In Memory of Braveheart

Braveheart Fixed-He was aptly named. He was brave and he had a precious sweet loving heart. Braveheart was given his name by RaeAnna Saks of The Little Cats’ Rescue. He was only six months old living in the woods protecting his brother and others. BH was trapped and taken in by RaeAnna. He came to live with us about ten years ago. During that time, we had the pleasure of having him as a loving part of our feline family.

On Friday the 13th, less than two months after we lost our beloved Rollo, Braveheart left us, his body eaten away by cancer. We didn’t want to let him go, but we didn’t want him to suffer. He toughed it out but it got to a point where we knew it was time. Braveheart was two weeks shy of his 18th birthday.

 

Fall Season 2019

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With the Labor Day weekend gone by it’s that time of the year where the arts rev up their motors and the Fall Season of films, theater, music, and books begin. This means it’s time again for my take on some of the books I look forward to reading during these final months of the year. These are just a few. I’m sure there are more to follow.

Sandford

Available October 1st

Atkins

Available November 19th

Connelly

Available  October 22nd

COleman

Available  September 10th

King

Available September 10th

 

Crossroads

Available December 2nd

Stealth woods

Available October 15th

Shape of Night Gerritsen

Available October 1st

 

You

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I’m more than halfway through season 1 of YOU the Netflix series (originally on Lifetime). The show has a lot to say about our society’s addiction to social media, and the image we project of ourselves online and who we are in real life. YOU is a dark, sexy show about Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), an intelligent, seemingly well-mannered young man who works in a bookstore. It’s there he meets Beck (Elizabeth Lail), a beautiful wannabe writer/student. Joe is immediately attracted to her and begins to stalk her, following her on social media, and eventually controlling her life and other relationships. Mild-mannered Joe will do anything for Beck including eliminating others in her life. YOU is intense, unsettling and creepy.
Season 2 is coming soon on Netflix.

Recent Read:Learning to See

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Elise Hooper’s Learning to See, a biographical novel about the life of photographer Dorothea Lange is a timely, fascinating read about a time in America’s history when bad times struck millions.

After moving from the east coast to San Francisco, Dorothea Lange opened a photography studio where she photographs the city’s elite. She met the West Coast top art photographers of the day including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham, the last became a close friend. Though Lange knew these titans of photography she was not one of them. They were artists, Lange was a commercial photographer catering to San Francisco’s upper class. During this period, Lange met Maynard Dixon, a well-known artist of western art. They married and had two kids. Lange continued to be successful with her portrait studio work photographing the city’s most successful in society. Her income was steady and there were many times she was the one supporting the family.

Then came the Great Depression.

Lange’s studio work started to dry up. She took her camera outside the studio and found herself emotionally moved by the poverty and homelessness that was more prevalent with each passing day. She met Paul Taylor, an agricultural economist. Taylor was working on a Gov’t project studying Mexican employment patterns in the U.S. He published thirteen monographs on Mexicans immigrants and Mexican-Americans.  Taylor was impressed with Lange’s street photography. He felt it expressed what he wrote.  They began working together documenting the rural poverty and exploitation of migrants and sharecroppers.

As Lange began the most important part of her career working for the Federal Farm Security Administration photographing the effects of the Dust Bowl: the poverty, the exploitation of migrant workers and sharecroppers, her marriage to Dixon collapsed.

Lange marries Paul Taylor, and while her work reached its most important period documenting social injustices, her private life became more difficult particularly with her son Dan Dixon.

This is a good book, though too much time is spent on Lange’s early years and development before reaching the most important period in her artistic growth. The book ends as Dorothea with her now-adult son Dan prepares for an exhibit of her work at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

As the author states in the Afterward, the book is a fictional version of Lange’s life based on the author’s research and the need to make artistic decisions combing and or altering some events but keeping the spirit and soul of her subject intact. She does it well.

 

 

Woodstock – It Was 50 Years Ago Today

It was 50 years ago today in the small upstate  New York town of Woodstock where more than 400,000 young people came for three days of music, peace and love. This week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and all it came to represent: love and peace triumphing over hatred and war, everyone’s sharing the earth in peace. It was the age of  Aquarius.

Sadly the spirit of Woodstock didn’t last. We live in a world where love and peace are in short supply, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to be the best we can.

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Woodstock (1)

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#AnthraxAndCherryBlossoms Published by @millandonemag

A terrific short story from David H. Schleicher

The Schleicher Spin

The good folks over at A Million and One Magazine have published my latest short story, Anthrax and Cherry Blossoms. This marks the second story of mine they have published this year, following Boko Haram’s Greatest Hits back in April.

Here’s an excerpt:

The weather couldn’t have been nicer, Melora thought, as she stood at Central Bank’s kiosk at the D. C. Cherry Blossom Festival parade. Central Bank was one of the co-sponsors of the event, and she, the branch manager of the location closest to the parade route, was there with a few young and eager interns from corporate marketing. They were handing out swag and signing up people for new accounts on a tablet device. Yes, the weather was beautiful, but in her mind chaotic thoughts still stormed…or was that just a hangover? Last night she had driven nearly an hour out into the suburbs to a place called…

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Lilyhammer

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  I have been wondering how many people have seen the Netflix series Lilyhammer? After three seasons that began in 2012, the show was canceled. It seems unclear why. Steve Van Zandt who starred in the series only stated at the time in a tweet, “business got too complicated,” a vague statement at best. Lilyhammer never got the attention that other Netflix shows like House of Cards received at the time. I never heard of the show until recently when I was browsing the Netflix catalog and came across it.
Van Zandt portrays an offshoot of his Sopranos character, Silvio Dante, but do not misunderstand there’s no connection to the earlier show. Still, his character is so close to Silvio you would think there has to be a genetic connection (a brother from another mother). Van Zandt portrays Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a New York hood who after co-operating with the Feds, testifying in a trial against a former mob boss, now has a “hit” ordered on his head. Frank is put into the Federal Witness Protection program and requests he is relocated to Lillehammer, Norway (he saw the town on TV when they hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics). He figures whose going to look for him there? Frank’s given a new identity, Giovanni “Johnny” Henriksen, a Norwegian/American immigrant. Frank/Johnny has to learn to adapt to the small Norwegian community, and they to him. It’s not a smooth transition. When certain situations arise that are troubling, Johnny finds it necessary to resort to some of his old tactics.
Lilyhammer is not your typical crime show; it’s offbeat, funny, dark, edgy and as you may imagine bloody. As you may expect the soundtrack is superb thanks to Van Zandt. The show may not be to everyone’s taste, but I found it to be a show to savor and wished it had last longer. If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Spoiler Alert!!!

The show’s final episode has a special guest.

 

New England Crime Time

I recently posted a list of some of my favorite and grittiest of New York City films from the 1970s. This time around I thought I select some crime films from the combined states that make up New England. As you may suspect Massachusetts, Boston in particular, makes up the majority of the films and the grittiest. Not all these films are gritty or from the 70’s but they are films with criminal elements.

 

The Friends of Eddie Coyle  (Massachusetts)

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Dolores Clairborne (Maine)

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Mystic River (Massachusetts)

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The Stranger (Connecticut)

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Gone, Baby, Gone  (Massachusetts)

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The Stepford Wives  (Connecticut)

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The Trouble With Harry  (Vermont)

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American Buffalo (Rhode Island)

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The Departed  (Massachusetts)

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To Die For (New Hampshire)

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The Boston Strangler (Massachusetts)

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Shutter Island (Massachusetts)

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