Monthly Archives: May 2007

What’s The New Mary Jane?

Thor’s Day. God of Thunder. Had a chariot driven by a goat, or maybe goats. Son of Odin, half brother of Loki, married to Sif (at least in Marvel Comics), and has a hammer that he uses as a weapon that magically comes back to him after he throws it at evil doers. When I was growing up we used to play superheroes and someone would play Thor and throw a sledge hammer around. It was way too heavy to go too far and actually hurt anyone but we were young and quite immortal at that time in our lives.

I grew up across the street from an asphalt playground that had six swings, three seesaws and two basketball hoops. We would play punch ball or kick ball, occasionally something involving a basketball, usually Horse or Around the World, very rarely playing an actual game of one on one or two on two or whatever combinations thereof. That was what the older kids would play. At night we would play hide and seek in someone’s yard or manhunt which was all over the neighborhood in everyone’s yards. WABC was always playing on someone’s transistor radio. There were a bunch of us that always hung around each other.

Scott Williams, Kathy Grant, Christine Kincaid, Susan Lucas, David Plauchino, occasionally joined by George Moncho or Michael DeBraun (who was a difficult kid sometimes). Christine and Susan had swimming pools which made them very popular during the summer months. This was all going on pre-puberty for us. Nothing can really compare to the eternal summer nights of childhood. I was the oldest of our group and Scott Williams was the youngest. We were a group of good kids that rarely if ever got into trouble. And I did write rarely. That meant no cop cars ever brought us home to our parents.

Came close once or twice. Scott, David and I used to go shoplifting at Two Guys frequently. They would steal dog chains, I would steal blank cassettes. They didn’t get caught, but I did. One day while shoplifting solo, I got popped with a cassette in my pocket. I was leaving Two Guys department store when I heard “Excuse me sir.” I knew I was collared. The pock marked store detective brought me into a room in the basement where I was browbeaten into signing a confession dictated by the store dick.

I of course folded under pressure and did whatever he asked while torrents of tears streamed down my face when he threatened to call my parents. I begged him not to while he made me promise to pay the 2.99 back to the store the next day. He also tried to ban me from the store, but I pleaded with him, saying that I go here all the time with my family, so he compromised and said I couldn’t go there unescorted without my parents. That seemed reasonable but didn’t last long. I never shoplifted again, and for years afterwards I would feel paranoid in different stores, thinking that I was being watched and followed by store detectives.

I don’t know why that part of my life popped in, but you never know where you’ll wind up sometimes.

Sleeping Gas

Wednesday which is weird since Monday was a holiday and yesterday felt just like a Monday, so there is this discombobulation with this time frame. Last night Juan came over and hung out with Bill and myself, watching one of the Beatles dvd’s from the Anthology. Found out my niece Cory has an infected tonsil. Annemarie called me with that news. As if they didn’t have enough to worry about in Garfield. Jeezy Creezy. Bill crashed and I kicked Juan out around 11:30. Slept badly last night though I woke up relatively rested. Could have used another hour or two. Bill was up and ready to go. I showered, shaved and had some cereal and sure enough I too, was out the door headed to the bus stop. Got on the bus and read the New Yorker. I finished listening to Juan’s cd and it’s definitely one of his best. Next in the queue was Bob Marley and the Wailers, Kaya which sounded great as I walked through Bryant Park.

Got to work on time. Everything ho hum, samo samo which is more than fine by me. No need for any stress in my life. Got enough, thank you very much. I did have an errand to go to Chinatown to find out what exactly the printer is doing to our stationery. I couldn’t understand them over the phone on Tuesday so I thought it best to go down and see for myself before giving my approval. They had very thick accents and after I re-explained what my company wanted done I was glad I went down there and talked to the face to face. The work will still have to be double checked because from what I heard they’re notorious for making spelling erros. That is next weeks plan.

I was in at 8:00 and out by 3:00. I walked across town and caught an express bus to Hackensack, filled with Bergen county commuters. They all fell asleep as soon as the bus hit the road and I too nodded off for a spell. Must be the oneirogenic fumes. I got off a block too soon for some reason, perhaps groggy from the bus and had to walk to the top of the hill as the bus drove up. I got to the hospital and saw Elaine and Frank in the hallway. They both were glad to see me and Frank patted me on the back and Elaine gave me a big hug.

We walked back to the room, I gave Frank, Revolution in the Head by Ian McDonald. It’s all about every Beatles recording session and who played what on it, what they were thinking etc. It’s a fun read especially if you’re a Beatlemaniac and you’re actually listening to the songs as you’re reading about. I knew he would enjoy that. I also got him a few more British music magazines, and a very funny article from the Onion http://www.theonion.com/content/node/62177, and an article by co-founder of Spy magazine, Kurt Andersen about being with Phil Spector. The three of us just sat and talked as if we were in the kitchen in a garden apartment on Main Street in Lodi NJ. That’s how cozy it was. Frank is still having difficulty speaking and sometimes it seems like we’re playing charades, with Elaine and myself trying to guess the second word, and how many syllables was it?

Elaine had to go around 6:00 and Frank and I talked about our mother and father and Brian and Annemarie and about how I didn’t go to college yet seemed to have turned out alright though there was the insinuation that there’s something missing in my life because I didn’t pursue a higher education, but that could be me being a touch sensitive. Juan was nice enough to come up to Hackensack and drive me back. He’s here now writing out his resume and I’m giving him terrible advice on how to write a resume.

One More Time

It’s back to work again. I didn’t mind though things got better for me yesterday with Julio and Stine and Juan. Julio who knows me well enough for the past 20 or so years, knew what he had to do. He and Stine had me over for burgers last night for diner and I hung out with them for a few hours, talking about how Frank is, how I am, and how Julio dealt with his father’s passing a few years ago. It was a good talk for me and I guess for Julio. Julio also hit the nail on the head, which was the fact that I was feeling so badly about Frank because of the guilt of having my meltdown at the Arcade Fire show.

That was true and I also heard the same thing from Juan who didn’t exactly know how to broach the subject. Of course, Julio has 20 years of dealing with me under his belt (same with Pedro, they both worry about me and know that something is up when they speak to me on the phone), so Julio can come right out and say it. Juan was a little more cautious which is understandable. Juan made me a cd of songs that he knew I would like or at least be interested in and he was right on the money with that. Don’t know if there’s any messages in what he burned for me but it definitely sounds great on the iPod walking to and from work.

Bill was at his folks last night because his father had an MRI to be performed at the VA hospital. So that meant I was sleeping alone after Juan split. I slept really well despite waking up at 4:00. That was no problem as I went right back to sleep, awaking once again before the alarm clock. I did eventually get out of bed, showered, shaved and had some cereal and was out the door, headed to the bus. Got into the city in no time, and I listened to the Black Keys singing She Said, She Said which is an admirable cover and despite what Juan says, is not better than the Fabs version, and I’m sure he knows that deep down.

Got to work after listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs as I took a short cut through Grand Central Station. It provided a great soundtrack to the visual of the morning hustle and bustle of commuters going to their offices. Almost as good as that scene in the Fisher King, though I really couldn’t tell you what role I would have played, but I’m sure I would have been dancing. Everyone at work caught up with what they did over the weekend and then they asked me how Frank was doing. I told them what I knew without giving too much away, don’t want to turn into Debbie Downer. After that, the day ended fast enough and I walked to the bus terminal, smoking a Padron 5000 and listening to Coco Rosie which is another track from the cd and so far, my favorite.

Check This Out
cut and paste
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/5/28/123944/992

The War Prayer by Mark Twain

from jockohomo
War Prayer Face of the Dead
May 28th, 2007 | Category: warriors, usmc, war

Compelling animated video of Mark Twain’s War Prayer posted on The Grist. The short story is a scathing indictment of war, and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war. A Wikipedia entry notes “The piece was left unpublished by Mark Twain at his death, largely due to pressure from his family, who feared that the story would be considered sacrilegious. Twain’s publisher and other friends also discouraged him from publishing it. Twain instructed for it to be published after his death, however, and is said to have quipped ‘I don’t think the prayer will be published in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.’

Not that anyone is ALLOWED to put a face on the dead siting the military’s coercive and unworkable 11(a) of IAW Change 3, DoD Directive 5122.5: “Names, video, identifiable written/oral descriptions or identifiable photographs of wounded service members will not be released without the service member’s prior written consent.” This means that memorials for those courageous that have lost their lives in Iraq can no longer be shown, even when the unit in question invites coverage.

