Ahh . . . Christmas without Christ. . . . I observed the sad irony of--or heard about, actually--the family fights and "drama" that goes on in too many households during the time meant to remember and celebrate God's arrival in flesh . . . to this earth. The "reason for the season" is lost, apparently, on most. I thank God--and indeed I really did and do, because it's all Him!--that we managed through the swarm and hustle . . . to go "drama"-free . . . and while hectic, had sweet times with our boys and their wives (the two that do have wives). Jackson and Meagan (and granddog Banjo) spent the night Christmas Eve and were tickled as little children to wake up here the next morning to share our mellow, snowy and fire-crackling modest but thoughtful exchanges and Alexander, his wife Skye-Kaihikina & son Indy came by in the afternoon and ended up spending the next night (because of the blizzard) . . . into breakfast the next morn.
Btw, if I haven't mentioned it, Al's wife Kaihikina is due for their first child together roundabouts this coming April. . . . It was all very nice indeed, and truly, the belief in and dedication to Jesus all around was a protective balm that kept at bay all that internecine bickering and backbiting and emotional explosions that seem to infect so many (without Him) this time of year. It COULD have been insane, explosive and stressful . . . as, because of working in St. George up until the Saturday before . . . and the way my draws go . . . we couldn't even begin to go shopping and prepare for everyone until Tuesday, the 23rd!--it all worked out, although a bit of a daze and blur, heh. . . .
We also have a tradition going back to when our boys were little boys that has served well to keep everyone in good spirits, and which we also successfully use on other holidays, trips, birthdays and general outings . . . where we say "don't ruin Christmas" if anyone starts leaning negative or snippy. It makes everyone chuckle and tends to "clear the air" so-to-speak. . . . I have found that just a bit mindfulness and preemptive intention to stay cheerful and positive goes a long way in these typically stressful and emotional times. . . . At the first sign of moodiness, me or wifey will say, "don't ruin Christmas" . . . which now always stops any negative trending. Most times, grousing and nitpicking is just thoughtless, habitual mind-chatter, which the light of awareness and conscientiousness effectively and genuinely dispels. . . . Keeping in mind, above all, that our object in this life is to "glorify God" in all things . . . is the key to honestly and powerfully crush usually petty and lurking troubles. . . .
In music news--which I've always got an ear and hand on . . . Jack's band Westward The Tide . . . is playing here in Salt Lake at the big downtown New Year's Eve party, called "Eve". They will be opening up for the headlining "Fictionists" . . . and Jackson says they will be playing 4 of their new songs. In a week or so, they are piling in a van and heading off to L.A. to do some serious demo recording with a relatively bigtime L.A. producer (who has worked with Gwen Stefani and No Doubt among others) who loves their work-- as they prepare for their upcoming next album and possible signing with a major label. We will get to tend "Banjo" yay!
Also, the other morning they performed on our local CBS TV station, "KUTV 2News This Morning", where you can see Jack's spiffy new hair-do and new rock'n'roll boots Meagan got him for Christmas (making him now about 9 feet tall!, heh). . . .
In somewhat related news . . . very slowly (but hopefully surely and ongoing) when there is a stolen moment of time . . . Jack is helping me with my own . . . someday . . . new album. We've started one song, which he wrote, on which I will sing and play some piano and guitar, which is a very cool song I must say . . . though at this rate I expect it will take a couple of years to finish. But that's ok. I have become extremely patient in my olden days and just continue to leave it all up to God how it will go, if it goes. . . . I have also had some preliminary talk with Zeph about doing some more musical work together, in some fashion--I'm hoping this project of mine of Jackson's (which also I intend will include input from Al and Isaac.)
Speaking of music, Isaac bought online and burned me two new albums that I expressed interest in and I'm blown away by both of them. I don't like much (any?) of the new music I hear but I'm very pleased with two ol' survivors who've come up with their best work in years. Prince and Gary Numan. Yup. Prince has a couple new things out, but it is his "Third-Eye Girl" project which I got and really like. Actual, real, heavy but melodic ROCK'N'ROLL! I'm so sick of the whiny, goatee-beanie hipster-poser cr*p that is so prevalent the past several years . . . and have been wearing myself listening to old Kansas, Yes, Led Zepp etc., just to satisfy my wailing guitar and synth jones. But Prince sounds refreshed and . . . on this album at least . . . is not singing about sex thankfully, but just presents some awesome, heavy, catchy electric guitar-heavy riffs with this girl-band 3rd Eye Girl and interesting lyrical topics.
Then ol' Gary ("Cars") Numan. An old fave of mine back in the early 80s. His new album "Splinter" is stunningly good! If you like that sort of music (heavy, industrial, steampunk atmospheric synth). Which I do, as I like all kinds of music. It is just an incredibly impressive work he has just come up with, seemingly out of the blue. . . .
Next to "the forgotten" or "never heard from" . . . I love "survivors"--those who've been around, floundered, then returned with a 2nd or 3rd wind--usually better than ever. Ha ha . . . yes, part of it . . . is in getting old . . . I like to see my fellow aging comrades still "kickin' butt and takin' names" lol so-to-speak. I loves me a survivor! I don't like quitters . . . apathy . . . lukewarmness . . . riding on laurels. . . .
So . . . there.....
God Bless and Protect you in this new (and expected to be intense) year. . . .