imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, November 20, 2004
I’VE BEEN BUSY, OH SO BUSY!
I’ve been busy and witty and bright ! (Well, let’s hope.) A couple of days of not blogging … of not even reading the news! … while steeped in another intense activity makes me feel as though I had left the planet. How’s the War doing? Bin Laden been found?
Actually, I’ve been holed up in the back room at the computer (next to a dog crate … natch) writing, while DogMan, who’s in the living room, cranks up his Bose with the gypsy jazz of Roby Lakatos. I feel as though I’m in a Bella Lugosi movie. For anyone who writes you’ll understand when I say that when the muse strikes y’gotta go with it because you never know when you’ll ever get that golden opportunity again. I think I unwittingly summoned “her” when I began reading a book of short stories by Rodger Jacobs. RJ, an accomplished writer in his own right, had sent me an e-mail to let me know that he had included me on the acknowledgment page of his new book, “Christopher Walken and the Tuna Fish Sandwich and Other L.A. Stories.” I told him he was a cheeky salesman and then immediately ordered the book. Howinthehell would I learn what he had said about me?
I had read a few of his stories already, but I had no idea how many RJ had written until I got the book. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a book of short stories because most of the ones I’ve encountered are artsy-fartsy, the kind you struggle through without ever quite knowing whatinthehell it was you had just read. The my-aren’t-I-superior-variety that John Kerry would prominently display just to make you feel small. RJ’s book is nothing like that. “Absent are the usual preoccupations of Los Angeles regional writers; here the reader will find no references to earthquakes, brush fires, SIG alerts or celebrity murder trials. The central characters in these tales are scrap metal dealers, writers - struggling and otherwise - Secret Service agents, unhinged housewives, alcoholic paramedics, ghosts and demons, Godzilla, the vodka bottle that killed William Holden, and Shannen Doherty on a good day.”
First of all, all the stories are very short. Several of them are funny, such as “Striking Johnny Depp’s Dog With A Bible” and “Ballad Of The Blind Gunman” and the title story about Christopher Walken. “Lucky Strike” makes y’wanna go YEAH! Who-da thunk that I could actually enjoy anything about Shannen Doherty, but I did. Go figure. There’s poignancy in “Bill’s Bottle” and “The Cowboy From La Mancha.” But the funniest story in the book, with a title that as a writer makes me pea-green with envy, is “Winona Ryder Suffers For Your Sins.” And I say this while I still have a few stories yet to read. If you consider Winona Ryder to be a bitch, RJ’s story delivers a slice of sweet satisfaction.
I have loved every story I’ve read in this book, and some I’ve read several times over. This may be a shameless, capitalistic plug for which I earn not one single red cent … and make no mistake, I am suggesting you buy the book … but this also happens to be true. I’m giving a couple as gifts. At $8.33 it won’t bust the piggy bank.
So what does RJ’s book have to do with me? Other than pure vanity on my part in seeing my name listed on the acknowledgment page, not that much, except that his quirky stories reminded me of my own quirky stories. Up until a year ago, I had worked for 5+ years at a shoe store on a street struggling to stay alive in a small town in Upstate NY (where taxes are as high as an elephant’s eye, and it looks like they’re climbing clear up to the sky!). I got to know and to witness all sorts of people whom I thought would make amusing characters in stories some day. When the store closed down, I thought I finally had my chance. So I launched KittyLitter; you can see where that has led me:) However, I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason, so I followed the lead. I may post a story or two on KittyLitterExtras in the furure. Right now, though, I’m writing; I’m following the lead. Stay tuned!
By the way, here’s an earlier picture of Rodger Jacobs. Doesn’t he remind you of Christopher Hitchens?
CLINTON: CARNIVAL & CON
(What the hell is Dad doing?) Bill, the hand goes no further!
Clinton According To Bill
These library-dedication ceremonies are meant to focus on the highlights of a presidency and sidestep the areas that could be deemed controversial.
