Well, maybe you don’t know what that means… But many of the people who read this blog every day, follow me on Facebook. And if you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’ve been waiting all week for this day. Friday means Mr. Bill is coming home.
Bill has been looking forward to coming home as much as I’ve been waiting for him to get here. This particular business trip has been especially onerous for him, because he’s had to work overnights. He isn’t a night person at all. So I know he will be very glad to come back to the land of daylight… although it probably means he’ll have to recover all weekend.
I’m beginning to wonder if maybe it’s not time for Bill to change jobs. I think we’re both tired of the constant trips to Bavaria. But then I realize that what made this particular trip so tough is a pretty rare thing for him. Most of the business trips he does don’t require him to work overnights. He also gets paid very well to do what he does, and we aren’t in a hurry to move again. So, I guess we’ll suck it up… or, I will. Unless, of course, Bill decides he’s ready for a different position. For now, I probably should just focus on next month’s planned trip, which we are eagerly anticipating.
I haven’t been following the news much over the past few days, although I have heard some reactions to Trump’s “town hall” on CNN. Naturally, the press has been negative, as people are apparently just now waking up to the fact that Trump is a lying fascist who delights in molesting women. Some of us have known about this for years, though, and I didn’t need to sit through Trump on television to know what he is. I watched Beau of the Fifth Column’s video about the fiasco yesterday, and he pretty much called out Trump’s base…
The problem is, Donald Trump is not someone who takes direction. If he gets back in office, he will have no reason to rein in his worst impulses. It will be even more difficult to get him to leave, if he manages to survive the term. And the worst people will be championing him, which will be absolutely terrible for the country.
I’d like to think that we won’t make the same mistake twice and vote in the lying orange turd. But in 2016, I didn’t think he’d win, and he did. So I can’t relax, even though it does seem like more people have awakened to what a joke he is.
The other night, when I talked to my mom, she brought up Trump and, once again, reminded me how fortunate we are to not be in the United States right now. She said it’s really bad there. Even so, there’s a part of me that does want to go home, if only to see a few people I love. We were both happy that a jury held Trump responsible for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll. But of course, Trump will appeal, and his base are mostly disgusting people who refuse to see what is obvious, and/or just plain don’t care.
Looks like Anderson Cooper is doing damage control…
It sickens me that Republicans… so many of whom I know are not terrible people… are going to vote for this fucking asshole. It’s absolutely outrageous. I get being conservative, but PLEASE… let’s get someone decent to run. Let’s have someone who isn’t such a liar, abuser, and wannabe dictator. And no, I don’t mean Ron DeSantis. The United States is a huge country with so many educated people, some of whom have charisma. There’s got to be SOMEONE who can be president, other than Trump. He’s just a vile, despicable turd. We don’t need to re-elect an election denying insurrectionist to the White House. Let’s drop kick this piece of crap back to Florida, where he belongs.
Anyway… there’s no sense in getting too riled up about this, since there’s nothing I can do. Best to just be glad it’s Friday, and I won’t be hanging out alone tonight. I might even fall off the wagon again. We are having a wine stand tonight in our Dorfplatz, after all.
I’m having a terrible time coming up with a fresh topic today. I’m in the middle of reading a new book about the Kennedy family, and I just don’t have the stomach to cover what I’ve been reading about regarding politics. Every time I read a new headline about the Republican party, I feel more outraged. But I’ve already written so much about the current “hot button” issues, and I just don’t feel up to it today.
So, instead of writing something fresh, I’m going to repost this true crime piece I wrote October 19, 2018. It got a lot of hits on the original blog, so I know people were, at one time, interested in the case of Toni Fratto and Kody Cree Patten. I also remember that my take was a bit controversial with those in the know, so I will add the original comments.
If you choose to comment on this piece, please be civil, and please remember, most of it was written about five years ago. If it seems “wrong” or out of date, it may be because of that.
I was inspired by my recent reintroduction to Netflix yesterday and wound up spending a few hours binge watching a show called Deadly Women. I had seen it before, although the cases presented in the shows I watched yesterday were new to me. It always kind of amuses me that the narrators they use on shows about salacious crimes involving murder always sound like they’re oversexed or something. They also have “experts” who comment. One woman who is consistently featured on the shows has striking blue eyes and dark hair. She is a former FBI profiler. But she always sounds like she’s scandalized by some of the stories she analyzes.
So anyway, one of the episodes I watched involved a young Mormon woman from Nevada named Toni Fratto. Fratto’s religion wasn’t mentioned in the episode, but apparently, she was a very devout believer and Patten eventually converted to Mormonism so they could eventually marry in the temple. Patten even moved into Fratto’s family’s house after a particularly nasty fight with his father. Fratto’s family evidently felt they could help straighten out Patten and keep an eye on their daughter, who had informed them that she intended to marry Patten.
