A Night of Local Talent in Brooklyn Slayed Me

Joe Ardigo

Joe Ardigo

Marie, a really terrific BFF, called me and asked if I wanted to hear a friend of hers sing at Knapp Street Pizza (pronounced “napp” ~ the “k” is silent). She said, “He’s really good.”

That’s all I needed to hear because the food at Knapp Street Pizza is really good. For many years it’s been the premier spot for pizza in Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn…and the way Brooklynites feel about their pizza is well known.

Knapp Street Pizza and Restaurnat

Knapp Street Pizza and Restaurnat

 

But that’s not the kicker. They expanded. Took over the store next door and added a restaurant. What’s not to love?

There were six of us around our table, all friends, or friends of friends of Joe’s and we all went for the eggplant parm dinner. Everyone agree it was delish.

 

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As Marie promised, Joe Ardigo was really good. He sang pop, blues, standards, R&B, soul, and rock. The room went crazy for Joe’s rendition of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”

Our table stayed to the very end of the last set. You can tell our little group was…ahem, shall we say…seasoned citizens. Well, whatever, but you might’ve been able to tell that because we chose to join Joe and sang a rousing rendition of “Mustang Sally” ~ complete with hand clapping and swaying from side-to-side.

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NYPD Has Little Protection From Ebola

Hospital Gear much like what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci

Hospital Gear similar to what has been given to NYPD officers. ~ Courtesy of Free Images, by adamci

According to local news sources, the NYPD and Port Authority cops have been given little to no protective gear for dealing with Ebola victims should there be one. Those same news sources claim FDNY medics have been given the task of picking up “high fever” victims. Dispatchers are not allowed to use the word “Ebola.”

What worries me as a resident of Gotham is that we seem to be behind the 8-ball on this one. I do not have the greatest confidence in the current city leadership in the best of times, and this is not the best of times. The current leadership has been plagued (you should pardon the expression) with a series of blunders and mishaps. This penchant for not being quite on top of things is worrying me, to say the least.

At New York City’s airports, police officers are getting “high risk kits” which sell for about $5.00 when ordered in bulk. These kits come in a small pouch, much like the ones rain ponchos are sold in. They contain a paper gown lined with some sort of claimed protective polyurethane coating. Paper gowns to protect from Ebola? Apparently they’re serious. They claim these gowns are “impervious.” Really? That’s what NYC is giving it’s first responders? Insanity!!!

The FDNY has the paper gowns as well but is ordering quality, three layer body suits for its EMS workers…who as mentioned earlier, have been assigned to pick up the city’s “high fever” victims. All high fever victims picked up by FDNY medics will be taken to Bellevue Hospital, the city’s premier public hospital, which has 20 isolation rooms. Bellevue’s morgue has the distinction of being the city’s first morgue. It’s also thought by many to be the creepiest of morgues. It’s been written about in many a crime fiction novel. Sorry, couldn’t help mentioning that.

Given all this (and getting back to the main point). the man from Nigeria who had diarrhea and was vomiting who came to JFK airport (NYC) has died. Apparently it has very quickly been determined it was not Ebola. I hope this is not another mistake, another instance of coming from behind.

 


Deadly Babes ~ Creative Women Killers

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Scott Snyde

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Scott Snyde

 

Statistically, murder has been a man’s activity. The numbers show men are much more likely than women to murder and also to be victims of murder. Thankfully, homicide, which is a law enforcement term and includes murder, manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and accidental killing, has been shown to be a rare occurrence. Deaths from heart disease, accidents, and pneumonia are all far more common, according to Jennifer Schwartz, multi-published professor of Criminology, Stratification, Communities/Urban Sociology.

However, wading through those stats, we find that men are mundane killers. They tend to shoot, stab, and/or beat their victims. Although women are a minute portion of what is a small number of killers, they get creative, concoct elaborate murder plots, use what they think are ingenious means to stalk their prey. This could be easily explained, as women are not as physically strong as men. Their first choice would not be to engage in a fight as a means to murder. Whereas, homicide might very well be the result when two men fight. As a writer, this fascinates me.

Typically, when women do murder, they kill those closest to them (spouses, lovers, family members). It’s all about relationships for the woman killer. Jealously and revenge are often sited motives for murders committed by women. The other is the collection of insurance money and also involves a victim the murderess is close to (a spouse, parent, a close friend, even their own child).

Women rarely use a gun to commit murder. Typically, a woman’s means to commit murder are poison (with arsenic high on the list) and arson.

During the roaring 20s and into the 1930s, Vera Renczi murdered the men in her life due to a fear of abandonment. She poisoned her husbands, lovers, and a son with arsenic, then placed their bodies in zinc-lined coffins in her wine cellar.
In the 1960s, church lady and a mother and grandmother, Janie Lou Gibbs, who once ran a day-care center, poisoned her three sons, a grandson, and her husband to collect life insurance.

Smothering is another women’s method of murder. A woman killer might smother a sleeping spouse, lover, parent, or child. Many might recall the movie The Burning Bed, with the abused spouse who burned her husband to death played by Farrah Fawcett. Women have been known to burn an entire house down to kill their victim.

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Adryian

Courtesy of Free Images ~ Adryian


The Scribblers Take Over Camp DeWolfe

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The Scribblers writing group held a one day workshop at Camp DeWolfe camp and retreat center in Wading River, on the North Fork of Long Island.

 

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So, you’re wondering how a gal from Brooklyn got to a workshop on the North Fork. Well, that’s easy. I was the guest of Long Island author Jenna Victoria.

