Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Already???

As I sit here, I wonder where the time went.

My last entry was a lot longer ago than I thought, and certainly more time has elapsed than I'd wanted. 'Tis all good, though, as I intend to make up for it.

Tomorrow is Christmas, and there will be the obligatory "What did Santa bring you?" moments with family and friends. There will be presents in the morning, followed by a breakfast which will contain far more calories than is healthy, driving to be with family for dinner, driving home, and going to bed. A full day, to be sure.

Looking back on the last couple of weeks, I must admit, I'm proud of myself. Contrary to some pretty clear instructions contained in the Official Guy Handbook, I didn't wait until the last minute to start my Christmas shopping. I know, I know. A faux pas, to be sure, but it certainly helped to maintain my sanity. Second, I didn't step foot in a shopping mall. Don't get me wrong, I like people. I'm a people person. But I'm not a fan of them when they turn into the walking dead. Maybe it's because, when I go shopping, I usually know what I'm buying. I go from "Point A" (my truck) to "Point B" (whatever store is selling whatever I'm buying). I find what I want to buy, I pay for it, and I leave. I don't browse. I don't "get" browsing in malls during the holidays. Know what you want, go get it, and go home. It's a pretty simple formula.

Another small victory for me was ensuring that my Dad's Christmas present would be under his tree Christmas morning. This is a rarity. There's a running joke with my Dad that nothing is ever on time, to wit: I was born on July 16. Dad still mentions that he needs to mail out my birthday card.

It gets like that.

But "J.P." will enjoy his gift.

Years ago, Dad lost an album by a group known as The Australian Jazz Quartet. From what I can tell through some research, it only had one pressing on Bethlehem Records back in 1956 or 1957. I finally found one for him (well, two, actually: I'll keep one) with the help of a friend in Portland, Oregon. I bought it, but then I had to contend with the fact that my Dad has finally jumped feet first into the 1990's, and bought himself a CD player while, at the same time, getting rid of his turntable. A co-worker transferred the album to CD for me, so Dad will be getting the actual album as well as a CD.

I know he'll dig it.

I'm actually looking forward to after Christmas. Twice a year, I go up to the Bay Area to play gigs with my buddy Chris Estes. He's an ex-sales professional who now plays music full-time. Not bad work if you can get it. My San Diego-based band, Zendog, disbanded long ago, and my interests have morphed into other things, primarily photography. But, to be completely honest, every so often, I miss it. So, having a buddy who doesn't mind if I sit in, I do. Granted, I gotta' drive eight hours to get there, but it's a lot of fun, so I think it's worth it. I call it "The Semi-Annual Steve Gets His Ya-Yas Out Tour".

During the trip, I'm going to try a couple of different things. First, I've got an "air card", which means I can get online from just about anywhere that has cell service. I could blog from the road. I probably won't, but it's in the plans so, hey, at least give me some credit for that. Second, I'm going to shoot video with a dash-mounted Canon G12, equipped with a remote release. Hopefully, I can figure out how to embed video into my blog. I can include tragically boring snippets of me on the road, drinking coffee, havin' a smoke, and maybe even doing my best Tom Cruise singing Tom Petty from "Jerry Maguire".

Hey, it could happen.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas!

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