Monthly Archives: February 2006

Mensforth Hill

Bad sleep patterns last night despite exhaustion. I was so tired I crashed in my long johns and fleece. Of course I eventually took them off but I was physically exhausted and after the therapy last night, somewhat drained. Oh Mick Jones where are you when I need you? And what’s with the restraining order?

I shuffled off to work early enough sans skully. Since I was losing so much body heat through an uncovered head I didn’t sweat so much as I shuffled and hustled my way to work. Met Tony and got the egg sandwich that I hadn’t gotten in a few weeks. Needed some fuel since I didn’t have my usual breakfast at home boo fuckin hoo.

I finished off my Clash/Big Audio Dynamite fixation by playing their first album. For some reason, ‘Complete Control’ brings a lump to my throat and a tear to the eye. It always had, something about the way Joe Strummer sings with such passion. The song I identify with a lot is actually ‘White Man (In the Hammersmith Palais)’. About going to a reggae show and expecting incendiary songs about revolution and instead getting a lot of razzle dazzle and choreographed dance steps. Yes, I’ve been the White Man (on Nostrand Avenue).

Work was torturous, what with no errands and Persian Bitch and Fat Harpy circling the ceiling. Stuck indoors and just feeling like crap from lack of proper sleep. Usual psychodrama bullshit and I am just as tired of writing about it as you are reading it I’m sure.

Bill called several times, contrite which was nice but not necessary. Everyone has bad days, crap days. You get through them and it’s ok. But then again, I have called him terribly contrite after being nasty to him, or so I perceive. It was nice to hear that he loves loves loves me. I know he does but to actually hear it means a lot.

I am so sick of these adorable kids on television commercials behaving rather snotty or too wise beyond their years. They’re too young to be acting so it’s probably their real personalities. And now that they’re bring home some cash, they get told to play it up all the time.

Oh, like I know.

Gilmore Girls is on and has once again captured my attention. I’ve been watching the show forever. Since it was on Fridays right before an even funnier and better show called Popular. Popular was cancelled due to unpopularity. Gilmore’s got funnier and wittier. Still hooked into it. Love Lauren Graham. It has been getting a bit melodramatic lately now that Rory is going to Yale.

Like a soap opera with references to Dorothy Parker. Lauren Graham gets the best lines and delivers them well. Alexis Bledel who plays Rory tries admirably, but can’t pull it off like Lauren Graham.

Now it’s Scrubs, which is a dynamite show. So it’s come to this, reviewing shows as they unfold before me. Totally television without pity.

Rock The Casbah

Okay Clash/Big Audio Dynamite weekend has wound down. Still get a nice buzz thinking about meeting Mick Jones. Still kicking myself for not having a camera handy so I could take his picture, and I still laugh at myself in embarrassment for grabbing him by the shoulders telling him I know who he is, and that’s not Joe Strummer.

I am physically exhausted from a lot of running around Manhattan today. Went out to get fruit this morning. It’s been so cold that only a few foolhardy souls like myself can brave such fierce cold, yeah, like it’s the Arctic. Jeezy Creezy it’s Manhattan, dress right and you’ll be fine. And try to walk in the sun. No biggie. It was out. Didn’t have to look far.

I received some credit for coming in on Saturday and cleaning out a storage room, which is actually known as the executive washroom, meaning it’s a nice loo and has a shower stall. One of the good ones requested it’s availability and since he’s one of the good ones I delivered. And got paid overtime, which is sweet and means the government will take a larger chunk out of it than usual.

Oh it’s ok, I know the money will go to schools and health care and fixing roads and bridges and promoting peace. Yeah that’s what they’ll use my dough for. All that good stuff.

This afternoon had two errands that I had to do which I didn’t mind doing since they were on opposite sides of town and allowed me to skirt Central Park and enjoy a nice cigar. Yes once again it’s all about the cigar. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Had to get some keys made next to Studio 54 where Alan Cumming is starring in a revival of ‘The Three penny Opera’ by Brecht and Weill.

That seems worth seeing. Cyndi Lauper is in it too. Oh the shark bites… A few years ago I saw ‘Cabaret’ there with Alan Cumming as the Emcee. I saw it for free since the Roundabout Theatre Company has a plan that you can see the show for free, standing up if you help out the ushers. They call it, The Usher Program. Just got to wear Black slacks and a white button shirt. Then you tell people to wait by the seats for an usher to show them where they sit. After the show starts you’re free to stand in the back. I plan to look into that again.

So from there I walked on Central Park South, smoking my cigar, walking over to Bed Bath and Beyond to purchase towels and bathroom things for that ol’ Executive Washroom. The whole thing took about two hours and two hours out of the office on my own schedule can seem so much longer. I was also able to pick up a late lunch and a tie that I had dry cleaned last week.

Got back to the office, ate the late lunch of Penne, Pesto and Chicken and then set about answering questions and putting final touches on what may be my crowning achievement at Wanker Banker, the Toilet.

Soon work was over and it was time for me to split. Despite the cold I was determined to walk to my session with Bill tonight. It was a ‘Sandinista’ day and that’s a lot of songs. The walk down was the second disk, very dub wise and that, combined with my exhaustion, caused me to lurch to and fro occasionally like a drunken sailor on leave.

♪ New York New York, what a wonderful town the east side’s up and look there’s John Ozed stumbling about. Or Drew Whatshisface or Phillip Seymour Whozits. ♪

Met up with Bill who was not in a good way. Kind of Blue, and mostly uncommunicative. Oh this held such promise, this session I tell you. We sat next to each other, not speaking in the waiting area. I pulled out the New Yorker, he was playing games on his cell phone.

Good doctor Beansprout beckoned and we followed and figured out that COMMUNICATION IS VERY GOOD. This was after yelling and finger pointing and the recognition of an albatross.

Why beat up on yourself when the world is chomping at the bit to beat you up? Asking for help doesn’t make one weak. If you like to help people, it’s best that you help yourself first. All common sense which we all forget from time to time. The trick is to listen and respond when your partner or friend is throwing out a lifeline.

So when you reach the Bottom Line,
The only thing left to do is climb,
Pick yourself up off the floor,
Don’t know what you’re waiting for

That’s a Mick Jones Line.

And here’s a picture of Mick from ten years ago.

Cheers!

e=mc2

It’s Sunday again. Not much to do. Very cold and windy out. Another day of hunkering down and watching TV. Bill and I assume the positions on the futon, remote control between us. We watched Sleeper and The Three Amigos, not that one, this was three Mexican comedians. The last one, Carlos Mencia has a show on Comedy Central. He was the funniest, probably why he was last in the line up.

Clash weekend continues. All I listened to this weekend was Clash/Big Audio Dynamite related. Even got two videos from BAD. Have all the Clash videos already, you see.

Bill and I just watched the Simpsons. A ‘My Fair Lady’ rip off/tribute featuring a lot of Grounds Keeper Willie. It was ok. A few laughs, but not enough Homer. Now we’re watching ‘I, Robot’ which I saw at a free screening when it came out. It’s an ok movie, never read the book. Not big on the Science Fiction stuff, you know.

Just waiting for the Sopranos. The new season is going to start in a week or two and we want to catch up. We both love the show, I especially do since they film a lot of the exteriors around where I grew up. That’s always interesting to see Tony Soprano drive his SUV past where I used to ride my bicycle.

James Gandolfini’s father used to be the grounds keeper at my high school. How’s that for a tie in?

Did my weekend chores which means there are racks of clothes drying in the kitchen. Takes about 24-36 hours for them to dry completely. Not complaining at all since that is preferable to lugging up a sack of laundry to and from the Laundromat. I have certainly been there and done that.

So it’s back to work tomorrow. The first Monday in three weeks I will be in. I think I have a relative grip on things. The other offices that visited will have gone back to their homes. I am interested in what the fall out from the meetings and team building exercises will be.

Will the Persian Bitch get her comeuppance? It was noticed by a large group of people that she is most uncooperative. I can hope and I can be disappointed either by their action or by their inaction.

Not really hung up about it. I do have a good feeling though. Bill’s on the phone talking to his wonderful cousin Carmen. I mention him for I just overheard Bill talking about how I like to do research. It’s funny, I helped him finish his sentences. The funny part is he just helped me finished these sentences. One hand washes the other.

Tomorrow is our return to the wonderful word of couple’s therapy. I am not the master of my domain. Fell off the wagon so to speak. Damn wagon has greasy steps. On the wagon again. Not so much a need for being so masterful when Bill’s lying in bed with me and I fall asleep listening to his breathing. It’s when he’s not around when the deed to the domain is in serious danger. But so far, for a lazy Sunday, I am still master of my domain.

Train In Vain

Chillin in the apartment with Julio. Relaxing, drinking wine. Mellow as could be. Bill is driving a bus around Manhattan. He picked me up after work in the big bus, which was the same type of bus that drove the Wanker Banker employees yesterday. The J Series.

I went to work today.

On a Saturday. I decided to do some dirty work on a Saturday rather than Monday since I could be ultra casual in work clothes rather than a suit and tie. I cleaned out a storage room, which is actually the Executive Rest Room with a Shower Stall. I moved supplies, 5-Gallon bottles of water and a very large plasma TV.

All by myself.

It wasn’t much actually. A little foresight was the key. And on this occasion I had an ample supply of it. It was all a ‘move this move that’ operation. I can do grunt work. Done it more times in the past, more than I will do in the future. But I can still grunt when needed.

Clash/Big Audio Dynamite weekend continues. London Calling, Combat Rock and No. 10, Upping Street mainly. Sandinista is great and so vast that it might take a whole day and spillover into Monday for I still have the Clash first record and This Is Big Audio Dynamite to digest.

Yes, this is the geek side of John Ozed that I try to conceal and usually succeed but then I meet someone like Mick Jones, or David Bowie, or Metallica, or Brian Eno and then it’s gush gush gush. I had kept my cool with everyone except for Mick Jones actually. Regarding Metallica, I wasn’t a fan, just hung out on their dime.

