Monthly Archives: March 2007

How High The Moon

It’s Saturday and a good productive day. Woke up early enough, showered, had coffee, went out for bagels and groceries, back by 9:00. An early start. Bill was off to a reading I think in Jersey City for a movie part. I had a nice breakfast and started doing laundry soon after. Nothing special kind of day. Bill didn’t come home until late last night due to a really bad accident involving a bus jumping a divider on the exit ramp out of the Lincoln Tunnel. Not his bus but everything stopped in the traffic area and several passengers had to go to the hospital.

I watched To Sir, With Love again. I remember seeing it on the 4:30 Movie when I was growing up. Not the Channel 7 4:40 Movie, but Channel 4. Channel 7 would have themed weeks, like Monster Week or Easter Week on the 4:30 Movie. Channel 4 would have A Hard Day’s Night or Help or To Sir, With Love. I really enjoy the movie after watching it dozens of times and checking the message boards on IMDB, it seems quite a few others feel the same. The movie inspired some to go into teaching. I just wanted to move to London.

Then I watched Bill Maher who was rather ho hum and smuggy smug. Sort of preaching to the choir, both at home and in the studio audience. I much prefer the Daily Show and Colbert Report. I think HBO should try to pick up those two shows. It would be a genius move, just to hear Jon Stewart being able to swear without being bleeped out. Bill came home soon after that after sitting in traffic for so long and I went to bed a little while after that. Bill joined me momentarily and we both fell into deep sleeps.

Today I watched Children of God* (correction by Annemarie: Children of MEN). Good movie albeit downbeat. Set in 2027 everyone in the world is infertile. Clive Owen is a bureaucrat who meets his ex-wife who is a revolutionary. He is assigned reluctantly to escort a woman who is pregnant. First person on the planet in 18 years to actually conceive. It’s worth seeing, quite a few twists and turns and a touch violent for these are supposed to be times of war and the collapse of society.

After that I watched Infamous, which is infamous for being the other movie about Truman Capote writing In Cold Blood. This was a lower budget film I think, but had a more luminous cast. Sandra Bullock was pretty good in it as Harper Lee and Toby Jones was really spot on as Truman, not begrudging my doppleganger Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Being a smaller movie it seemed more intimate than Capote, and Daniel Craig was really good as Perry. He looked like Sean Connery a bit which may have led to his being cast as the latest James Bond.

I went into the city to see Bill in The Crooner directed by and starring Rome Neal. It’s still in previews so there are a few kinks that need to be worked out. I stopped at Farfetched on my way to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and chatted with Susan about my latest adventures in employment. Jessica was leaving early and asked me what I was up to and invited her to join me and to my surprise she did. We had a good time and I think she enjoyed the performance. I know she enjoyed going to the Poets Cafe. She always wanted to go and this was her first time.

Here’s a few snapshots from tonight’s performance of The Crooner.

rome-neal-1.jpg

the-crooner-33107a-009.jpg

the-crooner-33107a-022.jpg

the-crooner-33107a-012.jpg

the-crooner-33107a-010.jpg

How Do I Get To Carnegie Hall?

It’s Friday and it was a great day. Not too warm, a little nippy in the morning but the day progressed into a near perfect spring day. Bill was at his folks last night, I watched The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, then the Office marathon with Andy Barker PI in the middle of all that. I didn’t get much of a chance to watch Andy Barker PI since I was on the phone with Christina, my former assistant at Wanker Banker. She was telling me about her hard times at Wanker Banker which is fast resembling a ship that is slowly sliding into the briny.

I tried to get her spirits up but she does have quite a struggle on her hands being a single mother and working with someone who doesn’t do a thing to help out each and every day. I watched the rest of The Office marathon after the nearly hour long phone call. I decided to stay up and watch the Daily Show to see what their take on Karl Rove doing his dance of the dough boy at some dinner in Washington DC. It was worth staying up for. After that I went to sleep only to wake up at 4:32, dehydrated and with a killer headache, though not from drinking because I didn’t have a drop of the drink.

I woke up and had some water and went to sleep again, sleeping about ten minutes more than I should have but it was ok as everything was in order, I showered, and had some coffee but no cereal since I didn’t have enough milk. But I did take two ibuprofen gelcaps. I checked my emails and soon was at the bus stop where the driver actually waited for me. I think I had a driver kicked off the Hoboken route a few weeks ago when I filed a complaint about me slipping and sliding trying to catch a bus that was in a hurry to get to a red light. I hadn’t seen him since I filed that complaint and I don’t miss him.

I made it into the office on time even after stopping off at Smilers to get my egg sandwich from West Indian Tony who always asks about “my man”, Bill. He keeps insisting that Bill should do the Apollo theater and I haven’t the heart to tell him that the Apollo doesn’t put on plays anymore if they ever did. Maybe shows like Beauty Shop or the latest Tyler Perry extravaganza featuring his drag character Medea.

President Naomi was the only one in the office and almost immediately asked to see me. I had no excuse to postpone it so I walked up to her as she told me that the counteroffer part of the website was a joke. I know she didn’t believe but I think she had the hope that I would say, ‘really? Ok, I’ll stay.” Deep down inside she knew that it wasn’t to be. I tried reassuring her that we’ll still be friends and I would try to direct any staffing needs to her and she basically told me to send those staffing needs to Wally. Basically I’m now a lame duck. Not much for me to do, no point in me getting involved with long term projects since I am on a timetable to withdraw myself.

The day flew by and I had a plan to meet with Brenda, another former Wanker Banker employee. We met outside of Grand Central Station and chatted. She was so happy to see me and noticed that I was looking like a great weight had lifted off my shoulders due to Greg Stevens. I told her if there was an opening for an executive assistant with Greg that I would let her know it since now she seems to be rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It was a brief meeting as we sat outside and watched commuters go in and out and looked at young workers in their suits and ties and office attire hanging out being boisterous in an outdoor cafe bar on a nice Friday evening.

I’m going to see Arcade Fire with brother Frank one week and then Bjork with Juan the next week at Radio City in May.

Lazy Calm

It’s Thursday again. Yesterday was a good day and ended on a very positive up note. I wandered around midtown after meeting Greg Stevens and Vivek. I floated more than wandered actually and had a nice Padron 5000 cigar. I called up Bill when I found that the job could be mine if I wanted it. Brenda, former colleague from Wanker Banker was also on the list of people to call. Annemarie would have to wait since she’s 3 different time zones away. Bill was on his way to rehearsal so he promised to listen to my story when he got home later last night.

I just chilled out at home, watched Daily Show and Colbert Report and then I don’t remember since I was waiting for Lost. That came on and I thought it was going to be a drag but wound up better than I expected. Bill came in at the last ten minutes and after the show I told him about Greg and Vivek and their offer. Bill was insisting that I tell them at Golden Staffing immediately that I’ll be out of there. Bill was a lifeline when I felt like crap on Monday and knew it was because of the job.

It’s not a bad job, but it takes it’s toll, just sitting there seeing people applying for jobs that I feel that I should be trying to get for myself. I told Bill I was going to hold off on telling them at work that I was going to be leaving. I was planning on giving them two weeks notice which seemed the proper thing to do. As the day progressed today I was a bit apprehensive about telling them but felt it was the thing to do right after lunch. I sent Wally an email asking him to find time to talk to me.

I was hoping it would wait but almost instantly he came up to me and asked me what was going on. He expected that I was having a problem with someone in the office, and was surprised when I told him I was leaving. He asked why, what happened and I told him nothing happened, just a better paying opportunity came up with a former manager that I used to work with.. He understood and was sorry to see me go and asked that I give them two weeks notice to which I agreed as that was the plan anyhow.

A few minutes later President Naomi called me into her office where Wally was sitting with her. She looked genuinely upset. She wanted to know why I was leaving and I put it as delicately as possible. I told her I wanted to go out on good terms and I could see tears welling up in her eyes. Last night they had let Swati go, and she had started a few weeks before me. It went badly with Swati crying as she left the office. I missed that since I left early. I don’t know the reason why she was let go but I don’t think they gave her enough of a chance to learn the ropes as a recruiter.

