LIZA IN FINAL PREP FOR SATURDAY WEDDING
With the wedding of Liza Gosh-I've-come-back-from-the-dead-with-the-help-of-my-fiancée-and-lost-weight-in-the-process-and-look-better-than-ever Minnelli just days away, plans are in the final stage for her Saturday wedding. Columnist Cindy Adams says that rehearsals are set for suppertime Friday. Minnelli has told the members of her wedding party that she doesn't care what they wear. Even black dresses are OK (if they are long) and hats are permitted, Adams was told in a conversation with the revitalized singer-actress. The couple plans to honeymoon in Thailand. Liza is wearing a Mackie-made long white gown at the nuptials. Minnelli is quoted as saying that she "wants to come down the aisle looking like Zsa Zsa." Considering Miss Gabor's penchant for traipsing to the altar (nine times since 1937), emulating the Hungarian-born actress-celebrity might not bode well for marital stability.
POETRY AND MUSIC COMBO PLANNED
It's a far cry from the "poet and a one-man band" mentioned in Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound." America's 39th Poet Laureate, Robert Pinsky, says he will join forces with one of the world's premier string quartets in an ambitious set of joint appearances around the country. According to Pinsky, he will travel with the Takacs Quartet to 11 American cities during much of April. The tour will begin in Los Angeles and travel on to several other California venues. Then Pinsky and the Takacs group will move on to performances in Iowa, Illinois, Florida, the Washington D.C. area, New York and finally Boston. Among the poems to be read to music are Robert Frost's classic "To Earthward" and John Donne's "The Good Morrow." By the way, the series is being called by its publicist "a unique combination of music and the spoken word." The phrase "Music and the Spoken Word" has been used for decades to describe the Mormon Tabernacle's weekly radio broadcast, the longest-running broadcast in history. Started with only 30 stations in the summer of 1929, the half-hour broadcast is now heard around the globe on over 500 stations and has been heard in more than 3,800 performances.
HOGAN RECREATING OLD WRESTLING MAGIC
For the first time since 1993 -- the year that Time-Warner sold the WWF (the World Wrestling Federation) -- colorful grappler Hulk Hogan has returned to that franchise. Wrestling aficionado Scott Cramer tells me that Hogan, along with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, are reprising their old NWO (New World Order) scenario. The appearance of Hogan will be his first mega-match for his former circuit and will take place at WrestleMania 18. The event will be this coming Sunday in Toronto. Some 70,000 tickets have reportedly been sold for the Skydome. The holding of the event in Canada marks only the second time that the wrestling blow-out has been held outside the States. The first time was in 1990, again at Skydome, and again the big star was Hogan who took on the Ultimate Warrior and lost his WWF title. This time around it's likely that "Hollywood Hogan" will meet "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, the "golden boy" of the Bible Belt in spite of the fact that he has used one of the most sacred of Scriptures in a tribute to himself -- Austin 3:16. In the world of wrestling, WrestleMania is the premiere event and has been compared to the World Series, or the Indy 500. But, at least those two events aren't scripted. By the way, several tour operators have offered package deals from many American and Canadian cities to the weekend event, including airfare, hotel accommodations, unlimited transit passes in Toronto and tickets to the event.
TALK HOST IN HOT WATER
Police in Providence, R.I., confirm that popular local talk show host Scott Cordischi has pleaded innocent to charges of soliciting after they found him with a woman on the city's west side. The Providence Journal says that Cordischi, host of "790, The Score," was arrested after he was found with a 25-year-old woman in his car. The broadcaster was arraigned on misdemeanor charges and released on a $500 bond. Meanwhile, the woman involved in the incident pleaded guilty to one charge of loitering for the purpose of "selling her wares" and was sentenced to a year's probation.
KENNEDY HONORED BY IRISH GOVERNMENT
The government of Ireland says that its oldest institution of higher education is about to set up a public health research center in honor of Sen. Edward "Teddy" Kennedy of Massachusetts. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern says that Kennedy is one of America's most prominent citizens of Irish descent. Published reports indicate that the announcement was made in Washington to coincide with the upcoming celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Several other members of the Kennedy Clan were on hand for the announcement, including the senator's wife, Vicki, and his sister Eunice. The health institution will be set up at Trinity College in Dublin. The school was founded in 1592. Additionally, the Irish government is funding the salary for the facility's director.
'O BROTHER' SOUNDTRACK SOARS AGAIN
The soundtrack to the George Clooney movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou" has not only brought a new focus on "roots" and bluegrass music -- giving it a cross-over, mainstream kind of acceptance -- but now comes word that the CD has gone "platinum times five!" That means that it's sold over 5 million copies. The Recording Industry Association of America confirmed Wednesday that it sold an additional 209,000 units in the days since it got additional exposure on the 44th annual Grammys show. It was named Album of the Year on the broadcast. Meanwhile, many of the musicians involved in the project are seeing their own careers revitalized and several country musicians have been working on parallel projects.
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 289
I am sometimes accused of coming up with really esoteric questions that only interest me. Well, I think I may have done it again today. I'm a popcorn freak, much to the chagrin of my dentist. For decades I've had popcorn every night. It's only been recently that I've begun to use microwave popcorn occasionally, now that it's nearly been perfected. So, today's question: "How often do you fix popcorn? Microwave? In the kettle? Got any funny stories or great recipes?" Put POPCORN in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
CONTINUING TO CATCH UP ON OLD QUESTIONS
Here are some of your replies to questions that went unreported during our prolonged in-box outage: Our question HEIRLOOMS generated some sweet replies. Among the nicest was a comment from PS who notes that "the only heirloom I have is my mother's family album, which has pictures of my grandmother as a young woman, and my mother, aunts and uncles as children. It is priceless to me." PS, at least you know who is in the photos. I let some shots from both sides of my family fade into obscurity until no one was around who can recognize who is in the pictures. As far as our BATHROOM question went -- an attempt to look at your worst living condition -- SJ wrote to say that she raised "four lovely daughters, all of whom primped in the bathroom ... with only two baths in the house! And all four were teens at the time." Thank goodness she also had two sons who brushed their teeth and spit. Peggy remembers living in a "15-foot house trailer in my in-laws' backyard in Oklahoma in August (when it cools down to 90 at night). I was six months pregnant. The plumbing didn't work. I had to wait 'till they were awake to go into the house and use the bathroom. Fortunately it was only for a month." Finally on our PET question, we got a ton of poignant stories about having to give up a favorite animals. Among the best, a comment from PC in Lansing. She said that when moving from the country to a in-town apartment she had to give up her pet ... sheep! It was named Rocky. "I raised him from a lamb, bottle fed him; he thought I was his mom," she writes. She says that when she gave up Rocky he "went to a better place." She gave him to a farmer who had a flock of female sheep who needed some companionship. Well, as the old song goes: "It had to be ewe." TOMORROW: Our thoughts turn to baseball and its future and the best motivational course you ever attended.
Late yesterday I got a piece of e-mail from a journalism student in Virginia, writing to tell me that the Queen Mum is actually 101, not 100, as I mentioned yesterday. So, David, thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. GBA.