Monthly Archives: April 2006

Here She Comes Now

Julio is telling me not to put the pressure of writing 500 words on myself. He thinks it’s painful, and it isn’t. He was trying to be supportive by telling me that if I only write 486 words that should be sufficient. I explained that it was a discipline of a minimum of 500 words. Not the kind of support that I was looking for. It was because I groaned after starting this entry at 11:00PM.

It was a lazy Sunday again. A beautiful day. I walked and got the papers and bagels, had another nice breakfast, did some laundry, did some homework for work too, believe it or not. I have difficulty believing it myself. It was an excel work page for supplies that I created on Bill’s Mac and sent as an email. I can know use a Mac without much trepidation.

I watched two DVD’s from Netflix also. I watched ‘Pie in the Sky’ a documentary about a Warhol girl, Bridget Berlin which was interesting. Lot’s of phone conversations taped between Andy and Bridget. He was a funny guy, that Andy. I met Andy Warhol at two book signings a year or so before he died. The first time was at B.Dalton on 8th Street and 6th Avenue.

Andy was signing copies of his ‘America’ book. I bought one and had it signed of course, I noticed there were a lot of people with soup cans and postcards and having their picture taken by Andy. I should have thought of that I thought to myself.

A few weeks later Andy was signing copies again at Rizzoli on West Broadway. I came prepared this time. I had newspaper clippings, soup cans, Brillo boxes, postcards and photographs, all filling a paper shopping bag. I was with Martha Keavney. She accompanied me to the B. Dalton signing but didn’t bring anything with her.

We followed the signs to the book signing upstairs at Rizzoli. It was oddly quiet and empty really. One sales person standing around and Andy sitting at a card table with a hood from his jacket on his head. I asked the sales person what was going on and hey told me they ran out of books.

I went up to Andy and said I really liked his stuff and would he mind signing a few things since there were no books left. He said he wouldn’t mind and signed everything I had in the bag. It was very nice of him to do that. A few days later I read in Liz Smith’s column that someone had pulled the wig off Andy’s head and threw it over the balcony to a waiting accomplice downstairs, who ran out the store and into the street.

It’s all on page 689 in the Andy Warhol Diaries, or at least in the hardcover edition I have. I’m not in it though, merely the incident. I wound up on the editing floor probably. Underneath the White Out.

That year, I gave soup cans and Brillo boxes away as gifts. I was short of money and figured a thirty-nine cent can of Campbell’s Soup autographed by Andy Warhol would be priceless.

Andy died a year or so after that. The thirty-nine cent Campbell’s Soup can was selling for 500.00.

I still dig Andy Warhol.

The other movie was ‘I Don’t Know Jack’ a documentary about Jack Nance who was in a few David Lynch movies, and died a mysterious death. It was ok.

Dreadlock Holiday

Went to bed late last night, got caught up in a bad movie, ‘Constantine’ starring Keanu Reeves. It was bad, the special effects were pretty good though. Nothing to write home about, so I won’t. Bill was off to drive a group from Flushing, NY to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, despite his back. Hopefully he’ll get through it all right. It was a bit hairy last night with the gauze and his wound. I’ll do it again, but to hear him in such pain is distressing.

I left the apartment with Bill this morning, he walking north and me walking south. On the street I ran into hobokengeo, a friend that I chat with. A little taller than he is online. He was running an errand and so was I. There were bagels to be had and newspapers to be read. Out of my way, hobokengeo!

On the way back, I ran into Mike Korman, former guitarist for Gutbank and former council candidate in Hoboken. He’s married to Clara Suarez, a sweet girl who I used to work with 15 years ago when I worked in a video store on Washington Street. He told me he and Clara and their kid live around the block from me on Willow Terrace. He mentioned that Clara always talks about me and we should get together.

I had a nice breakfast on returning to the apartment, some eggs, a bagel, coffee and the papers, the papers. All very mellow. I was playing Black Uhuru and feeling like the angry Rasta I used to be. I was going to the Anti War march in Manhattan. No one else was able to join me so I went solo. On the way there, I ran into an old friend of Julio’s, Joanne something or other. Chatted with her for a few minutes before heading to the crowded Path train.

More crowded on a Saturday afternoon at 12 than it is on a weekday morning at 7:30. Black Uhuru still playing on the Ipod. I uploaded a lot of Reggae the past few days. I used to be so immersed in Rastafarian culture and Reggae, it was great to hear all those songs from Burning Spear, Black Uhuru and the Abyssinians and Big Youth. I was surprised I remembered so many lyrics from the songs.

Got off at 23rd Street and walked over to Broadway where the rallying point was supposed to be. That was actually the tail end. The start was at Union Square. It was a great day for a march down Broadway, the sun was beaming. A lot of standing around was required since this was the end of the march, everyone else had to proceed before we could.

After about an hour we shuffled along Broadway chanting Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Bush and Cheney have got to go and the old stand by, What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now! Or within a reasonable time frame! It took about another hour to get from 22nd street to 17th street. Since I was flying solo I just kept walking and taking pictures. I felt like COINTELPRO, and thought I was being looked at as one.

As we inched down the street there was one counter protester, from a VFW, a life member berating us in a conversational tone to keep moving. I’m sure we would have if we could. It was sad to see this veteran supporting the policy of and administration while this administration has gutted many veterans’ benefits. But knowing the type of mentality of groups like the VFW, it was a reminder of the blind loyalty that generation has to the Republicants.

I kept wandering in and out of drum circles and decided to get some percussion somewhere. I thought about Farfetched and how they sold toy instruments sometimes. So I left the march at 14th street and walked down Fourth Avenue to the store. Susan was in the back, Jessica at the register. Turns out they had no toy instruments so I hung out with the two of them, shooting the shit as it were.

Susan correctly guessed that I wasn’t about to rejoin the march, considering that I was behind the register ringing up cards. After an hour of that I walked back to the crowded Path train and figured out they reduced service on weekends. I walked back to the apartment chilling out to some fine dub.

And here are some pics of the Anti War march:

Satta Massagana

Bill was at his folks after having an infection dug out of his back by a dermatologist. He was scheduled to spend the night at his parents anyway. He had an infection under his skin and it started to make its presence known through a rather unpleasant odor. So he hightailed it to a dermatologist who hooked him up with a hack. So there is a hole that needs dressing on occasion and that’s something that doesn’t sound like fun since I’m the one who will be changing it.

It’s a cyst! A cyst filled with old sweat, which became infected. And funky, not in a good way. I will be changing the dressing soon. He said that before I go to bed I would see it. Julio calls it the bacon. He had to do the same thing with his ex-roommate years ago. Nearly the exact same situation. I had a crush on Julio’s ex-roommate years ago and he had a cyst on his back. Am I attracted to men with cysts on their back? Is there a support group? Or a chat room?

It was a busy day. I woke up out of sorts, since Bill was at his folk’s. I stumbled about the apartment and had my breakfast. Walked to the Path train, and got off at Christopher Street, all the while listening to Burning Spear, “Social Living”. I had to set up once again for a breakfast meeting and pulled it off. The other day I had to purchase more food than I originally ordered. It went untouched and I was reimbursed.

It turns out though, that the meeting was cancelled. No one told me so I was off the hook on that matter. I was able to have a muffin and some grapes. The day was fairly quiet. Felicia had her thing going on regarding her cancer treatment. I was able to work at a relaxed pace which was easy since a lot of people were out.

I wonder though, if Felicia is leaving the company. I recall after my first interviews I saw a listing on Glocap.com for the office manager position in Soho for an advertising agency. I applied to it then and was considered and declined. And this situation with Felicia makes me wonder.

High drama, if not Shakespearean, then Marsha Norman.

I was able to help a few coworkers with their tasks and they were most appreciative. It was relatively stress free. I didn’t feel the need to run around like I’ve been doing the past eight days. It was really a relaxed atmosphere.

I had yet another in a series of salads for lunch and talked to my brother Frank on my cell while I ate in the park. I once made out with some guy from Queens in this park after a gay pride parade. Or was it a Queen named Guy? I also parked on this block when I saw New Order at the Paradise Garage in 1982. Mescaline. So there’s a history of sorts.

Uh huh.

Nothing to write about in the afternoon. Afterwork I walked down to the World Trade Center Path train, smoking a Padron. Tribeca has changed considerably since before 9/11. Lot’s of Bistros and café’s. Very trendy.

It was a great walk, the weather was perfect. I got on an in a not too crowded train and sat reading ‘The Love You Make” by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. Peter Brown was an aide to the Beatles in the sixties. It’s a fun gossipy read.

Now it’s time to put the gauze into Bill’s open wound. It’s about a centimeter wide and thick. He just took a shower and now it’s time to put new gauze on it.

After a few attempts Julio guided me through it while judging with Bill’s threshold of pain.

Positive Vibration

The week has flown by. I woke up thinking it was Wednesday. One of those instances when it’s good to be wrong. Today is Thursday. I had to get into work early since I had two meetings to take care of, sign for breakfast, set up the breakfast, make coffee and arrange the food that is barely touched.

I am definitely trying to be positive in the new job. I smile, whistle, tell someone, “nice shirt, blouse etc”. I try to interact. The women who hosted the meetings thanked me and that was nice and kind. Most of the men don’t interact. I guess they are sussing me out. Trying to figure out what’s what. There’s a new guy, Justin who seems cool. I should perhaps gravitate to him. We can be newbies together.

