Thursday, January 31, 2013

"They sing too loud and they move too much."

No, not Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Beyonce, or Nicki Minaj... The Andrews Sisters. 

That's what savvy entertainment types told the girls' mom-promoter in the early days before the sisters hit the big time. They would go on to become the best-selling girl group of all time. Patty, the last surviving Andrews sister, died yesterday at the age of 94. 

A toast to you, ladies.


h/t CMR

"Children of the elite, if you will”

Now there's a surprise! Sociological study reveals that majority of Occupy Wall Street participants were  "disproportionately" rich, white and male. National Review Online.
They had time to participate in protests, the authors write, because they were “unconstrained by highly demanding family or work commitments.”
Oh, for the days when guys grew up, got jobs, got married, raised families, and built up society. Now they sit around smoking dope, playing computer games, crapping on police cruisers, and demading that someone else fix the nation's problems. Pardon me for --just occasionally --despairing for western civilization.

h/t Pundette
.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Tale of Al, and the culture he helped spawn

Have you ever wondered how environmentalism came to take over the universe? The Sultan explains.
Racism was bad, but it wouldn't kill everyone. Neither would AIDS. World Hunger was something for the Africans to worry about. But Global Warming brought back Armageddon in a big way. Like the Cold War, cold basements or bungee jumping, it reminded the numbed children of privilege that they could die at any moment. And it stroked their egos by telling them that, just like in all their favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons, only they could save the world.
 Al Gore, like many a bearded prophet, had gone to his mansion in the wilderness of Belle Meade (median income $194,016) and returned with pie charts and cockamamie theories made up by other people that would make him extremely rich. Idealism was a brand, and unlike Clinton, Gore seemed sincere, if only because he came off as too unimaginative not to be.
Being a greenie offers status that pretends not to be status:
Anyone could afford good art, so those with discerning taste chose bad art. Anyone could vacation abroad, so they bought old farm houses, restored them and painted bad art while trying to grow their own food.
LOL, but, as Far Side's caveman Thag says, "It get better."
Environmentalism was the ur-brand of philanthropy. A philanthropy as big as the planet for a cause so generous that it was completely anti-materialistic. And like all luxury, it was also hugely and obscenely profitable.
[...]
Environmentalism, like all idealism for hire, sells out the one thing that it stands for...  the right to pollute.
The right to pollute is not a small thing in a world where exhalation is pollution. The right to pollute means the right to drive a car, build a factory, buy non-local produce, eat a burger, fly to Miami and exhale. It is nothing less than the right to live.
Communism criminalized commerce and then legalized it on its terms. Environmentalism criminalizes life and legalizes it on its terms. The terms are paying a tribute to one of the many green companies owned wholly or partially by Al Gore and his merry band of green investors who steal from the rich and give to the even richer, and steal from the poor and give to the Gore.
[...] One minute you're warning about fossil fuels and the next minute you're selling your news channel  to a Middle Eastern oil tyranny for 500 million bucks.
[...] Forget claiming that you invented the comma and the cocoa bean while on a conference call with Isaac Newton and just focus on warning everyone that the planet is about to explode. A lie as big as a planet. A lie that was too big to fail. 

"Hollow Men in a Hollow Earth" by Daniel Greenfield.
.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

This belongs on my iPod.



Learn more about the Lumineers.
.

This guy is too brilliant for words

Daniel Greenfield, aka Sultan Knish: 
Shallowness is actually a winning media strategy. The truly shallow have nothing to hide because they have nothing. They voluntarily turn their life into public consumption. Most of the rest just manufacture a fake reality that seems real only because generations that grew up on television have brains that are trained to confuse natural lighting, low resolution footage and shaky cameras with sincerity.
 [...] The more fake the culture is, the more of a sucker it is for fake authenticity. The explosion of reality shows is traceable to the death of reality. Everyone wants to connect to something and someone and the entertainment industry is abandoning escapism from reality for escapism to a fake reality next door. Music has reached the same range of fake reality, embracing the inauthenticity of making your life public as the ultimate form of authenticity.
Politics thrives on that same fake authenticity. Mitt Romney, a fake authentic politician of the old school, back when politicians were working with magazine covers, snapshots and a 30 second clip, couldn't compete against the truly fake Barack Obama, who in truly modern media style doesn't just fake 30 seconds or 30 minutes in front of the camera, but fakes his entire life going back decades.
[...]Those who believe in nothing are the most gullible because they will fall for anything. Those without faith are always looking to believe in something or someone. Those who have never known value or quality are always looking to pick up a product that communicates value and quality to them, even while they retain no metric for assessing either one. Instead of learning the metric, they follow the brand, they become savvy brand-spotters, rather than knowledgeable buyers. And when they brand lets them down, then the brand apologizes, the emotions are soothed, and the low information voter turns to the big screen for another messiah.