 

 

 

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The house where the event was held has an interesting history. During World War II, FBI agents posing as enemy spies used this house to send radio messages with misinformation (or as they say, “disinformation”) to Germany across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

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We were greeted with a table full of homemade goodies. This was no low-cal, low-carb situation. I can personally attest to the fact that the chocolate-chip blondies were amazing. The bunt cake was scrumptious with an incredible lemon icing. ~ Yes, I had more than one piece.

 

 

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We broke up, each to find our own cozy place to write. This was my room.

I worked on the chapter which is the darkest moment in DEADLY DESIGNS, the second novel in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes series

 

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This was our group at the Scribblers’ Writing Workshop. There I am in the back left. Long Island Sound is behind us.

 

 

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Though not visible, Connecticut is across the sound and is also the setting of DEADLY DESIGNS.

So, I stood on the bluff and thought a few things through about where my plot twists would wind up.


Excellence of Strawberries ~ killing belly fat is murder

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Titania waiting to get a few slurps of milk at the bottom of the bowl when I finish breakfast

I’m still getting beautiful, organic strawberries for my Cheerios. I go outside and pick a handful every two to three days for my “heart smart” cereal.

I purchased a couple of strawberry plants at Home Depot several years ago and planted them in a large container which lives on my deck. They come up every year giving me fruit. I douse them with organic fertilizer a few times during the growing season, water a lot,  and that’s it.

This year I’ve gotten a bounty in not only strawberries, but also tomatoes and sweet peppers. I think it’s because we’ve had a lot of rain…and I do keep up with watering every evening.

Real strawberries the way God made them are much smaller than the ones in the supermarket, or even at the farmer’s market. But they’re delish and healthy, have no pesticides, and have very few calories and carbs. A few health blogs have dubbed strawberries “the world’s healthiest food.” Research indicates strawberries help to burn stored fat. Yippee! They’re said to ease inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Another claim is they boost short term memory. Really? Oh, I almost forgot that one.


A No Nonsense Female PI ~ still funny as all get out

Harmful Intent, Framed

HARMFUL INTENT, the first in the Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels/Dawson Hughes mystery series, is action packed, yet delivers laughs. Ronnie faces more than a few nasty types and encounters as much violence as any crime fiction main character worth his or her salt.

Whereas Janet Evonovich’s character Stephanie Plum isn’t the bravest operative on the street, Ronnie is not only tough, she’s competent…is armed to the teeth and is an excellent shot. Like Stephanie Plum, Ronnie is hilarious.

 

Isablle Lucas

 

 

 

One reader suggested Transformers’ Isabelle Lucas would make a terrific Ronnie Ingles should it ever be made into a movie.

 

 

 

Fun facts about Ronnie Ingles:

  • She was born and bred in Brooklyn (NYC) and her parents divorced when she was a teenager. The loss of her father has impacted her ability to chose men wisely.
  • She works for the irascible Jack Cooney at Cooney Investigations.
  • Taylor County Deputy Sheriff Dawson Hughes sets his steel gray eyes on her as he thinks she might’ve killed her cheating husband.

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Sauteed Fish ~ killing belly fat is murder

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“Baked fish again! That’s so boring,” ~ is the dieter’s lament, but it doesn’t have to be a breaded fish fry either. If you’ve cut waaay down on starch and carbs it’s essential to stay away from the dredging flour and bread crumbs.

Even if you’re not watching your waistline, it’s a good thing for every cook to have a basic sauteed fish recipe in their arsenal.

If I were to make a literary comparison, this would be a sub-genre, rather than a specific story.

  • Fish
  • Pan Fried Fish
  • Sauteed Fish

Rather than a specific recipe, it’s a way to cook no starch, low carb sauteed fish. If you’re like me, every time you make it, the dish will be slightly different. This depends upon your whim and what ingredients you have on hand.

You want flavor, so the first step is to saute some veggies and garlic. I took a small tomato chopped coarsely, two sliced cloves of garlic, and 1/8 to 1/4 C coarsely chopped red onion. Saute until tender in olive oil or canola oil. I stirred in a handful of fresh basil leaves. [But, you could just as easily add some coarsely chopped red, orange, or yellow sweet pepper, or use oregano instead of basil. Or anything else you've got on hand.]

I have a secret seasoning (so please don’t tell anyone). I use an old Mrs. Dash shaker and mix together 1 Tbs garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp chili powder. I love garlic, but if you don’t, when you saute the veggies, use one fresh sliced clove of garlic instead of two.

Sprinkle the secret seasoning to taste (here after called SS) on one side of four average size fish fillets. I often used flounder. Turn that side down in the pan. Do this with all four fillets. Make sure the heat is on medium to medium low, so you don’t burn the fish. Make sure you have enough oil so that you don’t burn the fish, but it shouldn’t be swimming. [Get it...fish swimming. Just a wee bit of humor, very wee.]

Sprinkle SS on the other side of the fish while they are in the pan. It only takes a minute of two for the fish to cook. Turn them once and cook another two minutes. Handle as little as possible, or the fillets will fall apart.

I arranged all four fillets on a plate for the photo, but when I serve I use a spatula and place two fillets on a plate, serving two people. Obviously the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. I serve this with steamed broccoli or with a fresh garden salad.

This is a recipe my heroine Veronica Ingels, gal PI, would like. As my contemporary series progresses, she gets more and more into healthy eating (all while hunting bad guys). However, this dish is good for anyone, but is especially good for those of us in mid-life who are heart-smart and waist conscious.