For example, of the 14 exhibit areas, only one is devoted to the at-times sordid impeachment saga. And that, of course, is placed in an achingly familiar context — Clinton as victim.
The impeachment exhibit is called "The Fight for Power," with section titles of "Politics of Persecution" and "A New Culture of Confrontation." (What, no "Politics of Personal Destruction"?)
As the pages turn
By Paul Greenberg
[O]utside, in the bright sunshine, some visiting protesters from Denver were adding to the festivities by waving what looked like a huge bedsheet emblazoned with their motto, "Clinton raped Juanita." The whole atmosphere of the Clinton Era comes rushing back. It's a slice of living history, and isn't that what presidential museums are supposed to be about? With a sigh, you realize this kind of thing is will go on for the rest of the week, maybe for the rest of the decade.
Mack McLarty, one of Bill Clinton's boyhood friends and White House chiefs of staff, introduces the former president. I always listen to Mr. McLarty with great interest, wondering if this is the historic occasion on which he will utter a single memorable phrase. He never does.
You can almost see Mack the Nice sidestepping the verbal land mines, deftly taking cover in whole forests of the innocuous and, especially important when introducing this speaker, avoiding the fatal double entendre.
IT'S BILL'S LIBRARY, BUT HILL'S CAMPAIGN
By Dick Morris
It's his library. But it's her candidacy. So she did all the softball TV interviews, not him — reminding voters of her availability for 2008 while seeming to talk about the '90s.
[T]he library gives Hillary the chance to moderate her image, relocate her venue and update her profile to position her for a White House.
Hillary now has all the staffing she needs for a White House run. When she sought the Senate seat, she used the White House staff. Now she has the library workers to prepare her background papers, develop policy initiatives and provide the staffing overhead it takes to run for president. Funded with donations from Democratic Clinton allies, the library is really a support network for Hillary's candidacy
Why did Bill Clinton build a library with hidden donations and use the opening ceremony to promote his wife's candidacy for president three weeks after his party's defeat? Because he could.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
SPEAKING OF T-SHIRTS
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Only the half-vast left-wingers would think of religion as a campaign tool. They probably think of baptism as a wet T-shirt contest sanctioned by God. Maybe if their people got in touch with God's people and did lunch ...
Some Democrats Believe the Party Should Get Religion
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Some call the election a warning. "You can't have everybody who goes to church vote Republican; you just can't," Al From, founder of the Democratic Leadership Council, said last week at a forum on the election.
So now it is being reported that Arafag probably died from cirrhosis of the liver. This is not a disease that’s difficult to detect, even in a teatotaler. Could it be that France has inferior health care and couldn’t readily diagnose what Yasser had? Could it be that Yasser’s demise was facilitated? I really don’t give a rat’s ass, mind you; I’m just glad he’s dead. But why was this diagnosis, incomplete as it is, so slow and difficult?
'Arafat's death caused by liver disease'
Yasser Arafat suffered from cirrhosis – widespread disruption of normal liver structure usually caused by alcohol abuse – although he was "a true water drinker," the French newspaper Le Monde reported Wednesday.
Quoting medical sources familiar with Arafat's medical file, France's most prestigious daily reported that "the most probable scenario is that Arafat's death was due to multiple causes. His coma must have been cause by an aggravation of his hepatic system, in other words his cirrhosis, culminating in a hemorrhage."
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I SUCK AT THE 70s
Does anyone know what (70s) TV game show featured a gigantic pinball machine? Or how about this: Who quarterbacked the Miami Dolphins for most of their undefeated 1972 season? Or: What band was chosen to play the final show at the Fillmore East?
I know I got #14 correct and possibly #5.
YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN!
The "hotti" Gottis and their annoying mother, Victoria.
I sat through almost an entire episode of GROWING UP GOTTI and had to quit for fear I’d hate all Italians as a result. I kept hoping Don Corleone would step in and bitch-slap these mama’s boy-mooks with a hair gel addiction.
