The holidays are such a huge deal, and I know that sometimes expectations are not met. In other words, the holidays are not always a picture perfect greeting card. We have holiday movies that usually show the comedic (A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, Elf, etc) or dramatic (It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street) and at the end there's some kind of wonderful resolve. A lesson is learned. Hearts melt. Scrooge learns his lesson. That's not always the case though. Sometimes expectations are so high, that nothing short of Santa and his eight tiny reindeer on the roof will make people happy. Or winning the 245 million dollar lottery, and that may not happen at all...for anyone. It may roll over to another week.
Today I got my weekly newsletter from Zig Ziglar. I started subscribing to it quite a while ago. I first learned about Mr. Ziglar when our sales department had these training tools available at the station when we were at the Kelly Street studios. They had access to a number of cassettes in a plastic holder and each one was a motivational talk from Zig himself. I checked out one of the packages, and listened to all of the tapes. I liked his down home southern accent. I'm very comfy with that sound, even though when I went to part of second grade in Louisiana the other kids told me that I talked funny. I still laugh over that one.
Back to Zig...I loved the stories, the inspirational moral of the tales he told. In fact when the station moved to it's present location, those packages were to be thrown away (cassettes...who needs them...) and I took one of the sets home. Whenever I need a good kick in the butt (often) I pull out a tape and give it a listen. I get something new out of it every time.
Today's message from Zig had a lovely Charlie Brown story that he wrote, but that's not the one that hit the spot. It was a message from Simon T. Bailey. Here's the part that I think is useful to pass along for the holiday season:
"Whoever has rejected you this year or in times past, bless them and wish them the best. Send positive vibes their way. You don’t need the negative energy you’d otherwise incur, and there is simply too much work to do now.
As we approach another Thanksgiving and Christmas season, we should accept rejection, bless it, and move on. In fact, we should thank the following:
All of those who de-friended you on Facebook. Bless them and wish them a brilliant future.
Thank you to all those who stop following you on Twitter. Bless them, too, and wish them a brilliant future.
Thank you to those who didn’t do business with you. Those who rejected your pricing, your proposal, and your value. Be so grateful and thankful that they found their happiness elsewhere.
Bless all of those who didn’t return your call, who ignored your e-mail, deleted your text, or didn’t post a comment on your blog.
Bless the company that didn’t hire you and wish them a brilliant future.
Bless the homeowner who didn’t list his home with you and wish him a brilliant future.
Bless the boss who gave you a less than stellar review. It won’t change her, but it will change how you choose to see her.
Thank you, Rejection, because you are an amazing teacher who invites us to look within and decide how we will soar to the next level. My friend Willie Jolley says that “a setback is a setup for a comeback.” Boom! There it is.
Give thanks because you are finally waking up to the reality that rejection is the greatest gift in the world."
Awesome! Bless you this Holiday Season! No matter what, bless you! Bless you for what you did, and didn't do.
If you want to get more of Zig's stuff, you can subscribe by clicking here. Plus, you'll get that cool Charlie Brown story about Night Cookies.
Today, November 20th, is Joe Walsh's birthday. He's just a young thing of 65, and since he decided on a life that is clean and sober, he's in great health mentally and physically. Everyone who saw him this August at the L.B. Day Amphitheater, knows that he delivered one hell of a great show.
Today would have been my Dad's birthday as well. He was MUCH older than Joe, and wasn't a musician, but he could whistle. He also put up with all my childhood, adolescent, and young adult loud music passions. I actually got him into listening to MY music somewhere along the line. I also listened to his country and western when we were in his truck. One time when he was working on some honeydo that Mom wanted out in his shop, I walked in and he had Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight" just cranked to maximum volume. When I commented that I never thought he listened to KGON other than when I was on, he said, "It's the only music I can hear over the drill." Always the joker, that guy, and always my biggest fan. The picture here is when I was just a little stinker.
