Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cat Bauer FIRED as Cinderella in Venice British Panto 2010! Panto Venezia

(Venice, Italy) That image you see is of me performing the part of Fairy Bow Bells in the Pantalon Players British Panto, Dick Whittington, back in January, 2008.

In fact, I wrote a blog about the peculiar tradition called "British Pantomime Theatre" exactly a year ago to this day, last January 10, 2009.

Click to read that blog: British Pantomime in Venice

Okay. Did you click over to read what I wrote about British Panto? You did? Good. Then you will know a bit about this tradition, where men dress up as women, and women dress up as men, and that I played the title role of Aladdin in the very first production, way back in 2002, in the company that eventually began calling themselves The Pantalon Players.

In 2007, I was the poor but kind-hearted woodcutter, Robin Goodsort in Mother Goose. In that production, the Evil Count, Sir Jasper Grasper, was played by John-Henry Bowden, the former Priest-in-Charge of the St. George’s Venice Chaplaincy from 2004 to 2009 -- and, yes -- the very person who assaulted me before the Sunday service at St. George's Anglican Church this past July 19, 2009! (I found that photo of John-Henry Bowden on the British Consul's page:


Almost immediately after writing that blog, I received two bizarre emails. One email I will discuss in the future (May 29, 2011 - see below). The other was from Laurie Graham, the director and writer of Cinderella, the Pantalon Players' 2010 production in which I was to play the title role. The email basically said that I was fired.

Subject: pantomime
> Date: Sunday, 26 July, 2009, 9:10 AM

> Dear Cat

> I just read your latest blog.
> Pantomime is an ensemble piece and good relations within
> the company are paramount, so when I cast you as Cinderella for 2010 I
> did so with some reservations. There were several occasions during the
> 2008 production when you were at best difficult and at worst abusive.
> Nevertheless I wished to keep you in the company and trusted your
> behaviour would have improved.
> Now, having so publicly vilified John-Henry, you have crossed a line
> I cannot ignore. The role of Cinderella will now be filled by an
> understudy.
> I wish you the very best through your present troubles.


I received that email during my lowest point when Cleopatra, my cat, and I were literally starving and out on the street as the locks had been changed on the front door of my apartment building and at St. George's Anglican Church where I had been staying. (That image is not me, but it gives you the idea of how Cleo and I looked when we slept in Campo San Vio the night that John-Henry Bowden refused to open St. George's Church -- we literally "slept" on the ground. Or, to be more accurate, I slept on the ground while Cleo crawled into a long cement tube -- I had to plead with her for about an hour to come out). On the night I read the email, Cleo and I were sleeping in a youth hostel. Access to the internet was difficult if not impossible, my cell phone had been blocked, and no one could call me from the United States. I wrote that blog about John-Henry Bowden because I had no other method of communicating with the outside world and I was terrified.

To me, normal behavior on the part of a normal human being would be to email and ask if I was okay, and was there anything she could do to help -- not to do what Laurie Graham did and send me a note firing me as Cinderella, accusing me of alleged "difficult" and "abusive" behavior! What sense does that make?  What about the behavior of an Anglican Priest-in-Charge who smashes a woman in a door right before church service, hollering "you must have the devil inside" at the top of his lungs? In fact, at the time I received the email, I was so preoccupied with surviving that I filed it in the basement of my mind. Looking back, I remember exactly where I was when I read it -- at the youth hostel, using the computer of one of the students to quickly scan my email. Reading it now, to me, it seems like part of a strategy -- a preemptive strike, accusing me of the very behavior that John-Henry Bowden was guilty of. Making unsubstantiated accusations in an email, as Laurie Graham did, is nothing concrete. On the other hand, I have witnesses,  medical reports from the hospital due to the bruises he left, and a police report. (I have since been told by the wife of a British diplomat that they feel they do not have to compensate me for anything.)

