Monthly Archives: March 2008

Above The Clouds

Man is it a dreary Monday or what? Warm, a bit but drizzly all day long. Perfect weather for a Monday. Last night was very mellow, Bill came home. That was nice, many tales to tell about what he’s been up to. He’s stage managing a play that opens soon. It seems to be going well. He made himself a nice pasta supper, I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it. He was nice enough to leave the pots and pans in the sink. I let them soak last night, and they were there, just waiting for me in the sink when I came home an hour ago.

I really can’t complain, since I can wash the pots and pans myself, and I’m sure I’ve done it myself at some point. Hey- if you want to use them, then somebody has got to clean them. That’s just one of the differences between Bill and myself. I can make a pasta dinner in one pot, and wash them immediately after I’ve eaten. I even prefer to make him his dinner since I can do it faster with more efficiency. But this is how it’s been and I’ve basically resigned myself to it. I watched John Adams, part four. Adams is being sent as an envoy to the Court of St. James, meeting King George III, Adams was accompanied by his wife Abigail. A few scenes with Thomas Jefferson last night as well. Jefferson is quite an interesting character.

Almost makes me want to rent Merchant Ivory’s Jefferson in Paris, starring Nick Nolte. Was never so inclined before, I guess it’s the influence of the mini series. Paul Giamatti is a difficult actor sometimes, though he’s excellent as John Adams. There was a scene in the show last night when John and Abigail were disembarking from a ship from England and there was fanfare to greet them. My first thought was that the crowds were there for someone else. But no, I was wrong. Who else would it be? John Adams was regarded as a hero returning. There was an interesting scene for Washington’s inauguration, Washington repeating the words of the Justice, and where the Justice was yelling the words, Washington, spoke very quietly causing everyone to strain to hear what he was saying. I doubt if someone standing next to Washington would have heard the oath of office.

It was similar to the Sermon on the Mount in the Life of Brian, though in that film, people in the distance, Brian’s crowd, kept mishearing everything that Jesus was saying, which was probably how it actually turned out. ‘Blessed are the cheese makers?’ ‘I think he meant all dairy products.’ Tried watching Tracy Ullmann last night, but sometimes I just don’t get her, or rather, I have to be in the mood for her. Forgot what we watched after that, obviously it made little or no impression.

Work was slow today and everyone was in. The company that had been leasing the office space with us cleared out. They’re still on the lease until next year but it was sad to see these people go. No heartbreaking sadness, just knowing the office will definitely be emptier without them. Moe came in today as well. Today was supposed to be his last day, but according to him, it wasn’t. He’ll be freelancing somehow and still in the office. He’s still the fast talker and a harbinger of doom. He was going on about how the partners were going to have to take a pay cut (?) and that heads will roll. He made a point to tell me that one of the heads wasn’t mine. But how much of what he has to say is bullshit? I guess time will tell.

Up The Neck

Well it’s a chilly yet sunny afternoon in Hoboken. No Manhattan today, no thanks. No new York. Staying out, staying local, staying alive. Ha ha ha I’m staying alive staying alive. Pretty mellow. Last night I watched Wristcutters: A Love Story which I liked a lot more than I expected to. I’d give it four stars out of five. Patrick Fugit is the lead. I last saw him in Almost Famous, a five out of five stars movie. He played the Cameron Crowe character. He was adorable in that and he still looks good.

I won’t give too much away in telling you that the story takes place in limbo and all the inhabitants are people who killed themselves. Now that you know the premise I think it would be worth your while to check it out. Tom Waits is also in Wristcutters and that was fun to watch, though when Tom appeared I had to put the subtitles on so I could decipher what he was saying. I like Tom Waits. My sister was into him first back when he was on Asylum Records, but didn’t quite get his stuff. It wasn’t until I was sharing an apartment with Jimmy Lee that I actually got into him.

That was with Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits first release on Island Records. Tom was producing himself and using various household objects as musical instruments, which definitely got my interest. I remember hanging out with Jimmy Lee and I was moved to tears when the song In The Neighborhood played. Not a terribly sad song but an air of melancholy and day dreaming throughout. Almost mournful horns playing in the background. The bladder moved up to the eyes.

After Swordfishtrombones, came Rain Dogs and that seemed to be a record that everyone I knew had. I saw him on tour for that album, mid-eighties at a theater on Broadway. A celebrity studded audience, we had better seats than David Byrne. A great show, or rather a concert. Tom was a bit theatrical on stage, quite magical actually. I’d love to see him should he tour again but last time he was in New York the tickets were quite pricey. David Byrne pricey.

Walked around Hoboken for a spell this afternoon. Walked up to the Burlington Coat Factory where they just had a grand re-opening. That means they moved a few racks around and added some white paint on top of the depressing battleship gray inside. It was a confusing visit. Almost bought a tie but wound up buying a pair of black jeans for 20.00 since the blue jeans I was wearing had developed a nasty tear right in the crotch.

I walked back home after that, running into a neighbor who has a singing engagement on Tuesday and has a very scratchy throat today. I wished her well, telling her to break a leg. Just watched Waitress which was cute but ultimately sad. Sad because of Adrienne Shelly who was murdered soon after she directed the movie. It’s definitely light fare and would play nicely on Lifetime.

Here are some Hoboken snaps.
Me and my shadow
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Someone loves Jim
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Spring springing forth
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Mystery Dance

Just got back from Manhattan. Just wandered around, stopped by Farfetched saw Lois and Harpy. It’s funny, usually when I go there it’s often Harpy by himself. Today Lois was there and I love Lois but it was like there was no cutting up while Lois was running the show. Lois, I guess plays the more mature role, the schoolmarm. Susan I suppose would be the hip teacher and Harpy plays the role of Karen Valentine, the substitute or rather, the student teacher. It was a nice chat with the two of them, Lois asking about various people in my life, who happen to be going through tough times of their own.

After that I wandered over to Whiskers, the holistic pet store and visited with Kathe, my former next door neighbor in Weehawken, also Chaz’ estranged wife. It was great to see Kathe, it had been a number of months. She was glad to see me as well. But it being a nice Saturday afternoon everybody seemed to be shopping for holistic items, lambs lung and other disgusting items that dogs like. Too hectic to hang out so I said good bye, agreeing to meet for a drink sometime one day when she’s not working.

Before I went into the city I watched Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I saw it when it came out in the theaters and I liked it but didn’t get most of it, one of the first instances where there was so much going on, on the screen that I couldn’t figure out or even remember different parts of it. The first Lord of the Rings movie was the same. So much going on, but seeing it years later on video made me ask where was I when I first saw this in a theater?

Cloverfield was the latest movie, though I think it would be better to watch it on a TV since it was filmed on a digital camera. Watching it on a big screen was a little too much. That bothered Pedro when I told him about the movie after I finally saw it, weeks after he saw it and months after I originally hyped it up. He really wanted my opinion and all I could say was I’d rather wait for the DVD. It would be better to watching it on his giant flat screen TV in Otisville.

Tonight is the infamous Black Party at Roseland in midtown. It’s a 36 hour bacchanal,and for me occasionally tempting. But I always remind myself that it is nothing but club music and I generally dislike club music. That would be hell for me, though when in the act, I’d rather hear something I don’t know. But me and club music? Forget it.

One blog that I read had an article about the Black Party, the blogger had gone a few times already and posts something about it every year. This year while hyping it, he followed that entry with one about HIV infections being up 48%. Now there’s a reason NOT to go.

Potential anonymous sex with a thousand men? Hmmm… and even if you don’t get HIV there are a few other STD’s that you might catch. Not to mention the headache of club music. I don’t know what it is, but I am out of step with most of the human race and definitely out of step with most of gay men. I don’t dress like them, I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t go to the same bars. Just about the only thing I have in common with them is a predilection for play mates of the same sex. And it’s always safe, by the way.

It’s always been like that. From the early 80’s when I was attending meetings for the Gay Activists Alliance of North New Jersey or GAANNJ, even though I tried, I just couldn’t connect with my fellow gay men on a social level. True, I was young and impetuous and they were in their 30’s and 40’s but there was nothing at all that could form a bond. I never really talked to anyone, they didn’t talk to me. I would sit in the back and listen to whatever was going on, close to the exit.

It was there that I first heard of AIDS, in 1982 when it was called GRID, or gay cancer. But no one asked my name and I didn’t ask for theirs. I am usually the invisible man at gay bars, that is when I actually go. I’m often ignored by bartenders. It generally provides me with a reason never to go back to that particular bar again, only I rarely go to bars these days. Maybe once or twice a year.

McSwells was a cool bar, listed in the Gay Yellow Pages back then as a gay/straight bar and it was. Most of the guys there were gay, and there was some cliquishness but overall it was a friendly spot. Never had any hook ups there, by the end of the night we were all more interested in getting party supplies to the after party. I started out going to McSwells for the music, and while it was the main reason, at some point I was spending more time socializing in the front room rather than the back room where the music was.

Still I am a gay man and the LGBT are my people. I will march with them or cheer them on and stand with them should the need or outrage arise. I am also part of the generation of LGBT people that have buried quite a few friends.

And here is my gayest look for Jay Leno
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cut n’ paste
http://www.mygayestlook.com/

Words

I wrote this last night after I posted.

