I was under the weather for several days, which means that this week’s outing will be somewhat truncated. I don’t have the full Odds & Sods spirit but I’m working on the Christmas spirit. It’s hard for someone inclined to root for Scrooge, the Grinch, and Mr. Potter but I’m giving it the old school try. I’m not quite sure which old school to apply to.
The featured image is a picture of a house a few blocks away from Adrastos World HQ. It’s always seasonally decorated by the elderly black lady who lives there with her son. During Carnival, they like to blast old school soul music. Good god, y’all.
This week’s theme song was written in 2004 by Ed Robertson for Barenaked for the Holidays. The studio version features a guest appearance by crooner Michael Bublé. It’s unknown if Bublé brought bubbly to the session. The live version flat out rocks in an elvish way.
I’m still a bit enervated from my malady but let’s jump to the break anyway. Hopefully, that pesky Santa and his sleigh won’t be in the way. Neither Donner not Vixen likes me at all. I find Vixen vexatious so the feeling is mutual.
We begin our abbreviated second act with a story that could have You’ve Got A Friend as its soundtrack. It’s as close to uplifting and heartwarming as I get.
The Scientist and the Hoops Legend: This story of the unlikely friendship between Charles Barkley and Lin Wang has gone über viral but I’m posting it anyway.
Wang’s daughter Shirley has written a piece that melted my cold, cold heart.
People teased Lin Wang about his famous imaginary friend. Then this happened:
The funeral was the day after the NBA Finals. My dad’s favorite team, the Golden State Warriors, had won the night before.
The funeral was set near the outskirts of Iowa City in a house by the woods. I was talking to my childhood friend when she suddenly looked stunned. I turned to look behind me.
And standing there — drenched in sweat from the Iowa summer, towering over everyone in the room at 6 feet, 6 inches tall — was Charles Barkley.
“I had not met anybody in your family,” Barkley said. “I didn’t know anybody there.”
Everyone watched, astonished, as this man — this man we only knew from TV, this worldwide celebrity — walked down the aisle, looked at us and sighed.
I’ve always liked the brash, funny, and outspoken Barkley as a person. I like him even more after reading Shirley’s Wang piece. You’re a good man, Chuck Barkley.
Let’s cross the pond for some holiday advice from the Guardian’s brilliant food writer, Jay Rayner, who I read rayner shine.
How To Beat The Christmas Blues: Jay’s advice is take charge of the kitchen and let the family kvetch around an open-hearth or some such shit.
Like your first hangover and your first speeding ticket, cooking Christmas lunch for the first time is a rite of passage. It is a passing of the flame from one generation to the next, with added gravy. I remember mine as if it was 25 years ago. Two things stay with me. One was my late mother’s nod of approval at the sweet and sour red cabbage. It wasn’t her red cabbage. It could never be hers. But it did deserve to be eaten. That was praise enough.
It was how my mother kept her sanity on Christmas. My father and I would watch football with the company, mom tended to the meal, and took the day off from refereeing family fights. She was one smart cookie.
Before moving on, a seasonal musical interlude:
It’s hard to beat the Kinks and the Band. Who would try? Not me, y’all, not me.
I like to keep y’all off-balance so it’s time for some edited regular features. I’m trying to be less Grinchy, so the weekly GV will take a holiday. Our favorite stolen feature kicks off our third act.
Separated At Birth: David Letterman and Santa? This would have been an impossibility for pre-beard Dave, a man so snarky that he makes me look chipper. It works in 2018.
Where’s my present, Santa Dave? I was a semi-faithful viewer over the years, especially of your edgier NBC show. There are cookies and whisky in it for you.
Saturday GIF Horse: This is an obvious choice. I’m devoted to the venerable teevee toon. I could live without the live action flicks even though I love Jim Carrey’s twitter feed.
Let’s bid adieu to the Whos in Whoville and set the dial on the Wayback Machine to 1984.
Weekly Vintage Music Video: Do They Know It’s Christmas was a prelude to the next year’s massive Live Aid benefit. It features an all-star Brit Pop cast belting out a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.
Let’s close things out with a more recent holiday classic.
Saturday Classic: YouTubers aren’t always the most attentive people. This person got the title wrong. It’s One More Drifter In The Snow but at least he didn’t spell her name Amy Man. This 2006 album definitely belongs on the nice list even if Aimee’s brother-in-law Sean Penn is a perennial on the naughty list.
That’s it for this week. We’ll be back with the Best of Adrastos 2018 next time around.
The last word goes to the Valence Street Roosters. They paid a visit to Constance Street and Dr. A captured the moment: