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shameless pleading





March 2012 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


March already. Huh. Meh. Feh.

I’m not really complaining, you understand, but I’d like to point out that it snowed exactly three times this winter, and two times it didn’t stick at all. The third time amounted to about a half an inch, nowhere near enough to make snowballs for Brownie the Dog. Brownie likes me to throw snowballs for her to chase. Of course, the snowballs always land in the snow on the ground and become impossible to find, but as long as I make another one right away, she doesn’t mind. Brownie was deeply disappointed by that paltry excuse for snow, so I hope you’re happy, whoever you are. I ended up standing by the refrigerator and tossing her ice cubes, but that really wasn’t the same, and we ended up with little puddles all over the kitchen floor. Everything in this paragraph is true, by the way.

Speaking of little puddles, we finally finished watching Season II of Downton Abbey, about a week after we stumbled across this old article from the Daily Mail in 2011, which indicates that PBS, adjudging their audience to consist largely of enfeebleated droolers, decided to do away with the hard parts of the British version of the series, thus making time for the oleaginous Laura Linney to smooth out the rough edges with her cloying smarm. All this for a show that makes The Young and the Restless look like Hamlet. Duly noted for all concerned.

Anyway, we’re all glad everyone has been miraculously healed (Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!), except, one presumes, the horribly maimed chap who appeared claiming to be heir to the whole magilla but conveniently disappeared about ten minutes later and was, as this show is wont, promptly and utterly forgotten by the rest of the perpetually befuddled gang at the Big House. Elsewhere on Planet Gimmeabreak, I simply must remember to get one of those special ouija boards that have complete words (“Dad,” “farm,” “visit,” “happy,” etc.) spelled out across the top. I’ll bet it saves lots of time.

I kid, of course. Obviously Downton Abbey is far preferable to the vast wasteland of wretched dreck that constitutes US TV these days. People keep asking me if I’ve seen CSI or Special Victims Unit or Dexter or America’s Funniest Home Dungeons and I have to say, no, not yet, when what I really mean is no, not ever.

And as annoying as I find PBS 90% of the time, occasionally they show something like the BBC’s Little Dorrit a few years ago, which I would gladly watch again and may be just about the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV. It even made up for those New Age infomercials and ghastly Celtic Woman things I keep clicking past on PBS.

Onward. We now have a Twitter feed over there in the right column, but don’t expect much beyond pointers to the columns here unless I suddenly get a prescription for something very powerful. You might check the people I follow on that feed and find many of them interesting, as I do. Most of them have some connection to language or books.

We’re still on Facebook (sortof) and Google Plus (barely). I think Google blew it, frankly. The place is a ghost town, and trying to compel people to join when they sign up for Gmail is just obnoxious.

By the way, I do my best to keep up with comments on this site, but it might be a day or two before I get to yours, so please be patient. I approve almost everything, no matter how tangential or odd it may be, as long as it doesn’t abuse other commenters. As for email, I read everything but not always promptly, because my eyes have become sufficiently wonky that to read things I frequently have to crank up the font size to “ginormous” and park my nose about six inches from the screen.

So forward into Spring, I guess. Please remember (you asked me to remind you) to subscribe.

And please send in your questions. I know you have them. And I need them.

And now, on with the show….

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