Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Slick Christmas 2007

So there is a blurry, first pic of our tree taken on Christmas morning pre-coffee after Gary and I were woken up at 7:00 a.m. by our twenty-one and twenty year old who burst into our bedroom excitedly and then the dog, who was just as comatose as we were, suddenly became a puppy again and alternated between barking, licking my face, and nudging my entire body with his nose to propel me out of bed.

By the way, he then raced downstairs, went right to what he knew to be his presents (peanut butter bones baked by Metropolitan Bakery) and ripped off the wrapping paper and started eating before we were even out the bedroom door.

The same photo of Julie and Eric Slick we have taken every Christmas since 1989 or so and give or take several inches (taller), they are all practically identical. Ha ha - oh to be our kids at Christmas.

Gary looks like he needs his coffee given to him intravenously as Eric excitedly wraps one of like a thousand DVDs/CDs he had on his list for Santa. I think his favorite gift, though, besides a suit from Zara which he knew about since he had to try it on, was this awesome practice pad from Beatnik. Eric also got a wallet by local artist Thom Lessner, a melodica, a t-shirt from Tim and Eric, and all kinds of assorted cool stuff.

There's Gary unwrapping what had to be his favorite gift - a Foxx Tone Machine...and what do you know, it says right on the package "as used by Jimi Hendrix and Adrian Belew".

Speaking of Adrian, the best surprise of 2007 had to be the one pulled off by Eric Slick, who called Adrian on the phone and told him that Gary and I were in love with his artwork and was there any way he could arrange for an Adrian Belew original so that Eric could give us one as a Christmas gift.

Tell me that Gary and I are not the two luckiest people alive:

Isn't that amazing? I was so excited I stopped unwrapping presents and spent an hour re-arranging artwork until I found the perfect spot, directly over our sofa.

First I had it to the left of our John Lennon lithograph but then I decided it looked better right in the center of the wall above the sofa in between John Lennon and a painting done by Julie and we were all really struck by the similarities in drawing/painting styles of Lennon, Belew and Slick:

There are no photos of Julie unwrapping this year because (1) she was the photographer and (2) the excitement level at our house really was on overdrive. There are a couple photos of me but it is apparent that I ate too many Christmas cookies this year and I refuse to post any of them. Oh, just kidding, but there are so many other photos I want to post that if I were to post them all, it would take an hour for this page to load.

In the gift department, I was given what I wanted most - a brand new upstairs bathroom. Gary, Julie and Eric really came through - I got everything from a cool new sink, toilet, etc. to the exact white paint I wanted for the walls, new towel rings, new towels, medicine cabinet, Hollywood make-up mirror style lighting...I cannot wait for the installation which will take place during the next two weeks. Good grief, I am finally a grown up. I didn't ask for one frivolous item - I wanted a new bathroom just like a real adult and even though I'm sure it wasn't fun for my family to shop for that as much as my usual requests of artsy type things (cool jewelry, vases, sculpture, etc.) I was totally thrilled.

In addition to his guitar effects pedal, Santa gave Gary a zoom lens for his camera, a ton of CDs and DVDs, and a t-shirt with the world's most hilarious story behind it. Okay, it's not that funny if you are not a member of this family but to us, it was an outrageous coincidence. Eric and I were out shopping downtown the other day, and we were approached by some hippie looking dude with a black t-shirt which says "Stop Bitching, Start the Revolution". He said that they weren't for "sale" but we could give a donation and get a shirt, and that the donations were usually $15.00.

"Daddy would love that shirt," I said to Eric.

Eric looked skeptical but didn't say much. I bought the shirt (but not before mortifying Eric and telling said hippie dude that Eric was a drummer for the Adrian Belew Power Trio and did he know who that was, etc.) and as we walked away, I asked Eric why he wasn't as excited as I was over the t-shirt.

"Mom, I am seriously worried you just bought dad a shirt from a bunch of Scientologists or Jews for Jesus...there was something weirdly cult like about them."

"Oh no. I didn't just give money to a bunch of freaks who worship Tom Cruise, did I?"

"Err, they gave you some reading literature with the shirt. Did you look at it?"

"No. Oh God, now I'm afraid. But Daddy will still love the shirt, won't he?"

"If you say so."

When we got home, I looked at the handout they gave me with the t-shirt which contained a web address. Grimacing and scared to look, I went to their site and broke out laughing. Oh, they are a cult alright...a cult of artists who live together and worship beat writers. This was even more hilarious in light of the fact that Adrian recently told Gary he loves his blog and comments on his (Adrian's) blog because Gary's writing...the way he writes in phrases and half sentences and uses a lot of dots, dashes, and streams of consciousness...remind Ade of Jack Kerouac. So the fact that there's a cult out there who worships the Beats and I just happened to buy Gary one of their t-shirts was just too damn funny.

