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Slow days ahead. Been challenged by one of my publishers to increase sales, right around the time a shipment of 5000 bookmarks arrived via UPS (split between eight other authors, it was a co-op). Looking into joining Friends of the Library and getting more involved in the neighborhood, since it appears we may stick around more than six months. I'm sick of moving.

Then there's the big 4th bash at the farm, with a parade this time to commemorate the high school's 60th anniversary of winning the state basketball title. The school is gone, but they have most of the original team there for the float. Malc's trying to get me to ride one. I am a float, I tell him, but maybe I can throw the bookmarks at people...

Still tired. Stayed up to watch Randy Johnson pitch number 4,000. Crowd seemed more excited than he did about it. Did they win?

More Than You Needed To Know Dept.

I've consulted various books and talked to a number of people and am still not certain: is it okay to sleep on your back six months along? I hear yes, I hear no. It's just that sleeping on my side is getting very uncomfortable, and I always feel better sleeping on my back. Not only that, there's less chance Malc will kick me awake if I do because of my so-called snoring (I'm putting sleep aid things up my nose at night, waking up to a bleeding nose and he says it doesn't work).

Any of you mothers hear you couldn't sleep a certain way?

Anybody care to suggest an appropriate Van Halen lyric to accompany this article about DLR training to be an EMT. W-O-W!

Rollergirl, don't worry, DJ plays the movies all night long...

...but they don't play enough of Dire Straits. A shame.

Welcome to the ring

A Call to Adventure
The Den Mother
In Today's News
Jeff Burden: Once Upon a Midnight Dreary
Wired Catholic - yah, it looks more like the Drudge Report site, and I debated whether or not to add it, but given it's constant updating it seems fairly bloggish.

I would have guessed The Beach Boys, or the Wiggles Rush, the whitest band on Earth?

What is St. Blog's talking about?

Check out Extreme Catholic's St. Blog's word frequency count.

Some words I'd like to see next time:


I'm sure they're buying beer, too

Those other acts that over the decades have shared the airwaves with Rush -- Styx, Heart, Foreigner -- are all playing state fairs for beer money and barbecue, if they're playing at all. Rush continues selling out Big Rock arenas. Two years ago, they played a soccer stadium in Sao Paolo to 60,000 fans. That's the number "6" followed by four zeros.

Not exactly. Styx is playing here this weekend at the Amphitheatre, but they're practically giving away tickets. I'd go, but Malc absolutely refuses to see them without Dennis DeYoung. He likens it to paying too much to see a cover band - even free tickets are too much. I find his logic amusing, considering the one time he did see Styx with DeYoung he swore DeYoung was so high/stoned/drunk/coked up that he kept flubbing lyrics all night.

Thanks to the anonymous tipster for the article. I'll edit later tonight with the pic from my Meet and Greet.

Book 'Em, Waynesboro

I had been invited to speak at the First Annual Book ‘Em event in Waynesboro, VA, which is near part of the Appalachian Trail, beautiful country out there. Only problem is, the event is to be held on October 23, and La Lively is scheduled to arrive around Columbus Day, so I unfortunately had to pass. I will try, though, to donate some books for their drawings.

If you're in the area, check out the link and stop by. The event is organized to promote literacy, which is something Malc and I always support. Hopefully it will be successful enough for a second year and I can go to that one.

When has she ever listened to him anyway?

Pope to Esther: Kabbalah this.

From Tim Drake

(Just voted myself. Was surprised to see Life is Beautiful did not make the cut, but Moonstruck did?)

Dear friends,

On behalf of the National Catholic Register I'm sending this to Catholic friends both far and wide. Please, feel free to vote for your favorite "pro-Catholic" films and feel free to forward this to friends and family who are tired of the anti-Catholic shlock that Hollywood usually produces.


Tim Drake, staff writer
National Catholic Register

Dear Concerned Catholic,
Thank you for nominating your favorite 'pro-Catholic' films for the National Catholic Register and Faith and Family magazine Catholic Movie Poll. Now it's time to vote for the finalists.

Visit There, you can choose your personal TOP FIVE movies that make you proud to be Catholic from the final list of nominees.

Hurry: Voting ends on June 28, 2004.

Please forward this email to your family and friends so they can vote, too!

