Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 13!

Oops, I fell behind on my Hot Catholics of Lent again. What a sinner! We have 17 to go till I catch up. I’ve got the faith that I can do it.

So even though today is actually Day 30 of Lent, let’s return to where I left off, Day 13. Are you ready?

The Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 13 is the classic Hollywood hottie Gregory Peck!


Many of us fell in love with Peck when he played the honorable lawyer Atticus Finch in the 1962 film adaptation of the beloved 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird where he defended an innocent black man in 1930s Alabama. Then author Harper Lee had to ruin the illusion nearly sixty years later when she published her only other novel Go Set a Watchman in 2015. She actually had written the book before Mockingbird though it was set twenty years later in the ’50s. Anyway, it turns out that maybe Atticus was kind of a racist after all. Nooooo! I refuse to read it.

I was so obsessed with the book and movie To Kill A Mockingbird in high school that I was determined to name my first son Atticus. I was going to same my second and third sons Phineas (after a character in the 1959 novel A Separate Peace) and Forrest (after another righteous Southern lawyer, Forrest Bedford, portrayed by Sam Waterston in the 1990s TV show I’ll Fly Away. Then Forrest Gump had to come out and ruin everything).

Luckily, I have no sons.

Gregory Peck passed away in 2003 at the age of 87. This Hot Catholic of Lent definitely has a place in heaven!




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The DVR Files Turns 5 Today!

Today is a great day in history! Pope Francis was elected in 2013. L. Ron Hubbard was born on in 1911, and without him we would not have the TV show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath which I have not actually watched yet but it’s on the DVR!


She’ll always be a Living Doll to me.

And most importantly of all, on March 13, 2012, history was made when Liz Simons (that’s me) launched the legendary (in her mind) blog The DVR Files!

Over the years I’ve tackled the subjects that no other journalist will touch:

What can I say? I’m a regular old Nellie Bly.

So happy birthday to The DVR Files! I will accept gifts on its behalf!


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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 12!

These days you can have a famous parent and 100+ followers on Instagram and call yourself a supermodel.


I’m talking to you Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

In my day, you actually had to be discovered at McDonald’s (Gisele), at the airport (Kate Moss), or in the local paper (Cindy Crawford).

And if you were the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 12, you were discovered riding a horse in Miami.

Yes, I am talking about Christy Turlington!


Christy was one of the great supermodels of the ’90s along with Naomi, Linda, and Cindy. And she was not one to rely on her beauty – in 1994 she entered New York University and graduated with a Bachelors in 1999. She continued her education at Columbia where she sought a Masters in Public Health. She married Ed Burns in 2003 and they have two children together. I’ve had friends spot them at church in New York which warms my heart.

Still striking at 48, Turlington has long been an activist for humanitarian causes, working with CARE and founding Every Mother Counts in 2011.

And while I am super impressed by her good deeds, I will admit as a shallow person I love her most for her appearance in George Michael’s famous 1990 video for his hit song “Freedom!” Yes I said it.

So congratulations, Christy, for being the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 12!

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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 11!

One of the beauties of being a Hot Catholic of Lent is you don’t even have to be alive or real to take the honor. You can be dead or fictional! Day’s 11 Hot Catholic falls into the former category (dead) but his imprint is timeless.

Giacomo Puccini!

Giacomo Puccini

For all you uncultured plebes, Puccini was a supremely talented Italian opera composer. According to his Wikipedia entry (I’m a thorough researcher) he was the greatest behind only Verdi. But to me Puccini is number one because he composed my favorite opera of all time, Madama Butterfly. Truth be told, it’s the only one I know but that’s neither here nor there.

Puccini’s two other most famous works are La Bohème and Tosca. Both feature songs that come up on my Enya/Bach Pandora station sometimes. Cool stuff.

Because I love you, here is a recording of legendary diva Maria Callas singing the aria “Un Bel dì Vedremo” (“One Fine Day”) from Butterfly. You don’t need to understand the lyrics in order to be moved (hint – it’s kind of depressing). But here you go anyway!


Congratulations, Giacomo Puccini, for being the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 12!

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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 10!

Really, I should stop engaging in this silly habit of a daily Hot Catholic of Lent when there is one grand babe who is truly the Hot Being of Everything which includes objects on all planes of existence in every state of the world that ever was. This particular woman is more important to the creation of the Universe – let alone Catholicism – than the Big Bang or the book of Genesis.

Yes, I am talking about Sophia Loren.

Sophia Loren

The Italian goddess, now 82, has been acting since 1950. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962 for her role in the film Two Women, the first actor to win an Oscar for a foreign-language performance.

