7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 187)

September 7, 2012 | 38 comments

— 1 —

You know what the hardest part is about doing a reality show? The scheduling. As it turns out, you can’t just walk into an establishment with film crews following you and hope it all works out. Similarly, the folks in the biz tell me that friends also don’t appreciate it when you show up at their house for a playdate and mention in passing that, oh, these people with large video cameras will be joining us, and filming our entire conversation to broadcast on television. These things need to be scheduled. You have to get permission to film in pretty much any roofed building that you enter, and you need to have signed release forms from anyone who will appear on camera. On top of that, you have to figure out times to meet people that will fit with their schedules, your schedule, and the film crews’ schedule. Honestly, after this byzantine planning process, it sounds like a vacation to only have to have my every moved filmed for three days straight.

— 2 —

Marcel LeJeune pointed out that Jersey Shore was just canceled. I noticed that the announcement was made the very same week that the producers of my show booked their tickets to come down here. Is this a mere coincidence? Or has God perhaps deemed that it’s up to me to give the world the next Jersey Shore?

[If I weren’t so tired this take would include a badly Photoshopped image of the Jersey Shore crowd interspersed with images of a very-pasty-looking me, Yaya, and a scorpion. Sorry about that grievous omission.]

— 3 —

I’m speaking in the Seattle area in November, and if you’re in the area you’re definitely going to want to check out this great event: It’s called the Frassati Conference (named for patron Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati) and it’ll be held at Our Lady, Star of the Sea in Bremerton. From their website, the goal of the conference is to help you “take your vocation ‘to the heights!’ with inspiration, challenge and practical advice for your specific state in life.” There will be different tracks for fathers, mothers, and single folks, and check out this list of great speakers (not sure how I ended up on there). Register soon, and I hope to see you there!

— 4 —

Let’s nerd out with a little tech chat for a moment: There has been some buzz about the possibility of Feedburner going away (for people who don’t know/care what Feedburner is, it’s a Google-owned service that allows people to “subscribe” to your blog posts, i.e. receive them without visiting your blog). A lot of bloggers are panicked about this, since many of our viewers only receive our posts through the Feedburner service, and thus if it went kaput we would lose tons and tons of readers (yes, there are various ways to gets folks onto new feeds, but they have their own downsides and you’d still lose a lot of people). I’m not worried about it, and here’s why:

We must place our trust in the will of God, live in the present moment, and not worry about superficial things like blog subscribers. Or, for those of you who are feeling less detached:

A lot of major, huge, mega-bigtime bloggers use Feedburner. They stand to lose tens of thousands of readers (in some cases hundreds of thousands) if this service disappeared one day. There are zillions of other, smaller bloggers who might not have those numbers, but who have a strong connection with the audiences they’ve built, many of whom access their writing only through Feedburner. Thus, even if Google did get bored with it, some savvy investor could buy it, announce that he’s going to add five huge ads to the bottom of each post in addition to interspersing pictures of his cat throughout each of our updates, then throw his head back and cackle, “MWAA-HAA-HAAAAAA!!!!!” And you know what we could do about it? Nada.

This is what economists call An Insanely Good Business Opportunity. Only drug dealers have this kind of rapport with their clientele. And that’s why I think it’s really, really unlikely that Feedburner would go away for good.

— 5 —

A friend of mine is looking for a good Catholic women’s Bible study to use for a group she’s organizing at her church. Anyone know of one? (And you know that it’s really a friend and not “a friend, ” since I’d never be asking about that!) (Not because I don’t like the Bible. Because I’m an introvert.)

— 6 —

Here’s a cool Texas event I’ve been meaning to go to for a while: There’s some state regulation that high school football teams can’t practice with pads before a certain date, so at midnight on that date some teams make a big event of it and go out and practice. Our friend Paul Escandon got this picture of one of these shindigs a few weeks ago, where he said about 200 – 300 people were there:

— 7 —

Since I have Very Important Reality Show things to do next week I probably won’t blog much, but I do plan to do regular updates and pictures on Twitter. See you over there!

Have a great weekend.



