Monthly Archives: August 2006

What Difference Does It Make?

Late is the hour. Just got back from Julio and Stine’s apartment. She’s flying back to Denmark to tie up some loose ends. So it was a bottle of wine and stories of our respective past couple of hours, days, and weeks. All in all a good time was had by the three of us since Bill was at his parent’s house, this being a Thursday and all. So it’s a late start for me. She had cooked dinner for Julio’s mother and sister and her fiancée. I didn’t come down until after they left as it was a family affair. A very mellow time and many laughs and digs between Julio and myself afterwards while Stine tried to figure out what to bring back with her to Denmark. Earrings? Yes, but exactly what earrings to bring? Stuff like that. Stine has finally gotten her New Jersey driver’s license so she’s a Jersey girl, officially.

It was an easy day at work, relatively quiet, stress free. Felicia and Linda were in Felicia asking me for my opinion on pictures of her and her boyfriends, taken when she was illin’ a few weeks ago. He is a cutie, and I tried to pick the best picture that made Felicia look good. A picture of the two them kissing, he with his eyes closed, she with her eyes open, looked weird, but oddly enough it was the best picture that I could find. She’s not so bad looking anyhow. If I was straight, I’d prefer some meat on her bones, but I’m not straight so I really don’t care, though she is awfully thin. Linda came in much later than expected, something like around 3:00. Nice hours huh?

I was kind and civil though keeping an eye on Linda and speaking as clearly as possible making sure she doesn’t mishear ‘Busy’ as ‘Pissy’. Apparently I still have to watch my back. Maybe it’s the same way no matter where you work, someone is always out to get you and stab you in the back. Never really paid much attention to that before, but maybe I should. Though between Wanker Banker and McMann and Tate I had never been in such jobs that inspired such fear and loathing. Perhaps that’s how it is when you climb a corporate ladder. But I never stepping on anyone while climbing, I don’t think. I competed with some other people while applying for the jobs, but I got those through force of will I’d like to think. Really it was a personality contest for the positions, winning someone over I suppose. I know my computer skills might’ve been easily surpassed by my competitors.

Or maybe not, I don’t know.

I have to go to work tomorrow. Many others have off, having a four day weekend and since I had off last Friday, wet and drizzly day that was, I have to go to work. It will be a day of reduced hours, meaning that I should be able to leave at 3:00PM. I’m hoping for 1:00 but will settle for 2:00. I’m not picky, as it’s more than likely that 3 it will be.

Down in the Flood

Presently on hold with Apple Support. In the mean time I’ll tell you about my day as I usually do, but this might have interruptions from the support team at Apple. Last night I bought the new Bob Dylan record, Modern Times from iTunes. Not as subversive as you might think eh? There were extras that were enticing, extra songs and videos and I couldn’t resist. I could’ve walked to Tower Records or at least another store, perhaps an independent retailer, but I wanted it then and there so I bought it. I decided to play it on the way to work this morning and it sounded quite good.

After the usual flirtiness with Plantain Man, who was wearing loose shorts this morning so wood was as prominent as it usually is, I got on the Path train and stood near the door and decided to fast forward and watch the video for Love Sick, from the Grammy’s about ten years ago. This was when the guy wearing Soy Bomb jumped onstage and started doing an interpretive dance, much to Bob’s consternation. For some reason there was no sign of the soy bomber, which I found to be disappointing. I thought the guy was odd, but would’ve been fun to see it again. He probably didn’t sign a release for video, or they couldn’t find him so he wound up on the cutting room floor.

There’s a great, killer version of Cold Irons Bound along with Down in the Flood, both from Masked and Anonymous so since I had gotten off the train, I decided to play both tracks. They sounded great as I walked down Sixth Avenue to Carmine Street. It was going to be a busy day and I found that Felicia was going to be in. (Apple is now on the line. ‘Wonderful’ is the phrase this neckbone keeps repeating on the other end when he gets information from me that I have to say slowly and repeat even slower the second and occasionally third time. Now they are having trouble finding me in the system. My online
support is in India. Wonderful. His name is Rogis. It’s 7AM in India with me being on the phone with Apple for 1:01:36. I’m off the phone now and still don’t know if it’s been fixed, but I have a case number in any event.)

Last night, before I left work, I set up a conference room so I wouldn’t have to run around this morning, all I’d have to do was put out food and coffee. I came into the office and walked past the conference room, to find no plates, cups, utensils and whatnot. I walked into the kitchen and there was Felicia happy to see me. She didn’t know what happened to aforementioned items. Apparently the cleaning crew at night put them all away. Nice but set me back a little, for Felicia started putting the items together to get into the room. She also put the food together and we put it on the cart and brought it in.

The clients came in earlier than expected as well as Linda, the British woman. Felicia joined in and sat down. I did my usual routines of running around. It was very busy. I rarely sat down, one thing after another and I loved it. It made the day go faster and there was an edginess to most everything I did. Edginess meaning I was really quick witted. People laughed at my comments and I continued on my merry way. After a few hours of that, I was going to sit down when Linda came up to me.

“I don’t know why you’re so angry, but maybe you should go and take a nice lunch.” “Actually, I’m fine. Just really very busy. I’ll go get a salad in a few minutes.” “Pissy? I don’t why you’re pissy, whatever that means.” she said, mishearing ‘busy’ as ‘pissy’. “No, I think you’re angry.” “I’m not angry. Believe me, if I was angry you’d know” Anyone who knows me well, knows that if I’m angry with someone I freeze them out. Not a good thing I suppose, but it beats the alternative.

She kept insisting that I should go, being angry which in reality was making me angry. There’s a strange thing going on between Linda and Felicia, with Linda once having my job and willing to volunteer and jump in if need be. She also complains that it’s not her job anymore, she being the assistant to the CEO, Heinz Hasselblad. Felicia seems to resent her and both talking charmingly to each other most of the time, each disparaging the other to me at various moments.

So where I was previously too busy to be angry about anything that according to Linda, should be pissing me off, I went out for an hour and sat in the park talking on the cell phone to Bill, relating my tale of woe. Having the time to sit down and reflect gave me the anger that seemed to be missing. I sat and stewed and went back to the office being all nice to everyone like I was previously, even towards Linda. I think it’s her that’s crazy, not me. Why do the loonies always find me?

I was out the door at 6:00 and lit up a cigar for my walk. Decided to walk down Broadway, and listen to the new Bob Dylan record, mp3, download, whatevs. Got through the first song when the iPod froze. No problem, a simple restart, then again, then again. Every other song from different downloads worked, but not the new Dylan. Humbug! I played Ray Charles instead. Bob would have approved, but I wanted to hear what I paid for the night before. That’s when I called India, and spoke to Rogis. And here we are.

When the Levee Breaks

Tuesday, didn’t sleep well the night before. I was upset with Bill, upset with myself. There really wasn’t much of a reason to be upset. Misplaced two jazzies which I blamed on Bill who was merely vacuuming. It’s one of the few things that I look forward to after work, for some it is a scotch, for some it’s their kids, for me it’s a jazz cigarette. It really should be decriminalized and made easier to get so I won’t be stressed like I was last night. Bill was apologetic, I was uptight. Not a good combo in any event.

I had some wine which soothed my jagged nerves and went to sleep earlier than usual. I was surprised I was able to sleep with that chip on my shoulder. Bill came to bed soon after and woke me up, making it difficult to go back to sleep. As I nuzzled and lay next to him I mentioned something that made him take a shower. I was able to drift back to sleep but when he came back he smelled like a candy cane factory. He’s been using some peppermint oils for his back and applied a little too much which had the effect of smelling salts on me.

I couldn’t sleep after that and wound up watching television at 1:00 in the morning. Eventually sleep called and I answered and had very strange vampire dreams. This is what happens when my beloved jazzies go a missing. Last time the dreams where on an apocalyptic level. Horrible dreams that shook me awake. So I’ll take a jazz cigarette over those dream scenarios every time. So after fighting hordes of vampires I woke up to find Bill up and about and going to work around 6:30. I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t want to spend too much time with me. I didn’t want to spend too much time with myself either.

Work was ok. I actually sat in on a management meeting, not meaning that I am part of management, but they asked for my ideas and I gave them. The mandatory suit and tie regime would’ve been shot down had I brought it up. That was a joke. Ok not a good one. But I contributed to the meeting and left not feeling stupid, but glad that I had the ear of the CEO, Heinz Hasselblad, who happens to be a nice guy that I am older than. Whee!

Tonight, I am content with a jazzie. Bill just came home and I gave him a great big hug and kiss. We’re watching Spike Lee’s documentary, ‘When the Levees Broke’, special 4 hour showing on Hurricane Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans. It all happened a year ago but I was oblivious, for Bill and I were in our own emotional maelstrom. And like New Orleans we are still working out our way out of the emotions that crashed last year. It’s a tragedy that New Orleans is still a mess a year later. Too bad the American people are tired of the story. Why aren’t they fired up about the malfeasance of this administration? What the hell is wrong with them?

