Monthly Archives: February 2008

Too Much Monkey Business

Friday has arrived. Took it’s sweet time getting here. It was a relatively productive day, but first, last night’s TV. Yes, Lost was on and yes it was good. All about Desmond. No barrow. No marketplace. Not much in the memory department either. It was good and the scene with Penelope was sweet. A happy ending of sorts. Talked to Annemarie on the phone for a while last night. Just family drama, too personal to write about here. How’s that for a tease?

Things have been very tense in upper Bergen County for a while and they all came to a head. Fucked up teenagers, damaged parents makes for a emotional maelstrom. And then in lower Bergen County, my sister in law Elaine is having an angiogram, and Frank is stressed. With the cutbacks in state employees I wonder if Frank will be affected. He’s a country employee you see, and shit rolls downhill. Annemarie is trying to organize a laughter yoga group and that’s slow going. I hope it works out, though all you need is one person. Or maybe one other person. You can laugh by yourself, but it’s easier to laugh with someone else.

I laughed loudly watching the Daily Show last night with Jason Jones jonesing for Starbucks coffee, going so far as rooting through garbage cans and drinking a used condom filled with coffee. Yes it was gross and it was also hilarious. I slept incredibly well last night, woke up really rested and in a decent mood. I timed myself and I can wake up and be out of the apartment in 45 minutes, including a shower and coffee. I didn’t shave today, since it’s Friday. Also cut my forehead with my thumbnail. Not used to having nails, you see.

For most of my life I bit my nails, and for the past couple of months I haven’t. I haven’t even used the bitter nail enamel that I was using for years. It’s bitter, it’s probably poison and it did deter me from biting my nails for a while, until I washed my hands a few times and the poison would wash off. Now I compulsively file my nails and that seems to be the tact that works. I still want to write something about Nail Biters Anonymous, which involves someone like me, or actually me, going up before the group and saying , ‘Hello I’m John and I’m a compulsive nail biter’ only to get the response of ‘What? We can’t understand you, take you fingers out of your mouth!’. That’s as far as I got. If anyone else has an idea on how to follow that, I’d like to hear it.

Bill is hoping to come over this weekend, if just for the opportunity to sleep in our bed, he’s been couch bound for a few months now, and not sleeping well. I’m looking forward to sleeping next to him again. Hopefully I won’t hit him while I’m sleeping. It’s been known to happen. Got my Guinness for the weekend, I’m set for what comes before Part B.

Everyday

Thursday today, all day. Nothing but Thursday. I wonder where Harpy is? No phone call, no comments. I wonder if he’s still alive. I’m sure if he wasn’t someone would have told me. In any event I hope he’s alive. Not going to compliment him, since he doesn’t take compliments well. So, he’s a dumb ass then. Last night, Lawn Hor d’oeuvre, both Criminal Investigation as well as the original. Both very good, though I’d give intensity points to Criminal Investigation. Lesbian psycho blackmailer/killer. Can’t say that they have LGBT killers or crooks all the time, they don’t. Not always victims either, I guess that makes Lawn Hor d’oeuvre, a true New York show. LGBT are everywhere.

Chatted with Juan last night online. He’s alive. Craziness in Trenton but it’s not my story so I ain’t gonna write about it. I’d recommend going to his blog to read it, but he probably isn’t going to write about it as well. Blogging is for losers I believe he said a while ago. I know he’s wrong, but he has youth and impetuousness on his side so I’ll give him that inch.

Bill is back at work, and barely keeping his head above the emotional waters. I sympathize and tried to be supportive, telling him he just has to get through this week. He was crashing from a lack of food, so I recommended getting a couple of bananas. They help stave off depression and they do give you energy and they’re good for you. He wisely took my advice and noticed a difference. It was bitter cold outside today, a bit windy but sunny. I enjoyed it surprisingly. Kept a lot of people off the streets and out of my way as I strolled through midtown at various times today.

Office was busy, most everyone in, including clients. Hard to believe I haven’t worked a full week in two weeks. I guess next week will be the first since then. I hope I can make it. Now I have a nagging feeling I jinxed it. Oh me and these superstitious ways. Looking forward to Lost tonight. Bill has a tentative plan to see Medea up in Harlem this weekend. I think that might be too much for him. It might be bes for him to just chill out and do nothing, and maybe avoid Greek tragedies about a woman who murders her children.

I’d rather chill out in Hoboken, though it is St Patrick’s Day in Hoboken, making it a major destination for newly legal drinkers. At 3:00 in the afternoon the bars should be packed after the parade, and on Sunday morning there will be a mess throughout town. At least it’s no surprise. More than likely they’ll have green bagels too, or maybe they’ll wait until March 17 which is the actual St. Patrick’s Day. They just celebrate it the first Saturday in March so there wouldn’t be any competition with New York. I’ve had a few experiences in Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day and I’ll write about them some other time. Maybe March 17. I do know if I want Guinness on Saturday, I had better get it tomorrow.

A Day In The Life

Well it’s Wednesday and I think I’m finally getting into the swing of things at least at work. Last night I actually watched the Presidential debates. Not much was on otherwise. It was on but the volume was on low since I was on the phone a bit last night. Drama going on everywhere it seems. Gas prices expected to go up to 4.00 a gallon, perhaps by summer. That’s been showing up in the supermarkets and bagel stores, the price of gas reflected in the cost of delivery, more money for products. Yes, I think we can safely say we’re in a recession. I know I’m watching my pennies.

Today was an odd day, saw Julio as I was leaving which I hardly ever do. He was surprised I didn’t stop to chat, only offering a ‘Hey Dude’ before continuing down the stairs. I had to explain that I don’t work around the block like him, I need to catch a bus and cross state lines.

And that’s what I did, immersing myself in a really good article about Joel and Ethan Coen which went unfinished since we arrived at the bus terminal on time. Nice walk across town, not too chilly though the temperature would drop considerably a few hours later.

Tom Chin was out of the office, and Vivek was scheduled to return from India today. I was busier than I was yesterday. A few errands to run which was fine, just keep moving outside, not letting the cold get the best of me. One of the errands brought me in the vicinity of Wanker Banker. The IT guys have been after me to stop by and today I did. Groucho and Harpo were out so I hung out with Chico for a while. It was a nice visit, catching up.

It was a bit weird though since where once sat 100 employees, now there were only 4. Someone is paying a lot of money to maintain an empty office but not me. After that quick visit I bade Chico a farewell and came back to my office where I saw Tom Chin. He was frantic as ever, but only passing through. I didn’t care since it was time for me to go home.

Bill went to work today and I met up with him outside a sandwich shop on my way to the bus terminal. It was nice, and he needed to unload. A nice short walk back to his office building. He’s having some difficulty getting through this but that’s why I’m here.

On the bus home I was able to continue reading The Diving Bell and The Butterfly which I finished standing in the cold outside the library and I got more choked up finishing the book than I did at the end of the movie. Such an inspiring book. I think it would make a great gift for various people so don’t be surprised if at some point you get a copy in the future. Oh go ahead, be surprised.

Lawrence King report on CNN. He was the 15 year old boy shot by a classmate a few days ago.

I’m Housin’

Back to work today. Woke up with a headache from dehydration somehow. Despite hydrating and an aspirin, it went away slowly in about two hours. I wasn’t looking forward to going to work, nor was I dreading it. Still in the netherworld you see. The whole situation taxed me more than I realized. Physically I’m fine, emotionally I was spent. I’m getting better though, so thanks for asking. Though I was only out two days it certainly felt a lot longer.

I wore the suit I always seem to wear when it’s going to rain and rain it did. It was fine going into work, but coming home it was coming down in sheets. Between the morning and the evening, there was a lot of answering questions about how the funeral went. I explained as best as I could, the scramble for money to the playing of Taps. They were sympathetic to it all. The office ran fine without me, thanks to my taking care of most everything before I left on Thursday afternoon. Something resembling foresight.

Perhaps I did too good a job of covering myself since there was very little for me to do. It takes a lot out of you to be busy. Tom Chin had asked how things went and as I started to explain, he of course interrupted. I let him go on with whatever it was that he had to say, even though it didn’t have anything to do with what I was telling him. Yes, Tom Chin is still an idiot. That hadn’t changed. I am almost finished with the book, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. It’s a little over 130 pages, but trying to find the time to read it has been a chore. I’m almost through with it. I could finish it in traffic tomorrow should the opportunity present itself.

The day finished quite slowly. 4:30 couldn’t come soon enough. It’s still raining, but I’m home drying off. Bill is with his mother. He took the day off. He was afraid to go to sleep last night, though he wouldn’t say why. I could guess a few reasons, but they’re only guesses and unless Bill tells me what the problem was, it doesn’t make sense to try to figure out those reasons.

SPOILER: Last night I watched The Wire which I missed since I watched the Academy Awards. We have HBO on Demand so I went to the last episode listed, thinking it was for this past Sunday. And just when they showed what happened in the previous week’s episode I realized that I had gone too far. Apparently HBO is showing next week’s episode as well for some odd reason. So I saw Omar Little, the homo-thug in a corner shop buying a soft pack of Newports and getting shot in the head by a nine year old boy who was just seen pouring lighter fluid on a cat. A violent end to a violent man, totally nonsensical. No showdown with Marlo on the street, no guns a blazing. What a way to go out, out like a sucka.

My Father’s Gun

It’s Monday, not dreary. Weather nice. Just got back about an hour ago from Manhattan. It was an interesting couple of days these past few. Last night, sitting with Julio and Stine in a midtown Bistro, I was feeling so guilty about leaving Bill and his family. They were fine, nothing that being there would do for anyone, but I just felt so bad. It was ok on their end, but on my end I just felt terrible. Speaking with Annemarie later on, she correctly identified that the cause of guilt (which was more like depression) was due to the fact that I was at a wake most of the day.

