SubscribeStar Saturday: Christmas Break Travels, Part I

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One of the perks—as I often point out—of teaching is all of the glorious break time that we get. Other than summer vacation, my favorite time break of the year is the two weeks we get at Christmas.

Sure, it’s nowhere near as decadent as the full month that college professors and students get off, but it’s just the right amount of time to unwind and refresh—and to get in some travel.

My older brother, a well-traveled college professor residing in Indianapolis, flies so frequently that he’s ascended to one of the lower tiers of godhood in the Delta Airlines rewards pantheon. One of the divine gifts his apotheosis bestows is a free companion ticket each year.

Unfortunately, the ticket was due to expire, and his hardworking attorney wife could not take time to travel anywhere with him before it expired. As such, we concocted a trip to the American Southwest for the week before Christmas.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.


Myersvision: Million Pound Menu

Readers are getting a double dose of Myersvision this week, because had I stuck to the usual schedule of posting our dear Audre‘s pieces on Wednesdays, this plucky little review would have been left until midway through January 2023, and I can’t keep it from you (or Audre) that long.

Audre possesses a love for shows that require people performing at the height of their abilities in stressful situations, often with hard cash on the line.  This show sounds exactly like that, with an added twist:  the hopes and dreams of the would-be restauranteurs involved are also on the line.

Having money to invest is, surely, a wonderful thing, but it comes with the burden of investing it wisely.  We have all heard stories of friends or distant relations who made a good investment that reaped dividends in the long-run.  We’ve also heard the alternatives, where some poor cousin—usually hoping to get rich quick—has blown his savings on a buddy’s llama farm.

What makes this show sound particularly compelling is that the investors are not mega-wealthy, the types that can afford to lose a cool mill or two and not worry about their Ferrari getting repossessed.  These are people that we might call “country comfortable” that have some quid to toss around, but they can’t afford to see it all lost in a failed specialty grilled cheese restaurant in London.

Well, I’ve said too much, and prattled on too long—I think my introduction is now longer than Audre’s piece.  D’oh!

With that, here is Audre’s review of Million Pound Menu:

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Arizona and Christmas Travels Preview

My (perhaps disappointed) readers will know that I fell woefully behind on posts earlier this week, delaying both my Monday Morning Movie Review of 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life (which should be live by the time you read this post) and my Tuesday post.  My intent Tuesday was to write a bit of an overview of my travels the week before Christmas into the Christmas weekend.  Ironically, those travels, as well as family get-togethers and being a hardworking (if grumpy—from lack of rest, I promise!) uncle created delays in my writing.

That said, I want to make good on my daily posting commitment, so consider this short preview of my recent travels a make-up post for Tuesday.  After starving earlier this week for portly content, you might find yourselves soon o’er-engorged with the meaty, chubby goodness of my self-indulgent, navel-gazing posts.

Before launching into the preview, I’ll note that I’ll be dedicating the next two or three editions of SubscribeStar Saturday to more extensive overviews of my travels, complete with loads of pictures and other goodies.  If you want to read all about my adventures in Arizona and beyond, subscribe today!

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Delayed Monday Morning Movie Review: A Very Portly Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

My sincerest apologies again to readers:  I am extremely delayed with this review (as readers will note, this Monday review is going up on a Thursday—d’oh!).  Like a good little port, I re-watched 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life two or three weeks ago, when Audre, Ponty, and I agreed to review it and the 1951 Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol earlier in December.  I was writing and editing like the wind to get most everything done before departing for a pre-Christmas trip to Arizona (more on that in a separate post), but didn’t quite manage to get it all done.

As I’ll detail in another post, I spent the first quarter of Christmas Day driving from western Kentucky down through Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, and Augusta, before finally reaching my parents’ home in western South Carolina.  I’d managed to get posts done through Christmas, thanks to a delayed connecting flight in Minneapolis, but was unable to get much more writing done beyond that.  Christmas Eve saw me convoying to Kentucky from my older brother’s home in Indianapolis; I spent a frosty Christmas Eve with his in-laws on their farm, before setting out early Christmas morn along the route delineated above.

That’s all to say that, despite my chubbiest efforts, I was not able to get everything done.  Facing the prospect of writing this review late on Christmas night, I put it off, hoping I’d knock it out Monday evening—to no avail.

But I digress—enough excuses.  What about the film?

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TBT: The Worst of 2021

It’s been an unusually busy week for yours portly, and I’m still catching up on delinquent posts from Monday and Tuesday, both of which I hope to get up later this morning.

In the spirit of that delinquency, it seemed like the perfect time to look back at the worst posts of last year (I’ll be getting into the worst posts of this year soon).

By “worst,” I don’t mean that the posts themselves were bad—although that may be true—but that they did not get very many views.  All of the posts had fewer than ten views in 2021, which means essentially no one read them (if you were one of those nine people, my apologies—you are a person and you do matter, you just aren’t generating much ad revenue for me).

Let’s see if these poor little posts can get some love—then we’ll do the same for 2022’s soon enough.

With that, here is 31 December 2021’s “The Worst of 2021“:

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Myersvision: A Very Portly Christmas: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

We’re wrapping up our run of Christmas movie reviews with Audre.  Perhaps I’m saving the best for last; I imagine old Pontifex Maximus would agree.

Audre considers this film a treasure, one that is meant to be admired, not picked over, lest in the picking it lose its luster.  It’s an astute assessment from a very wise woman.

I won’t say more and let Audre do the talking.

With that, here is Audre’s review of 1946’s It’s a Wonderful Life:

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Review Coming Tonight

Merry Christmas, loyal readers!

My review of It’s a Wonderful Life should be up this evening. I have fallen behind due to traveling back from Phoenix, Arizona during a massive blizzard.

I’ll write about that later, too, but suffice it to say I have been on the road in questionable driving conditions a great deal over the last three or four days, and have not had time to write.

Merry Christmas, and thank you for your patience!


Lazy Sunday CLXXVII: Review of A Christmas Carol (1951)

“You there!  Yes, you, boy, reading this post in your underwear before a long day of festivities.  What day is it?”

“Why, it’s Christmas Day, sir!”

“Here—take this blog post and go buy the biggest goose in town.”

“But it doesn’t work like th—”

“Never mind—-it’s Christmas!”


Yes, it’s Christmas, probably the one day a year no one is reading any blog posts.  But The Portly Politico marches on, Christmas or no.

To celebrate, I thought I’d look back at the three recent reviews from Ponty, Audre Myers, and myself about A Christmas Carol (1951).  They’re pretty good:

Well, time to get dressed—it’s Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments: