Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Toughen Up... Summer is Here

Today marks the official "First Day" of summer for me. I can tell when this day arrives based on two things: One, I wore shorts all day. Two, I didn't wear shoes.

Which means that it's time to start the Patented Mikalatos Toughen Up curriculuum for feet.

I hate it when I have soft, pampered feet. "Winter feet." Blech.

So it's time. Time to take those feet and walk across hot cement. Weed the yard! Step on thorns! Kick rocks!

If you do it right your feet won't feel anything within a couple of weeks. Hooray!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Here's the latest update on the novel word count:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,412 / 100,000

That puts me just barely over one-third of the way! Yeeha!*

*It's not a western, though.

Memorial Day

For all those who have gone before us by way of the violence or deprivations of war, we remember you and the lives you led. We pray for peace and for the return of the One who will bring everlasting peace to our lives, and justice to our world. He did not create us to die, but to live. Come, Lord Jesus!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Choose Your Own (Christian) Romance: Answer Key

Well, it's time to reveal at long last the "correct" answer to the choose your own Christian Romance game.

And the correct answer is -- drumroll, please -- B! That's right, "And as her true love pulled her into his arms for the sweetest kiss, Ashley was finally able to leave the past behind and embrace the future, as a woman, as a mother, and someday soon as a pastor's wife."

Mmmm, that's the good stuff!

Props to Jason and Hairy Dave, the truest connoisseurs of romance fiction, who sniffed out the answer to that one right away.

Eavesdropping With Matt (Episode fifteen)

Dedicated to the well-meaning eight-year-old girl at the Portland Zoo, who wanted my children to know the truth about the animals around them.

Z: Dad, look at the crocodiles!

A: And why are there fish in there with them?

Me: When the crocodiles get hungry they slip down there and eat some fish.

Z: Why?

Me: Crocodiles eat fish. Or, you know, pretty much anything that goes near them. Zebras, antelope, that sort of thing.

Eight-Year-Old Girl: That's not actually true, you know. Crocodiles are very gentle creatures.

Me: Is that right?

Eight-Year-Old Girl: Yes. Crocodiles will only attack if something tries to harm them. They are mostly vegetarian.

I gave that little girl my blog address and told her to look it up tonight. I wanted to be sure that she saw this picture of a crocodile eating a big bloody chunk of banana:

Aw, alright kid, stop crying. Here's what really happens:

Crocodiles just like to suck on frogs and fish for the flavor. But they would never eat them.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Novel Thoughts

I've decided to work on my novel for a while this summer. I had set it aside for awhile to work on some short stories and things. I noticed my buddy Mir has a little doohickey on her blog that shows how many words she's written on her novel, so I thought I'd post one occasionally to show everyone how little progress I am making. I'm targeting about 100,000 words, so that means that I'm about 28% of the way done with my first draft... that's chapter sixteen. Just seeing that little bar makes me feel sad that it's so far from done... I had (originally) planned to have it done this spring!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
28,686 / 100,000

UPDATE: Well, we didn't watch any television tonight. Here's the fruit of tonight's labor on the novel. Not bad, about 1,600 words...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
30,309 / 100,000

Thursday, May 24, 2007

LOST party update(s)

Well, this season's Champion LOST Predictor is our very own Angel Oh, with an astonishing 7 correct predictions about last night's episode. It's no big surprise, though. See how she is hugging that television? It is like a sister to her.

Fifteen of our regular and semi-regular LOST devotees showed up, and Angel beat out some tough competition.

But she is used to beating out competition, because she has her very own snowmobile accesories shop on the web, where she regularly beats the competition. It is true.

In other news, LOST is great. If you do not watch it, I pity you. I really do.

I would tell you all the other shows I think are great, but then you would pity me for watching that much television.

NOTE: I've placed the "predictions" quiz that Angel dominated in the comments section so you can peruse it at your leisure. We all filled out the quiz before the show came on. It was fun. There are spoilers in the quiz if you haven't started watching season three yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

get LOST with the Mikalatos family

Tomorrow night is the LOST season finale.

So, we're hosting a LOST party at our house.

Come on by at 7 p.m. for dessert and to hang out, and then at 9 we'll let the "cone of silence" descend while we spend two hours bonding in the fifty year tradition of our nation: watching television.

BONUS: Before the show get your chance to fill out "Desmond's Season Finale Predictions". The person who has the most correct answers will be declared the Champion Lost Predictor until season four begins!

If you're in the Portland, OR area somewhere, feel free to come by. E-mail me at matt.mikalatos(at) if you need our address!

Choose Your Own (Christian) Romance

Now's your chance to prove your chops as an editor. Below are three choices of story endings, one from a published Christian romance story, and two that have been invented by moi. Choose the "real" ending and vote in the comments section:

A) Roy pulled her close. "Now that you've rejected the lies of egalitarianism and have accepted the truth of the complementarian position, I think it's time for me to tell you... you are going to be my wife."

B) And as her true love pulled her into his arms for the sweetest kiss, Ashley was finally able to leave the past behind and embrace the future, as a woman, as a mother, and someday soon as a pastor's wife.

C) After crossing the prairie she had lost so much, but God had brought Brett into her life. His strong arms encircled her and she was reminded again of the safety of the circled wagon train. She had found home at last.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Get in a street fight with matt mikalatos

Well, folks, the official announcement for Coach's Midnight Diner is up. Turns out I wasn't supposed to say anything before the official announcement. But what do you expect from a tough guy like me? That I will just follow the rules? It is to laugh! Ha! Ha!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

A very Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.

