Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Coincidence?

Sunday, Febreuary 25: Al Gore's "An Incovenient Truth" takes the Oscar for Best Documentary.

Tuesday, February 27: Dow tumbles 416 points.

Coincidence? DIH thinks not.

And if you check the archives for January 2006 you'll see this has happened before.
Hollywood doesn't care about America, people. Case closed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Gem?

Every so often you find a new product that just changes your perspective on things. Like "Lifegem Created Diamonds":

"Love. Life’s single greatest risk. Life’s single greatest reward. Intangible and unexplainable, yet ever so real and powerful. Love captures your heart in a second and holds it for eternity. Whether it happened in an instant or developed over a lifetime, you have known the feeling of pure joy and elation, and it will be forever cherished. Love is more than a memory.

"To desire a LifeGem diamond can mean only one thing. You have experienced a love without equal. You have had someone truly special in your life and mere words simply will not do.

"LifeGem...

"The LifeGem® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life."

That's right! FInally a real use for Aunt Hattie's remains. Now you can take whatever's left of her and- get this- have it turned into a fake diamond.

"What is a LifeGem®?

"The LifeGem® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the
carbon of your loved one...as a memorial to their unique life."

And you can wear that memorial on your finger, in a handsome platinum setting. Or what about earrings? Depends on how big the old gal was, I guess.

Just think how this changes eveything. That was no tragic accident that killed a dozen people-- that was a tennis bracelet! And forget about natural disasters. There are no disasters if you can get some jewelry out of it, right?

But DIH sees problems ahead. Mikey's mom goes to her eternal reward. Mikey has her turned into a diamond ring. Mikey offers this ring to a nice girl with the words "Will you marry me?" Nice girl finds out where the diamond came from. Uh-oh, Mikey. You got some 'splaining to do.

"We're here on the red carpet and--omigod! It's Mrs. Osama Bin Laden! And she's wearing a simple fabulous diamond necklace- oh please. Where did you get it?"

"What, these old things?"

And why stop at Aunt Hattie? For a limited time only you can bid on one of three diamonds made from the carbon remains of Ludwig van Beethoven. Seriously. Wondering what to give that piano teacher you hated so much as a kid? Give her Beethoven on ice.

"Hi, Mom? Listen, I was wondering. When you die how about I have you turned into a five-carat diamonds?"
"No. Two carats for you. The other three go to your sister. And no fighting."

LifeGem. Because nothing is too weird any more.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oscar Night

The Academy Awards are tonight. I've been trying to drum up some enthusiasm for this annual spectacle, but I have to admit my efforts have been in vain. I'm just not looking forward to it asI have in years past.

Still, this is a good time to review the nominations, try to remember which ones I've seen and make a few predictions.

Best Leading Actor: DiCaprio in Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson, Peter O'Toole in Venus and Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland.

Uh-oh, DIH is in trouble already. I havent' seen any of these films. I'd like to see The Last King of Scotland, though. Just the thought of someone making a movie about Idi Amin is pretty amazing.

Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin for LIttle MIss Sunshine, Jackie Earle Haley for LIttle Children, Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond , Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls, aand Mark Wahlberg for The Departed.

I've always liked Alan Arkin, and I didnt' see the others, so I'll root for him,

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Four foreigners and Meryl Streep. Go Meryl.

Supporting Actress: the only one I recognize is the little girl from LIttle Miss Sunshine. She was delightful, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for her.

Best Documentary is obviously all sewn up. Remember when they gave that Dukakis cousin an Oscar in an election year? 'Nuff said.

But come on. Best Picture? Little Miss Sunshine seems to be the favorite. And if that's the best HOllywood can do, they might as well all get real jobs.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Something Amazing

http://www.britainanadamerica.typepad.com
"A World Without America"
The most amazing television ad ever. Made DIH's day.

h/t Ace of Spades

Bennies

DIH has been a dull dog lately. But sometimes in life one has to make choices. My choices were: a) be my fascinating, always-on-the-go, full-of-insight self or b) breathe.

I chose option (b).

A bout of this year's flu left me with a nasty sinus infection. Normally DIH is averse to seeking professional medical help. but she made an exception in this case when spouse informed her she snorted like a pig all night. Doc gave me antibiotics- of which DIH has a deep fear, ever since a couple of prescription tablets landed her in the hospital a few years back, but I was desperate enough to take them- and suggested Benadryl for nighttime. "It's the only way you'll be able to breathe," she said flatly.