I found out about Fratto’s faith when I got curious and looked her up online. The British tabloid Daily Mail ran a story about Fratto’s sensational crime. In April 2012, Fratto and her boyfriend, Kody Cree Patten, were sentenced to prison for murdering Patten’s friend, 16 year old Micaela “Mickey” Costanzo. Fratto and Patten brutally murdered Costanzo on March 3, 2011.
As I was watching this show about Fratto and Patten, I was reminded of a somewhat similar situation that occurred in the 1990s. In 1995, David Graham and Diane Zamora were a Texas high school power couple with plans to attend military service academies and embark on high powered military careers. But then the two of them decided to commit murder one night. They killed 16 year old Adrianne Jones because Diane was extremely jealous of the pretty teen. She thought Adrianne was a romantic rival, particularly since David had told Diane that he’d had sex with Adrianne. When Diane found out that her boyfriend had cheated, she became enraged and felt compelled to kill Adrianne. She asked David to carry out the task and sadly, he obliged.
Fratto’s case was somewhat similar, except she and Patten weren’t necessarily a “power couple” in the making. Patten was apparently a troublemaker, while Fratto had apparently led a fairly quiet life. On the show, she was described and portrayed as “homely”. Patten had grown up with Costanzo; she was one of his “buddies”. According to Deadly Women, Fratto had become irrationally jealous of Mickey Costanzo.
Although Patten’s and Costanzo’s relationship had been platonic, Fratto was extremely insecure about the attention Patten paid to his friend, who was pretty, athletic, and described as “promising”. Mickey Costanzo also had a boyfriend, though Fratto was convinced that she was going to ruin her relationship with Patten. Despite Costanzo’s promises that she wasn’t interested in Patten romantically, Fratto refused to believe her, and continued to insult and threaten the girl. Fratto had repeatedly confronted Costanzo, telling her to “stay away” from her man, Kody Patten. Costanzo then decided she wanted nothing more to do with Patten, which apparently enraged him.
And yet, even though she was repeatedly harassing Costanzo about her friendship with Patten, Fratto had never been in trouble with the law. She had no criminal record when she and Patten kidnapped Costanzo, took her to the desert, beat her over the head with a shovel, and buried her in a shallow grave.
While Diane Zamora appears to have masterminded Adrianne Jones’ murder and David Graham had simply gone along with the idea, I think in this case, it was more Patten who got the idea to kill than Fratto. It appears that Patten got a charge out of playing on Fratto’s insecurities. He would deliberately set up situations that he knew would upset Fratto and cause her to react. Patten had a history of being a troublemaker, while Fratto was more of a “sheep”– this was actually how her attorney described her. Given what I know about Mormonism, I can see where that tendency would originate.
I even remember in 2014, watching BYU TV and hearing a Relief Society president giving a talk during that year’s spring General Conference. She was telling a disturbing anecdote about a farmer who had to train one of his ewes not to stray. The ewe would wander off from the herd by herself. So he tied the ewe to a stake until she learned not to stray. Then, once he freed her from the stake, the farmer had to coax her to move around again. The ewe had become submissive and compliant, and the Relief Society president’s message was that church members needed to be taught the same lesson.
With messages like that coming from a place of authority, I can see why Fratto might have been talked into helping her boyfriend commit murder. That’s not to say that I think all Mormons are “sheep”. It’s more to say that the religion does train people to be followers. I think in some cases, women are especially conditioned to follow the direction of their men, and that tendency can be exacerbated by untreated mental illness. Fratto apparently didn’t have a lot of experience with men and, for whatever reason, really thought she loved Patten. Later, she said that Patten had abused and controlled her throughout their relationship and she feared that if she didn’t help Patten kill Costanzo, she would be murdered herself. So instead of doing the right thing, she sat on Costanzo’s legs and helped hold her down while Patten slit the teen’s throat.
There could be some truth to Fratto’s story, although I also believe that Fratto was at least as dysfunctional and abusive as Patten. The fact that she could be talked into committing such an act of violence is a clue to her weakness of character. Would she have committed the murder on her own? I don’t know. But she was clearly lacking the moral fortitude to resist her own dark impulses.
To Fratto’s slim credit, she did eventually come forward to confess what she’d done. It was small comfort to Costanzo’s mother, who pleaded with the court to hand down a maximum sentence. Frankly, I can’t blame Mickey Costanzo’s mother for being so incredibly angry about the senseless and tragic murder of her child.
Fratto was eventually convicted of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. She was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 18 years. Since she was 19 when she was convicted, it’s possible that Fratto could be out of prison before she turns 40. As of August 2018, Toni Fratto was in Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Patten pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life without parole. He is at Ely State Prison in White Pine County, Nevada.
Edited to add in 2023: On April 4, 2021, Toni Fratto was denied parole. Her next chance to be paroled will be in May 2024. However, even if she had gotten parole in 2021, Fratto would still be locked up, as she has a second sentence that would begin for using a deadly weapon in the commission of second degree murder.
Listening to Toni Fratto on Anderson Cooper in the above clips, Toni Fratto sounds more to me like a psychopath. At the very least, she’s out of touch with reality, and the sheer horror of what she did. Listening to these interviews in 2023, I now believe that Toni Fratto was just as diabolical as Patten was. She is definitely where she belongs. How absolutely terrible it is that a beautiful and innocent young woman would lose her life due to these two criminals.
And here are the original comments:
AlexisAROctober 20, 2018 at 10:40 PM That Relief Society talk you described is beyond scary. A person would have to be virtually brain-dead even to read that talk from a teleprompter. Whoever wrote it is likely certifiable and should be locked up.
knottyOctober 20, 2018 at 10:57 PM I was horrified when I heard it.
Pcofwork January 21, 2019 at 5:32 AM I actually don’t agree with you. Toni and Kody had a history of aggressive behavior with Mickey. Toni initially confessed to being the one who slit her throat, I believe that the version she told to Kodys lawyer is close to the truth as we are ever going to get. Kody has shown remorse since he confessed to the police, all Toni has ever done is blame him. She didn’t even apologize to Mickey’s family. And she had more of a motive than he did.
knottyJanuary 22, 2019 at 5:03 PM Alright.
Chris Middleton February 6, 2019 at 3:01 AM Just a couple selfish, cold blooded pieces of shit! They took someone’s daughter! Hope they both rot in jail and then go straight to hell. I see she is eligible for parole in 2021, if she gets out, may people in their town take revenge on her cold Blooded ass!
I doubt many people have long awaited my thoughts on anything, let alone Prince Harry’s “tell all” book, Spare. I do have a few die hard regulars, though, so here’s my promised review of Harry’s controversial tome about life as the “spare” to the heir of the British crown. At this writing, Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne. When Harry was born to the Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles and Diana, September 15, 1984, he was third in line. Charles had famously joked about having an heir and a spare. Harry’s older brother, Prince William, and his lovely wife Catherine, now have three darling children, so the “spare” has lost some status… in terms of his royal rank, anyway.
For me, personally, it’s been awkward watching the fallout of their exile from the kingdom. I have never had a problem with Prince Harry. Before I read Spare, I didn’t know that much about him. I didn’t have a problem with Meghan Markle until I started paying closer attention to some of her behaviors. Regardless of how I might feel about either Harry or Meghan, or the two of them as a couple, they’re basically competent adults who should be allowed to chart their own course in life. My main issue with Harry and Meghan is that their actions don’t correspond with what they say. I kept hearing them talk about being hounded by paparazzi, and yet they seem very determined to be in the public eye.
Writing a tell all book about the secretive British Royal Family seems counterintuitive to the idea of avoiding the press. Harry has repeatedly expressed disgust for the press, and yet here he is, courting the press with a book that the Palace clearly didn’t want him to publish. My initial thoughts were that Spare was going to be a heartfelt “fuck you” to the British Royal Family. For the same reason, I have avoided watching their Netflix series. But then, although I continue to pay for Netflix, I hardly watch it anyway.
Originally, I wasn’t going to read Spare. I’ve grown tired of hearing about Harry and Meghan, and their constant complaints about the British Royal Family. I changed my mind when I happened to catch a video of CNN’s Anderson Cooper talking about Spare. It’s not even that I’m an Anderson Cooper fan. I just thought his comments about the book made it sound like something I’d want to read. So, on January 10th, I joined the many thousands of people who bought Harry’s book.
I finished reading Spare yesterday. Today– January 18, 2023– marks the third anniversary of the day when the Palace released the statement telling the world that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, would be “stepping back” from their official roles representing the Queen. For three years, Harry and Meghan have lived outside of the United Kingdom. The couple currently make their home in an expensive mansion in exclusive Montecito, California, where they live among A-list celebrities. They have two beautiful and reportedly healthy children. They also have gobs of money, even though the Palace has cut them off, as Harry bitterly complains. Still, as I read Spare, I found myself empathizing with Harry. He’s clearly a very troubled man. Trauma is a bitch for anyone, regardless of their station in life.
So… about the book…
Hiring a competent ghostwriter is one thing that Prince Harry did right when he decided to publish Spare. I think Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist, J.R. Moehringer, was the right man for the job. Moehringer seems to have a penchant for sentence fragments that ordinarily would have annoyed me. I get the sense that he used that style to capture the essence of Harry. By many accounts– apparently even Harry’s own– Prince Harry isn’t a reader. Although he went to “fancy” private British boarding schools, he does not excel at academics.
Harry was forced to act in the Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, to satisfy a graduation requirement at Eton College. It was an activity Harry didn’t particularly want to take part in, as he doesn’t share his father’s love of Shakespeare. Harry was much more a fan of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, a much shorter and more readable book with characters that were relatable to Harry. It’s been many years since I read that book myself, but it seems kind of inspired that Harry would relate so much to an American novel about an “odd couple” navigating life in 1930s California. So, although some readers don’t care for Moehringer’s fragmented writing in Spare, I think it makes sense. In fact, as I read the book, I could practically hear Harry in my head.