Julio and Bill have been supportive of me in the sense to not give in and it’s greatly appreciated. I know my only option is that I have to hang in there. Bill and Julio have been resolute in talking me through this. Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

I do have issues with things like this, severe changes. Annemarie mentioned something a while back about how when she was in eighth grade and I was in first grade, they had to pry my fingers from the fence outside in the playground when classes began in the school. I was crying and screaming and wanted my mother to come back and not leave me with these people.

I had forgotten that for a long time and when Annemarie told me about it, it slowly started to come back to me. I remembered the feeling. I also thought about how it looked. Like I was looking at film of me being pried off the fence kicking and screaming. This happened frequently, if not daily. I never liked school, except for eighth grade. That’s about it.

I wonder what happened to a few classmates from grammar school. I saw two of them at my high school reunion. They wondered as well. But I never cross paths with anyone from those days. I hope their all doing well. After no contact with my classmates for thirty years, I really doubt we’d have anything in common. I’m sure I’m not the only gay person. I did hear that Gwen Garicki was a lesbian. We were voted class clowns back in the day. Somewhere there is a picture with Gwen and I stone faced holding an open umbrella amongst cardboard cutouts of a flood.

I still think it’s a funny picture. Makes me smile thirty years later. A surrealist at 13.

Who knew? I sometimes still dream of St. Francis de Sales school. I remember the smell when the parish had the Bazaar in June. That was magical. I only went to a handful of the Bazaars, but I remember the coin toss where you win a dish. I remember the smell of sausages cooking, the sounds of riders on the Octopus and the Tip Top. St. Joseph’s Boulevard was the center of my world.

Now it’s here.

Fixing A Hole

Today was better than yesterday somewhat. When faced with a statement like not having the energy I portrayed in my interview, I amped up to 11. So fucking positive. Started the office up just right. Felicia traipsed in an hour or so later. She’s quite thin and if I didn’t see her walking towards me I wouldn’t have seen her at all.

Arranged conference rooms, sent out Fed Ex’s (some that had been waiting to go out for weeks, no one could figure out what to do). That happened at Skyline Studios years ago. I was let go since the studio was closing down and stopped by one day after my temp job. People were running around trying to get their Fed Ex’s out and no one could figure out the forms. I took it upon myself to do it for them. They were amazed and I was able to get rehired temporarily on the basis of getting paid in cash everyday that I worked for them.

So I was able to amaze them all by filling out Fed Ex labels online. A step forward into the 21st century. It’s so easy sometimes.

There were meeting and guests and clients. The owner of the company was in today and I wasn’t kissing ass, yet treated him with the respect he was entitled to. After all it’s his signature on my check.

It was a nice day out, even ran some errands on the way to the office, picking up some items that were going to be needed. Once again, going beyond the call of duty. The extra mile. Will it be noticed or appreciated? I don’t know. Can’t get hung up on it.

I did my usual shuffling about the office, doing this, doing that. Keeping busy, and whistling as I work. Really.

A happy productive worker bee I am. I’m impressed. I still yearn for what I left behind. Mainly the friends I had made. I guess it will be up to me to maintain those relationships.

I wandered around the village for lunch, talked to Harpy on the phone. He’s always a hoot. Just walked around looking in shop windows. I found a bench in a park and sat down, finishing ‘Teacher Man’ by Frank McCourt. Sorry to end it. I enjoy Frank’s writing. E’s an inspiration, e is.

Frank McCourt is someone who rose from garbage and worked on the docks eventually becoming a teacher, inspiring and touching many souls. After he taught at several New York City high schools, he retired and somehow became a writer. He won a Pulitzer Prize after his first novel, ‘Angela’s Ashes’.

He’s inspiring to me to keep on living life, meeting people, to go through whatever situations that life throws at me and using my skills to write it down, hopefully in an entertaining manner. Of course, that’s not up to me to decide. That’s up to you. I hope you’re being entertained.

I like to think of these entries as letters rather than a diary. I used to write letters frequently to family and friends. But as time goes on it’s harder to get to a space where I’m able to write letters. So this will have to do.

Thanks for keeping up. Please leave some feedback or comments, ok?

Cheers. ♪

check this out:
http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid30116.asp

Wishbone

I am trying to maintain a positive mental attitude. No, not trying, having a positive mental attitude. I open up the office, turn machines on, set up the kitchen, book rooms, sign for packages then distribute the packages, stock the refrigerator, distribute mail, take inventory of supplies and kitchen things and answer the phones. That’s what I did at Wanker Banker that is what I do now.

I know it sounds a lot more glamorous than it is. I’ve been at McMann and Tate (MT) for five days now. Today while loading the dishwasher, I asked my supervisor Felicia how she thought I was doing so far.

“You were a lot more energetic during your interview.”

“Okay…?”

I don’t think that could be considered constructive. I was deflated. Day five at the new job and your supervisor says that. I mean, WTF?

I admit I’m eager to please, not kissing ass. Multi tasking and adrift. There isn’t any handbook to go to and whatever notes I find seem to contradict each other. David, the Oedipal temp ‘trained’ me for two days, and it was more of a hands off on the job not much at all training type of thing.

At Wanker Banker, (where I was, yes unhappy) I could seize the situation a lot of the time. No earth shaking decisions but small and smart ones. I was also my own boss basically. And I also had friends there.

There’s no real system at MT and Felicia keeps telling me how we have to keep things under budget. That makes it difficult to keep up on ordering supplies.

On an odder note, Felicia told me she was not going to be in on Friday. Trying to get a bead on something resembling cordiality, I asked her if she was doing anything special.

“No, I have a Doctor’s appointment”

Oh I hope it’s nothing serious. (And I was sincere in that regard)

“I have cancer.”

Now what do you say to that? Jeezy Creezy!

“You’re kidding. No wait, you wouldn’t kid about that. Wow. Sorry” That’s about all I could say.

This place is bugged for sure. Bugged in the sense that it seems a bit weird. Street slang if you will. Perhaps that’s why Felicia has been a bit distracted.

Yeah that cancer, one major distraction.

I do hope that it’s nothing really serious, maybe a melanoma. My money’s on the melanoma. Speaking of hope, I really hope this isn’t a rehash of the Bleedin’ Hope scenarios.

I don’t plan on leaving, but Felicia told me they had gone through quite a few receptionists before finding me. I wonder why that might be? Nah, I’ll hang in there, making a concerted effort to smile often while doing such drudgery. I had even run once or twice to answer a ringing phone. And I don’t even run for the bus. Skip maybe, but run? Nah, not really.

The plan is to maintain a positive attitude. If I’m going to stay I have to adapt to them because they aren’t going to adapt to me.

Age of Consent

Ok. Things ended weirdly with Julio last night. Weird enough that I asked him to leave. I was explaining that I didn’t do as planned, which was going onto Bill’s Mac’s or even Julio’s Mac. I felt confident enough not to, despite my nagging doubts. Julio said I was going to be sorry that I didn’t touch a Mac. I took that as Julio saying that I was going to fail miserably. That’s not what I needed to hear, or to think I heard, to have my paranoia fed to me. It was time for him to go home anyhow, I just sped up the process.

This was a few hours after I wrote last night’s blog. I was feeling full of self-doubt I didn’t need to hear that from him. I know it was in good fun but I was trying to psych myself up somewhat for the next day’s work. It didn’t help. Bill was surprised that I rushed Julio out and asked why. All I could say was read the blog and you will see.

I am doing better. My dear sister, Annemarie (who is so great) told me about her situation when she had started a new job. Pretty much similar to mine. A positive spin on things helped her out and I plan on trying to do the same. It’s not so much that I’m missing the old job, more like missing my friends that I worked with. And not just them but people I interacted with in the area of the office.

The Egyptian hot dog guy who’s kids I was putting through ivy league colleges, the Korean girl I would buy cookies from, Tony the West Indian dude who would make my egg sandwich once a week, and Rose the sweet old lady that I spoke to a few times a week and ordered milk for the office from her (No, she wasn’t lactating) and the building security staff that out of a few thousand people they watched over, I seemed to be the only one that treated them with respect. I hope to see them again, but who knows?

I know I can’t go back to Wanker Banker again, that much is for sure.

My problem is a fear of the unknown. I was comfortable yet uncomfortable in that cocoon that I was in for 3 and a half years. I was my own boss, and I was the smartest in the office in matters that weren’t financial, and also the office hipster. Now, I’m with creative people, no longer the lone hipster. I am the new guy that no one knows anything about.

They did hire me, they like me. They didn’t ask about computer programs which probably would have hamstringed me somewhat. It was my personality and my resume that got me there. I didn’t lie on the resume, so there’s no panicking on that front. Just that I am so eager to please, and trying hard at it. It’s only my fourth day, I have to adapt to this situation.

I must stop acting like such a pussy and be myself. I am surrounded by family and friends that love me, Julio included, giving me support, albeit sometimes offhandedly. It’s a good job, nothing I haven’t done before. I just hope they don’t expect me to hit the ground running and I don’t think they do. I’m wasting energy trying to read their minds, I just have to go and do my job to the best of my ability.

Tonight was a session with Phillip Beansprout, which went well. Bill and I told him that we were getting along great, communicating a lot and spending a lot more time together. We told him about the trip to Washington DC and how that went. We also told him that this might be our last session, to which he seemed dismayed.

We will continue the sessions after the insurance runs out though we don’t know how long we will continue. We both like old Phillip.

Oh yes, one more thing. Got a letter from the New York State Department of Labor, asking where their money is. This time I am making a photocopy of the judge’s ruling and sending it to them instead of the usual faxing, in their postage paid envelope. That should explain it all to them.

