7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 186)

August 31, 2012 | 35 comments

— 1 —

I’m here in Dallas at the CNMC, and I’m having a great time! (Actually I’m writing this in advance to be posted later. It’s important to note that just in case something terrible happens at the conference before I have time to update the post. With my luck a zombie apololypse would break out, the undead attacking all the attendees as they scream in terror, and people would think, “That’s Jen’s idea of a good time?”)

— 2 —

While I was getting ready to go I remembered that they have a deal where I could get into the Catholic Marketing Network tradeshow too. When I looked at all the exhibitors and events involved with that, I just about passed out. I’m going to need some espresso on IV drip to check out all the cool stuff that’s going on here.

— 3 —

I was playing laundry catchup before I left, and when I tossed a load into the dryer, I looked back and see this:

— 4 —

Pop quiz about what I had just been washing:

A. Some burlap rugs that had been sitting outside for months.
B. Old rags from the attic.

The answer to the above quiz is C AHHHHH HOW CAN THIS REALLY BE MY LIFE?????!!!!!!!

— 5 —

Being at a hotel reminds me of a hilarious conversation I had last time I was at a hotel: I was in the lounge, and saw that the two people next to me had pieces of paper scattered all over their table. Each paper was a form that had been filled out by hand, and each included a picture of a woman. Based on the pictures, I suspected for a moment that they might be starting an escort agency. I ended up striking up a conversation with them when they needed to borrow a chair at my table, and it turns out that they were casting for a well known reality show. This particular show is usually considered to be the worst of the worst, the kind of program that makes you want to blow up your television and and/or stab your eyes out of utter despair for humanity.

Anyway, I learned through the casting assistant that the main casting director is a writer who writes fine literature, and immerses himself in high-concept, classic books in his spare time. Evidently he was having cash flow problems, and took the job with this reality show because it paid well. When he returned to the table I asked him how he liked the show, and he rolled his eyes and said, “I would never watch that garbage. I don’t think I’ve ever sat through an entire episode.”

Sometimes I see the show advertised, and I always laugh to think of the frustrated artist writer behind it.

— 6 —

Okay, now I’m at the CNMC (I’m writing this post over a series of days) and have met a bunch of great people. Here’s one of my favorite shots, me with the fascinating Sr. Anne Flanagan, a.k.a. the Nunblogger:

— 7 —

Have a great weekend, everyone!



  1. Emily

    You have the worst luck with those scorpions! I hope you have a great time in Dallas!

  2. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    I am so terrified of your house. Please tell me a spin in the washing machine is enough to kill the little buggers.

    • Kara

      Leah, I really doubt the washing machine killed it. Those things can live through anything.

      • GeekLady

        Plus it’s possible it was in the washing machine in the first place, and not in the sheets.

  3. Kara

    Your house is a nightmare. I really would’ve moved.

    Enjoy your conference!

  4. Angie @ Many Little Blessings

    Oh my goodness! Your first take made me burst out laughing. I sometimes worry that something I write ahead of time will be crazy at a later time. Too funny!

  5. Becki

    Oh man. . I need to go get my sheets out of the dryer. ..heebie jeebies and we dont have scorpions up here.

  6. Katie@NFP and Me

    Scorpions in the bed sheets! My good God! I think that definitely equates to at least 15 years knocked off your purgatory right there!

  7. Smoochagator

    A friend of mine lived in the Philippines for two years while serving in the Peace Corps. She said they had dinner-plate-sized spiders over there that injected a flesh-eating venom into their bite victims. Moral of the story: it could always be worse.

  8. Deanna

    The baby frogs all over my driveway were icky, but those scorpions really are scary!

  9. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    #4 and #5 blow me away, for different reasons. Now I feel like a whiner for complaining so much about the mosquitoes where I live! I’m dying to know what tv show that is. Hope you enjoy your time at the conference and at the scorpion-free hotel!

    • Sheila @ Seasoned Joy

      Anne, I was thinking exactly the same things. Well, and also feeling glad that I no longer live in Texas and Arizona where there were scorpions.

      • Jenna@CallHerHappy

        I’m with you! What show? What does it rhyme with, Jen? Dig Smother? Bardashians? Curvivor?

  10. Judy Dudich

    I will offer a rhetorical pop quiz to answer your pop quiz:

    A) Because you love your neighborhood so much that you can’t bear to leave it
    B) Because you see having stinging, dangerous, poison-inflicting Arachnids from Phylum Arthropoda an exciting opportunity for homeschoolers
    C) I HAVE NOOOOOOOOOOOOO IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET OUT NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!

    Correct Answer: “C” LOL

    Incidentally, thanks for sharing the photo. YOUR JOY SHINES FORTH and you are SO beautiful; inside and out.