I found Spare very engaging and readable. At times it was funny for the right reasons. Moehringer manages to capture a charming and humorous side of Harry that makes him seem likable and “regular”. Other times I laughed for the “wrong” reasons. I went over some of them yesterday, in my post about why Meghan Markle makes my “N” chimes sound. There were more examples that I didn’t include in yesterday’s post. Sometimes, Harry just seemed incredibly naive and immature to me, especially given that he was an officer in the British Army.
Harry relates a story about taking Meghan to meet Fergie. She supposedly doesn’t know anything at all about the British Royal Family. Harry tells Meghan she must curtsy to the Queen and call her “Your Majesty” and “Ma’am.” Fergie demonstrates the curtsy once, and Meghan tries it. Then, when the big moment arrives, Meghan performs perfectly. Harry acts all amazed about this. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that maybe Meghan isn’t being truthful about not studying up on the British Royal Family.
It’s not like Meghan hasn’t told a whopper or two, since she first arrived on the royal scene. But, I suppose that’s what makes Harry so appealing to her. He takes her at her word and never questions her. I think Harry’s apparent blind loyalty to Meghan is what seems to upset Prince William so much. William is the heir to the throne, and his station in life depends on maintaining the status quo. Some British people would like to see the end of the British Royal Family, so their survival depends on people toeing the line. Meghan hasn’t been obeying protocol, so of course that upsets the powers that be.
Harry is firmly on Meghan’s side, and doesn’t seem to think she can do wrong. That even applies to her curtsy, which she apparently learned on the fly, just before meeting Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. As frustrating reading as that might be for me, I think it’s an authentic aspect of Prince Harry’s personality. So kudos to Mr. Moehringer for managing to capture that so expertly. His role as a ghostwriter is to make the book seem like it came straight from the source. I think he succeeded.
And the content?
There are some parts of Spare that I genuinely enjoyed reading. I found Harry’s descriptions of exotic places in Africa enchanting, especially when he meets wild animals in Botswana. I liked reading about Harry’s Army training, especially since my husband is an Army veteran. It was fun sharing some of Harry’s insights with Bill, who could relate and expand upon Harry’s comments. There are some aspects of military service that transcend all nations.
Other parts of Spare were more annoying to me. As I mentioned yesterday, I find some of Meghan’s behaviors triggering and all too familiar. Like, for instance, before Harry and Meghan were married, and Meghan was showing Harry how to roast chicken. He’d never done it before, nor had he ever been exposed to the music of Nina Simone or, one of my favorites, James Taylor. During that evening, Meghan evidently made a comment that came across as an offensive “crack”. Harry describes it thusly:
This was a passage that triggered me, mainly because my husband’s ex wife tried to convince him that he “hated women” and needed intensive therapy. Now… I’m not saying that either Bill or Harry didn’t need therapy. In fact, for as long as I’ve known him, I’ve encouraged Bill to speak to someone besides me about his trauma. I’m happy to report that he finally did seek therapy from a Jungian analyst. But it was entirely in his own time, when he was ready to do it. He chose his own therapist and therapeutic model. It’s been very successful and rewarding for Bill.
When I read the above passage, I hear Harry taking all of the blame for what happened in that situation. Meghan implies that Harry is a damaged soul, and if he doesn’t seek therapy, she’s going to dump him. It was the same threat my husband got from his ex wife. Of course, in Bill’s case, Ex’s decision to dump him was a huge blessing. But, at the time, Ex’s declaration that he was a dangerous misogynist was not only totally untrue, but extremely damaging and traumatizing for Bill. She really had no right to do that. Neither did Meghan have the right to insist that Harry see a therapist.
I think Meghan knew very well that Harry was, and still is, totally smitten by her. I have a hard time believing that if the situation were reversed and Harry felt that Meghan was disrespectful to him, she would take kindly to being ordered into psychotherapy. Therapy works best when it’s approached voluntarily. Ideally, people should seek therapy as a means of helping themselves, not because they’ve been threatened or bullied into treatment. Moreover, when a person is coerced into seeking mental health care, it can set up a narrative that the person is somehow “unstable” or even “sick”, which can later be weaponized.
Therapy probably has been helpful for Harry, if only because the therapist told him that she thinks part of Harry is trapped in 1997, which is when he lost his mother, Diana. He’s obviously still traumatized by losing his mother at such a young age. The trauma was such that he’d forgotten a lot of things about his youth. Harry reports that therapy has helped him recover some memories, some of which have been pleasant. Therapy has also helped Harry cry, which I’m sure helps him process his 25 years of profound grief. For years, Harry believed his mother was still alive, but in hiding. Now he accepts the truth.
