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).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cally’s Crew: Ryan Callahan for Kids with Cancer … Momma Stella and Cally’s Crew … The Twisting of the Political Winds AND What’s at stake … 2 Movie Reviews … What I’m reading now …

Cally’s Crew … as if there weren’t enough reasons to love Ryan Callahan at Casa Stella, this one tops the list. Click on the link and read the article here. Cally and his wife, Kyla, are doing more than paying lip service to kids in need. From the article: Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is the most recognizable when it comes to the team's charitable efforts. But right wing Ryan Callahan and his wife, Kyla, are making an big impact in their own way. Callahan is known as a guy who plays with all heart. But, inside a suite at Amalie Arena during nearly every home game the couple hosts Cally's Crew, a group of pediatric cancer patients and their families.

"Once we had our two kids, we wanted to help kids out and hopefully be a spot where they can come and get away from their treatments and get away from what they are going through," he (Cally) said.

Visit Cally's webpage and Cally's Crew here (click on the link).
Momma Stella and Cally’s Crew … [So I went to visit Momma Stella last night and told her about the above. Now, Momma Stella doesn’t always hear what I tell her, or remember specifics (i.e., she often confuses the Bolts and the Callahans, thinking the player is the team name, etc.), and although it took a few tries, when she got it, her response was … well …]  As you can see in the picture above, she's the cappa di tutti cappi (female boss of all bosses) ...

Me: Hey, Ma, Cally and his wife provide kids with cancer and their families luxury suits during Bolts games.

MS: (looks at me funny) The hell are you talkin’ about?

Me: Cally, Callahan, on the Bolts. Him and his wife provide kids with cancer and their families a suite at home games.

MS: A suite?

Me: I forget, you haven’t been to a sporting event since I played football in North Dakota.

MS: You’re a real nut, you know that?

Me: Where’d that come from?

MS: You sister’s ass. Don’t bother me now.

Me: Ma, I’m trying to tell you something good hear. Don’t break my shoes. Now, pay attention. Our favorite player, Callahan, him and his wife, they provide kids with cancer, and their families … you with me so far?

MS: Yeah, dumbass, go’head.

Me: They provide kids with cancer and their families a suite, a luxury box, at home games. They do it for kids with cancer.

MS: For which team?

Me: Oy vey. For the Bolts. Callahan plays for the Bolts. You remember that much?

MS: Okay, yeah. For kids with cancer. (misty eyed) That’s wonderful. That really is, Sonny.

Me: Yes, it is. I’ll get you a t-shirt if they sell them.

MS: And you should donate.

Me: Of course I will.

MS: Give them something from me, too.

Me: Of course.

MS: Good boy, Sonny. See, I got it.

Me: Yeah, who does Callahan play for?

MS: The Bills?

Me: No, ma, no. The Bolts. The Tampa Bay—(I realize this can go on forever if I say Tampa Bay Lightning, so I cut it short). Callahan plays for the Bolts. They’re in Florida.

MS: The Bolts, not the Bills.

Me: Yes. Very good.

MS: (flips me the bird) Make sure you donate.

Me: I will.

MS: For me too.

Me: I said I would. Oy vey.

MS: Now, go home before you annoy me again.

I love my Mommy!

The Twisting of the Political Winds AND What’s at stake … Five days out from the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic National Committee is faced with quite the conundrum (yes, use Christopher Walken’s voice there). To add more debates and appear even more corrupt, or to swallow hard and pray for less Hope and Change?
Hillary finds herself in a mess … the coronation, while it still may happen, will further bruise the DNC’s candidate of choice more than was ever necessary. To my thinking, the DNC wishes they precluded Senator Sanders from registering as one of their own. I imagine Debbie-Wasserman Schultz thinking: “Who knew the old Jew from Brooklyn would be so likeable?”

And even that would be a miscalculation. The old Jew from Brooklyn is adored.

Ignoring the obvious Clinton-Bush fatigue this country expresses daily, Dear Debbie tried her best to railroad her BFF through the nomination process (by shoving Clinton down our throats), but it hasn’t gone as planned, and the damage done by the corruption they hurled our way (with a smile) may well have killed any chance for Clinton to a) win the nomination and/or b) win the general election.

Suddenly, it’s Clinton who wants more debates, which is interesting, because when she was asked about the few number of debates earlier on in her expected coronation, the Queen of Evolution wasn’t about to ruffle the feathers of the DNC. Forget the fact Dear Debbie was Clinton’s co-chair in her lost nomination against Obama back in 2008, it was Hillary’s turn.

