Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Feel Better Now

"What we [writers] do is feel failed all day long. Because we all know that what's in our head is dazzling and what's on the page sucks." - William Goldman
[h/t Some Have Hats]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Adult Edgeacayshun is Good For U

A few weeks ago I signed up for a screenwriting class. This was in order to force myself to rewrite a screenplay that I finished a year ago. I figured the goad of class assignments would get me moving again.

So now I have to read my next fifteen pages Thursday night. Which means I have to rewrite them this morning, because tomorrow is Halloween and I won't be home to write and Thursday is the class.

Yep. Motivation. I love it. Makes you get right down to work. Other writers might screw around with reading the paper or catching up on the blogosphere, or maybe even cleaning the house. But not me, boy. I get right down to business. Hit the ground running, that's my motto.

I like my motto. "Hit the ground running." Sounds like you've jumped out of a plane. Which if you decide to become a writer you pretty much have done, because what kind of idiot goes around jumping out of planes? I'll tell you what kind: the kind that decides becoming a writer is a really smart career move. The kind that wouldnt' listen to all those people who told her to go to law school or sell Avon or something, so she wouldnt' be throwing her life away--

But I digress.

About my screenplay. I think it needs a love interest. All movies need love interests. Even courtroom- drama- espionage ones like mine.

I hate love interests. Why do people have to go around screwing up perfectly good courtroom dramas with love interests? Yech. But they do help you do screenwriting-type things like reveal "motivation" and "character arcs" and s--t like that. I ought to know. I take screenwriting classes. Cost me a bundle, but hey, when I sell my screenplay that three hundred bucks will seem like a drop in the bucket, right?

I'll tell you one thing, when I sell my screenplay you won't catch me skiing at Aspen. I hear that's what your supposed to do, go skiing at Aspen and slam into Barbra Streisand on the slopes or something. The last thing I'd want to do is slam into Barbra Streisand on a slope. Let's not even contemplate that picture, it's too ugly. And loud. Very, very loud.

All right already. Back to the salt mines. I wonder who the patron saint of screenwriting is. I'd like a word or two with him/her. Like, today.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Repeat After Me: This Is a Bad Thing

New York Times, Monday October 29
NARSARSUAQ, Greenland — A strange thing is happening at the edge of Poul Bjerge’s forest...

Its four oldest trees — in fact, the four oldest pine trees in Greenland, named Rosenvinge’s trees after the Dutch botanist who planted them in a mad experiment in 1893 — are waking up. After lapsing into stately, sleepy old age, they are exhibiting new sprinklings of green at their tops, as if someone had glued on fresh needles.

“The old ones, they’re having a second youth,” said Mr. Bjerge, 78, who has watched the forest, called Qanasiassat, come to life, in fits and starts, since planting most of the trees in it 50 years ago. He beamed like a proud grandson. “They’re growing again.”

Now that the climate is warming, it is not just old trees that are growing. A Greenlandic supermarket is stocking locally grown cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage this year for the first time. Eight sheep farmers are growing potatoes commercially. Five more are experimenting with vegetables. And Kenneth Hoeg, the region’s chief agriculture adviser, says he does not see why southern Greenland cannot eventually be full of vegetable farms and viable forests.

“If it gets warmer, a large part of southern Greenland could be like this,” Mr. Hoeg said, walking through Qanasiassat, a boat ride from Narsarsuaq, a tiny southern community notable mostly for having an international airport. Two and a half acres near here of imported pines, spruces, larches and firs are plunked in the midst of the scrubby, rocky hillside next to the fjord, as startling as a mirage. “If it gets a little warmer, you could talk about a productive forest with enough wood for logs,” Mr. Hoeg said.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Showtime

Ahem.

This afternoon at 2:30 DIH will give a reading from her memoir, "Breakfast With The Pope," at the Harvest Moon Coffeehouse in St.Louis Park.

The reading is free and the coffee is kiler. All are invited.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Boo, baby.

It's Halloween. DIH loves Halloween. She loves ghost stories and stuff like that, even though they give her nightmares. She loves Butterfingers bars and any excuse to buy huge bags of them. On a not-enirely-related note, she LOVES graveyards, especially old one. Such fascinating placemy
This year we decided to throw a Halloween party. And for the past few days I have been up to her eyeballs in fake cobwebs, vats of chili, and of course more eyeballs. You can never have too many eyeballs, that's my motto.

