Archives for June 2005

Catholic Author Du Jour

Danielle Bean, author of My Cup of Tea: Musings of a Catholic Mom (check the reviews page of her site), homeschooling mother of seven, and member of the remarkable Augros family. (I knew three of them – Michael, Dave, and Suzanne, at TAC.) Plus, she blogs.

Korrektiv’s Secret

Korrektiv wishes it were more like PostSecret.


“You are a crow! You watch, and wait, and then fly at me to snatch what you want to use.”

– Corinna to Ovid, in Jane Allison’s The Love Artist

Yesterdays News, Etc.

I just found out last night that The Sopranos Season Five is finally out on DVD. Pardon me while I disappear from the face of the earth for awhile.

Nice Catholic bit in episode one – Tony telling Carmella “You ain’t the only Catholic in this house. I’m old school – I don’t believe in separation.” That’s right – just serial adultery for men. Old school, indeed. And then, the casual assurance that if certain people see Furio, he’s a dead man.

Tony is the show’s center of gravity, so I can’t help but be forever presented with his humanity. As a result, I keep entering into his life, keep sliding towards sympathy for my fellow man. So it’s always just a little bit of a shock when he reminds me just how evil he is.

A Writer?

Remember Chris Farley as Matt the Motivational Speaker, talking to surly teen David Spade on SNL?

“What do you want to be when you grow up, son?”

“Actually, I want to be a writer.”


‘Nuff said. I’ve been wandering around some of my old haunts, and talking with an established novelist or two, and it has been a sobering experience.

Speaking of sobering, had to love this one tidbit from BookAngst’s surveyed aphorism department:

“The only dependable maxim I know of in publishing is ‘Drunks buy books.’ Thus, I always set aside some cash in the marketing budget for booze at readings.”


First Son…

… oh, what a clever child…

“Matthew, this is your conscience,” came the voice through my office window. It was oddly familiar, but not quite the same as my own voice – just like a conscience might sound. In fact, it was almost like my son speaking through a megaphone…

“You need to visit, and you need to let your son sit at the computer! You’re not doing it! Do it, do it, do it!”

Such an insistent conscience.

Then it stopped. Suddenly, inexplicably, my son’s head appeared at the office window.

“Hey, Dad. I think I heard your conscience.”

“It was telling me to do something, son, but I couldn’t quite tell what.”

“I think it was telling you to go to, and to let me watch it.”

And always let your conscience be your guide…

The Catholic South

These people and their lovely blog are moving to Macon. EWTN is in Birmingham, Alabama. Anybody who reads this blog knows about this fellow, but what about these people? The list goes on. Catholics in the South…who knew?

UPDATE: AC reminded me about Rachel.

Speaking of Nostalgia…

…I am an absolute sucker for this band. Specifically, Umbrella (can’t seem to link to the site for that album). Specifically, the song “Every Hour Here.” The finest explicitly Christian pop tune I know. The site has a bunch of music samples – check it out, then come back and make fun of me.

Fun with Flannery…

…can be found here.

Meanwhile, here at Godsbody, we’re wondering if this brokedown blog needs to be put down…

Walker Percy in the Desert

He caught TB in med school,
bending over the corpses
of bums who died in the street.

He was sent away to rest,
surrender to the only cure:
rest, no exercise, sleep.

And so he read: Nietzsche,
Proust, and his favorite,
“the melancholy Dane.”

Happiness was despair,
he learned, even in America:
smug faces in the checkout lines,
a nation that believed
in bigger cars, more pills,
better bombs.

He thought about his ancestors,
their Delta plain and seas
of cotton, men who were
merely stoics at the end…

One day, he checked himself
out, drove across the country
to New Mexico.

He walked outside, night
after night, his heart
turning to a painful stone.

He saw the darkness between
the distant stars, faint light
at best.

But what if the sky
was only a book, open
to another, more careful

Out there, in the desert,
anything was possible,
even God.


— William Miller
Literary Review, Winter 2004, Vol. 47 Issue 2, p. 103-4

Episode V

The wife told me to rent it for the boys. I swear. I’m not obsessed. Well, maybe a little. This is the one I saw five times in the theaters – unheard of in those days. Took my bike down to the Cinema with Andy Kozlowski and drank it all in. But my chief thought upon seeing it again was, “Anybody who watches these things in order is going to be forced to conclude that Yoda was driven starkers by his exile on Dagobah. Going nutso over a flashlight? Screaming, ‘Mine! Mine! Mine! as he fights with R2 for the thing? Loony.”

What’s the World Coming To?

