It’s tough being a foul mouthed, ill-tempered superhero but it’s worth it..

I am perfectly comfortable being who I am. I am exactly who I want to be. Part of me is a real superhero. I love helping people and or overcoming odds. Yesterday, I saved someone’s life. Now it wasn’t a human being mind you, but it’s still a life and very important in the grand scheme of things. Picture it: I was walking my loyal and neurotic Beagle down the street. It was about 1pm on a Tuesday. Nothing special in the day, just an afternoon like any other -but it’s not. We were walking at a good pace and the sunshine was hitting us just right. As we were contentedly strolling along, an old woman who could have passed for a skinny version of Betty White from the “Golden Girls” walked up to us and said,

“What a handsome dog!”

“Why thank you,” I answered for him and myself proudly. The moment was too perfect. Then it happened. We were walking by a soft-topped JEEP and we heard the angry barks. I noticed that the Jeep’s plastic windows were open and unzipped and suddenly, within a half a second, a huge Rottweiler dog jumped out of it. He must have been at least 70lbs.

“Wait, he’s chained to the Jeep frame!” I realized. He fell out of the parked car door and was hanging by his choke collar right in front of us! It was one of the most horrible things I have seen. Think fast!

“Watch my dog!” I said to the woman. She didn’t react.

I shouted again-“Watch my dog!” I let him go and she finally grabbed him.

Then I grabbed the snapping, biting, strangling dog that he was, as he nearly took my hand off. I kept at it, trying to pick him up while he scraped my hand with his razor-like teeth. Finally I did it! I got a grab on him as he was snapping at me. I pushed him up and back into the jeep window. He was now okay. He was petrified, but alive.

The old woman standing with my dog looked white as a ghost at this freakish event. But I didn’t think it was so very out of the ordinary, sadly. This was a near tragedy due to another careless dog owner.

“I’m going to zip his window up now. He can’t fall again, not on my watch,” I say as I brazenly reach my hand inside the door towards the angry and scared animal and zip it up.

“If he’s going eat my hand, he’ll eat it,” I think to myself.
His owner finally showed up.

“What the hell is going on?” He asks dimly.

“I’ll tell you what’s going on, asshole. I just saved your dog’s life. He almost hung himself because you left him in the car on a fucking choke chain with the window down,” I say.

“What?” He asks.

“You dog almost died just now, motherfucker. He jumped out of the window with that chain around his neck and was hanging from your car. He could have died. If I ever see you leaving your dog all alone again I will call the police or worse.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t have harassed him,” he said, unsure of how to react.

“Excuse me young man, he’s very upset but he saved your dog. He was far away from your dog and he ran over and saved his life,” the old woman added.

“Don’t you ever fucking leave your dog alone in a car ever again! I am serious-I will fuck you up!” I say with conviction.

Sometimes my rage takes over when I’m pushed, and this guy isn’t bright at all.

“Promise me?” I say.

“I promise you’ll never see me or see me leaving my dog-I love him,” he says.

“Well fucking act like it, pet ownership is a privilege not a right.” I say.
I nod to the old woman and take my dog.

“Thank you for helping. If you weren’t here it would have been tough,” I tell her.

“You’re welcome,” she answers.

The man jumps in his Jeep, unsure of what to do. I walk away from both of them nearly hyperventilating.

“Fucking-a Mr. B. We did alright,” I say and pet his little head.

I walked home quickly, still breathing oddly. I lay down with my dog. I was alive, but my heart was beating faster than a hummingbird. The life of a superhero isn’t always easy but it feels alright sometimes.

I will finally note that it is completely illegal and irresponsible to leave any animal in a car unattended. Leaving animals in a car is actually Punishable by fines ranging from $100 to $1000 to time served in jail. Or worse-you’ll have to deal with me.

“Don’t do it,” says the self-made hero that I am.
That’s one to grow on…..



My Reflections on the Matthew Shepard Bill & my own story of a 90s Transgender Murder in Boston…

“I heard a funny joke in a bar the other night….just not tonight”

The Story of Chanelle Pickett.

