Monthly Archives: July 2007

Why She’s A Girl From The Chain Store

The woman on the bus next to me had killer morning breath. I wish I could tell her. She was too busy talking on her cellphone the whole ride back to Hoboken. And it was crowded. She possibly carried that morning mouth with her all day. I could smell it even though I just finished smoking a Padron 5000 Natural. Someone should have told her, but not me. I don’t know her or work with her. But I am the type of friend that would tell you that your breath stinks, or you have a snot hanging out of your nose. A bat in the cave as it were.

I heard from Marcus today. Actually I called him. I hadn’t seen him in years. He’s a true Rasta pal. I’ve known Marcus since about 1992, when I started working for Skyline Studios. Marcus was hustling on the street around the studio so naturally we hit it off. My friend Miriam and I hung out with Marcus, Jesse and the late, lamented Poncho. I remember the owners of the studio allowed me to have a small party in one of the lounges that weren’t being used. Miriam, the Rastas and myself, blazing away. One of the owners walked through the clouds, tsk tsk’ing, but nothing was said.

I hung out with the Rastas quite a bit, even after the studio was sold and I went to another studio. Marcus had many jobs and one of them was driving a dollar van up and down Flatbush Avenue, or Kings Highway. He was also the group leader of the Rastas and would put his stash in his van in Manhattan going to it on occasion to replenish supplies. After their work was done, meaning after the commuters passed by and picked up their needs for home, we would all hang out in the van getting quite jazzy.

I had the idea that I should drive since the police wouldn’t look twice at a white guy driving a van around midtown Manhattan rather than a jazzed up dreadlocked Rasta. It worked, we never got pulled over. I would just drive and drive around midtown and after an hour I would drop myself off a block or two from the bus terminal and get on line for my bus, not noticing that I reeked of jazz, and my eyes were quite bloodshot while wondering why people were staring at me. The dreads told me I looked Chinese. I was oblivious.

A few times I made it out to Brooklyn which was a major accomplishment. I went to a few parties, believing Marcus when he said that he’d meet me at some Ballroom on Church Avenue at 10:00PM. I would show up at 10:00 exactly only to find no Marcus there. One time I showed up on time and a large group of brothers were hanging out watching a boxing match on TV Everything stopped when I walked into the ballroom. I was the only white guy in the vicinity. At least the only one that wasn’t a cop. I was wearing a suit and tie because Marcus asked me to. Everyone else that went to these parties were from Guyana or Suriname and dressed to the nines, albeit flashy, so Marcus felt I should dress up too. But he wasn’t there yet, so he sent one of his brothers, either Clarence, Kenneth or Jamal to entertain me until Marcus showed.

He showed, and I soon left. Making the acquaintance of two young men on the train, headed for NYU. They didn’t know where they were going really so I instructed them to get off at West 4th Street. They were most grateful and when they asked my name I told them Allen Goldfarb.

This has been an experiment for myself since I heard that some people are tired of reading about my routine in the morning. Apparently I write the samo samo in the beginning. It usually gets me started and obviously I jump off from there. So no more bagels and papers, showers and cereal, at least for the time being. I also heard that there might be other readers besides Annemarie, Kathe, Harpy, Juan and Song. Maybe brother Frank, possibly Bill. So I am content with these seven. It would be cool if other people said hello in the comment section just to know who is reading this……hell, it would be cool if any of those seven wrote something in the comment box.

Looking into the future through a dirty window
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Sloop John B

Back to work because it’s Monday again. Yesterday I didn’t do much of anything. They rains finally came. No beach this weekend. Saturday would’ve been nice, but Billie wasn’t up for both Coney Island and a movie. We wound up doing neither. Early evening dinner at the Film Center Cafe, which was nice. Then it was a quiet ride home after seeing Billie off to his gate, Bill sleeping on the bus, me reading the Onion, then back at home where Bill fell asleep on the couch. Then I sent him off to bed where I joined him soon enough.

I went out Sunday morning around 8:00 to get bagels and the papers and it was a beautiful morning. A perfect beach morning. It changed a few hours later, lightning, thunder and rain for a few hours then it stopped, but I had no motivation to go out. I stayed in and watched some DVD’s. I watched Creature Comforts, but it was weird. It was the Christmas episode, and it was hard to connect since it was the end of July. They did cancel the US version after three episodes. Stupid CBS. We’ll see if I watch them before I turn 65.

I also watched Apocalypto. Not your average Disney flick. It was barely ok. The scenery was nice, the lead actor was a handsome guy once you got past the piercings, the story was compelling and Mel Gibson was actually right by having it acted in Mayan. You do get more involved with the story with a different (read:dead) language. I wouldn’t know about The Passion. I didn’t see it since I knew how it ended. He dies at the end. I guess I should have written Spoiler Alert, but I didn’t so there. Very Jeezy Creezy indeed! In case you were wondering about Apocalypto, the Spanish show up at the end. There goes another Spoiler Alert. Oh well.

I tried watching Love is the Devil, starring Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig. It’s about Francis Bacon and the thug who gets caught breaking into his house, and the relationship they soon fell into. I like Francis Bacon’s paintings, but I just couldn’t get in the mood for a harrowing, shrill dark movie, though the weather outside certainly lent itself towards the lack of frivolity. Bill came home halfway through it and I decided to turn off the movie since if I wasn’t into it, I had my doubts that he would be.

Then we just chilled out. Bill slowly getting ready for his trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the National Black Theater Festival. Bill, being black would definitely fit in. Me, not so easily. He goes every couple of years and it makes for a nice time out from each other. I’m sure I get on his nerves sometimes, and he gets on my nerves sometimes so that is why the time out is a good thing. I know I’ll be hearing his stories (and perhaps you will too) when he comes back.

Work was busy and quiet. I was actually given something to do which was good. A lot of the time I have nothing to do. I just do my work too soon and wind up lolly gagging during different periods of the work day. Tomorrow it should be more in depth, regarding what I have to do and believe it or not, I am looking forward to it.

Here’s a picture of Stella, the puppy next door, courtesy of Mike and Nicole, our neighbors.
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And here’s a picture of Daniel Craig in a Speedo.
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they’re both soooo cuddly.

It’s Kinda Funny

It’s a hot and sticky Saturday. They kept saying rain rain rain but it’s been hot hot hot. And not a drop of rain. It would have been a great beach day but the threat of rain put the kibosh on the plan that Billie and I had to possibly go to Coney Island. We should have gone, the sun was beaming and there was a sand castle contest scheduled for today. I woke up around 9:00, later than usual even for a weekend. Just could not get out of bed, so much easier to just roll over away from the light.

Bill went out and got me the papers and the bagels which was quite nice. I didn’t leave the apartment until 1:30. That’s then I realized how hot it was. Too hot to stay outside. Nice and breezy once again on the fifth floor. There was a back up plan in case there was no beach excursion, to go see Talk to Me starring Don Cheadle as Petey Green, a DJ from the seventies in Washington DC. That was at 5:35 so there was time to take a quick nap underneath a fan for a little while which is what I did.

After that I watched the laundry I did earlier in the day, dry. That was most of the afternoon. I also finished Andrew Loog Oldham’s 2Stoned. Spoiler alert: He lives. What a mess he was. Not so sure that moving to Colombia was the wisest move for someone who had a major cocaine addiction, but he’s now a Scientologist so whatever works I guess. I needed something to read for my bus ride into the city so I read the New Yorker from two weeks ago which was only mildly entertaining. Wasn’t in the mood for a piece on the Taliban and the Opium trade flourishing once again.

Met up with Billie and Bill at the Port Authority and walked over to the theater where we found it was sold out. Bill was not too discreet with his disappointment over the fact that I didn’t buy my tickets online like I did the other day. Well maybe he should have bought the tickets then. But he didn’t and felt perfectly alright with his being disappointed. Billie and I will see it next week, while Bill hustles the Black Theater Festival in North Carolina next week.

We had a nice dinner at the Film Center Cafe which had a make over since I had last been there a couple of years ago. Prices are still reasonable and it’s gotten somewhat sleeker than the dark wood grained place it used to be. Bill entertained Billie with his tales of an actor’s life. I had heard it and lived it already. Since there was no movie, everything ended a lot earlier than expected, Billie headed on a bus back to his hotel in Secaucus, Bill and I back to Bokeyland. He sleeps now, and he slept on the bus. I sit and sweat.

Here’s some pics

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I Can See For Miles

This is turning out to be an odd day. Last night, plans to see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were mutually canceled, but that was after I ate a few whopper juniors from Burger King, thinking that I wouldn’t have much of a chance to eat should we go to the show, Billie and I. I used to eat that crap a lot but now I like to think I eat better. Salads, maybe a dish of pasta once a week and for dinner I eat light. But man those whoppers. I’ll think twice before I eat that again.