In spite of her talent and beauty, Sophia’s most important contribution to society is the invention of the side eye, which she famously gave to fellow bombshell Jayne Mansfield in 1957.

Sophia Jayne

No stranger to decolletage herself, Loren was truly impressed by Mansfield’s assets. In a 2014 interview with Entertainment Weekly, she explained her reaction:

Paramount had organized a party for me. All of cinema was there, it was incredible. And then comes in Jayne Mansfield, the last one to come. For me, that was when it got amazing. She came right for my table. She knew everyone was watching. She sat down. And now, she was barely… Listen. Look at the picture. Where are my eyes? I’m staring at her nipples because I am afraid they are about to come onto my plate. In my face you can see the fear. I’m so frightened that everything in her dress is going to blow—BOOM!—and spill all over the table.

I would have been scared too Sophia!

Sophia was married for fifty years to Carlo Ponti, Sr. until his death in 2007. She had two sons with him and now is a grandmother of four. She still acts and still looks great!


So congratulations, Sophia, for being the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 10! I know, I know, in truth you are THE Hot Catholic of All 40 Days of Lent, but we have to be fair to the rest of us mere mortals who walk this Earth.

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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 9!

Yes, today is actually Day 12 of Lent. Yes, that means I have slacked off. No, I did not go to confession. Laziness isn’t one of the seven deadly sins! Neither is knowing all of the names of the Kardashian grandchildren but it should be.


North, Penelope, Mason, and Reign in the pre-Saint/Dream days. Very ashamed I didn’t even have to google this.

But do you know what IS one of the seven deadly sins? Greed. And do you know who is one of the greediest men alive? The man who has five Super Bowl rings, the most of any quarterback in the NFL. The man who is Day 9’s Hot Catholic of Lent, Tom Brady!


We are still waiting for the Super Bowl LI ring to be designed, but I am sure it will be as tasteful as the ones above.

I know, I know. How can someone so sinful be the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 9? Well, Tom has certainly paid his dues and made many sacrifices as a good Catholic should during Lent. One, he once dated Tara Reid. Two, he’s never eaten a strawberry. Three, he can’t steal his kids’ Halloween candy. This is a man who has suffered.

And let’s be honest, he is handsome (even if occasionally he uses too much hair product) and he is an extremely focused worker, which he demonstrated in the historic comeback in this year’s Super Bowl when the New England Patriots were down 28-3 in the third quarter and ended up beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.

Moreover, he loves his parents Tom Sr. and Galynn very much. The Super Bowl was the first game his mother had attended all season as she has been battling cancer for the past 18 months. Tom has said her prognosis is good so let’s all pray for her!


So congratulations Tom Brady for not only being GOAT but also for being the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 9! It’s an honor that is even more impressive than five Super Bowl victories!

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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 8!

It’s International Women’s Day so let’s celebrate one of the most bitching, righteous ladies who walks the walk as the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 8!

Sister Helen Prejean!

Helen Prejean

Sister Prejean is an avid opponent of the death penalty and is best-known for her 1993 biographical book Dead Man Walking, based on her experiences working with inmates on death row. It was made into a movie in 1995 starring Susan Sarandon as Prejean and Sean Penn as Matthew Poncelet, a composite character of real-life convicts Robert Lee Willie and Elmo Patrick Sonnier. I saw the movie my junior year in high school around the same time I read Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” and both had a profound effect on me. Thoreau stated, “Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.” And Sister Helen was the epitome of that!

At my sister Katie’s college graduation from Holy Cross in 1999, Sister Prejean received an honorary degree and I was within feet from her at one point. I was so star-struck that I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. And this is coming from someone who has met Dina Lohan in person! I’m used to celebs!

So thank you, Sister Helen Prejean, for your commitment to social justice! You are the perfect candidate for Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 8! which conveniently is International Women’s Day!



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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 7!

One week into Lent and I’ve been all about sexy people for Hot Catholics.

JackWhite today

And yes, some people do consider Day 4’s Hot Catholic of Lent Jack White a babe. Look how much he’s cleaned up!

But Lent has something to do with Jesus and faith and being good and all those types of things you can find about at church or on wikipedia. And along those lines I am declaring Day 7’s Hot Catholic of Lent a true Christian, albeit a fictional one from a novel which later became a musical. That’s right, I’m talking about Jean Valjean of Les Misérables fame!

Jean Valjean

The original Valjean on Broadway, played by Colm Wilkinson (also a Hot Catholic!)

I first became obsessed with Les Mis in fourth grade when I’d go over my friend Nicki’s house and she’d play the song “Master of the House” over and over and over again which we loved because they said the word “shit” in it. Oh, how we’d laugh. My uncle John sent me the soundtrack on cassette tape for my tenth birthday. My tastes had evolved by then. I preferred the song “Come to Me,” aka the one where Fantine dies. Coincidentally my favorite movie at that time was Beaches. What can I say? I liked people dying in my entertainment.

