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).

Friday, July 12, 2013

SNHU MFA Graduate: Shane Remer ... 2 Big Guys ... 2 Movie Reviews ... Hernandez/Zimmerman ... The Democratic Senate ... So Long SUFA ...



Shane received a B.A. in Communication in 2011, and an MFA in fiction from SNHU in June 2013. He currently works as a paraprofessional at Charlestown Middle School in Charlestown, NH. This will be Shane’s 5th year as coach of the Charlestown Middle School boys' soccer team. He co-authors a blog with Jon Stern and Darren Rome Leo called Three Guys and a Keyboard (click on the link). Shane is a devout Seattle Mariners and Seahawks fan ... for which most people in the MFA program forgive him.

His thesis, A Grave for the Living, finds two homeless men meeting a boy running away to save his mom’s life. The two men, Goose and Beans, must decide whether or not they should help the boy, Ten-Speed. Turning the kid in could mean abuse for his mother and him at home, and leaving him alone could mean leaving him to wander the drug-stricken streets of Bridgeport, CT. Even with that, Goose’s background hints at pedophilia, and Beans has schizophrenia and suffers from auditory hallucinations.

From his thesis, A Grave for the Living:

The kid with the camera jammed a foot into Goose’s gut and Goose coughed, blood spattered on his shirt and the room spun. The teen jumped on Ten-Speed and raised his fists above his head, struck Ten-Speed in a quick powerful blow. The teen raised them again. Ten-Speed threw the blankets off his face, blood on his nose, tears in his eyes, fast breaths void of air. The teen struck again – one fist against Ten-Speed’s nose, and the other against his collar bone.

Ten-Speed whimpered and his head rolled to the side, his arm fell limp on the outside of the mattress. The teen had his fists up near his head, loose, his mouth agape. Beans rocked himself against the wall. All of them in the room breathed in rapid breaths, thick clouds forming and disappearing in the silence. The teen’s fists loosened and trembled. He pressed them against the side of his head.

“Oh no,” he said. He shook his head. “Shit. It’s a kid. I just hit a kid. I think he’s dead.”

TK again: Shane is one of the funniest people I’ve met ... and is also a relentless ballbreaker (for which I give him props) ... most important, he’s one hell of a writer ... Big Ups to Shane!


Speaking of BIG ... last Sunday was a Big Guy Reunion ... Okay, so I have to amend my Facebook post about this reunion ... italicized words are the amended text ...

Howard Cosell voice: These two icons of perfect health once stalked the frozen tundra of Minot, North Dakota ... played in football games where the temperature was south of 0° Fahrenheit ... they terrorized backfields and quarterbacks alike (usually with threats about giving them flat tires after the games) ... and when they weren't playing football (or skipping class, or robbing the candy and soda machines in the dorms), they worked at I-Keating furniture store where they unloaded boxcars of furniture in blizzards (when they weren’t taking naps in the rug room) ... all for the American heartland ... oh, what would those farmers have done without their lazee-boys? Today they met up again for the first time in many years. Big Jim LaCugna, artist extraordinaire, and Charlie Stella, basically just obese and overweight (Charlie is) ... 800 pounds of beef between them ... neither can walk up or down a flight of stairs (using both feet, they go one at a time) two-at-a-time or tie their shoes without help. Is this what the game they loved so much did to them? Or was it the food neither could turn away with a gun to their heads?

It was great seeing Jim again ... and that picture he painted (the scene from Goodfellas) is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. This guy has true talent as an artist but is too damn shy to admit it and/or sell his stuff. Mine is NOT FOR SALE.

Okay, so the wife and I finally watched DJango on cable ... oy vey, what a bomb. I still don’t get the hype on Tarrantino. He’s done three brilliant films in the past: Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and True Romance (my son and daughter-in-law had to remind me about True Romance) ... but Inglorious Bastards was a huge disappointment for me ... and Jackie Brown was “meh” ... the rest this viewer saw (not many), were garbage ... the blood spurting crap he insists on forcing down viewers throats and the absurd situations (one person taking on dozens) are too cartoonish (whether meant to be or not) ... the parody is neither interesting nor funny to this viewer. I know he has a following, but so does Marvel Comics ... and I’ll never understand how those cartoons not only make it to the screen, they keep coming back, over and over, in sequels and prequels ... like a really bad virus. Can he ever return to the stuff I can watch over and over (those three mentioned above)? I sure hope so.

Django Unchained, with its never ending slow motion shots and absurd one man versus the world of bad guys, eventually angered the wife and I to the point of swearing off all future Tarrantino movies once again ... and once Christoph Waltz and his clever dialogue (absurd as those situations he used them in were) was off the screen, it became a “when does this shit movie end?” question for us.

The wife also forced me to see The Heat (at the theatre) this weekend ... one of those guilty pleasure movies (for her) that put me to sleep twice in the theatre (to be fair, I was up very early writing that day), but I was awake for the funniest scene in the movie (also completely absurd) that took place in a bar. After that it was the standard absurd shoot’em up comedy that leaves one wondering how Hollywood survives vs. foreign movies ... I suspect the universal likeability of both actresses, Sandra Bullock and Mellissa McCarthy, are a guaranteed box office hit ... and even though I also like both actresses, at the exorbitant prices of theatre tickets today, I’d rather wait for them to come on television/cable ... so I can nap at home.

