Monthly Archives: July 2009

Here Come July

And it’s raining again. There is no surprise in that. I just got back from Manhattan, this time I was prepared. I wore a full body wet suit, pinstriped of course.

I did finally hear from Vivek. He made it in long enough to fill a basket full of rice pudding pops. He actually called me letting me know that he was going into the office to do it.

Presently on the phone with an irate Julio who is trying to use his credit card points to rent a car while he’s in Spain and he is meeting with tremendous difficulty. Of course I hear all about it. I don’t mind. He’ll have to listen to my tales of woe eventually. Took a lot out of me to listen to his aggravation but that’s what friends do.

Last night I heard from Billie in DC and he had his own tale of woe. His car was stolen a while back. That worked out fine, the insurance paid more than what the car was worth. He also invited Bill and I down for a weekend in the autumn which was nice. We’ll have to work that out somewhere down the line.

Today I headed into Manhattan, wearing work boots and carrying a big umbrella. It didn’t look like rain as I waited for the bus, and it was 91 degrees and quite humid. As I walked across town I ran into an old friend, Corey Williams who I used to work with at Arista Records.

Hadn’t seen Corey in a few years. He and his wife Ann Marie had a baby boy a few weeks ago, named Corey. He’s still at Atlantic Records, been trying to get out of there for 6 years. He’s still looking though.

We talked for almost a half hour by which time it looked like it was going to rain any minute now. We parted ways, I wished him and his family well. He’s such a good guy. Hard to believe I’ve known him about 15 years.

He’s also friends with my friend Miriam who just had a baby girl a week or so ago. Baby crazy these people are.

I made it to the office, collected my mashed potato dances and was soon outdoors again just as it started to rain.

I did have a tentative plan to meet an online friend that I’ve chatted with for years at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue so that’s where I headed. Nice lounge for smoking cigars, I used to go there with a former co-worker when times were better.

Tom was the friend’s name and it was finally good to meet him in the flesh after years of chit chat. He was in town running around and while doing that got caught in the rain storm. We sat and talked for an hour or so, about music and cigars. We like them both.

After that I walked him over to Grand Central Station since I had a big umbrella and he didn’t. I’m pretty sure he appreciated it, plus it was on my way anyhow.

Walked over to the Path which wasn’t as crowded as I anticipated for a Friday afternoon. Had a seat and read The Low Side of the Road by Barney Hoskyns. It’s an unauthorized biography on Tom Waits that I got from the Hoboken library.

I was reading Transformer: The Story of Lou Reed by Victor Bockris but Tom Waits is a much more interesting character, and I much prefer Barney Hoskyns writing to Victor Bockris.

So that’s about it, I’m spent. Tomorrow I’m going with Meghan, Lily & Ruby to All Points West. That should be fun. I’ll tell you all about it, either tomorrow or Sunday.

Sing the Changes

Right now, everything is good. It’s been a weird kind of day. Slept in since my 10 hours of work were completed yesterday. I did get a call from Viveka about a marble mouse that Vivek was looking for.

I had it here, so I planned on bringing it in. I was also hoping to get my allotment of Hot Wheels cars but since yesterday was Vivek’s birthday, Sanjay and Abby and the birthday father to be went out gallivanting, rendering Vivek incapacitated and unable to come in.

Yeah, it sucked. But it wasn’t the end of the world and I know I will get paid eventually.

I hope sooner rather than later of course. I came home and decided to take random pictures of people on the streets. It was a nice day after all. Not one drop of rain and nary a cloud in the sky.

On the walk across midtown I was pleasantly surprised to catch a few whiffs in different areas of some pungent aromas. It was almost like it was twenty years ago. In broad daylight, some brave folk out for a toke.

I had almost forgotten that it can be done. Hell, I used to do it all the time. That was when I had cojones. Nowadays, not so much.

Came home and farted around. Returned some library books and walked around a bit. I saw Jim Mastro inside the Frozen Monkey Cafe so I walked in to say hello when Lily and Ruby Mastro walk up. Lily was drumming for some kids who take lessons at the Guitar Bar.

