Born in February 1953

Steenbergen, Raddatz, Ebersole, Doe, Krugman

As I noted last month, I am going to note some folks born in February 1953, so they are turning 70. I don’t have a full post. This is a one-year offering.

Mary Steenbergen (8th):  I’ve seen her in a LOT of her early films. Time After Time (1979), followed by Melvin and Howard (1980), for which she won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress. After that,  A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy (1982), Parenthood (1989),  Back To The Future Part III (1990), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Philadelphia (1993), and Nixon (1995). Nothing else on film except The Help (2011).

She’s been married to Ted Danson since 1995. They met during the filming of the 1993 movie Pontiac Moon.

Here’s a seven-minute video of Mary on IMDb.

ABC News

Martha Raddatz (14th) has been on ABC News since 1999, initially covering the State Department. She became ABC’s senior national security correspondent in 2003, reporting extensively from Iraq. She’s been Chief Global Affairs Correspondent since 2008.

Also, she’s the co-anchor of the Sunday morning program This Week. I find her ability to herd the talking heads much better than the chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos.

She wrote the bestseller The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family. The book about the siege of Sadr City, Iraq, became a TV miniseries in 2017 on NatGeo.

Raddatz and Anderson Cooper were co-moderators for the second presidential debate in 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Many appreciated “their ‘no-nonsense approach’ and ‘aggressive style” though Raddatz was criticized for a challenge to one of Trump’s statements, which some journalists felt ‘fell outside of her mandate as moderator.'” As a viewer, I thought she was great.

More than SNL

Christine Ebersole (21st) has appeared in films I’ve seen, from Tootsie (1982) to Licorice Pizza (2021). She’s done episodic television; since 2019, she’s been a regular on Bob Hearts Abishola. She was a regular on Saturday Night Live from 1981-1982.

But her greatest success was on the stage. Her IBDb notes her Tonys for 42nd Street (2001) and Grey Gardens (2007), plus two more nominations.


Back in 2014, I wrote a post about the band X featuring John Doe (25th). (I have refreshed some of the links.)

In 2020, X put out its first album in 35 years, Alphabetland.


I’ve noted that people either admire or loathe economist Paul Krugman (28th). I’m in the former camp.

On Krugman’s Wikipedia page, economist J. Peter Neary contends that “‘no discussion of his work could fail to mention his transition from Academic Superstar to Public Intellectual. Through his extensive writings, including a regular column for The New York Times, monographs and textbooks at every level, and books on economics and current affairs for the general public … he has probably done more than any other writer to explain economic principles to a wide audience.”

For instance, he tweeted on January 20, 2023: “One thing I’ve been noticing in my correspondence is how many people think inflation is still running wild; the big deceleration in the 2nd half of 2022 hasn’t broken through to public consciousness.”

The Scenario

Hair in my food?

I found this at something called Monday Mayhem, only the URL spells it “mahem”. Whatever. It’s rather like Sunday Stealing except the lists tend to be shorter. I thought this one from January was rather interesting.

1. You see a strange car pull up to your neighbor’s house every day at lunchtime. You accidentally glance into the window of the house and notice that your ‘happily married neighbor’ is fooling around! What do you do?

Well, it depends very much on my relationship with the neighbor and the neighbor’s spouse. It might be that I would do absolutely nothing at all if I didn’t know them well. If the one fooling around was my friend, I probably would mention it to him/her. If the neighbor’s spouse was my friend, I would almost certainly mention it, not to my friend, at least initially, but to the cheating spouse, with a recommendation to end the affair; whether I told my friend would depend on the actions of the person “fooling around”.

2. You are at the mall and a mom with really annoying screaming little kids is walking in front of you. She goes to give her kids a quarter for the giant gumball machine and she accidentally drops a $10 bill and doesn’t realize it. What do you do?

Say, “Hey lady, you dropped something!” Don’t know how the noisy kids factor into this. Right is right.

3. You get an email from a candy company telling you that they will send you 6 pounds of delicious chocolate if you blog about their product. When you get the product and try it you realize that it is the worst chocolate that you have ever tasted. What do you do?

It’d be one of two things: 1) I just don’t write anything at all, especially if it’s a small company, or 2) I write a negative review, probably filled with qualifiers such as “unfortunately, I found the candy pretty much inedible. I have to wonder: was this just a bad, or tainted batch, or is this what they sell regularly? If the latter, I can’t imagine long-term success.”

4. Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous and annoying things someone could do. Yet, what would you do if you were driving and listening to the radio when the announcer says that he will give $10,000 to the first person with your name that texts a message to him?

Well, assuming I actually knew where my cellphone was, if I were driving, I’d pull over at the first opportunity.

5. You’ve been invited to your boss’s house for a dinner party. It’s dark out and there is poor lighting when you get there. As soon as you get inside you realize that you have stepped in dog poop and you have tracked into your boss’s house. What do you do?

Well, it would depend on whether it was the boss’s dog. If it was, I’d say, “I’m afraid I just stepped into some dog poop” without specifying. Conversely, if I knew for sure it WASN’T my boss’s dog, I’d launch into a tirade about people who don’t curb their pets.

6. You are at a restaurant waiting for your food to arrive. You’ve waited nearly 30 minutes since the moment you placed your order when your food finally shows up. There is a hair on the top of the food. Do you send it back and wait another 30 minutes or do you deal?

I send it back and leave, paying for the drinks and salad already consumed. All the restaurant studies suggest it is the experience, not the quality of the food, that makes the most impact on whether one has a good or poor dining experience. Another half-hour wait would make it a poor dining experience, no matter how good the food was.

7. If you had the power to do so, what would be the one question that you would like to ask anyone who reads this?

Why do they call it “reality television” when the circumstances are so artificial, anything but real?
Exene Cervenka of the band X co-directed Bad Day (1986), a “20-minute, silent, black & white western to pay tribute to the early days of the one-reel westerns,” starting John Doe (X), Dave Alvin (Blasters), Chris D (Flesh Eaters), Kevin Costner (yes, that Kevin Costner), “now available for digital download on a pay-what-you-will basis…a portion of the proceeds from the film are going to Gulf Coast aid organizations.”


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