No Control

Monday back to work, first time I left the apartment in about 23 hours. Not much had changed, just that everything was wet. And it was quite muggy. Not much fun, and of course, as soon as I hit the street I was covered in hummus. That’s what I call being stuck in humidity. It’s seems most apropos. Got text messages from Felicia who has a high fever and wasn’t making it in to the office today. Been so long that either one of us worked a full week that I really wasn’t too surprised. Actually I would have been surprised if she showed up.

I saw Plantain Man sporting his wood as I bought two bananas from him. I asked if he went to Jersey City Pride and he didn’t know anything about it. Too bad, he would have fit in perfectly there and probably would have scored. I walked to the Path train listening to Justin Timberlake. Juan recommended it and I scoffed but at Jersey City Pride, I heard it on a huge speaker system and it sounded good. Real good. Good enough to think it was someone other than Justin Timberlake. I was intrigued enough to download both the dirty and clean versions. It is that good.

I also downloaded Sean Paul, ‘Temperature’, two songs to remind me of what a good time I had with Juan at Jersey City Pride. I went last year by myself and that was no fun. I wound up drinking too much crap beer and walking around by myself. This year, Juan made all the difference. He got my jokes and was a very good drinking buddy, the Gilligan to my Skipper. Juan has been turning me on to some really good Pop music, and luckily for me, when Pop music is good, I tend to love it. Under Juan’s influence I also downloaded the Pussycat Dolls with Snoop Dog and Christina Aguilera, and for my own taste, Plastic Bertrand and some Supertramp. Guilty pleasures indeed.

Work was ok, nothing special. Busy enough and also learning to relax which is easy when Felicia isn’t around. Most everyone asked how my weekend was, especially since I had a funeral to attend. Everyone had the same type of weekend, wet and dreary. Work was ok, it was looking like it was going to be a slow week. No clients coming in with a possibility of an early departure on Friday since it is a holiday weekend coming up. The celebration of labor.

The afternoon flew quickly and I was soon out the door smoking a cigar and headed to the World Trade Center Path train. In remembrance of the upcoming 5th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks they had placed various large photographs of that day, of the victims and firefighters and survivors. Tastefully done and gripping. I walked around and looked at the photographs while finishing my cigar. After that I walked down the stairs to the train station that was obliterated that September morning, I looked at the pavement and then at most of the people who all had the same look on their faces.

If Not For You*

Saturday, needed to get up early and I did. No bagels this morning, had to hustle and look presentable for my Aunt Betty’s funeral. I hustled around the apartment running into Bill who was up and about so he can get to his acting classes. I only had coffee after shaving and showering and then I was hitting the rainy streets of Hoboken, specifically Park Avenue. Not many people out at 8:00 on a Saturday morning and I enjoyed the walk while listening to Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft.

Caught the Light Rail at Ninth Street and was soon in Union City, 48th Street and Bergenline Avenue. Asked a Transit Police Officer if the 159 bus stops here at the Light Rain station or on the street, he had no idea. And he works there, as a police officer. I took a chance and waited on the street. The bus showed up as expected and got on sitting in the back listening to Dylan. The bus snaked up Bergenline towards Fort Lee. As the bus moved through Fairview I noticed at least a hundred day laborers standing on street corners waiting for a chance to work. I never really saw that before I must say. I hoped someone would be able to give them a decent job and a good wage.

The bus continued on past many day laborers eventually making it to Fort Lee. As I discussed with my brother Brian I’d call him when I got off the bus since he’d be in the area. I got off the bus and called him. He asked where I was and told him Main Street and Center Avenue. You couldn’t get more center of town than that. I asked Brian where he was, and he was home. He overslept. It was fine by me. I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I was standing in the middle of two bagel stores and a bakery café. It was more than fine. “Take your time”.

I knew the area and went to the bagel shop I had been to before and got an egg sandwich which I proceed to eat and read the New Yorker with a large coffee. After that I walked out into the Fort Lee street watching various people run in and out of the various eateries. As I stood on the corner waiting for Brian, a yellow cab from New York comes and pulls up in front of me. The driver rolls down the window and asks, “Hey Mister! Isn’t it the rule that in a cab going through the toll the toll has to be paid for by the passenger?” “Well, yeah.” The passenger rolls down his window and says, “But we didn’t go through any toll!” I tell him that it’s the passenger that has to pay for the cab to get back to the city. That’s just how it is.

The cab drove off about a hundred feet away and I paid it no mind. About 10 minutes later, it backs up with the passenger asking if I knew where a pay phone was. I didn’t, I wasn’t from around this area. He kept arguing with the cabbie and finally paid him. When he got out he asked if he could use my cell phone. I asked him the number and he told me, I dialed and handed him the phone. From what I overheard, he was supposed to be in Jersey City. He got off the phone and asked how he could get to Jersey City. I suggested walking to the next block, that is going south and look for a bus stop. He couldn’t deal with it and decided to call for another cab. Brian pulled up and I got in.

It was an easy ride to Mount Vernon where we picked up our Uncle Joseph at his nursing home. Joseph suffers from diabetes, is blind and has had a leg amputated. It was not as bad as I had pictured in my mind as usual. He’s still his irascible self, talking about Jews and spics. He’s definitely old school. That’s how he was brought up and that is how he lived. If he didn’t like someone who was Jewish or Spanish that would make that person a dirt spic or a dirty Jew. I’m not making apologies, for I’m sure at some point he talked badly about dirty fags. That’s just a fact of his life. He’s the last of the Mohicans.

We hooked up with cousin Neil and his girlfriend Linda, and Uncle Joseph’s son Joey showed up as well. Joey was scheduled to go to a wedding on Block Island, but his wife Polly’s father passed away on Thursday night. Joey calls his father, King. I don’t know if it’s a term of endearment or mockery. Aunt Betty’s relatives were there, I forgot that I met a few of them in the nineties when Betty’s husband, my Uncle Harry passed away. It was a short service in the cemetery under skies that threatened to open.

After that we wheeled Uncle Joseph to the car and we all headed to a diner in Yonkers for a quick lunch. Uncle Joseph is also deaf in one ear so there was some raised voices at the table, though none were raised in anger. Joey picked up the tab and we agreed to pay the tip. We parted in the parking lot, with Neil inviting Bill and I to Thanksgiving dinner this year and I swore that we would make it. Neil is such a good guy, he hasn’t had an easy life but he persevered and is doing well, how could I say no?

Brian and I drove back to Hoboken through scenic routes that I hadn’t been through in quite a number of years. It was a nice quiet ride and I gave him a hug and a kiss when he dropped me off. I called Brian a few hours later to ask him the name of Uncle Joseph’s building because I was ordering a CD for him to make up for his favorite opera overtures disc that was badly scratched. Everyone had gotten home safe and sound.

I had difficulty connecting with Juan but eventually got through and carried on with our plan to go to Jersey City Gay Pride. We made it and took the Light Rail to Exchange Place where Juan started recognizing various men he’s met before in one way or another. I won’t get into detail to preserve Juan’s, ahem, integrity. We had a great time though drinking beers and I smoked a cigar which kept the twinks at bay. The Pride festival was winding down after being there for two hours so Juan and I continued back to Hoboken and bought some more beer and groceries.

Bill stayed home and was working on my computer trying to get it up to speed for his wireless network. A simple upgrade that wasn’t going so well. Bill was confident he would fix it and I placed my confidence in Bill. Juan and I sat on the couch and watched the Rent DVD which Bill had purchased a few months ago. There was some sniffling during the film and Juan, Bill and I would occasionally join in with the singing. No day but today. Juan kept moaning about not wanting to leave for school on Sunday, but it was true, he had to go back to school.

When he left there were tears in his eyes as well as mine. He’s a good kid and we wish him well. Hope he got home ok, he has some packing to do. I know he’ll fall back into his academic routine sure enough. He’s a smarty. And a dear friend. BFF!


later that day…



zoom zoom zoom

POST SCRIPT: written Sunday 8.27.06
Spent all day indoors, dreary rainy day. Nothing to write about really, but keep in mind the posting for yesterday, started yesterday afternoon, finished this morning is over 1200 words, so that more than covers the daily word tally of at least 500. If you don’t like it, write your own blog.
love,
John
and good luck to Juan!

Little Johnny Jewel

Summer Friday, means a day off for me. Today was my summer Friday and I slept in. It was overcast for a while. With a tornado watch in effect this morning, it was not a good day for much of anything outdoors, so I just did the laundry and watched the telly. Laundry counts as being productive, doesn’t it? Bill was at his folks so I had the bed all to myself, and I didn’t need to worry about the alarm clock. So I slept until 9:00 which is about 2.5 hours later than usual. Most everyone had to work or was unavailable. So it was laundry and telly after eating bagels for breakfast.

I went to the supermarket last night, and it certainly had a gayer vibe that it does most other nights. Cruisy with complimentary fag hags. On an unrelated note, I don’t know where Juan is. Haven’t seen nor heard from he who goes back to school on Sunday. We do have a plan to go to Jersey City Gay Pride tomorrow, but that will have to be later in the afternoon since I’ll be at my Aunt Betty’s funeral tomorrow around noon. I don’t know exactly where it will be, but I have to be on the Light Rail by 8:15 tomorrow morning to meet my brother Brian in Fort Lee by 9:30.

