Brrrbrrr br brr brrrrr brrrrr! Oops, sorry, let me try that again: Welcome to the Trash Report! I'm Elinor Jones, taking a break from trying to convince my pug that she can walk on ice to write some jokes about current events for you, my sweet trash pandas. Let's go!

Weather is Trash

I'm writing this column from beneath a large pile of blankets that aren't doing enough, and if I can't get warm enough inside my house, I can't imagine what the last few days have been like for people who can't even get tents. But I have loved seeing Portlanders looking out for each other, like Portlander Jon Gilbert, who spent an entire night towing strangers who were stuck on ice at 82nd and Columbiaย for free. On the other side of town, a group of residents in SW Portland worked together to clear cars from 30th and Dosch. Now I'm feeling guilty for not joining my neighbors to unstick a Kia Soul that was spinning out at a stop sign down the street from my house, even though they clearly had it handled and my participation probably would have just made things harder (is what I'm telling myself to not feel like a piece of shit.)ย 

The snowy conditions had the perfect potential for heroic meet-cutes! Let's help our friend here find Abel with the nice handshake and an eye for bi pride:

The same week the city felt outraged that we did not have enough snowplows out clearing the streets, city council approved the purchase of a second airplane for the Portland Police Bureau at a cost of $1.5 million. Meanwhile, 243 lights in Portland parks are going to be removed, but not replaced... because there's no money? You know, I checked, and Lowe's has reasonable lamp posts for sale for $150, and 243 of those would only come to $36,450. Let me do some more math for you: Portland could buy new lamps for our parks 41 times over but instead bought the police a second plane. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Keiko's Legacy

Portland Monthly did a great piece commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Free Willy and the lasting impact of Keiko the whale in Oregon. I had just been thinking it's weird that, for all the 90s nostalgia in today's culture, the absence of Free Willy from the conversation is deafening. The grip that this movieโ€”and the Michael Jackson song "Will You Be There"โ€”had on every middle school in America in 1993 was something else. When Keiko came to the Oregon Coast aquarium, it felt like we'd been chosen by God to protect his most beloved creation. Getting to see Keiko was like meeting the President. I never did and I'm still sad about it. RIP, Keiko. I'll never forget the story about how a friend's mom was taking her class on a field trip to see you and you got a gigantic boner.ย 

Celebrity Violence and Ash Wednesday

The Academy Awards announced that they have put together a "Crisis Team" to be prepared for anything following Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year's ceremony. The Academy's CEO Bill Kramer said: "We've run many scenarios. So it is our hope that we will be prepared for anything that we may not anticipate right now but that we're planning for just in case it does happen." But once they've run a scenario, the scenario becomes anticipated! I'd love to see the planning binders they've put together. Like, there's a tab for if Ana de Armas roundhouses Brendan Fraser, another for if Andrea Riseborough trips Bill Nighy, etc. Mostly though, I like imagining that they've had all of the presenters sequestered away in the Far East to receive ninja training from Liam Neeson like in Batman Begins. I guess we'll just have to watch and find out, which is literally the only reason I want to watch!ย 

In other "hmmm okay" celebrity news: Last week marked the first day of Lent, or as the Today show would have it be known, "Mark Wahlberg's 40-day challenge."

Desperately needing more information, I found the clip that was screenshotted there, and it's even worse than it looks: Mark Wahlberg was on the Today show with ash smeared on his face to promote a Catholic prayer app called Hallow that he's a fucking paid spokesperson for! Hey, if you need reminders on how to be a better person after being accused of several hate crimes like Mark Wahlberg has been, don't worry, there's an app for that!

The Beach Doll that Makes you Old

American Girl Doll has released their newest dolls: they are twins named Isabel and Nicki from the historical time of 1999. If any of your joints made clicking noises while your body convulsed in disgust to this news, you just might be the target audience. While this may have seemed like a smart move as far as sales go, since millennials are almost as nostalgic and self-centered as the Boomer parents that raised us, it doesn't mean we're going to buy them! For one, we as a generation do not like being reminded that we are aging. And for two, most of us grew up with parents who refused to buy us $150 dolls and our nostalgia will manifest as not buying $150 for our own children. And finally, even if I did want to give my daughter more than I had as a kid, get the heck out of here with 90s teens that aren't named Jennifer or Kristen. You call this historical accuracy? Please.

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go make like an actual 90s teen and be super angsty for the rest of the day.