Special thanks to my wife... I'm so thankful you're the woman our kids are privileged to learn from and emulate. You are a great Mom and I'm so thankful for you.

And to Janet... if I were choosing a wife based purely on who would be my mother-in-law, Krista would still be first choice. Thanks for your kindness and love to me. I'm so glad that you are such an involved part of our family!

And to my own Mom... I know the whole world sends you little thank you cards from time to time for bringing me into the world, but little do they know the trials and tribulations I've brought you over the years. Thanks for your patience and unconditional love and for being a great mom and grandma. I love you!

signs they are a changin'

I am in California right now. I saw a sign today that said:


Can someone help me understand what this means? Feel free to leave your best theories in the comments section.

In other news, this greasy hamburger joint (NATIONS) has been replaced with a great Mexican restaurant called "El Belasco" or some such. It was great.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down Before You Call Him a Man?

I had a pretty good travel day yesterday. I called Krista to tell her I had made it to Redding at one point, and she immediately asked me if I had been speeding.

Of course not!

I think the roads got shorter than last time or something. It probably also helps that instead of stopping to refuel I would pull up alongside tankers and fuel while driving. The driver would toss me a bag of tortilla chips to munch on for the next several hours.

Worst Thing about a day-long drive yesterday: NPR is having a pledge drive. You can only listen to those ringing phones for a finite amount of time. And then there's this nagging question... are there really people in the studio answering phones, or is it just a sound effect. It's almost enough to cause one to call them....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

If you haven't seen this story it's worth a quick read. It's sad (and also funny). An inter-faith soccer match had to be called off because the participants couldn't agree on conditions under which to play.

For extra hilarity, be sure to see the tactful and subtle illustration that the good folk at cbs have chosen for the story.

In other news, small Baptist churches everywhere are looking forward to this summer's softball season.

Big Wheels Keep On Turnin'

Tomorrow I head for California to meet with some of our current supporters and to meet others who are interested in joining our support team.

If you're looking for a new missionary family to support, here's a link for joining our team, or feel free to e-mail me at matt.mikalatos(at)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Matt By Any Other Name Would Still Smell As Sweet

I've noticed that my name causes trouble for the casual reader. "Matt Mikalatos" too easily translates to "Mike." So I've been thinking of using a new name for my fiction. Or rather, just going by "Matthew" instead of Matt.

But I thought I'd give the BHR community a chance to vote. When you are reading a story by yours truly, what name would you prefer to see on the byline:

A) Matt Mikalatos
B) Matthew Mikalatos
C) Mike Mattalatos
D) Michael Connelly
E) (insert the name of your choice)

Feel free to vote in the comments section.

Kitty Cats

My daughter, A, snuck up to me, jumped in my lap and curled up.

Krista: Just like a cat.

Me (to A): You know, a cat jumps in people's lap just like that.

A: And they poop outside.

The Show-Me Kid

We were out working in the garden last night when several ducks flew overhead. I don't know what the heck these ducks are up to but they've been flying back and forth over our yard for a few days now.

Krista: There go the ducks.

Me: Yeah, they've been flying over our yard a lot lately.

Z: Oh, so ducks really can fly. Now that I've seen it I know that it's true.

The Toy Language: A Found Poem

In my freshman year
I learned Algol 68
the most academical
program language ever made
and Pascal
which was initially only intended
as a toy-language
for a compiler construction course.
La Revolution francaise!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Double your pleasure

Assuming that your pleasure involves reading my fiction.

I told you a while back that my story "The Deluge" was going to be published this July in "Coach's Midnight Diner." And that is still true.

But I got a call from Coach on Friday and he asked if they could also publish it in issue three of Relief Journal--which goes to press tomorrow--as a preview for the Diner. Of course I said yes.

So I e-mailed back and forth with Coach late into the night as we worked on getting the contract signed, writing the bio, finding a picture that really captures my features with the perfect combination of cool aloofness and pretension that serious writers must present. We finally decided on a picture of me wearing a top hat, an umbrella over one arm as I studiously read Ezra Pound's Pisan Cantos.

Why it is hard to raise an actress

I caught my daughter, A, standing in front of our full-length mirror in the hallway and "crying" and saying, "I want my daddy. I want my dada."

I asked her, "Are you practicing crying?"

She laughed hysterically and clapped her hands.

She's four years old and so many opportunities to pretend to cry are expanding into the future. And she'll be ready for them. So ready.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

Yes, tomorrow isfree comic book day!

I'll be taking the kids to get their free comics after I go to the church men's breakfast and the kids' soccer games.

They are free!

Visual DNA

Okay, I first saw this on Ken's site and was going to try it out. But I never did. And then I got "tagged" by Jason. Then I realized that my public was going to demand this of me until I gave in. Ha ha ha!

So here it is:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Signs of fatigue

This morning before my shower I put some shaving gel in my hand and suddenly realized I didn't know what it was for. About half a second later I remembered it was hair gel and started to put it in my hair. But before I put it on my hair I remembered it was shaving gel and put it on my face.

It's not good when you wake up that tired.

On the positive side, it's a good thing I didn't put it on my hair, because then I would have probably shaved my head this morning.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The New Wittenburg Door

The new Wittenburg Door is now available.

Included in this issue are two articles by some guy with the same name as me:

An "interview" with Superman in which we discuss "Superman Returns" and the value of advertising toward the evangelical community, as well as the upcoming sequel, the end times and whether I am smarter than Lex Luthor.

I also report back on the unlikely events that cause a men's retreat to kick out their own Bible teacher in "Men's Retreat Shocker."

I hope you enjoy them.