I was just reading a blog that mentioned a young gay entrepreneur in Manchester, England. This young man was able to secure a business grant at the age of 18 to run and maintain a website designed to break down walls and remove labels on race, sexuality for young people. He mentioned that his sexuality caused him major problems, being brought up to think that being gay was wrong and horrible. That struck a chord in me, and a righteous chord at that. I too, like many others, grew up in a house with a loving family. Some people don’t, I know. But included in that loving atmosphere, however dented, was an very strong anti gay vibe.

Queer jokes, gay bashing (verbally) went on. Racial jokes were made as well. I too was brought up by my family and my Catholic schooling taught that being gay was the absolute worst thing a person could be. So imagine finding out on your own, that you are what you were told was disgusting and immoral. Imagine finding that out at 14. No one to talk to about. Run to the encyclopedia, run to the dictionary and reading that you’re abnormal, a deviant. A lot, not all, but a lot of heterosexual people ask, ‘why make it a big deal about being gay?’

Because it will show that things we were told about ourselves when we were growing up was wrong. Sometimes murderously wrong, sometimes suicidally wrong. Education could be the solution to this epidemic of ignorance, but then you have certain sections of this country dead set against any positive portrayals of gay life. Or it goes so far as to not mention gay people at all. In a society that’s ever changing, it’s not changing fast enough. And it’s not just this country, it’s the whole world.

About 15 years ago when I was working at Skyline Studios, there was this young man, Roget Romain who had a deal to do some downtime production work. He worked with some up and coming artists in hip hop. It was a cool studio and a lot of times I would hang out after I was through working. One night I was with Roget and my friend Miriam who was working as an engineer. We were getting jazzy. I was as I am now, open about my sexuality, but not in your face about it. The three of us, hanging out, listing to dub.

Roget wanted to ask me a question about being gay. I was open to it and gave him a green light. First off, the main question, ‘When did I decide to be gay?’ I think it was the first time I was actually asked that, and I had no set answer. Me, being me did say this, ‘When did you decide to be straight?’ He was taken aback. ‘I didn’t decide to be straight. It just happened. It’s how I am.’ I had to ask, ‘What makes you think it wasn’t the same for me?’ I think most questions about gay people, can usually be answered by changing the gender of one of the subjects.

Roget then moved into sexuality. ‘How can a guy take it up the ass? How can a dude suck a cock?’ I asked him ‘Do all the women that he’s been with, do they all like to suck cock? Do they take it through the back door?’ ‘No, some do, some don’t.’ ‘Well there you have it. Not all gay guys like to do this, some do, some don’t.’ It was fun to just hang out with an open minded young man, maybe I planted a seed in his brain. Cracked open his door of perception just a bit I like to think. There is no shame in being gay, lesbian bisexual or transgendered. Some people see it as a frivolous lifestyle choice.

There are many good and great things about being LGBT, but there are some battles that come along with it. Some kids when they come out to their families, they are out on the street. Abandoned by parents who’s child they loved one day unconditionally, now repulsed and shamed by something that was out of anyone’s control. They would prefer to live the life of a lie. In the closet. Get married, have kids, and fuck around on the side.

About 12 years ago I answered an ad in the Village Voice, met an older guy at a bar in the Village. We didn’t click sexually but had a good chat over a few pints. He was married, hadn’t had sex with his wife since 1980, has three kids, all grown more or less. He was gay. For some reason I was filled with righteousness that night, telling him that he’s getting up there in years, living a lie. Do you want to go out the same way? You’re doing more harm than good to yourself by living this way, a shamed existence, shamed by yourself.

We parted ways, and I gave him a kiss as he was about to get on his way to Penn Station. He was surprised and probably the first time he was ever kissed by another man in public, on a street corner. I gave him my number and asked him to keep in touch. He called a few days later. He told his wife, she was filing for divorce. Two of his kids were fine with it, one had a problem. But he was glad he did it.

He felt free.

I’m just so tired that people need to be told this. I know the five of you that read this irregularly are somewhat enlightened but I just wanted to get this off my chest. Preaching to the choir, perhaps. But I guess it has to be told, over and over, one way or another. And while you may be enlightened, the majority of the five of you aren’t LGBT (at least as far as I know) and you wouldn’t really know, you couldn’t walk in our cha cha heels. Like I wouldn’t know how it is to be anything or anyone else, other than knowing how it is to be me.

As It Is When It Was

It’s a gray day yet again, this time it’s a Thursday gray day. Not so bad. Just always on the edge of a storm today. Last night, pretty quiet. Finally got this week’s New Yorker. That’s what sows down my catching up I think. Well, that and not reading it when I have the opportunity. I have been slowly reading a book about the Beatles. It’s a good read so far. I’ve read dozens so far and they always end the same. The band can’t stand each other and they break up. Sorry about the lack of spoiler alert.

I did attempt to go to bed earlier. I was getting ready for bed around 10:45 when Bill texted me that he was on the bus home. I had no idea that he was coming over last night. I texted him back that I was going to bed. He usually texts me when he gets on the bus at the terminal, but apparently this time he texted while he was on the bus in Hoboken. He was in the apartment about 10 minutes later just as I was closing my eyes. I got out of bed and gave him a kiss, chatted for a minute, then tried to go to sleep. Not that easy since he was soon in bed next to me and soon after that was snoring. Still, it was good to hear the sound of concrete being jack hammered, which is the sound he sometimes makes as he drifts off.

I woke up around 6:00, Bill still sleeping. I asked him if he was going to work and he was going in later. Soon I was out the door walking up to Washington Street, listening to Hot Chip on the iPod. Got to the office, most everyone was going to be out of the office at a seminar across town. That made things pressure free and I was able to take my time starting up the office. It took me about 15 minutes instead of 10, that’s what I call coasting. Ran a few errands, dropped off In The Valley of Elah at the Post Office.

Eventually I strolled up to 57th street to get my Thursday lunch, Penne with chicken and pesto. It’s just a nice reward that I give myself for getting through most of the week, and the garlic breath keeps people at a distance. There’s a slight undercurrent of melancholy in the office this week. DNA Inc, shares office space with TechnoBio and TechnoBio is leaving at the end of the month, relocating the office to Washington DC. Some are going, some aren’t but the New York office with be closed regardless. Nice people, hate to see them go.

Some have left already and we’ve said good bye over the past couple of weeks, now it’s the core group and it’s cleaning out of offices and throwing stuff out. They’ll still be paying half the rent according to the lease, but no one will be there. That’s the nature of the economic beast.

Honey Don’t

Well I didn’t go to sleep early last night, no surprise there. Watched In the Valley of Elah which was good. Tommy Lee Jones was excellent as were Susan Sarandon and Charlize Theron. Surprised to see Josh Brolin and Barry Corbin in the movie, it seemed like after they filmed No Country for Old Men they wrapped and went over to the set for In The Valley of Elah. I recommend it. Writing this at work which even though non one said I couldn’t and I didn’t sign anything that said this would be the property of DNA Inc.

So maybe I’m taking a chance, but then again my tasks are completed and I have to wait here until Vivek’s brother Hanif arrives with a sofa he is giving to Vivek for his office. And that’s at 6:00 and now it’s 4:28. I’m not complaining, not at all. I called Hanif to confirm this was still going down and it is. He offered to move it at 5:00 and it was tempting but I recall various plans being screwed up when one varies from the original plan.

Moe made it into the office, sowing his seeds of discontent. Still the fast talker, and he says he bears no hard feelings. He wonders who will be the whipping boy once he is gone, but he was never really a whipping boy as far as I know. He claimed Tom Chin’s position is tenuous, but I needed to remind myself that Moe is quite a cynic and not a very charming one at that. He just talked and talked while I sat there with my salad, unwilling to eat it in front of him. All is bleak says Moe. I was lucky that Bill called when he did, right in the nick of time.

He had gotten into the office late after being on a line in midtown with hundreds of other hopefuls, trying to get a chance to sing the national anthem at Shea Stadium. According to Bill they were more interested in big breasted girls rather than people who can actually sing. And despite my bias, I don’t see how the Mets organization can refuse a talent like Bill, especially after singing before the WNBA game last summer. Hopefully Bill directed them to the YouTube warm up clip that I posted. It’s also somewhere in this blog, so you can find it if you’re so inclined.

And as luck would have it, Hanif was finished with whatever he had to do and was able to drop off the sofa an hour early, which means I don’t have to wait until 6:00. It’s 5:04 now and I should be out of here I a few minutes. Didn’t get a chance to tip the freight elevator guy as Vivek requested, so I have to give the money back. The elevator operator is getting paid anyway, so it’s really no big deal, though I sure could use the money myself. Well that’s it for me, reporting from my cube. Soon I will be walking across town, smoking a Padron and getting on a crowded bus, since now is the height of the rush hour. C’est la Vie.

I looked Bangin’ again, I think.
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Meet me at the FUNPLEX
Funplex

Love in the Year 3000

Ok, the day started out weird and it it’s been weird all day. At least now I can have a chuckle about it. I’ll start with last night. Watched TV, Scrubs and then Keith Olbermann since I saw the Daily Show and Colbert Report on Friday. While I do agree with most of what Keith Olbermann has to say, it;s just his bellowing that puts me off. That and the fact that he always has the same guests on over and over, always in agreement with Keith Olbermann.

