Holiday Cheer

It’s been a busy holidays so far. Our jazz gig last week went really well. The place was packed and the audience included Jeannie and the girls, as well as a whole bunch of friends of our piano player Rich. The place is normally a lunch café, but they did a special five-course dinner. The food looked really great. I had some cake and it was delish.

Musically, we did a bunch of new material including Ornithology and some other standards, as well as some Christmas songs. Probably my favorite was our version of We Three Kings in the style of John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things. All in all a great time. I wish we’d recorded it.

Lots of family and visiting and cooking and baking. The day after the gig we went out to Long Island for a party for Jeannie’s extended family. Then we had a bunch of people over for Christmas Day from Jeannie’s side, and we have another bunch coming for New Year’s. Mostly I’ve just been enjoying slowing down for a little while.

We went upstate to visit my parents after Xmas. My Dad just turned ninety years old, so my Mum had a party for him with lots of great food. They’re both still going strong in mind and body and soul. Wow, just fantastic.

My brother Jim and his family were in town for the occasion. That was really nice because they live in New Mexico and we don’t get to see them that often. My nephew Will has really grown. He’s now fifteen and comfortable hanging and conversing with the grownups.

Martin and his family were there too. His oldest, Charlie, is now eleven and is into origami and folding at a solid intermediate level. He’s also learning saxophone. He and Martin played a few Christmas songs as duets for us, with Charlie on alto and Martin on tenor. He’s sounding really good. Charlie also got a really cool Hot Wheels Mario Cart racing toy/game from Santa and brought it over a set it up.

Some of my uncles and aunts were over from Canada too, whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Good to catch up. I printed out a few copies of a picture to give to my brothers. I took it Hungary and it was a snapshot of a picture that my dad’s cousin Rózsi had. The original picture was of me and my brothers as little kids; I was about five. Rózsi had a whole pile of pictures my grandmother had sent her over the years.

Lizzy came from school the week before Xmas. She has a trial month of Disney Plus, so as part of our program of slacking off we’ve been working our way thru the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe cannon. I’d seen maybe a third of them, and my general impression is that they’re mostly pretty entertaining, particularly the ones with Thor, but kinda silly and overly full of explosions and CG set pieces, and that while any given movie plot is pretty predicable, the overall story arc is nevertheless disjointed and full of plot holes. And of course the obvious problem that they make so many of these movies and they have such huge budgets, that there’s lots of other potentially amazing non-franchise movies out there that never get made. Ah well. If you keep in mind that they’re adaptations of comic books it’s easier to enjoy them on their own terms, including the multi-story sprawl that’s been going on for well over fifty years. And seeing the movies in order makes much more sense.

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