Ran into Carla and Karen from London’s Wanker Banker offices. They were planning to go out for dinner tonight and I was invited but I wasn’t such good shape and neither were they actually. So I begged off successfully.

I did muster enough strength to make it to the Virgin Megastore in Times Square as I was heading home. Bought ‘The Essential Clash’ DVD to complete the collection. More dosh for Mick Jones. And the others. One good thing about the Clash, midway through their career, they credited all their songs to the Clash, distributing publishing royalties amongst each member.

That is something that actually breaks many bands up. Queen was like that and they survived, it was a wedge that broke up Talking Heads though.

So hanging out with Julio, subjecting him to Clash videos which he enjoys, so that’s a good thing. I subjected Bill to the Clash last night somewhat and this morning he was inundated with them. One of the High Fidelity aspects that could be applied to me. One who loves music so much and who can identify somewhat to the book by Nick Hornby and the movie starring John Cusack, and pushes really great music onto various friends and partners. I don’t think they mind. Though I recognize some rock snob qualities in myself, I do appreciate when they turn me onto new music as well. The two of them among a few others.

Mr. Jones

I laugh. I’ve been laughing a lot lately. And by lately I mean for the past hour. Really happy ecstatic laughter. Cloud nine. It didn’t start out that way today though it did start out rather pleasantly. I followed Bill’s advice and arranged for a car service to pick me up in Bokeyland and drive me to the office.

So my morning routine hadn’t really changed except for not having to take the bus. A nice ride into the city at work at 7:30AM. Sweet. Would be nice to travel that way everyday but we know that ain’t gonna happen.

Puttered around the office doing this and that before I had to run off to the Waldorf Astoria for breakfast. Not warm bagels and too many bleary eyed people, quite a few hung over from the night before. I had a bagel, some coffee and split back to the office. Only a handful of people and they were all good people in the office. Nice.

Sat at the desk and surfed and fielded many phone calls which I translated and sent to various blackberries. It was hectic but manageable. A few times I had to leave the office, run to the Waldorf, run back to the office. It was ok by me, I’d have a smoke and play the Ipod, and at the end of each errand there would sometimes be food as a reward.

Sweet.

The afternoon was planned with Bowling in the Village followed by dinner at the Waldorf. A bus was rented and it’s too bad that Bill wasn’t driving it. That would’ve been nice but wasn’t to be. I got to the bowling alley, for some team building exercises. I don’t usually go for this type of thing, but since beer would be involved, I was game.

Very Homer Simpson no? To make things more Simpson-esque, our team was name Pin Pals which was the name of the team that Homer was on, sponsored by Mr. Burns. Out of six teams the Pin Pals finished third. Right smack dab in da middle. That was ok by me. Zen like wouldn’t you say?

Drinking Stella, drinking Heinekens, eating bowling alley food, chicken fingers and French fries. Even the ‘Minor Character’ made an appearance and though she participated in the team building exercises, she made it clear to thirty of her coworkers that she was not part of anyone’s team. She made it known by talking constantly on her cell phone, putting it in her pocket when it was her turn to throw a ball from between her legs, using two hands towards the pins which more than likely had a certain phallic appeal to her bowlegged self.

Of course, it was impossible to have a conversation without having to yell over the din of falling, crashing pins, and loud 1980’s rock music played very loud. A few people, myself included felt that there was probably no one on the other end of the line. Or she was calling a very bad bowling instructor.

She left as soon as possible after putting on her whorish stiletto boots and walking down the alley as if she was on a runway in Tehran. The rest of us, after bowling was finished, got on a bus that drove us back to the Waldorf. Christina and I went upstairs with Karen and Carla, two lovelies from the UK office who had their husbands waiting for them in their rooms.

Very handsome chaps I might add. It was beer beer beer all afternoon. More beer before dinner, beer during dinner, beer after dinner. And I went outside for a fag. Meaning cigarette, British slang love.

I was outside with some of the goodies from work having a smoke when I thought I saw Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks. My coworkers went back in and I lingered. The guy I thought was Pete Shelley, turned and looked at me.

It was then that I asked him if he was Mick Jones. Mick Jones from the Clash. It was. I died. I screamed. I creamed. I called him Joe, as in Joe Strummer. Realizing my mistake I grab him by the shoulders and tell him I’m sorry I didn’t mean that. He smiled and said it happens all the time. I grab him and say loudly to him ‘I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!’

I try to prove that I am more than a casual fan and toss him a line from his band post-Clash, Big Audio Dynamite. He tells me where that line comes from, the line being, “The White man has left me here with nothing but the underworld and that is where I stand. Where do YOU stand?”

Mick Jones tells me it’s from ‘The Cotton Club’. I have my camera inside the restaurant and ask if he wait so I’d get a picture. I am gushing and noticeably thrilled to meet him. I’m sure I looked scary. Mick said no, sorry. In a hurry you know. That’s cool. I should’ve said it’s in the restaurant but I didn’t know what was going on. He started walking away and all I can say was ‘Keep up the good work’ which I thought was rather nice, meaning he’s still got some good work ahead of him

I walked through the Waldorf Astoria lobby saying quite loudly, ‘Holy Shit! Mick Jones!’. Said it a few times. I was clearly walking on air. Told a few coworkers about meeting Mick Jones from the Clash. No one knew who he was really. One person, Katja did. She’s a hipster like me from San Francisco. Mad cool even. She was excited and jealous.

I called up Rita and she was excited. We reminisced about seeing Big Audio Dynamite at Irving Plaza back in the day. I called up Miriam who was very excited and told me she was downloading Clash songs. She proved this by playing it over her cell phone to my cell phone.

Oh it was great. I had a car service bring me back to Bokeyland again. That’s not gonna happen again for a while. The driver let me smoke which was a big deal and earned him a 15-dollar tip courtesy of Wanker Banker. Hey it was sanctioned. They don’t like the tip, I’ll give them fifteen dollars back. I was still giddy from meeting Mick Jones and the driver noticed. He didn’t know who Mick Jones was but understood when I told him that I sometimes play guitar and this was meeting someone who was an influence and a hero to me. He asked if it was a dream come true and I said no not really since I had never dreamed I’d meet Mick or Paul or Topper. I would’ve loved to have met Joe Strummer but Joe passed away a few years ago before Christmas holiday.

I can’t believe I called Mick, Joe. He was cool about it though. I guess he’s comfortable with the fact that everything he does from now on will be judged by the work he did with the Clash, specifically the songs he wrote with Joe Strummer.

It’s about two hours later, and I’m still buzzing from it all. I told Bill and left a few voice mails for some friends and family. It will probably be Clash weekend for me, which is more than fine by me.

I told Mick that I had Big Audio Dynamite, or BAD, on my Ipod. I found out that they were a casualty of the Ipod breakdown a few weeks ago. I immediately added the first two BAD records to my Itunes legitimately. Paying tribute to Mick and the Clash, literally and figuratively.

I resolve not to leave the camera anywhere from now on, it would be good for visual documentation, but this document will have to do.

I forgot to buy a lottery ticket for the mega millions tonight. 200 million or something.

I think I won a different lottery. A karmic lottery perhaps.

Wow. Mick Fuckin Jones! Holy shit!

The Passenger

Work was insane and hectic and definitely took its toll on Jamie the beleaguered office manager who has become a friend. Should I trust her? I don’t know, I do though trust her though. She’s so put upon and really doing a lot more than Bleedin’ Hope ever did. She’s doing her best to put together this All Hands meeting featuring neck bones and some decent folk from all over the world that work for Wanker Banker.

I work quite a bit today, lots of running around town. When I walk I walk at a brisk pace. And when I stop walking around I am usually drenched in sweat underneath the suits I am known to wear. Today was a three t-shirt day, meaning I have a back up and when the first shirt is drenched I switch to the back up. Today the back up was also drenched.

I had to go get some new t-shirts. Luckily there are a few opportunities to get some new t-shirts. But there was a lot of running back and froth from my office to the Waldorf Astoria. I walk at such a fast pace that I was able to time my walking. I walked from 56th st and Park Avenue to 49th street and Park Avenue in under 5 minutes.

To those that don’t know the lay out of Manhattan that is something to be reckoned with. One time I found I was able to walk from 56th st to 34th street Herald Square in twenty minutes. I had all the lights and was able to navigate through the pedestrian traffic with relative ease.

The Ipod helps a lot. Give me something with a beat and I can walk forever. Today was Gorillaz and some Bowie.

Had a lot to do, chipping in with setting up tonight’s dinner and meetings as well as meetings and dinner for tomorrow. I was appreciated. I appreciated the fact that the Persian bitch wasn’t in today and also not expected in tomorrow.

That was definitely a plus. The office really has the capacity to pull together without impediments like that bitch. Will that be recognized? I think it’s doubtful. Had a good dinner with some Londoners and San Franciscans tonight at a restaurant in the Met Life Building by Grand Central Station.

I wisely called for a car home at the end and with Bill’s prodding, made arrangements for a car to work tomorrow since they expect my black ass at 7:30AM. I figure, why not? They’re spending so much on this All Hands Meeting that another hundred dollars for me to come in and make sure all goes well would be worth it for all concerned.

The car ride home was with a driver who thinks smacking one’s children around when warranted is a good thing. We both agreed that getting hit once in a while by our parents turned out to be a good thing since kids are generally dumb and a smack once in a while does get the point home and leaves a lasting impression, hence the driver and I discussing getting smacked around twenty or so years later.

So It Goes

From Hell to Purgatory. Work was hell. The Persian Bitch showed her true colors peacock style yet again. Why no one has killed her yet is a surprise. I almost feel like it should be up to me to remove her from the rolls of humanity, but being a John the Baptist type, I know the true ‘one’ will arrive and do the job properly.