Here are my own reflections relating to the anti-hate bill that was passed today: The Matthew Shepard Bill. I’ve been thinking about my own life and the tragic events that I have had the displeasure of being used to in the past. You have no idea what I am talking about. Well, I will tell you about it: Somewhere in the late to middle of the 1990s when you were either in grade-school, high school, college, or getting an education, I was busy hanging out in the real alternative/punk world in Boston. On occasion I visited those unknown hipster bars in Allston within that scene. It was a sad, happy, and often troubling time for me. This was long before I was a troubled young man, but more so a troubled boy. Along the way I had a few moments that I would consider to be joyful or not so unhappy.

There was one bar I used to go at the time that had all sorts of hip, freakish, hip-hop, jazzheads, and punk customers. I was in none of these categories, and I was all of these categories. I was more of a misfit. So I always hung out with other misfits whether they looked like me, had a Mohawk etc. Every night I stopped by, there was one particular girl, transgender girl- Chanelle. She was always so very happy and funny. She was kind of a flirt with everyone myself included. We had an understanding, we were both kind of misfits and we generally just wound up at the punk bar for lack of better idea. We would exchange ideas, thoughts and more so we exchanged jokes- that was our thing-jokes at the bar. We weren’t best friends or nor did see each other outside the bar much at all, but we always had a funny, nice little joke exchange.

When I stopped seeing her at the bar, I didn’t think much of it. I thought, “Oh she met someone or she moved away or went off to college.” I never thought that she got murdered…until someone handed me an “In Memorium” flyer. Then I knew she was gone. It wasn’t like it was all over the news, not that I watched the news at the time. As a matter of fact hardly many people at all made a fuss about her death. “Another dead Trannie” one person might say. Not really. No life is ‘just another dead **** anything or anyone”.

If you feel so inclined and have a strong constitution, feel free to read what happened to her below….and then tell me that the Matthew Shepard Bill is not needed in this country:

I tell you this story not so you’ll read my blog or think I’m interesting, but so you know another story besides Matthew Shepard. I wasn’t a close friend to this person who died. As a matter of a fact I was like a close or distant acquaintance, but now that this bill has passed I can’t but think to myself this one really important thought and or idea I wish to convey to you ALL:

“There are one or a hundred less jokes being told in bars in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and all over the world for that matter, on this night and on the many nights to come.”

We know that hate crimes, of course, have happened before and chances are they will will happen again….but since this bill has passed, there might just be more dire consequences for this crime, and the would-be criminals will have to listen. Do yourself a favor and the next time you are in a bar, tell a nearby stranger: black, white, gay, straight, or transsexual a joke…..and make it a good one.

Chanelle Pickett’s story is below this line:

The LGBT Hate Crimes Project

You are here: The LGBT Hate Crimes Project » Chanelle Pickett

Chanelle Pickett
Chanelle Pickett (1972 – November 20, 1995, an African American transgender woman, died on November 20, 1995, in Watertown, MA, at the home of William C. Palmer. Palmer claimed he defended himself against Pickett when she became angry after he discovered she was transgender and rejected her.

The Background

Chanelle Pickett

Pickett and her sister Gabrielle – also a transgender woman – were employed at NYNEX, in Brookline, MA, until she was allegedly fired for being transgender and for standing up to sexual harassment from her co-workers.1) Pickett was transferred to a different department, but the harassment continued and both Pickett and her sister were fired. Unable to find work and having exhausted saving accounts, both sisters turned to sex work in order to survive.2)

On November 19, Pickett, 23, and her twin sister met William C. Palmer, 35, at the Playland Cafe, a popular club with a large transgender clientele. Palmer was known to have frequented Playland, and several transgender women who patronized the club claimed to have had sexual encounters with him.3) The three of them left the club and went to the sister’s apartment, where they drank and used cocaine that Palmer, a computer programer for Unisys, had purchased at Playland earlier. After 90 minutes, Pickett and Palmer departed for his apartment in Watertown, MA. 4)

The Attack
Palmer testified in court that he and Pickett smoked crack cocaine at his apartment. Pickett began to give him oral sex, when he discovered she was transgender and demanded she leave the apartment. Palmer then claimed that Pickett became angry, screaming “God will never die” and “the devil is king,” and attacked him. Palmer said he “sat on” Pickett in order to “stabilize” her, but that she was still breathing when he released her.5) Palmer’s roommates heard Pickett’s screams coming from Palmer’s room as she was beaten.6)

