Happy Thanksgiving

Paul R. Potts

27 Nov 2019

Happy Thanksgiving (November 27th, 2019)

It’s been a hard week and I could really use a few days away from computer screens, so I am sending out the newsletter early this week, and I am not planning to send an issue on Sunday, December 1st — although I reserve the right to change my mind at the last minute!

Feedback

My friend David had some notes about the differences between seeing an opera streamed live to a movie theater, and seeing it live in the house:

You pretty much hit on it — the moviecasts are better for close-ups and seeing facial expressions (can’t do that in the top balcony of a 3,000-seat house) but it’s not the same as hearing the voices through the shared air in the same room.

David also had nice things to say about the opera Dead Man Walking, which I didn’t even know was a thing:

it was a very powerful experience — music, staging and story all worked together

So that sounds cool. The 1995 film is very good, although hard to watch!

Grace and I will plan to go to more Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD shows in the near future. Grace wants to see Porgy and Bess and I am intrigued by Agrippina. So if all goes well, we may have more reviews of operas in future issues.

Last week I wrote:

…I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a full-length live opera before

I recalled after the newsletter went out that this isn’t actually true. I went to college at The College of Wooster. In 1987 I stayed in Wooster, Ohio during the summer and worked nights as a custodian, cleaning the Freedlander Theater building. One of the perks was free tickets to matinée performances by the Ohio Light Opera.

That summer, they staged seven operas, including three by Gilbert and Sullivan. I recall going to see H. M. S. Pinafore and Iolanthe, and also the Strauss light opera Wiener Blut (in English, Vienna Life). Does it count if they are sung in English, and if they don’t feature any patricide, matricide, fratricide, sororicide, filicide, infanticide, regicide, or suicide?

Baby Yoda

I have not signed up for the new Disney Channel and I have not seen Star Wars: The Mandalorian, and probably won’t, at least not until I come across a discounted Blu-ray set. But I’m told that “baby Yoda” is a thing. The character in the show isn’t literally Yoda as a baby, but apparently a child of the same species. I very quickly got sick of people on Twitter gushing over how adorably cute the little alien version of Mickey Mouse is. And so I was highly amused by this seasonal Slate article entitled “The Best Baby Yoda Recipes.” It’s loaded with in-jokes for Star Wars nerds:

Life Day is coming around again, and we all know what that means: conversations turning into arguments turning into screaming matches turning into frantic calls to the Banthabutterball Hotline over the best way to prepare a succulent, juicy Baby Yoda. Brining? Spatchcocking? Wrist-mounted flamethrower brûlée? There are nearly as many different ways to cook Baby Yoda as there are midi-chlorians in a glass of Baby Yoda blood, and, executed properly, almost all of them can yield a mouthwatering, delicious Baby Yoda your family will be talking about for parsecs and parsecs to come.

The article then proceeds to supply parodies of several different cookbook styles and eras. It’s both horrifying and delightful, which in my view is the best kind of delightful:

Place the Baby Yoda face-up in a roasting pan and pour some blue milk over it. Then pour some more! Just keep pouring! You can’t have too much blue milk! Get it in all the Baby Yoda’s crevices. Did you know I used to live a life of luxury on Coruscant? Add some more blue milk.

Pass the Gravy

Sunset magazine ran this article with a unique suggestion for how to keep things calm around the Thanksgiving table:

Thanksgiving is one of the best days of the year, filled with an overflowing table of food, football, and quality family time. It’s also one of the riskiest days of the year for rational discourse, when family members with differing opinions gather round a roast turkey to air their grievances. This year, avoid it all by serving everyone a healthy dose of THC-laced turkey gravy.

I can’t actually recommend this, as dosing people with any drugs without their consent is highly unethical, and also a crime. But, that said — you do Thanksgiving your way!

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