Monthly Archives: December 2008

Love Reign O’er Me

Last night I inadvertently watched a repeat of Keith Olbermann, or at least I think it was since it was playing in the next room as I was on Bill’s Mac. It certainly sounded like a repeat, lot’s of Saturday Night Live and David Letterman clips.

That followed into Rachel Maddow which I did sit down and watch up to a point. I remembered the Kennedy Center Honors were on and I did want to see what they were doing for the Who, who received some of the honors that were doled out.

I turned in just in time to see Joss Stone do an adequate job of My Generation, the same with Dave Grohl on Who Are You, when out walked Bettye LaVette who I had read about several times before but never went beyond that.

Well she came out and basically stole Love Reign O’er Me from Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey who just sat there gobsmacked as I was on a couch in Hoboken.

A moving enough performance that I called Rita who was a Who fan from back in the day when they were doing 7 shows a day at the Paramount with Murray the K. She too was blown away.

I also called up California to tell Annemarie to keep an eye out for it. I posted it on my Facebook page and quite a few people were turned onto it and seeing it for the first time.

After Bettye LaVette came poor old Rob Thomas who did an ok job of Baba O’Riley saved by the participation of a choir comprised of members of the NYPD and the FDNY which was oddly rousing to see these uniformed representatives shouting ‘They’re All WASTED!’

But Pete and Roger loved it and it seemed like a thank you from the New York City departments for that Concert for 9/11 all the way back in October 2001.

So here we are, at the end of a calendar, ready to start a new one within hours. I had originally planned on doing a recap of the year, as I do every year. I have been doing this since October 2005 mind you.

This and a certain other thing that I do every day are about the only constants in my life and both probably lead to blindness.

I tried going back to January of this past year but just found myself reliving the feelings (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) that I had while I was writing it plus who wants to read recaps of my sometimes maudlin writing? Not me, that’s for sure.

Tonight Bill is returning to Hoboken for the night. Ending the year and starting a new one together. It’s been a rough year for the both of us, him more so I might add. He lost his father in February so his loss is that much greater.
I lost mine already so it’s a proper win for him on the sad scale for the year. Like Oscar Wilde wrote: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

And that is the first time I have ever used a semicolon on this blog. It all stems back to what started this blog, or at least the concept of it. Bill and I attending An Evening of American Satire at the Society for Ethical Culture that October night in 2005.

It featured Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins, Paul Krassner, Lewis Lapham (who said those magic words that motivated me to write every day) and Kurt Vonnegut who stated that semicolons should never be used under any circumstances and on that point I held up my end until tonight. Blame Oscar Wilde.

I also had the plan to go to work today, just to check in and see if there was anything I needed to put in order. But Janice Huff the weather forecaster said it should be a treacherous morning and since I didn’t really have to go in I decided not to, expecting to wake up to snow drifts and glaciers creeping down Washington Street.

It didn’t happen and whatever motivation I might have had slipped away while I slept away the morning. I did wake up and turned on the TV just so I wouldn’t drift too far away in slumber.

But I did anyway. The snow started around the time Janice Huff said it would end so I tidied up the apartment a bit and did some laundry.

Stopped by the liquor store and picked up some Guinness for Rand and Lisa’s New Years Eve get together. The Latino kid from the shoemaker was there too and I wished him a happy new year.

He remembered the last time I saw him, the day before Thanksgiving trying to pick up Bill’s shoes which weren’t ready a month after they were dropped off. He wished me a happy new year as well and mentioned that he read what I wrote online about the service that day.

And he agreed with the review, at least that’s what he told me as he walked back to the shoe makers store in a brand new Michael Vick football jersey.

So tonight, Bill and I plan to go to Arthur’s for a steak dinner, then maybe a walk around smoking cigars, coming home and then heading over to Rand and Lisa’s to ring in the New Year.

I hope you and yours have a very happy New Year and I wish you all only the very best wishes for the New Year.

Now strap yourself in, cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Here is the Hoboken twilight sky on a New Years Eve.
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Look Alive

Just got off the phone with Bill. It’s 11:37AM. Bill’s at work, I am not. He was just going off about how lucky I am to be able to go to work when I feel like it this week. My eyes rolled as I heard him say that and I needed to tell him what was what.

Yesterday while at work I sent him an Outlook invitation that I had posted in November and as a note on the invitation I wrote, ‘SEE? I am supposed to be out until Friday’. He got the invite but didn’t read it.

So technically I am off of work this week, as planned, as approved over a month ago by the managing director, the president of the company and the chief financial officer. Those are the other three people in the company- Vivek, Greg Stevens and Tom Chin.

I also explained that yes I am off and yes I am stopping by the office to take care of whatever odds and sods there might be, and no- I don’t have to do it.

I do it because I don’t want a pile of crap to deal with on Monday January 5. Plus it looks good that I am showing up when I don’t have to. So a few hours yesterday, maybe an hour tomorrow, maybe an hour on Friday…I wouldn’t say that I have the week off, would you?

A week off would be nice, but what would be nicer is a week off with someone to spend a week off with. I don’t have that.

Sorry but I was crabby when I talked to Bill about having the day off.

I am amazed sometimes at how I can change my mind. This afternoon I was all set to head into the city, just to wander around. I was all set, had the Lennon bio in my bag, some water, my bus pass and the latest New Yorker and my camera.

As I walked up towards Washington Street I realized that there really isn’t any good reason to head into the city, especially since I’m planning on going into the office tomorrow and anything that I wanted to do today, could be done tomorrow.

So I walked down Washington Street, talked to my sister on the phone, letting her know that her brownies and cookies arrived finally.

There’s also a gingerbread man in one of the containers. The gingerbread man looks horrified, as if he knows how it will end for him. As soon as you open the container, there he is under the wax paper with a look of anguish.

I walked over to Barnes and Nobel and farted around in there, bought a new calendar and walked home listening to the Kinks.

I really hope next year will be an improvement but I also think that it’s going to be tougher than it’s been this past year. Prices gone up, products shrinking and now I have a few friends out of work.

It seems inevitable that I will join their ranks but according to Vivek that won’t be until March 2010, and that will be here before you or I know it. Anything is possible of course. Gotta save some money this year while I still can!

I think everyone should take a nap at some point in the day. We can call it, ‘Siesta!’

I’ll Be On My Way

It’s Monday and it’s a weird Monday. Some people are back at work, some people have off from work, and then there’s me. I could have stayed home but no I went to work. At first when the alarm clock went off at 6:00 I got out of bed, made some coffee and poured some cereal then I asked myself, ‘What am I doing?’

I knew hardly anyone from my company would be in and decided to go back to bed for some more sleep. No need to deal with the rush hour rush this morning. I turned off the alarm on the cellphone as well as the alarm clock and slept another hour or two.

Felt good, like I needed to sleep more. A different world at 10:00 than at 8:00. Walked down 42nd street surrounded more by tourists than office workers.

Got to the office, saw an email from Steve who I used to work with. He got married in September and went off to the Greek isles for his honeymoon. When he came back he found out that he was unemployed.

He is still able to use the office for whatever tasks he might need for looking for a new job. His wife gave him a gift certificate for the Cigar Inn, a new cigar store with a nice plush lounge in the back.

Steve asked me if I wanted to join him and I said yes. After creating about one hundred new files for the year 2009 and doing whatever odds and sods needed to be done I walked over to 52nd Street and Second Avenue where I met Steve outside.

We chatted with the owners before walking into the humidor. Steve left everything up to me since it seems I am known for smoking cigars. I tried to keep things on the cheap end and selected two Padron cigars.

Steve brought a bottle of Glenfiddich which is allowed and we got two glasses from the proprietor and we sat on very comfortable furniture and drank and smoked and shot the shit.

He’s unemployed now and felt he could sit there all day. I still had to show my face at work after a few glasses of scotch.

Steve and I finished up after a little over an hour and made plans to do this again next week, this time I’ll get the cigars. He can still bring the scotch though.

Got back to the office, nicely buzzed. Vivek was in and looking boyish. He’s going to be a dad in nine months. He told me to keep it a secret, but Steve told me while smoking our cigars.

I was only stopping by to pick up my stuff before heading to the Path train. Vivek said if I was in the neighborhood later this week to let him know so that we too can have some cocktails.

After all that I was on the Path train heading home, reading the John Lennon biography, which is quite good so far. Low key evening on the cards for tonight.

I told Vivek that I’d probably be off for the rest of the week but I may stop by. I don’t plan to get up at 6:00 tomorrow morning, in fact I just turned off my cellphone alarm just to make sure.

Black Superman

It’s a Sunday again. Back to work tomorrow, if only for a few hours. Today has been an odd day weather wise. Quite unseasonably warm. 66 degrees they said.

Last night was more low key than it’s been the past few days. Bill injured his wrist somehow and he thinks he has carpal tunnel syndrome. Or arthritis. I told him it’s probably from using his laptop and straining his wrist without any support.

I watched a very good movie today, The Visitor, directed by Tom McCarthy who also did another very good film, The Station Agent. This starred Richard Jenkins who played the late patriarch on Six Feet Under.

