Sad to hear that Peter Mayhew, known largely as the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in five Star Wars films, passed away this week at the age of 71. Yet Mayhew’s death occurring two days before “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th be with you) probably resulted in even more attention and appreciation for his career than it otherwise may have received.
But maybe not. Chewbacca was a beloved, iconic character in the most famous movie franchise of all time (well, until Marvel and the Avengers came along). Mayhew’s death was going to be news. But a community came together online and in person, due to social media and Star Wars Day, to express their affection, which made it just that much more special.
Growing up with Star Wars (though I often recap my love of comic books and superheroes more), Han Solo was the coolest character for me. Roguish, charming, a little bit unethical, but ultimately noble. He wore a slick vest and piloted the best starship in the galaxy. Yet as I got older (and old), I developed more affection for Chewbacca. And not just because I often express myself with roars and grunts too.
I keep saying this isn’t a newsletter and have posted that content here instead. But the reasons I haven’t really followed through on trying to do a newsletter is a) not having anybody sign up would be kind of depressing and b) I’m not writing enough at other outlets to have anything to collect here.
Plus, I’m already asking people to subscribe to The Podcass, which friends and followers have been supporting nicely, and I’d really like that to do well. At some point, you all will just get sick of me tugging on your pant legs, right?
But here’s the thing: I miss the old days of blogging. With me writing less professionally, I need an outlet and I’m enjoying writing for fun again. The era of Blogger, LiveJournal and Tumblr has passed, but the spirit of blogging still seems to exist, if not the interactivity and sense of community. Maybe it’s just in newsletters and podcasts now.
So here we go. This is becoming a newsletter. I’ll try to get this out on Thursday or Friday, since a lot of newsletters go out on Sunday. Please subscribe to Overzealous Recycling at tinyletter.com/casselberry. And thank you in advance.
I’ve been wound really tight through most of the past week. This probably won’t surprise those who know me well. I tend to be a seether, to swallow irritation and annoyance until the kettle finally boils and shrieks to let that heat out.
It’s not one of my better character traits; I know that. I constantly need to do a better job of addressing things in the moment or shortly thereafter, rather than letting them build up. I feel like I’m better than I used to be, but when I do finally air my grievances, it can come across as a surprise to the recipient. I didn’t let on that I was feeling that way.
I always think I’m letting displeasure be known, but it probably gets lost under my default surly setting. So there I go, like Anger in Inside Out or Yosemite Sam with guns a-blazin’, if you’ll indulge a much older reference.
This past week’s routine was thrown out of whack by a hours-long wait in the emergency room. No worries. A bit of concern with my niece that would’ve been taken care of at the pediatrician or even urgent care had it happened during the day.
At some point during the third hour (of a total four; my sister was there for six hours), while my phone’s battery was sinking toward 10% charged, I began thinking about an obscure, nearly 25-year-old Saturday Night Live skit called “WR.”
Do you remember that one? George Clooney was hosting the show during his ER fame, so a parody of the medical drama was a natural (maybe lazy) idea. This was Season 20 — Feb. 25, 1995 — if you’re a diehard SNL fan and completist.
Unfortunately — and normally, this might be the thing to vex me the most in a particular week — there doesn’t appear to be an embed of the skit. But it is available on NBC’s Saturday Night Live website (though not the NBC app, as the site claims):
Ask me to name my favorite TV shows of all time and Deadwood would be one of the three I list. Yet with each passing year, my memories of the series fade. I could go back any time and watch the show on HBO GO, but haven’t done so. There’s too much other TV to watch now, and I can’t keep with it. Adding an old favorite to the mix would just complicate matters.
But now, Deadwood fans are finally getting the ending we were deprived of 13 years ago. Unfortunately, it won’t be the finale we really wanted. It’s not a full fourth season. It won’t even be the two movies that series creator David Milch and HBO once agreed to. This will be whatever Milch (with the help of True Detective‘s Nic Pizzolatto) could distill into one two-hour movie which takes places years after we last saw Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, and so many other residents of Deadwood, South Dakota.
I’ve been following a lot more people on Twitter recently, largely to try and get more views in my timeline. That’s increased the noise on my TweetDeck, but I felt like I wasn’t seeing as much stuff as I wanted to while trying to keep my follower count lean.
No, I haven’t been adding more conservative political views or anything like that. Most of the follows have been culture writers, especially people who either work in the comic book industry or cover it, to try and learn as much as I can for The Amusement Park Podcast or my own writing.
Along the way, I’ve noticed a few writers linking to their Muck Rack page, a database for journalists and public relations professionals. (I think it was Meg Downey, writing for DC Universe, who first got my attention.)
This reminded me that I created a Muck Rack page for myself a couple years ago. I had actually forgotten! I’m even a verified journalist there! My avatar was a photo of baseball player Munenori Kawasaki wearing a Cubs cap, which means I posted it in 2016. So I figured it was time to wipe off the cobwebs and update that thing.
Maybe this is a hedge, but I’m more of a New England Patriots admirer than a fan. I’ve read a few books on Bill Belichick during the past few years because I’m intrigued by how he’s been able to maintain such success in a NFL that turns over so frequently. And Tom Brady is a Michigan man who was never appreciated as much in Ann Arbor as he should’ve been.
Also, a good friend of mine recently moved to New England and is saturated with Red Sox and Patriots talk, as you might imagine. I tend to follow the sports teams wherever she lives, if for no other reason than feeding her watercooler conversation topics.
So I suppose I’m rooting for the Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl LIII. I’d have no problem with the Rams winning, and it would sort of be revenge for the Pats beating the then-St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI (2002). But I’ve always liked to see excellence rewarded, even if it doesn’t make for the most compelling sports story or rooting interest.
During one of my local radio appearances on WISE Sports Radio here in Asheville, I said on the air that the Patriots would win, 31-20. (And I’ll be sitting in as a co-host this Friday for the second consecutive week.) So I should stick to that. But I do have this feeling that the Rams’ fearsome defensive tackles, Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, could disrupt Tom Brady. It might be closer than I predicted.