The Last Week of January (no way!)

Late night tv’s Craig Ferguson (the former Mr. Wick of the Drew Carey sitcom) passed the citizenship test and is about to become a US citizen. Scotland’s loss, America’s gain?

In the grand tradition of comics, Captain America is coming back from the Dead – or, at least, a new version of him. Apparently, his sidekick’s taking up the mantle of Superhero. That did happen to the Flash, even Batgirl (well, Barbara Gordon didn’t die, but she had a successor), and I think there have been now three Robins for Batman? (certainly one Robin died).

In the grand tradition of America’s unofficial holiday – the Super Bowl – the publicity on the people can be a bit grating, especially more so when this year, the metropolitan area’s getting a little excited over the Giants’ going to the Super Bowl. I liked this sweet story on Eli Manning’s relationship with his mom.

An interesting take on Barack Obama’s traveling in Kansas for the campaign – seems like a nice touch that he’d head to Kansas, as his maternal grandparents were from there.

Alessandra Stanley, NY Times’ tv critic, critiques the State of the Union Address and describes how the timing of it – just as Caroline and Edward Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama – is something of a soap opera/family psychodrama. Her writing made me feel like this whole campaign and coming end of the Bush era are such interesting mid-season tv shows. Which they kind of are. It doesn’t help that the writers’ strike continues and reality tv shows are irritating me.

Tuesday tv – watched most of “House” – which was the Christmas episode that FOX held off airing until Tuesday, 1/29/08, because it’s down to maybe two or three episodes left in the stockpile. I prefer my Christmas episodes during the month of December, and if I have to watch them in, say, any other month, they’re usually treasured reruns. Anyway, it was a pretty decent episode, where Dr. House irritates his new team, Dr. Wilson, and the Patient of the Week – as usual. As Dr. Wilson engages in the Christmas spirit, Dr. House reminds him that (a) he’s Jewish, and (b) he’s not very good in the gift-giving department, since he gave his last wife money for the holidays. Hmm. House also seems to miss his old team of Drs. Foreman, Chase, and Cameron (although, technically, Foreman’s back on the team, even if more of a senior level holding the fellowship).

The story behind the silly security questions for on-line banking; one can only tolerate the “What was your childhood best friend’s dog’s name?” type of question, when (a) maybe you didn’t have a childhood best friend, or (b) if you did have a childhood best friend, he/she didn’t have a dog.

Interesting article on Neal Shapiro, the ex-NBC News president who’s now about to be WNET/Channel 13’s official President, with Bill Baker stepping down to be President Emeritus. More change to Channel 13 appears to be coming; I suppose that was a given ever since Neal Shapiro was on-screen more, rather than the usual spots where Bill Baker came on during pledge time. I’m not entirely comfortable with the Channel 13-specific changes (movie night on Saturdays now has a more independent film feel to it, rather than just the amusing old classics). Plus, Baker had a nice WNET/Channel 13 Leader aura about him – almost like that favorite uncle who comes to bother you to help him and then he gives you nice things to enjoy his company, so he’s not so irritating anyway (kind of how I’ve felt about PBS’ pledge times). Shapiro gives off a very different feel, probably because I know he used to be Broadcast News Executive. But, I guess we ought to reserve judgment on the Shapiro era.

Oh, geez – now I won’t be able to look at a bowl of dip the same way: like the previous dispelling of the 5-second rule (wherein you’d now think twice about eating food that fell on the floor), the idea of dipping (or re-dipping, actually) in the shared bowl of dip may actually be a little worrisome. Maybe.

The NY Times’ Mark “The Minimalist” Bittman on walnut tart (rather than, say, pecan pie). It looks lovely and seems almost easy to make (well, so it appears on video). But… all that butter… it makes me nervous!

The passing of Margaret Truman, the daughter of President Harry Truman, who was a former opera singer, mystery writer, wife of a NY Times editor, mother of four, and former Upper East Side resident.

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