Sunday 2006.12.24, 12:33 AM CST.
Bizarre Set of Christmastime Reflections.
friends and fans, and Merry almost-Christmas to you.
this has been a very interesting year for me. If
you had walked up to me at the beginning of this year, and told
would happen over the course of the following twelve months, I
would have said that you were crazy.
my department was essentially betrayed by the company for which
I had worked my "day job" for almost seven years, I walked away
from a very high-paying and excruciatingly stressful position in
search of some sort of freedom. Nine
days after I left, my fianceé and I found out that we were expecting
a child next year. Wow. So, I took a bit of time to
calm down and depressurize, then got another (better, but not as
profitable) job. Artistically, I managed to do a few good
remixes and worked on a few original pieces, then hooked up (artistically)
with a beautiful and talented local vocalist for some great collaborative
work. I made a lot of new friends, and I had a few friends
turn into my enemies. Finally, this month, I found out that
my dad (diabetic cancer survivor) had been diagnosed with glaucoma.
Lanna and I are ending the year in a fairly stable emotional
state, getting ready
month and wondering where
I'm sit here after an evening of eating Indian food and checking
out the Christmas lights at Spunky Creek, currently listening
to Gwen Stefani's "Wonderful Life" (amazing song, with Martin Gore
on guitar) and thinking about the past.
am often fascinated by anniversaries of events, and this December
is one that has a quite intriguing 5-10-15-20-25 year memory chain
my then-girlfriend Katy broke up with me the night before Thanksgiving,
and stayed in Oklahoma for about another month. I
actually helped her pack her stuff into her car the night before
she drove off, just a few days before Christmas. I spent
a good deal of the Christmas season trying to piece myself together
way too much Return To Castle Wolfenstein. Following
that breakup, in early 2002, I started my obsession with neckties,
which was followed soon afterward by my obsession with colognes,
and I drastically changed
I was still in college, with no girlfriend at the time, spending most
of my spare time hanging out at Critic's Choice Video with my
Tim (aka DJ TMJ). If
I'm not mistaken, that was the Christmas season that I brought
a VHS pressing of Jorg Buttgereit's Nekromantik (an extremely
gruesome and disturbing film) to the video store and we watched
it there after-hours. It was also around the time that I
started eating vegetarian hot dogs (though I didn't become a complete
vegetarian for three more years). Critic's Choice would close
down under a year later, and its spot is now occupied by a Blockbuster
Video. What a testament to Tulsa's support of independent
I was kind of weary from a year full of changes. I had
a decent new girlfriend, a new college, and many new friends. That
was the only Christmas season during which I was a member of the
College "Edge of
crew, and I helped them out with a couple of charity-based events. I
remember DJing at a Rogers State College charity dance, and being
dreadfully ill with stomach problems while doing it -
but the show had to go on, especially since it was benefitting
underprivileged children. There
was a gorgeous goth-ish young lady at the event who asked me to
play the Bauhaus classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead," and even
though I didn't
would go over well, I happened to have a 12" picture disc
of the song with me, so I played it. The requestor was the
only person who danced to it... but she put on the most sensual
erotic (yet fully-clothed) dance that I ever saw at any of my EKG
I was obsessed with gaming on my Apple IIe, absolutely
loved The Cosby Show and Moonlighting, and I
ate Wendy's Big Classic burgers almost every chance I could get. I
was also close friends with an eccentric elderly gentleman named
Tom Hayes. Mr.
Hayes had been a family friend for years, and since I didn't have
many friends in school,
I saw him
almost like a sort of "grandfather figure." Unfortunately,
approximately one year before, he had been diagnosed with cancer
of the blood vessels. Yes, cancer of the blood vessels. The
cancer spread like proverbial wildfire, and by this point, he couldn't
take proper care of himself, so his children were coming in from
around the country, taking "shifts" every few weeks to look after
him. On Christmas Eve morning, 1986, my mum woke me up at
about 10:00 AM, and told me tearfully that Mr. Hayes had passed
had died in his sleep, and his son - whose "turn" it had been
to take care of him - had to break the news to his three sisters
when they arrived from a cross-country trip to visit their dad
for Christmas. It was a terrible, terrible time. Per
his own request, Mr. Hayes was buried in a very plain, simple
wooden box following a very plain, simple funeral ceremony three
day before, my mum and I had gone to the video store and rented
three films, two of which were The Survivors and Better
Off Dead. Better Off Dead immediately became
one of my favourite movies of all time, as it actually helped break
me out of the dismal feelings caused by Mr. Hayes' death.
within a week, I received an extremely hateful and insulting letter
from a young lady that I knew in another nearby city. While
I won't go into details right now, the
itself was so hurtful that it sent me into about a year's worth
of absolutely horrible self-loathing and depression. That's
a whole other story, though...
I received my first Atari 2600 ("Atari VCS") from my parents for
Christmas, along with the games "Combat," "Space Invaders," "Asteroids,"
and "Superman." I was absolutely elated. Of
course, the 2600 would change my life... and even now, I still
games for it.
even though that was an incredibly significant moment in my life
- receiving the console that would essentially spark a massive
obsession with early home video games - that hasn't been on my
mind a lot lately.
all the above, the one event that has been on my mind more than
any other - by a long shot - has been the death of Mr. Hayes in
is extremely difficult to believe that twenty whole years have
gone by since he passed away. I hope he has been doing well
up in Heaven, and that he has been with me in spirit during my
few proud moments since his demise.
to you, Tom... Thanks for everything.