The Aftermath

William C. Palmer

Palmer slept with Pickett’s body for six hours before turning himself in to a lawyer who then notified the police.7) In a taped statement to police, Palmer said that he put his hand over Pickett’s mouth and grabbed her throat, but Picket bit his finger and he he hit her with a “quick jab” to the jaw and “sat on her” for about 10 mintues.8)

Police found Pickett at Palmer’s residence, lying in a pool of blood. An autopsy showed that blood had accumulated in Pickett’s lungs and brain. Along with this evidence, hemorrhages on Pickett’s neck lead a medical examiner to conclude that Pickett had been strangled, and suffocated with a piece of cloth, for at least eight to ten minutes.

Investigators found a stain on Palmer’s jeans containing semen and saliva. Tests showed that the saliva could have been Palmer’s but the semen could not. The results were consistent with Picket ejaculating in Palmer’s mouth and Palmer then spitting out the ejaculate onto his jeans.9)

Trial, Conviction & Sentencing
On December 1, 1995, Palmer pleaded not guilty to Pickett’s murder, and was released on a $50,000 cash bond. The Middlesex district attorney requested that Palmer be held without bail. As a compromise, Palmer was required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, submit to random drug testing, meet with a probation officer each week, and avoid any witnesses in the case.10)

At trial, Dr. Stanley Kessler, a medical examiner, testified that Pickett had been throttled for at least eight minutes and that bedding may have been stuffed into her throat.11) Kessler testified that the cocaine levels in Pickett’s system were not enough to have caused her death. Kessler showed the jury photographs of a blood-smeared comforter that he said was puckered in one section, as though it had been “shoved down someone’s throat.” Kessler said that when he examined Pickett, blood was coming from her nose and mouth, which was consistent with strangulation.12)

On May 3, 1997, a jury acquitted Palmer of murder and instead found him guilty of assault and battery.13)

On May 16, 1997, Palmer was sentenced to two years in prison.14)

Goodbye Ted Kennedy

Although I am not considered a ‘real’ Massachusetts native(actually grew up in Connecticut), I consider myself more of a Boston native than anywhere else in the world. It is where I made the first real home of my very own.
I never quite felt comfortable growing up in Connecticut with its uptight values, politics, and or uptight “artistic” communities…they all always felt too stifling for me. Massachusetts, on the other hand, was and is to me to be considered the real land of the free, and often it is said that it is ‘its own country’, and this is I find to be true. It might just be thanks to the greatness of original people like Ted Kennedy, so I thank you Ted for helping shape my first home, among other things that you did while you graced us with your presence.
I whole-heartedly mourn the loss of one of Massachusetts’s, the world’s, and America’s greatest political minds of this century. Ted Kennedy, the world is a little darker now that you are gone. I had just heard as I fell asleep-I woke up in the middle of this night dreaming and hoping it was a just a bad dream….but it was not. So, I do bid you a fond farewell.

Peace, brother Ted-peace to you….always.

Poetic Rant –My life as a writer

To me-

On some days it all just looks like nonsense and other days it all looks like genius….but it always feels like a hot coal in my throat I have to spit it out or else….

I speak about my writing and no it doesn’t sound so inviting, but it is intriguing; almost like a seagull bleeding love for his mother.

It’s not always so inviting to hide under the guise of anonymity so jump in and take a swim-in the sea.

Be, swim, dream, scream-underwater like a David Byrne song. It’s something that sounds better when you’re alone.

End scene.

District 9-It’s more than meets the eye and the sky……

The summer blockbuster District 9 was a surprisingly interesting and original treat. You really have to check this film out-It’s kind of refreshing to see an original story after a summer of generic remakes. The most interesting thing….(and I am NOT giving anything away) is the treatment of ‘alien beings’; It really echoed the way Muslims and Arabs have been treated since the day after 9/11 and the words ‘Guantanamo Bay’ also pop into my head for some reason. The most obvious comparisons to the film’s treatment of aliens would obviously be to see the similarities to the way White Africans treated Black Africans during South Africa’s apartheid regime. This is obvious since it is a South African film, but still is an ingenius way of showing how inhumane we can be, and how maybe even aliens could be kinder than us….at this rate.

