Monthly Archives: June 2007

Lawn Chairs

Friday finally arrives. I welcomed this event by waking up at 5:30, unable to get back to sleep despite tossing and turning. Why this early awakening? I don’t really know. Can’t really say. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that it’s Bill’s birthday. Yes my Ubee has made it to 43. He calls me Bubee and I call him Ubee. Seemed to make sense at the time and it has stuck since then. I woke up and set about making the bed as he was tying his tie and sang in my best morning voice, filled with morning breath, Happy Birthday to you. And I meant it. He left for work soon after that. I really don’t remember much else.

I do remember, showering, having coffee and cereal and dressing appropriately. Annemarie, Rex and Earl were en route from Arcata CA to Newark NJ. Julio made it safely to Copenhagen, and one car bomb, later two car bombs were discovered in London. No one has owned up to it yet. I walked to the bus stop and as the bus approached, a phone call from ZAnnemarie, the Z is added because long ago with an early cell phone I would accidentally dial her since she was first on my list. She’s the penultimate. The last is Annemarie’s cell phone. TMI? Anyway it was my nephew, Earl calling to let me know they arrived safe and sound in Newark.

I’m presently reading Andrew Loog Oldham’s memoir, Stoned. Very entertaining. He was one of those right place, right time blokes, which reminds me of Steve Fallon’s comment that I was born 10 years too late. In Andrew Loog Oldham’s case, twenty years too late, and an ocean too far, with regards to Steve Fallon and his comment on my life. Someone bless Steve Fallon please. So I read about how Oldham worked for Mary Quant and then this one, and then that one, each time being ahead of what ever was about to happen. I also have the sequel, 2Stoned. Both courtesy of brother Frank. Tomorrow is his daughter’s wedding as well as a coming out of sorts since he’s had the stroke. A major accomplishment. Truly major.

I did very little at work today. Made coffee. That’s about it. In at 8:00 and out at 1:00. Not bad. Greg Stevens was in at 9:00 and out by 11:00. I told him as he was headed to the Hamptons that I was leaving at 1:00 and he was ok with it. I talked with Fay about Wanker Banker, which was just sold to a company named Geoffrey. So Brenda, Christina etc will be moving to new offices around the block from where they were. Major shakeup, things will change. No more autonomy for them. My buddies, the IT guys will be staying behind.

I gave Carla the receptionist a hug as she went to lunch because I wouldn’t be there when she came back. I left the offices a little after that, had a Padron 5000 natural and walked to the Path train. Got off in Hoboken, walked over to City Hall, got a parking pass initially for someone who might live at 614 Oarj Avenue, and had to return it for Park Avenue. Hung out with Anne, Rex and Earl for a bit, did laundry, some shopping with Earl and now this.

I wouldn’t expect an entry for tomorrow since it’s the wedding and I doubt if I will be in any condition to write, though who knows? I did after my sister in law Karen’s big birthday a year or so ago, so in advance I ask your forgiveness for typos, bad grammar and general libel.

Here’s a picture of Patti LaBelle from Bryant Park this morning
patti-labelle-002a.jpg

Lightning Flash, Weak Heart Drop

Thursday. Brouhahas kept to a minimum. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. It all went easily. The director’s son, Allen is a quiet type. That might be because it’s his first day. I walked him around the Turtle Bay neighborhood, showing where to go for this and that. I don’t think he was paying attention. Not my problem if Allen winds up in Spanish Harlem. As we were walking back to the office, he said he had to run to the bank for his mother, the director. I said go ahead, not thinking that he’d be back in ninety minutes. I did put him to work putting away supplies. That oughta show him a thing or two.

Fay Victor came in for a couple of hours. She sat with Carla for the time she was there. It was good to see her. She’ll be in tomorrow all day. I plan on being out by 1:00PM, that is if the Time Warner cable guy comes in to fix Greg Stevens cable. Every week it’s something else, yet every week it’s an opportunity to prove my worth to the company. It’s a good thing that Greg is such a nice guy. Anything he asks for, I deliver. Fay said hello to Greg and it was almost like a meeting of two old friends, but then I wasn’t there, so I really couldn’t say.

Last night I hung out with Julio for a little while. He was cleaning cleaning cleaning the apartment. Not for me, not for Annemarie, but for him. He wouldn’t be able to leave the apartment in the mess that it was which, when compared to the apartment that Bill and I live in, it’s like Julio and Stine are the Boy and Girl in the Plastic Bubble. It’s very Scandinavian, their apartment. Our apartment is very, for lack of a better comparison, very Nagasaki. Collier Brothers? Good comparisons are so hard to come by these days.

We hung out and Julio told me his woes with the West New York Code board, a part of the apparatus of the city planning. He’s been running around, dealing with building inspectors and other West New York officials. So he was relatively stressed about the whole thing. We sat and drank a couple of Stella Artois. Today is his birthday so that gave us a legitimate reason to have the beers, like we needed a legitimate reason anyway.

After that I came home and chilled out. Due to a tremendous thunderstorm with some intense lightning I turned off the computer. I sat and read with the TV on, every couple of minutes I’d get up to look up something on the computer, only to remember that I had shut it off. I was surprised, but not really, at how much time I spend on the computer. Free time, my time, not time at work. I be addicted. Now it’s starting to rain, things have cooled down somewhat and in the distance, lightning is flashing across the horizon.

Little Wonder

At 7:00 this morning it was 77 degrees. Let that be a heads up for anyone traveling to this metropolitan area in the next week or so. The air is filled with hummus. It’s a drag. So hot and sticky and thick, it slows down time especially downtime. I spent most of the day trying to figure out what needs to be done while I’m out for four days next week. Don’t want to leave loose ends, and I don’t want any phone calls while I hope to be at the beach with Annemarie, Earl and possibly Rex. And maybe someone else, who knows? Whatever and whoever I am planning on having a good time, regardless.

Work was quiet. The brouhaha is scheduled for tomorrow, one intern not two. A clash of director and president? I actually hope not. Also Fay Victor who I used to work with at Wanker Banker is coming in for tomorrow to check out the office and her duties since she’ll be filling in for Carla the receptionist for two weeks and a couple of days while Carla tours Ireland, Scotland and England for her graduation gift. I like Carla, she’s a real sweetheart, a good kid. She’s looking for a new job since she’s graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology and doesn’t want to be a receptionist, now matter how good she has it here. No one wants to see her go, but everyone seems to understand that she just might.

It was slow enough this afternoon that I left 45 minutes early. It’s cool since I can check my emails and voice mails from home and I have a couple of times already. No emergencies. Like I figured, no one noticed that I had left early. Tom Chin left the office around 12:30 and he would have been the one to notice that I wasn’t there. He said he had a meeting to attend in Connecticut at 4:00 so he wasn’t going to call when I left at 4:15.

I was drenched in sweat from the hummus and came home and changed my clothes. I thought that since I got home early I’d be able to run to city hall in Hoboken and get a parking pass for my sister’s rented car. I changed into shorts and sneakers and swam/walked to the parking authority located in the basement of city hall. I walked into the air conditioned hallway and sat for a second when I was called to the window. I showed my proof of residency (or redundancy) and when they asked for how long would I need this parking permit, I told them June 29 to July 7.

No good! They can’t start a permit until Friday. So I will have to go back on Friday and get this permit. I was planning on skipping out early on Friday any how, so now I will have a legitimate excuse to bounce. I am pretty psyched to see everyone again and to see Meghan and Rob get married. He was name Bergen County Coach of the Year so that’s a nice feather in his cap.

I’m Partial To Your Abracadabra

It’s Tuesday and it’s hummus out. At around 8:00 this morning it was 73 and climbing. It’s been hot hot hot. Uncomfortable for many. I played it cool as best as I could but sometimes it wasn’t enough. Not that anything happened, I rose above it all. Not much happened at all really. I took a long lunch, combined with an errand and caught a subway to Farfetched where I bought birthday cards for everyone born in July. I hung out for a little while and talked with Susan. We chatted, I told her about the play that I’m taking Bill to see on Sunday at 7:00. Susan saw it and thought it was very good, hence her recommendation. The show my brother Frank and I wanted to see, Company is closing on Sunday so we missed the boat on that. Stupid stroke.

I also ran into Virgin and picked up New Boots and Panties by Ian Dury and the Blockheads. I’ve been looking for it for a while now and finally found it at a reasonable price. Got a salad and made it back to the office. It’s fairly quiet lately. The managing director’s plan to have two interns come in has been squashed. Greg Stevens expects a brouhaha when she returns from her conference in Santa Monica on Thursday. I only have three more days of work then I am off for 9 days in a row. My mind is almost on vacation already anyway. What else is new?