At least Faux Snooze has differing opinions, never heard but usually seen. In fact a member of the new Black Panther party shut Sean Hannity right up last week which can be found on News Hounds and probably Media Matters But there is no dissent on the Olbermann show, which certainly makes Keith Olbermann look even better. I do like Keith’s suits though. So woof at him on that point. After that I needed to watch something on TV, a distraction so I watched a documentary on heroin addicted teenagers in South Boston.

Stupid kids, long suffering parents narrated by Donnie Wahlberg. I guess the New Kids on the Block reunion didn’t pan out, and his brother Mark isn’t taking Donnie’s calls anymore. And don’t even ask about the Funky Bunch. Watched Futurama and then the news before I went to bed at 11:30. Woke up at 6-ish and the first thought in my head was, ‘I have got to go to bed earlier’. That is what I resolve to do tonight, and I’m not talking 11:29 either. So we’ll see about that.

Really dragged my ass, since I woke up tired. Missed the ‘good’ bus and had to settle for the not so ‘good’ bus. I didn’t mind, I was reading Alan Bennett’s plays about Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, 2 British spies for the USSR which was very good and satisfied the intellectual need that I have been lacking for quite a while. Got to work before everyone else, had coffee and watched a clip of brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor who described the massive stroke that she had gone through a number of years ago. She made a full recovery, making lectures about strokes and the brain.

Here’s the link for that: cut n’paste http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229 . Worth checking out I think.

There was something that happened at work that was a bit humorous. Vivek who is always late had a meeting at 4:00 this afternoon. No one was sure if he was going to make it in, and Lydia the receptionist emailed him about the meeting. He called Lydia and told her to call the man who he was supposed to meet with and tell him that he was still on the west coast and would get back to him when he returned. So Lydia left a couple of messages and told me that Vivek was still on the coast. I put the word out, telling Tom Chin who said that he must have spoken to Vivek at the airport this morning.

A few minutes later, in walks Vivek. It was a lie to avoid the visitor. At 4:00 who shows up but the visitor who did not get the messages. I explained that Vivek would call him on his return and apologized on behalf of Vivek. The man understood and walked out towards the elevator. Just then Vivek leaves his office and heads towards the elevator. Lydia and I stopped him in time. Vivek told us the guy was a vendor and was interested in what the guy was selling a few weeks ago, but not anymore, hence the blow off. I left soon after that.

Been leaving at 4:30 the past month or so and no one seems to care. I am in at 8:00 every morning anyway, before everyone else. On the way home, as I was heading to a rendezvous with my Rasta pal Jesse, I got involved in a conversation with a guy named Shan. Well dressed, not a crazy type. Just liked to talk to everyone on the street. He was walking my way and he was very chatty. Seemed harmless enough. He talked and talked. Asked where I lived, then answered that with the way I looked I must live in Manhattan. I told him Hoboken. He called it Homoken.

I asked him why and he said he joked about that with his friends who lived in Hoboken. Then he asked if I was gay and I said yes. He asked how long I was gay and I said all my life. He seemed impressed and offered to buy me and Jesse a drink should Jesse show up. I said yeah sure and he walked away after giving me his number. Ten feet away as he waited to cross the street he started another conversation with whomever happened to be standing next to him. The person next to him decided to wait for the light to change on the other corner.

Here’s something that was just on TV

Pars

Back to work after a 3 day weekend which was nice. I actually was out and about all 3 days instead of sitting around the apartment complaining of not having anything to do. Friday went in, stopped by Farfetched, chatted with Susan, bought some cd’s. Saturday was the art gallery experience in Chelsea and yesterday, Sunday was about being in Garfield for my niece Meghan’s birthday. Hard to believe she’s 27 now. Yikes!

Had a nice ride home from Corinne and Elaine, home in time to watch the latest installment of John Adams. John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in Paris trying to get funds and support from the French. Franklin, speaking the language and charming the court of Louis XVI and Adams sulking in the background and stepping on French toes. I’m certainly enjoying the whole series so far.

Juan stopped by for a bit, after time with his family and before heading back to school. I hadn’t seen him in what seems like ages. He certainly lost weight and looks rather svelte. I burned him the latest Hot Chip cd, and we hung out and chatted and listened to the aromatic Jazz oldies. We also discussed politics and I was labeled a misogynist by Juan since I’m not supporting Hillary Clinton.

I didn’t call him a racist for not supporting Obama though since I know he’s not racist and I know I’m not a misogynist. I guess that proved that politics and religion are 2 explosive topics that usually end up badly, unless you’re paid to discuss these matters on television. Then it’s alright. I kicked Juan’s white sheeted ass out at 11:30 so he can drive back to school in his swastika mobile.

Went to bed soon after that. Woke up, went to work. Got to the office and noticed we were low on coffee, that meant a major excursion across town once the morning rush hour was over. Around 10:00 I hopped on the E train to 42nd and 8th Avenue. As I was leaving the station, my cell phone rang. It was Lydia from work. All the phone lines in the office were down. She didn’t know what to do so I instructed her on who to call, telling her I would be back in the office soon enough, and I was. Still there was nothing I can do but wait for the phone company repairman and who knows when he was going to show up?

Nobody seemed bothered by the fact that the phones were down, since the internet was still easily accessed and everyone had cell phones and used them instead. A few hours later the phones were running and I busied myself trying to find a way to rent out 3 vacant offices, wording and rewording and trying to find the right pictures to post onto Craigslist. Judging by other ads online, it’s going to be a hard sell but I’ll do my best especially with a nice cash bonus should it come to pass. By then the workday was done and I strolled back across town listening to Grace Jones as I wound my way to the bus terminal.

And I Was a Boy From School

Well it’s Easter and it’s also my niece Meghan’s birthday which to me is more important than mythology. Meghan has also been named Teacher of the Year for Garfield High School which is quite an accomplishment. No bonus, no special parking space, but still a nice citation all around I think. It was a nice day out there in the suburbs and I was glad I could make it since last night I had my doubts. It seems after heading off the bed around midnight last night, awfully tired I came down with a chill. Not a good chill at that, mind you. Just suddenly cold, shivering.

I went into my bedroom intending to dive under the comforter, but I neglected to turn on the heater. So I turned on the heater then stumbled into the kitchen and stood next to the heater I had just turned off yet still warm. I also took my temperature and the thermometer read 98.5. After a few minutes I decided to go back to the bedroom and though still a bit cool in there I went to bed, fully dressed which wasn’t the first time I had done that, but perhaps the first time I had done that sober. As the night wore on and my body temperature became normal I was able to shed the clothes and sleep as normally as I could.

I awoke at 9:00 to the sound of my cellphone ringing. It was Julio who was headed out to get bagels. That was a nice switch and soon he was knocking on my door with bagels and the newspapers. He did have a good laugh as I opened the door in my underwear and I was glad to be able to make him laugh despite my of shortcomings as it were. After a nice breakfast and the reading of the news I checked the schedules and planned my trip out to Garfield. I was on a train at 2:25 after being gouged by the Natural Plus flowers across from Hoboken City Hall. Usually a bouquet of flowers is about $8.00 or $9.00 but today they were $12.99 and up. Whereas I balked a few years ago at this floral skulduggery, this year I kept my mouth shut and paid the price.

On the train it was fairly empty, me and a few people including three people who I was reminded of the characters in Y Tu Mama, Tambien. Just 2 guys and a slight older woman out for a bike ride, leaving Hoboken and going to Garfield. We didn’t chat but were courteous to each other, they allowed me off the train before disembarking avec bicycles. My niece Corinne picked me and and soon we were at the Garfield house. Frank was watching TV, Elaine puttering about the kitchen cooking up ziti and a nice leg of lamb with string beans and baked potatoes. Soon Meghan and Rob joined us and we sat for a very nice meal.

Frank was ok talking wise, mentioning that sometimes he goes off on tangents which we both used to do but where we used to be able to get back to the original point, sometimes he has great difficulty doing so. I asked him that if I see him going off like that would he want me to rein him in and he said he would appreciate it if I did. I’m sure it’s going to go well, since I’ve been doing it for most of my life. After dialing a call to Annemarie in California, the Hillsdale contingent of the family arrived for some cake for Meghan’s birthday. Got a ride home from Corinne and Elaine and now I’m here watching a Hot Chip dvd with Juan who is up for Easter to see his family, headed back down to college later. And that’s the name of that tune.

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Alex P. Kitten
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Where’s my CAKE???

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At The Border, Guy

Wow, I am so tired. I walked around the city a bit today. Not in one direction, but rather zig zagging all over Chelsea, checking out various galleries. The day started out ok. Last night was ok. I watched The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson’s latest. I liked it more than The Life Aquatic, but not as much as Rushmore, and definitely not as much as The Royal Tenenbaums. Then I watched Bill Maher who was just so so. I enjoy watching him with someone else. If not I get easily distracted or annoyed with Bill Maher’s smarmyness. Went to bed after that, with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head.

Woke up and did my Saturday thing, which I also did yesterday. Called up the parents to be, Julio and Stine and asked if they wanted anything from the store. A bagel for Stine was all they needed. I splurged and bought the New York Post for Julio. Had a nice breakfast, did laundry and then sat around the apartment, trying to think of something to do. Thought about going to Burlington Coat Factory, just to see if they had anything new since they redid something and occasionally I can find City of London Ties for $9.99 whereas in the city they’re about $30.00 and up. I also thought about heading into the city to check out some galleries.

