Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall Entertaining

The leaves are turning, the winter squash are in the farmers' markets, a chill is in the evening air. Yes, it's autumn again. Time for hot apple cider, cozy suppers, a glass of something special in front of the fire as we enjoy the last warm days before the snow flies.

Autumn entertaining is something special in the Desperate house. Every year DIH buys scores of magazines with pictures of pumpkins and fallen leaves on the covers and scours them for ideas. How to cook a turkey. How to carve a jack-o-lantern. How to prepare something called a "hot dish" for something called a "pot luck." (She has never done this, but it's nice to know the instructions are there somewhere.)

You can find any number of menus, recipes, etc. in these tempting rags for "A Halloween Supper," "A Thanksgiving Feast." But as always it is Desperate Irish Housewife's job to pick up where the main stream media leave off. Here are her favorite autumn entertaining ideas. Hope you're hungry!

The "Somebody Left The Freezer Open" Party. You know that gorgeous roast you were saving for, I don't know, New Year's? What's wrong with tonight? Toss that hunk of nicely thawed meat into the oven and get out your address book. There must be somebody who's not coaching a basketball game this evening. Open a bottle of cheap wine and enjoy!

The "I Just Spent The Whole Day Raking Leaves And You Expect Me To Cook?" Party. One of Desperate's favorites. Two words: pizza delivery. Open a bottle of cheap wine and enjoy!

The "Thanks For Helping Me Clean Out The Garage- NOT!" Party. This one is on the spouse. Send him out for Thai. And another bottle of cheap wine.

The "I Got A Little Carried Away At The Farmers' Market" party. Veggies, veggies, veggies- and yes, you are finally going to learn how to prepare brussel spouts. If you have any vegetarian neighbors now's the time to invite them over. Or better yet, pop over to their house with a nice bag of rutabagas- everyone loves rutabagas! They love cheap wine, too.

The "Some Jerk Stole My McCain Sign Again" cookout. Shoot a deer and roast it on a spit. On the front lawn. Right across from that house with the "Hope" sign on the porch. Knock back a lot of cheap wine. Better yet, whiskey. Maybe you'll start a little sing-a-long later. That'll show 'em.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Places, Everyone

Yesterday was Sophia's birthday party. She had been working on it for weeks. She decided she wanted to throw a theater party. She had scripts printed out, props ready, costumes lined up, music, the whole ball of wax.

The spouse worked with her on the production. My husband has some theater training and actually is quite a good amateur actor, so his involvement was inevitable. So picture this: you're out at the party store buying pink paper plates and a paper tablecloth, and you call home to see how things are going. And the spouse says, "We're blocking scenes right now."

I'm not sure what "blocking" means in this case but it sounded ominous. "Um, Rich," I said, "You do know what's going to happen tomorrow."

"Of course. We're putting on a play, it's going to be great."

"Rich. A bunch of little girls are going to play dress-up and eat ice cream."

"No no. This is acting. I'll talk to you later."


So yesterday eighteen little girls gave us the 15-minute version of "Enchanted" on our sunporch. There were several big dance scenes, the dragon was slain, the princess got married. The play ended with everyone getting a piece of ice cream cake. I'm telling you, it was better than Broadway. And a lot cheaper. You just can't top that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Genius Time!

The 2008 Macarthur Foundation "Genius" awards have been announced, and once again DIH has been shamefully overlooked. But I shall endeavor to be big about it and celebrate the winners.

Who include:

Will Allen, Urban Farmer. For "transforming the cultivation, production, and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations through a novel synthesis of low-cost farming technologies." Said low-cost technologies are rumored to include spades, cotton gloves and so-called "found" fertilizers.

Tara Donovan, Sculptor. For "transforming accumulations of ordinary materials into visually arresting, sculptural works reminiscent of geological and biological forms." What can I say? Except "uh-oh..."

Plus a lady who weaves baskets from sweetgrass and a bald guy who plays the saxophone, and a few others.
Honestly I can't figure out why then never call me. OK, so I'm not a brain scientist. (They threw in a couple of those too. Just to be safe, I guess.) But give me time, I'm sure I'll come up with something genius-y one of these days.
Then again, the award is only for $500,000. You'd think real genius would be worth a bit more than that. I'm not sure I'm willing to put in the work for a mere half a mil. Hello, Mac Foundation? Call me when you're really willing to pay up. We'll talk.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Parentspeak, Catholic Style

"Offer it up."
[Shut up. already.]

"Jesus loves everyone, dear."
[But I agree, Obama is something of a jerk.]

"Thank your guardian angel."
[For God's sake, how many times do I have to tell you to look both ways before you cross??!!]

"There are children starving in India."
[OK, OK, so it's a lousy recipe- excuuuuse me for trying!]

"People have different ways of honoring God and His creation."
[No, we are not going to get a recycling bin. Recycling is for suckers.]

"God wants us to be good stewards of our money."
[Wait-- if we just order the recycling bin, we get the seven bucks off our taxes every month, right? I mean, there's nothing in the regulations that says we actually have to use the thing, right?]