Tom McCarthy is an actor also, and played the reporter named Scott Templeton who was making up stories for his deadline on the last season of The Wire. Highly recommended.
And if you haven’t seen The Station Agent, you really should. That is also a very good film.

I stayed up late reading the John Lennon biography. It’s a library book and I only have 14 days to read it. It’s a fairly recent book so there will be no renewing when the due date arrives. Also have the Sarah Vowell book, The Wordy Shipmates but that’s just a slim volume.

It was around 1:45 when I went to bed. I remember staying up way later than that just a few years ago, being artificially stimulated and sleeping away much of the next day. I’m glad to say I don’t do that anymore.

I was up around 9:30 this morning and when I went out for my morning errands I was surprised at how warm it was.

Got an email from Meghan Taylor about removing the pictures I posted on Facebook. I suppose she doesn’t read the blog. I would remove the pictures if only she’d tell me what pictures to remove. Until then the pictures stay.

Got a text message from Rand. He was at the Crow’s Nest in Hasbrouck Heights. I had to laugh since I’d never been there. Drove past it eight million times, but never so much as graced the place with the sole of my shoe.

I’m sure it’s a decent place and I’m also sure that the chances of running into someone from my past would greatly increase. A few months ago I would have been interested, today- not so much.

Of course it would depend on who it would be and with my luck it would probably be someone who gave me hell for four years in high school who doesn’t live that far away from the Crow’s Nest.

I’m just taking it easy tonight, waiting for 60 Minutes to come on. The Sound of Music was just playing but Bill texted me to tell me the Jets game was ‘ova’, meaning either it’s egg-like or finished.

I changed the channel and didn’t see any big men in tight spandex running around a field and jumping on top of each other. Now why don’t I like football again?

Meeting Across the River

Saturday night. Things are getting back to what could only be described as relative normalcy. Last night was quiet. Juan was out gallivanting, Bill back in Stuyvesant Town.

I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which was actually the first Charlie Chaplin film I had seen from start to finish. Also the first Chaplin film that I had seen where he actually speaks.

I never knew that he spoke in his later films and often wondered how long he would have done silent roles. Apparently in 1940 he was speaking in films. According to Wikipedia it was Chaplin’s first talking picture.

It was a daring movie that he made, since the US was at ‘peace’ with Germany at the time and it certainly pissed Hitler off which was an added bonus. A year later we were at war with the Axis powers.

After that I basically started reading a book that I had gotten from the library, John Lennon- The Life by Philip Norman. Supposed to be the best biography of Lennon so far. It is pretty good.

Philip Norman wrote an excellent biography on the Beatles in the 1980’s called Shout! The Lennon book was written with Yoko Ono’s blessing and she asked her son Sean and Paul McCartney to cooperate with the author, which they did.

But as luck would have it, once Yoko and Paul read the galleys they both did some furious backpedaling and denounced the book.

So far the only dodgy thing was John accidentally touching his mother’s breast and wondering what else he could get away with.

That would raise some eyebrows, but Yoko did give access to Lennon’s diaries and journals and as great a songwriter and musician Lennon was, he was also a flawed individual and he would probably be the first to admit it.

It’s a weighty tome and carried some heft as I had it in my shoulder bag and wandered around Manhattan en route to the Guggenheim Museum where I was meeting Bill and Meghan Taylor Mastro with Lily and Ruby, as well as Pat Paterson and his wife, the one and only Ann Boyles Paterson.

I do prefer going to art galleries instead of museums but the Guggenheim was on the agenda so it was off to the Upper East Side. Bill got there a minute or two before me and as we were waiting for the others Juan called wondering what was going on.

It was around 3:00 and he had just woken up. Nice life, which Juan has. I would have invited him along but this was the first I had heard from him since yesterday. He was cool with it, he had to go back to Trenton anyhow.

The Glen Ridge contingent arrived and soon we were inside the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. I’m always reminded of the roller skating joke from Hannah and Her Sisters regarding the rotunda of the Guggenheim.

After walking around being nonplussed at the exhibitions we were on the street again, $18.00 lighter in each of our wallets. We could have gone to the Bergen County History Museum and looked at the mastodon bones, that would have been cheaper.

I used to go there with Annemarie when I was growing up. It was cheap then, but could be about the same price as the Guggenheim nowadays.

We decided on a bus downtown so we would roll past the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Unfortunately it was stop and go traffic for about 40 blocks which screwed up my spine somewhat.

Still the company made all the difference and we had shared some truffles and other chocolates and had many laughs as well as taking snapshots of each other. Bill and I got off at 14th street, the others continued onto the West Village to meet up with Jim Mastro.

After parting ways with Bill I stopped by Farfetched to try to persuade Harpy to come with me to see Ann and Meghan but he just wanted to go home after working retail in a shop that’s taken quite a beating this holiday season.

Nothing that Farfetched has done, just that no one is buying anything anywhere these days.

So now I’m home, just had a nice dinner, watched a decent documentary on Groucho Marx and here I am sitting at Bill’s Mac and writing this.

What have YOU been up to?

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum

Lily

Lily

Inside the Guggenheim

Inside the Guggenheim

What happened to Pinocchio?

What happened to Pinocchio?

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Ann & Me

Ann & Me

Meghan with her camera phone

Meghan with her camera phone

some words, between children

some words, between children

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Awesome foursome on the bus

Awesome foursome on the bus

Ruby's patented pose

Ruby's patented pose

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Me and Harpy

Me and Harpy

Prodigal Son

Well I just got back from an excursion to the wonderful wastelands of Secaucus. Juan drove me out to Syms where I wanted to check out their sales and man what a pitiful selection they had to offer. Definitely a better selection in midtown Manhattan.

The only things I liked were suits that I already owned and I was glad to see that they weren’t on sale. I bought a French cuff shirt instead, with a tab collar, which I could never find in NYC. Surprisingly it was made by Sean John.

P. Diddy himself. I can easily picture him drinking Cristal, puffin on a stogie and frantically sewing into the wee hours of the night. He’s that hands on. I don’t care for his music but his clothes I don’t mind.

And I don’t mean the t-shirts with his signature on them, or the jeans or the bandages. I do own two of his suits which I think are quite nice.

I almost bought a silk scarf to go with an overcoat that used to belong to my late cousin. It was specially made for him and even says so on the inside. And since we shared the same name, it’s perfect.

My brother Brian was hanging onto it for a few months since he got two other coats that fit him better than this overcoat. I can’t wait to wear it to work. I think it looks snazzy. I’ll try to post a pic of myself wearing it.

I did have a nice phone chat with my brother Frank. I mentioned that when we meet, the first five minutes are generally tense. Like a chemical reaction. When you mix baking soda with vinegar there a chemical reaction for a moment, lot’s of foaming going on and after that it generally calms down. That’s how it is with Frank and myself.

He complimented me on my guitar playing yesterday which was a first. I’ve been intimidated by him when I would play guitar in front of him. I told him that I often tried playing in front of him, maybe a Beatles song I practiced and when I payed it for him he would tell me it was wrong and nothing like the number I was trying to play. That happened a lot so I eventually stopped playing in front of him.

Now he said he enjoyed my playing and wouldn’t mind jamming sometime. Which is something I always wanted to do, but generally got shot down. But still I’m willing to give it a go.

Last night Bill was here for a few hours and Juan stopped by too. It was like old times and by old times I mean, September. That was when Bill was still staying here mostly and Juan hadn’t started school yet.

A lot of laughs, some jazz and some beers added to the festivities while we watched The Onion DVD which was a gift to Bill and myself from my niece Meghan and her husband Rob. It was a lot funnier than we expected. Many laughs out loud and a few, ‘Oh no’s!’

Bill had to go back to Stuyvesant Town so he left around midnight and he took most of the energy with him, leaving Juan and myself to watch Scrubs before Juan leaving at 12:30. After all the Guinness I had had sleeping was incredibly easy.

Bow Tie Juan at Syms

Bow Tie Juan at Syms

Woke up around 9:00 this morning, no hangover, and no sluggishness. Ran some errands, had breakfast and did laundry. Now Juan is off to the mall at Wood Bridge, Bill is in Stuyvesant Town and I’m here again.

It was great being with Bill the past couple of days. It was actually the first time in a long time that we were able to spend hours together. And now I miss him. He gave me a pair of really nice braces that weren’t easy to find and weren’t cheap either.

I gave him some cufflinks, some braces and a tie with buses on it. Those things weren’t easy to find either. He liked them. Juan may be back later.

Ann Boyles might be in Manhattan tomorrow, which would make it so much easier for Ann to meet Bill. She said she wanted to meet him and he said he wanted to meet her after hearing me talk about her. Of course it’s all up in the air, nothing really set in stone.

The Big Country

Well things have calmed down, quieted down. Not that it was frantic or anything. Just running from Manhattan to Hillsdale to Hoboken to Garfield back to Manhattan and returning to Hoboken in the past 24 hours.

So I guess maybe it was busy, but I wouldn’t say frantic. Bill’s mother met my family for the first time, my brothers and their families. Annemarie is in California so she was unable to be here. It was a good time, lots of food, plenty of Guinness for me.

Good to see the relatives, if only for a few hours. An interesting thing, I’ve found concerning my brother Frank. We don’t see each other so much and when we finally meet we immediately get on each other’s nerves.