He's got words for Lance Armstrong too. Worth reading.
 .

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

19 Followers!

Of course I'd noticed the very day it happened, but I was too stunned to make a comment. It's been so long...

Welcome, Celeste! And while I'm at it, y'all might as well check out her writing:  articles  at Integrated Catholic Life and blog "A Perpetual Jubilee."
.

Steyn: Oh, the irony.

Suddenly, this guy I made up doesn't seem so made up anymore.
.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The ongoing saga of Sears being totally useless

Wilton bakeware is on sale now at Sears.ca. I ordered some cute little pans for the kids to use in our toaster oven. Two cookie sheets, and an 8" pizza pan (see below). Now the top view may be deceiving, but the bottom view leaves no doubt: this is a PIZZA PAN. They sent me a 2-inch deep cake pan.





And no, I could NOT have made a mistake ordering it, because all I had to do was click "Add to Cart" on the pizza pan webpage; this was no complicated "Order From a Catalogue" thing that required manually punching in sixteen numbers and uppercase letters into a form. And besides which, there was not even a cake pan on sale, at least not on the page from which I ordered. It was simply a case of (yet again), Timpy the (poorly) trained Chimpanzee filling orders at Sears.

Like the time I ordered a Polly Pocket Splashin Fashion Pool Party doll set for Miss P #5's birthday...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Better late than never

I'd meant to post this in November, but then life rather got away on me (as well it might, when you endure not one, but two trips to the ER in four days) and interminable medical tests in the following weeks.

Our local prolife group held an annual event in mid-November, complete with a bake sale. My girls and I made lots of stuff for it, including a gingerbread sleigh, which was given away as a door prize. It was very nearly a complete disaster. First batch of icing (with which to construct the thing): too runny. So instead of  staying together, it was, as the song goes, "Slip Sliding Away". Second batch of icing (with which to decorate): too stiff and dry (wouldn't stick to the gingerbread). Somehow we got it together.


We then dusted it (powdered sugar covers a multitude of sins), 
filled it with candies, and wrapped it in cellophane.

Ah, much better: almost completely obscured!


To keep at home (at the youngest Miss P's insistence), we also made this little gingerbread scene. We kept it under plastic until Christmas, at which time it enjoyed the distinction of being a table centrepiece for a few days. 








Mrs. P's definition of the day

Hypocrite: One who spends an inordinate amount of time fretting about whether or not other people are doing God's will.
.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heh

Last Sunday, I saw The Hobbit (well, at least the first part of the movie trilogy, sheesh!), and as I said on Facebook, the awesomeness of this film can be summed up in just five words: Richard Armitage with a beard.



Tolkien would NOT approve... as if we care. 


But the mane reason (oops, Freudian slip)... I mean the main reason for posting was that after the movie was over, my daughter heard some kid up front commenting aloud. He was apparently unaware that there are more movies to follow and was unimpressed with the ending. 

"I am NOT buying the book!" he stated emphatically. 
.