Now normally I don't go near antihistamines. They make me climb the walls. Nyquil alone gives me the kind of nightmares I could end up in the psych ward for. But like I said, Desperate was desperate, so I started knocking back the Bennies.

Well. It's been an educational week.

I learned if you're loaded on Benadryl on Ash Wednesday you won't notice the fasting so much. In fact you won't notice anything much. Must remember this for next year.

I learned three shots of espresso the morning after are not enough. Next time go for the "Depth Charge"- four shots and steamed milk, Make sure someone has a camera to record the results. Or maybe not.

I learned reading about the cholera epidemic of 1848 leads to some very graphic dreams, especially if you're under the influence. Ditto the Armenian Genocide.

All things considered, I think I may go for flu shot next year.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bring It On

Today is Ash Wednesday,and so far I'm pretty satisfied with how my Lent is shaping up. I have a sinus infection, the stuff I'm taking for it is making me feel like a zombie and we had no power this morning. Yes, things are looking very promising.

I've decided to give up wine for Lent. This is a bold move on my part, since the last time I gave up alcohol for Lent my husband threatened to move out- something about my being even more of a pain in the a-- than usual, I don't remember exactly. But I'm going to do it anyway.

The chief virtue of giving up wine is the fact that it's easy to remember you gave it up. One decision, you're done. I find that is key for a successful votive sacrifice.

Other things I give up for Lent:

-talking to myself (very hard for me but reassuring for my family, who renew their hope that maybe I'm not headed for the loony bin after all)

-honking when the car ahead of me doesn't notice the light has changed fast enough (probably doesn't count for much in Minnesota but a big deal in NY)

-I'm sure there must be others, but like I said, between the antihistamines and the antibiotics I'm kind of a zombie these days.

Oh, I know. I'll give up arguing with The Fish Nazi.

Every Friday in Lent our little parish has a fish fry. Until I came to the Midwest I wasn't sure what a fish fry was. It turns out to be a big dinner of deep-fried fish, often held in a church basement. I gather they're especially big in Catholic parishes, since we dont' eat meat on Fridays in Lent, and this way you don't have to stink up your kitchen frying your own fish at home.

The Friday Night Fish Fry at Holy Family is presided over by the Fish Nazi. This is a woman who apparently holds the copyright to the breading recipe, or something. If you show up late she turns you away foodless, regardless of how much deep-fried stuff is still left.

I showed up late a few times last year. This is because I had to go to a gym class before dinner on Fridays if I was going to justify all that deep frying. Unfortunately this meant I would get to the church just as the Fish Nazi was deciding to wind down operations. I'd be on the end of the line, and when I got up to the counter the FN would look me up and down, then say, "You're too late! We're closed!"

"But I'm only five minutes--"

"We have to clean up! Sorry! Come on time next time!"

"But I--"

"There's a McDonald's down the street. Goodbye!"

We'll see how it goes this year. The truth is I'd rather be home having linguine with clam sauce anyway. With a nice glass of chianti- oh. Right.

Well, I guess I could always try fasting. It's only forty days.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cheers

You might think Saturday was a dull day around DIH's house. Change the sheets, do the laundry, clean up the bedrooms. But it's not anywhere near as dull as it sounds, thanks to The Beer Show.

I don't know what the real name of the program is, but every Saturday afternoon one of the local radio stations, that usually plays the Laura Ingraham or Hugh Hewitt shows, devotes an hour to beer-making. Every week they have a new guest who makes his own beer. He talks about his beer. How he makes it, what it tastes like, how much he produces in his basement or wherever. It's amazing how much conversation those guys can get out of hops and barley. Not to mention where they get their bottles and where they had to go to buy their equipment. (Oy, the shipping prices!)

Last week it was a guy who actually restarted a commercial microbrewery. I've never seen his beer but I think the name says it all: "Bender." Now there's a name with a message. Even the host said, a little abashedly, "You know, most guys go with some kind of geographic name, or something." But the brewmeister was clear: no subliminal messages for him. "Buy Bender and have one." Bada -bing, bada-boom, we're done.