He gets snippy and I in turn, amp up my snippiness and for about five minutes things are tense. Then after that things cool down and are relatively normal. My brother Brian has the same thing happen to him when dealing with Frank. Just something interesting.

Yesterday after I had finished my shopping, just one or two last minute items I wanted to get, I ran into Lois DiLivio who mentioned that all the stimulation that Bill’s mother would get from being around so many people could be good for her and it certainly was. I did hang with Juan yesterday for a few beers and some jazz riffs which was great. He’s an adorable kinda guy. And Also heard from Pedro who is also adorable and called to wish me a happy crimble.

And according to Bill, last night she wouldn’t stop talking about what a good time she had and how she appreciated all the love and attention that she received. Of course there was some drama, there always is. But it’s not my drama to write about so I won’t.

I did my best to bolster some heartbreak though by not overtly putting down anyone, but rather by building up the one with a broken heart. But young love is complicated to the one who is in love and sometimes words of comfort go unheard.

Like I said there was lots of food and I was able to snag some Care packages for myself, though I did give one to Bill’s mom. The package I shipped to California got there in time, but the cd I ordered from Amazon, scheduled to be delivered yesterday, Christmas Eve did not get delivered.

I called Amazon this morning and of course was speaking to someone in India who apologized enough that it eventually had no meaning. She was merely someone who answered the phone and has no pull at all.

The cd was to be shipped from Texas to California but with the seven days of bad weather, it’s still in Texas. I was glad that I disobeyed my sister’s edict and also got my nephew Earl an iTunes gift card since the cd is now scheduled to be delivered by December 31.

I can ship a package across country with no problem, but the US Post Office cannot deliver a cd as promised. I really don’t like using Amazon at all but it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Bill and I exchanged presents, I got him some cuff links, a tie with buses on it and some festive red braces (suspenders), which he loved. He spent a pretty penny on a set of braces for me with a cigar theme on it, which I of course love. And I do love Bill and after all this, it’s good to chill out.

I posted some pics on my Facebook page, here is the link for that:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=13159&id=1037999596&saved#/album.php?aid=13159&id=1037999596&ref=mf

And fare thee well to Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt.
Santa Baby goes to The Birthday Party.

You’re More Than Fair

Just got back from a visit to McSwells where I had dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Paterson, as well as Meghan Taylor Mastro and the daughters Lily (mine) and Ruby (Jim’s). Almost wasn’t able to pull it off.

You see I was at work and as the day crawled along I just started feeling bad. Not ill necessarily, but more like feeling blue. I left the office around 1:30, no one was in really and the feeling in the office was ‘so what?’

So I walked across town, enjoying a Padron, listening to Girl Talk and still enjoying it. I left two voice mails for Bill and a text message but he didn’t get those until I was home, putting the kibosh on meeting up with him for a few minutes outside his building. Plus it was too cold to socialize outside.

I was home for a little while when I heard from Meghan. She was coming to Hoboken with Lily and Ruby and the Paterson’s. The Paterson’s are actually Ann Boyles and her husband Pat Paterson.

I explained how I was feeling and said I would try to make it after I took a much-needed nap. The nap definitely did the trick, deep sleep for almost two hours. Cleared my head of whatever malaise was troubling me.

It was almost interrupted by phone calls but I wisely shut the ringer on the phone off. It was dark when I woke up and mere moments after awakening, Meghan called telling me that she and the girls were walking up to McSwells to get some food.

I had to stop by the library to pick up Philip Norman’s biography of John Lennon and Sarah Vowell’s new book, The Wordy Shipmates. Quite timely since I finished the New Yorker already, finished Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine a couple of weeks ago, and though I took Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, about Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet out of the library I’m not as interested in it as I was when I first ordered it.

After trying not to break my neck on the unshoveled ice I made it to McSwells where Yo La Tengo where eating dinner before their third Hanukah show. Ann met me at the door since she saw me on the sidewalk walking by.

She still looks as adorable as ever and still the same Ann Boyles I knew way back when, still funny to be around. Pat Paterson, her husband is a really nice guy who I might have met before when he worked for Dreams So Real and Guadalcanal Diary among others back in the day.

Despite the last time I ate at McSwells I gambled again and ordered a burger, which was fine. Ann didn’t have problems with her burger but I think Meghan and Lily and Ruby had issues with their orders, as did Pat with the flavorless fish and chips.

After dinner we did a quick walk by the river, around where Maxwell House used to stand. They’re all condos now, no more big neon sign with a coffee cup, and no more ‘good till the last drop’.

Got some great pictures of everyone, the only who was missing was Jim who was minding the Guitar Bar. We walked back down Washington Street, Pat finding some thrown away stilts that he did a credible job of walking on for a couple of feet.

Alas, I had to head home and write this, they continued to collect Jim from the Guitar Bar and head back out to Glen Ridge. It looks like I will be going out to visit on Saturday and it seems quite possible that Bill will join me, so Ann will finally get to meet the man in my life, as I just met hers.

So here’s to Ann and Pat and Meghan, Lily & Ruby, and of course, Jim. Cheers!

And I said hello to Ann Boyles on behalf of bhikkhu and Harpy. She responded in kind.

There were some fairly large pics here, but not any more.
I’m still using Bill’s Mac and can’t figure out how to rotate certain pics. If you know how, please feel free to fix them and send them back to me so I will repost them. Can’t seem to use xnview on the Mac you see. Made everything easier….

well actually I went to my PC and loaded the pics onto a flash drive after ediiting on xnview on my PC….
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Ruby and Meghan

Ruby and Meghan

Ann and Lily

Ann and Lily

122308-ann-boyles-meghan-mastro-et-al-004a Me and Ann

Meghan, Pat, Me, Ann, Lily (photo by Ruby)

Meghan, Pat, Me, Ann, Lily (photo by Ruby)

Meghan and Ann (so sweet)

Meghan and Ann (so sweet)

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No Bathing for Meghan and John Ozed

No Bathing for Meghan and John Ozed

Ann and Pat and Manhattan

Ann and Pat and Manhattan

Cindy Tells Me

It’s brutally cold out. No, really, it is. Last night it started to drop, the temperature that is. I watched Into the Wild last night.

It was directed by Sean Penn and starred Emile Hirsch, Catherine Keener and Hal Holbrook with William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden as the parents. It was very good and a few times I had to rewind it and watch due to being distracted.

I like Emile Hirsch, he was quite good as Cleve Jones in Gus Van Sant’s film, Milk. It has a sad ending though. A few characters in the movie seem to know where Chris/Alexander (played by Emile Hirsch) is going to end up.

Those were quite touching scenes, especially with Hal Holbrook. It’s recommended if you feel like being bummed out, which I try not to be. I wasn’t expecting a laugh riot though, I sort of knew what I was getting myself into.

Though if I didn’t already see Milk, I probably wouldn’t have made it a point to see Into the Wild.

After that I watched the last hour of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars on VH1 Classics. Not my favorite Bowie period but he certainly put on a show. I know my brother Frank saw him at Radio City on that tour, and so did Chaz and William Charas as well as my friend Jet.

I know 3 out of 4 left that concert changed beings. For me, David Bowie was way too outré for my simple tastes then. Elton John was the one for me. More accessible, more pop.

On Keith Olbermann is a recap of the year, mainly about Obama. It is Olbermann, so it’s the election basically. I’m still upset with the Rick Warren choice, but that’s merely a bump in the road. A mistake no doubt, and a mistake he wouldn’t have made, or at least change but that ain’t gonna happen.

So he’s not the Superman I had on my t-shirt. I still have hope for him and our country. And like the great Bayard Rustin said, “When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” And Bill and I conveyed dignity upon ourselves on Saturday night.

Listening to Obama’s speeches, he is still inspiring. A much better choice than John McCain, that’s for sure.

This morning I woke up late. Too cold to get out of bed. I knew I was going to be late as I puttered about the apartment.

I dressed in layers, which meant a suit and tie with vest. And thermal underwear. I had some rubber soled shoes all ready to go and when I tightened the laces they broke. So I had to find another pair, which weren’t as warm as I had hoped.

My little piggies were freezing when I got to the office at 9:00. No one was in yet, the cold making everyone late.

No bonus this year, no holiday luncheon and that’s fine by me. I’m glad to still have a job.

Still chilly in the apartment right now but it’s getting warmer so I’m not complaining. It would be good if Bill were here, he emits body heat.

I thought I was going to meet Ann Boyles at McSwells tonight, but now it seems like I’ll head out to Glen Ridge, maybe on Friday if that’s alright with them. Ann is supposed to be around until Sunday so that might work out just fine.

Now I have to say hello to Ann Louise Boyles Paterson for bhikkhu and Harpy.

It’s a burden, such a burden, oh what a burden, to be so relied on… That was by Brian Eno.

Ready for the Floor

It’s all overcast and gray today. My brother Brian is going to the Giants game tonight, which to me is madness. According to the NY Times, it’s 34 degrees out. Intermittent rain, slush and ice most everywhere.

