Monthly Archives: February 2007

Eye No

Man it’s Wednesday and for a hump day it certainly was a crap day. It didn’t start out that way. It started out perfectly alright. Last night I was merely bored. Gilmore Girls were ok, but I wasn’t paying too much attention. Could it be that I’ve stopped caring? When will they kill off Richard Gilmore? It seems to be in the cards. Love Lauren Graham but Lorelei is getting tiresome, and Rory should quit her whining. I’ve been watching the show since the first season and I’m just not feelin it yo. But still I will watch since there’s nothing else on at that time.

Watched Law and Order Criminal Intent and that was so boring too. And the Law and Order I do like, Special Victims Unit was even more boring. I felt drugged watching it. Could this be a hangover from watching the dreadful Black Donnellys the night before. Bill and I watched that horror show and we couldn’t wait for the commercials. Of course since this was the premiere episode they didn’t have a commercial for the first half hour. That was agonizing. I recommend staying away from the show even if you like watching 25 year old actors playing parts that have way too much gravitas and no plausible story lines.

I went to bed at 11:00 and fell right asleep. Bill joined me soon after for the nightly wrestle over the sheets. Nothing erotic, just a long struggle all night long. It was a restful sleep though. Before I knew it Bill was kissing me goodbye once again and I got out of bed and jumped into the shower. I even left the apartment a little bit earlier and caught the bus. Almost done with I, Claudius and made a reservation for the following book, Claudius the God, from the Hoboken library. I am also all caught up with the New Yorker too. Side note: the building I work in housed the original New Yorker offices, before they moved into the building where Bill works.

Work started out ok, but went south soon after. The copier started making grinding noises and I soon learned that this place isn’t like the previous two jobs I worked, where if the copier breaks down and you can’t immediately fix it, you call the copier repair guy. Nope, not at this job. Jake and I dealt with the copier while President Naomi kept handing me tasks to do. One of them involved retyping something and I couldn’t get it right after three times and she was getting annoyed. She snipped at me and I almost snipped back but held my tongue.

She apologized later and it all went well as far as office work mattered. After work I decided to have a Padron, which I hardly ever do since the office is so close to the bus terminal there’s not enough time to stroll and smoke. So I walked around midtown a bit in a roundabout way and enjoyed my cigar. Then I got to the gate for the bus after finishing my Padron to find the escalator broken again. This was the second day and there are no signs telling you where to go so I had to take the secondary bus to Hoboken.

I like Diet 7Up. Bill knows, Juan knows, the recycling crew knows. The supermarket doesn’t know, much less care. They never have it in stock. They have eight million bottles of regular 7Up. The other day they had diet Sierra Mist. Tonight they had none of that. If I knew where to catch the Washington Street bus I would’ve gotten it on the boulevard. But I didn’t and I didn’t. I came home and tried to open up a can of tuna with a crap can opener I bought two weeks ago. Oh life is so hard. Boo fuckin hoo.

Don’t worry. I got over it and had myself a sandwich. Though I have to get a new can opener. Again. It’s the little things, especially when they come right after another after another.

Swimming Horses

I just had an idea, probably got it from watching television all those years. I was thinking about how nice it would be if my brothers and my sister never moved away from the house we grew up in. If the house was big enough we’d all live there forever, burying parents and spreading out. And not just my family, everyone. I guess that’s how things were hundreds of years ago, or maybe even sooner. Of course everyone would eventually breakdown and start killing each other. I guess it’s from reading I, Claudius where everyone lived in the palace and eventually started killing each other.

It was a moment of idealism. Perhaps misguided. I was thinking of my sister listening to Dazed and Confused in her room in Lodi and thats what triggered it. Picturing Rex and Earl living there with her with Brian and Karen upstairs, Frank and Elaine somewhere and me more than likely living underneath our unfinished porch with rotting wooden skateboards with steel wheels and a large decaying stuffed plush toy bear. Various additions on the house would have to be made but reality sets in and I remember all the screaming and fighting that went on with six people under one roof. That would only intensify with more people. Add in the kids and you can call it hell.

I suppose then it was a good thing we all left when we did. I know my mother wasn’t too happy about it and she didn’t have anyone to bemoan her fate, that her children abandoned her in the care of a tyrant. He wasn’t easy to live with at all. There were occasional visits and tons of phone calls but the house was rather quiet and lonely without her children being there. I’m sure she wished she could’ve left too, but where would she have gone? Definitely a Robert Graves influence on my head. Enough! Out! Out, I say!

Work was work. I told Bill about another agency tempting me with a better paying job, doing the sort of thing I used to do at Wanker Banker. Glocap sent me an inquiry asking if I was interested and I had to say that I was. More money, benefits and bonuses and free lunch. I’d be a fool to not look into it at least. So I gave the go sign and haven’t heard anything since, but then again it was less than 24 hours it may be too soon. Then again, nothing might happen and that’s cool since I am content with where I am now.

President Naomi has been good to work for and Wally has been warmer than usual. And they do appreciate the work that I do. It’s a simple job that’s for sure. Relatively stress free. No real complaints about anyone and it’s a rare occurrence when that happens. I deal with the job offer if and when I hear from them. Other than that I had to deal with an applicant that sounded like Renee Zellweger and she just kept going on about how Grey Gardens is the best Broadway show, having seen it 7 times. That was about as odd as it got today.

Lets Go to the Pictures

Argh. Back to work. Dreary Monday. Lot’s of snow outside but it was melting so it wasn’t so bad. I woke up as Bill kissed me good bye. I made the bed, jumped into the shower and did not have cereal since there wasn’t enough milk. It wasn’t so bad, I took my vitamins, had a chocolate chip cookie that I made yesterday. Bill likes my cookies so I’ve been making them over the weekend. We sat and watched the Academy Awards last night, eating warm cookies. So romantic I know. It was nice cuddling and watching various people win awards.

We watched Alan Arkin win, beating out Eddie Murphy. I saw Little Miss Sunshine, Bill didn’t. Alan Arkin was good in the movie. Eddie Murphy was really good in Dreamgirls though. We’d never seen him act that way before. But both movies were just ok. Little Miss Sunshine was ok, and Dreamgirls was not as good as Chicago. We both agreed that Jack Nicholson looked great totally bald. I was also surprised that Mark Wahlberg was as good as he was in the Departed. He was up for the same award that Alan Arkin won.

Sentimental note, Alan Arkin was in one of the first movies that I had ever seen, a movie called Popi.
I hadn’t seen it in about 30 years so now it’s in my Netflix queue. In a few weeks I’ll look at my queue and wonder what the hell it is doing there. We watched Pan’s Labyrinth win a few awards. I read about that film in December and wanted to see it then but still haven’t. I know both Annemarie and Frank have seen it, Frank seeing it twice. I spoke to Julio during the broadcast and he definitely wants to go see it, since it takes place in Spain after the civil war.

We watched Jennifer Hudson win her award. No surprise really. So much hype. She probably would’ve beaten up Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine if Abigail won. Ellen DeGeneres was pretty funny as usual. Totally inoffensive which is a good thing every once and a while. More awards given out for different movies. The roll call of the dead from the past year. Will Farrell and Jack Black singing with John C. Reilly about how being a comedian during Oscar season is such a lonely place. That was very funny.

Then came the finale. Helen Mirren won for The Queen. Another movie I hadn’t seen and that is in my queue for movies that have no set release date, like Pan’s Labyrinth. I do like Helen Mirren, ever since I saw her in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Then came Best Actor. I hadn’t seen Venus with Peter O’Toole nor, The Last King of Scotland with Forest Whitaker. Of course my allegiance was with Venus and Peter O’Toole and of course being an O’Toole, Peter didn’t win. Forest Whitaker gave a nice speech though. Very classy. I’m sure Peter O’Toole would’ve been funnier.

