Archives for November 2006

The Bonds of Matrimony

Okay, so it’s a done deal, but still, we would totally pay to see this movie:

“There is really nothing any of us can do to help her, other than hope that as we speak, a ragtag commando group comprised of Holmes ex-boyfriends Joshua Jackson, Chris Klein, and the sweet kid from fifth grade who’s now a claims adjuster in Toledo are quietly scaling a turret at Odelschi Castle, making a last-ditch effort to save their former love from her absurdly well-guarded cell. Unfortunately, even this crazy rescue fantasy of ours ends in Klein tripping over his own feet while attempting to dance through a seemingly impenetrable lattice of alarm-triggering lasers, a tragic act of clumsiness that results in the brave trio’s public hanging at tomorrow’s wedding reception.”

Not in my version. I’ve got Nicole and Oprah infiltrating the crowd and staging a daring rescue/Kate-napping. My goodness, but it’ll be exciting.

Today in Porn, Biographical Edition

Autobiography from the founder of Screw, reviewed by his longtime art director, who went on to work for the New York Times:

“A self-described ‘bed-wetting stutterer from Brooklyn’ and a punching bag for neighborhood toughs, he feared he would become a milquetoast like his father, a photojournalist who exhibited courage in World War II, working alongside the likes of Ernie Pyle, but addressed elevator operators as ‘sir.’ (He later toiled in Screw’s mailroom.) Goldstein, forever self-conscious about his weight, compensated by making voraciousness the cornerstone of his identity. He describes, touchingly, how as a teenager he was treated by a diet doctor — with whom it turned out his mother was having an affair, because ‘my father was so inadequate.'”

Gotta love the Google ads at the bottom of the page:

Babysitters in San Diego
Church Background Checks

Our long national nightmare has ended…

…no, not the Britney-Fed-ex breakup, and not the glorious Scientological union of TomKat.

Silicone is back:

“The Food and Drug Administration yesterday lifted a 14-year ban on the use of silicone gel breast implants in the United States following a many years of debate over their safety…Because the implants containing silicone gel are softer than saline implants currently available, plastic surgeons said they would quickly become preferred among the more than 300,000 women in this country who have breast implants each year.”

BUT: “the agency restricted cosmetic use of the implants to women aged 22 and older.”

So upon high-school graduation, pumpkin will just have to make do with “starter breasts.” When she gets out of college, she can upgrade.


Pretty much every father begins to censor himself in new and exciting ways when the children arrive (I won’t presume to speak for mothers). For me, this often amounts to the brain automatically shifting all profanity into either the “Crap!” or “Dammit!” category. Not ideal, I’ll grant you, but better than several of the alternatives.

Apparently, a friend of mine uses the same two fallback curses, because his penultimate child recently combined the two into what may be a curse for the ages:


It’s impossible to discipline when you’re laughing.


So when I get a cold, The Wife makes me drink garlic tea. It’s horrible, but it burns viruses into shrivellled husks of protein, so I do it. Today, there was no garlic. Or rather, upon further inspection, there were only a few tiny cloves in the bottom of the garlic container.

“Oh, well,” said The Wife. “I might as well harvest the babies.”

“Um, that’s creepy,” I replied.

“What? It’s the culture we live in.”

Local Boy Makes Good

New release from Tom Waits:

“In the early-Seventies Tom Waits worked as a doorman at the Heritage in San Diego, a nightclub where artists of every genre performed. An avid fan of such authors, songwriters, musicians and performers as Hoagy Carmichael, Lord Buckley, Bob Dylan, Stephen Foster, Raymond Chandler and Marty Robbins, Waits began developing his own idiosyncratic musical style, combining songs with monologues. He took his newly formed act to Monday nights at the Troubadour in LA, where musicians from all over stood in line all day to get the opportunity to perform on-stage that night. Shortly thereafter, Waits was signed to Asylum Records. He was 21 years old.”

Lyrics to Waits’ “San Diego Serenade”:

I never saw the morning til I stayed up all night
I never saw the sunshine til you turned out the light
I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody, until I needed a song.

I never saw the white line, til I was leaving you behind
I never knew I needed you til I was caught up in a bind
I never spoke i love you til I cursed you in vain,
I never felt my heartstrings until I nearly went insane.

I never saw the east coast til I move to the west
I never saw the moonlight until it shone off your breast
I never saw your heart til someone tried to steal,
Tried to steal it away
I never saw your tears until they rolled down your face.


Working on building
It’s a Holy Ghost building
For my Lord
Oh, for my Lord
If I was a sinner
I tell you what I’d do
I’d keep on sinning
And work on that buiding too

– “Working on a Building,” Cowboy Junkies

Now I’m Just Depressed, Revisited

Hearing my daughter’s wonderfully deep and throaty voice – the one that croons out rambling melodies when nobody’s around about ending up in her grave (!), the one that’s going to go platinum in about 15 years and help take care of Daddy when he’s old – thoughtlessly taking up the Great Amen from the less-than-great Mass of Creation: ” Aa-aa-MEN, AA-aa-ME-EN, Aa-aa-aa-aa-MEN…” This is the musical heritage I have bequeathed unto them? It has become their traditional music. It’s deep in their bones.