Naomi asked how much I was going to get from the new job and I told her and to my surprise she made a counteroffer. In the back of my mind I remembered one of the web pages I proofread on the company website which is here:

Counteroffers
You should never accept a counteroffer.
Though flattering, a counteroffer is usually a short-term solution. Generally, the reasons for wanting to leave the company still exist and are unlikely to change in the near term. Counteroffers are self-serving to the company and often represent a compromise in your next raise or bonus. Moreover, your loyalty may be questioned and you could be the first to go should business cycles change. Truly you should be suspect as to why you are more valuable today than you were yesterday and only after you resigned your job. You should thank the company for the offer but be clear about your intentions to move on.

Those are Naomi’s words posted for the world to see on the website. And here she was, making me a counteroffer. I told her I would take it under consideration, but I think she knew that I was actually going to go. I tried to alleviate the situation by telling her that I might be in a position to hire staffers through Golden Staffing but she didn’t seem to care. I also told her that I was being pursued, and not the other way around. She just sat there, teary eyed and telling me that she didn’t want me to go and that just set a pall on the rest of my day.

I’m still leaving and I sent Greg Stevens an email telling him that I would start on April 16.

Tarzan’s Nuts

Wednesday. It’s been a good day. Went to bed around 11:30, woke up to Bill’s alarm clock, which meant I had to wake him up to have him turn off the alarm. I faded back into unconsciousness waking up just short of an hour. I had a big day all set up for me and I got out of bed at 6:15 to try and get a head start. Shower, with a kiss for Bill as he headed out the door, cereal, coffee and email then I too was out the door headed towards the bus stop. It was another nice morning.

I got on the bus a little earlier than usual. I thought I should try leaving a little bit earlier from now on. It does make for an easier commute. Yesterday and today I’ve been playing Madness, One Step Beyond, their first album. Nothing like something from the late seventies ska revival to get one going. I listen to the bass lines and try to remember them so I could play it on bass later in the evening. Doesn’t turn out that way of course. Not as adept on the bass as I would like to be but I am working on it.

I got to the office, no one in when I walked in though the door was unlocked. Ron, the guy who interviewed me made it in before me and was in the bathroom down the hall which would have made it easy to steal anything that could be carried out, but since I was there it didn’t happen. People came in, in drips and drabs and the day started as it usually does. I found time to call Greg Stevens and left a voice mail to send me an email so that I could forward my resume. Also it was a good way to find out about the company he is the president of.

From what I got it’s a nice merger and acquisition company if there can be such a thing. This is the world of high finance, a world where I feel oddly comfortable. The die was cast and I was meeting Greg Stevens at 4:30 this afternoon. That meant I needed to make an excuse to get out early. Bill had the idea that I tell Wally and Naomi that I needed to go help Bill at his parents apartment so we could install safety handles in their bathroom.

I sent out that balloon to President Naomi and Wally and they accepted it, so I was able to inform everyone else in the office about my early departure. The day went by like a Wednesday, climbing up one side of the hump and sliding down the other end. I slid out at 4:00 after rushing through some last minute work thrown at me at 3:37. They knew I was leaving at 4:00 but still. I did what they asked, surprised at the speed I was able to do what was asked while laughing quietly like a maniac.

I surprised myself by making it from 44th and 6th to 50th and 3rd Avenue in about 15 minutes. Rush hour hadn’t started so I wasn’t swimming against the stream of commuters. I got to Greg’s office and saw him almost immediately. We reminisced about Wanker Banker and how he felt they were going to close down that place soon enough. He was on the board of directors and mentioned that he was surprised that the big bank in Canada hadn’t cut off funds yet.

Everything Greg told me about my responsibilities was extremely doable. He was reading from a sheet that was given to him by Vivek, the CEO of the company. I met Vivek a few times when he would visit Greg. Greg told me that Vivek had read my resume and liberally cribbed all the things I had done and put them in a list of things they would like done. I kept expecting myself to tell Bill to shut off his alarm clock.

The offer is a lot better than what I have now, or even before now. There is a pay raise and benefits. The caveat is there aren’t any dental benefits but I might have a say in that should I decide to take the offer.

If I take it, I will have to give two weeks notice to President Naomi and Wally. But it could be a win win situation. If I go, I would be in the position to hire through the agency and that would be good for President Naomi and Wally. Plus the actor who was doing the job when I started could take the job back and still go out on auditions and whatnot. I have to let Greg Stevens know by Friday noon.

I also just checked, Bill’s alarm clock is not going off and I am not still asleep in bed.

Miracle Man

It’s Tuesday and not a bad day at all. Way better than yesterday I tell you. Went to bed at almost exactly 11:00 and drifted off almost immediately. At 11:25 the phone rings. Of course I don’t hear it until it’s about to stop ringing. Then I figure I better get out of bed to see who called. It was Bill. A few years ago, Bill felt threatened on the street and tried calling me but I didn’t hear the call. He flipped out at that so I needed to see what was going on. I stumbled out of bed groggy after 20 minutes.

“Hey babe, whats’ up?” I asked. “YOU!” He always says that when I ask whats up. This time I said, ‘Yeah, I am up. I was in bed sleeping and now I’m on the phone with you. What’s going on?” I knew better than to ask what was up again because he would’ve said ‘YOU!’ again. He called to let me know he was in a cab, headed from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (where the play he’s been working on starts on Thursday night) to the Christopher Street Path station. He wanted me to know since I was in such a funk on Monday that he wanted to give me a hug.

He told me he would be home soon enough and would give me a hug in bed. I guess he did. I wouldn’t know, I was out cold. I did wake up a little bit earlier than usual and made my way to the bus stop after the morning apartment and personal hygiene routine. I was in a pretty good mood. I listened to Elvis Costello, My Aim is True and as I walked I saw a bus pulling away. Fine with me. It was a gorgeous morning, the temperature was close to 60 degrees. It felt like spring.

I settled into the bus and pulled out Claudius and didn’t have to rush since I was able to renew the book from the library online through the http://bccls.org system. It’s a lending library for most of North New Jersey. Just about any book could be had through this system. It’s great since I’ve stopped buying books and this is a lot cheaper since it’s free. I settled into work and didn’t really do much. The program they had gotten is a nightmare for me and I was told to hold off on the data entry I had been doing.

President Naomi and Wally were in a good mood today as well. Basically everyone in the office was ok to deal with. It felt good to work there again. Naomi asks me everyday to pick up a copy of the New York Post for her and I usually do but today I had forgotten. I was by her desk when she said she wanted to ask me something and was trying to remember what it was that she wanted to ask me. I said, “Did you want me to get the Post?” “Yes. Oh my you can read my mind” From out of the blue I said, ‘That’s easy to do”. Inadvertent zing! That got a big laugh from Wally and yes, Naomi laughed too.

As the day headed to it’s end my cell phone rang. Cell phones are verboten in the office so I had to reject it. It was a call from Greg Stevens, a director from Wanker Banker. He left a message telling me that he had left Wanker Banker and was at a new company. He gave me his number and I called, getting his voice mail. I wandered around Bryant Park walking among people enjoying the now 70 degree weather as I puffed on a Padron.

The cell phone rang in my pocket and I saw it was Greg Stevens again. He told me how unhappy he was at Wanker Banker and he has a new position and would I be interested in joining up with him at this new Bio Tech Merger and Acquisition company. He always liked me and I always liked him so I have an appointment to meet with him tomorrow afternoon at his new office. I feel really good about this and I feel I could do whatever it is he wants me to do. So wish me luck, tomorrow at 4:30 a new chapter maybe beginning. Woo Hoo!

Talkin’ Blues

Today’s entry is dedicated to Annemarie, Juan, Song, Harpy and Kathe, the five people I know who read this. You all came up today in an online chat I had with Bill throughout the day.

It’s a crappy Monday and Mondays suck. I didn’t want to wake up I slept relatively well. Bill was very cuddly last night which was nice. He came home when I was watching the penultimate broadcast of Rome and started talking but realized I was watching it and kept quiet even though I told him we watched this one the week before. At 9:00 the last episode came on and we watched it.

Or rather I watched as Bill was getting ready for work. He gets ready the night before so as not to turn the lights on while he’s looking for something to wear. He’d walk from one end of the apartment to another and stop to watch or listen to what was going on. He only started watching the show in depth a few weeks ago and didn’t know much of the back story, but does have a pretty good idea after watching I, Claudius a few years ago. Also buying me the dvd boxed set of I, Claudius helped.

