Notes from a week when I spilled a cup of tea on my kitchen counter not once but twice …
I think I’m addicted to my blood pressure medication. I take it every single day and I can’t stop!
Everyone seems to be getting into the Christmas movie game now, after the success of Hallmark and Lifetime holiday rom-coms. Discovery+ has films that feature people like Food Network’s Duff Goldman and HGTV’s Hilary Farr, and now Coca-Cola has short holiday films on Amazon. We need a Saturday Evening Post rom-com, where a single writer goes to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to do a story on Norman Rockwell and finds love with a woman who owns a coffee shop that is about to be taken over by a mean conglomerate. Lots of snowy scenes and Rockwell illustrations scattered throughout. Maybe a cute dog?
Jonathan the Tortoise just celebrated his 190th birthday. That’s not a typo. He’s really 190! Born in 1832, and believed to be the oldest land mammal ever. Andrew Jackson was president, and the Post was only 11 years old.
Random fact I came across: David Stollery, who played Marty on Disney’s Spin & Marty show in the ’50s, designed the Toyota Celica.
If you can possibly avoid it, don’t get hit by a meteorite.
Yet Another Word of the Year
Last week I told you that Merriam-Webster had picked gaslighting as their word of 2022, and the week before that I told you that Cambridge had picked homer for theirs. This week we have the pick from Oxford Dictionaries, and … I don’t get it. I’ve heard of the word (though to be accurate, it’s two words, Oxford Dictionaries) but I don’t remember it being used that much this year.
I must really be out of touch.
What we need to do at the end of the year is to take all of these various words of the year and make a sentence out of them.
The Greatest Films of All Time
Every 10 years, Sight & Sound polls people in the film industry to see what they think are the greatest films ever made. For the past several decades the top spot has been taken up by either Citizen Kane or Vertigo, but this year … let’s just say that not only have I never heard of the movie, I’m not even sure what the title means or what the exact title is. (Here’s the whole list in an easier-to-read format.)
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
I don’t know if this will ever be on a list of the greatest films, but from the trailer it looks really good!
Pepsi wants you to add their soda to your milk this holiday season. Apparently it’s something they posted to their social media accounts, which itself was a response to another viral thing on Tik Tok about “dirty soda.”
I’m not sure why this is being touted as a new thing. Laverne DeFazio was famous for mixing Pepsi and milk over 40 years ago.
Christmas Gift of the Week
I know it’s not beach weather right now, but get ready for next summer with your very own float shaped like a cassette tape! You’ll wow the older beachgoers and spark a conversation with the younger ones when they ask “What’s a cassette tape?”
RIP Kirstie Alley, Gaylord Perry, Nick Bollettieri, Bob McGrath, Brad William Henke, Shel Macrae, George Newall, and Mills Lane
Kirstie Alley won Emmys for her role as Rebecca Howe on Cheers and for the TV movie David’s Mother. She also starred on the sitcom Veronica’s Closet and in movies like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Summer School, and the three Look Who’s Talking films. She died Monday at the age of 71.
In his 22 years as a pitcher, Gaylord Perry won two Cy Young Awards and appeared in five All-Star Games. He’s also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He died last week at the age of 84.
Nick Bollettieri was the influential tennis guru who coached such players as Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Boris Becker, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, and Serena and Venus Williams. He died this week at the age of 91.
Bob McGrath was one of the original cast members of Sesame Street and stayed on the show for 47 years. Before that he was a singer on the TV show Sing Along with Mitch and on other shows, commercial jingles, and several albums. He died Sunday at the age of 90.
Brad William Henke was a former NFL player who went on to be an actor in such TV shows as Orange Is the New Black, Lost, The Stand, Justified, Nikki, and October Road, as well as movies like Jobs, Space Jam, and Fury. He died last week at the age of 56.
Shel Macrae was the lead singer of The Fortunes, known for such songs as “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” and “You’ve Got Your Troubles.” The band was also the first to sing the “It’s the Real Thing” jingle in a 1971 Coca-Cola commercial. He died last week at the age of 77.
Mills Lane was the referee in the infamous boxing match where Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ears. He was later the judge on his own courtroom show, Judge Mills Lane. He died this week at the age of 85.
This Week in History
11 Fans Killed at Who Concert (December 3, 1979)
It happened at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, Ohio, when the crowd pushed forward because they heard the band’s sound check and thought the concert was starting early. The band was not told what happened and the concert went on as scheduled. A class-action suit brought by the victims’ families was settled in 1983.
James Thurber Born (December 8, 1894)
The humorist is known for his work in The New Yorker, of course, but he also wrote for the Post. “You Could Look It Up” (PDF) is from our April 5, 1941, issue and features illustrations by Norman Rockwell.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Department Store at Christmas” (December 6, 1952)
If you zoom in on this John Falter cover (which you can do when you subscribe!), you’ll see the little kid in the front is really bored and blowing a bubble.
Monday Is Ambrosia Day
It’s a pretty easy dish to put together, and here’s a classic recipe from the Post. Here’s one from Daily Dish Recipes that adds canned cranberry sauce and yogurt, and here’s one from 12 Tomatoes that has sour cream and pecans.
Apparently you can add just about anything to ambrosia to make it your own, so may I suggest a dash of Pilk?
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Nobel Prize Day (December 10)
The awards are announced on this day because it’s the anniversary of the death of scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel.
World Monkey Day (December 14)
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