I decided to walk up to Washington Street and let fate decide. If there was a bus heading into the city I’d take it, otherwise I’d just walk up to Burlington. That was the plan but what actually happened was I waited for a bus for about a half hour. Just wanted to get out of Hoboken. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Hoboken, but for culture you more or less have to cross the Hudson River, which isn’t so bad. I walked down Ninth Avenue once I got out of the bus terminal. It was more crowded than usual due to the Auto Show at the Javits Center. It’s supposed to be Green themed, as in eco-friendly this year, but I don’t know anything about cars, making it a good thing that I don’t drive.

I made it to Chelsea, retracing my steps from the last time I was there which was January I think. I was underwhelmed by most everything I saw. Nothing reached out and grabbed me, and nothing really made me laugh which I think is the best art out there. Eventually I did find some good art at various galleries, but the majority of what I saw was really boring. Stumbled into an exhibition of Jasper John’s drawings which was fun and also some early Andy Warhol drawings, mainly drawings of men, and one or two of someone sucking a cock which was charming. The gallery area of Chelsea wasn’t too crowded, due to the Easter weekend. Never was a big holiday to me. I did make a joke about the holiday though, and here it is.

Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb and if he sees his shadow then it’s six more weeks of Lent.

I like it, it’s mine and it’s funny. I was tuckered out after all the art. A image I saw in a few galleries was of bathtubs. Is there a plumbers movement in the art world afoot? That would be interesting perhaps, or maybe not since it was a rather mediocre day for the galleries today. Walked back to the Path train where it was crowded. They weren’t letting people on or off the train due to the police closing in on some criminal activity at the 33rd Street station. After a few minutes they let people on and off and I stood pressed against the wall as it filled up at every station. Made it back to Hoboken after leaving a few hours earlier. Stopped off at Mision Burrito and now I’m tired and sated.

And here are quite a few pics of the art that I saw today (and liked). Enjoy.

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Russians!
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This guy duplicated the house he grew up in
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Jasper Johns
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Nice space, lousy art
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This guy’s work was cool
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At it again
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Another show
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West 21st Street
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A bath tub on the street
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The Path train. Criminals unknown, unseen
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Potholes In My Lawn

Listening to De la Soul’s classic debut, 3 Feet High and Rising. This record was everywhere almost 20 years ago, now it’s incredibly difficult to get. I was at the Virgin Mega Store on Union Square a few weeks ago, and saw it, but didn’t get it. A few days ago I was in the Virgin Mega Store in Times Square, where they didn’t have it. So today, since I had off, I decided to head into the city and get something for my niece’s birthday at Farfetched and stopped off at the Union Square store again. They had it, but for $27.99. I know I saw it last for about $14.99, and sure enough, after digging through the rack I found one copy at $14.99. Double cd set too. The bonus disc is b-sides and remixes that I used to have in 12” form when I used to DJ.

I also picked up the latest Hot Chip cd, a band that Juan turned me onto which I really liked. Their cd was on sale for $10.00, including a version with a live dvd attached. Not a bad deal all around, though in hindsight I used to buy a lot more for the same price. And the cd’s I bought were both imports from Germany and Holland.

Last night I saw Chaz for a few minutes. Hes flying off to Milan on Tuesday. He won a contest. He’s always entering contests. He gave me a burned copy of Funplex by the B-52’s as well as the remix single of Funplex with remixes by Scissor Sisters, Peaches, and Cansei de Ser Sexy. So far it’s all good. I neglected to mention that at work yesterday I found out they have let go one of the 3 Stooges.

Moe is being let go at the end of the month. I guess he’s leaving with a nice package. I don’t think it has anything to do with the financial markets being shit lately. I think it was his attitude. He was a really off putting cynic. He was the one sitting next to me at the holiday luncheon, not eating just grumbling and drinking black coffee. He was also a fast talker. See ya Moe.

And yesterday on the way to work I gave a cab driver the finger as I walked in front of his car. I felt it was warranted but lacked imagination. You see, as I was waiting for the light to change so I could cross Park Avenue, one cab was partway through a right turn when the light changed. Immediately behind him was another cab, about to follow, going through a red light. I cross in front of him as he crept to a full stop and gave him the finger.

He probably didn’t even know why, since the habit lately for most drivers is to do whatever it is they want to do. So many cars going through red lights to turn. I can see if you can make a right on red, but you can’t in most of Manhattan. There is worse shit than that going on, but it’s a pet peeve and felt I should have given him two fingers instead of one, leaving him to wonder what it meant as I walked away.

Last night I watched Lost and it was, well, just ok. It featured mainly my least favorite character, Michael. I don’t know if it’s the character I don’t like, or the actor Harold Perrineau. First time I saw Harold Perrineau was in the movie Smoke, where he played a creep, so perhaps his performance colors everything I see him in.

Thought he was annoying in Oz as well. It’s sort of like when my brother Frank sees Bob Balaban in something and always remembers him as the guy who gave Jon Voight a blow job in Midnight Cowboy. I guess I would rather have seen Harold Perrineau give head than be a creep to Forrest Whitaker.

I did make a stop at Farfetched where I talked to Susan and manned the register as she was ill and needed to run to the drug store. It was fun talking to her, caught up on a lot of things. Also bought a nice crystal box with a slot for a photograph on top for my niece, Meghan, at a discount yet! Yoinks!

Overture

It’s Holy Week on the 4:30 Movie. The Robe, King of Kings, Demetrius and the Gladiators. Thats’ what used to be on back in the day. Channel 7 would show the religious movies whereas Channel 4 would show Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Ghidra the Three Headed Monster, which starred Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra. Sometimes afterwards my friends and I would wonder aloud, ‘who would win, Jesus or Godzilla?’

We all agreed that Rodan would flap his wings and Mothra would spray silk to create a cocoon which both Godzilla and Rodan would eventually get out of, but Jesus would more than likely get trapped and killed by a giant sized caterpillar. Who knows? It was all about resurrection wasn’t it? Jeffrey Hunter was a good Jesus, but Robert Powell was the handsomest Jesus by far. He also played the father in Ken Russell’s Tommy, but he wasn’t so handsome due to the scar on his face, shot down in World War 2. I loved Tommy when it came out.

Actually defied the Catholic Church, or rather the Pastor of St. Francis de Sales church who came out during a sermon suggesting that parents forbid their children from seeing the movie due to the scene with Eric Clapton singing Eyesight to the Blind in a ceremony surrounded by Marilyn Monroe acolytes. The priest saw Marilyn as a substitute for Mary, Jesus’ mom. Brother Frank and his then girlfriend, now wife saw it and didn’t see any harm in me seeing it.

Of course the only reason I wanted to see it was for Elton John, playing the Pinball Wizard. I remember seeing it with my brother Brian and a friend of his, They were more than likely in an altered state, I rode back trying to will myself into being deaf, dumb and blind. It didn’t happen, well according to some, one out of three actually ‘took’. I was dumb after all. I watched the movie a while ago on cable and I really don’t like it as much as I used to. In fact I don’t like it at all. It really is a crap movie even with Elton John in it. It was more of a ‘what were they drinking’ rather than ‘what were they thinking’ situation.

I remember growing up, my brother Brian arguing with Kathy Plauchino that the band was called Tommy The Who. Brian insisted they were only The Who. I saw the Who live in 1979, my third rock concert. The first was Elton John in 1976, then Peter Frampton in 1977 then the Who. I couldn’t say I was happy to be there since I had gotten into a big fight with Brian who threatened to ‘out’ me to my family, calling me a pervert for having Honcho and Mandate magazines under my bed, instead of Penthouse and Playboy like under Brian’s bed.

It was a bucket of cold water in my face, causing me to hyperventilate. My brother Frank, late as ever eventually showed up to drive into the city, but I wasn’t into it at all. I really wasn’t into it and I think it showed. Frank ran into some friends at the show. They were going to a place called CBGB’s to see some new band called AC/DC. He wasn’t up for it and I certainly wasn’t either. I wasn’t even sure if I would be welcomed at home, if Brian had gone ahead with his devious plan to ruin my life. He hadn’t and I had a few more years in the closet, much to my relief.

Comet

Such craziness. It’s was a crazy storm this morning when I woke up and my stomach and what follows was a bit iffy, plus I was still very tired and dreaded to go into work feeling like this. So I went back to bed. It wasn’t so bad, I had done a lot yesterday at work and lately I’ve been scrambling for things to do. I’ve been monitoring emails and voice mails throughout the day, chatting with Lydia with regards to whatever she might need help on. So that covered that end. Of course as the day progressed I started feeling better as well as feeling guilty. I’m going back in tomorrow regardless on how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling ok now, why wouldn’t I feel okay tomorrow?

Last night was pretty quiet. Watched the usual shows, then watched John Adams, since I missed the first half the other night, which was the Boston Massacre. I had forgotten that John Adams successfully got an acquittal for the British soldiers on trial. It’s a little known fact. Then watched the news before turning in. That’s basically it. Lot’s of reports on flooding throughout the country. Watched Galaxy Quest this morning. I really like that movie, it’s pretty funny and quite a send up of the Star Trek series and their fans. Cleaned the apartment a bit also. That’s an on going thing. Tied up newspapers and cardboard boxes, cleaned the tub and toilet too.

