Monthly Archives: December 2007

Da Doo Ron Ron

Last day of the year. Time for new calendars basically, as well as a psychological shrug of the shoulders for all the burdens of the previous year, renewing the hope that next year will definitely be an improvement. And it’s a genuine hope. For some of us, it’s a time for parties and drinking, at least that was how it’s been the past couple of days, for me at least. Saturday was spent running around, doing laundry and getting ready to head up to Otisville to hang out with Pedro and Connie. I knew it involved drinking so I had a few pints the night before, and a bit of the hair of the dog before I left the apartment for Otisville. It really does work, believe me.

The train ride was uneventful and nearly empty until we got to the first stop, Secaucus where it filled up and I was surrounded by a family of seven all headed to Harriman. Any quietude was gone and space was given up to accommodate while I looked out the window hoping that Harriman would be right around the corner. It wasn’t coming up until maybe an hour later. I got by despite the napping mother putting her feet in the seat next to me. Eventually the family made it to Harriman and I looked forward to being able to stretch out for a spell.

Soon I too was disembarking into a desolate parking area, waiting for Pedro who was picking up our mutual friend Excer at a gas station nearby. Pedro pulled up, followed by Excer in his car. Their old friend Gary was riding shotgun in Pedro’s car. I knew Gary vaguely and last time I saw him he was twice as big. He had to have his stomach stapled losing quite a bit of weight. Excer meanwhile gained weight, but then again so have I. Connie had prepared a lot of food, lot’s of chicken and spaghetti and meatballs as well as salad. Pedro had bought a case of wine and was determined that we drink as much as we could, meaning that your wineglass would never be empty.

The food of course was excellent and definitely did the job of filling me up since I hadn’t anything to eat since the morning and here we were hours later. We settled in the TV room, where Pedro had a large High Def TV on the wall with surround sound which was so true that it sometimes sounded like someone was whispering in your ear at times, so strategically located the speakers were. There was a big football game on Saturday night, The Giants versus the Patriots. Very hyped and available on four TV channels. It was an exciting game and I rooted for the Giants of course, so that maybe my brother Brian could end the year on a good note, he being a Giants fan with season tickets.

I am not a football fan, not at all. My parents, the original season ticket holders would drag me to games on occasion and I was generally bored until I found myself watching the players on the field, not so much what they were doing, but what they were wearing. In white tights you could sometimes see a jockstrap which would set my imagination on fire. But that wouldn’t last long and soon I would find myself bored once again. But this game was rather exciting. I’m not sure if it was because of the company or the wine or a combination of that and other things but I did find myself applauding certain plays. The Giants lost unfortunately and we still entertained ourselves until maybe 2:00 when we all collapsed in various rooms, on different mattresses.

I slept really well, waking up to find Connie making breakfast for all of us. As the morning moved into afternoon, Excer left to make it back to Queens, followed an hour later by Gary. Both offered me a ride back to the city, but I was looking forward to catching some shuteye on the train back to Hoboken. As we sat around killing time, Pedro went upstairs and started talking Spanish. His parents arrived unexpectedly and it was the first time that I ever met them. They weren’t too interested in me and I didn’t mind. Pedro and Connie went upstairs leaving me downstairs to try to figure out how to watch the satellite TV. After they left Connie made me a wonderful turkey sandwich which I quickly devoured. I had a two hour train ride ahead of me and wanted something to eat. She didn’t mind and neither did I. They drove me to the train station and soon I was heading back to Hoboken.

Where it promised to snow up in Otisville, I came back to rain in Hoboken. I didn’t mind. Though I was gone for less that 24 hours it seemed like I was away for more than that. I came home, settled in. Talked to Bill on the phone. He was totally stressed out over the situation, sounded despairing. I did what I could to soothe his nerves and he seemed to appreciate it. Spoke with Annemarie as well. She sounded a lot better than she did on Friday when they all flew back to California from Orlando. Juan called and came by. Then I kicked him out and went to bed.

Have a Happy New Year and all the best wishes for 2008!



Gary, Connie and myself

Snoop humping his teddy bear

Snoop eyeing my leg

Ax Man

Winner of THREE dollars

Me, Excer and Pedro

From the Ritz to the Rubble

Friday night. Last Friday of the year. I’m sure that used to mean something to someone at sometime. Perhaps, me. Last night didn’t do much of anything, watched Law and Order with Bill after Ugly Betty. Betty was a repeat but still a good one with lines that I missed the first time around. Bill was fast asleep, he’s been terribly stressed lately and not sleeping well. Tonight he is back at his parents, setting things up again for his father’s eventual discharge from the Veteran’s Administration hospital. The VA hospital was understandably alarmed with the father being over medicated on Dilantin. They kept him so his levels could return to ‘normal’ and are having a social worker visit the house to make sure he’s actually being taken care of properly. There was no malice in his over medication, just a misunderstanding of the dosage, but bureaucracy being what it is it’s just another straw for Bill’s camel.

I just got back from walking Bill to Washington Street so he could drop off his laundry and dry cleaning. I wish there was something that I could do to lighten Bill’s load besides carrying laundry, but he says that what I do is enough and he’s grateful that I’m there. I guess I’m on stand by for the inevitable. I even offered to stay home instead of going to Otisville, but we agreed that it would be dumb to stay here and I could always be reached by phone should anything warrant a call.

I’m looking forward to seeing Pedro and Connie, but overall I too am fatigued, but not emotionally exhausted like Bill. I’ve been lax in calling people lately, just tired in case any of you are waiting by the phone, don’t be offended. A short overnight jaunt to Otisville could be just what the doctor ordered. Just hang out and drink and soak up the testosterone. Pedro mentioned that some of his friends are also coming up, guys from back in the hood in Queens. He mentioned Excer, Ray Vega and possibly Ulysses. Knowing those three, if they said they’ll come, they won’t. Something always comes up.

I might be the only friend of Pedro’s that he can count on (he pompously wrote). I’ve known him for twenty years and I don’t think we’ve ever had a falling out. Like I’m sure I’ve written before, He’s Superman to my Jimmy Olsen. One time years ago I was applying for a job that required me taking a drug test. I remembered that he knew of some drink that flushes your system in case a drug or steroid test was coming up and left a frantic message or two on his answering machine. He immediately called me back, basically all set to jump in the car and rush over to protect me from whatever it is that was putting me in danger. I guess I sounded that frantic. When I explained, he admonished me for overreacting and telling me he was all set to fly over and rescue me (sigh).

That was just one instance, there were a few others down the line. It’s an actual thrill to be with someone who’s ready to throw down for me should any trouble arise. It also doesn’t hurt to be so rugged and rough yet handsome, and no I’ve never put any moves on him, nor blurted out my feelings like I did years ago to another friend of twenty years. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Don’t expect an entry tomorrow since I’ll be in Otisville, and depending on what happens in Otisville, I may or may not write on Sunday either. So I might have the weekend off, you will too. Aren’t I a nice guy?

Here’s some pics from the past few days to tide you over…Cheers!

Three girls (sisters?) playing chamber music at Times Square Station.
Quite good and quite fuzzy

Damien Hirst Installation



Vegan yet?

Just a cute cigar smoker

Doppleganger of my father?

Somebody got married

I Hope I Never

Well I just woke up from a two part nap. First part was exhausting and concerned a dream involving Zombies. The zombies were unseen but you just know they were lurking around the corner. And the zombies had help with one of our own, someone who I think was modeled after Richard Marty, someone I went to grammar school with years ago, and I haven’t seen him since 1971. According to my unconscious mind, Richard is lithe and very effeminate, besides being a zombie collaborator. Still had the horned rimmed glasses, but none of the humor he possessed when he was a lad. He was actually like a more evil Doctor Smith from Lost In Space.

It was a Ten Little Indians scenario, we were all being picked off one by one in a huge warehouse (looking like the Nostromo from Alien) that had a room that looked like the bar at the VFW where I grew up, Post 3484. I was preparing to evacuate but I couldn’t find my bag, which if you know me, know that I always have the bag nearby. I placed it down as the zombies were approaching and I couldn’t find it. Not that I really needed it, there was nothing as far as I knew in it to stop the zombies. I think it had more vampiric weapons which were ineffective anyhow.

And of course I violated one of the primary rules from the Zombie Survival Guide by dilly dallying looking for unneeded things. I eventually escaped and made my way down a very long stair case, running down half a dozen steps at a time. Then I woke up, signifying the end of part one. I went and had some water, feeling exhausted and proceeded to go back to sleep. I thought I’d be back in the zombie dream again, but I think it was in turnaround and I found myself in a dreamland where I didn’t know what was going on and so went unremembered.

After that uneventful sleep I woke up to find the cable was out, so no TV, and also no Internet. Of course the first thought I had was about zombies. Perhaps while sleeping they attacked the television stations or at least the Cablevision headquarters knocking out the cable. No screaming in the distance which is always a good thing. And there’s no reports of zombies crawling up and down Hudson county, but they’re broadcasting from Manhattan, unaffected and probably wouldn’t report it if given a choice between a puppy dog licking someone’s face or a zombie attack.