Then Martin Scorsese won best director for the Departed. Not his best some say, while others call it a return to form. I say it was a very good movie, the best I watched all weekend, and I watched quite a few. The Departed also won best picture. It ended later than we expected and soon we were off to bed.
It was a good thing that I didn’t maintain a blog during the show, it would’ve been difficult with the cookies and Celine Dion’s long face singing.

Kiss On My List

It’s Sunday and a lazy one at that. Last night just hung out and watched ‘The Departed’ which was just great. As soon as it started I knew it was worth watching. Great script, great cast, great camera work, it must be a Scorsese film. I still have it on DVD and plan to watch it again. Big storm on the horizon so I decided to stay in today. I did go out for bagels and newspapers this morning but that was it. I had nothing really to do and was feeling quite mellow. I did call Annemarie and Julio on the phone.

That was the extent of my communication with the rest of the world, at least via telephone. I did chat with Juan for a quick minute online. He wanted to know when the Scissor Sisters show is, and that is March 2, next Friday in Philadelphia. He’s supposed to be looking into arrangements for me since I will be traveling by train to either Trenton of Philly. I hope he does, or it’s a late night train back to Hoboken or Penn Station for me on Friday night, Saturday morning. And I hope the Scissor Sisters are better live than on their last record.

In any event, it should be an event. I watched Sarah Silverman’s Program today which I recorded the other night, it had it’s moments but I wasn’t paying too much attention, busy reading the newspapers and such. Watched and read some information about ‘300’ a big sword and sandals epic based on a graphic novel. Looks big and bloody and pure mindless entertainment. I’m surprised that Pedro hasn’t phoned me up about going to see it. It probably won’t be in Otisville, NY for at least a while though. I should go up and visit again, when it gets warmer at least.

Now the weather report is 4 to 7 inches for the next 12-24 hours. It’s going to be a mess again. Nothing I could do about it except to get to work tomorrow. Tonight is the Academy Awards, which is usually somewhat entertaining. Gone are the days or nights of being invited to somebody’s Oscar parties. Usually it was Charlie and Kathe but the times of their parties have passed. I would usually wind up in the kitchen with Stan and Meghan making jokes about most anything and everything that fancied us.

Tonight since there were no parties to attend, I was planning on writing this as the show progressed but decided against it. It does run long, it’s not starting until 8:30 and will more than likely run past midnight. I still might, but right now I am having doubts. I do get edgy when I haven’t written by 9:00. The computer will be on the and broadcast will go on as scheduled but now that I’ve written this I might be a little bit ahead of myself. We shall see. This could be part one after all.

What In The World

Ugh. So bored. And I’ve been busy but during downtime, like now, now comes the ennui. I did some laundry, scrubbed the bathroom and watched two really bad movies that I rented on Netflix. Running with Scissors and Hollywoodland. Both very uninspiring. I read Running With Scissors and enjoyed it very much but still had difficult with it. I also expected Augusten Burroughs to be more bear-like. He;s not. He’s skinny and has a whiny voice. So much for hanging out with him har har. The kid who plays Augusten, Joseph Cross, is really good. And Evan Rachel Wood as well.

The whole cast is good basically. But the story is harrowing and meandering and definitely not as funny as the book which was also twisted in it’s own way. I suppose it could be categorized as a fictionalized memoir, like Dave Eggers stuff. I compare the two because I read them both around the same time at the turn of the century, so they will be forever linked in my mind for all eternity, or at least until I forget about them. I guess I’m wishy washy about Augusten Burroughs. Not jealous, no way. Who would want to go down that road if it’s true anyhow?

Brian Cox is good, Annette Bening is very good at playing psycho drugged up mom, Gwyneth Paltrow is flighty, Joseph Fiennes is creepy and Jill Clayburgh looks like hell. Alec Baldwin is in it and looks great, he’s about the only sane one, playing Augusten’s dad, who unfortunately is not there for his son. A pharmacological Addams Family in the 1970’s. I definitely do not recommend this movie, even if you have a chance to see it for free, don’t. Don’t say I didn’t warn you in case you do.

Hollywoodland was film number two and rather slow though Diane Lane is always good to watch. Why do they keep giving heavy roles to Adrian Brody? I mean yes he did play ‘heavy’ in the Pianist to global acclaim and winning an Academy Award for it, he has the frame for playing a resident of the Warsaw ghetto, but not for playing a private dick in Hollywood in the 1950’s. Or maybe he does. I guess they weren’t all Phillip Marlowe types, some of them had to be scrawny. I couldn’t wait for this film to end.

It answered no questions, gave two different scenarios as to what happened to George Reeves, Superman. I couldn’t care less by the end and I couldn’t wait to get these DVD’s back to Netflix. I still have the Departed for which Martin Scorsese is nominated for tomorrow night. It got good reviews, some saying it was a return to form. I might watch that tonight before catching Rainn Wilson and the Arcade Fire on Saturday Night Live tonight.

I walked around Hoboken a bit, it’s not as cold as it was this morning. Not too many people out or at least no one that I knew. And that’s the Saturday report.

Oh yes, Rex is on the mend, and probably en route to Arcana with Annemarie and Earl. Still needs support and good wishes so send them to Arcata!
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Breakin’ In My Heart

Friday and I’m feeling better. Bill was home last night having spent the night before at his folks. I woke up a little earlier than usual but didn’t get out of bed until Bill was through with his morning routine. Then it was the shower for me. Bill was a bit anxious since it was opening night for the play he’s been rehearsing with since last year and while he’s committed and able to read off book, his fellow cast members don’t have the same commitment and are still struggling with the play. Oh, and the director is an idiot.

Work was ok. My body felt pretty good. No distressful running of the bulls to the bathroom. It was almost like nothing happened regarding everyone else. My coworkers asked how I was feeling and I had no paranoia or need to over dramatize my illness. After nine months of backstabbing in the fear and loathing of McMann and Tate it feels like being a prisoner suddenly out on parole. Man they really did my head in. I’m coming to grips with the niceness of the people I work with and they all seem pretty impressed with my work.

Now I’m hanging out writing, listening to iTunes. That means, what is John listening to now?

That’s Love, That It Is- Blancmange
Great synth pop from the early eighties. No flack of seagulls, here. Fun, witty lyrics with arrangements that are related somehow to Talking Heads /Peter Gabriel stuff. I remember driving on the FDR Drive listening to this full blast.

Lost Again- Yello
Yello is the Swiss synth duo who wrote that song ‘Oh Yeah’ that’s been featured in many commercials and movies. Believe me, you’d know it if you heard it. They have a few songs that are way better than that. This is but one of them. Reminds me of the Paradise Garage.

Baby I’m Scared of You- Womack and Womack
Lite funk from Cecil and Linda Womack from when else? It seems like the early eighties are in fashion tonight. This was when I listened to Frankie Crocker driving back and forth from NYC to Saddle Brook NJ, hanging out, driving around Manhattan waiting for rush hour to end. Good times.

Nasty Girl- Vanity 6
Former Prince proteges in lace! 3 chicks scantily clad, singing in front of the Time. Great song, still holds up, what? 25 years later? Yikes! Careful on the dance floor dad! A touchstone of sorts for some modern acts. Vanity actually has a better voice than Janet, at least on this track.

Breakin’ in My Heart- Tom Verlaine
Good old Tom. His best song, in not ever, then best song in his solo career. With Ricky Wilson from the B-52’s playing alongside. Two guitar heroes for me. Tom’s lyrics are great too. A lot of people when they hear this song they always ask who it is. I guess they like it too. ‘Tonight, the air has teeth/I wish I had another way to breathe.’

Sick Again

I don’t know what happened. Felt a bit queasy on the way to work, but it was bearable. As the morning progressed several trips to the man’s room were called for. By 1:00 this afternoon I was done for. I didn’t see any point in trying to stay the whole day and planned to leave at 3:00, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the rush hour rush. I told Wally this and he suggested that I just go home right there and then. I really couldn’t agree and gathered my things and made it out the door towards home.