Wake Up

What the hell is wrong with me? Lately I’ve been plagued by self doubt, mainly about how much better I had it at Wanker Banker, and why the hell did I leave. I actually have to take a step back and realize and remember that the place was driving me crazy. True I was my own boss there, but basically I was so unhappy. I have to keep telling myself that, believe it or not.

Usually something will trigger the feeling of doubt, last night I was thinking about wine and how lately I had been getting my bottles of wine from Wanker Banker. I miss walking around midtown, I miss wearing a suit and tie, and I miss some of my coworkers. But I was so unhappy. I was doing the job in my sleep, making my own hours and still getting the task at hand done.

Was I being petulant when I left? No, I was generally unhappy. They did treat me like shit the past few months. The gave me half of what some people got for a bonus despite the fact that those people weren’t even there as long as I was. They turned a blind eye to being ripped off by various employees. New divisions of Wanker Banker were also pulling me in crazy directions, and I had no support from anyone really regarding who these new divisions were or how should I support them.

Also I was thinking about how other coworkers had moved on and how happy they seemed to be. Maybe I wanted to find some of that happiness for myself. I know I could never go back there again, despite a longing fuelled by doubt.

Being cooped up in the apartment most of the weekend really lent itself to feeling like that. I have to apply myself at McMann and Tate. More opportunities are possible. I need to take matters into my own hands without relying on Felecia my supervisor.

The sun finally broke through and I was able to take a walk outside and enjoy the waterfront. Quite nice, not too crowded. Of course I had a Padron. Julio couldn’t go out walking and Bill was content to stay home and watch Law and Order again.

Many cuties wandering about. I wandered over to CVS on Clinton Street because I heard an old friend from McSwells was working there. A dear sweet guy, Martin Kelly. Hadn’t seen him in years and would’ve liked to say hello. I looked around the store but didn’t see him.

Maybe he saw me first and hid. Perhaps I lingered too long in the Incontinence aisle. In any event, it was good to know he’s alive and well and working. Still digging the Arcade Fire cd. It’s so good. I’m sorry I missed some opportunities to see them live. Better late than never.

Tomorrow will more than likely be the last session with Phillip Beansprout for Bill and myself. The insurance will end by the end of April and the new job won’t cover it. The new job won’t even have Bill insured under my plan. Bill’s cool with that. I think we made enough progress with Phillip. We’ve learned to communicate better and I think that was a main problem that we had. The lack of communication.

And now, some pictures from Hoboken, April 23, 2006.

Found Art?


A building being renovated by Stevens Tech.


Big Ship Going Somewhere


Short Pier, no long walks.


Yours truly.

I Dig A Pony

Bill was off to work on his project this morning. I slept in and listened to the rain. Felt good to sleep late again. Just listening to the rain poring down definitely reduced an ambition to get out of bed. I slept like a rock. I was really exhausted last night.

I finally stirred and got out of bed, took a shower, made some coffee before I headed out. I had to go to the Library and renew ‘Teacher Man’ by Frank McCourt. His third memoir. It’s pretty good, as good as ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and ‘Tis’. It’s interesting to read about students and life in New York in the 1950’s and 60’s.

There were a few people sitting on the steps underneath the scaffolding waiting for the Library to open. A motley assortment. I sat down and read some more of the book. About 5 minutes later they opened the Library and I was able to renew my book for two more weeks though I’ll probably be done with it by Monday.

Got the bagels and the papers and came home and made a nice lazy Saturday breakfast.
Truly mellow, not much to do. Coffee, email, Kenny the Shark. I suppose it’s a routine, especially since I know about Kenny the Shark, though I think I turned off the TV before the Pharaoh Zombie Kid.

I spoke to Bill from the set of the project that’s he’s been working towards the past few weeks. That day has finally arrived. We ran lines last night and he was pretty much right on. I was happy for him and quite proud. I did see his work on the lines practically from day one. So all was going well on the set.

When it stopped raining so hard I ventured out again and ran some errands. Running between the raindrops with dry cleaning. Didn’t want to be cooped up in the apartment and didn’t want to go out in the rain either.

Spoke to Annemarie who was having a lot of fun in San Francisco with Rex and Earl. I’d rather have been there that’s for sure but I was here in rainy old Hoboken. Best possible solution, a nap. All that rain was making drowsy any way.

Deep sleep for almost two hours. Felt good. Julio called twice. I answered the second time and was chastised for not returning his call from an hour earlier. Good old Julio. I got out of bed soon after that though I probably could’ve slept throughout the night. I used to do that from time to time, just sleep for twelve hours straight. Or actually, gay.

Julio came up after I ran out and got a chocolate raspberry truffle cake from Stone Cold Creamery with ‘Break a Leg’ written on top for Bill. Julio and I watched Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons in ‘Elizabeth I’ and then ‘Good Night and Good Luck’ both excellent and recommended.

Bill just came home and I showed him the cake and now he’s about to tell me about working on the film.

The Air That I Breathe

Didn’t sleep so well. I think it was because Bill spent the night at his parents. Woke up ok. Dreams of being chased by angry mobs sent by Steve Jobs. ‘One of us’ they kept chanting. It was most disconcerting.

Today was Arcade Fire day. Had them and the Pogues in my head most of the day. Most of the day I was out of sorts. I had a better grasp on things than the day before but still there were the occasional glitches, which caused some considerable stress despite the fact I remembered to take a B-Complex along with my multi-vitamin. I continue to forget about the Ginkgo Biloba though.

Today I felt like Chauncey Gardiner or Chance the gardener. There’s a scene in ‘Being There’ where the doctor, played by Richard Baseheart figures out that Peter Sellers character really is a simpleton and not really much of a threat to anyone. I really related to that scene today. Felt like someone was going to come up to me and say. ‘You’re an idiot aren’t you?’ and of course I’d answer, ‘Yes. Yes I am an idiot’

These are the thoughts that were running through my head despite Julio phoning and making me laugh about my Macanudo problems. Very witty that Julio is. I know I’m not an idiot. These feelings usually coincide with me missing a meal. I see a connection there.

After I ate and spoke to Bill on the phone who politely talked me in off the ledge I felt a whole lot better. Also found that Felicia, my boss / supervisor wasn’t feeling so good today. Nothing was going right for her. She basically said she was sorry if she seemed snippy. And here I thought it was me. She WAS snippy. But snippiness is easily forgiven. And I forgave.

The afternoon flew by after that. Ice seemed to be broken. I was invited to a party one of the designers was having on his rooftop, but since I can’t remember his name it’s probably best not to go. It was a nice invite. I think someone might’ve said, ‘you know you might want to invite the new guy’

One of my fifteen minute jobs from years ago was working at the store at the Museum of Modern Art. I was on my third day and eating my lunch in a cubbyhole in the basement when next to me some co-workers were discussing a party one of them was throwing and how most everyone from work was going. Most everyone. Not me though. I wasn’t invited.

Doesn’t matter. I quit a day later. I had gotten a job at Skyline Studios and on my way to my illustrious future in the music industry. But the moral of that story is, getting invited and not going is better than not being invited at all.

I walked around the Village afterwork. Haven’t really done that in a long time, just a leisurely walk. I was seized by an urge to buy ‘Funeral’ by the Arcade Fire. I have to thank Juan for the inspiration.
I look forward to Juan’s return on the fifth of May. Or maybe the sixth. He doesn’t know and neither do I, but I’m booked to hang with him on his first night back. I’m looking forward to it. I hope he is too.

Devil In My Car

I’m sleeping better and feeling good and still showing up crazy early for work. Day two and still I can’t figure out how I could get there with less than a half hour to kill. I do have the key card to get in now so I could just start earlier than usual. Fine with me.

The only problem I could see at work presently, besides not wearing a suit and tie, is using a Mac program. I’ve been fairly proficient on pc’s and not having to use a Mac for so many years I am a little bit more than rusty. I keep double clicking which achieves nothing on a Mac.

Today I had to add names to the emergency contact list and it wasn’t an easy cut and paste job. Spent a little too much time on it and still it was incomplete. I promised tomorrow I will put it in an excel program which make it a little bit easier. There are other systems I have to figure out, and I hope they are understanding enough to let me learn them.

They are a nice group of people, a few Brits sprinkled in the office. Met one of them, Roger who is really nice and suggested that I take a refresher course in Mac programs. I agreed saying that it would be beneficial for all concerned. The best part about that is that the company would pay for it. Hence it being beneficial.

They do things a lot differently at McMann and Tate. Different type of clientele. Different set ups for conference rooms. David, the temp who I’m replacing told me that these people think in visual terms so it’s all about the presentation when setting up for a lunch meeting. Have to keep that in mind.

There’s a new system also for booking the conference rooms, different colors and names for each room. I also have to remember to answer the phone with ‘Good Morning, McMann and Tate’ instead of mentioning Wanker Banker. Just a beat in my speech pattern for a second that makes me think, ‘where am I?’

It is a nice office, all white with big windows and the sun pouring in. I am really trying to do a good job and I remember how I felt when I was at Wanker Banker in my early days there. I wasn’t so sure about fitting in there either but eventually I did. Then I didn’t after a few years. But that was then, this is now.

Luckily for me, Julio is good with Mac programs and so is Bill, in fact Bill might be ahead of the game with his power book and his super Mac at home. Julio offered tonight as we were walking tonight to show me some short cuts on the Mac, but I was fried. We have the weekend to do that. Plus Bill said I could use his super Mac so looks like I’ll be in front of another computer most of the weekend.

Which is fine since they’re predicting rain on Saturday anyway.

And no I don’t have a car.