Identifying the source of the problem made a difference and I was able to wonder why Josh Brolin looks like he has a dwarf’s head. Annemarie disagreed but I thought he looks freakish. Funny that he didn’t look that freakish in No Country for Old Men, he looked great in that, but last night during the Academy Awards, in that tuxedo he looked weird. Yes I did watch the Academy Awards last night. I enjoyed it. I thought that since Joel and Ethan Coen won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay the Best Director award would be up for grabs. I was pulling for Paul Thomas Anderson or Julian Schnabel but the award went to the Coen brothers.

There Will Be Blood won Best Cinematography, and Best Actor justifiably went to Daniel Day Lewis. He was great in that movie. Sweeney Todd won for Best Art Direction. This year I saw two of the five nominations for Best Picture, No Country and …Blood. Another happy note so to speak was the fact that the song from that charming little Irish film, Once won Best Original Song and the girl half of the duo was able to come back after being cut off by the orchestra and give an inspiring acceptance speech about following your dreams. I’m fairly certain that Alicia Keys made a similar speech years ago on some other awards program, but I guess it’s all in the delivery, or in this case, accent.

Both Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová have accents, but Glen Hansard has a brogue, Markéta Irglová has a winsome Czech accent and Alicia Keys sounds straight out of Hell’s Kitchen. Which is fine, but doesn’t inspire me to do much of anything except look up diction classes online. And their song, Falling Slowly is really a sweet song. I was surprised my sister hadn’t seen it, considering it’s right up her alley. Jon Stewart was mainly funny and there were lot’s of montages which could be hold overs from the plans to broadcast from the writer’s strike.

The funeral for Bill’s dad was today. It was a nice service. Once again, Bill showed to me that he communicates his emotions when playing the piano. He played a little piece midway through a eulogy he was doing and his playing got his point across perfectly. It was a good day for a funeral, beautiful day, sunshine, not windy. An honor guard played Taps and the flag was presented to Bill’s mom. Bill’s friend, and mine, Margaret flew up from Atlanta and also had a few words at the church. Margaret is a Reverend Doctor in Theology and her words were touching. She had been speaking to Bill over the weekend, and she told Bill and myself, separately that we’re family, meaning that I am part of Bill’s family and he’s part of mine. It’s true and I never realized it before.

Sometimes things are so obvious, so right in front of your face and you can’t see it.

Somedays

Well obviously I didn’t write last night, nothing to write about really. Today there are somethings to write about, but first last night. What did I do? I watched TV. Watched Law and Hor d’oeuvres more than likely. Watched a documentary about Funk, James Brown, Temptations, Stevie Wonder and George Clinton. That was fun, a wonderful distraction from the boredom of day to day life. Also watched Saturday Night Live which was a lot of fun, having been off the air for the past three months. Tina Fay was the very funny guest host and Carrie Underwood was ok, not my cuppa, but she wasn’t terrible.

Julio stopped by earlier in the evening, with a new used TV for me. Big 24 inch screen, not HD but big screen, good sound and I’m happy with it. It also gave me a chance to hang out with Julio who lately I only see maybe once a month. I was also able to give him the onesie I got for the baby due on April. It’s a nice blue one piece that says ‘I’m Super’ and has a cape for the 0 to 3 month old set. We discussed the Viewing and the Wake this afternoon. Mainly, what’s the difference between a viewing and a wake? I had no clear idea, just that I figured the Viewing would be religious themed and the Wake a more social thing, which in fact it turned out to be.

I went to bed after SNL and woke up around 8:00 this morning. Did my thing, which for the first time in days, included shaving and my legs were silky smooth afterwards. I picked out what I was going to wear today, my charcoal gray double breasted pinstriped Givenchy suit with a French cuff shirt and a somber black tie. I did run out this morning to get the Sunday morning sundries, including bagels and the newspaper for the denizens of 3R, Julio and Stine. A nice breakfast, good coffee and the newspapers filled my morning and at around 12:00 I knew I had to get moving, not wanting to be late for the wake.

I hopped on a bus and surprisingly people stepped aside and let me on the bus first, with an ‘After you, Sir’. I guess I projected a look of authority, either that, or I was that bangin’. In any event, I sat towards the back of the bus, and started reading The Diving Bell and The Butterfly which I probably could have finished with another hour on the bus. But it wasn’t to be. The book, by the way has a few chuckles in it. My sister Annemarie and her husband Rex saw the film yesterday and they liked it. I wonder if Annemarie is like me, once I get home, I log on and try to get as much info as possible. I told her that some of the music is on a loop which sounds a bit ambient and you can play it for hours without tiring of it, which is what I’ve been doing on and off lately.

I lucked out when I got tot he city, sidestepping all the tourist as I made a beeline down 42nd street from the bus terminal to Grand Central. An express train arrived soon after and I found myself on the upper east side a half hour early. I walked over to 1010 Park Ave, the Park Avenue Christian Church and hung outside having a smoke. Bill came out and had to move his Zip car. His mother was inside with his cousin Elsie. Bill’s friend Margaret was there as well, giving me a big hug and telling em she loves me very much, for what I’ve been doing for Bill as well as for being myself. As if there was someone else I could be. There isn’t. I tried.

The Viewing was religious as I thought it would be and I rebuffed all opportunities to sing hymns in English and Spanish, avoiding a chance to mangle a tune in two languages. Various people from Bill’s past showed up, hugs and well wishes abounding. Bill and his friend Kirk and Tom accompanied Bill as he played a song on the piano, Kirk on flute, Tom on drums. I think that was when it hit Bill. He became quite emotional. Perhaps music speaks best for Bill rather than words. It was beautiful and I wasn’t sure if I should have applauded.

Julio and Stine showed up and I introduced them to everyone I knew during the Wake. It all ended after that, Bill needed to get the Zip car to drive his mother back home, and I decided to head back with Julio and Stine. Stine had some friends coming in from Denmark and we all walked over to the Paramount Hotel to see if they checked in. They hadn’t so we went to a French bistro around the block where we all had something to eat. Stine’s friend, Stine showed up with here husband and they sat and talked with us, Stine and Stine speaking that crazy Danish talk. I felt like a fifth wheel so I made my exit, bidding all a good night. Lucked out, there was a bus waiting and I was home in 20 minutes, where I am right now.

History Never Repeats

This is from a few years ago. Taking a break from writing today.

A handsome ransom

It’s been a musical week people beeples. Starting on the jazz tip and ending up drinking from the well of glee. My honey Triple-5 and I started off on Tuesday seeing Diane Schuur at the Blue Note. Diane was wonderful. The company, Triple-5, and Danielle who is married to the sax player Triple-5 knows, Michael J. “Big Mac” MacArthur and I sat next to a trio from some where else besides metropolitan New York sitting next to a birthday woman and her husband, not interacting between Triple-5, myself and Danielle. Dianne Schuur was wonderful as I said. A wide range of songs including one written by Barry Manilow and Johnny Mercer which was quite touching, quite entertaining, and not the old badalax I heard she was.

Thursday morning, I got a call from Rita asking me if I wanted to see Cheap Trick. I said sure. I asked her where it was. I thought she said Roseland, but it was the Beacon Theatre. Quite a comfortable difference. I agreed in the morning, but in the afternoon I was frazzled. Didn’t want to go. Spoke to Triple-5 on the phone and wise-being that he is, told me that by the time I got to Rita’s apartment, I would be mellow. Since I would walk, Triple-5 reasoned, I’d probably smoke a cigar and be quite mellow by the time I got to Rita’s.

He was right.

I got to Rita’s, hung out for an hour or so, watched TV, which I haven’t done in a while and went to the show with Rita and her man Jerry. Saw the Jon Spencer Blues Experience open up, but they had lousy sound and being in the Beacon balcony, the sound was worse. They did a good version of what I think was “Yer Blues” by the Beatles. Cheap Trick hit the stage with excitement. They’ve been at it for 30 years and it being my first time seeing them, quite entertaining. It was the original band. Rick, Robin, Tom and Bun E. They seemed to love each other and the audience, and performed all their hits with no apologies. And Thom {Tom} Peterson is still very cute; Rick Nelson is still the showman; Robin Zander is still the voice and Bun E. the beat.

Got home mad late from that show to find Triple-5 waiting for me with candles and incense burning and a pizza in the oven and looking quite fabulous. The cherry on top of the evening.

Saturday; dismal day. Rain, rain, rain. I don’t mind. My niece Meghan is Festival Director of the New Jersey Folk Festival to which I volunteered Triple-5 and myself. It was rainy, rainy, rainy, but a good time. Felt good to help out. The usual gnat-like neurotics popped up from time to time but being armed with psychiatric off made all the difference in the Folk Festival world. Saw old friends Jon and Deena from The Cucumbers as Deena was doing a solo gig. Someone blessed Jon and Deena. Thank you. Great seeing brother Frank, his wife Elaine and daughter Meghan again. They would be off in a few hours to meet daughter Cory at EWR Airport returning from merry old England with a class trip. What a wonderful time to be 16.

Sunday had the weather that Saturday should have had. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, but since Sunday was a indoor thing, and Saturday was an outdoor thing, the gods of weather really screwed up BIG TIME. Triple-5, Mr. Isizm (Rode), el Jefe and his father and stepmother saw lady Gigglepuss perform with the Stevens Institute of Technology Glee Club. Being parched of glee, we drank deeply from the sit well of glee. The lady Gigglepuss dressed matronly with cummerbund and matching red bow tie. Sang beautifully with the women who dressed the same and the men in matching tuxedos from old Anglican spirituals to Elton and the Lion King. Their voices soared with varied accompaniments from alumni and professors. Wonderful, wonderful. I loved the lady Gigglepuss. What a wonder.

Quite a musical week. It’s been a while since I’ve had a varied musical pallet. Also bought the latest Ibrahim Ferrer, Orchestra Baobab and the White Stripes. All very good CD’s.

It was great seeing Mr. Ism at the glee function and wonderful to have him visit the crib after the show. Thanks for the truism, Mr. Ism.

Love, love, love.

Version City

It’s a Friday and it stopped snowing, now it’s raining and it’s 30 degrees. Good time to stay indoors and thats what I’ve basically done all day. No errands for Bill which was fine by me. I slept in until about 10:00. Last night was Lost night and since it was about Kate it was very interesting. I do think Kate looks hotter on the island, sans make up where is the scenes from the future she is made up. It was good but with every answer given, more questions pop up. A nice escape from what has been going on lately.