Julie scored big this Christmas - tons of pots, pans, serving dishes, bowls, clothes, gift certificates to both Lucky Brand Jeans and Ritz Theaters (they only show indie films), a messenger bag (vegetarian) from Poketo, a way cool artist collective, a necklace from Pashupatina, earrings, cookbooks, magazine subscriptions (Bon Appetit, Vegetarian Times, Cooking Light), etc. etc.

One of my favorite gag gifts was that I had a custom made Lance Armstrong style rubber bracelet made for Eric (and Julie) which says "Vegetarian". This was because..and forgive me if I already told this story in my blog; I know I've told it to every human in person already....but when Eric was about to have his appendix removed and under the anesthesia, they put new hospital bracelets on him in pre-op. One was a new in-patient name bracelet, the other was a bright orange one that said ALLERGIES on it in big black letters because Eric is allergic to shellfish and they use iodine in the O.R. As Eric was being wheeled in to surgery and already high on whatever they gave him to knock him out, he shouted "Wait! Wait! I need another bracelet!"

"Why, Eric?" the nurse asked kindly.

"I NEED ONE THAT SAYS VEGETARIAN!" he shouted just before conking out.

I laughed so hard my side hurt. I guess he was afraid they were going to serve him steak while removing his appendix. So when I stumbled upon a site which sold custom made bracelets and learned I could have whatever I wanted printed on them and there was no minimum on how many I could order, I jumped on it knowing he would love the joke/sentiment behind it. He did, and yeah, I did get Julie one as well because it was so damn funny.

After we finally finished unwrapping our gifts and I was at last pleased with where I placed my original Adrian Belew masterpiece, we realized we were starving and Princess Julie said "Let's go over to (boyfriend) Matt's house. No one is there and I will make you a fantastic brunch using my new serving platters and dishes. I'll go over now and will call you when it's done."

Hey, that sounded good to us! Even Monty dog was invited, but since he gets hyper when he is in a "new" place other than home, Eric and I took him for a long walk first and played ball with him in the schoolyard. For a dog going on ten years old, he played like a puppy. The weather was sunny and around 45 degrees - just perfect, and we had a hard time getting him to give up the ball.

By the time we got back home, Julie rang us up and said "Breakfast is ready!" so we walked the six blocks to Matt's and oh man, she wasn't kidding breakfast was ready.

First to come out - French toast casserole with caramelized apples and pecans and yep, aren't her new dishes beautiful?

Next, hash browns formed into potato cakes made with shallots which I could live on...seriously...if I were stranded on a desert island, this would be what I would pick -- I don't need any other food, they are that good:

She topped all that off with scrambled eggs which she makes with hot sauce and oregano - you cannot believe how amazing they are:

After stuffing ourselves like pigs, we went back home and Eric didn't even have his coat off before he sat down with his drumsticks and played with his Beatnik. I sat in the living room and just kept staring at my Adrian Belew painting; Gary took out his new pedal and plugged in his guitar...then Julie, who stayed behind at Matt's to clean up, came back over and started on dinner. Actually, it was a beautiful, joint effort on Gary and Julie's behalf - they made two huge unbelievable vegetarian lasagnas with homemade tomato sauce, roasted eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini which were sick, sick, sick and we had that with toasted baguettes and roasted garlic oil...Julie, Eric and I split a bottle of champagne; we then watched The Simpson's Movie (one of Gary's gifts)...and that's all I remember; I fell asleep early for a change but I know the rest of the family stayed up well past midnight -- Julie and Eric actually autographed more copies of Side Four Live to send back to Nashville...they are almost sold out! Hey, if you haven't ordered your signed copy yet off of Adrian's website be forewarned...there will only be a few more sold as they are now limited edition; autographed copies are being cut off at 500 and from here on in you will only be able to get a signed CD if you attend one of the shows on the upcoming 2008 tour.

Before I end this post, I want to give special thanks to the various disc jockeys across the country who have been tirelessly supporting Adrian, Julie and Eric by playing Side Four Live on their radio broadcasts. So my very best wishes for a happy healthy New Year goes out to Jeff Menke over at WNKU - NPR; Jonny Mambo over at WCOM, and Vince and Daisy over at The Dividing Line.

So that's it for now -- I have all kinds of writing news going on; a lot more music news...but reality is a bitch, and Gary, who just took the dog out for an early morning walk, came back in with the announcement that someone went through our holiday trash outside during the night and there's a huge mess which freaks me the hell out because not only is it a terrible and scary invasion of privacy, I'm not especially in the mood to go out and clean up garbage at the moment but oh well, that's life in the big city but someone please tell me WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?