Bill was at his folks last night, so I was solo. Just watched TV and got jazzy. Bill phoned before he went to sleep and reminded me to turn on my alarm clock because I hadn’t the past couple of mornings and Bill took it upon himself to wake me up. So before I drifted off to sleep I turned on the alarm. This morning I woke up to Dust in the Wind by Kansas. I hated that song then and hate it now. It was supposedly a satanic song, but then again the list of possible satanic songs was more than likely written by a fundamentalist. They also wrote that Bridge over Troubled Water was about heroin. Sail on silver girl. Oh that nasty Paul Simon.

I shuffled about, thankful that I washed my whites last night since I was all out of t shirts for work. Had some coffee, some cereal, and then the phone rang. It was Bill. I thought he was checking to see if I was awake but it was to ask me to bring in a pair of trousers since the ones he had were holy in the crotch. I’m not going there. Really, I’m not. I found a nice pair and put them in a bag and then I was out again walking to the bus. It was humid this morning and was quite moist when I got to Bill’s office building.

I got the run around from the building personnel on where I could drop off the trousers, finally getting the right person on the third attempt. I walked across midtown and by the time I got to my office building I was drenched. Luckily I keep an extra t-shirt hanging in the IT room which is nice and cold. I changed and then went about starting up the office. Got a call from Billie who will be in town for yet another week and we made tentative plans to go see Talk to Me starring Don Cheadle. The movie takes place in DC in the seventies and Bill and I saw a clip last week, seeing and hearing Don Cheadle saying, ‘I’m not that crazy…’ he sounded just like Billie which made us both agree on a plan to see it with Billie as soon as we could. And so this weekend we could.

I’ve gotten a few emails from some nutter in Germany via youtube. Some whack job sent me a video honoring Klebold and Harris from Columbine and the asshole from West Virginia Tech, explaining that he admires these blanks because they stood up and did something after being picked on for so long. Sick stuff indeed. He’s been flagged. Then a little while ago, I get a phone call from someone looking for Mark. Apparently this Mark had my number in his cellphone and Mark hasn’t been seen in weeks. I honestly don’t know who this Mark is, but in this Internet age, a lot of people don’t use their real names, preferring a nom de net. So I may have chatted with Mark aka…somewhere down the line, and now Mark aka… is missing. Peculiar.

It’s an early blog today. The office closed early. I have no plans yet again, just taking it easy. I’ll probably watch TV, maybe a dvd and sit on the couch, thinking, I better get started on the blog. Oh me and my ADD.

Here’s a little Grace Jones to start your weekend off in a Grace Jones way.

Mambo Number 5

It’s Thursday and awfully humid. Last night was a lot of fun, seeing Hairspray which in hindsight, I liked more today than I did last night. I could see myself seeing it again, though I’m not sure if it will be in the movies. Bill and I came home, I wrote, he went to bed where I joined him soon after. He had an audition for One Life to Live but he doesn’t think it went too well. I tried cheering him up over the phone but he was a bit upset about flubbing the audition. There will be other auditions but he was really psyched about this one.

This morning was no big deal, just the usual thing. I am not complaining. I do like where I work and feel I am well liked. True, no one is telling me how much they like me everyday but still I enjoy the place and my co-workers. Carla is great, Tom Chin is flaky, Greg Stevens is good and Vivek is frantic but still ok to deal with and it’s his company after all. I was invited to go to Long Beach Island next week to stay with brother Frank and Elaine, but I am having my doubts about doing that.

I could only really take one day off, and it would be Friday. It would be a day of rising a bus down there, and then coming back the next day. It’s not as close as Sandy Hook or even Monmouth Beach. I don’t know. I’d like to go, they would like me to come, but Jeezy Creezy, I don’t know if it’s doable. Such a hard decision. A few days off would be nice, but I’ve already taken a few days off earlier this month when Annemarie, Rex and Earl were in town. I just don’t know. And now Juan has asked me to take next Friday off so we could hang….Argh. Last week I was Miss Lonely Hearts, this week I’m fielding invitations to the (beach) ball.

I had an errand to run this afternoon and it was into the hummus for me, I had to go to Penn Station and pick up tickets for Greg Stevens and Vivek who are traveling to Newport next week. I should have told them they were 41 years too late. Dylan went electric around this time all those years ago. Oh those folkies, Greg and Vivek. Will they ever learn to lay off the poteen?

Billie and I made plans to go and see Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. They played McSwells a while ago and both Rand and Roda raved about it. Sharon Jones played with Booker T and the MG’s a few weeks ago and all seemed well, but I was tired from the errand in the heat and dealing with Michelle Penn Station but planned to rally myself when the time came, but Billie called me up, he was feeling a touch unwell and decided to just go back to his hotel in Secaucus. I didn’t complain. I understood.

I wasn’t really looking forward to standing around in the shoes that I wear maybe twice a year. With all the walking around I was doing today my feet were aching. And I even bought Dr. Scholl’s Gel things but even though I was gellin’ they were a hurtin’. So I’m home, nice breeze coming through the window, causing some high beams. Some light jazz wafts through the air. In the distance a whistle blows from the basketball courts where they are having their play offs or maybe a championship.
Whee!

Here’s a little something from Robert Greenwald about how FuckSnooze has Bloggers in their crosshairs.

Good Morning Baltimore

Wednesday night, later than usual. It’s been a somewhat busy day. Bill was the one slamming his snooze button an hour before I usually do. I went back to sleep as he rousted himself from bed realizing that if he hit the snooze one more time then he was going to be late. I woke up eventually, about an hour later, realizing that I had to go to work, after all I made plans to go to the movies with Bill and Billie, who is back up from DC for more training at the Chop Shop salad joint around the corner from where I work.

We hardly ever go to the movies anymore. We have cable TV and I subscribe to Netflix, so basically there are tons of other movies out there, besides the ones in the cinemas right now. And if you need to see something current, if you wait a week you can get a bootlegged video for about $5.00. That’s what I did a few months ago when I bought a very good clean copy of 300 on the street for half a sawbuck. I don’t have it anymore since I gave it to Earl when he was here a few weeks ago.

Work was slow again, but I kept busy. I fixed a door which was a major accomplishment, and I saved the company some money from repairing it myself. I can be handy after all. Carla the receptionist mentioned that I never seem to go out and take lunch. It’s true. I run out and get some food and just go back to my desk and eat. I should go out and enjoy some of the afternoon at a leisurely pace. That’s something I have to look into somewhere down the line. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow.

Tonight Bill and Billie and I went to see Hairspray. I met up with Billie after work, meeting Bill at the theater. Billie and I had some time to kill so we wandered up to Central Park for a spell and sat and talked and looked at the ducks and a crane and got a little jazzy. It was perfect. Billie mentioned that he loves coming up here and doing nothing. That’s basically what we did when Bill and I visited Billie in DC. We didn’t do much of anything. Saw some monuments and went to a leather bar and went bowling, eating at different restaurants each night. It’s great. Billie is entertained just walking around Manhattan and talking. Jazziness helps.

The movie was good and a lot of fun. I recommend it. It’s humor is even broader than it was in the original. And yes, John Travolta is good as Edna Turnblad, but the movie belongs to Nikki Blonsky as Tracy Turnblad, the hair hopper herself. John Waters, Ricki Lake and Jerry Stiller all have cameos. I liked it, but my heart belongs to the original. The songs, the acting, the whole feel of the movie are better than the latest. But it’s a different time, different actors, totally new songs. It’s worth seeing it though. Michelle Pfieffer is really good in it, as is Queen Latifah. Go see it. If only to see John Travolta dance off Michelle Pfieffer. Have fun and enjoy it. We did.

Lady Jane

I just got off the phone with Jane. She’s an old friend, one of the Colgate crew that graduated from Colgate University in 1982. I fell in with that crowd while I was still living in Lodi. My job at that time was to drive twice a day from Saddle Brook NJ to 47th and Third Avenue in Manhattan. It was at 757 Third Avenue that I first met Rand and Jose, they had just graduated from Colgate so I guess that would make it 1982 as well. I remember walking down a hallway and seeing these two guys acting strangely, meaning they were acting just like me.

I found out that they lived in Hoboken, Jose had an apartment on Monroe Street when Monroe Street was real rough and tumble, Rand lived with his sister on Willow Avenue, not so rough and tumble. I asked them if they went to McSwells which is where I started to go a few months previously after my brother Frank had told me about it. Rand and Jose went there occasionally, definitely not as often as I did. Through Rand and Jose I met Lois and Martha who also went to Colgate and were sharing an apartment on Garden Street. They had a third roommate and that was Jane.

Jane was traveling through Europe I believe, and left her boyfriend Andy behind. Andy eventually moved in with Rand across the street from McSwells but I’m getting ahead of myself. Many nights were spent at the Garden Street apartment, getting jazzy, doing whippets and or nitrous oxide occasionally hitting the slopes. Not much drinking or sexing going on, just inebriation of the illegal kind. We were in our twenties which is pretty much a good time to do that sort of thing.