The girls told me Meghan was on the way. I stuck around and had some fun with Meghan who might have an extra pass for All Points West on Saturday if Jim couldn’t make it. She said she was going to let me know by tomorrow.

My Bloody Valentine and Arctic Monkeys are on the bill. There are other acts on the bill, but those are the two I would like to see.

I would have stayed at the Frozen Monkey Cafe but I was actually planning on food shopping. Plus it wasn’t Lily’s band, she was only filling in and the guys in the band really liked Guns & Roses and as annoying as that band used to be, hearing Sweet Child of Mine played by a 15 year old was more than I needed to hear.

I also made tentative plans with Meghan to hop on a train one day soon and just spend some time out in Glen Ridge. Been meaning to do that for a while now and since I’m not working, as Meghan pointed out, now would be as good a time as any.

And by now she meant next week. Now it a quiet evening, a breeze wafts through the open window. Haven’t hooked up the air conditioner. The fans have been good when Bill and I sleep.

It’s only when the sun is out, that’s when I would like to have an air conditioner on. Or to be in an air conditioned office, working.

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12 Hours of Blues

Guess what? It’s raining again. It’s rain, rain, rain over and over. I’m not too thrilled about especially when lightning flashes nearby.

Last night I went out for a walk with Julio, all over town. Basically the reverse of the walk I had with Annemarie just a week or so ago. It was a good walk. We came home, each to our respective apartments. Soon after- lightning, thunder and a lot of rain.

Dodged that one with minutes to spare. Didn’t do much after that. Bill was off stage managing a show. He didn’t get home until late. Lately he’s been zombie like when he comes home.

Not the effervescent self that he’s known to be. He’s also been staying up longer and I’ve been going to bed earlier, which is a reversal of sorts. Of course he’s Mr. Bright & Bubbly when he’s headed out the door in the morning.

I went to work once again today. No great shakes. Had a talk with Vivek, who’s birthday is today. I’ll still keep coming in, but now my hours will be limited to 10 hours.

That’s not so bad.

My first week of collecting Cafe Press t-shirts landed me about 20 hours, the next week was about 16, last week was 12 hours. I know they don’t have much money and I appreciate what they’re doing and I don’t want to mistake their kindness for weakness.

I left work after 5 hours today which when combined with yesterday got me to 10 hours already. That means I don’t have to go into the office again, but if I want to get paid, I had better show up.

I left the office just as it was about to rain. I braved it and of course got caught in a major storm. Despite having a large umbrella I still got soaked. I wound up near the Path train and rode it to Hoboken.

It was still pouring when I climbed the stairs from the Path station. I did luck out though. When I got home I turned on the news and Path trains operations were running very slowly if at all.

No train service between the World Trade Center station and Newark and it was the same with Journal Square. Everyone was being rerouted onto buses. If I was a half hour later I would have gotten stranded in the city.

I also had some problems with the computer for the past 12 hours. Apparently there was a Microsoft update installed in the middle of the night which required a restart of the computer. The thing is, the computer wouldn’t restart.

I texted Rand in California. He and Lisa are traveling after the ComiCon in San Diego. I followed his advice, which has gotten me here on my own computer.

I do have to take Rand & Lisa out to dinner when they return. I mentioned it already and I just hope the gift card I got hasn’t expired.

And of course, it’s still raining.


Ugh it is so humid out. All I want to do is sleep, which is what I did when I came home this afternoon. Just napped for an hour. It was good. A nice nap can do so much.

I was drenched when I made it into the office this morning and I was drenched when I waited for the bus ride back home. I think it’s a peculiar thing, that while I’m moving everything is fine.

I’m not over doing it and I’m taking my time, walking on the shady side of the street. Everything is cool. It’s when I stop walking, that is when the sweat comes pouring out. Literally dripping on myself on the floor around me.

