Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: The Year In Review

2015
The Year In Review
_________________________

Christmas gifts — delivered
and enjoyed. Holiday meals
— prepared and consumed.
The perfect time to pause
for a moment or two and
reflect on the year gone by.
_________________________

Who could have predicted six months ago that Donald Trump would even still be in the presidential race at Christmastime, let alone be crushing his competition so handily in all the major polls? Yes, in a word, 2015 was "unpredictable," indeed.

The last 12 months also brought about enormous cultural breakthroughs. It was the year when us poor ol' naive Americans finally got a bit more "educated" becoming (almost) as "enlightened" as the super-savvy Europeans. We got taught (i.e. shamed) to embrace exciting and "sophisticated" new social perspectives. Marriage was given a more "open-minded," universally acceptable definition, while a macho dude who still possesses a full set of cockenballs enjoyed the lavished praise of "thinkers" worldwide for being a brave — woman. It was revealed that a white chick can actually be a black chick, if she just sticks to her story long enough, and more than ever before, modern-day Libs became acknowledged for being wiser than our forefathers — further determining that escalating global terror attacks are merely the result of climate changes. The harvesting and selling of human baby parts was apparently no big deal in 2015 — but if it was, it would have certainly (somehow) been Bush's fault. "Fete," "feteing" and "feted" — three words that had previously only ever been used 14 times in recorded history, suddenly became go-to words of choice for intellectual talking heads everywhere. We also learned this year that only some lives matter. But we never could quite agree on the color of that dress. I still believe that it was green. Suffice it to say, 2015 offered all of us bigoted, phobic, sexist old dudes a clear enough glimpse into the future that we now have ample reasons to celebrate our impending mortality. Check please!

Chillin' with my old pal, Harvey Geezer in 2015.
(Just hang in there, Harv - it won't be long, now.)
But guess what? No, really, guess what? Having said all that, 2015 wasn't entirely dumb. To be perfectly honest, I personally enjoyed a pretty darn good year. I made many great new friends of all ages in 2015. I was blessed to connect with an incredible crew of kids through my role as an adult leader at Central Life Church — particularly during last summer's Forever Young youth camp. These are kind, compassionate, loving, street-smart young people who actually give me hope for the future. And I'm honored to now claim them among my closest besties.

The Central Life kids helped to keep
me feeling "forever young" in 2015.
Last spring, I was "dismissed" early from my first jury duty experience following a pre-selection grilling from prosecution and defense attorneys. What had happened was, I openly maintained that, if after ALL evidence had been presented, there was still some "gray" area regarding the case, and it came down to a "tie-breaker" of sorts, I'd likely always side with law enforcement. That comment led the judge to immediately blow a gasket and to unleash a heated tirade about martians, my limited understanding of the law, and what he viewed as my lack of respect for his courtroom. An extraordinary, personal, birds-eye view of the American legal system.

Fulfilling my civic duty to
the best of my ability in 2015 .
In a completely random turn of events (despite trying my best to finally put it to rest this year), my longtime, award-winning band, Dead Serios, was confirmed in late 2015 as one of the many acts, along with the likes of KISS, Def Leppard, Slash, Korn, Scorpions and Boston that will be appearing at the Moonstone Music Festival in Orlando, FL — April 30th and May 1st, 2016. Had anyone told my 13-year-old self back in 1976 that I'd someday be in a rock band and that (at age 53) I'd actually be performing with KISS, I definitely would have wet my plaid polyester high-waters. ATTENTION EVERYONE: Never give up on your dreams — EVER!

My band, Dead Serios, will be performing at the
2016 Moonstone Music Festival in Orlando, FL.
Finally, I discovered several sensational new books and incredible new bands this year. I also experienced a few epic concerts and other live events in 2015 — discoveries and experiences that prompt me to now revisit some of my fave features from the last 12 months — just in case you missed 'em the first time around. So, let's take a look back together at "The Best of 2015."

BEST IN BOOKS
Romantic Violence
-Christian Picciolini-

As a carefree kid growing up during the '70s,
and then as a rock music / chick-crazed teen
in the '80s, I wasn't much of a reader. That's
certainly changed in recent years. These
days, I can be found at my local beachside
Starbucks every morning, devouring another
page-turner along with my coffee and sweet
treat. Not only did I find Christian Picciolini's 
debut memoir, Romantic Violenceto be the
year's most compelling, I consider it (along
with Brian Welch's Save Me From Myself
and Brent Jensen's No Sleep 'Til Sudbury)
to be one of the three most riveting of the
last decade. You can read my official
review of Romantic Violence HERE.
_________________________