Saw a little bit of Bush on TV talking about the Iraq war. Whatever happened to Mission Accomplished? According to what he said then it was a success. 5 years ago Bill and I were in midtown Manhattan, right where I work now, protesting the preparation for war with 300,000 other people. 5 years ago when the war started I was in the copy room watching the news at Wanker Banker talking to Krysztof Owerkowicz. He was for the invasion since Saddam Hussein was a tyrant and abused his people. I was against the war saying it was going to involve us in a quagmire that we won’t have an easy time getting out of it. It doesn’t happen too often, but I guess I was right. Tonight there are a few remembrances, or protests against the war throughout the area. Still it rains and my participation in the remembrances remains doubtful.

Bill’s coming home tonight. We were invited out to Garfield to my brother Frank’s house. It’s my niece Meghan’s birthday and it’s also Easter Sunday. Bill said we were invited to his cousin Elsie’s for dinner on Sunday as well. I accepted for Garfield and I think he did the same for Elsie. Now it turns out that Bill will be at Elsie’s and I’ll be in Garfield. Thats how that worked out. We’ll see how it turns out on Sunday. Garfield will be low key, I know that much. Not much else to write about since not much else happened. Grimaldi’s on the menu tonight for the fact that Bill is coming home.

Sister Golden Hair

Ugh, the day after St. Patrick’s Day. Not hungover, just a little buzzed last night, three pints only, no more no less. Slept really well after laboring with the editing of photos last night. Lately I’ve been having dreams that seem to resolve themselves by the time I wake up, though this morning’s dream seemed to take place on a deserted island ala Lost, in a Winnebago that was being shot at. That was where I woke up. I didn’t seem to be disturbed by being shot at in the dream, oddly enough.

Read the New Yorker on the way in and everything seemed to be fine, until I returned from an errand that took about an hour, and when I got back and sat down, I was exhausted. Eventually I rallied and got through the afternoon but it wasn’t easy. Yesterday was a good day, time spent in the love bubble with Bill. The love bubble is when Bill and I are somewhere in public, surrounded by people and all we feel is affection for each other. I doesn’t happen too often lately, both of us need to be in the same space, both mentally and physically and things being the way they are lately makes it difficult. I thanked Bill for that when I got back to Hoboken and waited for Corinne.

Got word from Chaz about our former neighbors in Weehawken. Three sisters, raising a boy and a girl. They were nice, thought our landlords were crazy. Never really hung out with the neighbors, just a friendly hello when we would pass each other. Chaz told me the youngest, the boy named TJ had died in a balcony accident somewhere. That was a shock. He must have been maybe 20 years old. I couldn’t find any information about what happened, if it happened. If it did happen I’m sure they’re devastated. I remember one time after a major blizzard, I was walking past a snowbank when I heard a cry and a scream. TJ was stuck on a snow drift, being pudgy, and his friends all deserted him. I walked over and dug him out and made sure he was alright before he ran back home. That’s what I’ll remember about TJ. A pudgy kid stuck in a snowbank.

In my search for information regarding TJ I googled Jane Street Weehawken. What came up was an apartment listing for my old apartment that I shared with William for 11 years. In those 11 years, the rent never went above $500, which we split. He had 2 rooms, I had 2 rooms ( a bit smaller than his though) separated by a room, with a shared kitchen and bath. It was great, and William was a great decorator, but his decorating sometimes got out of hand. I’d leave in the morning and comeback from work in the evening to find rooms painted a different color, furniture moved around. Sometimes the rent would go up, sometimes it would go down. Now the same apartment is $2200.

Crazy.

They took out the garden in the backyard, and I don’t know what else they did in the apartment, but man that was an eye opener. I split that scene after 11 years with William, 9 of those years silently resenting each other, hoping the other one would move out first. I surrendered when Julio found this apartment in Hoboken. No Pattie and Fred Kleinke banning Bill from the apartment more than 2 nights a week, though lately Bill’s only been here 2 nights a week.

I admit I lucked out with the timing of my moving out, William and Chaz and Kathe had to abandon their apartments about 6 months later when Pattie and Fred decided to sell the house and promised to deliver it empty, not offering William and Chaz a chance to buy it from them. Resentment all around. Even from me though I was already gone. What’s done is done and Jane Street, that magical time, and it wasn’t all bad, is history.

Danny Boy

St Patrick’s Day in New York City. Been here many times in many conditions. Presently sober, but Bill wants to have a pint after work so we’ll try to figure out where to go regarding that. Right across the street from work is Smith and Wollensky, a steak house where I know they have Guinness. So that seems to be the place to go. Or maybe somewhere else if Bill can think of it. My niece, Corinne texted me earlier (12:20AM) about wanting to have a St. Patrick’s Day drink with me so I’m meeting her at McSwells around 8:00.

I sort of fortified myself with McDonalds just to have something in my stomach. Not the best thing, but it was close, cheap and convenient. And it hit the spot, filling the post lunch salad void. And I only eat McD’s a few times a year. Not as exotic to me as it was in my childhood years, when going to McDonalds was a big deal. I chatted with both of my brothers today, Brian and I texting and eventually talking about our St. Patrick’s Day exploits 30 or so years ago, as well as what is going on in Hillsdale. With my brother Frank it was a talk about TV and movies and an invite to go out to Garfield on Sunday for dinner.

It’s Easter and it’s also my niece Meghan’s birthday. I accepted on my behalf, while Bill got an invite from his cousin Elsie for the same day. I am not sure if I was also invited, but Bill mentioned it so perhaps I was or perhaps Bill was overstepping on his invite. In any event, I’ll be Garfield bound and Bill will be in Stuyvesant Town. Just as well. Spoke to Bill and hour ago, he said he was leaving and would meet me here at the office in a few minutes. Now it’s been an hour. Perhaps he was held up walking across town, pushing past parade partiers.

Well we met up outside my building. Bill decked out in his Kelly green beret and Ireland scarf, looking dapper and happy. So many people on the streets I couldn’t think of a spot to go to, then I looked across the street at Smith and Wollensky. It used to be my cousin Jackie’s favorite spot for a steak. I didn’t think it would be too crowded and as we walked through it wasn’t. We walked up to the bar where the barman asked what we were having. I asked for two pints of Guinness and the barman said in a lilting Irish brogue that they don’t have Guinness. We thanked him and we were on our way.

All the pubs were filled to capacity and others were charging a cover just to get in and spend money. Bill mentioned that tomorrow there would be no charge and he was right about that. So we smoked cigars and walked across town, talking. That was nicer than any pub, just strolling and chatting and smoking. He walked me back to the bus terminal and we chatted some more before parting ways, me headed to Hoboken, Bill to Stuyvesant Town. I texted Corinne asking to move our arrangement up an hour. It was no problem for her and I sat on the bus and finished last week’s New Yorker.

Got to McSwells in no time, sat at the bar, ordered a pint when Corinne and her boyfriend Jonathan came in. Hadn’t seen him since the wedding in June and he looked good, soft spoken, well behaved, after all I am the uncle. The bar was getting crowded so I suggested moving to an off the bar area where we sat and I regaled them with tales of my errant youth. Corinne asked about her father’s past and illicit substances and I played dumb. I had three pints of Guinness, Jonathan had two Corona, and Corinne had most of one pint, then switched over to a Blue Moon which I had never heard of before alcohol wise. We parted ways, Corinne and Jonathan off to Clifton for more merriment and me at home to write this. And that’s where we are right now. Where are you?

Here’s some pictures from the parade and thereabouts this St. Patrick’s Day 2008
Everyone had some green on.
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Me!
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Party Lasses
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A gaggle of cuties
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a sea of green ♫
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randy gams
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Iraq vets
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Bill McVila
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photo by Lisa Rigoux Hoppe from Hoboken St Pat’s 3.1.08
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and for making it this far, a video sent to me from Rand Hoppe

I Can’t Live Without My Radio

It’s another lazy Sunday. Not much happened today. Last night was pretty good. Bill came home in a good mood. I was in a good mood too and happy to see him. I was watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and switched it off so we could watch Gone Baby Gone together. As expected, Bill liked it very much, totally engrossed within minutes. Even had a discussion about it afterwards. Timed it well enough to catch Lawn Hor d’oeuvre which was a good one.

Bill was able to stay awake and watched Saturday Night Live which was pretty funny, especially the SNL Digital Short. Jonah Hill and Andy Samberg produced several laugh out loud moments for me and Bill. Mariah Carey was Mariah Carey. Boring and possibly lip syncing. She’s still annoying to me, for real, not faux annoying like my disdain for Morgan Freeman. I went to bed right after the show, Bill stayed up for I don’t know how long. He woke me up as he was leaving for church this morning. It’s Palm Sunday.

I slept in, got out of bed around 9:00. Went out and went to the supermarket, came home had breakfast and read the papers. I then watched the rest of Harry Potter and I enjoyed it. I do enjoy those movies. Can’t even call it a guilty pleasure, I out right enjoy it. There, I’ve said it. Since the weather looked crappy and always on the verge of rain I decided to watch The Thin Red Line after that. Another movie I saw in a theater and while beautiful to watch, I just didn’t get it. Watched a chunk of it a week or so ago and got a little bit more of it and watched the whole thing from start to finish with an occasional interruption, phone call, bathroom break, or actually dinner. Nothing like eating a burger while watching a World War 2 movie.

