Tommy Red

Tommy Red
The Progressive Killer

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, March 29, 2013

Frank Bill’s Donnybrook … The Station Agent ... Nonno and Evelyn Amelia ... Momma Stella and Lent ...

Amici:
 
 
 
In lesser hands, a gritty novel like Frank Bill’s, Donnybrook, would be an impossible read for me. I’ve tried reading books that vie for a similar effect and have stopped long before reaching the end. In lesser hands, a novel like Donnybrook would be no more than a collection of backwoods superheroes spilling blood until the cartoonish nature of the story bored me to snoring. In lesser hands, page after page of blood and cuts and bruises and bullets and death and booze and drugs and snakebites and dog bites would bore me no end.
 
So what’s so different about Frank Bill’s Donnybrook?
 
First off, it is brilliant writing. It is writing that leaves me envious of what appears to come so naturally to authors like Lynn Kostoff, Ben Whitmer, Michael Harris, Cormac McCarthy, and some very few others.
 
There’s nothing cartoonish about Frank Bill’s slice of Americana, Indiana style. This gut-checking, blood prose is reminiscent of David Milch’s Deadwood series—artistic down to its nitty-gritty, skin- tearing, bone-busting core. Milch’s Deadwood was American Shakespeare. Frank’s Donnybrook is McCarthy on Meth.
 
A few years ago, author Russel McLean http://theseayemeanstreets.blogspot.com/ sent me a copy of a book about the hard men of Glasgow, No Mean City (reviewed here at TK back in 2010). A 1935 novel about the mean streets of the Glasgow ghettos, No Mean City, could double for an earlier version of Donnybrook, the Scotland version.
 
Turning badass characters into sympathetic ones is no easy feat. Sustaining them as such is damn near impossible. Donnybrook features some of the hardest men you’ll ever come across in literature. Think Cormac McCarthy’s, Chigurh, except in Frank Bill’s world, Chigurh would have to be as good with his hands as he was coldhearted with his cattle gun weapon of choice.
 
Rather than offer a book report, here are some of my favorite passages:
 
The man’s flesh was charcoaled jelly. Flat dragged him from the house screaming, dropped him into the yard where he now lay with his arms spread like a deity next to a rusted tricycle. Swing set with no slide, no swings. Memories long abandoned. Smoke erupted from the flames behind them. Yellow and orange opened the night and devoured the old house.
 
And this one: They crashed in the cold, air-conditioned interior of Ned’s tin shack. Cardboard blinds blocked light from the southern Indiana heat outside. Condensate beaded on the glass. Their chalky outlines lay intertwined like albino anacondas nesting.
 
I could go on and copy most of the book … this on page 92 had me reading and re-reading for the natural flow of this adrenaline filled novel. A girl who appeared no older than a freshman in high school sat on his cot. Hands behind a head of hair the shade of pond mud, thick-bristled and shoulder-length. Her complexion was steam white. She had metallic hazel eyes outlined by Mötley Crüe mascara. She was Twizzler-lipped. Two braless mounds lumped beneath a V-neck Hanes cut low …
 
You can feel, see and smell the world the author describes in settings like this: “Logs had started to moss over. Matched the tin roof’s shade, hunter green. The Blue River ran just as green on the other side of the road. That hint of fish smell wafted into Whalen’s inhale. The yard was littered with beer cans and pine needles. A small brown fridge sat on the wooden deck up next to the cabin’s front door.”
 
It isn’t a coincidence that I found two of the same paragraphs I highlighted in my copy of Donnybrook in another review of the book by author, Richard Thomas (an excellent review, by the way).  This one is perhaps my favorite: “They circled and bumped on another like predators. Men with talcum teeth, skin cleaved by scars. Hair braided, slicked, or stringy. Short or shaved. Bearded or stubbled. Tall. Short. Lean, hard, or fat-bellied. They came in all demeanors. Donning bibs or jeans ragged as the boots laced around their feet. These were the backwoods bare-knuckle fighters.”
 
I highlighted many more passages, but to repost them here would be to retype the book, when you can just order the thing (or better, go buy it from a local bookstore), and read it for yourselves, which is VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
 
For me, it was never about the story of Jarhead and Angus and Wheeler and Purcell or Fu (who seems to be triggering a sequel that only Purcell has foreseen). The storyline is simple enough: desperate people doing desperate things to survive. Donnybrook is a yearly convention of brawlers fighting for coin. Jarhead robs a friend’s store for the entry fee to the Donnybrook in an attempt to finance a future for his family. He intends to pay the stolen loot back. Angus took the risks of cooking Meth and was robbed, and he wants his product back. Wheeler’s a cop with a hidden past that brings him in search of the person responsible for the tragedy in his life. There’s also Fu and Liz and Ned and McGill, other characters that keep the adrenaline flowing, and they all meet up at the Donnybrook for the crescendo ending (that may be a beginning).
 