Last night while riding with Julio up Route 17 to Paramus, we drove past an empty space where the Century movie theater used to be. It used to be one big theater, where I saw one of my first movies, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. Then in the 1970’s turned it into two. I saw Jesus Christ Superstar in my religious fervor back then, when it was playing next to Last Tango in Paris, a racy X rated film starring Marlon Brando. My brother Brian and I were kicked out with our money refunded when we attempted to see The Poseidon Adventure at an evening show. My father took Brian and I to see the Cowboys in the seventies on weeknight.

That was odd. Our father taking us away from our two hours of homework enforced discipline to go to the movies. Even if we had homework that could be finished in 10 minutes, we had to sit at the dining room table twenty feet from a television loudly playing Johnny Mann’s Stand Up and Cheer! Didn’t help our grades really. I took to writing out random pages in the encyclopedia. Brian stretched his neck trying to see what was on TV, at one point stretching it 5 inches. That’s when he threatened to kick my ass if I tried to get help. It eventually shrunk back, like a turtle’s.

I saw Boyz in The Hood when I was living with my father in 1991 against everyone’s, and I do mean everyone’s advice. I don’t know if I could say I loved the movie, but I was moved by it. The Century theater was by that point a four plex I think. I remember leaving the theater in the bright summer sun walking out into the hard mean streets of the Garden State Plaza. I have to say I was sad to see the Century torn down. It is totally flat, nothing there to say what it used to be.
.

Buddy

Well it was back to work today. Back to the land of work and the hum drum, i.e. The heterosexual world. Only kidding. It’s a heterosexual world all day every day, no matter if engaged in compromising positions with someone of the same sex as you. Just like the choices made when a person decides to be straight or to be gay or lesbian, the choice to be heterosexual is a tough choice indeed. Much like when Dorothy chose to leave the woods and head off to Oz, I chose to head to Oz, land of boomerangs and kangaroos, and Fosters.

Last night I was so out of it. Walking in the sun, basking in the cheers and support of so many people, afterwards heading back to Hoboken was a bit of a come down. Not a let down, but we stepped off the stage which was the parade route and mingled with everyone, the buzz wears off and we walked back wearily to our apartment. I had a suggestion to check out the fireworks around 10:00 last night, didn’t take my sneakers just in case, but we were both totally shagged out and at 10:05 I took off my sneakers and allowed my feet to relax.

An hour later I was in bed, out cold, sleeping like a rock. Felt good and woke up relatively refreshed. Bill was up already despite taking the day off. I puttered about, Bill stayed out of my way. I think I figured out why I’m such a crab ass in the morning. Basically it’s because I haven’t eaten in hours, and when I don’t eat my outlook turns to shit. So it makes sense that low blood sugar would cause such a mood. I think there must be a reason they call it Breakfast.

Work was ok. Nothing major really. A bit of a fiasco may have been nipped in the bud regarding interns. We have one intern now, Raj who is nice but we constantly have to find things for him to do. One of the directors sons is also scheduled to do some intern work as well. Where Raj is a college student and a paid intern, the directors son is a high school student and won’t be paid. More than likely he’ll be doing the dirty jobs which are more dusty than dirty anyhow. This morning I found that there would be a third intern.

Where to find space is a problem, but also what would we have two of them do? A few people were upset at this. I was annoyed. I spoke with Greg Stevens about this and he took care of it, almost right away. At the end of the day, as I was leaving I was told there would only be Raj and the directors son interning. Three would be too much and also not enough for them all to do. That was some positive news, though there might be repercussions when the director returns from a conference in San Diego.

I came home to find Bill in a cleaner apartment than it was when I left. Bill was home cleaning most of the day and also working on his computer. Actually it turned out that he hired two maids to come in and do some hard core cleaning. Hard Core meaning deep cleaning, not triple X or NC-17, so they were fully clothed. He kept this a secret from me and it paid off well. There women were professional and knew how to get on their hands and knees and scrub. It looks great. I suggested doing this years ago, not an a regular basis, but every now and then when it gets to be too much for us (meaning me) to handle.

I made myself a quick chicken sandwich and then it was off to Paramus with Julio. Julio is flying to Denmark on Thursday to attend a wedding with his wife Stine. Since it’s a black tie affair, Julio had to and buy a tuxedo. Since I know a little bit about men’s fashion, what works, what I like to see on a guy in a suit, I was asked along. I enjoyed going to Syms on Route 17 but they didn’t have what he was looking for, so we made a quick jump to the Bergen Mall to Century 21 where he bought a very nice and sexy one button tuxedo by Hugo Boss for 300.00.

Julio’s such a good guy. I’m glad he’s happy with Stine, but I miss hanging out with him the way we used to.

Drunk.

It’s an orangey moon. It’s going to be hot tomorrow.

Excellent blog about same sex marriage here:
cut n’ paste

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2007/06/trying-to-keep-.html

Glad To Be Gay

Ugh. So tired. It’s Sunday afternoon/early evening. Bill and I finished the parade at 2:30, marched the whole thing from start to finish. A good time, lot’s of balloon and thousands of well wisher. Truly an affirming thing. Only saw one hater in the way and he was very upset. I just smiled and flashed him the peace sign. That’s the kind of day it is, peace signs for everyone. That’s what I did I flashed the ‘V’ for peace as we walked down Fifth Avenue. Pretty tired though. It’s been a beautiful, gorgeous day, that much is for sure.

Didn’t do anything last night in preparation for the parade. Just watched Deep Impact, forsaking Scrubs for two hours. I had always been interested in Deep Impact and never saw it from start to finish. It’s definitely more emotional than Armageddon. Perhaps that’s because Mimi Leder directed it, and Michael Bay directed Armageddon. It’s probably Tea Leoni’s best screen time too. Maybe she’s better with drama rather than comedy. After that we watched Law and Order once again. The Olivia show, meaning Special Victims Unit. Bill and I sings along to the theme in the beginning of the show, singing ‘It’s Olivia. All about Olivia…and the others.’

Bill went to bed, I watched some of Saturday Night Live. It was the season finale repeat with Zack Braff. Very good and Maroon 5 was pretty good. I keep forgetting that’s they’re sometimes alright. They seem to be doing the right thing by releasing their second record five years after their first. I always thought they were a jam band, but believe it or not I may be wrong. Jeez I must be tired if I’m admitting that I might be wrong. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Blister is totally gone by the way. Thank you for your cards and flowers.

I got up around 7:00 this morning, showered, coffee and then out to get bagels and papers for myself. Went to the supermarket for other items including eggs which I forgot about until I got to the parking lot then had to run back in much to the cashier, Linda’s amusement. She’s nice and a pleasure to deal with on a weekend morning. Came home, had breakfast, more coffee followed by a little wake and bake since I wanted to be as mellow as possible. It worked out wonderfully. Caught a bus with a few other gays and lesbians who you can tell since they’re t shirts said they were.

It was a bright and sunny day and I was glad I put on some sun block. I listened to Good Day Sunshine by the Fabs, Freeda People (Bring on The Lucie) by John Lennon and Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) by George Harrison followed by 2-4-6-8 Motorway by Tom Robinson Band since I didn’t have Glad to Be Gay on my iPod. Tom Robinson was an out and proud rock and roller in the new wave days. But 2-4-6-8 Motorway is uplifting and energetic enough to psych myself up.

I met Bill at 41st Street and 7th Avenue and we went to Duane Reade where Bill purchased a hat for me and we made our way up to 56th and Madison where Bill’s church was meeting. This was our third pride march and the first one was a nightmare since we decided to help corral the religious groups. It was a horrible time with the Jews complaining about being behind the Episcopalians who resented being behind the Radical Faeries who didn’t complain at all. Neither did the pagans. I don’t know about this monotheism stuff. The followers all seem quite bitchy and big babies.

Bills group are a very nice group. Park Avenue Christian Church. Very welcoming. I even broke bread with them, taking a communion of sorts which was cool and made Bill very happy. Communion, community, commune. I was a bit peckish anyway. The grand marshals of the parade were religious folk and that meant that religious groups would be the first groups in the parade following Dykes on bikes.
It was a lot of fun, crowds screaming and cheering. We were handing out balloons and we all had a lot to give out and the balloons provided great cover from the sun and some of us were reluctant to hand them out. The plan was to hand out a balloon at every block I mainly gave mine to children and handicapped people. It was a glorious day, good company and lot’s of pride.

Happy Pride!

Here’s some pics. Took a lot. Enjoy. Me so tired. Johnny Ozombie now.

