Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Miracle




DIH loves the Gulf Stream!

In other news we are now in Connecticut for further familial Yuletide celebrations. I went for a walk along the Long Island Sound this afternoon. Good to smell salt air again.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's tough to keep up a blog when you have to steal time from somebody else's computer. But I still want to wish everyone a Merry christmas.

I got a wristwatch!

Spouse got a hunting vest!

Daughter got night vision goggles!

All are pleased with their gifts.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Eastward Ha!

Well, we did it. We got in the car and drove from Minneapolis to Long Island. Made good time, too- 22hours-- despite rain and sleet and snow and jack knifed tractor trailers, not to mention Chicago. And a state trooper or two, but them's the breaks.

We arrived on LI to find the wind chills every bit as sub-zero here as they were back in Minnesota. Our relatives, of course, are blaming us. Where is global warming when you could really use it? I had a peek at my niece's 11th grade "Environmental Science" textbook. According to them global warming is a real and present danger. Hello, textbook publishers- I'm not even going to ask you to read the research that proves your theor is hooey. I'm just saying, it might be a good idea to look out the window once in a while.

But enough about current events. Only two more days 'til Christmas. It's good to be back home.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Money Talk

The New York Times reports that Yale's endowment has taken a 13.4% nosedive.

Mr. Madoff made off with a lot of rich folks' cash.

Funds are shutting down all over the place.

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that "broke" is the new chic? And there's a corollary: No one raises an eyebrow at the phrase "I'm too cheap"any more. It's cool to be cheap.

I can think of a long list of people who were ahead of their time in this respect. I once had a roommate who wouldn't let our friend across the hall come over and do her ironing, on the grounds that it used up our electricity. Time was such behavior would be labeled "pathological." Now it's "savvy," or some such word.

Suddenly I feel much better about the pile of clothes I've been meaning to take to the drycleaners for the past, oh, two years I guess. I hate to pay drycleaning bills. But now I can say it with pride. "I'm too cheap." I'm right in step with fashion.

Think of what the new cheap chic will spare us. Christmas shopping just got one heck of a lot easier: don't do it! Entertaining becomes effortless: no food! Vacation? Turn up the heat, turn on the tube and stare at a video of Polynesia. Isn't this relaxing?

Fashion is another issue. Here in Minnesota, of course, it basically doesn't exist. Or at least it doesn't matter. If it keeps the frostbite at bay, it's fashionable. You can wear the same LLBean parka for fifteen years and everyone will still admire your good sense. "Heck of a company, that Bean!"

Yeah. Cheap feels cooler every minute. Soon we'll be having contests to see who's cheapest. Cheap-offs. If my old roommate is reading this: your moment has arrived!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Poetry Corner

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,

Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,

Freezeth river, turneth liver,
An ague hath my ham.
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.

"Ancient Music," Ezra Pound

Seven Below

...and feels like minus 28. Welcome to Minnesota!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Today is the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday. Traditionally the priest wears rose-colored vestments on this day. We didn't get that at Mass today. We got purple. It's hard for some men to wear pink, I guess.

I was going to put up a video of some choirboys singing "Gaudete, Christus est natus." This old Basque number has been popular in recent years. So I watched a bunch of different groups singing it. And I realized something: this old Basque carol, while real and genuine, is very annoying. So I didn't put it up.

Tonight we are waiting for a cold front to finish moving in. The temperature is supposed to drop over 40 degrees- we had upper 30s this morning and we're headed below zero. My goodness, the crowds at Costco. Everyone was anticipating not wanting to stick their noses out the door tomorrow.

It's an event, a cold front. It gives one something to talk about with strangers while waiting on line at the gas station or the ATM machine. It was kind of amazing to see how quickly things iced over out there. And of course driving was a real thrill. I can hardly wait until tomorrow. Getting my daughter to school should be quite exciting.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Herd Is Plentiful

A tale of the Great Bison.

Shops at Farmers' Market has returned from the hunt. The herd was plentiful this year. The Great Box of Ice in the cave beneath the abode is full.

Yet all is not well. The flesh of the prey is tough. Very tough. Even the Cooker of Great Slothfulness could not overcome it.

Now Shops Online speaks. "You must hunt from another herd. My people never consume the flesh of the bison if it's from Wisconsin. In fact we never touch anything from Wisconsin. Try South Dakota next time."

I, Shops at Farmers' Market, nod sagely. "Yet until now the meat has been most satisfactory. The tender steaks, and the chopped-up variety used for chili and burgers. It is only the pot roast that disappoints."

"Try cooking it on 'high,'" Shops Online advises.

Therefore I, Shops at Farmers' Market, have returned the flesh of the noble bison to the cooker of great slothfulness for the day. When the Great Orb of Light has passed from the sky and the small silver one appears, the tribe will once again attempt to feast on the bison pot roast. Should we fail-- thanks be to the Great Spirit!-- we know a good pizza place.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

And Now, A Reminder

We are in the third week of Advent. I've decided to call in redeemed.