Yes she is female genital slang, and words are whispered that her time is a coming. I laugh and mention to a few people that I am pissed off enough that I am close to walking out.

It’s noticeable and some people say I should go out and have a smoke. I had gone out several times by then, and feel one or two more won’t kill me. Actually they will, but I don’t care. Listen up people, I like to smoke. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I really do love ingesting nicotine into my lungs. Right now don’t care much about it. Who knows? If I make it to another twenty years I could be lecturing young folk about the hazards of smoking. Right now, it’s smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

I went out at lunchtime and smoked a crap cigar, offered to me by a vendor. Of course I took it. I love me my cigars. This was a crap cigar, bad draw, ill taste, not much happiness involved. But it got me out of the office and enabled me to be alone since very few people like to be around cigar smokers.

I did have a plan to go out after work. I am on a mailing list for HX Magazine, a magazine that gay guys read not for the articles or the pictures but for the ads for bodywork and escorts in the back. No nudity, but a lot of bulges. Enticing indeed. If you have 150.00 to spend and don’t want to be alone, you can hire one of these studs for an hour and they will do whatever you want them to do. It’s shopping for sex. You get what you pay for.

So I get an email from HX telling me about their networking party tonight in Times Square. I begged off a few times already and decide its sink or swim. I swim. I leave work after dawdling around, light up a Padron and stroll around midtown not wanting to be the first at this event.

I brave the masses of tourists roaming around Times Square looking up and arrive at the destination of Tourist Mecca, Planet Hollywood. I walk in and mention I’m here for the HX Connex event, and get quizzical looks. Someone figures it out. I’m a fag. Send me to the fourth floor.

Yes a fag. A Fag that looked sharp this morning putting on the suit, by 6:15PM the suit can only be described as rumpled. I decide to climb the stairs rather than wait and wait and wait for an elevator that doesn’t seem to be coming though some of the men waiting for it do. Up towards purgatory.

Arriving at the fourth floor I am greeted by volunteers for the Men’s Event. That’s what it’s called. They ask what field I work in and I say ‘Finance’. They ask if I’m spoken for or available and I say spoken for. I get a red dot on my label that I peel off and put on my suit jacket. No one else has red dots. No one else is spoken for. They’re all available. I wander around, and find they pour Guinness. It’s not all bad. I talk to a few guys pushing whatever it is they’re promoting, Gyms, HX Magazine, Lava Lamps for Jesus. These guys shmooze. I shmooze. Everyone else cruises.

A lot of these guys look like Tommy Krieger. Tommy was a flaming son of members of the VFW. Flaming before I even knew what flaming was. Twink like. I met Tommy way back in the seventies. A real Mama’s boy. These guys have his look and mannerisms down pat. I wonder if Tommy Krieger patented that.

My label keeps falling off, the story of my life. I get fed up and toss it away and make my way for another pint. Not a real pint, just Guinness in a taller glass. No one else drinks Guinness. They drink Apple-tini’s or Cosmopolitans, maybe a Stella or a Corona. I wander, smile, and sit contentedly texting messages to myself so as not to forget anything I might be seeing.

One of the organizers notices that my label is missing. I tell him it fell off. He says, while obviously showing his enthusiasm for me, that he shouldn’t do this, and writes up a new label. He asks what I do and I say ‘Freelance’ He writes it as ‘Free Lance’. I make a joke about how we have got to get Lance out of jail soon. Imagine if I said Free Mumia.

I would’ve made a Lance Loud joke but it would have gone way over his head. It’s not that much of a change from Finance to Freelance. I am available by default since it’s the guy’s only label. I miss my red dot, but since no one talks to me the green dot might as well be red.

I wander around some more, just smiling watching videos from the 1980’s. There is no networking going on. Just groups of friends talking to each other and those without friends looking desperate. I just watch.

I think about how if Bill was there with me we could create a scandal and just sit there and make out. That would be cool and ruffle some plumage. But he’s not and I finish off the fourth ‘pint’ in one hour. The event is humoresque.

I’ve had enough. I get my coat and leave. It was an experience but I’d rather be home. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I ventured and gained nothing. I hop over to the bus terminal and I am second to last on the bus about to head out. I plop down and listen to Nick Lowe.

And so it goes. But where it’s goin’ no one knows.

I Wish I Had Duck Feet

Back to work again. No hooky. Usual stupidity. Nothing new to report on that front. This week promises to be extra difficult. We have an All Hands Meeting going on, meaning that employees from Wanker Banker’s offices from San Francisco, and London will be flying in to be bored to tears.

They did this last year, all humdrum stuff. It goes on a Thursday and Friday in February, breakfast, meetings, lunch, meetings then dinner. On Friday, it’s breakfast, meetings, lunch and then bowling. Last year it was a scavenger hunt. Team building exercises. I preferred to run around Manhattan on my own, despite the cold. This year we will converge on Bowlmor in the Village.

Word got out that I used to be on a bowling team years ago and suddenly I’m a wanted man. But the teams are chosen by higher ups, prizes awarded to the winners. Everyone gets a free meal. I bagged out of the dinner last year, just stayed long enough for cocktails. This year I may stay.

I’m trying to keep a cool head and just get through the day but there’s so much in my way, so many people I have to deal with, it gets fucking hard. It’s a job though and I have to remind myself that I have a good job with benefits paid for Bill and myself.

Bill played a janitor on Rescue Me, the Denis Leary show on FX Network. No lines just background. He was background on ‘Love Monkey’ an earnest yet atrocious show on CBS. It was cancelled before Bill’s episode could air. He also was background for the Chappelle Show on Comedy Central featuring Rick James. That aired, but Bill’s segment was edited out.

So Rescue Me seems like a go. Which is cool, his foot in the door, his face on your screen, knock wood.

The city was cold this morning but I walked up to work, not caring much about the weather. I strolled to work listening to Pet Shop Boys Introspective. Great songs, great for walking around town. I love walking to a good beat. Makes the stroll more enjoyable.
I remember when Gus Mackenzie and I parted ways in 1990, I was so heartbroken I walked around Hoboken in the rain listening to a cassette of Introspective and singing at the top of my lungs through deserted neighborhoods filled with burned out buildings.

Now I have Bill, Gus a memory faded and those burned out building are rehabbed and renting for $1500 for a one bedroom apartment. I am much happier being with Bill than I ever was with Gus. I don’t even know if Gus is still alive. He probably is. I wonder if he ever came out of the closet? I only wonder, I don’t really care.

As for Bill and myself, following Philip Beansprout’s suggestion, I am trying to be the master of my domain. Last night went well. We shall see how it works out. 24 hours, so far so good. Vision not as blurry as it was and palms are definitely losing hair.

TVC 15

Woke up at a decent time today, not the god awful 6AM mind you. 8:30. Not too late, nor too early. Just right. Got the papers, some bagels and set about doing nothing in particular. Some laundry, some coffee, watched the morning shows. Logged into gay.com and was inundated by requests. I held off.

Bill came back to NYC safely, and after telling me about all the fun he had, went to take a nap. I walked around Bokeyland, went to the post office to drop off the Netflix which reminds me I have to update the queue. Did that. Didn’t really enjoy the Dick Cavett show and after two volumes, cancelled the third.

Took some snapshots of Pier A in Hoboken. Not many people out despite the fact that it’s President’s Day. I remember reading somewhere that Abraham Lincoln had a rather high pitched voice. A high pitched ‘Four Score and Seven Years Ago’ doesn’t really have the same somber feel to it as I was led to believe by the photos and five dollar bills that crossed my path. It’s entirely possible though.

Did George Washington have wooden teeth? Did he lie? Was he a hemp farmer? These have all been answered somewhere before, and here they are again: No. Maybe. He could’ve farmed the hemp for rope for that is what we’re told it was used for then. No, really.

Bill naps, Julio works, I sit at a keyboard writing random sentences in a railroad apartment in Hoboken. An old episode of ER plays behind me, George Clooney era. That’s when it was most interesting for me. Bill was awoken from his nap by Philip Beansprout who asks if we can have our session an hour earlier. Fine with me, fine with Bill, that makes Philip Beansprout a happy counselor.

I’ve done my chores and the laundry is drying. I am bored. I won’t inflict my boredom on you, though you might say that it’s too late since you are bored as well.
I walked around listening to Station to Station by good ol’ Dave Bowie. Really a great record that I didn’t care much for when it came out. Now I find it indispensable. Perhaps a desert island disc.

Another Cowsill is dead. This time William, known as Bill. Barry Cowsill was found December 28, a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Bill died in Canada, of emphysema, osteoporosis and a few other ailments. Not a good year for the Cowsills.

Also Laurel Hester, former Detective in Ocean County died after her battle with cancer and the freeholders of that county.

Bill woke up from his nap and we got it together to go to the counseling session. I started the topic this week which went all over the chart. This is why it’s good to have a therapist, someone who listens and asks you to explain yourself. I had to explain my torn feelings about the open relationship. Also Bill brought up that I had gone out on Thursday and was actually able to meet someone and have a conversation with them. The week before I mentioned how that never happens. Never say never I suppose. It went well, the session did. Looking forward to next week I think. We’ll see what happens between then and now.
I don’t know how I did this or else I would undo it, but the link to Laurel Hester’s story is the last paragraph, starting with ‘Bill woke up from his nap’.

In the meantime, I’m keepin’ it gully.

Easy

Piper free. No thuggish representatives from Local 154. I was good yesterday. Laid low then, laid low today. The only contact with the outside world was this morning, getting some bagels and the papers. After that, indoors all day. I chatted online with some people but does that really count?

Too damn cold out to do anything either. Just read the papers and watched crap on TV. Not much else. No offers to do anything anyhow. So far, so good. The essence of chilling out I suppose. I am not complaining and no one else should be either. Now the sun has gone down, the sky in the west getting fainter, in the east getting darker.