Photograph

It’s hot out. I just walked up to Washington Street after blowing off Julio and Stine for a bike ride. Not that I didn’t want to go, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to go with them. Something about being a third wheel, and Bill doesn’t have a bike and even if he did, odds are he wouldn’t be riding it. I certainly didn’t want to go to dismal Liberty State Park, amongst the trash and garbage dumps. Just a drag really. I am still thinking about going riding, perhaps into the city, but having to deal with the crowds that accumulate at 42nd Street for Fleet Week is something I don’t want to do. Just read an article in todays Times Online about strokes. Scary stuff indeed.

Bill and I aren’t speaking for some reason. No bad feelings I think. Makes me uncomfortable. Let’s see, uncomfortable riding bikes with Julio and Stine, uncomfortable at home with Bill. I think about the only place I actually feel comfortable is visiting Frank in the hospital. That’s not a good frame of mind to be in. All in all, a really crappy Memorial Day weekend which is making me look forward to going to work tomorrow. I know I don’t feel uncomfortable there. It’s something to do and keeps me out of trouble most of the time.

A nice breeze wafts in through the open window to my left. No breezes on the street, only through 5th floor open windows. Maybe I did do the right thing by staying at home. To add to the general weirdness at home, Bill is in the next room doing vocal exercises which consist of just sounds, not words running up and down scales. Doesn’t really qualify as conversation, which is just as well since I’m not really looking for any, anyhow. Just feel adrift from most of the people around me lately. Wish I could tell you why, but I really don’t know.

Yesterday it was from not eating which creates some ogre type feelings in me. After I ate I felt better but no one was really around to notice. I did enjoy sitting on the pier and reading yesterday, listening to Rufus Wainwright. Now I’m doing some laundry, because it’s something to do. Pathetic, isn’t it? A situation of my own doing, so I really can’t complain. I’m listening to old Scritti Politti. Only 25 years old actually.

The plan now is to go to the river after the laundry is done. Also writing this blog hours earlier than I usually do. I’m definitely seeing more into the non communication between me and Bill than there actually is. No motive on his part, just doesn’t have much to say, which in his case is strange because he’s always talking. Just not now. Recharging his batteries perhaps.

I watched Pan’s Labyrinth, which was good, but I wasn’t as knocked out as I thought I would have been. Once again the hype overpowered the actual viewing for me. I’d watch it again but I threw it in the mail already. Now I have Babel left and I’m sure that’s the laugh riot, feel good picture of the year. I’m moving to Stars Hollow.

New York Times link
Cut and paste

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/28/health/28stroke.html?ei=5070&en=6ac5c6d6c3326922&ex=1181016000&pagewanted=all

Going To A Town

It’s Sunday and it’s hot. Not as hot as yesterday when all I could do is lay around the apartment. I tried to get Juan interested in driving to the mall, just to get out of the house but he wanted to wait a few hours and in those few hours I napped and lost all drive to go anywhere really. I’m sure he was disappointed but thats what happens. I originally suggested the Garden State Plaza, but changed my mind due to the fact that I would be near Hackensack Hospital and couldn’t see myself going up there without stopping by, and it would be rude to introduce Frank to Juan at this point in Frank’s life and it would be rude to ask Juan to sit in the car while I would run up to see Frank, if only for a minute. So that settled that and I wound up going nowhere.

Juan was able to squeeze in a visit before he headed out to a party and Bill came home about ten minutes after Juan left. We watched a Fawlty Towers documentary for a little while before Bill shuffled off to bed and once again I was solo. I was thinking that Julio and Stine would have me by to celebrate Stine’s birthday but that didn’t happen.

I watched something on cable TV about the Star Wars 30th Anniversary convention somewhere in California. Lot’s of adults dressing up like characters, both minor and major from the six Star Wars movies. I could only take so much of that and soon enough I too was in bed sleeping underneath two fans.

Woke up around 7:00AM, after Bill got up first. He was in the shower and I absentmindedly made some coffee for myself. It was hot already as he got ready to go to his church and I tried to figure out what to do with my day. I checked emails, got one from Martha Keavney (hello Martha) who expressed sympathy about Frank’s situation. That was nice. Also heard from Pedro who was of course, worried about how I was dealing with it. He didn’t know when he called and wondered why he hadn’t heard from me, thats when I told him and thats when he became concerned.

I decided to take a bus to Union City and then catch a bus to Hackensack. It was sunny and it was hot as I sat there waiting. I didn’t mind. I was playing the Beatles and that made the world a little bit sweeter for me. I regretted not bringing a book about the Beatles sessions for Frank. It’s concise and well written and I know he’d like it. His wife took the iPod mini home so it wouldn’t be stolen but it would be cool to listen to the music and read about how it was created in the studio.

Frank is definitely speaking better and today his fever was gone. There is still the cardiologist/thoracic surgeon tussle which is a whole ‘nother ball of wax. But he’s walking without difficulty, albeit slower than usual. I told him how lucky he was, since various friends have found out about Frank’s stroke, they’ve been telling me about this friend or that family member who had several strokes, or one massive stroke that involved major brain surgery. Elaine agreed that he’s dodged a bullet. I was there for a couple of hours, headed back on the 163 to Union City. Got off at the Post Office and walked down Palisades Avenue to 17th Street where I walked down the viaduct into Hoboken.

Low blood sugar caused some blues and I wasn’t expecting Bill to be home so early but there he was which for me, was disconcerting. I wanted to be alone and he was here. He put Frank in his church’s prayers which was incredibly nice. Here he is doing something like that (yes, I’m still an atheist) and I just wanted to be alone. I ate, he napped, then I walked out to the river and sat on a bench reading and listening to Rufus Wainwright’s Release the Stars, which I’m still not really feeling oddly enough. Maybe it’s just not odd enough. I do have to burn a copy for Annemarie though. Maybe she’ll get me into it.

Here’s some pics.

my faithful companion
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waiting for a bus
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Three views from Frank’s room
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The view from Union City
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Pocketbook

Shuffle shuffle

Children’s Story – Slick Rick
I actually first heard the beat on a 12” single by Capelton, a dancehall reggae singer. Then I heard Tricky’s remake. This is the best version. I’ve always liked the way Slick Rick raps, with that British accent he truly stands out.

Bang This In The Club – Girl Talk
Juan was right. His first cd isn’t as good as the second one, Night Ripper. This is from Unstoppable. It’s ok but like Juan said….

Float On- Modest Mouse
This is from a Mojo compilation selected by U2. This is from the album of the same name, released in 2004. Johnny Marr formerly of the Smiths is now in the band. It’s actually a pretty good song which I would have never heard if it wasn’t for the shuffle and U2, those bastards.

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
One of their best known songs and hardly representative of what they really sounded like. This was a minor hit from 1977, but this is a version from their live album, The Name of This Band is Talking Heads, (1980-1981), which is when I saw them at the Wollman Rink in Central Park, August 1980 with my brother Frank.

Brooklyn- Mos Def
Another great rapper and a good actor as well. I bought this just for the cover, which is a deep photograph of his face, and it’s a handsome face, very unique. And his literate lyrics are cool too. A shout out to his borough.

Let’s Get Down – Toni Tone Tony
I love Raphael Saadiq’s voice and he definitely has a great stage presence. I saw him in Lucy Pearl at Irving Plaza about 6 years ago, he was all smiles. Currently rumored to be a part of a gay circle of friends, including Kanye West and John Legend, but of course that could just be jealousy on someone’s part, not that it would be a bad thing. On the contrary, it would be great if they were.

No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley and the Wailers
Another world famous anthem from Bob. Never tire of hearing this one, but then again I don’t hear it as often as I used to. Also probably one of Bob’s most covered songs.

Pass the Pusheng Teng – Frankie Paul
A classic reggae song from the collection, The Story of Jamaican Music. I was with Julio trying to buy the boxed set only to find the last one snapped up by Richard Gere who was in front of us online at Tower Records.

House of the Rising Sun -Bob Dylan
The other Bob, from his first or second album. You can imagine Alan Price of the Animals figuring it out on his keyboard. I prefer the Animals version, not meant as a dis to Bob.

Romantic Rights- Death From Above 1979
Finally, something contemporary, from this century, courtesy of Juan. Heavy guitars and a great drummer. They probably are great live, very powerful.

That’s it shuffle wise. Today was very hot, I just stayed indoors and took a nice nap. I tried watching the Prestige, but it couldn’t hold my attention and didn’t really care much for the characters. Let me put it this way, when David Bowie appears as Nikolai Tesla, I pulled out my acoustic guitar and did a search for Bowie songs to play. Not a good sign when you’re watching a movie.