We used to play this game called Encore – you drew a card with a word on it, and you had to sing a line from a song that included that word. When we wanted a challenge, we’d play a version where you could sing only Glory & Praise songs. It was scary how easy it was, scary how many of those songs were right there in the short term memory, hanging like bats, just waiting for the darkness to descend…

Now I’m Just Depressed

“In a New York Times article last August, Nina Munk wrote that ‘shopping … has become the defining occupation of [Gen X].’ She reported that the average Gen Xer spent 18 percent more on luxury goods than the average baby boomer. So much for anti-proliferation.”. And oh, there’s much, much more: “According to OnPoint Marketing and Promotions (whose clients include Ford, Microsoft and Pepsi), Gen Xers are 50 million strong, make up 17 percent of the population and spend $125 billion on consumer goods each year. Whereas Mr. Coupland’s characters removed themselves from families, schools and potential career paths to tend bar and dwell in bungalows in Palm Springs, grown-up Gen Xers retreat into gated communities, planned developments and luxury loft condominiums. They used to be obsessed with other people’s money; now, they obsess over their own.” And on and on and on.

Apologies for the lack of posting. A bit burnt.

Reliably Catholic

New Catholic blogger lady arrives on the scene, paying homage to Walker Percy and smelling nice.

Welcome Thomasina!

Evil Republican Elephant on Rampage

Homeless man and democratic chipmunks nearly trampled.

Jim Wallis: A Defeat for the Religious Right and the Secular Left

In this election, both the Religious Right and the secular Left were defeated, and the voice of the moral center was heard. A significant number of candidates elected are social conservatives on issues of life and family, economic populists, and committed to a new direction in Iraq. This is the way forward: a grand new alliance between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, one that can end partisan gridlock and involves working together for real solutions to pressing problems.

Read more.

I agree with this take on where the country is at right now. I balk at Mr. Wallis’s title, though. I guess it makes for provocative copy, but I’m not sure it’s the religious right vs. the secular left so much as the warmongering, corporate-greed-pandering right vs. the leveling-to-the-lowest-common-denominator, social-engineering, boring-sameness-desiring left. Both extremes are characterised by cynicism, lying, tunnel vision, willingness to let the ends justify the means, and attempts to manipulate the transcendant values of religion towards a narrow political agenda. Perusing the comments, it’s interesting to see how many lefties were offended by the piece.

Catholic Sex Blog

Via Amy, a report on the Bishops and Catholic sex:

The document on reception of communion grew out of disputes in 2004 about whether politicians who support abortion rights should be refused communion.

Some bishops thought both topics should have been included, and also wanted to add contraceptive use to a list of reasons that Catholics should refrain from communion. An earlier report indicated that only 4 percent of Catholic married couples of child-bearing age practice the church-recommended natural family planing.

Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, N.J., said that the drafters did not include contraception because it was not intended to be a comprehensive list of sins and there was a concern that this “particularly difficult pastoral problem” would distract from everything else in the document. Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, auxiliary of San Diego, argued that not mentioning it would draw even more attention.

“If we are silent on this issue, perhaps people won’t go so far as to say we are winking at it, but at least we would easily create the misperception that this is not an issue involving grave matter.” “Grave matter,” along with informed reflection and willful intent, constitutes mortal sin.

Victory Revisited

Question posed to the boys at dinner:

Why is it that we want lives of comfort and peace, yet we enjoy stories best when there is trouble and suffering in them?


Last time I’ll dip into the well on Straight Man, I promise:

Our hero is arriving at work. His nose is torn and swollen, thanks to a poorly received joke he made the previous day. Lily is his wife; Rachel is his secretary:

“She is speechless, looking at me, and her reaction, I realize, is what I’d secretly been hoping for from Lily, who over the years has learned to take me in stride. There’s no reason a wife shouldn’t take her husband in stride, of course, yet it’s disappointing to be so taken, especially for a man like me, so intent on breaking people’s gait.”

He has my deepest sympathies there. After ten years of familiarity (and I know this has been said elsewhere, and better), surprising The Wife – better still, best of all, getting her to laugh, really laugh, not simply smile in acknowledgment of some well-executed display of wit – is nothing less than a major victory, a sign that I’ve still got some remnant of whatever it was that convinced her to yoke her life to mine in the first place.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Blogs

Angelmeg is in a Flannery state of grace,
Ironic Catholic is running in place,
Cubeland Mystic simplifies in your face,
Godsbody is hunkered down in the crawl space.

Quintilian’s croaking with the frogs.
These are a few of my favorite blogs.

When the dog pees
on my best clogs,
When I’m feeling sad,
I simply check in on my favorite blogs
And then I don’t feel so bad!

A good word from Cloud Hands!

Dept. of Nostalgia

The day job runs a section entitled Back When, which brings up snippets from the Reader’s storied history. This week’s entry includes a snippet from an early story of mine, back when I was on the farm beat: bovine insemination, starting with semen collection:

Ten Years Ago: The bull is unwilling to be corralled because it is sexually frustrated. It is not finished with its business. But then, it never will be. “There’s no mating season for bulls,” Milan tells me. “They just keep going. The whole year, several times a day. They’re always trying to mount each other. They’ll mount most anything, they don’t care; they’ll just keep right on working.” –“2400 POUNDS OF PASSION,” Matt Lickona, November 7, 1996