The Bus to Pride. Proxima Parada, PRIDE Parade Por Favor

pride-day-2007-004aa.jpg

pride-day-2007-006a.jpg

pride-day-2007-008a.jpg

pride-day-2007-010a.jpg

pride-day-2007-011a.jpg

pride-day-2007-013a.jpg

The DIGNITY Contingent. Catholics excluded from the roman catholic church, outside of that tax free tourist trap, St. Patrick’s Cathedral
pride-day-2007-015a.jpg

We walk the line
pride-day-2007-016a.jpg

MC’s outside the Public Library
pride-day-2007-018a.jpg

pride-day-2007-020a.jpg

Balloon Man Bill
pride-day-2007-022a.jpg

pride-day-2007-025a.jpg

pride-day-2007-026a.jpg

pride-day-2007-027a.jpg

pride-day-2007-029a.jpg

Outside of the Stonewall, where it all started in 1969
pride-day-2007-031a.jpg

Looking at these pics makes me proud and thankful, just seeing all the people in support of LGBT people. Wonderful. Would someone please bless the drag queens? Thank you.

and once again, Happy Pride!

and here’s a new Rufus Wainwright video, Rules and Regulations. I hope this works out!

The Other Window

A mellow Saturday is a good thing. I have no complaints. The ugly blister which I wrote about yesterday and grossed out a few readers has cleared up and I can walk without a limp today. Still my right calf is tight and not in a good way, but I think that should take care of itself. I knew it was going to be a busy day so I wisely did my laundry the night before. Foresight. Me. Go figure. Juan came over and hung out and so did Julio after he had dinner and drinks with some people from work. So he was a little bit buzzed.

He called from the bar he was at and asked if I would be home so that he might be able to climb down the fire escape. I assured him that I would be but forgot how antagonistic he could be when under the influence of a few beers. He came up, Juan and I hanging out. I cleared a path to the window and gave him a lantern that he gave me a few years ago. He was able to make it down to the third floor where he was skinny enough to be able to crawl through a 14 inch window. So he was able to get his keys back.

He came up and complained that there wasn’t anything alcoholic to drink. Actually there was some Guinness but Julio turned his nose up at that. Also there were only four cans, and three men so someone would get shorted on a pint. I offered him some
Gammel Dansk, a Danish liqueur that I had in my fridge but he refused in his humorously belligerent manner. Then he remembered that he had some Danish vodka in his fridge so I went down and got it and made drinks for the three of us when I returned to my apartment.

We watched Angel Cabrera, I mean Bill on Conan O’Brien again since Julio hadn’t seen it. We also watched Entourage, Flight of the Conchords and John from Cincinnati. Once again, Julio brought up the fact that he hadn’t been up here in a while, and was never invited up to watch the Sopranos, though I’ve told him time and time again he had an open invitation to come up here anytime and watch TV. He never takes me up on it, don’t know why. Could be because he doesn’t think Stine would like the apartment, or perhaps it’s so he can spend as much time with Stine alone.

Around 12:30 I kicked both Juan and Julio out. Julio went first, Juan a little while later, in time to say Hello Goodbye to Bill who crawled through the door later than usual, greeted by me with curlers in my hair and a rolling pin in my hand while wearing a house coat. I said good night to Bill and fell right asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. After two drinks last night which weren’t strong at all, I woke up with a head ache or a hang over. Took some gel caps and went out for the papers and bagels.

I called Julio to see if he wanted a bagel but he only asked for water since he too had a head ache hang over. I bought the bagels and the papers, then came back to the apartment and got some bottles of Poland Spring for the J Meister. Then I came home, had a nice breakfast and read the papers. I looked online for the train schedules to and from Garfield and looked to see if bicycles were allowed on the train, They were so I decided to ride to Frank and Elaine’s house from the train station.

Frank was sitting on the couch with Corinne and Elaine greeted me on the stairs. I sat with them and watched TV. Elaine and Corinne had errands to run so I sat with Frank until it was time for me to go catch the train back to Bokeyland. All in all a good day, even when I went to the supermarket after taking my bicycle helmet off not noticing a half inch of dirt and sweat across my forehead.

Here’s some more pics from the new camera..

Can’t start the day without it!
62307-001.jpg

Julio’s POV
various-guests-62107-001.jpg

Bill
various-guests-62107-002a.jpg

Elaine!
62307-003.jpg

Cuddly Juan
various-guests-62107-003a.jpg

Fire Escape Navigator
various-guests-62107-007a.jpg

62307-005.jpg

Me!
various-guests-62107-005.jpg

Let ‘Em In

It’s Friday. One week until Bill’s birthday, one week until Annemarie, Rex and Earl arrive, eight days until Meghan and Rob’s wedding and six days until Julio flies off to Denmark on his birthday, and two days until I march in the Gay Pride parade with Bill and the Park Avenue Christian Church. Looks like a busy week huh? And that’s all that I know about. Anything could happen between now and then. I’d rather it stick to the schedule, but since when does life go according to what is planned? Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, sang John Lennon. And look what happened to him.

It’s been a crazy day, quite stressed out from a blister on my foot. I wore a pair of shoes that I hadn’t worn in quite a while and they looked good, only in the heel of the right shoe there was a slight tear in the leather which bothered me a bit but I didn’t pay it much attention after that. Yesterday I wore a different pair, and it felt like something was stuck on the bottom of my right foot. It was irritating but I once again ignored it until I got home to find I had a blister that covered my whole heel. I tried taking care of it last night, which meant popping the blister and letting the pus ooze out.

It felt ok after that last night, but I don’t think I did it properly since this morning I wound up walking to work with a bit of a limp. Since I get to the office before everyone I was able to do some more popping of the blister, with a bottle of peroxide over my garbage can. I bought some bandages on the way to work today and placed a fresh one on my right heel. I wound up doing that a few more times throughout the day. Pretty, no?

Last night while hanging out with Bill I was trying to take some pictures when my camera broke. This was the second or third time it broke. I had to send it in for a repair last year around this time. Canon tried to sell me a refurbished model but I refused, just wanting my trusty old Power Shot A75 to be repaired properly and back in my hands, ready for art. But trusty old Power Shot A75 has gotten rusty and last night the lenses wouldn’t retract.

I chatted with Bill online in an exchange of emails about where he got the older camera, and what was a good model, since we’re both preferring Canons. Secretly I was hoping Bill would spring for a new one since he bought the older one as a present, but no, that wasn’t going to happen. I decided to get a Canon Power Shot A630. It was on sale at J&R downtown so I went there, inviting Carla the receptionist to join me since we closed the office at 3:00. I limped along down the stairs to the subway with Carla. She’s such a sweetie.

We got to J&R and were immediately set upon with a hard sell from a zealous salesman, throwing terms out there designed to intimidate. I was smart enough to print out hard copies of the cameras I was interested in which shut the salesman up right away. I bought an additional memory card so I wouldn’t be caught short at the wedding next weekend which sort of appeased the salesman and upped his commission a little bit.

Carla headed back uptown, I limped over to the World Trade Center Path station. Got to Hoboken and limped all the way home. Did some laundry and took some pics with my new camera.

And here they are…

ist-pics-62107-001a.jpg

ist-pics-62107-002a.jpg

ist-pics-62107-003a.jpg

ist-pics-62107-004a.jpg

spire-62107a.jpg

and my right foot
my-right-foot.jpg

One more thing. I get a call from Julio this morning. Turns out he just locked himself out of his apartment. He was relieved that I had the keys, but I don’t have the keys. The keys are in Arcata. Both the original and the duplicates. Hmmm.

Juan is here, hanging out, Julio is on his way over here to climb out my window and down the fire escape.

We Meet Under Tables

Thursday once again. Right on schedule. Not much is going on right now. Last night Bill went to bed early and Juan came over. We watched Bill on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. It was only for about 30 seconds but it was very exciting to see Bill portraying Angel Cabrera. Of course Conan O’Brien revealed to Max Weinberg that it was an actor (Bill) hired to play Angel Cabrera. Max was going off on what good friends he is with Angel Cabrera and Conan basically shut him down, labeling Max as an ass, superimposing the words on Max’s face.

Juan and I just sat around. Surprisingly, Juan decided to leave on his own without my telling him that I need to go to bed. Homeboy has been working hard lately, or at least getting up earlier than he is used to. And just like me, he is getting up at a time that only a short time ago, he would be getting home or going to sleep. Memories of blacking out. Such good times, such blank slates. Soon enough I was horizontal, groping Bill as he slept until my arm fell asleep. He was out cold and so was my arm.

Woke up, Bill had been gone for hours. Left at 3:00AM to catch a bus to Long Island at 4:00AM. They wrapped at 9:30AM and he went to work. He is presently a zombie. We’re both pretty happy with each other. I love it when he’s a zombie. A laughing happy zombie watching Scrubs. Not bad at all. It was a beautiful day weather wise and the fifteen minutes of rain was a nice break. 15 minutes of rain. Didn’t Andy Warhol say something about that? I played David Bowie’s 1. Outside on the way into the city and onto the office.