Not much else to report. I did have a few cigarettes the past couple of days, which isn’t the end of the world considering how much I used to smoke. Just going to take more resolve, this much I know. Tonight, I plan to watch The John Adams docudrama. I watched the Adams Chronicles in the 1970’s and enjoyed it. Liked John Adams since then even though I didn’t know too much about him. Just that he seemed interesting, as well as his wife Abigail. This should be grittier since it seems that i was filmed outdoors, on ‘location’ whereas The Adams Chronicles were all shot indoors on sound stages if I remember correctly. Plus Laura Linney is in it and I really like her a lot.

In a related note, Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters is writing a musical based on Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City. Related because Laura Linney played Mary Ann Singleton in the original miniseries on PBS. Those were the days when PBS would show Tales of The City without fear. There was another season but the powers that be felt that honest images of life in 1970’s San Francisco was way too much for PBS decided not to broadcast it. It was shown on Showtime, but who had Showtime then? Or even now?

One of These Nights

Yes, It’s a Saturday and it’s been a pretty good one so far. Slept until around 8:30 after going to sleep around 1:00AM. Decent amount of sleep, woke up rested. Called Julio and Stine to see if they wanted anything from Washington Street. Bagels of course. They were in a hurry to get to a Lamaze class. I got them what they wanted and soon had a nice breakfast for myself.

Read the papers, had coffee. Went to the library to return The History Boys which was overdue they said, when it wasn’t. Then they tried to pin a $2.00 charge for a book that was paid for last year but they can’t seem to clear from my card. That took a while.

I carry the receipt in my wallet from last year since this issue pops up every now and then when dealing with the library. Some library employees are easy to deal with but on Saturday mornings the staff is second string and they really don’t have much of an idea as to what they are doing. The computer perplexes and confounds them. After that, some errands, some dry cleaning, a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in the pants.

I decided to head into the city and check out the next to last day for an exhibition at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street for the 50th anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. It was ok. No recharging of my Beat influences. It was all rather underwhelming. They had the scroll of paper that Kerouac wrote one version of On The Road.

It was about 60 feet long out of the original 120 feet. Everything was under glass and no photography was allowed which made for me at least, a rather uninspiring show. There was a tour going on that I overheard. The guide was talking about Lucien Carr, a friend of Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs. Carr killed David Kammerer after Kammerer traveled to NYC, infatuated by Carr.

Carr reacted to this infatuation by stabbing Kammerer to death. Kerouac helped hide the murder weapon, a knife, while Burroughs and Ginsburg implored Carr to turn himself in to the police. An early version of what is now known as Gay Panic, the ‘justification’ of when a gay man (or woman) makes overtures to a non gay person who is so repulsed, the only course of action that they can see is to murder the gay person, because saying ‘Thanks but no thanks’ just won’t do. Maybe slapping around the ‘stalker’ if a firm NO wouldn’t do would suffice.

Sometimes Gay Panic keeps one out of prison. Matthew Shepard may have been a victim of gay panic, and more recently, Lawrence King, the 15 year old boy from Oxnard, CA who was murdered by a 14 year old classmate after Lawrence stated that he wanted the classmate to be his Valentine.

Last night I watched a very good film, Gone Baby Gone, directed by Ben Affleck. Based on a Denis Lehane novel, I think it might have been better than Mystic River. Not as top heavy with stars, this was low key and very gripping. Casey Affleck was excellent in it as well.

It’s a crime thriller so I won’t say anything about it, lest I give away a spoiler, but I do recommend it. Not that I am in any way familiar with Boston citizens, especially the lower classes, I thought it was true to life.

Walking around Hoboken, I saw a few characters that could have just as well been in Boston. Bill is coming over tonight and I decided to hang onto Gone Baby Gone for one more night before I send it back to Netflix. I think Bill would like the movie. That’s about it.

Here’s some recent pics.
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two doors down
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Fifth and Washington
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The New York Public Library Lions
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Inside
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west 46th Street
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Giant
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Waiting for Clay Aiken
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Hmmmm…..scary
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Pigeon in the Port Authority Bus Terminal
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This just in, at 2:00 this afternoon, a crane collapsed on 51st street a block away from where I work and where I walk several times a week. 4 dead, the crane hit the top floors of one building across the street then falling a block away on 50th street onto a 4 story townhouse, making it a one story building. No safety inspector on the scene and were cited for violations and complaints in the past. Lots of construction going on in Manhattan and lots of accidents as well.

These Days

Let’s hear it for Friday! Well I’m relatively excited about it. Left work at 4:00PM. Lydia had today off and Monday too since her mother and little brother are in from Estonia. So my work load increased somewhat and I didn’t mind, made me busy and made the day go faster which is god. Lately it’s been a crawl, and I blame that on daylight savings. It’s affected my body clock so much that lately I’ve been getting up before the alarm clock. That was ok, no hustle in the morning but still I wouldn’t mind a few more minutes, even with going to sleep a little bit earlier than usual. Maybe it’s daylight savings, maybe it’s creeping decrepitude. I really couldn’t tell you. I’m reading Sherman Alexie, Flight. Good book, interesting plot, a bit violent, surprised that my sister gave it to me. It’s a good read and I’m enjoying it.

Also in the middle of the latest New Yorker which could mean I’ll be caught up when the new issue arrives. I also have two plays by Alan Bennett on loan from the Millburn Library, through the BCCLS system, an online system that allows you to borrow library materials from most of North New Jersey. I need to return The History Boys dvd to the library since the used copy I bought from Netflix arrived so I can watch it any old time that I want. Not a bad deal, it was $9.99. Alan Bennett also wrote The History Boys. He was in Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller back in the 1960’s for those that are playing at home.

Last night I watched Lost which was pretty good, not excellent but not bad. Six more episodes until a nine month hiatus so they better get it together soon enough. After Lost, I was lost so I watched one of the Iconoclast series on the Sundance Channel. It featured Michael Stipe from REM and Mario Batali, a NY restaurateur. I used to love REM, met Michael Stipe and Peter Buck separately at McSwells back in the day. An old friend of mine, Ann Boyles used to go out with Peter Buck a long time ago. I was working the door with Ann when Peter Buck showed up. It was uncomfortable for both of them, I think especially Ann.

Stipe I met when he was singing with the Golden Palominos on hot summer night. He was gorgeous then, a bit mysterious, not aloof, Raphaelite curls drooping over his eyes when he would sing. I heard that if he didn’t know what to say to someone he would compliment their clothes. That night, Michael Stipe liked my shirt. I am fairly indifferent towards REM lately. Lost interest somewhere in the 1990’s after Automatic For The People, their last great album. My former landlord Pattie Kleinke had a fanzine at that time, but gave it up when they became super big. She felt they sold out. One of those fans that wanted them to stay small. I guess staying small is not that easy when you sign a contract with the Brothers Warner for $80 million. I don’t begrudge them anything, but they should take a break. I think they lost the plot. Maybe their big in Europe and elsewhere but I don’t think they’re all that here in the states.

I got an email from Christina Miro the other day. She was a co-worker from Wanker Banker. I think she found Jesus. Somewhere. She sent me an email warning me of the dangers of mocking god. The email included John Lennon saying in an interview in 1966 with Maureen Cleave of the Evening Standard (yes I know all these Fab facts) saying that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. It was true at that time, and maybe even today. But the email stated that since he said that, basically his murder 14 years later was justified, by god. I wrote back that it seemed like that that god was a bit mean and unforgiving. Haven’t heard from her since.

Just got a call from Chuckles who just scored the latest B-52’s from a friend in the biz. There is a plan afoot to meet up and get a burned copy. Woo hoo. I got the single, Funplex and it’s very good. Near vintage B’s. And by that I mean closer to Cosmic Thing than it is to Rock Lobster. I’m sure I’ll eventually get a legit copy and give the burned copy to some lucky reader, so keep it in your pants.

Here’s two interesting things via YouTube. Which is weirder? Let me know what you think.

Night

It’s Thursday, Thor’s day! All hail the god of thunder! Onto Asgard! Get in the goat ridden chariot! Whee! Had to get Norse mythology off my mind. Now, where was I? Yes it’s Thursday, we know we know. Last night, nothing special. Bill came home, I went to bed about a half an hour later. Slept really well. Something may be happening between us. Sometimes death causes estrangement. Then again, sometimes I love him a lot, and sometimes I wish he would go away. I guess that’s how relationships go on occasion.

I watched the usual, Scrubs, Daily Show, Colbert Report then Lawn hor d’oeuvre Criminal Intent, quite good. Chris Noth was cool as usual, followed by Lawn hor d’oeuvre the original. That was good too, not enough to keep me awake for the news which was more than likely Spitzer Spitzer Spitzer which is more than enough for me. Today it’s all about Billy Crystal turning 60 and being first at bat for the Yankees spring training camp. No really it was on the morning shows, local news and national news and will likely be repeated at the 11:00 broadcast.

Juan chatted with me from Montreal. That’s where he went for his spring break. Lucky him. Someday I’ll make it to Montreal. Someday I’ll speak French too. But not today. C’est la vie. Work was ok today. A bit slow and office politics played a part. Too convoluted to get into right now, but I’m sure there will be something about it tomorrow though I hope not. Nothing that I did, I’m just the middle man. I wish there were more things for me to do at work, but it’s slow.

Just got a phone call from Bill. He’s at his mother’s apartment. He called to let me know that he was going to sleep now. It’s 7:18 and the poor boy is exhausted. I wished him a good night.