By high school I had moved on from Fantine to Valjean. A one time petty criminal who had served nineteen years in prison for stealing bread for his starving sister’s family, he had reinvented himself as a successful factory owner. But his old nemesis, the police inspector Javert, was always on the lookout for Valjean. At one point Valjean was about to let another man get arrested for a minor crime Valjean committed. Right before he launched into the song “Who Am I?”, Valjean declared, “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned.” He ended up confessing to his crime, singing:

Must I lie?
How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on
Who am I? Who am I?
I am Jean Valjean!
And so Javert, you see it’s true
That man bears no more guilt than you!
Who am I?


Gets me every time!

To this day, Valjean’s first statement has stuck with me: “If I speak, I am condemned. If I stay silent, I am damned.” It’s a reminder that our first obligation is to our conscience. We must do what’s right, even if it hurts us. Unless, of course, you’re a sociopath without any conscience. Then do whatever you want!

And because you want it, here is Colm Wilkinson/Valjean singing “Who Am I?”at the tenth anniversary concert of Les Misérables. 



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Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 6!

I’ve made it abundantly clear that I am obsessed with the ’90s so the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 6! will make a lot of sense to fans of the best decade of all.

Duke Basketball God Christian Laettner!


Mushroom cut aside, Christian Laettner was my crush from 1991 to 1992 when he led the Duke Blue Devils to back to back National Championships. My older sister Katie liked him first – she kept his Duke basketball card on her mirror and when I would sneak in her room to borrow her Joe Cool earrings I’d gaze longingly at Christian. “Someday we’ll be together,” I’d whisper as I gently blew him a kiss. Coincidentally, at that time I started making my first mix tapes and included the song “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross & the Supremes, as well as “Waiting for the Night” (to kiss Christian Laettner-lyrics added by me) by Depeche Mode and “Love Is Blindness” (Because I’m 12 with a perm and you’re a super hot babe) by U2.

Red White Blue Liz

This was what I was working with around that time.

I ended up following Christian to Duke, but I swear not in a stalkerish, “Every Breath You Take” kind of way (though I did include that song on a mix tape in 1993 when he was playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves). Christian, after all, graduated in 1992 and  I matriculated at Duke in 1997. But our Duke experiences have a lot in common. His senior year, the Blue Devils won the NCAA Championship at the Metrodome in Minneapolis and my senior year, 2001, the Blue Devils won the NCAA Championship at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The only difference is that Christian was actually playing in 1992 while I was watching in 2o01 on big screens set up in Cameron Stadium and drinking Busch Lights I snuck in my cargo pants pockets. Minor differences.

Christian retired from professional basketball in 2005 and has engaged in various business ventures since then, including real estate development and youth training camps. He divorced his wife Lisa Thibault last year after twenty years of marriage. They have three children together.

And yes, even without his mushroom cut, 47-year-old Christian’s still got it.


Not gonna lie, I’m getting some young Alan Alda vibes.

So Christian, congrats on being the Hot Catholic of Lent: Day 6!

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Never Forget Emme

After five straight days of writing about nothing but Catholics, you all probably think I’m ready to join a convent. Sister Liz does have a nice ring to it.


I’d want to be at the same church as Sister Whoopi.

However, I’m not ready to abandon my secular life quite yet. But I do want to dig deep in the past. Not quite Biblical times, but close. The 1990s.

We need to talk about Emme.


Emme was THE plus-sized model of the 1990s. In all honesty she might have been the only one. She was everywhere. She was crowned one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in People Magazine in 1994 AND 1999. To compare, I have not been selected as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People even once.

I never knew how to pronounce her name. Was it Emma? Em? Emay? Melissa? Well, technically it WAS the last one. She was born Melissa Owens Miller but perhaps that didn’t sound fancy and French-sounding enough for a successful model. I give her credit for not adding a useless accent over the second “e” at least. Beyoncé and Khloé Kardashian should take note.

I bring Emme up because in 2017 people seem to forget that she even existed. It’s all about Ashley Graham. She is the Marcia to Emme’s Jan. It’s always Ashley, Ashley, Ashley!


Don’t get me wrong. I think Ashley Graham is a beautiful woman and I think her success is inspiring in a world where we’re told skinny is best. But what can I say? I still listen to the 10,000 Maniacs. In other words, I never left the ’90s.

Emme is still plugging along and even has a website called EmmeNation. I wonder if she is accepting citizenship applications? Because I would clearly immigrate to such a country.

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