Until today I never realized that Joe Walsh and my Dad shared a birthday. November 20th just has always been Dad's day to me. That's one of the reasons I love doing Connect the Classics. I like to start the set with a birthday celebration if possible. It would have also been the late great Duane Allman's birthday, but he left us way too early on his motorcycle. I know Dad liked the Allman Brothers music. I mean Jimmy Carter loved the Allmans! It's also the birthday of Dr. John, who I got to meet and introduce on stage at the 2008 Bite of Portland. What a lovely southern gentleman. God, I love his voice!
Dad was the oldest of 9 kids, and one of the people who came from Oklahoma to California and then up to Oregon with his family during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They were from the Eastern part of the state, and his father wanted to build. Two of my aunts worked in lumber mills, and several uncles all worked in the logging industry. My Dad followed his heart and went into building after dabbling in a few other businesses. I just watched the Ken Burns documentary on The Dust Bowl last night, and I kept thinking about Dad. What a wonderful and remarkable man with the biggest heart in the world.
I just have a feeling that if all these musicians would have known Dad, they would have all gotten along. Who knows, maybe he and Duane are swapping stories right now.
Today I'm suffering from a football hangover. Seriously! Since it's Monday, I'll probably go home (no probably about it...I just said that to half-way lie to myself) and watch more. I just love watching the games. Sometimes I'll watch random high school stuff that winds up on TV. It's a sickness and it won't end until the Superbowl is over. Then I go into a deep lack-of-football depression, until the weather gets better and I can start dealing with my garden. I used to work with the Tualatin Valley Youth Football League and I would spend all day on Saturday watching the kids play after a night at the High School game. I'd have made a great groundskeeper for a football field. It combines my love of football with gardening...sort of.
Maybe I just got up too early today. 3:30am. Yep. Eyes wide open and brain going 100 mph! Thinking about...you guessed it...football. Not like I can do anything about it, so I just got up and started working in my office and listening to music. That got my mind off of it for a while....a little while. A very little while.
Hope your team won...whoever they are. And don't let that Van Pelt girl hold the ball for you.
Since it's Tommy Thayer's birthday, I just thought I'd post the interview we did before his induction into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. Through all his incredible success in his career, he remains a well-grounded, cool, handsome man that I'm proud to have known before he was of legal age to be in the bars he was playing in.
I have a confession. For being fairly tidy with most rooms in my home, my dirty little secret lies in the home office. It's a wonderland of things that need to go somewhere else. A place to put things on the way to charity bins, plastic containers full of my son's artwork from various school projects, and LOTS of pictures.
There's a Barbie case with my original Barbie, Ken, Midge, Skipper and the twins...I think the boy was named Todd...and some original vintage clothing plus some things that my grandmother, aunties and mother sewed for them. I also made clothing for them. It's how I learned to sew. Never figured out knitting though. My cousin on the other hand is a knitting and crocheting wizard. She can also play the snot out of the piano. Her dexterity reigns supreme. Oh, and there's furniture that my Dad made for the whole Barbie family too. I don't think the pink convertible is still around, but how I wish it was. Hello Ebay!
Of course there's random music stuff in places where it shouldn't be. We've got KGON airchecks that go back to 1977, tapes of things that I'm sure you can find on YouTube now, and oh so many local and new bands releases through the years that I just can't seem to file away because I've run out of room on the shelves where they belong. I still have cassettes too. My car is so old that it has a factory cassette player from when I bought it new. I love my car, but that's another blog for another day.
Also residing in my "office" is a whole lot of art stuff. I don't always get into an artistic mood, but when I do, it's wonderful to have the things you need at hand. Okay, truth here, I get all artsy about once a year. Maybe twice if my friend Ann gets after me to express myself. I admit to having a love for paper, pencils, charcoal, paint, brushes, and the materials that become art. I love the touch, the smell, the feel of things in an art studio.
