I write... occasionally

Here's a collection of 634 pieces of nonsense that I've felt the need to journal about over the past 20.97 years.

Life in 08

Man. It's been nearly a month since I've actually blogged about life. So let's see... what's happened...

First of all, dad visited at the beginning of January. We hung out, worked on my truck stereo, did some Christmas stuff, visited the cousins, etc. It was nice - rushed, but definitely nice to hang out.

Oh, and I finally finished my first tattoo. My final session was January 11th and it was awesome. After we were done, both Budha (my artist) and I were like, "weird... welp, I guess this is it." Then we cried, hugged, and parted ways. No, it's pretty crazy to just be... done. I think I'll make sure my next tattoo is one of those "single sitting" type of things. The words "vive vitam" shouldn't be too tough. Now I just …

Wish Lists!

Oh man, I love lists. I really do.

The "notes" section on my sidekick is always full of lists that I can add to while I'm out and about. One of those lists is always a "to buy" list... AKA, a "wish list"

It's really handy when I'm out with some money to spend and I think to myself, "which DVDs do I still need?" or "what was that random tool that I needed last week?" So, I quick whip out my... phone and BAM, I got it. Man I love notes.

But even though I love notes on my phone, they don't always stay up to date. Things like my Amazon wish list stay more up to date, because it's much easier to just click "add to wish list" or whatever. Man, I love wishlists. It makes giving and receiving so much easier. I don't have to buy …

Alpine CDA-9886 Review and how Crutchfield Rules

I just installed my Alpine CDA-9886 last night and since it's so new, there's a serious lack of online reviews, so I thought I'd contribute.

First of all, let me outline what I was looking for.
  • A deck that would let me play my iPod in some way, either via AUX in, or actual iPod connectivity/control.
  • If the deck should have iPod control, it couldn't suck horribly like most of them do.
  • It has to somewhat match my interior. I've got a clean looking tan/black interior, I didn't want some ugly silvery/grey deck dirtying it up.
  • It has to be versatile - just in case I want to amp everything up, etc. I need pre-outs, maybe bluetooth, etc, etc.
  • It has to be a noticeable upgrade from my stock deck and also from my last Alpine.
  • It can't cost a …

It's 2008

Kari and I's New Years Eve was quite interesting this year. We had these plans to make it a fancy/dancy night, which sort of fell through and left us stranded on a curb in some -4 degree wind chill weather. Aside from that though, it was a good night.

We kicked it off with a fancy 5 course prix fixe dinner at Sage. It was amazing. That place... man. It never fails us - I love it. Check it out, here's what I had:
  • Grilled rare ahi tuna block atop a waldorf salad, pea tendrils & veal demiglaze
  • Bristol bay crab bisque with pancetta croutons & chives (Kari had: Roasted butternut squash soup with pumpkin bread croutons & browned butter)
  • Braised iowa beef short rib atop braised winter vegetable mash with a braising liquid reduction (Kari …

Christmas 2007

I suppose I better write this before 2008...

Christmas this year was great. Kari and I were able to afford all the gifts we wanted to buy (for once), and we got totally spoiled by everyone else. We also saw tons of family, but not very many friends this holiday season. I'm a bit sad about the lack of friends this year, but hopefully that's what tonight (New Years) is for.

So starting with Wednesday, Dec 19, Kari and I did our Christmas. It was good. I got some fancy clothes, DVDs, my entire truck outfitted with Polk speakers, etc. And I of course had to give her one of those blasted little blue Tiffany boxes along with a fancy jacket, DVDs, etc, etc. One hilarious thing about our Christmas this year is that Kari and I bought …

Santa and Church

I promise I'm gonna blog about my Christmas, but first, check this awesomeness out.

I get occasional e-mails from my aunt and uncle's church, which was also Kari and I's church for a while.

A week ago, the new(ish) pastor sent out a nice Christmas e-mail that contained the following:

"... Third, our Christmas Eve Service is Monday Night! Don't forget to come early and get your picture with Santa Claus, who will be making a special stop in West Des Moines before his appointed rounds. He'll have just enough time to take a few pictures before he goes to work. The brief service will include some of your favo rite music, a holiday message, and inspirational readings. Sandy and I, along with the Growing in Grace ladies have prepared …

Trans Siberian Orchestra at Wells Fargo Arena

I haven't blogged in a minute, but last night as I was sitting at Trans Siberian Orchestra, I decided to whip up a quick blog on my phone. So first, here's an update...

