#69: @clayaiken is my new favorite politician. He is so dreamy!

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Sorry,  on tablet,  it just INSISTED I repost that post. 


I always try to convince myself that there is so much Clay clack,  that him not singing and moving on to something new is ok.  But PLEASE Clay,  learn to do both! 

Getting so much of the concert almost immediately was just the best Christmas  gift ?  ever

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I've been up since 4 so you think   I'd have time to watch the videos but no.   

Last week some kittens showed up in my garage.  Well we got them out and they are now living on my back porch.   I don't want to keep them but I'm leaving today for a cruise so I didn't have time to deal with it.  So I made them a bed of a box covered in plastic and lined with blankets and a down comforter!  Last night I was so worried about them I couldn't sleep. It got down to 32 last night.  I've arranged for someone to feed them and when I get back I'll sort it out.  

As I said I'm off today and won't be back until next Monday.  We have chosen  to have no phones or internet so I'll be totally out of it.   I'm not sure that's  a good idea but I guess we will find out.   

Have a Merrie Christmas everyone and be good.    

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merrieeee, have a fantastic time!  I totally understand the "no phones or internet" thing -- I think it's good to get away once in a while.  And I bet you will enjoy the WARMTH of where you are going.  It's freakin' cold here (the temperature here right now is 1 degree)!

Sorry to hear about your last minute visitors -- I hope you will be able to find good homes for them after you get back.  You'll have to post pictures of them.  (And you know me, I'd probably want to take them all home with me...)

The videos will be around when you get back.  I think the CV vault will have them soon.

I've had a cold for the past two weeks, and I'm afraid I may have strep!  I'll go to the doctor tomorrow to figure it all out.  My main concern is that I have to be HEALTHY by January 9, when I get my right hip replaced!

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Concert report and photos from jasr9023 at CV, posted with permission.



My red report:

Went to Phoenix Thursday night. I am not used to traveling alone, I know alot of you are. So I was a bit nervous. Flight out was uneventful. Got off the plane and headed for a cab. It was about 9:30pm. Get to the hotel about 20-25 minuets and get out of the cab and head for the lobby. Well as I approach the check in desk, I see two people checking in. One of them is this tall cute guy wearing gray pants and a red sweater. Yes , it was Clay. He turned around and gave me a hug. In person he really isn't too skinny at all. He gives good hugs. We chatted briefly about just getting in and long days. So he says"you're from Californlia, right" I laughed and said no, Philadelphia. Asked me if alot of people were staying there, I said yes and he said it made sense. By then Cheryl was done checking in and he said see ya later. Made the long flight and late hour inconsequential LOL.

As for the concert, it was vintage Clay. He came out quite strong with All is Well. And he continued to be vocally strong and truly seemed to be enjoying himself. He walked the entire stage and played both sides well so noone was left out. There were a few self deprecating comments here and there, that is such a part of him. But with age has come a maturity to his performance that wasn't there before. I think the videos you have seen speak for themselves.The tears started for me when he did "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", that was my

 dad's favorite Christmas song. And then by the time he got to Don't Save it All the tears really started. The newer songs he did at the beginning of the second half were very pretty and really showcased his ability to interpret lyrics. He hit notes during religious songs that hit me in ways they shouldn't have LOL 

I had given my 2 extra tickets to two young women who had far back seats. One was a long time fan, the other had bought them as a present for her friend. They definitely enjoyed the show. And at the end when he finished "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day". he received a  standing ovation- he stood there for a moment just taking it in. I am so hoping that this concert will show him that he can do this occasionally. Chandler did a fabulous job of promotion and the filled house showed it.


Last but not least, as I mentioned in the beginning of this tome, I was traveling alone. I want to send a heartfelt thanks to clayskater,gaymarie ,canuck and invisible926 for making me feel like one of the gang. Cannot thank you all so much for including me in your fun. Great conversations over lots of coffee and fun dinner as well. 


Clay has sung- now it feels like Christmas.





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Another red report, this one (with permission) from the lovely Permaswooned!

I'm not known for my brevity, so I won't claim this will be short, and there's no way I can catch up on everything that's happened since my last post. Most of you have been able to keep with me and my family via Facebook.  My DH and I have been bouncing back and forth between what will be our new full-time home in Coarsegold, CA and camping out in our long-time home in Redondo Beach until we don't have to be in SoCal on a regular basis.  Our 16 month granddaughter Iris is still waiting for a liver transplant, and as her patient advocate, I need to be on hand for her myriad appointments.  If any of you would like to follow along on what is happening with her, he FB page is: https://www.facebook.com/Indomitable.Iris/ We have a volunteer to be a living donor for her that finished screening on Thursday, and we are waiting to see if he will be her match or not.  That would be a great Christmas present, don't you think?