Prior to that email, the last time I had seen Laurie was at a luncheon on Saturday, May 30, 2009, which she had given to thank her friends for their support during the difficult period she had during the brain surgery of her husband, Howard Fitzpatrick. He was supposed to go in for a quick surgery for a cyst, and ended up in critical condition in intensive care. Even though I was having my own problems at that time (they originally tried to evict me on May 20th), I kept in contact with Laurie as much as I could, and was ready to go up to the hospital in Treviso if she needed me there. In fact, during the luncheon, Laurie had put her arms around me and hugged me. Another cast member had gotten something stuck in his throat, and was choking, gasping for breath, and I helped get it out. I remember Laurie said to him, "I will leave you with Nurse Bauer." To go from that tender moment, to a nasty email... I still cannot make the leap. Something else must have happened in between, even though Laurie claims it did not.

I didn't see Laurie again until this October. When I saw in my agenda that the Cinderella panto rehearsal was scheduled for October 24, 2009, I called Laurie on the phone. She was antagonistic, the same way that so many people have been antagonistic towards me for absolutely no reason. She said I was most definitely fired. I said it make no sense, and asked who she had spoken to. She said no one. She said that John-Henry Bowden was someone that she "deeply respected" and that he was coming back to Venice specifically to perform in the panto, and that there was no way I could be on the stage with him after what I wrote.

I then called her back and said, "I want to be very clear. You are firing me from being Cinderella because of something I wrote on the Internet?" Laurie said, "Yes." I said, "You are a writer! That's censorship!" Laurie said, "Oh, please," and that she was busy and got off the phone.

After I recently, finally got back into my apartment, I realized it was as if a pack of hyenas had gained up on me. I slowly got back my strength, and started organizing my thoughts. On December 9, 2009, I finally sent off this email to Laurie Graham in response to the email she had sent me:

Dear Laurie Graham,

This is to confirm our two telephone conversations on October 23, 2009, in which you stated that the reason you "fired" me from being Cinderella was because of a blog I had written on July 24, 2009, regarding the physical assault upon my person by the Anglican Chaplain, John-Henry Bowden, an excerpt of which follows:

"Cleopatra and I were sleeping in the Anglican Church of St. George until those locks, too, were changed without notifying me. Cleo and I slept in the Campo of San Vio in front of St. George's Church on the night of July 18th, morning of July 19th. When I called the Chaplain, John-Henry Bowden at 2:00AM on Sunday and begged him to let us in, he said, "Have a good night." The next morning, John-Henry Bowden physically slammed the side church door on my right arm and leg in front of several witnesses right before church service. After going to the hospital and being physically examined, I went to the police and denounced Bowden, and the entire Chaplaincy Council, as I was informed by Hilary Wild, the Secretary of the Council, that the Council itself decided to change the locks without informing me with my possessions locked inside."

I sorted through my email and found the email you had written dated July 26, 2009 after reading my blog, which is below. Due to the continuing attempts to defame and undermine my character, I request that you list, in writing, the instances where I was "abusive" during the 2008 production, together with dates and witnesses.

Also, during our telephone conversation, you said I used "foul language" in front of the children. Again, please state, in writing, the alleged "foul language"I am accused of using, and to which child and/or children this alleged "foul language" was directed.

As my editor will inform you, I am extremely cautious about using "foul language" in the books I write for young people, and take these allegations very seriously.

Yours truly,

Catherine "Cat" Bauer

Cat Bauer
San Polo 622
30125 Venice, Italy

As of today, January 10, 2010, I have had no reply to that email. 

To try to understand the reason behind their behavior, I recently read the blogs of Laurie Graham, and her husband, Howard Fitzpatrick, owner of Venice Art Tours. First, I was surprised to discover their strong political views. I was also surprised to discover they had lost the regular theatre in Campo Santa Margherita because the price had quadrupuled. I was even more surprised to discover that this past October they had rented Villa Saracena, a Palladian villa in Vicenza for an overnight rehearsal and a black tie dinner. See Howard Fitzpatrick's blog: A Dark Day

In Howard Fitzpatrick's words: 

Anyway, this past weekend our budget permitted us to rent a Palladian Villa, called Villa Saracena, near Vicenza for us to practice some dancing and rehearse a few scenes and also get to know each other better.

The villa has hundreds of rooms and lovely dining and living rooms, all in Palladian style.  Frescos abounding. It's available for holidays - contact the National Trust which has dozens of similar grand properties available. We practiced our dance numbers in the ballroom seen below.