It happens about as often as a total eclipse of the sun

But it appears that David Warren and I expressed some of the same sentiments at roughly the same time. (With profuse apologies to Mr. Warren). Here is my post-Christmas column from The Record. I'm not sure when it appeared in the print edition, but it was posted online Jan. 14. And here is an excerpt from Mr. Warren's Epiphany blog post
But just as the “spirit of Christmas” is supposed to be remembered throughout the year, the spirit of the Mass goes forth into the world. We do not cease to be Christians when we walk out of church. We have been restored, but this restoration is carried with & within us.
However, he goes on to rant wax eloquently on the Liturgical Year, while I merely mock Elvis. (I never pretended that he and I were intellectual equals--Mr. Warren, not Elvis.) 
Parcelled with this convulsion, the knocking around of the most solemn Holy feasts, which once fell where they fell. It was unthinkable to transfer them, say to the nearest Sunday, the way a provincial government transfers bank holidays to the next or nearest Monday — for the sake of a notion of convenience that is aggressively worldly.
Twelve days from Christmas is twelve days from Christmas; one cannot muck with such a plain thing. I, at least, cannot get my little mind around, “The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on 6 January, unless, where it is not observed as a Holy day of obligation, it has been assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January.” I pray to God that I will never become so smart that I will be able to understand this instruction.
It is also the only instance when I have been able to read the phrase "liturgical dance" without retching.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On second thought

Maybe I'll soup up my crappy novel and make it even more pious and purple and start a whole new literary genre (if not publishing house!): the Catholic Ghetto Romance. (Mrs. Beazly, I rely on your photoshopping and cut 'n paste expertise to come up with my first few novel covers).

On third thought, forget it. In a world where such a thing as Amish romance fiction actually exists, we are well and truly beyond satire. (Book titles below listed in order of the progression of the romance.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sinners and Saints

The problem (rather, one of many) with the post-modern mind is that these groups are generally considered to be mutually exclusive. In truth they represent not a dichotomy but an evolution.
.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Well at least now I know

Why my own half-baked "Catholic" novel is basically crap:
Both the old lady in California who wants to be uplifted and the Catholic critic who wants novels to be “positive”—the Scylla and Charybdis of the Catholic public, demanding sentiment or utility, but blind to art—, are confused about what a work of literature is in its essence: they expect it to DO something specific for them and are from the beginning uninterested in its representation of any unpleasant realities, which is to be uninterested in at least half of reality.   To want only simplistic sentimental stories is really to want to be lied to, and while there is no shortage in our age of those willing to lie to make a buck, the Christian artist, bound by his theology to see the world as it is, and sanctioned by his morality against deceiving anyone, cannot in good conscience join in.
This article is, by cyber standards, old news (2011) but the truth (as truth is wont to be) is as fresh as ever. If you are interested in art, read it. If nothing else, it will help alleviate the guilt you feel in the pit of your stomach for criticizing (if you have been so bold; most of us opt for discreet if tortured silence) the sub-standard Catholic books, music and film out there. 

As for the story now occypying space on my hard drive, the question is whether those 50,000 words will be "Moved To Trash" or if there is anything in there worth salvaging. 

Just in case you were wondering who Scylla and Charybis were. 

UPDATE: I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Kevin O'Brien's excellent posts on this topic (the Catholic ghetto). He is a source of continual inspiration on this matter. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Always be ready for fika with friends


Nordic love is everywhere, even at Houzz.com, one of my other fave sites.
In Denmark they have hygge, in Germany it's gem├╝tlichkeit and in Sweden you might get mysig. Loosely translated, all of these words mean "cozy,"but it is really much more than that. Hygge is about relaxing, slowing down and enjoying time spent together with friends and loved ones. It is about bringing light and warmth to a dark night, sipping hot drinks around the fire and creating a cheerful, peaceful, welcoming mood at home. And the beautiful thing about a hygge home is that it depends much more on the care you take than the cash you put into it.
Frankly, it's inspiring to read such words on a home decor site, many of which are more concerned with fashion and fakery (and consumerism) than quality of life.

"Cultivating cheerfulness" is not just a pleasant pastime; it's a sacred calling. We can do a much better job of evangelizing if our homes, hearts and dispositions are cheerful. (And yes, by gum, even our husbands and kids need to be evangelized on an ongoing basis... as do we dumb old housewives.)



.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In case there is, like, too much sanity in your life

And you just needed to get away from it all. The most remarkable thing is that I don't know which one is more disturbing.



h/t Mrs. Blurn, via several other websites, such as And Sometimes Tea.



h/t Miss P. #4, who must have designs to undermine my mental stability.

