12/26/09 6:45 PM 35,000 ft. above the Pacific Ocean
Hope everyone had a great holiday and you got nice and fluffy like me. Too much good stuff and my usual overindulgence of cookies and holiday desserts was no different this year. I have a problem, and having a two tiered platter filled with mint-chocolate "No Bake" cookies, peanut butter squares, Ghirardelli dark chocolates, and blocks of fudge didn't help my D-list celebrity rehab recovery chances. Sigh. On second thought, this is rock blog. Should I be talking about heroin or something? My bad boo. Anyway, I'm in the air on my way home and thought I'd recall my trip while it was fresh in my head...
This Christmas was different for me due to the fact I decided to go visit my parents in Hawaii on Oahu, and was the first time my family had all been together for the holidays in 9 years. I flew in on Tuesday and for me the first day is always spent decompressing and getting used to island pace, especially since I've been going a mile a minute getting ready with pre-production for the new Kirby Krackle album. We head into the studio this next week for final tracks so it was a very nice break from the go-go-goings of that process. I love the rock, but you know what I'm saying... First night is traditionally pizza night, and my dad stacked the cooler with Longboard Lagers (the Hawaiian equivalent of water). Also, LB has the best logo of any beer Ive ever seen hands down. My mom knows I'm a big pie freak and surprised me that night with a peach-strawberry pie with a "K" carved in the top. I don't care how old you get, stuff like that always will feel good...
My mom purchased a horse a few years ago named "Poi" and almost every day the responsibilities involved with that require her to drive over early in the morning to the local barn for cleaning, riding, and feeding. Being that I didn't make the visit to him last time I was in town, I wanted to make sure I spent some time with him and her her show me her daily life. Wednesday mornig we did just that as she showed me how to clean his shoes, how he learns to obey, and how to fill his feed buckets. I had never been on a horse, so I had the opportunity to take a short ride around the show course and learn how to turn, maneuver, and make him back up. Turns out my "Whoa!" is more effective than I thought. Maybe I'll start using it in more urban settings. Also, I was surprisingly sore after only a 1/2 hour on Poi. Shane I am not, but now have another option in my skill set to evade zombies should the apocalypse come in my lifetime. Yay for me.
That night my sister flew in and we had a great time catching up and everyone recalling old stories. She's also the only other bigger dessert freak than me in the family but constantly denied sweets unless they were "offered to her on a cute plate". What a diva! She learned from her brother I think.
Christmas eve was a day of laziness as it should be and I think the only time we left the house was to get food for Christmas morning breakfast. Think grocery prices are out of hand where you live? You don't even know till you shop in Hawaii. It's crazy and I wonder how large families make even the staples happen with regularity. Either way, you can't beat the fruit and I think over 6 days I must've consumed over 10 cans of Lilikoi juice. So amazingly good. I really didn't put up that many decorations at my house this year, so it was nice to walk into a house my parents winter wonderland displays and nice tree up. Felt like years ago in a good way.
Christmas morning we all got up and opened presents and dealt with my mothers disturbing (but respectable) sense of humor. What I'm talking about is her going to the trouble of finding, wrapping up, then giving my brother and I posters of the tween-heartthrobs from Twilight. She thought she was very funny, and yeah it was. Normally, he and I wouldn't allow our picture to be taken holding them for her to do what she will with that digital blackmail, but you had to give it to her. For the love a... Also, I received two black PUMA brand baby shoes with a return receipt cause "that was more fun than giving money". This is how we roll in my family. Later that night, we went to go see "Sherlock Holmes" and I completely loved it. I thought everything from the sets to the clothes to the on screen chemistry was amazing between Law and Downey. Preview for "Iron Man 2"? INSANE!
Before we called it a night we were told that Santa sent a message to all the siblings that we should be ready to get up early in the morning for para-sailing. Lump in throat? Yeah. I'm not really a skydiving kinda guy, and though para-sailing isn't that, this was a little past my comfort zone. Good to reach new boundaries though, right? I think so, and we with 6 other strangers set out on choppy water with two quintessential beach stoneys as our instructors. Yours truly was first up with the little bro and if there was any payback for his week of mental abuse...this was it. Only 2 clips held us from what could have been my best and final Olympic diving performance from 500 ft. up. It was really cool and with a snap we were flung up backwards away from the boat and into the quiet sky, legs dangling like 4 little malnourished toothpicks in the heavens. Quiet, romantic, and perfect for someone proposing. I would've but he's my brother and I had no ring. Oh well. After 10 minutes in the air pretending I was Green Lantern, Stoney #1 thought it was a good signal to let us know it was time for a descent by flicking the only cord connecting us to life violently so that the ripple reached us and shook us making the bro and I think we were gonna die. Good times. He then slowed the boat so that he dunked us in the water before requesting we land "ass first" on the boat. I though it was great and recommending anyone trying it. Except in Mexico. That's just common sense.
For our final day we managed to get a day without rain and headed out to Kalamas beach for some body boarding and sun. It was mostly overcast on the trip and I'm probably returning pastier than when I left (if that's even possible) so I made sure I enjoyed it while I could. From the water you could see down the beach to where President Obama and his family were staying for their holiday break if only for the big stretch of shore where it was obvious no one was allowed. We thought about walking down there to see if the Secret Service would jump out at us but decided not too. The whole Guantanamo thing didn't sound too good. Otherwise, boarding was bueno and the waves were decent enough to satisfy me till the next trip over.
So there you go. Now I'm flying back with an older man kicking the back of my seat in coach with an a kid turning his head across the isle towards me coughing. Yeah, baby! I'm glad I had some downtime because these next few weeks are important ones. Starting this weekend Jim, Myself, and the KK band will be heading into the big studio (finally!) to record the new album over a total of 7 days. My most ambitious project yet in terms of time allowed to do the album, and the fact that once drums and keyboard are done, it's a digital playground at my fingertips to use like I never have before. It's both exciting and daunting and everything that goes with the whole artist bit. Jim and I have been working really hard everyday over the past 3 months on making this new album a big evolution for the band, something to excite fans both new and old, and I hope to capture that on tape. Someone recently told me that great art can come out of great transition in a surprising way. Let's hope so... Have a great and safe new years everyone! What a decade, what a year, and I hope everyone looks back at 2009 as a year of love and growth. Personally, I've found it to be simultaneously one of the best and worst of my life. It's inspiring both can exist at once...Life is amazing.
Hi, my name is Kyle Stevens and I am a Seattle based musician that has been writing/performing since 1994. This is a blog documenting my experiences as an professional songwriter, as well as my adventures with in music with KYLE STEVENS BAND, COLLIDER, GIGI EDGLEY, and KIRBY KRACKLE. Thanks for reading, join my email list, and please leave a comment to let me know you stopped by!
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