Of course things wouldn’t go that easily. I got back to the bus terminal and found a 20-30 minute wait for the next bus having just missed one going past the gate. Some Indian dude came through the door and asked me what he should do since he was at his gate across the way and his bus pulled through without stopping or picking him up. I told him to go back to the gate and wait for the next one. He had about an hour to wait. I felt bad for him but there was really nothing I could do.

I decided to get off the bus at an earlier stop and go to CVS to get a new thermometer and a few other items that I needed. I ran into everybody’s friend, Martin Kelly once again and had a nice little chat. He told me about getting a call from his old friend, Jeff who is now in Oklahoma for some reason. Jeff was a nice guy and somehow got in touch with Charlie Charas who had told Jeff about this blog and tracked Martin down via an entry from a few months ago.

Interesting and not the first time someone used this blog to try and find someone. No one missing or exploited. Last time that happened was when some woman who had gone to school with someone I used to hang out with, Perry Didovetch. She wanted to know how Perry was doing and if there was a way to get in touch with him. Not having spoken to Perry in over 20 years I had no clue to his whereabouts. He violated a trust between us, concerning my coming out of the closet and after that Perry was persona non grata.

I came home after that and took my temperature which read as 96.2. Not so good. A low grade fever. I sent Wally and email stating my temperature and that I was going to bed. I didn’t sleep easy for 2 hours but it was needed. Now I am in this netherworld, not really awake and not really asleep. I do feel somewhat better and my temperature is now 98.2. An improvement for sure, not 100% but doing ok. Can’t sleep anymore, at least right now. Had a tuna sandwich and watching the news which of course is no good.

If Jeff reads this, Hello Jeff. What the hell, if Perry reads this…ahh fuck it.

rastaman chant

Yes, you know what day it is. The sacred Hump day. Which of course, once again coincides with a Holy Day of Obligation, Ash Wednesday. I woke up, Bill awake already. He was so thankful that I had gone to the laundromat for him last night. It would have screwed up today considerably so I did him a humongous favor by doing that. That’s me, Mr. Nice Guy. Usually the guy at the end of the line, finishing last, but still I do what I do regardless of line placement. I don’t care, just a deposit in the Karma Bank.

Got another phone call today from my brother Frank. He was calling to let me know a neighbor from our old neighborhood passed away. Kay Benkovich was 88 years old. Her husband John B. passed away in the eighties I believe. She lived directly across the street from my family. Next door was a playground where we would play stick ball or punch ball if we couldn’t find a stick. Invariably the ball would fly over Kay’s fence and she’d never give the ball back until later in the year when the backyard would be cleaned. Sometimes the balls would come back all chewed up by Patches, their dog.

I never held any grudge against Kay. She always treated me fine and it was hardly ever my ball that would fly over the fence. I do recall one Christmas she had given me a toy, two plastic tubes, segmented inside with marbles inside. The point of it was to get the marbles from one end to the other. It was a simple toy and I was a simple boy. After my father passed away and we sold the house, I kept in touch with a Christmas card each year, carefully printing my name out in large letters so she wouldn’t strain her eyes. She’d always send one in return.

Work was the usual situation, data entry, special requests from President Naomi. They are impressed with my work ethic, something that really didn’t exist 20 years ago. At some point during the day, my old pal Miriam called up. I hadn’t seen Miriam in quite a while, maybe a year. She’s married now and due to have a baby on April 19. Miriam and I were buddies under the canopy of jazz cigarettes and a love of reggae music. We had gone to many shows together.

We also used to fight like cats and dogs. I met her when I was working at Skyline Studios where I was the receptionist and she was an assistant engineer. One time she was involved in a meeting where her attitude was called into question. She had quite a chip on her shoulder back then. After the meeting I busted her about the meeting and probably not busting her in a good way. She picked up a yellow Sony Tape recorder and threw it at my head. It missed and we went to our corners. Soon enough though we were smoking and listening to Burning Spear and hanging out with the Rastas again.

It was great to see her if only for fifteen minutes. The day started out with a death notice and ended with seeing Miriam and touching her belly with a baby inside. Here are some Miriam pictures.
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I Forgot To Remember to Forget

Tuesday. Not so bad especially after having yesterday off. A four day work week lay ahead, meaning tomorrow is hump day and Friday will be here soon enough. And on the weekend I plan on cleaning the bath tub which is looking rather icky. Sorry to use such a technical term but it’s the only thing that comes to mind. It was an ok day. My brother Frank called me up and we were having a good phone call but he seemed bothered by my suggestion that he call Annemarie to wish her husband Rex well since he’s in San Francisco about to undergo another heart procedure. It is an interesting procedure involving magnets.
cut n’ paste at end of entry.

Everybody is stressed! Good luck to Rex! Be strong!

He did call back and apologized on my voice mail. He has issues that I don’t care to get into right now. Big mistake to try to get people involved in each others lives, despite being related by blood. I doubt if I’ll ever do that again. I’ve learned my lesson. No more, phone calls like I used to get from him not so long ago in the past. The stress is not worth it. I’ll call, I’ll lend support and let everyone else find out on their own. It’s can all be such bullshit for all concerned, myself included. La familia.

Right now I’m watching the Gilmore Girls which is sort of back to the standards of previous seasons, i.e., very funny, and snappy dialogue. In a little while I’m going out to pick up Bill’s laundry which he won’t be back in time to get. I don’t mind, he’d do it for me, if I didn’t do my laundry here at home on weekends. I’m all dressed to go, got my sneakers on and I’m ready to go. Today the temperature reached the 40’s which was impressive, considering that yesterday it was 12 degrees out. Felt like spring, a bit. Now it’s off to the laundromat.

And now I’m back. Totally uneventful for me, but on the way back I saw some guy on a bicycle who wasn’t doing too well. I think he was a delivery guy and as I walked down Park Avenue, he ditched the bike and was limping down the street with whatever he was delivering in a bag. I felt bad for him as he shuffled past me while I climbed the steps. He stopped in front of my building and I thought maybe the delivery was for one of my neighbors.

No, he merely picked up a big chunk of snow, maybe one of the last clean pieces of snow, and rubbed it onto his scalp, shuffling off further down the street looking for more clean pieces of snow for his head. Strange.

Lately at work I’ve been doing the data entry thing, and a name will trigger something in my memory banks. Today it was the Cilientos who lived on Trudy Drive. They had a lot of kids but I could only remember the names of Annie, and her sister Rose Mary (or was it Mary Rose?). I don’t know why these things pop into my head when I’m doing the most mundane tasks. I can picture the two of them in their St. Francis de Sales school uniforms. They also had a brother Emil, who owned the Humane Animal Shelter.

Why do I remember this stuff?

cut and paste from left to right now…

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/21/CMGO9MRLUS1.DTL

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Boys Keep Swinging

Don’t you just love federal holidays? I know I do, at least when I have the day off. Today was a federal holiday and I had the day off. Quite nice. Didn’t do any of the chores I had in the back of my mind, so I’ll concentrate on doing those this weekend. It was brutally cold this morning when Julio called asking me where his bagels were. He and Stine also had the day off, and in the background Stine suggested that he go and get the bagels. He reluctantly agreed and I gave him my order, plus the News and the Post. I read the Times online.

Bill had to work though. He wished he had the day off but really couldn’t afford to take the day off. That sucked but secretly I was looking forward to yet another day of lounging around the apartment. If he was here he could’ve been as quiet as a door mouse, perhaps playing his keyboards with his headphones on. I chatted online with a few friends, people I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. I was generally well received, some guys quite happy to see me. Unless those were bananas in their respective pockets.

