Feel free to skip all the words and just watch the worst and best videos at the end, or enjoy the build-up…
Per special request I’m sharing (ad nauseum, for some of you) our holiday video card from 2009 when Kurt and I were living in Southern California. We didn’t rehearse much, and it’s difficult to understand all the lyrics, so I was asked to give the background as well, so you might catch pieces of the highlights in the song.
It’s kind of weird talking about 2009 four years later from our current home in South Africa, but I suppose since I didn’t have a website then, and didn’t share those adventures, maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I should have called today’s post Christmas Past or something equally cheesy.
’09 was a year of moves for us. Due to Kurt’s work that year we moved from our home in Lover, Pennsylvania to a jobsite in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where the Mothman and an air of impending doom still linger, but where Baxter and I had some of our best country hikes. “West-by-God!-Virginia” is how the locals say it, and that countryside is strikingly beautiful.
Although seven American presidents have taken the oath of office since I was born, Obama’s inauguration in January, 2009 was the first I actually sat and watched the entire way through.
We then moved to Hastings, Nebraska, where it was always windy…
and the air alternately smelled of pig shit, cow shit or the corn ethanol plant, but where we also had fun exploring the Kool-Aid Museum, and the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer. And Baxter and I watched wood ducks in the local park. My biggest regret in leaving Nebraska was that I never got to see the Great Sandhill Crane migration on the Platte River.
2009 saw our amazing Pittsburgh Steelers (American football) become the first team to win their SIXTH super bowl. We would never forget Harrison running that ball! We went home to watch that game on our brother-in-law’s new projection screen television.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (ice hockey) also won the Stanley Cup that year, and we convinced our favorite eatery, The Garden Cafe, in Hastings, Nebraska, to forgo their beloved basketball game to let us have the finals on the big screen. They even made a special “Pittsburgh Salad” to my specifications, and offered it for the special in the bar that night.
We moved to Southern California that June, but not before my brother asked me not to become a “bleeding-heart, liberal, hippie tree hugger.” That, of course, set in motion my crushing need to hug any and every tree we could find while there, and send him photos. 😉
I unwittingly walked past St. John’s Hospital just after Farrah Fawcett died, and was on a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus that pulled over to have a moment of silence upon learning that Michael Jackson died. The two incidents happened on the same day, and cemented for me the surreality that is Los Angeles.
We went to the X-Games, where we saw Shaun White just hanging with friends a few bleacher seats below us. I had a Garth Algar-like encounter with Rutger Hauer in a convenience store in Marina del Rey, and Baxter humped a large, German Shepherd named Stephen, who happened to belong to Nicholas Brendon (one of my favorite television actors) at a nearby dog park in Venice.
Whiskey a Go Go, the famous nightclub on the Sunset Strip (where The Doors were once a house band) is where we went to watch my friend Randy perform with his heavy metal band, Flatline. (Randy now kicks ass playing with the hit group, In This Moment.) Kurt would not let me mosh. Kurt never lets me mosh. This is probably a good thing.
We took in a skateboard competition at famous Huntington Beach, and nabbed VIP passes to the Miramar Air Show.
I also went to the Jay Leno show, courtesy of a neighbor who worked there. I had a backstage tour and thereafter tried talking Kurt into moving his safety career to Hollywood just so I could watch the backstage action at the studios. Kurt said no. This is probably a good thing.
We had a steady flow of visitors, walked to the Pacific Ocean most days, to watch the sunset, and we participated in a Los Angeles charity walk for pancreatic cancer, in honor of my mom who had passed the year before.
We drove up Highway One to the Redwood Forest.
Kurt swore I would never be able to get him to do another holiday video card unless we ever moved out of the country. Now that we’ve moved out of the country, he is still saying no to a video card. This is probably a good thing, but I’m still trying to convince him.
In the meantime, here are the worst and best. First, an encore of our 2009 awkward, dorky, holiday video card. Second, the best: a viral hit (not ours 🙂 ) that’s been seeing make the rounds on social media this year. Other than being such an annoyingly attractive family that they made me puke in my coffee a little bit this morning, it’s kind of awesome. They are pretty stinking adorable, and they had me at “vasectomy.”