Happy Holidays 2012…well, 2013

Okay, so it’s March. I guess I should say that I hope everyone had happy holidays!!

Well, as you’re all certainly aware, the biggest news around here was Superstorm Sandy. I know you’ve all seen the photos and videos, but to see it all in person is quite hard to wrap your head around. The storm hit the night of October 29 (Monday) and those of us that were hit are looking at a long time to recover and rebuild. Yes, I said “us.” Even my house in Keansburg, on the Bayshore of the Jersey Shore, was hit hard. Not as hard as some of my neighbors, but hard enough. Once water started to appear in the street I had tried to move my car out of harm’s way, but I didn’t move it far enough. It was flooded and was dead. So I was stranded. After weathering the storm on the Monday and Tuesday – sleeping (sort of) on rolled up carpets in my attic – by Wednesday afternoon I’d had enough and asked my brother Gordon to come down from Cresskill to get me out. So he and his best friend James came down that night and were shocked at what they saw in the area. From a lot of downed trees, limbs and wires to flooded streets to someone’s deck that had been ripped off the house and was now in, literally in, a local highway. On the way to my house we saw a stranded bumper car a long way from the amusement park to arcade games that had floated up to my street…which is several blocks away from the arcades in town. Even though mom & dad’s house was also without power and heat, at least it was dry. And I was there from that Wednesday night (Halloween) to the third week of February.

At the height of the storm there was about 3 feet of water in my street. Unlike some of my neighbors who had that 3 feet of sea water in their house, my house is 5 or 6 steps off the ground. I ended up with what appears to be between an inch and a half and 2 inches of water in my house. All of that water receded as low tide appeared, but there was a foot or two of water in the street until Wednesday afternoon. With no power for almost 2 weeks, it wasn’t until 11 or 12 days after the storm at I could get any sort of cleaning or drying done. All that time with soaked carpeting and flooring meant that all of my carpets, flooring, molding, and 2 feet of drywall on every wall had to get ripped out. And the linoleum in the kitchen. And the bathroom tiles. And the kitchen cabinets (lowers). And all of the electric wiring that was in my crawl space. But… none of my appliances (washer, dryer, water heater, furnace) was damaged. Nor was any of my furniture. I know it sounds bad, but some of my neighbors lost everything.

My 2003 PT Cruiser with almost 165,000 miles on it just missed making it to its 10th birthday (by 2 days!). So the first thing I had to do was replace it. I picked up a silver 2008 Honda CRV with only 50,000 miles on it.

I actually missed work for a whole month after the storm. I do still work at WBJB-FM, Brookdale Public Radio at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft NJ. I am still the Music Director and afternoon on air host, every Monday through Friday 3p-7p. In December I hosted (for the 2nd time) the 20th Annual Asbury Music Awards at the Stone Pony. We won for Top Local Radio Station for the 12th year in a row. You can visit the website to listen online. Specifically, we’re a “Triple A” radio station. That stands for “Adult Album Alternative.”

My folks are retired and doing okay. Dad is still singing with the Orpheus Club, a mens chorus based in nearby Ridgewood NJ. In August myself, Gordon and Teresa (with a lot of help from the kids) successfully pulled off yet another surprise party. We had a 50th anniversary party for mom & dad at the Hotel Beacon in New York City. Not coincidentally the exact same place where their wedding reception was in 1962!

The kids, Gordon and Teresa’s kids, are still getting older and bigger. Stephanie is now 18 and a freshman at Alfred University in Alfred NY. She seems to be doing very well there and is enjoying it. So far she’s an undecided Engineering major. Eventually she’ll have to choose a specific type of engineering. She’s joined the school dance team so she’s still dancing. She also joined the school “activities/entertainment board” type club, the club that puts on events, shows and concerts on campus. So she’s been involved in many live music events, running sound and setting up/breaking down concerts. (I hadn’t realized how much her favorite uncle’s interests had rubbed off on her!)

Phillip is 15 now and is apparently trying to become a one man brass band. He’s already played trumpet and baritone in the school band, and now he’s added trombone to his repetoire. He was also the team manager for the high school’s girls volleyball team. Meaning that on trips to the away games, the only guys on the bus were usually him and the bus driver! From what I hear, all of the players and coaches loved “Phil.” Also, in May he was Confirmed.

Victoria is around 6…9…10, no, 11! (Inside joke.) She’s still playing soccer, and is very good. She went back to playing basketball and also returned to dance class.

And the youngest member of the family, Gizmo the Papillon, is still reaking havoc wherever he goes.

Jeff’s favorite releases of 2012. In alphabetical order. By first name.

Band Of Horses – Mirage Rock
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth
John Mayer – Born & Raised
Scars On 45 – Scars On 45
The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
The Gaslight Anthem – Handwritten
The Wallflowers – Glad All Over

Alejandro Escovedo – Big Station
Amy Ray – Lung Of Love
Bob Mould – Silver Age
Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
Del Fuegos – Silver Star
Dr Dog – Be The Void
Family Of The Year – Loma Vista
Glen Hansard – Rhythm And Repose
Graham Parker & The Rumour – Three Chords Good
Ian Hunter & The Rant Band – When I’m President
Jeffrey Gaines – Live In Europe
Jess Klein – Behind A Veil
Joe Pug – The Great Despiser
John Eddie – Same Old Brand New Me
Julia Stone – By The Horns
Justin Townes Earle – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
Jukebox The Ghost – Safe Travels
Michael McDermott – Hit Me Back
Mindy Smith – Mindy Smith
Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
Patrick Fitzsimmons – Hope Is
Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks
Pete Donnelly – When You Come Home
River City Extension – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger
The dB’s – Falling Off The Sky
The Dunwells – Blind Sighted Faith
The Front Bottoms – The Front Bottoms
The Lumineers – The Lumineers
The Mastersons – Birds Fly South
The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
Tift Merritt – Traveling Alone

Anthony D’Amato – Paper Back Bones
Arlan Feiles & The Broken Hearted – Weeds Kill The Flowers
Bern & The Brights – Work
Cara Salimando – The Moving Ahead
Elevator Art – Martian Diver
Gerald Edward – Side A/Side B
Lightning Jar – So Long Traveler
The Brixton Riot – Palace Amusements
The Doughboys – Shakin’ Our Souls
Thomas Wesley Stern – American Pain
Val Emmich – Bulldozzzer
Various Artists – The Wrong Crowd Presents…
Wakah Chan – The Art Of Compromise

Don’t forget, you can find me on the interwebs.

After what was already a pretty rough year (among other things I pulled a ligament in my left foot and had to wear an orthopedic boot for 2 weeks in the summer, spun my car 180 degrees on a wet off ramp in April trashing both wheels and tires on the driver side) that ended really rough I’m kinda glad to finally be in 2013. Thanks to everyone who helped me get through the last 2 months of 2012 and first 2 of 2013. Including mom & dad, my brother and his whole family, my old college roommate Charlie, everyone at work who covered for me for a month, my boss Tom & his family, my brother’s friend James & his family, my cousin Jun & his family, Musicians On A Mission, BillieJo, my contractor Dino and my electrical contractor Ed, my friend Lou and his band of merry men…could not have made it through this without any of you (and anyone I may have forgotten).

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! (and happy birthday to me!)

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