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Things and Thoughts: Dean Browell

Obviously, I've moved away from this journal. I like what I've got on here and don't intend to shutter this or make it private so stuff can stay visible, at least not yet.

But just so I leave some breadcrumbs for where I live now:


And some other places you can probably dig around for like LinkedIn and Foursquare, etc.


Fallen Apple (Dean & Whitney) on NPR / WVTF
Interview on the Fallen Apple exhibit/collaboration w/ me & @wpratt on NPR/WVTF - MP3 here:

Lead story: http://www.wvtf.org/
Images of the paintings on WVTF's site: http://www.wvtf.org/news_and_notes/
MP3 of interview: http://tinyurl.com/fallenapplenpr

"There's been a lot of talk around our region about the "creative class"-- and efforts, especially in Roanoke, aimed at attracting entrepreneurial and creative talent to the area. They are the knowledge workers and artists who some have theorized are a still-untapped source of economic growth nationwide. WVTF's Connie Stevens recently had the opportunity to watch two people in the so-called creative class at work. Listen as we hear how they work to un-stop a creative block-- by merging words, songs and paintings into a multi-media arts exhibit. "

Story to air on Weekend Virginia 03/22/09 and on Morning Edition on 03/23/09

Fallen Apple: Gravity of Life on Facebook with video:

I win at the game of life because I got NPR to play Iron Maiden and Public Enemy.

SAVE THE DATE: Fallen Apple: The Gravity of Life -- Roanoke Art Exhibit March 13th
Fallen Apple: The Gravity of Life
A Multidisciplinary Exploration by Dean Browell and Whitney Pratt

March 13th, 2009
4-9 pm
The Water Heater, 813 5th Street, Roanoke, VA

In an unusual collaboration, a writer transforms a vision into words and an artist translates it back again, creating the world you'll peer into. For each character, writer Dean Browell used song choices, environmental, emotional and social clues to inspire the artist. Whitney Pratt took those concepts and clues, and through her own interpretation developed the characters in paint on canvas. The exploratory process comes full circle to create this unique exhibition.


I'm going to Bonnaroo.

I'm doing it alone, just getting a general admission ticket and going guerilla style with no idea of who I'm with or what the fuck will happen, but I'm going. Here by the grace of Corri go I.


That is all.

Cool Bonnaroo video

sans NIN tho... a late add?

Doors That Lock Behind You (Complete Project)
Doors That Lock Behind You: An alternate history of and by Dean Browell
The opposite of an autobiography.

This novella presented as written, entirely un-edited. The project was created and posted as each chapter was written as an experiment in serial writing on Facebook and in conjunction with National Novel Writing Month.

You can download a PDF of the unedited novella for free here for a limited time:


I want to thank everyone who came along and read as I was writing and those who have found this project after I finished. The whole endeavor was literally writing without a net since I didn't have a topic until about five minutes before I started writing and by the end of the first chapter a few more wild hairs changed it again. It was clear after a few chapters that this wouldn't be a novel in the NaNoWriMo (50,000 words) sense, but rather very deliberately a novella. It was fun to write and certainly interesting to let the balloon into the air immediately after writing each chapter. That very act was strange and allowed even a planned story get heavily flavored with the influence of my surroundings at the time. While certainly about many places and times, it's also in a weird way a map of my last six weeks, sometimes prophetically.

Anyway, thanks for reading, it means a lot. Maybe over a beer (or the internet) you can tell me what you thought of it or the process.


P.S. In case you're curious, here's all the music referenced:

"Closing Time" by Semisonic
"Modern Day Cowboy" by Tesla
"Lake Michigan" by Rogue Wave
"Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve
"Kiss Off" by Violent Femmes (I)
"So What (live)" by Ministry
"Falling Slowly" as covered by Angela Hamilton & Brian Pluta originally by The Swell Season
"Shut Up & Let Me Go" by Ting Tings
"Other Side" by Josh Ritter
"Just" by Radiohead

I'm not saying the list would be any good in a playlist, so don't judge my mix tape making abilities on these selections or order. I probably do deserve some credit for not putting an NIN song in there (but they do get a reference).

Addison Jade Browell in Yorktown, Virginia on November 2, 2008.

From nin.com -
"File this one under lost opportunities.

"I'm very proud of the show we've put together for this tour and have been working hard the last few months to find a way to capture it. I had an amazing situation lined up that would have allowed me to film the show in 3D with James Cameron's team for a theatrical release as well as DVD / BluRay, etc. We had an extra date added to the tour that we were going to give away all the tickets for and have a filming party / thank you show.

"I made two critical mistakes. One was to approach a certain record company that owns some of the song rights about producing / funding. The second was to allow said company to fuck around as usual for months before saying um... no. We then achieved the impossible by finding alternate production / funding but the timetable is too rushed to get it filmed comfortably with the remaining time left on the tour. This tour and a lot of the personnel involved finish at the end of this leg, so we can't push filming into Jan / Feb.

"Deep breath...
This was an amazing tour and production - certainly the best thing I've ever been involved with and likely the final tour for NIN on this scale. Thank you to those who came out to see it and forgive me for having a Kanye West moment, but this was FOR SURE the best show of the year and any bullshit end-of-the-year poll you may read in the next few weeks that says otherwise simply has it wrong. Those of you who saw it know I'm right.

"The shows we have announced in 2009 and any more that may be announced will be a completely different approach with some different personnel and will likely be the last for the foreseeable future."

trent reznor

been busy. really.

but at our company retreat had a great time and got new headshots done, including some fun casual pics such as:

Meeting heroes. A 4-year-old's tale. (w/ new pics)
Addy Pirate
So today was a great day at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Lots of good reasons for my enjoyment, but one situation deserves retelling in particular: This morning, we had breakfast with Spider-Man. And during our visit with him, I got a pretty deep glimpse into my daughter Addy's psychology.