I did the mundane routine, you know the drill, shower, shave, cereal, coffee, email and then out the door looking relatively fly. Onto the bus, sat down and buried my self in Claudius the King. It’s due back at the library on the 29th and today is the 26th. Making good progress though I feel the second book isn’t as good as the first. Got to the bus terminal in one piece, and started walking towards the office. But in my mind there was regret. It seems I can’t get beyond leaving Wanker Banker.

It’s almost been a year but I still regret leaving and the circumstances under which I left. I miss my friends that I worked alongside, I miss the building personnel, I miss the hot dog guy from Egypt, I miss the Korean girl who would sell me chocolate chip cookies. I really miss the insurance benefits under which Bill was also covered. But that was then, this is now and I have to get past it. Bill noticed my mood and did his best to get me out of it through instant messaging which really doesn’t work as well as the human voice.

He tried to motivate me by saying that I’m doing this blog and how I should figure out how to get it published. Of course I took the opposite tack, saying that it’s too personal a blog for anyone really and anyway I only have about 5 people who read it on a steady basis. That’s you five in the first line about the dedication. Bill doesn’t read it or even ask how many words I’ve written any more. Would you say it’s publishable?

I prefer to think of this as a collection of things that I can look back and pick and choose incidents, or at least lines that I would use in another project that I’m doing. I wish there would be more comments on things that I’ve written but as for now I’m rudderless. Still I keep writing for some goal unforeseen at this moment.

Waiting for my real life to begin.

60 Years On

Sunday and a rather blasé Sunday at that. Watched SNL last night and it was ok. TV Funhouse was pretty funny though. Bill was watching Law and Order on his laptop and I surfed and read and watched TV. Watched ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘Frida’ yesterday. V for Vendetta was ok. Nothing to write home about. ‘Frida’ was ok as well. I tried watching ‘Frida’ once before but never got into and returned the dvd after giving up on it. Last night it was watchable but nothing that really grabbed my attention though Salma Hayek was really good. Quite a few cameos in it.

I looked around at a few things online last night and wound up looking at amazon.com. They still haven’t closed my account yet and I still haven’t ordered anything through them since that amazon prime nonsense a month or so ago. Surprisingly enough I was looking at Elvis Presley, recordings from when he was at Sun studios. That was before he signed to RCA. The recordings are minimal, just Elvis, Guitar, bass and drum and reverb. I heard a few samples and decided to buy it through iTunes for 9.99 rather than 14.99 then shipping and handling through amazon. Plus I still had that gift card Annemarie, Rex and Earl sent last year for my birthday.

I’ve always liked ‘That’s All Right’ and ‘Mystery Train’. It’s easy to see how Elvis set all those British youth on fire and inspired them to start bands. It all seems rather easy to duplicate. Funnily enough I can easily hear John Lennon or Paul McCartney singing these songs. How did someone just a few years older than Lennon and McCartney record something from several thousand miles away and plant a seed which later bloomed into the Beatles and all that followed them?

I never liked Elvis though. Didn’t do a thing for me. Too much of an older generation thing. I guess you had to be there.

I forgot to mention that I also watched a movie called ‘Stoned’. A drama about the last days of Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones. Brian was the cutest one back then and the most talented but lost the plot. Too many drugs and no one to say ‘that’s enough’ put him on the course. Rehab and interventions just weren’t done then. The movie portrays Brian Jones as cleaning his act up after leaving/getting kicked out of the Stones. It claims that he was killed by a builder living on the grounds of his house. Brian tried to fire him but he wouldn’t go and in the movie he accidentally kills Brian in the swimming pool, leaving Brian to drown. The guy playing Brian Jones had the hair, but that was about it. Didn’t look much like him in the face.

Now I’m watching ‘Shortbus’ by John Cameron Mitchell who made ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’. SO far it’s a charming little film, but really graphic and unashamed. All the sex you see on screen is not simulated. It’s not exploitive in any way either. A touching little film with something to say and with a lot to show. I recommend it.

Oh today is Elton John’s birthday. He is 60 years old and playing Madison Square Garden for the sixtieth time. Kudos to him.

Judy’s Turn To Cry

Shuffle-A-Rama

Natty Dread- Bob Marley and the Wailers
Really a great Bob song. I used to listen to reggae almost exclusively. Now when I listen to it, it brings back some good memories, which is also the name of a reggae mix tape that I made in the nineties. Precognition perhaps?

In the Flesh- Blondie
My sister got Debbie Harry’s autograph at an anti-NYU demonstration a few years ago. I wonder if she still has it? I enjoyed Blondie’s hits, but couldn’t say I was a big fan. Never took them seriously enough but I did appreciate their pop appeal.

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother- Rufus Wainwright
From the Zoolander soundtrack. Decent soulful cover but not one of Rufus’ best and not one of my best copies since this one skips.

Everything She Does is Magic- The Police
Another band who’s hits I’ve enjoyed but never went to see them live though I had a few opportunities. Not a big fan. And they’re going to make money hand over fist on this tour but not from me! Ha!

5:45- Gang of Four
How I sit and eat my tea, with all that blood flowing from the television? A prescient comment on media from the late seventies. I really loved Gang of Four and saw them a year or so ago on their reunion tour. It was 2005 and every concert was what seemed to be an oldies tour.

Here My Dear- Marvin Gaye
The album Marvin was ordered by the court to make and all profits were to go at his ex-wife Anna. It wasn’t well received when it originally came out, but was reappraised with favor when it was reissued on cd a few years ago. It’s definitely interesting and worth a listen.

You Inspire Me- Nick Lowe
Actually hearing this for the first time. Very much a smoky jazz type ballad from Basher. I can easily hear a few different singers do this song. I’m impressed and disappointed that I never found this sooner. I merely borrowed Chaz’ box set of Nick Lowe and uploaded it, never giving it a thorough listening. It reminds me of Moody’s Mood for Love.

Dead Finks Don’t Talk- Brian Eno
Oh Cheeky Cheeky oh naughty sneaky/You’re so perceptive and yet I wonder how you knew. From Eno’s first solo album. Really a lot of fun, clever wordplay and twisted arrangements. Still makes me smile when I hear it. Must give Here Come the Warm Jets another listen to soon. Can’t forget about the noise fest at the end.

Life Begins At 40- John Lennon
From the four disk Anthology that Harpy burned for me years ago. Just uploaded this a few weeks ago. This twangy demo sounds like it was recorded at the Dakota with a click track for accompaniment. In light of what happened later that year to John it’s even more tragic.

Confusion- New Order
This is the dub from the second disc called Substance. This is an Arthur Baker production. I saw them do this originally at the Paradise Garage. I remember the next day, going to Bleecker Bob’s and talking to my brother’s friend Frank Ballesteri about the show the night before. He had an advance copy and played it in the store. It was cool then I think.

Salt of the Earth- Rolling Stones
Last song on Beggar’s Banquet and also the song that Mick and Keith sang at the 9/11 Benefit Concert at the Garden which was the first time I ever heard it.

Dance With Me- The Drifters
From the great Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947-1974 boxed set. Somehow I bought this 75.00 collection for 20.00 through the BMG record club. I tried getting it through Arif Mardin’s office when I worked there, but I couldn’t.

Cry A While- Bob Dylan
From Love and Theft. I like this record best out of his last three. It’s the edgiest I think. Also when he started dressing like a riverboat gambler wearing John Water’s mustache.

Let It Down

Oh I so want to move to San Francisco. I just watched a segment about a book editor who is the thumb wrestling champion and he gives his winnings to 826 Valencia in San Francisco, an organization that helps children who need help with writing. Thats what I would like to do. What I actually will do is more than likely staying in Hoboken. San Francisco’s loss? Or mine? Time will tell and it wasn’t really in the plan. Just taken in by some quirky guy from San Francisco on the nightly news. It was a nice dream anyhow, wasn’t it?

Back to reality. It’s Friday, finally. Bill went right to sleep last night and I kept checking in to make sure he was breathing. I watched TV. The usual Thursday night thing. Ugly Betty, Scrubs and Andy Barker PI. No My Name is Earl and none of The Office. Betty was good, got me by surprise with Mark coming out of the closet to his mother and his mother walking away from him, totally rejecting his ‘choice of lifestyle’. The mother was a perfect bitch played by Patti LuPone. Don’t cry for her. I do like the show a lot and I am surprised at how much I like it.

Scrubs was really good too. I keep thinking it’s their last season, but no one knows anything and the show has been on or close to the chopping block so often that the producers seem to be able to do anything they want. The whole nothing to lose attitude is paying off nicely. I guess it’s up to Zach Braff and whether or not he wants to continue on television or move into movies. I don’t see why he can’t do both. And last nights episode ended in a cliffhanger with Laverne winding up in a coma.

