justice has forsaken me. So I'm on hold. For now. Forever? I don't know.

There are two solo albums trapped on my laptop, needing to be backed up so they're not lost to a simple stumble in my hallway. There's a whole bunch of other stuff on there too that's important to me, if no one else. (It probably ISN'T important to anyone else...let's face facts...the albums are only important to six people, counting me, and three of THEM are just being polite--again, COUNTING me... I have no delusions...my career is bullshit in all forms of media...no one is even reading this fucking post... Seriously...comment on it if you're reading it. What's that? Nobody commented? Well color me SHOCKED...) 

So...long story short...no show. Not now. Maybe not ever. I don't have the functional technology to do it. And I don't have the money to fix it. My car is destroyed. My dryer is useless. My siding is falling down. My lawn is overgrowing weekly... My bathroom floor is rotted through and the useless fucking contractor replacing it can't get his head out of his ass long enough to schedule a day to fix it. (His name's Mark. Last name (which starts with an M!) available upon request to local people who don't want to waste their lives waiting on a returned text.) My back hurts. My side hurts. My abdomen hurts--which is new and might be either a hernia or my appendix... I'm going to be bankrupt by the end of the month--which, incidentally, contains my useless fucking BIRTHDAY for the second time in the same goddamn, motherfucking pandemic...

It's ALL shit.

So... No show. If you're pissed off about it, fuck you. If you're sad but understanding, I appreciate it...and can I please borrow $500? That'd at least replace the fucking laptop...

Anyway... Bye.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Talk to you soon...

 I am presently on the worst run of bad luck I think I've ever had in my life, and I just can't get it together to do my fun little show this week.

Last Friday (4/30) my car stopped working in a parking garage. I had to wait for 6 hours to get a tow truck (I can't WAIT to tell that story on the show). The car was "repaired" on Monday (5/3) for $660. On Tuesday (5/4) my lawnmower stopped working--it's only two years old. On Wednesday (5/5) my dryer stopped working (haven't called anyone to look at it yet--it's about 30 years old). On Thursday (5/6) some siding fell off the underside of my roof. I got Friday off...but then on Saturday I got a book delivered that turned out to be used and beat up that was advertised as new on Amazon and they aren't helping with the dispute. (This is the smallest of my problems, but it's on the pile.) Then on Sunday...ready?  My car stopped working again. In the exact same way. Same problem. (And some dick on Facebook crossed a personal line with me and got blocked--again, barely a problem.) Had the car towed to the shop, walked the key up to them today (for some reason they don't have a key-drop) at 7 a.m. and they're not able to look at it until tomorrow.

So. No. Fuck it. I didn't get a show together. Sorry if my terrible week makes yours worse as a result.

Tomorrow I'm going to get my second COVID shot. With my present run of luck, I'm expecting it to stop my heart immediately. Send good thoughts.

Probably a show this upcoming weekend though...assuming the heart thing doesn't happen. And the week doesn't get worse.

Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

(FINALLY!) Episode 98 - No Thread There. Just a Coincidence.

In a FREQUENTLY delayed episode (see the last couple posts for details on that) I finally talk about some of the art hanging on my walls and the subjects related to it. We cover Kurt Vonnegut, Bone by Jeff Smith, Star Trek, Rush, and Leonard Cohen, amidst the typical babbling.

Also, in two episodes, we'll be at #100! I'd like to make that episode all about the listeners, so please submit some comments and questions at either the Podbean page, the blog above, or by e-mailing me directly at db@derekbrink.com! And check out the blog for a TON of photos on this one! Thanks as always!