Seriously though, they are reporting on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, in Pakistan, and also the tiger attack at the San Francisco Zoo (that seems out of 12 Monkeys). Cable still out, watching fuzzy screened broadcast TV. That bunker mentality. Well it doesn’t look like there is a zombie attack, so I’m making dinner instead of stocking up on provisions. Foolhardy, perhaps, but I am hungry.

Cable back on, still zombie free.

Four Black Dragons

Well it’s Boxing Day in most English speaking countries, but not here. Would be nice, but if it was going to happen, it would have happened already. Last night was very mellow, just relaxing, watching the telly. Not much else to do. Which was just as well since I had to go to work today. I was hoping to do nothing this week, but there were going to be one or two in the office and they simply could not be there on their own. So being the new guy, since April, it was up to me to come in. I decided not to hustle as I usually do on actual work days. It wasn’t going to matter anyway, and I arrived in the office only a half hour late, getting in at 8:30.

Of course, no one was in, and I set about starting up machines, making coffee and changing tapes. There were stacks of mail from Friday and Monday that needed to be attended to so I set about that, also gathering the various presents for Annemarie, Rex and Earl that I had shipped to the office, so that I could ship them from work this week. Elizabeth, one of the managing partners made it into the office, did whatever she needed to do and said good bye an hour later, also saying that I should leave too. I had no problem with that and after a few more things that I needed to do I was out of the office shortly after 11:00.

I was basically in for two and a half hours, which I would have spent sleeping otherwise, at least partially. The only people walking around midtown Manhattan today were tourists it seemed, a lot of people had taken the day or the week off. I have to go in to work tomorrow, for a few hours again, and it doesn’t bother me really. Still some odds and ends to look after. Tonight promises to be a mellow night again.

Interesting thing, yesterday as I was writing the blog I found myself thinking of being attacked by a tiger, in an office no less. In my mind I was picturing myself, trying to find something in an attempt to kill the tiger before it killed me. The classic tiger in the office scenario, I know, such a tired cliché. When I posted, a while later I was watching the news and word of a tiger attack, in California, but not in an office. I just thought that interesting. Now the latest vision is of me winning the lottery. Let’s make it happen! I obviously need some tiger repellent.

I may go up to Otisville on Saturday. Pedro asked and I’m free so why not. It would be good to get out of town, the two hour train ride is not so bad either, so long as I have something to read, and thanks to the double issue of the New Yorker I should be caught up in no time, plus I still have the Oliver Sacks book to finish. I kept the one I was going to give my sister in law, but I showed it to Elaine on Christmas, specifically the Aphasia and Music Therapy chapter. I also showed it to Frank, but he has difficulty reading books since he had the stroke, but I’ll lend it to them once I finish it. Annemarie can read Rex’s copy since I’m still sending a copy to him, thanks to a really good price online.

Everywhere It’s Christmas

Aah, just watched one of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons. A holiday episode, concerning Bart getting caught shoplifting at the Try-N-Save. I’ve loved this one since I first saw it 10 years ago. Really a brilliant episode. It’s been a busy 48 hours. Bill and I traveled to Hillsdale last night to spend Christmas Eve at brother Brian’s house with his wife Karen, and their kids, Hillary, Brian & Cassie. They’ve been running the Christmas Eve shebang since my mother passed away in 1991. It’s been fun, though sometimes fraught with tension while my father was above ground.

It’s an interesting gathering, usually some tension, and it’s been a crazy year what with brother Frank’s stroke, Meghan’s wedding and insane shit with most everyone involved, one way or another. Since there are things that are extremely private I won’t get into it, I’ll just focus on the fun things. It’s good to see my brother Brian. We have a special bond, perhaps even an understanding having grown up together under the same roof. Once they were able to fly the coop on Riverview Avenue, Frank and Annemarie did just that. So it was Brian and myself a lot of the time, and it wasn’t always pleasant. Things are more than 100% better now, and that’s something that we’re both grateful for. A number of years ago Brian took part in a men’s group, with his church and each participant had to write about themselves and their families and to read them aloud.

Growing up there were always things to read so it was no surprise that Brian could put his feelings in words, he just doesn’t do it at all. Actually, none of them do. I’m the only one, at least the only one to write almost everyday. They’re not exhibitionists I suppose. The things Brian wrote about me were incisive, nailed some aspects of meself that took me years to realize and come to terms with them as truthful. I do, do my own thing, always have apparently. Marching to the beat of a drummer only I can hear and it’s effortless, not a conscious decision and Brian was one of the first, perhaps the first to see that. Brian is a really great guy and I love him very much.

Twice when we were growing up, I came to his rescue when he was being beaten up in a fight. One I grabbed a steel rod and started swinging it getting between whomever it was, most likely George Babanko, and another time I was swinging a bicycle cable lock. Both times I saved Brian’s ass and both times Brian repaid me by smacking me around. It was humiliating for him to be rescue by his 5 years younger brother. That was the relationship for a long time. Then there was the aspect of our father but that’s a whole nother thing.

Bill and I got to Hillsdale around 7PM and had an excellent meal, not the usual pasta, but actually roast pork, which I hadn’t eaten in decades but it wasn’t the Sabbath so I guess it was okie dokie. It was good anyway. Frank and Elaine with Meg and Rob and Cory showed up and soon there was the annual flurry of presents, wrapping paper and oohs and aahs. We left around 11:00, Bill getting drowsy and we were back in Hoboken by midnight. Bill soon went to sleep, then Juan showed up looking tres sharp. We hung out and watched 28 Weeks Later which was ok.

Me and zombies, well we just don’t get along. My nephew Earl got me the Zombie Survival Guide which is a great thing to have and every household should have one. There were quite a few things in the movie which obviously should not have been done plot wise, but if that were there case there wouldn’t be much of a movie then would there? Maybe I take this zombie thing a little too seriously. Anyway it did not give me bad dreams which a good zombie movie would.

Today Bill was up and running to his family to give out their presents. I farted around the apartment and talking on the phone to various friends and family. Bill came back and we were off to Garfield, where we had dinner with Frank and Elaine. Meg and Rob had gone to his family and Cory off to dinner with her boyfriend. It was sort of like old times when I would hang out with Frank and Elaine when they lived a block or two from my parents house. Bill wasn’t there then but here now, and we watched Sweeney Todd, the Angela Lansbury/George Hearn version. More pork too. Swine over two days. There goes my Muslim angle. Still not my favorite food but obviously I’ll eat it if its in front of me. No longer the kind to turn my nose up and push the plate away. We couldn’t stay for the whole musical, we needed to get the car back in Hoboken by 6:00.

All in all a nice couple days wouldn’t you say?.


Land of 1,000 Dances

Well today is quite a gray day, much like that Morrissey song, Everyday is Like Sunday. Not that I mind. I had to go out into the gray to mail some cards for Julio and Stine. Stine had photo stamps made for her friends and relatives in Denmark but the stamps didn’t arrive by the time Julio and Stine flew off to Copenhagen and since I’m checking their mail, they asked for me to keep an eye out and mail the cards for them. So that was the opportunity to go out and I’m glad I did. Hardly anyone out, most everyone staying in or left Hoboken already. You can tell by the sudden appearance of plentiful parking.

I was also able to pick up my Stevia for my morning coffee, wishing deep voiced Jeff at the Hoboken Farmboy a happy holiday. I spoke with both Annemarie and brother Frank on the phone today, everyone seems to be doing well. Annemarie in Orlando with Rex and Earl visiting Rex’s mother and family. Last year they were screwed by major snowstorms and the trip had to be aborted so they stayed home. No hitches like that this year, everyone safe and sound down there. Brother Frank seems to be showing good progress. His sense of humor is coming back which is was threw me for a loop the other night on the phone.

He really had me going with believing that he had gone to see Sweeney Todd before I did. I didn’t expect for him to be putting me on, but he did and that’s the sign of a good put on, you don’t know that you’re being had. Last night I was pretty exhausted, struggled to write the blog and though I stayed up until 12:30 watching a repeat of SNL from the nineties, I finally fell asleep. My allergy seems to have cleared up mostly. An occasional itch up the nostril but I sneezed a few times and that seems to have knocked it out. I wandered around Pier A after mailing the cards and took some gray pictures.

Now I’m watching the 7 Ages if Rock on VH1, narrated by Dennis Hopper. I guess he’s not shelling for retirement dreams at the moment. No plans for the evening, just hanging out at home. Bill’s sleeping here tonight so that should be fun. I sleep better when he’s in the bed. Now the rain is beating against the window. Johnny Rotten is discussing Richard Hell. Did you know that Richard Hell is actually Richard Meyers, son of the founder of Jacoby and Meyers? So I guess Richard isn’t hurting for money.

Now my shopping is done, cards have been sent, Bill just walked in like the big kid that he is. He rode on a 1930’s subway this afternoon and met some fellow trainspotters that he hadn’t seen since the opening of the Transit Museum some thirty years ago. He’s great when he’s like this, like a great big Muppet. I guess I’m Bert to his Ernie. Funny, I used to think I was Ernie.

Here’s some pics. Peace!

almost medieval

No Ball Playing




From Banksy

You Got Lucky

Well it’s Saturday and I’m back down to earth. Consigned to whatever fate has in store for me, I’ll just grin and smile. Presently I’m exhausted from working at Farfetched. Woke up around 4:00AM with a sneezing attack which set the tone for an allergy attack all day long. Not feeling ill, just a quadrant of my head filled with mucous trying to get out the only way possible, through my right nostril. Don’t know what started it, just felt like something flew up my nose and set up camp making my day very uncomfortable.