Staying Alive

Friday. Took the day off. Last night hung out with Bill and Juan again, and we watched Four Brothers, by John Singleton. Just about everything about the movie was a film cliché. Easy to figure out who was going to get killed. It was the youngest brother. The gay one. Might as well have been wearing a red shirt ala Star Trek. It was ok though I only wanted to watch a little bit before something else, but Bill came home then Juan came over and they were both more into it than I was. Juan was good to say snarky comments with.

Then we watched a repeat of the Office, the Beach episode. Very good, followed by Scrubs, and you know how I feel about Scrubs. I was tired before Bill cam home and Juan came over, but a few glasses of California Chardonnay took care of that. Bill went to sleep a little before 11:00 and Juan left at 11:30. I had a good night’s sleep, thanks to the wine. Woke up at 6:00, without an alarm clock which sucked since I had the day off, but wound up going back to sleep after Bill kissed me good bye and he went off to work.

I showered, made some coffee and soon I was headed to Washington Street to get a bagel and the papers. The sun was damn hot at 8:30 and I could feel my skin being seared. Got a cinnamon raisin bagel and got the News and the Post and headed home. I decided to go to Radio Shack to get a small cheap speaker for mu iPod, thinking that it would be good for brother Frank to hear some music that he’s familiar with. After doing that it was all about standing in the heat watching every bus but mine go by.

I called up Bill and once again vented my frustration at NJ Transit. He listened and admirably played the role of customer service which was actually better than the real thing. He listened and looked up various other schedules, but the bus I needed pulled up. Luckily for me the driver was nice and dropped me off a block earlier which enable me to walk up the hill to Weehawken just as the 163 to Hackensack was pulling up. That’s karma in action I guess. The Karma Bank. Where it pays to be good.

I got to the hospital and Frank was sleeping in bed. That was fine, I just sit there and read the paper for a few minutes when he woke up. He was looking better than Monday for sure. I hooked up the tiny speaker and played an instrumental version of Darlin’ by the Beach Boys which through him for a second, but I think he enjoyed it since it was the first time in days that he actually heard some music. I enjoyed being the DJ for my brother. I’m glad I downloaded that song by Royksopp, Remind Me. It turns out he likes it and didn’t know that I had burned it for him on one of the discs I sent him last week.

90 degrees today.

Senses Working Overtime

A long Thursday is at it’s end. I only worked two and a half days this week, but it feels longer. Pretty tired though that may be from the wine and champagne I had at work to congratulate Carla the receptionist’s graduation from the Fashion Institute of Technology. That was my idea, a little get together before the holiday weekend and alcohol is always a good reason for people to gather and celebrate. I ran around midtown in 90 degree heat, but it was ok, lot’s of eye candy out today and by eye candy I mean men in suits.

I was somewhat busy throughout the day, since I wanted to leave as few loose ends as possible, since I had taken Friday off. A holiday weekend, made into a four day weekend. I corresponded via email with Elaine who told me that brother Frank was going to need an angiogram and possibly a heart operation. Let’s hope we don’t have to go down that route, but he might have an infected valve which may need to be replaced. The cardiologist is supposed to be top notch so that is a definite plus. The plan is to go out to the hospital tomorrow and spend some more time with Frank. I even printed out what happened on the last episode of 24 so I could read it to him if he’d like.

I’m thinking about bringing some speakers for my iPod so I could play some music for him. Of course it would be Frank’s choice, like it’s been for all of my life, but I certainly don’t mind. At this point if I had anything he needed I would give it to him. Even a kidney. I say that knowing that he wouldn’t need it anyhow. I am presently knocking on wood. A superstitious atheist, that’s me.

No blind people to escort around midtown at rush hour so I just strolled around on my own, feeling good from the wine, smoking a Padron. Walked through a very crowded Bryant Park, getting stares and returning those stares. Had to check to see if my zipper was open, or if I had snot hanging from my nose. I purposefully ignored the Kick Me post it on my back. It was a good cigar and a good walk, though I think I may have walked too fast since when I stopped, I sweated up a storm.

I sat on an a crowded bus, overheated with the air conditioning next to a guy who was out of it. Not nodding out narcotics-wise, but nodding out due to the heat. I felt radioactive sitting there, it was that hot. I got off the bus on Willow where I ran into an old friend. Actually Rita’s friend, Karen Bunny. With her son. She mouthed something to me but I couldn’t understand then, when I got home I figured out, she was saying that Alexi is adopted. That’s nice. He looked like a good handsome lad in his Beatles t-shirt, which is what drew my attention in the first place.

Now I’m home, hanging out, Bill’s here, Juan is on his way and I am just tired. Glad to have off tomorrow, that’s for sure. These two and half day work weeks are murder.

Lost was very good last night by the way. Good season finale.

Acid Bird

I went back to work today. It was a busy day and I was able to get some work done but a lot of the time I had to explain how well brother Frank was doing. I told the truth of course. They seemed genuinely concerned and willing to tell me stories of their hardships with various family members and friends. Misery loves company I guess and this was a way to identify with what me and my family are going through. Even spoke to Kathe about what’s happening. She’s concerned, she’s not that far off from Frank’s age. Same with Charlie her husband.

Bill ran into Roda on the street and told him. Roda phoned me up a little while later, telling me that he’s going to put out good thoughts and prayers, same as Connie. I noticed that initially when I went to the hospital on Monday with Bill, I felt like I was in a dream. This was so unexpected, it knocked me out. As time went on and we left the hospital I realized that it wasn’t a dream at all, that this was real life and real life can fuck you up at any time.

At various points throughout the day I wanted to call Frank at work. We usually speak on different days, usually catching up like, ‘did you see the Office last night?’ but of course I couldn’t call. And the phone in his room isn’t hooked up which is just as well since he is still having difficulty speaking. I spoke with Elaine today and she told me that Frank saw a neurologist and she said that he was definitely making progress. Which makes the good news, official good news. We just need to get him strong enough to be able to walk down the aisle with his daughter Meghan when she gets married on June 30th.

Before lunch, I had the worthless blues, though I know I’m not worthless. Definitely a low blood sugar thing going on. It took a while for me to get focused on the work I had to do, but was able to get things done after I had my salad. I ate grapes throughout the day though but I guess they didn’t sustain me well enough until lunch. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for a little over a month, but I have been and everyone seems happy with my job performance. Everyone but me I guess.

I left work a little after 5:00, had a Padron 5000 natural and strolled down Third Avenue to 42nd street. At the corner of Third and 42nd I saw a blind guy struggling to get down the street in the sea of commuters. I walked over to him and asked if he needed help. He asked me which was I was going and I said west. He then took my arm and we walked down 42nd street to Madison Avenue. People weren’t getting out of his way when he was alone, no one offered to help him so I did, telling people, ‘excuse me’ as we crawled past.

I asked him where he was going and he said the Verizon store at 43rd and Madison. He didn’t mind the cigar and I didn’t mind going out of my way. I got him there faster than he would have on his own and deposited him in the doorway of the store. Then I walked through Bryant Park enjoying my cigar. As I approached the bus terminal I saw a guy shorter than me. Matt Illuzzi from McMann and Tate. He was the office controller and probably still is. I was two feet behind him but he as usual had his head up his ass so he didn’t see me. I had nothing to say to him so I just went on my way to my bus as he went on his way to his bus to North Bergen.

We

Tuesday. Last night I watched Heroes with Bill and Juan. Very good episode and ended with a true cliffhanger, Hiro time traveled back to 1600’s Japan. But as I watched it I watched it from a distance, obviously with the state that brother Frank is in, my mind was preoccupied with thoughts of him. Juan made for good company and before he left, after Bill went to sleep I told him about how I was feeling about all this. I hope it wasn’t too much for him to handle, but it’s a fact of life for me. I’m sure he could deal with it and I am grateful for his support.

Bill too has been a constant presence by my side as well as Julio. Both of them have gone through strokes in regards to their parents and both sides came out fine eventually. Julio is definitely very good with doing medical research whereas to me it’s all Latin. E pluberis this, veni vidi vici that. He is a Spaniard so maybe that plays into it, the Latin that is. No he’s actually very good and supportive and definitely tries to show light where I see only darkness.

