Bless yourself, horndog.

People say cynics are blackhearted and miserable, but I gotta tell you, we certainly have more fun. I’ve been chuckling all day over the case of Msgr. Eugene Clark, rector of none other than St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC and a leading right-wing Catholic blowhard, railing on TV about our sex-saturated culture and the insidious liberal homo priests who brought this whole altar-boy scandal down on everyone’s heads. Called “staff chaplain” for the National Review, and blah to the blah to the impeccable conservative orthodox credentials blah.

He is 79 years old, by the way. And the punchline?

Apparently he’s been boning his secretary. In a motel.

The secretary is 46, by the way. In true NYC tabloid fashion, the story already has a name: “Beauty and the Priest.”

At least he has an excuse: The culture made me do it.


It’s a tough town, Detroit, as a trip to the local multiplex will demonstrate. Fort Wayne, however, seems even tougher at the moment. Once I puzzled out this Crocodile Dundee-like story of a parking-lot struggle between a beer thief, a store cashier and the good Samaritan who tried to help her, that is. In my old neighborhood, natch.

Actually, the old hometown a.m. rag was a bouquet of amusement this morning. From the letters to the editor:

I heartily endorse the sentiment expressed so well in several letters to the editor that foreign immigrants to Indiana should assimilate into our culture by adopting our language.

This is perfectly fair. After all, when late 18th and early 19th century emigrants from the newly established United States poured over the Appalachian Mountains, across the Ohio River, and into what would become Indiana, they promptly abandoned English and to a person learned the Algonquian languages of the people who were already here.

Given their example, it is only reasonable for us to expect present-day immigrants who speak Spanish, Burmese, Hindi, Mandarin or whatever to show the same respect for American language and culture that our ancestors did for the languages and customs of the Native Americans among whom they settled.

I’m calling boolsheet on that. “Abandoned English…to a person?” Don’t think so. And just for the writer’s information, in my travels around northeast Indiana I met several people who spoke a different language at home, only it wasn’t Spanish, Burmese, Hindi, Mandarin or whatever — it was Swiss. (That’s not a language, I know, but it’s what some people of Swiss heritage, including the Amish, speak at home. It’s a dialect of German.) And these folks had been in the country for a century, most of them. And yet, amazingly, this is seen as preserving our unique history, not a failure to assimilate. Hmmm, puzzles abound.

In L.A., the other shoe drops in the business deal between American Media and Gov. Conan. Which you knew it would.

We have dinner guests coming this weekend. On the menu: Fish tacos. I’m looking for side-dish ideas. All you Californians, time to step up.

Have a good weekend. I plan to.

Posted at 9:37 am in Uncategorized |

26 responses to “Bless yourself, horndog.”

  1. adrianne said on August 12, 2005 at 10:50 am


    “Beauty and the Priest” has been a Godsend to the New York tabloids during the dog days of August. On the cover of both the Daily News and the Post for three days running! Of course, the priest conveniently blames the media for his troubles: he’s only resigning from St. Pat’s because “events and circumstances have been portrayed in such a false and sensational manner that I will no longer be able to effectively serve the archdiocese.” Hmmm…

    456 chars

  2. RepMan said on August 12, 2005 at 11:09 am

    What exacerbates the allegations in my mind is that Clark has previously used his powerful position to wax poetic on the “immorality in the American culture.” This incident is shockingly similar to the Harry Stonecipher/Boeing saga. Readers will recall that after becoming Boeing’s CEO, Stonecipher initiated strict personal behavior guidelines for employees as part of the corporation’s revamped code of ethics. Then, he went ahead and had an affair with an employee that ended up costing him his job.

    It’s no wonder many feel that America has lost its moral compass when the Clark’s and Stonecipher’s of the world act in such blatant disingenuous ways. As a former altar boy, I can only pray things get better before they get any worse.

    739 chars

  3. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 11:23 am

    I remember my introduction to this sort of hypocrisy. My ninth grade history teacher used to tell us that our generation was destroying society by wearing miniskirts and listening to rock and roll. He said the communists win when we are late for class. He lost his job mid school year when he was arrested for exposing himself to some children at a playground. Tenth grade geometry teacher was a good one too. He used to preach morality with as much religion as he could get away with in public school. Then he disappeared. He ran off with his neighbor’s wife, leaving his wife with five young children and an STD. Am I cynical? Hell yes, but I come by it honestly.

