Dec. 24, 2012
Well, it’s been a weird year — why not a weird Christmas, too?
I was hoping my first Christmas home for good for now would be a fantastic one. But as we near the finish line, the last two weeks have made me wish Christmas would come and go, like, yesterday: an epic job-hunt fail (rejected six weeks after a six-hour interview), the crud, the feeling of uselessness that comes with not being able to work and not being able afford to buy gifts for my loved ones — and all dwarfed by the Newtown massacre, which really hit home, as one of the teachers that that psycho took was the daughter/stepdaughter of two old friends.
Anger, frustration, depression and, finally, stun-shock, rage and sadness.
But at the final sixteenth pole, maybe there’s a strong finish to this race, after all.
Saturday night, I saw Christine Ohlman’s Christmas show at Cafe Nine in New Haven. Lots of great catching up — with Christine, the Beehive Queen herself (and why isn’t she famous yet?); with Dawn, an old acquaintance who’s turned into a friend thanks to the magic of Facebook, and her hubby, Harry; with Laura, who freelanced a weekly club photo feature for me when I was the Register’s entertainment editor, and her hubby, Matthew; and rock’n’roll pal Cary.
Christmas Eve Eve was even better. Spent a wonderful afternoon into evening with two of my oldest friends from the early New Haven music days, John and Mary Lawler, at their house among the woods and rivers of central Connecticut, as Mary plied your hostess with homemade caramelized pecans and veggie antipasto, and John broke out the Yuenglings, the Buffalo Bop Rockabilly Xmas CD and a mix of holiday tunes and ’50s stuff on Sirius XM.
Came home and logged in to see a Facebook photo from California posted on my wall by Todd, a friend from Kingsburg, a town 20 miles south of Fresno (noted for its Swedishness and for being the headquarters of Sun-Maid Raisins). It was a fabulous photo taken at the home of my first Fresno friend, pop guitarist/thereminist/writer extraordinaire Blake Jones. Blake and his wife Lauri, Todd and his wife Pam, Mike and his wife Darla — Lauri holding up a copy of Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True, Blake holding up a copy of The Fleshtones’ Speed Connection, the ensemble holding up 8 1/2 x 11 sheets that, all together, said, WE MISS YOU FRAN! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! I was overwhelmed with joy and humility and gratitude.
And Christmas Eve, barring a blizzard (but 1-2 inches is expected), should find me catching up with an old childhood friend and former newspaper colleague and his wife. After Mom’s traditional fish dinner with my brother Ken’s family. Dinner on Christmas is at his house, followed most probably by catching up with more close friends.
Maybe there’s a silver lining in this dark Christmas after all.
Hope yours is an enjoyable one. Or at least a peaceful one. Or, if this is a trying time, that your darkness makes way for some light as well.