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The ABCs of Dinkology: Time In-Between (The Max Dinkman Chronicles Vol. 2)–An Unofficial Soundtrack

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I know last week my post was titled “We’re All Going to Die” so it may seem strange that I am promoting my upcoming novel from EAB Publishing this week. What can I say? I’m a strange man.


I thought I would offer the masses a peek at the unofficial soundtrack for this novel, the way I offered a peek at the unofficial soundtrack for the first novel up on my blog a couple years ago. I’m doing it a little differently this time around though because, instead of posting one a day for however many days it takes, I’m going to lay them all on you right here, right now.

Y’all ready for this?

Everyone went “bow-bow-bow” in their heads right there, right? I hope so.

(the author chuckles to himself at this point and cements his place as an eccentric in the hearts and minds of the masses)

So without further ado, here you go folks, the unofficial soundtrack to The ABCs of Dinkology Vol. 2: Time In-Between!

#1 Beck “Loser”

To put it simply, Max Dinkman, this novel’s protagonist, is certain he is a loser . . . at least at the beginning of the second book . . . and the first book . . . and . . . well, you get the picture.


#2 Nine Inch Nails “Down In It”

This song sums up Max’s feelings about his life. That is all.


#3 Nirvana “Plataeau”

You know, Max, God bless him, he’s mixed up. The idea of nothing being on top “but a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds” is appealing to him. He’s an odd guy going through an odd time. It’s unfortunate then that he cannot reach that plateau, since, like the last song states, he is ‘down in it.’


#4 Santana “Black Magic Woman”

There is a girl. Strike that. There are women in Max’s life he gives this title to. I’m not saying these women deserve that title, I’m just saying that’s what Max thinks of them. That’s all I’m saying.


#5 Belly “It’s Not Unusual”

I’m not sure why I placed this here. Everything is unusual at this point in the novel though . . . .


#6 Nirvana “Sliver”

All Max wants is to go home. The problem is, he isn’t sure what his home is these days . . . .


#7 Nine Inch Nails “Starfuckers Inc.”

This song blew Max’s mind when he first heard it, mine too.


#8 Johnny Horton “Jim Bridger”

“Let’s drink to old Jim Bridger.” Max would. He reminds him of his dad and . . . oddly enough . . . his teacher Ms. Deftly.


#9 Marcy Playground “Sex and Candy”

Who doesn’t like this song? It means a lot to Max. It’s basically two of his favorite things (even though he’s never had one of them).


#10 Ray Charles “Your Cheatin’ Heart”

Every Ray Charles song is a good song, okay? Every single one. This one, however, is particularly poignant to Max because he is worried about certain girls’ cheatin’ hearts . . . .


#11 Ray Charles “Let’s Go Get Stoned”

Of course, Max, being who he is, would rather follow Ray Charles’ advice in this song than face his problems and struggle to solve them.


#12 Rufus and Chaka Kahn “Tell Me Something Good”

Oh man, I can’t even with this song. It’s so good, yo. It’s so good. This one is particularly powerful for Max because it reminds him of a certain woman he is certainly attracted to. That’s all I’m going to say about that. You’ll have to read the book to get more.


#13 Jimi Hendrix “All Along the Watchtower”

Max wants a way out of his situation. He uses drugs and his own fantasies to find that way. Is it the best way? Probably not. But it’s his way.


#14 Janis Joplin “Me and Bobby McGee”

It’s strange because this song actually reminds Max not of a lost love, but one of his best friends. The friend is named Bobby. Yes, Max is that simple. And there’s nothing wrong with that.


#15 Sublime “Smoke Two Joints”

Honestly, it’s one of Max’s favorite activities. Also, it’s strange that there are so many of these Forever 27 Club artists on this list. It almost makes me worry about Max . . . .


#16-#23 Rush “Tom Sawyer,” The Beatles “Helter Skelter,” “Pantera “13 Steps to Nowhere,” Primus “Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread,” Led Zeppelin “Fool in the Rain,” Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Blues,” R.L. Burnside “Poor Boy,” N.W.A “Straight Outta Compton”

These songs, when played together, create a synthesized formula of audio awesome that gives Headbangin’ Hero and Dude their mighty powers. In case you are confused, these two amazing characters come straight from Max’s twisted mind.


#24 Motley Crue “Dr. Feelgood”

Max’s doctor is the polar opposite of Dr. Feelgood. Depending on who you ask, this could either be a good thing or a bad thing. What do you think Max thinks?


#25 The Crash Test Dummies “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm”

I have no idea what is going on with this song or this video. And the singer? What is his deal? Why does this song have to be as part of this unofficial soundtrack? Well, I guess if you listen to the lyrics and read the book you can kind of, maybe, see why this would be a song ringing through Max’s head at this particular juncture in the story.