These are hard men and women doing what life in a Southern Indiana’s raw knuckled state of nature require to survive. And while all things Methamphetamine is a world foreign to me, I found myself intrigued all the same. Frank Bill is teaching me in his stories (Crimes in Southern Indiana) and now his brilliant debut novel, Donnybrook.
 
The bottom line is that Frank Bill is another one of those rare writers—a writer’s writer—the kind we can admire for the inherent and honest gravitas of his prose.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Station Agent ... IMDb says: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss. We say this is a wonderful movie. Funny, sad, poignant and ultimately uplifting ... with a cast as loaded as they come. Peter Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) as Finbar McBride, Bobby Cannavale (of Boardwalk Empire fame) as Joe Oramas, the wonderful Patricia Clarkson as Olivia Harris, the incredible Michelle Williams as Emily, Raven Goodwin as Cleo, Paul Benjamin as Henry Styles, Richard Kind as Louis Tiboni, Josh Pais as Carl, Joe Lo Truglio as Danny, John Slattery as David and Jayce Bartok as Chris.
 
Films like The Station Agent are why searching independent films on Netflix usually leads to good things ... a wonderful movie.
 
 
 
And for TK readers without Facebook updates ... here yous go ...
 
 
 
Nonno and Evelyn Amelia ...
 
Me: Smell the gravy Nonno cooked for you, honey?
 
Evie: Shh, Nonno, I’m trying to sleep.
 
Me: Next week I’ll take you to the opera.
 
Evie: Nonno, don’t be a pain in the ass. I’m tired.
 
Me: I’m getting a cramp in my arm holding you like this.
 
Evie: Well, you’re not in very good shape, are you?
 
Me: Diet starts tomorrow.
 
Evie: Nonno, don’t be a moron. I like your man tits. They're comfortable.
 
 
Momma Stella and Lent (on the phone) ...
 
Me: I’ll see you again Friday night.
 
MS: Don’t forget my candy.
 
Me: And the Lent fast is over two days short.
 
MS: No it’s not. At twelve o’clock Saturday it’s over. Once HE has risen.
 
Me: (laughing)
 
MS: My mother and father did it that way.
 
Me: Then they were cheating, too.
 
MS: Go ask the church, you shithead.
 
Me: Maybe HE should bring you the candy.
 
MS: Goodbye. I’m hanging up now.
 
I love my Mommy!
 
—Knucks
 
You read Donnybrook, how do you not pick this one?
 
 
You didn’t really think I’d let yous escape without some opera, did yous? Hungry? How about some ear? Go to 4:50 or so in the video, if yous can’t wait ... it’s the scene from Cavalleria Rusticana that Francis Ford Coppola borrowed for Godfather III, although he borrowed often from this Sicilian Verismo opera throughout all three Godfather movies.
 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Evelyn Amelia Stella ...

Amici:
 
 
 
This week it’s all about her ... born March 20, 2013 ... at 5:01 p.m. ... 7 pounds, 8 ounces ... 20” long ... and singing from the moment she arrived ...
 
 
 
The proud Momma and Poppa ...
 
 
 
Leslie (Momma) and Evelyn (saying, "Nonno, Nonno!") ...
 
 

The proud marathon Dad ...
 

The doll ... our doll ... Evelyn Amelia Stella ... welcome to the world, kiddo ...
 
 
— the proud Nonno
 
Sempra Libera ... Forever free ...
 
 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Beth Garland ...... DRL story ... Darren Cormier and David Scott ... Before Your Eyes (film) ... Momma Stella and the Pope ... Window Washers of the World Unite!

Amici:
 
 
Another of the SNHU MFA graduates has found literary representation. On her webpage, Beth states: The majority of the postings in my blog are from a memoir I wrote about my all-expenses-paid vacation to Iraq, courtesy of the United States Army. It’s both a drama and a comedy, and was tentatively titled, To Beth and Back: A Mother Goes to War (formerly Baghdad Beth).
 