Everyone was always going on and on about how great Jane is, and what a great time we would have when she got back from Europe if anyone had an idea when she was coming back. Eventually she did come back, and I recall meeting her on 51st Street with Rand and or Jose and she was great though she paid more attention to the friends that she knew rather than the friend she was going to make. That’s certainly understandable. Eventually we hit it off. She was, and still is quite great. Jane is an excellent cello player by the way.

She eventually got a gig playing cello at brunch on Sunday afternoons at McSwells which was cool if you had a hangover from hanging out there the night before. Jane and I wrote a song together which we debuted at one of my first live appearances at a bar in Times Square called Tin Pan Alley. She titled the song O’Toole for some reason. I hadn’t heard from Jane in a while, in fact the last time I heard from her was on my birthday last year, she remembered and gave me a call.

Jane lives in Woodstock now, away from the hustle and bustle and the rough and tumble, a quiet life when she’s not on the road. She’s played with some fairly big names in the music business and toured with some of them. Just good to hear from an old friend. We made tentative plans to meet up next time she’s in Manhattan, country life is too boring for our Jane. It’s a nice life raft, a cabin in the woods, but I guess she’s just a metropolitan gal deep down. We can do a lot more catching up face to face rather than on a long phone call, though a phone is just as good if you can get together, face to face. And forget about being online, she has a dial up.

More Dust

It’s a Monday. It’s raining. Meghan and Rob have left my sister, in tears. No, nothing bad happened, Annemarie was just sad to see them go. Back to the mundane for Arcata I suppose. It’s that way here all the time, especially when it’s mundane Monday and that’s what today is. Last night Bill and I watched John From Cincinnati, Entourage and the Flight of the Conchords which is actually hilarious. Best of the three as far as I’m concerned and I’m really concerned. Then it was off to bed out of boredom, nothing else was really required after that.

Slept relatively ok, though the first thought when I woke up was, ‘I don’t wanna go. I feel sick.’ The old feeling from September and school. But no one was around to say otherwise and I decided to get out of bed and start the day. Most of the time when taking a day off is thinking about how everyone else is at work and no one is around to do anything with. That’s when I skirt danger and flirt with trouble. Or is it flirt with danger and skirting trouble? No matter, it doesn’t end in a good way.

So work it was. Me, groggy walking through the apartment. Bill once again performed a wifely duty and made coffee and poured cereal in a bowl. One of these days he’ll tell me where he put those bowls of cereal and I will have a balanced breakfast. I showered, scrubbing moles and dead skin off myself, putting conditioner in my goatee, face and hair so it’s nice and soft, and remembering to rinse it all out. I shaved and dried myself off and felt more alive than I did than I was when I went into the shower, and that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

Walked to the bus in the rain, waited for the bus in the rain. Got on the bus and sat and read 2Stoned, which I nearly have a little more than a quarter to finish. It tied in nicely with listening to the Rolling Stones on the way across midtown. Tumbling Dice, Undercover of the Night, Emotional Rescue, It’s Only Rock and Roll (co-written by an uncredited David Bowie I’ve heard) and Gimme Shelter which is fast becoming my favorite Stones song. War, children, It’s just a shot away.

After those songs I was back in the office which I left on Friday at 1:00. Nothing changed since then, everything is just as I left it. According to Carla the receptionist, most everyone left. Leaving her to sit in the office until 5:00. I’m supposed to know that since I’m her boss. I don’t think she’s lying but then again I don’t care if she is. It’s been slow lately, being the summer and various people out of the office. There’s only 12 of us in the office anyhow, someone is out and everything slows down somewhat. Much like your enthusiasm in reading this.

Now here’s some pics.

Sunset Last Week
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Beyond the greenery, the Brazilian Girls are performing
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Shank’s Mare
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This guy stopped in front of me
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These people walked past me
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The weather on Sunday
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The weather on Monday
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The weather on Monday with orchid
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Dub MLPA

Well it’s Sunday night, I got home about 45 minutes ago. It’s almost 9:00, having some Grimaldi’s pizza which Bill ordered. That was nice and tasty. Perfect for coming home, a little jazzed and with a healthy appetite. It was a gorgeous day today. Last night I just watched the telly until about 1:00, when I went to bed, leaving Bill on the couch watching Woody Allen’s Manhattan which I saw with Annemarie, back in 1978, I think at the Rialto or one of the other dollar movie theaters. We both loved it though a lot of the humor went way over my head.

This morning I woke up to find once again, Bill made coffee and poured cereal in a bowl for me. I showered and shaved since I got a new haircut yesterday I wanted to look sharp. After the coffee and cereal and watching the morning news, I went out and got the papers and a bagel or two. Sat around drinking more coffee reading the papers and checking email. It was like that more or less most of the morning. I was thrown off by the fact that Bill wasn’t going to church this morning which made me a little uncomfortable at first, just because on Sunday mornings he’s hardly ever here.

He decided to clean up the apartment a bit, which meant shredding paper. A lot of paper. I did my best to stay out of his way as he shredded and watched C-Span for some reason. Maybe he’s doing some moonlighting for some firm and he’s practicing his shredding skills. It was getting boring around the apartment, but I had a plan to head into the city, and go to Central Park to see or rather, hear Brazilian Girls. I walked yo Seventh Avenue once I got into the city and stumbled into a street fair. Not needing any tube socks I stuck to the sidewalk where it was less crowded.

I stopped at a deli on Seventh and 58th Street and got some mediocre macaroni salad and a piece of dried chocolate bread. Made it to Summerstage to find the rock overrun with people and a very long queue to get into the Rumsey Playfield. I walked around and found a small spot to sit on the rock and listen to the opening act who sounded a little bit Reggae and a little bit Latin. They were good though I couldn’t tell you who they were. The air was filled with jazz though and that was nice.

Bought a beer and soon enough the rent was due. I walked over to the restrooms and lost an ounce or two. On the way back I ran into Ben Kochas, who I used to work with at Wanker Banker. He was strolling through the park with his pretty wife and handsome son. Brief catching up in about two minutes and he went his way and I went mine. I actually saw him a couple of weeks ago, but he didn’t see me so I kept on a walking.

Sat near the bandshell as Brazilian Girls continued doing their thing. Chilled out, watched people as I grooved to the music. Nice walk back to the bus terminal and now here I am. Pizza was good too, but much better when it’s HOT. Once again it felt like vacation over, back to work tomorrow.

Pics tomorrow. Me lazy.

Marcus Children Suffer

Well it’s been quite pleasant these past 24 hours or so. I was up late, trying to get the sound check video working properly and posted it via good old youtube which has been indispensable to me as of late. So far 37 people have viewed it, whether intentionally or what, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps they were searching for National Anthem which is the tag I gave the clip, or perhaps, and I highly doubt this, that they connected to the video clip through this blog. Of course I find that hilarious. Also on the bottom of the web clip there is a link to Marvin Gaye singing the National anthem at a basketball game in the 1980’s. I mentioned it to my brother Frank on the phone today and he reminded me of the furor that came out after the event. I think it’s brilliant.

Frank is doing better each day it seems. More responsive on the phone, and Elaine plans to relax after she does her chores. Meg and Rob have arrived in Arcata and are probably seeing the sight (singular) of Arcata. After the town square, what else is there to do? Buy hemp clothing? And I guess Cory is off doing her thing whatever that maybe. She’s legal now so look out world.

I remember seeing Laurie Anderson at the Beacon Theater in the eighties and she was talking about how the Star Spangled Banner is such an odd choice, but perhaps correct to be a national anthem since it’s mainly about a group of people in the dark asking questions that are never answered. She mentioned that the perfect b-side of course would be Yankee Doodle, with it’s Yankee Doodle came to town, riding on a pony. Stuck a feather in it’s cap, and called it macaroni. Very surrealist isn’t it?

I had a good time last night at the game and could easily see myself going to another game somewhere down the line. I met Bill’s old heartthrob, Fred who I actually met once before at his wedding. Yes Fred is straight but definitely plucked Bill’s heart strings. And I didn’t feel threatened by him. Found to be funny and intelligent. Much like me. Hmmm…a pattern?

Today was still pleasant. I woke up pleasantly to find that Bill made coffee and put some cereal in a bowl. I showered and had some coffee and cereal. After a while I went out and got the papers. I need a haircut but Tony my barber was busy. Came back, had some more coffee, did some laundry. Bill split for his voice class and I walked around Hoboken for a bit, ran into Jolly Roger, that rock and roll dentist, now dean of UMDNJ. I congratulated him on his wedding on 07.07.07. He was looking good and quite happy.

Came back, saw Tony the barber was free so I went in and got chopped. He also pays attention to the goatee, snipping off errant gray hairs, even trimming nose and ear when needed. Full service from a nice guy, old school Italian, off the boat.