So Saturday should make up for the laziness of today. I don’t know if the beach will be in the plans for Sunday it would be nice, though once again they’re predicting rain, which is what they did last weekend and it turned out to be a perfect beach day though realized in Hoboken. Just as well, last Sunday was a bugged out day anyway and I’d rather not get into it. Certainly won’t be going through that again I tell you. You live and you learn, and finally looking forward.

I think Juan is due over tonight and I’m looking forward to it. Have a few Dvd’s , Syriana, The Big Lebowski, and The Sea Inside, diverse indeed. Bill worked today and should be home soon. I’ve already eaten a hamburger at 5:30, the early bird special. Just reported an F-0 tornado touched down in Massapequa. Out on Long Island. The metropolitan area was under a tornado watch for a bit this morning. Now it’s a balmy evening not much of a breeze except in front of a fan. But they keep pestering me for autographs, so I suffer.

Some of that is what my weekend looks like somewhat but of course it can all change in the blink of an eye. I might be seeing some cousins tomorrow, I’ll be seeing my Uncle Joseph and my brother Brian. We need to go pick up Uncle Joe at his nursing home. He’s blind and has one leg, so since I don’t have a license I guess it will be up to Brian to drive.

Oh, don’t give me that look. This is the guy who kept telling me when John F. Kennedy Jr. died that I should apply for the position that was vacated. He has a sense of humor like that.

Sugar Hiccup

Well I slept a deep sleep last night, had difficulty waking up. Bill noticed this and since he’s been getting up before me, he made coffee. That was really nice, considering he doesn’t drink coffee at all and never makes coffee. Well he did try once before and wound up making some sludge. After that attempt, I showed him how to make coffee, 3 scoops only. It’s been a while and it was good to have one last thing to do as I wandered around the apartment like a zombie. He kissed me and wished me a good day before he headed out to catch the bus.

All day long I was a zombie, just a few steps behind myself. I knew I’d have to get through the day and then the weekend would stop since I have a summer Friday, meaning a day off. It was quiet in the office so Linda the nice British woman sent me home earlier than I expected. I followed her instructions and came home and went to bed. Woke up around 6:30 and finally felt better. Made myself a hamburger and now I’m just chillin. Bill is at his parents in the city, it’s a Thursday night after all.

My original weekend plan to have Friday off and go up and visit El Rey at his new house isn’t going to happen since he has to drive his girlfriend somewhere. It’s just as well since I have to go to a funeral on Saturday I think. My Aunt Betty died and I think she’ll be buried next to my Uncle Harry in Mount Vernon. Don’t really have the details on that yet, so it’s a rough idea. My brother Brian called me up with the news and I did as he asked, called my brother Frank.

I didn’t really know Aunt Betty. She was married to my Uncle Harry. Might’ve been his second wife, but I could be wrong. Harry was the twin brother of my Uncle John. My siblings and I were close to Uncle John and his wife Madeline’s kids. They had five daughters and one son. There’s a bond between us, but as time goes on the bond gets fainter. To the point where we see each other at funerals and weddings, but mainly funerals. Weddings are expensive and inviting people you see once or twice a decade can add up. So it’s usually funerals. Those are cheaper.

So Saturday is a funeral which means I’ll be seeing the cousins from Bordentown. Last time I saw them was at my father’s wake, and I mentioned that we should all get together more often instead of merely wakes or weddings. They agreed and we went our separate ways. I wasn’t expecting them to hold me to it, and I wasn’t expecting life to get more and more hectic as it goes on, but it does. A cousin or two mentioned they were disappointed at the fact that I wasn’t doing much of anything as far as organizing a get together. Hell, I was disappointed that I wasn’t doing much of anything.

Like A Virgin

Half a day at work. Not feeling too good. Major headache. My head, not the job. I was okay until as I was about to leave the apartment then wham, major throbbage. Came home and slept intermittently. Now I find myself sitting in from of the computer trying to think of something to write. I can write about how I dreamt of being at Monmouth Beach as a tsunami was about to hit. That was intense. Ever since the tsunami that hit southeast Asia two years ago, the thought has been on my mind. At the shore I’m always on the lookout for rogue waves. Rogue waves and men in speedos. Both are few and far between.

For some reason I’ve been hooked on Rock Star: Supernova. I was also hooked on last year’s version. The one where they tried to find someone to replace Michael Hutchence in INXS. I’m sure they picked someone, but don’t ask me who. INXS were a very good looking band, all very good looking chaps. Then Hutchence gets an idea and it all gets pear shaped. Now some bald guy is playing guitar and singing Fire by Jimi Hendrix with the house band. A credible job, the house band that is. Headache still makes it’s presence known, or maybe because it’s the show. A reality show.

If I don’t think about the headache it’s barely noticeable, but having just written that it gives me a nudge as if to say, ‘Oh yeah?’. Maybe it’s a vitamin deficiency. For some reason I thought that maybe it so I bought some multiple vitamins. It’s similar to the headache I had this past weekend, but why would it go away on Monday and Tuesday only to punch in on Wednesday? Bad scheduling on the headache’s part, and bad timing to strike as I was about to walk out the door. Minus ten points for both. Stupid headache.

Perhaps I should make an appointment for some trepanning. I read somewhere that that’s coming back in a big way. Trepanning is the drilling of holes in the head to relieve pressure. Hell I don’t need an appointment, I can do it myself. Don’t have an electric drill, but I have a manual one. Please read that under the suggestion that it was satire. I don’t have a manual drill.

It’s nighttime and relatively early, tired but not sleepy. Headache has gone away, must have been the Rock Star: Supernova show. My guilty pleasure. My secret lover. No wait, that’s not it. If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret. Now I’m watching repeats of Scrubs. It’s not breaking the trust that Juan and I have for the show, I believe that pertains to watching the DVDs. Very funny show and no guilt to accompany the pleasure. How uncatholic, guilt free pleasure. Why hasn’t that happened before? This must be what being a Protestant is like. Despite the fact that I’m an atheist, I was brought up Catholic and sent to Catholic schools so the dogma still dogs me to this day.

Birthday

Just got back from seeing The Devil Wears Prada which I was fairly ambivalent about seeing. Bill had wanted to see it at an acting coach’s suggestion so we went. It was better than I expected and Meryl Streep ruled. Actually laughed out loud at several scenes. And it was more crowded than I expected it to be. Some audience members thought that this was the perfect film to take a newborn infant to see and I can easily see how they’d think that. The movie is based on a novel written by a former assistant to Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue magazine.

It was a funny film and I remember reading about some backlash regarding the movie. Mainly about how the desks are so neat and orderly. I can’t say that was the case at People magazine when I worked there. Most of the time, you’d be lucky if you saw a desk, they were usually covered in newspapers, magazines, and whatever department the desk was in. Also that there is now way an assistant would be able to get away with wearing couture that had been sent in for fashion shoots. But other than that I recommend it. Four thumbs up. Mine and Bill’s.

Bill and I met in Bryant Park and that didn’t go well at all. Just a communication problem but it worked out after awhile. At one point Bill didn’t want to see the movie, and I would’ve been ok with it, but we were right in front of the bloody theater and I had given up a few things to be able to see it with Bill, and to further prove my commitment to seeing this movie, right then and there, I threw out a very good not even half smoked cigar into the street. So there!

Today is my sister’s birthday. Two years ago Bill and I flew out to San Francisco for a few days, to see a friend of mine get married and also to surprise Annemarie on what was a milestone birthday. For her integrity I won’t say how many years she’s been on the planet, but it was a major event. She’s eight years older than me and I was born in 1962. Technically I didn’t say anything about her youthful age, did I? Any lawyers out there, please advise. Not that Annemarie would sue me or anything, more like smack me upside the head next time she sees me. And that won’t even happen since she’s not a violent person.

Cut me down to size? Well she is my sister after all. This year, with me having a new job, and Annemarie having a new job it just wouldn’t be possible. When I drunk dialed her last week, while hanging out with El Rey, I told her about my plan to fly out there between Christmas and New Years. She agreed that it was a good idea, possibly a fine idea, but with one flaw. They were going to be in Orlando at that time. So eff that idea.

I will see her next year when our niece Meghan marries the wonderful Rob. The date isn’t set yet and after speaking to her mother, Elaine a few weeks ago I was told that to have a wedding in June is mucho bucks. And they are the bride’s parents, so that tradition thing rears it head once again. The bride’s parents pay for the wedding. I’m sure it’s written down somewhere. Somewhere in a cave.

Anyway I would like to take this opportunity to wish my sister a Happy Birthday and to thank her for being such a good friend (BFF!) and a wonderful sister. To my sister, Annemarie! The richest woman in town!

Love,
John

Shabby Doll

Monday. Back to work, relative normalcy. Slept ok, woke up ok. It was an average morning. After a weekend of inactivity, actually having something to do didn’t sound so bad. I woke up a little later than usual, but there was no hurry to get to work on time. I knew it wasn’t going to be too busy, most everything has been slow in the McMann and Tate world. My appetite has been ravenous lately and after eating breakfast at home, when I got to the city I got some bagels for myself. A healthy appetite for sure. No complaints, just always hungry. Always finding time for second breakfast.

