Christmas 2014 Is Over

Dec 28, 2014 by

Christmas 2014 Is Over IMG_4923

It’s been a depressing sort of weekend. With Christmas Day Thursday, and daughter Chandler’s 18th birthday to follow Friday, I went ahead and removed our trees and decorations Thursday evening. Yeah, Christmas night everything came down and was boxed up in hopes I’m still alive to unpack it and put it all back up again next November.

At 49-years-old, I probably should not begin to wonder if I’ll be around for another Christmas, but there are some things that are deeply troubling me that just make 362 days from now seem like they’re an eternity away.

While I was packing things up, I even considered writing myself a note of congratulations in hopes that I’m around to read it next year and maybe tell myself that I shouldn’t do that again. But that seemed a little too morbid.

There’ve been some significant family losses the past few months. I lost my grandmother and a brother-in-law. Last week my youngest daughter was in a one-car accident where she very well could have gone through the windshield and into a tree the driver hit at a moderate rate of speed. That’s made me think a lot lately about the frailty of life and at Christmas when family members are missing, well….

Thing I Do Want To Do Differently For Christmas 2015

Friday night at 1 a.m. the power went out for several miles around. Maycee and I got up and walked the complex to see if it was a local accident or something else. Apparently, it wasn’t a drunk hitting the power units on our main road. But I came to realize that I’m tired of a Christmas tree with static white lights and red balls. That’s really been my Christmas Tree set up since at least 1988 and it occurred to me that that’s gotten a little tired.

My mom always used to hate blinking lights on a tree. And then I discovered white lights and moved completely away from the multi-color strings.

So next year, I’m thinking that at least on one of our trees, I want to try multi-color lights with a few blinkers.

Things I Learned During Christmas 2014

Andy Williams sings The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and he mentions the telling of ghost stories. Huh?  Well, my Aunt Lynda said to Google it and leave to the Victorians, but yes, they would actually tell “scary ghost stories” at Christmas, not just at Halloween.

Did you know the guy who wrote Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was from Birmingham, AL, and Judy Garland at first refused to sing the song as originally written? I think I actually read that last year, but for you trivia buffs, it’s still a valid fact.

And Speaking of Christmas Songs…. 

How on earth did John Cougar Mellenhead’s I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and Bruce Springstein’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town become songs that SiriusXM and commercial radio decided they need to play every 10 minutes on the radio at Christmas? Mannheim Steamroller is in that mix, too.  My gosh, there are so many Christmas songs. These get worn out before Christmas season even gets close. I’ve gotten to where I just turn off the radio when either Bruce or Mellencamp come on.

And Kelly Pickler can’t sing the word “Bag.” It comes out “Bahaagg.”

The worst thing about Christmas music to me is how many songs are about not being with the person you love for Christmas. It’s bad enough when that really happens. If you turn on the radio, you get it over and over and over. It has made it worse this Christmas.

That North Texan, Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath the Tree has to be my new favorite Christmas song of 2014.

January 2015

When I was a kid in Northern Michigan, I didn’t know I was going to spend so many more years of my life in California, Alabama and Texas where the idea of a White Christmas is something in a song sung by Bing Crosby. The Weather Channel has been toying with the idea of freezing rain here in DFW for New Year’s Eve, but the odds are minute.

To me, Christmas just doesn’t seem to be the same without a mantel of white to cover up the ugliness of the world. Maybe that’s what it is in my mind because I know there are tough aspects in the road ahead.

I wish you all the best for the coming year. Please pray for my family and I shall do the same for yours. We’re all going in so many different directions. I hope and pray we can all celebrate the holidays together again next year. But down deep, I know that’s not really possible. Even if we come together, we will all be so very different from life’s experiences the next 362 days.

Remember when we were kids and didn’t realize when Santa asked Rudolph to use his nose to help him through the Christmas Eve fog, that clouds weren’t encircling the entire planet all at once? Yeah, life just isn’t that simple. But it’d be nice if it was.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

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Argo See This Movie!

Oct 19, 2012 by

No spoilers here, but you need to go see the movie Argo starring and directed by Ben Affleck.  Like at the next showing. It’s that good.

It was so cool to watch Ben Affleck walking into CIA headquarters at Langley again after his days there in the 2002 The Sum of All Fears.  This time, not as Jack Ryan, a fictitious field operative, but as Tony Mendez, the real deal.

A scene from the movie Argo.

The movie isn’t too long, nor too short. The characters, as you will see at the end of the film, really looked like the real-life people who endured the drama of being six Americans who were in Tehran when the Embassy was taken over and the Iranians didn’t know about.  Those were hard days we all endured at the end of the anemic days of the Carter Administration when there were yellow ribbons tied around everything.

Essentially, there were six people who got out that the Iranians didn’t find out about until it was almost too late. Where they hid out, if they made it out, and how, all are worth you going to explore on your own.

Some people got up and walked out during the credits. Don’t do that. That’s when you’ll see how good a job was done in casting. Of course, you’ll also notice, as the two African American ladies did behind me when they said, Mendez was Hispanic, that Ben Affleck, isn’t.  Supposedly he’s been criticized for that, but hey, this is Hollywood.

From the start of the movie, it FEELS like the late 1970s.  The clothing, even the incredibly ugly green wallpaper in the Canadian Ambassador’s home all feel like life did back in the day.

I predict this movie is going to win some good awards in Hollywood, but more importantly, it’s going to make you feel proud you’re an American again, because you’re going to see a story that likely would never have been told had it not been declassified during the Clinton years. But in a time when we all felt that America had been knocked down during the Carter years, it was good to see that we were able to still do something right.

I did find myself sneering a little bit as at the very end, former President Carter comes in during a voice over and talks about how we were able to peacefully get all of the other US hostages home safely.

As I recall the day that happened, Ronald Reagan got sworn in as president and the Iranians knew they’d better not mess with him and so the hostages came home.

And so, as someone who has seen the movie, I see the word Argo now, and I hear two other words along with it.  For now, I’ll just say, Argo see this movie….

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The Oscars: The Future of Twitter and Live TV

Feb 28, 2011 by

Best Actress Academy Award

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

We’re not going to be the first to say this today, but the Oscar show last night showed once again that real-time Twitter monitoring and making real-time adjustments based on what’s being said, could not be any more essential in today’s business world than having a business in the first place.

Historically, it looks like the Hollywood glam awards shows are finally on the wane.  Other than the fact that there’s practically a new one on TV every weekend lately.

CBS Sunday Morning even featured a piece on the Rizzies Sunday.  It’s what you get when you’re in a film project that’s so bad, they give you the dubious honor of sucking.

TWITTER–The Real-Time Focus Group

Anyone in marketing and PR knows it’s critical to keep one’s finger on the pulse of public perception.  Last night when interest in the Oscars was waning and trending topics were proving it, would have been a stellar opportunity for the producers of the Oscars to pay attention and make some adjustments in the show.

But alas, they did not.  And for hours, the Twitterverse was filled with commentary about how bad the show was.

And for non-viewers, it made for fodder for the globe’s entertainment writers who had to come up with something interesting about the awards program.

Too bad no one internally was listening.

Your Business

Is this how your business runs its customer service operations?  Do you know what’s being said about you in real time?

At Claxton Creative we can help you put the right monitoring systems in place.  We specialize in social media and public relations strategies.

 

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