Also left a message for my cousin Neil, regretfully canceling our attendance at his wedding party. He called back today and we chatted, Neil offered the condolences from his side of the family. Nice touch that Neil. Today was all about snow. I did go out for a few minutes into 6 inches of snow. I timed it as best as I could since the snow was going to turn to rain.

A few phone calls with Bill. I guess I am helping by being there for him as he bounces around Manhattan and Queens. I think a few friends are helping him out financially with the funeral costs, I know I am. I had to explain to Bill who I guess never really had good friends, that it’s times like this, when friends are there by your side, willing to help our anyway that they can. He was choked up with their generosity.

I watched Defending Your Life which I think is one of the best movies about life, death and what happens afterwards. I first saw it in 1991 with Julio in Secaucus, and loved it then, getting all weepy at the end. It also came in handy when my mother died a month later, since I was able to fantasize that my mother had progressed to the next level, not being sent back to Earth.

I suppose that ties into the whole reincarnation scheme, trying to improve your life with each go round so you won’t be born again. Well that’s my take of it. I wished Bill was here to watch it with me, but he has it on DVD so that means he likes it as much as I do. Why else would he own the dvd? I remember when I met Lee Grant while working at Right Track Recording and I made a point to tell her I loved her in that movie. Yes, it was a geek moment.

It’s a Friday night now, and I’m doing what I’ll be doing for the rest of the night. Just hanging out and watching TV. Too wet and cold out, nice and toasty inside. That’s alright by me. A mellow evening at best. Lot’s of reading to do, there’s this blog, endless emails. You know how it is. Tomorrow promises to be slushy and cold so it will more than likely be more of the same which it is day after day, isn’t it?

Here’s some pics from this morning’s excursion

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The Tide Is High

Well here I am again, sitting in front of the computer screen, writing yet another entry in the blog. Things seem low key, more low key than the usual weekend ennui. Spoke with Bill a few times last night while he and his mother and his cousin were going from St Albans to Stuyvesant Town with a stop at Bill’s office so he could get some paperwork. He’s basically in the zone, where you don’t think, you just do, sort of like an out of body experience, but I guess it’s actually shock. He says he’s doing ok, a few crying jags here and there. I asked him a few times if he needed anything but he said he was fine.

Talked with my siblings last night to tell them the news, perhaps they could send a card, I doubt if Brian and Frank will make it into the city for the wake. Also talked with Rand who expressed his condolences. He’s a good one to talk to in times like these. Not that he has any comforting words, but he has a good presence. Everyone was sympathetic to Bill’s plight. It’s been coming for a while, and still it is a shock. I watched some of Company on PBS, the Sondheim show. My brother Frank and I had planned to catch it at some point, but it didn’t win any Tony’s last year and it closed very soon after, then there was Frank’s stroke.

I was recording Company so I switched over to Law and Hors D’ouvres, but I really wasn’t paying attention to it. I did find out that Jesse L. Martin is leaving the cast and is starring in a Marvin Gaye biopic. Went to bed around 11:30 but I didn’t turn on the heat and it was 50 degrees in the bedroom so I watched Scrubs until I thought it was warm enough. Woke up and got myself ready and headed out into the 22 degree morning. Uneventful all around. Once again I went to Smiler’s on Fifth Avenue and once again West Indian Tony asked how my boy Bill was doin’. I told him about Bill’s dad passed away the night before and he threw out some stuff about god giving and taking or something like that.

I got my sandwich and was soon at my desk, rescheduling the afternoon’s dental appointment. That was easy. Spoke with Bill a few times. Money woes with regards to the funeral. The funeral company wants the money up front, so Bill is scrambling since he just paid some bills. I’m pretty tight myself so I couldn’t afford to give him anything. In a week or so it’s no problem, but right now on February 21, it’s a problem. And since he is a part time employee he doesn’t get any bereavement pay, so he was at his desk this afternoon and plans to be there again tomorrow. Bill knew there are no benefits being part time, and being part time allows Bill to go to auditions and whatnot.

So he knew the situation. Hopefully his church could loan him some dosh. I took the day off so I could run errands for Bill while he works. Supposed to be a crappy day, snow, sleet, crap like that and half the office was going to be out anyhow. Since the funeral is Monday I’ll be out that day as well. I need to call my cousin Neil to tell him that Bill and I will be unable to attend his wedding. With all the money problems Bill is going through we can’t afford it. That sucks, but I’m sure Neil would understand. That’s about it for now.

This jerk cut in front of me on line at the bus terminal, so I stole his soul. I was stunned by his ignorance and didn’t do anything about it.
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Song For Guy

Well it’s Wednesday, which feels like a Tuesday which happened last month following Martin Luther King’s birthday holiday. Last night, no big deal, watched Keith Olbermann instead of Daily Show which was repeats, same for Colbert Report I guessed. Couldn’t say I watched Olbermann, more like listened to him and not fully at that. He is right on a lot of the time, but there is something in the timbre of his voice that is annoying. After that, more Soul documentaries, this time on Gospel being introduced in the Pop market, specifically Sam Cooke.

It was a repeat which I didn’t realize until I heard Mavis Staples mentioning that people were taking bets to see if Mavis was a boy or a girl. She’s a woman. I remember the first time I saw the Staple Singers on the American Music Awards. I didn’t know who they were, but I liked them and their song, I’ll Take You There. I enjoyed Pops Staples voice a lot, such a simple way of singing, yet backed with an authority that I had never heard before.

After that I watched The Olivia Show, i.e., Law and Order Special Victims Unit. It was good, with Jared Harris as the arch-villain, a homicidal artist doing several life sentences with followers on the outside willing to do his bidding, ala Charles Manson. Jared Harris played a decent Andy Warhol in the movie, I Shot Andy Warhol, not as good as Bowie in Basquiat though. Don’t want the son of the late Richard Harris to get a swelled head.

Then I went to bed after talking with Bill on the phone. Woke up, did my thing and was on the second bus since I was too late for the first. The second bus isn’t as comfortable as the first and it really makes a difference. Read the New Yorker, determined not to fall behind, though I have plenty of other things to read and distract me from the magazine. More errands to run around midtown for, more chores in the office. It wasn’t bad, I enjoy being busy.

Also finagled an early exit since some items needed to be taken to the post office for special deliveries. I had talked with Bill, we had to meet up, I needed to get money from him, so I called him from outside his building as I stood having a Padron. He came down, and we talked for a few minutes.

I had been meaning to ask him how his father was doing and Bill told me his plans to take his mother out to St. Albans to see his father this weekend. It was cold so Bill went back inside and I continued on my way to the bus terminal. Got to Hoboken and had to get coffee. There was that girl again, all chatty and nice. She mentioned she lived on my block so I decided to give her a break. I told her that the first time we met she was a bit rude and she apologized profusely blushing deep red.

Her excuse was that she had been working a 16 hour shift since there was quite a turnover in the coffee shop around that time. I asked her name, she said Stephanie and I introduced myself, shaking her hand and telling her that it was a fresh start. She kept apologizing and I reassured her that it was alright now. Also ran into that sweetheart Allie Politowski on the street, and it’s always good to see Allie.

Picked up dry cleaning, brought it home and found that the trousers I asked to have the cuffs removed, still cuffed. I turned around and brought the suit back, leaving the cell phone home, thinking I was going to be gone for just a couple of minutes. Also had to run to the supermarket where I waited on an awfully long line. Came back with the cell phone ringing next to the computer.

It was Bill, he didn’t sound so good. His father passed away an hour ago. So with that I need to cancel my dental appointment at the NYU Dental School, and I don’t think I’ll be posting the next couple of days. I’m sure you’ll understand. Peace.

added 11:05PM
Bill’s home with his mom and his cousin, Elsie. They went out to St Albans and made the necessary arrangements. They’re in grief mode, Bill on automatic pilot, making all the decisions.

So Glad To See You Here

Well it was back to work today after a three day weekend. It wasn’t so bad. I knew I had to do it. Still buzzing after The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Called up brother Frank to talk to him about it, but he wasn’t in, instead I had a long talk with Elaine, his wife. It was just about everything that Annemarie had told me the night before, angioplasty, breaking and entering, things like that. Not my bag so it’s not for me to write about though I do think Elaine will be fine regarding the angioplasty and in any event, my thoughts are with her.

Last night I watched TV, Daily Show, Colbert Report and a documentary on Ray Charles. After that I read, and eventually went to bed. Got up on time, did the routine and was on the bus reading a book about the last 5 years of John Lennon’s life, called Nowhere Man. I bought it cheap yesterday while wandering about the Village. It seems trashy though it had a good blurb from Allan Jones, the editor of Uncut magazine. So far I don’t feel dirty while reading it like I have when reading other books about famous people.

Today at work I was rather busy, errands and other things that got me out of the office, and I was able to use the fact that something that had to be hand delivered was right near the Path train in the Empire State Building and therefore enabled me to leave early to drop it off. That was cool. I also bought a pair of slippers since the pair that my sister got me a few years ago are no longer fluffy, they’ve gone flat. Dearfoam slippers for $8.00 was a bargain though I felt guilty about not wearing the older slippers. I get attached to things sometimes, emotional memories, even though my sister ordered them from a catalog, and they were shipped from LL Bean, my sister never touched them at all, just pointed and clicked online. Still the attachment was there. I haven’t thrown out the slippers yet.

I had an idea for a movie about someone like me who runs into someone not seen for about 10 years. In the movie, my character 10 years earlier, while drunk in a bar make a friend promise to kill him if he’s ever seen wearing a suit and tie to his job. Now the friend shows up, willing to fulfill his promise. Hilarity ensues hopefully. Two guys hanging out in a dive bar, jeans and t shirts talking shit, years pass, one of the guys realizes that the money is where the suits are and easily adapts. The other guy hangs in there, wearing the jeans and t shirts, not making much money. What do you think?

