Mid-Summer Catch-Ups:Odd Pairings and The Fabulous Miss K—Santa Rosa’s Amanda Knox!

We’ve hit mid-summer and things have been fairly tame here. That said, it looks like the world is in some seriously deep shit given the way things are in the middle east, the Ukraine, and here in the U.S. Between climate denial and vaccination denial we have the death of science. Wake up Sebastopol (the local one, not the one in the Ukraine): quinoa does not prevent whooping cough, measles, polio or lockjaw. I’m really baffled how seemingly intelligent folks who are passionate about saving the earth and cite mountains of evidence and science on climate change totally deny the science regarding vaccinations. If they haven’t seen enough of these horrible diseases its only because other peoples vaccinations worked. I guess inconvenient truths work both ways.


Lately I have come across some odd pairings.  No, I’m not talking wine and food (yet). Nor will I delve into couples in relationships (although I could do a full blog on the most mis-matched couple of all time—Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti— actually Sophia Loren with anybody but me is an inappropriate pairing.  The debate will rage forever whether Carlo Ponti or Ringo Starr is history’s luckiest person) The other day I stumbled across my new all-time favorite magazine for this week. For a taste of divergent southern thinking I urge you to visit Garden & Gun. Believe me, there’s a lot more to this site than pictures of people popping gophers from their front porch. There are tons of articles about southern cooking, great hunting dogs, fabulous gardens, snipers and snipe hunts, and growing gorgeous trees.  I think there are also about five hundred recipes on how to cook parts of a  pig.  I wish I was there when they were drinking that rye whiskey and decided there wasn’t a magazine yet that brought together gardeners and shooters.

When I was growing up if you wanted to make a fool of a younger kid you’d send them on snipe hunt—Because there was no such thing as a snipe. Well it turns out that I’m the not-so-sharp one. A snipe is a southern bird that’s known for diving around, flying in circles, and swooping up and down for no apparent reason. They’re very hard to shoot, so if you bagged a lot of them you became known as a sniper. That’s how we came to call sharpshooters snipers. That’s it for the gun lessons in this blog, pretty much forever. Anyway, check out Garden & Gun.

My other oddball pairing is this amazing duet between James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti.  You may debate whether this is great music but the whole idea of bringing these two music heroes together for a duet is semi-cosmic.  They’re both gone now and can be enshrined. I’m posting this on the eve of the release of the James Brown biopic which I’m looking forward to seeing.

When I was 15 the first concert I ever went to was James Brown at the LA Sports Arena. I had seen him dance in the TAMI show and that was it for me. I had to see him live. It was 1965 and I don’t think there were more than 75 white folks in that arena. He had the JBs led by Maceo Parker, and the Famous Flames backing him up. It was the best show I’ve ever seen. I still have the original vinyl of his show at the Apollo.

Pavarotti and opera came to me later in life. Opera convinced me that any culture can have soul music. It just doesn’t all sound the same. For a few years the Fabulous Miss K and I had seasons tickets at the SF Opera.  We enjoyed going to a few productions each year. This clip is just too improbable.

The Fabulous Miss K becomes a Fugitive and Fights Extradition (but not very hard).

I’m sorry to say but this week brought horrible news that the Fabulous Miss K is being hunted down by the remaining fascists in the Perugia, Italy police department. This makes her Santa Rosa’s Amanda Knox. For those of you who don’t recall Amanda was the American student studying abroad in Perugia who was arrested for the murder of another young lady during a wild sex party. Amanda was convicted. Then her conviction was overturned and  she was found not guilty. Then the Perugians changed their minds again and convicted her. Amanda remains in the Pacific Northwest refusing to go back to Italy.

So what was the Fabulous Miss K’s crime and how come the Perugia police want her so badly? Last week we received in the mail, right here at our home in Santa Rosa, a mysterious but quite official envelope from the Perugia PD. Inside was a parking ticket for our rented Ford Focus (that later broke down). The Perugians are insisting we pay this fine or forever be banned from Italy.

perugia ticket

  1.  The Perugia PD did not put a notice on our car that we had violated the Italian parking rules. This letter we received last week was the first notice that the FMK was a fuggitivo. Since the crime was committed last November it took them nine months to track her down. Already they have violated her right to a speedy trial so I’m hoping the US Embassy will use their “influence” to have the charges overturned. On the other hand several CIA agents were just found guilty in Italy of kidnapping, so our embassy’s influence may be somewhat limited at this time.
  2. If there was a sign stating that we shouldn’t be parking wherever we parked it was not written in English. Therefore the Fabulous Miss K should not be held responsible. This is a common trick used by foreigners while in their own countries. However, we will not bow to this linguistic chicanery.
  3. Unlike her fellow alleged criminal Miss Knox, the Fabulous Miss K is not accused of committing her heinous parking job while having a wild sex party. I can vouch for this. Folks should be assured that when the Fabulous Miss K parallel parks a car it requires all of her attention. On the other hand, now that I think about it perhaps we should get one of those new cars with automatic parallel parking assist. This would free us up for other activities.

Currently we are putting together our legal team and if necessary will appeal to the International Parking Court located in the basement of the International Court in The Hague. While I am urging the Fabulous Miss K to fight extradition she seems to want to return to Italy to fight the charges herself. I will agree to this only if she takes that coat with her. She may need it since the Italian jails are not all heated (from what I hear). Ciao.