Her book started as a personal essay about a day in her life, written during her Iraq tour in 2004, and was published as a featured selection the following year in the collection, This Day in the Life: Diaries from Women Across America. (Editors Joni B. Cole, Rebecca Joffrey and B.K. Rakhra. Three Rivers Press).
 
Beth is a retired Master Sergeant, wife, mother, information technology analyst, and writer. She lives in Sierra Vista, AZ. Her memoir, Welcome to the War, Baghdad Beth, is being shopped to publishers by Claire Gerus of the Claire Gerus Literary Agency. Beth graduated from SNHU with an MFA in Nonfiction in the Summer of 2012.
 
 
Did I mention that Beth is a true sweetheart? Well, she is … very much so.
 
 
 
And speaking of those SNHU graduates … our very own mountain walker, Darren Rome Leo (DRL to yous nons) … tells a terrifying story (with his brand of humor) about his attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail … check it out right here (mouse click, amici, mouse click!)
 
 
 
And two more of SNHU’s graduates making moves OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE  …  Darren Cormier, who I still owe several pints of beer, continues to flourish. Check out his published works here:  ... and you can visit his blog here:  … where last week, he featured another of the SNHU MFA graduates, Sherry (the Peach) Meeks … and today we learned he’s got another flash fiction story formerly titled "Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones but Words Will Always Crush Me" has been accepted for publication in NAP Magazine. Link, and new title, to follow when available.
 
 
And David Scott, whom I’ve never met but hope to someday, has surged through the Amazon novel contest … just 500 out of the original 10,000 entrants are left and David’s manuscript is one of them. Pretty cool, amici, pretty damn cool.
 
 
And now, for the movies …
 
Before Your Eyes … Two young Kurdish children are forced to live on the street after their parents have been murdered by a member of a secret state security force. It’s a tough movie, but as interesting as it is painful. Definitely worth the time. As heartbreaking as it gets.
 
 
 
Momma Stella and the new Pope … (this is for those who don’t use Facebook, where all Momma Stella stories usually appear) …
 
Me: Ma, did you see? There’s a new Pope.
 
MS: No, Sonny, I was sleeping. Are you serious?
 
Me: I swear, Ma. You’ll never guess the name he took.
 
MS: What’s his name?
 
Me: I don’t know. I’m talking abo...ut the name he took. Like John-Paul, Benedict, like that.
 
MS: His name is Jean-Paul?
 
Me: No, Ma. The new Pope took a different name. I don’t know his real name.
 
MS: What’s his name, you stupid bastid?
 
Me: You’re never gonan believe it, but he took the name Charlie.
 
MS: He what?
 
Me: Pope Charlie.
 
MS: You’re a real moron, you know that?
 
Me: Ma, I swear it. The new Pope is named Charlie. He took my name.
 
MS: Don’t fuck around. Are you serious —
 
Me: (I can no longer hold it and start laughing)
 
MS: You stupid moron. Don’t come tonight. Stay home. I don’t want you to visit me tonight.
 
Me: You don’t want your coffee?
 
MS: Just bring that and then go home. Enough now with your shit.
 
Me: I’ll bless you when I see you.
 
MS: Go shit in your hat.
 
I love my Mommy!
 
 
And Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay Back in the Day … when I could see my feet without mirrors … when I was NOT a burden to my scaffold co-worker because of my weight (50 floor above the Streets of Manhattan) … I cleaned windows for a living. I’ve posted here before about the legend my first wife’s uncle (Lou) was in the industry and to so many personally … well now, here’s the proof. Uncle Lou is mentioned here (in the New Yorker of all places) by his son, Andy … it’s a great article and interview and it was sent to me by my original writing mentor, Dave Gresham. He sent me the cutout pages of the article from the New Yorker. Grazie, once again, Dave!
 
 
 
—Knucks
 
Angela Gheorghiu singing the Habanera, from Carmen … Sing it, Angie!
 
 
For my half-Irish Wife … (who calls me a knuckle-dragging Dago) …
 
 
And to be fair, for her other half … (who figures she’s “half Irish, so I make considerations”—see The Pope of Greenwich Village for that reference) …
 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Kelly Stone Gamble ... James Baldwin … Patti Abbott … Nobody Else But You ... a last winter rant … Hockey … and RIP Alvin Lee …

Amici:
 
 
SNHU MFA graduate and all around incredible personality & person, Kelly Stone Gamble, has signed with Svetlana Pironko at Author Rights Agency for her novel, They Call Me Crazy, which I had the pleasure of reading when still in its infancy (one of my favorite reads last year) ... visit Kelly’s website/blog here ... and congrats, Kellinator ...



