Christmas Countdown: 3

Dear SantaSome of you are back to work today; some of you took the week off to relax or get ready. Time is short, so get any last minute requests to Santa before it’s too late! (For the record, I have never written a letter to Santa. My parents never played the Santa Trick on me or my sister.)

The theme is Dear Santa (I Want), and the Way-Back link is to another neolithic share. This one containing two missives for Mr. Claus, one from a Ms. Barbara “Lawyer Barbie” Mattel (of the South Beach Mattels), and one from a Mr. Kenneth “Doll” Mattel (of the less well-to-do Redondo Beach branch).

And now, a set of secular seasonal selections…

Kick it off with a little George Thorogood good old rock ‘n’ roll:

Keep it going with more rock ‘n’ roll from John Mellencamp:

Next, change the pace with a little Jimmy Buffett (you’ll have to supply your own margaritas):

Here’s a really pretty piece from the great Willie Nelson:


Today’s bonus music is another really creative must see selection from The Piano Guys (and this one is seasonal but not secular; sorry):

For forth and spread beauty and light.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

20 responses to “Christmas Countdown: 3

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Musical Notes:

    Rock and Roll Christmas seems to be original with George Thorogood and his Destroyers. (What exactly do they destroy, I wonder? The lack of good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll in the area? Maybe they’re just hard on your supply of apostrophes.)

    I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus is a Jimmy Boyd tune from 1952. It was #1 Billboard pop single that December. The song has the distinction of being a Christmas song initially condemned by the Catholic Church (in Boston). They didn’t care for the kissing but changed their minds once the role of the mistletoe was pointed out by the artist. It’s been covered by a lot of people. (Amy Winehouse, for one!) This version by John Mellencamp (remember when he was John Couger?) is a good match to the Thorogood tune. (Besides, come on: Mellencamp and Thorogood? Too word-tasty to resist!)

    Mele Kalikimaka (which means “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian) is a 1949 tune by Robert Alex Anderson. Bing Crosby is famous for singing this one. I’m a big Jimmy Buffett fan (love the music; love the message), so I like his version best. (The theme today, obviously, is American Olde Tyme Christmas. This tune is a nice bridge from urbane rock ‘n’ roll to slowing it down and simplifying.)

    Christmas Blues is an original piece from Willie Nelson — really pretty I think and takes us rural. Willie’s interesting to me. He’s fairly straight (modern, but he can go old-style) country (leaning country-rock), and country for me comes after nearly all rock (except most metal; I’ll take country over most metal) and after a lot of jazz (I don’t know jazz, but I know what I like). But time-in-the-saddle always elevates any artist (George Carlin being another very Willie-like example), and Willie Nelson… is just totally amazing. Everything he does is good music.

    Angels We Have Heard on High, of course, is an old standard, but what a very cool way to perform it! One of the great things about music is that performance art is a key part of it. Sorry, that was a pun. I mean a major part of it. D’oh! I mean a notable part of it. (Oh, dear, I’m just not sharp enough to get this.)

    Put it this way: Performance & Music are like Chocolate & Caramel. Sure they’re amazing separately. But they’re awesome together!

  • Wyrd Smythe

    Weather Notes:

    Forecast: Grumpy

    So after 24 hours of above-freezing weather and rain (yes rain), the snow is gone again. It’s 36 out right now. In Minnesota. On December 22nd. Gotta love that Global Warming.

  • Lady from Manila

    Aha! There’s still a rare, unoccupied (by co-bloggers) area in your blog where I can go to — reminiscent of the good old days when I found you. 🙂

    So I have to click Like on this one. 🙂

    I’m at work right this moment — peak season at the academy. I’ll get back to you a li’l later.

    ‘Hope you’re doing well and enjoying your Christmas.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Welcome back! Yeah, everyone kinda skipped this one for some reason. There have been some very long discussions on other (non-Christmas) posts, though. It’s been fun!

      • Lady from Manila

        You’ve got around 8 posts on your Christmas countdown. Hey, it’s ok, I have this space all to myself. 🙂

        I’m happy for you because you seem to have finally found your real community. I used to think this man must be discovered by the right ones who think like him. Now you can’t complain anymore. I am also glad you seem to be in your element here again.

        I’ll be responding to your comments at my place when I get home tonight.

        Nyt nyt to you over there.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Yes, well eight is a number beloved by computer Geeks, plus it was a one-week countdown (plus zero, and computer Geeks always count from zero, not one). Indeed I have picked up some fairly regular contributors; what I don’t know is how much they participate here as quid pro quo for my participation on their blogs. Seems like when I stop, they do too. But then I realized long ago that “blogging” is really just another form of “social media” (and self-expression). [shrug]

        Sorry for the glum tone; I’m really, really down right now. If one measures ones connections to the world by the number of people who — knowing you’re alone on Christmas — reach out to you unprompted… I have no connections to anyone. That’s a really sucky thing to realize on Christmas. 😥

  • Lady from Manila

    Oh, I appreciate the countdown — it was wonderfully fun.