  1. nancyo

    You know, you could always update your post add in that photoshopped picture when you get a minute. Like when the camera crew is there! Seriously, good luck with it all next week.

    • Tammy

      Thank you for posting this about St Suplice…I missed it on my trip to Paris. I want to go back, must start saving pennies!!

      • nancyo

        Thanks, Tammy! I loved each of the churches I visited there, but I’d say my favorite was St. Germaine des Pres, the oldest church in Paris. I haven’t posted that one yet.

  2. Rita

    My bible study just began “Endow” a study of JP2’s Letter to Women. It’s beautiful. Kind of pricey ($80- for a years with of material) and no homework. You do all the reading and discussion together as a group.

  3. Lindsey

    Nuh Uh!!! I just saw the “I’ll be in the Seattle area” and I thought…yeah, maybe we could make it over there. But, then I saw Bremerton — Our Lady Star of the Sea is 10 minutes from my house! Can’t wait to see you! …sorry you have to come in November….it’s dark and wet.

  4. Smoochagator

    How sad about Jersey Shore being cancelled. Said no one ever.

    Actually, I’m guessing that now that Snooki has more-or-less settled down and is a mommy now, it’s likely that her peeps will follow suit (this happens as we party animals get older, yaknow) and the producers figured that their brand is fading. And if the main JS audience was tuning in to see tequila shots and questionable relationship decisions, they’re unlikely to tune in for angsty discussions about whether or not a temperature of 100.2 constitutes a fever worthy of a 2 a.m. call to the pediatrician. Although, let’s be honest, the daily laundry obsession of early seasons of JS does bear a strong resemblance to the early months of parenting.

    I imagine that filming a reality docu-special-whatever is a logistical nightmare. Hopefully all goes well with the planning and preparation. Have fun!

  5. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    Oh you Texans and your football! Also, if you happen to come up with a good list of Bible studies from readers, will you be so kind as to share with us? That would be lovely!

    • GeekLady

      Bah, not all Texans approve of the insanity surrounding high school football. This is why I can never run for public office. They would find out about my plan to defund all high school football. And then they would hang me from the nearest tree.

      • AnneG

        I know some Texans who would welcome defunding high school football. Then they could start the Texas High School League. Very entrepreneurial

  6. Judy

    I’ve participated in an incredible Catholic Womens’ Bible Study for the past four years called Walking With Purpose. http://www.walkingwithpurpose.com/

    • Janet

      Yes! We use WWP at my parish, too! I have met the founder, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, who is a wonderful mom of 7, and a convert. WWP is growing rapidly on the East Coast.

      • Bridget

        We are starting a second year of Walking with Purpose at our parish. I also highly recommend it!

  7. Sara H

    We did a women’s study called Women of Grace a few years ago and really enjoyed it. There was a book, workbook, and a dvd message portion of the actual get together.

  8. Caitlin

    I did “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” with girls at school and LOVED it. This is not necessarily geared towards women, but my husband and I did Jeff Cavin’s study “James: Pearls for Wise Living” at church and it was incredible.

  9. Colleen Martin

    Our parish has done the Women of Grace series (go to EWTN to find out more info). IT’s not a Bible study, but it’s a great study for the women of a parish – just a thought!

  10. Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

    I can’t wait to read more about what goes into making a “reality” show and I think it’s so neat that you’ll be filming one! We’ve been living in Pasadena for about a year and I am still enthralled when I see the yellow and black signs that mean there is a movie or show being filmed near by!

    • LR @ Magnificent or Egregious

      Karianna – have you driven by the Father of the Bride house? I forget what street it is on, but you can find it online. The Father of the Bride house and the Draper House from Mad Men (used for Seasons 1-3 exterior shots) are literally a stone’s throw away from each other!

  11. Deanna

    Bible Study Options: Courageous Love by Stacy Mitch; Women in the Old Testament and Women in the New Testament published by Little Rock; Living as a Beloved Daughter of God and Living as a Confident Daughter of God, by Patricia Mitchell. These are all 6-8 weeks, so if it’s the first time doing a Bible Study, a bit less scary in terms of commitment. Peace!

