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).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hellooooo Nurse!


Graduate Annie … last night was her graduation (pinning) ceremony and although she missed rehearsals Monday night due to pneumonia, Ann Marie was there with her classmates (some I’ve come to know well from their study groups at Casa Stella) to receive their official paperwork and pins. The boss won’t let me call her Nurse Annie yet because she has to pass the state boards in another month or so (she earned a 91 on the practice state boards 2 days after her final). She’s very superstitious and abides by her graduate status until she takes the boards and passes them.

In the meantime, all I can say is congratulations to her and her classmates for successfully navigating an incredibly difficult journey. The RN programs are very intense and stressful and require an enormous amount of attention to detail and time (2 nights a week after working full-time all day and all day Saturdays at a NY hospital). The fact she and many of her classmates did it while working full time and raising families is extra special. We’re all planning a big party after the boards but soon it’s me and my graduate at a Russian joint highly recommended by a Scotsman, Russell McLean, Mari Vanna.

Congrats again to all those who worked hard to DEFEAT OUTSOURCING in our time, the graduates of the BMCC Nursing Program. You go Nurses!

The ugly one was so inspired by the wife’s efforts at defeating OUTSOURCING, he too will be back to school (if accepted) in an attempt to gain an MFA to teach with.

Just say no to outsourcing … become a Nurse!

Some pics from Annie’s big night ...

Leaving home (with pneumonia) to attend her gradumacationals ...

On deck

Nurses Judy (the study kids) & Ann Marie

In the procession

As sick as she was, she could still flash that smile.

The Candle ceremony (oy vey, they’ll burn the joint down)

With future nurse Vanessa

With her son Tim

With the ugly one (is that fat guy’s head big or what?)

More of the Casa Stella study group (Barbara & Lauren)

Hellooooo Registered Nurse!

Book Review ...

Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand) … Louis Zamperini’s story is one for the ages. What this man went through after his plane was shot down over the Pacific during World War II is nothing short of a modern day Job (Biblical) story. A mile runner through high school and college and a competitor at the 1936 Jesse Owens Olympics in Berlin (just say no to Hitler), Zamperini was close to breaking the four minute mile before he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces. What transpired over the next few years of his life would kill the vast majority of us; the ones it didn’t drive mad. Torture and abuse that would make Abu Ghraib seem like Disneyland (make no mistake), Zamperini was hounded and seemingly stalked by one of Japan’s most notorious war crimes convicts, Matsuhiro Watanabe. What this lunatic did to Zamperini and countless others is the stuff sweet revenge is bred of. Unbroken is a riveting account of an incredible life and something that will keep your eyes glued to the pages start to finish. Very highly recommended.

The state of my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills Union ...

Above on the left, the Bills offense … above on the right, the Bills Defense.

My 2010 beloved New York State Buffalo Bills overall performance was testimony to any Libertarian anti-union argument. Their performance the last two weekends of the season proved “guaranteed incomes” are a truly bad thing. Unfortunately for all yous happier than a lark capitalists out there (yes, Doc, you), the owner (Ralph Wilson)’s guaranteed profits from the same performance are even more criminal. Profit from that? Nobody on the Buffalo side of the ball (owner, coaches and players alike) deserved any more than minimum wage for the absolute sellout the last two weeks of the season.

Remember, amici, this coming from a left of the left leftist.

The last game of the season was the only Bills game I was able to watch all year and I was back at my computer shortly after the start of the 3rd quarter. It was a disgraceful performance. I know they played at least equally bad against New England the week before, but I didn’t see that fiasco. I considered writing an open letter to the Bills coaches and players … then thought better of it because as angry as I was at Chan Gailey for permitting his team to go through the motions (and badly at that), nobody can coach that badly; it was the players who mailed it in.

To offset the disservice they did to union workers everywhere this past Sunday, the Bills players should contribute their final paychecks (at least part of them) to charity. They did nothing to win the support of loyal fans. If anything, they made this one say, “Hey, Canada, they’re all yours.”

Above, the Bills organization.

The new Knuckmeter ...

That’s right, amici, it’s back on now ... the weigh-in Saturday afternoon (January 1, 2011) was 320 (Ooops) ... but now that Moi no longer has to drive back to Manhattan to pick up the wife after nursing classes (that’s what I’m talking about), it’s been back to the gym at 4:30 a.m. when it opens. So far so good, too ... I’m back on Isagenix protein shakes for dinner and determined to drop 60 before I turn 55 in June.

An upcoming Review of The Chieu Hoi Saloon by Michael Harris (which is absolutely brilliant) from Quality Driven Publishers, PM Press, next post.

Brian Lindenmuth of Spinetingler magazine liked Johnny Porno enough to place it on his best or 2010 amongst some much more deserving company. A few of my favorites were on there as well (so I’m more than honored). Ben Whitmer’s Pike and Lynn Kostoff’s Late Rain (Brian’s #1 pick) among them.