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, November 13, 2010

Nightmare on Staten Island ... Maher’s best finish ... Kanye v. W ... Stewart v. Maddow ... Bills-Lions ...


Never try to start a Volvo with a Honda key, a lesson I learned firsthand Wednesday night when a little sleepy and always dopey, I did so and managed to enable the Volvo’s anti-theft device, the “immobilizer” (a locked ignition that wouldn’t turn). Of course the Principessa Ann Marie was in her nursing classes and my cell phone was in its usual perch (on my desk at home) so I was left with few options. Since I had caught my mom’s cold on Monday and Ann Marie’s sinus infection (turned possible pneumonia--seriously, she may have it), I could either feed quarters into a pay phone (feeling blessed that I had found one) and call one of two numbers I know (my mother or Ann Marie (except Ann Marie was in class and couldn’t answer her phone), or spend the night in a Staten Island parking lot. I chose calling Mom (eye-talian boys always choose Mom). The toughest broad I know came through like always and managed to get hold of Ann Marie during her break. Ann Marie’s friend’s husband (the guy I share trips back to Manhattan with to pick up our wives after their classes) saved me from spending the night in a Staten Island parking lot. He drove me home where I then got to read the Volvo manual (which, of course, belonged in the car—pretty close to my cell phone, by the way). And then I learned about Volvo’s “immobilizer” (which in future manuals will have a picture of my ugly mug and a Honda key and the following instruction: DO NOT DO WHAT THIS JERKOFF DID).

Making a very long (and frustration filled) story short, the next day the tow trucks could not tow me because the Volvo was surrounded by a million other cars and the truck couldn’t access the car. Then at night, after we explained to AAA how the wheels and everything else were locked, they sent the wrong tow truck (it didn't have dolleys). An hour or so in the cold later, one wonderful woman at AAA suggested a locksmith. Understand we (Ann Marie and I) were (and still are) sick and had to wait outside on the corner for the tow truck (then locksmith) because the car was in a hidden from view parking lot. Ann Marie, against my better judgment, went along with the locksmith (with me saying, “it’ll never work. We’re fucked ... let me set it on fire, fuck it," etc.) ... there’s nothing quite like angry defeatism (a lesson for America?) ... so the locksmith finally pulls up and no exaggeration, within three minutes (THREE FUCKING MINUTES) has the Volvo started and we were on our way. He reset the tumblers (so much for Volvo’s “Immobilizer”). I tipped him $20 ... because I didn’t have a hundred on me. No, I couldn’t afford it, but there was no way I wasn’t going to reward a guy who did his job and was appreciative of our frustrations. Understand that Volvo assured us we’d never get the thing to turn and that we HAD TO HAVE IT TOWED.

Assholes ...

Thank God for my wife (the future nurse) ...

Ooops, I meant this kind of sick ...

Of course Ann Marie FINALLY went to a doctor on Friday (our guy, Dr. Addeo) and learned she may need treatment for pneumonia ... and where is she today? At the hospital doing her clinicals morning to night with a day at the school tomorrow to look forward to ... and then another week of full-time work (with classes on Monday & Wednesday night). Why is she at a hospital while she’s sick, you ask? Because the program doesn’t allow them to take off (or they get to repeat the insane semester all over again).

I love my wife. She’s incredible ... and a hell of a lot smarter (and calm) than I’ll ever be. I owe her big time for NOT LISTENING TO ME one more time.

Of course Doc had some suggestions ... and here’s what he had to say when I wrote him about it.

I drive a firetruck, so I don't have luxury options like an "immobilizer". That only comes on fancy European sports sedans. I wonder how much extra you have to spend to get a feature that makes your car not run. I'm also curious as to how much of an impact this "Immobilizer" has on the exceptionally high suicide rate in Sweden.


On to topic #2 ... Bill Maher ended his season with his best show I can remember ... I suggest taking a view of it. Most of yous know I don’t always agree with Maher and/or Michael Moore (mostly because while they show fairness at times regarding the party they choose to support (by actually criticizing it rather than offer blind faith support), TK finds them disingenuous when push finally comes to shove and they ALWAYS cave in regarding third parties and opt to support the same party that proves over and over again (as far as the left is concerned) it will IGNORE THEM.

Top #3 ... Kanye West ... what a dick. TK has nothing else to say about him.

#4 ... Stewart v. Maddow … I watched the replay on Maddow’s site during lunch at work. It was interesting and I found Rachel very defensive of not only her show but MSNBC, which only proved (to me) that what Stewart was trying to say (that they contributed to the RED v. BLUE mentality that has stalled this country in a downward spiral) she wasn’t hearing. I suggest checking out the entire interview. I don’t know how Maddow votes, but I suspect she makes the same mistake Maher and Moore make (voting against their own interests when they ignore truly liberal third parties), so when she asked him about the Rally to Restore Sanity, I found it a bit duplicitous that she took Maher’s side on the fact that Stewart (more or less) equated Fox with MSNBC.

That said, it was nice to see and hear intelligent dialogue again ... even if it was Stewart (being totally polite) who kept Rachel’s edge of the seat defensiveness in check. Stewart was trying to get the point across that all conservatives/republicans AREN’T lunatics and that he was against the use of TEABAGGER to describe some of them for obvious reasons (no matter how tempting the laugh may be). Stewart’s point was that calling one guy a TEABAGGER leads to that guy (and his ilk) calling the other side, SOCIALISTS (as if that’s a bad thing), etc. Maddow feels comfortable saying “but they started it” ... and Stewart, it seems, was saying: “And how’s that working out for you.” (meaning both sides)

We at TK classify ourselves (except for Doc) as liberals a lot closer to socialism than conservatism, although we refuse to follow an ACLU platform on all things liberal (i.e., we’re for secured borders but not from fear; more from common sense—we simply can’t afford to offer citizenship to every kid of an illegal who happens to be born in the U.S. That policy has outlived itself) ... or to permit government waste to run roughshod while corporate America gets to make the rules through the government they obviously own. We’re not against anybody making profit ... we just don’t see the point in a government of rich kings pissing on the masses and frankly don’t see enough of a difference between the two major parties for us to think they’ll ever be enough of a CHANGE for it to happen in our lifetime.

And for the record, no, I’m not overly concerned about my great grandchildren ... not really. It’s my mother, wife and kids I’m concerned about and believe if we take care of them with some measure of fairness, their great grandchildren will probably do the same for themselves ...

And finally #5 ... Most of yous know that this was TK’s Super Bowl matchup earlier in the season—the Bills v. the Lions. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we envision them (change we can believe in?). Well, now that things haven’t worked out, this is our week, amici. Mortgage the house (or rob your neighbors and put up the goods with your local bookie) ... if our beloved new york state buffalo bills are EVER going to win a game this season, this week’s match-up is it. The Detroit Lions come to town and after giving up their home field advantage by playing in a dome (for years now—a truly dopey move), the Bills will have their shot at a WIN. Although we think the Lions are the better team, we think the cold may be too much for them ... oy vey.

We hope the cold will be too much for them.

So maybe you shouldn’t mortgage the house (or rob your neighbors) ... just do what we do every week ... try and ignore the game until about 3:30 or so (when it’s close to the 4th quarter) ... watch the Moonachie Yets or the Moonachie Giants or some other game ... and then take a look-see at the scoreboard on and keep your fingers (and toes) crossed and pray (to the football Gods if you’re an atheist) that SOMETHING GOES OUR WAY THIS SEASON.

Oh, Football Gods ... what say a miracle?