January 27th, 2016

storyteller doll

Snowzilla!

Celebrity Death Watch: I will write about our blizzard in just a moment, but first, the obligatory celebrity death watch.

Maria Teresa de Filippis was the first woman to race cars in Formula One (in the late 1950's). Glenn Frey was a founding member of The Eagles and, hence, responsible for a particular earworm that plagued me for miles after driving through Winslow, Arizona. Rabbi Ronald Greenwald was involved in a number of political negotiations, including the release of Nathan Sharansky from a Soviet prison and the recovery of Torah scrolls from Lithuania. Rabbi Eugene Borowitz edited the magazine, Sh'ma, as well as writing several books about Reform Judaism. Marvin Monsky was a pioneer in artificial intelligence.

Concepcion Picciotto led a peace vigil in Lafayette Park (outside the White House) since 1981. This is considered the longest protest in U.S. history.

Henry Worsley was trying to complete the first unaided solo crossing of Antarctica. Apparently he was distantly related to Frank Worsley, Shackleton's captain. He failed in his goal by only 30 miles. Apparently, he radioed for help and was airlifted to Chile, where he died of peritonitis, so it isn't completely clear that his death was completely related to the expedition (other than, of course, delaying treatment).

Finally, Abe Vigoda. He was best known as an actor for playing Fish on Barney Miller. The joke was that, while the character he played was ancient and at death's door, in real life Vigda was apparently quite athletic. At any rate, he was even better known for mistaken rumors about his death over the years, including an entire website devoted to the question. He took the whole thing with remarkably good humor.

Snowzilla: I refuse to use the Weather Channel names for storms, but the Washington Post Capital Weather Gang has legitimate naming rights. Hence, Snowzilla, not Jonas. Given how badly our area handled the inch or so of snow on Wednesday, I was dreading the actual storm. But, really, not going outside helps tremendously. I brought my laptop home on Thursday night and just holed up at home until this morning.

I did brave the supermarket on Thursday night, which was not quite as bad as I'd feared. Though I did forget that I was out of butter and, even though it was on my list, managed not to actually buy salsa. Neither was a big deal. I ended up making muffins using oil, instead of melted butter, and I made a large pot of soup instead of the rice with salsa and cheese I had been thinking about. (I also ate rice with stir fried surimi and veggies. I am almost, but not quite, out of soy sauce.) I still have at least 3 servings of the bean and barley soup, which is now in the freezer. And I have a few servings left of the tuna casserole I made last night. When I work from home, I cook more.

As for the storm itself, it started snowing somewhere around 2 p.m. on Friday and just kept on and on until somewhere around 10 or 11 Saturday night. Much of the day Saturday was really bleak with blowing snow mixing with falling snow, accumulating on the west side of the trees in our courtyard, which miraculously did not lose major branches. The wind caused lots of drifting, completely covering the Juliet balcony of one of the units downstairs from me. In the end, we got about 25 inches where I live; apparently there was a 30-36 inch accumulation at points to the north and west.

The western end of the Orange Line was shut down until this morning, but it was working fine when I went to work today. I worked from home on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday which is ergonomically unsatisfying, but better than trying to go anywhere. My only complaint this morning is that our contractor decided to shovel a path across the lawn, instead of the pavement, so it was a muddy mess getting out to the street.

Most annoying thing is that I had lots of plans that got cancelled, including the production of West Side Story at Signature Theatre (not reschedulable, as all other performances are sold out, so I took a gift certificate to apply to next season's subscription) and a weekend mileage run.