    • Anna

      I second the books by Stacy Mitch; my Bible study group used them all at one time or another and they were really good, especially if the group is just getting started and wants something that won’t be huge for money or time commitment, but still has good substance to it.

  12. Bethany Hudson

    Jen, when are you going to be in Seattle??? We should grab coffee and finally meet in person!!! Email me if you’re interested.

  13. Brianna

    Our Women’s Bible Study group has done Jeff Cavins’ “Walking Towards Eternity” and “Bible Timeline: Journey Through the Bible.” Both are excellent!

    • Michelle

      I would also recommend Jeff Cavins. However, I will caution the Bible Timeline is hard. It is excellent but the reading is significant and the homework is hard. I liked it a lot but some of the ladies in my group could not manage the homework with little ones.

  14. Kayla @ The AlluringWorld

    I cannot wait to hear more about the filming process! I didn’t realize that everything had to be scheduled, though now that you explained it that makes sense. No wonder on most shows you only see them go to the grocery store once ever – to explain how they do it, then no more.

  15. Anabelle@Written By the Finger of God

    Jen, you are so going to wish you did not mention the Seattle speaking gig because now I am contemplating how to get there and find you… so I can tell you to please keep blogging even if you’re going to be a reality TV star (and to ask if you’ve had a chance to read my book yet?) Don’t stop writing ok? My Friday meat-abstinence is more bearable because of your funnies.

  16. Laura

    Good luck with your filming next week. Can’t wait to see the finished product! God Bless.

  17. Beth

    I have read for long time but have never been inspired to comment before. Number six has inspired me. Texas is crazy. You do know that, don’t you?

  18. Jessica

    This is more of a “reading plan,” than a study, but it’s AWESOME, because it lists the relevant Catechism passages along with the Bible segments that one is reading.

    From the Coming Home network:


  19. Amanda

    Catholic Scripture Study is a good bible study program. it’s based off of the more protestant Bible Study Fellowship, which a lot of my friends rave about. Anyway, CSS can be gotten off the internet, I believe it’s free or very cheap and was created by a nun.

    • AnneG

      Catholic Scripture Study is a very serious study. They have studies of 4-8 weeks up to 28 weeks, the whole year. I’m in my 6th year. Gospel of John was excellent, best ive ever done and I’ve been studying Scripture for 30 years. They have notes, lessons and DVDs. If you combine with lots of Catechism it is really excellent. Cssprogram.net
      Not for lazy students who want a social study or the faint of heart, though.

  20. Dwija {House Unseen}

    You have to live tweet the entire time they’re there! That would make for riveting television, I promise. And then we can, like, be right there with you the whole time.

    You’re welcome.

  21. Bridget

    Not only will we be blessed to hear you speak, but we will all have the opportunity to enroll in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity at the Frassati Conference in November… Looking forward to it already!

    Lindsey and Ann Marie: see you there!

  22. Tammy

    I am also looking forward to hearing about the show filming we here can live our 15 minutes of fame vicariously. I should probably thank God for not picking me for this opportunity, I would likely humiliate myself.

  23. nancyo

    Got my Quick Takes posted with a few minutes left in Friday. I’m interested to see all the Bible Study recommendations.

  24. Claudia

    Servant Books has a great new book by Teresa Tomeo and Cheryl Dickow called Wrapped Up: God’s Ten Gifts for Women, and there’s also a Companion Journal (purchased separately) that lends itself to a ten-week study. There are tips for leaders, thoughtful reflections from both authors, references from the Catechism and Scripture, and excellent study questions. Check it out!

  25. Erin

    Our catholic ladies group is doing “Walking Toward Eternity” by Jeff Cavins, but I can’t vouch for it as we’ve only just started. It’s a video series.

  26. LR @ Magnificent or Egregious

    Don’t go all Real Housewives on us Jennifer! ha ha just kidding. Looking forward to seeing your show!

  27. Michael

    I made my third trip way down South to visit my mom in Texas this weekend, and spent much of the trip thinking about the recent picture posted here of a scorpion in a washing machine. Especially when I got tucked into bed at night. :\

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