I did have to go out and run a few errands around Hoboken. Like I said it was cold. It was actually 13 degrees with strong winds that cut right through you. Needless to say, I didn’t spend too much time outside. Caught up on a lot of things I recorded on DVR and also kept working on the iTunes/iPod thing. When I went out I did take the iPod and it worked nicely, but I did have it under wraps, buried on my person under several layers of clothing. It worked fine, listening to Neon Bible by the Arcade Fire.

Juan drove by last night as he was returning to school. He stopped by to pick up the cd’s I burned for him and I made a care package of some Pop Tarts and some homemade cookies that I made. Not from scratch, just the kind you unwrap from the supermarket, slice up and put in an oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. I made some on Saturday night which Bill and Juan really liked. Bill liked them more I suppose since he kept asking me for more cookies, so I made another batch. He didn’t know I could bake.

Now the sun has gone down. I made an last errand to pick up some shoes that were cruddy after the snow and slush last week and also picked up my shirts at Center Cleaners on the corner. Lot’s of cute Hispanic boys working at the shoemakers. Makes me wonder what exactly goes on there. Maybe I’ve been watching too many videos on the computer. Sort of like reading something really funny in the New Yorker, then you turn the page and the next article is tragic and you still keep expecting to laugh some more.

Yeah just like that.

I’m Walking

Not much to do today. Bagels, Papers, whatnot. Last night, Juan came over and we watched ‘The US versus John Lennon’. It was alright. Not the best documentary. It got Bill thinking that John Lennon’s murder was a political assassination. Wouldn’t be the first time I heard that. It was actually Juan’s suggestion. A decent one at that. Song popped in via Yahoo instant messenger and said hello before he went out to lunch in Sydney with his boyfriend Ray. It was afternoon there. Juan hung out for a bit after that, playing me some excellent songs. I gave him 3 cd’s that I burned which he left behind. How Freudian.

With the ‘new’ computer and the restoring of my iPod and iTunes I’ve been going through a lot of unmarked or improperly marked songs. So I busy myself correcting and categorizing songs. And here are some of them.

Heat Wave – Martha and the Vandellas.
What a great happy song! Really gets you going. 2:44 of fun and sun. The Funk Brothers sound on top of their game of course, and the girls just sound so joyous. That call and response and that see sawing piano. Pure pop. One of Motown’s best ever.

Want More- Bob Marley
Live at the Roxy I believe. In Los Angeles. Great concert it seems. So intense. The bass is so heavy. Almost a dub version. I would’ve loved to have been there. This will have to do in any event.

Moonlight in Glory- Brian Eno & David Byrne
From the influential, ‘My Life in the Book of Ghosts’ A lot of people, including Chuck D. from Public Enemy have said this was a classic record for them. It really is a great one. I have it on three different albums and some cassettes and I was able to digitize ‘Qu’Ran’ a song deleted in the eighties so as not to offend Muslims. Well I was offended with the deletion so there!

I’ll Always Love My Mama- The Intruders
I think my sister turned me onto this song. I always associate her with it and I’m thinking red Volkswagen Beetle, before the fire. Definite mid seventies disco and I like it.

Last Train to Clarksville- The Monkees
Who was really better? The Beatles or the Monkees? I recall arguments that people had about that, around the same time Judy Foglio thought ‘Hey Jude’ was written for her.

The Same Old Song- The Four Tops
I really like the Four Tops. I think they were the better of the two, between them and the Temptations. Levi Stubbs had such an excellent voice. Classic Motown once again.

Nights in White Satin – The Moody Blues
Oh my god. Classic FM radio. This song was always playing sometime, somewhere. I met Justin Hayward when I was in the recording studio world and the man is toast. Sort of like Ozzy Osbourne.

I’m Walking- Fats Domino
Now this is before my time. I remember hearing it on commercials for Golden Oldies when I was growing up, and now here it is on an mp3. Kinky.

Rikki Don’t Lose that Number- Steely Dan
One of the best bands to ever take their name from a dildo in Naked Lunch by William Burroughs. But what does it all mean? Is Rikki a man or a woman? No idea.

That’s it. That’s my community service.

See No Evil

Well I’ve reloaded 6370 songs into the iPod. Not so difficult having dome the most of it last night. Finishing with Yello, ‘Stella’. I was loading album by album, reducing duplications. It’s not finished yet, still have a lot of fine tuning to do. It was around 12:45 when I stopped and went to bed. Conan was really funny as usual. I have to DVR Conan and forgo the Daily Show since I watch it most every night anyhow. Slept fairly well. Bill was out cold, but his body gave off lot’s of heat. Physically speaking I mean. The bed was nice and warm when I got into it.

Since I went to bed about an hour later than usual, I woke up an hour later than usual. Bill was at his keyboards, hammering away at the keys with his headphones on. He has an engagement at his church tomorrow so he was practicing away. I made some coffee and had a shower, then I sat and read emails. So much porn, so little time. Ran out, dropped off dry cleaning, shoes to be mended, picked up bagels, newspapers and groceries. Such an simple life, if I say so myself.

Breakfast was good, eggs, bagel, coffee. Like every other weekend I suppose. Papers still fixated on Anna Nicole Smith. The press she so desperately sought is piled on thick. It took her death to achieve her life’s wish. That’s some kind of irony. The war rages on and the useless non binding resolution is being voted on. I guess it’s a vote of no confidence. Bill was out the door soon enough and I started doing laundry. Endlessly fascinating I know. Spoke with Julio about the plan to go to Burlington Coat Factory with Stine.

Surprisingly, Julio joined us. I replaced the hat that I bought two weeks ago with the same kind and it was on sale making it three dollars cheaper. President’s Day Weekend sale. I think Julio enjoys shopping for clothes with me, he listens to what I have to say in the sartorial sense at least. Unfortunately Burlington Coat Factory has a lot of crap. Another depressing place to shop. Syms is like that too, but at least you can find good bargains. Hello Hugo Boss. Those were the Wanker Banker days though when I was making decent money. Argh.

Had a lackluster lunch at the Malibu Diner. Really sub par. I’ll think twice about going there again. It was nice hanging out with Julio and Stine. Such good company. Stine was talking about making a leg of lamb for dinner which would be fantastic. I haven’t had that in a few years. One of my mother’s specialties.

Presently watching Peter Jackson’s King Kong. I love it. Of course it’s not as good as the 1930’s version, but it’s way better than the 1970’s Dino De Laurentis version. It really brings me back to the movies I used to love and were on WOR Channel 9 a lot. Like everyday for a week. This is also one of those experiences where I get so much more from a film on television than I do in a movie theater. At least during the big spectacles, there is so much going on the screen you don’t get a chance to take it all in. I do know I’m enjoying this King King on television more that I did in a theater. Nothing against the movies, I love the whole ‘movie going experience’, but some movies are better watched at home.

I am such a boy watching King Kong.

Rise

Finally Friday has gotten here in one piece. It took all week to get here and felt even longer since the payoff was a three day weekend. Bill was at his folks last night so I was a solo act. I chilled out last night, dropping in at some point on Julio and Stine to borrow their can opener and to be abused and to abuse Julio. It was quite like the situation in the apartment with Bill. Stine at the table in her kitchen on her laptop, Julio in the next room on his laptop. I thought Bill and I were the only ones to do that.

I watched Scrubs and 30 Rock, then I watched Ugly Betty at 10:00 since I had dvr’d it. After the daily show I was off to bed. Usually Bill is in bed before me and he gives off a lot of heat. Not last night. He was out of town, out of state. I did the best I could do by myself. I wound up digging out an old green blanket that my mother used to have for some warmth and perhaps some security. Soon I was deep in sleep, not waking up until I absolutely had to, 6:30.