I also read Laurie Graham's blog, in which she complained about the bureaucrats at Ca' Foscari University after they raised the rent of the theatre:

When you're a nine-to-fiver, shuffling papers and bearing no personal responsibility for delays or errors, raising an obstacle is about as creative as you can get. I know because I was once a bureaucrat myself. And I'll confess that it used to bring a little pleasure to my dreary day to throw a form back at a solicitor's clerk and say, 'Take it away, you illiterate chancer, and try again.' Maybe this is payback time.

I have never been a bureaucrat, and I had no idea as to their level of creativity -- I would not even use the term "creative" to describe such behavior! To me, raising an obstacle is not the least bit creative. It is destructive; there is nothing noble about it, and that Laurie publicly confesses her "pleasure" at doing such a thing is a shocking character flaw I did not know she had. More from Laurie:

And as for those Ca Foscari bureaucrats, who mugged us and left us for dead... well, recovery may be the best revenge, but I'm not done with them yet. I think I feel a press conference coming on. 

Last Sunday, I saw Laurie Graham at a private social gathering. I said that what they had done was pure evil. I said, "You are threatening to hold a press conference? Well, I am going to come, and the first question I am going to ask is: 'Why are you complaining about the price of the theatre going up if you have enough money to rent a Palladian Villa for an overnight rehearsal -- with dinner -- for sixteen people? How much did that cost?'" Laurie made a zero sign with her index finger and thumb and said, "Nothing. We have friends." I said, "Really? I am happy to know that you have such important friends! Who are they?" Laurie replied, "None of your business."

Of course that response piqued my curiousity. Now, if we google "Villa Saracena Vicenza," we will arrive at a British charity called The Landmark Trust, the organization that owns the Palladian Villa where -- according to Howard Fitzpatrick -- the Pantalon Players, another charitable organization, had their black-tie dinner, dance lessons, and overnight get-to-know-ya session. Apparently The Landmark Trust was founded by the late British Conservative MP, Sir John Smith, and his wife, Lady Smith. Since October, 2009 is past, I discovered that the price for October, 2010 is 2,130 British pounds for three nights, or $3,420, or 2,370 euro. Hhhmmm....... Even if we divide that by three, how does one charitable organization give another charitable organization such a gift for free? And what did they have for dinner?

Even more alarming is that other members of the "Pantalon Players" have been antagonistic to me to this very day and I have no idea whatsoever why. Also last Sunday, one member told me it was not a conspiracy, and not political, and only paranoia. Strange words to say when I never said such a thing! Well, I have nothing at all to hide, so I have no problem in stating publicly what happened to me, and welcome all intelligent comments and responses. Again, I will state the usual:  sue me for slander or libel if it is not true.

I deeply resent being sucked down to such a low level of interaction, and I genuinely dislike my Venetian Cat - Venice Blog being hijacked by these type of characters. It is another example of Ex-Pats Behaving Badly, and, to me, if you don't like it here in Venice, then get out -- which, apparently, the Fitzpatricks have decided to do and trot off to Ireland. To get the full picture, I strongly suggest you read both Laurie Graham's and Howard Fitzpatrick's blogs, as they seem to have no qualms whatsoever about speaking their very strong political and social point of views.

In any event, I have created a new blog called VENETIAN CAT - THE INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL. Somehow I managed to record what was happening in my agenda while it was happening. It was like a super-Cat did it, not me; that a bigger-Cat knew that what was happening was scandalous and important on a very great level, that I had to write it down under any circumstances, and that these creatures needed to be stopped. Everyone can decide for themselves whether or not it is a conspiracy or whether or not it is political and whether or not it is only paranoia. It is going to be a work in progress because not only is there a staggering amount of information, every time I start writing it, and see the pattern that forms, I become overwhelmed by the memories. While it was happening, it was so outrageous and incredible, it did not feel real. Now I am slowly realizing that I was in extreme danger and  was operating on a fight-or-flight instinctive level. I have lived such a different life that I had no idea that such worlds existed, or that human beings could be so evil. I am hoping that soon I will understand the reason why.

Ciao from Venice,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

LAST YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME:  Cat wins the Grand Prize: her very first bottle of Scotch --  Glenfiddich -- by drawing the number "9" at the New Years Day Pantalon Players fundraiser brunch, January 1, 2009.