Bill returns from Detroit tomorrow and then we have our Monday session with Philip Beansprout. There ought to be a buy back, but who am I kidding? There no buy backs on Thursday night either. Buy backs seem so few and far between. No big deal.

Finally hooked up one of the lamps that Billie sent for the holidays from DC. This one is a beautiful lamp, I hope he didn’t put himself out when he sent it. Nice desk lamp with a funky glass shade. I called him on Thursday while in the smoker’s lounge but haven’t heard from him. The plan to go visit over the Easter holiday is still in place up here in Hoboken, need to get Billie’s input on whether or not he can do it then.

Just reading the Sunday papers, and Uncut magazine. A music magazine. A lazy Sunday in Hoboken. Most Sundays this year have been lazy. Oh let’s face it, every Sunday in my life since I moved out of Lodi 22 years ago has been lazy. The days of sitting around the house waiting for my father to get his shit together so we can do whatever chores he had in mind are in the past.

He would usually announce on Friday night that my brother Brian and I would have to be around all weekend to help him out on whatever project he had in mind. Sometimes he wouldn’t get out of bed until late, everyone else in the house walking on eggshells so as not to disturb him, because if he was bothered and awoken before he wanted to, oh there would be hell to pay, sometimes paid out of one’s hide.

After he decided to get out of bed, he’d eat then sit around for an hour or two before finally putting clothes on and setting about whatever he wanted us to do. Of course Brian and I would’ve been up and ready for hours. And a few times when he finally got it together, the sun would be setting and we’d have to try again for the next day.

Brian would almost always get into an argument with my father and storm off. That would leave me holding the bag, both literally and figuratively. Dinner would be fraught with tension and resentment. More often than not, my parents would drive off to the VFW and spend hours drinking with their friends.

Which would make my father sleep late again. It was an endless cycle. And so I don’t do much at all on Sundays.

The news is on, and it’s the usual bad news.

Jing Jing

Members of the Local Pipers Union 154 made an appearance today. I couldn’t avoid them and today they collected their fees. You see, if you wanna dance you gotta pay the piper. They arrived around 10 this morning and became readily apparent by 11. Julio felt the same way when I saw him this morning.

It was a long cold day. Watched Dick Cavett DVD’s featuring Sly and the Family Stone and Joni Mitchell among others. Tried watching it the night before but Julio and I found the Jefferson Airplane to be tedious and sapped what ever interest there might be in watching the rest of the disc.

Tonight we tried watching Sandra Bernhart’s ‘Without You I’m Nothing’. I saw that in the eighties with my brother Frank and Martha Keavney in a workshop in Chelsea. Very funny then, a little bit funny now. Julio wasn’t feeling it so I ejected. I had cooked a big dinner of chicken, penne pasta and tomato and cheese sauce.

We were both stuffed after two servings a piece, and we were both hung over from the night before, so it was couch surfing for the evening.

Earlier in the evening we had gone to Secaucus to Marty’s Shoe Outlet so Julio could buy some boots. He knew I’d want to go, thinking I had a shoe fetish. I had to explain to him that I don’t have a shoe fetish. I like shoes, I don’t lick shoes. He knows quite a bit, if not too much about my sexual proclivities. Why would I deny him that tidbit?

Right now, watching the Celluloid Closet by Vito Bruno on Logo, the gay channel. Great footage and subtext from movies since the twenties or thirties. Now Armistead Maupin is on talking about the movies, ‘Cabaret’. I once got into an online battle over my dislike for the movie. My main sticking point was how the movie won Best Picture, over ‘The Godfather’.

‘The Godfather’ is a classic that I can watch time and time again. Beautiful to look at and there are so many layers to the story. ‘Cabaret’ isn’t like that. I saw ‘Cabaret’ on Broadway a few years ago when it featured Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh and thought it was brilliant. The movie was quite a letdown.

So some guy from the chat room was very upset and got into a flaming battle. I explained that the then current version on Broadway was superior to the 1972 movie. I think he was a major Liza Minelli fan and took offense. It was bizarrely funny and I never saw him again online so I suppose I might have won that one.

So look out and don’t question my taste.

I’m joking. My taste in my opinion is questionable. I am that tuna, that not only tastes great, but also tastes good. From what I’ve heard that is. And I won’t say anymore on that matter. Having said that, I bid you a good night.

Human Behaviour

I avoided the Local Pipers Union 154 this morning. I had a good time last night hanging out with Matt, hitting some bars. The car ride was interesting too. I woke up drunk. Not a good place to be, but after waking up at 2AM, 4AM, 5AM and finally 6AM I had nothing else to do but go to work. Having left work early last Friday, and playing hooky on Monday I had no real choice.

I did my routine, showered, checking email when the phone rings at 6:30. It’s Julio, who locked his keys in his apartment. I’m fully dressed and toss the keys down to him after buzzing him in. Mighty fuzzy headed I am, Julio is none the wiser. I gather my clothes from the night before and take them to the dry cleaner.

After waiting for Kim, who is never late I turn in the clothes and walk surprisingly upright to the bus stop. Bus is empty at 5th street. By 14th street it’s packed. I read the New Yorker and finish an article about a nurse helping poor uneducated mothers in the bayou.

I get off the bus and wander over to the subway feeling like crap. I get off the train and walk past some coworker from a different floor. She never says hello to me, which gives me license to not say hello to her. Monique who’s eyes look like they’re about to bug out totally.

It’s bagel day, which enables me to actually eat for the first time in almost 12 hours. Yes I know, one should eat before drinking but it was such a weird day yesterday. Best bagels in the world. And a chocolate yogurt muffin. Not exactly a well balanced meal but it felt that way after the restless sleep from the night before.

Being a Friday, I was busy busy busy. Lot’s of running around the office. Outside was rain, the beautiful sun and then rain again. I was getting a free lunch today and looked forward to Penne Pesto and Chicken but had to settle for a Margherita pizza. Not so bad for a second choice. Pretty greasy though.

After that I gathered up whatever muffins and bagels were uneaten and gave them to St. Barts food kitchen. Then I walked across town in the sunshine and had some keys made. After that it was up to Lincoln Center to exchange tickets to the ballet for McGruff the boss.

That was accomplished with relative ease, and I lit up a cigar and headed over to Central Park. Also helped a woman in a wheelchair and her attendant get into her building down the street from the park. I do stuff like that from time to time, always willing to help out a fellow human being. She was grateful and I strolled into the park smoking my Padron.

Got back to the office after enjoying the day and working out whatever beer was still in my system by sweating. But as soon as I sat down I crashed. I walked around a lot in dress shoes and I would be merely tired if it wasn’t for the hangover, but I was exhausted.

My energy was at a low point. I barely hung in there till 5:30. I just flat lined the rest of the day, having another Padron as I walked to the Path listening to Stevie Wonder. I felt good since I made it through the day. Called Matt and checked in on him. He felt the same way as I did. Also called Barry Bongiovi, my former boss from Right Track studios who I drunk dialed the night before. Looking forward to dinner with him on Tuesday.

Now I’m home. Had a burger, and plan on vegging out for the rest of the night. Not like I could do anything but that anyhow…

a shot from last night

Ring My Bell

Today what a day. Actually yesterday for this is being written tomorrow. Go figure. Ok. Not an easy day. Been thinking about Mary, a crossing guard that I am friend with in my old neighborhood in Weehawken. Mary has been very ill, cancer in a few manifestations. Not very pleasant. Haven’t heard from her in a while, wasn’t really sure if she was still alive.

I took a chance and sent an email. I could’ve called but I don’t have her phone number. And she enjoys emails and online stuff. She replied with an arduous tale of how her past year has been. Not very good. Cancer, radiation treatments. A lot of unpleasant stuff, which I won’t go into detail. Mary is a fighter though and seems to have the advantage over it.

She’s a tough one that Mary is. Not a crossing guard anymore but still lives about 20 feet from where she used to work. She was quite the eyes and ears of the Weehawken neighborhood. I replied with as much support as she might need from me. Go Mary.

Work was the usual stupidity. Not much else to say. Ran into Nino, a friend of mine who I know from another friend Rocky. Nino’s first words to me was ‘Rocky’s dying.’ What? What do you mean?

Nino tells me Rocky has colon cancer and a few other cancers throughout his body. What is it? Is today cancer day? I’ve known Rocky for a few years now, he used to run the loading dock where I work. Rocky is queer, and a drama queen. If Rocky stubbed his toe he’s call me and insist that his leg would have to be amputated.

I call Rocky and ask him what the fuck. Despite Nino telling me not to say anything, I say everything. Rocky tells me he’s been in and out of the hospital and his boyfriend has him on his insurance. According to Rocky, and I hope and pray that it’s his dramatic tendencies, that he has to got to Jersey City Medical Center for various treatments. He couldn’t really talk so I made a plan to visit him over the weekend.

After all this nonsense I decide I need a drink. So after work I go to the Townhouse, well known funeral parlor gay bar. Not really a funeral parlor but one might get that idea if they went. At six o’clock it was a funeral parlor. I had one beer and split. I went across the street to OW another gay bar on E58th Street, formerly known as Oscar Wilde.

At OW they have an alcove where one can smoke and drink. Comfortable if just a little damp and chilly. I have no problem with that since no one ever talks to me at gay bars. I am relatively comfortable with that. I am enjoying my beer when a guy named Tony from East Rutherford sits next to me and tries to get touchy feely. I rebuff his attempt and merely chat.

It’s all good, I don’t want to hurt his feelings though I am not into him at all. We chat about movies we have seen, I mention Brokeback Mountain. A guy sitting across from Tony and myself gets involved and the three of us talk. Interesting conversation a bit facetious maybe. I go to get another beer, Tony follows, the other guy says ‘And then there was one’. I tell him I used to be the ‘one’ but I’ll be back. And I do once I send Tony away. The guy’s name is Matt. I found out when some regular mentioned his name. Matt seems cool, and intelligent and actually able to have a conversation. The regular who mentioned his name won’t stop yapping so I split and run into Matt on the street. We talk some more and I find he’s intriguing enough to follow back to the Townhouse.