Back To School Days

Slept well last night. Actually been sleeping just fine lately. No complaints. Woke up great, wrapped in Bill’s arms, where I could’ve stayed all day but the new job was calling and I had to get out of bed. Hadn’t shaved in about a week and had something resembling a beard to get rid of.

Then it was a leisurely walk through Church Square Park and down Garden Street to the train. Playing a singer named Res who I heard years ago in a store and bought her CD. Very good music and lyrics and her voice is good too. Nice alternative vibe to it with a definite R&B feel. That doesn’t happen too often.

The trains are of course, crowded at 7:30 in the morning. Takes a lot of Buddhist tolerance. I only have to go one stop to Christopher Street so it’s ain’t so bad. Then it’s a 15 minute walk to work. It was a gorgeous morning walking down Hudson Street in the springtime.

I wasn’t sure whether or not I had to be at McMann and Tate at 8:00 or 8:30 so I opted for 7:50. Of course that meant I didn’t have to be there until 8:30. I loitered in the street outside. Very busy corner of Soho what with the 1/9 train emptying out at Houston Street. I saw a guy in handcuffs being escorted into a government building across the street. White collar criminal, perhaps mail fraud?

I made it in and walked through the doors with one of the senior managers, introducing myself and sitting around for someone who knew what I supposed to do, to show up. Someone did, David who sat at the desk when I came in for my interviews. He’s a temp, he’s an actor and doesn’t want to be tied down to a 9 to 5 job.

He showed me the ropes and told me his life story so far. An interesting story, yet non-descript. Apparently living with a woman who he’s broken up with a few times and reminds him of his mother. He mentioned that he seems to go for the type that makes one think of Oedipus.

The office started coming to life around 10:00. A bunch of designing hipsters. Nice people, no attitudes detected.

As the way things turn out, I got a phone call from Lawrence on my cell that I had to reject. I called him back a few minutes later. He told me he had a job that seemed perfect for me. I told him thanks, but today was my first day that I started at the new job. He was happy for me and I thanked him for looking out for me. The same thing happened at my last day at Wanker Banker.

I had a phone call from Judy Wagner from another agency. She was asking me if I was still looking for a new job and I told her that I had gotten one and she was catching me at the last day from the old job. She congratulated me and told me if I knew of anyone looking for a job to keep her in mind and refer them to her.

Feast or famine.

I had a glass of wine with the office manager at McMann and Tate before I left. She seems cool. Cool enough to toast the end of my first day. She also noticed the cigar in my pocket. She thanked me as I walked towards the elevator.

I hit the street and lit up a Padron 5000 and walked up to 14th street so I could enjoy it properly. I got so many cigars last week, got to smoke em all.

Much love to everyone who wished me well.

Thanks.

Ceramic Avenue

Today feels almost like the last day of summer vacation though I don’t feel the usual dread that still haunts me every September. I feel good, not much anxiety if at all. I think the new job holds much promise. No feeling of having jinxed the situation by writing this. What is this? Positivity? It seems to fit so I’ll get as much wear and tear out of it as I can.

New chapter, new season, new job.

I wisely took the day off between coming back from Chocolate City and starting the new job. A little decompression time, some time to get things together. I was supposed to have lunch with Christina today but begged off because it would have been way too weird to go back to the Park Avenue Tower and see the people I said good bye to last week. So I told her we didn’t get in until late last night and I had so much to do.

It wasn’t the truth but then the truth would’ve been too weird. I did go into the city though but avoided midtown west. I was on a hunt for comfortable shoes to wear, maybe some black sneakers, which could pass for office footwear in a creative environment. But alas, wearing size 12 shoes, chances are if they had a model I liked they wouldn’t have it in my size. You know what they say, Big Feet…..Big…shoes.

It was a perfect day to take off. The sky was blue, a nice breeze and a temperature in the 70’s. Of course it shouldn’t be like this, what with the global warming. What will the summer hold? There is a movie that I saw a trailer for last week online featuring Al Gore. Very intense. It’s called ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. If you do a search on www.youtube.com you can see it.

Julio and I walked around Hoboken’s waterfront just talking. It was a great night, Manhattan looked like a jewel. Might as well be a jewel since it’s so expensive to live there. Hoboken is almost as expensive. We walked by some new buildings on the waterfront on 14th street that my brother Brian worked on. Julio and I daydreaming about having penthouse apartments there.

I forgot to play the lottery today anyhow so that daydream will be deferred. Washington Street restaurants had their outdoor café’s open with smokers standing a few feet away from their outdoor tables. You can’t sit on this side of the railing and smoke but you can stand on the other side and smoke all you want. Brilliant. Oh and you can smoke in casinos. Big money makers they are.

I heard from RoDa who told me on Saturday night after midnight there were about 60 people outside of McSwells smoking and being rowdy. If Hoboken had a problem with public intoxication and urinating as well as vomiting and all around bad behavior, Hoboken will have a lot more to complain about with the smokers standing around outside.

Off to the new job tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Chocolate City

4.14.06 The day after. Woke up on adequate Friday at a reasonable Hour. 9AM is reasonable for me. A mellow morning, did some errands, got bagels, got papers and had some coffee. Watched Ellen on TV. The usual quietude. Time crawled. Chatted online with the usual suspects in the North New Jersey chat room and also the District room in Washington DC on Gay.com.

I was immediately hit on as soon as I got into the District room. I begged off stating that I was only looking for gay bars in DC that allow cigar smoking. I heard they existed and I wanted to go to one. I did get the info and thanked whoever it was that gave it to me.

I was told the DC Eagle would be probably my only choice. That was cool with me. I was also told that the Fireplace, Omega and the Green Lantern were good spots with Omega heavy on the brothers.

Soon after getting that information and killing some time it was onto a bus to NYC to get on another bus and go Greyhound to DC. I met Bill in the queue and we got onboard and settled in. Bill rode for free since he knew the secret bus drivers handshake. We sat together as the bus was almost full.


A true Busman’s Holiday

That was a sight. 2 big guys like Bill and myself, in 2 seats designed for guys smaller than us. We looked a pair in our leather blazers. I didn’t have anything to eat for the ride and it promised to be an uncomfortable couple of hours. Bill was nice enough to give me a few bites of his Subway sandwich. Thanks to the bus driver who had to make a bathroom break, I was able to get a hotdog and disgusting fries from Nathan’s at the Walt Whitman Rest Area. Leaves of Grass, indeed!

A very fast few hours later, which involved was running lines with Bill on the bus and probably sounded rather odd to anyone overhearing, we made it to Washington DC. As soon as we left the station we were warmly greeted by someone looking for change, and isn’t that the reason a lot of people come to Washington DC? To make change in their government?

Alas, I didn’t have any change to give. Bill and I walked over to a taxi stand. 9 dollars later we were in downtown DC where we found Billie hanging out waiting for us with 2 of his buddies from the parking garage around the block from where he works.

And how Billie’s dreads have grown. Not long like Michael Rose from Black Uhuru, but long enough to be the African princess I’ve always known Billie to be. Billie of course looked great and was as sociable and hospitable as ever. It was great to finally introduce Bill and Billie to each other. Both had heard enough of each other and even had spoken on the phone and now finally they were meeting face to face.

Bill likened it to going home to church, meaning that Billie was quite a spiritual person and Bill feels he’s been lacking a bit in that department. We wandered around the city for a bit before deciding to have some food at David Greggory’s, a restaurant he ate at before. Very nice place, retro-forward design they call it. And it has nothing to do with David Gregory, the former guitarist from XTC.

Billie had a steak, Bill had salmon and since this was Easter week on the 4:30 movie, I had half a rack of lamb. Also had a raspberry Cosmo with Billie and then 2 Amstels. Great restaurant and great atmosphere. Retro Forward!

It seems like every time I come to DC I am in a gay bubble. They certainly do seem warmer and more inviting and lacking in attitude like New York. But isn’t that always the case? Actually I can only compare Washington DC and San Francisco to New York City, and NYC always comes in third place.

Maybe it’s because I’m fresh meat. Or perhaps it is they who are the fresh meat. Could be a combination of the two. I don’t know but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth, or in the ass either.

We came back to Billie’s house, so tastefully decorated and clean despite Billie saying it was a mess. I’d like to think if Billie comes up north to Hoboken Bill and I would have enough advance notice to really clean the apartment or save up enough money so that we could bribe Julio and Stine enough money to vacate his apartment so Billie could stay there.

4.15/16.06 We all slept like logs and I woke up to a very good morning with a very happy beginning courtesy of Bill. Billie had to go to work for a few hours and left Bill and I in the house alone. Very nice way to start the day. I recommend it. After that I went and had some coffee while Bill lay in bed with his laptop. I tried cleaning up the desktop on Billie’s computer and also tried to fix his printer. Paper goes through with nothing printed. Out of my realm.

I wound up on the porch, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and reading the gay newspapers from a few weeks before. Talked with a few of Billie’s neighbors, Jackie and Peggy who both probably wondered who this white man was hanging out on their neighbors porch with the neighbor not around.

A muggy day in DC with the sun beaming. Once again I’m looking at the environment through tourist eyes. Same thing happened in San Francisco with Bill and I both thinking we could easily relocate there. I don’t know if Bill feels the same way about DC though. It seems to have a very visible gay community, the restaurant we ate at was gay owned. Of course there are lots of cute guys. It really is a chocolate city. I don’t sense any of the tension between races that occurs in New York.

Then again, these tourist eyes….

Neighbors have conversations yelling to each other over yards and fences. Lodi used to be like that. A real community where every one knew each other and communicated. Doesn’t happen in Hoboken much. Perhaps it once did.