Here’s another idea, another guy, like me, feels somehow plugged into a spiritual network around town. He recognizes things like witches and things like that, how certain witches don’t cross bodies of water, either a puddle or a stream or a lake. Somehow they get around it. Meanwhile our hero, me, make his way through life observing the everyday occult events going on around him. I know, needs work. Needs a plot more like it. Well, you know, that if these 2 concepts make it to the big screen without my input, you’ll just know they’ve seen it here first.

Fidel Castro resigned, which makes me wonder when all the Cuban expatriates, will repatriate. Time to snap up property in Union City, he said tongue in cheek. Bush is demanding democratic elections, as if he knew what that was. I think it would be funny if they went Muslim and voted for an Islamic theocracy.

Atlantis to Interzone

Well last night was very cool. Bill was here and that was great. He ordered a pizza, I think he’s putting some child of Grimaldi’s through college. I had a slice or two even though I had eaten a few hours earlier. Sort of wished it was Lodi Pizza though, but it wasn’t and I made do with it. We watched 60 Minutes which had a segment on why the Danish people are the happiest on the planet, according to some survey. 50% tax rate, great health care system and the quality of life is quite good. Tough immigration laws keeps things the way they like it. I saw that it was on yet forgot all about it until I got a phone call from Julio insisting that I put 60 Minutes on right away.

It was interesting alright, almost made us want to move to Denmark, but with so much going on here we quickly forgot about that. We watched the Simpsons after that, killing time until The Wire, which was good. Bill hasn’t been following it so I gave him the quick low down. Baltimore PD has no money, McNulty hatched a plan to create a phony serial killer to get the Feds involved and pump more money into the Department. That’s working nicely and a reporter who has a habit of making up stories, ala Jason Blair has caught on and is fabricating a lot though the city desk editor at his paper has an idea that this reporter, Templeton, is a fake, but the newspaper’s management loves the reporter. And Omar is still limping around the streets with a bum ankle, looking for Marlo and taking out Marlo’s soldiers one by one, waiting for a showdown with Marlo in the street to avenge the murder of an old blind friend of Omar.

Too much for Bill so he went to bed. I was soon in bed, cuddling up to Bill while wrestling with my pillows. Last night they decided to be uncooperative. Despite the pillow revolt, I was able to get some decent sleep, Bill kissing me good bye for the day and me laying in bed, hearing the rain. I slept some more knowing that it isn’t often that one has a rainy day and Monday off, makes for a good reason to stay in bed. But I had to wake up, get moving. Not for work mind you, I had off. It’s President’s Day, a celebration of both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Namaste bitches! Brought the suit that I’m wearing to my cousin Neil’s wedding party to be altered at the tailor. Came back farted around, did some more laundry.

I decided to go to the movies and I decided to see The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. I called Harpy, Rand, Roda and they all couldn’t make it. I called Carla, whom I used to work with and we made plans to meet up after the movie. Left messages for Chaz and Kathe, and still I went on my own. It was an amazing film, quite touching, a bit harrowing and highly recommended. I really haven’t seen any other films quite like this. A magazine editor has a stroke, paralyzing all of his body except for one eye. You see the film from his point of view, interacting with his physical therapists, and the memory of his previous life.

So far, Julian Schnabel has made three excellent films. I’m usually wary about Schnabel, not much of a fan of his art, but his films shouldn’t be missed. I think he has found his true medium. Called up and left a message for brother Frank afterwards telling him what a good movie it was, also called Annemarie about it. It’s playing in Eureka and she had better see it before it goes away. It is nominated for a foreign film Academy Award, deservedly so. (Actually Schnabel is up for Best Director) Told Bill about the film, he couldn’t make it since he had to work today, but he never heard of it. He asked if it was something he’d be interested in, and I told him if he didn’t mind subtitles I’m sure he be interested in it. Stopped by Farfetched, chatted with Susan, then I met up with Carla and we walked around Union Square and the Virgin Mega Store before having a nosh at the Bob Vivant Diner.

We caught up quite a bit, or rather I told her mainly what was going on in my life lately. She’s such a sweetie pie, and she was looking very good. Why she doesn’t have a boyfriend, I’ll never know. But there probably any boyfriends good enough for her. She also agreed that Tom Chin is crazy. Good to know I wasn’t the only one. And Susan at Farfetched was looking fetching, a boyfriend for Susan! Pronto! Chop chop! That’s it for me, back to work tomorrow.

Cheese and Onions

Definitely a gray Sunday today. Definitely the essence of low key. I don’t mind, good to do nothing really. Just a lazy day, and why not? My weekend plans were mainly ignored, didn’t talk to many people on the phone so if you were expecting a call from me, well sorry about that. Next weekend I promise. And now that I have put that in writing, you can hold me to it, but please, be gentle. Last night, I watched The Bourne Ultimatum.

Very good, I really enjoy the take charge attitude of Jason Bourne, dealing with violent situations or surveillance. And Matt Damon is easy on the eyes. Definitely appealed to the 12 year old boy in me, the one who went to see the James Bond movies at the now nonexistent Century Theater by the Garden State Plaza. Saw my first movies there when I was growing up, The Jungle Book and Where Angels Go Trouble Follows.

After The Bourne Ultimatum I watched Saturday Night Live, which was a repeat with LeBron James hosting and Kanye West as the musical guest. A very funny episode which I’m sure I wrote about when it was first broadcast. By 1:00 I went to bed, listening to whomever was walking down the street and yelling to their friends quite drunkenly. I’m sure I did that once or twice in the past and it wasn’t so bad since I’m on the fifth floor. I know it would sound differently, and my attitude would be different if I was on a lower floor.

Woke up around 9:00, had coffee and went out hunting and gathering. Then all I did was make breakfast and read the papers, and watched Hard Eight by Paul Thomas Anderson, which was very good. That Philip Baker Hall, I love him and could probably watch him in anything. Just a very good taut story, and relatively seedy and shadowy. Worth catching if you’ve never seen it before. Now I can say I’ve see all of P.T. Anderson’s movies, and they’re all very good. I should watch Magnolia again, if only on brother Frank’s suggestion.

Not much going on in Hoboken, not that there ever is. Last night took some photos which are posted here. Reading Uncut Magazine which is marginally better than Mojo this month. Can’t always be home runs I guess. It’s odd that when I sit on my couch, to my right is a calendar of Magnetic Poetry, those little magnets with words on them that you can play with. And I have played with them somewhat. But the odd part is when I sit on the couch, I always think it’s a Warhol calendar that I had a few years ago, rather than the magnetic calendar.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see this,
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when it is actually this!
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Odd huh? I don’t know what to think. And it’s always Marilyn by Warhol. A famous Warhol piece for sure, but why after a few years do I see that? Unsettling in a funny ‘strange’ way.

Here is what the magnetic poetry says
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here are some pics from last night
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Promises

♫ It’s a Saturday, and I slept until 8:30 and it felt really good yeah yeah yeah.♪. Didn’t do much of anything last night, watched TV, read Mojo which for me personally was sub par. I tried to get into it, but I didn’t really want to read about the British perspective of Staten Island’s Wu Tang Clan. Not that I don’t like them, but Jeezy Creezy I know most of the story already and what I didn’t know, I didn’t care to know. Just a bum issue I guess.

I did find out that Nick Lowe’s Jesus Of Cool has been reissued for it’s 30th anniversary which is cool and worth getting. Here in the States it was called Pure Pop for Now People. So I’m going to get a copy for myself online, and probably burn a copy for my brother Brian. We both liked Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds back in the day, and last September when I saw Nick Lowe solo I made a point to direct Brian to the YouTube clips I had posted under the vid de plume of johnotoole99.

I watched Monk last night, the detective with OCD, not the jazz pianist. It was the season finale, and even though I watch the show from time to time, I was able to figure out the cliffhanger. Monk was not shot, the gun had blanks, and he’s swimming off to fake his death to finally nab Scott Glenn, the corrupt sheriff. Or not. I was pretty much sure of that last night, but with time, my certainty fades. Also watched Bill Maher which I tend to enjoy more with someone else here on the couch rather than alone. Strange, that. I figured midnight was as good a time as any to finally fall asleep and that’s what I did.

Just knowing I have Monday off was like a vacation and waking up wasn’t so bad. I had things to do, laundry, dry cleaning, shopping for slippers, and some new pots and potting soil for an attempt to rescue a plant that I brought with me from Weehawken 6 years ago. It was originally William’s plant and it almost took over the kitchen. It’s a hearty elephant eared plant, but lately all the leaves fell off my plant. I thought maybe the problem was the soil and the size of the pot so that was my chore for the day. I wouldn’t really know if it was the right thing to do for a few days, much like surgery I guess. I do hope it works because I do like this plant, even though I think it may be from another planet.

Yesterday when I spoke with brother Frank on the phone, he was telling me about a PBS show with Henry Louis Gates called American Lives 2, about tracing roots and genetics for various prominent African Americans. It was very good and Frank was on the money about the show. I don’t think a lot of white people realize how fucked the black people have been in this country, they just expect them to get over 400 years of oppression, from slavery to today, all the time being told that they were worthless, less than human, and when that is systematically enforced both physically and mentally everyday of your life, just getting over it clearly isn’t an option. About 40 years ago there were struggles to eat at the same lunch counter. Such institutional bullshit, still exists today.

I looked into taking some meditation classes in Hoboken. Going to look into it at least. That should be interesting. I’m just in it for the mantra.

Sleep Comes Down

Hanging out at home on a cold Friday afternoon. Watching the news, looking at the sky. Saw a very fast jet fly by. From the trail of smoke it looked like it took off straight up, like a missile. I noticed while playing the bass, the way the trail looked. It was really going fast and by the time I got the binoculars to see what exactly it was it I had to run from the living room to the bedroom to catch it before it went behind the clouds. I could tell you what type of plane it was but it was big, as big as a B-52 bomber perhaps. Most peculiar.

Bill came home last night for the first time in weeks. It was nice to have him around, didn’t drive me too crazy. I took him seriously at one point, thought we were having an intelligent conversation. We weren’t. My frustration made him happy. It’s the little things you do together, that make it all worthwhile. Watched Lost last night which was very good. That Sayid is very handsome. Woof indeed. A few twists of course. Too much to write about here, you can always catch it online if you’re so inclined.