Andy Barker PI was very funny again. I think some people (read: a lot of people) don’t get it or watch it since it’s up against Grey’s Abdomen or something like that. I do hope other people who are reading this watch the show. It’s worth a look. That Andy Richter is so lovable and it’s produced by Conan O’Brien so let that be your incentive. After that I watched ‘To Catch a Predator’ for a little while but that just not as entertaining as it usually is when I watch it with Bill and Juan.

Work was dullsville though I got an email from Renee who used to work at McMann and Tate. She was let go around the same time that I left. She’s a designer but stupid Todd Simmons didn’t know what to do with her except to string her along for a few months. I had two errands today which got me out of the office and that was fine by me. It was warmish and overcast but it was way better than sitting at the desk.

Today is my niece Meghan’s birthday. She’s 26. Happy Birthday Meghan.

Who am I kidding? She doesn’t read this.

There’s a Moon in the Sky (called the Moon)

It’s Thursday again. This is getting quite repetitive. Last night was mellow. Bill came home from his rehearsal and so out of breath I thought he was about to have an asthma attack. But he wound up sneezing close to twenty times. Non-stop. Then he went right to bed. Poor thing seems to be coming down with a cold. He becomes such a baby when he gets ill, and I snap into full worry mode. It’s expected of me by Bill since I’m a Virgo and that is what Virgos do. At least according to the astrology that he is so fond of believing.

I watched TV, waiting for Lost. I started watching Dawn of the Dead in the meantime and that was a mistake. I hate zombie movies. Not that I don’t like them but they get to me like no other type of horror movie. And these weren’t your ordinary zombies, slow and sluggish. They were fast and they ran. They were zoombies. It was scary enough but I couldn’t last past 15 minutes. I did see the ending a few months ago, and it ends badly. There is no hope and no one is going to rescue the refugees.

Lost eventually came on and it was better than I expected even though the character they focused on was the one I don’t particularly like, John Locke. I much prefer Kate. She’s hot and sexy. Possibly the hottest woman on TV. It was a good episode like I said and it ended before I knew it. Of course there were plenty of loose ends to deal with. The cliffhanger to get you back next week. I wouldn’t mind staying on the island provided there were no zoombies or zombies. Not an unreasonable fantasy demand don’t you think?

Yesterday I mentioned that Annemarie might be right about my working for another staffing agency. I needed to get out of McMann and Tate as soon as I could though. I don’t have any fond memories of that place, unlike Wanker Banker where there are plenty of good memories to look back on. I could easily see McMann and Tate being overrun by zombies and no one really noticing. The other day I was in Chelsea before the suited guys soirée and very close to where Felicia lives. I walked by it several times and her name is still on the buzzer.

I did keep an eye out for her, but she never turned up. As fucked up as she was I suppose meeting her on the street would be friendly enough. I dropped an email to Amiable Alan, since I hadn’t heard from him in a while. Just checked in to see if he was still alive and well. He responded that he was so I’ll have to take his word for it since I don’t believe zombies have the ability to type. The zombies can type and are reported to have phenomenal words per minute rankings.

And as far as Annemarie being right, she usually is. But you didn’t hear it from me.

Trout

It’s Wednesday and it’s usually the day that is the hump, but for me, it feels like I’ve been humped. And it’s not a good feeling. I suppose it all started last night, coming home after 3 Heinekens with well dressed suit and tie wearing gay men in a lounge in Chelsea. These guys were nice, no funny business or groping, just a social thing. They looked good and they in turn told me that I looked good. Yes, those compliments carried me home. Karma paid off in the way that the train appeared at the station soon after I showed up on the platform and there was a bus waiting for me at the bus terminal.

I came home to find Bill who was close to flat lining a zombie sitting in front of the TV. He had tried to sleep and got an hour or two but woke up and couldn’t get back. Now, I was buzzed when I came home and Bill remarked how good I looked. I replied, ‘I know. I’ve been hearing it all night.’ Then I proceeded to tell him about what I had done and where I had been and I wasn’t rubbing it in his face, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he took it as that. I tried to make things better by telling him that the underwear I washed for him was on the keyboards.

Being a zombie, he grunted and kissed me good night before shuffling off to bed again. I sat and wrote. Didn’t really think about how he might have taken my going out and having a good time. He does his thing and I do mine. I’m sure he envisioned the bacchanal that used to happen at the men in suits parties we used to attend and where we had met. It wasn’t. Everyone kept their clothes on and their members tucked away. I didn’t see any erections and I wasn’t looking for them either. Soon enough, I too went to sleep.

Woke up ok this morning, Bill was off and running and I did my shower and breakfast routine reveling in the glamor of it all. I finished up and started walking to the bus stop. The bus pulled up when I was across the street from the stop but couldn’t cross in time due to the unusual amount of traffic on the street. It was unusual since there is hardly any at 7:30 in the morning. The bus pulled away and I waited for the next one due a few minutes later.

I got to the office on time and started things up. Since there’s a new program on all the computers things are a bit askew. I’m supposed to know when people come in for an interview but I haven’t lately. That’s generally ok except for one applicant. She comes in and I give her the rundown, sign in here, fill out these forms, here’s where you can hang up your coat etc. She goes, Oh I’ll keep it on, I have so many things in my pockets. Whatevs.

I give her the paperwork when she goes, ‘Oh I just hate filling out forms, don’t you?’ ‘Uh, no. It doesn’t bother me.’ ‘You don’t have to be so rude.’ Rude? I said this at 3:00, I was tired, not rude. I said it in such a lackadaisical way too. I figure this chick is a nut job. I excuse myself and tell the guy she’s supposed to meet that this one is crazy. It’s one of my jobs to suss people out and this one was in the red. He met with her and after she left he goes, she was nice. Another counselor mentioned that the nut job must have been ok, she smiled at the counselor.

Oh, ok. It must be me then. I know it wasn’t me. They will send this nut out on an interview and she’ll be rude to the next receptionist. I have to get out of this place. I think Annemarie was right. Once again.

Ignoreland

Tuesday. An alright day. Nothing special. Bill was at his folks once again, his dad needing to go to some physical therapy at the Veteran’s Administration hospital once again. I just hung out at home solo, Juan at school, and watched a documentary on Eleanor Roosevelt on PBS. It was good, but not good enough to hold my attention after 11:00. I knew how it ended anyway. She seemed great and so many idiots hated her for doing the things that she did. She was no Hillary Clinton I’ll tell you, though the animosity towards Eleanor is probably on par with Hillary phobia.

No jazz in this apartment last night which of course led to some rather intense dreams. I won’t get into it, but they aren’t the relaxing type of dreaming. Usually punctuated by me sitting upright in bed saying, ‘What the fuck was that?” That happened a few times last night. I woke up at 5:00, then 5:30, then 6:00. I wasn’t distressed since I knew all I would have to do is close my eyes again and I’d be back asleep. That worked until 6:30, when I knew I really had to get out of bed and start my day. That meant making my own coffee since Bill wasn’t around to do it.

That was no problem since I have been making my own coffee since I was 10 years old. And it wasn’t Martinson’s coffee. I used Goya Espresso coffee. Rocket fuel. I’ve been using that for years ever since I lost my jumper cables. I walked up to Washington Street after doing the routine, coffee, cereal, showering. I wore my black Sean John suit since I had plans after work and I wanted to look relatively good. White French cuff shirt, silver Pierre Cardin tie. I did look good. Almost bangin’.

Work was boring once again. And no fish were biting on the resume lines I threw out the past couple of days. Everyone in the office continued wrestling with the new program that all the databases had migrated to. I hadn’t been involved with that so I just surfed the net all day which was relatively fun for the first hour, but there are only so many things you can look up in wikipedia, and reading the International Herald Tribune can wear you down sometimes. SFGate was ok too. I listened to River Deep Mountain High by Ike and Tina Turner and three Todd Rundgren songs among others.

After work I walked down to Chelsea, puffing on a Padron. I was headed to G Lounge in Chelsea. An online friend, Tim has been after me to attend a gathering of men in suits and ties, hence my wanting to look as good as possible. I wandered around Chelsea not wanting to be the first one there. I wasn’t when I walked in at 7:10. I met some guys that I had chatted with years ago and it was nice to meet them and it seemed they were glad to meet me. But after three Heinekens it was time to go after an hour. I had to come home and write this.