It was pretty bad, I was fine most of the time while working at Farfetched but when I had to actually help a customer, that’s when the drip would start. I saw myself in the mirror and it was visible at the tip of my nose. I took an antihistamine before I left the apartment and hoped for the best but it didn’t do anything. I was hoping it would dry me out but it didn’t. Or maybe it did. Maybe it would have been a lot worse if I didn’t take the pill. Susan gave me one of her sinus medications but it didn’t work that well either.

It was busy enough in the store to make the day go past rather quickly. Harpy manning the iPod and being the holiday DJ though I got my chance and played the first three Beatles albums, which everyone liked. It’s fun to see a few customers singing along quietly as they shopped. The Fabs usually stir up happy memories during the holidays. At least they do for me. Susan and Harpy left like last week around 6:00 leaving Lois and myself to run the store. It had quieted down somewhat, one guy looking like Michael McDonald obsessing over one card.

He asked if he could have something wrapped. The store policy is only for items bought at Farfetched, but since it was slow and I had nothing else to do besides wipe my nose I told him I would wrap his gift. He pulled out a first edition Norman Mailer book and I set about wrapping it up, though I was more focused on my nose. I was able to wrap the book and he was most appreciative, offering to buy me a drink after work. I begged off, saying that I was just heading home. He understood and thanked me for saving his Christmas. I couldn’t bear to sit in a bar and listen to Ya Mo Be There all night long anyway.

After work I just had a Padron and walked up to the Path station at 33rd street so I could get a seat, after enjoying a cigar. The nose is better now, not running like it was earlier. Got off the train in Hoboken, walking past holiday parties, people outside of bars smoking on the street. Good to be home. I’m sure I’ll sleep really well tonight, since I am so very exhausted.

Happy Pagan Holiday!


Well today started out ok, it’s only 1:00PM now. Woke up with the door bell, a woman saying there was a package for me. I gathered myself together, showered, made some coffee and checked the email. Eventually I made my way downstairs, saw a package from Annemarie, Rex and Earl. The baked goods I usually get, brownies and cookies. Perhaps the best presents, and they don’t last too long. I was actually feeling ok. I decided to return a suit that I ordered online from Macy’s since it wasn’t what was pictured, and I ordered it when I thought I would be getting a bonus at the end of the year. Since there was no bonus and I wasn’t too fond of the suit I decided to return it to the Macy’s in the Newport Mall in Jersey City.

I wandered around Hoboken first, grocery shopping and came home to a nice breakfast and read the papers. Spoke with Claire about Katie who is subletting her apartment. Claire says Katie works from the apartment a lot, so maybe I should call her on the cellphone since Katie can’t seem to figure out Claire’s voicemail where I left a couple of messages already. Claire also suggested leaving a note on the door of the apartment. I noticed that the once overflowing mailbox for Claire’s apartment had been cleaned up so there was some action between last night and this morning. But no response to a knock on the door, or voicemail. It didn’t matter since I filed a claim with FedEx anyhow since it’s been almost a week and a stranger has my package and shows no sign of giving it to me.

Still I was in a pretty good mood and I grabbed the unwanted suit, still in it’s original packaging and headed towards the Light Rail station. Not many people walking the streets of Hoboken before noon. I went and bought a round trip ticket from the machine and found I had gotten six other tickets that I didn’t want and wound up giving them to a woman behind me on line. She offered me money for the tickets and I refused her payment, an honest attempt to be nice for the holidays. Got to the mall and had the suit returned, getting credit on my Macy’s card. Then I wandered around the mall, not many people there. Almost bought gift cards form my sisters in law, Karen and Elaine at the Gap, but decided to go back to Macy’s and use that credit and get them gift cards from Macy’s instead.

Everything was going according to plan much to my surprise and it was all relatively stress free. Got back on the Light Rail, albeit the wrong one but it was going to Hoboken anyhow, just a little bit out of the way. I walked through my old neighborhood at Second Street and Madison Avenue. It certainly has changed quite a bit, no more burned out buildings, all condos now. Returned the library copy of Oliver Sacks Musicophilia since I decided on giving Elaine a gift card, I’ll keep the copy for myself and finish reading it without the pressure of a library due date. Came back home, feeling alright. Got a call from Annemarie en route to Orlando with her boys.

Annemarie was concerned about my work attitude, how I wear my emotions on my sleeve and how off putting it must have been for my coworkers. I’m sure she meant well but when I got off the phone I felt worse than I did previously. Felt paranoid basically. I called Bill hoping to be able to talk to him about the call. He was in a good mood, talking to his coworker about his plan to take me to see the Sweeney Todd movie tonight. I am looking forward to it, I told him, but just wanted to talk about the call with my sister. Bill kept interrupting, which he inadvertently reminded me of how Tom Chin always interrupts me when I talk, and like when dealing with Tom Chin I simply shut up and let the interrupter continue interrupting. It took a few seconds before Bill realized I wasn’t saying anything. Basically I said I’ll see you tonight at the movie, and that was that.

Perhaps it’s best if I don’t interact with anyone until I absolutely have to. Could be the best for all concerned. I’m impressed that I wrote this much in 28 minutes, including running down four flights of stairs to see an empty mailbox, then climbing back up those four flights.

Now it’s a little later, maybe an hour since I started this. I do feel pretty stupid about the whole bonus thing especially when relating to Bill about it. It’s all bullshit mainly, Bill has real problems dealing with life and death and I’m whining about not getting something that was never promised to me in the first place. Bill offers to listen mainly and once I start I’m hesitant to finish since it’s so childish. And like Annemarie suggested earlier, not everyone gets bonuses. She didn’t, brother Frank didn’t, since they’re both government employees. So it’s probably for the best that I forget this matter entirely and focus on the important things, once I figure out what the important things are.

I am still working, I forwarded various newsletters and updates to everyone at work and with each forward a Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and my phrase this year, Happy Everything. I even went so far as to send Tom Chin a holiday ecard which may or may not make a difference. I got some cd’s from Annemarie which she burned for me, Neil Young, Miles Davis, Carole King, Bruce and a collection of Billie Holiday that does not contain Strange Fruit which was odd since it’s one of her most well known, albeit tragic songs. I’m enjoying most everything so far, though the Neil Young’s Greatest Hits needed to be entered manually. I wonder what happened on that end?

I checked the mail again and the PacSun gift card came in so that was cool. I just have to get the gift card for niece Cassie and I should be done with holiday shopping. And I am feeling better. Just listening to music, Feist which is really very good. I have to give it to Apple, I would never have heard of her if I didn’t see that iPod commercial with her singing and dancing to 1,2,3,4. Well I would have seen her on Saturday Night Live, where she was also very good. So things are slowly working out, thanks to my lack of interaction with anyone. It’s all for the best I guess. Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt.

It’s 4:15 now, Harcourt time. This being the holiday season, work had ended at lunch in the warehouse and offices, everyone pretty much three sheets to the wind. I remember one year I had gone home after work, last day before the holiday and got some money before walking up Rochelle Avenue to the Garden State Plaza so I could buy some records. Most of my coworkers were at the Mouse Trap, a pub on the Avenue and I saw one or two as I walked past. I went to Sam Goody and bought a Hall and Oates album X-Static, with Intravino on it, a track that was getting a lot of radio play at the time. As I walked back I stopped in the Mouse Trap, obviously 16 years old, not driving and proceeded to have a few beers with my coworkers for a few hours, eventually getting a ride home in Gary Pless’ pick up, with Gary driving down the wrong way on Riverview Avenue where I lived. No checking of ID, not pulling over an obviously drunk Gary Pless. Such was life in the 1970’s at holiday time. I did have a good time and lost the Hall and Oates record sometime later.

Back to now, I just got off the phone with FedEx having met Katie at my door, she was exhausted from carrying a heavy box up four flights of stairs. I think it’s a gift from Billie, it’s a large, heavy box with mirrors on it. It’s nice and I have no idea where to put it. I called FedEx to rescind my claim, telling Pam the customer service representative to ‘call off the hounds’ which made her laugh and made me feel good to make someone laugh so perhaps I’m coming out of this blue period. Really diggin’ Feist. Perfect music for a day like today. I recommend it. Getting ready to head into the city, to meet up with Bill to see Sweeney Todd on it’s opening day. I have high hopes and so far the headlines for the reviews have been quite favorable, with the New York Times saying it was close to a masterpiece. So I’m psyched. Bill is too.

And now we’re back. Sweeney Todd was excellent, and a packed theater with a winding line through the corridors of the movie house. Luckily we had good seats close to the front and comfortable enough not to strain our necks. Yes, Johnny Depp sounds like late 70’s Bowie and that’s not such a bad thing. Obviously he and Helena Bonham Carter are actors, not singers but they performed admirably. Tim Burton deserves a pat on the back for his direction, and of course Stephen Sondheim gets the hosannas. Another recommendation, providing you can stomach the blood, and there’s quite a lot of blood. I’m sure I will see it again.