That’s a record that I was playing when I worked at Right Track when I had one of my meltdowns back then. It’s a dark record but chock full o’hooks. It was dodgy playing certain tracks so I skipped over them. So that’s my history of that cd. Not one of my desert island discs. That one would be Earthling since I was there when he was recording it. I’m pretty sure I wrote about that. Would someone do research on it? I’d appreciate it, thanks. You are, simply the best thing since sliced bread. And when you think about it, life is easier with sliced bread.

Work was fun and busy and Vivek, the managing director told me how he appreciates the way I’ve turned the office around and that he thinks I’m doing a really good job. Perhaps I actually am. In a way I feel like Michael from The Office, or Risotto who in reality is my former boss who made an impression on me with regards to the job at hand. He is also the one who recommended me for the position. So a tip of the hat to the Mouse.

Also spoke with Frank and Elaine in separate phone calls. He’s doing better and might get out tomorrow which is very cool. So I guess I’ll be going out there on Saturday since Sunday I’ll be with Bill and his holy rollers walking down Fifth Avenue. The call with Frank was almost like old times, meaning a couple of months ago. He stammers a bit but he has been talking better. It’s a struggle, but he’s doing well. There’s technical details that I can’t get into for private reasons and also because I’m rather inept when it comes to technical things like that. I can put a stereo, maybe even a computer together without reading the instruction manual, but medical stuff? Fegeddaboudit.

There goes my medical career.

One Drop

It’s Wednesday and it’s ok. Frank maybe getting out of the rehabilitation center this weekend. That should make him happy, or at least less depressed from being in a hospital for a little over a month. It seems like I might have a busy weekend. Taking a train out to Garfield if Frank’s been released, maybe hang out with Julio and have some birthday drinks before he fies off to Copenhagen on the 28th. And I ran into the wonderful Ray Vega yesterday and had the wherewithal to get his cell number. I only gave him mine last time and neglected to get his.

It turns out I just missed him in Central Park last weekend after I bailed on seeing Television. I wandered past the softball fields where he used to play and apparently does once again. He really is a good guy and an old friend of Pedro’s and he’s a riot to hang around with. I wonder if he feels the same way. I wonder because when I saw him outside my building he told me he swings by every Thursday. So I try to make it out there around the same time to say hello but he’s never around. Of course I’m probably reading too much into it.

It was a busy day in the office. Tom Chin annoyed the hell out of me this morning, still insisting on using the incorrect ledger for an overdue expense report. I mentioned that it doesn’t make sense to use something that we know is wrong, especially after working on it for weeks on end, fine tuning it and handing it in last month. He sort of blew his top a bit and I just walked away. It’s just so annoying to be right (and that doesn’t happen too often) and someone else insisting that the wrong way is the right way. Carla the receptionist (who really is a sweetheart) and I both think Tom Chin is looking to move to a new firm. We just do.

It was a busy day in the office with guests coming in. Vivek is trying to get new investors in the company. Yesterday we had some big wigs in and we all had to dress up in proper business attire, suits and ties for the men, nothing slutty for the women. I wore a smart suit and had a nice smile affixed to my face to meet the moneyed guests. I really connect with guests and visitors. I see my future as a greeter at a box store somewhere down the line since, let’s face it, I’m not going to retire at 65. I don’t think anyone does anymore anyway. Paul McCartney hasn’t and he turned 65 on Monday.

Bill apparently made it on Conan last night. Annemarie saw it and said it was funny. Bill has the Cablevision commercial tomorrow, with an early call at 4:30 AM. So he should be coming home and going right to bed. Juan is coming over to keep me company which I greatly appreciate. The rest is all blah blah blah so I’ll just leave it at that.

and blabbeando added me to his blog roll. Now I’m on his and jockohomo’s. Cheers.

An Ally In Exile

Yesterday wasn’t so good. I posted an online chat with whats his name and as truthful as it sounded, his myopic way of looking at things, I had actually gotten better. Spoke with Julio for a while on the steps when I got home. I was steaming then due to a foul up with Paul Frederick, an online men’s fashion company that I’ve been dealing with since I lived in Weehawken. Actually the fault lies with UPS who attempted a delivery on Thursday and required a signature. On Friday, they didn’t and left it at the front door, which is basically the same as leaving it on the street. So someone in Hoboken has two very nice, relatively expensive shirts.

The thing is when you get a delivery tag, you have to call the night you get it and arrange for a pick up the next evening. I neglected to do that and wound up calling three times on Friday night, leaving a message each time. I hoped to pick it up on Friday night and when I went to the truck the driver said that since I called that morning it would be on the truck Monday night. Fine with me. So I went out of my way and took the Path back to Hoboken like I used to. I walked over to the truck and the driver who remembered me from my Padron deliveries. Mr. Brown Clothed Handsome Man told me it was delivered already.

I trucked on home to find there was no package there. I was upset and Julio did his best to calm me down, but I knew that when I got back to my apartment I would be on the phone with customer services for both Paul Frederick and UPS. I called Paul Frederick and they checked and said it was delivered on Friday. It wasn’t. They told me to call UPS where I spoke with Tasha. Tasha told me to call Paul Frederick. I told her I did. She suggested that one of my neighbors might have the package. They didn’t. They’re not that type to keep it. Plus I’m the only guy in this building that wears a size 17.5 35 shirt as well as the only suit and tie guy in residence. I asked why was it that Thursday’s UPS guy needed a signature but not on Friday? Tasha said that it was because there were two different drivers. I asked her if it was up to the driver’s discretion for a signature and she said yes. Good to know. What can brown do for you? Need to lose a package?

They said they’d put a trace on it and it should take eight days to check it out. Then it would need to be reordered through Paul Frederick. These two shirts that I bought on June 13 for Meghan’s wedding on June 30 might not get here on time. I resigned myself to the fact that the original order was lost and there was nothing I could do about. I let go and it felt good. I doubt if the customer service people would agree but that’s why they’re there.

Juan came over last night after Bill and I talked briefly. That went well. He has a Cablevision ad so he was in a good mood. Juan came over afterwards and we watched Big Love and Creature Comforts and Scrubs, Bill went to bed and Juan and I watched the Daily Show. Then I went to bed.

Yes yesterdays limited edition posting was weird. Sometimes when you’re in an online chat, you’re writing and they’re writing and sometimes someone doesn’t read what was being Like that. written and sentences get out of order. Annemarie gave me some good advice in her comment which I have been following.

Bill might be on Conan O’Brien tonight in a sketch with Max Weinberg. I’ll let you know. Or Bill will.

Bill just came home. He was on Conan and really had a really good experience. No lines but face time for the camera. I love him despite his faults and it’s the same the other way, he loves me despite all of mine. He ain’t a beauty but hey he’s alright. And that’s all right with me.

La Vie En Rose

Sunday. Been awake for a little over 90 minutes. I got to get some friends that want to do things with me. The ones I have now don’t want to do anything with me so that means it’s time for some new friends. I regret not going to Otisville to visit Rey this weekend. The plans Juan and I made fell by the wayside when Juan decided he didn’t want to hang with me. No plans made with Bill since he does whatever it is that he wants to do and I don’t even suggest anything with him anymore. And Julio is busy trying to get ready for his trip to Denmark so that means no beach for me. He was supposed to call me back last night and I was hoping to do something with him last night, even if it meant hanging out in his apartment or going to a bar in Hoboken. But he never called and I went to bed at 10:30 after watching The Cider House Rules. Got to get some new friends. I’ll keep Rey but I need to check the warranty on the others. The only one of those that might read this is Juan anyhow.

I don’t know what it is. I used to have fun doing things by myself, but not lately. And I’m starting to get the message that doing things with me is not fun hence my friends not being around. True, I’ve been avoiding thinking like this since Frank has been in the hospital, and I’ve been using my free time to go visit him, getting well acquainted with the NJ Transit bus schedules. Now Frank is in rehabilitation for a few more days and it’s not as easy to get to Saddle Brook as it is to get to Hackensack. I just had an idea to take the bus to Hackensack and walking the rest of the way to Saddle Brook. It’s been about twenty years since I’ve done that, and I do have the legs to do it again. But right now I don’t really know what I’ll do and it’s only a little past 8:30.

Do I have options? Yes I do. I could go into the city again and maybe check out the freaks at the Folsom Street Fair. That usually leaves me cold and alienated. I went last year and left cold and alienated so why would it be any different this year. Just a memory about how lonely I am and how no one is around to do anything with me, including my room mate, Bill. That’s how it seems to be lately. We’re affectionate room mates.

I wish I could take a trip somewhere without anyone going with me and without anyone knowing where it is that I went to. If I’m going to be alone, I’d rather be alone on my own terms. Anything to get the hell away from here. A life experience to be had without any of my friends sounds really enticing right now. Not feeling sorry for myself at all. Ha! Just a dash of surrealism for me. Maybe I’ll get ready for work tomorrow since there is nothing else to do. And it’s not even 9:00 yet. Maybe I should have named this entry ‘Leave Me Alone’ instead of Friday’s entry. I’ve become a drag to be around.