The company was nice but of course the music sucked. Oh that house music. How I hate it so. Now I’m home, Bill is in bed at 9:30 since he sleeps on a sofa bed and didn’t really sleep last night, but he was having difficulty sleeping tonight. I plan to go back to Tim’s gathering again. It was fun to be socializing. I have learned though that as much as I enjoy seeing a guy dressed in a suit and tie, it really doesn’t do anything for me otherwise.

Diamond In Your Mind

A ghastly Monday, just gray and cold and frozen slush and on top of all that it was a Monday. I didn’t care though. I have something to do and that something is a job. Not the best job but it’s something. The weekend was mellow enough. Hanging out with Juan is always good, and when Bill is around it’s even nicer. Not that anything special happens. Bill works on his laptop, I’m usually in front of the pc and Juan sits on his spot on the couch though I try to get Juan to check his email so I could sit on the couch. It used to work, but Juan caught on and rarely gives up the couch.

Work is a drag though. Bill was a prince and revamped my resume since I no longer have MS Word on the pc, I have open office which is so cutting edge, hardly anyone else has it. Mindy, Patron Saint of Staffing Agencies asked for my resume in bullet points and Bill was able to do all that on his laptop. He really straightened it all up and looks nice. I see so many resumes each day that though it didn’t stand out from those, it does look a lot better than it used to.

Last night Bill and I watched the end of an NCAA game, then we watched an abbreviated edition of 60 Minutes with one of the Marines who slaughtered that family in Iraq, then followed by Simon Cowell, so full of himself. Such a record executive. Thank goodness I never ran into his type when I worked in the music business. Even Clive Davis wasn’t as swollen headed as Cowell, but then again maybe Clive would be if he was on TV several nights a week, always on top of the ratings.

I watched Rome after that, Bill wound up going to sleep midway through. I called up my friend Jane who called me a few months after I called her. She’s always busy, always in the studio or on the road and she’s up in Woodstock so I hardly ever see her anymore. She called while Juan was over and I offered to call back the next day which I did, but only got her answering machine. I hope she wasn’t put off by the fact that I didn’t drop everything to chat with her like I usually do. Or Did.

I’ve also been communicating with John Bruce, another friend from the past. John and I wrote a script over a dozen years ago called ‘This is my Plus One’. I thought it went well and my feelings were confirmed when John called me up a few days later telling me that something I wrote made him cry. In a good way too. That would be great if John and I would be able to get it together and try writing something else. But he’s busy with ‘While You Were Out’ a home decorating show. He also has a design company in Brooklyn, where he lives with his boyfriend. Nice.

Space Monkey

The day after St. Patrick’s day and I don’t have a hangover. Actually really haven’t had a post ST. Pats hangover for years. It is amateur night anyhow and it hits Hoboken twice. Once is the first weekend in March, the other is the actual feast day, March 17. I will admit to being suckered into the spirit of the holiday or at least the stereotype of being Irish. I went out and bought some Guinness which I drank with Juan last night as we watched nothing in particular. Bill was home too so the three of us started at the tube.

Before they were here I did some laundry, ran some errands and got a haircut that I think makes me look like Jean Seberg as Joan of Arc in Saint Joan. I’m sure you would disagree with me, but it’s my head and my hair and my impression. I’ve got a lot at stake. I finally got around to watching For Your Consideration. I actually enjoyed it somewhat though I did think it was sad. I find that I don’t really like Christopher Guest movies. Didn’t like Best in Show much, didn’t care to see Waiting for Guffman and A Mighty Wind was a flat ok.

Maybe it’s a prejudice against a member of the British House of Lords. Just find that there is a subtle cruelty to his humor. Does he insist that certain actors camp it up and mince and lisp in every movie he makes? And I’d rather mock and belittle the powerful than to attack people who are attacked and downtrodden frequently. Like I said it was worth watching though ultimately sad, but Catherine O’Hara was great. I’ve always liked her since SCTV days in the 1970’s. Lola Heatherton and also the Brooke Shields Show with Catherine as Brooke, Rick Moranis as Brook’s mom Terry Shields and the late John Candy playing Tip O’Neill. Classic.

It was just too downbeat to watch again and I’d rather watch something else. We watched most of a repeat of SNL, then we watched an episode of I, Claudius before I remember the rebroadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing from the other night. We caught Patti Smith’s acceptance speech and Juan asked me why she looked like a homeless person. I wouldn’t say homeless myself, she’s a natural chick. No make up or anything like that. Clean shirt, black jeans and a suit jacket is Patti’s uniform for a number of years now, I just guess Juan had never really seen Patti Smith in action before.

Bill went to bed before Patti sang Rock and Roll Nigger which is more about her being outside of society in her art than about it being anything racial. Still a great song. She also sang Because the Night which was her big hit co-written with Bruce. After Patti came Van Halen, or at least two of them who could make it and they were ho hum. Finally REM closed the show. They’ve certainly came a long way from McSwells to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Keith Richards came out with everyone as they all sang Patti’s People Have the Power. The we watched the latest SNL for a while before I once again kicked Juan out of the apartment. I miss him already. He went back to school today now that his break had ended.

A Question of Degree

Well it snowed quite a bit last night. It was treacherous when I came home around 6:30 yesterday and on top of all the snow was a freezing rain making everything, including walking, dicey. I hung out and watched television last night while Bill chewed my ear off. Sometimes he’s just like child who has had way too much sugar. Last night he had a pound of sugar. The funny thing is he mentioned how tired he was and how he wanted to sleep all night. By 8:30 I was asking him if he was planning on going to sleep soon.

Around 9:15 he finally went to bed. At 9:30 I walked into the bedroom and he was out cold and snoring. I read my magazines and watched some more TV including a dvd of one of my favorite bands Wire. It was a live show on German TV Rockpalast from 1979. They used to be one of my favorite bands. I can’t say I dislike them, but I think I’ve outgrown them. They were a major influence on my music back in the day. It seemed like Wire fans were few and far between. As far as I knew, no one else in Lodi liked or even heard of Wire except for me and my brother Frank.

Frank gave me a copy of their album 154 for Christmas in 1979. I didn’t know who they were really, just that they had a couple of songs I liked, namely ‘I Am The Fly’ and ‘Dot Dash’ that I heard on WPIX FM. WPIX was a major radio station in New York that played disco, then went New Wave for about a year and a a half then went to Love songs, nothing but love songs. But for that year and a half there was suddenly a station that played new and exciting things.

That Christmas evening while itching to get away from my family I decided to go to the movies with Dave Bell a friend of mine and my brother Brian. I picked Dave up and as we headed to the theater Dave asked to pick up his friend Stan. A slight detour to Wallington and then we were off. I tape recorded some of the 154 songs and was playing it on my boom box. Stan chirped up and asked if that was Wire that I was playing. It sure was and that established a friendship with Stan that exists to this day, if only marginally.

I loved Wire enough that when they reunited after breaking up (hiatus/we can’t stand each other) that I cut short a pretty decent vacation in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1987 to take a six hour bus ride to Philadelphia. They were great and as expected they didn’t or wouldn’t (or perhaps couldn’t) play their older material. You know, the stuff that made them what they were, semi-legendary underground legends. I had the opportunity to interview them a few days later while they were in New York, playing at the Ritz as well as McSwells.

I wasn’t the gushing fan boy and they were not exactly fun or anything like that. I have the cassette somewhere but never transcribed it or really listened to it.

Slug

It’s Friday and it’s snowing out. Been like this all day. It started with a freezing rain last night. I was blue but Juan wasn’t having it and came over to keep me company. We watched Ugly Betty, then Scrubs, followed by the new Andy Richter show, Andy Barker PI which was delightfully odd and sort of like watching a David Lynch sitcom. Then we watched The Office that I had recorded while we watched Ugly Betty. The Office was great as usual and Juan disclosed it was his favorite show. I am partial to Scrubs, but Andy Richter got my vote for favorite show even though it was only the first episode.

It was nice to hang out with Juan. He makes for good company and he gets all jazzy from time to time which is also nice. Unfortunately 11:00 came rolling around and I had to kick poor Juan out into the street in the rain. He didn’t seem to mind and anyway he understood that I needed to go to sleep for work today. I soon got horizontal and fell into a deep sleep. Deep enough for me to wake up at 3:00 thinking it was actually 6:00. I even made it to the bathroom before I realized how wrong I was.