Come to think of it, has Dear Debbie EVER won anything for anybody but herself? We know she lost backing Hillary vs. Obama in 2008, but then she also lost the House and Senate, right?

Oh, well …

Now, I’m not so naïve as to think the DNC machine and/or Hillary Clinton will lose the nomination outright. I suspect all matters of foul play from Iowa to the convention. Whether they ignore Sanders votes during the counting process, or pull the rug out from under him with Super Delegates (the most egregious form of undermining democracy I can think of), the DNC will not allow Bernie Sanders the nomination unless the crowds he’s drawing show up and landslide Clinton into retirement..

And wouldn’t that be nice?

While Bernie drew 19,000 in Duluth, Minnesota one night, and then stumped in Iowa the following day, Hillary, Slick Willy and their spawn, Chelsea, were back east seeking financial institution support (i.e., BRIBES), because nothing says I’ll reform Wall Street like taking more money from them.

What’s at stake … I’ve come to the conclusion that in the end, should Bernie’s magic be sabotaged by the DNC, and Hillary gets his endorsement (to ward off the dreaded GOP), I’ll be making my break from the Sanders campaign (after about $500 in contributions and lots and lots of work for him, including answering phones when they get to New Jersey, etc.), because nothing would be worse than to capitulate to the exact same corruption he’s been fighting throughout this campaign. Simply put, to endorse the process that shoved a knife in your back is to tell your supporters they not only lost, they shouldn’t ever bother getting excited again.

That’s what’s at stake, and I can only hope that should the DNC pull the rug out from Bernie, he veers back to where he belongs, as an independent candidate and runs on that ticket.

Movie Reviews:

The Big Short … yeah, it really is a $28,000,000 ad for Bernie Sanders … want to know how and why Wall Street screwed the country into the ground prior to the economic crisis of 2007-8? Go see the movie … and be prepared to walk out pretty pissed off … and anxious to learn more about this crazy old dude from Vermont by way of Brooklyn … the ONLY honest candidate in the entire mix (and in my lifetime), Bernie Sanders. It’s a GREAT movie and should be required viewing for anyone who believes in that bullshit about “trickle down economics” … the only things flowing down from the repeal of Glass-Steagall (thank you, Slick Willy, for picking up on St. Ronnie Reagan’s union busting and deregulation policies) were foreclosures and lost jobs.

The Revenant … okay, I read the book and the movie veers way off the novel very early on. Frankly, I was disappointed. The cinematography was wonderful, but you know what? When that’s the best thing you have to say about a movie, you should probably subscribe to National Geographic. I’m a huge Tom Hardy fan, but this was a piece of cake for him as an actor. Sir Leo may have had to rough it while shooting the scenes, but it was another “meh” for me (as regards the role). My feeling about the entire flick, about 15 minutes in was this: well, I knew what was going to happen next to the very end and it wasn’t satisfying at all. No trailer for this one (from me). Frankly, if you see the trailer, you don't have to see the movie.
What I’m reading now … Andrea Crossley Spencer’s novel, The Promise of Water, recently made the shortlist for (click on the link) THE CALEDONIA NOVEL AWARD  an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished novelists. With a Prize of £1,000, it’s no small shakes.

The Winner will be announced: on February 22, 2016, so keep your fingers crossed.

I’m halfway through this compelling novel (Review next week). In the meantime, here’s a summation from the author’s page (visit it here ).

California advertising executive Nate Bishop thinks that a relationship and a career on the brink of disaster are his biggest problems — until his twin sister, Nora, goes missing while sailing on Lake Superior.

When his twin sister goes missing on Lake Superior, Nate Bishop returns home to discover that searching for her means coming face to face with his past — and summoning the courage to find himself.

When he returns home, Nate finds his search for Nora complicated by a number of discoveries. Who is the mysterious boyfriend known only as Miller? What secrets has Nora been hiding? Is the Seachant lost at sea — or have Nora and Miller stolen away to the other side of the lake?

When the search appears to turn cold, Nate begins to question not only the whereabouts of his twin, but the past he thought he knew and the future before him.

With the backdrop of northern Minnesota as its setting, The Promise of Water is a novel about the quest for identity, the pursuit of family, and how twins distanced by secrecy experience the duality of nature and themselves.


Kevin Polack doing Christopher Walken … “quite the conundrum” …