Not enough milk for cereal, but I had enough for coffee which was nice and strong. I had plugged in the iPod last night and as I drank my coffee and checked my email I thought I’d see if it would work, not having been exposed to the elements. Of course it didn’t work. After two songs, it froze up again. Bill has the exact iPod as I do, so does Juan and they don’t have the problems that I do. Maybe I give it a little too much importance, too much power.

I made a reservation at the iPod store for 6:10PM. Work was ok. Surfed a bit, did some data entry. Not many applicants in today. Wally was out due to his ear problem but he phoned a few times and was quite funny. He’s on Tylenol with Codeine which makes him quite agreeable. I mentioned to avoid going to the Valley of the Dolls and he started yelling, ‘I’m Neely! I’m Neely’. Yep, Wally is gay that’s for sure. If he can quite lines from Valley of the Dolls, that’s proof enough for me. I was also able to finish the Word document I worked on yesterday and got good comments about it. That was cool.

Work dragged of course, for this was a three day weekend. After work I legged it up to the Apple store again where I waited for about 20 minutes before I met up with Genius Jason Ferguson who was sympathetic and took my iPod and restored the factory settings, erasing everything of course. Once again, I’ll be loading thousands of tracks into the iPod over the weekend while doing laundry. I don’t mind, it’s too cold and icy outside and I’d rather be inside. I have dvd’s, and things I’ve recorded and Juan is coming up tomorrow and you know that can’t be bad.

Seasons in the Sun

Well I finally had a shitty day. First of the year, not bad for a month and a half into it. And it was mostly my doing. Partial credit or blame goes to Mother Nature and the snow which is now wet cold puddles of slush and whoever designed or approved the new sidewalks in the city. They sure look nice when it’s dry our, all smooth and shiny but as soon as it gets cold and there’s snow or frozen rain you are walking on thin ice literally and figuratively. The day didn’t start out on the best note either.

Got up at 4:00(!) thinking it was 6:30. That royally sucked though I was able to go back to sleep with no real problem. Woke up at 6:30, groggy of course. Bill made some coffee with what he could since the can opener was broken he wasn’t able to open the can of fresh coffee. Of course I thought he was doing it wrong, but no, somehow the can opener was kaput. The coffee Bill made resembled brown water but I drank it. It was very sweet. The gesture, not the coffee. He was soon off and I was in the shower.

I wore my work boots today since I messed up the pair of shoes I was wearing yesterday and will have to bring them to the shoe makers on Saturday. I looked like a well dressed Frankenstein monster as I clomped my way down the stairs. The sidewalks were occasionally shoveled but it was the crosswalks were where the hazards lay in wait. Huge puddles, perfect for playing Titanic with small boats. I gingerly stepped over and made it to the bus stop and hopped on a waiting bus. It soon filled up and I read the New Yorker instead of I, Claudius, trying to keep up with the current issue.

The iPod started acting up again, it would play two or three songs then suddenly stop. It did have the courtesy to wait for the last song to end before it stopped playing. I would have to reset it and start all over again and once again, two or three songs then it would freeze up. I think it was because of the weather, or rather, I hope it’s because of the cold weather. I decided to go to the Apple store on Fifth Avenue after work.

And after work would never seem to arrive. I was stuck rewriting some paperwork and I kept stressing out on how to format it properly as a Word document. I couldn’t figure it out and I was going crazy trying to figure it out. I sent a copy of it to Bill who knows Word programs inside and out and could probably do it in his sleep. But in sending it to his work email it was now in the system of the Really Big Law Firm which Bill didn’t realize until he tried to send it back to me. It was nothing terrible, just a sheet of words taken from a thesaurus.

No confidentiality clauses were broken or anything like that. I got it back and was able to make whatever revisions that were needed. I had a larger document that had to be retyped and was wrestling with that. I left it unfinished. I’ll be able to finish it tomorrow. I did have a date with Brenda from Wanker Banker. I went there after the Apple store visit, where I talked to a floor person named Christopher Duff who told me that more than likely it was because of the weather. I could always restore the iPod to the original settings and lose everything there, 6900 tracks.

I’m betting on the temperature. Rand sent me a link for SharePod which is a program that could take all the tracks on the iPod and put it into my computer, which means everything, not just the songs on the iPod that I had lifted from other sources. Argh. That and laundry seem to be the agenda for the weekend. Juan will be here though. He’d better be entertaining and hopefully jazzy. Or else. No foolin’.

Valentine’s Day

Snow Haiku
tumble on 42nd street
43rd st, salt falls into shoe
cellphone left at home

It snowed last night. About 3 or 4 inches, and when having a size queen for a partner, you realize that 3 or 4 inches isn’t much really. Zoom zoom zoom! Bill was up and active as I plodded around the apartment. Once again I thanked him for the cereal and the coffee and was able to get the words out properly. I stepped into the shower and got myself all clean for the day ahead. After that, breakfast and checking email while getting dressed and watching the telly for weather reports. It was a mess they said.

And it certainly was a mess. There were no emails from jaundiced psychopaths in Clifton today but that was only because I blocked his yellow ass. The sidewalk wasn’t shoveled and I couldn’t find the recycling can to throw out my recyclables. Turns out it was across the street on a neighbor’s shoveled sidewalk. I walked over and brought it back to the building throwing my plastics in there. It wasn’t so bad walking to Washington Street though when I got closer to the street I realized I left my cellphone at home.

I thought about turning around to go get it from the apartment but decided to go ahead to work instead. I was a bit worried that the office would be closed and I wouldn’t get the call not to come in. With every step I took and with every block the bus went past I felt like the office was not going to be open. I got off the bus and walked through the bus terminal and stepped into the slushy streets. As I walked down 42nd Street I decided to cross since it seemed more shoveled than the side I was on.

As I approach the curb I lift one foot over a puddle of ice and find myself falling down onto the sidewalk one hand clutching the umbrella, the other trying to cushion my fall. I landed on my left knee which hurt a little but I was able to limp and walk it off. A block later I felt ok. As I walked down 43rd Street I pass a maintenance employee for some building with a salt spreader spreading salt. He just kept spreading the salt as people walked by and of course some of that salt made it into my shoe.

I got to the office and only Larry was in. The office was officially open though President Naomi had opted to stay home in Essex County and Wally wasn’t expected in since he had that ear operation the other day. Everyone else trailed in. Not many applicants today. I surfed around and did some data entry, careful not to do too much since I’m basically all caught up to everyone’s amazement and gratitude. Sent some emails to former coworkers wishing them all a Happy Valentine’s Day, much like the wish I am giving to you right now.

Look Now

Tuesday. Not quite Wednesday and better than Monday but still… Woke up earlier than I thought. Ten minutes earlier. Bill was all gussied up for his work day and I thanked him for making the coffee and pouring my cereal, though it didn’t come out quite like that.. I mumbled in my morning speak and Bill didn’t know what the hell I was talking about, but he understood what I was trying to say. I was in te shower when he kissed me good bye.

After the cereal and coffee I got dressed and checked some emails. In one of my illicit accounts was an email from some neck bone in Clifton named Submit Submit Submit. He’s known for his yellowing photograph online and found a disparaging remark about my age being 44. He didn’t believe it and I took the bait with an email, “no it’s true. the aging process might be different in Clifton, but I am what I say. at least I’m not as aged as your pic. is the yellow because of your lighting or your jaundice? hasn’t the Smithsonian noticed one of Matthew Brady’s pictures missing? cheers and good luck with your endless unfulfilled quest. look forward to seeing you on dateline real soon”

He probably had to run to Wikipedia or something to find out who Matthew Brady is and to see if Matthew Brady is a submissive. Or perhaps he’s one of the Brady Bunch. I know, it’s a stretch. A little research on this headless yellow fellow stated that Miss Thing is actually 41 years old and 5’9”. Such a silly little man, trolling around 24/7 for a bottom that never arrives, and if he does arrive, probably never comes since the yellow underwear can be so off putting. But enough about ol’ urinal cakes. Back to me, Mr. Nice Guy who really is 44 years old.