Many birds sing in the trees. A neighbor just yelled about almost being hit in the head with bird crap. He was laughing and the birds kept singing.

When Billie returned from work we all wandered about the Washington Mall, looking at the World War II Memorial as well as the Washington Monument and the big favorite, the Lincoln Memorial. Ol’ Abe is still the big draw. Lot’s of tourists wandering around and yes, we were tourists.

We took a few pictures, everyone pleasant in DC, which once again puts New York in a bad light. People say ‘Hello’ or ‘Excuse Me’ rather than the customary New York greeting of ‘Get the fuck out of my way!’ We braved the crowds and climbed the steps, watching a Park Ranger lecturing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial about the dreams Lincoln supposedly had a few days before his assassination.

After that we had a late lunch at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill. Another gay friendly establishment, which contained up to date gay newspapers. It was standard pub fare, burgers and Guinness. Once again there was a race between Billie and myself to see who could pay the bill first.

I won this round with Billie cheerfully cursing me out for it. We had to make it back to the house because Billie had a financial advisor scheduled to stop by. Billie is buying up property in his neighborhood and plans to renovate the house next to his to rent it. Yes, Billie is becoming a land baron (ess).

It’s a great neighborhood that he lives in. He grew up there and all the neighbors stop and say hello. In the back of my mind there is a germ of an idea to move down to DC and rent it out. But it’s just a germ of an idea. My tourist eyes, my love for Billie and my lust for the men of Chocolate City guide my dreams on that one.

After the financial meeting we got our act together and headed out for the evening. Not as immediately as that of course. There was some farting around and by the time we were actually ready it was 9:30 and we still hadn’t eaten. We tried looking at a few menus but now it was after 10:00 and the rolling up of some sidewalks had begun.

We drove around some more when Billie remembered Georgia Brown’s restaurant, which featured fine southern styled food. We had a leisurely dinner while chairs started to be put away around us. Afterwards we were walking towards the car when Billie suggested a walk by the White House.


Driving past White House


Dark Washington Monument by car

An interesting request which was easily completed as we were only a block or two away. We wandered over to Pennsylvania Avenue where the lights were out in the people’s house. It was eerily quiet and only one police officer was visible. Of course there were probably others in the trees. We walked back through the car through Lafayette Park where 22 years ago I had my first psychedelic experience, with a different moron in the oval office.

Billie asked where to go and I suggested the DC Eagle. He hadn’t been there in ages but was game. It was now midnight, and both Bill and I were in our leather blazers. Seemed apt. At the door of the Eagle was a handsome muscular black man in leather gear, checking ID’s. The first floor bar wasn’t too crowded and I asked if cigar smoking was allowed. Not allowed, but encouraged actually.

We made our way up to the second floor where Bill and I lit our cigars while Billie sat next to us at the bar, scoping out shirtless men. We sat having beers, vodka rocks and a ginger ale smoking cigars and looking at men when a fine specimen of a man appeared directly opposite from me. 6’3” or so, tall, dark with a shaved head and muscular wearing a leather vest. The type that once you laid eyes on him, you wouldn’t be able to take your eyes off him. Bill noticed and Billie definitely noticed. I drooled.

He was joined by the brother who checked our ID’s and I dreamt of being the meat in that pumpernickel sandwich. Of course nothing happened except for their images being burned into the hard drive in my skull.

Bill was disappointed since there was no dance floor and the music was nothing but dance tunes. I told Bill to dance anyway but he wasn’t into it. It was odd with the thump thump thump of the music and nowhere to move your feet. I just sat smoking my La Gloria Cubana Series 7 while Bill sat and had two cigars, which was odd since he doesn’t smoke cigars as often as I do.

DC gay bars are so integrated which makes it not at all like New York. Seems easier to make friends in Dc rather than New York. A more welcoming and friendly attitude. None of the racial bullshit attached.

We sat and smoked and watched the men. We couldn’t watch anymore eye chocolate, actually I could, but it was getting late. We split without any phone numbers or hook ups but enough fodder for erotic daydreams.

We woke the next day, Easter. Billie set about making a big southern breakfast with scrapple, grits, scrambled eggs and mimosas and tons of coffee. Billie and his neighbor had a slight blow up over the fact that Billie didn’t want to have dinner with his family he wanted to hang out with us. Wanda, who Billie grew up with, was planning on going to dinner with Billie’s family and she tried to browbeat him into it, which wasn’t a good idea because you can’t make Billie do anything he doesn’t want to.

Wanda gave a nice Easter blessing before breakfast, wishing me well at my new job. Awfully nice. I love these people.

An argument between siblings during which Wanda backed down. We did have a plan to get some things for Billie’s computer and drove off. Wanda called us while we were on the road, feeling abandoned after abandoning her plan to have dinner with Billie’s family. We turned around and picked her up next door to Billie’s house. It was very familial with Billie and Wanda continuing their argument earlier with Billie admonishing Wanda about canceling her dinner plans with such short notice. We got the computer supplies and then headed off to go bowling which was Bill’s idea.

We had a nice dinner at Clyde’s next to the bowling alley. I had more lamb, this time a lamb steak. Tis the season ya know.



At the bowling alley we registered our names on the screen. Wanda, Tasha, Cindy and Judy. It’s a long silly story that I won’t get into here. It did raise a few eyebrows when the guys in the lane next to us saw a woman and three guys but the names on the screen were all female. They were also impressed that Cindy and Judy were decent bowlers with Judy propelling the ball around 24 miles per hour.

Very tolerant. Dave. Rob and Clay were the guys next to us and couldn’t help but laugh at our names. After three games I averaged about 120. Wanda did good considering that she had never bowled before. Billie did ok too. But Bill, or was it Judy, did the best.

We left around 10:00. Billie and Wanda had work and Bill and I were leaving Chocolate City.

4.17.06
A bus ride home. After a weekend of sunshine, it was pouring rain. A dreary sendoff but actually probably would’ve have been harder if it was sunny out. We rode to work with Billie where we met up with Wanda. They arranged for a breakfast for Bill and myself as well as packing an extravagant care package for the bus ride home.


Hugs and kisses on the sidewalk as Bill and I got into our cab to the bus station. Sad to go, but made promises not to let so much time pass before we meet again.

The bus was crowded but Bill and I were able to grab aisle seats next to each other where we sat comfortably. We ran some more lines probably alarming the fellow passengers. As we left DC and headed home the sun came out and we were able to see Linden and Elizabeth in all its refinery finery.

Made it to the Port Authority and came home. Set about doing laundry and getting ready for my debut on Wednesday. Julio came up and watched the Sopranos and Big Love, like we had never left.

I miss DC, and I miss Billie and Wanda and all the people in Chocolate City. We had a great time. Bill is a great travel companion and I’m glad Bill and Billie got along famously. We need to go again. Lot’s of love and kisses for Billie. And Wanda too.

Cao Cao Mani Picao

Wow. It happened. The day had/has ended. Its not officially over, it’s 11:58PM, but we can probably rest assured that no shit is going to happen between now and tomorrow. That would be ironic if those turned out to be my last words.

But I laugh smugly at Death, and Death gives me the bony finger.

Didn’t sleep so well last night, being in an altered state. Rather fitfully. A garden of Gethsemane if you will. T’is the season you know. Had some doubt at 3:00 AM lying there in the dark wondering if I’m doing the right thing. I had a nice time with these co-workers last night, but I had to keep reminding myself that yes they are great but they couldn’t help me, I could only help myself. And this is the only way out.

Today was a bit off kilter, perhaps due to the fact that
a) I didn’t sleep well
And
b) More than likely hung over.

A double whammy. But still having done less and less the past few days all I had to do was sit there. Which was incredibly easy. I had an exit interview that went incredibly badly. The idiots in the misnomered Human Resources department had me only working at Wanker Banker for two years, when it was actually three and a half years.

I am glad to never have to deal with these assholes again. I stood my ground and actually walked out in the best Costanza move possible. I gathered my things and split. Such a flair for drama. Ahsen wonderful tech guy came to my senses and chilled me out. I went back in and composed an email.

After three and a half years of working at Wanker Banker, I am leaving for a new position.
I have met some wonderful people who I consider to be good friends and I hope to maintain and cultivate these friendships through the oncoming years.
Thank you my friends.
Regards,
John

Classy, don’t you think? Of course it was written and rewritten a few times. I did try to find the right words, and phrasing. The other versions were filled with venom not seen since I don’t know what.

I kept trying to leave and it turned out a division of Wanker Banker, the Really Good People Corporation organized a pizza party for me. Awfully nice, many man hugs and one hug and kiss.

It was actually happening. I was leaving. I told a few of the vendors and delivery guys I was leaving and with each person, the bladder moved closer to my eyes. I man hugged Ahsen and had a slight heave. By the time I got to Brenda, we were both hugging each other, sobbing and vowing to keep in touch.

The building staff all wished me well as well as the lobby security. I hope they get the respect from whoever does the job after me.

I had carried most of my things home throughout the week so I was traveling light. It was a gorgeous brilliant blue sky day. I lit up a Padron 5000 N and strolled away from Wanker Banker.

I made it home by 3:30PM. I was actually hoping to be out by noon. But I was glad to just say my goodbyes no matter how long it took. I made it home and crashed, finally gaining the sleep that I didn’t get last night.

Julio came up with a celebratory six pack of Stella and he watched the end of ‘Girlfight’ with Bill and myself, and after Bill went to work on his project, we watched ‘A History of Violence’

Both films, very good.

Bill and I will be going to Washington DC this weekend. I will still be writing but I am thinking the next posting will be when I return on Monday, maybe Tuesday. Which by the way will be my 200th posting.