Who am I kidding? I am just full of self pity this Sunday morning.

Not much self pity in the afternoon. Had to get the hell out of the apartment and away from me basically. Just hopped on a bus and immersed myself in the NYC subway system, lucking out an riding a Q train out to Coney Island that ran express. Got off the train, salt air filling my nostrils. Of course as soon as I start walking towards the boardwalk the phone rings. It’s my niece, Cory. I immediately think something happened. Nothing happened. Brother Frank wanted to say hello. Of course, being where I am there’s not a good signal so I can only hear half of what he’s saying which is repeating what I just said. I spoke to Elaine who told me that he was alright, a re-evaluation Monday, possibly discharged midweek.

I got off the phone with Saddle Brook and called Annemarie who knew all this already. I asked her to call Brian to tell him, explaining that I was at the beach and cellphones don’t work that well around those parts. It turned out Brian knew already having visited Frank the day before. I got off the phone and wandered onto the beach away from most everyone. I sat there and stared out into the ocean. After a couple hours of moving around, walking up and down the Boardwalk I decided to head home. Got a phone call from Julio who was sitting on the stoop out in front of our building. I stayed in.

Here’s some pics.
coney-island-61707-002a.jpg

coney-island-61707-006a.jpg

coney-island-61707-007a.jpg

coney-island-61707-009a.jpg

coney-island-61707-008a.jpg

Put It On

Saturday night. A little bit tired. Been busy today and dizzy as well. Got up around 8:00 which was quite nice. Slept really well too. Showered, had some coffee and then it was out for a haircut. I was lucky. Only had to wait about 3 minutes before Tony was available for me. I asked him if he saw the Sopranos and he said he doesn’t watch it since the one time he was watching it with his wife his good friend Joe Pantoliano was getting a blow job on screen and so after that, no Sopranos for Tony ever again.

Then I went and got the bagels and the papers and headed back home. Had a nice breakfast and read the papers. Then I did some laundry. Oh the glamor of it all. It was a beautiful day and as the clothes were drying I decided to go out for a walk. Once walking I texted Juan to see if he was alive. We had a tentative plan to go to Central Park today and I had a feeling he wasn’t going to be able to make it. It turned out he wasn’t. That was a disappointment but I got over it. Walked up to Burlington Coat Factory and bought myself some shirts as well as some ties and cuff links for Bill’s birthday in two weeks.

I know he doesn’t read this so I’m safe from him finding out. I’m also taking him to see Passing Strange at the Public theater. Susan and Lois from Farfetched recommended it when I saw them the other day. It also got a favorable review in the latest New Yorker. We’re going on the last night so that should be special. I heard from Annemarie before I left the apartment and also spoke with Brian as I was riding the bus into the tunnel. Everything seems fine though no one has heard anything so we’re going with ‘No News is Good News’.

Walked up to Central Park and just as I entered the park dark clouds appeared in the sky. I trudged onwards towards the rock where I can usually be found only to find a lot of construction fences were around most everything causing me to find an alternate route to the rock. I sat and listed to the first band, The Apples in Stereo. They were alright. Sounded like Mitch Easter sometimes. Television was headlining and it started to pour with lightening and thunder as accompaniment.

I was sheltered by the leaves of the trees, but rapidly losing interest in seeing Television. If someone else was there I probably would’ve have stayed but since I was solo I decided to wander through the park after the rain stopped. The rain chased a lot of people out of the park, which made it decidedly less crowded. I did see the bearded dude from TV on the Radio hanging out on the rock near me. But it wasn’t enough to get me to stay. Not even the first Robin that I’ve seen this year couldn’t do that even though it asked me to stay.

I walked down through the park to Sixth Avenue, smoking a Padron 5000. It was excellent and I stopped and watched two songs by a band called the Last Broadcast. They were pretty good, jazzy funky, poetic rap lyrics. I bought their three song ep and continued on my way to the bus terminal. I got home a little after 7:00, having been out for four hours. Not bad. Could not have done it without listening to Bob Marley all day on the iPod. Feeling Irie.

Here’s some pics.

central-park-61607-001a.jpg

central-park-61607-005a.jpg

central-park-61607-006a.jpg

central-park-61607-007a.jpg

central-park-61607-008a.jpg

central-park-61607-009a.jpg

central-park-61607-011a.jpg

central-park-61607-013a.jpg

The Last Broadcast
central-park-61607-016a.jpg

Leave Me Alone

It’s Friday and I’m in a bad mood. Don’t know why really. Just that I am. It actually started at work, doing Vivek’s American Express bill from October. I had done it several times before, and actually had it sent in for it’s proper authorization which was done and I thought completed. Yesterday I was given the same batch that I had done with notes from the stupid bitch who used to sit at my desk. Her calculations were wrong wrong wrong. I had mine double checked already when they asked me to reconcile the two. Pointless and very frustrating.

I sat and talked to Tom Chin about it and as I was explaining he interrupts and starts telling me about what he needed done. I continued talking not letting him interrupt which caused his volume to increase as well as mine. More frustration. I went back to my desk after hearing him out, since he wasn’t really listening to me anyway. I tidied up things as best as I could and gave my work to Carla to check yet again the same numbers she checked before. I was leaving the office early again since I told them that on Monday, I was leaving early Wednesday and Friday to see brother Frank.

I know he was sent to the rehabilitation center yesterday but the office didn’t need to know that and with the way that the day was turning out it seemed like the right thing to do, to go home early. Hell, half the office was out anyway and most of the people were leaving early themselves to get a head start on their weekends. I stopped off at Cohen’s Fashion Optical to get a pair of sunglasses on sale and they were mighty happy to help me out until I pulled out my prescription which was from 2003. It was expired and the happy face they had on was gone when I declined the eye exam, saying that I didn’t have time.

I did have time to chat with Big Jess an old Rasta pal. Good to see him and his handing me some jazz cigarettes made my day but haven’t accessed the product yet, hence my ill mood. Oh it will be all for the best once I get that going. It had better or else! Got to the bus terminal and found the bus at the gate to be standing room only so I stepped aside and waited for the next one. The next one came shortly thereafter driven by a grizzled old cranky ass bus driver who opened the back door once and then no more, preferring to yell out ‘Front do-wah (door), Front do-wah.’. No one thanked him as they got off the bus and I doubt if he cared as much.

Came home and changed my clothes and went out, hoping to get a hair cut. Too long a wait and decided to create a new old wives tale about how you should never get a hair cut if you’re in a bad mood. Then I walked to the post office after dropping off my clothes at the dry cleaners, greeted with ‘Hello Mr. Oghrh’. That’s how they pronounce my last name. I saw the UPS truck and asked if my package was there. I ordered some shirts online for my niece’s wedding. Got the tag yesterday that they missed me and I called this morning but was too late. So I have to wait until Monday. Perhaps I’ll be in a better mood by then. For now, I’m staying in and avoiding contact with everyone. I don’t want to see anyone for the rest of the day.

Blame It On Cain

So happy it’s Thursday. Usual thing. Brother Frank is now in a rehabilitation unit in Saddle Brook NJ, across the street from where Frank, Brian and I once worked as well as our mother for the book publishing company. The rehabilitation unit used to be Saddle Brook Hospital where I had some stitches put into my skull after I fell out of bed and hit my head on my sister’s night table. Annemarie was traveling somewhere so I was sleeping in her bed. It was also the place where I was taken one night after shoving a clothing snap into my nostril.

I remember it was the night before my family were headed down to Wildwood Crest. I was laying in bed rather anxious about going away for four or five days to the Jersey shore. There was a loose snap on my pajamas and as I fiddled around with it it came off. So me, being me, I decided to see if it would fit in my nose and sure enough it did. And sure enough I could not get it out on my own. After a few minutes of panic and seeing my young life flash before my eyes, actually it was my life being taken from me by my parents for doing something stupid like that.

The only ones home were Frank, Annemarie and Brian. Brian and Annemarie didn’t have any idea what to do. Frank had the idea that I should inhale it so that they could catch it as it passed to my lungs by somehow reaching into the back of my throat. My parents were more than likely at the VFW getting their drink on. Annemarie probably had the sense to call up the Post 3484 and tell my mother what was going on. They soon came home finding me lying on the dining room table surrounded by my brothers and sister.

My parents got me in the car and drove me to Saddle Brook hospital where we went to the emergency room and saw a doctor. My parents told me what I had done and the doctor, quite ably got a pair of tweezers and used them to reach in and pull out the snot encrusted snap. That’ll be Fifty dollars. After that it was back to bed for me and then down the shore the next day where I more than likely got sun poisoning.

