Saturday, September 28, 2013

My To Do List.

Bouchercon is over.  Back to real life.

I have to prepare to teach a course in January. A full semester in one month.

I have to finish the next Kaldis book by December. 

I have to launch a two-month book tour in November for my just released book.

I have to go back to Mykonos to pick up my laundry.

I think a triage level decision is in order.  Okay, I’ve decided.   One must respect priorities.  Clean shorts count.  So, it’s back to Greece.  Today, in fact. 

Pavlos Fyssas
I was going to write something about Chrysi Avgi, aka Golden Dawn, aka Nazi thugs in Greece’s Parliament, but I thought I’d wait until I’m back in Greece to do that.  After all, a pack of them stabbed to death a young Greek hip-hop singer overheard criticizing their fascist movement—branded the most violent in Europe—in an Athens-area coffee shop.  The eavesdropper contacted his lead jackal who put out the word for the pack to attack him, and so they did.  Pavlos Fyssas (aka Killah P) is not the first to die at their hands, but he is the first Greek, and that seems to have galvanized the people…into to doing precisely what, we shall see.  Stay tuned.
Albany NY, in part
I also thought of writing something about my time at Bouchercon in Albany, but thought that might seem BSP or rather BBP— Blatant Bouchercon Promotion— as I was elected its national vice-chairman. (Yes, there’s “vice” in the title so I naturally qualified).  Frankly, I’m excited about it. The new Chairman, David Magayna, has a lot of good ideas, is easy to work with, and most important, hails from Pittsburgh.  Should be fun.  To tell the truth—hopefully not in photos—Albany was a blast from breakfast coffee to bar closing.  But how could it be otherwise with Cara, Yrsa, Lisa, Annamaria, and Stana all in their best form. [Note to Caro, we missed your vowel self.]

Perhaps I should extrapolate on the state of the world because since returning from Albany to NYC it’s been nothing but up close and personal views of the UN in action: massive traffic jams blocking everyone’s efforts to get anywhere any time soon.  Much like Athens…or Washington, DC.


Longer Pause.

Nahhh, how about if I post a few cartoons?  They come via Greece.  There still are folks over there with a sense of humor.

And for those looking for a bit of romance… 

Sorry about that, maybe next time.  I have a headache.



  1. Glad the time in Bouchercon was so uplifting and fun, so well-needed at this time. Surely, some reports will filter out to the masses about panels and such.

    I'd say the priority was to go to Mykonos.

    It's good you mentioned the killing of Pavlos Fyssas, only 34 years old who was courageous about standing up to the neo-fascists and paid the ultimate price.

    his death has galvanized thousands in Greece who marched together, people of all walks of life and political views, after his funeral.

    I hope that this unity and determination keeps up.

    It should also be mentioned that Golden Dawn attacked a group of other anti-fascists, many young people and labor unionists who were postering fliers for a festival. Golden Dawn attacked with nail-embedded weapons, meant to do damage. Nine people were hospitalized from the attack, including the president of the Metalworkers Union.

    The government should take action.


  2. Thanks, Kathy. The scope of Golden Dawn's violence is far broader than most realize. It is organized along military lines with operations governed by the directive "leave no trace" in order that accusations against them can be simply denied. After all, if they can get their followers to believe their denial of the Holocaust, they believe they can get away with practically anything sans hard evidence. But their criminal presence is real and cannot be ignored or tolerated by a civilized society aware of its own horrific history at the hands of Golden Dawn's heros, the Nazis.

  3. Like your cartoons. It sounds like you have an exciting time coming. Enjoy your time. You can rest in the Spring :)

  4. Golden Dawn is obviously the pustule on the rotting ass of a week-dead possum on the road to Hell.

    That aside, the 2nd to the last cartoon (the little girl's doll and teddy bear hitting the road from abandonment) was quite sad, and then the last cartoon (the crow waiting for his belle amour to appear from the cuckoo clock) brought a bittersweet smile to my lips. Touching.

    1. I'm glad I was done with dinner when I read your description of the boys in black. It does get the point across though.

      On the subject of cartoons, Everett, are you trying to convince me you have a least for neglected stuffed animals and fixated feathered fowl?

  5. Yes. The New York Times said Golden Dawn was the most violent ultra-right group in Europe, follows the Nazis' style.
    It also reported ties by many in the police force. Two top police officials were suspended in the wake of their ties becoming known. And the Times reported many other cops have ties to the thugs.

    Well, it's tough times in Greece. More public sector layoffs to come.

    Hope the unity and strength hold together that was exhibited after Fyssas's funeral.

    Anyway, look forward to Bouchercon reports -- anywhere.

    1. I should mention that the government has just come down hard on Golden Dawn, having arrested five of Golden Dawn's Members of Parliament, including the party's leader and several dozen others in connection with efforts to hold them accountable as members of a criminal enterprise (sort of like our RICO) and for murder. It appears this action has been long in the planning and the murder of Fyssas triggered the operation.

      We shall see...

      Bouchercon reports are all over the Internet, notably through Dorothy L posts over the past week.

  6. With regard to the Grim Reaper cartoon, I do believe in Germany they have a special name for young men on motorbikes. It roughly translates as 'organ donor'.

    1. We use the same phrase in the US, Caro. In Greece they're simply called bikers, because no one wears a helmet and for too many young Greek male bikers wheelies are their mating call. I suspect their success rate is about the same as the US construction workers' cat-calls.

  7. Jeff, you now qualify as the most original writer alive. You ARE a wonderful writer. We have seen that in your novels. But this post put you in a very special class. All of us strive to be distinctive, to say something no one else has said in quite the same way. But you have written a sentence that I am sure no one in the history of literature has ever even thought of saying. "I have to go back to Mykonos to pick up my laundry." Unforgettable!

    1. Gosh, gee whiz, Annamaria mou, you made me blush so much I really do need to get back for that laundry [punch coming line from different direction that appears] because your kind words have me jockeying for a brief, short ButVeryDefinitive reply. Thanks.:)

  8. Yes, just saw the news of the Greek government arrested leaders of Golden Dawn, including 5 MPs. Apparently, MP's have immunity, except for felonies. Smart idea.

    Hope they stay in jail and more are arrested.

  9. Congratulations, Jeff, or should I call you Mr. Vice? Wish I'd been along for the Albany adventure, but life planned otherwise for me. Will DEFINITELY submit to your governance in Long Beach, though!

    1. Thanks, Tim, and "Mr. Vice" works Nice. Has a certain Junior Bender ring to it.:) You were sorely missed in Albany, certainly no more so than by all your MIE mates. Hope to see you before LB.