"Be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents."
[Order the bin! Order the bin!]

"What was the sermon about this morning, sweetie?"
[You neither, huh.]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Can't Tell If I'm Diversifying Or Branching Out

(my second blog!)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Case Closed?

My daughter and her buddy Anna figured out quite a lot about my vandal. It was a man (Handwriting analysis, plus size of shoe) and he was walking a dog (pawprints).

Needless tosay we have ordered more lawn sing. So there, Democrats.

All of which brings us to today's Sharing Session:

Have any ofyou had this experience? Lawn signs stolen, bumper stickers keyed? Please write and let DIH know. She'd love to hear all about it.


The Girl Is On The Case

Free Speech

Half the houses in my neighborhood have lawn signs. Obama! Franken! Biden!

DIH thought she'd like to get in on the fun. So, I got me a sign: "Sarah Palin."

It lasted three days. On the third day- Sunday morning, to be exact, I woke up and found what you see above. The "Nazi in a skirt" message is pretty readable. The "Why do you plaster your face like a trollip [sic] you f****** c***!" is a bit more puzzling.

What impressed me was the lengths my own persoaln vandals went to. They brought their own photo of McCain. They brough ttheir own duct tape (this is Minnesota, after all) to attach the photo to the sign. And they must have lugged that orange and white barrier thing at least four blocks.

Remember, liberals love free speech. They really, really do.

And Just So No One Would Miss The Message, The Final Touch!

Same Sign, Other Side

My Lawn Sign

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Frustration of Barack O'B.

(With apologies to Robert W. Service)

There’s strange things done on a White House Run by the fellows who would be elected,
The campaign trail has it secret tales that could make half of us disaffected.
Desperate Irish Housewife has seen some queer sights, but the queerest she ever did see
Was one frosty, cold night in the northern moonlight : she bumped into Barack O’B.

He had no Armani, no Prius, no Streisand,
And no Secret Service detail,
But he drove a dogsled and he wore a fur coat—
The kind only Michelle would buy retail.
“Barack,” Desperate cried, “whatcha doing out here?
Hawaiians don’t make good dog-sledders!”
“It’s that new girl,” he growled, as the Malamutes howled,
“I’ve just got to make voters forget her!”

“I’ve slipped in the polls since that Palin gal spoke,
And my mojo I’ve got to recharge.
So I bought me this sled an these dogs and this coat
And these earmuffs in size extra-large.
So now I look rugged and real, don’t you see?
A regular Admiral Peary!
Undecideds will all now come flocking to me
And I’ll take back the world blogosphere-y!

If it’s Yukon they want then it’s Yukon they’ll get
I’ll show them I’m no city slicker!
I’ll have moose, I’ll have wolves, I’ll have Great Northern Loons
All on my next bumper sticker!
Then I’ll give ‘em a speech. You know, more hope-and-change.
They’ll forget all about ‘Miss -McCain’s- Pick!’
I’ll send her right back to the cold Wasatch Range-
Hey, do you know if sea lions wear lipstick?”

Now things get mighty queer in Election year
And the strongest men’s judgement gets hazy.
But this candidate’s panic was so un-messianic
I feared the poor guy had gone crazy.
“It isn’t the wolves or the loons,” Desperate said,
“It’s the heart, and the brains. She’s a keeper.”
Barack shook his head, and to himself said,
“What I need is a prettier veeper.”

Then the load on his sled seemed to move! And it said,
“I told you, you shouldn’t have picked me.”
‘Joe, you just need a fire,” said Barack in tones dire.
Joe shrugged. ”Fine. Just don’t try to lipstick me.”
Then Barack shouted, “Mush!” And all in a rush
The dogs took off over the tundra.
DIH shook her head, and to no one she said,
“The pressure this country is under!”

There’s strange things done on a White House Run by the fellows who would be elected,
The campaign trail has it secret tales that could make half of us disaffected.
Desperate Irish Housewife has seen some queer sights, but the queerest she ever did see
Was one frosty, cold night in the northern moonlight : she bumped into Barack O’B.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Seven years ago today America was attacked. Over 3,000 innocent people- civilians, unarmed, unsuspecting-- were murdered by Islamic extremists.

In deference to their memory DIH will refrain from snarky blogging today.

Pray for America, people.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Today's Lesson

Let's get this straight once and for all, America. This is "down-home common sense", "witty" and "great lines":

And this is "sarcasm, exagerrations, smug provincilaism , hypocirys and personal attacks" (Wahsington Post, Richard Cohen- http://salon.com)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Reminds Me Of Someone...

Well, I Guess It's All Up To Me Now

From the same article:

"NBC News journalists, who often appear on the cable channel, did see a problem, arguing behind the scenes that MSNBC's move to the left -- which includes a new show, debuting tonight, for Air America radio host Rachel Maddow -- was tarnishing their reputation for fairness. Tom Brokaw, the interim host of "Meet the Press," said that at times Olbermann and Matthews went too far."