Today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends, Pedro. Hard to believe that he’s turning 40, or as I like to say, he’s gotten farty. I’ve known Pedro for 20 years or so. I find it amazing that we are so close, and I know he loves me very much. He’s always looking out for me, worries about me. When I first met him he was just another kid from the streets of Queens, a friend of a friend actually. We all worked together and partied together. I’m probably the only gay guy that never tried to get into his pants. He appreciates that and also the fact that I am totally honest with him.

I look forward to twenty more years of friendship. I sent him a birthday card and he mentioned that it was the best card that he’s ever gotten in his life. He says that every year. Most of his other friends are fellow Corrections Officers at Rikers Island and aren’t really the type to wish each other a happy birthday with a card. No, they’re more the type to go to a strip club and get a private lap dance for him, which I’m sure is nice, but I got him a birthday card. So a very happy birthday to my dear friend, Pedro Ramos. Even though he doesn’t read this blog, I wish him the very best, with love.

Mr. Farty and Me
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Super Freak

On Wednesdays in the metropolitan area, on News Channel 4, the meteorologist Janice Huff does a bit called Wednesday’s Child, taking one kid from the area who is in the system and broadcasting the kid on television hoping to hook them up with a family for adoption. It’s usually heartbreaking, most of the kids are teenagers and they’re the ones usually left behind and forgotten, not being cuddly babies and toddlers. Tonight was a real heartbreaker, a 15 year old boy, so well spoken, a poet. If I had the money, the time and the space (the money would help achieve the last two) I would adopt this kid. But since I am lacking in all three departments I can only hope some viewer with those three attributes would adopt him.

Eliot Spitzer announced his resignation, effective on this upcoming Monday. His career is over, sad to say. He had a lot of promise, but turned out he was a sex addict, addicted to prostitutes. Spent a lot of money on them too. Not such a bright move for a smart guy. I feel bad for his wife and daughters and also feel bad for my sister’s friend, and feeling bad for them makes me feel mad at Spitzer. What a dumb ass. Last night was all about trying to drink soda from a cup without a straw. It sucks having to go through things like this on my own, but ultimately, everyone goes through things in life on their own.

Also I broke the news to my sister that I haven’t had a cigarette since Sunday night. That is true. I did have a cigar on Monday night and also had one tonight, but none of the constant smoking of Gauloises which I had been smoking quite a bit of, being holed up in my apartment throughout this winter. I told Bill as well who was surprised, he didn’t mind the Gauloises, not being a fan of American ciggies. He didn’t know I was planning on quitting the fags though I did say something about it on New Years Eve at Rand and Lisa’s cocktail party.

So far it’s been ok, no climbing the walls, and not being any more irrational than I usually am. No need for a patch, no gum and no jonesing. I’m sure it would be worse if I’d see people rolling Gauloises on the street but they don’t. They smoke whatever it is that they smoke. Do I miss it? Sometimes. I see much older people walking down the street smoking and they seem ok, but then again it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Some people smoke and are fine, no oxygen tanks or things like that. Some people don’t smoke at all and die of lung cancer. But basically I’m alright, no need to worry about me. And I’ll still have the occasional cigar anyway.

Bill’s coming home tonight and that should be something. I think he feels guilty about not being around for me yesterday, though that wasn’t my intention. I only mentioned it would be good to have someone with me after a dental visit in the future, if he’s available. I don’t think that was asking for too much, but who knows? It might be.

Geraldine Ferraro is an idiot. I used to ‘like’ her, but it’s all over now. Not very fond of the Clintons, suggesting Obama as a vice president or the Democratic Party, what with the talk of changing of the rules with Florida and Michigan, either counting the votes after all, or doing another election for their primaries. I think corporate media wants a McCain/Clinton face off and are doing their best to make it happen.

And hello to Richard Beniquez, Sheree Draft, Thomas Morro, Bill Wrice and Donna Rinaldi

Needle Time

Nothing going on today. Dental appointment at 6:30, meaning that I am staying in the office until 5:30 or so then making my way down to NYU Dental School. I’m always tempted to write Denial instead of Dental. Perhaps that is because back in the day, back in the eighties on Washington Street in Hoboken there is a Dentist’s office and on the outside it says, ‘Dental Arts’ but back then, someone with a good eye was able to hit that somehow and change it to Denial Arts which made me laugh and apparently still affects me to this day.

I did go to Dental Arts, years later and the Doctor’s name was Dr. Doktor. True story, that. Also got an estimate for implants while I was working at McMann and Tate or by its true name, Wolff Olins. Now I don’t have anything to worry about with regards to the denizens of 200 Varick Street since there is a year between my time of employment there and where I am at now, and I have nothing to fear from them.

Let’s see… last night watched the induction for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Saw the Ventures, Lou Reed introducing Leonard Cohen, Justin Timberlake going on and on about Madonna who went on and on even further. Then Iggy and the Stooges played Burning Up and Ray of Light by Madge that was interesting, plus I always enjoy watching Mike Watt play bass which he does now for the Stooges. Madge sat there, trying to look enthusiastic but this was more than likely the first time (I believe) she had ever heard the Stooges. Also looked like she had too much work done on her face. She also looks like she could be found at the Shop Rite on Route 17 aisle 3, just another Lodi girl gone to seed.

Then came Billy Joel who rambled on and on, I think he might have been drunk. He introduced John Mellencamp who was somewhat interesting but not enough to hold my interest so I went to bed a little earlier than usual thanks to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Woke up again, not too happy about the Daylight Savings. I know, I just have to get used to it, but I haven’t yet. Reading ‘Flight’ by Sherman Alexie. I enjoyed the ‘Lone Ranger…’and the movie Smoke Signals which were both by Sherman Alexie so this book shows promise.

Now I am just killing time before the dental school. Just a cleaning they told me last week. I think I will reschedule the next appointment for two weeks from tonight, just for a break. This week after week thing is not difficult but some relief from the stress of a dental appointment would be nice. A week off is all I ask. I can easily swing it for the week of March 24. I don’t think they’ll have any problems with it either. I can always say I’ll be out of time. It’s a lie I know, but I need a break. Now to send this to myself at home.

Now I’m back at home. Goodman the dentist was quite needle happy today. And then there were pictures she wanted to take of my teeth. That involved another dentist and me with some prongs pulling my cheeks out so the other dentist could angle a mirror for my mouth while Goodman took photos. Nothing fun just me looking like Katherine Helmond in Brazil, or rather Alex in A Clockwork Orange. It was all rather discomforting and I think Goodman might be using me for her thesis. Just a feeling, with nothing to base it on.

I got the paperwork to submit to the insurance company which hopefully they’ll accept and started walking back to the west side and called Bill. He was home with his mother, and I mentioned that it would be nice to have someone to walk with across town after a visit to the dentists. I was hungry, stressed and drooling. He mentioned that he couldn’t do it and I knew he couldn’t. I told him how Kathe was with me a few times after a dentist visit. Just companionship, that’s all I wanted.

Never seem to get it though. I know, I know, the same old song. I’m tired of singing it. I made a few jokes about the dentist which he didn’t quite get and I had to tell him it was all tongue in cheek, that at least I thought it was since I could barely feel either my tongue or my cheek. I decided to end the call before I got any stupider and told him I’d call him when I got back to Hoboken. I called him back when I got back to the mainland and he asked if I was better. I was fine, just lonely more or less. Now I’m home, still numb, drinking out of a glass without a straw is a challenge. What else is new anyway?

Again and Again and Again

Well it’s Monday. The big news today was all about New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer being caught in a prostitution ring, based out of Cliffside Park. He was known as client #9 of call girls who charge in the range of $1000 to $5000. It’s fucked up, that he fucked up. I wouldn’t be so concerned but via 6 degrees of separation I’m somehow connected to this. Not in any big way, but in the most basic sense of the 6 degrees. Someone knows someone who runs the household up in Albany.

It would suck if she got fired because of Spitzer’s resignation which some people are calling for, whereas others are saying that it if Bill Clinton could get through the Lewinsky mess, then why can’t Spitzer? Before that things were pretty much copacetic. Damn daylight savings fucked me up this morning. Intercourse that extra hour of daylight. I don’t like waking up when it’s dark outside and it was plenty dark this morning at 6:00. Still I rallied and did the things I do when I am getting ready to go to work.

Made it on time to catch the bus, finished the New Yorker, finished Hotel California and the new Mojo and Uncut Magazines are not on the stands yet. Actually Uncut is but I buy the magazines in pairs so I just couldn’t buy one without the other. A small concession to being anal retentive perhaps? Made it across town this morning cutting through Grand Central listening to Echo and The Bunnymen. That was fun, good beat enabled me to swiftly walk through the crowds pouring out of Metro North trains.

Outside the Waldorf Astoria there were a few trucks for tonight’s broadcast of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I did enter a contest to attend but since I didn’t win, I don’t care about the Hall of Fame. I’m inclined to agree with David Bowie who turned down the nomination a few years ago. In 1997 I did see the Rascals rehearse for their induction. My boss- the producer, Arif Mardin produced them back in the day and I had to deliver some papers to the rehearsal space for Arif to sign. I was instructed not to hang out but Arif insisted that I hear one or two songs and who was I to disagree? That year the Hall of Fame ceremony was in Cleveland, OH. So I wasn’t going to attend anyhow.

