Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day

Today is the midterm elections.  The front-page headline on the New York Times:  "GOP Confident on Election's Eve, With Voters Sour."  They wanted it to read"Voters Who Write For The New York Times"  but they ran out of space.

I live in Minnesota where Al Franken is up for re-election to the US Senate.  He will likely win. Six more years of probing questions like "Did you watch 'Perry Mason' when you were a child, Ms. Supreme Court Candidate?"  Yeah.  Minnesotans can be proud.

Then there's our governors race.  The incumbent, Gov. Dayton, is famous for approving a gazillion-dollar "light rail" system that so far at least 12 people have used.  Oh, and this morning one of their trains rammed a police car.  Again, Minnesotans can be proud.

I love Election Day.  I love going to the polling place and seeing people I only see every two years, meeting their new dogs and spouses/significant others.  I love the idea that some of these people might actually know what they are doing.  That's probably optimistic, but I like to look on the positive side.

Which is what I'll be doing tonight, with my fingers crossed and a Memorare on my lips, as I watch the returns come in.  God bless America, and God help us all.

Monday, October 27, 2014

#MondayBlogs

I just posted a link on #Monday Blogs.  Hello everybody!  Welcome to Desperate Irish Housewife.  This blog is supposed to have some fancy things on it- e.g. I was invited to the Vatican Bloggers' Conference a couple of years ago, they sent me a tag but I couldn't figure out how to use it.  Sigh.  Now I'm supposed to get another fancy tag, this one from Writer's Digest.  My book "Breakfast with the Pope" won First Prize in the 2014 Self-Published Book Awards.  And they're sending me a special little computer badge!

Oh, and I'm entering NaNoWriMo and I think they do the fancy tag thing, too.  I gotta figure out this tag thing. Anyone else doing NaNoWriMo this year?

I live in Minnesota, where we spend a lot of time deliberately not thinking about the coming winter.  We are enjoying a gorgeous fall, and I have never worked harder at "living in the moment" in my life.  Because I know- we all know- what's coming next. Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it.....

I'm not a native Mineesotan. I've been here about ten years.  And I still have not accepted the winters.  My Minnesota friends are very amused by my reactions to the cold.  Me, I'm not so amused.

Hope y'all enjoy the blog.  Come again soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Feast Day ST John Paul II!!!

Just a reminder, #JPIIWeLoveU Twitterstorm is scheduled for 4pm Central time today.  Make the Holy Father a trend!

A New Face

DIH supposes she must weigh in on the subject of Renee Zellweger's new face.

One question:  Why?

I always thought Renee was pretty cute.  Those crinkly eyes, those apple cheeks!  She was adorable!  And come on, those runner's legs?  The face she may have been born with, but she earned those legs.  A lovely woman, head to toe.

And now?  Well, now she pretty much looks like anyone you might meet in a dentist's office.

DIH has no beef with anyone who chooses to spiffy up her appearance, especially after 40.  You got the dough, you get to spend it however you want.  And don't kid yourself, actresses work hard for their money.  As far as I'm concerned if they want to buy themselves new eyelids it's ok with me.

But why did Rene- cute, cuddly, adorable Renee- decide to water down her looks?  I don't get it.

There's an old saying that after a certain age, a woman has to choose between her face and her figure.  Maybe that's what was behind Renee's decision.  But I will miss that face.  I just hope she doesn't, because it's probably to late to go back to it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YIPPEEEE!!!!

And YIPPEEEE again!  It is PARTAY TIME in Desperateland!

Why?  Because a few days ago yours truly got an email from Writers' Digest Magazine.  My book "Breakfast with the Pope" won First Prize in this year's Self-Published Book Awards.  It's in the "Life Stories" category.  I am sooo happy!

Here's the Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Breakfast-Pope-Susan-Vigilante/dp/0980076382/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395933599&sr=8-1&keywords=Breakfast+With+the+Pope

And here's my website:
http://www.breakfastwiththepope.com/

If any of you out there have ever self-published a book, you know what a roller coaster the adventure is.  When BWP came out I made the rounds of Catholic bookstores here in the Twin Cities, asking if they'd please carry my book.  I will never forget how one bookstore owner declined to carry it because she found some of the material "unsuitable for my store."  Go figure.  Like I said, it's an adventure. 

Writers' Digest won't be publishing the list of winners until late February, but hey said I could talk about it on social media all I want.  So I'm talking.

Oh- and Bookstore Owner who called my book "unsuitable?"