Update: May 29, 2011: The second bizarre email, mentioned above was received from Sara Jane Boyers on July 24, 2009. Here it is, and my reply:

fromSara Jane Boyers
dateFri, Jul 24, 2009 at 11:19 PM
subjectVenetian Cat

hide details 7/24/09
Cat - I know you are in great distress these days .   I am sure that many things will resolve but as a friend, I have to tell you that I am worried that you just posted information about your circumstances on your Venetian Cat blog.

This blog has been such a source of information for the general public about Venice.  It is something you have been able to market because you are such a brilliant and inquisitive writer and have such a knack for telling the most fascinating information about the city.   Many tourists and Venetian afficianados love what you write.

Because of that and its continuing marketabililty for you, remember that it IS a professional "column " and the information there should remain professional and not personal, no matter what.

I love you and Happy Birthday.


with a copy to**
fromCat Bauer
toSara Jane Boyers
dateMon, Jul 27, 2009 at 1:58 PM
subjectRe: Venetian Cat

hide details 7/27/09
If I do not exist, then there is no Venetian Cat blog, now is there? I posted only facts. Let them sue me for slander if it is not true. I am EXHAUSTED, and I will WELCOME the opportunity to go to Court to defend myself.
Frankly, I find your email astonishing. You are concerned about the marketability of my BLOG when there was a piece of glass forced into my foot during a pedicure????? Cleo and I are sleeping in campos; I couldn't get enough to eat, and you are worried about the MARKETABILITY OF MY BLOG???? That is insane.
Today is my birthday. The next thing I am going to do is commit a crime and go to prison so I can get a lawyer, and then I will tell everyone why I committed the crime. THEN we can see about the marketability of my blog.
"Because of that and its continuing marketabililty for you, remember that it IS a professional "column " and the information there should remain professional and not personal, no matter what."
You are joking. You have got to be joking. I can't even access the internet because I have no money! Do you understand???? I have NO money, NO food, NO apartment, not even a bathtowel and you are worried about the MARKETABILITY OF MY BLOG???????????
I think it is REALLY interesting on a PROFESSIONAL LEVEL that the writer Cat Bauer has been illegally evicted from her apartment after ten years, and that there was a photo taken from her balcony in the brochure of the Rialto Hotel. I find that really INTERESTING, and I am sure my readers do, too.
I want to go in front of a Court. I want to tell what is happening. I have never been arrested in my life. I had perfect credit, not even a finance charge, until this insanity started. I have no record of drug or alcohol problems. I have not never been to psychiatrist except when I went for my ex-husband. I never even cheated on my ex-husband!
I WANT MY APARTMENT BACK, and I want it back NOW.
- Show quoted text -
Cat Bauer
Venice, Italy
39-347-7720453 cell


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Cat, guess you cannot be friends with everyone and it looks like a certain element has closed ranks. Sometimes the truth hurts or cannot be accepted, and then they pick on a scapegoat. I hope you have some true friends around you, this has been such a hard tiome for you.
    Incidently looked at Howards Blog and he is such a fascist. Typical middle England whinger. Shame he has foisted himself on venice, we certainly don't want him back in England!

  3. I removed Andrew's comment because I wanted to answer him separately, and now I can't figure out how to get it back. Anyway, here it is, even though "Andrew" has a profile that cannot be accessed -- funny how so many people are afraid to look you in the eyes:

    "Dear Cat Please,please stop these terrible blogs. You are not coming out of these situations looking very good. You obviously need a lot of support which doesn't seem available in Venice. Is returning to the U.S. not an option? You are hurting badly at the moment and appear to antagonise, probably unintentionally, a lot of folks. I hold you in my thoughts and pray that 2010 is a calmer year for you. Regards Andrew"

    Andrew, John-Henry Bowden, Laurie Graham and Howard Fitzpatrick are the ones who are leaving Venice, not me. The only people I am antagonizing are the ones who are behaving so badly, if not downright ILLEGALLY. The last I heard it was a crime to physically assault another human being in all civilized countries, especially if you know they spent the night sleeping out on the street, and especially if you are supposed to be the Chaplain of the Anglican Church!

    Vicki, I actually like Howard, although I strongly disagree with his opinions. He told me recently that he believed the opposite of what I believe. I said, "I believe in harmony." He said, "Then I believe in disharmony." That's it in a nutshell. To me, the only logical reason for this group's behavior is that they have been fed false information, and instead of verifying the facts, they choose to listen to gossip.