Now here are some pics from yesterday…

The calm Bill
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The anxious Bill
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Cecil B. Aquarius relation?
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Bills?
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Do ya see what eye see? Do ya? Do ya?
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pre show
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SHOWTIME
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Ready to rumble?
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his hand is like a hummingbird’s wing. Crazy!
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and the home of the brave…..?
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what everyone else came to see (NY Liberty in White)
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the end
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11:59

Late edition this one is. Well today was another big event day. Bill was singing at the WNBA New York Liberty basketball game tonight. That was the high point of the day. Other than that I woke up, showered, had coffee, cereal, checked the email and walked over to the bus stop after getting dressed. Seems like a lot of people have been taking Fridays off so the bus wasn’t crowded at all. And since my timing was ‘on’ today, I had gotten on the big comfortable coach bus. I’ve been reading Andrew Loog Oldham’s 2Stoned and haven’t touched the New York so I’m going to be behind. I already am.

Work was very quiet. It was the paid summer intern’s last day and no one was doing anything about it. I inquired if there’d be a lunch or a gift or something along those lines earlier in the week but I didn’t hear anything about it until today. To be precise, about a half hour before I left. I took a half day because of there wasn’t any real need for me to be in the office all day. I planned on taking a half day mainly because of Bill’s singing later in the evening.

I doubt if anyone noticed I was leaving at 1:00 but I wanted to go home, and get dressed in a nice suit and tie, the same suit I wore to Meghan and Rob’s wedding, with the back up tie and pocket silk from that big matrimonial event. I was lucky since it was a beautiful day, it wasn’t raining and there were no steam pipes exploding around midtown Manhattan. I caught a bus and was home by 2:00, after picking up the suit at the dry cleaners. Then, since I was going to be wearing the same, oh so stylish tasseled loafers that I wore to the wedding, I thought it best to get some padding for the heels since I didn’t want another occurrence of the big ass blister from hell.

I ran back down the stairs to Giovanni the shoemaker and spent 10 dollars for 10 seconds and then back up the stairs. I even jumped in the shower, made a tuna sandwich which was really an idea since there was barely enough tuna for a sandwich, so I ate some toast that vaguely smelled and tasted like tuna. Didn’t have the time to make more, I was pressed for time! So much to do, like take a quick shower, and start getting dressed while jazz wafted through the summertime air on the fifth floor.

Got back on the bus to the city and as I was dressed to the nines, I decided to take it easy since it was still a bit humid in the city, though I didn’t have much of a choice since the heel cushions took some getting used to. But they sure were comfortable. I made it to Madison Square Garden and met up with Bill. We were escorted to the floor where Bill was being set up for a sound check, after the Liberty Dancers were done with their rehearsal.

Bill sounded great, probably the best version of the Star Spangled Banner I ever heard. Then we were escorted into the star’s dressing room, after walking down a hallway lined with photographs of all the different rock stars and entertainers that have performed there. It was a bit of a thrill and of course once in the dressing room I looked for drugs that the Rolling Stones might have left behind. Like the Stones would leave any drugs behind. Blame the Oldham book. We watched some TV as Bill started his vocal exercises. Before you knew it we were on the floor of the Garden, being watched by hundreds of people. Bill sang it perfectly and everyone applauded. When Bill gets his video from MSG, I’ll try to post it.

It was really a great evening. Definitely out of the ordinary.

This is from the sound check. Like I said earlier, I will post the ‘official Madison Square Garden’ video. Tomorrow I’ll post some pics. Here’s a video from Bill’s sound check. Enjoy!

Almost like the end of our broadcasting day, innit?

No Reason

Another muggy Thursday with rain spells intermittently pouring down in sheets for a few minutes. Regarding yesterday, one person died of a heart attack while the 24 inch steam pipe burst, the driver of a tow truck that was almost on top of the exploding steam pipe is in a medically induced coma due to being terribly burned over 80 % of his body. A couple of other people are in hospitals with various ailments. They city is saying the air is safe to breathe, but people are remembering that was said after 9/11, backed up by Christie Todd Whitman and the Bush administration. Various police officers and EMS workers were wearing respirators. I only saw one person wearing a respirator and she was blocks away. Better safe than sorry she was.

I didn’t have any trouble getting to work this morning, but then again I don’t use the trains that were shut down in the area of the explosion, and that area of the explosion is a block away from Grand Central Station so most subways were waylaid. I walked over across midtown, some streets were pedestrian thoroughfares which was an interesting sight to see. Made me wish that most of Manhattan were pedestrian thoroughfares, but without the explosions. That’s not too much to ask for is it?

Work was slow. I need to find ways to pass the time. Today was a continuation of searching midtown Manhattan for an unlocked Blackberry 8800 for Vivek. It was an enjoyable stroll, and of course the sky opened up while I was a few blocks away from the office. I was heading back, and didn’t feel any need to run for shelter. When situations like this occur the soundtrack in my mind always goes to the Beatles singing Rain, the b-side to Paperback Writer. In my opinion, Rain is barely a better song than Paperback Writer, since Paperback Writer is a perfect pop song. Rain being a bit left field and experimental I guess earned it’s place on the flip side. John Lennon’s voice is great and the lads sound toppermost of the poppermost.

Juan came over last night and we watched Last Comic Standing which probably is the only ‘reality’ show I occasionally watch. Juan never saw it before and of course the good comedians we liked were voted off. It’s not as easy handicapping the show like last year since there are no handicapped comedians on the show this season. And whatever happened to that handicapped guy who won last year?

We watched To Catch A Predator after that. That was fun and interesting since they filmed in Ocean County NJ and Juan and I had our eyes peeled in case we knew someone on the show. We didn’t know anyone though I think Juan was hoping to see someone’s dad being arrested. Maybe next week. It was creepier than previous episodes since now they have the decoy actually sitting and talking to the predator. We watched some of the Daily Show then Juan said he was tired and I kicked his tired ass to the curb. Actually we hugged and he merely walked down the stairs.

Here’s some after work pics from this afternoon.

45th and Lexington (5 blocks north of the explosion)
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News trucks at 45th and Vanderbilt
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Cops on the roof
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Concrete Jungle

It’s 6:55 and I just missed a steam pipe explosion at 41st Street and Lexington Avenue. It’s one of the routes that I take when I walk from the office to the bus terminal. I generally avoid 42nd Street since it’s always crowded with tourists and commuters and that’s an unlucky mix.41st Street is much less crowded and I can smoke a Padron in peace as I stroll down the street. I missed it by an hour or rather it missed me. Tonight I walked down 45th Street past Grand Central Station’s north side where the menfolk are easier on the eyes, and I was listening to the Specials first album so I wouldn’t be hearing the complaints about me and my cigar.

Apparently there was a loud explosion, only two people have been reported injured. But steam and ‘liquid with brown dirt’ are presently flying through the air. There’s no clear and safe route anywhere in the city since the infrastructure is crumbling with each passing second. It’s an old infrastructure, much like in Hudson County where a water main broke and we were without water for about 24 hours. Now there are several injuries being reported. Of course the initial thought was terrorism, what with all the noise about Al Qaeda being stronger than ever and more poised to strike the US, more than likely New York City once again. A nice international city with a bull’s eye on it.

One horrible report from a man on the street was describing seeing a man walking by who didn’t have any pants on, apparently they were burned off, and his skin was ‘hanging like drapes’. A gruesome scalding from the steam. John Beck, son of Bruce, sportscaster on News Channel 4 in Manhattan was just on describing how everyone was screaming and crying and running and rumors of it being a bomb having exploded and no one could get a signal on their cell phones. It’s weird to watch the path I take being on the news with clouds of steam spewing forth onto Lexington Avenue. A matter of minutes and a few blocks made all the difference. But good looking men in suits and a Padron cigar changed my route for this evening. All this mess was because of a ruptured 20 inch steam pipe.

It’s a lot more interesting than last night, where I just sat at home, watching My Super Ex-Girlfriend which was terrible. I didn’t even get to see Jeannie Moorehead in the background, though she, like Bill, are generally in a blink and you’ll miss it situation. They’ve both been cast as extras on different films and television shows. Bill came home midway through and went right to bed, poor thing so stressed about his phone. It was insured and he got a new one, and able to transfer his contacts so it wasn’t too bad, but just bad enough.

I had a nice chat with Song in Sydney. He was tired even though it was morning there. I can relate to that. I watched the last hour of Saving Private Ryan since there was nothing else on and it was almost as intense as the first 20 minutes. Still a very good movie, one of Senor Spielbergo’s best, though not as good as A Burns for All Seasons. Es muy bueno, illegaldress. Then I drifted off to sleep to wake up hours later to have Bill asking me if I was going to work since I wasn’t stirring fast enough for his taste.

Now it’s 90 minutes and the steam is still pouring forth, releasing possibly asbestos into the air. Yes the infrastructure is falling apart underneath our feet and no one is really doing anything about until a calamity like this happens. That would cost money and money means taxes and no one wants to pay more taxes. So shit like this happens.