…when you see a perfectly good ’94 Suburban barreling down the freeway in all its olde-timey V8 SUV glory, and then you pull alongside and hear, blaring from the radio…


ooh, l’amour
broke my heart and now I’m aching for you
ooh, l’amour
what’s a boy in love supposed to do?

(I’m terribly sorry. Nostalgia is enormously powerful.) And THEN, this wispy/flabby fellow (moi) turns to you mid-chorus and bellows, “Five kids!” (Not that I’d ever do such a thing.) What’s the world coming to?

If I Were A Catholic Publisher…

…I would look for a well-written, dispassionate (as far as possible) memoir from a victim of priestly sexual abuse. Someone in his mid-30s, say, who had suffered abuse while a teenager and had (as far as possible) come through the resultant trauma. I think people would be interested in a first-hand account. More importantly, I think it a story worth telling.

Spider-Man 2

Finally saw it last night, with near-unfettered delight. Pity Raimi slipped back to his Evil Dead-horror roots with that hospital scene, and I could have done without Spidey’s giving up his dream only to have it come fabulously true (what is this, the movies?), but still. My favorite shot: Parker, dragging his busted moped along the sidewalk after failing MJ one more time, passing a plywood construction zone wall plastered with a thousand posters of MJ’s face. Beautiful rendering of the interior as exterior, and the best part is, it could actually happen. “Everywhere I look, I see her face…literally.”

Wild Boys. Better still, Feral Boys.

Just got through with mowing the back – only took about two and a half hours today. I have a seasonal lawn, which means that it’s composed of different weeds at different times of the year. The buttercuppy/clovery things are dying back as the dry times set in here in San Diego, and the crabgrass/Asian ornamental is coming on, along with the ubiquitous nasty thing that, if I don’t keep it cropped, exudes a milky, sticky stuff from its leaves that turns black and foul and slimy on feet/shoes/etc. But nasty or no, mowing is easier in summer. It can be a four-hour ordeal in the rainy months.

Mowing put me in a grateful mood. I have a big backyard by California standards. Better still, I have a backyard with wilds. Untended parts, out of sight parts, grassless parts. Someday, when the boys are more interested in sports, they’ll use the flat, grassy parts more. Now, however, there’s an enormous pit under the fruitless mulberry by the upper playground, topped off by a palm-frond teepee. There’s an excavation in the lower corner under the pepper tree, the result of countless digs for bugs and worms. I found remains of the trench they dug in the rainy season, one that diverted water from the sluice running alongside our yard and formed an impresssive reservoir/mosquito breeding ground. I found serrated-edge swords fashioned from barbed palm branches. I found sawn branches in the brush pile. Up by my office here in the garage, I found an extra garden put in by Second Son, marked off by branches. (First and Second Sons have patches along the driveway, where the wife buries the compost – cucumbers, green beans, squash, pumpkins, cherry tomatoes, and mammoth sunflowers. The cucumbers are already coming on strong.) A carpet of pillow-soft grass would be nice. But I wouldn’t want it wall-to-wall. Wilds are good for boys – and girls, for that matter. Gardens, too.

The wife’s garden is going crazy since we finally did a proper cover crop in the winter. The cherry tree is taking off, as are the lemon and lime we put in to accompany the tangerines and oranges, now resting. I’ve taken a door and mounted it in the Maple tree – one end secured to a branch, the other suspended from metal cable, jutting away from the tree in splendid fashion. First son is delighted – a treehouse at last.

Magnificent Obsessions…

…can be found elsewhere. Here at Godsbody, it’s pedestrian, even pathetic obsessions…

Has there been a really good (or even really funny) Freudian treatment of Star Wars? One about the son who doesn’t wish to kill his father, but rather, to save him? About the son who is forever echoing his own (dead) mother’s last (or near to last, I can’t quite remember) words (about Dad): “There is good in him.”? About the Father who, in the last act, lays down his life to save his son?

Sadly, we don’t get to choose our obsessions. This is what came to me while I was washing dishes tonight.

The South? Steamy.

Well, now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

The pre-show nerves were pretty rough – it was hard to know exactly what we would be talking about – but the main thing was to tell stories, keep the rapport strong, and show off the new shoes. Thanks to anyone who tuned in!

Boxed In

I’m going to Birmingham tomorrow, there to appear on EWTN’s Life on the Rock with my father. He’s the big dog, so the pressure is perhaps not too insanely great. But still… TV…

“Honey, do I look fat in this skin?”

One thing’s for certain – I’m getting some new shoes. It’s showtime.

It’ll be even quieter than usual here at Godsbody for a while. Bless your hearts.