TWO GOTTI SONS BEATEN AT MALL
VICTORIA Gotti's sons Carmine, 18, and John, 17, took a beating last weekend after they allegedly harassed a 15-year-old girl at a Long Island mall.
The 17-year-old brother of the aggrieved girl delivered a beat-down to the Gotti boys after they "pinched her butt and made disgusting comments" at the Roosevelt Field Mall on Saturday, says our source.
The enraged brother and two of his friends approached the Gottis and their 10-person crew after his sister complained about their boorish behavior.
"Next thing you know this kid was really beating the c- -p out of Carmine," a witness to the melee told PAGE SIX. "All the Gotti friends were taking cheap shots, punching and kicking the back of this kid's head, but he didn't care. He just continued to beat Carmine till he was bloody, and then he went after John and whupped him, too.
"He was in a zone, repeating, 'Not my sister. I don't care who you are.' And the Gottis' crew couldn't hold him back. The whole crowd of people was cheering, adults were coming up to the kid after the fight and congratulating him. He really showed those boys they aren't above the law."
The Gotti brothers have appeared on their A&E show, "Growing Up Gotti," picking up girls at the mall.
Mall security guards and police broke up the fracas, but no charges have been filed. Our source claimed that mall security had received "several complaints" about the Gottis' behavior prior to the fight from fed-up store owners and shoppers.
"One security guard said they got a complaint from the mother of a 12-year-old girl the Gottis and their friends had harassed," another witness said.
The youth who beat up the Gottis "was like 5-foot-10," not that big. Their grandfather [John Gotti] would be rolling over in his grave if he saw that. They not only fought like cowards, they're a bunch of wimps."
Victoria Gotti told PAGE SIX's Fernando Gil the attack on her sons was an unprovoked act caused by sheer jealousy: "Carmine dated a girl he liked. Jealousy makes people do crazy things. This boy was no exception to the rule. It's unfortunate that boys can't talk out their differences."
The father of the 17-year-old boy told us, "This is a private matter between our two families, and I hope that it gets resolved soon. It was an unfortunate incident."
Monday, November 15, 2004
DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN
From left to right: Julia Sudbury, Susan Rosenberg and senior Rebecca Mayberg in conversation at the Faculty Lounge. Rosenberg, a former political prisoner who spent more than 16 years in a federal prison, was granted clemency by former President Clinton in 2001. Photo courtesy of Margo Okazawa-Rey.
So much for my plans to write … fiction, that is.
It all started when the headline “New hire sparks controversy on Hamilton College campus” (see previous post below) caught my eye, because my father had gone to Hamilton College, which is how I know that Hamilton College is located in Clinton, NY. The news story was about a recent faculty hire, Sue Rosenberg, who had been pardoned from prison by Bill Clinton on his last day in office. Remember the flurry of pardons during his very last hours in office? Well, Sue Rosenberg’s was one of the many questionable ones.
Soanyways, I logged onto the Hamilton College website and saw right there on its home page that Bill Clinton had spoken there just days prior to the news story. Something to make me go hmmmmm? (see below)
A reader asked what this Sue looked like, which means “GOOGLE TRIP!” (Okay, so it’s a lame parody on “ROAD TRIP!”) Initially I tried a Google-image search with no results. So, I tried a Google-web search. With any computer search engine, it’s the precise words you use for your search. “Susan Rosenberg prison” produced quite a bit of info, but it was simply her name, “Susan Rosenberg,” which gave me the picture. Just so you know, I have enhanced the photo to lighten it a bit, and I cropped out the background.
Below is some of what I found on Sue Rosenberg. I still find it “interesting” that Clinton is somehow involved. Keep this in mind when Her Royal C decides her next political plunge.
And Hamilton College?