As author and one of SNHU’s MFA staff, Craig Childs, said at her graduation: “Kelly Stone Gamble kicks ass.”
 
 
Go Tell It On The Mountain, James Baldwin … There’s no excuse for my not knowing anything about James Baldwin. I’m still catching up, amici. Then I listened to a Youtube debate between Baldwin and William F. Buckley, Jr., and I immediately wanted to know more … Google got me there and I purchased Go Tell It On The Mountain, then read it in 2 nights. It is a wonderful book that covers a broad scope of topics, including family, religion, politics, race and racism. An undeniable hint of homosexuality also tests the waters of the day (it was published in 1953). It is an autobiographical account of the author’s very tough childhood, and it is told over the course of a religious experience, during which the family history of the protagonist is revealed a generation at a time. A TK highly recommended (for the soul) read.
 
The nearly hour long debate can be heard/viewed here (from Youtube). The topic: “Has the American Dream been achieved at the expense of the American negro.”
 
The debate was an overwhelming victory for Mr. Baldwin.
 
 
 
Home Invasion ... author Patti Abbott has penned a collection of dark stories for Snub Nose Press that link together under the title Home Invasion. The stories are a collective condemnation and explanation of ignorance and its corollary effects when passed from one generation to another. The mother-daughter team starts the collection in 1961. Kate, the mom, is cleverly portrayed as a woman in dire need of self-esteem, disregarding her daughter for the sake of her new husband. Billie, the daughter, seeks her birth father in 1963 and finds him a reformed drunk in the grips of a charlatan. Nothing good follows Billie’s journey and in 1964, she runs off with a grifter, Dannis Batch, who shamelessly tries to shakedown Kate for Billie’s virginity.
 
We next find Billie in 1977, a drunk herself, but also a mother married to the grifter she ran off with several years earlier. By 1985 she’s wondering about leaving her jailed husband and is as neglectful of her own kids as her mother was of her. After one son is killed overseas on an Army base, another follows in the family line of grifting and becomes sexually involved with another kid with his own set of issues. In 1988 there’s kid-snatching that propels the collection to its uplifting end. There are no spoilers here, but TK felt there’s a sequel novel that should start with what happens from 2005 on, a series of twists and turns that feature some of the author’s best writing.
 
Home Invasion features the darker side of a life that has become all too familiar in modern day America. Amidst the poverty and ignorance of families spinning out of control, a ray of hope flickers on the last best hope of a young child snatched from one bad situation to the next; a child given a fighting chance by a pair of men committed to family.
 
 
 
Nobody Else But You ... A French version of what might’ve happened to Marilyn Monroe … with a twist. A crime writer seeking his James Ellroy masterpiece accidentally drives alongside the site of a suicide … or was it a suicide? He’s got writer’s block (and apparently women block), but things humorously happen, one after another, and before you know it, he’s hot on the trail (at the request of a policeman who suspects the suicide isn’t quite a suicide). A fun movie.
 
 
A Quick Rant … I was going to do a rant at the start of the week because of a video and an article I saw earlier in the week. First there’s this one compliments of Don Kirdendall. Check it out and take the time to watch the entire video. It’ll blow your mind.
 
 
Frankly, I’m too tired of politics and ranting about it. TK readers know where I stand. Neither party gives a flying fuck about the poor and middle classes (which, let’s face it, are one in the same these days). Workers have given both major parties, Democratic and Republican, more than enough chances to get it right.
 
How’s that saying go: The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over, and then expecting different results.
 
Reagan I, Reagan II, GHW Bush (Reagan III), Clinton I, Clinton II, W Bush, W Bush II, Obama I (W Bush III), Obama II (W Bush IV) ... when does it end?
 
I’m just sayin’ …
 
 
Maybe it’s time for a little green?
 
 
 
 
Hockey ... First off, I’m still pretty naive about all things hockey. I don’t have a clue about most of the teams (their names or where the hell they’re from), nor do I know the names of many of the players ... or several of the rules ... and lord knows I couldn’t spell the names of some of the players with a gun to my head. I count on co-worker Sue Bennett and friend and fellow author Dana King to educate me.
 
I started watching the playoffs last year and was hooked pretty quick. The first time I went to a hockey game, I was about ten years old and an altar boy (imagine?). Father Scavo took the altar boys to the old Madison Square Garden for a St. Louis Blues-Rangers game. I have no idea who won or what the hell was going on, but the franks and sodas were cheap enough so we didn’t need a corporate expense account to buy them ... and I suspect we had a great time because Father Scavo was soooooooooo cool.
 