Not an ideal situation for fun. I doubt if alcohol would make it work. Then again, I don’t really enjoy football (though some of the players I do like to enjoy watching) so no matter what circumstances I probably wouldn’t have a good time.

Bill has never ever been to a professional football game so he probably wouldn’t mind despite the fact that he hates the cold.

I’m watching The Cleaner on cable. It’s a show with Benjamin Bratt as a former junkie/meth head whatever. It’s ok, though a bit annoying with the actors all ‘doing drugs’.

And occasionally they use a split screen for the same shot, which is a foolish attempt to be edgy. I liked Benjamin Bratt on Lawn Hors d’œuvres. Anything else, not so much. I just don’t see him as being as ‘street’ as the role needs but overall it’s dumb. Characters stitched with cliché’.

The sun came out for a little while and I took advantage of it with a stroll to the post office, listening to Hot Chip on the iPod and smoking a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero.

Ran into Eddie Lopez, a former chef at McSwells. He was looking svelte. He always was a good guy, quite nice and agreeable. I’m pretty sure he had a thing for me, something that Julio noticed, which was confirmed after hearing that Eddie and I made out at a wedding years ago.

I barely remember but I guess it’s true. Neither Eddie nor I ever brought it up. Not many people around on the streets this afternoon. It wasn’t that cold out either. It was a balmy 34 degrees, which was quite comfortable.

Other than that, it’s just hanging out at home. Not watching anything in particular. Two days of work this week, which is probably one day of work, meaning 2 half days and that depends on the weather. We may have another snowstorm in this metropolitan area.

I did watch Get Smart earlier. The remake with Steve Carrell. Actually I was on in the next room as I am still on Bill’s Mac. And obviously I have figured out how to post pics like I did on yesterday’s post.

Also I have been communicating with a commenter named JohnsonTech in the Times of Your Life posting. I don’t know who he or she may be but I was sort of reprimanded for thinking Barack Obama was more than he actually is.

Also accused of acting like a teenage girl over something regarding David Archuletta who I looked up online and found that he was on American Idol. When I stated that I don’t watch American Idol I was labeled a sophisticated obscure pretentious art gallery patron, which I thought, was pretty funny. I was never called sophisticated before.

My ignorance of gay pop culture was thrown into question too. Anyone know who this JohnsonTech might be?

This afternoon on Pier A
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Across the Universe

A Saturday night and a later posting than usual. It’s after 9:00 and I’m only just getting started. It’s been a busy day for me. Last night wasn’t. Didn’t go to McSwells with a holiday hug for Roda. Way too ugly out, snow, sleet and rain. I was content to stay inside and watch TV.

O & RM again, followed by the second half of the DVD of Stop Making Sense, the live concert film of Talking Heads. Been a while since I saw it and started watching it the other night when Bill was here.

He knew right off the bat that it was Talking Heads, just from looking at David Byrne’s sneakers as he performs Psycho Killer by himself. I had stopped it that night as they were about to do Life During Wartime and that’s where I jumped in again.

Still a great film, they were a great band that will probably never get back together again, which may be a good thing (no pun intended).

After that I did watch the news and the Simpsons following with Scrubs and then I went to bed. Woke up to the sounds of people digging out their cars and shoveling sidewalks. Soon enough I was outside walking past them with trepidation since it was quite icy outside.

Came home after some early errands, walked by Mr. L’s. Tony, my barber was busy with customers and it promised to be a busy day for all concerned in the barbershop. Last weekend before the holiday.

After a few more errands I saw Tony’s chair unoccupied and walked right in. There were a few other guys waiting but they didn’t want Tony’s expertise so I jumped into his chair.

About 45 minutes later he was done, my goatee trimmed nicely, he does a great job of snipping out whatever gray hairs he sees. He doesn’t like gray hairs. His hair is white naturally but every month he dyes it, sometimes magenta, sometimes a reddish brown like today.

He’s about 70 something and lives with his wife in South Hackensack. His son, Nick also cuts hair in the barbershop. I did some laundry at home then had to run out when the wooden clothes rack I use snapped and I lost few rungs. The story of my life.

Bought a new clothes rack as well as a flashlight for the Same Sex Marriage/Anti Rick Warren Rally in Manhattan. Around 4:30 I hopped on the Path train and rode to 33rd street where I was supposed to meet Bill at 5:45. I was there at 5:15 and needed to pee.

Ran into the Manhattan Mall where I found there were no bathrooms due to reconstruction. I had no choice but to go into a pub and have a pint and relieve myself in their facilities.

After the pint I went out and had a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero and waited for Bill who was in great spirits despite the cold. I too was in a good mood and we walked to the staging part of the rally at 35th and Sixth Avenue.

After standing around for a long time in the cold, a few hundred of us chanted and marched up to 42nd st and Seventh Avenue where we chanted some more shone our flashlights and lit our candles and listened and cheered to a succession of speakers.

A good friendly crowd, LGBT people well represented as well as some of our straight supporters. It really made a difference for me, to have Bill at my side marching for equal rights. It made all the difference in the world actually.

He walked me back to the gate at the bus terminal where a bus soon pulled up. We kissed goodbye and he was heading back to Stuyvesant Town as I settled into a seat on the bus and read the New Yorker, which I am practically finished with.

Ran into Chris, who used to be a waitress at McSwells back in the day. She was in the Jersey Journal the other day protesting the 47% tax hike that homeowners in Hoboken received due to the tragic ineptitude of the Mayor, Dave Roberts who basically screwed the Mile Square City raw.

I did see Jim Mastro who told me Ann Boyles will be in town on Monday or Tuesday and we might just meet at McSwells for all those people in Hoboken who would love to see Ann Boyles once again and it will give me a chance to say hello to her on behalf of bhikkhu.

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Times of Your Life

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I am terribly disappointed in the choice of Rick Warren to say the invocation or the magic words at Obama’s inauguration. I too supported Obama, donated my time volunteering and donated money that I could have used for myself and my partner of 8 years.

I have stopped being a member of Obama Pride when it seems too hypocritical for gay people to continue in that Facebook group.

To have my relationship as well as millions of others relationships compared to incest, bestiality and pedophilia and then have the person as an honored member at your inauguration is really too much of a slap in the face to those of us in same sex relationships.

Obama claims we can disagree without being disagreeable, and by saying that it seems to me that the incest, bestiality and pedophilia comments are not disagreeable to him.

After years of being told by Warren and his ilk, that we are sinful in our love, not to mention his positions on a woman’s right to choose, and stem cell research as well as his attacks on atheists, to see Barack Obama embrace such a person really hurts and looks like an endorsement. It really is terrible and it hurts.

Does his team really think that an LGBT marching band will heal this open wound? Wouldn’t Rev. Peter Gomes, Harvard theologian and chaplain who did the invocation for Reagan and Bush I have been a better choice? I cannot understand how a person can unite by embracing a ‘person’ such as Rick Warren who spews nothing but hateful words about a large group of Obama supporters.

Posted at http://change.gov/page/content/GeneralDiscussion/

No. After donating my time and money to the Obama campaign, for him to turn around and embrace someone who considers same sex relationships to be evil sinful and akin to bestiality, incest and child rape, to invite him to say some magic words at his inauguration is just wrong and I withdraw any further support.
Let his new friends at Saddleback Church pick up the slack.

Posted at http://www.365gay.com/news/calif-gay-rights-leader-rejects-inauguration-invite/#

I helped build the most powerful and effective grassroots movement in America. You picked someone who considers my relationship as well as millions of others to be tantamount to incest, bestiality and child molestation to perform the invocation.

I suggest you ask the parishioners of the Saddleback Church for any more money, for you will not be getting any funds from this disillusioned supporter.

Kindly refrain from sending me any more emails regarding Barack Obama. I have donated my time and my money for his election, but I will not sacrifice the pride I have in my same sex relationship.
Good-bye.

In response to:
John —
You helped build the most powerful and effective grassroots movement in America.
Now, you’re helping to define how this movement will support President-elect Obama’s agenda and continue to bring the change we need.
BREAK
Between now and Barack’s inauguration, we’ll continue to collect your ideas and feedback.
After the inauguration, we should be able to announce a clear plan for the future of this movement — a plan determined by you.
Thanks for being a part of this journey to bring about change in the years to come,
David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, How was the play?
It’s been a pretty good day. Feeling more in the holiday spirit than I’ve been lately.

Bill came home last night, if only for an hour or so. It was just really great to have him here. I missed him, missed being able to hug and kiss him without care. He tried to set up my computer with the wireless but he couldn’t do it either.

I didn’t mind, I wasn’t upset. I have been using his Mac for so long now, a couple of weeks already that going back to the small screen almost feels like a step backward. But it’s not my computer, it is Bill’s and though he doesn’t mind, I should get back to it.

Got the presents en route to California. One gift inside was purchased before my sister Annemarie issued her edict on no presents this year. By writing this I expect to head her off at the pass so I won’t hear ‘Oh You shouldn’t have. Really…’ in her sweet dulcet tones.

No hanging with Pedro last night, no heading out to see Ann Boyles at Meghan and Jim Mastro’s house tonight. Meghan is a bit ill and it’s really ugly outside.

Rain, sleet and snow and I almost broke my neck outside walking down the street so I’m staying home. Oh well.