Wildwood Crest was a wonderland for me. For one, it wasn’t Lodi. There was a beach and lot’s of drunk adults behaving badly. I would hang out with other children of alcoholic parents, sponging quarters off adults to play pinball or to buy comic books somewhere. I almost wrote saving up for night time trips to the Boardwalk, but that would never happen. Money didn’t last long in my sun poisoned hands. Neither did skin.

I was friends with Joey Schaeffer who’s belly button exploded when he did a belly flop incorrectly. He spent the week with his belly button covered by surgical tape. That’s basically all I remember about Joey Schaeffer, that and when he was visiting me in Lodi, telling him that he wouldn’t be able to sing Indian Reservation by Paul Revere and the Raiders out loud since there were Native Americans around and they’d get upset and start killing people.

You Keep Me Hanging On

Tuesday. Fatigued. Overcast day. Slept ok but once again I could have used a few more hours. Work was ok, not many people in the office. Summertime, compliance classes for some, others working from home. Not me though, I had my thing to do. The stationery came in and I labeled it and put it away after tidying up that area of the office. Left early to go see brother Frank in the hospital again and got some good news. He was being released from the hospital and going to a rehab center in Saddle Brook. Pretty good news indeed.

I’ve taken to carrying around a Moleskine note book since I seem to have misplaced the other notebook that I usually use. Too tired to really write much of anything so here’s some samples of notes from the past few days.

Friedman Alpren and Green. An accounting firm I worked for from 1986 to 1987. An ok job. Worked in the file room with Tyree Thomas as my supervisor. Tyree and myself and a few other people made a pact to get back together on New Years Eve 1999. I didn’t make it and I don’t know if anyone else did or even if they’re still alive. A job nothing more than that.

In 1987 I was offered a job as manager at San Loco a Mexican fast food joint off of St. Mark’s Place on Second Avenue. It was an ok job though I did upset a customer when I played the first track of Patti Smith’s Horses cassette, Gloria: In Excelsis Deo/Gloria (Van Morrison Cover), where she opens the song singing ‘Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine’. Yes I offended someone. The owners were Darrell Nelson and his brother who were friends with Steve Fallon.

Steve Fallon was the owner of McSwells and was one of many that saw something in me more than I saw in myself. He was also friends with brother Frank. I think Frank asked Steve to look out for me when I first moved to Hoboken, or maybe that was Steve being Steve. Anyway, Steve knew I was managing San Loco, and it turned out to be quite a dismal job. Steve stopped by one day and basically told me I was I glorified cashier. In excelsis deo.

We rode the Path train back to Hoboken and he told me I could DJ that night at McSwells since there was no band playing that Thursday night. It was my first experience DJing and it turned out to be a good thing that no one was there so I was able to practice after Steve showed me the ropes of the PA system.

I worked at San Loco for a couple of more weeks and eventually got a job working for Rupert Murdoch
thanks to a friend that was working there on a freelance project. I got some other friends in, Catherine Cloud, Ann Boyles, even Jimmy Lee my room mate at the time. It was at that job that I met Pedro also known as Rey.

That’s about it. I’m tired.

The District Sleeps Alone Tonight

It’s Tuesday. Not a big day at all. I did get an email from Paul McCartney’s website stating that Macca is doing a private show in Manhattan tomorrow night and that would a very cool thing to go see. They’re only giving out ten ‘special’ wristbands, so 20 people might be getting into the show. I don’t know how many people in the metropolitan area signed up for it, but I know I entered the contest three times. I’m sure others entered more than that but I figured that three was enough. It would be a really cool thing to go see and that is quite an understatement.

It’s been raining on and off this afternoon. Presently it is not raining right now, 5 minutes ago it was pouring. Been like this for the past couple of hours. Incredibly bright sunshine followed by moments of lightening, thunder and sheets of rain. It was pleasant enough this morning. I woke up to see Bill sitting at the side of the bed doing his morning prayers. That was a lovely image to wake up to. He thanks his god for allowing him to see another day. I just curse having my sleep interrupted by life.

Bill was out the door and I had my routine completed and was headed out the door to the bus stop. I haven’t seen the young man that lives down the street from me anymore. Last time I saw him he was staving off a bloody nose. I hope that didn’t do him in. Seemed like a nice enough fella. I hope he’s alright. And no, I’m not into him at all. Just a familiar face that I saw most days at the bus stop who lived or lives across the street from the library.

The latest brother Frank news from sister in law Elaine: Better today, a little blue but focused more than usual. He is impatient for speech therapy and a shower and bored with everything else.
The heart all checked out fine. The cat scan last night was for the arteries and that looked good. Neurology is supposed to see him today. If you visit check ,his room and floor cause he might be moved back to the 8th floor but don’t tell him cause then he gets messed up about where what and when and drives everyone crazy.

So that’s a little bit of good news. I had to run an errand to Chinatown this morning. For some reason that’s where our printer is. And they’re not that good. They told me yesterday the job I ordered would be ready today so I hopped on a subway to pick it up. It wasn’t ready. They told me they’d messenger it to me this afternoon. They didn’t. So I guess it will be delivered first thing in the morning which was their fall back promise.

I took a train and got off at Astor Place and walked by Farfetched. Lois and Susan were there and I told them what was going on with Frank. They were concerned and I told them all I knew. I didn’t tell them the latest which I posted above since I got that after the fact. I do have to go back there to get a wedding card and maybe a nice tchotke for the happy couple. Also Brian Boylan from McMann and Tate sent a set of keys to the Arcata School System. The eagle has landed. The pope shits in the woods. The bear is catholic.

Woke Up This Morning

Monday morning I’ve got Friday on my mind. Who was that? Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders? Anyone? Hello? Is this on? Who am I kidding? The only one that leaves feedback is Song and he’s in Sydney. Juan used to but now he’s a working man. Annemarie prefers private emails and gentlemen prefer blondes. It’s been that kind of day. Still woozy from The Sopranos last night which I thought was brilliant and posted that several times on various bulletin boards. I was amazed, though not really, more disappointed in the fact that so many people HATED the final episode.

SPOILER ALERT. It was so intense from the beginning to the very end. I don’t recall seeing a more intense show. Phil Leotardo rightly got bumped off though I would have liked his lieutenants get rubbed out as well. There were so many theories going around about what would actually happen and out of the ones that I heard, no one had a clue. I obviously didn’t but how ofter do I actually have a clue? It ended like this, David Chase ended it right in the middle of Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey which was perfect. Tony, Carmela and AJ sitting in a restaurant in Bloomfield waiting for Meadow to show up. Shady characters walking around. Is this how Tony will live the rest of his life? Always looking over his shoulder? Or will it end right then and there with Carmela covered in Tony’s blood and guts? Or will the whole family get offed?

NO way to say. David Chase ended it mid-song. ‘Don’t Stop…!’ which isn’t how the song ends. The screen goes black. 10 seconds later, the credits roll. That is what upset so many people. No blood. No happy song, no puppy dog licking the face. Earlier in the season Tony and his brother in law, Bobby are talking about death and Bobby says he thinks that you never hear the shot, or the bullet. Everything goes to black. And that’s how the show ended. Everything went to black. No shots, no screams, no blood, no puppies (and everyone loves puppies). It was all very much reminiscent of ‘The Lady or The Tiger’ which I thought was written by Rudyard Kipling but was actually written by Frank Stockton. A lot of people had to read it in high school, I know I did. Probably failed the test and wrote Kipling instead of Stockton. It’s such a short story that you can read it all here via this link.

cut and paste

http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/LadyTige.shtml

So many people went to the HBO website that it crashed from all the complaints. From what I’ve read on the bulletin boards, a lot of people were ready to cancel their subscriptions to HBO. Don’t you just love it when people are forced to think about the thing they are watching/reading/listening to? I know I love to think when doing those things. I just need to shut down my thought process when I’m not doing any of those things. Like now.

I Get Around

5 Hours after I left the apartment to go and see brother Frank, I’ve returned at 5:00 exactly. Not an major accomplishment, just a fact. I wasn’t sure if Frank would be in the hospital or in a rehab unit in Saddle Brook, so I called and found that he was indeed still in the hospital and that he may have had some smaller strokes post operation. He is also off his anti-depressants so that accounts for a lot, his demeanor and his depression. A withdrawal of sorts. He will not be heading back to work anytime soon if he goes back at all.

And the wedding planning is in full gear. Last night were the bachelor and bachelorette parties. Rob and his mates went to a Yankee game and then a posh dinner, Meghan and her friends hit a bar in Hoboken. I received a text message from my niece Cory who said that she’d be coming over to my apartment if she couldn’t get into any bars with her older sister. She never came over, having gotten into a bar and staying there until closing. They all got home at 4:30, the girls that is. The guys were home by midnight from what I’ve heard.

Since I didn’t go out I stayed in and watched the telly until I felt tired enough to go to sleep which was difficult due to a really good nap that I took earlier in the afternoon. Finally I did sleep and woke up at 7:00 thinking it was later than that. It wasn’t it was earlier than I wanted. I got out of bed with a headache and took two gel caps and went back to bed, sleeping to and waking up with various bird calls seemingly right outside of my window.