And I want to extend my personal thanks to the Virgin Mary for making it possible.

Today's the Day

Today is "Call In Gay" Day.

I know we all have a list of people we wish would "call in gay" and leave us alone for24 hours. But unless they're gay they won't count today.

Obviously what we need is a whole bunch more activist days.

Like "Call In Loud And Pointless" Day. The entire crew of "The View" could take the day off.

Or "Call In Obnoxious" Day. Long list for this one, huh? And I'm not even talking about politicians. And quite a few gay activists would get a twofer.

"Call In 'Not Ready For Prime Time' Day." Yoo-hoo, Jon Favreau, your moment is calling.

"Call In Over-the-Hill" Day. Really, New York Times, we really could all survive a day without you. Maybe longer.

The floor is open to suggestions- DIH.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How Will It Affect You?

Out in West Hollywood a gay guy and his boyfriend have organized "A Day WIthout A Gay." They are urging homosexuals to stay home from work tomorrow. This will show America how "a day without a gay" will adversely affect their lives. This, of course, is to protest the vote on Proposition 8.

DIH is not concerned, as her hairdresser, God bless him, is a straight married man. But it sets one to wondering what havoc "a day without at gay" will wreak in the lives of her neighbors.
[h/t Jammie Wearing Fool. Click on today's post title- above- for the link.]

No barristas smirking "tough luck, sister" when you get the day's trivia question wrong at the coffee shop.

No waiting at the YWCA!

No one coming up with stupid, "original" ideas on how to decorate for Christmas this year.

And what will happen to the Episcopalians?

Yes, it will be a long, grey day tomorrow. Stock up your bar and wait it out at home is what I say.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Image Problem

Last night I went to a party at a friend's house. Very casual, very fun: soup and salad and homemade bread, everyone's kids running around upstairs, playing with the new puppy, etc.

Then I got a guilt-trip call from my daughter, home with Dad. "Mama. when are you coming home? I miss you. I don't feel well..."

Although I have learned to take such messages with a grain of salt, I did get up and leave.

So, this morning. Bump into another friend who was there last night. Sitting next to me, in fact. "I guess you had to go!" she said. "We were talking and talking and laughing. And then after about an hour I said-- hey, where's Susan?"

Yeah. They can't get along without me.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Rant

It's been a strange, messy week here in DIH land. You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much. Partly this is because I have been struggling with my mystery novel, the first draft of which is due Dec. 25. I know, I know. "Now tell us the one about the seven dwarves."

It's never a good idea to establish December 25 as the duedate for anything. Well, it was once. The Virgin Mary did just fine. But for us mere mortals... no, scratch that. For us lazy writer types Dec. 25th is a bad idea.

Just when you think you've got your subplot off the ground someone, usually the spouse, starts making liberal use of The Marital 'We.' E.g.:

"When are we putting the tree up this year?"
Translation: When are you putting the tree up?

"Are we doing anything special this year?"
[Did you get the Nutcracker tickets?]

"So, are we all set to visit relatives for Christmas?"
[Did you pack: my toothbrush, my razor, my clothes, the gifts, the iPod, the portable dvd player- oh, yeah, did you buy that yet?- and by the way did you go to the post office yet to have our mail held up, is the car tuned up, did you ever find out about ....."]

A friend (male) stopped by a few days ago for some "smart guy time" with the spouse. He has five daughters. I was asking him what it was like to live with all that femininity. He said, "It completely blows my circuits." he went on to explain that women just can't seem to focus on one thing at a time. This, he explained, is why there are no women Mozarts or Michaelangelos. Dames just don't have the focus.

An interesting theory. But the more I thought about it, the more one thing stood out: every time I get really, truly focussed on my work- writing- someone has come along and expected me to abandon it. Not in so many words, of course. Usually in more of a deep-sighing, shoulders sagging, disappointed look in the eyes way.

This is where the double whammy comes into play:

1. women usually are the nurturing part of the household, it actually is their job to see that people are fed and comfortable, and besides we like things that way


2. writing is a lonely occupation that most writers, even the best ones, dread to some extent, and the "someone needs me" is as good an excuse as you're going to get to turn away from the laptop for a while.

And yes, I do know all this is just an excuse. Suck it up and do both, I say.

I just wish I could do both a lot faster.

So that's my rant for today. All right, so it's more of a whine. Anyway. Back to work.

DIH Has Made Mistakes

"I have made mistakes, which I am learning from."

I'm going to practice that line over and over until it sounds just right. Then I am going to drive to Washington and ask for 35 billion dollars.

Hey, if it works for GM....

Monday, December 01, 2008

Read This And Cheer

This note is pasted on the door of a wounded Navy SEAL. H/t Black Five.