    672 chars

  4. Nance said on August 12, 2005 at 11:38 am

    One of those NY Daily News stories contained this gem: “Sources close to them suggested they stopped at the motel because she was tired. While she rested, he did paperwork.” Why do people insist on making a bad situation worse by inviting ridicule with crap like this? When Alan and I on the west side of Detroit and I get tired, we don’t check into a motel. Alan says, “OK, I’ll drive. You nap.” Next we’ll hear they couldn’t do that because she had a back problem that requires she rest in a prone position.

    With her legs in the air! (Snort.)

    547 chars

  5. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 11:38 am

    It’s not exotic, but what we eat with fish tacos here in northeast LA, is rice and beans. There are beans, and there are beans. Here’s a recipe for Frijoles de la olla.

    I prefer them with less fat than this recipe recommends.

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    2 cups (13 ounces) dry beans, pink, pinto, black or other variety

    2 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings or fat rendered from chorizo sausage

    1 small onion, diced

    1 large spring epazote for black beans (optional)

    Salt, about 1 teaspoon

    I N S T R U C T I O N S

    Measure beans into a colander, pick out any dirt or pebbles, rinse and place in a 4 quart pan. Add 6 cups water, remove any beans that float, and let soak 4 – 8 hours until you see no dry core when you break one open. Or quick soak beans by boiling them for one minute then let them stand off the fire for 1 hour then drain beans completely.

    Cover beans with 6 cups fresh water in olla or pan, add the lard or other fat, onion and epazote (optional) and bring slowly to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are fully tender, 1 to 2 hours. If you see the beans peeking up through the liquid, add hot water to cover then by 1/2″; without enough water, the beans may cook unevenly and tend to stick to the bottom.

    Season with salt, remove the epazote, and the beans are ready to serve.

    The local restaurant known for its fish tacos is Senor Fish, on Eagle Rock Boulevard. The fish taco combo plate comes with rice, beans, some sliced avocados, lime wedges and a few radishes.

    1567 chars

  6. Nance said on August 12, 2005 at 11:49 am

    Yeah, Mary, this sounds good. I was already leaning in a black-bean sort of direction. Maybe a black bean/corn/squash salad? My mouth’s waterin’.

    Senor Fish. You Californians get all the good restaurant names.

    212 chars

  7. brian stouder said on August 12, 2005 at 12:03 pm

    Well, I’m not a Catholic (nor much of anything else), so I have no dog in the fight – and indeed, one can readily see that this looks like a fun August story to bat around (much as a kitty with a catnip ball).

    Maybe I’m becoming more French as old age approaches – (or maybe I’ve watched too many sub-titled movies on IFC) because I’m not seeing any problem here. The parties involved didn’t include a school child, misappropriation of money hasn’t occurred, no one is murdered and buried underneath the garage……but the latter-day Thornbirds are guilty of the one thing that allows leftists to show their own favorite Old Testament form of Judgement and Condemnation – hypocrisy! I will grant that Richard Chamberlain would not have offered such transparently lame and dishonest excuses as “she was tired” (“Especially since we had been up all night passionately grinding out all of our important and ‘job’-related tasks”).

    Oh – and my own dirty-minded assumption was that she was on top – given the age of her lion; by way of saying that her next excuse will be she has a back problem requiring vigorous ‘stretching manuevers’ which the Monsigner had to assist with, since her Bow Flex was at home….or whatever!

    1226 chars

  8. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 12:54 pm

    Senor Fish used to be one little stand with four long outdoor tables, but it’s branched out now. Through both my pregnancies I ate there at least three times a week, because I had a real thing for their beans. One could get a large bowl of rice, a large bowl of beans, and a dish of sliced onions, cilantro, and radishes for 1.50. I think it’s up to about 3 dollars now, but still a deal. It’s a little fancier now. Back then people would order their stuff, then walk down the street to the gas station mini mart, buy a beer, and bring it back to have with lunch. They only serve sodas, jamaica and orchata at Senor Fish.