Thank you,

Father Owen Kearns, LC

The National Catholic Register and Faith and Family Magazine

Unanswered Questions of the Universe, Pt. 12

If The Flintstones is supposed to be set in the time before Christ, why was there a Christmas special?

If you try to fail but succeed, then which have you really done?

I imagine this will make more sense to me once I've read the book

Or at least rented the Masterpiece Theater version of it. Thanks, Elinor, now I can't get the theme song out of my head.

You are Lady Cordelia Flyte. You are loving and
loyal. You're not a sentimental dowdy,
however: you have a lively sense of humor and
keen intellect.

What Brideshead Revisited character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Don't buy tix for that Ramones reunion yet

He's getting better...

Okay, Esther... please stop making crummy movies.

You want to know what I got? A briefcase, to use for college

Link via Fr. Bryce: The latest graduation gift for teenaged girls: breast implants.

When I was sixteen, I wanted to go on the Spanish Club Spring Break trip to Mexico City. I needed $600 to pay my way. My mom said, "We don't have $600. You'll have to get a job and pay for it yourself." So I got a job at McDonald's as hostess. A hostess at McDonald's sweeps up after everybody, refills straw containers, and supervises those damn kiddie parties. The customers treated me like crap, the managers treated me like crap, and my fellow workers were indifferent, probably because they all believed I did not have the know-how to do anything more than push a broom. Never mind that I was a college-bound honor student who understood the symbolism in Chaim Potok's The Chosen and could recite Hamlet's soliloquy from memory; such knowledge has no bearing in the world of fast food production and sales. I was not skilled enough to operate the shake machine, which always seemed to be broken anyway.

I hated that job with a passion, but in due time I earned enough to go to Mexico. It was worth the pain. I saw ancient ruins, absorbed a different culture, and ordered food in a different language. I attended Mass in a huge cathedral and watched how things were done, people lighting candles and crying during the Rosary. I stepped on a conveyer belt under the blessed tilma Juan Diego wore when visited by Our Lady of Guadalupe and snapped picture after picture.

Why am I telling you this story? Because when I was sixteen I wanted opportunities like the one I experienced, I didn't want big boobs. I'm not going to say I didn't have moments of vanity as a teenager, and that I did not wish to be blonder, thinner, and/or have flawless skin, but I made do with what I had, and I turned out fine. If you stand tall enough and smile and look confident to a world that prizes its own definition of physical beauty, you're going to do just fine yourself.

Here it is, fifteen years later, and I have many memories of a wonderful trip I took, paid in full by yours truly. What will the girl who gets implants have? Back pain? Cancer? What would possess somebody to put a foreign substance like that in her body? The Big Macs I used to get at work for free were probably damage enough to my system.

Save your money, girls, or use it for something else. Travel. Buy books. Give it to the poor.

Drink water, zero carbs

If the Old Oligarch doesn't like it, it must be bad. I don't see the point of Coca-Cola 2, either. Sequels are seldom good, unless directed by Francis Coppola or Peter Jackson.

I hate Mondays, too

Garfield as a soulless marketing tool, from FWIW, I thought the strip was funny in its earlier years, and for the longest time it was Malc's favorite strip (Ours is a mixed marriage: a Garfield fan marrying a Peanuts fan). Now we both read Get Fuzzy; let's hope Darby doesn't lose his soul.

I thought it was a joke...

seen on King of the Hill, but there actually is an International Federation of Competitive Eating, according to the New York Post (yes, I am considering the source). I see they have a website, too, where I notice a state record for hot dog eating was broken in my own backyard. Can't believe I missed that. Considering my current condition, I'm surprised I didn't enter.

What else is going on in Norfolk? We're trying to a get a major league baseball team this time, after failing to get the old Charlotte Hornets. There's a plan to paint all the sewer covers in town to look like baseballs. Maybe they should fix the roads first before they do that.

What a wild week, and it's only half over. Waiting for news on Buddie wiped us both us out, so neither of us got to see the Pistons win. I feel bad Jack Nicholson had to fly all the way out to Detroit to be disappointed, but at least he can afford it. And, I suppose, there's always Anger Management 2 to look foward to.

