Oh LiveJournal. Thank you for being my first blog. You were minimal in style and 85% of Brazil populated your pages.
In December of 2005, I decided to only listen to Christmas music during my 25 minute commute to work and the 25 minute drive back home 10 hours later. It’s a tradition that, although at times torturous, continues to this day:
Dec. 1st, 2005 | 11:41 pm
Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving. I know this. I used to be one of those people that bitched about the holiday marketing; “soon, I’ll be hearing ‘Away In the Manger’ in September!” which really is a ridiculous claim and made me sound like someone’s doddering grandmother. So I stopped saying it. I was too young to be talking like a crazy person.
I embrace it now, the Holiday season, and watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” at least three times each December. Sometimes I watch it during non-winter months. I thumb my nose at summer movies in July and will watch any movie with a Irving Berlin holiday song it (two movies, for the record. I know. It seems like more, right?). I’m a sucker. This year I decided on December 1st–and for the rest of the month–every time I am in my car I will only listen to Christmas music.
Only. Christmas. Music.
For an entire month.
There are two stations in Los Angeles that are dedicated to the mission of playing holiday music for thirty days straight. If they are brave enough to go through with this daring programming, I am going to be brave enough to listen. One station has the catch phrase of “Love Songs On The Coast” and instead of jingle these words are spoken softly, like a hypnotist. I love it. “Coast 103.5″‘s call letters are sung by a jazzy chorus. It’s a very positive station with a positive message: forgiveness.
Which causes a Pavlovian response in me: the exaggerated rolling of my eyes.
At night, a woman DJ, barely speaking above a whisper and sounding as if she’s trying to seduce the entire audience, receives calls from lovesick fools dedicating songs to other lovesick fools. Most of the calls include the phrase “I’m sorry” in them. Somebody done somebody wrong and nothing says sorry like a Mariah Carey song.
The other All-Christmas-All-The-Time station is the country station. I’ve heard Carpenters holiday songs on that station. You can pass off the Eagles as country to me with their Californian version of a rural twang, but I refuse to buy the Carpenters as C&W.
So today, being December 1st as soon as I got in the car I turned on my radio. Unfortunately, I turned it on in the middle of “Silent Night” by Kenny G. My hand twitched over the dial as my instant reaction to Kenny G would be to turn him off as to prevent any lasting audio memory that might pop up later in the day or week or month.
But I snatched my hand away and committed to remain strong and go through with my plan. I pulled out into the street and made my way to get coffee. Kenny G was going progressive jazz on “Silent Night”‘s ass. The thin reedy sound of his instrument was beginning to make me edgy. “It’s only 3 minutes at the most”, I tried to tell myself, “Three minutes.” I made it to the half-mile mark with Ken. I couldn’t take it. My hand twisted the dial to the country station. I needed to purge that sound out of my head and ingest a new one that didn’t make me want to scratch myself. Unfortunately, the Morning Country Zoo Team was in full force and I don’t think anybody would disagree with me that no one should have to listen to any kind of Morning Zoo. Especially Country.
“Only Christmas Music” was my mantra and I switched back to “Love Songs On The Coast” assuming Kenny G’s tenor sax would be only a faint memory. But time stood still this morning. ”Silent Night” was still going strong and seemed to be hitting it’s stride. “That’s fine,” I told myself. My All-Christmas-All-The Time pledge would actually officially start again tomorrow morning. Those are the new rules if it will help me avoid a woodwind solo.
My game. My rules.