Rode to work, read I, Claudius. Germanicus is suppressing a mutiny along the Rhine while Tiberius is dealing with rebellion in Bosnia. Finished one chapter too soon and dove right into the next chapter. That means I’ll be jumping in mid chapter tomorrow. I just hope it’s not on the test. Walked to work, listening to Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, ‘Global A Go Go’. Really a good record. I should burn it for Annemarie but I only have it on the iPod and haven’t found a Senuti program suitable for PC’s. I used it on the Mac at McMann and Tate and lifted it from someone else’s iPod.

If anyone knows of a program that allows you to take songs from your iPod and put into your own iTunes, I’d appreciate knowing about it. Work itself was fine. Wally still out, recovering from his ear operation. I worked on my data entries when a flower delivery came through the door. I didn’t think they were for me but they were. From Bill. From Ubee to Bubee. Very nice to receive a dozen red roses at work. I was the envy of most of the girls in the office. President Naomi mentioned how nice they were and how she looked forward to meeting Bill. I’m sure that will happen down the line.

And here’s some pics!

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New Gold Dream

Back to work again. Yesterday was a nice enough day, walked around the Village for a bit by myself. No one else wanted to go though I didn’t ask everyone. I should’ve asked Rand if he wanted to join me but he was probably working. Julio declined since he was doing chores, like shoe shopping at a shoe outlet in Secaucus. I found that out after the fact of course. But I couldn’t have gone since I did want to get some Valentine’s stuff for Bill and I hadn’t been to Farfetched in a while. Juan would’ve joined me if he were only around I’m sure.

Had a nice talk with Annemarie as I was making macaroni and cheese. I asked Annemarie if she’d be able to write down the recipes that our mother used to make. Not that she was that great of a cook, since she cooked to please my father. I remember telling her that if and when I got married to a woman I was going to make sure she could actually cook. I don’t think she was offended by that and I don’t think I was gay at that time. Ah those were the days, 13 years old with a life plan all laid out in front of me.

Watched part of the Grammy Awards last night. The Police are reuniting for a world tour which by the end of the tour they’ll be back to hating each other and carting wheelbarrows full of cash to the bank. The opened the show, singing ‘Roxanne’ which was good, and interesting to see Sting sing in his cod Jamaican accent again. I remember the first time I head the Police, riding to high school with Scott Miskuff who was playing his brother’s copy. I thought it was Boston actually. That was the time that the Police were considered punk rock.

There wasn’t too much after that to ensure me watching the rest of the broadcast. Julio called once or twice through the show telling me that Prince was on, and also that Arif Mardin had died last year. SOMEBODY doesn’t read the blog. Oh that Julio. I watched Rome on HBO which can be fun to watch while reading I, Claudius which is the story after what happens on Rome. Maybe 50 years later. Also read another chapter of I, Claudius on the ride into the city this morning on a very crowded bus. Most of the time my nose is buried in a book or magazine and I don’t even realize we’ve arrived until I see people getting off the bus en masse.

Work was ok. Fairly quiet. Wally was out, having had an ear operation on Friday and recovering over the weekend. He’s expected back tomorrow and a major snow storm is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. I’m looking forward to that. I don’t drive and it does make everything look nice for the first 24 hours and people are generally nicer to each other. And we need the snow, if only for the reservoirs. I don’t want a drought this summer.

Here’s some pics for the sake of having some pics.
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Catch

Last night went to see ‘Dreamgirls’ with Bill and we didn’t get home until 10:30 or so, and I didn’t want to get started on a blog. I just wasn’t feeling it. So here I am making up for lost time. The movie was good, not as good as ‘Chicago’ which was written and directed by the same guy I believe. Both are movies of Broadway musicals so the comparison is justified, especially with Bill Condon at the helm. One of the problems I had was that the songs that take place in the sixties, sound like they were written in the seventies.

Jamie Foxx was great as usual and Eddie Murphy was pretty good in his composite characterization of James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye and a touch of Ike Turner. The girls were good, Beyonce as Deena, the Diana Ross character, Jennifer Hudson as Effie, the Florence Ballard role, the third role is thankless, Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell or Mary Wilson. Of course this has a happy ending, Effie/Florence lives and rejoins the Dreamgirls for one last song. All in all it was an ok movie, something to see and get you off the couch and into the theater.

They can change the theaters on 42nd Street but they will still have an odd assortment of people that go to see movies and sometimes talk back to the screen. An interesting threesome in front of Bill and myself, I overheard one of them talking about Catherine Deneuve in Belle du Jour. Not the sort of people you’d expect to overhear talking about a Luis Buñuel film.

Came home and watched SNL with Bill for a spell before he crapped out. I watched the whole show, Forrest Whitaker was pretty funny. After that ended it was time for me to go to bed. Bill’s been wrapping his arms around me as soon as I hit the bed and if I don’t position myself correctly his arms which are so heavy can wind up squeezing my ribs which can be uncomfortable. It takes a few minutes of positioning and adjustment before I actually drift off to sleep. It is nice to be wrapped up in someone’s arms though.

Woke up at around 8:00 this morning, Bill getting ready for church, me getting ready for nothing in particular. I walked out and got the papers and some bagels, remembering to get Julio and Stine their paper and bagels to hang on their door knob as I passed the third floor landing. Bill was off to church when I got back and I had some eggs and read the papers and had my coffee. I was finally able to access my computer at work and did some data entry for about an hour and a half which will be counted as overtime.

Talked to my brother Frank for an hour on the phone, just shooting the shit talking about music mainly. That was fun. Don’t have too many opportunities to talk to him on the phone like I used to with Frank and Annemarie among others when I had an 800 number at Wanker Banker. But that was in the past and I’m tired of staying too long looking at it. Annemarie reminded me of that when I was talking to her on the phone a little while ago.

I walked around the city for a couple of hours, stopping into Farfetched to buy some Valentine’s Day paraphernalia for Bill this week. Some cards and an empty heart shaped box that I plan on filling with Starbursts which is his candy of choice lately. I hope I don’t have to pick up the wrappers.

Lust for Life

Friday has finally arrived. Slept pretty well last night, Bill in Stuyvesant Town left me with the bed all to myself. It was lonely but still I drifted off to sleep without any hassles or sheets or bed covers to share. I woke up and immediately shut off the alarm clock, giving it tow days off, much like myself. Then I shuffled into the kitchen, made some coffee, poured some cereal and then jumped into the shower. A rather slow going morning but everything was going according to whatever schedule I do follow. The Today show was on and when I hear the commercial for the Broadway show ‘Spring Awakening’ I know it’s time to get a move on.

‘I don’t do sadness/not just a little bit’ is what the teen with the overactive hormones sings in this show, supposedly written in the 19th century, about the sexual awakenings of teenagers that seems modeled on ‘Rent’, though that would defy all rules of time and space and AFTRA. But when I hear that young man singing about his avoidance of sadness I know it’s time to shut off the television and head out the door. It wasn’t as cold as it had been lately when I walked up to Washington Street. It was close to 20 degrees which made quite a difference, but not enough to ditch the hat, coat and scarf.

Got on the bus and got a nice roomy seat that usually goes to the handicapped but since there was none for this ride, I took it. I sat and read ‘I, Claudius’. A new chapter where Augustus is falling ill and soon to be murdered by his wife Livia so she can install her son, Tiberius as Emperor. Claudius is still being treated as an idiot cripple which is to his advantage since everyone thinks he’s a fool and not worth killing since he’s no threat to anyone. Augustus will only eat figs that he picks from the trees himself and I know what’s going to happen next.