And both Bill’s father and his Aunt had mild strokes and are around today to tell their tales. So that’s reassuring. As the night progressed and we watched Law and Order, I decided to take my company’s advice and take today off. Once again, a plan that was made has been altered. Yesterday was leaving work at a certain time and meeting Bill and taking the bus which totally changed, today was spending a good part of the day at the hospital, perhaps allowing Elaine to have some time for herself, or to do whatever it was she might need to do.

I hung out with Frank and Elaine, Frank’s progress was impressive, speaking clearer and able to finish sentences somewhat. And they both looked better. Elaine got some well deserved sleep though interrupted by a car alarm. Their daughter Meghan and her fiancé Rob showed up for a little while, then they ran off to get their marriage license. Elaine and I accompanied Frank to his physical therapy where Frank complained about his calves hurting. That could’ve been because he has been in bed the past week, but the therapist was wary of possible clotting so they put an end to that and sent Frank back to his room.

Frank had some cold chicken broth and urine colored Jello and closed his eyes for a bit so Elaine and I went to the Arena Diner by Hackensack University Medical Center. We sat and talked about things, how her father is 85 and how we never expected this to happen to Frank at 55. You never can tell actually. The theory now is that some dental work that Frank had done might have created an infection that traveled to his heart, then some broke off and went to his brain. They are still monitoring his heart but as of now, there’s no need to go in and check that out.

Before we left for the diner Frank was saying something like how bad he felt for treating me badly in the past, like I noticed or cared, and that he was glad I was around to help out. My plan now is to go back on Friday since I’m taking that day off, maybe enjoy a four day weekend, maybe go to Garfield and help Elaine around the house, though she said she was going to wait and see about that, having scraped the front porch of paint to tidy up for Meghan’s wedding next month.

I spoke to my dear friend Connie about this. She found out from the grapevine. I spoke to Kathe, who spoke to Charlie who called Connie. Connie used to work in nuclear medicine so she knows a bit about strokes and other brain ailments. She mentioned that someone should tell the therapists so they might push Frank a little harder so he would be able to walk down the aisle with his daughter on her wedding day. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Here’s some pics from the past few days.

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Jane Street
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(Untitled)

Well it’s been a rather strange 24 hours. Actually it’s been a weekend like that. It started out with a drizzly rainy Saturday, just hanging out doing laundry. I was looking forward to just chilling out all weekend but on Friday Bill asked me if I was interested in having Chinese food on Saturday. His friend Tom whom we had jammed with several months ago, had written a script that had a big part written for Bill in it. We were supposed to meet on Canal Street at 4:30 to have dinner with Tom and Carmen at 5:00 at a restaurant in Chinatown.

We stood outside in the cold and damp until 5:30. Tom wasn’t answering his cellphone and the reservation we had to make in person had come and gone while people were lining up on the sidewalk outside. It must be a good restaurant for Chinese food (Joe’s Shanghai on Pell Street). Even if Tom and Carmen had shown up at 5:30 there would be an hour wait for a table and since Bill and I hadn’t eaten, it really wasn’t an option. I was getting tired, and hungry and a little bit in discomfort since my back was bothering me a bit and standing in the dampness wasn’t doing much in my favor.

Bill and I started walking up the Bowery looking for Peking Duck, a restaurant Bill had eaten at years ago. From out of nowhere Bill gets a tap on his shoulder. It’s Tom. Stuck on the 6 train, left cell phone at home, blah blah blah. We found where Peking Duck used to be, it’s now a tourist trap called Dim Sum with a logo on the window that looked suspiciously like RUN DMC’s logo. It may have been done on purpose like that, probably some hip hop graphic designer sold them on the idea.

We ate a lackluster meal. For me, once the food gets cool it’s not savory anymore. How can a chicken and broccoli platter turn so foul? Halfway through the meal it did for me, foul fowl. After that Tom, Bill and I walked to the subway where Tom took his chances with the 6 train headed back uptown. Bill and I rode the N train to Times Square and came back to Hoboken to chill out. We watched Zach Braff on SNL which was very funny, though no Scrubs routines.

Sunday was beautiful at least it started out that way. I woke up and got bagels after Bill went to church. Walked around Hoboken a bit, hung out on Pier A. Nobody really around to hang out with though. I cam home and watched Little Children. After that I was all set to watch the Prestige when my brother Brian called to tell me that our brother Frank had a stroke. Fuck. I told Brian to call Annemarie with the information that he had since I am absolutely no good with that sort of news. I need to write those things down rather than going by what I heard.

As time passed from the phone call I started feeling, I started feeling apart from myself. Just watching things, going through the motions. I spoke with Annemarie later in the night about what happened. She was distressed as was I, and I was probably no good to her. I didn’t know what to say or think, I could only try to be supportive. I do wish she was in NJ rather than California and I’m sure she feels the same, especially in times like these.

I went to work today, Greg Stevens asked me how my weekend was and I told him about Frank. Greg was great and told me I could go if I needed to and take all the time I needed. I mentioned that when my parents were alive I spent so much time worrying about when they were going to die, and now they’re gone I am keeping an eye on my siblings and their families, as well as Bill and his parents. I planned to leave work at 4:00 but then decided on 3:00. At 12:45 Vivek asked me what I was still doing there, that I should go and don’t worry about running the office. I left at 1:00.

Bill was coming out to Hackensack with me, but he was getting out at 3:30 and I didn’t feel like waiting ninety minutes so I came back to Hoboken, changed my clothes and caught a train to Hackensack, Bill was taking the bus and we were meeting at the hospital. We met up and walked in, saw Elaine who looked like she needed a good night’s sleep. Frank looked that way too. He’s having difficulty speaking, finishing sentences. He’s going to need a lot of rehab. Having written that just brought it all home once again. It’s a lot of therapy we’re looking at.

No Bulbs

Friday is here and it’s cold and damp. Earlier this week it was in the 80’s, now we’re in the 50’s. Brother Frank has been waylaid by a virus and we wish him a most speedy recovery. Last night was a great TV night too. Unfortunately Bill had wanted to record the Bob Barker farewell on CBS but it never took which was disappointing to him, I was too wrapped up in the finale of Ugly Betty and the Office, both of which were somehow recorded in lieu of Bob Barker. Hopefully Bill will eventually buy the DVD of the Bob Barker farewell. Don’t ask me why.

Ugly Betty was a bit intense last night. Here are some spoilers. Betty’s father is still in Mexico. He’s a marked man having killed his wife’s (Betty’s mom) first husband and now that he’s back in Mexico the first husband’s family is gunning for him. Hilda and Santos were planning their wedding and hoping to see their son Justin as Tony in West Side Story. Santos, on his way to the play stopped in convenience store which was being held up. A gun went off but we didn’t see what happened. It could actually be Betty and Hilda’s father or Santos who got shot.

Betty’s boss, Daniel is still popping pills and drinking on top of that. He almost overdosed but his sister (formerly his brother) Alexis was driving to the hospital with him when it was noticed that the brake line was cut and they crashed off screen. The next shot was the brother and sister in the front seat, bloody and very still. Surprisingly, even though it was a sports car there were no air bags. And Betty’s boyfriend, Henry may have gotten his ex-girlfriend Charlie pregnant, but it may actually be Betty’s orthodontist Dr. Farkus’ baby since Charlie was fooling around behind Henry’s back.

It was a bit of a downbeat ending for a show that usually leaves on a positive note. Definite cliffhangers though will we still be hanging in the autumn? The Office was crazy intense. Michael sold his condo anticipating getting the position for Dunder Mifflin in New York City. Jim and Karen drove to New York to interview for the same position. It turns out the position was Jan’s, Michael’s on again off again girlfriend / sex playmate. Michael found out, told Jan (who got breast implants trying to win Michael back and it worked) and Jan flipped out and needed to be escorted by security from the building.

Dwight was insane of course and the ending was perfect with Ryan getting the job without even really trying and getting off the phone with New York, hung up and said to Kelly who is obsessive about being Ryan’s girlfriend that they were done. Brilliant ending. Scrubs was good too, but after the Office and Ugly Betty, was a little bit light. I am happy to report that the Thursday night comedy line up of My Name is Earl, The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs have been renewed for another year. I should write for TV, or at least a column in a newspaper about TV. I am so qualified, don’t you think?

Last Time I Looked

Thursday. A pretty good day. Woke up solo, Bill at his folks due to some court date he needed to attend to with his mother. Juan came over last night and we watched some Monty Python and then Lost which was intense. Juan being cool and all, hasn’t watched Lost since the first season. But he agreed last night was as intense as the first season and it was. Sad to watch Charlie compile the 5 greatest hits of his life since he thought (as did most viewers) that he was going to die. Juan and I swapped theories which by the end of the episode didn’t really make much sense.