  4. This was a better blog before you lost your mind.

  5. Laurie Fitzpatrick GrahamJanuary 17, 2010 at 11:00 PM

    Cat Bauer is a stickler for the facts so I must clarify a few misleading points that slipped, inadvertently I hope, into this posting.
    1. Fr. John-Henry Bowden is a patient and compassionate Christian who did everything humanly possible to provide Cat with practical help and spiritual comfort during her time of distress.
    2. Villa Saracena was a private, self-catered party and did not cost the Pantalon Players' production fund a cent.
    3. The photograph of Cat with her bottle of Glenfiddich was taken in our home where she was apparently happy to overlook the political opinions of myself and my husband and accept, not for the first time, our hospitality.

  6. Now, that is pure gossip on your part, Laurie, as YOU WERE NOT THERE AT ANY TIME WHATSOEVER during the entire ordeal. I, too, thought John-Henry Bowden was a "compassionate Christian" until his behavior was so shocking, violent and antagonistic, I had to completely revise my opinion of his character.

    After the Polizia broke down my door without a legal document, I was terrified and I was confiding in John-Henry Bowden, and his wife, Marilyn. I was trusting them; I left documents at their house after being assured they were safe and completely private. In fact, it was John-Henry Bowden who directed me to the Guardia di Finanza close to his house; John-Henry Bowden was one of the few people who was privy to the most private and personal details of my situation. He assured me that in his position as Chaplain of the Anglican Church that whatever I told him was STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL, so I am surprised to learn that you know so much information, Laurie as I most certainly did not tell you!

    More facts:

    On June 20, 2009, after the Polizia arrived for the second time at my house without a legal document, broke down my door, and forced Cleopatra and me out on the street, I went to St. George's Anglican Church and found the door open because the Biennale was having an exhibit. I located John-Henry Bowden and asked him if I could stay in the church. He said, Yes, and gave me the key to the side door after instructing me how to use it. I slept upstairs in the little office on the floor with a mat I use for the beach; I also placed Cleopatra's food and litter upstairs. Prior to this, on June 11, 2009, the day after the Polizia arrived without an official document for the FIRST time, I was treated at the hospital for a severe infection on my right foot. By June 20th, it had gotten much worse, not better -- it was literally an open wound oozing puss, and John-Henry Bowden was aware of this.


  7. ...On the morning of June 24, 2009, I tried to file a report about my situation first with the police in Piazza San Marco, and then with the police at San Lorenzo, to no avail. I called Megan Jones, the local US Consul, and threatened to sleep in the police station if I could not file a report. She said she was not in Venice and would call me back. Instead, she called the police and told them to force me into the hospital if I did not leave (information I was not supposed to know).

    Later that evening, on June 24, 2009, I went to a Bible study session that John Henry Bowden had previously asked me to attend. When I arrived, the only other people in attendance were John-Henry's wife, Marilyn, and another church member, who I will call "G." John-Henry and Marilyn said we were waiting for a woman named "Victoria." I said, "Who is Victoria? Do I know her?" They said, no. I asked, "Is she American?" First the answer was "yes," and then qualified to "Victoria is international." Marilyn apologized for the strange-tasting cherry pie she had prepared, saying that the other people (who were not there) were allergic to this and that ingredient. John-Henry cut me an enormous slice, which I refused, and asked for a smaller piece. "G" said he was allergic to cherries entirely, and ate none of the pie.

    I said I wanted to charge my cell phone, and John-Henry said he would do it for me. I refused. We then went upstairs. John-Henry told me I had to turn my cell phone off and keep it on the opposite side of the room from where I was sitting. I was told to choose a Bible. Marilyn said, "Victoria always chooses the red one." By this time, the behavior of John-Henry and Marilyn Bowden was so bizarre, I said, "I just remembered I had another appointment," and I left.

    On June 26, 2009, I spent most of the day at the hospital in the emergency room as my foot infection was much worse, not better. After waiting hours, I apparently missed my name being called. I had to start the wait all over again, and finally left in frustration at about 6pm.