Nothing too big has happened. I've been hanging out, working, going out, and scraping ice/snow off everything.
If you haven't already seen, here are some pics from last weekend's randomness.
Oh, and I sold my car for not enough money... but whatever. It should finally be out of my garage next week.

So anyway, the real reason I'm blogging is to talk about my experience at the Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Last night, Kari and I met Nick and Nicole at Dos Rios for dinner, which was good, filling, and not cheap. Then, we all had tickets to go check out Trans …

derekbrooks.com is mine!

I've been trying to get www.derekbrooks.com since I was in college. It's belonged to a canadian by the name of... wait for it - Derek Brooks since like 2001. I remember e-mailing a few times trying to get him to give it to me... but obviously that didn't work out.

At first derekbrooks.com was basically a resume for my like-named friend, then it became a wedding info site for family - and then - he apparently let it die. Maybe he took his wife's surname, ha.

So randomly last night, I was seeing how I did in search engine results by searching for broox, derek brooks, etc. I found some new broox sites, like kite aerial photography at brooxes.com and a sweet skateboard company at broox.it. So I then hopped over to joker.com to see …

Dos Zen Tattoos

zoinks!

So Friday I got 2 more hours of ink on my back. My crown should be completely done in about 1 more session, hurrah! I can't wait to have a finished tattoo. When it's done I should have around 8 hours in it. And now, I can't stop thinking of new tattoo ideas. I still want a plus symbol, some form of "live life," a giant word on my stomach, and I really want something on my chest that flows well. I don't really like the big winged things/hearts that people always get. I like things more like Tommy Lee's lions. Something mirrored that flows with my boobies. Those lions are awesome - I just wish I'd thought of them... stupid rock stars.

Anyway, I've been doing the wet healing process again, which is a big pain - but it …

Cool Kids Eat Shit

I've been thinking about this for a few years, so nothing directly sparked this blog... I've actually been consciously not writing this blog due to related situations coming up. I didn't want people to think that they sparked it.

So that said, I was just sitting at home and suddenly got a strange urge to rant! hurrah!

Here it is...

Will someone tell me why the hell eating shitty food is cool? Why is a person who orders cottage cheese instead fries suddenly lame? Why are people who order salads or drink diet pop always "on diets?" Moreover, why is being on a diet even a bad thing? Why is enjoying quality, less-fat food uncool?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my fair share of crappy foods every now and again - and I get a good …

Oh yeah. Thanksgiving.

We had a bit of a change-up in the Thanksgiving tradition this year. No RG Books on Wednesday night, no oysters, no squash, no 18 course meal by Jeff, and no QC. This year we only went to 1 place - and it was only a half hour away - awesome.

Kari's parents got into town Wednesday night after putting a their truck in a ditch outside Grinnell. So instead of driving more, we decided to order take-out from Chili's and hang out at home.

Thanksgiving day was at Dave's this year, which was nice - good food, hanging out, etc. I didn't get crazy stuffed for the first time since... well, since I met Kari's family. I did sorta miss all those courses from Jeff though...

After thanksgiving we headed back to our place with Kari's parents …

The KC Shuffle

So last weekend, Ando made plans to go to KC for his friend JJ's 30th birthday. Nathan and I got invited - and it was a blast... Maybe too much of a blast.

On the way down, Nathan got pulled over for doing 84 in a 70. :(

So, we got into town around 8:30, checked into our Sheraton Suite and then had dinner at Tomfoolerie's. After dinner we met up with Ando's friend, Eboni and went to Blonde. Blonde was a pretty good club. Apparently a lot of KC peeps think Blonde is trying to be too big time for KC... but I liked it quite a lot. Good DJ, good drinks, pretty people, fun atmosphere.

After Blonde we met up with a bunch of Ando's friends at the Granfalloon, which is this sports bar/grill that turns into a real bar at night - …

Joining Red 5

Holy first day. Seriously... I haven't felt this n00b in a long, long time - I'm both stressed and excited about it.

