Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow and the Season ("it only *feels* like -7")

Last night was the annual Christmas concert with the brass band.  It was a cold night.  It was also windy enough that the fact that there were flurries coming down was practically lost by the fact that the wind was blowing them completely horizontal.

The concert included a second half of all Christmas tunes from the Stan Kenton band.  I love this set of tunes, first exposed to a few of them on the Canadian Brass album "Noel" from a few years ago.  While we were snug inside, playing our hearts (and lungs) out, the weather was deteriorating.  So much so that, after the concert and the hosted reception in the front lobby, by the time I gathered my stuff and approached the front door, I could see that the wind was still high and the snow still falling.

"Falling" is still the wrong word.  In fact, this was what I referred to in a Twitter update as "old-fashioned winter weather".  Bitterly cold (17 degrees) and amazingly windy (when I tried to take off my coat to get inside the car, the wind blew the door closed on me), it was a serious winter's night. 

I. Loved. It.

It was like being in a desert, because the snow didn't stick.  It wound its way through rapidly moving tux shoes as I crossed the parking lot.  It shifted over and around the other cars as we waited to exit the lot.  In the reflected light of the other headlights, you could see the long snakes of snow blowing across intersections, propelled quickly forward by the wind, but also moving slowly back and forth like a great ribbon stretched between points far beyond the hills to my left and right.

It was beautiful.  Driving home my spirits could not have been higher.  I was gleeful in my need to drive slowly and hunker over the steering wheel as I peered into the swirling darkness.  It was a lovely contrast to the much more typical night of ultimately-still snow dropping straight down and sticking. 

Lovely.  All lovely.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Picking up slack

I return from the land of wind and ghosts!

It was nice to take a little bit of time away from the blog.  It allowed me to embrace the falling temperatures and allow that to buoy me back to my normal "nearly manic" levels of optimism and good humor.  I learned that there are some modern "pop-y" Christmas songs that I really dislike.  If I never hear "Wonderful Christmastime" again, I wouldn't miss it.  And now that I know Bob Geldof hates "Do They Know It's Christmas", I too can stand in line behind him.

Luckily, Pandora Internet radio has been my refuge, allowing me to get the seasonal music I like without the treacle.  Perhaps you may think I'm being a music snob, to which I say: duh.  Learning more about anything allows us to make more informed choices.  Those choices aren't any better than anyone else's per se, but they are certainly involving a lot more thought and experience.  Whether or not that should be a factor is ALSO a good question.  I don't think anyone else has poor taste for liking "War is Over" -- it just doesn't say "Christmas" to me.  Though what says "Christmas" to an agnostic is a bit of a stretch, in any case. 

We'll see if I have more time for updating heading into the busy holiday season.  I had a couple of gifts already picked out before December even arrived, which is a bit of a record for me.