Winter’s Not Done Yet
I just looked out my window and it’s a wet, gray, early March day. I didn’t mean for that to rhyme; I just wanted to describe what it looks like outside my window.
I’m actually now in “spring mode,” ready to wear lighter clothing and put the shovels away, but winter isn’t finished with us quite yet. We just had a nor’easter that gave us a ton of rain and winds and damage to coastal homes, and tonight and tomorrow we’re supposed to get hit with another storm. This time more snow will be involved, anywhere between 1 and 12 inches, depending on where you live.
This is what I find funny about weather forecasts now: they have so much information that, in a way, they’re less accurate. A typical snowstorm forecast will go something like this:
“The European computer model says we’re going to get hammered by this storm, with over a foot of snow. The American model says we’re going to get only an inch or two. Then this third model says that we’re going to be somewhere in the middle, maybe four to six inches. We’re still collecting data, but that’s our best guess right now. Back to you, Ed.”
That’s a great forecast. I could have told you the same thing sitting on my couch in my sweatpants. But they used the word computer and showed a lot of Doppler radar images, so I guess we better pay attention to it.
People … People Who Need Cloned Dogs
Streisand had her dog Samantha for 14 years, and just before the dog died, the vet scraped the inside of her cheek to get her DNA. The singer has a friend who did the same thing with his dog, and she wanted to try it to see if it would work. And it certainly did. It produced five puppies, three of which she kept and two she gave away.
It’s a little too sci-fi for me. I have this vision of an army of cloned little dogs taking over the planet. But I’m happy that Streisand is happy.
By the way, for the title of this section, I almost went with “Send in the Clones.”
Every year I like to point out new words that are added to the various print and online dictionaries, even if sometimes they aren’t words at all. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is my favorite. I just bought a brand new one because my old one vanished somehow, and it’s perfect timing, because this past week they announced some words that were added to the classic tome. And when I say “some” words, I mean 850.
Some of the new words and phrases include wordie (a lover of words), chiweenie (a cross between a Chihuahua and a dachshund, even if they’re not cloned), hate-watch (where you watch a movie or TV show even though you know it’s bad), and dumpster fire (which is defined as “a disastrous event,” though I’ve seen it used to mean a series of disastrous events, or just an overall definition of how things are going).
They’re also now including mansplain, but to be honest, I’m a little afraid to tell you what that is.
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood at 50
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, PBS is airing a special this week titled It’s You I Like. It focuses on what Fred Rogers and the show meant to various people, including John Lithgow, Whoopi Goldberg, and Yo-Yo Ma. It’s hosted by Michael Keaton, who got his start in pictures as a crew member on the show. Here’s a preview:
Everyone knew who was going to win the Best This and That at the Oscars this year — the results were fairly predictable — but who won the awards for the Worst of the Year? The Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies, are held the day before the Oscars every year, and this year’s list of “winners” includes Tom Cruise for Worst Actor (The Mummy) and Tyler Perry for Worst Actress (Boo 2! A Madea Halloween), and The Emoji Movie was named The Worst Movie of the Year. Other people who won Razzies include Mel Gibson and Kim Basinger.
Oddly, the winners didn’t show up to accept their awards.
RIP Roger Bannister and David Ogden Stiers
Roger Bannister was the first person to break the four-minute mile, which he did on May 6, 1954. He later had a career as a neurologist. He died Saturday at the age of 88.
David Ogden Stiers was an actor best known for his role as Major Charles Emerson Winchester on M*A*S*H and for voice work in many animated films. He died Saturday at the age of 75.
Quote of the Week
“Now there are so many young people, and all my old friends are dead. They have either drunk themselves to death or they have naturally popped off the vine.”
—actor Christopher Plummer, on how the Oscars have changed
The Best and the Worst
Best: I’m cheating a little because this isn’t from this week, but I didn’t see it until this week, so it still counts, right? It’s a letter that New Yorker writer Alexander Woollcott sent to Ira Gershwin, and is now posted at Argosy Books in New York City. My favorite part is where he manages to tell Gershwin that he hopes he fries in hell, but still signs it “affectionately.”
Letter from Alexander Woollcott to Ira Gershwin, on display outside the Argosy Bookstore, New York. pic.twitter.com/wmtC2LGeP9
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) February 20, 2018
Worst: Just one last thing about the Oscars. Every year they have an “In Memoriam” segment, aka the “What People Are They Going to Leave Out This Year?” segment. Sure, it’s hard to pare down hundreds of people into a few dozen, but they’re making a decision about who to include and who not to include. This year they left out John Mahoney, Tobe Hooper, Powers Boothe, Dorothy Malone (who actually won an Oscar!), Adam West, John Gavin, Dina Merrill, Michael Parks, Jean Porter, Richard Anderson, Anne Jeffreys, and Michael Nyqvist, among many others — but they included people like a hairstylist and a public relations guy. I’m sure they were lovely people, but don’t tell me you don’t have time to include Rose Marie, a woman who was in the movies and television for 90 years, if you are going to include people movie fans have never heard of before.
This Week in History
Alexander Graham Bell Born (March 3, 1847)
The man who invented the telephone in 1876 would often greet people with a “Whoo-hoo!” when talking to them on the phone. Today, he’d probably just text an emoji. Here’s a Post piece from 1900 on how to use the telephone, and here’s Ron Carlson’s essay on why he wants the landline to stick around forever.
Barbie Introduced (March 9, 1959)
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Freedom from Want (March 6, 1943)
The Post asked four writers to craft essays to accompany Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms paintings. Poet Carlos Bulosan contributed the essay for Freedom from Want.
March Is National Celery Month
I think we can all agree there isn’t a more exciting food than celery! It’s light green! It’s mostly water! It doesn’t have a lot of flavor! Did I mention it’s mostly water?!
Okay, no matter how many exclamation points I use, I can’t get you pumped up for celery, but I happen to really love it (and not just with peanut butter spread on it). Here’s a recipe for Easy Homemade Chicken Salad from Genius Kitchen, which sounds good, though I think they might be overdoing it with the mustard, green peppers, and hard-boiled eggs. Here’s a simpler recipe from the same site.
I’ve noticed a lot of recipes include water chestnuts, but I wouldn’t go that route either. I do like white pepper in mine and maybe even some grapes. Yes, grapes.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Daylight Saving Time begins (March 11)
I hear there are people who like it when it stays light until 8 or 9 p.m. I’m not one of those people, but I know they exist. Set your clocks an hour ahead before you go to bed.
National Girl Scout Day (March 12)
How can you celebrate the day if you’re not a Girl Scout yourself? By purchasing some cookies, of course. I like the Samoas, which apparently are now called Caramel deLites.