I called up brother Frank on the bus ride home and told him how good it was. Frank feeling like joking was putting me on as I strained to hear him since the bus terminal, and the Lincoln Tunnel have lousy cellphone reception. I should have waited until I see him on Monday to tell him all about it. It was frustrating, but I’m sure he got the gist of it. It is almost a masterpiece. There were moments when I had nothing but a smile on my face, trying to hold off singing along with Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett. And there was the hair rising on the back of the neck as well as a lump in the throat, it was that well done. I have seen it on stage several times, maybe 8 or 9 times and I’m impressed with Tim Burton’s job well done. Go see it.

Excellent cookies and brownies by the way.

Paper and Iron

Ohhh guess who’s pissed off? It’s me! I’m pissed off! At the world, at the idiots that run the company I work for, you name it and I’ll put it on the list. Things that cause strokes? On it! Things that cause seizures in 85 year old men? On the list. No golden handshake for me today. No, ‘hey we just wanted to turn your low blood pressure into high blood pressure! Here’s a couple of thousand dollars! Go crazy! Merry Christmas you atheist bastard!”

No, that didn’t happen. Luckily for me the chip on my shoulder matched what I was wearing. The icing on the cake was when Vivek, spoiled brat that he is, took me aside and said, ‘see me before you go.’ That was at 4:15. I didn’t know what to expect, perhaps a talking to on my crap attitude, perhaps a check, perhaps a call to security to escort me out of the building. At 5:45 I finally got tired of waiting for his ass, figuring 90 minutes was enough waiting time, I knocked on the door of the office he was sitting in. Vivek turns away from the two people he was chatting with, ‘You’re leaving? Have a happy holiday.’ That’s it. Waited and wasted 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never see again.

Which made the commute home that much more irritating since there were more commuters and tourists in my way towards the bus terminal. More happy people having good times, celebrating their bonuses, Santa hats aloft. I hate those people. I used to be one of those people but it was actually years ago. I work for people that make six figure salaries who have no idea how difficult things could be at this time of year, or actually anytime of year. Tom Chin, Greg Stevens, Vivek Lampshadian all fall into that category.

I could have used the money that Greg mentioned that I would get paid for his party before deciding that I wouldn’t be needed for the party, and now this bullshit of waiting for the bonus until springtime maybe. Already I’ve started looking at new jobs, since I still get email from, I looked. There are choices out there just waiting to be looked at. Too bad it’s come to this but hopefully I’ll be gone this time next year from BI-BOI. Nothing but hard feelings. So no new iPod liked I hoped. I know, boo hoo. If I had something lined up I’d be so out of there.

Why not? Seems to be the thing that I do, at least the thing that I did last year, and I didn’t get a bonus then either. Been a few years since I got a bonus so maybe this is the way of the future and perhaps I should accept this fact. I just feel like punching people out. I came thisclose to getting clipped by a messenger who ran a red light on his bike. He should have hit me, I would have crippled him. I’ve gotten hit by bicycle riders before and they’re the ones who get fucked up along with their bike. Yeah that sums up my holiday spirit right now.

Two more things that are pissing me off right now, before I forget. I ordered a gift card for my nephew Brian for the holiday from PacSun on 12/14. It’s 12/20 today, no sign of it being received and PacSun says it could take 12 to 15 days for it to arrive so that means, I’ll have to give the kid a check since he can’t be trusted with cash. No really, he can’t. Major drama there. And also a package was delivered via FedEx ground and I didn’t sign for it. I don’t know who it’s from but I think it may be Billie in DC. Unfortunately the person who signed for it doesn’t live here in this building officially, she’s subletting from someone on the first floor. I left a message the other day but no response, FedEx says it was signed by Katie in apartment 5L. I’m in 5L and we don’t have any Katie’s here. So I’ve filed a claim. We’ll see what happens next won’t we?

Even The Losers

Let’s see, where did I leave off last night? I was angry and a bit drunk, yes that seems right. Angry because I was told that the holiday bonus wouldn’t be given out until the second or third week in January. Ok, that would be a pain in the ass, but it would be doable. Not what I was expecting but apparently, that’s how they do things at BI-BOI. The luncheon that I arranged turned out to be a success and I was toasted by my superiors, which is everyone in the company. Of course I was sitting next to the fast talking cynic, Shemp Howard, and I don’t think he toasted my planning the luncheon. Not that I cared. As successful as it was and everyone else had a good time, I just sat there, ate and drank and didn’t really talk to anyone since everyone was talking about the deals they’ve been working on and I don’t know anything about their deals or bio-technology.

But I carried on being a team player and all. Even went to the after party which was even less fun, staying for two pints before leaving and dealing with the reality that whatever plans I had for the money were going to be held up. I obviously wasn’t too happy about that and I made my way through the holiday crowds, past people in Santa hats going to their parties, smiling and laughing, me with a grimace on my face. I spoke to Carla the receptionist and we made plans to meet up at the Carnegie Club where I was invited for a cigar holiday party. I dressed for that event this morning but as I settled in at work this morning, I felt uneasy and texted Carla letting her know I wasn’t feeling too good. She was cool about it and we made plans for next week instead.

Still felt uneasy as I did my work half heartedly. I decided to leave work early today since it was the last place I wanted to be at that moment. I spoke with Tom Chin, who is unhappy with my work and asked him if the company gives out end of the year bonuses. His reply? They give out bonuses in the spring. Maybe February or March. I thought I’d be able to hang in there until January but now it’s springtime? I was the living embodiment of being crestfallen and I walked out the office very upset and internalizing it all. Yes I was very pissed off but what can I do? Nothing at all. Last year I screwed myself out of a bonus by doing the right thing and it took a while to recover from that, the year before that I got half of what my assistant got for a bonus. I guess I should resign myself to the fact that I won’t be getting a bonus this year. Sure I’ll still go into work and do whatever they want me to do, but I won’t be too happy about it.

The only bonus I can expect will be from working at Farfetched this weekend. That’s something to look forward to. I ran into Julio last night as he was running around. He and Stine are flying to Denmark tonight for the holidays. He called me last night, he had a present for me but didn’t want to feel awkward since he didn’t have anything for Bill so he asked me to stop by his apartment on the way to work this morning. I did and he gave me a really nice pair of headphones for my iPod. They are nice, not my style though. They are in the ear buds basically. Form fitting so they fit in the ear canal comfortably. The thing is, when you put them in your ears, unless you have music playing, you can hear every breath you take (not the Police song) and every step you take (not the Bobby Brown song) which is unnerving. They are nice though.

I have to wear them around Hoboken so in case I run into Julio and Stine they can see I’m using the earphones. They try so hard to get me something. Last year they got me the Beatles LOVE cd, which I had gotten a few weeks earlier from Annemarie, Rex and Earl, so I don’t want to let them down. They’ll be back on January 7, so until then I can go back to using the really good headphones with volume control on the cable, that I bought last week from Radio Shack, back when I thought I’d have money coming in. I do love Julio and Stine and I thank them very much for the present.

Money Changes Everything

Yeah it’s fucking Tuesday. I hooked up the company I work with, with their Holiday Luncheon. Funny how obnoxious people can get with a few shots of tequila in their system. And though I had a few shots of tequila, unwillingly, yet showed I was a team player, I’m not the obnoxious one. I’m pissed in both the US and UK versions. Pissed UK style from beers and shots and a pint or two, and pissed from the fact that the end of the year bonus that I was counting on, hoping for and needed won’t be given until January, which to me is bullshit. I’m the lowest paid employee of this firm, I’m in every day and even on days off I check my email and forward whatever needs to be sent out, but I’m very upset that I won’t be rewarded until January.

Go on, say it’s better than nothing, but what good is getting something for the holidays when it won’t be there until the new year when the bills come in? The luncheon was ok. I had a better time at last years party with McMann and Tate, aka Wolff Olins. Last year I arrived fucked up, totally whacked out of my head and just drank drank drank to maintain some sort of equilibrium. This year I was sober and my main companion was Shemp from the Three Stooges who is probably going to get fired in a day or two. Shemp didn’t eat, didn’t drink except for coffee and just sat there next to me while everyone else talked shop, which was about deals they had been working on for the past couple of months, things I know nothing about really. I’m pretty cynical but sitting next to Shemp the cynic from Chicago for a few hours, trying to smile and laugh at the right places while Shemp sat there stone faced wasn’t easy.

Larry Fine from the Stooges got some Cuban cigars which were nice and as we stood outside the after party on Second Avenue, that’s when I found out when the bonuses are actually given out. I know it’s down the line, but like I said I was really hoping to get it this year like every other monkey that works in the US. It’s not official. It will be official when I have to act ignorant and mention it to Tom Chin at my surprise that there were no bonuses given out this year. Then he is scheduled to give his line about them being given out sometime in January.

I also found out that Tom Chin is disappointed in my performance. I do plan on tightening things up next year, but that’s then, not now. Greg Stevens, Mr. Nice Guy slurred the info about Tom Chin’s opinion of me at the after party, when Tom Chin wasn’t there. Just disappointed basically. So whatever nice things I had planned on getting for Bill, for myself and for my bill collectors, well it’s going to have to wait since there is no bonus until the new year. Bill was going to split the cost of presents I got for my family, and I was hoping on saying “thanks but no thanks, I got it covered thanks to the bonus”, well that line will be delayed at least for a month.