Bill went to bed about an hour before I did and it was nice to get in the bed when it’s nice and warm. Unfortunately, Bill has been sleeping on a couch so since this has been the first bed he’s been in in weeks, he was all splayed out, arms and legs akimbo. Warmed up the whole bed, but he was generally immovable. Somehow I found a space on the bed for myself, though according to Bill, at 3:30 I hit him on the head. Oh that unconscious resentment, not necessarily aimed at Bill, since I was dreaming so it could have been anyone I was lashing out at, and I couldn’t really tell you anyway. Bill was up and out like old times and left me with a good bye kiss as I slept.

Got to the office on time, finished up whatever it was that I had to do. Was actually very busy. At one point Vivek came up to me to discuss the Christmas bonus, suggesting that I talk to Greg Stevens about it. I told him that Greg and I discuss the matter and I thanked him for my still unseen bonus. I seem to have a boner for the bonus. It’s all about the pursuit I suppose. Spoke to brother Frank who was telling me about Keith Olbermann last night.

It was good to talk to him this afternoon, he was coherent. I think it’s all in the timing, catching Frank when his ability to communicate is strongest, which would be the afternoon rather than the evening. I have the new Mojo and Uncut magazines and I am finished with the last issue of the New Yorker so I’m caught up. Almost finished with The World Without Us as well, but have plenty of other books to finish, or start. That’s it all for now. Hasta luego!

Fly Me To The Moon

It’s Thursday. No big deal. Last night was no big deal either. There was the dental appointment which went well. Only spent $90.00 for that visit. Spoke to my sister Annemarie on the phone. Her son Earl is sick with the flu and that sucks. But it’s the flu, he’s healthy so he’ll rebound with no problem. Came home, watched Law and Order Criminal Investigation and that was good. It was a repeat and it didn’t get hairy until the last ten minutes. After that was Law and Order the original that Bill was supposed to be in as an extra but they cut his scene. Nevertheless it was a very good episode and dealt with Jack McCoy in the second half, ending with a Bobby Kennedy tie pin from 1968 which touched Jack greatly.

Then it was bedtime for me. Slept really well, woke up on time too. Of course the first instinct was, ‘I don’t wanna go to work today’, but I had to. Many things to do today. Clients coming in, and I had to set up Greg Stevens conference call. I swear, if Greg ever figured out keyboard shortcuts I’d likely be out of a job. At least several times a day, he calls me into his office to fix something on his computer. This morning he needed to get the Microsoft Office helper off his screen. It just popped up and made Greg feel distracted.

There were a few other tasks that I had to do, and one of them was staying the hell out of Tom Chin’s way. He was on the warpath, but it didn’t have anything to do with me. Today is Valentine’s day. I ordered some flowers on Saturday to be delivered yesterday to Bill’s office. Of course they were delivered after Bill left for the day. But technically they were delivered on time. Apparently Bill ordered flowers for me on Tuesday, for a Wednesday delivery before I went to the dental appointment. By the end of the day today, Thursday, they still hadn’t arrived.

We made plans to go to Arthur’s for steaks for Valentine’s day, a nice idea since Bill and I haven’t seen each other in weeks, but somewhere down the line the plan changed and we’re staying here, Bill sleeping over, and having Grimaldi’s pizza which is how my birthday wound up last year. At least then we made it to Arthur’s, and since their credit card machine wasn’t working we bailed and came home for Grimaldi’s pizza on my suggestion. Today it was all Bill’s suggestion. Arthur’s, no Arthur’s, pizza instead. I don’t mind I’m pretty tired but I must confess I was looking forward to having a pint or two of Guinness, a juicy steak and perhaps a cigar while walking around Hoboken.

Still, now I’m in slippers, housecoat and curlers and I’m not going anywhere. Definitely looking forward to a three day weekend, have some dvd’s to watch. I have The Namesake, The Bourne Ultimatum and Hard Eight. I heard good things about all three, and I do enjoy the Jason Bourne movies. Hard Eight was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson so that should be interesting at least. And The Namesake is directed by Mira Nair so let’s hear it for Indian Chick directors! Namaste bitches!

And here is a pic of me in my Valentine’s Day finery. A red tie basically.
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And what is going on with the school shootings? Lawrence King, 15 years old killed at his middle school the other day in Oxnard, today a shooter goes shooting at Northern Illinois University. Crazy.

Let It Shine

Well it’s Wednesday and it was a bloody wet Wednesday at that. Woke up to Help Me Rhonda by the Beach Boys. I sort of gave up on the new wave old rock station. I can depend on WCBS to give me something recognizable and if not that, then Mr. G’s weather forecasts will get me out of bed fast enough. This morning was water water water. Last night was snow, freezing rain. It was a mess this morning, that’s for sure. I wound up walking in the street since they were clearer than the sidewalks and I didn’t want to land on my tuchis like I had on past winter mornings. The bus stop was crowded with people which meant the buses were running late.

I didn’t mind, the bus pulled up in front of me and I jumped on, settled in and read the New Yorker, about a murder in Poland which resembled a murder mystery written by a Polish intellectual. It’s interesting enough but eventually I had to get off the bus and head to the office. The office was empty again, no one in. Long distance commuters working from home, less interaction meant more time for myself and my work and time to get anxious about my dental appointment tonight. I felt like I was a dead man walking.

I knew my teeth were in rotten shape but not so bad. I was worried since my brother Frank had a stroke due to a dental infection, and my smoking could not have helped matters. Yes I plan on giving up the fags this year, and by fags I mean cigarettes. The occasional cigar should be ok, but the cigarettes are going to have to go. And now that I have put that in writing I guess I’m going to have to do it. I walked down to NYU Dental School after work, smoke free though it was stressful enough to warrant a smoke. Almost got run over by a Hampton Jitney bis and all I was doing was standing on the corner waiting for the light to change.

I got to the school, sat down and started filling out forms. SO far so good. A woman who worked there offered to help me with the paperwork so I said sure. I went with her and we sat at her tiny desk, and showed her my passport and a PSE&G bill. She looked at what I wrote on the forms and her head was moving side to side. I thought I had done something or written something wrong, but as I watched her it appeared that she had a mild case of Parkinson’s disease, causing her head to move in the side to side direction. That was a relief to me and we were done in no time flat.

I sat down waiting to be called and the same woman walked up to a few other people offering to help them out with their paperwork. They all said no, one said like a snot, ‘I don’t need your help filling out paperwork.’ Really mean. So the woman who helped me went back to her desk alone to do whatever else she had to do. It was strange, she got me through the paperwork in no time, while the other people she offered to help struggled with answers they really had to think about, like what day it was. It was basically an intake and they’re going to start me off with periodontics since my teeth are rotten. I have to call up and make an appointment tomorrow and start the long road to dental recovery.

The periodontics school is open from 9:00 to 5:00.

I’m calling at 8:59.

Hello to Francisco Xavier Venegas Ramírez, Santo Munafo, Jim Carley and John Nesselt.

Coming Around Again

It’s a snowy Tuesday, first real snow of the year. Looks nice right now, tomorrow it will be frozen and slushy making for treacherous walking. Safely inside where it’s warm I have a sudden pang for hot chocolate in a ceramic mug with a little ceramic bird on the rim of the cup that you can whistle through. Oh but those are long gone. Perhaps relics to be dug up in a couple of thousand years by archaeologists wondering exactly what type of ritual these chipped mugs served. Or perhaps they’re in some landfill somewhere, picked at by hungry gulls.

At work things have been very quiet. Most of the office has been attending a Bio-technology conference around the block at the Waldorf Astoria. That’s a relief, I’m actually able to get some work done without interference from Tom Chin. I spoke to Carla the former receptionist the other day, and she agreed that Tom Chin is really just a little old lady. She still hasn’t gotten her W2 and was wondering where it was, so she called me. We keep intending to meet up for a drink after work, but it won’t be tomorrow since tomorrow is my trip to the NYU Dental School, and Thursday is Valentine’s Day.

Bill called today and suggested going to Arthur’s for steaks. I told him it would depend on how my teeth are after tomorrow night. I’m obviously a bit apprehensive, not for the dental examination, but more for the fact that I fear they won’t see me since I’m not a New York City resident. I don’t mind students working on my teeth, I have faith in the school, for no real reason, just hope. Perhaps it’s will be like Scrubs, only for dentists. Last night was another night in front of the TV.

Watched a documentary on Malcolm X on PBS. That was good but I had seen it before. In the late eighties I was perhaps the only white boy wearing a Malcolm X T shirt in North NJ. I got into Malcolm after watching Do The Right Thing which closed with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. I never read Malcolm X until that point and everything I knew about him was that he was a bad bad man. He really wasn’t and most everything he said made sense. Once he left the Nation of Islam his vision widened, after his trip to Mecca where he realized that white people aren’t all devils as the knelt down next to one another praying to a rather large rock. Somewhere there is a Polaroid photo of me taken by Pedro with myself splayed out on the black and white tiles of a men’s room in Secaucus wearing my Malcolm X t shirt.

Since I had seen the documentary on Malcolm X before and I knew how it ended I decided to go to bed. No Advil PM, just straight sleep (if I can call it that). No dreams of me being chased through a beer hall/refugee camp by Siouxsie though my former room mate Jimmy Lee made an appearance apartment hunting in Hoboken. I heard he lives in Austria now with his Austrian wife. In case he’s Googling his name (and with a name like Jimmy Lee there must be thousands) and he probably is, hello to Jimmy Lee. And for other people Googling themselves, hello to Rae Guay, Maurice Menares, Bill Ryan, Isabelle Gonzalez, Ann Louise Boyles, and Catherine Cloud. Catherine just got a grant, Harpy discovered so congratulations to Catherine Cloud as well.

Gong Xi Fa Cai to Song and Ray!