Rebel Waltz

Well I am in a much better mood, still angry with the Obama team though, and with him, himself. Today he commented on the Rick Warren pick for the invocation and one particular ting that Obama said stuck I my craw.

He mentioned that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s all well and good.

For me to disagree is like this, “I support same sex marriage” someone else, “I do not support same sex marriage”. To me that is how people disagree as an example.

Disagreeable could be seen as “I support same sex marriage” someone else, “I think same sex marriage is just like bestiality, child rape and incest between a brother and a sister”.

This is the reasoning that Barack Obama uses to explain why he picked Rick Warren to say the invocation for his inauguration.

Where is this atmosphere that Obama speaks of that he would like to create? What type of atmosphere could exist between a group of people that love each other and want the SAME RIGHTS THAT HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES GET, and a group that says that we are going to molest their children, we can’t be trusted to teach in schools, we spread disease (thanks Dad) and we are all going to hell.

One group advocates love and equality and another condemns and shames. What type of atmosphere will exist in such a vacuum?

It really is a sickening feeling that someone who actively courted the gay vote and dollars thinks it’s all right for Rick Warren to grace his inauguration. An inauguration that I worked towards, millions of people worked towards and donated money to. And then to hear from some ‘allies’ saying we’re making too much of a big deal out of it.

Obama’s people are claiming to be all inclusive. If that’s so, can we expect to see representatives from the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation, maybe even some Black Israelites, and the Army of God up on the stage with Obama and Warren?

No we know that’s not what’s going to happen, because when you boil it down, it’s perfectly all right to treat LGBT like shit.

C’mon, it’s true. Everyone hates LGBT people, it’s the one thing christians, jews and muslims can all agree on. And atheists are hated too. I am doubly cursed!

The right wank is gloating over this of course, claiming liberals (read gays) are so intolerant of different views. I know it’s not the case, we just resent having our relationships compared to child rapists.

I ran into Casey Chasm on the bus this evening and he suggested that the whole Rick Warren fiasco is a distraction from the fact that the economy is getting worse than was originally imagined.

That may be true and it also maybe much like a Monty Python sketch where a door to door salesman is trying to get a couple interested in a home made TV show.

When the couple’s attention span is on the wane, a mollusk is tossed out described as a filthy, disgusting pansy which gets the couple riled up enough to curse and stomp on said mollusk.

So the economy is in the toilet and people are tired of hearing about it…hey, look! A homosexual! How disgusting is that? Something everyone can rally around and hate with all of their hearts and the justification of their religion to feel like that.

Much like religion was used all those years ago when it was against the law for Barack Obama’s parents to marry.

Obama’s people are saying that it’s a balance since Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery is going to deliver the benediction at the inauguration.

Dr Lowery has long been a supporter of civil rights for ALL people whereas Rick Warren, aka Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt actively works to take civil rights away from certain people.

That is the face that the Obama administration wants to present. A balanced face like Bell’s palsy. Yeah, I am still pissed off.

The day wasn’t all about being fired up though. I heard from Maurice Menares and that was a good laugh. He’s in Oregon married with a kid. He’s doing well and working for Adidas.

He suggested looking him up if I find myself on the west coast. I mentioned Arcata and a sketchy plan of perhaps going out there for my nephew’s graduation next year. A side trip to Oregon, is it possible? It all remains to be seen.

I had to run an errand to Chinatown this afternoon and I finagled that into a detour to Farfetched where I picked up a present or two for Bill and some cards for the nieces and nephews.

There was also a plan to hook up with Pedro but he backed out due to the incoming snowstorm which is expected to leave a foot of snow in Otisville making his return home that much more difficult.

I was also supposed to go visit the Mastro’s where Ann Boyles is supposed to make an appearance like Mary on a half shell but I haven’t heard anything about that. So it’s all up in the air, but at least I am home and happy.

I would be happier if Bill were here driving me up the wall, but we do have a plan to take part in a demonstration on Saturday night for Marriage Equality. That could very well turn into an anti Rick Warren/No Thanks Obama rally.

It doesn’t look like Obama is going to do a thing about it and Rick Warren has congratulated Obama for taking a stand AGAINST the people that voted him into office. A stand against the LGBT community, women, and science.

After eight fucking years of having the religious right shoved down our throats, Obama’s people decide to open the show with a nutjob with left over, reheated bull fucking shit not that different than James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the shit sleaze they had to say.

Remember, according to Falwell and Robertson, 9/11 was a reckoning for LGBT people and women having the right to choose. Meet their devil spawn, Rick ‘Purpose Drivel Strife’ Warren.

Hell hath no fury like an LGBT community/women/scientific community scorned.

Positively 4th Street

What a day, again.

Thanks to Rand for upgrading Word Press and enabling me to finally post some pics. But first, last night.

Last night was the first enjoyable night I’ve had in a while, thanks to Juan. It was great having him stop by last night. Just good to have someone here to talk to and laugh with.

He insisted on watching Summer Heights High on HBO which I had written off after watching the first episode. With Juan’s prodding we watched episodes 2 and 3 and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

A begrudging laugh emanated from my lips which is more than what happened the first time around. I needed the company and I needed a laugh and Juan delivered on both counts.

Bill phoned midway through a story I was telling about Zed which definitely ruined the flow of the story. Still it was good to know that Bill was eating soup. He’s been feeling rather lethargic lately and I told him to eat more fruit, some salads, maybe even have some meat.

It could be the change in temperature, one day it’s in the 60’s, the next day it’s in the 20’s. Or it could just be the change of seasons. Whatever, he was eating soup.

Juan didn’t seem to notice the break in the flow, so entranced he is with his magic phone. Juan left and I was in bed a little after midnight which made waking up this morning a bit of a chore.

Still I was in the office by 8:30. The day was somewhat busy. There was the usual aggravation, of course from Tom Chin. I called him at lunch and asked about some papers that a messenger was picking up, I had them but wasn’t sure if they were all there.

They were there and he asked if anyone had ever called me a Space Cadet before. That’s what I get for making sure things are running correctly and checking in.

As aggravating as that was, what really aggravated me was the fact that the author of the Purpose Driven Life, the resident ‘pastor’ of one of those box store, or mega-churches, someone who equates same sex marriage to pedophilia and incest will be saying those magic words, the invocation, at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

I can’t help but feel disgust and betrayal at this. I had volunteered my time and donated money (that I probably shouldn’t have) to the Obama campaign and his people pick someone like that to say his hocus pocus.

I can tell you that the LGBT community is up in arms on this issue. Whatever idea or plan I may have had for attending the inauguration is over.

Like Clinton, Obama actively courted the gay vote and gay money which he received in kind. And like Clinton, he soon threw the LGBT community under the bus.

Is Rick Warren, truly the only clergy in the United States to deliver the magic words? Could there be no one else? Or are they just going for the marquee name of Rick Warren who has written best sellers?

Clinton waited until he was in office to throw LGBT people under the bus, Obama didn’t even wait for that. The bloom, it is now off the rose.

I think it really is a shame and I did not expect to be feeling such disgust at this charlatan pick of Rick Warren, a real scumbag. I guess betrayal is the ‘proper’ word.

Just spent the past half hour trying to log into Word Press. This almost went out as individual emails.

Thanks to Jeremy at GoodAsYou.com and Jim Burroway at BoxTurtleBulletin.com (both listed in the blogroll on the right side of this blog) for the info on the heinous choice of Rick Warren.

Both of these blogs are worth looking at for more info on this matter.

This is one of those rare occasions where I use a song title that I’ve used previously. It seemed most apt.

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/mcclurkin-20.html?cid=142975806#comments
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/17/7428

written an hour or so later:
I can get so fired up. I know, it’s politics. Still the Rev. Peter Gomes from Harvard would have been a MUCH better choice. I saw him on television a while ago and found him to be so intelligent and well spoken and open minded. It would have been a perfect fit! He has done the invocations for Reagan and Bush I, and he’s a celibate gay man.

Everyone wins! But Nooooooooo…..

12.13.08 Chelsea Art Galleries etc

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman

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Previous 5 pics were from the Marlborough Gallery, Vincent Desiderio exhibition, before they told me I wasn’t allowed to take pics

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Michele Oka Doner

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An Inuit. I had to ask if it was a dog or a wolf (or a coyote) It’s a dog.

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Tell Me Something Good

It’s Tuesday. In a much better mood at that. I did think about going to McSwells for their holiday party, but it’s always so awkward. I’d go and see Roda but he would be wanted by so many that I would stand around wondering what am I doing there.

Rand and Lisa went and I bet they had a good time. They always do. And the wonderful Pat Longo was DJing and I’m sure he did well. Whether or not any one danced is another story.

As much as I loved to DJ at the McSwells party, it was always a stressful affair, including one time Irwin Bicuspid was sitting next to the speakers and complaining about the music being too loud. He is or was a DJ at WFMU as well as my brother Frank.

No one would dance at the holiday party despite my best attempts. It didn’t matter since I wound up getting as fucked up as everyone else. New Years Eve was a nerve-wracking experience as well.