So DIH has not been blogging much, as chili powder has a way of dulling her senses. As soon as I come to I will write again.

In the meantime if anyone has any good ideas for Halloween party music do please pass it on.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Catchphrase Material

October 22, 2007
Clinton Finds Way to Play Along With Drudge

By JIM RUTENBERG New York Times
"WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 — As Senator Barack Obama prepared to give a major speech on Iraq one morning a few weeks ago, a flashing red-siren alert went up on the Drudge Report Web site. It read, “Queen of the Quarter: Hillary Crushes Obama in Surprise Fund-Raising Surge,” and, “$27 Million, Sources Tell Drudge Report.”
...
Mrs. Clinton’s aides declined to discuss how the Drudge Report got access to her latest fund-raising figures nearly 20 minutes before the official announcement went to supporters. But it was a prime example of a development that has surprised much of the political world: Mrs. Clinton is learning to play nice with the Drudge Report and the powerful, elusive and conservative-leaning man behind it."

"Powerful, elusive." I like the sound of that. I wonder if DIH could ever land such a catchphrase.

I have "elusive" down, I think. I do all the right things there- forget to show up for meetings, barely recognize my kid's teachers, lose the portable phone a lot, and I still haven't figured out how to retrieve voice mail messages from my mobile. So I'm sure there are folks out there who think I'm avoiding them.

But "powerful." Now that's going to take some work.

Hm.

"DIH is an anonymous Internet muse who--"

Oh, right. My name's on this blog. Pity I didn't catch on to the anonymity game earlier. You can say some really outrageous things so long as no one knows where to find you. Me, I gotta be careful. I'm in the phone book, after all.

"I don't like to brag but I do have a key to the pantry of Holy Family Church's coffee room--"

Nah, that's no good either. Half a dozen people have that key. And I'm sure they're already eyeing me suspiciously.

"Mrs. Vigilante is the mastermind behind the notorious annual St. Nicholas Day Party and all the destruction ensuing therefrom--"

But since the kids only wreck my house I guess that wouldn't inspire awe. Maybe I should consider unleashing them on the city next time.

I'm gonna have to think about this. In the meantime I have a Pilates class to rush to. Which is supposed to make me powerful but so far has only made me sore. But hey, that's nothing. I promised my daughter I'd start tae kwon do again this week. Now that's gonna hurt.

Friday, October 19, 2007

And I Gotta Say

Thank you all for your support duting my strange blackout, or whatever this is. It was nice of so many of you to post a comment!
I still cannot access the blog from my laptop. I can access Blogger and put up new posts, and I'm using my husband's laptop to check the blog itself. But like I said, as long as no one's replacing me with porn I'm ok.

Break's Over

I guess. I'm back from my trip to the East Coast. Man, that was fun.

The occasion was the Eleventh Annual Telecosm Conference. This is a gathering of high tech eggheads and moneybags that takes place in some fancy resort every year around this time. DIH has not attended a Telecosm since the combined effects of 9/11 and the tech wreck made it a rather gloomier get-together than usual. So it's been six years, and thankfully things have cheered up considerably since then.

This year's Telecosm was held at the Sagamore Inn in Bolton's Landing, N.Y. on Lake George. DIH is not much of a one for lakes generally- no tide, no noise, no nothin' freaks her out a bit- but Lake George is amazing. 40 miles long, surrounded by the Adirondacks, totally nature preserved- there isn't a light on the shoreline after dark. Makes it easy to feel the place is essentially the same as it was thousands of years ago, when the first of the Mohicans lived in those parts, or at least what it was like three hundred fifty years ago, when it was the setting for "The Last of the Mohicans." Which makes you want to see the movie- uh, I mean read the book again.

The Sagamore Inn has been around since the early 1900's. Back then it billed itself as "a resort for nice people." Thank God the times have changed or DIH would never have been able to weasel her way in.

It still has that old-fashioned feel to it. There's a pool nowadays but it's small, the bathrooms are not as numerous or large as one would like, and the wood-burning fireplace in the lobby is actually important for warmth. Still it does its best to keep up with the times. There is a spa but, and this is very classy in DIH's opinion, no exercise classes. So no guilt about not going to them.

Instead DIH had a facial and a massage. For an additonal 35 bucks she could have sat in a bubble bath full of some mustard mixture, but time ran short.