I was back on the street in no time, walking down 42nd Street, listening to Air, ‘Talkie Walkie’ which is a couple of years old but I never really played it that much. I don’t know why, but it’s quite good and mellow which made for a nice soundtrack as I walked to the office. Wally was out today, having an operation on his ear. Naomi was on her throne and I was third in the office after Isobel. I made coffee and started the day, reading the Daily News online, as well as the New York Times.

After that the data entry began and the phones started ringing. A lot of people can’t speak clearly so when I phone ahead and tell, say Naomi that so and so is on the line I usually imitate the sounds that caller makes. They say it’s ‘Urgle Urgle Urgle’ and I just repeat the sounds into the phone back to them and them to whoever it is they are calling. Maybe the do talk clearly only they are calling on a crap phone. Maybe it’s my hearing, though it still seems pretty good despite years of concerts and working in the back room at McSwells.

After work I walked over to the Museum of ‘Modern’ Art where outside the museum there is an installation on the facade of images projected. It’s by Douglas Aitken and it’s called ‘Sleepwalkers’. I took some picture but they were mostly fuzzy and dark due to the cold temperatures. At least I hope it was because of the cold weather. It was in the 20’s but if you’re just standing looking at the outside wall of a building, it does get a bit chilly real fast.
Cut n’ paste
http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/2007/Aitken.html

and here are two out of 18 pictures, what I consider the best. I’m still trying to figure out a new picture editing program that Rand installed called ‘The Gimp’. I prefer xnview which is what I’ve been using for years.
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Fire

It’s Thursday and the acronym makes sense, So Happy It’s Thursday. Woke up at 4:00AM, then again at 5:45 and finally got out of bed around 6:20, earlier than usual in all three situations. Bill was half dressed as he made the coffee and I poured some cereal and stepped into the shower. Within minutes Bill was out the door after kissing me good bye and wishing me a good day. I cleaned myself up, washing the sleep off of my body and out of my eyes. Once again I ate my cereal, had some coffee and checked my emails.

It was a balmy 20 degrees as I walked over to the bus stop, dropping off a book at the library in the box outside. I kept playing the Girl Talk mash ups, or as Juan calls them, songs. They certainly sound like mash ups to me. Hopefully you have traveled over to jockohomo/datapanik to see what I was talking about. I rode the bus and sat in the back reading yet another chapter of I, Claudius. It seems to be timed perfectly, I ride, I read and polish off another chapter. I really am enjoying it and look forward to watching the DVD’s again.

Work was pleasant. That’s right, pleasant. This office seems to be drama free which is a nice thing. President Naomi and managing director Wally were both in when I got in. I once again set about making coffee, distributing resumes and checking more email at work. Actually checking my personal email at work since I hadn’t gotten any emails since I left the office the night before. I sat and had some more coffee and read the Daily News online as coworkers sauntered by my desk. Not a hangover detected which is a change of pace.

They seem to keep their noses clean and their livers in check here. That’s what I’ve been doing myself lately so once again I seem to fit in. I am wrestling with the past once again in the form of insurance benefits. 20/20 hindsight is doing me in. Today I thought about how I should have made a list of plusses and minuses regarding whether or not I should have stayed at Wanker Banker. My days were numbered there though and I had to break free. Will I ever find a situation as ideal as it was when Robert, Sarah, Fay and I worked together?

Who cares? What’s done is done. Tomorro2w is Friday. Wally will be out of the office, I won’t shave and I’ll turn off the alarm clock until Sunday night when I go to sleep. Nothing really planned for the weekend, it would depend on the weather and finances. I would be content to stay in again, wait to come out in the spring. I’ve got dvd’s to watch, books to read, the New Yorker as well and I’m nearly caught up again. And I still haven’t finished reading Mojo or Uncut. And then there’s the laundry…

and Ugly Betty is so sad tonight.

Love’s Theme

Hey kids, do you know what day it is? It’s Wednesday! And what do we call Wednesday around these here parts? We call it Hump Day! And that means, today is hump day! All downhill from here. Tomorrow is Thursday and Wally will be out Friday and Monday so that should make for an interesting dynamic in the office. I think we’re both struggling to like each other. I have no problem with that. It’s an office relationship that has it’s friction. But since he’ll be out it might seem like two four day work weeks, actually three with Presidents Day coming up too.

Once again the temperature didn’t go beyond the teens. I got up a bit earlier once again and that was perfectly alright with me. Cereal, shower, Bill was on top of the coffee this morning and made some before he headed out the door after kissing me as I stood in the shower. I puttered about after eating my cereal and sat with a cuppa in front of the computer checking my emails and death notices to get a leg up on Harpy. Harpy and I stay in contact a lot of the time by trying to be the first of a celebrity death.

It’s been busy lately, a lot of celebrities have been dropping off. One of the Funk Brothers, was what I had gotten the last time I believe, not a name but a musical person of note. Harpy trumped that with Frankie Laine. Work has been ok. Not stressing it going in and not stressing it going home. So it’s a good thing. There was a problem with Olga the Russian bookkeeper and office manager. I had asked her about insurance since after one month I am eligible. I have to pay for half of the benefits and if Bill was included he’d be in for full price, 400 and change every month.

I tell you with the headaches that Wanker Banker gave me they had an excellent health plan which I didn’t have to pay for and Bill was included in it. That bummed me out for a while this afternoon. One more of the things that made Wanker Banker a good place to work. If only for the people. They got rid of the Persian Bitch a few months after I left and Fat Ass who was another thorn in my side just started a new job following her asshole administrator to some Euro bank with four consonants as their logo.

I listened to some mash ups after work on the iPod that I downloaded last night from the blog listed in the blogroll as jockohomo/datapanik. Pretty good mash ups all together. A good part of listening to mash ups is trying to figure out what song is mixed in and from where. It’s listed under Girl Talk. Another interesting thing, at least to me was I was listening to a playlist on the iPod at work during some downtime, Soul Hits of the 70’s. Love’s Theme by the Love Unlimited Orchestra was on, produced by Barry White.

I was reading on this day in history,
1974:
Barry Whites Love Unlimited Orchestra received a gold record for the disco hit, “Loves Theme.”

Just as I was listening to the same song. I got a kick out of it, as I’m so sure you would too.

Show Me

It’s still freezing out. It never went above 15 degrees today as far as I know. It was cold cold cold. Still a bitter wind blows. On one street in the city you can be fine, but when you turn that corner, man you get stabbed in the face by the wind. I woke up earlier than usual thinking it was time to get up. It was only ten minutes and by the time I noticed I was ten minutes early, there was the idea to go back to sleep but I decided to shower instead. Turned out to be a good idea.

Bill didn’t make coffee for me this morning which was a slight disappointment, but nothing that I couldn’t do for myself. I also poured some cereal into the bowl, before I showered knowing it would be nice and mushy when I would finally sit down and eat it, reading the news about Hoboken in the Hoboken Reporter. Apparently some kids in Hoboken High School have been up to no good beating up people on the street. They were apprehended and made the front page of the local paper. 15 minutes of fame and maybe a guest spot on Cops beckon.

Soon enough I was out on the street, making sure I had my cell phone on me as I had left it behind yesterday. I noticed that yesterday when I was two blocks away from the apartment. I nearly turned around but decided it wasn’t worth climbing up four flights of stairs only to go back down those same stairs mere seconds later. I try to have it on me most times, but felt I could do without. I did reach for it repeatedly throughout the day which must have looked somewhat lewd to passerby. And the wrong passerby at that.

Work was fine. No complaints. Most everyone in as expected, everyone passing comment on the weather as they came in. I noticed this being the second one in today. I did more data entry, losing myself in the mundane and enjoying the fact that I’m not picking up after any limeys after watching them leave garbage. President Naomi asked me to do a favor, to ship something FedEx and I offered to drop it off during lunch so she could save some money. Yes it was bloody cold but I really didn’t mind. A chance to go out, away from my desk is a great way to break up the day. And it was only a couple of blocks away.