I left the apartment after bagels, papers and coffee and waited for a bus on Washington Street to take me to Union City. Soon enough I was on a really slow bus that felt like I was taking a tour of Washington Street storefronts and brownstones. I got off the bus on New York Avenue and waited for the 163 bus to take me to Hackensack. That arrived and I got on and sat in an air conditioned bus, getting out at Summit and Essex Streets. Frank was in the same room so it was easy to find once you figured out which way to go.

Frank, Elaine and Cory were walking around a little bit outside the room when I showed up. We sat in Frank’s room and sat around and chatted about this and that, Cory telling me about her night out with the bachelorette party, Elaine telling me about her dinner at the racetrack, and Frank not saying too much. A dietitian came in and talked about what Frank should and should not eat and a doctor came by and checked his lungs, which were ok and his heart which was still beating.

Meghan’s fiance’s parents came by and talked for a bit though it seemed that Frank was getting tired with all the visitors. That was our signal to go so he could get some rest. We all rode down the elevator on the way out, everyone going to their cars, me going to the bathroom and then to the bus stop where I waited and listened to the English Beat. Walked home down Palisades Avenue to the viaduct and finally down into Hoboken where I am at right now, in case you haven’t figured that out.

Shuffle Souffle

Nothing to report really. Frank is still in the hospital, still has aphasia and tires easily. I stayed local today, did some laundry and cleaned the floor, on my hands and knees. Also napped which accounts for my drowsiness I suppose.

Flying- The Beatles
From Magical Mystery Tour, the only song up until then to have a writing credit to Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr. Also the only the only instrumental song they had ever released. I like it today. There have been times when I wasn’t so kind.

I’ve Got Dreams to Remember- Otis Redding
This seems to be a 1960’s shuffle. I only got into Otis Redding a few years ago. I don’t know why no has made an Otis Redding biopic. Maybe all the Hollywood hotshots that read this will get the idea.

Crazy- Gnarlz Barkley
The hit of the year last year. Still a lot of fun to listen to, though overplayed.

Promiscuous Lola (Sarah Vaughan Vs. Nelly Furtado & Timbaland)- Earworm
This is from the Bootie compilation that brother Frank burned for me. It’s a great mash up featuring Sarah Vaughn singing Whatever Lola Wants from Damn Yankees and the beat of Promiscuous, another big hit from last year.

Son of a Baker- The Small Faces
Back to the Sixties. The only thing I know about the Small Faces is from what I’ve read. Also that Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood joined the band, losing the Small and becoming the Faces. Big in England, contemporaries of the Who, didn’t really make it here in the States.

Won’t Get Fooled Again(Live)- The Who
Speaking of the Who, one of their great seventies songs. This live version is from the movie, The Kids Are Alright. Great video, I saw the movie at the Oritani Theater in Hackensack when it came out. Then I saw the Who a few years later and fond them really boring.

Encore Un Terlude- Dimitri from Paris
Cool, loungy and short cut from Dimitri’s Sacre Bleu. 45 seconds long. Let’s have a drink, shall we?

Seven Joys of Mary- Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Strange to listen to a holiday song in June. That’s all I have to say. Next!

A Forest- The Cure
Not the version I know, actually it is, just has a different start. This is from the U2 Jukebox CD given away by Mojo magazine a month or so ago. Those lads do have some good taste in music. Heard they are writing songs with Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno in Morocco.

He’s So Fine- The Chiffons
The song that got George Harrison in trouble with Bright Tunes for unconscious plagiarism. George had supposedly lifted the melody for My Sweet Lord from this. Which he also sang about in a song about the lawsuit, called This Song.

Union Square- Tom Waits
From Rain Dogs. Funnily enough been thinking about Rain Dogs a lot lately, the cd, not the actual canine. It’s on my to do list somewhere.

Mariposita De Primavera- Omara Portuondo
The only woman in the Buena Vista Social Club. It’s good but certainly doesn’t have the feel that Ibrahim Ferrer’s records had. It is good though, just needs that Ooomph.

V Thirteen- Big Audio Dynamite
From their second record by my buddy Mick Jones. He hasn’t returned my calls which is distressing. I just keep playing his songs that he wrote about me, for me.

Town Cryer

Friday night. Just got home. Hungry and hot and didn’t feel like cooking so it’s a call to Torna pizza. They make small bar pies which hits the spot in moments like this. Last night, Juan came over and hung out. Mister Get Over to those in the know. I played him Creature Comforts from Monday night. Juan was surprised it was on CBS since no one he knows watches CBS. The old fogey network I suppose. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it. How could he not? He starts his new job on Monday working for Fuji Film. Seems like a pretty cool job, just have to have good aim when pissing into a cup.

After that we watched the penultimate episode of the Sopranos which Juan missed on Sunday night. Just as intense as the first time. I asked Juan if he thought AJ was very upset or just a pussy and he thought he was just a pussy. Last week the media was all about the 40th anniversary of The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. This week it’s all about the final episode of the Sopranos, speculation on who will die, what will happen to Tony and Carmela. I don’t want to know, I just want to see what happens.

Went to work today. Not much of a pall over the office today. It was busy and quiet at the same time. People have started taking their vacation time so I guess summer office season has started already. I have to find someone to fill in for Carla while she goes on holiday and after that, she’ll be going on interviews, looking for a new job. This is common knowledge since she just graduated from college. No one wants to see her go, I certainly don’t. I’ve been asking various friends if they needed a temp job for a few weeks. Even asked Juan who decided to go after the glamor filled world of film distribution.

It was slow enough for me to leave early. It being a Friday, I let various people know I was leaving early to go to the hospital. Once again they told me I could take all the time I needed. I left at 2:30 instead of 3:00 and walked across midtown with warm breezes and bright sunshine all over the place. Got on the 163 bus to Hackensack and rode with all the other people headed back home to Bergen county.

Got to the hospital and ran into Elaine and brother Brian in the lobby. We rode up to brother Frank’s room in the step down ward from the intensive care unit. Frank was in bed, talking to a friend of his and Elaine’s, a woman named Chris. She was nice, the atmosphere was cordial until Elaine asked Frank to write his signature. It seemed he would write almost anything but, almost like he was copying other things on the paper. Elaine insisted, Frank got upset and testy. Elaine is really bearing a lot from this whole situation.

Sometimes when compassion bumps heads with frustration… It didn’t last long. Frank is making progress, much like he did when he was first admitted into the hospital, before the operation. The operation took care of the infected heart valve with a metal valve to replace, but the aphasia returned much like it was during the first days. He made progress then and he’ll make it now I’m sure. After Elaine, Chris and Brian left I played the Bird and the Bee for him. That’s a group he likes featuring Lowell George’s daughter. He got all misty, saying that a month ago he wasn’t in this position. I reassured him that he’ll get better and enjoy the music again at home.

Frank was getting tired from trying to speak clearly so I left around 6:00. Listened to the White Album while waiting for the tardy bus which quickly filled up and got off in Union City at the post office. From there I walked down to Hoboken. Ran into Frank’s friend Glenn Morrow and I told Glenn all about what happened to Frank. He was stunned and offered to visit Frank in the hospital. I told him that that might be too much for Frank, trying to stave off any embarrassment on Frank’s behalf. Glen offered to send him some CD’s from Bar None records which Glenn runs and I told him that would be a great idea.

Frank may be getting out of the hospital over the weekend and going into a rehab hospital in Saddle Brook which would hamstring the bus routes I use to go to Hackensack, but Frank suggested just phoning him which is what I might do.

and here’s some pics! fresh for you suckers!

view from Frank’s room last week
various-early-june-07-001a.jpg

the roof next door
various-early-june-07-003a.jpg

NYC from Union City 7-ish
nyc-060807.jpg

Atlas

“Went to see him last night and he was more himself. This morning he was in a little confused and in a little pain (holding the pillow to his chest) and he didn’t like his breakfast but he was talking better and his arm is fine. He should be moved today around 11am to the step down unit (cardiac floor) From there hopefully discharged in a few days. But I don’t know when or even if yet. Thanks for being there yesterday.”

That was from Elaine, brother Frank’s wife. She’s an inspiration to me lately. It’s some good-ish news at least. I was too tired to go to the hospital today. Really exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. Haven’t been sleeping that good lately and Bill would testify to that, a lot of tossing and turning. I generally wake up exhausted. And it’s into the shower, coffee, cereal and out the door exhausted at 7:00. Today was really a drag. I did see West Indian Tony at Smilers on 5th Avenue when I got an egg sandwich. He of course asked, ‘Hows my boy doin’?’ That means Bill. For some reason he’s really interested in Bill’s career. I keep him apprised once a week and he’s happy with that.