So feel free to peruse the archives.

Next Up: A new chapter and a new job.

Funny how that worked out, don’t you think?

The Best is Yet to Come

The countdown continues. Today the penultimate day. Went to work of course, have some honor to uphold. I did tell them Thursday would be my last day, and it’s Wednesday. No big deal except for the fact that after arriving at 8:30AM, I was done with my things by 10:30AM. The rest was just watching the clock, which isn’t fun and does not make time move any faster.

Work had stopped being sent my way, so to pass the time I wandered around the office, different floors of the building and outside. No one really noticed my not being around. Some people did make it in from other offices for various reasons and those people made it a point to stop by or invite me into their offices to say thanks for the work I had done for them. Very nice.

There are good people there at Wanker Banker, but basically have no power to make any changes for the good of the company or for myself. Can’t really expect changes for myself from them. I’ve made the change and headed out. Spoke to a few people about drinks tonight, some were coming, other couldn’t. Passover and all. Seders everywhere. Who knew?

The IT guys were bailing except for Vinnie who just happens to be a real sweetheart. A really nice guy. The IT guys bought me some cigars from Davidoff around the corner. They knew to mention my name at the store and were hooked up by the store salespeople who knew who I was. Padrons, both regular and Anniversario. Nice. Two senior executives got me a very nice Zino Davidoff cigar which was great, and Babs, the compliance officer got me a nice selection of La Gloria Cubanas.

I was walking around with my usual Padron 5000 in my shirt pocket and invited as many people as I could to tonight’s drinking festivities. Most were unable, either tied to their desks or going to Seders. I had a nice crowd of about a dozen, including Robert and Fay and Teresa all of whom I’ve worked with before.

I was happy they were able to make it, hadn’t seen Robert or Fay in quite some time. Teresa I saw a few weeks ago. Jamie, Babs, Vinnie, Helen and dear sweet Brenda all made it and had a few drinks with me to celebrate my leaving. When someone left they were replaced by Marilyn and Craig and David.

More nice people. I mentioned to Craig that he looked hot when he dressed in a suit and tie, and had to explain it was a compliment, not a come on. He said he knew that but man he is such a cutie. In a minute I would say. David is a sweetheart and Marilyn seems cool, but Craig. Woof!

Of course he doesn’t play on my team. He looks very sexy in a blue shirt with contrasting collar and cuffs. He could probably get most women and a few men with that look. I noticed a few guys looking great in suits and ties today, which made me think I’m only seeing them since I won’t be seeing or dressing like that much longer.

It really is the only drawback I can see in the new gig at McMann and Tate. Oh suits and ties, you made life so much easier and made me look really good.

This evening was an official Wanker Banker event so that entitled me to a town car home. Sweet. Those days are gone as well. C’est La Vie. I doubt I’d be wandering around midtown at night anymore, working in Soho ten minutes away from the Path train ain’t really so bad.

A new career in a new part of town.

I convinced Jamie to take the town car and drop her off at her place before going to Hoboken. She was sullen, yet saying she was alright. She has a few headaches ahead of her. I told her to give me a call and if I could help her out I would.

She got home ok and I continued onto Hoboken driven by Khalid from Morocco.

Fefe Naa Efe

Oh the time just flies by at Wanker Banker these days. There will be a drink thing after work, at the Carnegie Club, a cigar bar tomorrow night. It should be fun. The Persian Bitch won’t be there and she’ll also be away from work on Thursday my final day at Wanker Banker. Also the thing I’ve alternately called Deborah, Wombus and Linda Natale broke her ankle getting off the bus. Or at least that’s what she said.

So she won’t be around either. Damn and I was soooooo looking forward to a hug from her. There’s just so much to hug. Meow!

I really haven’t been doing much but tie up any loose ends I might have. Work isn’t being sent my way. Christina isn’t taking any initiative to learn anything, but then again she hasn’t really all year. Things I did tell her to do every week still haven’t sunk in. If she doesn’t get up to speed in the next twelve hours at work, she’ll get the sack.

I ran some errands for myself, going down to the village for about 45 minutes. It was also a glorious day and it went perfectly with my state of mind. I also figured out that the Ipod doesn’t have a crush on Brandy, such a fine girl from Tek Serve, but rather doesn’t want to be plugged into the machines at Wanker Banker anymore. Can’t blame the Ipod.

Told a few more people that I was leaving, the woman who cleans the pantry, Walter Taylor the UPS guy. He’s a genuine sweetheart. Digs Bjork and Prince. A definite stand up guy, Walter is. I’ll miss him. Told the lobby security guys and other building personnel. I also told the Hot Dog guy who was sorry to see me go since I was putting his kid through Colgate University.

It’s becoming a reality, my departure. Nothing really bittersweet, just some good people telling me they’ll miss me and I will miss them. In what maybe a recurring role, Matt the cabaret singer from a few weeks ago will be filling in from time to time. But that is not my concern. I sincerely it all works out for those I am concerned about.

I’m constantly bringing the building staff and security bottles of water and Snapple. I doubt that will be maintained. Methinks it will all fall by the wayside. Not my concern I sing again.

Thursday will have my exit interview at 10:00 AM. Don’t know what questions I will be asked, don’t recall ever going through one before. It’s usually been “I QUIT” or “Please leave before security escorts you out”. So what will they ask? Fave color? What type of animal do I want to be? I’ve often thought long AND hard about it and decided I’d like to be a manatee.

Got to represent the manatees since a lot of them are dying in Florida. Destruction of environment you see. Ecotone it’s called.

A day and a half left. Should be interesting.
Gilmores was very good tonight. A little more drama, not as manic as last week. Rory story. Show ended with Angst in my Pants by Sparks. Scrubs was ok. Tom Cavanaugh who I used to like in Ed and loathed in Love Monkey was on the show again. Eh.

I Feel Free

That’s the song I played on my Ipod a few weeks ago as I headed to McMann and Tate for my first interviews. Apparently it was a harbinger of things to come. I did well at that interview, well enough to go onto the next round. A total of four interviews over 2 days. I aced them.

On Friday Mr. Matt called me and made the offer. He told me on Friday because he wanted me to have a good weekend and I sure did have a good weekend. Bill was ecstatic that I got the gig, Julio was also quite happy. Probably because they were both tired of hearing me bellyache about it all.

Yesterday was Charlie’s party and it was fun. Saw some old faces that I only see at Charlie and Kathe’s January Holiday party. Andy, an old friend of William and Charlie was there. Andy’s a bear, in the gay sense, wearing the bear flag proudly. We talked about the Arctic Monkeys and the New York Dolls. Charlie, William and Andy used to slip out of their prospective houses to see Television, Patti Smith and the Dolls at Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s and the Mercer Arts Center.

That was then, today was today.

I woke up still a bit buzzed from the party. Took my time getting to work. It was official now, having sent a pdf to Matt at McMann and Tate, signed and dated. Next I told Jamie, what she already knew since Friday. She instructed me to send an email to her stating my final day at Wanker Banker, so that she could forward it to the improper authorities.

Spoke to Pedro who told me I should just get up and walk out of there.

A sent an email to a few friends and allies, and the recognitions came in return. Jamie sent out an official email through out the company and I received congratulations from all over the company. I planned to show Christina the ropes and Jamie also needed to know since she feels Christina might not ever be up to the task of filling my shoes. I do have size 12 feet for all you fetishists out there.

Speaking of fetishes, I won’t be in a suit and tie everyday anymore, which is really the one drawback I can think of. I do have a pretty decent selection mainly a lot of pinstripes. So I guess for special occasions. It’s also an expense to maintain the garments. I’ll probably get them all dry cleaned and have them under plastic should an occasion arise for suitman to appear!

Up, up and what’s that over there?

If Wanker Banker wants to do something nice they can have a going away party for me. A few drinks, something to nosh. I’m suggesting Carnegie Club, which is up the street, and it’s also a cigar bar.

Hip Hip and all that.

Either Carnegie Club or O.W. which is a gay bar on e58th street and has a smoking area. I think they’d lean more towards Carnegie. The rooftop of the Peninsula Hotel might be open and it’s supposed to be a very nice day so that might be the best. Who knows?

And of course, me being who else but me, had the idea that McMann and Tate are going to call me up and say that they’ve changed their minds.

Whee!

Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite

A wonderful Sunday much better than yesterday. Floated about Hoboken. Beautiful day, blue sky. Got bagels this morning for Julio and myself. Bill was off driving a bus again. Yes me, Alice Kramden it seems. Ralph doing his routes. Today was an old friend of mine, Charlie’s birthday party in Jersey City.

I’ve known Charlie almost twenty years. He used to dj at McSwells along with me back in the eighties. A genuinely nice guy. Even geekier than me when it comes to music. He saw the New York Dolls at the Mercer Art Center, he saw T. Rex, and he saw Bowie at the first shows in the US. He was there. Now he’s fifty.

Charlie is married to Kathe and they lived next to me when I lived with Charlie’s brother William in Weehawken. Charlie was offered the apartment originally in 1991, but it was too much of a fixer upper for him and Kathe. They knew I was in a tight spot so they told me about it. William was also looking or in need of a space so Charlie suggested going in on it with his brother. Fine. We saw, we liked, we took.

During the eleven years, we fought and made peace and fought again, while Charlie and Kathe moved in after the landlady died. It was a cool situation despite her death. They were in on again off again relations with William as well. That made it easy to find someone to bellyache about the situation.