    On the morning of June 27, 2009, I went by ambulance to the hospital, accompanied by a Venetian friend, since by this time I could not walk at all. The infection was oozing pus and very painful. After again waiting for hours, I was called in to see Elis Pontoglio, the same doctor who had previously been abusive to me back on August 9 and 17, 2008 when I had been "detained" by the "Carabinieri" and had gone to the hospital because the handcuffs had left bruises and two of my ribs had been broken (not by the Carabinieri).


  8. On July 1, 2009, a shard of glass in the shape of a dagger was shoved into the festering wound on my right foot during a pedicure. (I do not have complete feeling in my right foot as I severed a nerve when I was young, but I still have plenty of nerves to feel pain!) When I felt a sharp, unbearable pain, I thought Martina, the "pedicurist" -- a new worker that I had never seen before -- was opening my wound to clean it.

    On July 2, 2009, I went to the Guardia di Finanza and filed a report that stated I had overpaid the rent on my contract by more than 63 thousand euro, and I had the receipts to prove it. They asked me if I wanted to speak to the American Consul, and I said no, I wasn't going to call them, as I had already tried and they were antagonistic to me.

    Later on July 2, 2009, at 6:55pm, John-Henry Bowden, the Anglican Chaplain, accompanied me to a doctor's appointment (since Megan Jones, the American Consul, who was originally supposed to accompany me had another appointment) for what I still believed was my foot infection growing even more severe -- at this point, I was still unaware there was glass in my foot. I was in so much pain that even with a cane I could barely walk, and leaned heavily upon John-Henry. Later that evening, John-Henry Bowden brought me to St. George's Anglican Church and anointed me with "holy oil." He told me the little jar even said, "Cat." At a conference later that evening, I felt myself losing consciousness. I went to the bathroom and washed off the "holy oil" and felt more alert. The pain in my right foot had become so severe that I unwrapped the bandage, and for the first time, I saw the tip of the glass sticking out of the bottom of my foot. Many people at the conference saw it, gasped, and told me to go to the hospital. By this time, I was completely terrified, and had no idea what was going on. I said, "I can't go to the hospital!" I went to an apartment, not the Anglican Church where I had been staying -- and soaked my foot in the bidet, but the glass did not come out.

    On July 3, 2009, at about 8:30am, John-Henry Bowden sent me a text message on my cell phone that said to come immediately to St. George's Church to clean up the "cat shit." I was shocked at his language, especially since he knew I could not walk, but I was in too much pain to try to understand why he sent such a nasty message so early in the morning. (Now I think he sent it because he was angry that he did not find me at the church.)

    There are many, many, many more details that I will get into in the future. But at that point in time, I STILL trusted John-Henry Bowden. It was not until I came back from Merano on July 17, 2009 and found the locks changed on the front door of my building, AND at the Anglican Church that I faced the facts. Even then, it was not until July 19, 2009 at 2:00AM when John-Henry refused to let Cleopatra and I into the Church after I begged him and told him we were sleeping in the campo -- to which he replied: "Have a good night" -- that I realized he was not who he appeared to be.

    Later that morning, he locked Cleopatra and my purse inside St. George's Anglican Church and then slammed the side door on my arm and knee when I tried to enter -- holding me pinned there for at least 5 to 10 minutes, shouting: "So now you've got a doctor's certificate that says you are not crazy, do not take drugs and are not an alcoholic -- therefore you MUST HAVE THE DEVIL INSIDE!" He did this right before church service! There were PLENTY of witnesses! Later that morning I showed Megan Jones the text message about the "cat shit" that John-Henry had sent on the morning of July 3rd.


  9. Now, Laurie, those are just a few more facts -- the story is much, much longer. I believe "they" are twisting the facts and attempting to defame my character because THESE ARE VERY SERIOUS PUBLIC ALLEGATIONS THAT I AM MAKING. I am risking my entire reputation -- but I am telling the truth.

    In response to your second point, I'm STILL curious as to how the Pantalon Players' ended up at an Italian Palladian Villa in Vicenza owned by the British Landmark Foundation!