Here's the player:

Time Index:

  • 0:00 - Intro, including an appeal for questions for episode #100!
  • 13:45 - Music Break #1 - A new song from an upcoming album!
  • 14:15 - ART! Part One. - Kurt Vonnegut: Asterisk, etc. / Jeff Smith's Bone, by the rocks and elsewhere.
  • 47:18 - Music Break #2 - More of the same song!
  • 47:48 - ART! Part Two. - Star Trek Posters
  • 55:24 - Music Break #3 - Even MORE of the same song!
  • 55:54 - ART! Part Three. - Rush: The Canadian Gothic. / Leonard Cohen's skull and a naked lady.
  • 1:17:17 - Music Break #4 - Somehow there was still MORE of the song left!
  • 1:17:49 - Outro
Photos (there are a LOT this week!):
The cover. It's weird that you have a folder full of these.

This is my autographed Vonnegut lithograph! I hung it where it'll draw attention but not TOO much of it. And it's where I'll see it every day. Really happy with it!

I wish the photos did it justice. The Great Frame Up here in town did a spectacular job with it. The mat behind it is a dark, textured graphite that really makes the signature pop.

You can see the texture a little better here. And I love that they were able to preserve that feathered edge! If I'd done this myself it would've ended up covered up for sure.

Here's one last shot of it without me in the way. My...lampshade needs to be adjusted, I'm realizing as I type this...

Here's my signed Bone print! I got into a real selfie-with-a-thumb-up thing in these photos. This one's in an awkward place to get a photo because of the way the glass reflects the lighting in my house, but I did my best.

This is a better shot, but if you know where to look I'm kinda reflected in it. Whatever. Take my word for it! It's cool!

And here's a sense of where it is in relationship to my other interests. :)

My Star Trek posters!

The one on the left is my favorite TOS episode. The one on the right is one of the agreed first "great" episodes of TNG. I go into more detail about those choices on the show, of course, but I'm happy with them both and I thought they belonged in the same space, right outside my home office, so I'll see them pretty much all the time.

RUSH!!! (And more Star Trek stuff!) I've talked about this piece on the show before, but I couldn't not talk about it in an episode about my favorite art in my house. This piece captures part of my favorite side of the band--the goofy, fun, self-aware side that gets overlooked by people who only want to talk about (and be wrong about) Geddy's voice.

I like how this whole shelf came together. Down front that's a bottle of Chateau Picard wine made by a winery named for Captain Picard's home on the show(s). I bought a couple bottles when I was able to do it. It's actually no longer on the shelf--it's properly preserved for later drinking. Maybe I'll talk about that more on a future episode. Or maybe I'll completely forget. :)

My favorite part of the picture. If you look really close, Neil is peeking out from the curtains in the house, which just captures his personality perfectly.

My sexy, sexy, scandalous Leonard Cohen lithograph! (Notice the shocked-face!) I got it with a premium package preorder of one of his albums on his website, when he was still living. It took me close to ten years to get it in a frame for reasons I can't fully explain. It's in my home office and I see it a lot and like thinking about it.

I'm not really a fan of nude art. I just wanted one of Leonard's pieces hanging on my wall and this was the one he made available. But I do love this piece (and the frame I put it in). It's got a mystery about it and there's a lot to think about. The juxtaposition of sex and death. The medium of watercolor. And so on. It's complicated, like Leonard himself.

I actually think the skull is the most interesting part. It's the part I think about the most and have stared at the longest.


I'm not dead. Or in the hospital.

 Contrary to my last post, I obviously didn't get a podcast uploaded. I didn't die or go to the hospital. I went to a parking garage and my car wouldn't start when I tried to leave it. So I called my insurance company's roadside "assistance."

...over the course of the six fucking hours that followed I was lied to repeatedly by a representative (which was later confirmed by her supervisor in almost so many words), I had promises broken, I threatened legal action, I threatened cancelation of policies, and so on... I first called my insurance company at 7:33 p.m. The tow truck was said to be arriving within "75-85 minutes." In actuality it arrived at 1:17 a.m. I got home around 2.

So that's why the episode wasn't uploaded. I'm exhausted. I'm in physical pain from going back and forth between pacing around a parking garage and sitting in a car seat for six hours. I'm emotionally a wreck...this event was preceded by a major panic attack during my work day that resulted in me having to lay down for three hours just to get my heartrate under control... And I'm not getting this done until sometime on Saturday afternoon/evening.