Still I prefer it to taking the subway. Too hot, too crowded and too smelly for my sensitive nature (I’m a delicate flower- With thorns) and with the budget cutbacks it’s going to get worse, with less trains running and less subway clean up than there is now.

I prefer to walk thank you very much.

I don’t have the same problem with the Path train, but then again I tend to ride the Path on the off hours, not during the rush hour.

That was an eye opener, back in the day when I would ride the Path train in the morning while working for Wolff Olins, aka McMann & Tate, that advertising agency in Soho. The train was insanely crowded and was a factor in my decision to not work there anymore.

The main factor of course was the wanker factor, and also the fact that they knew that having one person at the front desk was too much and that one person (me) would get burned out.

Maybe one or two people from that error I consider friends and I communicate with them through Facebook.

I just had a nice dinner, penne, pesto and chicken again. And once again I followed some of Annemarie’s advice and cooked the chicken and stored it for future use. So now I’m sated.

Spoke with Julio earlier. We talked about taking a walk which will be good to walk off the penne, pesto and chicken. But it looks like it might rain again, which should make everything more humid.

My niece Hillary turned 17 today and she is going to see Green Day at Madison Square Garden. Brian and Karen are going with her and a friend. Thanks to some finagling, they were able to score VIP passes and Brian posted some pics of Hillary with the drummer (Tré Cool) from Green Day on stage before the sound check.

Though Green Day is a band that I don’t follow, it is one of the coolest presents that a teenager could probably ever get. Those pics are on my brother’s Facebook page.

And since they were in Manhattan this afternoon, they weren’t around to get the mail today and since I didn’t put Hillary’s birthday card in the mail until last night, she should get it tomorrow which works out just fine for all concerned I think.

So that’s that for me.

Heaven is Waiting (Waiting is Hell)

Well it’s been a weird day today that’s for sure. I did intend to go into the office, but a little later than usual. Last night I watched True Blood and it certainly was the most gruesome episode I had seen so far. A bit disturbing.

Bill and I watched it and we were both a little grossed out. After that we watched Hung which Bill didn’t like at first but now he’s getting into it. Then Entourage which was mainly about Turtle was somewhat entertaining.

Bill was off to bed and I stayed up a little longer watching the news and deleting tons of emails. Slept fairly well. It was stuffy in the apartment since the windows were closed due to the torrential downpour outside.

Bill was up and active, he off of work this week, and he’s stage managing a show in Brooklyn. He was off to 23rd street in Manhattan to pick up a U Haul truck for the load in. I was going in later so I slept a bit more.

It was incredibly hummus outside, the air was thick with chickpeas. I showered, shaved, had some coffee and a bowl of cereal. As I walked towards Washington Street I was drenched in sweat. And the bowl of cereal in my stomach was making itself known.

I turned around and went home and went back to sleep. That’s how the day went. Cat naps here and there during some intense thunderstorms. I did run an errand to get a birthday card for my niece Hillary who’s birthday is tomorrow.

I even went to the Malibu Diner and had some lunch though I couldn’t get the Peter Cammarano booth of corruption. Came home after that and napped some more.

This time I set an alarm to wake me up in an hour, but when it went off another thunderstorm was going on so I just napped some more. Felt a lot better after that and got myself together, changed yet another t-shirt and headed out to drop off the birthday card in the mail.

I decided to walk by City Hall where a rally of about 500 hundred people were demanding the resignation of Mayor Peter Cammarano, caught in an FBI sting accepting $25,000 in bribes.

The week before Cammarano fired someone in Hoboken’s government for taking a bribe, saying there was Zero Tolerance for that sort of thing. Then he got nabbed and in the process, found some tolerance which was probably next to the box of absentee ballots found under a desk after the run off election in May.

It was quite a scene. Some guy wearing a Cammarano shirt kept shouting that we (the majority of people demanding Cammarano’s resignation) should go back to where we came from. I told him that I had been here for 25 years.

OK, 14 years in Hoboken with an 11 year stay in Weehawken in the middle. This guy was born here and probably a product of the Hoboken school system in the 1970’s.

