Tuesday, 2007.12.25, 9:12 PM CST.
Quite Merry Christmas, Indeed...
evening, everybody, and a Merry Christmas. I am currently
writing to you while enjoying some of my wife's phenomenal sweet
potato casserole, washed down with some caramel creme Diet Pepsi
Not-So-Fond Farewell to Amber the DJ
Well, it appeared that something weird happened on
December 23rd after all.
the night of the 23rd, Lanna and I were driving around, and
I happened to turn on the radio,
which is strange already because I usually just listen to CDs. I
turned it onto Tulsa's Z-104.5, which doesn't suck nearly as hard as
to, and their DJ Amber was performing.
was her last night performing there. Hallelujah.
I think that Z-104.5 has had some definite talent over the years
(for instance, I have a good deal of genuine respect for Greg over
there), I never got into Amber. Actually, I think it would
be more accurate to say that I could never really stand Amber. To
me, she seemed like a somewhat more coherent, more female
version of late Edge DJ "Hondo," sporting not much genuine
talent, but a definite degree of fan appeal. (Hondo,
luckily, died several years ago. He was quite likely the
least talented Tulsa radio jockey in the last decade or two - absolutely
anybody mentions it: Yes, I know that Amber is a brain cancer
survivor, after having a brain tumour removed in 2005. I
can respect that a great, great deal, and I wish her all the best
in that respect. (I don't hate the woman.) However,
surviving cancer is not an automatic qualifier for any type of
included. There was something about her demeanor,
along with a tone in her voice, which just grated on my nerves. In
the past, there seriously were times when I would turn to Z-104.5,
then find out that Amber was on the air, then change to another
obviously, I was thrilled on December 23rd to hear her saying that it was her
last night on the air at the Edge. I actually kept the radio
on Z-104.5 to confirm that I'd heard it right. This was it. She
was leaving. Oh, sweet, merciful heavens... That was
my irritation with her on-air performance, wherever Amber ends
up, I hope that she finds success. I
especially wish her success as long as she stays far, far away
from the Tulsa airwaves.
on the 23rd, even though I hardly ever listen to the radio, I just
happened to tune in to the Edge, and in return I was lucky enough
to hear glorious news. What a strange coincidence.
weird always happens on December 23rd.*
isn't actually true. See my last
Journal Entry for details.)
I cannot say enough about how successful this Christmas was. Even
though I miss my mother tremendously and I desperately wish that she
were still among the living, we still managed to have a wonderful Christmas.
course, Christmas in our household mainly centered around my
son, X. It would be an understatement to say that he got
too many toys. Not only did my wife and I go overboard, but
so did other family members. X received so much stuff that
he got exhausted and fell asleep before all the presents from Lanna's
family were opened, and there are still 5-6 gifts for him wrapped
up under the tree. Although
I was thrilled about how blessed we were to be able to give him
magnitude of our luck/blessedness really made me think about how
many other kids out there don't have anything, and don't get anything. I
need to do more for others. I think I'm going to. More
on that later in this Entry.
I had a great Christmas. I got to relive some wonderful old
traditions. For instance, while wrapping Christmas gifts
late last night, I finished off my newly-acquired DVD of the 1970
classic Scrooge, which I had missed on TV over the last
several years. I followed it up with the 1985 classic Better
Off Dead, which I had first watched 21 years ago to the day,
on the day that Mr. Hayes passed away.
got a lot of incredible gifts; I was extremely fortunate. The
really "big" gift that Lanna gave me was the first season of "Saturday
Night Live" on DVD. God knows that I absolutely adore
the old "SNL" episodes, so this was a fantastic gift. She
also gave me the DVD video compilation Complete
Garbage, along with the CDs Blowback by Tricky
and The Reminder by Feist. (I love Feist's
"1234," and the video for it is amazing.) She added
a full box of vegetarian foodstuffs, such as vegetarian taco filling
and vegetarian marshmallows (w00t!). Topping it off would
be a plastic figure of Hermey from Rudolph
the Red-Nosed Reindeer (a character to whom I was compared
back in my radio days), some
good chocolate, and a bottle of vanilla shower gel.
dad didn't know what to get me for Christmas, so Lanna essentially
used my Amazon wish list and his money to order presents on his
from him, I received a CD of In the Deep by Jette-Ives
(a group whose work I had remixed a while back, leading to an "honourable
mention" in an online contest and accolades via e-mail from the
band's Jette Kelly herself). I also got some great DVDs: The
complete collection of the UK version of "The Office" on DVD, the
John Candy classic Uncle
Buck, and the concert film The Tank, the Swan, and
the Balloon by Erasure. That last one was an especially
big deal for me, since this month marked the 15-year anniversary
of my seeing Erasure during that very concert tour.
other friends and family members, I received money (always awesome),
a massive box of a dozen Take 5™ candy bars, a pair of
adorable coffee mugs that stack on top of one another to make a
big round Santa Claus, and (as a "to-both" gift with Lanna), a
very small, compact digital camcorder with a USB connection, along
with a number of other items. Supercool.
won't go into a lot of detail about everything Lanna received,
but I will say that the biggest gift I gave her was the "Chosen
Collection" of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - 40 DVDs, containing
every episode from every season of the series. I'm not a
"Buffy" fan, but I have to say that the box set is beautiful. Odds
are she's going to make me watch the entire series with her, in
the same manner that I made her watch "Twin Peaks" with me earlier
this year. :)
Well, as I've mentioned before, I really want to change as a person. I
want to get in touch and re-establish friendships with a number
of old friends in my past. I want to branch out more, creatively
and artistically; I'm not getting any younger, and if I don't take
the opportunity to express myself through my art and music, I may
never get the chance again. I want to go back into the commercial
mobile DJ business, if only for a short time. Furthermore,
I want to learn more technical skills and make something more of
become a programmer again, since programming was a passion of mine
years and years ago.
I want to be a much more generous person. I have some financial
matters of my own to take care of,
but I also want to be more helpful to others than I have been in
rhe recent past. I
used to give to the John 3:16 Mission fairly regularly, then stopped
for reasons into which I'd prefer not to delve at this time. Since
then, I have helped people mainly on a private basis, but I know
that I could do more.
know that I can't "fix" the whole world, but I can do a bigger
part to help others. I want to do that. It is important
to me, especially during times in my life in which I am particularly
fortunate, that I can give of myself.
a minor example: Just yesterday, while driving to work in
the morning, I drove by a fellow
residential area who was trying to scrape off the icy frost that
had formed on his car windows. Even from afar, he looked
miserable. Although I was already not making good time
to work, I pulled over,
him a can of de-icer that I had in the back of my car. I
didn't wait for him to finish using it so that I could take it
back; I just gave him the can and told him "Merry Christmas." I
knew that I could just buy another can later on, and this guy
was in a bind.
have no idea who the guy was, nor do I think I'll probably
never run into him again, but that's not the point. I made
a difference in his life. There's a possibility that he turned
around and did something positive for others, too. Helping
him out gave me a rush
a feeling that I'm actually a real "positive force." I
know that I can entertain people with my DJing
or my comedy, but I often don't feel like I do enough real good for
people. I plan on changing that in the coming year.
Overall, this was a really great Christmas. It is sad that
my mother could not be with us (though, theoretically, she
was with us in spirit), but aside from her absence, Christmas was
a stunning success. I am looking forward to the new year
with anticipation and maybe even a little (gasp!) optimism.