Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Opera Night ... DOC says ...


The ugly one was forced to join a new gym (Retro) because his old one was jerking his chain for the past 3 weeks and never reopened. They were supposed to open Monday, then Wednesday, then Friday ... then Monday ... basta! Out with the old and in with the new. This morning starts the great push. A long, hard morning with aerobics, some light lifting, a long walk after lunch and now I’m crippled and lonely ... very lonely (the boss is doing her clinical work in Queens until 9:00 p.m.) ... so I need me some opera.

So do yous ...

The first on the cue this fine day is from the opera Andrea Chenier by Umberto Giordano; libretto by Luigi Illica. It is based loosely on the life of the French poet, André Chénier (1762-1794), who was executed during the French Revolution.

Well, maybe DOC will recognize something from Andrea Chenier, come to think of it. When I used to get drunk on tequila back in the days when we worked together, I would grab the microphone at PG Kings and belt The Improviso out while getting pelted with lemon and lime slices (it was ugly). If you watch the not so hot translation on screen, you’ll see the poet is talking about how the nobility treats the poor (sort of like Goldman Sachs last week facing that Senate dog and pony show). So, here now, the other fat guy who could belt it out (although this is from late in his career and not his best performance--I saw him do this at the MET way back). The Improviso ...

Another beauty from Andrea Chenier, Com un bel di ...

Most of yous (definitely not DOC) will recognize the next aria from that same opera used in the Tom Hanks/Denzel Washington movie, Philadelphia ... that great scene when Hanks listens to Maria Callas - La mamma morta ...

Okay, so now we move on to something closer to the hearts of Ann Marie and the ugly one. We each chose a shortened line from La Boheme and had it inscribed on the inside of our wedding rings. My saying for her was, in te ravviso --il sogno ch'io vorrei sempre sognar!

In you, I see the Dreams that I have always dreamed/longed for!

On the inside of her ring it says something Italian also ... probably “Don’t eat everything in the house while I’m at the hospital” ... but I can’t reveal it without her permission.

From La Boheme, Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti, O Soave Fanciulla ... (if you listen closely, you’ll catch “in te ravviso ...” early on).


And the DOC says ...

Hey Chaz,

Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I’m just getting over another bad birthday in a series of bad birthdays. While in the throes of this latest disaster, it hit me. Single people with no kids should have to pay a tax. We could call it a “Happy Tax”. That money would be doled out to the Married With Children type on a weekly basis to pay for Jack Daniels and crack. It’s only fair. Without us who else would repopulate the earth with the next generation of narcissistic knuckleheads.

The Music:

I didn’t listen to it. Let’s face it, nobody listened to it. If any of the amicis said they listened to all your clips they are lying and probably want to borrow some money. Opera’s sole purpose is to serve as the background for Mafia movies. Who speaks Italian except for those freaking Eye-talians? Couldn’t they sing it in English or better yet in Ebonics?

I do have some repressed memories of your opera performances. It would always happen just as the party was getting good and you would find the microphone I had so carefully hidden. The change in the crowd was startling. Demure bookkeepers would put aside the Grasshoppers and switch to Jaegermeister Bombs. Captains of industry would wet themselves just to have an excuse to leave. People who had never heard you before would begin searching for the cat they assumed had just fallen into the deep fryer. I would silently curse the metal detector at the door that prevented me from stopping you. Ahhh memories.

The Oil Spill:

Well, after only 9 days, the Bamster burst into action and dispatched a SWAT team and a bunch of lawyers down to the Gulf. I would have thought that maybe some oil spill specialists or environmental experts or even that big Brawny paper towel guy might be more appropriate, but I’m sure Fredo knows what he is doing or he wouldn’t be Fredo. Right?

He would have responded sooner, but he was practicing his stand-up comedy act for the Correspondents Dinner. The head of the Department of Homeland Security said they are doing all they can to stem the oil spill. Meanwhile, the head of the EPA said the car bomb in Times Square created no risk to the delicate ecosystem in the area. Coming up at 11:00… Michelle Obama will analyze the tactical complexities of the use of armed drones in the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict.

I know we only have to put up with this administration for 3 more years, but with these muppets running the show, I’m not sure we have 3 years.

And no, you never wished me Happy Birthday, so Bite Me, you fat f--k.