Naomi gave me the wrong address and when I got to the correct address I then had to deal with the security bureaucracy that is the Morgan Stanley headquarters only to find out that I could drop off this gift at the messenger center. Fine with me as I did just that then walked out once again into the bitterly cold yet sunny afternoon. I even ran into the Virgin Megastore to warm up midway back and I picked up ABC, ‘The Lexicon of Love’ from 1982. A classic pop album from 1982, which I first heard at Forest Hill Tennis Stadium with Stan Bogdansky waiting for Talking Heads on the Speaking In Tongues tour which eventually turned in the Stop Making Sense film.

I got back to the office and warmed up again knowing that this errand took an hour total and then it was time for my daily salad. The day flew by after that and I left the office around 5:45. I walked over to the Port Authority and got on the very long line of people heading back to Hoboken. I ran into my friend Lois DiLivio and as we sat next to each other I told her all about the past year or so, employment wise. She laughed though most of it, it does play good when said aloud. Maybe thats what I should do with this blog, turn it into performance art. I know. How eighties.

Unwind Yourself

It’s Monday and of course that means back to work. Bill spent the night at his folks last night because he had to take his father to the VA hospital again for more tests. Everything is ok, but his father is 84 years old and check ups should be more frequent than they have been the past couple of years. Everything went well until Bill started butting heads with his mother, causing Bill to leave the apartment and head out into the cold streets of Stuyvesant Town. He didn’t go too far, just dropped in on his cousin and her family to see how they were doing.

What with all that is going on around him, Bill is turning into a most stable kind of fellow. Which is good. A step up. We all have our moments to be there for other people and now it is his turn and he’s handling it quite admirably. It was bitter cold out this morning, the morning news shows kept repeating the temperature of 9 degrees and how it’s actually going to get worse before it gets better. Once again I wore my late fathers silk long johns, which is a bit creepy but as long as he’s not in them it’s ok and I know Annemarie washed them before she gave them to me.

It was brutal waiting in the bus shelter for the bus. Strong winds stabbing you with cold air, no matter how many layers you might have on. Soon enough the bus did arrive and I assumed my place in the back of the bus. I really don’t talk to anyone until 8:30 when I get to the office. I walked the streets, listening to Neon Bible by the Arcade Fire which is sounding more and more incredible with each play on the iPod. I loaned the leaked version to Julio on Saturday night though he didn’t remember getting the first cd which I loaned him a few months previous. I guess I’ll burn a copy for Annemarie when the time comes.

Work was ok. Everyone seemed low key. Occasional comments about the Super Bowl floated around but no in depth discussions which was more than fine by me. Never much into football. My parents used to have season tickets to the Giants home games and they would drag me against my will. I never wanted to go. Too cold and boring, though when puberty hit, I usually found some reason to watch the field through a pair of binoculars which would be returned somewhat fogged up. And if I wasn’t watching the field, there was usually an alpha male in the vicinity to check out, sometimes close enough that binoculars wouldn’t be necessary.

At work, Stephen Daedalus was setting up a program so I could do work at home. The data entry work which is piling up despite my earnest attempts, could be done at home on my own time after work and it would add to overtime which is a good thing. It would be ok with me to do some data entry here, I tired a few times but never had the proper authorization, so after I write this, I have to log off and then back in as an administrator to see if I can get that ball rolling. Overtime is good, and overtime at home, while on my time seems to be much better. So I’d better get on that. Cheers!

I Got Plenty of Nothin’

It’s a bitter cold Sunday. Been indoors most of the day, except when I went out twice for food. I hung out with Stine and Julio last night. Stine had stopped working on the model and didn’t want to hang out by herself. She also had bought some Guinness which was enticing enough to get me to go down two flights of stairs. I went down after watching some Scrubs episodes with Bill around 8:30. We just hung out talking and drinking and eating BBQ potato chips. Julio showed up after working over twelve hours in a sound stage in Queens.

He was understandably beat but once he had a bottle of Stella Artois and some lasagna that Stine had made the other day he was in a decent frame of mind. We all sat around the table drinking and listening to Scritti Politti and the Beatles ‘Love’ cd. Julio had gotten me that cd for a X’mas present but Annemarie had beaten him to it by about a month. He didn’t have a chance to give it to me before he flew to Denmark for the holidays. I asked him if he had it yet and he said he didn’t so I re-gifted it to him right then and there.

It was good to have some reheated lasagna last night. It certainly hit the spot after a few pints, though by 11:30 I was ready for sleep. I did catch a good piece of Saturday Night Live but really couldn’t tell you what I saw. I woke up around 8:30 and after showering and some coffee I headed out to get the bagels. Stine said that she was going out for them as well as the papers but I didn’t see any shopping bag hanging from my doorknob with bagels and newspapers in it.

I didn’t mind as I wasn’t suffering really after last night’s pints. It was a cold dry arctic air with stabbing winds that made exposed skin instantly tighten up. There were very few people on the streets at 9:00 in the morning. Too cold for many. There was a lot of broken glass though as if someone had smashed their apartment window on the corner of 7th and Washington. Wrong night to break a window, that’s for sure. I got my bagels and the newspapers for Julio and Stine and myself and hung theirs on the doorknob as I passed their apartment.

That was my initial foray into the cold air. The second was when I went to the supermarket to get some dinner. The aisles were packed with a lot of people out buying groceries and snacks for what seemed like Super Bowl parties. I bought what I need and was out of there within 10 minutes, some sort of record I think. Now I’m just hanging out, dressed in layers reading and watching the telly. That seems to be the plan for the evening. Do any of you have a problem with that?

I didn’t think so.

Yesterday, Once More

Well it’s Saturday and for that I am grateful. I slept until 8:00, after nodding off around midnight. A nice eight hours of sleep. Woke up fully rested, showered, had a cup of coffee and checked email before I headed out into the world. I walked by Mr. L’s the barbershop on the corner and seeing my Barber Tony’s chair vacant I went in and sat down. He asks me about how the new job is going and I tell him how it’s been going. Just your usual haircut small talk.

I got a decent haircut. A bit shorter than I expected but I think it will look good once it starts growing out. I walked up to Washington Street after that and got my bagels and newspapers and came home to a nice breakfast as Bill puttered about getting ready for his rehearsal and voice lesson. I watched some TV and decided to attempt to take out the old cd burner and install the dvd burner that Rand suggested. It took a little while but I was successfully able to do the switch in about a half hour. And here I thought I was helplessly incompetent regarding matters like these. It only took two calls to Rand.

Then I did some laundry and tried to figure out the new things on my computer. All these bells and whistles, such as this program. You see, when I write this each day, I used to write it on Microsoft Word, then post it into Word Press. Now I use the OpenOffice.org Writer program since Rand removed the MS Word program. Apparently it wasn’t a legitimate version. I could’ve sworn it was, but Rand knows best in matters such as this. Most of the commands and prompts are the same and it’s free.

I got tired of doing computer stuff so I decided to take a walk. I stopped by the third floor and asked Stine if she was up for a walk to the Burlington Coat Factory. She couldn’t since she was in the middle of starting to create a model for work. She’s working for Julio’s cousin, Anna who is an architect. She had the blueprints and thin sheets of foam core boards and the computer had the designs but she was struggling with how to make a 3D representation. I wished her well and headed out into the tundra.

I walked up towards Washington Street and gave Rand a call to see if he wanted to go out for a walk but he was in the middle of many things. So I walked around listening to the Arcade Fire’s new cd, Neon Bible. Juan got it after it was online. It’s very good and dense and deep. Wish I knew what they were singing but it’s really good, a perfect step after the great Funeral. I don’t know when the official release but I’m looking forward to it. I told Juan that when they come to town again, we definitely have to go see them. He agreed.