Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Dedication

Well, it's a little after five o'clock on New Year's Eve, the last few hours of 2012.  As with any year, this one was full of ups and downs, both in my world and the world around me.  Such is life, right?

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me, and in my reflective posts I tend to think more clearly for myself, and so expect plenty of reflection from me tomorrow.  I have a party to go to in a couple of hours, so there's little time for that at the moment.   Besides right now I'm feeling a little sad about my Aunt Marion.

All I know is I do have regrets over my life in the last year, and looking forward I need to change some things.  We'll see how that goes.  In the meantime, here's one of my favorite ballads from P!nk's The Truth About Love.  Like I've said before, the title is a bit different, but the sentiment behind the song is tender and beautiful, and I know I'd like to be beamed up, if only for a minute.

So here's to the people who've passed this past year, starting with my aunt, and Brad, Michael, the poor children of Newton, Connecticut, and those in the limelight like Dick Clark, Whitney Houston, Davy Jones, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Etta James, and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch.

So to all of my readers, have a safe and happy New Year.  Thanks, as always, for reading, and I'll see ya in 2013!

R.I.P. Godmother

I just wanted to pause for a moment to mark the passing of a dear aunt, Marion Randazzo, who was also my godmother.  Aunt Marion passed away suddenly yesterday at her home in Florida and the news comes with great sadness.  Throughout my life I never really got to see her much, usually once or twice a year.  She and my Uncle Bob, my mom's brother, lived in Westchester when I was growing up and then moved around to different places for the past couple of decades, so visits with them were infrequent, but both my aunt and uncle are the kind of people you were always glad to see.

I've long been a non-believer in 'till death do we part.'  I've always held the conviction that two people are never really meant to be together forever, but there are rare exceptions, like my aunt and uncle.  Aunt Marion and Uncle Bob were no doubt soul mates.  I never once saw them fight, and they were always, always together, just the two of them, throughout stays in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Florida.  No matter what the circumstance, you always knew that they were happy together, and I always admired them for that.

So my Aunt Marion...what can I say about her?  The first thing that comes to mind is her cooking.  She could cook like nobody's business, and two of her specialties from what I can recall, were her lasagna and her cheesecake.  In fact, I use a couple of her tricks in my own lasagna, which I just made last week. (Yum!)  Oh, and she also taught me how to make carrots, which I hate, eatable...(maple syrup!).

Other than that, Aunt Marion was just an all around great person, sweet, caring and always with a smile and a good word for everybody. I will miss her!  So that's it...I wish I had a photo of her to post here, but I don't, so the little poem above will have to suffice.  Rest in peace Aunt Marion, and thank you for being you!

Song of the Day - Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepson

Our last Song of the Day for the year 2012 is also and undeniably the number one song of the year.  When I performed a search for the video I found countless homemade ones, attesting too the immense popularity of Ms. Jepson's little ditty.  Yeah, I know, this one was way overkilled, as many hit songs are these days, but like yesterday's song, it's been awhile and I figured one more listen won't kill anyone.  Anyway, here's Call Me Maybe...


Call Me Maybe - Kiss (Deluxe Version)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

John's World Top 30 Dance/Club Songs of 2012, Part 2: #'s 20-11

We continue this morning with our countdown of my picks for the best 30 dance/club songs of the year.

#20 - Gimme All Your Luvin - Madonna

L-U-V Madonna!

Okay, well I'm sure this isn't on many people's top lists of songs for the year, but hey, I love Madonna and I'm actually one of the few who find this song fun.  Yeah, it's kitschy, but it's also catchy, kind of 80's, and very danceable, so there!

Madonna "Gimme All Your Luvin'" Integrated Compilation from Interscope Brand Partnerships on Vimeo.

#19 - Birthday Cake - Rihanna

It's not even my birthday
And you wanna lick that icing on it

One of my favorite sexy-ass tracks from RiRi's Talk That Talk album is really only a short interlude on the original set, but Ms. Thang reunited with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown for a longer, dirtier remix of the record, which did get lots of airplay in clubs.  Check out Birthday Cake.

#18 - Where Have You Been - Rihanna

The 5th single from Talk That Talk is still getting lots of airplay in the clubs.  Love the reverb in the chorus!  Check it out on YouTube.