There were two talks DIH planned to attend in between spa treatments and keeping the daughter occupied. The first was supposed to feature that guy who wrote "The Cult of the Amateur," you know, that book that says the Internet is ruining society because all these upstarts without PH.D.s or journalism degrees have the audacity to publish blogs. Naturally DIH was itching to take a swing at this guy, but- and this, i think- speaks volumes- at the last minute he didnt' show up. So score one for the bloggers there.

The second was the wrap-up address by the mesmerizing Carver Mead, major physics braniac from Cal Tech and all-around fun guy. DIH did get to hear that one. As usual she understood maybe five per cent of what he was saying, but it was a five per cent worth travelling for.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now What?

For some reason DIH is unable to access her own blog from her own laptop.

On the positive side, at least so far no porno site has come up in its place. But who knows.

Anyway I wonder if anyone out there is reading this.

Monday, October 15, 2007

GIMME GIMME GIMME!

The folks at http://2007.weblogawards.org/

Now accepting nominations for the 2007 Weblog awards. Nominations close today I think.

So it's probably too late, but...

If they happen to have a "Conservative Catholic Wiseass" category...

Well, you know the rest.

Insightful

Reader "Joke" responds:

"I bet the NYT war correspondent promptly published the kitten's whereabouts and daily movements for the benefit of all the mad dogs of neighborhood.

"After all, Dobermans have a right to know."

-J.

4:05

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Everything You Need to KNow About the New York Times' War Correspondents

"What Cats Know About War


By JOHN F. BURNS
Published: October 14, 2007
"IT was a bitterly cold night in the Baghdad winter of 2005, somewhere in the predawn hours before the staccato of suicide bombs and mortars and gunfire that are the daily orchestration of the war. Alone in my office in The Times’s compound beside the Tigris River, I was awaiting the telephoned “goodnight” from The Times foreign desk, eight time zones west, signaling that my work for the next day’s paper was done.

"That is when I heard it: the cry of an abandoned kitten, somewhere out in the darkness, calling for its mother somewhere inside the compound. By an animal lover’s anthropomorphic logic, those desperate calls, three nights running, had come to seem more than the appeal of a tiny creature doomed to a cold and lonely death. Deep in the winter night, they seemed like a dismal tocsin for all who suffer in a time of war."

Does DIH really have to say anything?
Please tell me I don't have to say anything.

Friday, October 12, 2007

SPEECHLESS!

AL GORE WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!
BILL CLINTON HAS FIT THAT TURNS HIM INTO A TARANTULA!

DIH LAUGHING TOO HARD EVEN TO BLOG!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And Speaking of 'Ridiculous'

"Thursday October 11- New York's iconic Empire State Building is to be lit up green from Friday in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar marking the end of Ramadan, officials said.
'This is the first time that the Empire State Building will be illuminated for Eid, and the lighting will become an annual event in the same tradition of the yearly lightings for Christmas and Hannukah,' according to a statement.

"Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month, is expected to be celebrated in New York from Friday, depending on when the new moon is sighted, and the city's tallest skyscraper will remain green until Sunday.

"Built in the early 1930s, the 443-meter-tall (1,454-feet-tall) Empire State Building was first lit up with colored lighting in 1976, when red, white and blue lights were used to mark the American Bicentennial.

"An estimated seven million Muslims live in the United States." [h/t Breitbart.com]


And why not? They light the Empire State Building up green for St. Patrick's Day, don't they? And like the Irish, the Islamists have done so much to build up the city....;

Uh-- um... let's try that again.

And why not? They light up the Empire State with red, white and green for Columbus Day, don't they? And like the Italians the Moslems have contributed so much life and liveliness to New York--

Drat!

And why not? They light up the Empire State with blue and white for Hanukkah, don't they? And given the Jewish people's astonishing contributions to the rule of justice in law---

Rats...

Wait, wait. I got it.

And why not? They lit the Empire State up with lucky clover green for one of those big Lotto drawings once, didn't they? And isn't life just a crapshoot after all? I mean you just never know when someone might crash a jet into a building and murder your friends and family, right? So what the heck! Go green for the end Ramadan! Eat up for Eid, America!

And remember, that feast could be your last meal ever.

I've Heard of Liturgical Dance, But This Is Ridiculous

"Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Thursday October 11- Joe Glowacki and his band will perform during a polka mass. Sunday, Sacred Heart Polish National Catholic Church, 420 22nd Ave."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bestsellers

This week's New York Times Bestseller List for "Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous" includes the following:

#1. The Secret. "...the key to getting what you want."
#2. The Weight Loss Cure "They" Dont' Want You to Know About.
...
#5. Secret Societies. "A professed psychic explores the influence of secretive organizations."