    In reply to your third point, the reason I used that particular photo is because of the continued attempts to defame my character. As I said, I have been called "crazy," a "drug addict" and an "alcoholic" by various people associated with the Pantalon Players and the Anglican Church -- none of whom appear to be tee-tottlers; in fact, a self-declared alcoholic said she had a "moral obligation" to inform me that she believed my problems were alcohol related. Therefore, I thought it was interesting that the top prize at the Cinderella fundraiser was a bottle of Glenfiddich! What kind of prize is that?!

    As to your overlooking your political opinions, Laurie, in all honesty I had no idea what your political opinions WERE until I read your and Howard's blogs a short time ago. I try to avoid politics myself, but it seems that politics does not want to avoid me.

    I do believe that you and Howard have enjoyed hospitality at my house, too. In fact, I know I invited you -- AND John-Henry and Marilyn Bowden -- to my house during Howard's welcome-back luncheon this past summer.

    I predict that as more details are revealed, you, too, Laurie, will realize that you have been manipulated.

  10. Finally, please forgive the typos as I still am without electricity and forced to use the computer at the library, which keeps shutting down.


  11. Have you considered that you might have a serious personality disorder. I say this not to be cruel but so that you might consider enlisting the services of a medical professional to help you. By the way, have you had a facelift recently, you look much younger than your earlier photos.

  12. The above comment by "Anonymous" is a typical example of the kind of remarks I dodge daily.

  13. Maybe it is time then that you stop dodging people's remarks and do a self diagnostic....surely everyone can't be wrong! And if they are, then you are just a totally misunderstood woman. But why oh why all the aggression, why so pedantic, why all the contintual drama - all of which can only make the reader think you are paranoid - poison cherry pie and holy water!!

    Please start practicing what you say you are "a person who believes in harmony".

    Your blog used to be something worth reading, you used to be someone worth knowing. I hope you can hold your head high again someday soon.
    ps - have you had a facelift recently? as you really do look quite different.

  14. I was sorting through my comments and found some about me being "paranoid" that I'd never published, which I just did. Now, thanks to Wikileaks, we can see just how "paranoid" I was when it came to the US State Department and the American military presence in Venice and Vicenza!

    By the way, the name of the self-described alcoholic I'd mentioned in the comments is Elaine Eliah, who said she was a communications specialist working for ECC in Baghdad, which is: "ECC delivers construction, design-build, engineering, environmental remediation, and munitions response solutions to complex challenges facing Government and commercial organizations worldwide." She showed up in Venice years ago, around the same time a few other strange Americans connected to the government arrived on the scene. I wonder if she was in Baghdad at the same time as A.Daniel Weygandt, the former US Consul that did the deal to expand the military base in Vicenza...

  15. It seems that this post still receives attention; it is not difficult to understand why. As more courageous souls like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald come forward and detail the outrageous spying by the governments of the US and UK, my incredible story sounds more and more believable. What will happen soon is that you will discover the outright ABUSE of power that I was subjected to as a US citizen -- an innocent civilian -- living legally in Italy. After watching how the US has behaved toward Edward Snowden -- revoking his passport, and forcing him to remain in Russia -- it makes the fact that my US passport has been locked inside San Polo 622 since June 10, 2009 seem like business as usual for this group. THE BIG QUESTION IS: why me? Why make such a huge effort for someone as insignificant as me? At least Snowden is a proper spy, and Greenwald is a proper investigative journalist, but I am a YA author and a cultural writer! I have said repeatedly that if the level of governmental interference has gotten down to my level, we should all be very aware. Prediction: we will learn that the government has infiltrated such innocent-seeming sites as Trip Advisor. And if you think that sounds crazy, just remember that Google and Yahoo didn't even know that they had been hacked by the NSA.

    I base everything I say on what I have experienced on a personal level. I lived through it years before the rest of you because I am an American living in Venice, next to a US military base. The USA recently expanded the military base in Vicenza, just a short trip away from Venice, and just that fact should make it more than clear to any reasonable human being -- especially combined with the recent whistle-blower revelations -- what has been going on around here.

    I have lived through the terrifying experience of governmental interference in the life of an innocent human being. I have been befriended and betrayed by professionals. If I had chosen such a life, as Edward Snowden, or Chelsea Manning did, then it might even be understandable. But to do this to ME... to not tell me my own brother was dying... IT IS PURE EVIL. It is pure evil, and you will all suffer the consequences of your actions, every single one of you.


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