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Jule Vera
Friendly Enemies

Listen to our demo. Check out our YouTube
clip. "Like" our fan page. "Favor" our tweet.
Review our latest release. To be perfectly
honest, despite being buried beneath an
avalanche of bands reaching out to me in
2015, choosing "Record of the Year" was a
total no-brainer. Intrigued? Read my review
of Jule Vera's epic debut release HERE.
____________________

HOTTEST TICKET
Fleetwood Mac
(Orlando, FL / 3.23.15)

From such personal old school favorites as
America and Black Oak Arkansas to the sea
of modern-day chart-busters performing on
this year's Vans Warped Tour, I must have
seen a gazillion live bands in 2015. But, my
ultimate concert experience was seeing the
iconic rock powerhouse, Fleetwood Mac 
oddly (at age 52), for the very first time. Oh
yeah, hugging drummer Mick Fleetwood
during the private pre-show meet-and-great
completed my personal "bucket list."And
BTW, at age 72, Christine McVie is still
a smoldering, red hot fox. She still sings
pretty darn good too. Read my official
Fleetwood Mac concert review HERE.
_________________________

TV TIME
Modern Family

Given my narrow-minded, Christian
world view, Modern Family is a show
that some folks would expect me to hate.
And I'll be honest, based on what I had
read about this highly-rated award-winner,
I'd avoided it like the plague since its ABC
debut back in 2009. However, by 2015, I
could no longer contain my burning obsession
with co-star Julie Bowen. Hence, I buckled,
and I finally gave the show a fair shake.
Hmm, come to find out, it is (in my
aforementioned, narrow-minded Christian
world view), the smartest and funniest,
best-cast, best-written show on the ol'
tube. Simply put, I'm now a super-fan.
Hey Lilly, bring on season eight!
_________________________

FAVE FLICK
Joy

It's a bona fide Christmas miracle! A new
Jennifer Lawrence film that's NOT part of
that gawdawful Hunger Games franchise 
just in time for the holidays. Director David
 O. Russell assembled several of his go-to
all-stars (Lawrence, De Niro, Cooper) to
create his latest Oscar-worthy feature, Joy.
Ever mindful of casting spoilers, I'll simply
say that Lawrence carries the film famously,
portraying inventor and businesswoman,
 Joy Mangano. Compelling from start to
finish, Joy tells the semi-biographical
tale of Mangano, a gutsy and ingenious
dreamer, who beat the odds (and more
than a few nemeses) to become a multi
million-dollar American success. The
split-second Donna Mills mini cameo
alone makes this an extra-special "joy."

In my make believe mind I've been married
to Jennifer Lawrence for more than a year.
What? The Olsen twins dig dudes even older
than me. So, it could TOTALLY happen. Right?
_________________________

SUPER CHICK - 2015
Dana Loesch

2015 was the year in which I became
a Dana Loesch fan-boy. Known as
"The Conservative Alternative," I
tune in to her wildly popular radio
program, The Dana Show daily and
nightly on Orlando's 96.5 WDBO.
And in 2016, I plan to have an iChip
inserted in my brain so that I can
receive unlimited, non-stop Dana
Show podcasts — 24/7.
________________________

BEST MAN
Larry Ollison

Author Larry Ollison knows a lot about
cool cars, classic rock and dirty socks.
He also knows the Word of God and
how to convey the message of Jesus
Christ in an engaging, no-nonsense,
conversational style. I read all of Larry's
books this past year. And as a result, I
feel like I've connected personally with
a new best friend — although I'd not
likely recognize him, even if he shanked
me while standing in line at Walmart.
Simply put, Larry's books are valuable,
relevant and HIGHLY recommended
life guides — regardless of whether or
not you subscribe to the Jesus factor.
________________________

DOG OF THE YEAR
Alan

Of all the great new friends that I
made this year, Alan just might
be my fave. Read his story HERE.
_________________________

BIGGEST BUMMER
Lemmy Kilmister
(December 24, 1945 - December 28, 2015)

I was rocked (and NOT in a good way)
by the recent death of Motörhead
frontman / bassist,Lemmy Kilmister,
Read my personal tribute HERE.
_________________________

LIFE-CHANGER
All-Day Breakfast
at McDonald's

Simply put, we can ALL now devour
Egg McMuffins anytime, day or night,
from coast-to-coast. Yes, 2015 was
a pretty darn good year after all!

Thanks to Micky D's, I can now
enjoy quality cuisine, 24/7.
________________________

So there you have it — the highs and the not-so highs of the year gone by. And as we rev-up for 2016, I want encourage everyone to roll boldly into the new year. Love, forgive and make it the best ever! Can we do that? Yep, of course we can.

-Christopher Long
(December 2015)


The latest from author Christopher Long
is available NOW on Amazon.

Also from Christopher Long...
Get it on Amazon.

Currently in development...

No comments:

Post a Comment