I was soon fast asleep again only to wake up a few hours later. It was the right time this time I made sure of that. All night long I heard the sleet hitting the windows and it continued with a mixture of snow. That made for a slippery walk to work today. Yesterday President Naomi was squawking about how she might not make it in today because of all the snowfall was expected throughout the day. I had hoped she wasn’t going to make it in which made going to work that much easier. I rode the bus and it eventually filled up but no one sat next to me which was very cool. These 20 somethings are so blind sometimes.

I had enough time to go to Smiler’s on Fifth Avenue and treated myself to a bacon and egg sandwich. West Indian Tony was once again happy to see me and he always asks how Bill’s acting career is going. I told him a few weeks ago about Bill working on the play in Harlem and that turned into a fiasco but Tony didn’t know that. He said he was hoping to see Bill (known as ‘your Guy’ to Tony) at the Apollo one of these days. ‘Soon enough’, I said as I walked out the door after giving Tony a pound.

I walked around the block to the office where I was surprised to find the door locked. That meant I was the first one in. And me being the first one in meant that President Naomi was not going to be in today. That was more than fine with me. I unlocked the door and turned the lights on, started the machines and made some coffee. I had absolutely nothing to do today. The snow slowed everything down and not many candidates were scheduled to come in. I surfed the net most of the day, going as far as possible without straying into adult content territory.

I found out also that if I want insurance it will cost me almost $400.00 a month. Not cool. Must do something about that.
31607-snow-bus-ride-002.jpg

31607-snow-bus-ride-003.jpg

31607-snow-bus-ride-005.jpg

3193.jpg

Piccadilly Palare

Thursday and it’s a gray day and I’m blue. Don’t know why really. Last night came home, spoke with Elaine my sister in law and she was stressed and depressed. I too am, stressed and depressed. The job is slowly driving me crazy. Today President Naomi and Wally both had some proof reading for me to do. That’s fine, it’s something I do well. But it was crunch time. I’ve been proofreading the website for about a month now, and sometimes I proof what I’ve proofed already. Today was more of the same but also somewhat different. Today they joined forces.

They both had a section that they wanted proofed with their ideas implemented. Fine. If I had some quiet time to do it it would be not much of a problem, but no, it wasn’t to be that way. I had ringing phones, Naomi had unannounced guests, and of course there were applicants. No make that candidates, to fill out papers while they waited for their counselor to interview them. So proofreading took longer than it should have because each time I was distracted I would lose my place and get more frustrated. And my frustration showed on my face.

It was afternoon when I thought I had everything figured out. I combined both of Naomi and Wally’s suggestions and printed them out, italicizing and highlighting additions and edits. They are also terrible with grammar and spelling and overly fond of the dreaded semicolon. Not like me. In 596 entries for this blog (and that count is from the ‘official’ johnozed website itself) I have never used a semicolon. That’s because the night I met Lewis Lapham, Kurt Vonnegut who spoke before Lewis made a comment about how the semicolon is overused. I made a mental note that I still consult to this day.

I sent both Naomi and Wally emails with the work I proofread attached and also printed out hard copies. Wally had no problem understanding what I had done but Naomi couldn’t grasp it. I had to print out my notes and rough drafts of the documents. Then I had to walk her through it. Apparently it wasn’t that good of an idea to merge both of their suggestions into one document. Too complicated. Well I had too many distractions and there were a couple of pages out of order. It’s been like this with Naomi a lot lately.

She would ask me to scan something and ‘advise’ which is office talk for ‘tell me when it’s ready’. She would send me various invoices for scanning & some were duplicates but I would scan everything and label them in an online folder in the company’s database. I’d put the date, the name of the invoice on the folder and she could never find it, and she gets grumpy especially when she would insist I didn’t do as she asked and I would insist that I did what was asked. From what I heard that’s a no no. I’m supposed to stand there and let her make me feel like an idiot because she can’t see what is in front of her.

I sent her all the notes and rough drafts and showed her what she wanted to see and that shut her up though I’m sure it’s going to go on my review. I’m starting to see why quite a few people just up and left this job.

Being stuck on the bus for an hour this morning didn’t help matters either.

Crocodiles

Lucy Ardizzone sat at the counter in the diner waiting for Barbara De Luca. Lucy and Barbara went back a long ways, long enough for Lucy to know that Barbara would never be on time for anything. There was always a convenient excuse, and it was usually the truth since Barbara had the worst luck known to anyone. Why Barbara picked this diner was beyond Lucy’s comprehension. She hated the Saddle Brook Diner, much preferring the Parkway diner on Route 46, where the elite meet to have a drink and catch up on old times.

Lucy was surprised to see Barbara walking through the door with Helen Rowland. Suddenly, it was like old timers week. Helen talked to the hostess while Barbara walked over to Lucy. “We’re not sitting at the counter Lucy. We’re sitting in a booth instead.” Lucy grumbled, “But I just ordered a coffee here.” “Well, tell the waitress you’ll be sitting in a booth with your friends.” Lucy never cared much for Helen and the feeling was mutual. Helen, Lucy felt, always put on airs and made Lucy feel diminished. She thought Barbara felt the same way which made her think something was up. Lucy made her way over to the booth where Helen was already seated.

“Hello Helen. How are you? It’s been a while since I last saw you. How’s Franklin Lakes?” Lucy asked. Barbara gave Lucy a look like, ‘what the hell are you talking about?’ “Hello Lucy darling. I live in Spring Lake, not Franklin Lakes, heavens no.” “Yes Lucy, we talked about that a few weeks ago. Alice Fry lives in Toms River, Mary Lynch moved from Hackensack to Franklin Lakes and Helen lives in Spring Lake, remember?” “Oh that’s right. What was I thinking?” Lucy said out loud, while silently she wanted a drink. Right then and there.

Barbara started on rehashing the gossip that floated around. “Vasicek and Paul LoPresti all got fired as well as Dave Manzo, Gary Pless and even Mary Lynch.” “I can see Vasicek and LoPresti getting fired as well as Manzo and Pless, but Mary?” Helen asked. Barbara continued, “Well, you knew they were all involved in embezzling from the company right?” Lucy interrupted, “Did you know Helen? I thought I knew what was going on but I was way off base…” Helen shot Lucy a look that basically said, ‘when aren’t you off base?’, even Barbara saw it.

Barbara continued, “so that’s why the building has been closed for the past two days. We were told not to come back to work until Monday. It’s nice though, we’re getting paid for it.” Lucy glared at Barbara, “Nice? What’s nice about it? Our friends got fired and might be facing criminal charges.” “They weren’t your friends dear,” Helen said. “They thought they were better than everyone else and they all were caught with their grubby hands in the cookie jar.” All Lucy heard was ‘they thought they were better than everyone else’ and looked back at Helen.

Just then the waitress came up and asked if they were ready to order.

I’ll Come Running

It’s Tuesday and it’s an agonizing Tuesday. It felt like a Wednesday and we sure can blame the daylight savings plan. I’m not used to it yet. I hate waking up when it’s dark out. I’m sure it’s a very small sacrifice that I can make to saving the country some energy, but I really wasn’t using that much, I swear. A big plus was the fact that it was almost 50 degrees when I left the apartment at 7:30. No winter coat needed, just me in my charcoal gray Hugo Boss pinstriped suit. I almost looked bangin’.

I do need a haircut though so that is on the list of things to do this weekend. Hopefully Tony will be free at Mr. L’s. Nothing severe, I’m letting my hair grow since the fade were looking a little militaristic and since I’m anti war, longish hair is on the menu. But it gets poofy and I think I look like Dick Shawn in ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World’. ‘I’m coming to get you Mama!’ He was very funny in that. Did you know that Dick Shawn died on stage? From wikipedia: During his final act, Shawn had been carrying on like he was a politician, saying various campaign cliches, including, “if elected, I will not lay down on the job.” He then lay face-down on the stage. And just kept lying there. The audience thought it was part of the act, but no, he was dead.

Work was tedious if only because the main computer program I have been using to do the data entry was down since everyone had been using it. That was annoying since I had a deadline to meet but there was nothing I could do. I have problems with working in such a small office. It gets cold sometimes because they open a window when it gets too hot. I sit in the middle of these fronts and usually make my situation easier by closing the door to the main room where everyone sits.