Quick, get me a TV schedule. What time is Rachel Maddow going to be on?
She needs me.

Let me reveal something personal here: I am the only person I know who listens to Air America.

No, wait, let me clarify that: I am the only person I have ever even met who listens to Air America.
As I wrote in this space some time ago, I listen to Air America for one reason: because somebody has to. It's a sad day in American media when a radical radio network has to declare bankruptcy for such a fascist thing as having, well, um, no audience. I mean, come on. Air America hosts have feelings, right? Somebody's got to care. Or pretend to.

No kidding, you can hear some really interesting stuff on Air America. Like all about vegan cooking. Do you know the difference between "vegan" and "vegetarian"? You would, if you listened to The Vegan Show. Did you hear the spokesman sniggering about how Sarah Palin's 17-year old daughter is pregnant and- are you ready for this- unmarried? Yep, you would have caught your first snigger right there , if only you'd had the sense to turn to 950AM.

There must be other reasons to tune in, but DIH does it out of compassion, mostly. Fear not, Air America! Someone really is listening! OK, not every day, but you never know when you might actually have an audience. That's what DIH is here for. Desperate Irish Housewife, a friend to all.

Don't worry, Rachel. I'll be there for you. But just in case, maybe you'd better call your family, too.

I'm Gonna Miss These Guys

MSNBC Drops Olbermann, Matthews as News Anchors

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; C01

MSNBC is removing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as the anchors of live political events, bowing to growing criticism that they are too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign.

David Gregory, the NBC newsman and White House correspondent who also hosts a program on MSNBC, will take over during such events as this fall's presidential and vice presidential debates and election night.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I['m Sorry, But Watching This Guy Trying Not To Freak Out Is Just Too Much Fun

This Could Spell Disaster!


"Yes, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has a lot on her plate: a pregnant teen daughter, a son on his way to Iraq, an infant with Down syndrome and a looming national election.

"But must her hair suffer? With her long, straight, often pinned-up locks, Palin looks one humid day away from fronting a Kiss cover band.

“It’s about 20 years out of date,” said Boston stylist Mario Russo of the Alaska governor’s ’do. “Which goes to show how off she might be on current events.”

Say it ain't so, America!


Busy Week

Having done her best to weasel her way into the GOP Convetnion at the Xcel Energy Center, DIH is forced to admit defeat.


But she did manage to attend a couple of events. So, I guess I'll talk about them.

The first thing was a screening of a documentary about the Supreme Court. You know the kind of thing: lots of footage of crazy anti-abortion activists chanting weirdly outside the Supreme Court building in Washington; over-the-hill Nashville stars in cowboy hats singing about Je-zus; civilized pro-abortion leaders in handmade shirts speaking calmly to the camera.

Which brings us to today's Vocabulary Lesson For Filmmakers:
Please get out your dictionaries and look up the following: cliche, "jump the shark," and "I-thought-film-schools-were-better-than-this."

The film ended with a roll of supertitles. "Since their confirmation John Roberts and Sam Alito have re-instituted slavery and bugged your telephones. THEY CAN HEAR YOU."

The filmmaker was a Democrat, who was positively beaming at how unbiased he managed to be. Touching, in a way.

The reception that was part of this event was full of surprises. For example, I thought ten years ago that Ralph Reed looked like one of those little girl tennis stars. Update: he still does. I really thought he'd look, I don't know, a little more rugged by now.

Anyway, more later. Right now DIH has to check her phones.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Welcome Conventioneers!

Hello, and welcome to the Twin Cities! Aren't you glad the GOP didn't pick New Orleans for this bash? We don't get hurricanes here, but we might be able to deliver a tornado or two. Keep your fingers crossed.

So, you're probably wondering the same thing DIH has been wondering since she moved here: Why the h-e-double-hockey-sticks would anyone live up here? It's hot and steamy in the summertime and life-threateningly cold in winter time. It's a thousand miles from any decent beach. The accents are funny, the natives freakishly tall, and it's not like there's a Chinatown you can retreat to to feel normal-sized again.

So what gives? What's to love about MSP?

We, let's see. We got lakes! Not, I mean, over in St Paul where the convention is. They don't have lakes there. In fact aside from the State Capitol, the Cathedral and the Xcel Center I'm not sure what they do have over there. But there are definitely no lakes,unless you count the ones in the little parks. If you wan lakes you gotta come over here.

Uh... yes. Lakes.

We have some nice farmers' markets. And I'm not talking those chi-chi NYC farmers' markets where uptowners go shopping so they can feel real and close to the land and all that b-s. We have real farmers. Want to buy some buffalo meat? The people who sell it at our farmers' markets can tell you when you steak was last seen walking around. Now that's close enough to the land for me.

DIH is sure if she gave it some more thought she'd come up with more inviting things about the TC area but right now she has to go walk the dog around the lake. I'd love to let her take a quick dip in the water, too, but that's illegal. The microbes in our lakes are for humans only. Personally, I'd never set my big toe into them.