I stomped my way back to the bus terminal, angry face on, which definitely cleared a path for me. People actually got out of the way of the 6’2” guy stomping down the street with a cigar in his jaw. I should try that more often.


So You Think You’re Gonna Live Forever

Well it’s Monday and it’s cold enough that you can feel it in your bones. The wind cuts like a knife. It was nice when the sun was out, still cold, but this morning when I left the sun hadn’t completely risen and coming back from work this evening the sun had already set.

Last night I just stayed in after watching the dvd’s of Pollock and This is England. Didn’t make it to 28 Weeks Later, I can hold off watching the zombies for a while. This Is England did haunt me today, such a messed up story, but that kid in the lead was amazing, the other actors were spot on, not that I would know anything about skin head culture.

I just know not all of them are racist, but the ones that are, are very racist. I remember once years ago, after working at McSwells we wound up at Patrick Morrissey’s Hair Salon. Patrick offered to dye my hair and being very buzzed on beer and whatnot, I agreed. Next thing you know, I had a close cropped suede head dyed quite blond. I must have looked a bit intimidating as a few weeks later as I was walking through Washington Square Park I was getting weird looks from various students before they scampered away.

But I’m no racist, as anyone could tell you, despite what was written about 20 or so years ago in the Village Voice. That was when I was running the film series and my partner and I decided to show The Gods Must Be Crazy, which was a crap film but it was cheap to get and had been playing for over a year at various theaters in Manhattan. True, there was a cultural boycott of South Africa at the time but we figured that showing the movie to twenty people in Hoboken wouldn’t make any difference at all.

There was very little publicity for it until RJ Smith, professional wanker wrote a column about how McSwells was violating the boycott. Jim Fouratt, friend of Steve Fallon felt compelled to call Steve and get him to cancel the showing. Steve decided not to and the evening turned out to be a success, our largest crowds up to that date. I guess they all heard it was racist movie and wanted to see it, since Birth Of A Nation was unavailable at the time. The next day RJ Smith called me and asked if I needed his help writing a rebuttal. I said no rebuttal would be written, why should we give the Voice that power, especially since the fucking Village Voice had been advertising the fucking movie for a few years at that point throughout Manhattan.

Stupid RJ Smith didn’t know that. He only wrote for the paper, albeit badly, he never read it it seemed. Now RJ is a senior editor at Los Angeles Magazine, if you do a Google search for him you’ll be lead to a review on the lost African Renaissance in Los Angeles. And Jim Fouratt is doing whatever it is Jim Fouratt does. I last saw him at the Union Theological Seminary at a brunch for Troy Perry, head of the Metropolitan Community Church for LGBT people. Fouratt was with a transgendered woman who was outside smoking with me. She asked me if I was a believer and I told her no. Then she asked what was I going to do when the angel of death came for me. I answered, Offer him a drink. She left in a huff and I told Bill who got pissed off at her. We left soon after.

Tonight I had to go to the Manhattan Mall, to get a gift card for my niece Hillary at Aeropostale. Crazy long line, but I braved it and a half hour later I was walking out the door. Then I took the Path home and stopped by the Guitar Bar where Jim Mastro was working. I love Jim, he’s really a sweet guy, and of course he’s the father of my kid Lily, the kid I somehow had with Meghan, the funniest girl alive. Ruby is a good kid too, but she looks more Mastro than Ozed so I guess we’re even. Had two shots of Ouzo with Jim and I bought a guitar tablature book for Earl, cheap at half the price. I love those Mastros.

Work was ok today.

check out this link, regarding the Salvation Army

cut n’paste

Okie Dokie Stomp

Interesting thing, when I talk about something to someone about an ailment I may be having, the other day it was my incredibly itchy left foot, specifically the pinky toe and how it ached and when I spoke to Bill about it, hours later it went away. Then I felt I had a canker sore on the spot where my upper and lower lip meet on the right side and I told Julio about it and now that’s gone too. Perhaps by writing about it, it will come back and perhaps we shall see about that. Presently watching part of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

That’s where I came in a couple of years ago. It’s easily the best of the three and I’m probably saying that because it’s on now. I have the deluxe 4 disc version of all three, so that totals 12 discs. Crazy. It’s just on, pleasant and familiar with great special effects that aren’t so pleasant. I just watched Pollock and This Is England. Pollock starred Ed Harris and Marcia Gay Harden and This Is England is largely an unknown cast. Both movies were good, This Is England I connected to more. Pollock was good, yet harrowing and you know where it’s going to end. Marcia Gay Harden was great as usual and Ed Harris was quite believable as Jackson Pollock, he really looked like him too.

Not a pleasant guy that Jackson. This Is England was sort of like British History X. Set in 1983, a young lad falls in with a group of benevolent skin heads, the kind that listed to the Specials and Madness or to have the gang get taken over by a more racist Nation Front alpha male. Both movies were perfect for such a dreary Sunday afternoon, battleship gray skies. Hopefully Farfetched did today. So now, Merry and Pippin are with the Ents, the giant talking trees who are gathering to decide on going to war. I saw the first Lord of the Rings in 2001 with Bill and I remember going to the film, but don’t remember the movie itself.

So when I finally saw it on cable it really was like seeing it for the first time. I may have been jazzed when I saw it initially, but not incapacitated. I think I was just overwhelmed by the spectacle, but really from start to finish I had no clue. The siege of Helm’s Deep is truly intense. It’s what actually got me. I’m feeling a touch anxious because of the company holiday luncheon on Tuesday. Juts worried that something might go wrong. I don’t want that to happen and I doubt it will but still there are butterflies alighting in my stomach.

Angry ferocious butterflies. Orc like. I’ve been outside a few times today, the weather wasn’t as bad as they had predicted, at least not around Hoboken. Slushy mainly. Once or twice outside was more than enough though. It rained intermittently. Pedro has been doing some painting lately. He should take a look at Pollock, though he might just enjoy the alcohol aspect of it.



Untitled by Pedro Ramos

The Hotness by Pedro Ramos

Listen to Her Heart

John is a zombie, John is a zombie. I just got home from Farfetched about an hour ago, and I’m pretty beat. I’ve been helping out Susan and Lois at Farfetched for about ten years. I enjoy being able to help them out, they’re friends. I knew them first as friends thanks to Harpy. Actually I met Susan at a birthday party for Harpy’s then girlfriend Carol at the Paramount Hotel. The store had just been held up a few weeks ago and they wanted a big guy to be around.

So I was the big guy, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. My wit can be disarming so I had that to my advantage. I easily pictured myself saying to a potential crook, ‘You’re going to hold us up, wearing those shoes? What are you crazy?’ and proceed to belittle the crook so that he would leave deeply wounded and possibly suicidal. This isn’t sanctioned by New York’s Boldest, Pedro, but it did have a seal of approval from the Oscar Wilde Appreciation Society so that was nice. Never needed to use my disarming wit though, much to my chagrin. The hold up guy, named Kilroy Damp was apprehended and sent away for a long time. I heard he didn’t do too well in jail. Tough shit, you messed with my friends.

Anyway, I like working for Susan and Lois and getting paid to help them out is pure gravy. There’s a friendly antagonism between Harpy and myself which usually manifests itself in a friendly rivalry over who’s playing the music, or at least who’s in control of the music, though Susan or usually Lois holds veto power on whatever we might be playing. Harpy gets a pass since he’s there more than I am and knows what goes over well and what doesn’t. It was a busy enough day though. Lot’s of people shopping for cards and wrapping paper and last minute knick knacks, most all of them nice people.

It was no problem wishing most of them a Happy Holiday and they generally wished the same back. Some faces that I have seen over the past decade of working at Farfetched that I’d remembered. When I walked in this afternoon there was one woman, who used to live in Hoboken that used to be a customer at a video store I used to work at on Washington Street. She always came in when I worked at Farfetched and she was at the counter when I got in. I stepped behind the register and said hi. She was happy to see me and she was short 50 cents on a purchase. I vouched for her and covered the 50 cents, being the generous sort that I am. She promised to come back later and pay it and she kept her promise a few hours later.

At the end of Harpy and Susan’s shift sparkling wine was brought out which we all indulged in giving me a buzz which I came down from about an hour later. Good drinking companions these people are. Spoke to both Pedro and Julio at different times. Pedro nearly got me when he called the store, changing his voice, but as he continued speaking I started to figure it out and knew for sure when he asked if we sold bottles of bleayotch, which is his play on the slang, beeyotch.

He was thinking of having a party next Saturday and wanted to know if I would be available to come, but I have another work day scheduled with my friends at Farfetched that day so I wouldn’t be able to make it. I am planning on going up to Otisville the week between Xmas and New Years, go after work and hop on the train and spend the night. It should be nice to get out of town. Good times abound.

Here are some pics.

Harpy in motion

Harpy at rest

Susan surveying

Lois looking


Juan (from last week)

Fool In The Rain

Didn’t write last night and judging by all the emails I received (read: NONE) I was surely missed. Actually more like surely mist. Last night was the party at Bill’s law firm. I wasn’t too sure whether or not I would be admitted, but of course had it all planned out. Then there was the weather to contend with. It was sleeting out and quite windy and icy. That held up a few people coming into work and promised to make going home difficult too.