One is the loneliest number: Getting closer to a Ramones reunion in the next life. That stinks for us, though, since we're still subject to Motley Crue (I don't know where the umlauts go, Nihil; I'm too tired to check). Why is it that these guys can shoot themselves up with Drano and drive their cars off of a fifty-foot burning building and walk away unscathed while everybody else gets called sooner? Are they proof of the old bumper sticker motto: Heaven doesn't want me and Hell is afraid I'll take over?

Father-in-law Update

Thanks for the prayers and kind thoughts. Buddie only had to have a stint in one artery. He is doing well and will hopefully be home at the end of the week. Turns out there was no need for surgery. We'll have to be on him to make sure he doesn't work too hard.

Regardless of what people in Chaucer's day might have thought...

Try calling any of my friends the C-word and see if you don't have to spend the rest of the afternoon picking up your teeth.

Prayer emergency

Malc's father suffered a heart attack last night. He seems to be stable now; they're going to try a catheter first before determining if they need to do a bypass. Please pray for Buddie. I would really like for La Lively to have both sets of grandparents around for a while.

I'm not one to run away with unconfirmed rumors, but somebody had posted on a mailing list I read that the great mystery writer Dick Francis has passed. Granted, he did retire a few years back after his wife/writing partner passed away, so it makes sense that he hasn't been heard from in a while, but I can't find any other confirmation. I mean, the man is a multiple Edgar Award winner, was named a Grand Master of the genre, and rode horses for the former Queen of England. Surely his passing would be mentioned prominently? Seeing nothing, I'm hoping this is just hearsay. That would just break my heart. Francis is one of my all-time favorites; I missed meeting him when he was signing Wild Horses several years back, but I did get a personalized, signed copy from Oxford Books in Atlanta (a victim of B&N and the like).

If anybody has heard different, please let me know.

The new season of Monk can't get here quickly enough

Last night, during the Pistons/Lakers game, we saw trailers for upcoming shows about wife-swapping and cheating housewives. It's times like this I'm almost saddened Friends is gone.


Girlie Books

The nursery looks more like our library now; it will double as my office because naturally I'm going to be spending a lot of time there. Some boxes need to be cleared away still, but I think we'll have room for everything.

Malc saved an impressive collection of those old "Cornerstone of Freedom" books. You might have had some when you were little. They are short picture books about various historical events and objects. The story of Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Revolutionary War, etc. Of course, La Lively will have a wealth of reading material as she grows, it's just a matter of picking and choosing.

I'd like to get all the original Pooh Corner books, and the original Little House books I read growing up, to read to her at night. For fun I bought Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (big fan), but that will be out of her range for a while. I'm thinking also the Narnia books. Sweet Valley I won't bother with 'til she's older (if those books are still around). I've not read the Lemony Snicket books...any opinions on those? Or any others?

Yes, I realize this sounds a bit much for a baby not yet born, but her mother is a writer and her father is a reading education professor. Did you think we were going to give her Tinkertoys?


Book news

Pithed has been pushed back to August, which suits me fine. It gives me more time to focus on a marketing plan using what I observed at Book Expo. Given the sleuth is a teacher, it would make a great back-to-school gift for your favorite educator, you think?

At worst, you'll only get Lita Ford right

Can you name all the headless guitar players? I got twelve right, so apparently I'm not good at it. One hint: Alex Lifeson isn't any of them.

Here's what La Lively won't be wearing between the ages of two and sixteen.

Moving films

Has a particular Catholic-oriented film made an impact on your life, sought you to seek comfort in the Sacraments or prompted a more conscious study of the Faith? Tim Drake is writing an article on the subject for Faith and Family Magazine, if you have the notion to talk to him about it. I imagine he'll get some feedback RE: TPotC, but for me I would have to say The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima offered a turning point for me in my laxer days. It was made in the early fifties and is very true to the story of the 1917 apparitions, a nice film for the entire family.

Unlike these days, where there doesn't seem to be an original idea in Hollywood. Already I have seen trailers for remakes of The Stepford Wives and The Manchurian Candidate, and I have to ask...WHY? The original versions of both were very good films. The original Manchurian is probably one of the best films ever made, IMHO, if not one of the scariest (and if you ask me, Angela Lansbury deserved the Oscar for that one, she made Cruella de Vil look like Mother Teresa).