A few of us wondered aloud that how long will it take for that old ‘I was born here in Hoboken’ adage to fade. Probably when it turns into ‘I died here in Hoboken’ I suppose.

Keep in mind that these are the people who if they ever head into Manhattan it’s more than likely to a show at Madison Square Garden, a block away from the Path train. Hoboken is their world view, a mile squared world view.

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I saw Sheilah Scully on the bullhorn and talked with her for awhile when some one came up next to us, ranting about either the Rabbis or the rabbits. Sheilah heard Rabbis, I heard rabbits.

rabbit anti semite

rabbit anti semite

She then asked me if I was Jewish and I said that I wasn’t. I should have said yes to see what she had to say then.

A few pro-Cammarano people waded into the crowd with posters stating that Peter Cammarano is 100% innocence and A Person’s (Peter)!!!! Innocent!!!! They were rightly shamed but stood their ground.

Sheilah was called a yuppie which was definitely funny since what defines a yuppie these days? Someone called one of the pro-Cammarano supporters a whore which made the whore’s buddy get a police officer over there.

You can’t call someone a whore! But you can I explained. You just can’t hit them. Well she didn’t want to hear that.

It was heated as both parties obviously love their town. I did have a talk with another born and raised Hobokenite, who was all for the mayor resigning. He mentioned that this would have been handled differently 30 years ago, it would have been a lot bloodier.

That’s progress for ya!

just a QT

just a QT

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From the Huffington Post:
Peter Cammarano on tape:
“This is the way Mr. Schaffer (his partner in crime) and I both see the world through the same lens, right. In this election, hopefully, we, we, we, you know, we get to the point where I’m sworn in on July 1st, and we’re breaking down the world into three categories at that point. There’s the people who were with us, and that’s you guys. There’s the people who climbed on board in the runoff. They can get in line. . . And then there are the people who were against us the whole way. They get ground . . . They get ground into powder.”
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Tales of Brave Ulysses

Well I’m back. Been back for a few hours actually. Came home, showered and took a nap. Woke up to the sound of the St. Ann’s feast band marching through the streets, and stopping in front of my building for a blessing.

Not the way I wanted to wake up but it worked nonetheless. Still a bit groggy. Many beers were drunk last night and I woke up still buzzed.

Getting to Otisville was pretty easy, got on a train and just took the two hour train ride. Read most of the New Yorker including an interesting article on organ donation for altruistic reasons. Compare that to the organs for cash scheme which was revealed the other day as part of the NJ corruption arrests.

The scam was reportedly going on for 10 years, run by some Rabbi. Nice. I made it up to Otisville with no problems. A few girls making some noise was easily ignored. There was a hitch once I got off the train.

No cellphone service at the station. I stood around for 20 minutes trying to call Pedro & Connie, on their land line and his cellphone to no avail. I didn’t panic. It was a nice day, clear skies and I enjoyed a cigar while I tried to get through. Even tried a pay phone but that was out of service as well.

I finally got through and Pedro was on his way. A few minutes later a car pulls up and I was expecting it to be our friend Excer. No, it was Ulysses, someone I hadn’t seen in years.

Ulysses started working at Murdoch Magazines the day after I started in 1986. We hit it off immediately back then, so much so that I was DJ’ing a friends wedding and Ulysses and his late brother Tony rented me their equipment for $100.00.

I hadn’t seen Ulysses since Tony’s wake in 2000 or so. After Ulysses started working there, in came Pedro and Tony and eventually Excer. Harpy was there by that time as well.

Last night was all about Stella Artois and dominoes Ulysses didn’t play dominoes, he was too busy downloading various programs for his music studio. Pedro, of course dominated the dominoes, I was a drunken second place.

Every one crashed by 1:00, the only 2 staying up were me & Ulysses, chatting away until 2:30 when he decided he had to head home despite Connie setting a bed for him.

I tried to convince him to stay over but as Pedro explained this morning, he never stays out, always heads home before sunrise. I woke up bleary eyed, hearing Excer and Connie talking in the kitchen.

