DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry Sixty-Two.
Tuesday, 2007.12.25, 9:12 PM CST.
A Quite Merry Christmas, Indeed...

Good 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 Jazz™.

A Not-So-Fond Farewell to Amber the DJ
Well, it appeared that something weird happened on December 23rd after all.

On 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 it used to, and their DJ Amber was performing.

It was her last night performing there.  Hallelujah.

Although 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 worthless.)

Before 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 talent, radio 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 station.

So, 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 beautiful news.

Despite 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.

So... 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.

Something weird always happens on December 23rd.*

*(Disclaimer:  This isn't actually true.  See my last Journal Entry for details.)

The Christmas Haul
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.

Of 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 so many gifts, but the 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.

Personally, 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.

I 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 by 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.

My 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 behalf.  So, 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.

From 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.

I 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.  :)

More Personal Changes
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 myself - perhaps become a programmer again, since programming was a passion of mine years and years ago.

Also, 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.

I 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.

Here's a minor example:  Just yesterday, while driving to work in the morning, I drove by a fellow in a 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, got out, and took 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.

I 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 that I rarely feel in life, 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.

In Conclusion
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.

More later.

- Badger