Some of the sob stories kind of made me queasy…
I know some of my readers follow my personal Facebook page. They’ve seen some of the passages I’ve shared there. Yesterday, after noticing how many times Harry found Meghan “sobbing” and inconsolable, I decided to share brief snippets related to the sobbing incidents with friends. Most of my friends got where I was going with sharing about all the sobbing. I had some trouble reconciling the reports of Meghan’s “sob stories” with Meghan’s image of being “tough”, independent, and assertive. There were so many “sob stories” that I don’t want to share them here. Suffice to say, it was very noticeable and bordered on oversharing.
Early in their relationship, Meghan got food poisoning because she ate bad calamari. Harry writes about holding her hair while she vomits. I’m sure that sharing this anecdote is supposed to convey Harry’s deep love and concern for Meghan, but again, it verges on oversharing. Ditto to Harry’s long winded stories about getting frostbite on his penis, as well as the disclosure that he and William were circumcised. On the plus side, it was the first time I’d seen the word “todger” used outside of the Monty Python number, “Penis Song”.
There’s also some controversy over Harry’s discussion of his military service in Afghanistan. Harry claims that he killed 25 members of the Taliban. Sharing that number was probably ill advised, especially if he’s truly concerned about his and his family’s personal safety. On the other hand, it really is too bad he couldn’t stay in the military. It seemed to suit him.
Some of Harry’s complaints are valid…
Even though he’s currently sixth in line to the throne, Harry was expected to ask his grandmother’s permission to marry the woman of his choice. Somehow, in spite of his upbringing, no one ever explained to him that Queen Elizabeth had to approve of his wife. When Harry awkwardly approached his Granny, she left him unsure of whether or not she’d actually approved of the union, even though she had clearly said “yes” to his request. That’s certainly a dilemma that most “normal” people never have to face. I do wonder, given what’s happened, if Queen Elizabeth II ever regretted giving Harry her permission to marry Meghan.
A lot of people might have some trouble mustering much sympathy for Harry and Meghan, but I do think there is some validity to some of their complaints. Besides the obvious lack of privacy and safety risks faced by all famous people– not just the Royals– Harry makes the case that he was kind of infantilized. At the end of his book, he writes:
At another part of the book, he writes:
Here’s this guy, who from birth, was expected to support the monarchy and raised to do what he was told. For that privilege, he enjoyed every material luxury he could ever want. When Harry dared to try to make decisions for himself, he suffered reprisals. Harry was essentially cut off from all he knew, with no room for compromise. Making matters worse was the fact that people who weren’t in the family got a say– the Bee, the Wasp, and the Fly, three advisors to the Queen, were heavily involved in the decisions regarding Harry’s and Meghan’s departure from official service to the Crown.
It reminded me of my husband’s former stepson, who at age 21, demanded that Bill continue to send him $850 a month in “child support”. He sent Bill an email demanding “timely payments” of the money. Legally, Bill wasn’t even his father, and he had a perfectly just cause for cutting off the support. When it was clear to former stepson that Bill wouldn’t acquiesce to his demands, the young man made one last pathetic plea for a final payment of $500, with the promise that he’d never “bother” Bill again. It was very embarrassing and heartbreaking for Bill to get that email. And, on some level, I’m sure it was humiliating for ex stepson to send it. That incident taught me that “helping” adult children too much often does them a disservice.
Likewise, Harry sounds humiliated as he complains about being financially dependent on his father. I don’t think Harry had a choice in the matter, even though he says he “agreed” to support the monarchy. The monarchy clearly expected Harry to loyally support it by all means. Because Harry’s life was mapped from birth, he was not taught certain essential life skills. That’s a poor reflection on his family. They should have prepared him better.
However, Harry is now a 38 year old man, a husband, and a father of two. Many people are ready for him to grow up and take responsibility for himself. Yes, he’s missed out on learning a lot of skills he should have learned decades ago. It’s past high time for him to pull himself together and catch up with his peers.
I, for one, am ready for Harry to stop complaining about money. Even if his father cut him off, his mother left him millions. He and Meghan could certainly buy a home somewhere less expensive than Montecito and live life independently. Hell, they might have enough money left over to pay for the security they say they need. They could live almost anywhere. That’s a freedom that most people will never know. And while writing this book is going to potentially cost Harry his family, it will also make him a lot of money. So now is the time for Harry to learn how to manage his affairs and act like the grown ass man that he is.
A lot of people seem to think Harry is a bit “thick”. Some have even called him stupid. I don’t think Harry is stupid. To me, he seems gullible, naive, and surprisingly immature about some things. For instance, he used up all the laughing gas intended for Meghan when she was giving birth to Archie. Besides being immature, that seems pretty inconsiderate to the woman whose hair he’d once held back as she puked up British squid. I’m sure Harry presented that anecdote to be funny– just as he wrote extensively about his frostbitten pecker. But even though it was kind of funny, it also revealed a childish, sophomoric aspect to Harry’s personality that may later prove to be embarrassing. Hopefully, he will evolve some more in that department, too.
