Monday, September 21, 2009

A New Yuleblog Update? Really?

Yeah, really! Let me see if I remember how to do this...

Several months ago, I decided to make a few changes in my life. I wanted to work less behind the computer, get into a diet and exercise regiment to lose some weight, work on ten different projects that I have neglected for far too long, and participate in two special projects with two lucky rolls of the dice.

My batting average so far: 3 for 14 = .214 average.

I succeeded in working less on the computer and did start working out at the gym right before school ended and summer began. Have you ever tried to take your three kids to the gym for a workout? It ain't pretty. However, a month ago, my youngest daughter began kindergarten and I've been hitting the gym pretty regularly. It's a work in progress.

The ten projects I wanted to accomplish are mundane things like what to transfer to DVD from my 1,500+ VHS tapes in my collection, etc.. There were a few Christmas projects on the list as well: transfer new Christmas albums to digital, start burning some of the 100-125 Christmas albums I downloaded over the past two years, etc..

This would have meant spending a significant amount of time - you guessed it - behind the computer. So I went 0 for 10 in this respect - a big fat goose egg.

As for the two special projects. The first came and went in May. It was a disappointment that I wasn't included in the project but after hearing from people about the final result (what a sad, sad story), I'm glad I wasn't involved. And to quote Mr. Gump - "That's all I have to say about that."

Now to the second special project. Towards the beginning of 2009, several of the higher ups at the theater group I volunteer for knew of my love for all things Christmas. They approached me and asked if I would be interested in collaborating with them on a Christmas play.

Throughout most of the summer, I've been gathering material suitable for a church theater revue. Tracking down the sheet music for obscure Christmas songs has been daunting at times. I've also been writing skits, researching Christmas origins and traditions for adaptation, and squeezing all of it into a two hour show.

One of the highlights for me has been contacting several of the artists of the songs I wanted to use. Mona Abboud, the woman behind the song "The Pretty Little Dolly" (ignore the video and listen to the song), gave me her blessing to use the song in the show.

Larry Nestor
, the clever gent who wrote and performed "Santa Doesn't Smoke Anymore", sent me a trunk load of songs to use for the show. Two of his songs (including his anti-tobacco holiday ditty) will be used. Larry has promised to even drive down from Chicago to Fort Wayne to see the show!

Last but certainly not least, I made the decision to include "Green Chri$tma$" into the show. Several phone calls were placed to Stan Freberg's office but I got no response. I was ready to remove it from the show when a voicemail on my cell phone in July changed all that.

I'm pleased to announce that we have permission to dramatize his 1958 masterpiece - quite possibly for the first time on the stage. Uncle Stan also confided to me a never before told story behind the making of "Green Chri$tma$" that will be revealed on stage as well (Thanks Stan and Hunter!).

For those theater people around Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio, auditions for the show will be held Saturday, September 26, 2009 at First Presbyterian Theater (downtown Fort Wayne) at 1 PM. We're looking for 25 to 30 people in the cast (all ages) and eight to ten children (ages eight to fourteen). Hope to see you there!

Since I'm going to be extremely busy with this show in the next several months, this means the yuleblog will be subdued leading up to Christmas. I will be posting some pictures from rehearsals of the show and what really goes on in the green room backstage (future cast members: you've been warned).

I have about five or six new Christmas albums ready now to add to the sharity list. I don't expect to be posting much more than that. I will attempt to post some new vintage Christmas ads that I've rediscovered sitting in my basement but can't promise a thing.

To the good people in the record industry who sent me new Christmas releases last year: I thank you for sending me the CDs and I didn't review as many as I wanted to. I will do everything in my power to review new submissions to my P.O. Box BEFORE the calendar reaches December 25 even if this means banging them out at show rehearsals (hey, I know the director, okay?).

Now you're caught up. Maybe I can start production on my annual Christmas CD now...

Thanks for visiting and reading!



Stephen said...

Welcome back, Cap'n! It's always baseball with you, isn't it? Well, baseball and Christmas, I guess. ;)

Too bad I didn't know about the Stan Freberg thing. I walked by his table several times at San Diego Comic-Con. After the show, I regretted not getting you an autograph from him. Some pal I am. Hopefully he'll be back next year.

Re: the working-out thing. As a father of three, there was no way I'd ever be able to get any exercise other than riding bikes or playing with my kids. Not while they're awake, anyway. So I got my wife a treadmill a month ago, and we've both used it just about every night since - and I have never been one to exercise. My one condition was that after 6 months, if we weren't using it, we'd get rid of it. After 6 months, it may actually be worn out at this rate. Just a suggestion.

Congratulations and good luck with the Christmas show. I look forward to hearing about it!

stubbysfears said...

Probably the first, last and only time in my life that I will say.....

I'm sorry I don't live in Ft. Wayne.

Damn, I'd love to see that show.

Good luck, Cap'n. Break as many legs as you have to but no more than you want to. Yeah, I know that makes no sense. ;-)

Ernie said...

It's alive! ALIVE!!!

Good to hear from you, Cap'n. Good l...Err, I mean, Break a leg with that show! Sounds like a real doosey, and I look forward to hearing that Stan Freeberg story. said...

All wonderful news Captain, very excited for your continued success. As always, you know your Yuleblog fans will stick with you and help you out if you need. Wish I was closer or I'd be coming to see your show as well. I just hope the good people of Fort Wayne know the incredible resource they have and the passion that goes into it... Keep us up-to-date!

The King of Jingaling said...

It's good to see your words here on my screen and I'm really excited for your new projects. Congrats! It sounds like the show should be great.

Can those of us who can't see it live maybe order a video...? Please?

bongolong said...


How exciting!! I would love to see this myself... if just for Green Chri$tma$!!!

Having been in dinner theater (drums/percussion) for almost 20 years, I love musical theater... then to add Christmas music to it!!! Oh joy!!!

Break a yulelog!

PS - will you be able to record the show and share????

Ron said...


Congratulations !! And Good Luck !! It sounds very exciting. I too am eager to hear or see the show if you can.

Please update when you can !

PDMan said...

Congratulations! What an exciting venture!

Green Chri$tma$ has long been one on my favorites and I can't wait to hear how it translates to the stage.