We weren't planning on doing any kind of character meals this trip, but this one was available and we wanted to kick off the trip. Spider-Man, Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2 all ran about as we ate a decent hot breakfast.

When we entered the restaurant, the group took the opportunity to use the restroom before eating. In the women's bathroom Addy started to get a little nervous about meeting Spider-Man. She began to fret over details such as: "What if Spider-Man's web things go off and shoot everywhere?" (Incidentally this line was repeated to the group in such a way as to suggest Addy was inquiring about boys and the male anatomy in general- to much blushing.)

She exited the bathroom and returned to the table to find her grandfather and I already chatting up Spider-Man.

"Look who it is Addy," we exclaimed.

And immediately her reaction froze in terror. She ran to my arms and buried her face in my neck. This lasted quite awhile.

Shortly, we were joined by Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Addy was much livelier with them, but their mischievous personalities translated well even through the foam and cloth, so they were easier to see as a cartoon.

Eventually, Addy spotted Spider-Man chatting up Thing 2 in the corner. We tried again, this time taking her over to ask if Spider-Man would sign her journal. (She and I are keeping a journal of her trip complete with stickers and spaces for autographs.) Spider-Man of course signed it, but Addy again froze and wouldn't look at him. At all. Even through two awkward photos.

During the meal we watched as the three galavanted around with other kids. Spider-Man, obviously trying to be nice, stopped by our table two more times to try and break Addy's seemingly icy reception of him (oddly reminiscent of a boy who can't take a hint). On both occasions Addy still wouldn't look at him. Her eyes stared fixated on any one thing nearby. However, she answered any question she asked. She was transfixed on a spot with her eyes, but her head was in the game. Spider-Man suggested that Addy could help him fight crime, that she was obviously strong. She wants to help people, right? "Right," she'd offer with a nod, as she intensely burned laser-vision hole into her cup of orange juice.

His last visit to the table was after we all watched Thing 1 and Thing 2 play with a girl's hair at a nearby table. Spider-Man surprised Addy with a visit and suggested that Things 1&2 were silly and wild. It sounded derogatory. He switched the subject to suggest Addy was Spider-Girl and that they were on the same team, fighting crime. A few more weird inferences and a nice good-bye to us all and he was off.

It would be easy to mistake Addy's attitude toward Spider-Man as just rudeness or actual dislike of the situation. But that would be ignoring the greater motivation and reaction here. Later, she would validate that there was more to it...

Throughout the day she referenced Spider-Man very positively. Enough to suggest it was one of the highlights of her day. Sure she'd also meet other characters from comics (Storm, Captain America) and her books (Grinch, Sam I Am) and take in lots of rides and activities, but it was clear meeting Spider-Man was important to her.

On the walk back to the car after an exhausting day she and I chatted. Again we reviewed her favorite parts of the day. But she offered her least favorite parts as well:

"Thing 1 & Thing 2. Spider-Man doesn't like them and he said I'm on his team so I don't like them either." Incidentally the Things made her favorite list as well.

Sure there's all sorts of disturbing material to work with there in a herd mentality and easily-influenced sense, but it was the confirmation that her seemingly bonkers and useless meeting at breakfast wasn't some weak excuse for just not liking him. In fact, her reaction (it turns out) was borne of real admiration. She was intimidated by meeting one of her heroes. Someone who wasn't supposed to be real. The fact that he was male is a part of it, but not as large a part as you might think- she did this in a way with the princesses at Disney before.

It was so very human of her to be uncomfortable and yet engaged. She wouldn't look at him and yet she hung on his every word (and changed her behavior). It reminded me of how mush-mouthed I've been in meeting playwright Edward Albee, a member of NIN and a few of my favorite artists and writers. Hell, half the time I can barely work up enough courage to get an autograph.

But there my daughter was... being awed. The unflappable love of life tripping a fuse in her emotional circuit board. It was a telling moment for me as a dad to see how she can be influenced and how she is, even now, picking who she wishes to be influenced by. It made me reconsider how she truly does pay attention to all I do.

There are no disposable moments anymore, if there ever were.

My daughter is growing up.

George R. Fotiades

GRAFTON - George R. Fotiades, 66, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Mary Immaculate Hospital after a short and courageous battle with cancer.
George was born in Astoria, N.Y., was raised in Perth Amboy, N.J., and was a York County resident since 1990. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army. George was a great musician, historian, conversationalist and friend. He lived to love and he loved to live.

George was preceded in death by the love his life, Laura Baker Fotiades, with whom he traveled the world, visiting and diving in some of the most beautiful and dangerous places on Earth.

His work as a consultant for Stone and Webster Engineering brought him to the Newport News Shipyard where he worked in E-45 until early August. A beautiful man with a striking physique, he used his strengths to always champion for equality and tolerance.

He is survived by two cousins in New Jersey, John and Gene Dowches; his fiancEe, Marie Valencourt; his loving dog, Katie; and his close friends, Georgie Stavros and Tony and Nancy Merendino.

Thanks to all George's doctors and nurses during his illness with special thanks to the care givers at Home Helpers.

Memorial donations may be made to the Peninsula SPCA, 523 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601, or the American Cancer Society, 11835 Canon Blvd. Suite A-102, Newport News, VA 23606.

A celebration of George's life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Harwood Mills, Shelter 2, 500 Oriana Road in Yorktown.

Arrangements by Amory Funeral Home, Grafton. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.