    Cut it out, Wyrd :-). I’ve seen you in other blogs, both past and present. Ahem, you aren’t unwanted as you imagine yourself to be. Maybe you’re already aware of this (no purpose to unflatter you in any way, I just can’t find another mode of expression to say it best): You actually sometimes have a tendency to push people away. And you easily take offense, once in a while, when you shouldn’t.

    As to your co-bloggers amiably reaching out to you unprompted. The majority of us here are, you know, quite shy. Your geek pals most especially. How would they even know? 🙂

    The Piano Guys video was good, by the way. I’ll try to watch more this weekend. Thanks for sharing them all.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the music and the countdown!

      About connections: I was talking about real world connections. Online connections are a very small portal through which to know someone — the face we present here is just an avatar. For some it’s a very false avatar; for others it’s an accurate avatar, but even then it’s a mere sub-set of what that person is. No matter how genuine — how true to my self — my behavior here is, it still will never reflect the full person. Heck, people who’ve known me for decades in the real world don’t always really know me, and it’s just that much harder online.

      There is something you touched on yourself in your latest post: There is a tension between being yourself and saying what you want (or need) to say and the social online friendships. Like you, what I have to say here is more important in the sense that I can’t let the latter hobble the former. It’s a constant struggle between “playing nice” and “being myself.” (I think we face a similar struggle in real life.)

      “You actually sometimes have a tendency to push people away. And you easily take offense, once in a while, when you shouldn’t.”

      This is not the first time you’ve said something along these lines to me, but it’s hard to correct or defend my behavior without a “for instance.” I’m certainly willing to try to improve, but to do that I need to know what I’m doing wrong. We don’t (can’t) see ourselves the way others do (the Johari Window effect).

  • Lady from Manila

    I can only speak on my own observation about the persona of Wyrd online through this blog and your participation in other blogs (as I said, both past and present).

    What I meant was you intentionally push people away because you really don’t want to get any closer to them. Well, thinking about it, I’m guilty of that, too. 🙂
    (…pardon me, I still feel sleepy on a weekend at 7 a.m. hohum….:-) )

    • Wyrd Smythe

      “What I meant was you intentionally push people away because you really don’t want to get any closer to them.”

      See,… my perception of myself is that that’s not true. If you can help me out with a “for instance” maybe I can see what you’re seeing.

      • Lady from Manila

        Sorry, I fell asleep again and woke up at 11 a.m. and had to rush for some personal errands.

        My observation is the aggregate of everything I’ve read from you and/or about you. (Eh, blame the links 🙂 ) Please don’t ask me to supply “for instance.” Not right now. My mind isn’t up to it.

        Let me rephrase one more time: You intentionally push people away because you really don’t want them to get any closer to you.

        I had no intention of putting you on the spot or to convey negativity. I just felt comfortable telling you this because we aren’t really strangers to each other in this blogosphere. Besides, we both value candor in blog discussion (while maintaining diplomacy and respect).

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Well, because we value candor, I’ll be candid: My perspective is that I’ve spent a lifetime searching for people who could be close to me. The problem seems to be that, despite how some people really like me at first, once they really get to know me, that ‘really liking’ part seems to fade away. This forces on me the apparent conundrum of being someone I’m not to preserve relationships or facing up to the idea that I’m such a freak of nature that I’m hard to really like. The first choice makes me a liar; the second one makes me miserable.

        The thing is, Marj, that you’re making a very personal assessment of someone you really don’t know that well, and I feel that it’s a hurtful assessment and an incorrect one.

      • Lady from Manila

        You’re right. What do I know about you in your physical world, but that wasn’t really my point. I told you I’m making an assessment out of Wyrd, the blogger I’ve come to know through this medium. No intention on my part to hurt your feelings. What I said was I don’t think you are that “unlikable” based on how others have responded to you here.

        People can be weird and still be likable. Maybe, just maybe you sometimes mess things up with a few because you are maintaining the distance between you and the (chosen?) others.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        No. The disconnect here is the idea that closeness is possible in the blogsphere alone. As I have said many times, I don’t live my personal life online. Friendships and closeness are personal, not public.

      • Lady from Manila

        Which I discern more as like playing it safe. 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        With all regard, Marj, that’s a misinterpretation. I am close to a number of people via email — some of whom are bloggers — but those don’t much play out in public comment sections. Policy and preference are not the same thing as playing it safe!

  • ~ Sadie ~

    Late to this party – but enjoyed the music anyway!!! (catching up with you a little tonight 🙂 )

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