    626 chars

  9. colleen said on August 12, 2005 at 1:04 pm

    Here’s a really good corn salad, courtesy of Ina Garten: (yeah, using fresh corn is a pain, but frozen doesn’t really taste as good)


    5 ears of corn, shucked

    1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)

    3 tablespoons cider vinegar

    3 tablespoons good olive oil

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves


    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is

    just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the

    kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

    Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in

    the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

    874 chars

  10. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 1:51 pm

    The best tool for removing kernels from the cob is a shoehorn, by the way. Especially a metal one.

    98 chars

  11. Lex said on August 12, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    I’m still trying to get my head around the notion of a Roman Catholic priest with a $2 million vacation house.

    110 chars

  12. Connie said on August 12, 2005 at 4:24 pm

    Nancy, don’t call that letter to the editor boolsheet, recognize it for the satire I think it was meant to be. I think. And what exactly is an epazote? Meanwhile I am having fresh Michigan peaches for lunch.

    210 chars

  13. joe said on August 12, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    What he did was wrong, no doubt about it, and it makes it worse after he speakes of morality and such. How ever I do recall after a certain President was getting head in the white house and lying about it, all the libs said it was not that big of a deal.

    In other news, Nance I flew in to Pontiac today from Clevland and came in over Lake St.Clair, I tried to find your yacht club. Is it the one with the swimming pool or the smaller one to the south? or was I looking in the wrong spot?


    494 chars

  14. kirk said on August 12, 2005 at 5:25 pm

    connie’s right. that letter to the editor about english and the algionquin language is a joke. probably sailed right over the heads of thousands of hoojie readers, too.

    168 chars

  15. Nance said on August 12, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    Joe, there are at least three private clubs I can think of along the GP shoreline, plus six parks, five of which have swimming pools, plus some of the clubs.

    Anyway, we’re not in a yacht club. We keep our boat at the city’s lakefront park, in the marina there. Our tax dollars at work.

    As for the good Father, the issue is, of course, his hypocrisy. From one of the links: In 2002, The New York Daily News reported that Clark “pointedly blamed the priest sex abuse scandal yesterday on homosexuality, a ‘sex-saturated’ society and a constant assault on celibacy by liberals.”

    You’d think a man knocking on the door of his ninth decade would be able to resist the siren call of a pretty secretary closing in on her sixth, and hold the line on celibacy. Mebbe not.

    I wonder if Viagra was involved.

    818 chars

  16. Caleb said on August 12, 2005 at 5:34 pm

    Um, yeah, I’m pretty sure that letter to the editor was satirical.

    66 chars

  17. brian stouder said on August 12, 2005 at 5:47 pm

    “I wonder if Viagra was involved.”

    Is the pope Catholic?

    59 chars

  18. Nance said on August 12, 2005 at 5:56 pm

    On second thought, you guys are right. That letter was a joke. And it sailed over MY head. I’m losing my edge. I’m…afraid.

    124 chars

  19. Maureen said on August 12, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    Fish tacos traditionally come with green cabbage, not lettuce. (You probably knew that, but just in case…) And instead of a traditional salsa, they have a lime/cilantro/chili/yogurt (or sour cream) sauce. Recently, everywhere I go for Mexican food seems to be serving salsa fresca, a sort of spicy salsa/sour cream mix. Don’t forget the frozen margaritas and all will be praised. Enjoy!

    393 chars

  20. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 8:18 pm

    I know epazote as an herb I buy in the market, but here’s a more comprehensive explanation from Kate’s Global Gourmet:

    “Epazote (eh-pah-ZOE-teh) grows wild in the US as well as Mexico, and the Mexican name derives from the Aztec word epazotl. It bears long, pointy, serrated leaves. North of the border we call it wormseed or pigweed, and you can find it growing wild just about everywhere � from New York backyards to California highway medians. Older leaves have a strong aroma and pungent flavor and should be used judiciously so that they don’t overpower other flavors, but young leaves are less assertive.