We hang out and chat and I mention that this is the first time I was ever able to have a conversation with another guy in a gay bar. Matt is a handsome intelligent guy who reveals that we had chatted online. He knew my face, I didn’t know his.

Interesting for sure.

We hang and drink and time flies by. Enough time for me to wish I lived in Manhattan. We leave the Townhouse and go to Pegasus a block or so away, where there are no winged horses. Imagine my disappointment. Matt proves to be a great conversationalist, and has lead a very interesting life.

Hungout with Matt, chatting away. He’s a great guy and has the potential to be a good friend. After a few more beers I decide it’s time to go home. I arrange for a car service from work to do the deed. We sit in Pegasus, Matt and I, listening to a piano player that we both want to kill.

Forty five minutes or so later the car arrives, and after another beer or two Matt walks me to the car. I tell Matt that I think he’s cool and would like to be his friend. He seems receptive.

In the car home I ask the drive where he’s from and he says Egypt. I ask him how long he’s been here and he says 14 years. I ask if he enjoys driving and he doesn’t. What does he want to do, I ask and he responds he wants to be a hitman. I ask him if he’s ever killed anyone and he says no, but he’d like to kill some women.

Okay…

Woman to him are only good for screwing. I mention that I wouldn’t know about that since I’ve never screwed a woman. He asks if I am gay and I say yes. It’s cool with him, he loves gay people. Great, just what gay people need. A gay friendly misogynist.

He dropped me off and I spoke with Bill in Detroit who visited the Henry Ford Museum and say the bus Rosa Parks got arrested on. Bill’s having a good time, the show seems to be going well. I am drunk and writing this in Hoboken and relatively cool.

Oh but tomorrow….

In the Neighborhood

When I was growing up on Riverview Avenue in Lodi there were always a ton of kids around. We’d play punch ball, wiffle ball, basketball, hide and seek, It was the type of neighborhood that if you did something wrong someone’s parents would slap you and send you home and tell your parents what you did then you’d get slapped all over again.

I was thinking about various kids I grew up with. There were a few of us around the same age group, Kathy Grant, Susan Lucas, Scott Williams, David Plauchino, Christine and Ryan Kincaid to name a few. We would all run around the neighborhood, in and out of each other’s houses. Summers were quite magical. There was always a radio playing, Music Radio 77 WABC of course.

It was very much an innocent time. I was the oldest of the group. There were older brothers and sisters around. I had played with them at some time, Scott’s older sister Barbara, Kathy’s older sister Irene who used to beat me up and throw me into the Foglio’s hedges. You couldn’t escape these people nor would you want to. They were your basic good-hearted people.

It was all fun and games, rough and tumble. Most of us had gone to the same school, St. Francis de Sales, the others had gone to Washington School on Main Street. As time went on new people came into our circle. Chemistries had changed, puberty around the corner.
I let Johnny Serpone neck and feel up Michelle Kwiatkowski on our back porch while my parents were at work.

No one else in the circle had designs on anyone else. Serpone was a bit older than the rest of us, Michelle was my age. I suppose being a girl she hit puberty before I did. She had boobs. None of the other girls did.

We grew up and away from each other once high school started. I’d see the friends from back then when I would drive by up the block, a honk and a wave would suffice. The days of hanging out, swimming in Susan Lucas’ pool listening to the top forty countdowns were gone.

Years later when I was bar backing at McSwells I see a familiar face on the other side of the bar, Christine Kincaid. She looked good, she had grown into a woman. It was a bit odd to be washing glasses and filling the beer cooler while she and her boyfriend were having some drinks. I breathed a sigh of relief when they left. Not that I was uncomfortable, just felt a bit odd.

Never expected to see her at McSwells. I never saw her again after that one time, she passed away from ovarian cancer while in her twenties. So sad. At my father’s wake I reconnected with Kathy and Irene Grant. Kathy was even more adorable, and Irene had stopped beating up on me. Lucky for her because at that time I’m sure I could’ve taken her.

We made plans to have some drinks and a few months later we met at McSwells, Kathy and Irene and Susan Lucas. It was all very adult and civilized. Kathy and Susan reminded me about how I used to tease them and act like a bee. I came out of the closet to the three of them, showed them a picture of Bill. They didn’t shriek or run away in horror. We made other plans to reconnect more frequently.

The next time I saw Irene and Kathy, they told me Susan was now a lesbian and living down the shore. That was a surprise. I thought that since I was able to come out, Susan felt empowered to do the same.

It didn’t last long. Susan who had a history of illness passed away a year or so later. Very sad. I heard that Susan’s girlfriend was being shut out by the surviving Lucas’s. At Susan’s wake after expressing my condolences to her mother and her brother, I walked over to her girlfriend. A tough looking dyke with a mullet.

I explained who I was and how sorry I was to hear about her losing Susan. She was passive. I found out later that this woman made Susan’s life hell and tormented her, going after her finances while Susan was in the hospital. Very sad.

If there is an afterlife, I’m sure Susan Lucas and Christine Kincaid are having a good time listening to Music Radio 77.

Nowadays I run into people from the neighborhood at wakes.

Glass Onion

Hooky over. Back to work. Drag drag drag. Actually it wasn’t so bad. If I know I will be confronted with stupidity it usually isn’t such a surprise. But it comes in many shapes and sizes and one never knows what shape it will take. Today was Valentine’s Day. Lot’s of red, plenty of hearts.

Got to the office. Christina, my assistant is in. Jamie the office manager with the bent tulip tells me that when I was out sick, Christina complained about being screwed. Had to work an additional thirty minutes. Jamie mentioned that her attitude wasn’t really ‘fair’ that since the beginning of the year Christina has been out for her knee, her child being sick, visits to the doctors and never once did I complain.

The thing is, Christina is looking to get over somehow. I’ve been carrying her since March of last year, and since I can’t seem to delegate work correctly, I usually do it myself. Which has allowed Christina to shop shop shop. She doesn’t take any initiative and I have to tell her at least once a week to do certain common sense tasks. I usually have to tell her to do something more than once a day, little reminders here and there.

Jamie told me that Christina doesn’t want to work reception anymore (like she does already). Seems she wants to work in the back with the other girls. Jamie agreed that it wasn’t a good idea since she’s incompetent on a few things, speaks a bit too street for an investment bank, and really barely does reception.

An example on how she speaks, “whose book is this?” I ask. Her response, “It’s mines.”
I try to get her to speak correctly, me playing Henry Higgins to her Bronx Eliza Doolittle.
It gets exasperating.

She had the idea that she was going to be working in a compliance capacity, filling in for a law school graduate after the graduate leaves the firm. No, really.

Of course, I had an encounter with the Persian Bitch as well. Not really an encounter. She was too busy talking on her cellphone to actually answer the phone of someone she is supposed to support. I answered the phone, since I get along with the VP she supports fairly well. We just keep giving her enough rope, but no one seems to know what to do with that rope.

I’m sure if it was a monogrammed Louis Vuitton rope she’d know what to do with it. Why do people like Michael Hutchence use rope incorrectly when someone with a lot less to offer the world doesn’t? I was thinking about an INXS song and thought about sad old dumb ass Michael.

One thing I try to do is help various friends out with some various things. Occasionally I procure some items from a Japanese market and purchase them for those that are unable to do it themselves for whatever reasons. So I did that tonight and got burned. Of course I should Count de Monet when I see the friends but I didn’t and found myself short later on at a checkout counter.

I was able to cover it, but mightily annoyed that someone might mistake my kindness for weakness. I hope it wasn’t intentional. They are having a romantic Valentine’s dinner and I am stewing. Like I said I hope it wasn’t intentional.

A Good Morning Moon

The Girls Want to Be with the Girls

Day off. Hooky actually.

Dream about Sienna Babb leaving and giving her a passionate embrace as she was leaving Wanker Banker.

Dream about me breaking ceramic tiles Bill had given out as gifts at Christmas. Accidentally throw bag on the ground and heard the tiles shatter. Spent time trying to piece them back together

Dream about Sarah Fortner going to Columbia University and discussing going to the movies, I insist on seeing ‘My Own Private Idaho’.

Woke up and didn’t feel like going to work. Feeling ok though. Bill just called after having been outside the Lincoln Tunnel for over an hour. Apparently it’s horrific (Bill’s words) and I made the right decision to stay home.

Don’t really care what happens at Wanker Banker and certainly am not going to bust my ass to get into the city and work for a company that is impotent and treats me like shit.

Hoboken is digging itself. Out. Bright and sunny day today. Killing time today before I head into the city for counseling with Bill. Phone calls from Pedro and Julio today. Both very funny in their own way.

Walked to the Path train, which took a little longer than usual due to the large puddles of slush at various corners. This is what didn’t get photographed. The gray mess following. No one wants to see it. Yesterday was pristine, today a gray mess.

Got off at Christopher Street and walked around. I hit a few tobacconists on the way, meekly asking if they had Gauloises. It’s looking scarcer and scarcer. On a whim I walked past the Waverly theatre where there is a large magazine store that used to sell Gauloises when low and behold, the fabled Blue pouches in the rack on the other side of the counter.

I bought whatever they had. Yes I know, I shouldn’t but we’re at war, people! What the two have in common I don’t know but it’s a fact. Plus I saw someone resembling Dick Cheney walking toward me with what looked like a shotgun. I had to act fast.

Walked over to University, elated at my purchase and also for avoiding the Vice President’s gun slinging doppelganger. It was a beautiful night, despite the slush. A lot of people scurrying about in the night. Not many cars, mountains of snow. Met up with Bill and we headed to our counseling session for the evening.