I interviewed for two different jobs at this intersection. Woo hoo! And in an unrelated note, the New York offices of Wanker Banker are now closed as of today. They were bought out by another company and most have been moved to new offices. Former coworker Brenda is moving with the company, former assistant Christina was let go. And my IT buddies are now part of a Canadian National Bank.

Rockin’ in Ab

Well it’s only Tuesday. Last night was promising to be a quiet evening at home. Bill out at some acting class, Juan totally off the radar since last week and his bailing. I almost wrote our contrempts but that requires two and I was the only one. Forget about Julio and Stine, as well. They’re a couple doing couple things. I watched Big Love which I really enjoyed a lot, despite the sad ending. I watched a documentary about Rembrandt which was very good, but it was on while I was writing so it obviously didn’t have my full attention.

Bill texted me as he was on the bus home. I sat and watched TV, reading the rest of Mojo magazine when Bill walked in, so happy to be home. Kisses back and forth and I went back to reading as he unloaded his bags. A few minutes later he asked if I could call his phone, which usually means he’s misplaced his. I called, he looked. I called again, he kept looking. Eventually it dawned on him that he must have left it on the bus which sucks. He has the National Anthem to sing on Friday at Madison Square Garden and was hoping to get in touch with his contacts.

Bill left the apartment to try to get the bus he rode in on, but it was too late. He was fucked. I felt terrible for what he was going through. But there was nothing I could do except to go to bed. Didn’t fall asleep right away, more than likely that was because of all the caffeine I had in the morning when I got to the office since I barely had any when I left the apartment. Bill came in dejected and upset with himself, and I tried to make him feel better but he wasn’t having it.

He was up and out of the apartment this morning as I struggled to get out of bed. Bill made some coffee for me, this time it was safe to drink. I showered, had some cereal checked the mail and before you know it, I was almost late for the bus. I caught the comfortable bus with the usual nameless youngsters, and I passed Lou Carbone outside the coffee shop on Washington Street. I’ve known of him for years, and thought he was sexy at one time, but he’s a Lothario of sorts with the ladies. I always thought of him as the Leonard Cohen of the Hoboken artsy set. In 25 years of being in Hoboken I doubt if I said anything to him at anytime.

Work was quiet, Greg Stevens out at a golf function upstate somewhere. I chatted with Miriam online. Hadn’t seen her in ages. Her baby is getting big much to her dismay. She should have taken my gold fish advice under consideration. A fish will grow to the size of it’s environment, so why wouldn’t a baby? It was great to chat with her though.

One cool thing I did today was go to the Kwik-E Mart on w42nd Street. I read about Joe. My. God. going to the store and I almost went myself after work yesterday, but decided it would probably be less crowded in the morning. It was decidedly less crowded. Only myself and two young women in the store. I took some pics, bought two Squishee cups, two Buzz colas and two pink donuts which didn’t last though the day.

That’s it. Here are some pics of that adventure.

The Kwik-E-Mart on 42nd Street
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MMmmmmm Pink Donuts…..
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Bart
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Apu
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Ralph Wiggum
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Play in the Sunshine

Oh I went to bed at a decent hour especially after doing basically nothing at all this weekend. Juan seems to have fallen off the radar, most of the time he’s in Trenton or working his new insane hours. I wonder if he’ll be around to see Brazilian Girls on Sunday at Central Park Summerstage? I know I’m going to be chillin’ on the rocks in any event. I may even go up to Otisville to visit Pedro on Saturday (since last week was no good for him) and then when he drops me off in Queens, I’ll just head over to Summerstage.

But that’s a week away, almost. Today I woke up, but couldn’t really get out of bed. I could have slept a lot longer. I did wake up to CBS-FM like I used to. Heard ‘I Got You Babe’ which was a bit groundhog-ish. Bill kissed me good bye as I lay in bed. I asked him what time it was and he said 6:15. Since Hoboken didn’t have water most of the weekend I dreaded taking a shower. Bill made some coffee, but I had my doubts that he used the water in the fridge, and I doubted whether or not he boiled the water for a minute like required by the powers that be.

I did have a cuppa and only had a sip or two before my paranoia got to me. I was running a few minutes late and I couldn’t find my iPod holder and that’s important because that is where my bus pass is. I found it eventually and made my way up to Washington Street where I saw my usual bus, the really comfortable bus, go rolling down the street as I walked to the stop. I knew I was going to be late for sure now.

I caught a crappy bus and spied Michael Hill, the Jesus looking homeless dude, and Denise Foster all walking down the street, about 50 feet between each one. I knew Michael from McSwells, Denise lived across the street from McSwells and we used to celebrate our birthday together, but she became a Jehovah’s Witness and doesn’t do that sort of thing anymore. Ah religion. Then there’s the homeless Jesus dude who graduated from Hoboken High School with my old friend Martin Kelly. Martin’s a year or two older than me so that means they graduated in 1978 or 79.

Work was ok. Finally got caffeinated in the office. Everyone coming in dribs and drabs once again. I realized how much I miss Annemarie, Rex and Earl. Last week was all about coming down off the vacation/wedding high and this week with no water, it being too hot to do much of anything going to work this morning was cold water in the face. I have some more vacation to take later in the year so that’s some time off to look forward too. Work isn’t overwhelming. On the contrary, it’s more underwhelming if anything. But I really do miss those three. It’s been a week since they’ve left.

Billie is back in DC and Julio and Stine came home exhausted and out cold by 8:00PM. And who knows when Juan will grace Hudson County with his visage? And where is Song? Never mind all that, where’s Bill?

Where are you?

check out this link: cut n’ paste
http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2007/07/rest-easy-old-p.html

Ether

It’s Friday. Last week at this time I had just gotten back from the beach with Annemarie, Earl and Corinne, getting ready to go to Brian’s surprise party for his upcoming 50th birthday and when you think of it, 50 birthdays is an accomplishment. Annemarie sadly reminded me of last week’s fact. And once again, I’m solo, meaning lonely. Juan blew me off last night, figuratively, not literally and I didn’t think that was too cool. Bill was at his folks. I watched Jean Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows, a film about the French resistance in World War 2.

I had the time and no distractions so I could watch a subtitled film without being bothered. Can’t really do that when anyone else is around. Someone always has questions about what happened, what will happened, or why did they do that which breaks the flow of the movie. Plus I had the film since May so it was high time I watched it. It was worth watching, though it didn’t live up to the hype that I read about last year when it was released for the first time in the US. It was made in 1968 and never made it to the States for some odd reason.

Woke up in a big bed all by my lonesome. Got out of bed and did the shower, cereal, coffee routine. Got the bus, more Andrew Loog Oldham stories. I got my fix of music mags, since both the new Mojo and Uncut came out. That’s my life. I’m excited that magazines are here. Oh I used to be exciting. I used to go out more often. But then again, I did go out the other night with Bill and Billie and that was fun. There was a time when I would do that most every night. Sometimes I’d go from West 48th Street and 7th Avenue, go down to the Lower East side for a few hours and then somehow make it home to Weehawken. Then again, I was working in the music business and partying was something that was done. Now I am done.

Thirty years ago today was the big blackout in New York City. I was 14 years old and living a relatively innocent existence. I was at the neighbor’s, the Williams’ family, watching TV with the youngest, Scott. Then all of a sudden, the screen went to static. I think we played Gnip Gnop, some silly 1970’s game or was it Othello? That would explain why Scott was in blackface.

New York City was still a terrifying concept which was reinforced the next day, looking at the newspapers and the news on TV which was being broadcast somewhere outside the city. Lot’s of looting, and Son of Sam still roaming the streets. It did back up my parent’s belief that the city was full of animals, and perhaps at that time, they were right.

This weekend, I was invited up to Otisville to visit Pedro and save him from rural boredom. That’s doable. Or I might take a bike ride, which I haven’t done in weeks. The weather might be good for that and that might be good for my doldrums. I also have to send a load of pictures taken while Annemarie, Rex and Earl were here. But it’s Friday, and I’m enjoying cocktail hour. Bill’s working overtime, Juan is MIA, Julio and Stine return from Denmark on Sunday and I just picked up their laundry, sheets and pillowcases and towels. I hope they’re bringing me some Cuban cigars, but he did that a few years ago, and it cost Julio a bundle and he regretted it I think. Maybe he’s forgotten. Maybe Stine would suggest it. Or maybe not.

It’s also Friday the 13th.

Mind

It’s Thursday and it’s a rather ho hum kind of day. Woke up once again with Bill kissing me farewell as he left for work. I couldn’t wake up this morning but the kiss certainly helped. He made coffee again to my eternal gratitude. I showered, shaved and had some coffee, not enough milk for cereal so that meant an egg sandwich from West Indian Tony at Smilers on Fifth Avenue. That was something to look forward to as I rode on the bus reading 2Stoned by Andrew Loog Oldham. It’s the sequel to his first memoir, Stoned. Witty title, no?