Tiny Hamilton College, which is located east of Syracuse, is no stranger to notoriety. In 2001, a visiting professor, Brigitte Boisselier, was forced to quit after it was revealed that she was a member of the Raelian cult. This cult believes that the human race is the result of cloning of aliens. Then, in 2002, the then-president, Eugene Tobin resigned in disgrace after he admitted to plagiarism.
Sue Rosenberg and the 1981 Brinks Robbery (during which 2 police officers and a guard were killed):
In November 1984, Susan Rosenberg, another suspect in the robbery who may have been driving one of the escape vehicles, was arrested in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She and an accomplice had rented a storage facility under a false name. Later, there was confusion concerning which facility she actually rented. The site manager called the police who responded and spoke with Rosenberg. At the time, she was unloading odd-looking items from a U Haul trailer. When cops investigated further, they discovered automatic weapons, blasting caps and 640 lbs. of explosives. As she was taken in handcuffs to the local police lockup, Rosenberg wept in the back of the police unit. "I guess this is your lucky day!" she said to the cops in the front seat.
When F.B.I. agents looked into the recent activities of Rosenberg, they were led to the city of New Haven, CT, where residents identified photographs of Marilyn Jean Buck as one of the people who visited Rosenberg's apartment. She was also the person who rented the U Haul trailer for Rosenberg under a fictitious name. From Connecticut, agents followed the trail to Baltimore, MD, where they missed Buck once again. Inside her apartment though, the F.B.I. found detailed plans to bomb numerous federal office buildings and other institutions in Washington, D.C.
Although Susan Rosenberg was never convicted of any Brink's-related charges, court testimony indicated she was a member of "The Family" and may have driven one of the escape vehicles. She was later convicted of charges relating to possession of explosives and received a sentence of 58 years to life. But in December 2000, President Clinton decided she had served enough time in jail. Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans were among the long list of questionable pardons and commuted sentences, which Clinton granted in his final days in office. U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, in the Southern District of N.Y., initiated a criminal investigation of those pardons, which continues as of this writing.
But the "cause" for which these crimes were ostensibly committed has long ago disappeared. It is forgotten by most, and today, those that do remember it, ridicule the notion that any of these crimes were committed for political reasons. We know from the suspects' own words that they were driven by a hatred and bitterness towards our country that most of us simply cannot understand. Some paid for that belief with their lives. Those that survive may spend the rest of their lives behind prison bars, contemplating the misguided ideas that put them there. "They were enemies of America," said Lt. Jim Stewart of the Brink's gang, "they wanted to build a separate country, renounce their citizenship. How else can you describe them?"
Sue Rosenberg’s role at Hamilton College.
The same Susan Rosenberg?
Scroll down to “Standing Committee Chairs” and look for “webmaster.”
Sunday, November 14, 2004
I haven’t blogged very much lately, not like I used to. One reason is that I’ve been decompressing from the way-too-intense election. But another reason is that I want to concentrate more of my time on my writing, which was my original intent when I first began blogging a year ago this month after I had lost my job. Ah, the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ Kitty (apologies to Robert Burns).
Back in 1992, when I thought I wanted to be a syndicated columnist, I actually sold an op-ed piece to USA Today entitled "To Sleaze Or Not To Sleaze." USA Today re-titled it … natch. I’ve checked, but it’s not listed in their archives. I’m not surprised as it’s the only op-ed piece I’ve had published. I’ve written, and had published, various guest commentaries, but I quickly decided that I’d rather write fiction. The only piece of fiction I’ve had published to date was a short-short story entitled “Good Buy, Charlie” which was published on 4 January 2000 in an online publication called Zinos.com. No payment, but I did get some exposure.
Early this year, before election blogging began consuming vast amounts of my time, another one of my stories was accepted for a book due out in 2005. The book is an anthology of stories. More on that later.
