hope everyone is having a good time and remembering what’s important. while i don’t necessarily identify with any (organized) religion in particular, i do believe each carries a few valuable lessons. a notion that has made an impression: with all of the hearts that pass through your lives, treat people the way you want to be treated. that is the best you can do.
much like everyone else, i’ve spent the last week and a half preparing, wrapping and handing out gifts to friends for the holidays. its been fun, and i’ve been pleasantly surprised by a bunch that i’ve received so far – thanks everyone! thanks to ucsb-jenn for katamari damacy, and san diego-jenn for the cool mug and sweets, kazu and amy for "it’s not easy being green" (which is a perfect read at this stage of my life), ben for "memories" (we gotta watch this soon man… awesome!) and molly for a nicely framed oj.barbados flier from the past as well as a couple of studio recording cd’s. the ojb stuff brough back memories, and it’s nostalgic to listen to some of the early recordings (songs i had forgotten we had recorded) from college. so cool!
this week (despite being a bit under the weather) i attended a couple of ‘meet and greets’ with some working musicians for upcoming features on rehearsals.com. my buddy and bass player is a camera operator for the tapings, and by accepting his invitations to the show i was rewarded with some seriously inspired storytelling from a couple of good souls.
the first night was a couple of hours with richard sherman, who wrote the music for mary poppins, the jungle book, it’s a small world, and countless other staple tunes while working directly under walt disney. mr. sherman had a magical way of capturing our attention with incredible personal stories filled with love and passion. i kid you not, he actually had a twinkle in his eye while he played the piano, sang familiar songs for us and relayed his amazing tales. his lessons were clear: keep up the hard work with your craft, be a good person, and luck is simply the result of good preparation met with opportunity.
the second night was a rockin’ good time with kenny aronoff. upon first impression i believed we were going to be entertained by a fantastic session drummer with some standard canned stories. i was so pleasantly surprised once he started speaking – he was an incredibly hard working, motivated and good-natured human being and in my opinion deserves every bit of success that comes his way. that and, he rocked us all with his incredible drumming. honestly, check out his site and his album credits. after seeing his photos its difficult not to get a mental image of what kind of person he is, but believe me its probably not accurate. he’s good natured, humble and another great story teller.
on thursday i went to see king kong and i was blown away. peter jackson has truly cemented himself as a great director. despite a lengthy three hours, i was gripped the whole time – either by the unbelievable action sequences or the emotional scenes. this movie is a simple love story at heart and is actually quite affecting. i thought the performances were good, the passion was moving and kong’s rendition was extremely impressive – i forgot it was cg and he just became another character. i definitely recommend seeing it in the theater.
today i took henrik to the airport and saw him off. it was great having him as a housemate, and i’ll miss the fella. i do have a place to crash when i visit sweden now, so i’ll be sure to plan a summer trip this year. that’s it for now… tomorrow is another character design class with kazu, chris, khang and crew and most likely some sort of ramen.
on saturday night i went to the colbert zipper hall to watch a performance of the multi-ethnic star orchestra. it was magical! the hall sounded fantastic and the delivery was top-notch. it was awesome to finally hear the pieces live.
after the concert i headed over to the nucleus to catch the tail-end of the christmas show, but it was over. chatted a bit with danny behind the bar, had some cookies, then headed out to king taco for some, well, tacos.
today was another character design class / ramen dinner outing with the gang and its really making me look forward to sundays. its too bad that there’s only one class left, but i’m sure everyone will figure something out after this.
i have a new toy that is inspiring some music. more to come…