And in Charlie World ... Hernandez/Zimmerman


Aaron Hernandez texting one of his co-horts:

Lloyd did not respond. Hernandez texted again: "Waddup."

Lloyd responded: "Aite (meaning alright) where?" Hernandez responded: "idk (I don't know) it don't matter but imam hit you when I'm dat way like las time if my phone dies imam hit u when I charge it which will be in a lil."

At 10 p.m., Lloyd texted to Hernandez: "Aite idk anything goin on."

Hernandez replied: "I'll figure it out ill hit u on the way."

In Charlie world, Hernandez goes away for a) being a moron and b) texting ...


Zimmerman – the Defense … at first I figured this was going to be the “some of my best friends claims it’s me screaming” … but then I remembered that I not only misnamed Mark O’Mara’s last week (calling him Tim), I think I found a third name in one of my TK drafts. The point being, he’s a lot smarter’n me.

Then came the hired guns … so far (Tuesday) it’s the pathologist (who also testified for Scott Peterson, which means he’d probably testify for Hitler for the fazools and the publicity) … he says that the evidence supports pretty much everything Zimmerman claims … and let me just say that for $400 an hour, I’m sure he’d find whatever you want him to find … like wherever the fuck I lost my nail clipper.

So far the defense has put up GZ’s best friends … and a hired gun ... and yesterday the prosecution began its close (there's also a rebuttal to the defense's close to come) ... the pundits called it garbage ... I thought the guy did what he had to do ... prove Zimmerman embellished his version of the "attack" and everything else before it ... who wouldn't after killing someone? Establish he's a liar and maybe the jury doesn't believe his story (which is all anyone has because he killed the other guy).

The hearings in court without the jury had to be testing the jury's patience (they certainly tested mine) … and I have to wonder how many (if any) of the jurors have thought about selling their experience … how many may already have … and how many can’t wait for this trial to end so they can just go home and resume their lives.

We constantly tout “our system” as the best in the world. Maybe it is, I have no idea, but I can’t help but see the hypocrisy in all this. Hired guns … celebrity lawyers (or the chance to become one) … a privately funded defense fund from personal contributions as well as those with genuine interests in gun legislation … national television coverage … a cable television nightly bombardment, etc. … for one case that originally ignored by everyone until someone posted about it on Youtube … then a manslaughter charge (what it should've been to start with, trumped up to 2nd Degree Murder, to appease Al Sharpton and his crew of shit stirring seekers) ... one can only imagine the lack of legal support the average indigent SOB gets when they have to stand before a court of law … you got the money, you got the verdict ... it’s pretty much an American theme ...

Apparently we’ll know soon enough whether the jury is going to take Zimmerman’s words as gospel (even after being caught in out and out lies) and let him walk, or if they can look beyond the mountains of extraneous bullshit presented via hundreds of thousands of donated dollars, and do the right thing ... which in Charlie world is to convict Zimmerman of the least manslaughter charge possible (because I don’t believe he was looking to kill anyone that night--the 2nd degree charge was nothing but political appeasement). The problem is he did kill a kid that night and for no good reason on earth (no, I don’t believe his life was in danger for one second; his panic should not lead to an unarmed kid’s death). You don’t get to profile a kid, give chase against official advice, stick your nose where it clearly didn’t belong, and then shoot a kid to death for walking home from the store armed with nothing more than a cell phone, Skittles and an Arizona Iced Tea. I simply cannot get beyond what an acquittal means in this case: open season on ANYONE, but especially minorities wearing hoodies ... and for doing nothing more than walking home.


From USA today: Senate Democrats on Wednesday failed to restore lower interest rates on student loans, again coming up short and perhaps signaling that undergraduates might really face rates twice as high as the ones they enjoyed last year.

The proposal from Democratic leaders would have left interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4 percent for another year while lawmakers took up a comprehensive overhaul. The one-year stopgap measure failed to overcome a procedural hurdle as Republicans — and a few Democrats — urged colleagues to consider a plan now that would link interest rates to the financial markets and reduce Congress' role in setting students' borrowing rates.

Nice ... the party of the people ... way to go ... a few scumbags (there’s always an excuse like this for the Democratic party that just fucked (there’s no other word for it) every college student in the country (no matter their age) ... and why the President of the United States isn’t hanging them out to dry publicly reminds me of his hiding behind his couch after ignoring his promise to put on comfortable shoes and walk a picket line for unions ... so remember, amici, VOTE GREEN ... because otherwise you might as well vote Republican—there’s no FUCKING DIFFERENCE.
Last Week I bid adieu to the conservative blog I haunted the last five years or so ... the bottom line is they change what you post. Literally change your text ... not prohibit it (although they’ll often do that), but LITERALLY go into your post and change what you wrote.

So what’s the point of posting there? Right, none.

Arrivederci, wingies ...


Some more tunes for the old man band possibly called:

 “Out of the Blue” ...

Allman Brothers, Trouble No More ...

And one more Allman Brothers tune ... Not My Cross To Bear ...