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, November 7, 2014

Buon Compleanno, Figlia Mia! … GARP … Movie Reviews … Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Festivus … The Diet … Dogfella … CG Fewston (SNHU MFA) …The Skype Session ...

Amici:

Buon Compleanno, Figlia Mia!

 
That’s my baby, Nicole Hope, with her Mommy some 33 or so years ago in Teddy Roosevelt National Park (I think in South Dakota, but it could be North Dakota). She’ll turn 35 tomorrow. HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN? … she’s about 1,000 x’s the writer I’ll ever be and maybe 20,000 x’s smarter … I’ve taken her to California (where the shark scared her into a crying fit at Universal) and up to Buffalo and New England to watch our beloved New York State Buffalo Bills CRUSH the Cheatriots … we started going to the opera when I thought I came up with a brilliant idea as a divorced parent … I took my three brats to an opera program at John Jay college on the west side of Manhattan (Growing up with Opera) … None of us had ever attended one (or really listened to one either) … I was probably the only father there and my sons promptly fell asleep during the overture to Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Nicole and I looked at each other and said, “Bugs Bunny!”… and, of course, I took her to see the real thing at the MET shortly thereafter … and shortly thereafter we were both hooked.  The day I took her up to Albany for her first year of college, I cried like a baby driving home all by my lonesome … and I cried like a baby at her wedding, etc., etc. … this parenting thing can be tough, but then you have beautiful, smart, compassionate kids and you feel like the luckiest S.O.B. on the planet.

 Happy Birthday, Nicole Hope … MAXIMUM love from your Phat Dad.
 


 
The World According to Garp …


 
While I’m reading The World According to Garp, by John Irving, we’ll be doing movie reviews (at least for this week). Thorry, but ith a big book and I’ve had a bithy week.



Venus … a wonderful movie with Peter O’Toole, Vanessa Redgrave and Jodie Whittaker … the entire cast is wonderful in this hilarious and poignant romp between an aging actor/director and the grandniece of one of his friends … the young woman, Jesse (Jodie Whittaker), was sent to take care of dear old granduncle … but she’s not happy … she wants to be a model (the accent she uses makes the exchanges hilarious), but he (granduncle) is terrified of the lazy, sloppy and rude manner with which she carriers herself—she’s always eating crap food, for one thing. Anyway, Maurice (Peter O’Toole) befriends the young lady and the hijinks begin. If this was Ms. Whittaker’s premier role, we’re in good luck. No spoilers … just see it, it’s a terrific movie.
 

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Festivus for the rest of us ...

 
The pole … we’ll, we’re working on that (it’s the Principessa’s desire to decorate, but something tells me we’ll be minus the pole again this year) …
 
The Airing of Grievances … think about it … this blog … 

Feats of Strength … well, we used to be able to do this … not so much anymore … the video below was taken some 4 years ago, and our dear friend, Brian Riccioni (he shot the vido/it’s his voice), is no longer with us. He was a truly beautiful person. Nobody more generous and/or kind. We miss him dearly. 

As for the strength … that is long gone … that’s 370 on the bar in the video, but now, after 2 months of half-assed lifting while on this diet, I haven’t broken 250 for more than 2 reps … pretty pathetic, yes, but also a clear sign that those days are long gone. Last week I hurt my shoulder doing warm-ups with 135 … 135!

Your voice
 
 
So for those still young enough to wonder about getting old, make no mistake, it blows (at least physically). 
 
 
The Diet … it started on March 5, 2014 because I was pissed-off at the Rangers for trading Ryan Callahan. I was going to starve myself (until they reversed it?) … like I said, the wife corrects me when I say I have the mind of an eleven year old. According to her, I give myself way too much credit. But that’s the day it started, so it remains the Cally Diet. I’m down 89 pounds now, but the progress has been slower than I had thought it would be at this point. I “think” it has to do with weightlifting (trying to anyway) … that muscle weighs more than fat formula … I sure hope so, because the holidays are around the corner and I don’t see myself ignoring the grub. We’re just 11 pounds now from raising the price on my ebooks from $.99 each to $99.00 each … (see, my wife is right) … actually, I have no idea what the hell the price will be. 
 
 
 
Dogfella … pre-order for Christmas now, amici … yous can put the gift certificate (or whatever they give you) in a stocking.  Get it here:  
 
 
 Another SNHU MFA success story …
 
From CG Fewston’s 4th book, A Time to Love in Iran …"The lever had no design flaws. The eight prisoners dropped instantly. Several of the men writhed and kicked and gagged. The black flag had been raised and it now flapped inside a breeze. I watched until the limbs stopped twisting and fighting and the silence returned to hover over the living and the dead. I can assure you, there was no reverence in any of it."
 
 
CG Fewston (SNHU MFA) … C.G. Fewston is an international writer/university professor who currently holds a post as Visiting Fellow in the English department at City University of Hong Kong. Fewston earned an M.A. in Literature with honors from Stony Brook University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University, where he had the privilege and honor to work with New York Times Best-Selling novelists Matt Bondurant and Wiley Cash. Among many others, his stories, photographs and essays have appeared in Bohemia, Ginosko Literary Journal, Tendril Literary Magazine, Driftwood Press, The Missing Slate, Foliate Oak Magazine, The Writer's Drawer, Moonlit Road, Nature Writing, and Travelmag: The Independent Spirit; and for several years he was a contributor to Vietnam’s national premier English newspaper, Tuoi Tre, "The Youth Newspaper." You can read more about him and his writing at his site here.
A Time to Love in Tehran is his fourth book.
 
 
The Skype Session … Diane Les Becquets was very kind to me during the skype session with one of her Creative Writing classes up in Southern New Hampshire University this past week … I was bouncing from several (8) cups of espresso before we got started, so I blurred the hell out of their screen (her students must’ve felt like they’d just downed a few valium) … and I’m generally a nervous wreck when I have to speak anyway (I always prefer to write something out) … but the best thing about it (for me) was seeing how many people were in the class. It’s great to see people actively pursuing their artistic dreams rather than just dreaming about them.  You can visit Diane’swebsite here: … don’t be threatened by the pronunciation of her last name … I used to think it was Less Buckets … think Le Beck.
 
 
So, thanks again to Diane and her class for putting up with me and my bouncing. 
 
 
—Knucks 
A little operatic mix this fine Friday in November … a few of my daughter’s favorites … Cecilia Bartoli remains her favorite, so … 
 
From Le nozze di Figaro, Voi Che Sapete … 

From the same wonderful opera … (or Shawshank Redemption) … Sull'aria … 

More Mozart … from Cosi fan tutte, In uomini, in soldati ... 

That Rossini opera that started us off on our opera journey, Il Barbiere di Siviglia Una Voce Poco Fa …