Right now, Elvis Costello and Fiona Apple are singing a duet on one of the MTV channels. Stumbled onto it. Bill has been hankering to get a DVD-R for cable so he can watch his Law and Orders as well as commercials that he might be in or have to study. He’s been taking acting classes and they seem to be serving him well. Or at least he’s acting like they’re serving him well which is more or less the same thing. Elvis Costello is now singing a Fiona Apple song.

What the hell happened to Elvis? I used to love him, then he released ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ and it was basically goodbye blind adoration of Elvis Costello and the Attractions. I’ll never forget when Elvis and the Attractions were touring for the Punch the Clock album. Not a bad album but totally flaccid when compared to ImPeRiAl BeDrOoM, or Imperial Bedroom for those who think my fonts have a mind of their own. I was in Chelsea hanging out with my friends, Rita and Loren. We all had tickets to the upcoming NY show a few days later and were psyched for it.

Rita mentioned that she read an interview with Elvis Costello that took place at the Parker Meridian hotel on 57th street and suggested that we should go up to the hotel and see if they were hanging about the hotel. Having nothing better to do, we all agreed and hopped in a taxi from Chelsea to 57th street. In the hotel, being somewhat posh, we stood out like sore thumbs. We sat in the lounge and had some very pricey cocktails. I believe after two rounds, our funds were depleted. We took to wandering around the lobby when we saw Bruce Thomas, bass player for the Attractions get into an elevator. We jumped in with him, nervously trying not to giggle.

It was all very ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ a movie made in the seventies about a group of teenagers trying to get into the Plaza hotel and meet the Beatles. Bruce Thomas got off at the 10th floor and we got off at the 11th, taking an elevator back down to ten. We expected to hear a party but it was very quiet as we walked down the hallway with our ears pressed to the doors. I guess we made some sort of disturbance, because Bruce Thomas opened his door asking if he could help us.

The three of us gushed, telling him we were fans and how we loved Elvis and the Attractions. He was kind enough to invite us into his humble room. He apologized for only having water to offer, not really a rock and roll scene. We just gushed some more and told him how excited we were to be seeing him and the band soon. He asked where we were from and we told him New Jersey. He asked if we were going to see the Asbury Park show and we said no.

Bruce offered to put us on the guest list if we cared to go. We definitely did care to go. He also mentioned that the Asbury Park show was on his birthday, and he’d make a point to put us on the list. We thanked him profusely and Rita, Loren and I made plans to buy Bruce some gifts for his birthday. Time flew and suddenly it was Sunday and we were in Asbury Park. A few Hoboken people were at the show and we couldn’t help but show them our backstage passes. They in turn showed us theirs. So much for being smug.

The show was great but I couldn’t remember much having spent most of the night staring at the backstage pass on my clothes and making sure no one would run up to me and swipe it. After the show we ran backstage gushing like Wendy Jo Sperber and finally cornering Bruce Thomas and giving him his gifts. I don’t know what Rita and Loren gave him, but I was working for a book company and swiped a few best sellers of the intellectual sort to give him. He thanked us and got on the bus headed towards the next gig. We didn’t really talk to Elvis or the others, it was Bruce who got us in, and Elvis was surrounded by press and hangers on.

We all drove home and that’s about all I can remember. Now Elvis is duetting with Billie Joe Armstrong. WTF? Bruce Thomas was later kicked out of the Attractions after a row with Elvis. He wrote a book called ‘The Big Wheel’ a thinly disguised roman a clef about life with an egocentric singer on the road. I think Bruce Thomas being kicked out of the Attractions soured me somewhat on what Elvis Costello is doing now. I saw him and Diana Krall on the street a few years ago and I just kept walking. He saw that I recognized him, but being in New York City, I just let him be.

Love to Be Loved

Well I did a whole lot of nothing last night. Just hung out and watched TV. Not much else to do. I surfed and chatted and that was about it. Not really much in the mood to do anything else. Spoke to Julio and it seemed like he and Stine were doing the same thing. There were no plans afoot to go to the beach because all we kept hearing on the weather was what a rainy day it was supposed to be on Sunday. We guess what? They got it wrong again. Not one single friggin drop of rain.

Bill came home last night around 11:00 and set to work on getting me back onto his wireless network. He also told me that his cousin and her husband were giving us their California King sized bed. Which I envision as being gigantic. A truly nice offer that we are going to take them up on, but we need to see if we could fit it in through the doors. I don’t think that aspect will be easy. Not that getting it up four flights of stairs will be a walk in the park either. But with determination we should be able to do it, provided Bill gets the measurements right.

I didn’t sleep to well last night but it wasn’t in anticipation of a different bed. Just restless. Bill of course sleeps through everything, much like I do when I am sleeping well. Last night he sawed wood and I stumbled to get some water. I woke up tired and got into the shower, made some coffee and went out for the bagels. It was a gorgeous morning with an occasional cloud overhead. No plans for the beach were made so no one was going anywhere, not me not Bill not Julio or Stine. Cicadas make their summertime racket which shows you how not rainy it actually is.

Spent the morning reading the papers, and watching the news shows with Bill, then we watched a documentary on Albert Einstein followed by a documentary on Robert Kennedy. Bill left to visit his bed giving cousin and I ventured out to the supermarket to buy some groceries since there was nothing to eat in the apartment. The bagels were long gone. Some cruising with both sexes happening in the supermarket. Perhaps Sunday night is bisexual night. I saw Julio and Stine pedal past on their way to Julio’s office so Stine can do some scanning for work. I know this because I called them while I was in the store.

Nothing else to report, I hope Annemarie feels better, she’s been a little down with a cold and since it’s her birthday on Tuesday, it would be nice if she was in good health. She got my gifts that I sent, Paul Simon, Surprise, Jackson Browne, Acoustic Hits and Arcade Fire, Funeral. She enjoys them but hasn’t played Arcade Fire yet and that’s what I really want to know what she thinks. Juan is due over tonight, next weekend he’ll be back at school. I hope he’s had a good time hanging out this summer. I enjoy his company.

And here’s some pics from this week.





Personality Crisis

Ok, things are waaay out of the ordinary. Number one, my wireless is not itself, and it needs Bill to set it straight. Number two, I am fucked up. Been one of those days. I can’t even say nothing extraordinary, because it is extraordinary. Like Spalding Gray, like Peter Gabriel, I love to be loved. Bill had his solo session and Philip has gone on vacation. It went well I suppose, Bill didn’t really say much about his session. He was exhausted though. We just sat on the couch and watched the 40 Year Old Virgin, then Crooklyn, then Kung Fu Hustle. I watched Kung Fu Hustle by myself, Bill crashed right before the end of Crooklyn.

I’d seen all the movies before and wound up crashing at 1:00AM. I slept like a log and woke up as Bill was getting ready for his Saturday morning acting classes. He left his head shot for me on his pillow as if I’d forget what he looked like. I slept in a little bit linger eventually getting out of bed and showering, bagels, papers etc. You know, the Saturday morning routine. I checked my emails after I ate breakfast when I got back and found an enticing email from Trevor, someone who I’d been chatting with online for awhile.

For some reason hooking up with him seemed like the right thing to do. I got my things together and found myself on the Path train into the city at 11:00. I got to his neighborhood and called as planned but got no response. I was unusually cool with this and sat on a bench in a park across the street from his apartment. I was giving him 30 minutes to answer his phone as I sat and watched the dogs in the dog run. At the 30 minute mark I called him and he answered and I went upstairs.

He was a nice guy, very socialable and entertaining someone else. By entertaining, I mean they both were surfing the net. The oddest part was nothing happened. The two of them had been out all night and I caught the tail end of their evening. We hung out and chatted and smoked what I thought was a jazz cigarette but turned out to be something more than that. No complaints, I had a grip on the situation as well as a tremendous headache from whatever it was.

I kept myself hydrated and under control and left soon after, roaming the streets back to the Path train, sweating out whatever was in. I wasn’t paranoid, nor overtly promiscuous, just had my eyes focused on getting to the train and back home where I needed to be. I would like to know what it was Trevor passed to me, but I doubt if we’ll meet again. I’ve been home, slowly coming down from a pleasant trip, safely ensconced in my own skin. I’ve eaten, drank a lot of water and now just hanging out. Can’t be that bad if I was able to write about it, now can it?

Its hours later now, and everything is back to normal, if it was ever normal to begin with. So how are you doing?

Bredda Gravalicious

It’s Friday and I woke up alone, Bill having spent the night before sleeping uncomfortably in his parents apartment. Apparently they have a horrible sofa bed and if you’ve ever slept on one of those you might have an idea how uncomfortable they could be. I recovered from my Wednesday night escapades, even had to explain my drunk dialing to my sister, whom I drunk dialed. She called me last night to check out what condition I was in. I was actually all right, and apologized for the call. I don’t think she minded, though she was probably a bit worried by my slurring from a bar on the Bowery. But the Bowery is not what it used to be, it’s in the process of a gentrification.

I slept a lot yesterday, about 5 hours in the afternoon and about 7 more last night. Felt refreshed somewhat and as ready as I’d ever be to go to work. Lot’s of people have Friday’s off so the train wasn’t too crowded. I was able to sit and read until I got to Ninth Street where I got off and picked up some bagels. A few people asked how I was doing since I had left work way earlier than usual, and I just gave them an answer related to me being hypoglycemic. An occasional look of concern, but relieved when I told them it’s merely from not eating properly.