We also burned cd’s for each other for uploading into each other’s iTunes. I burned him the new Rufus Wainwright, Release the Stars (which I will burn for Annemarie of course) and Juan burned Amy Winehouse, Back to Black and Hot Chip, The Warning. Maybe I’ll rip those two for Annemarie as well. All she has to do is ask. All three are very good cd’s and I recommend them to all readers. I also communicated with another blogger, jockohomo about an article in the New Yorker about the artists Banksy from Bristol England. I enjoy jockohomo’s writings and usually get good music downloads from him. If I could figure out how to do it, I’ll share with you too!

I got the new Rufus Wainwright on Tuesday but wound up listening to Arcade Fire instead. It’s really good but there’s so much more out there. On the way to work I listened to Hot Chip. Green from Scritti Politti has played some shows with them so thats a stamp of approval. I can see where Green would be interested in them. Amy Winehouse is a great singer and Juan and I agreed that if she were American she wouldn’t be making it, she’s not American Midol pretty but has a great voice and presence. She’s from the UK too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Chip
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_winehouse

Yesterday as I was walking by the Waldorf Astoria I ran into Rob Jakacki. Today near the same spot ran into another former co-worker who works directly with Rob, Alex von York. Alex is another good guy and I asked him if his co-workers from Wanker Banker congregate on these four corners. Turns out that they do. So in case I’m feeling anti-social I will know to avoid these corners. I’m joking of course. I’m never anti-social.

What really made my day and had me smiling and laughing to myself through most of the day was running into Ray Vega. Ray is actually Pedro’s friend. If I’ve known Pedro for twenty years, I’ve known Ray for nineteen. I first met Ray at a private show for Boogie Down Productions at the World, a now defunct night club in the East Village. I had heard a lot about Ray from the Queens Posse and finally met him only to see him being dragged out later on, drunken Jesus style. He’s a great guy and I’m usually the one that runs into him in Manhattan. Sometimes street fairs, Central Park or today as I was outside of my building having a smoke.

It turns out he works in Hackensack as a courier and drives to my building every Thursday. I gave him my cell number and then called Pedro and put him on the phone with Ray. Lot’s of smiles and laughs abounded. Remind me to tell you about the time Pedro and Ray showed up at a Talent Show I was performing at for Bill’s church. That was the last time I saw him. Seeing him today made my day and gave me some well deserved clarity and a feeling of being grounded. Not that I was flying high in the sky or my mind, just that it was good to meet such a good friend after a long time.

Lost In Music

It’s Hump Day, Wednesday. It’s been a week since my Arcade Fire meltdown. I think I’m better, but in the back of my ind perhaps a brain scan would be a good thing. Of course that costs a lot of money, and I don’t have insurance yet, that become active on June 1st. I think the answer could lay within my gray matter. It could be reassuring to know that something was actually going on up there and it’s not all echoes of footsteps in a long dark hallway. And the cobwebs, they certainly would have to be cleaned out.

Last night I watched the series finale of Gilmore Girls. I have been watching the show since it was on Friday nights before a show called Popular. Popular is on DVD and worth checking out if you can. Lorelei and Rory are speeding through the universe now. It was a good ending, not bittersweet, just sweet. I admit I was getting tired of it the past season so I guess they pulled the plug at the right time. They didn’t kill off Lorelei’s father, Richard. I guess they didn’t want too much reality creeping in. Christiane Amanpour was about as real as the show got last night.

Rory went off to cover Barack Obama’s campaign for an Internet magazine, Lorelei stayed behind in Stars Hollow, planning to continue to her Friday night dinners with Emily and Richard. Lorelei also hooked up with Luke again as if there was another way to carry on that relationship. I read somewhere that Lauren Graham and Scott Patterson couldn’t stand each other, which probably added to the romantic tension to their characters. It was a sad happy to see it go, not like the way Six Feet Under ended where I was a puddle. Not a poodle.

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http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/review/2007/05/16/gilmore_girls/

I didn’t mention this but last Wednesday I had to go back to Wanker Banker. That was odd. It was official business, I had to drop off something for Greg Stevens and volunteered since I was headed up there for lunch anyhow. That could’ve been an ingredient in my momentary lapse into unreasonableness. The place wasn’t as busy or as crowded as it was when I left. I talked to the IT guys, still as nutty as ever, saw Christina who really misses me, saw Brenda as well who looked great and promised to have a drink with me when she gets off her diet after Memorial Day.

This morning I ran into Rob Jakacki who still works at Wanker Banker. He looked great as well. He was also the first person I knew into Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. A very hip investment banker with pretty good taste in music. He seemed genuinely happy to see me and it was nice for me as well. The day was busy for me and at one point I had to go to the bank with Tom Chin. As part of management, eventually I would have to go to the bank all by myself (who’s a big boy?). That was fine, Tom and I noticed the Emergency Services guys outside the Waldorf Astoria with submachine guns indicating that someone big was staying there.

It was a beautiful yet hot day. At 6:00AM it was 70 degrees out. Too crazy. Within 10 minutes of being outside with Tom Chin in the sun, it had turned to night. Dark clouds rolled in and it was nighttime at 4:00 in the afternoon. Totally crazy, and it’s been rain rain rain ever since. I’m just going to chill out and wait for Lost to come on tonight. That’s it for me today. Love to all.

Dead Finks Don’t Talk

Tuesday. A gorgeous day although it reached 82 degrees I believe. If it’s like this now, on May 15 what will it be like on August 15? And of course I tend to think of the Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon, yet another song I grew up listening to on WNEW FM. It was all such a simpler time then in the 1970’s, but once again there is no going back, and I downloaded the song so I can listen to it any day of the week. Such a trippy song, and just when there is talk of peyote in the air. Look up peyote in wikipedia and you’ll see a picture of peyote in Arcata CA. Is that a sign?

I got up around 6:00 this morning, showered, shaved and had coffee and cereal and soon was out the door headed to 5th and Washington to wait for the bus. The usual bus driver hasn’t been around so I guess he quit. I don’t know, nice guy though. Today’s bus driver was a tough cookie pissing off passengers by preventing them from bringing their coffees on the bus. They had to dump them in the garbage on the street then get back in line. This happened at the stops after mine since I get on the bus with knuckle draggers.

Work was good once again, I’ve found the list of things they want me to do. It entails opening the office and starting up office systems. Check. Taking attendance and provide support. Check check. Make travel arrangements and order car services. Check again. Make sure the machines are running properly, order supplies, make sure FedEx, DHL and UPS are looked after, maintain relationships with building personnel and vendors, and do expense reports. I do all of these things well but struggling with the expense reports.

Not that I can’t do them, it’s just that all day long there is something else I need to do. Someone invariably comes up with a new task which knocks the task at hand to a lower rung and by the time I get back to the expense reports, I have no idea where I was so I start over. So it’s like that most days. I can handle it. Finding that list really helped me out. I am competent after all, not a loser or a fake or a charlatan. It meant a lot.

Speaking of losers, fakes and charlatans, Jerry Falwell is dead. I am glad about that. I do feel sorry for the worms that will feast on his flesh, but they have a job to do and if they had hands they would probably be holding lists just like mine. He was a rotten man, filled with hate in the guise of god’s love. What a fucking asshole. He was one of the two scumbags who blamed 9/11 on gay men and lesbians and women having the right to choose. There was no light for Jerry Falwell to head towards, just darkness which is still too good for a fat fake loser like him. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Happy Birthday Brian Eno.

C Moon

It’s Monday again and it’s back to work. Juan and I briefly entertained the thought that if I took today off as well it would lend credence to my being unwell on Friday. I knew as good as an idea that was, I really should go in. And I did, after waking up, showering, shaving and coffee and cereal. I walked out into a really nice morning, playing the Arcade Fire. That was an accomplishment of sorts. I did enjoy the show somewhat after all, just had problems with myself, or at least inside my head. I wish I could move to Montreal. Ha ha.

I walked across town listening to Tunnels and Laika and Wake Up and all those great songs and I felt good listening to it. You know, I would give anything to see them again, to redo last Wednesday all over again but we all know that ain’t gonna happen. So I have to move on. I know Frank did. I got to the office and no one was in yet. I didn’t slick back my hair, went natural I thought it would be easier and it was. I did ask Carla the receptionist what she thought was better and surprisingly she said she liked it slicked back.

