Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Kickoff

Snazzy new graphic (right) courtesy of The Curt Jester. Nice, huh?

If you don't know what an Advent wreath is or what it symbolizes there are lots of respectable Catholic blogs out there that can tell you. Somehow it just doesn't feel like DIH's place.

Look, If You Didn't Want Me To Come For the Holiday, You Could Have Just Said So

From today's NY Post:


A retiree visiting his son on Long Island for Thanksgiving got a smelly -- and nearly deadly -- surprise yesterday when a section of lawn gave way, dropping him neck-deep into a cesspool.

Eduardo Matos, 71, from Puerto Rico, fell into the sewage at around 11:30 a.m. outside his son's Deer Park home.

"I was calm . . . If you panic, that s- - - will suck you right in," he said.

Matos managed to keep his head above the muck until he was pulled out by his son and daughter.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Public Service Announcement. No, Really.

Some months ago I decided to become hipper. So I set up a Facebook page.

The page immediately picked up a virus. It has been posting all sorts of weird stuff.

I have contacted Facebook; they assure me the account is cancelled; Nevertheless I am still getting angry emails from Facebookers telling me to stop cluttering up their mailbox with "The Truth About Acai" and such.

Short of raiding the Facebook offices I dont' know what else to do about this.

If anyone has any bright ideas, I'm all ears.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hide The Decline!

The Only Holiday Cooking Post You'll Ever Need

This time of year we are inundated with holiday cooking posts. Bloggers far more experienced and clever than DIH are happy to tell us all their culinary secrets: what makes Grandma's turkey so special (see previous post for the low-down on that), whose traditional family recipe for cranberry sauce is best, why the look of joy on the little children's faces brings tears to Mother's eyes when she serves up that hideous concoction of yams and marshmallows (let me just say here and now: YECH!).

DIH, on the other hand, has found the answer to true holiday dinner bliss for everyone. Ans being the generous sort she is she's going to share her cooking secret with you:

Don't.

Don't cook. Don't thaw, brine and roast the turkey, don't peel and parboil the potatoes, don't roll out so much as an inch of pie crust. And for God's sake don't do that yams-and-marshmallows thing.

For the past two years DIH has called the local snooty grocery store a week before thanksgiving. She then gives them a credit card number. Then the day before Thanksgiving she drives over to said snooty store and picks up a cardboard carton, plus an large unwieldy shopping bag. The unwieldy bag contains her turkey, cold but fully cooked. The carton contains everything else: masked potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole- which she never tried before but actually kind of likes-- and some cranberry sauce. Plus a handful of dinner rolls.

I can hear some of you now. "Sybarite!" "Spendthrift!"

As to point #2, the whole shebang costs 99 bucks. That is considerably less than she would spend if she went to Costco with the intention of putting the Thanksgiving feast together.

As to point #1, you betcha. When other moms are running themselves ragged in the kitchen DIH is happily sitting with her feel up, sipping a Bloody Mary and watching the Macy's parade. Beat that, do-it-yourselfers.

You do have to do some work, of course. Preheat the oven, stick the various pans into it at the right time so everything is done at once.

But the food was great, with the added benefit of DIH not having on her conscience the knowledge of how much butter went into every dish. (Except the potatoes. They stick about a pound of unmelted butter on the top of the potatoes. You're supposed to stir it in when the potatoes are ready. Hey, who am I to argue with a professional chef?)

So that's my recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving. I cant' wait to see what I can get for 99 bucks at Christmas.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Item For Your Gift List

From today's LA Times:

Twitter-equipped bathroom scale tells the world how much you weigh
November 10, 2009 |

The most embarrassing new tech product of the year just got more embarrassing.

[You've heard] about the Wi-Fi Body Scale, the first bathroom scale equipped with a wireless connection to send your weight and body fat information directly to your Web page and iPhone.

But weight, there's more.

Today the French company behind the scale, Withings, announced it has added Twitter capability to the scale, enabling the user to automatically tweet the weight/fat info to followers.