There’s been a lot of tension in the office this week, none of it was my doing, but of course I was affected by it as were other people. Someone may be getting the ax, and I don’t think it’s me. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Three Stooges. It’s funny though since two of the stooges have been friendly lately. They even asked me out for beers this afternoon, but I decided not to go, having had a few pints last night, and I really don’t like to drink during the day. I don’t know when that started but I prefer to get my drink on once the sun goes down. Unless I’m at the beach or hanging out with Harry. Or Pedro. Ok, it depends on who’s asking me for a drink. There. Happy?

Yesterday while getting my lunch in the sleet I had my Putman Livell umbrella, big red and white golf umbrella I was walking back to the office when I see Danny Putman walking down the street. His office is across the street from mine and I see him from time to time. He liked me when I worked for him and when we see each other he usually says keep in touch as we walk away from each other. This time I saw him, he didn’t see me and I didn’t care to chat. I had an umbrella, he didn’t and he was getting wet in the cold icy rain. I had to laugh as I passed him since his name was on my umbrella. I imagined him wrestling me for it and me shouting for him to get off, ‘You’re name’s not on it!’ but in all actuality, his name was on it. I also saw two other people I used to work with yesterday, one I said hello to but didn’t remember her name but commented that she looked great since she was pregnant. I would have said the same thing even if she wasn’t pregnant.

The day crawled, and with the rain it seemed even slower. Eventually I made my way across town to Bill’s office, making it there before 6:00 as the plan was planned. I gained admittance into the very big building on Times Square. Met Bill at his desk where I stowed my gear and Bill and I made it down to the party in the cafeteria. It was a good time, Bill introduced me to so many people that I forgot their names. It was sweet though, Bill introduced me as his partner and his coworkers seemed all very happy to see me. Had some appetizers then we started drinking Guinness which instantly replaced food.

At one point Bill and I went down to the street so I could have a smoke. There I saw yet another former coworker who’s name I could not remember. He didn’t see me so I just let him pass without any awkward introductions. We got back upstairs, the DJ started playing dance tunes, which according to Bill are the same dance tunes he plays every year. Bill danced with his coworkers I held up the wall talking to a couple of Bill’s friends. Eventually, Bill and I split having been there for about three and a half hours. Bill all sweaty from flipping and flopping on the dance floor. It really is a good time to watch Bill dance, he just loses himself. Bill was going to book a town car to take us home, on his dime, but I suggested just taking the bus since we were so close anyhow and he needed to watch his spending. Ha! Me, counseling someone on their spending habits! Ain’t that a kick in the head?

And now, some pics….

The view from the party

I just love this pic. It reminds me of what I love about Bill.

Me photographed by Bill talking to Billie in DC


Bill on the dance floor

Rocket 88

Well I almost didn’t write this tonight. Not because I’m tired, because I am, but because the cable was out. No TV and no Internet service provided. Now it’s back on and I’m seizing this opportunity to get this down before the cable goes out again. Last night was more mellowness. Bill came home to get some sleep. His father was sent home today from the hospital so Bill is going to be spending more time there. We watched TV until Law and Order The Olivia Show came on. It was a repeat and I called it within the first minute. It took Bill about 40 minutes to figure it out, obviously he has other things on his mind and obviously I have very little on my mind.

Bill scampered off to bed after that, I watched the news (all bad) and a little bit of Scrubs before I turned in. Bill sounded like he was sawing through concrete he was snoring so loudly. I had to wake him up and get him to stop, perhaps shift his position, that worked and he was soon fast asleep. I guess not having any caffeine in your diet can enable you to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow like Bill does. I’ve cut back on my caffeine consumption and yet still I can’t fall asleep like that. I’m not about to give up the caffeine so don’t even suggest it, you.

I woke up to Bill kissing me good bye yet again and I started my day showering, getting caffeinated and headed out the door. There was an invite to a party at the Carnegie Club, a posh cigar bar on 56th street and I dressed accordingly. That was supposed to start at 7:30 and since I get out at 5:00 it didn’t seem likely but there was always the opportunity just in case. There’s also another party at the same place next week and perhaps I’ll be ready for it then rather than now. I was inundated at work with many tasks, most of them involving Greg Stevens which was fine. I do like the guy, he likes me. I think he’s looking out for me.

The atmosphere is a bit tense lately, deals being worked on, it’s the end of the year crunch time. When I was at Wanker Banker there were so many people it was easy to avoid such things, but where I am now, there’s only 10 of us and there’s nowhere to hide. There was something that got under my skin though. It started at home when I read the office emails before I went in. Vivek sent me an email regarding my getting something for Mary for her work and for the holidays. He didn’t want me to pressure people and would rather the company got Mary something or nothing.

The idea of me putting pressure on these people is amazing. There’s 10 of us like I said. A few weeks ago I sent out an email asking for people’s In Case of Emergency contacts also known as ICE. Got four responses. Most of my suggestions and requests are often ignored by more than a couple of people so the concept of me putting pressure on people who when they see my emails, instantly delete them. I didn’t say anything but I certainly wasn’t happy about it. And dealing with vendors and other people was taxing as well. Things that should have been delivered weren’t. Shit like that. Of course I took it personally. Things lightened up as the day wore on and I decided to try to have as little contact as possible with certain coworkers. Things will be better tomorrow, this much I know. And now I’m home, chillaxin.

Ike Turner died. Tina Turner was seen dancing wildly in a cemetery.

You Left The Water Running

Well today was a little bit better than yesterday and isn’t that sometimes the case? I almost wrote always the case, but we all know that sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I think there are meetings planned to discuss bonuses for the office. I’m hoping big since that was offhandedly mentioned when I met Vivek back in March, but I’d be happy with anything, since I screwed myself out of a bonus last year. Last year was McMann and Tate and I was desperately unhappy, running off on interviews. I got a job at Golden Staffing and gave my notice to the wolf men at McMann and Tate.

Then I went to their holiday party hoping to get the bonus there, waiting all through the holidays for nothing at all. They don’t give bonuses to people that quit. Didn’t really matter I got properly wasted and didn’t tell anyone off, though some purses were stolen and I bet they thought I did it, but I saw who did it. I didn’t realize it at the time though. I did see a few party crashers and since it wasn’t my party, nor my company anymore I didn’t say anything. It’s too bad because some nice people, got ripped off. Juan was extremely good enough to drive into the city and pick me up where we came back to Hoboken and continued partying.

This week Bill’s company, The Really Large Law Firm are having their holiday party on Thursday. I’ve heard about the party from Bill over the past years and he’s always raving about what a good time it is. Unfortunately outsiders aren’t invited. Bill is planning on sneaking me in, me showing up on Bill’s floor then going down to the party which is in their cafeteria. It’s a really nice cafeteria, on the 37th floor overlooking Times Square in a building designed by Frank Gehry. So it’s not you average cafeteria which usually brings forth memories of high schools or warehouses. At least that’s what comes forth when I think about cafeterias.

I hope Bill doesn’t get into trouble. His coworkers are excited to meet me. I hope it works out, I look forward to seeing Bill flipping and flopping on the dance floor. It’s a fun yet scary sight. A lot like a roller coaster, fun yet scary. And the food is supposed to be excellent, so maybe I’ll just make an appearance. I’ve started taking up a collection for Mary the temp receptionist. Her last day is Friday and it being the holiday season I thought a little cash or a gift card would be nice for the holidays and perhaps even help with the upcoming birth of her child.

I sent an email out to my fellow coworkers, letting them know that I’m doing this. So far I got 10 dollars. Maybe things will get better on Friday which is payday. I suppose getting something is way better than getting nothing and since she is a temp, they don’t get bonuses and this should help her out, no matter how much she gets.

Here’s something fun!


Well it was back to work today, three days off was refreshing but of course I had to go back in. There was some trepidation of course, because of my fucking up last week, making this morning uneasy, but I got through it and got over it. I had a pretty good weekend after all. Last night was quiet too, Bill came home and we watched 60 Minutes and King of the Hill, then Dexter which was pretty good and really knows how to work a cliffhanger and last night was a cliffhanger for sure. Soon Bill was asleep and I was not long for the world of the aware.

Before I did that I made a cd for Tom Chin who mentioned that he would like a cd of the type of music that I like so that was a pleasant way to kill some time. I also have to get started on cd’s for Annemarie, but that doesn’t have to go out until after Christmas since the won’t be in California at that time. Gives me a few extra days which is nice. Relatively pressure free. Christmas is fast approaching and whatever cheer I had a few weeks ago has waned somewhat. Nothing in particular reduced the cheer, just haven’t felt it really. I’m sure working at Farfetched the next two Saturdays could change all that, but that’s dicey. It could go either way, I might be in the spirit, or I could just loathe everyone and wish it all over.

That’s what used to happen. I would just dread it so much and then have a good time on the holidays, then regret my antagonism. So I can’t really say how it would turn out though I am hoping for the best. Really I am. Last week I heard from Darren Shones, a name from my past and obviously changed to protect the innocent. His latest story is that he’s in Italy with his wife and kid. Prior to that he was in Harlem with the mother of his kid. Could it be he has two kids? I wouldn’t be surprised, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more than two, knowing what a globetrotter Darren can be. He used to work with a friend of mine, Gino West who I used to work with.