Oh, and I’m mentioned one other place, on the acknowledgement page of the L.A. Stories collection by Rodger Jacobs. RJ has written some great short stories, many of which I’ve read. I have no idea how I’m mentioned, but I’ve ordered the book. I decided it was worth the $7.95 to see my name in print. But you can download a version of the book for a mere $2. And, no, I don’t get a penny for this shameless, capitalistic plug.
I’ll continue to blog … hopefully daily … so keep checking in!
RED STATE SLUMMING
Imagine, red-staters traveling outside their domain (tucked in-between the slivers of blue coastlines). Imagine a blue-stater learning that red-staters know more about the blue-staters than vice versa. Imagine the blue-stater’s surprise when he was recognized as such when traveling the red-state territories. Maybe it was his choice of renting a Lincoln Town Car, instead of a pick up truck, which tipped them off, y’think?
The Way to Gut a Deer Is to Cut From Groin to Neck
By Gregory Rodriguez
Residents of rural red America are more likely to have visited the big blue cities than the other way around. Many have vacationed in Los Angeles or New York. They've walked down Hollywood Boulevard or taken in the view from the Empire State Building. More than a few have family members living on the coasts. Though they may not love us, red staters tend to know more about us than we blue staters know about them.
Two days after the election, I began a weeklong journey through the rural Midwest. In a rented Lincoln Towncar, I drove 900 miles through farmland and small towns, striking up conversations with strangers, all of whom talked back. Along the way, I stocked up on 1970s country-rock CDs, courtesy of several Walgreens.
SOMETHING TO MAKE YOU GO Hmmmmm
President Clinton and Hamilton president Joan Hinde Stewart during the question-and-answer period.
The title of this news item caught my eye as my father went to Hamilton College, which is why I know that it’s in, of all places, Clinton, NY.
New hire sparks controversy on Hamilton College campus
By: Brad Vivacqua
Updated: 11/14/2004 7:09 AM
The hiring of a former political radical and ex-convict at Hamilton College is sparking controversy on campus.
There's mixed opinions after the hiring of Sue Rosenberg, a former political radical who spent 16 years in federal prison.
Rosenberg was arrested in 1984 for the possession of explosives and granted executive clemency by President Clinton in 2001.
"She's being hired on a one month residency as part of our Kirkland Project on campus. The program that hired her was aware of her background but they were particularly interested in teaching a course on writing memoirs," said Faculty Dean David Paris.
The Kirkland Project is an on campus organization focused on race, class, and gender issues.
After reading the above article, I logged onto Hamilton College’s web page, which is how I learned that Bill Clinton had spoken there on November 9th. Notice that Brad Vivacqua’s article (above), about Sue Rosenberg, is dated November 14th. Why didn’t he include Clinton’s lecture at the college in his article? It could be nothing, an innocent oversight, or Mr. Vivacqua may have decided that it didn’t warrant mentioning. Personally, had I written the piece I would have found that an interesting and newsworthy aside. I’m not suggesting anything improper in Mr. Vivacqua’s article, but Slick’s history of improprieties, both political and personal, have sensitized me to the mere mention of his name. I see the name Clinton and wonder.
Former President Bill Clinton Speaks at Hamilton College
Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the U.S., thrilled a capacity crowd at Hamilton College on November 9 with a lecture on recollections of his presidency and his hopes for a nation that works together, rather than one that is divided by partisan politics. Some 4,600 people filled the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House and another 1,100 watched the lecture from closed circuit TV locations on campus. Clinton spoke for approximately 40 minutes then answered questions for another 45 minutes.
Clinton talked about why he thought his Democratic party lost last week's presidential election. He said the Democrats did not get their message out and there was a huge turnout of evangelical Christian voters "who said they were voting on moral values. I do not believe either party has a monopoly on morality," Clinton added.
He also criticized the Bush administration's budget deficits. "Every day the United States of America borrows from the central banks of China and Japan to cover my tax cut. Now if you think that's good economic policy, go support it. A lot of people apparently do."