Saturday 9: Winter Wonderland (1968)
1) This is an unconventional take on an old familiar song. Over the holidays, do you prefer traditional carols? Or do you like to mix it up with with more contemporary fare? I like Christmas music, everything from Frank Sinatra to Judy Garland to George Michael to Sha Na Na. What I don't like is choirs. They sound ponderous and elite to me.
2) Now that Christmas is behind us, are you enjoying a relaxing week? Or do you have socializing/celebrating/chores to do? I am working hard at being lazy.
3) Winter is a time for cocooning. What book or movie did you enjoy in 2018 that you would recommend to your fellow Saturday 9-ers? The Astonishing Thing by Sandi Ward is a sweet, slim volume. It's the story of a family in turmoil as told by their cat, Boo. It's not at all saccharine, because cats are, after all, edgy creatures. When the book was over, I found myself wondering what had ultimately happened to the characters.
4) Looking back on the past year, what was one of your happiest moments? I enjoyed visiting my nephew, the newly-minted freshman at his dorm in western Illinois. We had a good time, and I was thrilled to see how much he enjoys life on campus.
5) What was the smartest thing you did all this past year? Finally finished my bathroom renovation. It makes me happy every time I enter the room.
6) As 2018 comes to a close, what are you most grateful for? That Henry is healing after his life-threatening accident.
7) This week's featured artist is Herb Alpert. Because of the style he popularized and the name of his band, people assume he's Hispanic. Yet his parents were Jewish immigrants from Romania. What's something we'd be surprised to learn about you? I read slowly. I also eat slowly. I don't know why, as I enjoy both activities. Maybe I do them slowly because I enjoy them. Anyway, it takes me longer to finish a book or a meal than it takes my friends.
8) He performed an instrumental version of "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXII. How did your favorite sports teams do in 2018? My Chicago Cubs have made it to the post-season for the last four years in a row. In my entire long life of Cub love, I've never had the pleasure of watching a team as good as this one. It feels positively luxurious.
9) Random question: When did you last check your social media feed? I just checked Facebook before I began answering these questions.