So, I have kept my planning to a minimum, but couldn't resist when the concert in Chandler was discovered.  It is pretty rare that those of us in the West get access to anything Clay related, so it was worth taking a chance that I'd be able to go.  And, thank goodness, it worked out.  There was no better medicine than being able to spend time with wonderful long-time friends and to get to see Clay once more celebrating Christmas with Ben, Sean and an orchestra.  

The venue worked tirelessly to promote this concert, and we discovered that the person responsible for bringing him there was a long time fan.  She was introduced before the concert and was absolutely beside herself with glee that he was there and she had been able to land this one-off concert for her city.  Lots of NJU there.  A couple next to me were patting their knees and tapping their feet throughout the show and commented that they were loving it and were so glad they came.  But, I did see many, many familiar faces, and it was so great to be able to greet so many good friends at the venue and at the hotel as well.

As you all now know, Clay came out and opened with All Is Well, and then a very energetic medley.  He carried both of them off wonderfully, and then he remarked that since he had gotten through both of those numbers, the rest would be smooth sailing.  I did hear a couple of cracks in 2 of the early numbers, and then it was smooth and strong the whole rest of the way.  There were lots of self-deprecating remarks and references to the 4 years since he did this.  It felt like Clay's self-protective mode in case things didn't go well, but it was a great concert.

I swear, Clay wouldn't know how to promote a concert if his life depended on it.  It became quite clear that he and Ben had put a lot of time and thought into this concert.  He didn't have Quiana and Angie, so he had to carry it all by himself.  He explained that it affected how the numbers were ordered and spaced, because he needed a bit of recovery after some of the more strenuous numbers.  It was apparent that some of the songs that we had heard from him before had been rearranged, and I think we got maybe 5 songs we had never heard from him before.

If it isn't in the banter, he made some very interesting comments about how the concert was ordered.  The first half were traditional Christmas songs, meaning that they were either old standard carols, or they were songs that had become "standards" for Christmas over the years (like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", etc.)  In the second half, the songs were "originals" meaning that that they were newer, and possibly less well known, although he noted that "Mary Did You Know" and "Grown Up Christmas List" were being covered by more artists now, and were well on their way to becoming standards.  He also performed other songs that were newer that he thought had the potential to become standards some day because he thought they were lovely.  He gave credits to the song writers and to the original artists that might have previously performed a song.  It was interesting and entertaining, I thought, and made it apparent that he had given some real thought on how to make this one-off concert something special.

He sipped apple juice at several points during the concert, but noted that one advantage to doing a single show was that he didn't have to preserve his voice for the next performances, so could "leave it all out here on the stage", and he really did sing his heart out.  He seemed to enjoy himself more and more as the night went on, and I would like to think that he would be open to doing at least one Christmas performance a year, if nothing else.

After having very little time for myself this year, it was pure joy to spend a couple of days with my friends.  I enjoyed meals with my roomie and bestie artquest, my frequent travel companion and dear friend nicegurrrrl, canuck, invisible926, Shamrock, Clayskater, Gaymarie, Jasr, ficus, Wanda, Marti, elied and many others.  We had fun shopping the Farmer's market, and artquest and I had a great time visiting the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) which is an awesome place to visit in Phoenix if you ever get the chance.  I do wish more people had had the opportunity to be there.  It was a fabulous concert never to be forgotten, but at least am glad that there is clack to share.

Whenever I bounce back and forth up and down California, I always manage to leave something behind, and hope it isn't vital medicine!!  This time, I forgot my camera batteries and charger.  I got an emergency backup, but I was not confident in how well it would work, so I didn't take any video.  I could see cell phones and cameras all around me shooting, so I figured that was covered.  I did take lots of stills, and I'll get some pictures up as soon as I can.  artquest used my cell phone for one video of "The Night Before Christmas".  He was SO pale, and the spotlights were pretty hot.  He wasn't wearing perceptible makeup, and his eyelashes had not been dyed for just this one concert, so his face looks like a white orb.  There are much better videos, but the sound is quite good except for the 2 chatters next to Zelda at the beginning of the song (I would have smacked them if I could have reached).  Not on the same quality as other versions, I'm sure, but for completeness sake, here it is:


It's going to take me awhile to get my pictures processed, but here's one to tide you over:  


ETA;  Another picture:



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Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here....

My husband and I played piano duets for Christmas Eve services this evening, and now we're sitting here with the cats, drinking hot chocolate and watching "A Christmas Story" (reciting half the movie along with it).  Tomorrow we drive 3 hours to my brother's for brunch.  We'll have our own Christmas on Monday.

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