That was better than the truth. I had to leave because I was still drunk from the night before. That wouldn’t work. I do have things to do and I was able to do them before I left at 11:00. Apparently I missed Felicia yesterday who was understanding this morning, before she left work early again with the shakes and nausea. The office was half empty again, this being the summer and people taking their summer Friday’s, a paid day off. I spoke to Rey who crawled out from his blankets, he being in worse shape than me. He tried talking me into going home with him on Wednesday night, saying, ‘Who takes Thursday off Nigga?’ I explained that I needed to make an appearance, he reluctantly understood and got home in one piece.

I do have a plan to see him next weekend, taking my final summer Friday and taking a train upstate to party with him while he is on his vacation. The plan is to return on Saturday and go to Jersey City Gay Pride with Juan, before he goes back to school the next day. But that is over a week away and a lot could change.

Linda, my British coworker suggested I leave early today and I let her know all she had to do is say when and I would be gone. When came at 5:00PM. No session for me with Philip Beansprout, Bill is going alone. Philip is on vacation until September so we all get a break. I think Bill wanted to go alone anyway, I guess he will talk about my foul mood the other morning, having woken up later than usual. That’s his prerogative. I did try to make amends, closing the door once the horse has fled the barn.

It’s a lovely Friday evening, Bill’s on the couch. He plans to come home and crash, after not sleeping too well last night. My plan is to chill out and do nothing. Well, almost nothing. There is laundry after all.

I am convinced that the longest hour of the week is Friday nights, from 6:15 to 7:15.

Alto Songo

Oh what a beautiful day it was yesterday. I hooked up with Rey around Astor Place in the East Village, our plan was to see an old friend of ours Excer, play in his salsa band, Conjunto Imagen. Work was slow, not too busy and I got through the day without much effort. Rey got to the city somewhat earlier than expected and he wound up at Farfetched where another old friend was working, Harpy. It’s funny but I’ve known these guys for almost twenty years, back from when we all worked for Rupert Murdoch at 2 Park Avenue and then in Secaucus, NJ.

Somehow we all wound up working together on a failed precursor for the Internet. Seems that Rupert wanted to compile a Hotel Database for hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfasts from around the world. I believe the plan was to gather as much information and pictures of various establishments and sell them to travel agencies. It was Rey, Excer and my job to look at brochures all day and select whatever photographs we liked, edit them and send them off to Harpy to have them converted into slides for inclusion in the database. It was a great job, paid 10 dollars an hour, and we were freelance so we made our own hours.

The first time I met Excer was with Rey. We were both working late at 2 Park Avenue and went outside to Excer’s red Honda and shared a jazz cigarette. Amidst the coughing we saw two femme guys walking up Park Avenue and Excer made a comment about them. I showed my uncomfortable ness, by handing the jazz cigarette back and getting out of the car. I found out that Rey took it upon himself to admonish Excer for saying stuff like that considering that I was gay and more than likely offended by what he said. They were, and are good looking men and I was more than likely the only gay man that never hit on them or made it obvious that they were so sexually enticing.

Time passed, Excer saw the light and we all became good friends. So it was a treat to meet up with them again. Excer looked fly in his baby blue Guyabera, and I thought to myself that I was glad to be wearing my gray Guyabera and not the baby blue one I came thisclose to wearing. Rey and I just hung out on the pier at the South Street Seaport, he regaling me with tales of being a Corrections Officer at Riker’s Island while plying me with beer. I just drank and gave an occasional look of horror. The show ended and Excer and his girlfriend gave us a ride back to the Village where Rey and I proceeded to drink some more.

Rey just moved to upstate New York after living in New York City for 38 years. Being in Manhattan he realized how much he missed being able to hang out in a variety of situations all within the space of a mile or two. We sat in Phoebe’s around the corner from CBGB’s. I was gripped by the idea of calling my sister. I owed her a phone call, but I’m sure she didn’t expect and I sure as hell didn’t expect to drunk dial her. Oh but I did. Don’t know what I said but I’m sure it wasn’t so bad.

I only had about four hours of sleep and didn’t feel so good when I woke up. I did make it in to work, but after a few hours of that, not feeling any better I left early and took the Path train back home. I passed Patti Smith on the street and said hello. Then I came home and slept for five hours. Crazy dreams. All better now. Rey just called and he had a similar experience today except that he’s on vacation.

As (for Rey)

Surly sedition, or early edition. Things have been going well between Bill and myself. He’s been a rock for me with my miniscule dramas and whatnot. He has been lovey dovey and it’s been great, but this morning it went awry. Not that anything terrible happened, but I’m the one who’s usually up and out of the bed by 6:30. For some reason Bill thought it would’ve been nice to let me sleep, saying that I looked so cute and peaceful sleeping there. That’s a good idea for weekends, or if I have some time off, but not today, it being a Wednesday and all. I don’t think he understood what all the fuss was about, and why should he since nine times out of ten, he’s still asleep when I’m walking out the door.

Perhaps he wanted to test my morning sensibilities, to see if I really did make the effort and attempt to become more of a morning person. If that was the case it didn’t work. He wisely stayed out of my way as I ran around the apartment, trying to make coffee, forgoing my cereal and jumping in the shower. No, it certainly is not a good idea to let me sleep a bit more when I actually have to work. Not a good idea, at all. I tried explaining it to him as I was straightening up the stove top that he used last night, not being the type to put things back the way he found them. Just one more thing I needed to do before I had my first cup of coffee and jump into the shower.

It’s been over an hour since all that happened and as usual I am putting my humorous spin on things. I just told a coworker and she laughed at my story. Bill looked fantastic this morning by the way. It’s not the end of the world what happened, just a minor annoyance that I had to get over.

Tonight I plan to meet up with Rey at the Astor Place cube where we will take a subway down to the South Street Seaport to see Conjunto Imagen, a salsa band that our friend, Excer plays with. I’ve known Rey and Excer about twenty years. Excer has a nasty habit of not showing up when he is supposed to, but this is a music gig so I expect that he will be there. He is on the website www.conjuntoimagen.com , he’s the guy behind the keyboard. Good folks, very loyal. I haven’t seen Excer in a few years though, and I speak with Rey several times a week. Rey is Superman to my Jimmy Olsen. He’s a scrapper and a corrections officer at Riker’s Island. Many a time he’s looked out for me to keep me out of harms way, either actual or perceived, and I’m grateful for that.

I just have to get through the day and meet up at the cube. I don’t foresee any obstacles but then again obstacles have a habit of showing up unannounced. But looking at my daily schedule, it should be a quiet day today, (knock wood), despite the misalignment of the stars this morning.

It was 41 years ago yesterday that the Beatles played Shea Stadium.
http://www.therockradio.com/2006/08/flashback-beatles-rock-shea-stadium.html

and Elvis died today sometime.

Now I’m drunk and home. Etc. blah blah blah.

Apocalypso

Tuesday night, Gilmore Girls are on again. Double header, meaning two episodes back to back. It ‘s quite humid in Hoboken again. It rained for about twenty minutes this morning and I of course, closed all the windows in the apartment making it at least 300 degrees hotter inside than it should actually be. At least everything is dry. Everything except for me. I sit in front of the screen, sweating. A fan is blowing warm air which sort of dries me off, but doesn’t cool me in the least. Before I forget, Hello and HUGZ to Song in Sydney.

Bill was up and about on time this morning, before me once again. It takes some getting used to, the guy who’s been laying in bed as I putter about, up and active before me. Not really so bad, just have to get used to sharing a bathroom which is something I didn’t have to do for a long time. Juan came over last night, on fire from a fight with his mom. He needed to cool out so we watched the rest of the DVD of Weeds with Bill. I had to take Bill aside when he came home and let him know how stressed Juan was. Bill was very understanding, though Juan had chilled out considerably by the time Bill sat next to him on the couch.

Juan wound up identifying with Cecilia, played by Elizabeth Perkins. That makes me, Nancy, as played by Mary Louise Parker. Bill plays all the other characters quite admirably. Imagine that, identifying with a television show. Wouldn’t be the first time, though this time it was instigated by Juan. Speaking of television shows, I couldn’t take the Gilmore Girls tonight. It was a repeat and a repeat that harked back before the last repeat a week or so ago. So much for continuity. I put in the Netflix DVD of Sparks, Lil’ Beethoven Live in Stockholm.

It’s pretty good and last time I saw them on a screen was when my brother Frank told me to the Hiway theatre in Fair Lawn to see ‘Roller Coaster’ in Sensurround starring George Segal. They were in it for about three minutes, featuring Ron Mael in his Hitler moustache playing keyboards behind his brother Russell. It was odd and I totally forgot what song they sang. I do remember they smashed up the stage at the concert in the amusement park. Lil’ Beethoven is a very good concert video. I think I’d like to see Sparks if they ever play New York again, though I wouldn’t know anything by them except for the songs from Lil’ Beethoven.