Work was busy enough, most everyone was in the office. I had a few errands to run, even going as far as 28th street and Eighth Avenue. I needed to get some thing for one of the printers and Carla told me this one place in all of Manhattan had it. So I hopped on a train downtown and walked to the store where they did not have the thing I was supposed to get. I called the office and Carla was apologetic. I tried to calm her down. It was a beautiful morning and I told her that at least it wasn’t raining. I really didn’t mind.

On the way back to the office I stopped off and picked up my salad for lunch since it was almost noon. I went back to the office empty handed except for the lettuce, broccoli and grilled chicken and technically they were in a container in a bag, not in my hands since I balanced it on my head walking to my desk. I ate the salad a little while later and walked around midtown, stopping into Barclay Rex where I bought a small cigar and smoked it which really made the afternoon that much better.

After that, more people gave me more things to do and since it was close to the end of the day, I labeled them so I would remember tomorrow what it is exactly I’m supposed to do with them. The origami I practiced with various bonds and licenses didn’t go over too well last week. I did have another errand to run which involved me going to Kinko’s since the printer wasn’t working properly. I was helped by two big queens, or at least I thought they were kin. After that it was home, where I am now with Juan waiting for Heroes to come on.

Homosapien

A beautiful Sunday and if you’re a mother, Happy Mother’s Day. I’m taking it easy today. After last night’s entry I wound up going to Casa de Lopez, aka Julio and Stine’s apartment on the third floor. Stine had made some chicken quesadillas as well as other snacks and Julio bought some beer. I hadn’t hung out with them in a while and another friend Lisa, was there as well. A lot of catching up to be done though I was physically exhausted from riding over 30 miles yesterday. The Guinness I had did re-energize me much like Gatorade does to professional athletes and alcoholics.

Bill joined us and he hadn’t seen anyone in a while, though he sees Julio more than I do and that’s usually at 6:30 in the morning when they’re both headed for work. Bill entertained the girls with his tales as Julio and I spoke in the codes that we’ve developed over the past twenty years. It was a really good mellow time with good friends. We’re just all so busy playing the roles of adults that we don’t have time for fun and games like we used to. What’s that line? Don’t grow up, just grow old? Maybe.

Missed an opportunity to hang out with Juan. He wasn’t so much into hanging out with Julio and Stine as he’d rather just hang with me. That’s a nice sentiment. Oh that Juan. It was 11:00 when the small party ended at Casa de Lopez and the geezers like Lisa and myself split. 11:00! That was when I started to get ready to go out back in the day. I did have quite a few pints and a thimbleful of vodka so I felt it better to be upstairs listening to Bill snoring since he left the part about an hour earlier.

I had another pint as I chatted with Juan online. He was hanging out at home. He did offer to come down to Hoboken and I said yes, but I would be turning in at 1:00. He was fine with that though he also had the idea of hanging out all day here which was also fine with me. It all seemed to me like a pretty good plan. Not too soon after that I was three sheets to the wind and decided to turn in, leaving Juan to chat away in cyberspace.

Woke up as Bill was headed off to church. I showered, had some coffee. My niece Meghan texted me, telling me that her and her fiance Rob were in Hoboken for a race. I wasn’t hungover so I decided to get some clothes on, grab my camera and head on over to Pier A. It was bright and sunny and many runners roaming around. Couldn’t find Meg and Rob and thought it best not to use the cell to track them as they were probably psyching themselves up for the race. The race was run and I think Meghan came in second for women’s.

Not so sure. Not a sportswriter you see. It was nice to see them and I offered to take them to breakfast, but this being mother’s day they had things they had to do. They were also going for another jog so they went their way and I went mine. It was fun to do something out of the ordinary, on a Sunday morning. And definitely good to see Meghan and Rob. They’re upcoming wedding seems to be the social event of the year!

I guess I shouldn’t have read Liz Smith before writing this.

Anyway, here’s a couple of pics.

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the lovely couple!
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Say You Love Me

Ahhh Saturday. Last night watched TV, nothing in particular. Some Law and Order, watched a bit of Thank You For Smoking which was very funny and then Bill Maher. Bill came home around 7:00 and went right to bed, thinking he was going to take a nap, he wound up sleeping like fifteen hours. It was good to have him home, at least it was good to have that familiar lump in the bed. Bill’s been very supportive the past couple of days, at least via chatting online or over the phone. Spoke with Julio last night who I saw on Thursday briefly and he invited me over.

But then he was called to his workplace to figure out something for his powerbook. He said he was going to call but never did. I didn’t have a problem with that, since I was just as happy as chilling out by myself, listening to Bill snore in the bedroom. I also had the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines as well as the 40th Anniversary edition of Rolling Stone and back to being a week behind on the New Yorker. I was content. Julio had experienced a couple of my meltdowns in the past so he knew what had happened though not what caused it to happen. I’m still trying to figure that out.

One possible explanation could be that today is the anniversary of my mother’s passing. Not a happy anniversary and of course it’s Mother’s Day weekend, which is when she dies. On Mother’s Day. Perhaps I haven’t gotten as far away from that as I thought. On a nice note, Frank did tell me that his wife, Elaine cleaned up the cemetery plot of my parents. I had enough sense to send an email to her thanking her for it on Thursday. That was awfully nice of her to do.

Today I woke up pretty much well rested. I did do laundry yesterday so my day was relatively carefree which was definitely needed. I went out and got bagels and the papers for myself, had a nice breakfast. Bill stirred and watched some of Today in New York. I had coffee and checked emails, and finally was able to play Arcade Fire and enjoy it. Unfortunately while I was playing Crown of Love, Bill decided to surprise me with an electric toothbrush thisclose to my ear. He was playing around like he is prone to do, but I guess my reaction showed that he shouldn’t have done that and apologized.

Soon he went off to his vocal classes, leaving me to think of something to do and I already had a bicycle ride in mind. I got out the bike after some stretches and rode over to the elevator to Union City where I rode up Palisade Avenue to Braddock Park in North Bergen. I called Julio who usually has work to do on his properties in West New York. He was surprised I was riding and I agreed after all I had drank last night. He asked what I had to drink and I told him diet 7Up and then water, since he never called me up for a pint.

I did run into him just north of Braddock Park where he was getting a window pane repaired. We talked about what happened the other night and then I rode up to the George Washington Bridge. The southern walkway was closed which is the walkway I was most used to. I had to ride the northern part which was totally nerve wracking since I do have a terrible unease about this bridge in particular. I survived while surreptitiously taking pictures on my bike as I pedaled along. Camera use is prohibited on the bridge since 9/11.

I rode down the Manhattan side, found the tree I usually sit under after crossing the bridge was fenced off. Some slight adjustment on the bike path, mainly for the better. I rode down to 59th Street and got a sandwich and headed into the park. I sat by the Rumsey Playfield where they put on Summerstage and hoped to see Sarah Chalke from scrubs who was there this morning for a woman’s health event they showed on Today in New York. She wasn’t there and I ate my sandwich before riding over to the skate circle.

Some of the usual characters were there, still a bit cool and early in the season for the big turnouts they usually get during the summer. Still it was fun. Saw some adorable children try to dance to the beats that the excellent DJ was spinning like Vanity 6 and Prince’s Erotic City which surprised me by knowing all the words after not hearing it for such a long time. The drunken percussionists a few feet away from me added to the fun. Soon it was time for me to go and head back to NJ. I rode down to the World Trade Center Path train and got off at Exchange Place, riding into Hoboken after doing approximately 34 miles.

Now I’m a zombie with legs of lead.

Here’s some pictures from today’s bike ride.

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Anyway Anyhow Anywhere

I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder. Actually it was the sound of a building falling down. I woke up, the sky was beige. It was 5:00. I drifted back to sleep deciding to take a mental health day off from work. It was needed. It was an ok day, quite humid with thunderclouds laying low making everything humid. I phoned up Carla the receptionist, actually waking her up to let her know that I wasn’t making it in. After that I went back to sleep to the sound of pouring rain. An hour or so later I woke up and had some coffee.

And coffee, according to Annemarie could be a reason to why I had a meltdown the other night. Mainly it could be that I had too much caffeine in my system which maybe true. I had a diet coke with my burger and fries. Which is unusual since I hardly ever have caffeine after noon time. I still don’t know what happened to me and look back with regret and confusion. I am also trying to forgive myself and was able to actually listen to the Arcade Fire’s songs today, so that’s progress.