Rerelease the originals instead, so people can see good movies are supposed to be.

Damn you low-carb addicts

At lunch. Bear in mind Malc doesn't drink sodas. He takes a sip of mine at Atlanta Bread.

MALC: (cringing) What is that?
KAT: It's lemonade from the soda fountain.
MALC: It doesn't taste like it.
KAT: Actually, it's Minute Maid Light. All the restaurants are carrying it now.
MALC: It tastes like that stuff I had to drink before my CT exam.

Book Talk

Lynn Harlin, my former high school English teacher, now operates a publishing house called Closet Books, based in North Florida. Their latest offering is a title called The Good Fight by Donna Hicken, a news anchorwoman in Jax, about her fight with breast cancer. Looks like a good read; BTW, a colleague of Donna's, Jeanie Blaylock, won the Peabody for public service for her "Buddy Check 12" breast cancer awareness program the year I was a student judge.

Liv from Colorado sent me this e-mail, which reads in part: "I just finished a book that is better than The Da Vinci Code, much more real to life and much scarier since it reflects on current world and political situations. The book is The Lamb by Bruce Burnett. The book revolves around a scientist who doesn't believe in God, but has the unfortunate misfortune of matching the putative DNA of Christ come from a blood sample found preserved in the Middle East."

I've not read The Lamb myself, maybe somebody can supply more information. I have two boxes of books coming from BEA Chicago, so it could be a while before I get to it.

They better have a fund for replacement signs

Melbourne to rename street for AC/DC. Get ready for a lot of stolen street signs. Malc said this happened occasionally with Miami Sound Machine Boulevard in Miami, and when I lived in Athens it seemed somebody was always trying either to steal Michael Stipe's license plate or the sign from Weaver D's restaurant ("Automatic for the People").


I am Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force!!

Which Aqua Teen Hunger Force character are you??

Thanks to my brother-in-law, I'm now hooked on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I always thought the show looked silly from the commercials, with talking food and a guy that looks like Dennis Franz, but all I had to do was watch the "Mail Order Bride" episode and I nearly went into labor laughing.

Winter reading

New book by JPII, don't recall seeing it at BEA. I've only read Man of the Century, which I liked, particularly the history of how Karol studied clandestinely to become a priest while hiding from the Nazis. Looking forward to this one.

Welcome to the Ring

(Before I forget, if you're ever in Chicago and like a good hamburger, The Weber Grill Restaurant is the place to go. Everything cooked on big Weber grills. Drool. They'll even cook it Pittsburgh style, but I didn't dare try that.)

Ales Rarus
Catholic Forum
Happy Catholic
The Idyllist - Debra Murphy, one of our CWOers
Land of Hope and Glory
Liberty Dad
Papa Familias
Secula Seculorum
Tony's Catholic Life

Recovery stage

Back home with a loaded inbox and unpacked boxes in the house. Too tired to comment on J.Lo., but perhaps we should all slip in a prayer for her this evening. It might just work out, strangers things have happened.

RIP, Mr. President. I was quite young during his presidency and don't recall too much about it, will have to make a point to refresh my memory. I will dare to say, though, that I hope his death brings a great release to himself and the family. Having seen personally what Alzheimer's can do to a once vivacious person, I would not wish it on anybody.

It's like Halloween for booklovers

If you like to read, and you're within vicinity of a BookExpo, take the opportunity to go. I've been to trade shows in the past, but this was incredible. Books everywhere...tons of advanced reading copies, mainly for booksellers and librarians, but sometimes folks like us manage to slip around and snag a few for ourselves. Of course, being a reviewer for This Rock and has its advantages. I mentioned this to Toby Press and walked off with five books just from them.

Everybody is smiling and generous. Would you like a tote bag? I would love a tote bag, are you kidding? Yes, I'll take a T-shirt with your publisher's logo on it. Look, it's Martin Yan giving a cooking demonstration! Woo-hoo!

I was there at the invite of Christine Lindstrom of Book Business. I did some writing work for Christine and she offered to get me a discounted pass since I was going to be in town visiting Sis anyway. Met some fellow mystery authoresses at the Sisters in Crime booth - I have to join one of these days, and got a signed copy of The Full Cupboard of Life (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) from the author. Shipped two gigantic boxes of books home so I wouldn't have to check them in at the airport. Malc is going to have a fit when they arrive, all we've done for the last month is unpack boxes.