That settles it. DIH is going into the bestseller-writing business.
All I need now is a book proposal, right? Hmm...

"Your Secret Is Safe With Me." Everything DIH knows about the private lives of celebrities, but she'd never give away in a million years.

"I'm Not Telling." How DIH amassed her fortune is a subject best kept under wraps.

"Like I'd Tell You?" How DIH keeps her youthful good looks, volume one.
"For Me To Know And You To Find Out." Volume 2.

"Wouldn't You Like To Know!" DIH gives the key to influencing people in power- as if!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Absolutely Totally Shameless!

Self-promotion!

http://www.nationalreview.com

DIH has a piece today about "Gossip Girl." Enjoy.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hot Hot Hot

For the past few days MInnesotans have been freaked out by the weather. Here it is October and it hit 87 yesterday. We in the Far North are all in favor of global warming, but this is ridiculous.

Nobody has the right clothes. The summer stuff all gets stashed in August around here, sometimes sooner. DIH herself was quite proud of landing some new corduroy pants and flannel shirts at a discount a few weeks ago. I mean, for once, I was ready.

I should have known I was making trouble. I should have realized that by uncharacteristically having my cold-weather wardrobe ready ahead of time I was virtually guaranteeing my fellow Minnesotans at least a warmish autumn and probably a mild winter as well . This happens all the time. One year I had the foreseight to buy summer sandals in April. Result: spent all of July and half of August in a hospital, where the sandals were not too useful. That was when I vowed never to be ready pre-season again. But I guess I just messed up this year.

The weather is also extremely muggy, and clearly getting on everyone's nerves. Yesterday was the school Fundraising Marathon. It's usually a pretty festive occasion. but everyone I talked to was in a foul mood. They ran out of coffee early, too, which made things even worse.

So I guess it was with a sense of irony that we were all belting out "Angels From the Realms of Glory" at the 11:00 mass. And that the same sense of irony that gave the soloist "Lullay, Lullay" for the meditation.

Merry Christmas, everybody. Cheer up, it's going to get cold soon.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wishful Thinking- Uh, Make That "Journalism"

Headline in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

FRANKEN FUNDRAISING OUTPACES COLEMAN'S

Sub-head:

"Still, the Democrat has less than half of the cash on hand held by the GOP senator."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Those "Polite" Guys Are The Ones With The Whips

"Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat - Members of Khobar’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice were the victims of an attack by two Saudi females, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.
According to the head of the commission in Khobar, two girls pepper sprayed members of the commission after they had tried to offer them advice.
Head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Eastern province Dr. Mohamed bin Marshood al-Marshood, told Asharq Al Awsat that two of the Commission’s employees were verbally insulted and attacked by two inappropriately-dressed females, in the old market in Prince Bandar street, an area usually crowded with shoppers during the month of Ramadan.
According to Dr. Al-Marshood, the two commission members approached the girls in order to “politely” advise and guide them regarding their inappropriate clothing.
Consequently, the two girls started verbally abusing the commission members, which then lead to one of the girls pepper-spraying them in the face as the other girl filmed the incident on her mobile phone, while continuing to hurl insults at them.
The Eastern Province’s head of the commission also revealed that with the help of the police his two employees were able to control the situation.
The two females were then escorted to the police station where they apologized for the attack, were cautioned and then released."

What's the Arabic for YOU GO, GIRLS!!!!

[h/t Arabist via Ace of Spades]

Monday, October 01, 2007

Book Event

Clarence Thomas's autobiography comes out today, and DIH an hardly wait to get her hands on a copy. Shopping for a book by- well, you know, one of THOSE people- is always a pleasure in Minneapolis. (Hey, this is a town that thinks Al Franken is deep and Garrison Keillor is a riot. Intellectual adventure abounds.)

Although it's perhaps not as much fun as it used to be back in Massachusetts. Those were fun days, when DIH would venture into a bookshop and ask for something like Ann Coulter's latest. First came the shocked "Excuse me?" from the clerk, then the dirty look, then the brusque directions to the the shelvesat the back that held books on raising tropical fish. No kidding, that's where "those people's" books were kept, if they were there at all. I think the section was actually called "Hobbies."

I'll try the Barnes and Nobel. If that doesn't pan out there are a number of nice little independent bookshops that might carry it. I doubt it, but I could use a new adventure.