#26 The Grateful Dead “Sugar Magnolia”

Sometimes you’re having a rough go of it and then this nurse comes in who reminds you of a classic Grateful Dead song and you think to yourself, “You know what, self?” “What?” you ask. “Everything’s okay . . . at least right now. And what’s more important than right now?” “I don’t know,” you reply and smile. At least that’s how it happens with Max.


#27 Blind Melon “No Rain”

Sometimes Max feels like the little bee girl in this video. Sometimes he just wants some friends. He just wants some happiness. Sometimes he gets it.


#28 Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild”

I don’t know if you know this, but this song is about riding a damn motorcycle. There are very few things cooler than riding a motorcycle. Maybe piloting a rocket to Mars, but I’m not sure.


#29 Robert Johnson “Me and the Devil Blues”

The devil is tricksy. Luckily for Max, so is Moses.


#30 Squirrel Nut Zippers “Hell”

The Squirrel Nut Zippers are correct. Hell is a terrifying place. Max knows.


#31 The Cranberries “Zombie”

According to Max, who suffers from an acute case of ambulothanatophobiathe only thing worse than hell is zombies and the only thing worse than zombies is zombies in hell. Seriously. The end of this book is kind of scary.


There you have it, 31 songs for the second Dinkology book. I hope you enjoy them like I do.

We’re All Going to Die

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It’s been two weeks since I’ve blogged because I have been taking a break. After 21 days straight of working out, eating clean, and blogging about it, frankly, I needed a break. A writer though, never really takes a break. He’s never really on vacation. Except for maybe when he gets seriously intoxicated, and even then some of the ideas that come . . . . I mean, who hasn’t heard the old ‘write drunk, edit sober’ quote? Anyway, while I was on my pseudo-vacation from blogging, I was thinking, I was idea making, I was conjuring concepts . . . .

But I digress.

We’re all going to die, right? That’s what I was getting at.

So, I saw this lovely ad while scrolling through Facebook yesterday: 

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 7.29.46 AM

It is accompanied by this post:

A second person in the U.S. has been diagnosed with Ebola after a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital has tested positive. Do you think the CDC is doing enough to stop Ebola in the United States? Would you take a vaccine if one became available?

Let’s set aside that this post is from a local news station in my hometown. No. Wait. Let’s not do that. As a journalism adviser for a public high school I am seriously angered by this sort of thing popping off on Facebook. I teach my students about writing legitimate news stories, or as Sergeant Joe Friday would say, “Just the facts.”

Maybe that’s the wrong example. Maybe something from this guy is more appropriate. 

Le sigh.

Now, I am not one to claim the perpetual epithet, “Times were better back then.” I find that, 90% of the time, the idea that times were ever better than they are today to be erroneous and based on some misguided Springsteenian concept of glory days, some utopian Eden that once existed in our society (utopia, by the way, literally means ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’). You know, times weren’t better in the 50s. The 60s made that obvious. And while I will always have fond memories of the 80s and 90s (being the era when I grew up), I realize that those decades weren’t some magical wonderland of time when the music was better, the politicians lied less, and children actually behaved. On the whole, music has never been better, politicians have never lied less, and children have never behaved. Let me explain–for every song and artist we remember from the past, there are millions more we don’t, for every lying politician we catch now, there were millions more who weren’t caught in the halcyon days of mild technology, and seriously, don’t even get me started on the idea that kids used to be better. I remember my youth and if my grandparents can be believed, my parents weren’t exactly angels either . . . .

I am not, and nor have I ever been, living in an iron age with my head hung sadly in remembrance of a great golden age of perfection.

But (and there is a big but here) journalism has gotten worse. I think it’s evident in the above Facebook post. If we dissect the statement, the first part actually isn’t bad. It is a straight report: another health care worker who treated an Ebola victim has come down with the disease. Just the facts. Being that this is the age of social media, a question follows, being that this is the 21st century’s idea of journalism, it is somewhat incendiary: Do you think the CDC is doing enough to stop Ebola in the United States? Thusly, the cranks come out.  Perhaps the final question: Would you take a vaccine if one became available? could start a legitimate debate. But I doubt it.

And anyway, there is this graphic that emerges, presumably, from some designer’s most terrifying zombie apocalypse nightmare. I imagine this person coming up with this idea, jumping on, and typing in ‘terrifying font’ on the search bar only to get whatever it is he used to type ‘Ebola’ on the design. 

When the local news wants to scare you the way the cable news does, how could you have any other thought than, “We’re all going to die?”

