Phone it in Friday XXIX: Epiphany, Patriots, and a Birthday

It’s the end of the first workweek of the year, which really ended up being something like three-and-a-half days for yours portly.  While I enjoyed Christmas Break—and even my sick day—I’ll begrudgingly admit that it’s good to get back into a routine.

But today is significant for other reasons.  Most importantly, it’s Epiphany, the traditional last day of the Christmas season, commemorating the Wise Men’s visit to the Christ Child.  The “epiphany” celebrated is Christ Revealed to the Gentiles for the first time.

Besides celebrating The Birthday—the most important birthday!—of Christ, we here at TPP are also celebrating Audre Myers‘s birthday!  Audre is a regular reader, commenter, and contributor here, and her writing is feature on a number of other sites.  She’s also a Bigfoot enthusiast, and TPP‘s source for all the latest updates on the big fellow.  Audre is a rare, beautiful gem of a person, and her spirit and energy liven up the blog considerably.

For more glowing, mushy sentimentality about our dear Audre, read last year’s birthday tribute.  It’s my meager attempt to honor her contributions.

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Myersvision: Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Audre Myers is offering up an unusual-for-her pick in this week’s edition of Myersvision—a comedy horror flick!  Given the time of year, it’s even more unusual, but who says yuletide can’t become ghoultide? [I originally had this review scheduled for the week leading up to Christmas, but pushed it to January due to the various Christmas movie reviews Audre, Ponty, and I wrote in December.  I liked my “ghoultide” pun too much to revise it, and it is technically still the Christmas season through 6 January 2023, Epiphany (and Audre’s birthday!). —TPP]

Ponty picked Shaun of the Dead (2004) as his Number 9 Best Film, so it’s interesting to compare his review to Audre’s.  Ponty (and myself, I should add) loves this film; Audre’s take is altogether different.

I don’t want to spoil too much of her—let’s call it “scathing”—review, but I’m going to chalk up the difference of opinion to the generation and gender gaps.  While I have known plenty of women who enjoyed Shaun of the Dead, it definitely has more of a “guy” vibe to it.  I find Pegg and Wright’s antics hilarious, and am a big fan of their so-called Cornetto Trilogy, of which Shaun is the first installment.

I also think that the title character does show some growth and transformation, going from being little more than a shuffling zombie himself to rising to the occasion to help save his friends.  The duress of a zombie outbreak forces this loser to change his ways to protect himself and his loved ones, even if he makes mistakes and reverts to old habits along the way.

But I digress.  Audre offers up a good counterbalance to the fanboyish enthusiasm of Ponty and myself.

With that, here is Audre’s review of 2004’s Shaun of the Dead:

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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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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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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!”

And—scene.

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!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Myersvision: A Very Portly Christmas: A Christmas Carol (1951)

Now it’s Audre’s turn to dive into 1951’s A Christmas Carol.  She does so with her typical childlike wonder, coupled with her deep appreciation for the source material.  I can also relate to fifteen-year old Audre, spending a lazy, hot day reading a book that takes place in cold weather.

From the sounds of the review, it seems Audre might have watched the colorized version, which is on Amazon Prime as Scrooge, its title in England.  Amazon does have the film under its American title (A Christmas Carol) in black and white for you purists out there.  Unlike Audre, I—ever the cheapskate—did manage to find a free version on YouTube, though now I have to wonder if that’s a pirated version—d’oh!  Swashbuckling is cool, but intellectual property theft is not; that said, I imagine any royalties from this film are going to the ungrateful heirs of whoever produced it.  Still, let your conscience be your guide.

With that, here is Audre’s review of A Christmas Carol:

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Myersvision: Metal Shop Masters

Our dear Audre Myers certainly has a niche—competition shows based on obscure crafts.  This week’s installment of Myersvision is no different.

But the craftsmanship (and craftwomanship) here involves bending heavy metal (the actual material, not the music) to the artists’ wills.  It’s a fiery example of forging life and art from inorganic, heavy matter.

I’d like to say I could forge my own metallic coffee cup from leftover aluminum cans (I think my neighbor can do that), but I possess no such skills.  The ability to smith my own nails with casual disdain is another casualty of our modern age (or, perhaps, my own unwillingness to learn blacksmithing when nails are in ready abundance at the hardware store).

Regardless, it’s always a treat to watch master craftsman at work, and Audre really captures the spirit and beauty of that process in this review.

With that, here is Audre’s review of the Netflix series Metal Shop Masters:

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Guest Post: By Special Request

Our dear Audre Myers really is the gift that keeps on giving.  After her excellent (and very well-received) post about the Idaho Bigfoot, she sent me a clip of audio of the Bigfoot’s “call.”

My intense love of music, coupled with my growing interest in Bigfoot and cryptozoology, prompted me to ask Audre to consider writing a piece “about the haunting song of the Bigfoot.”

Audre made some noises about doing her best, and I sat back, knowing—like the bloated editor I am—that she would pull through with another excellent post.  I was right.

With that, here is Audre with “By Special Request”:

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Myersvision: Last Tango in Halifax

Audre Myers is perhaps my most Anglophilic contributor, probably even more Anglophilic than Ponty, and he’s actually from England!

As such, it was only a matter of time before she graced us with a delightful, tea-and-crumpety BBC dramady about rediscovering lost love in old age.

There’s something befuddlingly adorable and quintessentially English about two stodgy geezers falling in love.  Perhaps it’s the notion that we can always recapture some sliver of our misspent youths when in the throes of being in love.  Nothing quite so takes us back to the possibilities (and follies) of youth quite like tumbling head-over-heels for someone else, especially when they tumble into you, willingly and excitedly.

Two fogies canoodling also gives us some hope that it’s not too late for us after all—gulp!

With that, here is Audre’s review of Last Tango in Halifax:

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