Gino was one of those people, the other, Kevin McBean who were my friends and knew I was gay, but being gay was abstract, and when I introduced Gino to Bill, it was good bye Gino, having seen my being gay as no longer abstract but seeing it as focused and it disgusted him. Still being the forgiving type I’d still be glad to call Gino my friend. A little misguided and who knows what Darren filled his head with about me. Perhaps Darren told Gino that I attempted to rape him. That was a story Darren told a neighbor when I was trying to help him out when he was evicted from the loft that he stopped paying rent in.

Regarding that neighbor, Darren told me he got her pregnant and since she was an observant Muslim she wouldn’t get an abortion. So he dumped two friends, one he was fucking, the other he was accusing of being fucked by. Oh that Darren, sowing his seeds and his lies around the globe. And Kevin McBean from Mobius Strip, a crap hard rock band, well I heard he had fallen off the face of the earth and into another woman’s open pocketbook. Perhaps next time I get stuck with what to write, I’ll just gossip and change the names, to protect me. Whee!

Here’s something YouTube
From the official Imagine Peace website at, it features some archive footage of John and Yoko along with the entire music video for “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”.

Download the “War Is Over” poster from… Put it on a window, place it in your workplace, car, school, street, etc.

Who’s Making Love?

After the past two days, going out and actually doing things, Sly & the Family Stone and the Chelsea art galleries, today I didn’t do much of anything. Last night I just watched TV, and edited photos that were posted in the Photos Page. Saturday Night Live had the best of Will Farrell on so that was funny, and that was followed by a repeat of the Jack Black episode of SNL at 11:30. Neil Young was the musical guest which made it interesting. I think it was their holiday show from 2005 then it was time to sleep. I woke up not hearing any jack hammers and I was grateful. Puttered around the apartment, called Julio to see if he and his baby’s mama wanted any bagels. They did and I dropped them off outside their door before sealing myself off in the apartment.

Read the papers, then I watched the rest of Super Bad which I watched partially on Saturday. It was ok, not as hilarious as I had hoped or I was told. It did have it’s funny moments though. Seth Rogan was hot in a uniform that’s for sure. I logged into IMDB for some info on the movie, and read the bulletin board. I was surprised at the reactions to the main protagonists declaring their love for each other while drunk. Nothing homoerotic nor homosexual but wow were these guys freaked out. I found it amusing and annoying at the same time. Ultimately I was disappointed with the movie though.

I also had the Story of Stax Records which was pretty good. Great footage and stories from Memphis. It’s funny, sometimes when I play bass I imagine myself to be Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn from the MG’s. Not that I can play as well as him, but it’s easy to lose yourself in his bass playing and seeing how deeply he is into it. The Stax story turned out badly though Stax Records has been revived yet again. In the extras there was a clip of a rehearsal with Booker T and the MG’s, Issac Hayes, David Porter and Sam from Sam and Dave among others.

That was pretty cool seeing the survivors getting together again. I know Jim Stewart passed away as well as his sister Estelle Axton who started the label in the early sixties, not having any idea what they were doing. Stax got screwed by Atlantic Records, when Stax didn’t read the fine print on their distribution contract and it turned out Atlantic owned all the records Stax was creating and Atlantic was distributing. Typical record business shenanigans, putting it nicely.

I guess I didn’t win tickets to go to London to see Led Zeppelin. I’m sure I would have known by now, considering the show is tomorrow. It’s a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. You can bet no Stax artists would be taking part in the tribute. Jerry Wexler is the only one from the Atlantic hierarchy still alive these days. He’s also Andy Partridge from XTC’s father in law. Somehow it all comes together and gets tied up under a nice red bow.

Hopefully you’ve checked out the photos page…..any comments?

Whatever Gets You Through The Night

Well so far it has been a pretty good Saturday. Just finished editing a load of pictures that I had taken while roaming the art galleries of Chelsea. I was so tired after seeing Sly and the Family Stone last night, and it wasn’t being wiped out from the hi energy funk of Sly, because there was no energy at all. I guess we were all standing on the verge of getting it on, to quote George Clinton and Funkadelic. I neglected to mention when Sly said into the mike, “I’m an old man and I gotta pee.” Awesome!

I think Pete Townshend said it best about a great rock and roll concert, you forget for a few moments who and where you are, and I know that’s happened to me only a few times. Offhand I can think of a couple, once with REM at McSwells and twice with Me’ Shell Ndegeocello, and of course Paul McCartney, but that was more than likely Beatlemania. Sorry, Ringo but it didn’t happen when I saw you at Bryant Park a few years ago. It didn’t happen last night, no fault of Chaz, who was great company, or rather I was his company and hopefully I lived up to whatever expectations he might have had. Ready to shake some booty, we wound up deprived and left funkless.

Just standing for a few hours wiped me out and definitely had no problem sleeping last night. I was awoken by the sound of jackhammers working two doors down again, I doubt they’ll be working on Sunday, at least I hope. Today I obviously got up, had coffee and didn’t shave again then went out and interacted with the world via commerce. Saw Linda at the supermarket who reminded Annemarie of our grandmother, not that I would remember, she is always a pleasure to deal with. Just wanted to mention that. She says hi and that she’s doing fine. Then I settled down for a nice breakfast, read the papers then I got started on the laundry. I watched a Robert Greenwald documentary about Halliburton called Iraq For Sale. Quite good and terribly infuriating. We’ve been fleeced and we are all wearing the blue dress.

Tomorrow was promising to be be cold and wet so today would be the day to go out and do something. I decided to go to Chelsea and see the Banksy exhibition. He’s an artist (he’d probably deny that) from the UK, who is selling some of his stuff here. As I was getting ready to go I get a phone call from Pedro inviting me up to Otisville to watch the boxing match tonight. I love it when he calls. He usually says ‘Whats up Negress?’ but lately it’s been ‘Ayo bitch’ I say ‘What’s going on fuckhead?’ That’s generally how our conversations start and finish though today I just called him an idiot and hung up. I headed out the door and headed to the bus stop.

There I got a call from Julio who was sitting in a car watching me, but wouldn’t say where he was. Mr. Funny and Unnerving he was. Got me laughing while trying to figure out where he was. I hung up once I got on the bus, neglecting to call Julio an idiot and settled into the seat with the most leg room in the back so my legs would be properly accommodated. Yes I had it like that this afternoon. Walked down to 27th street and got in line to see the Banksy show. It was a small place so they were only letting people in four at a time once four others had left. I saw what I needed to see and took a few pictures, setting me off to go camera crazy and wind up visiting a few other galleries in the area eventually taking 143 pictures.

I was headed back home a little while after that, tired again from all that walking around, yet I was happy I got out and about and saw some new exciting things. I got to do that more often, perhaps one Saturday a month, just head into the city and check out galleries. I used to do that a lot. It’s great to see what other people are doing from around the world, get some ideas, some inspiration. It’s like volunteer work for the soul, though I guess that would depend on the art.

Here are some pics. I’ll be posting others in the Photos Page listed on the right…..

What I woke up to…
What I woke up to

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market


Outside of Banskys






others in the Photos Page listed on the right…..

If You Want Me To Stay

Very easy day. Quite low key so far. Last night Bill came home, at the end of his rope. The whole situation about his parents is wearing him down. I listened as he poured his heart out about his relationships with his mother and his father, trying to reconcile how they were when he was growing up and how they are now. I encouraged him to let it all out. I even cooked him dinner, and suggested that he get out of his work clothes, take a shower and wash the days frustrations away. We watched a so so Ugly Betty, a bit forced it seemed but Bill enjoyed it and enabled him to laugh, especially after my Bob Fosse tribute which was strange for even myself, considering that I’ve never attempted that move before.

Bill went to sleep soon after Ugly Betty, I watched the Office, which was a repeat and Scrubs which this season seems to feature the janitor more than ever before. With Bill asleep I was able to watch My Name is Earl which was ok and 30 Rock which once again proved to be the funniest show on Thursday night. I wound up falling asleep around 12:45, happy that I wouldn’t have to wake up early in the morning. I was briefly awoken by Bill kissing me good bye for the day and going off to do battle with life. I drifted back off to sleep only to wake up around 8:00 and the sound of jackhammers, hammering away at a building two doors down. I padded around the apartment, making coffee, showering before heading out to buy groceries and what not.

Nothing planned really for today, the only thing was to see Sly and the Family Stone and meet up with Chaz at 7:00 in the queue outside the club. Finally finished off The War, it’s now off my Netflix queue. Watched Superbad which wasn’t as funny as I had hoped, and I was certainly in the mood for ‘funny’. Pedro recommended it the other day when I spoke to him on the phone after sending me a photo of him with his arm busted up after fighting yet another convict. The movie really doesn’t hit it’s stride until McLovin shows up. Now I’m just hanging out, killing time until I head out into what looks like snow to meet up with Chaz in the city.

Just got back from that. Always good to see Chaz, who was looking good. We walked into BB King’s, I hadn’t been there since 2001. They’ve gotten rid of a lot of tables so it was mainly standing room only. Chaz and I hung back by the bar, had a few pints a piece, Sly Stone came out and doodled on his keyboard then signaled for the rest of the band who joined. Two singers, backing up Sly with Cynthia and Jerry on horns. Good band, Sly was there physically, but thats about it. He’d sing a few lines then shuffle off to the side of the stage watching the proceedings. He may have sang half of five or six songs before he exited the club through the audience.

