Tuesday, August 31, 2010


OMG! Borders.com has my book up already!!! WOW!!!

Unfortunately it lists the author of "Breakfast With The Pope" as "Susan Tunney." This, of course, is DIH's maiden name. For a while I thought I'd publish under my old name. The first version of the book cover was done up using "Susan Tunney," and I guess this is the version Borders put up.

But when it came time to finalize the cover I decided to go with my married name, Susan Vigilante. At least in part because it's easier to remember, if just as tricky to spell.

Still, it's pretty thrilling to see "BWP" at the site. And I love my book's cover.

Go and see it. It's very pretty.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Big Day

Yes yes of course. Wednesday is the first day of school. On with my daughter's education and all that. But tomorrow is the Really Big Day.

Why, you ask?

I'm so glad you asked.

The reason tomorrow is the Really Big Day is that tomorrow is the day my book, "Breakfast With The Pope," goes to press.

The typos have been fixed. Well, as far as I know. I's have been dotted, t's crossed. Tomorrow "Breakfast With The Pope," which has been a MS for longer than I care to think about, becomes a Real Book.

And DIH is happy. She is, in fact, ecstatic.

And the second the BWP blog is up I will direct everyone to it and you can share the excitement.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Party's Over

Our parish hosted its Fall Festival this past weekend. For those of you who think August might be a tad early for a Fall Festival, let me point out that this is Minnesota. We're expecting the first frost any day now.

Usually after the Fall Festival DIH is left facing many questions. Questions like, What the hell was I thinking charging into a bidding war for "An Afternoon of Ice Fishing" at the charity auction? Luckily this year, I forgot my checkbook. So no regrets on the auction front.

But this early start to the parish social season has me looking ahead. To the school's Marathon fundraiser, when cute kids in uniform hit you up after Mass to "sponsor" them. "Gimme ten bucks and I'll go away" is the best pitch I've heard so far. [Note to self: skip the after-Mass donuts until after Marathon. Save a bundle that way.]

To the start-of-school Ice Cream Social. Why does everything our parish does involve a major intake of carbohydrates? [Another note to self: for god's sake bring a couple of cans of Diet Coke this year. Not only good for self but can probably make a few bucks selling them to other moms.]

To all the scattered and usually (by me anyway) unanticipated school breaks. How many times have I been faced with the realization that instead of a peaceful day with the girl in school I am instead faced with the pleasure of her company.

Don't get me wrong, my daughter is wonderful. But she's an only child. You know who only children talk to all day? THEIR MOMS. I am nuts about my daughter, but once she talked so much I broke out in hives. So today I am scanning the school calendar, plotting escape hatches. If that fails then it's time to stock up on steroids.

Getting ready for fall....

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Is A Disa-ster

Should have left my phone at home!

Man Killed Midconversation When Cell Phone Exploded

There were no witnesses to the incident, but it is believed that Gopal Gujjar, a 23-year-old man from from India's Banda village, was killed when his cell phone exploded midconversation, causing serious injuries to his ear. Gujjar's body was found near his farm along with the charred remains of his cell phone and battery Tuesday morning. Gujjar suffered burns on his left ear as well as on parts of his neck and shoulders, according to the police who recovered his body earlier this week. Gujjar was using a Nokia 1209, a model that came out in 2008, according to the New York Daily News. "It is probably the first incident in the country in which a mobile phone exploded while it was not being charged," the Times of India reported. "However, there have been cases when users sustained injuries as phones exploded." Earlier this year, a woman was killed when talking to her husband on a Chinese-made cell phone while it was plugged into the wall. And deaths from mobile phones have been reported in a handful of other countries, including Korea and Nepal.

(from today's Slate)

Of course, these guys would have known how to handle an exploding cell phone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anne Rice, Townhall.com and The Undead

Gosh, was it only two weeks ago that vampire novelist Anne Rice announced she was leaving Christianity? How time flies.

Today Townhall.com weighed in on the matter. And there's good news, people: "undead" has a whole new meaning.

Townhall Columnist Bob Burney writes, "I’m with you, Anne! I have through the years developed a deep distaste for “religion.”

What makes this statement a little odd is the fact that Mr. Burney is an evangelical pastor who broadcasts for Salem Communications.

So odd, in fact, that DIH put aside her morning Cheerios and read on.

Burney goes on to tell about his recent trip to a youth camp in Moldova, in Eastern Europe. It was fantastic! "Kids hooked on drugs and sex are wonderfully delivered. Young people lost in a poverty-stricken culture find meaning and hope. Over the course of 17 years, over 22,000 young people have come to Christ!"

I'll let Mr Burney tell the next part:

"On the return trip to America, I had an overnight layover in Vienna. Although I had seen it before, I had to make a visit to St. Stephens Cathedral in the heart of the city. Standing for over 800 years, its architecture is truly breathtaking. There are priceless works of art everywhere. You cannot help but stand in awe realizing that this structure was built without any modern technology or machinery. There are so many adjectives and superlatives that I could use to describe the visual spectacle that confronts you. It is beautiful, magnificent and opulent—but it is also dead. It is more museum than church—a relic of ritual and tradition, filled with tourists, empty of worshippers."

Now that's odd, I said to myself. Austrian Catholics are a pretty serious lot. Trust me, the pastor of my childhood parish was Austrian, and in addition to having an unpronounceable name- Pfundstein- he was one serious guy. (Naturally all the kids called him "Funsy" behind his back.)

So I decided to see just how "dead" St Stephen's in Vienna is. I started poking around the internet.

Well. All I can say is, for a "dead" church, St Stephen's is one happenin' place.

If "Messe" means what I think it means, St Stephen's has eight Masses every Sunday. Plus the Rosary and Vespers, and whatever "Hauptgottesdienst" mean.

As for weekdays, there are six Masses, and the Rosary, and "Andacht." Which, according to my internet translator, means "devotion." And given how many devotions Catholics are into that could mean a lot of different things. (Divine Mercy, anyone?)

Now, I don't have any attendance figures. But it strikes me as odd that any church would bother to hold half a dozen masses every weekday if no one was showing up. In fact, it strikes me as Almost Certainly Not The Case.

I guess I could ask what time of day Mr. Burney dropped by St Stephens. Maybe he hit a between-the-masses lull. But jeez, Bob. You couldn't have picked up a bulletin or something? You couldn't look up what was actually going on at St Stephens' when you weren't around? "Dead" seems a little extreme for a church that has "Haupgottesdienst."

I tell you what, Bob. You get around, right? Maybe you should check out a few other Catholic churches and we can straighten out this "dead" bit once and for all. I know some awesome ones.

But if you're not into that, here's the St Stephen's website:http://www.stephanskirche.at/

Let me know if you find out what "hauptgottesdienst" means.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy 90th birthday to the great Maureen O'Hara. Everyone loves an Irish girl!

And can she wear a corset, or what?

Monday, August 16, 2010

She's Ba-aaack...

I know I haven't posted in months. But if any of you are still reading this here blog, I am back in business.

It's hard to refuse the hundreds-- okay, dozens-- well, actually, both fans who urged me to pick up the old keyboard again. So here I am, ready for another round.

So keep coming back. I promise more to come.