Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Little Help Here?

OK, somebody explain this to me.

President Obama is about to set new emissions standards for American cars. SUVs and big vehicles will become obsolete, and everyone will have to drive around in those stupid little "smart" cars.

Enviromental types cheer. We're saved!

On the other hand:

The Minnesota state legislature just voted to make booster seats mandatory for all children up to age 8.

I believe the number of booster seats you can fit into a "smart" car is zero. DIH drives a Subaru Outback and she can do three, tops.

This means:

In Minnesota at least, entire fleets of "smart" cars will be required to transport one soccer team to practice.

Which means at best a break-even scenario on that plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus ticking off anyone over 5'2" who has to cram himself into a "smart" car. And believe me, this is a tall state (not enough Italians in the gene pool, I guess).

Result: more pollution, more ticked-off drivers, more cranky kids who resent being treated like their baby brothers as they are strapped into booster seats. More tempers flaring on the soccer field. More irate parents getting in the coach's face, more kids "accidentally" cleating each other...

Oh, dear. The Beautiful Game is about to get very ugly.

Thank you, DFLers!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Best Wishes, Graduates!

Joe Biden gave the commencement address at Wake Forest University yesterday. I'm telling you, the man knows how to win friends [h/t THe Corner]:

"I believe so strongly, as you may recall when I was here in October, not in you particularly but your generation, that I don’t have a single doubt in my mind we’re on the cusp not only of a new century but a new day for this country and the world."

The Vice President continued:

"Not in you particularly, because hey, let's face it, I'm at- where am I? Wake Forest? Where the hell is Wake Forest? Seriously, you're like, the rejects from Chapel Hill, right? Or maybe Duke. Duke, there's a good school. Too bad you guys didn't get in there. Oh well. Like I said, there are other people in your generation besides you people, which is a damn good thing in my opinion, since if there were only you lot we'd be completely screwed. Hey, Happy Graduation, losers!"

And remember, we just could not have Sarah Palin for VP. Not smart enough.

Hard Times at the MOA

Yesterday my daughter and I went to the Mall of America, the largest shopping mall on Planet Earth and a Minnesota landmark. This is a big deal, as DIH a) is too cheap to pay full retail for anything and b) cannot stand the Mall of America.

This last probably warrants some explanation.

If there is anyone outside the Twin Cities reading this, I bet there are some things you didn't know about the MOA. For instance. Did you know the Mall of America is home to the largest underground aquarium in the world?

And did you know that having an aquarium in your basement makes your whole mall smell like a swimming pool?

If you're ever in the MOA and you order a diet Coke from some little stand, you will note it carries a faint taste of chlorine. (Note to self: next time say "no ice.")

Usually there are large groups of Japanese tourists milling about. shopping for all they're worth. Yesterday I saw exactly one Japanese person. She was wearing a surgical mask. I thought it was to deal with the chlorine smell. Then I remembered: swine flu.

Sophia and I were looking for shoes. Geoxx shoes, for her. They're expensive shoes, but we figured it being so near the end of the season maybe we'd catch a clearance sale.
There was no clearance sale at the Geoxx store. But as soon as she saw we were about to leave, the young woman behind the counter offered us 25% off on anything in the store.

For a while there yesterday I felt good about the recession.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Sympathy, Please

..for President Barack Obama. He had to sit on that dais last night pretending he thought Wanda Sykes was funny. How many people do you know who could do that?

Or maybe he wasn't pretending. Maybe he really does think Ms. Sykes, whose outstanding performance as the voice of the cross-specie-ing skunk in "Open Season" will go down in the history of great skunk performances, actually is worth a laugh or two. Hey, he married a woman who thinks it's smart to spend $540 on a pair of sneakers. It's possible.

Anyway. It's been said but DIH will say it again: Wanda Sykes, outspoken lesbian, did a great job of sucking up to the man who said he's against same sex marriage. Hip hip hooray. Maybe she'll put in a good word for Carrie Prejean, who only echoed the President's feelings.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Good Advice

DIH has been browsing again. And she came across "100 Little Tips to Help You Live to 100."

This list sure is helpful. Drink more water, take a vitamin pill, don't forget your fiber- can't argue with that, can you?--eat your fruits and vegetables. Just like Mom always told you.

The farther you go down the list, though, the more problematic "living to 100" gets. Take tip #27: "Sweep and vacuum the entire house every other day." If you have to do both, you either need a new vacuum or a new set of kids. Take your pick.

#30: "Turn on some music and dance. No one is watching." Oh yes, they are. Remember that.

#44: "Avoid lingering in large groups of people in cold and flu season." Best achieved by hiding under your bed from September to June.

The real recipe for disaster, of course, is found under the "mental health " tips. Someone tell me how you can do all these at once:

#62: "Spend more time with your family."
#76: "Surround yourself with only good people who have your best interests at heart."
Clearly these people have never met my family.

#85: "Adopt a mantra that will brighten your mood"
#86 "Stop worrying about what other people think of you."
Especially if you go around chanting a mantra to yourself at the supermarket.

I like #93: "Don't live in an area known for extreme weather or earthquakes." I'm trying to think of such a place. Hawaii comes to mind, but they have tidal waves and volcanoes. Italy, earthquakes. Ireland, rains all the time. And most places have winter.

Looks like I'm screwed.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

This Morning's Belly Laugh

MSNBC Not Only Gushingly Covers Obama's *Lunch Order* (He's So Human! He Eats Hamburgers!), but They Cover Up His Order of Dijon Mustard- Ace

(See for more)

I love Ace of Spades.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dom Deluise RIP

I've been trolling YouTube but I can't find my favorite Dom Deluise memories. The time he told the story about how when he was a child he accidentally wiped the painted face off the Baby Jesus in his mother's Nativity set. How he convinced Kermit the Frog to go to Hollywood.

I've been making Dom's "Mamma's Meat Sauce" for years, from his cookbook "Eat This, It'll Make You Feel Better." Also "Mamma's Marinara Sauce." They're both fantastic.

I never had the nerve, though, to attempt "Mamma's Sunday Sauce." The one that takes 10 Italian sausages, 6 pork spareribs, 20 meatballs and a braciole. Plus another pound of pork.

But now, I feel I should give it a try. In Dom's memory.

He made me laugh, man.