He was about 5 feet away from me, but I couldn’t operate the camera fast enough. Cameras were forbidden for the show, and so was smoking but someone had a skunk in the crowd if you know what I mean, and no, it wasn’t me. So that’s that, seeing Sly and the Family Stone for an hour or so. Over before you knew it. Someone grabbed a mike and said ‘Get that crack addict out here to sing more songs’ but Sly was now physically gone by that point. If Chaz reads this, perhaps he can include the song list in the comments section….Chaz?

Here are some pics….

Blurry Sly (which is how he probably sees things anyway)

Holding up the wall

Sly focused

Jerry, Cynthia and the tromboner

He went that away

Grey Seal

Well the day started out ok, a bit cold, around 21 degrees. I didn’t mind, it was hat weather and figured however messed up my hair would be I would be able to fix it when I got to the office. Last night watched TV. Nothing special on, Scrubs again, Keith Olbermann and wound up watching Marie Antoinette by Sophia Coppola. It was ok, basically it was the, story of a teenage girl in the wrong place at the wrong time, meaning during the revolution, it wasn’t such a good time to be the Queen and living the high life at Versailles. Marianne Faithfull, Steve Coogan, Rip Torn all have prominent roles. It was a decent movie, not the greatest and certainly not as good as Lost in Translation.

I never saw The Virgin Suicides so I can’t say anything about that movie, also directed by Sophia Coppola. I had Marie Antoinette in my Netflix queue so having watched it on cable last night, I don’t need to rent it. I think Sophia Coppola have similar taste in music. There were a few scenes with music by Siouxsie and the Banshees from 1978 and New Order from a few years later. Now I like both bands, or at least I used to love those bands, they’re on my iPod but I don’t think they really worked that well in a period piece. And it wasn’t so much that they were rather contemporary, I think other songs by either of those bands would have fit or perhaps orchestral versions like they did in the movie with Hong Kong Garden by the Banshees before going into the actual song, but I’m splitting hairs in powdered wigs I guess.

Work was ok, actually enjoyable for the most part. Some running around which wasn’t so bad, got me out of the office and out and about though it was only to get bags of coffee at Juan Valdez a bock or so away. Everything was going well until Vivek had something to say about his expenses. Yes the expenses that I was working on a few months ago. I thought they were all completed, but no they weren’t. There were two expense forms that I had neglected to turn in.

I had them, something distracted me, then something else distracted me and so on and so on and soon they were buried under other projects. It was about $8,000 and I knew it was all my fault. I sat there quietly as he ranted about the whole situation knowing it was all my fault. I felt terrible as the blood drained from my face and a bad taste settled in my mouth. After leaving Vivek’s office, I gave the expenses to the bookkeeper and told Tom Chin about it. He wasn’t too upset by the whole situation since basically it was over, the forms were being processed finally. I felt like shit.

I came home, feeling better, knowing that I had tomorrow off and the whole thing was over anyhow.

Evidently Chickentown

Well it’s Wednesday which for me taking Friday off makes it a Thursday. It works out fine if you don’t look at a calendar. Right now, it’s snowy and damp and cold. Good night to stay indoors that’s for sure. Work was pretty good today, a bit busy, a few errands, everyone seemed to be in good moods. I’ve decided Greg Stevens doesn’t need me to work his party tomorrow, not through anything bad, just that he doesn’t want to waste my time. That works for me, though I still expect a call from him needing my help which I will supply. He has until 5:00 tomorrow then I’m gone.

Taking Friday off to chill and see Sly and the Family Stone possibly on Friday night at BB King’s Nightclub. It’s ‘possibly’ since Sly has a habit of not showing up. Last night Bill was home, here in Hoboken trying to sync up his iTouch. Law and Order: ♫The Olivia Show♪ was on last night. A pretty good convoluted show featuring Method Man as the big bad villain and he certainly was. If he acts, he should stick to comedy though. He can be an imposing thug, but his delivery of the lines was just so so.

Bill’s father may be released form the hospital and sent home, provided they can get a hospital bed in the apartment. Bill’s father is doing better in the hospital than in the nursing home where he was wasting away. He seems to be more on track now that he’s under observation, enough to go home by the weekend. The other day I watched My Favorite Year, starring Peter O’Toole. A really good movie, yet at the end I was getting chocked up, as if I was watching anime.

Why was I getting choked up? It’s a fictional story, based on Sid Caesar and Your Show of Shows, with Peter O’Toole playing an Errol Flynn in case you hadn’t seen it. It really is a funny movie, but it’s someone else’s nostalgia. So why the lump in the throat? Perhaps it’s because I had gotten the movie on VHS as a gift for my mother, or it’s just so wistful at the end with Mark Lynn Baker narrating from the future, about how he likes to remember Alan Swann.

It’s the same effect when I watch Radio Days by Woody Allen which takes place about ten years before My Favorite Year, only this time it’s Woody Allen wistfully narrating. I should just be glad it’s not anime or I would be bawling my eyes out.

Yesterday was my sister in law Karen’s birthday which I remembered and called only to find she wasn’t home. Then I got an email from Annemarie reminding me so I called and got her. Today is the other sister in law, Elaine’s birthday. I have the alarm set on my cellphone to call so I’ll be ready. Just sitting here and instead of waiting for the phone to ring, I’m waiting to make a call. Is it Friday yet?

I added a video clip last night a while after posting. It’s called My Patch by Jim Noir, and it’s also the music for a Target holiday commercial. I love the song (reminds me a bit of For You Blue by the Fabs) and worth scrolling down to last night’s entry if you haven’t checked it out yet. It’s worth checking out again, it’s pretty funny. That damn chicken!


Last night, it was getting cold. I didn’t mind since I have a roof over my head, though there are thousands or millions that don’t. I plan on doing my part and donating a used coat to the coat drive in New York City. Every little bit helps and I’m doing my bit. So far I’ve given money to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, The Food Bank of New Jersey and donated money so veterans can use calling cards to phone loved ones over the holidays. Still, I’m reluctant to give money to the Salvation Army since they have some anti gay policies in effect. That wouldn’t make sense to give my money to an organization that is against me and my kind. There are other worthwhile charities that do similar work as the salivating army and they would get my money instead.

Last night, Bill came home. He was happy to be home, and we watched Chuck though I wasn’t paying too much attention as Bill was telling me about his day. It didn’t seem like an edge of the seat type of episode last night anyhow. He was mostly silent during Heroes, which was ok. For comic book aficionados, we know that death isn’t the end, merely a twist to be reckoned with at a later date. It was good though and the characters I expected to be killed off, weren’t. The new ones, the girl who cries black tears and winds up killing everyone lived as well as Elle, played by that Veronica Mars girl. I figured that since they weren’t well received by the fans they would be dismissed, but they weren’t. Yet. They guy married to the Dixie Chick, maybe he died, and the 21st Century Schizoid woman blew up real good.

Then we watched Law and Order Criminal Intent which is one of Bill’s favorite shows. Let’s face it, if it said Law and Order: Field and Stream, Bill would record every episode or purchase it on iTunes, or both. Bill just bought himself the iTouch iPod. His iPod crashed and so since this was a shiny new gadget, like a moth to the flame, Bill found himself at the Apple store. It’s nice, it’s shiny and doesn’t hold the 6800 songs that my iPod has, so I’ll hold off on that, though I did have my eye on the 80GB iPod which can hold 20,000 songs on it. I have difficulty with 6800 songs, do I really need 20,000? It would be nice and I’d more than likely give brother Frank my older iPod. I gave him my iPod mini while he was in the hospital this summer and I’m sure he’d really like the 30GB. I wouldn’t even wipe it clean I’d give it to him fully loaded and let him get rid of what he doesn’t want. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

I’m presently reading Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia which so far is about people having audio hallucinations, after being deaf, or struck by lightning or having a stroke. According to the book, the music is constantly playing in their heads, and not whole songs, sometimes just notes being repeated from various classical pieces, or songs that elderly people heard while growing up, or in the case of the doctor who was struck by lightning, having an overwhelming compulsion to actually write and play music that they are hearing, decades after having piano lessons when he was a child. It’s a great read and I bought a copy for Annemarie’s husband Rex, and Frank’s wife Elaine. I think Rex would enjoy it more than Elaine, and I’m tempted to get Elaine something else, and keeping the book for myself.

Today I heard For All We Know by the Carpenters and realized that Karen and Richard are also part of my musical DNA, and I don’t mind at all. She had a great voice, no matter what you might think and ultimately her death was quite tragic. Apparently if you watch the Carpenters videos you can see poor Karen waste away with each passing year. Yeah they were goofy, but they had some good pop songs that will undoubtedly go on forever.

On another more hopeful note, Bill’s father was able to sit in his bed and walk a bit with the aid of a walker, making Bill wonder what the hell were they doing in the nursing home, where his father was thisclose to looking like a vegetable. And they found Bill’s mother’s wedding ring. It was under the bed in her hospital room, where Bill will go and collect it tomorrow, to bring it home to his mother at home. Nice to end on an up note, isn’t it?

Late night add on. This song from the Target holiday commercial really grew on me. It’s called My Patch and it’s by Jim Noir. The song used in the commercial is a remix, so this is that.