I also made burned some cd’s for brother Frank. He gave me a few cd’s the other night that I asked him to burn for me. They’re quite good. He burned XTC Drums and Wires, The Bird and Bee (featuring Lowell George’s daughter) which is very good, a compilation of a semi-obscure Scottish band, Josef K, a collection of Yoko Ono remixes, Lindsay Buckingham’s latest and a mash up collection on a cd labeled Bootie. I haven’t played all of them yet but I have really liked what I’ve heard so far. It was very nice of him to do that.

I in turn burned for Frank Girl Talk, Night Ripper, which is what I was talking to Frank about earlier at Radio City. I also burned Scritti Politti White Bread Black Beer which I think he might like with it’s Beach Boys influence, a compilation of Arcade Fire songs which I didn’t think he had, mixed in with some Bob Dylan and various things I have been listening to the past couple of months, mostly liberally cribbed from cd’s that Juan made for me just to give a sense of indie cred. Maybe Frank heard of some of the music before, maybe not.

Frank called and checked in this morning, Annemarie checking in with email. Even Harpy called telling me to cheer up, which is something I hadn’t considered. Maybe it’s a ten year thing. Last time I had a meltdown like that I was working at Right Track recording and listening to David Bowie’s Outside record which has some very dark corners. Had difficulty listening to that for a while afterwards. Same thing in 1976 with Elton John’s Blue Moves but that was tied into my personal coming out and the alienation I felt from everyone around me.

Damn these existential dilemmas!

Sugar Hiccup

After weeks of anticipation, Arcade Fire came to Radio City Music Hall. I had tickets for myself and brother Frank and we spent many phone calls trying to figure out the logistics in how we were going to meet. I initially thought he’d take a ferry, but it was too pricey. Then we talked about the bus, but once again the thought of waiting for a bus around midnight was not so good an idea. I remembered a week ago how Juan drove into the city and we walked from 10th Avenue to 6th Avenue. It was promising to be another gorgeous night after all.

Despite brother Frank’s reluctance he drove in after all. I had a big lunch and had a burger and fries from Burger king for dinner so I was sated. I still had some time to kill so I wandered around midtown, up to Central Park (for the first time this year). I wandered around, took some pictures for tourists with their cameras and sat on a bench reading the Village Voice. I tried to get a little jazzy but being in a suit and tie didn’t really have the proper camouflage to blend in. I heard from brother Frank, he was on the West Side Highway, having taken the George Washington Bridge.

Not only do Frank and I look alike we have some similarities in our personalities. I met up with him on 10th Avenue and we drove around looking for a spot for a few minutes. I had extinguished the cigar I was smoking. Frank mentioned that he didn’t like the fact that I smoked cigars on occasion. I explained that I find them good to chill out with after work, clears my head and the smell (which I enjoy) keeps people away sometimes. So with that we walked across town. It wasn’t easy like it was with Juan, but Frank is my brother and I love him very much so I dealt with it.

Most of the walk was all bad jokes. Sometimes I can upset him with a phrase or a comment and he can do the same to me. Sometimes it’s ok, sometimes it isn’t. I didn’t have a chance to really go home, change my clothes and relax so he occasionally hit the right button. We kept trying to connect but there were a few missed connections. We walked into Radio City in all it’s splendor and walked up to the mezzanine. I got a beer and offered to get Frank a soda, and sat down looking down at the lobby people. It was an interesting crowd, though not as colorful as it was for Bjork.

Things were going well. We saw the opening act, The National, who were pretty good. Frank mentioned that he’s played them on the radio. We sat in the wrong seats and during the break, moved down the aisle to the proper seats. I don’t know what happened, but soon after moving, I turned into my father. I just got very uncomfortable and sat there. Frank asked later what was wrong and I said I was depressed. He asked why and I initially thought it was an off hand comment he made about gay people.
It wasn’t until afterwards that I realized that wasn’t it.

I sat there as Arcade Fire played what looked like a brilliant show. I sat there, recognizing the songs, and then focusing on my problems. That was basically it. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, In the Back Seat. I love that song. Too bad you’re an idiot John and a phony and everyone at work will find you out and kick you out to the street.’ or during No Cars Go, I thought about the bad state of my teeth. It was really like that throughout the show. I was fucking miserable and though I initially blamed brother Frank, the onus was all mine, created by yours truly.

It was like I was observing the show. They are a great band, so fucking energetic and fun and I do love all their songs but somehow I couldn’t enjoy it. It was sad. I was sad. Frank was sad. I just really hated myself and tried to transfer that feeling onto Frank who didn’t need it or want it. That made the car ride home filled with silence interrupted by my anger. I was having a meltdown. After the show, once we left Radio City I felt a little bit better and wanted to talk about it but Frank didn’t want to fall into a trap of arguments and I really couldn’t blame him. I was a wreck. The car ride home was silent, like I said. He dropped me off and I hoped Bill would be awake so I could talk to him about what happened, but he was asleep. I woke him up for a hug which he groggily gave me, then he went back to bed. I wound up talking to Annemarie on the phone who was sympathetic, but it wasn’t until this morning that I realized that it wasn’t Frank’s fault it was all mine.

I laid in bed, near tears. Arcade Fire songs would drift into my head, and it made me sadder. It felt like I was having a breakdown. I don’t know what it was that made me such a little shit. I don’t like the guy I became and I don’t see how anyone actually could. I sent an email to Frank at around 6:30 this morning, all apologies. I sent him a text message and finally around 11:30 I had the nerve to call him. He was replying to my email and asked that I call back after I read it. I finally read it and he was mostly on point. He didn’t hate me and wished that my blues would go away.

I kept thinking about various parts of the night when everything seemed to be going so well, then all of a sudden I froze him out. I was so fucking miserable and full of self loathing. I had turned into my father, though he would never admit to self loathing.

I felt better after talking to Frank for about 45 minutes. Family forgives, at least that’s how it should be. I did take some pictures of Arcade Fire. Luckily the pictures are of them, not of me in my misery. I would love to see Arcade Fire should they come to town again. I’ll be armed with a fistful of happy pills or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Here are some pics.

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The National
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Arcade Fire
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my brother Frank. better than most.
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Baby

It’s Tuesday and it was a bit of a crazy day. Really focused on work, finally finding my footing so to speak. Last night was fairly mellow, just hung out, watched Heroes which was a bit of a let down and no yelling at the TV set, ‘Oh Shit!’. That added to the mellowness. Other than that, nothing much happened. Bill came home from where ever it was that he was at and he plopped on the couch to watch whatever was on. I was bored by 10:30 and should have gone to sleep but for some reason decided not to.

There was no real reason to stay up but I did. Caught the usual bad news at 11:00 and soon drifted off to sleep after missing the weather. That’s what usually happens. I watch the news to get the weather and as soon as the weather comes on and I hear that meteorological speak my mind goes blank and doesn’t usually come back until after the forecast. It happens almost every single time. It was a restful sleep though, not much tossing and turning and as far as I can tell I didn’t smack Bill around in my sleep. I think I did dream about playing basketball across the street from my house though.

Woke up earlier than the alarm clock and slept for a few more minutes. Bill was taking the day off for his father so his moving about didn’t wake me up. I did the morning routine of shower, shaving, cereal, coffee and email. Did catch Otis Livingston on Today in New York and almost dressed accordingly but since I’m going to see Arcade Fire with brother Frank tomorrow so I was going to need some sort of cool rock and roll suit and tie to wear, much to Frank’s dismay.

Last time I met Frank after work for a concert he was terribly late (what else is new) and commented that I looked like the guy from Thirty-Something, because I took off my suit jacket and showed my braces and that guy from that TV show in the eighties wore suspenders. I suppose if making fun of me looking good helps that I am more than willing to contribute somehow. I could always show up wearing a WFMU t-shirt, but then again I don’t have any. The t-shirts I had didn’t make it into this century and are probably decomposing in some landfill somewhere.

Like I said earlier, I was really focused at work, and did a lot, tried to figure out various phone lines, which are ours that we’re paying for and which aren’t, so we won’t be paying for. The day flew by and as usual I expected to be out by 5:00 like I usually do. At 4:45 I get a call from Circe, who was out of the office. I had tried booking a flight for her from La Guardia Airport to Boston a week or so ago and after I booked it, she decided it was too much so I canceled that and booked her a train ticket. Then I had to cancel that train ticket to buy her a ticket for the Acela (really super fast) train. Today she called, wanting me to book a round trip ticket for Monday back to Boston.

It was double the price but with her canceled ticket it was knocked down to half that price, but due to the cancellation, a fee had to be paid which brought the price up some more. She didn’t like that and I had to cancel once again, and book a train ticket. This was all done via email of course and it could have been done before she left the office last week, but hey things come up and I didn’t leave the office until 6:30, due to being on hold with the wonderful people in Bombay working for the Delta Shuttle and the geniuses who work at Amtrak.