Some snow pics

The other day with Chaz
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Tonight
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Sans flash
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From Rod2.0
An excerpt from Julian Bond’s opening plenary speech on Feb. 7 at the 2008 National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Partial transcript:

Sometimes it is the simplest of acts, sitting at a lunch counter, going to a new school, applying for a marriage license, casting a vote, that can challenge the way we can act or think. That’s why when I am asked if gay rights are civil rights, I say, ‘Of course they are.’ [Applause]

Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives. The right for equal treatment before the law. These are rights for everyone. There is no one in the United States who should not share these these rights. Rights for gays and lesbians are not “special rights” in any way. It is not special to be free from discrimination.That is an ordinary, universal entitlement. [Applause]

That man had to struggle to gain these rights are precious. It does not make them special in any way…. The more civil rights that are earned by others, the stronger the arm defending my civil rights. If my neighbor gains civil rights in any way, it does not dilute my rights. [Applause]

One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer

It’s back to work for me and millions of other people today. It wasn’t so bad. Last night was a definite chill out time, came back from seeing Cloverfield, and I finished reading the days papers. Almost done with the latest New Yorker so I might be up to date next week when the new issue comes in. The tooth still acting up a bit, not haywire like it was Saturday night but I took precautions. Bill had a bottle of whiskey, Canadian Mist that has been on the shelf since we moved here, and I decided to numb out the tooth with a shot or two. It certainly did the trick, took the edge off my mouth.

I settled in for the night, watching the Grammy’s which is something I hadn’t done in years. Just because the music I generally listen to doesn’t make the cut. But being it was the 50th broadcast I thought something might be happening. Kanye West was amazing with his Daft Punk single, Stronger, was just really good, almost as good as Ricky Martin when he blew the roof off. Not that I’m a fan of Ricky Martin’s music, but he sure is easy on the eyes. He’s also the second musician that I had an erotic dream about. The first was Ruben Blades years and years ago. Kayne West also did a number about his mother. It was written before she passed away a few months ago but it was touching nonetheless.

The Wire came on at 9:00 and I switched over while recording the rest of the awards program. The Wire was once again, intense. Just waiting for it all to come down. Marlo should be getting his, but since this show is relatively true to life, Marlo might get away with it all. Omar, after jumping four or five flights to the ground wound up hiding in the same building in the janitor’s room with a busted ankle. And McNulty kept getting drunk while the reporter kept making up stories though the noose is tightening on his neck with each keystroke. After that hour long trip to the depths of Baltimore, I switched back to the Grammy’s.

I did catch earlier, The Time who were great, playing with Rhianna who sang Umbrella, her big hit single from last year. And Amy Winehouse was very good via satellite from London. I went to bed after watching Herbie Hancock win his Album of the Year, River: The Joni Letters which are his interpretations of Joni Mitchell’s songs. I guess. Fell fast asleep, thanks to the one Advil PM and slept quite soundly. I woke up around 6:30 which is a half hour later than I should. I was in the middle of a dream where I was being chased around a beer hall/refugee camp by none other than Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Normally I’d probably stop and chat but she was pissed off at me for some reason and every time I would close a door on her she would blow the door down with her singing. I woke up groggy and tried to get back to the dream after texting Linda the receptionist that I was going to be late.

Plus it was 10 degrees outside and I couldn’t deal with that right away. No more Siouxsie dream as I lay there trying to get back to the beer hall. I got out of bed fifteen minutes later and that’s when the day began for me. I told Bill about what was going on with my tooth and how I opened the bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey, all covered in greasy dust. Even through an online chat I knew something was wrong and there was. It turned out Bill was saving that bottle for a special occasion. I wondered what kind of special occasion would it take for someone who rarely drinks, his limit is usually one pint of Guinness, to open a bottle of whiskey?

I asked why the bottle was for such a special occasion and he said that some guy he was trying to date/get laid/whatever gave it to him at a Hope and Remembrance gathering and that’s when he wanted decided to save the Canadian Mist for a rainy day. He’s still upset and trying to forget it. There is still more than 2/3 left and I lit a candle, pouring wax over the top of it so he could reopen and break the new seal should he ever cross paths with the enabler of Hope and Remembrance.

Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha

Well sure enough after I posted an oldie but goodie last night, things happen. Well nothing earth shattering or anything like that. I watched the final bits of the McCartney Years, which was alright. Just about 4 clips each from various concerts, including Macca’s appearance at the Super Bowl a few years ago. It was fine, but I was more in the mood for it the day before. And the extras weren’t as special on the first 2 dvd’s but enjoyable nonetheless. I wasn’t going anywhere last night, after running around Hoboken and Manhattan for a while.

I needed to run to my office for something I had left behind or so I thought. It was a waste of time actually since I found what I was looking for next to my computer at home. It’s certainly is a trip of sorts to walk the same route I on the weekend, that I usually walk during the work week. Different people and they’re certainly not in a rush to go anywhere. I successfully avoided them and was in and out of the city in an hour. A fast paced hour that tuckered me out.

I came home had some dinner and watched the rest of Across The Universe which was very good. Good looking cast, all singing different Beatles songs admirably. Characters named Lucy, Max, Jude, Prudence, Sadie, JoJo and Rita, you can see where that’s going though not everyone gets a song sung about them. Still it’s a good introduction to the Beatles music and Julie Taymor’s direction was great as well as the way the film looked. I would give it four stars and recommended it to just about everyone. The I Want You (She’s So Heavy) sequence was really good. You’ll have to see it for yourself.

I lent my Netflix copy to Chaz after coming back from seeing Cloverfield this afternoon. I’ve been following the hype since last summer and I have to say it was merely hype. It was an enjoyable monster movie, and will probably work better on a TV screen, with all the jumpy hand held camera shots. It was nerve wracking to see the jerky motions of the camera on a big screen, too much going on. I felt the same way about Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Didn’t ‘get’ it in the theaters, definitely ‘got’ it on video. Also the same thing with the first Lord of The Rings movie. When I saw it on cable I couldn’t believe I saw it in the theater since I could hardly remember much of it, and my mind wasn’t addled at the time, since it was also an early date with Bill and I was on my good behavior. It’s definitely a movie for teenage boys, but shouldn’t be used as a primer to get around Manhattan. Belief is suspended after seeing characters get from Spring Street to 59th street in no time at all. And a sequel is always a possibility.

Juan came over for a bit last night, we watched a documentary on NY in 1977, about hip hop and punk and Studio 54 with the blackout and Son of Sam. Then we watched Superman 2 but it was a bit much, not as much fun as I had originally thought it would be, my tooth was acting up and I was tired and Juan left around 12:30. I went to sleep only to wake up around 3:00AM with a toothache. Luckily I was able to find a home remedy online, rinsing with salt water and I was able to fall asleep comfortably. That dental appointment on Wednesday is going to be fun, I can see that now.

Talked to my sister on the phone, things are ok in Arcata. I also spoke to brother Frank as well. I had to remind him that we talked about There Will Be Blood two weeks ago. He’s slowly getting better, a bit rambling on the phone, making me hesitant to interrupt. But I had to to tell him I needed to get ready for the movies. Now I’m home, the tooth is still making it’s presence known, though subtlety. Just have to keep the salt water nearby.

Garbageman

Nothing much happened today and following Harpy’s idea, I am posting something unpublished from a few years ago.

Riding the bus with Miss Mudpie. I was unusually charming despite the unwelcome hour of 8:20am. I would’ve preferred being alone, but hey, she is my landlord. Or Landlady. Or something resembling both. “I heard on the radio there was a 40 minute delay in getting into NYC. I’m gonna take a van” Now this would ordinarily sound fine, but Miss Mudpie has a relatively shrill voice and for a non-morning person like myself. And that was after my initial three cups of coffee, aqua rocket fuel.

Miss Mudpie and her brother Mr. Mudpack are my landlord and lady. Quite royal I think. I’ve been living above them all of my life though physically it’s been 11 years. It’s been an up and down ride with them and any problems I’ve had with them are generally because of my room mate, Martin Thall. For example, in 1991 when Charlie and Kathe Tea Cozy told me about the apt, Charlie had mentioned that his brother Martin Thall was probably going to look for an apartment since when Martin Thall got back from Mexico he wouldn’t be living with his parents in Jersey City.

I took it into consideration. So one day when I was walking down Washington St in Hoboken from Take One video to Blockbuster to pick up an errant video tape, I spied a dilapidated van with 2 even more dilapidated passengers within.

It was Martin Thall. He was with Monica. Some chick that was in love with him, enough to travel to Mexico and back with him. Of course I had the luck of bumping into him as soon as he pulled into town.

“Your brother told me you might be looking for a new place. I might be looking for a room mate. Into it?” “Yeah, sure, I guess. Where is it?” “Weehawken. You know Mudpie K from McSwells?” “Uh, I don’t know.” “Well your brother knows her. I once gave her a ride home. Nice neighborhood. Anyway if you want I can set something up for tomorrow night.” “Uh, yeah sure. I guess so.” Little did I know that his vocabulary skills wouldn’t really go farther than that. “Alright, call me at the video store and I’ll see if I can set something up.” “Uh yeah sure. I guess.”

I called Miss Mudpie and set it up. Martin Thall met me at Take One Video the next night and I was able to take some time off and see the apartment. We met Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack’s parents, Adele and Mudpack Sr. A very old couple. A bit strange at first. But so was my room mate to be. I wasn’t used to being the most normal in a group but that is how it was turning out to be. We left 129 Jane Street, climbing downstairs in order to get to 127 Jane to climb upstairs. Martin Thall was able to turn on the hallway light which impressed Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack. We saw the apartment which was previously occupied by an old man who really didn’t or couldn’t walk around much. Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack were quite used to this fact that no one was walking around the apartment above them.

Martin Thall and I both liked the apartment and since Martin Thall painted houses and apartments, offered to paint the rooms from a purple yellow Easter combination to something more than that. We went back to Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack’s parents and told then we were interested. Mudpack Sr. thought that was fine and since it was the beginning of October we would be able to move in anytime and not have to pay any rent until November 1.