Books have also spilled into the room, because even though I pass them around, and sell them and donate, I still have too many that I "just can't part with!" I have learned to cull through them every now and then and yes, we have a tablet that I could just download anything on to read, but it's just not as satisfying as the heft of a much loved book. The place where my mind learned to wander during long train trips and car rides across this great country of ours, was in the pages of books. I love to read, and my ideal vacation is one where I have a pile of books, a pool to lounge by all day, and nothing else to do. Absolute heaven.
There's posters, rolled up, waiting for a frame. I have to watch those because more than once, Marty's been on a "let's throw it all away" spree, and I've had to fish them out of the paper recycling bin and put them somewhere else. That's part of my dirty little secret. I hide things so they won't get thrown away or given away. It's dangerous behavior, because I don't always remember where I put things. I just hide it for the moment, thinking I'll come back to it, and then it's years later when I find it.
I've also managed to save a lot of letters. Hand written letters that can still bring back feelings that I thought I'd buried years ago. Just seeing my Grandmother's handwriting makes me get all weepy. I have saved letters from friends, old boyfriends, family, listeners, and in this world of email and Facebook posts that take very little time and effort, those letters mean something to me. I know, what a sap! I found the very first letter from a listener sent to me in Eugene, and the feelings it brought back are hard to put into words.
This morning, while going through files of what I thought were old bills, I found this letter, sent to me by Hoyt Axton's father, John Axton. He lived across the street from my Aunt Dot and Uncle Dale in Oklahoma. My folks had been there visiting, and my Dad gave Mr. Axton my KGON business card. This sweet man wrote me a letter, and sent the latest singles that Hoyt had recorded. I remember sending him back a letter, thanking him for the records, and telling him how much I loved Hoyt's music. That wonderful rich voice, singing or speaking, was like no other. He wrote several songs that went on to be hits for Three Dog Night, and I still love Hoyt's versions the best. If you ever saw "The Black Stallion" you may remember him as the boy's father. He's been in other movies too, and I love just listening to him deliver his lines. I saw him in concert here in Portland at the Paramount with Nicolette Larson singing background with this long mane of hair down past her ass. At one point in the show, a woman shouted to Hoyt "I love you!" and he replied with "Oh honey, you just made my nipples hard." Nothing I'd have expected from a country artist at the time, but Hoyt was more than that. His mother Mae, who John refers to in the letter co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" with Tommy Durden, and it went on to be a huge hit for Elvis Presley with Floyd Cramer and Chet Atkins on the record. So, Hoyt came from some really powerful genes...and I kept this letter from his dad. I was so happy to find it, that I'm having it framed. I have no idea where I will put it, because my walls are full as well, but it's so darned cool!
There's my confession. My mess. My dirty little secret stash of things that mean something to me. The reason I hate the idea of ever moving. I know a therapist would have a field day with my attachment to this stuff. Don't even get me started on what the pictures do to my heart. For now, I found something wonderful, and I will close the door to the mess and walk away until I can handle some more memories.
Gloria Johnson interviewed Don Felder when he published his book "Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles" and recently Mason interviewed him and they talked about his new album "Road to Forever." Click here to link to the interview. Don is one of the coolest guys, and has great videos on how to play the guitar parts on his albums including his new song "Wash Away" and the classic "Hotel California."
I tried playing guitar. I never "got it" and sold the instrument to buy a down sleeping bag that I could use on a five day trip down the Colorado River in Utah, and at Yosemite. I still have the sleeping bag (yes, it's been cleaned a LOT of times and still is in fantastic shape), and wish I still had the guitar. Not that I would have been any good at it, but just to noodle around on every now and then. I want a piano for the same reason. Well, the holidays are coming, and maybe it will be a musical one. Marty keeps asking for a new accordian. He can play a mean "Lady of Spain!"
Anyway, if you're the proud owner of a guitar and want some instruction from Don Felder himself, then enjoy the links for the above songs. I bow to your prowess.