Excer offered me a ride back to Hoboken so I figured he would want to get moving soon. I got out of bed and had some pancakes and scrambled eggs that Connie made as well as some coffee.

Excer and I were on the road at 10:30, taking Route 17 all the way down to Route 3 where I directed him to Hoboken, specifically right in front of my building.

Came upstairs, Bill was cleaning the apartment. I showered and took a nap. After being awoken by the St. Ann’s feast band, I went for a stroll with Julio.

We stopped in Radio Shack when all of a sudden, the skies opened and it started pouring and hailing. We were inside the store for about a half hour waiting for the rain to stop.

The staff didn’t mind, they were too busy laughing at the soggy people walking down the street avoiding cafe umbrellas that started flying on the sidewalks.

That is about it. I’m sure I will sleep well tonight. Here are some pictures from last night.
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My Double Six

My Double Six

The Belldog

Well it’s been a lazy, good for nothing Friday. No, not really. Been busy. Did some laundry, went to the library, smoked a cigar on the stoop. That’s basically it. So that means, since I have nothing to write about, it’s time for the iTunes shuffle.

The Belldog- Brian Eno & Cluster from the album After the Heat. A good song by one of my favorite people teaming up with 2 German guys named Moebius & Roedelius. The UK Music press labeled the genre, Krautrock. A nice meditative and mechanical song. Hard to find. I had a cheap vinyl copy and sometime ago I found a download which I promptly downloaded.

Sad But True- Orbital My favorite Orbital track. Probably a great club track but how would I know? I dislike clubbing. I got this disc (Snivelisation) from Rand & Lisa and played a few tracks for Bill last night. He loved it but couldn’t find it on iTunes. Since I had the disc available, he uploaded that and saved some dough.

My Mummy’s Dead- John Lennon from Lennon Legend. No editing the list here. This is the last track from John Lennon- Plastic Ono Band. Of course the title betrays what a downer it is. Only 1:16 long which is more than enough time to move onto the next track.

Oddly enough, following the Walrus comes,

Egg Man- The Beastie Boys, from Paul’s Boutique. Paul’s Boutique is the Beastie Boys 2nd album and a step forward from Licensed to Ill, produced by the Dust Brothers. Great use of Bernard Hermann’s Psycho strings at the end. The actual boutique, once located on the Lower East Side has been gone for years and the cover is now unrecognizable. Hope Adam Yauch recovers soon enough.

The Part You Throw Away- Tom Waits, from Blood Money. Got this and the companion CD, Alice, from the Arcata contingent a few years ago. It’s a great pair of records, but not something I play too often. Very downbeat, Germanic cabaret feel.

I Got You (I Feel Good)- James Brown, from Live at the Apollo Volume 2. 29 seconds long, a very fast version used as a bridge between songs. I would have loved to have seen this show in 1967, but I doubt if my parents would have been so keen on going to Harlem to satisfy the whims of a 5 year old. It’s definitely a phenomenal record.

Dreaming- Blondie, from Blondie’s Greatest Hits. Another great song. Clem Burke is a fantastic drummer on this, but then again he’s always a fantastic drummer. He used to pop up at McSwells from time to time, just to have a drink. He’s an acquaintance of Chaz’ I believe. One of my favorite Blondie songs.

Come Together/Dear Prudence/Cry Baby Cry [Transition]- The Beatles, from the Love album. A good mash up courtesy of Giles Martin, George Martin’s son. Seems like it’s been more than a week since I saw Paul McCartney last Friday with Bill, Anne & Earl, Julio & Stine, but it’s true. And this is another disc that Anne got me a few years ago.

Simmer Down- The Wailers from the Bob Marley- Songs of Freedom boxed set. I love the early songs of the Wailers. So young and fresh with the ska. Easy to see where the 2 Tone bands got some inspiration. Fun to sing along and dance to, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Pretzel Logic- Steely Dan, from the album of the same name. Another great song and one of my favorite Steely Dan songs. Where did you get those shoes? Now Becker & Fagen are on tour, playing all their hits. No money in record sales these days, so they’re on the road, one night devoted to the Royal Scam, another night for Aja etc. I’m not going, too much money.