It went well. We were both in good moods and seem to enjoy Philip Beansprout very much. We talked about how we talked about last week’s session last week. (What a sentence!)
The lines of communication are open and that pleased Philip. We talked about words like sensitive, and how Bill initially thought it was a put down when Philip mentioned that Bill was sensitive on some issues. We cleared the air and all agreed that it was a good thing to be sensitive, but communicating one’s sensitivity was just as important.

The session got rather abstract after that, I even mentioned my father. But it ended on a good note. The train ride home wasn’t as sullen as last week, we actually talked and laughed.

I really do love Bill very much. I just dig watching him go about doing his thing. He is my man. Tomorrow he flies off to Detroit. I hope it goes well. Bon Voyage Mon amour.

Snowman

Big snow. Lot’s of it. Been up since around 8AM, at least a foot and a half outside so far. White out conditions. It’s crazy, and I love it. Tomorrow will be a different story of course. It won’t look as nice as it does now. Soon will be slush and ice and treacherous conditions. But I enjoy it for what it is right now.

Walked out to get bagels and the papers. Sidewalks impassable, so walking in the middle of the street is the way to go. No cars out really so it’s relatively safe. The bagel shop was not crowded at all, neither was Davis Stationary where I get the papers, and Dunkin Donuts was empty as well.

Got the papers for Julio and a bagel. He was quite supportive on what appeared to be a suicide mission. Of course he was. He wanted his bagel. The streets being empty but for a few hearty souls like myself, made it wonderful.

Reminded me of a storm in 1975 when my father and I trucked from our house to the supermarket. Took about an hour. I was surprised my father actually walked. He wasn’t the snowball throwing type, more like a target if I only had the cojones. The walk, which usually took about 20 minutes from the door on Riverview Avenue to the A&P, took over an hour.

A few years ago, almost 3 years ago to the day was president’s day a three day weekend and we got whomped by a major snowstorm too. This is worse. Or better. The glass is half full, with snow.

I don’t drive so that aspect doesn’t bother me. Walking is a challenge, but achieved with occasional difficulty.

The reporters on the news this morning are all basically third string. These knobs out in the snow finally earning their six figured salaries, not saying anything intelligent, just standing in the snow and trying to talk to people that smartly want to get away from them. Of course there is the occasional Bernie, in his Cadillac Escalade driving through the snow talking to some neck bone with a microphone.

These reporters are really the bottom of the barrel. The ones that had to come in. This is their turn at bat. In the stations, the anchors are commenting on the amount of snow piled up next to cars. Like they had never seen anything like it before. Who is to blame for the inane commentary? The directors or the reporters. I can’t blame the writers because this all seems so badly ad libbed.

On one hand they are urging everyone to stay indoors, and on the other hand they broadcast a press conference with Mayor Bloomknob about hosting a winter carnival in celebration of the first snowfall of the season. You should stay in they say, but if you must go out, go roll around in the snow in the city parks.

I can’t believe that people need to get their common sense from these nut jobs on TV.
Looking out the window, I can’t see past 100 yards. Time to stay in, hunker down, and catch up on the back issues of the New Yorker that I have fallen behind on. Now they have some knob outside the Path trains where people are actually leaving their apartments to say hello to the reporter in the snow.

I stay in and give them the bird. Actually gave into Bill’s idea of submitting some snaps I took this morning and submitted them for broadcast. I am such a media whore. I had the idea of Bill and I storming the studios to get these idiots off the air and taking over the airwaves. Cool, huh?

But no, we’ll stay in. If we need any provisions the supermarket, yet another A&P, is only two blocks away. And the liquor store is between here and there. Got to keep my priorities gay, or straight, but really gay.

Just got a call from Julio who ventured out and was at the A&P. Asked if I needed anything I said coffee and chicken. So I’ll make some dinner. Think I’ve had enough coffee for the day. I keep mentioning to Bill that it might be fun to go outside and take some pics but he isn’t having it.

Comfy and cozy is he. Bill putters around the apartment, getting ready for his trip to Detroit on Tuesday. Looks like it stopped snowing but still quite windy out. I surf the net, turning down requests.

Just made dinner for Bill and Julio, the role of June Cleaver ably played by me, sans pearls. Not enough for seconds. Just some good chicken and pasta with tomato sauce and cheese. It was good enough for seconds but it wasn’t to be….

Blank Expression

A Woody Allen evening. Last week was also Woody Allen related. Bill hasn’t seen much, if any Woody Allen films. I have seen quite a few, and quite a few times. So I’ve been renting them through Netflix. Last week was Annie Hall. Classic 1970’s film that Bill hadn’t seen before. In a way it’s like seeing them for the first time through his eyes. But then again I can watch these over and over, and I have.

It was fun to see Annie Hall and look at Manhattan as it was in 1975. Definitely not how it is now. Not as sanitized. And the rent for Annie’s apartment with the terrace was $400. Outrageous! It really is a classic film, great scenes and really funny lines. I am amazed how some of the lines have worked their way into my everyday language. Due to copyright laws they can’t be reprinted here. That, and I’m lazy.

Tonight we watched Hannah and Her Sisters and Radio Days. I first saw Hannah up in Boston, 20 years ago, could be very close to the day. I was with Steve Saporito and we took the train from Newark NJ to Boston to see the Fall in their first American appearance on this particular tour. It was damn cold out and we had nowhere to go so we went to see Hannah and Her Sisters.

I loved it and got choked up at the end. Great characters and stories. As I get older I find some things in the movie ring true. And I am still knocked out by the restaurant scene where the three sisters sit and have a heated discussion. It opened my eyes to some New York City architecture. Lot’s of actors that are famous today, playing minor or background characters. Sam Waterson, who is one of Bill heroes playing a love interest for Dianne Weist and Carrie Fisher.

Bill was hooked up to IMDB and kept checking who’s who. Julia Louis Dreyfuss and John Turturro. We watched Radio Days afterwards, and I pointed out Seth Green. That was fairly easy since he plays Woody Allen and therefore in almost every scene. I didn’t really like Radio Days when it first came out. Found it too nostalgic, but with time passing by and me becoming nostalgic, for someone else’s nostalgia.

Bill would love to act in a Woody Allen film. He’s finding the characters to be so finely tuned. And the writing is great too. I also have Sleeper and Manhattan in my Netflix queue, but now plan to add Purple Rose of Cairo, after seeing Jeff Daniels at the end of Radio Days. Jeff reprises a character from Purple Rose. Perhaps two characters?

Now we’re watching the Aristocrats. Very raunchy. 180 degrees from the pristine Manhattan humor of Woody Allen. It is really nasty.

Right now it’s snowing very hard and quite windy. The Nor’easter has arrived, promising 12 inches but probably delivering only six. Weather and men, who knew they would be so similar?

also feeling a whole lot better. 24 hour bug, ya heard?

Touch Me I’m Sick

Woke up again this morning. A hard habit to break. Felt a bit odd, and gave serious consideration to calling in sick. Totally out of sorts. If you read last night’s posting you can see why my heart might not have been in it. But I rallied my self and got it together, suited up and out the door. No hustle, couldn’t if I tried. Subwayed again and got to work on time and promptly started to disintegrate.

Nose wouldn’t stop running and a feeling of being two or three steps behind myself. Didn’t feel like a cold or anything, felt more like allergies. With the allergies, a section of my head gets congested, a quadrant gets all stuffed. I could barely last 2 hours before I headed back to the subway.

Got to the Path after hopping off the N train and found an empty car to veg out in. Back in sunny and cold Hoboken I walked home after buying some Advil. Came home, and crashed for about 3 hours. Very deep sleep. Best sleep I’ve had in days.

Woke up and went outside to get some fresh air, wandered around. It was a lot warmer. There is anticipation about a Nor’easter approaching this weekend. I don’t plan on going anywhere. I am not operating at 100%. More like 75%.

Bill’s good. He’s being very caring. The shoe is now officially on the other foot since I was doing the same for him only a few weeks ago. He leaves for Detroit on Tuesday, stage-managing the ‘Monk’ play about Thelonious Monk, not the detective with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

That’s about all I can muster this evening, me feeling the way I do.

Here’s something from the past in lieu of anything else. I am on the mend.

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Heaven is Waiting. Waiting is Hell.

Memorial Day weekend, 2003. In Hoboken the Memorial Day parade was Wednesday 5/21. They like to get a jump on things here it seems. It was like a race what with the commuters walking down the sidewalks of Washington Street, racing the aging Veterans walking slowly, or in slow Cadillac convertibles, followed by the men on horseback.
Various shop owners leaning outside their doorways, looking at the parade. Commuters walking neck and neck, veterans, arm in arm. Racing against the rain that was sure to come.

Called El Jefe to see if he was watching the parade, but called at home. Turns out he and Lady Gigglepuss were out watching the parade. He called back after they had gotten home, Gigglepuss loving a parade. I myself had marched in too many parades when I was a kid; Memorial Day Parade was the specialty in Saddle Brook. I marched with the Junior Rifle Squad, wearing spats and epaulets and a big gray Calvary hat with a yellow kerchief around my neck. A wooden dummy rifle draped over my 10-year-old shoulder, walking in left right left formation.

I didn’t join the Junior Rifle Squad, I was drafted. An Al-A-Teen of sorts, we were the children of alcoholic parents at the VFW Post 3484, giving the kids something to do while the fathers and occasional mothers got soused to Sousa on Sunday afternoons. We would march in the large hall above the dark bar, where the vets could drink drafts for .25 cents a glass. We would learn to twirl rifles, and smoke cigarettes.

So we marched mostly on Memorial Day weekend. Usually Sunday. It never seemed to rain. My brother Brian, Susie Schaffer, Donna Bessemer, Lila Czwaska, her cousin Mark Traina, Sharon Mullins to name a few, were my comrades. It was a drag. Both literally and figuratively.