It’s an enjoyable read, how arrogant and fucked up he was, in the Swingin’ Sixties. I know the Swingin’ Sixties is a legend, perhaps even a cliché, but he was, if not at the epicenter of the London Pop Scene, he was very close to it, as manager of the Rolling Stones and Immediate Records. He was also wrecked on all sorts of things as well as being manic depressive before that became a fashionable term. Oldham hasn’t spoken to Mick Jagger in quite a while though quotes from Keef, Marianne Faithfull, and Bill Wyman among others are throughout this book much like the first book.

West Indian Tony was as personable as ever. Always asking about how my man is doing. He seems really excited about Bill singing the national anthem next Friday, opening up for the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Tony hooked me up big time with an nice sandwich, even threw some bacon on it. I wished Tony a good weekend and headed off to work, listening to Queen Bitch by David Bowie. It seemed oddly appropriate for some reason. It was cool enough this morning so I didn’t have to change my t shirt when I got to the office.

Last night while walking to O.W. With Billie there was a sudden downpour which was violent but broke the humidity and made everything rather pleasant. Pleasant enough for a jazz cigarette while walking through the park with Billie and Bill. The park was deserted except for a couple of tourists anyway. So all that made for a really cool day, weather-wise. Work was ok, not too stressful. Greg Stevens left early and won’t be back until Monday. I’ve also been working with Fay Victor from Wanker Banker days and that’s bringing back some fun memories. She’s cool to hang with. She sent a copy of her latest cd and a get well card to Frank. I also got a copy.

I saw Billie at Chop’T today, and had another expensive salad except this was cheaper since I found a buy 9 salads get one free in my desk at work and since I’ve been the only one sitting there for the past three months, I claimed it as mine. The salad which is usually expensive cost 2.00 and change. Nice. I finished my work with Greg Stevens early and opted to leave the office at 3:30. My work was done and it was too nice to stay in an office. I walked across midtown, listening to Young Americans and got back on the bus reading once again, 2Stoned. Bill’s at his folks tonight so I’ll be chilling out here all by myself. Quite a change from last week.

Jump Back

No T Mobile drama today. I also think I wrote too soon last night, regarding my bad day, Bill’s bad day and Annemarie, Rex and Earl’s traveling horror story. Well I suppose the post script would be about Juan’s car being towed to the impound lot in Hoboken. That sucked. Right around midnight, I get a call from Juan. He came back up after having left a few minutes earlier. We watched The Devil Wears Prada on cable with Bill. Juan was frantic and I did my best to reassure him. He left to walk up to 15th and Jefferson and from what I understand that didn’t go well either. Maybe Juan will blog it.

I slept relatively well. I cuddled with Bill which was nice. I hadn’t done that in a while. He was dead to the world anyway. I had a restful sleep and woke up with Bill leaning over me ready to kiss me good bye on his way to work. I soon got out of bed and paddled my way around the apartment. Bill made coffee and even poured cereal in the bowl before he left. No milk for the cereal since Bill never eats cereal and doesn’t know how much milk would go in the bowl. Damn physics!

Work was more restful today than it was yesterday. I was busier at my desk, no swimming around midtown in the hummus for me today. Most of the work was for Greg Stevens, so I gave it 110%. He’s now the president of some investment social organization so I needed to organize some administrative information for his group. I was surprised at what I could do, though I did chat with Bill online about some kinks in an excel program that I wasn’t able to figure out for myself. Bill did point me in the right direction and I was able to figure it out.

I was going out tonight with Bill and Billie, who is up from DC training in Manhattan. I’ve known Billie almost 25 years now. He’s going to be managing the opening of some Chop’T salad joints in DC. Chop’T is an upscale salad bar. I ate there on Monday and got a salad that cost 9.00 and change. It was good, but 9.00? I only went since I knew Billie would be there, unable to really sit and chat since it was lunchtime. Maybe I’ll wind up in possession of some free salad passes.

We went to O.W. Which stands for Oscar Wilde. It’s an okay bar. They used to serve Guinness but not anymore. It was formerly an old Irish dive bar. I pop in every one or two years. It’s usually bearable, but tonight it was cool since Billie was in town, making it a special occasion. I was wearing black pinstriped trousers and a white cotton shirt. Apparently I looked like a chef. That’s what some guy asked me. He was being earnest though. He was wearing a Commander in Chief t shirt so I asked him if he was the president. He wasn’t and we both regretted it.

Here are some snaps.

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Billie and the long dreads
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Chef John Ozed on the right
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Rainy Day Women # 12 and 35

Woke up this morning, hot as all hell, in the 80’s. The last fifteen minutes of sleep lasted a long time. I peeked and it was 5:45, then after what seemed like a long time it was 6:00 and time to get out of bed.
Bill was off and running taking the recyclables downstairs which was nice. I left soon after and took the recyclables out of the garbage cans and put them in the recycling bin which was stuffed by I was able to fit the things in, Nice effort on Bill’s part, great follow though on mine I guess.

Hot hot hot as I walked to the bus stop, got on the bus while the other people were jerking off their Blackberries. Normally I would let the women on before me but if she’s too busy on her Crackberry, then too bad I’ll get on first. Too hot for proper etiquette if there is actual etiquette around these days
I walked across town sweltering in the heat, cutting through Grand Central Station which provided some relief from the heat. Got to the office, started things up and changed by soaked t-shirt in the IT room which is nice and air conditioned.

People came in in drips and drabs and the office came alive shortly thereafter. I had some errands to run of course in the now 90 degree heat. Walking down the street was like walking through hummus. That’s where the reference comes in, in case you’re in Sydney and don’t know what the hell I am writing about. Tried to do a few things for the office, like getting a proper sign made so when you get off the elevator on my floor you know who’s offices you are going to. That was a slight headache since we share our space with another company and it sounded like someone was going to be slighted. But the lease states that only my company can have signage at the spot so a showdown should be happening somewhere later in the week.

An old friend and business partner of Vivek’s asked me a favor, to go and get some minutes for a cell phone. He has some friends coming in from India and they needed minutes for their cellphones. I needed to go to T Mobile and Cingular and bought $400.00 worth of minutes. I also had to suss out some restaurants for a closing dinner on July 26th, which I am invited to. So I ran to T Mobile and Cingular and bought the minutes that were needed and also checked out some restaurants in the area. I also went to a Sign Maker and inquired about some signs to be made. Then I came back to the office and broke down the info for the minutes from the cellphone companies on a separate paper for convenience and an easy read.

I go to Vivek’s friend and he tells me he needs SIM cards, not minutes. It didn’t make sense but it was his dime. I went over to the T Mobile store across the street and tried to explain the error. They’re telling me it’s too late the minutes can’t be taken back since they are on my phone. But I didn’t want them or need them. They were really arrogant. This balding motherfucker yells at me as I’m walking out the door, ‘Don’t get mad because you can’t get what you want.’ I yelled back, ‘Oh grow some hair.’
I was fuming, literally and figuratively and went back to my desk and logged into my T Mobile account. No sign of added minutes.

Then I called T Mobile, spoke with Justin who was very understanding and helpful and couldn’t find the minutes in my account, nor in Vivek’s friend’s account. Justin called the store and they gave him the run around too. But he was able to get me a full refund, or perhaps the SIM cards that were asked for earlier. It was only 6:30 PM now and another T Mobile store in the area was open to 7:30. I went there and it was a madhouse. The manager was trying to leave the store for the day when she was corralled by an assistant who listened to my story, then told the manager something totally different in right in front of me. Long story short, the manager couldn’t help me since all I had were receipts and didn’t have the credit card that I gave back to Vivek’s friend who for now I’ll call Pain in the Ass Patel.

I finally left the office about 7:30, having a well deserved cigar. Throughout all this I remembered to get an iTunes card and send it off to my niece Cassie, who’s birthday is tomorrow. That was ballsy. I cupped the cigar in my hand and walked into the post office but the depository closest to me was closed so I hid the cigar in the entrance where I came in and walked across the lobby of the post office, and threw the card in, coming back and picking up my cigar and puffing again as I swam down Lexington Avenue.

I time it perfectly so that by the time I get to the bus station the cigar is basically finished. Of course I was drenched in sweat and I hopped on the bus only to be eyeballed by some guy in the front row who looked disgusted by my sweat. I eyeballed him back, hard, really obvious which seemed to frighten him and I noticed some other guys throughout the bus all staring at me. I guess I imposed myself on the bus, perhaps declaring alpha male status in a primitive way. Nonplussed about that. I was hot and tired and didn’t need to be looked at like I was a freak. If I frightened him, then perhaps he’ll be a little discreet if he sees a man sweating like a horse heading for his direction.

I had a bad day, Bill had a bad day, and Annemarie, Rex and Earl who left Hoboken around 11:30 Monday morning, just arrived in Arcata 9:00 eastern standard time, they really had a bad day. Craziness indeed.

Yes I am back to work. Vacation is over.

How?