It's not all glitz and glamor, of course, Every Beer Show has its moment of tender insight because they always ask the Tender Insight Question: "What drew you to beer-making in the first place?"

The most common answer? "I was home for a few weeks taking care of my kids, and I couldn't stop thinking about beer."

The wisdom of the ages is in that response.

Friday, February 16, 2007

...And Yet It Lives

Well to my great surprise my blog has reappeared. I seem to have no control over its disappearance, so I'd better get something down while I can.

Being blogless has taught me a few things. Like, I'm a much better writer when I'm not writing. So many times in the past few weeks I've seen something the news and thought, "Man, I could write something about that"-- then the blog reappears and suddenly there's nothing to write about.

Now take Al Franken. Declared for Senate this week. WIll probably get elected. What else is there to say? Yuk yuk, a former comedian is going to Congress, with all the other clowns. Ha.

Or the ice storm in DC. There was supposed to be a hearing on global warming on Capitol Hill but they had to cancle it because of the "inclement weather." Ironic, huh.

Sigh. It may take me a while to get back up to speed.
Assuming anyone's still reading this.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

More News From The Edwards Campaign

Also hired:

Jayson Blair, press secretary
Michael Richards, liason to African-American community
Larry Storch, liason to Native Americans
Bobby Brown, women's issues
Mary Baker Eddy, health care

Too Good Not To Share

From the front page of today's New York Times Online. Finally a bit of wisdom we can all cherish:

"Though there is no master tally of sinkholes, there is a consensus that things are getting worse."

Wow. That's breathtaking. I think I'm going to make that my new motto. Maybe that should be my blog's motto. Or somebody's blog's motto.

Really, where else can you find this stuff?

Midnight Musings, Influenza Version

If you could choose one person in the world to spread these germs to, who would it be?

If antibacterial soap kills germs, what does the other kind do?

Exactly how far is it from your bed to the bathroom? And is it worth the effort?

How did your kid stand this?" Because you're not as sick as she was and you're already a basket case.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Social Issues N'Stuff

When it's below zero outside and everyone has the flu inside, obviously one turns to DVDs to keep things moving along. DIH decided to get hold of whatever Oscar nominees were available at the local Blockbuster and give them a try.
And now, to share some insights.


Oscar Contender #1: "The Devil Wears Prada." Meryl Streep is up for best actress. And she's great.
The movie is another story. Anne Hathaway is pretty as the asparagus-stalk star, whom of course everyone at the fashion magazine where she works keeps calling "too fat." But the girl is already not merely thin, she's positively gaunt. There was one shot of her face that left me convinced I knew what she would look like when she was seventy, all bones and angles and suspicion of a nose job.
Oh yeah, the plot. Ingenue wannabe journalist gets prized internship and famous magazine and doesn't appreciate it because, surprise surprise, her boss is impossible. Ain't life tough. Note to the author: maybe you should try working at McDonald's sometime.

Oscar Contender #2: "Little Miss Sunshine." Up for Best Picture, also Abigail Breslin is up for Supporting Actress and Alan Arkin is up for Supporting Actor. About a dysfunctional family whose daughter enters a kiddie beauty pageant. But none of that's important.
What's important is this: How do you feel about getting bonked on the head with Important Social Issues? Like, I dont' know, gays and suicide. I keep reading that gays have a higher rate of suicide than straights. I have no idea how true that is, but "Little Miss Sunshine" is right behind this Important Social Issue. Steve Carrell plays the gay uncle of the little girl of the title, who is released from a hospital after a failed suicide attempt. As he explains it to his seven-year-old niece, he tried to take his own life after becoming depressed when he fell love with another man who didnt' love him back. Carrell's character also keeps describing himself as "the number one Proust scholar in the country."

This of course raises another question: if your claim to fame was being America's "number one Proust scholar," wouldn't that kind of bum you out? I mean, you'd at least hit the antidepressants, right? If the screenwriters were trying to make the gay suicide case they really shouldn't have muddied the waters with Monsieur Madelaine.

Another Important Social Issue: are beauty pageants inherently immoral? Aren't they degrading to women? Well of course they are! When the little girl of the title performs a stripper's routine for her talent entry, isn't she just showing us The Truth About Beauty Pageants? Isn't she the Only Honest One Up There? Come on, this is deep stuff!