Check it out if you can…normally I try not to help promote films that have such a huge advertising budget…I go more for the Indy films as that’s my specialty and what I like, but this one is a real exception in many ways.

Radio Transmissions -Today’s thought of the day on creativity and the self.

Some days my creativity or creations seem like radio frequency transmissions that I am able to pick up and translate into something so very valid and real. On other days I just pick up those same transmissions and retransmit and or translate them again, but I don’t really know or understand the true nature or meaning of what I have created or recreated from those mysterious airwaves, and that’s okay.

This mystery of art sometimes still should be a mystery to all of us-that’s where the creative part steps in. Perhaps it might make one wonder and create something completely new and original from an afterthought or off shoot.

Life and art are a lifelong experiment I’m still the subject of, among other experiments that I won’t get into. This world we live in is lacking in radio receivers, or at least it feels that way-so try to give a listen to your inner radio transmission and turn it into something great or small.
Have a nice Sunday night. Take a walk or something.

Carmelo Valone’s Top ten lists for 2008:

Carmelo Valone’s Top ten lists for 2008:

Top ten films so far:

1. Milk (Best Actor/Picture pick)
2. Rachel getting Married (Best actress/screenplay pick)
3. Vicki Cristina Barcelona (Best supporting actress for Cruz pick)
4. The Wackness/Choke
5. Tell No One (French)(Best screenplay/foreign pick)
6. Son of Rambow (Uk)(Best screenplay pick)
7. Boy A (Uk)
8. Mongol (Mongolian)(Best Foreign pick)
9. The Dark Knight (Best Supporting actor for Ledger pick)
10. In Bruges (Uk)(Best Screenplay/supporting actor for Gleason pick)
11. The Vistor (This gets an honorable mention..possible best screenplay)

Why not Frost/Nixon? Even I am sick of political themed films and or stories. Give us a Presidential break.

Why not Synecdoche, New York? I am just sick of Charlie Kaufman’s similar story lines, i.e. internal dialogue comes to life. I don’t need to watch a film about low self-esteem to understand it. I was some how blessed with that ‘wonderful’ insight already. I have not seen it yet, but will try to give it a shot.

Unseen predictions:
I have not yet seen Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt,
and or The Wrestler but I expect great things from these films to join the ranks and win tons of awards.

Personally I have been waiting for Benjamin Button for a few years now. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button written by F Scott Fitzgerald, is incidentally my favorite short story by him.
I also think that David Fincher was ripped off for his lack of recognition for 2007’s brilliantly made Zodiac. Fincher’s last win was for the film Se7en. Maybe, this might be his year for another Oscar.

Television shows that might win and or are just great:

1. Dexter –The best show ever created.
2. True Blood-The best show about Vampires and or life on HBO in years.
3. Brotherhood-The family gets some bigger balls? How is that possible? It is.
4. Calfornication-Hank gets better with time. Personal growth? How about that.
5. Monk/Psyche –These shows you can depend on.
6. Life &Times of Tim –It’s the new Seinfeld.
7. Crash-Dennis Hopper’s great comeback.
8. Sons of Anarchy –This show is hit or miss episode-wise.
9. Damages-The best show not on TV.(January 2009!)

My own personal top ten movies about LA that never get any props or play anymore:

1. “Night watch” -Ewan Mcgregor when he did indie films.

2. “Big Lebowski”-The Dude- okay everyone loves it, and there’s good reason.

3. “Collateral” -LA is beautiful at night and finally someone captured it.

4. “The Black Dahlia” -A modern classic/mystery tale

5. The Original “Little Shop of Horrors” -Just to see Skid Row how it used to be-somewhat classy, yet still poor.

6. “The Sweet Smell of Success” -The pre-cursor to “La Confidential”. It’s shot in NYC but we all know its about LA.

7. “Born in East La”-An El Classico.

8. “The Salton Sea”-The tweeker has risen and fallen all in 2 hours. A great film. Val Kilmer was at the top of his game here.

9. “Magnolia” and “Crash”–Both are pretty mainstream but still pretty amazing.

10. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” –I see this story everyday.