I sent her whatever info was needed and even left my email address and my cell number should she need to call me again. I almost made photocopies of all the notes that I was taking but decided not to. I just walked across town to the bus terminal and sat on an over heated bus with zero ventilation.

Don’t Play That Song

I just had a tuna fish sandwich. It’s Monday. Yesterday’s outing to the Art and Music Festival was a lot of fun, and after that Bill and I watched 60 Minutes which had some horrible footage from terrorist explosions in Bali a few years ago, a restaurant full of tourists getting blown up at dinner. One minute they’re sitting at a table, the next minute they are splattered all over the restaurant. Really terrible stuff. Some Al Qaeda terrorist who dropped out of his cell since the idiots on top declared all non Muslims to be targets. He claimed it was against Islam and dropped out and started naming names.

We watched Law and Order after that mess. Bill’s chance to watch what he wants since I monopolize the TV most of the time. If I didn’t it would be all stand up comedians all the time with Law and Order spliced in between. The Sopranos were excellent. It’s winding down, four episodes left. Lately we’ve been watching wondering who is going to get whacked in each episode. And though Southside Johnny was on the week before, we still haven’t figured out what role he played.

After that it was Entourage which was really funny. A relief from the intensity of the previous programs. Then Bill went to bed and I watched the last installment of the De La Hoya/Mayweather documentary. The actual bout was the night before and we didn’t watch it since it was on Pay TV. It’ll be broadcast next week, but if you want to know who won, Mayweather won in a split decision. Pedro was wrong about that. He said De La Hoya would win by decision since De La Hoya was promoting the fight. He knows his boxers, but missed this one. I’m sure he’ll give me the lowdown.

I may go up to Otisville to hang out overnight this weekend. Go up on Saturday, come back to the city when Pedro drives to Riker’s Island on Sunday. He’ll drop me off by the subway far from Riker’s. It should be nice just to get out of town for a spell. I’m looking forward to it, though we talked about it last week and I haven’t heard from him since. He did want me to come up this past weekend but I postponed since Sweet Sarah and Bob were scheduled to come to Hoboken.

Work was super quiet today. I flew into the city and got to the office before 8:00. No one was in yet and half the office was in Boston at a conference. The self doubt still lingers but I persevere, trying to get things done properly. Setting up a system isn’t that easy and needs the cooperation of a lot of people. I ran a few errands this morning and had to buy a cable for my camera since we’re subletting some office space and I needed to put photographs up so they can be posted in Craigslist. It was a nice morning to walk around for a bit and I don’t dawdle, I actually go and do the task at hand.

I don’t try to get over on receipts either, everything is on the up and up. I also did Greg Stevens’ expense report and he’s getting a lot of money back. He’s not a get over either. The office should be quiet for most of the week so I should be able to get more done hopefully. That is the plan and it does look quite good on paper, or on a computer screen.

Yakety Yak

A lovely Sunday. Slept in until 8:00 or so. Nice. Bill was off to church and I was solo. I went out and bought the papers and some bagels and then to the supermarket. Got a text message from Sweet Sarah who let me know she and Bob would be coming to the Hoboken Art and Music Fest. That was good to know. I had hoped they would come down. Dr. John was scheduled to play, as well as an old friend Karen Kuhl. I came home and made myself a nice breakfast and then sat down to read the papers.

Then Sweet Sarah called around 10:30, letting me know she was outside of Johnny Rockets. The fest didn’t even start until 11:00. She knew they were early, they wanted to beat the crowds. I was looking forward to them coming down via train around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. They drove down and knew that I’d be coming along soon enough. And soon enough I was. It was a gorgeous day as I met up with them. I went back on my vow and went into Tunes, the local record store to see if they ad any discs by Girl Talk.

Even though they pride themselves on their indie cred, they didn’t have it. I wound up buying it via the net and Amazon. They were the only ones who had it available. It’s all part of the Illegal Art thing. Copyrights and ownership is disputed. I just like the mash ups. They making everything new and fun again and keeps me on my toes, wondering where bits of certain songs are from. I took some pictures of Sweet Sarah and Bob as we saw a gospel group.

Then we walked around Hoboken, I gave them a thumbnail tour. Pier A, the esplanade, up to Stevens and then had some lunch at Margherita’s on Washington and Eighth for a sub par margherita pizza. It was toasty in the sun and chilly in the shade and we were in the shade. We saw Wild Carnation which is Brenda from the Feelies, and we saw Karen Kuhl and her band which had Alice Gennese on bass. That was a surprise. I hadn’t seen Alice in years and wasn’t sure she was still in town, much less still playing bass.

Sweet Sarah needed to relieve herself so we came back to this messy apartment. Then we went outside as they were leaving and Bill finally showed up. Sweet Sarah and Bob left Bill and myself on the front stop after making tentative plans to have dinner some night soon at the Lido in Hackensack which is a favorite restaurant of Sweet Sarah and Bob. I hadn’t been there in decades, it used to be a favorite restaurant of my parents.

Bill and I saw Dr. John, then walked back to the apartment where I got a phone call, surprisingly from Julio who was at the festival looking for me. He never goes to these things, but Stine had never been and wanted to check it out. Too late for me, I had been too long at the fair.

Here’s some pictures,
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Sweet Sarah and Bob
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Brenda Sauter in Wild Carnation
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Karen Kuhl
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Dr. John
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Paradise

Well I didn’t go for a bike ride today after all, wasn’t up to it. I did walk around Hoboken today, it was quite a lovely day though the sun was so strong, sun block might have been a good idea. Ran into Tallahassee and his friend Ft. Lauderdale and that was fun. Don’t have much else to write about so it’s shuffle time.

I’m Straight- The Modern Lovers
Great song by Jonathan Richman and the original Modern Lovers. All about Jonathan stating that he’d be a better boyfriend than Hippy Johnny. Heartfelt, Jonathan on the outside looking in. Saying straight in the midst of the 1970’s drug culture.

The Air Near My Fingers- The White Stripes
From Elephant, which I think is their best album. Probably their biggest seller too. Haven’t played it that often but it’s worth a listen to every now and then. Jack and Meg White freak people out, or they used to.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite- The Beatles
Outtakes from The Beatles Anthology releases. Lennon sounds languid, the lads not playing together very well, at least at first. Very short actually, but segued neatly into

Concrete Jungle- Bob Marley and the Wailers
Love this song. Marley certainly wrote so many really good songs that weren’t hits, meaning not on the Legend album which is one of the biggest selling records of all time. This song inspired some graffiti done on my part in my nineties Rasta phase.

Swamp- Talking Heads
From Stop Making Sense, the live version. This has more of a punch than the studio version. I admit I loved it when it first came out, but in retrospect, after their peak with Remain In Light, this really doesn’t hold up too well. It’s good, but not great. Fun to watch in the movie though, a highlight. Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads was in the original Modern Lovers. Fun fact indeed! Also met Jerry at McSwells one night when working the door and had the balls to ask him for a job. He gave me his manager’s office number where I promptly got the run around!

Satta Massa Gana- The Abyssinians
Hard Core roots reggae from Jamaica. One of my favorite reggae songs ever. This version from the cd of the same name is a remake, doesn’t have the same bass heaviness as the original 45 that I once had in my possession. Patti Smith covered this live a few times.

We All Feel Better In The Dark- Pet Shop Boys
B-side from their Behaviour period, when I really liked them a lot. Even saw them at Radio City Music Hall this song features a lead vocal by the usually silent DJ? Programmer? Chris Lowe, going on in his way about how he wants it, he really really wants it. Ah, memories.

Let It Be- The Beatles
Surprising myself with a second selection by the Fabs. This is a song that was a monster hit but the Beatles as well as a few other. Oddly enough, not one of my favorite songs by them, at least not today. This version is the single version with George Harrison on lead guitar, album version is different. Pass the chicken.

Green Eyed Loco Man- The Fall
From the 50,000 Fall Fans can’t be Wrong Compilation. Mark E. Smith, poet of modern Britain. An acquired taste if you’ve seen the Mitsubishi commercial where there a bass heavy song and a vocal going, “I was walking down the street/I saw a poster…” you’ve heard the Fall.

It’s been an odd day, and not in a bad way. Was planning on a bike ride, and didn’t go, wasn’t planning on writing anything today, and I wrote. Nutty me.