Work today was good. Felicia made it in today, none the worse for wear, in fact looking quite good. Maybe it was the make up. I did my usual thing, running about, setting up rooms, and taking them apart. Like I’ve said previously, it’s really not a bad job. Yesterday I ran into David who has the Oedipal complex from a few months back. He was the guy who sat next to me when I started at McMann and Tate. Still a relatively nice guy, albeit somewhat useless when it comes to describing actual job functions. I saw him a few weeks ago walking his dog but he didn’t see me. Yesterday he saw me, smoking a cigar and stated, ‘Oh wow, you’re smoking a cigar.’ I wished him well and went on my way.
All in all, an average day.

Drive My Car

I am trying not to dread the autumn, when it gets cooler and the trips to the shore dwindle down. It’s not that it’s in the forefront of my mind, but it’s there, lurking around the corner. I can almost see the leaves being blown about in a whirlwind. But that’s not here yet. I am still grooving on yesterday’s shore leave. I spoke to Julio this morning on the way to the Path train, and he and Stine talked so there is peace on the third floor. I’m just glad that it had nothing to do with me, and I was able to attempt to draw Stine into throwing the Frisbee, or at least taking some pictures.

Juan came by last night, after Bill and I watched Deadwood. That is getting to be quite bloody and I’m not complaining. I suppose it’s as true to life as they could depict for a mining town in the South Dakota territories. After that, then Entourage, then a bit of Lucky Louie, occasionally switching channels to FX so we could catch Bill’s appearance once more. Bill getting nudged out of the way by the dreaded Dennis Leary, who makes me leery. Bill does look good on the telly, doesn’t he? I’m looking forward to seeing Bill on the big screen and I’m sure it’s going to happen one of these days.

I woke up with the alarm clock and once again Bill was nudged, this time by me, asking if he was going to work today. He kept mentioning that he needed to be up early and here it was almost 6:30 and he’s sawing wood next to me. He jumps up and runs around surprised that he over slept. His resetting of his alarm clock obviously didn’t go as planned. He was out in a flash, quite unlike my easygoing gait, unless I oversleep, then it all turns into pandemonium. It wasn’t that way this morning. I even had enough time to go back to the apartment, walking back a block and a half and climbing four flights of stairs.

One of things I have to do at work is put out a Morning Announcement about who’s out sick, where people will be, things like that. I also try to add a witty little line like, ‘If your hand was 12 inches long, it would be a foot’. Well, I think it’s witty. Today I mentioned that it was three years ago today that the Northeast was in a blackout. I was at work at Wanker Banker on the 34th floor. I had just had some champagne with some coworkers because a division just made their first sale. Then a few minutes later everything went down. I made the phone calls to the building management and then Bill and a few others further and further away from my office and found out there was a black out. I had to climb down 36 flights of stairs in dress shoes. I looked great but of course, but by the time I had gotten to the street my legs, they be like Jell-O.

I wandered around Manhattan with my then boss, now friend, Robert. He’s an interesting guy to say the least, but after a few hours I grew weary of his nervous chatter. Me, usually the one pursuing the alpha male, became the alpha male. Ha! We eventually wound up hitchhiking at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, I was given a ride through the Tunnel by a tennis pro headed towards Baltimore way. I walked through the darkened streets and it really was dark mind you.
Oddly enough, my block was spared for some reason. There was power on my block. I heard it lost power for about 10 minutes. That’s it more or less in a nutshell. Three years ago tonight, ladies and germs.

Felicia is scheduled to return to work tomorrow which makes me apprehensive. And I know I’m not the only one.

Buttons

It is Sunday and that means beach day. I wasn’t too sure about the shore though. From what Julio told me Stine doesn’t much care for it. ‘All we do is sit there’ she said via Julio. Still, I got up early and fetched the bagels and the papers and came back for the last weekend breakfast of the weekend. Bill wasn’t joining us again, he stayed up until 4:00AM trying to work on a back up for his laptop and it didn’t go too well. I got the call from Julio that the beach was a go. Bill lay in the bed all arms and legs akimbo and I gave him a nice peck on the forehead before I headed down the stairs to Julio and Stine by the open trunk of his car.

I put my beach bag in the trunk and we headed out of Hoboken towards the New Jersey Turnpike. Smooth sailing for us, thanks to my checking the traffic reports beforehand. The EZ Pass made things extra easy and we flew down. Of course there was a bump in the road, and that was a miscommunication of sorts between Julio and Stine. Someone needed to make up their mind fast as we were at a fork in the road, and they didn’t and feelings were hurt. Me, playing the role of ‘company’ bore witness to these hurt feeling which compounded the situation. All of a sudden it got cold from the back seat.

We went into the supermarket in Red Bank and bought the usual provisions. I seemed to have started a conversational relationship with the woman behind the counter who was telling me about seeing Cirque du Soliel last night in Philadelphia. I told her about entering a contest to see Cirque du Soliel in Las Vegas to see the Beatles Love show. Haven’t heard whether or not I won, but she thought I did and was super excited hear about what didn’t happen. I got my sandwich and talked to Julio and Stine separately on opposite sides of the salad bar. Julio was contrite, Stine was steaming. We headed back to the car silently and loaded the cooler.

In the car, I tried to lighten the mood by picking great songs from my iPod but it didn’t seem like any song that I played would’ve been appropriate, but still I kept trying. Let’s Stay Together by Al Green didn’t do it, My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White fell by the wayside as well. My last attempt before driving around in circles in the parking lot across the street from the beach was a cover of Baby Can I Hold You (Sorry) by Foxy Brown, the dancehall singer, not the rap singer. What are the odds that both the Mr. and Mrs. Browns of Kingston, Jamaica and Flatbush, Brooklyn would both name their singing daughters, Foxy?

No matter. Stine kept to herself on the beach, while Julio and I tossed the Frisbee back and forth. I was able to engage her when I asked her to take some pictures and she did take some good shots. Despite Julio apologizing a few times, she was still distant to him, placing him on the couch in the doghouse. It was more of the same the whole ride back, no chat, no nothing. I’m sure they’ll work it out.

And here’s a color photo supplement for the Sunday edition.

some other pics in the photos section….to your right in the column…

Ca Plane Pour Moi

So there was last night, there was the session and then there was Bill and I coming home. Bill set to work on the wireless card. I stayed up with him as long as I could, wound up going to bed around 1:00 in the morning. I slept like a log, didn’t notice when Bill came to bed, which turned out to be 4:00 AM. I found that out when he woke up and had to go to one of his classes. I eventually got out of bed myself, poured some coffee and sat in front of this pc.

That is why Bill was up until four in the morning, almost like putting together a train set under the Christmas tree before the kids wake up. In this case, the train set was a computer hobbled together from various machines via Rand and my pals in IT from Wanker Banker, and in lieu of children, there’s me. I woke up with glee when Bill told me he had set up the wireless card and I was in his network. He wasn’t able to hook me up to the printer but that was no big deal. I can still use his Macs if and when I needed to print something. We got it like that.

Before Bill left I told him I wanted to take him out to dinner. Just a way of saying thanks, despite thanking him profusely. I went out and got some bagels, and other sundry items from the supermarket. It was a beautiful morning and I would have been content to sit in front of my computer on this sunny day. Not to be, of course. I got a call from Julio. He and Stine were going to head into the city, at least that’s what I gathered despite dropping the call midway through like I was in a television commercial or something.

I called him back thinking he had called me from the road but he and Stine phoned from the Path station and were in the city already. I resigned myself to being apartment bound, which would’ve been fine, to check out how fast the wireless was as compared to the DSL. It’s faster alright. I am more than happy with it. The phone rang and it was Julio calling on behalf of Stine. Turns out she had left some gift certificate cards in their apartment and wanted to know if I had keys and if so could I go into the apartment and get them?

Sure, it was something to do and Julio kept going off on what a great day it was in Manhattan. I decided to help them out and join them. I got the cards and headed out to the city soon after. I met them at the Museum of Modern Art store in Soho. I didn’t even know there was one there. Turns out there was. Corner of Spring and Crosby Street. I met them inside and handed Stine the cards. We wandered around the store, I chatted up a salesperson who handed me a thirty pound book about Andy Warhol. It was a great book, great and heavy and only $125.00.

Too heavy to lug around the store and also a bit unwieldy and large, it was called ‘The Giant Andy Warhol Book’ for a reason. I chatted up the salesman behind the counter and just gazing at the tons of photographs that I had never seen before, and believe me I’ve seen a lot of Warhol pictures, enough to think that I’d seen almost everyone published before, not just of Andy but denizens and visitors of his studio, the Factory.

We wandered about the Village after Soho, coming back to Hoboken a bit tired after hopping about. It was fun to walk around the city with Julio and Stine, hadn’t done it in years actually, and yes Julio was right, it was a beautiful day.

Came home and climbed the flights, finding Bill sound asleep in bed. I nudged him and asked him if he wanted to go out to dinner but he was fine with sleeping. I was fine with that, so fine that ten minutes later I was eating a burger grilled on the George. This life for me.

Dance This Mess Around

A day to sleep in. After last night’s B-52’s show, Bill and I made it home with soggy socks. At least my socks were soggy. He was wearing some Swedish socks designed to be worn for days on end without a whiff of odor, and they are supposed to dry fast too, so according to Bill his feet weren’t as soaked as mine. Good for him, uncomfortable for me. That was ok because as soon as I got home, off they went. We stopped at McDonalds because neither one of us had eaten and it was too late to cook. I hardly ever go there anymore, but I was quite hungry, and I know it’s no excuse.