I’m a football fan first and foremost, but that can definitely change. I’m a long suffering football fan since my original team, the New York Jets became the Moonachie Green Team (a.k.a., the Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets) ...  back when I had to give up my season tickets (a few rows from the roof behind the home plate end zone at Shea Stadium). I was told I’d have to pay New Jersey tolls to see them in the future.
 
Thanks, but no thanks.
 
Casa Stella remained a New York football supporter ... my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills. The other teams that USED to be New York teams forever became, respectfully, Moonachie Blue and Moonachie Green.
 
Casa Stella has since moved to New Jersey, but Buffalo remains in New York (even if the morons running the organization up there insist on giving up home field advantage once a year to play in a dome in another country). The drought between the end of one football season and the start of a new one was nothing short of cruel and unusual punishment (i.e., torture) ... until last year.
 
The NBA just doesn't do it for me. Watching an NBA game when there’s about 5 minutes remaining in a game seven of the finals I can deal with, but anything short of that is pretty much pointless.
 
Baseball ... well, since they changed the rules and shortened the fences and juiced the balls and the players, and then added interleague play to the abomination of having designated hitters, well ... MLB, for lack of a better way to put this, can blow me.
 
Even the announcing is better in the NHL. Mike "the Doc" Emrick rocks.
 
 
 
Since last year hockey has spared me the NFL drought. I missed the NHL during the strike, but now watch it nearly nightly (the Devils or Islanders usually play on nights when the Rangers are off, and every Wednesday NBC’s Sports channel showcases a Rivalry of the Week ... and Wednesday night’s game (Blackhawks vs. Avalanche) was an incredible battle with the Hawks about to keep the streak alive with a simple tie, then won the game outright with less than a minute left to play.
 
The other thing about hockey I love is the lack of prima donna assholes. The players are much more selfless in the NHL than they are in the NFL, NBA and MLB combined. Ryan Callahan, Rick Nash and Dan Girardi for the Ranges play team hockey first. Lead-by-example captain, Ryan Callahan, is the Pete Rose (minus the gambling and arrogance) of the NHL. I’ve never seen any team leader play with anything near this kid’s self sacrifice, determination and/or 100 MPH hustle. As for Nash, this big boy has super skills that make all his minutes (check me out using hockey terms) exciting for Ranger fans ... and nobody is more clutch (i.e., see the last 4 games ... hell, see last night!).  Dan Girardi might as well be a second goalie for all the diving in front of pucks he does to block slap shots. Absolutely selfless, Girardi is.
 
What you don’t see in the NHL is the prima donna attitude so prevalent in the NFL ... the “me, me, me!” attitude of too many assholes—Desean Jackson immediately comes to mind (in any word association with “asshole”) ... but he’s not nearly the only one. The clowns who point at the back of their jerseys (their names) after making one play qualify along with shirt-tearing Superman antics, etc. Over in the NBA, the cancer that Dwight Howard is to any team will probably get another coach fired (so long Mike D) ... and Carmelo Anthony’s walk off the other night is more typical than the aberration it should be regarded as ... and baseball is front loaded with superstars who refuse to run out a ground ball (Robinson Cano).
 
TK says: Fuck them ... all of them.
 
Casa Stella now hearts hockey ... and the Principessa Ann Marie now cracks hockey jokes at my expense and says she’ll buy me a Rangers jersey for Christmas ... one can only hope they come in 5X’s ...
 
Ann Marie’s new brand of humor ... I came home from visiting Momma Stella the other night and turned on the Ranger game when it was tied 1-1 ...
 
Annie said: “How’d your mother like the gravy you made?”
 
I said: “She said it needed salt.”
 
Annie said, “It does need salt.”
 
The Flyers score immediately after that.
 
I said, “Jesus Christ, the Rangers are losing, my mother wants more salt and now you’re breaking my balls, too.”
 
Annie smiled and said: “A hat trick.”
 
—Knucks
 
RIP Alvin Lee ... I saw him at the Garden with Ten Years After way back in the day ... 1972, I think ... 41 years ago! ... Redbone opened for them ... am I friggin’ old or what?
 
 
Redbone ...
 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Movie Reviews ... The Thunderbolt Kid … Momma Stella and my thesis … Best of Luck to DRL ...