Hey Hey- Neil Young, from his Greatest Hits. Neil’s response to Punk Rock which was basically over by the time this came out. And Johnny Rotten didn’t die. It was Sid. This is the heavy version, not the acoustic. It did get airplay on the late lamented WPIX-FM back in the day.

That’s about it. I know how much you all like the shuffle reports.

Don’t know if I’ll post tomorrow, I may be in Otisville, if Pedro ever calls back.

2-4-6-8 Motorway

Well today’s top story involves Hoboken.

Courtesy of the New York Times: In Hoboken, for example, prosecutors charge in their complaint, Mr. Cammarano eagerly agreed in a meeting at a diner (The Malibu) earlier this year to help the fake developer with his projects in exchange for cash.

Prosecutors said that when the man asked for assurances that his requests would be expedited by the Hoboken City Council, Mr. Cammarano replied, “I promise you,” adding, “You’re going to be, you’re going to be treated like a friend.”

The fake developer responded that he would give a middleman $5,000 in cash for Mr. Cammarano and another $5,000 after his election as mayor.

“O.K.,” Mr. Cammarano replied, according to the complaint. “Beautiful.”

And Mr. Cammarano expressed confidence that he would be elected no matter what, according to the complaint. “Right now, the Italians, the Hispanics, the seniors are locked down,” he is quoted as saying. “Nothing can change that now.”

“I could be, uh, indicted,” he continued, “and I’m still going to win 85 to 95 percent of those populations.”

Mayor Peter Cammarano

Yeah Peter, whatever you say. You were sworn into office just last month, and now you’ve done a perp walk for the FBI. And it was reported earlier on the TV news that Cammarano received $25,000. $15,000 more than the mayor of Secaucus.

I didn’t vote for him and I certainly didn’t like him. The deals were done when Cammarano was a Councilman at Large, and he became Mayor in a very tight race. Cammarano represented the machine, Dawn Zimmer was the ‘outsider’.

I of course voted for the outsider. One or two friends who were born and raised in Hoboken stuck to Cammarano in the election, fearing that family members long entrenched in city government jobs would be laid off. Of course it was just a rumor, but perhaps effective in Cammarano’s win.

Other than that, I did go to Weehawken last night. Took the Light Rail and found no easy access to the show. The Revelations played a bit by themselves, sometimes sounding like Booker T & the MG’s and other times sounding like an anonymous quiet storm combo.

Kenny Lattimore who sang Let’s Straighten It Out in the 1970’s played with them and that’s when I lost interest. Well I was losing interest before Kenny Lattimore joined them, but I did find myself sitting there saying to myself, ‘Why bother?’

The download I got for free from either Popdose or JockoHomo was good. Not great. Well the instrumental was good. But they didn’t get to it when I was there, which hastened my departure.

I sat there and found that Weehawken people are definitely a different sort from their Hoboken neighbors. More subdued than Hoboken. I guess I was subdued when I lived in Weehawken for 11 years. It was my subdued period.

I walked back to Hoboken in an extroverted & exaggerated manner. Sort of like Robert Crumb’s Keep on Truckin’ poster.


I went to work today and actually collected some animal husbandry magazines. And it looks like I just might be collecting some more bowling pins when Vivek is busy. His wife is having a baby and he anticipates being out of the office, plus he’s starting his new gig in August.

So I guess I will be in but I just don’t know where I’ll be sitting.

I Need to Know

OK, slept good last night, didn’t have a headache when I woke up. Carefully positioned the fans so they weren’t blowing directly on me.

Didn’t fall asleep that easily though. I keep ignoring my own advice, which is- if you can’t fall asleep, get out of bed. Don’t just lay there tossing and turning. Yet tossing and turning is what I do.

Last night was definitely nothing special. I watched some of the smarmy Bill Maher, watched some of O & RM, watched the news and watched the Simpsons. That’s about it.