  11. Becky

    I see from your picture with the nunblogger that you’re wearing your beautiful necklace from Etsy that you had once mentioned in a Quick Takes! I just wanted to tell you that because of that little post, you inspired me to buy one too! Mine is of The Madonna of the Streets…

    You must have a Guardian Angel that fully sympathizes with your fear of scorpions. How did you not get bit when you were carrying those bedsheets????

  12. elizabethe

    Just for your peace of mind, I’m going to posit D. The scorpion was already in the washing machine and you didn’t notice it. yeah, that;s the ticket…

  13. GeekLady

    The scorpion was probably in the washer already, and not the sheets. Fell in and couldn’t climb out is my guess. One of my apartment comlexes had laundry rooms with unglassed windows, and unless the washers were kept closed at all times, they would get filled with junebugs. Which you would never be able to effectively clean out. So you ended up with junebug bits all over your laundry. Ick.

    On the plus side, at least it wasn’t a front loading washer, where you gett your face a lot closer to the business end of the washer, and consequently the scorpion inside.

    But seriously, I’d take scorpions in my house over black widows in my garden. *shiver*

  14. Kathleen Basi

    #5 makes me want to cry. Or throw something. Maybe your solution is better. :/

    • Duytrde

      Posted on Yeah, Chance, I am with you on Robin Curtis she is a terrifying Vulcan, pearphs even scarier than Laurence Luckinbill.Steve, are you serious? Did Spock hook up with Saavik someplace and I missed it? Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Kim Catrall Vulcan from Undiscovered Country?

  15. Melissa

    I had the weirdest dream last week. I opened a door, and out came, from underneath the door jamb, three huge scorpions. So I took my shoe off to kill the darn things, but then realized that that might not be the best idea because there I was, standing in my bare feet, with scorpions scuttling around the place. No matter how hard I smacked them with my shoe, they just wouldn’t die. And they were getting closer and closer to the baby, and we’re almost on top of her when I woke up, terrified. It took me a good long while to get back to sleep.

    Now the funniest part of this whole story is that I live in Alberta. We don’t have scorpions up here. Just know that your scorpion stories are having an effect on the subconscious mind of a woman up in Canada.

  16. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Oooooh, I’d recognize that FSP habit from 6 miles away. Love me some Daughters of St. Paul!

  17. Scott Morizot

    For those of you who don’t live in the Austin area, I feel compelled to note that we aren’t actually overrun with scorpions. I know there are parts of the metro area that have more scorpions than others (I can’t recall ever seeing one up here in Pflugerville), as a rule we are not constantly battling them. (Fire ants are another story.)

    My theory is that Jennifer’s house was built on top of an ancient scorpion breeding ground, or perhaps a Hellmouth. 😉

    • Catherine

      Yes, I just moved to Austin and I was terrified! But I’ve been in our new house a month and the worst thing we have is sugar ants.

  18. Megan

    Man, you do have the worst luck with those buggers. That show wouldn’t happen to start with a “B” and end with a “lor,” would it? Sr. Anne is awesome, I got an update last night from my mom who has the pleasure of attending the conference this year…the jealousy abounds! Enjoy the rest of it!

  19. Jennifer

    Never considered that the writer’s behind those programs might actually be “struggling” and working to make ends meet.

  20. Margaret in MN

    You look beautiful, Jen! Have a great time at the conference.

  21. Jill

    Ok I have one word for you, CY-KICK. Spray it around the perimeter of your house and inside your attic every 30 days and they will be gone. I live in the country in central Texas and have also battled these things.

  22. Kayla @ The AlluringWorld

    Oh. My. Goodness. IN YOUR LAUNDRY??? in your laundry???? IN YOUR BEDDING LAUNDRY? Ew ew EW ew ew ohmygoodness NO.

    Bright side: If you become a saint, you can be the patroness of scorpions and those plagued by scorpions. This is just your path of sanctification. 🙂

  23. Jane

    We had scorpions (AND venomous copperheads!) in Florida, but thank heavens, they stayed outside. I swear, had I ever seen a scorpion in the house LET ALONE MY BEDSHEETS I would have declared Jihad.

  24. Tammy

    I very sadly say that considering the common values of the group you are with, the Fr Groschel situation is the closest you will all get to an apocalyptic disaster. : (

    Good, decent people made mistakes and we will all not soon hear the end of the cultural backlash.

    I would have preferred the zombies, I think.

  25. Julie Cragon

    Loved your talk this morning. You all were very helpful. So glad I crossed over from the CMN and joined you and the Catholic Writers Guild. Worth it!

  26. Cassidy

    I’m totally stuck on that scorpion. YIKES. I thought my recluses in the laundry room were bad…*shudders*

  27. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    I loved the Catholic Writers Conference I attended a few years ago, and I can’t wait to hear more about this one. It’s always such an inspirational gathering with a really wonderful people of faith with a variety of talents, gifts, and insights. Wish I could have joined you, but I’m very glad you could take advantage of having it so close to where you live.

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