We are obsessed with impending war, but it is also St. Patrick's Day. Perhaps this is fitting, since the Irish have a special feel for the tragic, for pain and for somehow finding beauty amid the ruin. On this day "Angela's Ashes" author Frank McCourt and friends launch a Web site called BabynamesofIreland.com, which will tell you the grand tale behind your son or daughter's name. (NY Post) Besides the origins of Kaitlin and Kieran there is a particularly timely legend on the site about a fight full of bull.
Well, since we're all Irish today, John Kerry can be too. He showed up at a St. Patrick's Day breakfast and made fun of the fact that most had assumed he was Irish because of his last name (his people are Austrian Jews). He quipped to the Boston crowd: "So who said I don't have the matzoh balls to be here?" (AP)
Harry Potter mania continues. Seems a copy of the fifth adventure, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," signed by author J.K. Rowling, will be auctioned on eBbay, with proceeds going to the deaf-blind charity Sense. The lucky winner will have to wait to pick up the book until the release date: June 21.
Members of the Rat Pack (except for Joey Bishop) are heading for the great big saloon in the sky after hearing this one: Celine Dion signed a contract with Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas to do five shows a week, 40 weeks a year for three years (starting March 25). The reported payday? Start shaking that martini, baby, because this dame is getting $100 million plus 50 percent of the profits. Who says the house always wins? (Time)
Pop princess shows panty line! Kylie Minogue showed up in Melbourne, Australia, to show off her newest project: underwear. The lovely lingerie was modeled by professionals. Kylie wore a dress and a smile. (Sydney Morning Herald)
We knew they'd work it out. James Gandolfini and the HBO gang sat down over the weekend and called off their lawsuits. Jimmy will get more money this year than before, and we're glad. We can't live without Tony. Shooting on Season 5 should start March 24. When the season will air is anyone's guess. (NY Daily News)
And if you get OD'd on the war coverage and want something to go with your Bushmill's, tune in to the Sundance Channel tonight for a profile of Pogues lead singer Shane MacGowan about whom his own father said, "He had a brilliant brain -- still has -- a few million brain cells later." We can relate. (CNN)