On Memorial Day itself, I would go with my father and head up to the VFW circle by Saddle Brook High School for the laying of the wreaths. I would scoop up the empty rifle shells after the 21-gun salute.

Anyway, I basically felt a tinge of guilt for not staying and watching the parade go by, applauding the veterans who made it this far. Or at least to 4th and Washington street where I cut across the parade and headed home through Church Square Park. The sirens faded in the distance as the parade got further and further away.

It rained later after the parade was over, I hope. Never had to march in the rain but I bet it sucks.

The atmosphere at work is edgy. Thursday couldn’t seem to be over soon enough. Any plans that I did have for the weekend had fallen by the wayside. Miss Gurl wasn’t coming up to Hoboken due to a friend returning from Iraq, and Miss Gurl wanted to spend time with him after not seeing him for so long. Can’t fault Miss Gurl for that. Harpy did invite Triple-5 and myself to his manse in LaGrangeville but with Triple-5 being super allergic to cats, and Harpy having cats he wasn’t going. I thought I was going to go, not having been since I left on 9/9/01, risking the fate of mankind, or a major catastrophe. Harpy phoned and put a kibosh on it. It was going to rain all weekend. Since I would be house bound, I decided to be housebound at home. Plus there was a futon that was being suffocated and desperately needed resuscitation.

Like I said the atmosphere at work is edgy. Each week the company sheds one more person. And with the current employment climate, it certainly is not a good time to be unemployed. My paranoia pokes its head up from time to time. I feel like my head is next on the block.

Like I had said weeks ago, I wasn’t this paranoid while I smoked weed everyday. Now that I don’t, it’s scary. Couldn’t if I wanted to, since the Rastas have moved on to Legitimacy.

Friday came, finally. At work people would ask what I was doing for the weekend. I planned on staying in, drinking wine and watching DVDs. Triple-5 came over and we watched TV, didn’t venture out, rain rain wasn’t going away. Watched ‘ A Hard Day’s Night’. Triple-5 liked Paul, I preferred George, as cutest Beatle. Loved the songs, it made me happy to see Triple-5 being able to watch the whole movie from start to finish, and liking it.

Saturday watched ‘Spirited Away’ on loan from El Jefe while Triple-5 was at his folks place. Quite nice, must watch it with Triple-5. Then we rented ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ starring Triple-5’s fave, a bus. My man has a fetish for buses. He doesn’t drink, doesn’t do drugs. Just has a thing for buses. Whatever revs one’s engine I suppose.

(My fetish? Well I’ll reveal some other time. I have more than one. Perhaps I’ll have a contest to see who can guess the most fetishes I have. Of course Triple-5 would be excluded from the contest. )

Sunday we watched ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ which was amazing. Made tears come to my eyes. And a great score by Peter Gabriel. The great Julio made an appearance for dinner and we all watched ‘24Hour Party People again while we ate dinner. Julio was thrown by the fact that Mark E. Smith was in it for a second. Julio’s roommate at the time was friends with Mark E. and allowed him to stay in Union City with them for a time.

‘Far From Heaven’ which was a melodramatic throw back to the 50’s. Good acting all around. We love Julianne Moore and could watch her in almost anything, including the Steve Seaport story, which will be made one day if someone could write a proper script.

Monday, in lieu of going to the VFW Circle, we watched ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ which kept up the Australian theme of the weekend. “Priscilla’ and ‘Rabbit’ being the others, all we needed was some Fosters and vegemite, eh Bruce? We also watched ‘Swimming to Cambodia’ which I had seem umpteen times, even saw it at the Mitzi Newhouse theatre in the 80’s with sundry people from McSwells. Triple-5 said I Spalding Gray reminds him of me. That’s interesting. I think.

Finally watched ‘Amelie’ which I had given Triple-5 for Valentine’s Day. Really good movie. Made me want to get Triple-5 to see ‘Delicatessen’ and maybe even ‘City of Lost Children’ which I had never seen. ‘Diva’ is another one which features Dominique whathisname who was in ‘Amelie’ and ‘Delicatessen’ That’s it for now. Must return the rentals.

G’day Mate.

Set Me Free

Here’s the dealie yo. Still not sleeping well. You probably are after reading that line. Waking up during the night. Body clock out of whack. So I wander around the apartment in a fog, making my breakfast, coffee, showering, etc. The routine. Not having enough time to stroll to work so I’ve been taking the subway to 5th avenue and Central Park South.

Painless and fast and I only wind up being 11 minutes late. I know the exact time since there are clocks everywhere. I wander in, most of the stupid people not in yet. They start drifting in. Jamie, present office manager, who has been pushing me for the position of office manager, told me that she’s looking to get out, she’s been going on interviews.

Kind of looks like the time is right for me to be the office manager, no? NO. Carla who lives in London is moving to NYC to be the office manager. I am so not considered for the position that they will have someone move to NYC from LONDON than have me do the job. Nice huh? These lovely scumbags who gypped me out of my bonus, giving Christina, my assiatant who hasn’t been there a year, a better amount than me. I have no loyalty to these pieces of shit.

But I do like Carla, she’s very nice and sweet and I doubt she knows what she’s getting herself into.

Jamie also told me that they have a lot on the Persian bitch to get her fired, but they are not going to do anything. What the fuck is wrong with these mother fucking idiots? She dresses like a whore, has nothing but attitude and does all she can to undermine any type of morale in the shithole office. The fucking president of the company is impotent and overwhelmed by her.

She has the goods on some people that much I know. Helen, adminstrative office idiot, told her some tales out of school about Colette, a woman Helen supports. Colette told Helen in confidence and now the Persian bitch has the goods on Helen. How do these people get through life without anyone bashing in their tender heads?

So they’re not doing anything to make the situation better. In fact several things have gotten worse. I have got to get the fuck out of there. So I still have jobs being sent to me via www.glocap.com, still sending out my resume. The funny thing is earlier this week I had such a better attitude, I actually though the Persian bitch was on her way out, to the curb on her bony whore like ass. Nope.

This is what the Persian Bitch resembles with her false colored eyes, dyed hair stiff and over processed like spaghetti, and does not have the personality of a comic strip character like Jasmine from ‘The Boondocks’.

A slightly unreasonable facsimile. Apologies to Aaron McGruder and Jasmine.

If you saw this bitch you would know right off the bat what type of ‘person’ she was. I mean she was horrible enough to lose her job at Bill’s law firm, where people considered waiting for her afterwork to beat her up. It’s Bleedin’ Hope’s legacy and not a thing will be done about it.

So for all my friends who were pulling for me to get this goddamned office manager position even though I knew and told those friends that it wasn’t going to happen especially after offering myself three fucking times, I told you so.

I have to take the chance and get the hell out of there. It seems it’s not getting better.

Till the End of the Day

What a day what a day. A pretty good day. Still troubles with sleep, tossing and turning and body clock behaving badly. And I’ve been going to bed earlier, not watching the Daily Show. Been skipping it for about two weeks and the body clock has been out of sync for the past few days so that can’t be it. Time will tell I suppose.

Still running into stupid people, and they are sometimes really snotty. Had to deal with a woman on the phone today who was just so remarkably indifferent about wanting to give the company she works for business. And it’s big bucks. Not small potatoes. This is Wanker Banker business so money is being spent.

The hiring of chicks because they have big boobs escapes me. If there was some big stud wanting a job that I was offering and all he had to offer was a bulge here and there and not much going on upstairs, I wouldn’t hire him. No really, I wouldn’t. Might be nice to look at, to fantasize about but work is work.

Had a few errands to run today and it was a good day for it. First I had to pick up a linen tablecloth that was at the dry cleaners by work. That was a nice stroll. Walked about three blocks to a spot that was a hundred yards from the office. Came back to the desk where I had a coffee and read some emails, then it was out the door to buy some fruit. No, not some big stud with bulges here and there. Actual apples and oranges and bananas and nectarines.

I try to walk past Paul McCartney’s lawyer’s office, Eastman and Eastman on 54th Street on the off chance that I’ll run into Paul coming or going. No, not stalking. It was reported a few years ago that Sir Paul likes to take public transportation and he was spotted on a Lexington Avenue bus. So he’s known to walk around Manhattan on occasion. I’m known to walk around Manhattan on occasion too!

But no Paul. I walked back to the office listening to Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’ on the Ipod. Great club music, 15 years later. Missed the boat on that one. An hour or so later I walked down to 42nd street to drop off a donation to the American Heart Association on behalf of a coworker who’s brother dropped dead of a heart attack leaving behind a wife and two kids. He was thirty something and led a relatively clean life. Not a smoker, not a drinker.

Strolled up Third Avenue, past 757 where I had worked decades ago for Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich. They’re long gone. Next door is Spam Partners where a former coworker now works. Teresa. A really sweet woman. I surprised her by popping in and we went out and had some coffee at Starbucks. I know, Starbucks. But it was right there and it was T’s suggestion. Who am I to argue?

We caught up on what’s happening at Wanker Banker since she left almost a year ago. The house of cards that she left had fallen. Gave her the lowdown on Bleedin’ Hope. She gave me the lowdown on the fact that her husband, Frank, discovered this blog. She thinks it’s enjoyable and funny and said I was a good writer, which is always nice to hear.

I hope her mother’s operation goes well. It’s a routine operation so I don’t see why it shouldn’t. How’s that for a shout out?

So it was pretty much an alright day. And had an excellent Padron 5000 Natural on my walk to the Path train, listening to Madness ‘One Step Beyond’. Most apt I think.

Madonna is on TV. Gorillaz opened up. They were good. Madonna with that 70’s Farrah ‘do’ is still a skank. That’s it for the Grammy’s for me.