So first of all, the drive. It's longer, but sooo much better than my last drive. My drive to Pioneer was about half the distance of my new drive - however I did it in exactly the same amount of time - 22 minutes. On my old route, there was no opportunity to pass slow cars due to all the back roads, but now I can weave down i235 just the way an F150 should... or something.

Next comes the Atmosphere. I'm in Valley Junction - a small village with lots of local shops. It's basically a ghost town at 9am, which was unexpected, but I guess it makes sense. I walked up the stairs into my new building at 8:50 to find …

Leaving Pioneer

It seems like just a few months ago - my last block at Cornell College - when I'd drive out of town via 8th Avenue and park in a cornfield entrance at the top of the hill. This is where I always went to get away from the loud dorm I lived in to make important phone calls.

This time I was making my call to Marv Hardisty - checking on the job I interviewed for a few weeks prior. It was an interesting call - first he asked me about brooksfsw.com, one of my huge Soap Shoe web sites that I let get away. He asked me if I ran it and if I was aware that it was now a pornography site. I quickly explained what happened and that it was not my porn site. My stomach dropped and I was convinced that I wouldn't get the job - all because I let a …

Belated Halloween Party

As most of you know, Kari and I hosted a Halloween Party this weekend... and if you didn't come - you're lame.

We had a little over half of the turnout that we had last year... but it was still a good time. Most of our out-of-towners didn't make it this time, however Tara came down from Mpls and Jake and Ania came from Illinois.

Anyway, there were some pretty amazing costumes, like Winnie the Pooh, Zombies, Me, Richard Simmons, etc, etc. Take a look at the pics.

All the beer pretty much got drank, aside from maybe a couple pints of light. So, I think the next party we have, I'm just going to get a regular keg instead of 2 small kegs.

Also, we picked Ninja up on Sunday. He looks pretty hilarious. After a few hours of him …

Alex Strait

To my Cornell friends...

Remember Alex Strait? He was a Soccer player, Gamma, had curly hair, and was a couple years below me at school.

Apparently his body was found today at a park in Cedar rapids.

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs...711010024/1006/NEWS

Alex always seemed like a pretty good/happy kid to me. I didn't know him too well, but he sat in front of me in my Spanish 205 class. He one time let me borrow a really good Jazz CD that I copied and still listen to.
Sad. :-(

T Minus Eight Days

Until I am done working at Pioneer.

That's right. On Monday this week I put in my 2 week notice at my cushy corporate job. Why?

Back up to a month ago when my promotion (supported by 3 levels of management) was brought forward and then shot down by the director of Information Management. This caused much frustration with the corporate mind state - which I'm not going to get into...
  • Tuesday, Sept 25th: I was informed that my promotion got denied - so I immediately applied for several external jobs and one internal job.
  • Thursday, Oct 18th: I interviewed for a job within Pioneer that would be the same level I was supposed to be promoted to.
  • Friday, Oct 19th: I interviewed for a job at a small (8 employee) web dev company called Red …

Ninja's Knee(s)

We just went up to the vet to have Ninja's leg looked at. It turns out that he completely tore his cruciate ligament in his left leg.

The good news is that his knee is easily fixable with TPLO surgery.
The bad news is that it costs over $2,000.
The worse news is that his right knee is partially torn.

So right around Christmas time, I suppose we will be buying Ninja a second knee.
$5,000 on our free dog and we decided to go through with it.

...And don't get me wrong, I would like our 3 year old dog to have new knees, especially if money wasn't an issue... but the truth is - money is an issue. A big issue.

Please send money for Christmas presents this year...

Good Food and Drinks in DSM

This weekend was full of sweet, sweet food and drinks.

Friday, Kari and I celebrated our anniversary at Lucca, which was a great meal with decent service - I think they need at least 1 more server in there.

Around dessert time, Kari decided that none of Lucca's desserts sounded awesome, so we called Sage to see if we could come over. Here is some customer service that everyone should take note of....

We called Sage from Lucca at 9:50. Sage told us they close at 10 but since we only wanted dessert and drinks, they said to come in anyway.

We got there about right at 10:00 and they had a table set for us. But, since we wanted to stay out of their way, we just asked to eat at the bar... they weren't crabby about the set table …