I'm sorry. I appreciate your understanding. I will find a way to make it up to you. The episode I have in the can is a good one, at least.

Thank you for your patience. I've been in hell today...and tomorrow, the repair shop...

-Uncle Derek

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

I SWEAR THERE WILL BE A NEW EPISODE ON FRIDAY.

 Unless I'm dead. Or in the hospital. I'll upload one on Friday. This time for sure. Sorry. It's been busy.

-Uncle Derek

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Obviously I didn't do an episode this week...or DID I?

Hi Checkmates.  By now you've noticed (?) that a new episode wasn't uploaded this week. "He probably got busy and didn't have time to record one..." 

Well...you're half right...

I DID get busy. But I also DID record an episode...I just didn't have time to EDIT it. And as the week has gone on, more edits have been jumping out everywhere I look. For example, I spent part of the recording talking about the Chauvin trial, which concluded today with guilty verdicts on ALL COUNTS. I'm very happy with that result. But it also made the episode I still have not been able to edit dated.  About five-minutes have to go there...

Also I mentioned in the episode that I was scheduled to get my first COVID shot and I was a little nervous about it.  Well...I got the shot today and I'm no longer nervous about it. I am a little nervous about the second one because the first one made my arm sorer than I anticipated and made me a little sleepy. Neither of which is a bad or unexpected reaction. My arm just feels like I bumped into a door-frame or something at the point of injection--an ache but not an unbearable one. I'm tired, but I've been this tired before. I've even been this tired already THIS WEEK. It's not bad. But a friend told me "the first shot wakes up your immune system...the second pisses it off." So I expect to need the day off for the second shot on May 11. But that's okay. It's better than the alternative, and the boost in peace of mind I got from the first one fills me with confidence in getting the second one. But nevertheless...that's another several minutes of the episode I recorded gone. Five? Ten? Who knows?

The rest is probably salvageable, but I'd have to listen to the whole thing and make the edits, etc...and at this point, why don't I just put up an episode at the end of the week instead and avoid pressing issues that'll be over by the time I upload? So that's the plan... Sorry I had my hands full this week.

One more thing though... I've realized we're at almost 100 episodes! Officially there have been 97 episodes of the show so far. Later this week I plan to upload episode 98. And you may be wondering if I've got big plans for show #100... Nah. Not really. I don't plan on doing a highlight show of my "best bits" or anything like that--I don't even know how I'd choose them other than to listen to 97 episodes between now and then, clipping out stuff I liked. As I just indicated, I can't even find time to edit ONE show at the moment...I'm not digging through 97! But I did want to throw the following out there...

I like getting comments and e-mails and stuff and I've got a couple saved that I want to talk about on the show...but I'd kinda love it if that were the WHOLE show for episode #100. A whole show outlined by YOU. I'd love to to just a full hour of mailbag stuff...  Or at least a decent segment of it, if there aren't enough replies...  But if you're interested in having me read a question on the show...hit me up! Leave a comment here with a question or do the same on the Podbean page. Or--and this seems to be what most people like doing--e-mail me your questions at db@derekbrink.com and I promise that even if I don't end up reading it on the show, I'll at least reply.

So...episode 100 will be in your hands. If you use them, that is. If not I'll probably talk about Deadliest Catch or something. :)

Talk to you soon. I promise.

-Uncle Derek

Friday, April 9, 2021

4/9/21 Update -- No Full Episode this week

Sorry, Checkmates...no real episode this week. Instead you get me complaining about the work being done on my bathrooms (and the serious personal pain it's causing me!) for 5 minutes. We'll be back hopefully next week, depending on the progress, of course. Always remember to check this blog if you don't see anything in your feed and I'll hopefully have said something here. Thanks for your five-minutes!

-Uncle Derek