It seemed like a great deal. A nice apartment, close to the city, good neighborhood, and a decent room mate. I would find out later that 3 out of 4 wasn’t bad, but wasn’t entirely good either.

I was living in Lodi with my father who I hadn’t been getting along with for about 20 years. I moved in with him despite everyone’s warnings. I had seen a side of him that I had never seen before. He was grieving. Quite sad, his wife, my mother decided to leave her mortal coil on Mother’s Day. Talk about making a statement. May 12 was a day of infamy for me and my siblings. So having seen a side of him that I had never seen before, I moved in with him into the house I grew up and threw up in. It was hell. Everyone was right. It was a mistake.

I started drinking a lot and at night when I was hiding in my brother’s room where I slept fitfully at night. One night I had to pee but I didn’t want to risk waking up the old man who slept across from the bathroom. So I did what anybody would do in a similar situation. I opened up the window and pissed down the side of the house. It seemed to be the only peaceful solution. After battles and wars, I told my father I was moving out. Martin Thall had parked his dilap-a-van outside and I warned him to stay away from the house I’ll bring my stuff outside to the van. Dad was watching me like the crotchety old hawk he was.

Annemarie, my sister was there at the time, calming me down and acting like a buffer between 2 grown men who couldn’t stand each other. Martin Thall and I got all my stuff down to Weehawken. Annemarie was sad to see the relationship die between my father and I but I was glad to see a toe tag on the body of the relationship.

It was quite pathetic when I moved. I didn’t have a bed; I had a sleeping bag lent to me by Paul the owner of the video store and a strip of foam rubber padding that I was using as a mattress of sorts. My cat Zed was able to return from exile. I brought him with me to Lodi and he basically lived in the basement until my father almost tripped on the stairs one day and swore that Zed was trying to kill him. I then brought Zed to Hoboken where he lived in the basement of the video store, which was actually the storage room rented in a basement 2 doors down. Poor Zed felt abandoned but now I was able to put a bona fide roof over his head.

Martin Thall and I seemed to get along. I didn’t know then that he told Monica his traveling companion that he was going to kick me out and the two of them would live in quasi-Aztec bliss forever and ever. Martin Thall told me after a month or two that Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack were quite upset with me and wanted me out. I didn’t understand it. There were one or two incidents where a chair over laden with coats crashed one late night hang out, but it was taken care of. Sure there would be an adjustment to the fact that instead of one old man who couldn’t walk much living above them was now two men who can walk with relative ease taking his place. I asked Martin Thall and he was vague, saying he didn’t know what was going on but I had to go.

Panic stricken and faced with no options, I was leaving the apartment one night when I saw Miss Mudpie and Mr. Mudpack. I asked them I pleaded with them. “I’m so sorry. What have I done? Why do you want me to go? I have nowhere else to go. What can I do to change your mind?” They didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. All they wanted to do was to go to dinner next door at their parent’s apartment. My eyes were tearing up. It’s been said I can cry at the drop of a hat, and a major sombrero had hit the floor.

“What are you talking about?” Miss Mudpie asked. “I have nowhere else to go. I’ll do anything to stay here. I like you guys. Please reconsider.” Mr. Mudpack and Miss Mudpie looked at each other. Mr. Mudpack said, “Well we had a problem with you dropping the coats on the chair and the chair crashing and you guys thump around a lot but we didn’t ask you to leave.” Miss Mudpie chimed in, “Where did you hear that?” “Martin Thall told me that you guys wanted me out.” “Our parents rented the place to both of you and that’s it. You and Martin Thall.” Mr. Mudpack added, “If one of you goes, then the other has to go too. At least that’s what my father said.” “Yeah, you should talk to Martin Thall.” “Thanks Mudpie, I will. Have a good dinner.”

I was relieved and confused. I saw Martin Thall and asked him. He shrugged his shoulders, ran into his room and hid. Monica was still floating around the apartment. It was now about 6 months after we moved in. I ran into Miss Mudpie one day outside the building. She mentioned that her mom wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of three people living in my apartment, and then she dropped a bombshell. “Your roommate’s girlfriend has been going around the neighborhood telling all the neighbors that you’re gay.”

Wow. Monica? What did I do to deserve that? I mean I was gay, still am, but never been one to be all up in your face about it. “Everyone?” I asked Miss Mudpie. “Everyone, even the firemen.” “The firemen? Hmmm….kinky…” Miss Mudpie laughed, “Even my mother.” “Oh no, what did she say?” “She told Monica, that it was none of Monica’s business and it wasn’t her business either. She thinks you’re a good boy. She likes you.” It was good to have someone in my corner.

I found out that Martin Thall told Monica that he was going to kick me out and have her move in. And apparently Monica didn’t think Martin Thall was acting fast enough so she decided to speed things up and attempt to slander me. It didn’t work. Monica being a German tourist figured that these Americans with their meat eating ways would be so disgusted that I’d be run out to the windmill like the Frankenstein monster chased by villagers.

Martin Thall started playing both sides against the other. I was working at the video store and giving video rentals away to various friends and bartenders I knew, and also DJ-ing at McSwells. I was a DJ, ID checker, doorman, and bar back sometimes on consecutive nights. There were records usually piled up by the stereo system that Martin Thall and I shared. 2 Live Crew had a smash hit called ‘Me So Horny’. A decent song, usually guaranteed a laugh from me and my friends. The B side to ‘Me So Horny’ was an aptly named song called ‘Get the fuck out of my House Bitch’. I left it lying around so Monica would see it.

She did.

One night while I was in my room, there was a knock on the door. It was Monica. Her German accent blazing, eyes full of rage, she started screaming at me about how I was trying to seduce Martin Thall. “Leaving a record called ‘I am so horny’ around the apartment. Don’t take my man!” I laughed which enraged her even more. “John, Martin Thall said you were leaving. When will you leave?” “Leave? Monica, I ain’t going anywhere! And it’s not ‘I am so horny’ and I’m not horny for Martin Thall. He’s not my type. I like MEN. Not skinny little toothpicks that can’t stand up straight.” “Well he said…” Monica continued. “I don’t care what he said. And it’s the flip side you bitch. It’s called ‘Get the Fuck Out of my House Bitch.’ You should play it sometimes. It should have instructions on what to do.” She yelled. I yelled louder. Martin Thall hid in his room. It ended with me screaming, “Get the hell out of here you hag!”

She went back to Martin Thall’s room and probably confronted Martin Thall who shrank even further from reality. I didn’t care. Within a week she was gone, never for me to see her again. I did find out that while in her travels, she was badly bitten by a dog in Tibet. Poor dog, I hope he was alright.

That Thanksgiving, I woke up Thursday morning, to find that the phone had been turned off. It seems that Martin Thall felt that I was reckless with the phone bill and perhaps he was right then. But instead of talking about it with me, he took the advice of Susan Scratch an old drugging buddy of mine. The tiny terror they called her. Good old Susan told Martin Thall that he should, A) Shut off the phone and put it in his name only. B) Put a lock on his bedroom door since I was bound to go and use his phone C) Put a lock on his phone in his workshop in the basement because that would be on my list of places to visit and use his phone once I found out that his bedroom door was locked. Susan Susan Susan. She always said she knew me better than anyone, even better than myself.

Martin Thall still waiting for his backbone to arrive in the mail, merely left a note on the kitchen table, telling me what he had done. Of course, being Thanksgiving, my family would probably try to contact me to check and see if I was ok, and I would’ve done the same, had I had a phone. So that cold Thanksgiving morning I went out to the street armed with as much change as I could get, and set out for a pay phone. I went to the corner and it was cold in the shade of the building. I remembered a block away on Palisades Ave was a pay phone in direct sunlight and went over there. Armed with all my change, I stood in the light and deposited my coins. This came back out in the change slot, after the connection was made. A free call to California!
A free call to Garfield! A free call to Montvale! I was living large! But without my phone book couldn’t call everyone, just the one’s who’s numbers I had committed to memory. After the family, I called Julio. Julio I had known for a few years, both of us working at McSwells. Party buddies, drinking buddies. Very handsome he was, and all the gay barflies at McSwells couldn’t tell him enough. I never did. Alright I did, once, but that’s another story. He was surprised at our mutual ‘friend’ doing what he did, switching the phone off and to his name. “That’s fucked up man.” He said. I agreed. He was busy getting ready to see his family for Thanksgiving dinner. I was getting ready to do nothing.

That was fine with me. Watched a lot of TV, smoked a lot of herb. Fairly typical. Just another day. I was able to call NJ Bell and arranged for a line to be installed in my room. Another expense, but one that was needed. Julio mentioned my phone habit which I don’t think was that great, but he insisted otherwise. I called the Friday after Thanksgiving and scheduled an appointment for the next day. The phone guy showed up around 10am. I was groggy from the night before and probably smelled like the night before.

He took his ladder and made the connection outside and then came inside to finish the work. When he came into my room this guy saw my records and pegged me for a DJ. He was right, and cute, but I concentrated more on his being right. He started telling me about an old friend of his that he used to DJ with. “Goes by the name of Todd Terry. Ever hear of him?” Almost instantly I pulled out “Bango/Back to the Beat” A very hot 12” by Todd Terry. He was impressed. I was impressed. We hung out for a while, or I hung out he worked. I offered him some herb but he said no, he couldn’t. Small talk followed and when I asked him about the charge, he said there was none. “You seem like a pretty cool guy. Don’t sweat it.”

He left and I had a phone, free of charge, well, at least free installation. That was a case of being in on the Cosmic Joke. Martin Thall still scampered about like the rodent he would eventually show himself to be. Susan Scratch later wound up doing a similar thing to Julio vis-à-vis his roommate.

For All We Know

It’s Friday and it’s good. How’s that for a positive spin, eh? It’s been an okay day, got things done, both work wise and personal stuff. Left work around 4:15 this afternoon, after not doing much in the afternoon having done it all in the morning. Last night was pretty good too. Chatted a bit with Juan online. He’s coming up this weekend and I told him I had the Across The Universe dvd from Netflix. He implored me not to watch it without him. He saw it when it came out in December and liked it a lot I believe. So I’m holding off on that.