Must go have stiff, stiff whiskey now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I love these guys

Not just because they make funny videos, or because they are brothers (who obviously enjoy doing stuff together), or because they are good at lip-syncing, but also because they remind me how impoverished the world would be without 3 to 5-year olds.





Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mrs. B, I found the artwork

For your 50's bathroom restoration. What else? Posters of vintage ads.










And perhaps something for the laundry room as well...





and mabye even something for the patio... well, maybe not. 






As another Christmas comes to a close

please enjoy more of the beautiful works of Helge Artelius.


I'm sure there is some perfectly rational Swedish explanation for this first one, but I prefer to think of it as a depiction of an important event in the Naked Mohawk Babies' mythology.
 I like these two because they make me think of Miss B. who is, as Sloppy might say, "A baker and a skater and a mangler in a million million."

 And then there's what I'm going to call The Cross-Country Ski into Egypt. At least, I'm assuming this is the Madonna and Child; the website didn't  say.
I love these ethnic depictions of members of the Holy Family. (Check out William Kurelek's A Northern Nativity .) They are beautiful reminders that "Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by His blood."

Not Artelius, but also interesting and beautiful:



.


Friday, January 4, 2013

"The Algae that Ate Detroit"

I'd go see it.
.

Three kings from Persian lands afar

I like this article at Mercatornet, and not only because it features the same lovely painting I chose for my upcoming Epiphany post.

"It was true wisdom. The Wise Men diligently studied and listened. They eagerly sought and found. They saw and they believed. Once discovered, they acknowledged truth. They left country and comfort to follow His star. Once found, they loved the Truth."
.



St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for Us.

Especially those of us having trouble with school, be it home education, correspondence courses, or  enrollment at a local institution. None of them are perfect, and as Mrs. P. said to me a few days ago, it helps nothing to "close ranks" and pretend that whatever path we have chosen is without difficulty. On many days home schooling is wonderful, some days it is lonely and fruitless. Sometimes there is great joy in seeing a child flourish at a new school, sometimes there is great frustration that the school is not offering everything it ought. Sometimes teachers are valued for the great good they do, sometimes they suffer for teaching the  truth. Sometimes parents are acknowledged as primary educators of their children, sometimes they are deprived of the right to have any say in what their child is taught. In all the joys and sorrows, in all the triumphs and frustrations, on the A+ days and especially on the ones that get an F, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

Here is her story.
.

Just because I haven't been blogging doesn't mean I haven't been busy.

I've been getting cultured. (Thanks to Jeffy for the link.)



 I know that Christmas is nearly over, but this won't put you in a Yuletide frame of mind anyway.


.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

You talked me into it - I'm officially scratching the renovation and starting the restoration.

Further to the post below, gray and yellow bathrooms can be beautiful!


.

"Up" with 1950s decor!

I need to live in this house.

I need to make this cake


in this kitchen.

Go here if you need more mid-century style. This lady has pretty nearly convinced me to restore, not renovate, my yellow, gray and olive green 1956 bathroom.
.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

See, the Mayans just wrote the wrong year for the end of the world.

Just like you'll be writing '2012' on your checks for a while.

“Comet ISON appears on course to achieve sungrazer status as it passes within a solar diameter of Sun’s surface in late 2013 November. Whatever survives will then pass nearest the Earth in late 2013 December,” NASA astronomers explained in a posting.

via SDA
.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God


Image discovered at "I Am a Child" (click on picture for link) via Mrs. P.'s beloved (and lovely) Nordic Thoughts.
.


New direction for a new year.

 No time like the new year to revamp the blog into something that will draw in more readers.  (I have been meaning to discuss this with you, Mrs. P., but I only thought of it about an hour ago.)

To this end, I now present the Top Five Names for DOH's 2013 Incarnation.

5. Small Dead Blogs
4. TwoGalsWhoLoveSteynOnline.com
3. Enjoying "Catholic and Enjoying It!"
2.The Hobbit 3D show times
1. Angry Broads

You may vote in the comboxes.
.