Spare was worthwhile reading for me. I think the book will help me spawn a lot of content, if nothing else. I have mixed impressions of Harry’s story. Overall, I think he needs to grow up and get wise. But I also have some empathy for him. His situation is very unusual, and perhaps it does present a case for doing away with the British monarchy. Or, at least, maybe some changes need to be made in the way the highest royal family members raise their children.
Harry’s situation is unique, in that he lost his mother at such a young age, and she was an extraordinary woman who was world renowned. Her death was, in part, directly caused by being hounded by the press. But it also happened because Diana’s driver was drunk, and drove recklessly at excessive speeds. Diana also wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when the car crashed. Harry seems to overlook that part of the story as he blames the press for all that is wrong in the world.
In any case, I recommend Spare to the interested. I will probably seek out more books written by J.R. Moehringer. He did a fantastic job writing Harry’s story.
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Fair warning… this is a highly inappropriate post. Some people who read this will think I’m “crazy”. I don’t really care. I have to write about this stuff, or else I’ll drive Bill nuts. Feel free to keep scrolling. I would, if I were you. 😉
As I type today’s blog post, a brilliant song by Lyle Lovett is playing. It comes from his 1994 album, I Love Everybody. I have loved Lyle’s music for a long time now, having discovered him in Armenia. It was Mormons who introduced me to his brilliance. In my Peace Corps group, there was a very cool Latter-day Saint couple. They lived in Yerevan with me; she taught English, and he worked at the airport, as he had worked for Boeing before he was a Volunteer.
One time, they had a potluck lunch, and I was invited. As always, I was tuned into the music more than the conversation. A song called “Since The Last Time”, which was from 1992’s Joshua Judges Ruth, was playing. I immediately loved it, and asked who was singing. They said, “Lyle Lovett.” At that time, I wasn’t familiar with Lyle Lovett, but I vowed that I would further explore his genius when I had the chance.
When I got back to the United States in 1997, I started buying Lyle’s music. I had already bought most of the albums he’d released before I finally discovered Joshua Judges Ruth. Before that happened, I bought I Love Everybody. On that album is the great song, “Creeps Like Me”. Check out Lovett’s witty lyrics…
I wear grandmother’s ring On my finger On my finger She had a tooth of gold And just before she died She said son You can have my tooth But do I Really have to go
Look around And you will see This world is full of creeps like me You look surprised You shouldn’t be This world is full of creeps like me
And I keep my uncle Leon In my closet In my closet There don’t nobody know Just me and uncle Leon And my closet And they wonder Where’d that old man go
Look around and you will see This world is full of creeps like me You look surprised You shouldn’t be This world is full of creeps like me
And I knew this pretty girl once She was eighteen Maybe What’s a year or two And one day when she asked me If I loved her I said baby What’s it worth to you
But look around And you will see This world is full of creeps like me You look surprised You shouldn’t be This world is full of creeps like me
And I wear grandmother’s ring On my finger On my finger She had a tooth of gold She had a tooth of gold She had a tooth of gold
I admire Lyle Lovett for so many reasons. He’s a great musician, of course. I also like him because he’s sharp, funny, and observant. Look at how he says so much with just a few words. In “Creeps Like Me”, he’s describing sociopathic jerks who exploit other people for their own purposes. These words are set to a catchy melody played on guitar… Maybe I’ll have to learn it.
Bill and I have had exposure to a whole lot of “creeps”, both as single people, and as a married couple. The biggest creep, in my opinion, is his ex wife. She probably isn’t the biggest creep in terms of what she’s done to humanity as a whole. But, her delusional, mean-spirited, spiteful behavior has affected us the most in a personal sense. She doesn’t seem to see what a creep she is, either. Or she won’t admit to it. Today’s Twitter extravaganza offers ample evidence.
I’ve been reading Prince Harry’s book, Spare. I didn’t originally plan to read the book, but I changed my mind when I heard Anderson Cooper’s comments about it. So far, I’m glad I’m reading it, because it’s truly been enjoyable. The ghost writer, J. R. Moehringer, is very talented and has done a great job channeling Harry’s voice. Yes, there are some errors in the manuscript. Like, for instance, he writes of Harry getting an Xbox as a birthday gift from his mother after she died in 1997. The Xbox didn’t come out until 2001 in the United States, and 2002 abroad. I believe Diana bought Harry a PlayStation. I seem to remember that was even reported in the press at the time.
Ex is a big fan of the British Royal Family. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as she keeps insisting that she’s descended from a famous Highland Scottish family (bullshit). Even before she claimed to be the descendent of Scottish lairds, Ex reportedly worshiped Diana, Princess of Wales. Bill tells me Ex was crushed when Diana died on August 31, 1997. I think Ex aspires to be extraordinary, like Diana was. Alas, as Lyle’s song goes, she’s just an ordinary creep. There are lots of creeps like her in the world. She seems blind to the fact that she’s a creep, too.