Monday, October 20, 2014

Ladies' Weekend

My husband took off for Tyringham, MA a few days ago.  He went to visit our friend George Gilder, who had a manuscript he wanted Richard to read.

They've been doing this for thirty years.  George finished a book, and Richard disappears into the Gilder's basement to read it before George sends it off to his publisher.  I have diaries going back decades with passages like "Richard was going to help me with [whatever] but he's working with George instead."  Story of my life.

But I am not complaining. Oh no.  With Dad out of town my daughter and I go wild.  We go out to lunch.  We order pizza.   We break out the ice cream.  We watch network TV.  Yeah, it's go crazy time.

In addition to being a "dad is out of town" weekend it was also the MEA break- a four-day weekend, woo hoo!  My daughter hosted a sleepover in the porch.  The next morning I found little notes all over the place with intriguing items like "DID SHE BUY IT???? " and "TELL HER I WILL KILL HER!!!"  It was a learning experience for me.   I learned how to identify her different friends' handwriting. This could be a valuable skill in the future.
We went to our favorite apple orchard and bought this year's supply of Haralsons.  My hands are raw from peeling and slicing but we got a year's worth of apple crisp in the freezer, baby! 

Sadly our favorite orchard is closing down for good after this season.  Fall Harvest Orchards was a great place.  Not Disney-fied, not overpriced, but truly kid-friendly-- they let the kids bottle-feed the baby goats, stick their hands under the chickens to retrieve eggs, and learn which angry chickens were best to avoid.  (Seriously, they had one that was a real monster.)  There was a hayride that made a stop to let the kids pick free Indian corn for popcorn.

I will miss Fall Harvest Orchard.  I don't know where I'll get my Haralsons next year.  And I dread the thought of paying supermarket prices for butternut squash.  By this time next year I expect the acres that were FHO will be developed into "Executive Estates."  I dont' think I'll drive out there to see that.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Home Again

I'm back from the Writers Digest Novel Writers Conference '14 in LA.  Note to self:  ask the WD people if they could shorten that title next year.

Writer's conferences are amazing.  As one writer I talked to put it, "They put two hundred introverts in a hotel ballroom and expect them to 'network.'"  Given the cultural norm, after a while I didn't feel so bad about my networking spiel:  "Hi.  Um.  I have cards.  Do you have cards?  We could trade.  We're supposed to trade.  Someone just told me that.  Oh-- I have to fix that email.  I guess I need new cards..."

My plans for the week are retype my notes, come up with new plots, and become a great writer.  Should be a piece of cake, no?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Feast of the Assumption! Strange City! Angry Cabbies!

Today I am in Los Angeles for a writers' conference, the Writers' Digest Novel Writing conference. Today is the 15th of August, the Feast of the Assumption. HD of O.

I thought I had it all planned.  I looked up churches, checked out mass times last night, set my alarm at the hotel.  There's a line of cabs out front.  How hard could it be, right?

Plus I made sure it was a well-known church. The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills.  (I should probably point out that I've never been to LA before and all my knowledge ofhte place is from movies.)  Alfred Hitchcock's parish, if I 'm not mistaken.  I ask you, could it get any more iconic?

So the doorman gets me a cab.  "Church of the Good Shepherd, " I say.

Cabbie glares at me.  In a rich accent- I'm guessing Iranian?--"Where is that?  What is the address?"

"Um.. I don't know."  Now I'm at a loss.  "I could go back inside and ask."
Cabbie starts yelling at doorman.  She doesn't know the address!  Door man starts yelling back.  You mean you don't know where it is

DIH tactfully slips out of cab. Heads back into hotel for the address.

Doorman yells.  Wait!  This next guy knows!

Another cab pulls up.
First cabbie:  (furious) Just give me the address!
Doorman:  (pissed off) I don't know the address!
First cabbie:  (Really furious) I will take her!
Doorman:  Well she doesn't want you!
Second cabbie (same accent as first cabbie but not as angry, which at this point would take a lot):  Miss, miss, I know where it is, I take you.
DIH slips into second cab.  Cab starts leaving hotel driveway.Second cabbie:  I'm sorry, what was the address again?
DIH:  I'm outta here.  (Exits cab)

OK.  Call me a cynic.  But one of  my rules of life is never get into a cab with an angry Iranian if he doesn't know exactly where he's going.  Trust me, budgets have been blown that way.  And worse.

Now my only problem is getting to church later.  I believe Good Shepherd has a 7:30 pm. mass.  I wonder if the cabbies will have mellowed by then.  And I will definitely have the address with me next time.