Got to the office, no lights on, I’m the first one in. All the office doors were closed which is odd. Not the usual thing. As people drifted in, I found out from Sean, one of the directors that someone had stolen his headphones which he uses for conference calls. Carla the receptionist and I figured out that it must have been the cleaning crew at night who swiped the headphones, and also closed the door to each office. Carla insisted that it was probably not the usual crew, because this never happened before. Must have been a substitute.

I called the cleaning company’s supervisor who did not return my call, or Carla’s call. Something must be up. The idea of getting a new cleaning crew is starting to make more sense since this crew presently doesn’t do what we ask them to do. That, to me is a pretty good reason to get a new crew. That requires research and I don’t have much time for that right now. I need to find a receptionist to work for three weeks, possibly longer. That’s turning out not to be as easy as I hoped. I asked a few friends who turned me down and I’m running out of ideas.

I’m starting to think that my office is cursed. First with brother Frank having the stroke and the heart infection, then Greg Steven’s mother in law having an operation and then passing away a few days later, and now one of the researchers Peter, his girlfriend was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. No one knows the status of her condition, whether or not it’s benign or malignant. So it’s been one of those days, a rather gloomy sunny day. Those are the worst. And I’m tired.

Where To Now St. Peter?

Ugh. Wednesday. What a day. Not a very good one. It started out ok. A bit nippy as I woke up and shuffled around, shower, coffee, cereal and out the door just as the Today show started. Once again, a problem at the tunnel affecting traffic on the helix, but not the road into the city, especially when riding on a big old coach bus. I had skipped a week ahead and found myself engrossed in the New Yorker, reading a selection from Gunter Grass’ Memoir about being in the German army in World War Two. That was announced a few years ago. Him, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, being a former Nazi. Tsk Tsk. He does regret it, unlike a certain guy in a dress in Rome. It was a good story nonetheless.

Work was work was work to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. It turned out Greg Steven’s mother in law passed away last night. She was 88. Bill was upset and carried through for part of the day before leaving until Tuesday to help his wife deal with the situation. Greg’s a good guy and I of course offered whatever help I could give him. He asked about how Frank was doing and after I told him, he rolled his eyes and asked what it was all about. I had nothing to tell him, just to get through it as best as we could. Also to enjoy every sandwich. That was from the late Warren Zevon.

I left work early and walked over to the bus terminal where I stood in line with all the other people heading out to Bergen County. I was early since and since Frank is in the intensive care unit, hours are restricted to half hour visits, no more than two visitors at a time. Like I said I was early, so I sat in the lobby and waited for Elaine. She showed up soon enough and we waited in the lounge outside of the ICU and shared a banana. We agreed that when Frank gets out, he will have to be more active, perhaps even joining Elaine on her walks rather than sitting on the couch and doing not much at all.

We went in and saw Frank, groggy of course. It seemed like he didn’t even know that he had an operation the day before. He was anxious to get out of the hospital and that’s understood, but when he doesn’t have his teeth in, then there’s confusion about what he is actually saying which makes him testy and working on Elaine’s last nerves. She mentioned that he was acting like our father and he sure was. Surly and impatient. We understood that, but it gets hard when you’re trying to help someone and they’re getting snippy.

Frank had food coming and three nurses helped him move 1.5 feet from the bed to a chair which threw him for a loop. Didn’t remember he had a catheter in, and was worried about having to take a piss despite us telling him to go ahead. It was nothing we all hadn’t seen before. Poor Frank, so lost and confused. Elaine had to run out to her car to get some denture glue for Frank and then it was a while before we were able to figure out what Frank was saying about how to put the glue on here, place it in there, not too complicated for most, but for us it was. He also called me Cory a few times.

We wound up being in ICU for an hour which meant I missed my bus and could mean an hour wait for the next one. Elaine and I left, asking Frank to relax and get some rest. They might be moving him from ICU tomorrow so some sleep would do him good. Elaine was going to drive me to the bus stop but we saw a bus ahead heading to another stop down the line. Thank goodness for the Hasbrouck Heights Homos headed into the city, about six of them, each of them paying with twenty dollar bills. That meant the driver had to make change for each one which took some time and enable me to get on the bus after kissing Elaine good night and thanking her for the ride. It’s a good thing the Hasbrouck Heights Homos didn’t buy tickets for each other and sort out the money later or else I’d probably be getting off the bus now.

Elaine really deserves a medal for all that she’s been going through. I walked down to Hoboken after getting off in Union City, down the viaduct. Good to be home.

Some time later…unrelated in every sense of the word.
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=51740&in_page_id=34

This logo/brand I believe was created by Wolff Olins…er…McMann and Tate. Isn’t it ugly. I remember Wolff Tate ‘got’ the branding contract for the London 2012 Olympics, This ugly thing makes me even happier I am no longer there. That’s all. Good night.

Good Vibrations

Last night I watched possibly the funniest show ever. Funnier than the Office, My Name is Earl, 30 Rock and even my beloved Scrubs. I knew Nick Park had a TV scheduled since I glimpsed a bit of it on a commercial on CBS and surprisingly I remembered it was on. Within the first 30 seconds I knew I needed to record it, it was that good. I also knew that brother Frank could probably use a larf so I called him. He was roaming the halls so I spoke with Elaine. She told me they were watching House. I said, who wants to watch a hospital drama, when you’re in a friggin’ hospital? She agreed and changed the channel.

I also called up Rand and Annemarie and told them to catch the show, Rand was recording it already, Annemarie knew about it it years ago since I sent my nephew Earl Wallace and Gromit, another one of Nick Park’s creations. They also had a tape of Creature Comforts, but I think that may have been from the BBC. But what was the best was a phone call I got from my brother Frank, thanking me for telling about the show. He and Elaine were laughing hysterically for the 30 minutes it was broadcast. I knew he needed a larf. I told Frank to be strong and that I loved him. I know he was probably scared since he had an operation scheduled for this morning, so I was glad I was able to take his mind off that, if only for a little while.

It helped me a great deal. After that I watched the New Adventures of Old Christine, which was good, but paled after Creature Comforts. I think Creature Comforts is so good, it probably won’t last long. Then I watched a documentary on Sundance called, Gay Sex in the 70’s. How nice. Not funny at all. Quite sleazy. All about NYC in the seventies and all the gay sex that seemed to be going on everywhere. It was most un-erotic. Various talking heads would tell of their experiences, ultimately saying that they were lucky to be alive, since so many died soon after the seventies from Aids. It’s a good thing I was unaware of what was going on then, being so young and all, so I can sit here and write all about what I missed.

Today I woke up, with one eye on the clock. Frank was scheduled for his operation at 7:30 and I sat on the bus chanting silently to the universe to do the right thing. On the way to work I played Brian Wilson’s SMiLE which starts off with Our Prayer. I saw Brian Wilson perform the album with Frank in 2005 which was a good memory, and I know we’ll have plenty of other good memories to come. Annemarie was on standby with her cellphone always within reach. Brian too was reachable but for what seemed like forever, no news was forthcoming. I assured myself that no news is good news. Bill had enlisted the deacons in his church to pray for Frank’s well being

Every time my phone rang I was fearful but the news eventually came, Frank was out of surgery and that was done. They found more of the infection than expected and I trust they took care of it somehow.
I called Annemarie and Brian and Bill and told them the information. Frank is in ICU, probably playing the part of mumbly Joe, so I’ll see him tomorrow, if the hours permit.

I did have work to attend to and that was interesting and frustrating. Greg Steven’s mother in law has been gravely ill lately and she too had gone under the knife last week. Over the weekend she had a heart attack. So Greg has been sympathetic to what’s been going on with Frank, and I in turn have been sympathetic to his plight as well. I also had a visit from a Chinese woman who had sent me an email, blank, no subject, no message. I just sent it back to her the same way. Surprisingly she showed up in the office asking for me. I introduced myself to her and she was confused, expecting the other John Ozed. Apparently she had done the same thing a few months ago, only looking for someone else, not me.

One of the tasks that I’ve been working on since I started was getting rid of certain phone lines that no one uses anymore. It took a few weeks to track the lines down and figure out what was what. Yesterday, I called up Verizon to take care of the mess. Out of 16 lines, we kept four, saving the company hundred of dollars. Today, someone who has phantom ties to my company came up to me and asked why his phone wasn’t working. His main line worked, but the line he hadn’t used in months, wasn’t. Ridiculous. This guy is hardly in the office, maybe four days a month. He’s trying to extricate himself form our company, lot’s of financial dealings interweave between his company and mine. I sent him an email explaining what was done, then I left for the day.

I walked to the bus terminal, enjoying a Padron and trying to maintain a positive attitude, if only for Frank’s sake. It’s not easy, but he’s worth it. Good thoughts, vibrations and prayers are still needed in his direction so please keep it up. Thanks.