William had also done the same about me. They managed to work around it and there were peaceful times. I was friends with Charlie initially and my relations with William never seemed to affect our friendship. Kathe was also a good ear, while giving me hope, telling me that William was planning on moving out. It never happened.

Both Charlie and William were brought up under a lie. They were told that their mother didn’t want them anymore. Their birth mother was married to their father, a Greek immigrant. The father got tired of living with a non Greek woman and took the boys and moved to NJ divorcing the mother in the process of lying to the boys about how she didn’t want them anymore.

Their father found a nice Greek woman and married her and having another son. Charlie and William had no choice but to accept it. For forty years they basically believed it until the Internet where their birth mother tracked them down.

William took it upon himself to invite his birth mother to the party to surprise her son on the eve of his fiftieth birthday. She was a nice woman, very happy to be there. She had her husband with her. Kathe was at loose ends because of Williams surprise but in the end it all worked out.

There were some faces I hadn’t seen in a while, and faces I hadn’t seen since January when Charlie and Kathe had their holiday party. All in all a splendid time was had by all.

Want More

A wet and cold day. Not much to do. Tried to sleep late but couldn’t due to a crew jack hammering in the storm. Did get out and get bagels and the papers. Bill was off driving. Julio off to West New York so I didn’t get anyone else anything. Sat around, read the papers, ate breakfast. Very lazy. Which was more than fine.

Ipod is functioning beautifully thanks to Brandy. She’s so good. I think the Ipod might have a serious jones for her which causes it to flip out and require a trip to Tek Serve. Yeah that must be it. My Ipod is developing emotions. That’s all I need.

I did make it to the Library and picked up Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. I’ve read Angela’s Ashes and T’is. Both very good books but I would favor T’is as my favorite. My sister read all three books and said Teacher Man was really good. So it’s on her recommendation that I got it

I did have a plan to go into the city to see how long it would take for me to get to McMann and Tate but it was so cold and rainy that I got as far as Washington Street where I decided to forget about it. Instead, I got a haircut at Mr. L’s on the corner by my apartment. Tony hooked it up.

The usual cut. The same cut that I had at eighteen. I learned the truth at seventeen that love was meant for beauty queens. So I had to get over that real fast. Surprisingly enough, I did. I had some interesting haircuts over the years. Specifically when I decided to cut my own hair and wound up cutting it over a period of two weeks before I was able to put the electric razor down.

Then there was the time I tried to dread my hair. It didn’t take. The only white guy I ever saw with sharp dreads was the singer from the Wolfgang Press. Who knows what he looks like now? Is there a home somewhere in England for former 4AD bands? I can see the pseudo Goth types sitting on rocking chairs in Brighton or Blackpool, blankets covering torn fish netted legs. I’ve melted with you they sing.

Now we are watching Saving Private Ryan, Bill, Julio and I. Each of us seems to have the same attitude towards war, how it’s fucked up. This was a ‘just’ war if there is such a thing. The first part of the movie is harrowing as all hell. Total brutality. Mankind fighting fighting fighting. Not much proof of evolution.

Not much has changed, except for the fact we’re also sending young women off to battle to fight alongside young men. So far Vin Diesel and Giovanni Ribisi have been killed off in Private Ryan so far. We’ve all seen it before and know how it ends. Yet we remain glued to the TV. It’s easy to forget this is a Steven Spielberg film. I guess this was the start of his unease phase rather than the feel good phase the preceded.

Brandy

The Looking Glass sang ‘Brandy’ in 1972. A New Jersey band from Rutgers. A great song. I’ll always remember hearing it for the first time in Wildwood Crest in 1972. Some daughter of a VFW conventioneer and I riding the rides on the Boardwalk in June and ‘Brandy’ were playing quite loudly and lovely. The song went to number one in August of that year. Kudos to the Looking Glass.

http://www.superseventies.com/1972_9singles.html

This morning, after loading the Ipod throughout the night. Loaded 5000 plus songs manually and set it off going to sleep expecting the best. It didn’t take, all the Ipod would do is list each and every song. And there were only 1700 and change anyhow. But it was frustrating. It worked yesterday morning, and I could have sworn I did everything all right. Frustrating as hell. And speaking of hell it’s where I was off to.

Lacking my Ipod, I was deprived of any psyching up music before getting to my desk. It was a disadvantage. It was bagel day so that made it a bit easier to start up the day. That and a lot of coffee. It was a dragging day. I wasn’t in a suit and tie so that covered the drag part of dragging. It was just a Really. Slow. Day.

The good feeling that I had from the day before with the interview Part deux with McMann and Tate had dissipated somewhat. I didn’t give up hoping for it, but I didn’t think I would get it either. A diet of bagels and a sour outlook on things didn’t help and I crashed. Hard.

Everything was bleak. I was so upset about it all. Told Bill I didn’t even care to go to DC next week. Just sad and despairing. Then I ate a banana. Felt better real quick. Total duh. Walked around midtown exploiting the excuse from Helen Devilakos to just take a walk if I’m not feeling so good about things. Though I had started to feel good, I used the opportunity to just get the hell out.

I walked around smoked a La Gloria Cubana Hermoso. Very nice, very mellow. Ten years ago I would’ve smoked a joint. Now, a cigar. One legal, one not. I walked by a mosque where my friend Ahsen prays. Told him about it when I saw him. There were a lot of guys. People actually stood across the street and watched about a hundred men pouring out onto the street. Strange, though I have seen the same effect when Saint Patrick’s Cathedral spills out on a Sunday morning.

Came back to work after having been gone an hour and it was still slow slow slow. Then my cell rang. It was Matt from McMann and Tate calling with the job offer. I called him back on a landline. The job was mine if I wanted it and I do I really do want it. He was emailing me the official offer over the weekend and told me today, Friday so that I would have a good weekend. I stuck to the script and told him I wanted to review the offer, but the answer was 99.9% yes. I would call him back on Monday with the ‘official’ answer.

I told one or two coworkers who hugged me and said while it was sad to see me go, they wished me the best. My last day will be Thursday, the 13th. I’ll start the day after Bill and I come back from DC.

A few hours’ earlier nothing but dark clouds, suddenly blue skies. Felt so good that I walked down to Tek Serve, an Apple store, where Bill bought the Ipod before Christmas. Like she was a few months ago, there Brandy stood. She is a fine girl indeed. She was startled that I knew here name but said she remembered me from my previous visit.

Once again, she hooked it up and loaded it with Lucy Pearl as we discussed how we both loved Raphael Siddiq’s voice. She mentioned how tight his body was, but I didn’t go there. Sure enough it worked. I started to walk up Sixth Avenue when Julio called. I told him the job news earlier and he was happy for me and looking forward to celebrating tonight.

Bill came in on the call and he was exceedingly happy. He most of all knew of the hell I had been in at Wanker Banker. He was happier than he would be if he owned his own bus, which is really saying something. I love this guy.

Tumbling Dice

At home. A bit miserable, a bit angry, and a bit disappointed. The Shaft joke from last night is festering. I just don’t get it. I decided a few weeks ago not to talk about certain things lest Bill get upset. I thought I’d be able to handle it, but it’s right under the surface. it is fucking weird (figuratively of course). A few years ago we had similiar problems with someone not getting theirs. Now the tables have turned. A different position taken so to speak. I know there is love, there are hugs but I don’t want to become companions instead of lovers. I don’t like it one bit. I want it all.

The counseling with Philip Beansprout is winding down. Only about 4 more sessions scheduled then it runs aground.

Then we’re on our own.

Today I also had the job interview and I think it went well. I should be happy and hopeful but it was rough biting my tongue. I feel like I am thisclose to getting it. Then again, don’t want to be too up on the idea because if it doesn’t happen then I will crash hard. I really need/want to be out of Wanker Banker. I really can’t take it anymore.

The interview went well, lasted about 20-30 minutes, I met Leslie, a nice British woman who in the past, had the job that I’m after and Matt the controller. I think it went well with both of them. A few laughs. I was at ease and I think they were too. I made the soon to be clichéd line of me being able to talk to anyone from Penthouse to Pavement. Were they impressed? Only time will tell. A matter of days. I guess I’ll call them next week and see what the status is.

My heart felt heavy after writing that.

Wanker Banker is just nuts and it’s taking its toll on my mental health. After the interview I was feeling really up, and eventually as I had to deal with coworkers, the up feeling went south. No one wished me luck. I’m surprised at that since I’ve told a few friends. I know Bill asked the other day when the interview was.

Poor Patsy.

The Ipod thing is also an irritant. Just missing tacks. All the Beatles, except for Sgt. Pepper. No Grace Jones. Zero Talking Heads. I just came home and deleted everything on the Ipod and will manually reenter 6000 plus tracks. Geekdom, total geekdom.

Listening to Ani DeFranco as I do this. I wish Juan were around. He’s cool to chill with. I love the cd.

This morning had the Ipod on shuffle.

Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)- Brian Eno Strange song to start the midtown meandering but somehow fit. Very quiet and peaceful.

DJ Culture- Pet Shop Boys This got the beat going and the feet moving and increased my pace considerably. Felt like I was in a video walking around town. Probably was.

Kitty’s Back- Bruce Springsteen I grew up listening to this song from my siblings playing it constantly. I Love this song. One of my fave Bruce songs. I sang along to it, alone in an ATM in Rockefeller Center. For sure I was on video then.

May This Be Love- Me’Shell Ndegeocello Me’Shell covering Jimi Hendrix. Beautiful and mellow.

Diamond Dogs- David Bowie. In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch. What a great line. For some reason I just thought it would be a perfect song for the Fall to cover.