I did watch Lost which was very good. Interesting plot lines developing. Sawyer beating the shit out of Ben, who had it coming, being evil and all. After Lost I watched the new show Lipstick Jungle which is a very watered down Bizarro version of Sex and The City. I’m not a fan of Kim Raver. I think everything she is in gets canceled soon after. Brooke Shields is definitely wooden and I wanted to smack her hands when she kept messing with her hair in one shot, then another shot the hair is the way it was before she was messing with it. Maybe I should smack the editors hands instead. And the other woman, the ersatz Shannon Doherty was really annoying. And that was the first 10 minutes!

After that it was off to bed. I woke up in a good mood and a little later than I should have but that worked out when I left the apartment early somehow. No hustle either, rather lazy. I ran into my old friend Lois DiLivio yesterday at 51st and 2nd Avenue, of all places. She only lives a few blocks away form me in Hoboken but I hardly ever see her. Bill sees her on the bus from time to time, but not me. She was looking good and headed off to work, after telling me she has a lot of men’s socks and offered to give them to me. I plan on accepting them on behalf of the academy this weekend.

That and laundry are all I really have to do. Oh and maybe seeing either Cloverfield or Michael Clayton with Chaz on Sunday. I’m pulling for Cloverfield, since Pedro berated me for not seeing it yet after hyping it up so much before it came out. Michael Clayton could probably wait until cable. But I have Chaz to consider and he’s driving, but I’m buying. That’s the deal. I buy, he drives. I also have to get my new suit tailored, so it’s looking like I’m going to be busy this weekend, despite what I wrote only a few lines ago.

I also have the rest of the McCartney Years live footage to finish and also Superman 2 The Richard Donner cut, which I’ve never seen. The version that came out in the theaters was started by Richard Donner but when he was fired from the movie, Richard Lester finished it. For those that are playing at home, Richard Lester directed A Hard Day’s Night and Help! I made a dental appointment for Wednesday at the NYU Dental School. That’s going to be fun. A little more positive spin with a touch of anxiety.

Philadelphia Freedom

Well it’s getting better, waking up on time that is. I went to bed a little bit earlier than the night before and I was able to wake up on time this morning, no hustle, no stress and a decent seat on a not too crowded bus which is always a good way to start the day. I even took a chance and changed the radio station that I wake up to, from WCBS FM to WRXP FM. Not a big deal for most, but for me it’s risky. If I wake up to the wrong song oh the day is basically shot to hell.

Well not really but it can put a damper on my usual chipper and rosy outlook on life. It was formerly WPIX back in the day. From 1978 to 1980 it was a commercial punk rock/new wave station and it was a lifeline for a record buying hound like myself back then. All the other stations were all about Led Zeppelin and Boston to name but a few, whereas WPIX would play Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Devo, Talking Heads, The Clash and a whole lot of other things that wouldn’t be played on non college stations. Live concerts featuring the Specials or XTC at different clubs around Manhattan were featured as well.

But it didn’t last too long above ground though, much like punk rock and new wave. The format changed and it wasn’t for the better. It was probably the last radio station that I listened to regularly, and by regularly I mean everyday. So I went to sleep listening to Train In Vain by the Clash, waking up to Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello at 6:00 this morning. No 1967 Buick Skylark in the driveway to warm up, I take the bus now.

On my way to the bus this morning, I played Philadelphia Freedom, definitely one of my top ten desert island discs. Then one of the headphones that Julio and Stine got me for the holidays crapped out. That sucked. I had no working headphones after that, and Julio spent quite a sum of money for the headphones. Luckily they were still under warranty and after speaking with Tara in customer service I got a return authorization number and sent it back to Irvine, CA to be replaced. I still have the pair of headphones I bought a week before I got those so it’s not the end of the world.

Last night, watched TV! I know, how different. Get this, I watched Law and Order, both Criminal Investigation and the regular one. Both good, both with very downbeat endings with the good guys losing. I guess they can’t win them all. That Vincent D’Onofrio is really a compelling actor, though anyone who saw Full Metal Jacket twenty years ago could tell you the same, and then there is that Homicide: Life on the Street Episode where he played a man who fell between the subway platform and the train. Painful, poignant and haunting. I forgot all about Homicide until I looked up on Wikipedia to see how to spell D’Onofrio correctly.

And Mitt Willard Romney dropped out of the race, which makes one less lying psychopath aiming for the White House. Still got the two psychopaths in there now, until next January.

Let Me Roll It

It certainly is very strange, the weather is. I left the apartment it was 50 degrees and promised to get warmer. Still I wore my overcoat, which meant I would be drenched with sweat by the time I got to the office. It was a 3 t-shirt day. It had gotten so muggy that even walking around midtown, running errands wearing a suit jacket and I was sweating. It was 68 degrees at that point. Crazy I tell you, crazy! Things in the office have been ok. I’ve taken to calling Tom Chin, the old lady. I ask Lydia where the old lady is and she laughs.

Now at 6:40PM I sit next to an open window, enjoying something that resembles a breeze. Last night it was warm as I watched the telly. The usual, Scrubs, A Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. There was a running theme throughout both shows and crossing over into Late Night with Conan O’Brien. That was pretty funny though I watched it out of sequence since I first saw the Conan clip online in the afternoon. It was supposed to be the last, but still it was very funny. All three of them beating each other up. Quite silly I thought.

Caught Futurama and a series on Soul Music on VH1. All pretty good, Futurama hilarious, Soul Music, soulful. Watched the 3rd DVD of the McCartney Years. This one featured live performances from the Wings Over America movie, Rock Show, some songs from McCartney Unplugged from MTV and part of the big Glastonbury festival from 2004. The audience eating it all up each time. And why not? Macca is quite the consummate professional, and it was cute to see Paul on stage in 1976 so chubby cheeked and with a shag haircut yet.

He certainly gives the audience what they want to hear. I know this to be true because on October 4, 2005 I was screaming my lungs out for Macca at Madison Square Garden, tears streaming down my face, quite unexpectedly during Maybe I’m Amazed. Julio and I have a pact to see Macca again should he come rolling around these parts again.

Can’t seem to wake up on time the past couple of days. I’ve even taken to going to bed a little bit earlier (hence not watching the rest of Macca at Glastonbury) but still I can barely hear the alarm clock when it goes off. If I didn’t have to pee I’m sure I would keep sleeping. Not too much of a problem, I was only 5 minutes late at work and no one was in yet so I’ll just say I was in 5 minutes early.

Bill’s dad goes to the VA home tomorrow, and his mother can also stay there since she needs to be attended to all the time, not being able to be on her own as the Alzheimer’s continues. I haven’t seen Bill in a week which is odd. We chat online and talk on the phone, but haven’t seen each other. That’s really about all I have to say.

Windowsill

It’s Tuesday and it’s alright. I’m full of love. Not being factitious. Just this afternoon I was listening to Arcade Fire, Neon Bible and it reminded me of the trouble I had been in that night at Radio City last May, and I was overwhelmed by love for my brother Frank. I really hope he gets better, I’ll wait for it. I think the chat I had with my brother Brian last week was founded upon basic worries. I had the same worries for my parents when they were getting up in age. Let’s face it, I’m a worrier. Bill will tell you that. He’ll also tell you it’s part of being a Virgo, which doesn’t mean that much to me, but it works for him so we’ll just let it lie.

And of course I have love for Bill, and the trials and tribulations that he is presently going through. The hospital is ready to discharge his father, but his father is too far gone to go home, so it’s off to the Veteran’s Administration home in St. Albans. Apparently no one told the hospital. And this is all affecting his work. He can’t leave the apartment until the housekeeper shows up to take care of Bill’s mom. And the housekeeper doesn’t show up until 9:30, a half hour after he should be at his desk. Luckily Bill’s boss is going through something similar with his 90 year old mother. Bill is picking up the slack, working later. Tonight he should be at work until 8:15, then it’s home to collect his mother from his cousin, Elsie, to start the same thing all over again tomorrow.

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And I look at the picture I had from December at Bill’s company’s holiday party, the one where he is leaning against the wall, looking into the camera with a look that is childlike, yet masking emotional torment inside. At least that’s what I see, and I was the photographer on that one.

Last night I came home, had some dinner, watched Scrubs, A Daily Show and the Colbert Report, all very funny and all seen before. No surprises there. I then watched the last minutes of A Hard Day’s Night, no longer feeling sad when they fly away at the end. Mike Myers said that when he saw it as a kid he felt the same way. And I thought I was the only one.

Also did some reading on some ecological and political issues written by my nephew Earl. I was mighty impressed by his prose and even sent him a message on his MySpace page. He claimed genetics, since I write this blog everyday. That was a nice thing to say. If he keeps at it, he could be a very good writer, the kind that people will pay money to read, not just turning on a computer and reading something while the porn downloads. I also met up with Julio and Stine. She’s due in about 2 months, and she looks great. Not fat at all, just a basketball under her shirt. I had picked up a Keith Haring print for them at a really good price.

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I was thinking about what to get them for a long time and each time I thought of something I thought, They’re going to have a baby and won’t have time to read the New Yorker, won’t have time to go to the movies, won’t have time for anything really. So a nice print, with two adult figures, holding a child figure under a heart would do. I thought they could probably hang it in the baby’s room when they get a room for the baby. I was able to get a suit that I had ordered online and had delivered to Julio’s place of work since I wasn’t going to be home to sign for it. A nice two button, gray pinstriped (of course) suit that I plan to wear to my cousin Neil’s wedding next month. We hung out in their third floor apartment, talking politics.

Julio expressed surprise that I wasn’t rooting for Obama. I was surprised and it got me thinking. I wasn’t planning on voting today but I thought about it and decided to throw my lot in with Barack Obama. I’m all about changing things up so that was the direction I headed in. I slept in a little later, hitting the snooze button three times before rousing myself to action. Then I was at the polling place, casting my vote and heading to work, winding up sitting outside the Lincoln Tunnel for 45 minutes while I read about Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, and a friend of Barack Obama. So there you have it, my endorsement for the President of the United States, Barack Obama. So there!

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