A post (about the Post)

Every few months I like to remind you about the magazine I write for, The Saturday Evening Post, and I try to badger convince you to subscribe to the print edition because it really is a great magazine. This is the current issue (with a John Clymer cover from 1957). Here’s what you’ll find inside.

In my column: the delivery of the Rockefeller Center tree, Casablanca, dangerous toys, the Star Wars Holiday Special, Liz Smith, Thanksgiving recipes, and Little Debbie is getting rid of one of your favorite snacks.


Winters Is Coming

Is it too early for Christmas music?

In a piece for the print Saturday Evening Post a couple of years ago, I half-jokingly said that I didn’t mind if radio stations started to play holiday music the day after Halloween. Well, last week, just after Halloween, I noticed that the SIRIUS-XM holiday stations I like had already launched.

It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

I really don’t mind. I’ve even set the stations as “favorites” on the SIRIUS-XM app on my television, something I set up this past week (after downloading approximately 27 updates to the Playstation). I don’t know how much I’m going to listen to them before Thanksgiving, but they’re there if the mood strikes me. The supermarket shelves are already filled with Santa-shaped peanut butter cups and reindeer-shaped chocolates and there’s wrapping paper and bows and tags for sale, and while I think that having the feel of Christmas come earlier and earlier as the years pass isn’t necessarily a good thing (in 2027, we’ll be able to buy tinsel and garland at back-to-school sales), there are worse things than having to deal with festive red and green a few weeks earlier than we’re used to.

There shouldn’t be mall Santas yet though. I saw on the news a story about a mall that already has a St. Nick sitting in a chair, ready to talk to children. It’s way too early for that. When a Santa sits in a chair in a mall on November 1, it doesn’t say “Christmastime is here…happiness and cheer” it says “sad guy still has on his costume from last night and he’s probably hungover.”

Speaking of satellite radio, one of those odd coincidences that seem to happen to me happened to me a few days ago. I was reading a list of songs – I can’t even remember where I was reading it or what the list was, exactly – and on it were three or four songs by a vocalist I had never heard of before, Pinky Winters. I didn’t even know if Pinky was a man or a woman. I’ve heard of two Pinkys in my life. One would be Pinky Lee, male comic and TV show host of the 50s, and the other is Pinky Tuscadero, sister of Leather, on Happy Days. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Pinky Winters or anything ever sung by Pinky Winters (by the way, if I ever manage an all-girl rock band, I’m going to suggest the name Sister of Leather).

I made a mental note to Google “Pinky Winters” and went about my day, busy with other things. Of course, I forgot all about it and didn’t give it another thought.

Last night I go to SIRIUSXM and who’s singing on the Sinatra channel at the very moment the sound clicks on? Pinky Winters.

(I Googled. She’s a woman, and she’s still with us.)

About Last Night

I haven’t had costumed visitors to my home in 15-20 years. I think it’s because my building is nestled between two businesses that are closed at night and I’m on the second floor, accessible only if you climb a long flight of stairs on the side of the building. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still buy candy. I mean, if I happen to have a kid at my door I don’t want to have to give him a packet of instant oatmeal or Listerine Breath Strips.

As a bonus, since I didn’t have any visitors, I get to eat the candy.

I Rate Things, Part 2

On a scale of 1 to 10…

Swiffer mops: 7
La La Land: 10
Martinis made with vodka instead of gin: 3
Adults who say Halloween is their favorite holiday: 4
Stouffer’s Bourbon Steak Dinner: 9
Turner Classic Movies: 10
Price is Right contestants who bid $1 when they’re not the last bidder: 1
Walnuts in banana bread: 3
Dixie To-Go Cups: 10
The new design on Dixie To-Go Cups: 6


My Rap Name

There’s a meme going around online – there’s always a meme going around – where you take the word “young” and add the name of what you spent money on last and this creates your rap name. Mine is “Young Vanilla Chai.”

Not bad, actually.

In other news, my weekly Saturday Evening Post column is up. This week I talk about a new retro hotel they’re building at Kennedy Airport, To Kill A Mockingbird, the oldest hardware store in America, I Love Lucy, caramel, and I tell you the correct way to take a shower.

Have a good weekend. It’s still too warm out.

Five Stranger Things About Media and Technology Right Now

(I don’t know why I started giving these posts classic sci-fi/monster movie titles, but here we are. Here’s Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10, and Part 11.)

1. The worst thing that can happen to you on Twitter is to get the official blue checkmark. Once you have that, they’ve got you for life.

2. It occurs to me that there’s a way to make politicians and company heads tell the truth: every question a reporter asks should be followed up with “Do you swear to God” or “Do you swear on the lives of your children?” See what happens.

3. If I understand The Last Jedi trailer correctly, Han Solo has been replaced by…a CGI hamster?

4. Much like all those weird flavors of Oreos and autoplay videos on web sites, there’s no reason for the new Will & Grace to exist (though I’m glad they Bobby Ewing-ed that whole plot from the finale where they didn’t speak for 18 years and their kids married each other).

5. The Letter will be back and in your mailboxes in November. I had planned to have it out to you before that but I want to relaunch it with a big Thanksgiving/Christmas edition. And even though it continues to be in the 70’s and muggy and looks like summer never wants to go away, I still believe that Thanksgiving and Christmas are indeed coming.