#17 - Loca People - Sak Noel

I've got a funny story to tell on how I first noticed this one.  I was at Cherry's On the Bay in Fire Island one night and I was standing near the bar, chatting with some guy I know, and this drunk-as-a-skunk woman was standing nearby.  Well, if you don't know this song, the main tag line is "What the F**k?," and it was playing at this particular time.  I hadn't taken notice of the song or the tag line until after lighting a cigarette.  I hadn't even taken a puff yet when the woman flung her arms out and knocked it out of my hand, simultaneously singing the words.  My friend looked at me and mouthed "What the F**k?," and the woman just went on dancing, not even knowing what she had done.

Anyway, from then on I started liking the song, dancing to the funky beat whenever it came on.  I even tried my hand at making a video to the song, that was before I did True Love, and on that same night I took a lot of silly pictures of myself, which I posted on Facebook under the title, Johnny, la gente esta muy loca!, another favorite line from the song.

The tune is a cover of another song, What the Olya, by an artist named Klara, and it was reworked by Spanish disk jockey Sak Noel, with vocals by Dutch vocalist Esthera Sarita.  I'm posting it here, and be forewarned....lots of expletives (one of the reasons why it was never a Song of the Day)...but it's oh so dancealicious!

When I came to Spain, and I saw people partying, I said to myself, "What the F**k?"...

Sak Noel - Loca People from Cees Spin on Vimeo.

#16 - Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj

The year 2012 saw Nicki Minaj transform herself from hard core rapstress extraordinaire to dance hall princess.  Her vocals work really well with the poppy dancey sound that I love so much and this one's got a great dance floor beat!Check out Pound the Alarm on John's World.

#15 - Turn Up the Radio - Madonna

If Madge had any chance to make it big with M.D.N.A., this was it. Turn Up the Radio is a bona fide dance floor anthem!

#14 - Gangnam Style - Psy

Okay, I understand that this one was so big that it's probably closer to the top on other lists, but to me it was more of a pop phenomenon than a dance floor hit.  Of course it should be on a list of the best dance songs of the year because it is dancey.  The song made it to #3 on my year end list of top pop songs for the year, and one of my favorite performances of the song, other than the video itself, was Psy's appearance at MSG with Madonna back in November, which you can see here:

#13 - Die Young - Ke$ha

I feel your heartbeat to the beat of a drum
Oh such a shame that you came here with someone
So while you're here in my arms
Let's make the most of the night 
Like we're gonna die young

The first single off Ke$ha's latest album, Warrior, is one of her most catchy.  It's really too bad it got banned from the airwaves after the Newton's just bad timing, but really, how is it any different than let's say Prince's 1999?  Check out Die Young.

#12 - Scream and Shout - and Britney Spears

I really was not crazy about this song when I first came across it, but it has grown on me by leaps and bounds.  Despite the heavy altering of Brit's voice, the dance club beats make me wanna shake my hips every time I hear it.  Check it out:

It's Britney bitch!

#11 - Levels - Avicii

This track is slamming!  Sampling Flo Rida's Good Feeling and adding a feelgood dance music track, this one really got me going when Avicii opened up for Madge at Yankee Stadium.  Check out Levels.

So there's the middle ten of my top thirty dance/club tunes for the year 2012.  Check out the first ten tracks on the list below:

And see last year's list...

Song of the Day - Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye, featuring Kimbra

I just recently published The Top 20 Pop Songs of 2012 on Yahoo Voices and here's a breakout hit that came in at #2 on my list. As with many other songs this and every year, this one was played to death, making us all sick of it eventually, but since it's been so long, I think it's time for another listen.

Here's what I said about the song:

The combination of lyrics many can relate to and a smooth, beatnik groove made this one a powerful radio force all over the world, and countless remixes and covers of the song have gotten great airplay, as well.


Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra) [feat. Kimbra] - Making Mirrors

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christina Aguilera's 'Lotus' Track reviews: 'Best of Me'

Here's another ballad that carries on the theme of Lotus....Yeah we get it Christina!  You will rise undefeated, smash your detractors...okay...enough said!  The song's not too bad.  With a voice like hers, how bad can it be?  Check out Best of Me

And check out other Lotus reviews below:

Lotus Intro/Army of One

Lotus - Christina Aguilera

Clubbing in NYC and Long Island Christmas Week

Last night, my friend Paul and I went into the city for one of our occasional nights of clubbing. It was the first time I'd been to the city in a couple of weeks and since it was a Friday night, we were planning on hitting bars in Hell's Kitchen, the newest gay hot spot in Manhattan.  This area of the West Side, just outside of Times Square, is teeming with clubs and bars and we planned on hitting at least a couple of them.

