Friday, December 23, 2005

A multi-media Christmas Card from Britain

Marcia Carlson
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A few days ago, I was in my pre-Christmas slump or depression or regression - whatever - and I received a copy of a Christmas 'card' that was sent to Marcia Carlson (now Marcia Carlson-Hein) that just pulled me right out of my haze and had me practically dancing.

I say practically, because my knee - injured doing The Twist last July 4th - is out of control and surgery looms ahead, just after I get back from Mexico.

I figure, why not go to Mexico, boogie-board, surf, hike, drink margaritas and try to dance? I'll just get anything broken repaired when the surgeon opens me up in January, right?

With that kind of medical philosophy, it's no wonder the nurse in my doctor's office tells me I'm in great shape - for someone 10 years older.

But this piece of music, Wizard in Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchesta is phenomenal and the light show created to go with it should rouse even Ebenezer Scrooge out of his bah-humbug routine.

Below is the link to the web page that explains the urban legend about the light show and the music, provided to me courtesy of Marcia's husband Ric, who is a Mac guru.

With any luck, we'll get to see Marcia and Ric at the reunion next summer.

WARNING: If you listen to this song more than once or twice, it will stick in your head worse than the Mickey Mouse club theme. M-I-C (See you real soon!) K-E-Y (Why? Because we love you!) M-O-U-S-E.

  • Wizard In Winter
  • Monday, December 19, 2005

    Suppose Lake Chautaqua had great surfing?

    How about that wave?
    Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
    HAWAII - The picture with this blog is from the Dec. 5 surfing competition in Hawaii where the waves are a tad more fierce than what we had to deal with off Lakewood Beach. (A tad in this case is a factor of about 20...)

    Still, when I saw this photo, I was reminded of how much where we grew up - and what we had in the way out outdoors and sports and opportunities - dictated so much of who we ended up doing recreation-wise.

    I learned to downhill snow ski here in California at about 27 years old. I went to Lake Tahoe with a couple of newspaper buddies and spent the weekend downhill skiing wearing a T-shirt and levis. Yup. It was that warm. I got a helluva sunburn, too.

    My only other experiences in New York - once at the high school, a second (at some resort called Cockaigne?) led me to believe that snow skiing required dressing up as if you were about to join a British polar expedition. And then you got to work your butt off trying to get back up the slope after a less-than-fun run down an icy hillside.

    In California, that first ski day, there were bikini-clad young ladies adorning the slopes and riding up in the chair lifts alongside me.

    Jaysus. There goes my blood pressure again.

    But as I pack my bags for a three-week Mexico sojourn, I think about what I did learn - how to water ski, swim in cold water and handle small boats - all skills that have served me well.

    The other key thing - thanks largely to Doss Johnson firing me briefly from my job as a lifeguard at Lakewood beach - was learning how to sail a small boat. Out of work and semi-disgraced in the family (How the hell to you get fired from being a lifeguard my mother asked? Easy, just don't show up for work one day.) I borrowed my cousin Gordy Puls' Snipe sailboat for about a week (while the Lakewood City Council pondered my appeal for reinstatement) and thanks to the gentle waters of Lake Chautaqua, I learned the basics: how to tack, how to run downwind, how to steer with an open beer in your hand.

    Those same principles came into play a few months ago when I was 50 miles off the California coast, barfing my guts out and praying for a wind shift as I pounded Sabbatical into headwinds and had green water over the deck for hours. The beer in this case was filling the scuppers. It was a long way from a Gordy's Snipe zipping back and forth in front of Lakewood Beach(so I could signal Doss with my finger when he came out for his many cigarette breaks,) but still...

    Suppose we had grown up where the surf broke large right in front of our houses?

    Might Mick Olsen be a surfboard God now? And what about Linda Davidson (whose name surfaced today to add to the email list)?

    Could Linda have end up in surfing movies? Think about that shock of blonde hair and her presence.

    Another theme to explore for next summer's reunion.

    What could have been?

    Think about it, classmates...