No one would dance at all before midnight when, no matter what year it was, I would play Prince- 1999. That would get those asses shaking not to mention those butts. And of course I would get as fucked up as everyone else, usually spinning from 9PM until 3 or 4AM.

I would usually be situated by the bar so it was an easy reach to the right for a fresh cocktail or pint of Guinness. But somehow I acquired the foresight and knew that I couldn’t keep on partying like that.

Plus I wasn’t in Hoboken anymore, I was in Weehawken and the walk home wasn’t as kind as it used to be. So I eventually faded from view at McSwells.

Steve Fallon eventually sold the place to a guy I never had the misfortune of meeting though I did see the huge beer vats that he had installed in the front room. He gave up after alienating most of the staff and regulars and it fell into the hands of Todd Abramson and 2 others.

When I did go back I didn’t know anyone, except for Roda who signed on after the Fallon era, after listening to the fun stories that Rand and Julio and myself told him about what fun we had there.

It wasn’t fun anymore, Todd had taken control and the regulars moved on, sobered up or died. He’s still there though and it would have been good to see him last night. Perhaps Friday I’ll pop in for a pint and give him a holiday hug.

Last night was quiet instead. I watched Heroes instead of recording it. I was glad that I did, especially with the Obama-esque president at the end. A black president. You only see his lips and his eyes, never his whole face.

If I recorded it, it more than likely would have been cut off like the previous weeks. It did give me a chuckle. He did a better job of a Barack Obama impersonation than Fred Armisen.

So I’m in a better mood today. The stalker phoned and Vivek took the call as he was at my desk. He told the stalker that I am being fired because she wouldn’t stop calling. She asked him where his ethics were, firing me at Christmastime.

He told her that if she wants to call me she should call Ireland starting in January and hung up the phone after wishing her a good life. I wished I would have thought of that. Still I forwarded my phone to the fax machine in case she calls again.

Dead Flowers

Wow it certainly has been one of those days. It’s a Monday which makes it perfect for a crap day. It didn’t start out that way and last night wasn’t so bad. Watched TV of course, but didn’t pay much attention.

On MSNBC there was a documentary on the Manson Family which should have been scary and chilling but actually was so so. Manson is still an fucking asshole. Shouldn’t he have died already? Then after that I watched the news which was boring.

It was just a boring night. Read some parts of a Beatles bio which was a welcome distraction from the humdrum even if I do know the story inside and out.

Lot’s of footage of Bush under attack from a pair of shoes thrown by a justifiably angry Iraqi journalist. Lot’s of discussions on that online today. Some angry about it, some feel it’s justified.

Not like the shoes hit Bush anyway. And he was able to make jokes about it. I feel Bush should do a walk of shame when he leaves the White House in January. Not that he feels any shame about the damage he has done.

I’m almost finished with The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. Still makes me angry but now that I’m near the end, it’s almost hopeful. I highly recommend it.

Heard from Roda who told me about the McSwells holiday party tonight. I’m not in the mood and plus it’s an awkward thing, being there with employees that I don’t know and have disdain for people that don’t work there. I guess that might be how it used to be when I worked there. I told him thanks but no thanks.

Also heard from my brother Frank who was surprised I didn’t think Saturday Night Live was as funny as he thought. He also liked Kanye West which was weird. He was surprised that I didn’t like him or the show but then again there wasn’t much that I liked today.

I heard from Casey Chasm via email. He was just checking in to see how Bill and I were doing. Comme ci Comme ca basically is what I told him.

Work was crazy and once again no one communicates with each other, nor do they communicate with me, which is what they’re supposed to do.

It was in the 60-degree temperature range today which made for a sweaty errand. I needed to get milk and whatnot for the office. Of course as I come in all sweaty, Tom Chin appears needing my attention in his office.

I didn’t even take my coat off and left the groceries in the bag on the floor as he proceeds to ask me questions about last week. He was out Thursday and Friday and I was out Wednesday which made Tuesday the last time we saw each other.

He was being a jerk and Vivek was almost as bad. They both thought I was out today and Vivek had no idea that I am generally in the office by 8:30 every day.

His silent partner who really isn’t so silent had asked me 2 weeks ago to get some business cards made. Of course there was a glitch and instead of me running back and forth on the phone with the printer and the not so Silent Partner I gave them both each others numbers so they could hash it out.

Did they? No. And when does he need his cards? Tomorrow. The printer says he can do it by 4PM tomorrow, the not so Silent Partner says he needs them by 3PM.

And of course I’m supposed to book the conference rooms and a few weeks ago I printed a memo telling people if they need a conference room to contact me. Do they? Some do, most don’t.

So when a room is booked, another group has decided to take it forcing the group that booked it to find another conference room. So I have to go in and kick people out.

On the plus side, I did get to see Bill for about 15 minutes after work. I mentioned that we should have lunch some time and he agreed. We didn’t say when though. We stood in the balmy evening rush hour, me smoking a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero which was bigger than I anticipated and would take longer to finish. Hanging out with Bill helped that out.

He was worried about my state of mind after work and he starting to get my modus operandi. I told him years ago that both Pedro and Julio know that if they ask me what’s wrong and I say “nothing“, if they wait 10 minutes they’d hear all about it.

And so with Bill, after asking me how I was doing and me saying, I don’t want to talk about it, ten minutes later I was telling him all about it. Apparently he has days like mine all the time.

Just saw that the wonderful Pat Longo is DJing at the McSwells holiday party and for an instant I thought that I would like to go. Then I realized that I was home and didn’t want to deal with anyone at all.

One more thing…I brought my camera to work, thinking that I would simply upload the pics that I’ve taken the past week or so, but couldn’t upload anything due to Word Press, the program I use to post this blog. So blame them, you know I do.

Oh, I’ve taken to commenting on the comments with each comment, much like they do in magazines. In case you haven’t noticed.

Like tonight! Thanks to bhikkhu.

Learn to Learn

Ahh… just woke up from an hour long nap. It was well deserved after walking basically the length of Hoboken. Not the width mind you, just the length, which was enough. I wandered up to the Burlington Coat Factory and bought a new tie (pink) and some undershirts.

Nice cotton shirts by Nautica, I’ve been buying them up whenever possible. Very comfortable, thick cotton, not thin like Fruit of the Loom. Alas when getting jazzy a few weeks ago, a crumb burnt a hole in a shirt I was wearing so it needed to be replaced since that t-shirt is now a rag.

I’m also on the look out for microfiber boxer briefs so if anyone sees them on sale somewhere let me know. Also quite comfortable, I find microfiber more agreeable than mere cotton. I’m just saying.

It wasn’t as cold out as it was yesterday but there were not too many people out wandering about in Hoboken. I enjoyed a cigar after walking from Burlington to the main post office to drop off The Dark Knight DVD from Netflix.

I watched The Dark Knight last night and yes it was very good. Heath Ledger was great in it, actually he was the best thing in it. Definitely the best Batman movie, ever. Miles ahead of Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson which in hindsight looks like a crap movie almost 20 years later.

After that I watched Saturday Night Live which overall was sub par. Hugh Laurie was ok, the sketches were iffy, the digital short was lame and Kanye West sucked big time. It was disappointing about Kanye since he usually is quite a dynamic performer.

Off to bed after that and today was all about walking around Hoboken. Saw Julio, Stine and Superboy for a spell this morning. I did hang out with Julio for a few minutes last night. Stine was with the baby at Julio’s cousin’s house and I ran into him on Washington Street.

We had a seasonal shot of Aquavit. Obviously so much has changed for him in the past 9 months so I can’t really say it was like old times, more like a close approximation which was still good. The three of them are flying to Denmark on Wednesday and won’t be back until the first Monday in January.

I talked to Rita a couple of times today. An old friend of ours, who is also a friend of my brother Brian got in touch with me via Facebook, Dave Bell. I became Dave’s Facebook friend and told him of the plan for Rita and I to go gallery hopping on Friday and invited him to join us.

Dave couldn’t make it but suggested having dinner during the holiday break. So I called Rita and she was into it, so we just have to wait on Dave. Again. That was what we used to do. It should be good to meet up with Dave & Rita after all these years.

Back to work tomorrow, have to un-forward my phone from the fax machine. It was a deterrent for the Korean stalker to stop filling my voice mail with her screaming and crying and pleas for marriage.

Got my clothes all picked out, including the pink tie.

From the Daily News/Associated Press:
An Ecuadorean immigrant viciously beaten by men who yelled anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs at him and his brother has died, nearly a week after the attack, a family spokesman said Saturday.

Jose Sucuzhanay died late Friday at Elmurst Hospital as his mother was en route from Ecuador to see him, spokesman Francisco Moya said. Sucuzhanay, a 31-year-old real estate broker, had been listed in critical condition since the assault early on Dec. 7.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/12/13/2008-12-13_victim_in_hate_assault_jose_sucuzhanay_h.html

Empty Landscape

Well today is quite cold. Last night was when the temperature started to drop. I was safe and sound in the apartment. Watched O & RM, then the Daily Show which had Darryl Hall and John Oates on the show backed with T Bone Wolk on acoustic bass singing a song about Allen Colmes leaving Hannity & Colmes, sung to the tune of She’s Gone. Very funny, Jon Stewart looked genuinely thrilled to have them there.