For the first time in awhile, I was excited to go dancing again.  In the past I would have already been out a few times during the break, but for whatever reason, visits with friends, working, lack of funds, writing, etc., I haven't gone out like I used to.

Penthaus at the Copacabana

Our first stop for the evening was the opening of an all new Friday night club at the Copacabana on 47th Street.  Penthaus is the newest 'gay dance party' by Alan Pincus and Justin Luke's BoiParty, and from the looks of just the line as we approached, this one was gonna be packed.

The line went quickly, thankfully, because it was absolutely freezing out, and before you knew it, we were up on the third floor of the Copa at a packed Penthaus.  The place was gorgeous, with two giant rooms, one with a dance floor and the rooftop area, complete with seating and a big bar.

The crowd was pretty, and brought to mind the image of Chelsea Queens, only this wasn't Chelsea.  One dude was prettier than the next, and the ones that weren't pretty thought they were.  Needless to say there was a lot of attitude in this very crowded venue.  The only other bright spot other than the place itself was the music, spun by the fabulous Scotty Rox.

After about an hour and a half, and a couple of way overpriced drinks, we decided to head on out of there.  I wanted to try another new bar, Hardware, but the drinks had emptied my pockets quicker than I expected, so we hopped down one block to my always go-to place, The Ritz.

Putting on The Ritz

I love The Ritz!  It is always jam-packed with people and it's very hard to move around in, but the music is always slamming and the crowd is always good looking and never snooty (see above!).  Last night was their final Flex Friday of the year and we got there around 1:30 AM and stayed until the wee hours, and as usual, the music was fierce and the crowd friendly.  I just may have to do a piece on the place for Examiner.  They like to call their patrons Ritzians, which I absolutely love...I guess I'm one!

Oops...I almost forgot about Circus Wednesday and Ruby's B'day Bash

I almost forgot that I had gone out on Wednesday night, as well.  Today is my friend Ozzie/Ruby's birthday and she had a big birthday celebration at Lizard Lounge the other night.  Though it was very cold, windy and rainy, I traipsed out for my be a part of his night.

The show was extra long and featured all of the resident drag queens, Sassy Temptress, Saline Dijon, Savannah Monroe, and others.  Savannah, who loves Katy Perry, went all out and gets my vote for best dressed (see below).  Unfortunately for me, I got sick all of a sudden and had to leave during Ruby's second performance.  Ah, well, I was cold and tired anyway.

Check out Savannah's outfit...very cool!

Nuts & Bolts is back!

I also forgot all about last Saturday, too, when I returned to Nuts & Bolts, which had been closed for almost a month after its grand opening.  I went with my pal Blanche, who had missed the opening because he was out of town, and I'm glad to say it's still getting a nice crowd.  There was a fear that being closed for so long would have killed it a bit, but as I said in my two pieces about the place, it was needed!  Yay!

Well, I guess I did do substantial clubbing this week after all!  Anyway, happy birthday to Ruby and Ozzie...and as always, thanks for reading!

Song of the Day - That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings

Today's song was not my first choice, but my third.  All I can say is &*#@ing YouTube!!!!  For the first two years plus of doing this blog full time, I never had any trouble posting videos here, but no longer.  Boy this could really turn into a rant...I mean, what's the big frikkin deal if I post a video here.  It's not like I'm making money off it.  Posted videos always have the option of watching on YouTube anyway, so I just don't understand.  I see them on other sites, but I guess this one's not good enough....Grrrrrr!!!!!!!

Anyway, my first choice for Song of the Day today was I Need Your Love, by Calvin Harris, featuring Ellie Goulding, which I hinted at yesterday.  but the only choices for that one were on YT, and they weren't letting me post them.  "This video contains content by blah, blah, it on YouTube."  Dang!   Next came a new one (to me, anyway) by the Ting Tings, a cool one called Soul Killing, but same deal.  Double grrr!!!!

So I decided to post the Ting Tings anyway, only this one's from their first album, We Started Nothing, which is really, really good.  The duo opened up for P!nk on her Funhouse Tour a couple of years ago and they were so good I actually bought their album and am thinking about buying their second one.   That's Not My Name has that 80's New Wave feel to it, and I love it.  Funky beats and even funkier lyrics.  Check it out...