Today, on Ex’s very public Twitter account, there’s a veritable cornucopia of Ex’s hypocritical thoughts on the current issues caused by Prince Harry’s bombshell book. It started a couple of hours ago, when someone shared a 2019 era photo of Queen Elizabeth II with William and Kate on their way to church.
The above post isn’t so outrageous, although Ex is, herself, a master at spreading half truths and outright lies. A lot of people do miss Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, though. But then Ex slips headlong into incredible hypocrisy and delusion…
Ex writes, “Blackmail is not the way to revive familial ties that have been strained to the breaking point.” And yet, she’s a big fan of blackmail, manipulation, lies, and threats in her personal relationships. She has three children who were FORCED to “divorce” their bio dads after her marriages to them broke up. She made them change their last names. Ex may have even coerced Bill’s daughters into being legally adopted by her shithead third husband. Not once did she try to work things out with Bill so that he could stay in his daughters’ lives when they were growing up. She just took his money, lied to him, and exposed them to abuse! Then she got his daughters to disown him and didn’t even have the decency to tell him. To this day, we don’t even know if Bill is still legally their father!
Where did Ex get all of this brilliant insight about interpersonal relationships? And why doesn’t she practice what she preaches? I just can’t even… I shake my head at this, even though I’ve seen a lot of shit from her over the years that makes me cringe. This woman is not living in reality.
The extravaganza continues, as Ex ponders further…
I haven’t made it a secret that I don’t like Meghan much myself. I see a lot of Ex in her. She seems manipulative to me, and I’m troubled by how many people in her family are estranged. Ex is a LOT like Meghan. Yet, here she is on Twitter, denouncing her soul sister. Ex tells lies with astonishing skill, and she’s constantly on the grift. In spite of what she posts publicly, her children were raised in extreme dysfunction. But if you were to go on what she’s posting on Twitter, you’d think she was a goddamned saint! And not a Latter-day Saint, either… although that’s the church she coerced her family into joining, until the church members were “too helpful” to her children.
Next, she offers an analysis on whether or not the Royals want Harry “back”… and “wisdom” about what royal life entails. Like she fucking knows from personal experience… 😀
I almost wonder if Ex’s comments are more about her own situation. I know a couple of her children had “flown the coop”. She’s been upset because they are speaking out about the way she treated them. She’s even enlisted her indoctrinated children to try to bring them back to the fold. Fortunately, they have their own children they wish to protect and are wise to the manipulative bullshit. I know Ex would love to have them “back”, in spite of their “troublemaking”. I think it’s too late, though. They’ve escaped the FOG. Once a person does that, there’s usually no going back.
Then she gets off the British Royal Family and answers the random tweet of someone who wants to know something deep…
My husband still bears physical and emotional scars from his time with this woman. It took years for us to recover from the financial disasters wrought from his time with her. I don’t have children of my own, mainly because she’s a selfish, greedy, hateful bitch with no sense of responsibility. She has incredible gall to be trying to present herself as some kind of selfless mensch. It’s truly flabbergasting to me. But, again, it’s not like I haven’t seen it before. The world is full of creeps like her.
And finally, a tweet about her fantasy man… and a comment about what she says she wants in a person, but is unwilling to give of herself.
I know that Ex is far from the only person who is like this. Last night, I talked to another person who is blinded by her own narcissistic proclivities. She sees herself as an empath! She’s definitely NOT an empath, although I don’t think she’s nearly as toxic as Ex is. But then, I make a point of not engaging with her very much anymore, because of all of the incidents that occurred in the past. I’ve had to walk on eggshells around her a lot. One of the reasons I’ve been in Germany for so long is because I don’t want to deal with these people anymore. It’s a plus to have an ocean separating us.
Still, it blows my mind just how out of touch with reality Ex is about herself. She says the right things… but when it comes down to it, she doesn’t put actions into her words. If she did, Bill would still have good relationships with his daughters and his ex stepson. She wouldn’t be trying to manipulate people in Bill’s family into giving her money and things. There would be a lot less lying and selfishness. And poor younger daughter wouldn’t have nightmares when she has to talk to her own mother!
Anyway, I hope to finish reading Spare very soon. I look forward to reviewing it.
I am reposting another book review. This one was originally written for Epinions.com on August 21, 2012. I reposted it on the old blog on May 4, 2014, and am posting it as/is again today, because Sarah Burge’s infamous and embarrassing turn on Anderson Cooper came up this morning over breakfast.
Today’s review is dedicated to Epinions’ own vicfar, an Italian American who thinks America is full of “weird-o-rama” people. (I remember Vic got terribly offended when I referred to him as “Italian American”, even though he is both Italian and an American citizen. He doesn’t like being compared to the so-called “guido” stereotypes, I guess.)