They were followed by my ersatz doppleganger Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I don’t care what anyone says, I do not look like him. He’s a good actor, that’s a given, but he’s a lot rounder in the midsection than I am despite Vivek mentioning my gut the other day at work.

Yeah I’m a bit sensitive about that.

A few years ago when Bill and I started going out, we went to the Lure in the Meatpacking district, (before it became boutique central) for some sort of party. Lot’s of heavyset guys there, some were pretty fat I thought to myself, when Bill walks up and tells me all these guys reminded him of me.

My first thought- he’s saying that I was fat. That’s what I was thinking while mingling around the heavyweight set. I was horrified, and Bill was totally innocent since he had no idea what I was thinking. I still chuckle about that years later.

After the Daily Show I watched The Colbert Report, once again very funny. He has Michael Phelps on and it was a very funny interview.

I also watched the Office which was surprisingly downbeat. It had some funny moments but overall it was one of their odder episodes. 30 Rock was way funnier with Elaine Stritch playing Alec Baldwin’s mother.

After that I went to bed around 1:00AM. Woke up around 8:30, got bagels and whatnot. Saw Julio, Stine and Kal-El for a little while. They were getting ready to go out and I was getting hungry. Had a nice breakfast, read the news and did some laundry, all finished by 11:00.

Watched It Came From Beneath the Sea, a 1950’s sci-fi movie about a giant octopus that attacks San Francisco. I saw it a few times in my childhood. Never really heard a certain line from the movie until today when one male character says to another about how today’s woman (in the 1950’s) isn’t afraid and is quite courageous, and able to do a lot of things men can do. Of course this is said right before the octopus attacks the Golden Gate Bridge so it was quickly forgotten.

I decided to head into the city and check out some art galleries. I waited for the bus and I ran into Meghan Taylor Mastro with her daughter Ruby who has sprouted up quite a bit since I last saw her during the summer. Quick plans to meet up when Ann Louise Boyles comes to the area next week.

I decided on Chelsea since there’s a lot of galleries all within walking distance. I started out at the Cindy Sherman show but I wasn’t too impressed. I guess I have to be in the mood for her.

I was impressed by Eric Fischl’s sculpture show. That was very good and very powerful. A few more shows which were ranging from fun to okay. I do enjoy art when it makes me laugh or smile.

I called up Rita after leaving the Eric Fischl show remembering she liked him way back when. Just a quick word telling her to check out the show before it closes this Friday. If she’s into it, maybe I’ll leave work early on Friday and we can check it out.

After that I had a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero that I had extinguished before heading into the galleries. Walked over to the Path and started reading last week’s New Yorker.

Walking up Washington Street I noticed about 30 Santa’s heading downtown. Apparently it’s Dress As Santa day and lot’s of guys were in the pubs and bars dressed like Kris Kringle with their girlfriends dressed as Mrs. Claus or elves and reindeer.

It reminded me of dreams that I used to have when I was actually killed by Santa Claus. Basically the dream was with me playing in my parent’s driveway and looking up to see his sleigh landing on top of me much like the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. It was one of those dreams that I used to have frequently when I was growing up.

Other dreams featured a large box, designed as a book that my mother used to have photographs in. In that dream I was told never to open that book/box but of course I did, unleashing a river of blood that Jesus would surf on, never helping me as I drowned.

It was the same Jesus who’s picture hung on the wall above my parents bed next to a picture of his mother Mary, both with their sacred hearts out of their chests.

Then there was the Black Ghost, a shroud reminiscent of the ghost of Christmas Future from a Christmas Carol. The Black Ghost would appear down the block in front of the Crist’s house and summon me towards him despite my resistance.

Then we would go flying over Lodi. In retrospect, the Black Ghost treated me better than Jesus or Santa.

There was also the Red Devil (who looked like the bad guy/wolf from Underdog) who used to make hot dogs in my backyard and threatened me with eternal damnation.

The Black Ghost and Red Devil eventually faded away when I had a dream in which I overheard my sister Annemarie and my brother Brian discussing who was going to be the Black Ghost and who was going to be the Red Devil that night.

I took a few pics this afternoon, but being on Bill’s Mac I can’t upload them. I’ll try later in the week.

Right now, It’s A Wonderful Life is on in the other room. I can hear Old Man Gower wailing on George’s ear. Ouch! ‘Please Mr. Gower, I know you’re sad, it’s not your fault’ Smack! Smack! ‘Don’t hit my sore ear again!’

Lipstick Vogue

Well it’s Friday and it’s been a weird week. I think I saw Bill for a total of maybe 10 minutes this week, all outside his office building. I guess it’s up to me to ask Bill to lunch since it doesn’t seem like he’s going to invite me anytime soon.

I’m doing my best to hold up my end of the situation but it can be a strain. It’s not like I carry around resentment all the time, just moments of melancholy and loneliness.

I just have to hang in there until Bill’s mother can get 24 hour care. Then I can go back to wishing Bill was back in Stuyvesant Town when he starts driving me crazy.

My stalker made an appearance at my office building again. I did as I was told last Friday, I instructed the building security to stall her then I called 911 and told them to send a squad car.

A few of the tenants that share my office went down to size up the situation. They saw her and saw the police doing nothing as the stalker walked away. I went down to talk to the police and they told me not to call and say aggravated harassment as I was told last week, but to say criminal trespass.

The police told me they did all they could, my fellow office drones said the police did nothing, didn’t even speak to her. The police did look around to make sure she was gone.

I went back to my desk and she called again, three times. The first two times I hung up on her. The third time I listened to her ask me if I called the police. I said yes, to which she asked if I wanted to see her handcuffed and taken away.

I said if it would stop her from fucking calling me every fucking day then yes I would like to see her taken away in handcuffs.

Having just written that I wonder if she was inquiring if I wanted to have kinky sex with her in handcuffs. How could she clean my apartment if she’s handcuffed?

Anyway bondage is not my scene. Consenting adults, go knock yourself out.
Me? I’ll pass.

Last night I watched O & RM again, can’t seem to wean myself off that. Watched The Daily Show, which had Don Rickles on. Pretty funny. But even though I think Jon Stewart is brilliantly funny, I think Stephen Colbert is funnier.

He just shines when he goes off the rails and the audience clearly adores him. I definitely need more laughter in my life.

This weekend promises to be quiet and low key but I’m open to persuasion. Perhaps a visit to the galleries again. It has been a while since I went to check out some art.

I am glad I wrote out my Christmas cards the other day and I mailed them yesterday so some of you may have gotten them already. Those of you that I have addresses for I mean.

Sorry if I don’t have any addresses for those of you in Kentucky or Colorado or if you work in a card store in the Village, not that you would want a holiday card after trying to sell them all day long- Harpy!

Keep an eye on the full moon tonight. It’s closer to the Earth than it’s been in 8 years.
There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)

Living on the Ceiling

I’m back. Yesterday was a Day without Gays and since I am gay, I took the day off, both from work and from here. I was missed at work, and perhaps I was missed here.

Oh, by the way- Nights on Broadway. No one guessed correctly and no one guessed at all. Imagine my disappointment. I suppose I expect too much.

I was able to sleep in yesterday, not getting out of bed until 10:00 when I watched The Daily Show and The Colbert Report with my coffee and cereal. So much more enjoyable than the Today Show and much more informative.

It was pissing out so I decided to stay in. I only ventured out of the apartment to get my mail so I didn’t leave the building all day. I didn’t mind.

I did watch Step Brothers which was funny. Had me with a smile on my face mostly, not really laughing out loud though I did in parts. It was a silly movie and perfect for a rainy afternoon.

The evening was more of the same, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. I have to get off of watching those shows. Not that I don’t like them but I need a break. I need to laugh again.

Does anyone remember laughter?

Since I watched Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert earlier there was no need to record them and plus who wanted to hear Mike Huckabee’s views on same sex marriage again? Yes Huckabee, old wholesome Huckabee is a dickhead. But we knew that already.

Watched Law and Order, which was ok, but definitely not the same without Bill in the room watching it with me. I miss the big lug.

He’s been out of sorts since a theater director friend of his collapsed on the street last Thursday and died. Bill took it upon himself to get in touch with his friends daughter. He organized a Facebook page for the theater director and various people and friends have been checking in and leaving comments.

This morning, for some reason I thought (or dreamt) that the alarm clock was setting me up for the BIG alarm. There is no BIG alarm. I kept hitting the snooze button and wound up getting out of bed at 6:45.

I didn’t hustle and still I wound up in the office before mostly everyone at 8:30. No one asked about yesterday but one of the guys at the trading desk confessed that he was worried that something might have happened due to the stalker.

And the stalker called today. I told her I was out yesterday because I am gay. She didn’t understand that so I told her I was homosexual, which she did get and didn’t believe.

Didn’t stop her calling though and at one point I took the call in a deserted office and told her she was a stupid fucking fag hag bitch. Still she calls and cries in Korean.

I had some errands to run and even though it was raining, I didn’t mind. I have been wearing Bill’s fedora lately and it’s excellent in the rain.

Since I can’t figure out how to post pictures you can check it out on Facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?id=1037999596&ref=name

So cut n’paste little doggies.