That's Not My Name - We Started Nothing

Friday, December 28, 2012

John's World Top 30 Dance/Club Songs of 2012, Part 1: #'s 30-21

Happy New Year 2013 to all of my fellow dance music fans.  For the second year in a row I've decided to tackle my 30 favorite dance/club songs of the year 2012.  Please keep in mind that though I've checked out a lot of other top dance song lists for the year, my tastes are different and unique to me, and so the songs you see here may or may not be included in what the 'experts' say.

Like last year, I will be posting these in three separate posts of ten songs, in descending order.  As always, comments are appreciated.  And here we go...

#30 - Back in Time - Pitbull

Pitbull wasn't as hot this year as a solo artist as he's been in the past, and this song, from the film Men in Black 3, was his biggest of the year.  Sampling a 50's hit, Love is Strange, by Mickey and Sylvia, the familiarity of the music got this one noticed.

#29 - Domino - Jessie J

Dirty dancing in the moonlight
Take me down like I'm a domino

This pleasant song from Brit pop songstress Jessie J was the only mainstream hit for the singer.  Check out the video for Domino.

#28 - Turn Me On - David Guetta, featuring Nicki Minaj

David Guetta's 2011 album Nothing But the Beat carried over into the year 2012 and this one is still getting airplay in the clubs.  It turns out Nicki Minaj is not only a gifted rapper, but a songwriter and singer, as well.

David Guetta - Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj) by DavidGuetta-Official

#27 - Parking Lot - Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado is not as popular as she once was, unfortunately, but damn, I still like her!  She unceremoniously released her 5th studio album, Spirit Indestructible, in the early fall and I just found this one so danceable.  Check out Parking Lot right here on John's World.

#26 - I Wanna See You Dance - Kat Deluna

This Euro sounding, tropical flavored gem was this year's Stereo Love, though a little more up tempo.  Check out I Wanna See You Dance.

#25 - We'll Be Coming Back - Calvin Harris, featuring Example

The year 2012 was when I and many others discovered who Calvin Harris was.  Ii only first heard his name when he was connected to Rihanna's We Found Love, and earlier this year I decided to check his music out.  I'm glad I did because he's got not one, not two, but four songs on this countdown.  This first one combines a nice dance music track with equally good lyrics, and much like other Harris tracks, it's not rough around the edges at all, but kinda smooth.  Check out We'll Be Coming Back on John's World.

#24 - Can't Stop - Martin Solveig

Another deejay/producer who I really got into this year was Martin Solveig.  His tracks all have a similar, frenzied feel to them and they're all danceable as hell!  Check out Can't Stop.


#23 - I Need Your Love - Calvin Harris, featuring Elie Goulding

Here's another one from Harris, this time featuring fellow Brit Elie Goulding.  This one's off his latest, 18 Months, and you may not have heard it yet, but you will soon, at least on John's World.  If you simply can't wait (hint), check out I Need Your Love.

#22 - Titanium - David Guetta, featuring Sia

Another one off Guetta's Nothing But the Beat, this one still keeps a rolling.  Great, great song!

David Guetta Feat. Sia - Titanium from David Wilson on Vimeo.

ryan seacrest

#21 - Goin In - Jennifer Lopez, featuring Flo Rida and Lil John

J-Lo put out a greatest hits set this year that featured two new songs, Dance Again and this one, featuring hot rapper Flo Rida.  This one's fast, frenzied and fun!

Tonight, feels like, we can do anything we like
Tonight, feel like, the best night of my life
I'm goin in, I'm goin in...

Check out Goin In.

Well there you have it, the first ten songs on our Top 30 Countdown of my favorite dance/club songs of 2012.  Stay tuned for #'s 20-11 coming real soon, and if you like, check out last year's list below.  In the meantime, I feel like dancing...

The Top 30 Dance Songs of 2011, Part 1, #'s 30-21

The Top 30 Dance Songs of 2011, Part 2, #'s 20-11

The Top 30 Dance Songs of 2011, Part 3, #'s 10-1

Christina Aguilera's 'Lotus' Track Reviews: 'Circles'

digital spy

Spin around in circles on my middle middle finger...

The next track on Lotus is a defiant rant to X-Tina's detractors, as you can see from the line above, which is repeated over and over again throughout.  The song is a mid tempo that's probably meant to be just a lil filler.  It's okay, but I find myself skipping this one often.  Check it out on YouTube.