Those were the only ones Blockbuster had. I guess I'll actually have to go out to the theaters to see the rest. If only I could believe something out there was worth the price of a ticket and a sitter.

Profile by Hackers

Apparently whoever swiped my URL and force-fed pornography on the unsuspecting public also thought it would be fun to mess with my profile, too.

Well I'll say this: for a girl who's 250 years old I look pretty darn good. And as for being born in the Year of the Rat, well, some of my best friends are Rats.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Story Is...

I thought I might as well tell everyone what caused my Great Hiatus.

In the first week of January this blog mysteriously disappeared. In its place was a phony blog- one with my name ("Desperate Irish Housewife") but no posts. According to its copy, the author of the phony blog was "vipvip."

The phony blog was up for about two weeks. Then one day, if you typed in this address, you got a porno site. The site offered pornographic photos and links to online porn films.

According to my web guru, the URL was stolen.

"--The person who stole (Sue's) BlogSpot URL is using a service offered by this company: http://www.videoscash.com/index.php?action=faq which pays the person a percentage of each video that gets played. I guess you have to pay to see the videos. So that's the motivation. Sue's BloSpot URL had a great Google ranking and is probably linked to from many other websites and by taking it the spammer got an instant ranking for a site that Google would never rank unless tricked into it.
--The domain name registrar for the porn URL that Sue's URL gets redirected to is estdomains http://www.estdomains.com/anacreon/?&redirectpage=%2F%3F. They have a Delaware address. The person who owns the porn URL may be a fake name and has a foriegn address."

If anyone reading this has a blog that got linked to this porn site, my deepest apologies. The whole thing was a cyber break-in. I did report it all to the FBI through their Internet Fraud site.

Anyway, if any of you are wondering if it's true that thousands of kids view internet porn "accidentally" as recent studies claim, this is how it happens. And it happens every day, to children you care about.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Night Life!

So here's the scene:

The outside temperature is minus twelve, not counting the wind chill. (Don't ask.)

Your husband is out of town for his annual alumni chinwag.

It is four o'clock in the morning....

You guessed it! Your kid is going to wake up, throw up, and announce she feels dizzy.

So you get out your trusty ear thermometer and now things really start to get interesting: 105.1!

OK, you keep your cool. You speak soothingly to the whiny little bundle in pink pjs. You call the doc's office. The RN on duty says your trusty ear thermometer is not so trusty, you need a regular under-the-tongue job. Which you dont' have. Now comes the fun part: bundle the kid up and head out to the car.

The good times are just killing you- oh goody, now I get to find out if the car will start! After three days of subzeros! Gee, I wonder if it will. And if it won't, heck, I've never been to Tokyo- when's the next flight? I gotta kick the crap out of someone- make that anyone- at Subaru.

But the car starts. So you postpone your travel plans and speed off to the all-night Wallgreens, buy a new thermometer, take kid's temp again. "Good news, Sophia," you reassure your child, "it says 101.4!"

Naturally, the clerk looks at you and says, "She has a fever and you brought her out on a night like this?'

Note to self- don't go back to that Wallgreens, at least until they take your picture down.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Score One For The Babies!

Yesterday Amy Welborn reported that Terry McAuliffe was about to be made a Knight of Malta. Mr. McAuliffe, you will recall, is a vocal supporter of abortion on demand, including partial-birth abortion.

This morning Amy reports that Mr. McAuliffe's application has been "withdrawn." Apparently the Knights were flooded with calls and emails protesting a Catholic organization bestowing this honor on a man who is so publicly and tragically at odds with Church teaching.

We might have some lame-o bishops, people, but we got the blogosphere. And thank God for it.

Back, Con't.

Wow. It's been so long I feel like I've forgotten how to do this.

Still it's good to be back. I don't know how I could get through Oscar Season without a blog. I mean, when Al Gore picks up his statuette, I want to be there. I wonder if he'll urge the Academy of Motion Picture Arts to reduce their carbon footprint. That would be good for a few laughs.

And where else could I complain about the weather? As I type the outside temperature is minus seven, with wind chill driving it to minus 24. Try complaining about that in Minnesota. All you get from your neighbors is a blank stare and something like "Oh, it's not so bad." I wonder about these people sometimes, I really do.

Anyway. Good to be back.