Amici:
 
The Day I Saw Your Heart (Mélanie Laurent) a HILARIOUS yet poignant movie ... Justine’s father can’t stop himself from befriending her ex-lovers ... he either plays golf with them or hires them to work at his “schmatta” shop. A non-religious Jew, Eli Dhrey (Michel Blanc) speaks without a filter and often steps on his tongue ... including with Justine’s new boxing beau ... there’s another daughter desperate to adopt a baby, a younger pregnant wife and all the complications of stepchildren/stepwives/step-everything. This was hilarious and very poignant. A TK MUST SEE ...
 
 
 
Home (Isabelle Huppert) ... what happens when you live alongside a highway that’s been out of commission for ten years? For one thing, you get to use it for your own entertainment (floor and skate hockey, bike riding, lounging in the sun, etc.) ... and what happens when they reopen the same highway? Oy vey ... Home is an interesting movie ...
 
 
 
Tales From the Golden Age ... Life under Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania was no picnic ... and these humorous tales are entertaining from the outside ... especially one where some party officials are spinning around a swing carousel all night because, well, orders must be obeyed! It’s a fun watch, in a dark sort of way.
 
 
 
 
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, by William Bryson … This was suggested reading for my thesis, but I enjoyed it way too much to consider it a working read. This was absolutely hilarious. Guys my age have to read it, if not for the laughs, than to appreciate the nostalgia, which is way too much to list here. Here’s one for kids in the 50-60s who couldn’t wait to get an electric football game; the author VERY ACCURATELY lists it as the worst toy ever invented, then proceeds to explain why.
 
It’s a memoir covering the life of the author having grown up in Des Moines during the 1950s … There are so many quotes to take from this book, there’s no way to do them justice, except to read them yourself. A pure delight.
 
 
Next week’s book reviews: Go Tell it From the Mountain, James Baldwin (plus some video of him debating William Buckley, Jr. … and Attack in the Library, George Arion (Pro Fusion crime)
 
 
Momma Stella and my thesis ...
 
Me: So, Ma, what did Poppa Tommy do when he wanted to fool around?
 
MS: What the hell are you talkin’ about?
 
Me: You know, when Poppa Tommy wanted some action. What he do? Talk dirty, grab your buns, what?
 
MS: Get the hell out of here.
 
Me: Come on, I’m serious. I need it for my thesis.
 
MS: Go scratch your ass.
 
Me: Tell me. A little amorous action between yous two?
 
MS: Are you out of your mind?
 
Me: I mean it. What he do? I need it for school.
 
MS: What the hell kind of school is this?
 
Me: For my MFA.
 
MS: MF what? What the hell are you writing now, you sick bastid?
 
Me: (laughing) The Stella Family chronicles.
 
MS: The what?
 
Me: The Stella family chronicles.
 
MS: I think I must’ve dropped you on your head or something.
 
Me: I’m serious. Did he, you know, grab a little somethin’ somethin?
 
MS: (death stare) You’re a real moron, you know that?
 
Me: (laughing ... can’t stop laughing)
 
MS: Yeah, go’head, have a stroke now. Your head is all red. You better lose some weight.
 
Me: (still laughing)
 
MS: Stop, you crazy bastid! You’re gonna have a heart attack already!
 
Me: (calms down) So, what then, you grabbed him?
 
MS: I’ll hit you in the head with this telephone in two minutes.
 
Me: Okay, it was all mechanical. You just did it to have kids. No romance.
 
MS: (looks to the ceiling) Oh, Gesu, please help him. Please, Lord.
 
Me: Me and Annie, we have, like, codes when we wanna ... you know.
 
MS: That poor girl. You leave her alone!
 
I love my Mommy!
 
 
 
One of our own is taking a long walk ... Darrel Leo Rome, SNHU MFA graduate, published author, and all around wonderful person, is taking some time to trek the Appalachian trail. We’ve featured some of DLR’s work here on TK, but the man himself is greater than the sum of his parts. Here’s to DRL and his journey.
 
 
—Knucks
 
Johnny Appleseed (Johnny Strummer) … the theme song from John From Cincinnati, one of two shows David Milch left us hanging with and never finished ... the other being Deadwood ...
 
 
 
Angela Gheorghiu, the ugly one’s latest opera flame, and because my wife LOVES this aria, singing Vissi d'arte from Tosca … sing it, baby …
 
 
Some of yous will recognize this one, O mio babbino caro, from a couple of commercials … but it’s actually from Gianni Schicchi
 
 
 
And from La Traviata, Sempre Libera