It would really be nice if we could get some of the Catholic Writers group authors together for a booth and give away galleys and information to booksellers - this is the place to be seen. Money is the obstacle. One author/exhibitor I met mentioned he had spent upwards of $15K just to get his book published, and he had to pay for the 300 copies he brought to BEA to give away to people. And this figure doesn't even include plane, hotel, and food. Next year is in New York, where I don't have relatives, so a trip there will cost much more than this one did.

But I'm happy to have had the opportunity to come here. I believe I know much more about how this business works than I did when Little Flowers first came out.

Color me amazed

A while back I sent Catholic World Mission a manuscript of a coloring book about Blessed Miguel Pro and heard nothing after that. Come to find it is in production at last - it is being translated into Spanish (it will be a bilingual book) and they are looking for an artist. This will technically be my first children's book and I'm pretty excited about it. Not that only, I've been asked to expand the story for CWM's radio dramas, so we'll see about that when I get back from Chicago.

Blogging will be even lighter these next few days. It's off to Book Expo in Chicago, among whatever else Sis and I have planned. Had hoped to sneak in a Cubs game on Sunday but tickets are sold out. Maybe we'll get lucky at the box office. With Malc's birthday next Tuesday I had hoped to get him something from Wrigley, since the Cubs are his favorite. Would like to get to Harry Caray's and Sweet Mandy B's, which I had seen on Dweezil and Lisa a while back.

Fee, Fi, Mo-miona...

21-week ultrasound went well. La Lively's kicking like Mia Hamm, but don't suggest soccer to Malc. He's thinking she'll run track and cross-country like her daddy. And he had to go and suggest yet another name while I thought we had that settled.

Geneva. He has two great aunts with this name, one deceased, and he'd like at least one family name to carry over, since Therese will be the middle name. It's going to come down to a coin flip, I just know it.

Only some random number days until Genny goes to college.

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20th Century Pope: JPII
Aqua Teen: Frylock
Barbie: Harley
Beatle Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatle Era: Hamburg
Beatle Film Character: Paul's Grandfather
Beatle Kid: Dhani Harrison
Beatle Song: "Yellow Submarine"
Brady Bunch: Greg
Brideshead Revisited: Lady Cordelia Flyte
British: 32.5%
Boy Band: Beatles
Canadian: 33%
Cartoon Dog: Snoopy
Catholic order: St. John Bosco
Cheers: Norm!
Christmas Carol: Silent Night
Cocktail: Bloody Mary
Dante's Inferno: Purgatory
David Bowie: late 60s/early 70s
Decade: the 60s
Disney Princess: Belle
Drew Carey Career: Human Resources
Edward Gorey: Gashleycrumb
Elvis: 50s
Evil: 18%
Foreign Language: Italian
Founding Father: John Adams
Ian McKellan: Just Ian
Inner Sexy Cartoon Chick: Wilma Flintstone
Internet Addict: 45%
Iron Chef: Chairman Kaga
Jane Austen: Elinor Dashwood
Jedi: Knight
John Cusack: John Kelso
Journal Rating: PG-13
Led Zeppelin song: Whole Lotta Love
LifeSaver: lemon
Lone Gunmen: Byers
LoTR: Legolas
M&M: blue
Madonna: Soul
M*A*S*H: Hawkeye
Monkees: Micky
Movie for Me: Forrest Gump
Muppet: Fozzie
Music god: Sting
Narnia: The Magician's Nephew
Old Movie: Citizen Kane
Parrothead: True
Peanuts: Linus
Retro Girl: Seductive Pin-Up
Rugrats: Angelica
Simpsons: Disco Stu
Star Trek: Spock
Star Trek race: Human
Store to Loot: Mega Grocer
Three's Company: Janet
Tolkien Beliefs: Conservative
Ugly Prom Dress: 80s
US City: Atlanta
VW Beetle: Black
Whose Line?: Colin Mochrie
Wife of Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves
Willy Wonka: Veruca
Wodehouse: Bertie Wooster
Wrestler: Stone Cold
Writer: Mystery

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