Check out my take on the first ten tracks of Lotus below:

Lotus Intro/Army of One

Lotus - Christina Aguilera

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - What Is Love - Haddaway

Here's one of those 90's Euro anthems that was big all over the place back in 93. Enjoy, and Happy Friday...


Oh, and in case you need a smile or a laugh, the song was also the favorite of the boys from Night at the Roxbury.  Check it out:

What Is Love (Single Mix) - What Is Love - EP

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Song of the Day - Across the Sky - Madonna

A couple of months ago, my pal Sean, who is a giant Madonna fan, shared several unreleased Madonna tracks with me that I had never even heard of, and this is my favorite of them all.  Across the Sky was recorded for the Hard Candy album and is a collaboration with Timbaland, Danja and Justin Timberlake, who also sings background on the chorus.

The song features rhythmic guitars and a smooth, relaxing sound.  It reminds me of something from the Ray of Light album, actually.  I've no idea why it was scrapped because it's definitely worthy of release.  Check it out:

Across the Sky

I’m no stranger to deception
I have lied and been lied to
I’m no paragon of virtue
But I wanna be with you
I have never been a righteous soul
And I don’t pretend I am
But I walk the line when I’m with you
Cause you make me believe I can

But we’re runnin’ out of options
And we’re runnin’ out of time
And I don’t know if it’s you or me
But it’s time to speak your mind

Because I’m traveling across the sky
When you’re with me, your hand in mine
Our honesty will make us fly
And we’ll be traveling across sky
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)

I’m not good at keeping quiet
And I can’t keep this tied down
But it’s got to count for somethin’
That we’re still hangin’ around
If you need an explanation for
What is false and what is true
Then I’d rather stop the world than think
That I could not be with you

But we’re runnin’ out of options
And we’re runnin’ out of time
And I don’t know if it’s you or me
But it’s time to speak your mind

Because I’m traveling across the sky
When you’re with me, your hand in mine
Our honesty will make us fly
And we’ll be traveling across sky
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Across the sky (oohhhhh)

Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Traveling across the sky
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Traveling across the sky
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Traveling across the sky
Across the sky (oohhhhh)
Traveling across the sky

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Song of the Day - Dog Days Are Over - Florence + the Machine

It's the morning after Christmas, finally, and in the spirit of my holiday this year I present a very appropriate song. Not only are the words a perfect fit for how I'm feeling this morning, but the uplifting music makes me wanna get up and dance! Ooh, and the video is fun to watch, too! Enjoy!


Dog Days Are Over - Lungs

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Song of the Day - What Child Is This - Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Rihanna's 'Unapologetic' Track Reviews: 'No Love Allowed'

Rihanna always works in one reggae-flavored tune on each of her albums, and No Love Allowed is it on Unapologetic.  This one's got that familiar reggae percussion as a backdrop to RiRi's Barbadoan-tinged vocals, pleading with the love police after her love 'murdered' their romance.  Nice song for those of you who like the reggae infusion in Rihanna's music.  Check out No Love Allowed.

For more reviews of the tracks off Unapologetic, see below:

Phresh Out the Runway



Pour It Up

Loveeeeee Song


Right Now

What Now


Nobody's Business

Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary

Get It Over With

Unapologetic - Rihanna

Music News Bytes: New Music from Beyonce, Dido, John Travolta and Olivia Newton John; 2013 Preview

Get Ready for Beyonce in 2013

Beyonce will be performing at the big show, the Super Bowl, on February 3rd, and word is she's working on her newest album and will have a couple of songs out beforehand. I've got a sneaky feeling that she's going to go back to some of the more up tempo stuff like many of the songs she'd hit big with.  Her last record, 4, was mostly filled with ballads, none of which ever really hit it big, though I loved most of them!  Any day now...   

New Music: Dido premieres comeback duet with Kendrick Lamar

Dido is back and as good as ever!

Brit singer/songwriter Dido has just released a brand new song, the debut single from her forthcoming album, Girl Who Got Away.  For those of you who don't know Dido, she fits well into the genre of chill or lounge music, which I really, really love.  Chill is a very laid back, relaxing type of music that's great for when you're unwinding from a long day, and it's equally fabulous for background music while entertaining guests.  The new song is called Let Us Move On, and it is vintage Dido, beautiful, with a sultry beat, soothing vocals, and a nice rap interlude by Kendrick Lamar.  If you've ever liked Dido, you'll definitely love Let Us Move On.  And you can pick it up here:

Let Us Move On (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Let Us Move On (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Single

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John drop new music vid

Danny and Sandy Reunite for a Brand New Christmas Tune

Did you know that John Travolta and Olivia Newton John recorded a new song together for Christmas?  It's a little corny, as you might expect, but its also kinda cute.  Check out I Think You Might Like It.