Today I occasionally have to report to Tom Chin and things had been good lately, until this morning. Lydia the receptionist had asked him about something and for some reason he started yelling at her, threatening to yell at me through her. I heard my name mentioned and I stepped in to find Tom Chin yelling because of a simple question. He started yelling at me about something I had nothing to do with. I told him that in a voice slightly higher and authoritative than his. He backed down and I took Lydia aside and told her, from now on (until May when she leaves) she should talk to me before she has anything to do with Tom Chin.

I can more than likely head things off at the pass and keep the bad vibes from Tom Chin to a minimum. He did lighten up later in the day. It’s usually best that we keep contact to a minimum. It is tax time and he’s the Chief Financial Officer. Two weeks ago he was upset that I ordered notepads and pencils. He’s the King Knucklehead in the office. The Wire ended it’s run last night and I liked it a lot. It will require seeing it again. Sad endings with an occasional smile. No tears though, that’s for sure. No redemption for Baltimore. It goes on and then it goes around again.

This Charming Man

Well there was a howling wind last night. Bill made it home to Hoboken as Robert the oh so handyman was disconnecting the hot water heater. I helped Robert move the heater with the broken tank out into the hallway. Robert reassured me that it wasn’t anything I had done, the heater was about 12 years old and they really don’t last much past their five year warranty. I was reassured as Robert headed down the stairs and off into the storm. He was gone for a while and I thought I’d be calling up Julio and Stine to ask if I could use their shower in the morning. No need to ask for Bill since he showers at his gym.

Bill asked if I was hungry and I said I was a little bit, which prompted him to call and order a Grimaldi’s pizza. I was in the mood for it and obviously so was Bill. I sat writing last night’s blog while 3:10 To Yuma was finishing up. Pretty good movie, a bit slow in parts but overall enjoyable. I prefer to watch Russell Crowe to Christian Bale, though Ben Foster stole the movie from both of them as Charlie Prince. Ben Foster played Claire’s on again off again boyfriend/art partner from Six Feet Under, he was intense there and even more so in 3:10 To Yuma.

About an hour later the bell rang and I mentioned to Bill, ‘oh it must be the hot water heater.’ Bill explained it was the pizza and I explained that I was joking. Bill headed down the stairs and shouted up that the hot water heater was on it’s way up. I knew I should have said, ‘oh it must be that million dollars I hoped for’. Up the stairs came Robert with Peter the landlord, huffing and puffing after climbing four flights of stairs. They maneuvered the new heater into the kitchen and after scanning the room with his eyes, Peter made a hasty exit. I suppose it will be another two years until I see Peter again. He’s an absentee landlord if that’s possible in Hoboken. He also insisted that I call Robert next time should I need any work done in the apartment. He doesn’t want to be bothered.

Bill and I sat and watched The History Boys, not the first time for me and sort of the first time for Bill since he was so exhausted the other night. Who knows what Robert thought as he welded the copper pipes into place and made sure the brand spanking new heater was set up properly. I offered Robert some pizza and some water but he turned me down. He left a little while after that and I was relieved since Bill and I inhaled the pizza and if Robert changed his mind about a slice, he would have been out of luck. Bill enjoyed The History Boys though not like me. I mentioned that it was a smart film and then thought that Bill might be put off by that remark, thinking that the movies he likes aren’t so smart. Perhaps I think too much.

The dvd ended on time, so that we watched the news and Saturday Night Live which was funny. Amy Adam hosted and Vampire Weekend were the musical guests. I have the Vampire Weekend cd and it’s ok, a bit twee if you ask me though live it sounded a whole lot better. Bill went to sleep midway through and I stayed up reading the rest of Hotel California, which I am almost finished with. I went to bed happy to have hot water once again. It was rough to be without for those hours, he wrote tongue firmly in cheek.

Woke up and moved the hands on the clock an hour ahead for daylight savings. Lost an hour of sleep but I didn’t really have it to begin with. Ran into Mike Korman with his son Harrison as I did my morning rounds. Good kid it seemed though Mike told me he and his wife, my old friend Clara have no idea how to handle this three year old boy since he doesn’t listen to either one of them and does whatever he wants. Too much information for me with one cup of coffee in my system. I parted ways with them after wishing them a good day.

Bill had headed off to church and I had a nice quiet breakfast. Headed into the city for a quick trip to Farfetched, saw Harpy and gave him Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up which I read a few weeks ago. Very good and I thought Harpy would enjoy it. After picking up some cards and a pair of spider shaped cuff links I walked up to 33rd street where I got a seat on the Path train and read the rest of last weeks New Yorker.

Singing In The Rain

Well it’s been an interesting day to say the least. Woke up with a headache, feeling dehydrated, drank some water, went back to sleep, but the headache wouldn’t go away so I got out of bed and had 2 gel caps. Showered and went out for the bagel and newspaper routine. Called Julio and Stine to see if they wanted anything and Julio requested bagels. Picked those up and did some grocery shopping. It rained quite a bit last night and today promised more rain, but I was relatively lucky and rain free at that moment.

Came home, had breakfast, decided to get a haircut. Mr. L’s on the corner of my block seemed empty when I walked by so I walked in. Unfortunately there were a bunch of guys waiting before me sitting below the window pane. I decided to run some errands instead of waiting and hope for the best later in the afternoon. I did go to the library and picked up the dvd of The History Boys. Bill hadn’t seen the whole thing and getting the dvd was a pretty good idea I thought. Also ran up to the produce store on Washington Street and bought a head of lettuce.

Back at the apartment I chilled out and started to do the laundry. First load was colors as usual. Seemed to go well. I surfed the net as the white started to do their thing. Midway through, I hear a clunk clunk. I don’t pay too much attention since it stopped and I thought it was the construction next door in the rain. Then I started to hear water spilling on the floor and thought the sink might be backed up. It happens. I get up and step into a puddle. There is water pouring out of the top of the hot water heater. Puddles throughout the kitchen heading into the bathroom. I recycled all the newspapers the other day so I scrambled to find something else to sop up the water with.

Found a bunch of rags and set about on my hands and knees mopping up the water after I figured out how to turn off the water. Then I called Peter the landlord who said he’d call someone. I called Julio for some advice but he was in West new York and couldn’t really help. Didn’t matter since the water was turned off anyway. I mopped for about an hour, wringing out rags and dumping the water in the toilet. Then with that done I sat and waited for the guy to show up and do something about the hot water heater. Three hours later I decided to get a haircut since I never heard from this guy. The barber shop was empty when I walked in and I was out of there in about thirty minutes, looking less shaggy but still bangin’.

Called landlord Peter again who explained that the guy named Robert was in the city and would be back soon enough. Robert called about an hour later said he’d be here in about thirty minutes. An hour later Robert appears. Robert is the building handyman, and last I saw him he was painting the fire escape last July at 10:00 at night in the dark. He came over and drained the rest of the water from the heater and he and I moved it into the hallway. He left after that, leaving his tools behind, saying that Bill and I will be getting a new hot water heater tonight.

That was about ninety minutes ago. So Bill and I here now, outside a storm rages from the southwest. No hot water, but we have The History Boys.

Wichita Lineman

Nothing like a nap. I just woke from a nap that was a little over 90 minutes. Crazy dreams, like making out with some Nigerian dude who salivated way too much, ruined a joint it was so bad. I stepped away from the Nigerian dude, telling him I’d be back in a few minutes but he knew I wasn’t coming back. And that was after the dream that took place at my very dark cubicle at work where various strangers were trying to access my computer. Haven’t taken a nap in a while and it was tempting to stay in bed asleep, but I might not have been able to sleep later, after using my sleep quota for the day.

I was able to take a nap after leaving work for the day around 3:30. I had to go to my bank and get a bank check which I did earlier in the day, but they misspelled my name as Jhon, even though it was on the check and also spelled the person’s name who it was going to. I didn’t realize it until I got back to my desk. My work was done and the weather forecast was nothing but rain tonight and tomorrow, promising flooding everywhere so I decided to leave early after the bank corrected their mistakes.

On the way to the bank the second time I did see Liza Minnelli who looked a bit tiny and frail. I said “Hi Liza, you look great.”, just feeling the need to bolster her spirits as she puffed on her Marlboro. Someone had to do it and being the nearest homosexual in the area it fell to me. Didn’t take a picture, but found this one online.
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Made it home and started feeling drowsy which lead to the nap. Last night was nothing special after Bill came home and fixed the wireless hookup, meaning changed the Ethernet cable in about 10 minutes. Watched Lost which was very good, all about Juliet, minimal Kate action, just knocked out with the butt of a gun, and less Sawyer and Hurley. Juliet is not one of my favorite characters but last night was pretty good. She did look like Linda McCartney who she played in a TV movie called The Linda McCartney Story so that made watching Lost a little bit more interesting.

After that I made it a point to not watch The History Boys, which is waiting for me at the Hoboken Library by the way. Now it’s raining as promised and though I only slept a little over 90 minutes I’m still pretty drowsy. Food will help, this much I know. Planning on staying in, what else is new? Got some DVD’s, got cable, got books and I’m set. Still haven’t eaten yet, but slowly coming to life. That should be about all for today, for tonight. If anything else happens I’m sure I’ll let you know. Feel free to do whatever it is that you do on a Friday night. I know I will.

I’ll leave you with this