A few weeks ago, I happened to catch an episode of Dr. Phil, a pop psychologist whose television show is kind of like a trainwreck. When I watch Phil McGraw, I often end up yelling at the TV. However, sometimes watching Dr. Phil is good for book recommendations, especially since I really enjoy reading about people who have “issues”. And Sarah Burge, who along with Derek Clements authored the book, The Half a Million Pound Girl (2011), certainly qualifies as a person with “issues”. I have Dr. Phil to thank for introducing me to Burge’s story, which sort of defines the term “charlie foxtrot”. If you have any ties to the military, I probably don’t have to define what “charlie foxtrot” means. Since it’s a somewhat profane euphemism, I’ll leave it up to your imagination if you don’t know.
Who is Sarah Burge?
Sarah Burge is a British woman has had lots of cosmetic surgery done. She is also the sister of the late actor, Trevor Goddard, who had a role on the hit television show, JAG. Burge was born with ears that stuck out, a defect she had always been ashamed of. So, since her childhood, she had always wanted plastic surgery.
Burge is also a victim of domestic violence, which was perpetrated at the hands of a man who beat and raped her. The man beat her so badly that she needed plastic surgery to repair all the damage he did to her face. Oddly enough, Burge later married this man and bore his daughter, her second child of three by three different men. She claims she hated him, yet she still married him. And now their daughter, Hannah, also apparently hates him.
Burge claims that the surgery done after the attack, courtesy of Britain’s National Health Service, wasn’t to her standards; so she visited one of London’s best private plastic surgeons. Since then, Sarah Burge has made a career out of being “a human Barbie”. Over the past 20 years, she has had over 100 cosmetic procedures done, many of which were free of charge, as she has served as free advertising for certain British plastic surgeons. Burge claims that the work she has had done is worth about a half a million British pounds, hence the title of her book. Burge also serves as a consultant to people who want to have surgery done. She claims that she is able to point them toward the best person to do the job, as it were, for the money they are able to spend. Her services are free to those looking for surgery; if they actually follow through and get procedures done, the surgeons supposedly give Burge kickbacks.
Besides showing up on Dr. Phil, Burge has also been on Anderson Cooper. On a show that aired May 22, 2012, Cooper allegedly told Burge “I try to be really polite to all my guests. I think you’re dreadful and I honestly don’t want to talk to you anymore.” Burge responded by leaving the set. Burge also made headlines in 2010 because she taught her then six year old daughter, Poppy, how to pole dance. This year, Burge made headlines for offering the same daughter, now eight, $11,000 worth of plastic surgery for her birthday.
If you’re looking for a “weird-o-rama” story, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a weirder subject to read about than Sarah Burge. I found her story, which is written in a conversational first person voice, to be alternately shocking and sickening. She comes across as “barking mad”, as well as more than a bit narcissistic… one of those people who is superficially pleasant and charming, but underneath is entirely fake.
I get the sense that Sarah Burge must have suffered some very severe traumas that have forced her to try to become someone else. While I could probably muster some pity for her if she weren’t a mother of three, I have to admit that I’m somewhat horrifed for her daughters. Really, I try to keep an open mind when it comes to people raising their children, but because I am the second wife of someone who was previously married to a nutcase, I have to admit to being biased when I see parents who treat their children like moldable extensions of themselves.
I was truly disgusted to read about how Sarah Burge was raped and beaten to a pulp by her second husband and then chose to marry the man and have his baby. She later proudly proclaims that her daughter, Hannah, has disowned her father. While Hannah’s decision is certainly understandable, I can’t wrap my head around why Sarah Burge chose to make a man she claims is a brutal monster the biological father of the child she claims to love. Seems to me that if you really love your children, you make a concerted effort to find both the best partner for yourself and the best co-parent for them, and then allow that person to be involved in the child’s life. But anyway, Sarah Burge apparently isn’t concerned about the quality of at least one of her children’s fathers. Sadly, her daughter has had to pay for it. Burge has said that most men are not able to keep up with her, but I guess being a rapist and a brute is still, in some way, a turn on for her.
Aside from my shock and dismay over Sarah Burge’s life story, I will admit that The Half a Million Pound Girl is quite readable and, in some ways, even kind of fascinating in a grotesque way. I think Derek Clements did a good job ghost writing this book. And, to vicfar, I’d also like to point out that Sarah Burge is a Briton, not an American.
I’m not sure if I would like Sarah Burge as a person, but I will admit her story is interesting in a trainwreck/tabloid sort of way. If you like weird-o-rama stories as much as I do, you might enjoy The Half a Million Pound Girl, though I really think all the time and money Sarah Burge has spent on plastic surgery probably would have been more wisely spent on psychotherapy. As one commenter wrote on an article about Burge, she is quite “whore-ifying”…
And here’s her clip on Anderson Cooper. Anderson always strikes me as pleasant, fair, and polite, but he’d had enough of Sarah Burge and kicked her off his show!
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