I Think You Might Like It - This Christmas

New Music for 2013

Finally, word is beginning to spread about artists working on new material for the coming year.  In addition to Beyonce and Dido, expect new stuff from Fleetwood Mac, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Cher and more. Stay tuned for details as they become available.

Song of the Day - Always - Erasure

I probably should be sharing a Christmas song this morning considering it is Christmas Eve, but since this is a different kind of Christmas for me I'm just not in the mood. Besides, I heard enough Christmas music yesterday while I was out shopping to last me a lifetime! 

Erasure is one of my favorite new wave groups. They're songs are always beautifully written, both musically and lyrically, and I'm sure many of them have been a part of the soundtrack of many a relationship, this one included.  Merry Christmas!


Always - Rhino Hi-Five: Erasure - EP


Open your eyes I see
Your eyes are open
Wear no disguise for me
Come into the open

When it's cold outside
Am I here in vain?
Hold on to the night
There will be no shame

I wanna be with you
And make believe with you
And live in harmony harmony oh love

Melting the ice for me
Jump into the ocean
Hold back the tide I see
Your love in motion

When it's cold outside
Am I here in vain?
Hold on to the night
There will be no shame

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rihanna's 'Unapologetic' Track Reviews: 'Get It Over With'


The next track is so slow it's a real snoozer...always a skip for me when I reach it on the iPod.  Way too slow and just plain boring...makes me yawn! After such a good song, I just can't wait to get over this one!  Check out Get It Over With if you need some rest, and look below for other Unapologetic track reviews:

Phresh Out the Runway



Pour It Up

Loveeeeee Song


Right Now

What Now


Nobody's Business

Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary

Unapologetic - Rihanna

New Directions at Christmas

Tis the season...blah, blah, blah!

It's no secret that Christmas is not one of my favorite holidays.  The quote above is how I began one of my earliest pieces for the old Associated Content way back in December 2007.  Why I Hate Christmas was my first diatribe against the most commercialized of all holidays and my mind hasn't changed much over the last five years.  In fact, just last year I posted a redux of that original article right here on John's World and here we go again one more time, only this year is a little different.

Yes, I still detest the whole mess that Christmas has become in our consumer oriented, market-driven world.  I mean c'mon, "It's Jesus' birthday, lets go shopping!"  Really?  What does Jesus have to do with the newest video game or the most recent high tech HDTV?  Yeah, the ridiculousness of the whole thing pretty much disgusts me, but this year the diminishment of Christmas as a celebratory holiday in my mind comes from a whole different place.  This time the disdain is more personal.

Two years ago I had the absolute worst Christmas of my life.  I had been broken up with via email on Christmas Eve and that sent me into a tailspin like I'd never experienced before.  I spent that holiday at home, alone and depressed.  It was horrible!  This year I find myself in a similar situation, but I plan on facing it head on, rather than wallowing in misery.

Familial issues are at the top of my list of things to dread this Christmas, and for the second time in three years, and only the second time in my life, I will be spending the holiday without my family.  I don't want to get too personal here...perhaps another time...but my mantra this school year has been, "Is it me?  (Or is it  everyone else?)"  Well that question fits with my family, as well, and I've come to the conclusion that it is not me, but everyone else who's gone off the deep end.  (Check out True Blood Don't Mean a Thing)

My only sanity comes from the fact that there are many others who've stepped in and made offers of including me in their holiday plans.  I've had my choice of several holiday gatherings to include myself in, and just this morning I have decided on two of the most enticing, where I'll be with people who want to share their holiday with me.  I want to thank everyone else, though, for asking me!

I'm beginning to see a little into my future, where every year will be something new and different.  I don't have children of my own, and I've always known that not having any signifies lonesome holidays for me as I grow older.  Mom has always been the glue that held us together as a family, and when the day comes that she is gone, I'm afraid that family gatherings will forever become a thing of the past.   

I don't mean to be sappy, really I don't.  I think the holidays bring out the unhappiness in a lot of people.  At a time that is supposed to be shared with loved ones and thankfulness, I think that it is the lonely who seem to dislike it the most, and I guess I'm a little lonely.  At least there's a New Year coming...