Here is what I looked like today:



Here is what I saw:


Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head

I seem to be going through a recurring theme of things that have gotten under my skin. The New York State Department of Labor nonsense, which I still don’t know how that will pan out despite my being in the clear, the decision in my favor. Still I have a feeling that isn’t over. I expect to hear from them again in a few months.

Today’s drama, which I know isn’t really drama concerns the Ipod. I lost 6347 songs. Those who know me know that music is quite an integral part of my life. All consuming. I am amazed at how attached I am to this thing. Maybe addicted is the proper word. Yes addicted seems a better fit. So like I used to do with cassettes, I would try to play the proper song to fit my mood, my walking around Manhattan to.

Without it, I am bumping into people, buildings, and cars. I need a beat. I need my music.
I got the music in me, but it’s better to hear the original songs, or at least have 6000 songs at my disposal. I think I might have figured something out. But Itunes and Ipod are acting oddly. A family spat perhaps. I have to wait for them to sort it out.

I just made a good joke, which turned into something quite awkward. An episode of Homicide is on, featuring the Law and Order dancers and someone was on screen that Bill mentioned was in the movie, Shaft. I said that I had never seen it. He says he has it on DVD. I told him I knew that and I was waiting for when he could show me his Shaft.

No reaction. Something on TV got his attention. I was merely next to the TV. Perhaps the innuendo made him upset. I wish we were seeing Philip Beanstalk this Monday, but we’re not. Two weeks. I suppose I should write it down, but I already did, didn’t I?

Okay. I’ve reloaded most of my 6000 tracks, actually about 5800 and change. Have to edit and manually reload a lot of things but I do have some good stuff in there. Lot’s of duplicates. Been chatting with Jonathan Gonzalez at Columbia University while he sits in on a meeting of students for something, He seems like a cool guy. Politically aware and active. A good person it seems.

I’m sure in the next few days I’ll be finding songs missing as I walk along the streets of Manhattan. I have songs here at home, actually the bulk of my sings are here. Have some at work. And I’m wary of the machine at work since that is where the trouble started. I’ll probably gamble.

I uploading Gorillaz second disc, Demon Days. Been playing that a lot lately and I would like/need/want that on the Ipod. Oh this hunkering down on the keyboard is killing my neck.

I am such a drama queen aren’t I?

There is a space below for your comments.

Trism

Sitting in front of the computer, Bill on the couch, Gilmore Girls on, Scrubs on deck, smoking a La Gloria Cubana Hermoso, feeling good. Very good Gilmores tonight. A return to form. Scrubs should be good too. After that it’s running lines with Bill for a project he just was cast for.

Had an apathetic day. Started out by oversleeping. No hustle at all. Got a later bus and meandered up to work through midtown Manhattan listening to Gorillaz, Demon Days which I am digging more and more. They’re playing at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem this week but all the shows are sold out. Not bad for a cartoon band.

Scrubs is dependably silly. A bit about singing Brick House by the Commodores while dancing reminded Bill that he has video of me on New Year’s Eve dancing with Julio and Stine to Brick House and Julio spanking my butt twice during the video. Bill thinks this is incriminating evidence, suitable for blackmail. I heard suitable for black male.

Roofies reference very funny. A Gilmore Girls reference on Scrubs! Double play! A sure sign of the rapture to come! Brilliant! Koyaanisqatsi reference! Even more brilliant.

Just ran some lines with Bill. I would be so good for the part playing against Bill. Now Bill watches porn, meaning Law and Order. And we run lines during commercial breaks. The things we do for love. It’s actually a pretty good script, at least the parts where Bill’s role has lines. I am getting into the role of Luke. Lives on a farm on Tattooine. It’s vaguely familiar but then again aren’t most stories?

So work was basically doing the most basic functions and getting Christina who sits to my right to start pulling her weight, forcing her to take the initiative. Which isn’t really taking the initiative since that requires little or no prompting. But she needs prompting. She constantly needs to be told what to do. I admit it is partially my fault since I would do a lot of things myself rather than have her screw things up, but after a year of her watching me do my work, she should have at least some clue. But she doesn’t. And I don’t care.

I called up the New York State Department of Labor again. Spoke to someone on the line and faxed over the decision regarding my hearing on June 28, 2005. I anticipate hearing from the NYS DOL again, but hopefully I’ll be at a new job and they will actually have to work to track me down. Or they can call the inhuman Human Resources director and Helen Devilakos would sell me out in a minute. She probably was a high ranking officer in the Vichy regime in France during World War II.

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? Or just an oncoming express train?

Is that person swimming out there in the water, waving? Or drowning?

And what about that glass? Is it half full or half empty?

Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos

Another mundane Monday. Every single time I wear a certain navy blue pinstriped suit it rains. Today, rain again. And I had just gotten the suit from the cleaners. And now, it’s soaked. Hate the rain.

Traffic this morning outside the Lincoln Tunnel. A commuter van was sliced in thirds by a large tow truck. Hopefully no one was injured though the potential looked great. So much mangled metal, the driver’s side was torn wide open. It was heading back into NJ so chances are there wasn’t many if any on board. Of course it made a mess of traffic. If one end of the tunnel is full of traffic it will affect both ends. No one was getting out of the city so that backed up everything.

I didn’t care about the time. I don’t care anymore about getting to work by 8:00. I moseyed up Eighth Avenue and down 55th street. I used to buy a hot chocolate and a piece of pound cake for the homeless guy in front of the building where I work, but since he told me to give him money instead of hot chocolate and pound cake, I’ve stopped giving him anything.

It’s like when someone would ask me for a cigarette, then when I would show them a pouch of Gauloises (sob) and offer to roll one up for them they would turn their nose up. So it’s true, beggars can be choosers. It’s a fact. It’s has happened more than once.

At work I received a letter from the New York State Department of Labor, saying that I owe the $1968.50.

Here is that story. In 1999 I was working at People Magazine, as a freelancer. I didn’t work steadily, just came in when they called. I enjoyed the time and the freedom of freelancing. I was collecting unemployment at the time also. Nowadays when claiming your benefits it’s all done over the phone. It’s a very good system. You would find out instantly whether or not you were qualified for benefits.

Since I wasn’t working steadily and I was collecting unemployment before working at People I maintained my schedule and would phone in, using my touch tone keypad and state how many days or hours I had worked. All fine and dandy. Sometimes I got a reasonable check, maybe 175.00, another time I got a check for 63.00

Luckily I was living in Weehawken and rent was cheap and I had a roommate. 63.00 lasted somewhat. In 2002 I moved from Weehawken to Hoboken and started working for Wanker Banker. Unbeknownst to me, the NYS Dept of Labor was looking for me in 2004. It seems they thought they had over aid me to the tune of $1968.50.

So they sent letters to my former address in Weehawken, a notice of a hearing. But since the mail forwarding had expired, I had no idea. Eventually they tracked me down through my social security number and sent letters to the headquarters in San Francisco that were then forwarded to me in New York City.

Once I got the info I tried to set the record straight. I called up the Dept of Labor, gave them the address at work and told them I had no objection to going to a hearing. They said they would send the proper notice.

I never got the proper notice because they had sent it to an incorrect address. I don’t know who wrote what down but I had gotten in touch with them a few months later. They were quite belligerent, insisting that I was in default since I didn’t appear at any hearings. It was then I found out they had the wrong address.

With that worked out I had a hearing scheduled for the end of June 2005, right around Bill and Julio’s birthdays. I made it to the hearing. I was all alone, no files, no lawyers. Other people did, stacks of files, well dressed lawyers. Me in a Guyabera and khaki’s with a shoulder bag.

I sat with Judge Andrea Addison for about an hour. The Judge, a tape recorder and me. She asked me a series of questions that I answered truthfully. When it was my turn to speak I told the judge that I value unemployment and even advised various people not to try to cheat on the claims. I spoke with conviction and with an open heart.

That night at Julio’s birthday party I really wasn’t much fun had a lot on my mind. There was the hearing, the penalty if I lost my case, and issues with Bill. Not a party hat night for me. I was quite a drag to be around. Nothing could get me out of the funk. I even called my sister from the restaurant parking lot in Moonachie to vent.

I regretted it all and tried to make amends by buying framed postcards of Central Park for Julio telling him that they were from Bill and myself for Julio’s birthday. They did take him out to dinner for both their birthdays.

A few weeks later I got another letter from the Dept of Labor. I won the case. I was mighty happy. Of course the birthdays had passed, the damage done and healed. I was amazed that I was able to get my point across respectfully and with such a satisfactory result.

Fast forward to December 2005. Another letter from the Department of Labor asking where their $1968.50 was. They weren’t too happy with my ignoring them. I gathered my papers and faxed them the decision from Judge Andrea Addison. They said they had received it and all was in order, that I didn’t owe them any money. I asked if this was over and they said it should be, but I should hang onto the paperwork, just in case.

Today I got a letter from the Department of Labor, still belligerent, asking me where the money was. I called the number on the letter and of course they told me it was the wrong number. They gave me another number to call. That number was for filing claims for the week ending April 2, 2005.

I wasn’t filing a claim. I just need to get this matter settled once and for all. So tomorrow, I have to redo what I did in December. Fax the info, wait for them to read it and tell me that they are wrong once again.

If only they weren’t so goddamned helpful and cheery.

Tonight was a visit with Philip Beanstalk. More like the Bill Hour featuring John on backing vocals. We won’t be seeing Philip the next two Mondays since Bill has a seminar next week and the week after that we’ll be in Washington DC. We should give Philip Beanstalk a rest since we keep throwing out mexed missages.

More rain outside. Dismal. My suit, soaked.