Ah, it’s nice to be back on the blogosphere.

21 Day Fix, Day #21: Le Fin

I’m typing this around noon on the last day of my 21 Day Fix journey. I don’t even like writing that word ‘journey’ for this. On the surface, I don’t feel like I have gone on a journey. I haven’t gone anywhere in any traditional sense. My emotions and intelligence haven’t altered in any significant way. There has been no magnificent change in my life.

Or has there?

Look, here’s the deal:

This has been tough. I have discovered, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I do not like to exercise. My endorphins don’t pop as I do it. I don’t look forward to the 30 minutes of intensity provided by Autumn Calabrese everyday. I do, however, enjoy eating healthy. That is something I wasn’t sure I could get down with. Yet here I am, taking photos of my healthy food and being all full when I eat. It’s crazy. So I guess in that regard, I’ve gone on some kind of a journey. And, as for the exercise, just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean I won’t do it. I’m kind of digging the results.

I’m taking a break tomorrow though. Probably the next day too. In fact, you’re probably not going to hear a lot from me for a week or so. 

I have some relaxing to do.

21 Day Fix, Day #20: The Penultimate Chapter

  1. last but one in a series of things; second to the last

So this is it. I’m almost done. As I type this I can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. I am less than 48 hours away from completing a workout program. This may come as a shock to some of you, but I’ve never done that before . . . . That was a little joke. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog then you know I’ve never done anything like this before. Sure, last year I did the T25 workouts with my wife, but I didn’t follow the meal plan or anything like that.

Maybe that is why I didn’t lose much weight . . . ?

As many of you know, this final week in the 21 Day Fix you’re supposed to do two workouts a day. Well, I did it. Every damn day. Usually, I did one workout in the morning with my wife then one in the afternoon when I returned home from work. Sometimes with her, sometimes not. This morning I did it differently. I did both workouts in the morning. I did the one Autumn Calabrese dubbed Dirty 30–or one of the numerous writers I’m sure Beachbody employs in some capacity . . . .

I wonder if I can get a job there . . . ? Somebody get on that for me. I bet those people make tons of money and their own hours. Who doesn’t want that?


That Dirty 30 is a hard one. Then I followed it up with the Flat Ab Fix. Now, before I take my kids to visit their grandparents for the day (where my mom will harangue me about not eating her food) I’m going to go ahead and die.

21 Day Fix, Day #19: Multi-Tasking

Let me tell you about my day. First, I woke up at 5am. I let my dogs outside so they could take care of their morning necessaries. Then I took care of mine. Following that, I dressed for the cardio fix workout. I did the workout. I made my kids’ lunches. I made my coffee. I showered. I got ready for work. My wife and I made our kids’ breakfast. We woke up the kids. I ate breakfast with the kids.

I got the kids off to school. I went to work. I worked all day. I went home. 





I fixed my supper. I ate. I showered again.






I helped my incomparable co-worker, Julie Rowse, set up this

Right now we are live streaming our high school’s football game. She’s in the press box with some students. I’m in our office looking at the computer screen and helping correct angles, level, etc. I’m also writing this because I would never forget my tens of fans who want to read my blog, despite all of the multi-tasking I be doing.


21 Day Fix, Day #18: What’s Normal?

I have big plans for Monday (the day after my 21 Day Fix adventure is over). The first thing I’m going to do is not workout. The second thing I’m going to do is not go to work. After that, it gets kind of hazy . . . .

I guess my plans aren’t that big. Maybe it’s just that I can’t think straight since I’ve been doing two workouts a day for four days now. Everything is exhausted and all of my muscles hurt.

Is that normal, Autumn Calabrese?

I hope so, otherwise I’m worried.

21 Day Fix, Day #17: Bucket List

I’ve never liked the idea of bucket lists. I find them morbid, too focused on death, you know? So I’ve never made one. Sure, there are things I want to do before I die. I’d like to see Paris and Tokyo. I’d like to go to the ocean again. If I’m dreaming, I’d be a part of the first group of people to colonize Mars. If I could ride my motorcycle all over the Western Hemisphere, I would simply be delighted. Oh, let’s go ahead and put Burning Man on this list . . . . Flipping through the first issue of Action Comics  would be the coolest thing ever–not a reprint, the original. I’m sure there’s more . . . . Meeting Stan Lee would be the bee’s knees. Seeing one of my books become a movie . . . whoa . . . that would be awesome. This list keeps getting bigger.


So yeah, in some sense, I guess I do have a bucket list.

I realized today that competing a serious workout regiment is on that bucket list.

Guess what?

I’m a few days away from checking that off.

Hell yeah.


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