Stayed up after eating for a while eventually crashing before Bill who actually had to go to work. I wisely had taken off today, knowing that I’d be seeing the B-52’s the night before. I woke up to Bill bending over the bed wishing me a good day and kissing me as he went off to work. An hour or so later I finally woke up and made some coffee and showered. Since it was a day off that meant weekend breakfast, so I went out and bought the papers and some bagels, coming home to fry some eggs. I love weekend breakfasts. All that’s missing are jelly donuts and World’s Fair donuts from Fischl’s bakery.

I got in touch with Rand who was coming over today to finally see what the hell is wrong with my computer. I sat around and waited, reading the papers, drinking some coffee and doing laundry a day earlier, which meant the clothes should be dry a day earlier. That’s how it’s supposed to work at least. Eventually I wound up in front of the telly watching an All in the Family marathon on the TV Land channel. I forgot what a good show it was, though dated with Watergate references and woman’s liberation jokes, as well as fag comments and racial situations. A great ensemble cast as well. Carroll O’Connor has passed away but the other three live on. I suppose they can’t have a reunion since they killed off Edith towards the end of the series, in one of the later incarnations, probably Archie Bunker’s Place which I never watched. Ever.

It was quite a groundbreaking show, with Archie Bunker striking a chord with his bigotry. Some friends of my parents, if not my parents themselves, might’ve felt their racial views were validated when hearing them on television, no matter how stupid the character was written. There should have been a disclaimer before the show, ‘Don’t Try This At Home’

Last night while watching the B-52’s in Coney Island, (I still can’t get past Fred screaming ‘Let me kiss your Coney Island’ during Strobe Light) Bill and I kept our ears open for some authentic Brooklyn accents. Man it was so funny to hear, ‘I warned ya about the wedder’. That roughly translated to ‘I warned you about the weather’. The park where the band played is on the border of Coney Island and Brighton Beach and it wasn’t too strange to hear Russian being spoken as if in the Ukraine.

Tonight was a session with Philip Beansprout and I was late. Rand and I decided to try to go wireless and join Bill’s network. Bill said it was ok so Rand and I swapped my network card for his wireless card. I left Rand’s apartment and caught the bus at 5:00 thinking it wouldn’t take more than 45 minutes to get into the city. It normally takes 20 minutes with no traffic and it was rush hour. But it wasn’t enough time and I eventually sat on the bus for an hour, and that was mainly sitting in traffic on 11th Avenue for half of that hour. I eventually made a the last half of the session and Bill and I were once again in a love bubble much to what seemed like Philip’s dismay. He wanted to hear about bad news, not good news which he acknowledged as nothing being wrong with good news, but you don’t see a therapist to talk about good things. Perhaps we’ve run our course with Phil. Everything seems ok with Bill and myself, and what’s more, we’re communicating better. We’ll see I guess.

I’m still using Bill’s G5 Mac while he wrestles with installing the wireless card on my computer. What a guy.

Mike Douglas died at 81. He used to be a talk show host, 4:30 on channel 2. My mom liked him a lot. I remember playing ‘talk show’ with Donna Foglio one winter day making large chairs out of piles of snow. We modeled the set on the Mike Douglas Show set.

Quiche Lorraine

And it went as little something like this. Bill spent the night at his parents and I had to get to work early once again. It was Thursday and I had off on Friday, due to the fact that Bill and I had tentative plans to go see the B-52’s out by Coney Island. I say tentative since Bill had been sick with a cold the past few days and neither one of us was sure about whether or not he could make it. I did my usual puttering about the apartment, making coffee, taking a shower etc. As usual I also sat down in front of Bill’s computer to check whatever emails I might’ve received overnight.

I sat in front of his screen, a cup of coffee at my side when suddenly his wireless mouse fell to the floor, separating into two or three parts. I was upset by this and tried for a few minutes to put it back together, hoping that I wouldn’t have to buy him a new mouse. I couldn’t do put it back together as I sat there and sweated in my underwear with one eye on the clock. The weather report stated that there was a chance of thunderstorms but I didn’t put too much faith in that despite hermetically sealing all windows in the apartment before I left.

I had to make some stops before work since with Felicia being out sick and me being out on Friday McMann and Tate would be short staffed. It wasn’t so bad, just had to buy a lot of organic milk and wound up buying myself some cookies for my troubles. Cookies almost always reduce my troubled quotient. The day started also with reports of a plot to blow up several jetliners flying from England to the US. A bad scene indeed but caught in time by MI6 in the UK. Cheers to them. This also meant that the various big wigs from the UK offices visiting would be in the office a bit longer than I had anticipated, though I could be wrong since I had no idea what their itineraries where.

There was also a casting call at McMann and Tate, which meant that various children and their stage parents were walking around my desk waiting for their headshots to be done. One of the parents accidentally left behind a FedEx envelope and kept phoning me to see if and when they could pick it up. I told them that I would be here until 6:00 and they had until then. An hour or so Malik Yoba, formerly of ‘New York Undercover’ shows up asking for his envelope. He seemed like a nice guy and I felt bad for thinking he was a knucklehead to leave behind his important papers.

After a run in with a messenger, him yelling at me, me phoning his company, I left the office at 6:00 as planned. I had a plan to walk over to Prince Street to catch the N train to Coney Island. I had heard from Bill who had sounded incredibly better and was really looking forward to the show. He had gotten on a train in Times Square and was on his way to Coney Island as I stood at Prince Street and every train but the N train stopped by. Turns out the N doesn’t run all the time there, despite the sign on the stairway saying that it was an N stop.

Somehow I was able to get a signal for the cellphone in the station and told Bill who suggested that I get on an R train and switch to a Q train at DeKalb Avenue. Bill is very good at planning travel and sure enough came through with his righteous suggestion. The show was scheduled to start at 7:30 and I got there in a morose mood about that time.

Bill was as fantastic as ever, bolstering my spirits considerably. We met up after finding that Martha Wash, formerly of the Weather Girls was opening but they were waiting for a report on whether the approaching storm was going to last. Martha sang admirably to a backing tape, singing her club hits and finishing with ‘It’s Raining Men’ just as it started to pour.

Bill and I found some shelter under our umbrellas as water started to rise all around us. We hadn’t heard of any canceling the B-52’s show so we decided to stay. We ran into my former neighbor, Charlie and a friend of his who did not have umbrellas before it started to rain and wondered if we’d be able to hook up via cellphones. Charlie and his friend went to a bar as me and Bill stayed outside in the park. There was a large police presence but when it really started to rain all the police vanished and Bill suggested I light up my jazz cigarette then and there.

I followed his suggestion and mellowed out considerably. After about 20 minutes of rain it stopped and the show eventually went on. I sang all the words to all the songs, and to my surprise Bill knew a few of the songs. I suppose after 6 years of being together he was bound to recognize some of their music. They all looked great on the jumbotron, Kate, Cindy, Fred and Keith. We danced a bit in torn sheets in the rain. Actually it stopped raining and there weren’t any torn sheets. But dance we did. The cops stood around laughing at the various people dancing on the muddy grass and singing along to Love Shack, Deadbeat Club, Dance This Mess Around and a whole lots of other songs.

Set List courtesy of Chaz:
9:24PM
Strobe Light (“kiss your Coney Island” instead of Pineapple!)
Private Idaho
Dance This Mess Around
ROAM
Channel Z
Mesopotamia
Dead Beat Club
52 Girls
Quiche Lorraine
Cosmic Thing
Love Shack
encore
Planet Claire
Party Out of Bounds
Rock Lobster
10:34PM

We walked back to the Q train that just pulled in, couldn’t find Charlie or his friend but went along with the good train karma. We rode that all the way to 34th street where we had a Path train waiting for us, more good train karma. This is payback for good things that have been done by us and having a train waiting in the station made all the difference in the world.

We were home by midnight and Bill was able to put his mouse together, reassuring me that he dropped the mouse a few times and the same thing happened to him. I didn’t feel so bad, but too tired to stay up late to write this last night, so I’m writing this now.

It was great of Bill to rally his health, and make it to the show. He knows how much I love the B-52’s and I know how much he loves me, and he really wanted to be at the show with me. He is truly a great guy, the love of my life. Te quero mucho, I think.

Move Your Feet

Wednesday. Humpty hump day. Had to get up earlier than usual and get to the office since there were a lot of meetings and guests expected. I was out the door at 7:15 after having my shower and coffee and trying to help Bill find his cellphone. I couldn’t find it and I tried calling it but apparently he turned it off last night before going to sleep. That was odd since Bill usually has it on just in case. I remember this since we had an argument about the cellphone months ago, and how his mother couldn’t reach him since I insisted his phone should stay in the other room.

But he turned it off and somehow the phone fell onto the floor. He called me as soon as he found it, which was about two minutes after I left the apartment and was walking down the street. Last night was a bit odd. Had a couple of beers and a chilled shot of vodka, eventually winding home in a polite buzz. Juan came over as expected and somehow wound up drinking half a bottle of Absolut. I was perturbed by that. He was drunk. He said so himself, while also being astounded at his comprehension of the Spanish language, while watching a Spanish film. Methinks, he’s never seen a film by Almodovar. I have to rectify that somehow in the next couple of weeks before the lad goes back to school.