In a news release, Withings declared the Twitter function would be a great help to users, "further motivating them by sharing their progress with followers."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Search Is Over!

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Look no further. Here it is.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

"Dear Angela- Um, about next week...."

"President Barack Obama has RSVPed “nein” to Chancellor Merkel’s invitation to Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. " -NRO

FROM: Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Dear Prime Minister Merkel,

Thanks for the invitation to observe the anniversary next week. Gosh, it was just so sweet of you to think of me! But I just can't make it this time. It's tough, you know, what with the health care thing going on here, plus the fact that I don't speak Berlinian- what if I got lost on my way from the airport? Who would I ask for directions?

Besides, you just know Michelle would absolutely insist on bringing a gift. And no offense, Angie, but you're a little hard to shop for these days. Sure, back when the Wall was still up I could have just grabbed some cigarettes or toilet paper and you would have been thrilled, am I right? But now, well, I'd probably have to compete with whatever the Brits are bringing. And trust me,they give some snooty gifts. On the bright side, you can sell them on eBay. Maybe even swap 'em for some decent earrings. (Oops- I shouldn't have let that slip. Be a pal and don't tell Michelle!)

Besides, the girls are in school that day. And you know I could never leave them out of such a historic occasion. It's either piss you off or piss off the powers that be at Sidwell Friends, and frankly that school is costing me WAAAY too much to risk not having the entire faculty on my side, just in case of, you know, a problem or something. You have no idea about Quakers, they can really go for the jugular if the mood strikes them.

So, anyway. Have fun observing the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. I'm sure it'll be, um, historic. Will the ceremony be conducted in East Berlinian or West Berlinian? Just curious- I like to toss off little factiods at the dinner table.

Your friend,

Barack Obama

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Once Again the Japanese Offer An Improvement

Thursday was Global Handwashing Day. Am I the only one who missed it?

Oh well. Thank God for the Japanese. Here's a helpful video.

Friday, November 06, 2009

California: One Sinking Ship The Rats Will Not Leave

From today's LA Times:


L.A., Beverly Hills move to ban declawing of cats
November 6, 2009 | 1:31 pm

"The Los Angeles City Council, in a preliminary action, voted unanimously today to ban the controversial practice of declawing cats, which council members described as unnecessary and abject animal cruelty.

The vote was also a repudiation of the state Legislature, which earlier this year voted to bar local governments from banning the procedure beginning Jan. 1.

"I don't think we should allow people at the state level to dictate to us our local actions," said Councilman Paul Koretz, who sponsored the ordinance.
Said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who owns three cats: "The bottom line is, you take the claws out of a cat, you take away the cat."

The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the ordinance Nov. 17.
The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a similar ordinance Thursday night. A final vote in that city also is expected Nov. 17."

Election Commentary

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sick Days

"Mom? Moooommmmyy?"

"Mph?"

"My tummy hurts."

If your "parenting style" is anything like mine, this is a line that makes you want to tear your hair out.
It tells you nothing useful, like a fever does. "Fever! Bingo! You're sick, get the Motrin, you'll be fine in no time!"

It sounds so miserable, and you know there's next to nothing you can do about it. Sure, you can ply the kid with ginger ale and chicken broth, but you wonder how long before the child figures out you're just playing guessing games here.

It even rouses your suspicions. A 'tummy ache?' Is this about your child's actual physical health, or are we talking 'I don't want to go to school'? And how big a heel does it make you out to be if you decide the kid is faking and you turn out to be wrong?

A few weeks ago we saw the doctor about a tummy ache. After hinting that it was probably all my fault ("this could be a behavioral issue, the child responding to parental anxiety"), the doc concluded, "Kids get tummy aches. Like adults get headaches. It's just one of those things." Which was very helpful.

DIH does not like "tummy aches." She probably enjoys them even less than the little girl who is currently languishing on the sofa behind me. We are going to see the pediatrician this afternoon, and hope this time we get some answers.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dog Haiku Tuesday

Oh to be a lab
And go on shedding one's hair
Yet never go bald