Monday again. Back to work. Last night was the running around Bergen County so that Anne, Rex and Earl could say their good byes and then home to rest. Anne came upstairs for a few minutes to try and print out boarding passes, then she went downstairs again. Bill went to bed and I finished the blog, watched some Scrubs and then fell asleep around midnight. Woke up this morning feeling ok. I knew I had to be back in the routine and out of the apartment by 7:00 to catch the bus and get to the office on time.

I had to stop by Julio and Stine’s apartment and give Anne a key to my apartment so Earl could sit and watch TV while the building inspector and the landlord came in to see if the carbon monoxide detector was installed and the bathroom ceiling painted. According to Earl it only took about a minute. I was able to burn a copy of Bob Marley and the Wailers Kaya for Earl before I left the apartment. Earl is getting into reggae so over the past week I also burned more Bob Marley and some Burning Spear. I also gave him a VHS of Bob Marley and the Wailers and the bootleg copy of 300. What can I say? I love making the kid happy by giving him things that I enjoy or enjoyed.

So I saw Annemarie and Earl for about a minute this morning. Sad to see them go, but they had to get back to their lives over in California. I walked to work playing Kaya on the iPod. No one was in the office yet and I had to change my shirt since I was drenched from walking across town in 80 degree heat. People started coming in, asking me how my vacation was, how was the wedding and of course, how was my brother Frank. Positive reports on all fronts I was happy to say. Then it was back to the routine of the day which I’m still trying to figure out.

I did make a point to see Billie who is up from DC and in management training for Chop’T a fast food salad joint. He was happy to see me and I was being watched by a uni brow behind the counter who was either into me or repulsed by the affection between Billie and myself. I’ll take the former. I didn’t want to take up too much of his time or get him in trouble so it was a brief visit. I did go back and get a $9.00 salad for lunch though. I’ll probably do it again, but only because Billie is in town.

We made plans for Billie, Bill and myself to go have drinks on Wednesday, Bill wanted to go bowling like we did the last night we had spent in DC last year, but when I mentioned it to Billie he didn’t want to do that. So I’m thinking of a trip to Oscar Wilde’s on 58th street, across the street from the Townhouse Bar, but who knows really if we’ll pull it off?

I got out of work and walked across town, smoking a Padron in the dense heat. Got to the bus terminal and there were long, snaking lines for all the Hoboken buses. After about 20 minutes I was on a very crowded bus, sitting on a ramp heading out towards the Lincoln tunnel. I got a phone call from Annemarie who was calling from O’Hare airport in Chicago. They were delayed by storms which meant they might miss the connection in Las Vegas which meant they might miss that connecting flight to San Francisco. They might not get to Arcata until tomorrow which sucks.

I really miss them.

Revolution #1

Yesterday was ok, a bit odd. Perhaps the planets are in some alignment yet to be figured out by the eyes of people of Earth. Speaking of Earth, I spent most of the day in the vicinity of a television or this computer, trying to save the planet by watching Live Earth. Strangely enough, I wasn’t moved by anything in particular like I have been by previous globally television rock spectacles. In the past some one or some group would stand out and just move me somewhat. Didn’t happen watching Live Earth and it didn’t happen watching the Princess Diana thing last week. In fact the only thing I got from that was a laugh watching Princes Harry and William stumble through reading index cards about the event that they were hosting.

I tried to find things to do around Hoboken since it wasn’t turning out to be a beach day after all. I suggested getting some bicycles and ride around Hoboken but they didn’t have any at the free bike stand on Washington St. All given out for the day. Then I remembered at the Hoboken Museum, there was an exhibition titled Hoboken in the Seventies. Alas, that closed a week or so ago and they were currently between shows. It was too hot to do anything, and Annemarie and Earl wound up watching Live Earth with me in this hovel where Bill and I live.

We tried playing the Simpsons trivia game which I last played, maybe five years ago. I’d forgotten how complicated the rules are, especially if in a slightly altered state like I was in, courtesy of a little Jazz and a pint of Guinness. Annemarie dropped out from laying after a round or two. Earl and I continued, occasionally distracted by Live Earth on the Sundance channel. The Sundance Channel did a decent job of broadcasting and educating, but it was more of the latter than the former. They soon went back to Julio and Stine’s and I was going to take a nap but was waylaid by the Beastie Boys transmitting live from London. That was exciting, but not moving. It did keep me from napping so that must count for something.

I did get a phone call from Pedro who was meeting up with Ray in Central Park. That sounded promising but I explained that I was hanging with my sister and her son and I don’t get to see them that often. He remarked that he doesn’t see them that much either and he’s still going to go. He was tempting me, but I begged off, knowing that if I went I’d probably get drunk and have a good time with two great guys who are exceedingly handsome and love me very much and oh the price I would pay in the morning. So I stayed home and had tow Guinness.

Bill was at his folks for the evening and Juan was in town. Didn’t know what time Juan was coming so I continued watching Live Earth and had a vodka with Seven Up. Not too strong and nearly finished when Juan arrived. I made him a drink and one for myself but this time I was a bit heavy handed, perhaps with my own drink and it finished me half way through. That sucked because I hadn’t seen Juan in a while and here I am inches away from a spinning room. He understood and I regrettably saw him out. I should stick with beer, or at least have someone else make my drinks. Obviously I can’t trust myself.

I woke up feeling ok, no hangover. Made some breakfast, showered, lathered sun block on and just waited for the call. Annemarie called soon enough. Earl was said to not want to go to the beach, just sleep. I hoped we would have a smooth ride down the shore this one last time for the summer with Anne, Rex and Earl but we hit traffic and too to an alternate route of highways and side roads which were very nice.

We were going to head to Monmouth since we figured that Sandy Hook would be packed at 11:00, but opted instead for Sea Bright which was nice but crowded. Really crowded on a strip of beach. Very mixed crowd and a few humpy guys to look at. I went into the water about three times with Anne and Earl. The air was 90 degrees the water was 68 degrees. Very cold currents so staying in the water was a challenge. It seemed to get colder the third time we jumped in. We were on the road back home at 3:30, getting the obligatory ice cream at Crazies/Thomas Sweets in Rumson. A quick stop in Hoboken where we unloaded the beach gear that belongs to Julio, Stine and myself and picked up Bill. It seemed like an even exchange as we headed to Garfield so that the Californians could say farewell. Frank is on the mend but can be overwhelmed by a lot of commotion like five people suddenly appearing in your formerly quiet living room.

Then we all shuffled out to the car and it was off to Hillsdale for more of the same with Brian, Karen, Hillary, Brian and Cassie and some baked ziti and lemon cake. I do love Karen’s cooking and I surprise myself with the restraint from being a gavone and eating everything in sight. So there were some sweaty eyes and bladders moved in that vicinity. We drove home and waving good byes, kisses all around, listening to Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, specifically the last song, Minstrel Boy.

I’ll get a last bon voyage in when I give the key to my apartment so that she or Earl could sit here while my landlord and the building inspector look over the things that should have been fixed months ago.
I miss them already. I wish they lived over here, if not in NJ than on the east coast. I think they do too.

Peace out/in.

Here are some beach pics

Bathing Beauty
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someone found the snooze button
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Rex!
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photo by Earl
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yes, they’re relaxed
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The Californians
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Me and my big sister
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Bhinidi Bhagee

Ok. I know I said I’d go back to writing every day, but I didn’t exactly hold myself to that last night. Especially after 9 Coronas by my nephew Earl’s account. He would know since I kept sending him off to get me a fresh bottle after I downed yet another one. Friday was an exceptional day weather wise. Annemarie, Earl and Corinne and I headed down to Sandy Hook despite traffic alerts and reports of afternoon thunderstorms. It was beautiful weather nonetheless and we all got some color, Corinne getting the most color since she didn’t apply any sun block, the silly girl.

Anne being a mom and driving the kids everywhere
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Kid one
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Kid two
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Kid three
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on the way to best Frisbee champion
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The water was still a bit cold but I did jump in twice and with my blue Speedo on shrinkage was applied as well as hardened nipples. I suppose that’s a trade off. We played Frisbee and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches washed down with Paul Newman’s Lemonade. I walked for a bit with Corinne around the beach, talking about stuff. I think Earl might have been put off by that so I convinced him to go in the water with me again. I love having Annemarie, Rex and Earl around and I am dreading their leaving Hoboken on Monday. The only consolation if I can call it that, is the fact that I’ll be at work rather than sitting around at home doing nothing but bemoaning the fact that no one is around to do anything.

In fact, yesterday when I woke up I was in a really good mood. Today waking up was tinged with sadness that they’ll be flying off soon and everything will go back to being the samo samo. Of course, Monday and Tuesday promise to be excellent beach days with the weather going into the nineties which means the water should be a bit warmer than it’s been. Bah! But that’s not here yet and this is a good lesson to learn about enjoying the moment. So that’s what I have to do, stay in the moment and right now the moment is 90 degrees outside, me sitting at this keyboard writing.