Bill came home, coming down with a cold. He had some yogurt and hung out with Juan and myself. He had a bad session with some casting agents in a seminar and it didn’t go as well as he had planned. He was dejected and congested. I tried reaching out to him, surprising him by putting on ‘Rescue Me’ the Denis Leary firefighter show. There was Bill in the queue for the bus right behind Denis Leary. It cheered him up a little bit but still he was somewhat morose. I found out that that particular episode was on when my brother Frank called me to tell me that he had just seen Bill on the show.

After Bill’s appearance and Juan’s departure, I went to bed. I slept alright and like I said, had to get up earlier than usual. Bill searched for his phone I left. I got on the Path train and actually had a seat when I ran into Julio’s cousin Anna, and Stine. Stine who graduated from architecture school last year is doing some work with Anna who has her own architecture firm. I mustered enough energy to walk over and sit next to them chatting away, then getting off at Ninth Street. Got the usual bagel and then set about starting up the office. Today’s text message from Felicia was that the infection that she has has spread to her central nervous system, which is definitely not a good thing. Everyone in the office is understandably concerned and is trying to think of something nice that the company can send her.

I shone like the sun today running around setting up and taking apart conference rooms and shuffling guests. I was noticed and appreciated. It felt good. Another good thing is that I got my camera back. I also heard from Rand and we made tentative plans to meet up on Friday so that he might be able to install the goddamned network card since it doesn’t seem like Song will be here anytime soon to help me out.

I am also wishing for good weather, as I plan to take the train after work to Coney Island to see the B-52’s play at a free show at Asser Levy Park. Cross your fingers.

Do it!

Brass Monkey

Ok. Sometimes what things people say they are aren’t. That’s the name of that tune. Watching ‘Weeds’ with Juan. It’s a very good show, from Showtime. I rented it on Netflix. I admit I hadn’t gotten into it the first episode but as I watched the second and then watched the first one again I saw what a great show it actually is. Mary Louise Parker hits the mark with her performance. Great casting, especially with Elizabeth Perkins as Cecilia. What a bitch. I recommend it highly. Pun may be intended. I’ve only watched the first of two disks and I can’t see it losing steam with the next episodes. Just have to return the disc to Netflix and get part two.

Now we are watching ‘Bear Cub’, a film from Spain about a bear. A heavyset gay man, for those playing at home. He’s entrusted to care for his sister’s son while she flies off to India from Madrid with her boyfriend. So far so good. Juan is flipping out because he understands the language and doesn’t need the subtitles. Really flipping out momentarily. It’s a pretty nice evening weather wise.. Actually almost perfect. Nothing to complain about on that front.

Work was work and it actually has been getting better for me at least. Felicia is not doing so well and today’s text was about how her illness has traveled to her central nervous system and that is definitely not a good thing at all. I asked if she needed anything and she suggested morphine which is out of my reach. If she required some cigarettes of the herbal variety then it would be no problem but I generally avoid the injectibles and their familiars with a passion. I think it’s a wise choice and has served me well thus far. I knew you’d agree.

I really found my groove at the job. With Felicia out sick I’ve had to step up and make my presence known and it hasn’t been so bad. I’m certainly more visible while maintaining my usual perch about a hundred feet from everyone else. Today I bought some Hershey’s Dark Chocolate kisses which definitely curried favor with quite a few people. I suppose I could bribe my way into their hearts, but it would seem right. Once a week, a tray full of dark chocolate kisses seems to suffice so that’s what the plan is.

I did stop off after work and had a couple of beers at a gay bar, the Dugout on Christopher Street. A bear bar. On weekends it’s usually jam packed with hirsute men, bellys overreaching belt buckles and lot’s of man boobs. That is the Sunday beer bust and I’m usually down the shore, where I should be. Believe me, the man boobs aren’t going anywhere. If they were, they would’ve been gone already.

I think bear culture is derived from the AIDS epidemic. There were probably guys like me that decided with the wasting away effects of full blown AIDS, it would be better to be a little chunky around the waist than to waste away. Juan is making crazy plans to travel abroad with a first stop in Montreal. That would be nice, but he’s thinking about in two weeks, and with the way work is right now, it might be better to see what develops.

Juan is bugging out seriously with Spanish subtitles over the English subtitles when they speak in French. Does Juan have the balls to live in Europe by himself? I think it would depend on where in Europe he would decide to live.

If

I really shouldn’t complain but I am upset. There’s no bread in the house. When I left there were four slices and that was enough for me and Juan to have burgers on. When I came home, no bread at all. I just sent Juan to the A&P to get some more bread, after texting Bill with a simple, ‘Bread?’. Like I said I shouldn’t complain, especially since I’m writing this on my beloved’s laptop, the G4.

Still no word from dear Rand about when he could stop by and install my network card. I figure that I’m either on his shit list, or he’s very busy with his business or just doesn’t want to visit an aficionado of the Jazz cigarette. Or it could simply be a combination of all three. A response would be nice in any event. I did offer to take him and his wife, Lisa out to dinner at Karma Café if he could do it. He’s simply not biting though.

Today was a Monday and of course not a bad one after being pummeled and beaten up by the ocean yesterday. Made watching TV difficult last night, trouble keeping the eyes open you see, or rather don’t see. Bill and I were both under the sheets last night. Since I put the air conditioner in last week it’s been a relief from sweating throughout the night. I do enjoy bundling up under the sheets and a big body like Bill’s is a great thing to hang onto. We make the best out of a full size bed, not looking to purchase a new, larger bed like we did on the Fourth of July weekend.

I woke up as usual and puttered around, taking a shower, making coffee, pouring cereal and counting slices of bread. In the distance I kept hearing my cell phone vibrate, and when I looked there was a text message waiting. It was from Felicia. She was very ill and said she had her first session of dialysis. Not fun, not at all. The message was received at 1:45AM. I texted her back, letting her know everything was aright and that I hoped she felt better, asking her to let me know if there was anything she might need.

Not that I’d be really able to help her out, I mean, leave work and run an errand for her? I would if I could but it was sort of an empty promise. If she asked and if it were possible I would do it. That meant she would be out today, and quite possibly tomorrow.

Speaking of ill supervisors, I did a little research and found that a certain former supervisor who claimed a few times to me that she won a major settlement and would never have to work again. Well if she is using the same name, she’s an executive assistant to some CEO of a financial firm in San Francisco. That made me laugh contentedly knowing that she’s still lying. I wonder how long it will be till her brain starts doing the strangeness she claimed it was doing in New York. These things have a habit of biting one on the ass, or in her case, on the brain.

That was fun! And now here’s Juan with the bread. My hero! Time to start counting slices!

Making Plans for Nigel

Tonight’s bulletin or rambling diatribe is brought to you courtesy of the good graces of Bill. It turned out to be a beach day after all. Julio had two cousins who planned two separate parties and he opted to go to neither and head for the beach. A fantastic idea I felt when I heard it last night. It turned out to be a wonderful day for it after all. We had a later start than usual, yet everything worked out perfectly. We expected to be shut out of the free parking lot but oddly enough we had no problem getting a spot at 11:30.

On the way we stopped off at Foodtown as usual and bought provisions for the beach. I purchased a six pack of Heineken as well as a sandwich and some watermelon, sodas and cookies. A well balanced beach diet. Julio and Stine stocked up on cherries, water and salads. We walked along the beach carrying a cooler, umbrellas and various beach chairs. The ocean was incredible, very high waves, maybe about 8 to 10 feet high. Julio and I were in the 78 degree water for quite a bit today.

Just floating in the water required a lot of attention to the ocean. If you weren’t paying attention you would just get smacked down by the waves that towered over your head. One misstep and you’d find yourself face first into the sand and stones. And more than likely head over heels. It can be funny to see happen to someone and even funnier when it happens to you. Julio and I were laughing at each other quite a bit, while Stine stood at the shoreline, overawed and a bit frightened by the size of the waves.

We turned and tried to convince Stine to join us when out of the corner of my eye I see a wall of water. I yelled ‘OH SHIT’ and dove into it at the last minute. Julio got through barely. Once again, ‘OH SHIT’, followed by ‘OH SHIT’. Three consecutive waves and we made it through each one. Stine wound up getting soaked from head to toe, soaked by the crashing waves.

We adjourned underneath three umbrellas Julio and I concentrating on Heinekens Stine stretching out in the sun with her water. The three of us had a really good game of Frisbee really hitting a good rhythm as we tossed the disc around and around. Stine’s really improved her throwing and Julio was getting better, throwing it close enough so that the Chewbacca catches weren’t too frequent. We’d work up a sweat and then run into the water again.

Eventually it was time to go, but not without one more go round of Frisbee. After that we packed up and made it back to the car. We drove around Rumson for a spell, Stine has designs on buying a house down there. She picks up some free Real Estate catalogs at the Foodtown and reads them on the beach. then as we head towards the Parkway we drive through whatever towns had a house that looked promising on paper.

I told them about my dream as we ate ice cream. My dream of finally having friends that own a house down the shore. I hope my dream comes true.