    Epazote is also known as the bean herb, because it’s a carminative (meaning it reduces gas; peppermint and fennelseeds are other carminatives). Mexicans add a sprig or two to beans, which helps make them more digestible and adds a deep, unique flavor. Some people say epazote is an acquired taste, but if so, then I’m a convert: I love it in beans, eggs, and cheese dishes. Mexican cooking expert Diana Kennedy says that to cook black beans without epazote is “unthinkable,” adding that when a recipe calls for epazote, there is no substitute.”

    Diana Kennedy has written the definitive Mexican cookbooks sold in the US. Her Mexican food is Mexican, but the things we eat here in LA have a certain style. I know the Mexican food I’ve had in Arizona or Texas has been different, and then there’s Tex Mex and New Mexico style food which are different things completely. Some of the same ingredients, but not the same recipes. I love New Mexican food. Possibly because I love being in New Mexico.

    1620 chars

  21. mary said on August 12, 2005 at 8:25 pm

    Here’s another bean recipe that sounds closer to the type I like.


    1 pound dried pinto beans (2 to 2-1/2 cups)

    2 quarts water, possibly more as needed

    1 small onion

    2 cloves garlic

    2 sprigs fresh epazote (can be omitted)

    2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

    Pick through the beans to discard any pebbles or other debris. Rinse the beans well and drain.

    Place the beans in a heavy pot. Pour in 2 quarts water, or enough to cover the beans by “two knuckles.” Turn the heat on high.

    While the beans start to heat, quickly dice the onion (about 1 cup diced) and finely mince the garlic. Add the onion, garlic and epazote to the beans.

    Bring the beans to a boil on high, then reduce the heat so that the beans are at a bare simmer. Do not cover the pot. Note: A flame tamer will help distribute the heat evenly and keep the bottom from scorching.

    Simmer the beans slowly, without stirring, for 1 hour. Then stir the beans up from the bottom. If necessary, add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Simmer another 30 minutes, then stir and check the water level again. If needed, add enough water to cover the beans by 1/2 inch.

    When the beans start to feel soft, stir in the salt. Check the beans every 15 minutes or so, stirring and adding just enough water to now just barely cover the beans. When the beans are cooked through, remove the epazote. You should end up with enough liquid to cover the beans. To thicken the bean broth, puree 1/2 to 1 cup of the beans and return them to the pot. ”

    Serve the beans in small bowls or cups with some of their liquid, or drain them and use them in other recipes.

    If you visit LA, you should go to Barragan’s restaurant for the beans de la olla. There is usually a special of some sort that has them as the side dish. The fave in this household is the carne asada tacos with beans de la olla. The meat is beef, diced and a bit crunchy around the edges. It’s served on soft corn tortillas with lots of cilantro and diced onion, as well as a house salsa that has a nice smoky/hot flavor.

    Now I’m hungry.

    2104 chars

  22. Claire said on August 12, 2005 at 11:07 pm

    Ahhh, New Mexico, I love it too. My favorite Mexican restaurant is El Pinto in Albuquerque. (

    The fish taco dinner is sounding good. I’ll have to try some along w/these recipe sides.

    209 chars

  23. Nance said on August 12, 2005 at 11:40 pm

    The recipe for fish tacos I have uses chipotle salsa in the sour cream, and red cabbage for the crunchies. Margaritas are on the menu too, as is a key lime cheesecake. I fear I may over-lime my guests but what the hell, that’s what beer is for.

    244 chars

  24. Dorothy said on August 13, 2005 at 8:42 am

    This has to be one of the most enjoyable dialogues I’ve seen at Nancy’s website in ages and ages. Between a hypocritical priest, a secretary with her legs in the air, and enough beans to create a major gas leak, it’s been most enjoyable to read all of you today! Thanks for the smiles and, to boot, great recipes!

    315 chars

  25. alex said on August 13, 2005 at 2:07 pm

    Or, Dorothy, as they say in Algonquian:

    “Praise be!”

    55 chars

  26. harry near indy said on August 14, 2005 at 6:25 am

    it’s goes like this:

    “is a bear catholic? does the pope s— in the woods?”


    what do you call a priest who has an affair with a woman?


    thank you, and please tip the wait staff — they work hard for you.

    230 chars