Last night we headed home, dropped Corinne off at her car so she could go home and change since we were all going to a surprise party for my brother Brian who’s turning 50 on July 17. His wife Karen, planned this since Annemarie, Rex and Earl were going to be in town for this week only. We came back to Hoboken, Annemarie and Earl, getting ready in Julio and Stine’s apartment and me going up to the fifth floor to do the same. I wrapped Brian’s gift, The Traveling Wilbury’s re release and a burn of Paul McCartney’s Memory Almost Full and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros Global A Go Go.

50 of Brian’s friends were expected and they were mostly there when we arrived. My sister in law Karen has a big family and after almost 25 years, I still can get only a handful of her sister’s names right so that usually means it goes like this, Them: “John! It’s so good to see you!” Me: “Oh hey! You looked fantastic! When was the last time I saw you?” They never wear the “Hello My Name is” stickers that I got them years ago. Maybe it’s because I had the wrong names on them or gave them to the wrong people.

In any event, it’s been great once again to be able to take time off from work and be with Annemarie, Rex and Earl as well as spending some time with Frank, Elaine and Meghan and Corinne as well Brian, Karen, Hillary, Brian and Cassie and my ubee, Bill. It’s all good. And all good parties got to end sometime. Bah!

This actually appeared
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Here is the birthday boy
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and here are Me, Brian, Annemarie and Frank
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above photo by the best kid…..ever?
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Duke of Earl

Well it’s been a few days, hasn’t it? Been busy with family, a wedding and running down the Jersey shore whenever possible. The last thing I wanted to do is sit in front of a computer and write, but here I am now, doing just that. Last time I signed in was Friday with a fuzzy picture of Patti LaBelle in Bryant Park. Thanks to Harpy pointing out that it wasn’t in focus. I don’t know what I would do without the expert eye of good ol’ Harpy. Annemarie, Rex and Earl made it in safe and sound on Friday and have been parking properly since I got them the proper parking pass.

We had a nice little dinner at Grimaldi’s since Friday June 29 was Bill’s birthday. Pizza for everyone. All in all very mellow. We hung out a bit after that, had some cake and then the California trio were a bit jet lagged so they turned in and back in our apartment, I gave Bill his gifts, five ties, five sets of cuff links, two braces and a ticket to see a show at the Public Theater on Sunday July 1. Then Bill was off to bed, and I stayed up a little while before I too turned in for the night. Slept well despite some excitement, looking forward to Meghan and Rob’s wedding.

The next morning I woke up and got some bagels. Much like when Julio and Stine are in town, I asked the California trio whether they would like some bagels, they did and I left them on the doorknob. Annemarie ran out to get her hair done and everyone else started getting ready. Soon enough we were driving to the chapel in two separate cars. Bill and I in one, Annemarie, Rex and Earl in the other. Not a convoy, a few minutes between them and us.

We got to the chapel, saw brother Brian and his wife Karen with their three kids. Everyone was dressed up quite nicely. We settled in our pew and there was a bit of a fiasco with the priest telling Brian and Karen they had to move from their seats since they were for the family. I don’t know why they didn’t say they were family but they didn’t so they had to move. It was hot in the chapel when the service finally started. Rob looked great in his tuxedo as did his groomsmen. My niece Cory looked great as Maid of Honor as well as the other bridesmaids looking nearly as good.

Then we all turned to see brother Frank able to walk down the aisle with his daughter Meghan. After all he has been through the past month or so this was a major accomplishment. He achieved one of his goals, an important, symbolic goal at that. We sat there as the priest said his peace and we all arose for communion. I took the Eucharist since I was a bit hungry and needed to remind myself to say Amen, instead of thank you. Bill, Annemarie and Rex all received blessings which is what I should have done, but like I said, I was hungry.

Then we stood around outside the chapel, taking photos of each other and meeting the bridal party. Like I said, everyone looked great. Then it was a trek down to Saddle Brook from Ramsey. Down Route 17 to the Garden State Parkway. We mingled in the bar waiting for the cocktail hour to begin. I let Rex have some of my beer since he hasn’t had any beer in quite a while. I invited Cory’s boyfriend Jonathan to join us since he was sitting in the lobby by himself. Nice kid, everyone liked him. Then cocktail hour started.

During the cocktail hour when the hor d’oeuvres never made it to our corner of the room a fire alarm went off and we all had to evacuate the premises so we all stood in the parking lot while the Saddle Brook Fire Department checked out the scene, and gave a green light since there really wasn’t a fire at all. That was a definite relief since it is bad luck to have a fire at your reception. Go and check Emily Post if you don’t believe me.

We all sat at our proper tables, eating and drinking and doing more dancing than I usually do. There are incriminating photos of course. Shots with my niece and my brother contributed to a good time as well as excellent dance moves, or so I thought. Time flew by fairly fast and before I knew it I was home waking up the next morning not believing that the big event had come and gone. Everyone looked great and I think my sister in law Elaine deserves a big round of applause for all that’s she’s been through and all the work she has done.

Sunday was spent recuperating and trying to fill in some memory gaps. I was reassured by Bill that I didn’t embarrass myself or my family, didn’t start any fights or anything like that. Not my style anyhow. We just laid low. Bill was up and went to church. I hung out with the Arcata Three. Eventually Bill and I made it into the city and saw Passing Strange at the Public Theater on Lafayette Street. It got great reviews and we both really enjoyed it. It was the last night of the play and if it comes around again I highly recommend it. Touching and funny and filled with rock and roll. It should come back, it was that good and that successful. After that, Bill and I came home just talking about how good the play was. Susan and Lois from Farfetched recommended it over buying tickets for another show and for that I say thank you.

Monday came along and the Arcataians and I made it to Sandy Hook. Following my lousy suggestion we went to the beach where the restaurant, the Seagulls Nest is. Too crowded and overrun by families. I’m sure that’s fun if you have children, but Earl being 16 doesn’t really count as a young child anymore. It was breezy and the water was a bit too cold to go in. We sat there for a few hours, before driving through Rumson to get some ice cream. That was nice. We came back to Hoboken at a decent time and had a very nice meal at the Karma Kafe, Indian food. Last time I ate there it was with Anne and Earl.

Tuesday was another beach day only this time we went all the way to the North beach at Sandy Hook which was pretty much secluded and deserted. We bought our food on the way and sat there and ate. Afterwards while tossing a Frisbee with Earl I pulled something in my shoulder which hurt a lot and curtailed any Frisbee throwing for the rest of the day. Earl and I did jump in the water, but after fully submerging myself I broke the surface teeth chattering and body shivering from the cold water. That was enough for me so I sat and read Andrew Loog Oldham’s memoir some more.

More ice cream before we headed up for an eggplant parmigiana dinner with the Hillsdale contingent. This was the first time in 31 years that I had eggplant since someone made it all the way back then following a not so good recipe. I remember it was October 1976 since Elton John released his first single, ‘Ego’ since coming out as bisexual and it went nowhere. So that was frightening enough to avoid eggplant for three decades, but my sister in law Karen came through and now I am no longer afraid to eat eggplant again. A major accomplishment for me at least.

Independence Day was Wednesday and we stayed around Hoboken for most of the day, planning on heading out to Garfield for a barbecue. We were a little late since Rex was getting a ride from his friend to spend a few days on Long Island. Annemarie, Earl and I made it in time for some grub before it started to rain. Meg and Rob made some excellent burgers and fries and we watched some TV before heading back to Hoboken. The three of us watched the fireworks in the drizzle at the top of Sixth Street by Stevens Tech. It was worth the wait.

Today we got brother Frank up and out of the house since there are no tubes or lines going in or out of his body. We saw Live Free or Die Hard which was fun. My mood had changed for the better since I have been wrestling with the blues the past couple of days. Not one of Annemarie’s type of films to see but she enjoyed the explosions and the implausibility of the plot. We all liked it very much. We got presents for brother Brian’s surprise birthday tomorrow. Anne picked up the new Nick Lowe CD and I got the Traveling Wilbury’s re release. After dropping off Frank, we had an excellent meal at Mision Burrito and now I am caught up relatively. Ta da!

Just got back from walking around Hoboken with Annemarie and Earl. Felt better than I had in days, and I think it’s because I’ve written for the first time in days. I obviously have difficulty writing things from a few days ago. I guess it might be better to write when I’m three sheets to the wind rather than try to remember things.

Irregardless, here are some incriminating pics from the wedding.

On the way to the wedding Bill and I were listening to Ian Dury and the Blockheads. I thought this was a good omen.
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Meghan and brother Frank
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Robert and Meghan
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Cassie, brother Brian, Brian, sister in law Karen, Hillary
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Earl, Annemarie and Rex
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Beautiful Corinne
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Me and Bill
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An appearance by the Saddle Brook Fire Department?
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What? Who me?
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My buddy and I
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brother Frank
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Sister in law Elaine (and amazing woman) and Bill
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John Ozed will endorse Corona if given a chance
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The Dancing Queens
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More Dancing Queens
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No More pictures! Ok just one more…
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