The problem is everyone goes through the door and leaves it open so I generally have to get up and close it again. Several times an hour. One person in particular can’t even close the closet door and I wind up closing that too. Another thing is, that for such a small office, communication is really messed up. Yesterday Naomi had me proofread copy for the new website. Fine, it took a little over an hour but I was done. Today, Wally forwards me Naomi’s email, and he asked me to basically do the same thing. I forwarded the necessary edits that I sent Naomi and that was the end of that.

Wally was in a joking mood today though and at one point we were talking as he was about to head outside for lunch and I forget what it was we were joking about but I told him to not be such a pussy. They finally got the program fixed and I did what I could with the data entry, even telling them that I’d be doing some entry at home tonight? I did? WTF?

The Original Wrapper

Jeezy Creezy it’s Monday. I dislike Mondays. Yesterday of course was Sunday. Nothing special about that. Nobody around to do much of anything so going out to get the bagels and newspapers was my only time outside. I didn’t do anything just watch TV and read the papers and Mojo and Uncut and I also had the New Yorker and the new Vanity Fair with the Sopranos on the cover with James Gandolfini in a nice pinstriped suit, smoking a cigar. Yes, I am that transparent. I think he’s handsome and immensely do able, he looks like he could be a goombah from Lodi.

That used to be my type, and apparently it still is. Yes, heavy set older guys nattily attired smoking cigars gets me going. Shock! Horror! He’s only a year or so older than me so he slipped by that qualification. Juan feels the same way and why not? Since we are basically the same person we do have very similar tastes in men. It’s uncanny. But I won’t go any further. Unless you want me to. I took a nap in the middle of the day for about 2 hours which I thought would’ve helped me out with the clocks and Daylight Saving but it didn’t.

Juan came over last night and we watched Rome which Juan enjoyed. He knew a little about since his roommate watches it. I gave him the back story since it coincides with I, Claudius. I think I figured out how it will end. Vorenus went off to Egypt with Mark Antony after finding out his daughter was spying on him. He feels he can’t stay in Rome any longer. Pullo however is staying in Rome. The big battle between Octavian (Augustus Caesar) and Mark Antony looms. I think both Vorenus and Pullo will reluctantly kill each other since Pullo will be fighting for Octavian. It would tie up the loose ends in a nice bow.

Bill fluttered about as Juan and I watched Battlestar Galactica. He watches that a lot more than I do. I have no idea what is going on and thought for a Sci Fi adventure series it was moving a bit slow. He tried filling me in on who was who and what they had done in previous episodes. I hate to admit it but I soon found myself reading Uncut magazine’s interview with Lou Reed about his Berlin album, which I’ve never heard. There was a nice picture of my friend Jane playing cello on stage with Lou which made it all worthwhile.

I worked with Lou Reed in the nineties and he was a jerk. Perhaps it’s true what John Cale said about Lou Reed, ‘how can someone write such beautiful songs and be such a horrible person?’ And what kind of spell does Lou Reed have on Laurie Anderson? Oh it’s a dilemma and not mine. I’m pretty sure I won’t ever work with him again and I doubt if I will see him live. I saw him a few times years ago, but lately I just don’t care what he does anymore. He has that effect on people.

Work today was stupid. The spring ahead bit caught me off guard and in the middle of the day I was starting to crash. President Naomi went home early and that re energized me somewhat. She’s been grumpy lately.

Flew A Falcon

Sunday. A very lazy day. Last night I programmed 4 talking gnomes on sale at Farfetched. They are about 5 inch dolls and you press the foot and record something then you press the chest and what you’ve just recorded plays back at a fast, Chipmunks like sound. I recorded on all four gnomes variations of ‘I’m Going to Kill you Harpy’ and ‘Die Harpy Die’ since Harpy was going to be working at the store alone. I wasn’t sure whether or not he would notice and thought I would have to call before the store opened to tell him to check them.

I did it last night before the store closed and a customer did press on the chest of the gnome and heard, ‘Harpy, I’m going to kill you and chop you up into little pieces’. The customer was surprised and a little put off and I had to reassure you that unless her name was Harpy she would have nothing to worry about if any gnomes were saying things like that. I don’t know if she got the joke since she left soon after. Jessica laughed through her scarf though. I didn’t have any need to call since Harpy did call me up laughing about the whole thing.

He told me he leaves messages for Susan and Lois but they generally go unheard. It’s their store and there’s no time for fun and games like that which is totally understandable. But Harpy laughed and I know I did good. I wound up walking to 33rd Street last night, smoking my Padron. I could have caught the Path train at 14th street but decided I wanted a seat and felt the main terminal would guarantee that. Plus it was a nice evening to stroll around and smoke a cigar. I read the New Yorker and was back in Hoboken soon enough. Bill was home already watching TV, what it was I don’t remember.

We did watch a documentary on the History Channel about Caligula. Basically it was all stuff I knew from watching and reading I, Claudius though I did forget that Caligula was dead by 28. Nasty guy. Nasty enough that Claudius who succeeded Caligula as Emperor had all statues of Caligula destroyed. I suppose it’s a testament to John Hurt’s acting that every time I think of Caligula I think of his performance from the mini series. Same goes for Claudius as portrayed by Derek Jacobi.

Tonight Juan is expected over, and I plan on watching Rome which is the early story of Augustus Caesar. I, Claudius takes place at the later years of Augustus’ life. During Rome he is still known as Octavian and Mark Antony is still alive. I’ve finally gotten into the show, which has been called by the critics as ‘I,Claudius for people who like the Sopranos’. Which definitely makes sense, bigger budget for sets and special effects, but lacks the gravitas of I, Claudius but still it’s better than a lot of other stuff out there right now.

Andy Rooney just recommended starting the draft again.

Jive Talkin’

Well today is Saturday which makes sense since yesterday was Friday. Didn’t do much last night, hung out with Juan, had a few pints, got a little jazzy. We watched Tales From the City on Logo. Juan didn’t know anything about it so I had to give him a little bit of background. I think he liked it. There really wasn’t much of anything on TV. Don’t get me wrong it was good on Logo but it was great when it was originally broadcast on PBS in the nineties. It was uncensored. Everything on Logo is censored for language and ahem, sexual situations.

Juan left after we watched Bill Maher. It was a good show but Bill Maher could be tiresome sometimes. Juan hit the nail on the head comparing Bill Maher to Ann Coulter. They are good friends and may have had a relationship a while ago. My friend Rita saw Bill Maher at Caroline’s Comedy Club in Manhattan and said that he was all smarmy showbiz and not in a good way. Juan left at midnight just as my eyelids were too heavy to keep open. So enough I was asleep in bed listening to Bill sawing wood.

I got up at 7:00 for some strange reason. Actually I just couldn’t sleep anymore. I was working at Farfetched today, They must have been in trouble since Lois and Sharon were sick and I’m usually the last one they call. Not out of any spite, just that they have workers like Jessica and Harpy. Jessica works Saturdays and Harpy works Sundays so I guess Harpy needed a day off. I didn’t mind. I enjoy working there and helping out. It’s a real social situation where I get to be the DJ though I prefer Selecter. Jessica had a cold sore and kept a scarf over her mouth most of the day.

Jessica at some point came up with the idea that Bill and I should adopt her so that we would have a biracial daughter. That would be something. It would also give Juan an older sister. I told her I’d think about it. She also wants to learn how to skateboard and asked me if I knew how. I told her I used to skateboard and that if she got a skateboard I would show her how to do it. Though it’s has been over thirty years since I had last done it, but I think it might be like riding a bike. All you need is balance and some coordination, which oddly enough I have.

According to Susan at Farfetched, I am the only person the Jessica lights up around. She doesn’t really communicate with anyone but me. It’s a nice position to be in, to be the only person she can relax around. I don’t know why I’m that guy but I’m happy to be able to do that for her. She was nice enough to buy me an ice cream after we closed the store and I walked her to her train then I walked around, smoked a Padron and headed back to Hoboken on the Path train.

As Above, So Below

Finally Friday arrives right on schedule. Actually a little later than right on schedule but I’m not going to say anything about it. Bill spent the night at his folks again since it was a Thursday. A son has got to do what a son has got to do. I just watched TV, read Mojo, an article about Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records. Ahmet was one of the talking heads at Arif Mardin’s tribute the other night. He died not too long ago after falling backstage at a Rolling Stones concert at the Beacon Theater for Bill “I signed the Defense of Marriage Act” Clinton who had somehow turned 60.