Spirits Having Flown

Here we are. In a room full of strangers. Standing in the dark, where your eyes couldn’t see me.

Well that’s me. That guy in the dark. Do you know what song that’s from?
Do ya? I ain’t saying.

Last night I watched O & RM again. Recorded Heroes, which meant I missed the last couple of minutes and have no idea how it ended. In a fit of pique I erased it. Happened the previous two weeks. Disappointment. I lived though.

Then I watched some Billy Joel footage from the late 70’s as a penance of sorts. Penance for what, I couldn’t tell you. It is Tuesday though, that much I do know.

Good news from my sister Annemarie regarding her husband’s health. The rheumatologist doesn’t think he has an autoimmune disease. They were afraid it was lupus and I know how bad lupus can be. So that’s a relief.

Good to get some good news for a change. Mostly everything I heard was bad news lately.

Woke up late this morning. I didn’t sweat it though. I was in the office by 8:30 somehow. Still on last weeks New Yorker which is a good one.

Haven’t heard from Harpy regarding this week’s issue. He’s been calling me up telling me how good the issue he is reading is. So I guess I will have to find out for myself.

The stalker phoned a few times again today. What will it take to drive her away? I just checked my messages. She called three times since I left the office this afternoon. Consecutive minutes, from 4:43 to 4:45. Each time in what may be Korean, which I don’t speak at all.

I am feeling better today, more so than last night. Last night, just doldrums of a sort. Feeling blue, feeling lonely.

This arrangement of Bill staying with his mother has been a strain. Can’t really say if Bill’s noticed how I’ve been feeling. It’s doubtful since he hardly ever sees me. Maybe five minutes a day lately.

It’s all a sacrifice I suppose for his mother’s own good. I can bite the bullet, I have to. It’s just that I wish he were here. And I’m sure he wishes the same. Bill has to do what Bill has to do. Plain and simple.

Tomorrow is Wednesday and I am taking a day off from work. Tomorrow is also International Human Rights Day, which this year has A Day Without Gay tied to it.

A Day Without Gay takes it’s lead from A Day Without Immigrants from a few years ago, when a lot of recent immigrants did not go to work to prove the point that these recent immigrants do a lot of work that gets overlooked and not accounted for, while the immigrants got scorn and abuse.

Tomorrow LGBT people are to do the same. I first heard of it via Harpy’s girlfriend’s Facebook profile and it seemed like a good idea. Plus I had some vacation days to use before the year’s end. I immediately put in for a vacation day when I heard.

Apparently I was supposed to call up and say I wouldn’t be going in since I was gay. But me being me, I didn’t follow the rules. Still I will be absent and not spending any money, which meant I had some food shopping to do tonight. It should be interesting to see how it turns out.

There is some sadness to report tonight. Over the weekend, Saturday night/Sunday morning two Ecuadorian brothers were leaving a bar and headed home.

They were a bit drunk and walking arm in arm when a truck pulls up and four big guys come out and start bashing their heads in with an aluminum baseball bat shouting about fucking spics and fucking faggots.

The assailants got away of course, hiding in Bushwick. The two brothers were brought to the hospital, where one of them reportedly died this afternoon. The two brothers were not gay, just perceived to be gay.

It sickens me when I read about Huckabee saying gay people haven’t had dogs turned on them like black people did during the civil rights struggles in the 1960’s.

It sickens me when right wing religious leaders take out a full page advertisement in last Friday’s New York Times complaining about how put upon and abused Christians have been since the passage of Prop h8.

It definitely sickens me, hearing their silence when these two brothers are assaulted and possibly killed, when Matthew Shepherd is murdered in Wyoming, when transgendered teenagers are slaughtered in their homes in Colorado and elsewhere, when other LGBT are assaulted or killed.

Oh yes, those poor put upon christians, life is just so hard for them.

How can their put their biblically approved hatred into practice when people are starting to call them on it?

Jesus must be so proud of these douche bag motherfuckers, the assailants and those in the fucking pulpits condoning such vile, heinous actions through their words of hatred and loathing.

11:10PM- The brother who is on life support is still barely alive. They are waiting for the parents to arrive and decide whether or not to take their son off life support.

Like This

Yeah it’s another friggin’ Monday. Big effin deal. Actually I don’t mind since it seems I don’t hang out with anyone anymore, nor do I actually do anything anymore, it’s good to go out of the apartment and go and do something. The fact that I get paid for it makes it that much more bearable.

That’s right, it’s time for my bi-monthly ‘oh I am so lonely/oh I have no friends’ feeling. It’s also the same at work though. I used to have jobs where I had co-workers who became friends and we would go out and do things, have drinks, cigars whatever.

Not anymore. I don’t work with any friends. I work with 3 guys who wouldn’t want to hang out with me. It’s a class thing. They’re upper class and me, I’m not.

Who am I kidding? I do have friends, in fact one of them called me last night, Pedro. He was asking about the stalker known as Min Young Ahn.

He asked if I had any protection and I mentioned that I had a hammer in my bag. That gave him a laugh since if someone were to attack me, the first thing they would do is take my bag, not heed my request to wait a minute.

He suggested getting some pepper spray in case the stalker reappears. He did give me pepper spray about 10 years ago, but I gave it to Susan at Farfetched I think. I thought she needed it more hat I did. Hopefully she never had a reason to use it. As far as I know she didn’t.

Last night I watched The Incredible Hulk. It was alright. Watching CGI characters fight isn’t that interesting as it should I guess. You just know that wasn’t Tim Roth fighting Edward Norton on 125th Street in Harlem.

Nor was it actually 125th Street outside the Apollo Theater. I haven’t been up there in a while but I seriously doubt there are that many white people up there. It was better than Ang Lee’s version, but Ang Lee deserves an E for Effort.

Stan Lee made an appearance as someone who drank some bottled soda from Brazil that was infected with a drop of Bruce Banner’s blood.

I timed it almost perfectly and watched the news and went to bed after that. Woke up at 6:00, got ready for work. Almost made it out before the Today Show started but I was too late for that.

To my horror Matt Lauer was wearing a suit that was almost identical to mine. No time to change though and I was out the door.

Got to the office, found a few messages from the stalker on the voice mail. Wondering why don’t I marry her. She also called a few times during the day and I politely yet coldly told her to leave me the fuck alone, that she’s an idiot and leaving messages on my voice mail sometimes in another language is pretty stupid.

Wouldn’t it be a very sad thing if the stalker turned out to be my friend? As crazy as she is she does offer companionship and I bet I could get her to clean this apartment.

That was a weird thing to write 28 years to the day that John Lennon was assassinated by a stalker outside his apartment building.

Certain Harbours

A very cold Sunday. Snowed a bit last night, but not enough to stick around this morning. I watched Hancock last night. It was alright. Not very good. Decent special effects. After that I watched the first half of Saturday Night Live and that was merely alright too.

TI was the mediocre musical guest, John Malkovich was the guest host and he was a bit out of step with the rest of the cast it seemed. Good to see Amy Poehler back. But it wasn’t enough to make me stay awake until the end, wound up going to sleep after Weekend Update.

I recorded it so I can always catch the rest of it some other time. Slept until 8:00 and was out at 8:30. No contact with the Lopez family on the third floor despite my efforts of texting and voice mail.

Had an easy breakfast and was reading the papers and watching Barack Obama on Meet the Press when my niece Corrine called, letting me know that she was playing volleyball at Stevens Tech.

She told me about it yesterday and I asked that she call me when she had a clearer time of when she was actually playing. With 30 minutes notice I was soon in the bleachers next to my sister in law, Elaine cheering Corinne on.

They were doing well and with the help of two other spectators we made a four person wave which ebbed and flowed and may have helped Corinne’s team win a game or two. Well that’s what the two guys said and I was prone to agreeing with them.

After that Elaine and I walked up to Starbucks where we waited for my brother Frank to pick her up and drive back to Garfield. Frank being Frank was late by 45 minutes. Luckily we were indoors since the wind was bitter and cutting like a knife. I rarely go to Starbucks and on those rare occasions that I do, I don’t stay there.

Today we needed to be there and I don’t understand the protocol of the store. If someone is sitting at a table with three chairs reading the Sunday Times with various sections of the Times on the 2 empty chairs, do you ask the person sitting there to move their papers so you can sit there?

It didn’t matter since we did find a table that was quite dirty since the people sitting there just decided to walk out and not clean up after themselves. This Starbucks is at 12th and Hudson Street, which isn’t the same Hudson Street it was when Betti Cola was living above McSwells.

It’s populated with newcomers to Hoboken who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for their condos, i.e., no one I know. Rude and self centered which seems to be the way of life up there.

The only contact I really have with these people is when they get on the bus in the morning upset that all the seats are gone and they have to stand.

Frank did show up I was dropped off in front of my building, Frank and Elaine heading back to Garfield. Nice to be in from the cold.

Back to work tomorrow. Blah blah blah.

I have taken some photos but since I am on Bill’s Mac still I can’t figure out how to post them to this blog. I can make them appear as wallpaper though which isn’t what I want. Someday, perhaps before the end of the year I’ll be back using my computer and writing and posting online. I’m not holding my breath.