The Rain Song

Did not sleep well last night. I tried, woke up at 3 thinking it was 6. Not a good way to sleep. Tossing and turning and when I finally fell asleep it was time to wake up and go to work. And what fun that turned out to be. The sheer stupidity of some people is overwhelming sometimes. But I was able to escape once or twice and run some errands so that wasn’t so bad but all the day did was drag.

The Ipod healed itself somehow. From Friday night to Saturday morning all it did was reload from my home pc. Took about 8 hours to move 6000 plus tracks from one thing to another. I know, it wasn’t worth the drama, but I’ve been called a drama queen before and if the tiara fits…

Bill and I recovered from the counseling last night. Sufficiently so that we are planning a visit to Washington DC around Easter to visit my dear friend Billie. I knew Billie through Jet. Sisters 3 we were. Kate, Tasha and Cindy. Now Kate is gone and has been replaced by Judy. So Cindy and Judy hope to spend some egg rolling time in DC with Tasha. Of course it’s all up to Tasha if she is ready.

Bill has never met Billie so that should be interesting. Protective older sister he/she is. I enjoy visiting Chocolate City. It’s a place where I can let my hair down and actually dance. I look forward to dancing with Bill and Billie, that is, if we go out. It all depends if Billie is on top of Tasha’s game, health wise.

Been listening to Laraaji’s ‘Day’s of Radiance’ produced by Brian Eno and is part of Eno’s Ambient series, making it ‘Ambient 3’. It is really soothing and up and something else. Multi layered zithers. Walked to work listening to that on the Ipod.

Odd thing about the Ipod: One of the last albums I played on the Ipod was ‘Sandinista’ by the Clash. Though everything seems to be running ok now, I am hesitant to play it for fear that it might happen again. And if it happens again, no big deal, there’s always the mini. It was weird for me to use the Ipod, I felt like I was thrown back a couple of months into 2005. I am so attached, or addicted to the Ipod, even feeling smug and superior when I see an Ipod not as sleek as mine.

That’s so not me. I am generally humbled and get humbled around most friends and family so ego is not a problem here. More like the lack of ego.

Now I am playing the ‘Rain Song’ by Led Zeppelin. The memory of this now is driving to Sandy Hook in the summer of 2005. Annemarie at the wheel, me being co-pilot as usual, and Earl and Stine (now Mrs. Julio Lopez) sitting placidly in the back seat. It was a rainy weekday, spent most of the time checking the weather reports. I was determined to have a good time.

And I played the ‘Rain Song’ as well as other rain themed songs, like ‘Rain’ by the Fabs. It seemed to work, we had a pretty good day at the beach, which was relatively empty from the distant clouds.

And here are some pics from way back when:

Annemarie

Earl

Stine (Mrs. Julio Lopez)


Chewbacca (Philip Seymour Carey)

One After 909

Monday. Bill and I restarted counseling today. This time with a male counselor, Phillip Beansprout, a gay male counselor. We didn’t want to explain all the secret handshakes to a straight counselor so we asked for a new one. We saw the last one tonight, Carol Howell♪ as we were waiting to see Phillip Beansprout. I felt guilty since I instigated the fact I didn’t want to see Carol again.

Bill was cool and stated that she was a professional and it probably doesn’t bother her at all. Once she got in the elevator that seemed to take a mighty long time to arrive, I felt better. The place still reminds me of a sex club, lot of rooms. A man wearing nothing but a towel wouldn’t look entirely out of place there.

Phillip Beansprout showed up and escorted us to the room through the offices. Various other therapists getting ready to see their patients, or getting ready to go home after seeing their patients. It was a larger room than the last one we had.

Bill and I sat on the couch opposite Phillip. His first question, ‘Why were we there?’ was a good one. I started off and told him why I thought we were there. Skimmed over the year and change freeze out by Bill, which led Phillip to ask Bill why things were the way they were. And Bill told him. Then I told him, then Bill told him some more.

Phillip pointed out how sensitive Bill was about things. Everyone is sensitive about certain things in their life, one shouldn’t be ashamed about them nor made to feel ashamed about them.

Phillip seems astute and pretty much in the know. The only thing that had to be explained was ‘feeling’, as in “Bill wasn’t feeling the pre-game entertainment”. Just not into it. A funny thing is the night I first met Bill and we rode the subway together, when we sat on the seat on the train I said to him, ‘I’m feeling you kid’. Here we are years later explaining to a couples counselor what ‘feeling’ means.

I clearly enjoyed Phillip more than Bill did. He did feel ganged up on but the particular problems that we are facing that caused our rift a few months ago was from his non communication in every sense of the word.

The first question asked was ‘Why were we there?’ That is the situation that got us there, non-communication. That is why we were there.

So it was a positive session for me, hopefully for Bill and hopefully for us. I think we’re going to stick with this and see where it goes.

Then there is the sullen ride home. We don’t really talk to each other until we get home.
Such emotional opening deserves some peace. This is only our second session, but I enjoy the fact that once we’re home we’re rested and able to talk about the therapy.

Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Take what you have learned and go with it. That is what we’re gonna do.

Another The Letter

My Dearest Elizabeth,

I am so terribly sorry to read about what has happened to your father and his ferret. It seems like only yesterday when he just bought Ulysses. The two got along like a house on fire. No one expected the ferret to have a seizure when they both went out for a drive last month. From what I’ve read in the paper, the coroner stated that your father had gone into shock after Ulysses tore through your father’s hamstring.

It was sad to read and brought back memories of my great Aunt Dorothy and her pet rabbit. The two were inseparable. So much so that during cold winters, the rabbit would drape itself around Aunt Dorothy’s neck, occasionally dispensing dried raisins to children in her neighborhood.

When the rabbit died, Aunt Dorothy had a sumptuous dinner featuring rabbit as the main course. A few guests complained about the meat being too tough, I guess from aging improperly.

Speaking of aging improperly, did you hear about Mrs. Sofronicz? Apparently she was caught with the garbage man sorting out recyclables from regular trash, if you know what I mean. Mr. Sofronicz came home earlier than expected one night to find the garbage laid out all over the driveway. It’s been said that he revved the car and almost ran over the two of them, creating an even greater mess than before.

Mary Beth tells me that Mr. Sofronicz was caught loitering in a rest room at the shopping mall. Imagine that! A banker, hanging out midday in a public restroom. The scandal! Mary Beth said that he paid off the police as well as the press who were tagging along. No one knows if they’ll be having their usual Mardi Gras party this year. We’ll have to wait and see.

My youngest, Todd, has been having a few scrapes with the law, spraying graffiti on public buildings. You might know his ‘Tag’. It’s ‘Todd’. I’ve seen a few of his signings or art works, and they are quite colorful, but lacking something. Todd always lacked imagination. He’s got something, but not that creative spark.

He’s a handful, though a bit slow. His mother wants me to speak with him about his grades. He’s failing miserably in most subjects and we’re considering one of those tutoring companies that they show on early morning television.

I still think he doesn’t apply himself, but then again I didn’t really apply myself either. I was bored, I don’t think he is. I don’t think it’s drugs or alcohol, which if he had a problem with, I’d blame his mother’s side of the family. Bunch of lousy rehabbers.

I’m glad to see your oldest daughter has gotten her GED and finished her community service. I tell you, that girl is going places.

Once again Elizabeth, I can’t say how sorry I truly am about your father. It truly is a shame. He truly loved that ferret, almost more than life itself. That makes it ironic that the thing he loved more than life itself wound up taking his life.

Call me, we’ll have lunch.

Maurice

Everlasting Love

1970’s soul music. I loved it. Kool and the Gang, George McRae, Hues Corporation, real fun early disco stuff. I used to listen to Music Radio 77 WABC in the seventies. Music from then conjures up strong memories for me. For example, listening to ‘Rock The Boat’ by the Hues Corporation reminds me of swimming in a pool in someone’s backyard in Saddle Brook.

On Sunday afternoons after the softball game, various people from the Saddle Brook VFW would wind up in the backyard of Bill and Eileen Hayes. This basically meant that the usual denizens of the dank cellar of Post 3484 would be drinking and eating outside. And drinking quite a bit. I’d either be playing with the neighborhood kids or swimming in the pool, creating whirlpools as the sun would set.

Al Green I remember going on a paper drive with more members of the VFW. That was a noble effort and sober as far as I know, but knowing what I do now, someone was probably nipping at the bottle.

Music Radio 77 would even turn up on some people’s home phone. I grew up about a mile from a very powerful transmitting tower. Summertime radio I guess is always magical when you’re growing up. And if you’re as interested in music as much as I am, it’s consuming. I find myself occasionally going online to a website that has the chart positions of singles going as far back as 45 years. February 2. 1972 had the top single of the week for ‘Knock Three Times’ by Dawn.

Tony Orlando hadn’t made a name for himself yet. Elton was number ten with ‘Your Song’. 1971 was also the year of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. I saw the play the following year. WABC was playing various cuts from that album.

I didn’t really start noticing music and buying my own singles until a year later. One of the first singles I ever bought was ‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon. I met her about ten years ago and I may have let that slip, which made her feel old. She still had no problem bumming cigarettes from me, telling me how bad they are for me.

She actually looks way better than she photographs.

Another of my early singles was ‘Jet’ by Paul McCartney and Wings, and ‘Clair’ by Gilbert O’Sullivan, which my brother, Frank needles me about to this day.

I look back at the charts from the sixties and the mix of songs and genres is astonishing.
Motown, The British Invasion, The Singing Nun and Dean Martin. Something for everyone, I guess because there was nowhere else to go.

I don’t want to sound like an old fart so I won’t pass comment on today’s stuff. You can up your own minds on that subject. Somewhere down the line, most of the music I listened to was way off the charts. It was odd when Elvis Costello had a Top Ten album with ‘Armed Forces’ and Talking Heads had a top forty hit with ‘Take Me to the River’.
And they were considered punk rock by most everyone.

A lot of the music I listen to lately topped the charts years ago, sometimes even decades. Everlasting Love indeed.