I love my Mojo and Uncut magazines. I’ve been reading them for years, really top shelf writing that maybe pitchfork media sometimes aspires to in the states. I used to read Q Magazine exclusively but I got tired fast from about Oasis month after month after month. I think the tide is turning and from what I understand Oasis albums are piling up in used record bins throughout old Blighty. I think that’s really funny. The Gallagher brothers got paid, or at least Noel did. I saw Noel Gallagher once on 48th street when I worked at Right Track. A right short bloke he is.

As luck would have it I see Noel Gallagher and a few days later a friend of mine named Gian East saw D’Angelo, another shorty on 48th street. I much rather would have liked to see D’Angelo than Mr. Old Recycled Beatle Riffs. I would also like to see Gian East again, but it’s one of those events where I introduced a friend to Bill and then never saw my friend again. I think there was no problem with me being gay, just me being gay and going out with someone. That takes being gay from the abstract and makes them think about gay sex more than most gay people do. And since they find that repulsive, they’d rather not have anything to do with me after that.

Another fair weather friend went by the name of Kevin McBean. Kevin walked into Right Track one day, totally unannounced looking for a job. He had a nice smile, quite handsome. His resume looked like it was written on tissue paper though and me, being Mr. Nice Guy took it upon myself to retype it and submit it on his behalf. Really, it was done purely out of the goodness of my heart. I knew Kevin was straight and so did Kevin. It was actually one of the few things he actually knew. That, and impregnating women.

One night, while hanging out with Kevin in a bar in midtown I was relatively walking on air due to Bill giving me a ring in front of my family and friends. I explained to Kevin my state of mind as we had a few pints and I smoked a Padron. This was before the anti smoking laws went into effect, mind you. The plan was for Kevin to hang out for a few hours but since I had just come out of the closet in such a positive manner, Kevin suddenly found an excuse to leave. He didn’t just leave the bar though, he left our friendship. He’s a good bass player but has lousy taste in bands to play with. He’s probably playing in some dive, sponging off women.

I suppose I’m better off without ‘friends’ like those two. I’m sure that I am.

Surfin’ Bird

It’s Thursday again. It’s been a hell of a week. Bill and I have been getting along fine lately, though his back is messed up and he hasn’t been to see the chiropractor yet due to the financial squeeze we both find ourselves in. Friday is when he’s planning on going. He is also in a new, different play which should be presented at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. It was written by his friend, Rome Neal who is the star of the one man show about Thelonius Monk called, Monk. Bill is making sure I will be at opening night, though with his back acting up, will he be at opening night?

Woke up as usual and did the routine and was out the door. It was a nice 27 degrees and not as windy as it’s been. I returned a book in the deposit box at the library and walked up to Washington Street where a bus just pulled up. I ran through the traffic and got midway to the door of the bus when it pulled away despite my hitting the side of the bus with my gloved hand. I know the driver heard it because he hesitated but then he kept on going.

I was pissed and because the idiot was in a rush to get to the next traffic light I was going to be a bit late for work. I caught another bus a few minutes later and sat down, pulling out ‘Claudius the King’, Robert Graves’ sequel to ‘I, Claudius’. So far it’s been about Herod Agrippa and his being raised in Rome in the palace of Augustus. Not as good a read so far but I’m sure it will get better. I walked to the office and got to work 5 minutes late. I sat at my computer and sent a complaint to NJ Transit about the douche bag bus driver. Hey, I am paying his salary and they can’t all be as dedicated to driving a bus like Bill is.

I told Bill about it and he gave me the lowdown about how to properly file a complaint with NJ Transit. Rule #1, no big words. Work was all about data entry which was a change from proofreading a website for the past two days. That was tedious because in one hand I had a pile of notes for the website designer from the past few weeks, most of them repeated suggestions and requests. Such bad grammar and punctuation. Not the designer’s fault. Mainly it was Naomi and Wally.

I did get an email from Mindy one of the headhunters I communicated with the other day. I like where I’m at now, but the money isn’t there. It sucks because I’m feeling comfortable with the people I work with and I think they’re getting comfortable with me. The job Mindy was suggesting was a better paying job but with a 7:00AM start time. Can I do that? I’m sure I could. It would be difficult at first, but I’d be missing the rush hour by an hour. I don’t go out anymore, I just stay home so it’s not like I’d be missing any sort of social life. I did express an interest though. I hate this decision making. If only there was a decider.

An interesting event on the web the past few days. I’m sure you all heard Ann ‘Why the long face’ Coulter’s fag comment about John Edwards. One of the other conservative speakers was a Cpl. Matt Sanchez who is a 38 year old Columbia student who says he was verbally assaulted by the International Socialist student group. This made him the darling of Bill O’Reilly, with Sanchez receiving an award named for Jeanne Kirkpatrick. It turns out that in a Jeff Gannon-esque way, Cpl. Matt Sanchez is a gay porn actor.

Here’s a link about it. cut n’ paste time
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2007/03/jeff-gannon-redux.html

here’s a more sexplicit link
http://tombacchus.blogspot.com/2007/03/dirty-sanchez.html

and for good measure, here’s Pierre LaBranche…I mean Rod Majors…I mean USMC Cpl. Matt Sanchez’s blog.
http://mattsanchez.blogspot.com/

see? I can be fair and balanced. Give me a job at Fox. I’m better looking than Alan Colmes.

Anticipation

Wednesday, the humpiest day of them all. A late entry last night, over 1000 words, took a lot out of me, but I was more exhausted from the cold and Arif Mardin’s memorial. It was a great tribute to Arif. I sat there watching the tribute, listening to his family, the speakers, the video clips and noticed that I had come this far to be sitting in a theater at Lincoln Center surrounded by various executives, producers and musicians and how I’m just not involved with that world anymore. I had some good times while working in the music business but overall it sucked.

I remember when I was working at Arista Records outside of Susanne Savage’s office and I looked around thinking that that was the place where I always wanted to be, not necessarily outside of Susanne Savage’s office, but in ‘the biz’ and that’s when I had the epiphany. This was a horrible place to work, filled with horrible people promoting crappy records. I was only freelance so I had no strong ties to anything and the job was going to be ending soon enough. A very similar epiphany happened last night and carried over into today.

It’s just that I’m not involved in the music business anymore and don’t really have any contacts in that business anymore. No more free cd’s, no free tickets, that’s all gone. I’m fine with it. I’ve been getting my music lately online, sometimes legally, sometimes not. Juan has been doing a wonderful job of turning me onto new things, things I would have sneered at previously. Things like Justin Timberlake. I downloaded three of his songs, more surprised than anything that these songs were actually quite good. I remember Steve Fallon back in the day, telling me I was born 10 years too late, how I would’ve done great in the music business in the 1970’s.

I’d also probably would’ve been dead by now if that was the case. Drugs, Aids, something would’ve killed me. I’m glad to be in the time that I’m in, despite various difficulties. These are the good old days sang Carly Simon. She was at the tribute last night by the way. Last night I ran into Donna Kloepfer and Barry BonGiovi at the tribute. Donna, who’s been working in the recording studio world for quite a while, over ten years is itching to get out. Barry is already out of the business, I think he said he was selling cars in Central Jersey. I guess his cousin Jon couldn’t help him out. Or maybe he did and Barry politely declined.

Gloria, Arif’s former assistant is out of the business also having reached the heights of Vice President at Atlantic Records. Both worlds collided this afternoon when Corey Williams, a dear friend who married his wife Ann Marie on September 12 stopped by. I knew Corey from when I worked at Right Track, then worked alongside him at Arista. Now that Arista has folded he’s now at Atlantic and he too is looking to get out. He stopped by the office after I received his resume and he interviewed with Naomi (who certainly has a wild hair up her butt lately).

We talked a little bit, a few jokes from the past. I think it was the first time the people I work with ever heard me laugh like that. I hope Golden Staffing could help him, but in the meantime it wouldn’t hurt him to cast a wider net. One of these days, I’ll write down all the artists I worked with through the years. One of these days.

I found this on the net regarding Arif Mardin’s tribute last night.
“I feel like we’re one step closer to the end of an era,” Phil Collins said last night at the star-studded Lincoln Center memorial service for famed record producer Arif Mardin . “I liked that era, and I don’t want it to be over.” But it is, isn’t it?