My Bill was feeling better with regards to his leg so that was good. I woke up this morning and got myself together, headed out to the bus.

Mostly uneventful, the usual carbon based life forms exhaling CO2. Listened to The Fireman on the walk across town.

Nice morning walk. Got to the office, things were in disarray which is how things usually are when I’m out. But this disarray was from the intern Viveka.

Yes, as I expected they’re working her to the bone. In at 10AM out around 9PM if she’s lucky. Patriarchal system. She doesn’t complain.

I doubt that she’s getting paid a decent wage since she told me she was looking to get a retail job on weekends. She’s 20 something so she’ll have the stamina for that.

7 days of work. Not much of a social life though, but she feels she doesn’t have one now.

Viveka has been taking over my job so when I came to work today, there was very little for me to do which makes me think that the collection of chocolate mousse cakes will be ending soon enough.

That doesn’t make me happy, but I should have known that it wasn’t going to last too long anyhow. I was annoyed by this and a little bit depressed.

Enough so that I almost left 2 hours after coming in. I shouldn’t have been surprised since I’ve been showing her the different tasks that I have been doing for the past years. But obviously I didn’t think the change would be so soon.

I’m not giving up yet, and I’ll use the suggestion that my sister had at the Paul McCartney concert. Stay there until they ask you to move.

At least I should get some hamburger deluxe & a shake for the 10 hours I put in this week so far, and maybe for 5 more hours tomorrow.

Tonight I may head into Weehawken. There’s a band called the Revelators who I downloaded a few months ago. R&B group playing 1960’s-70’s type of soul music.

Just debating whether or not to ride my bike or walk or even take the light rail. I might just take the light rail there and walk home. It’s my only plan for the night.

Still have some time to make up my mind.

Just had a nice pesto/pasta/chicken dinner. Followed my sister’s advice (again) and cooked the chicken yesterday so all I have to do is reheat it in the sauce. Why didn’t I think of that before?

Hold On Loosely

OK, last night was alright. Just basically hung out, surfed the net, cleaned the fridge, watched TV and listened to music which I blogged about. Bill was off singing at Theater for the New City, just for six minutes. I obviously stayed home.

Watched Olbermann but didn’t really pay attention. Neither did Olbermann since he wasn’t on the show, David Shuster subbed. Just killed time until Weeds and Nurse Jackie. Weeds was good, definitely a notch of intensity than previous episodes.

Nurse Jackie seemed a little bit more subdued than previous episodes. A good focus on a favorite character, Dr. Ellie O’Hara. I guess some of Dr. O’Hara’s back story should be coming up soon. I think the show runs until October so there should be plenty of time.

The pairing of Weeds & Nurse Jackie is a good one. Makes getting Showtime worthwhile. We’ll see how long that lasts.

A little while after that I got a call from Bill. His leg/hamstring was hurting and he was having difficulty walking. He asked if I could get an icepack ready for him since that would be the only thing to get the swelling down.

I met him on the sidewalk with a bag of ice, since we don’t have an icepack. I followed him up the stairs, step by step and got him situated and comfortable. I’m still digging the speed of the computer so I stayed up a little while after Bill went to bed.

Bill had a fan going on his side of the bed and I had one on mine and I think it might have been a little too much since when I woke up I was dehydrated with a tremendous headache.

No, it’s not a hangover. Bill doesn’t drink, and I don’t drink alone. Plus it was raining quite hard.

I called off the collection of Cafe Press t-shirts for the day. I sent an email to Vivek, Viveka and Greg Stevens letting them know that I would be a no show. Then I slept for a few more hours after taking a generic Advil gelcap.

When I woke up it was still raining but not as badly as earlier. I watched the Daily Show and The Colbert Report from last night before heading out to get some groceries.

It wasn’t really raining when I went to the Shop Rite. The supermarket by my house is an A&P and it’s a bit more than Shop Rite, but Shop Rite is larger, has a more agreeable staff than the A&P making it worth the walk. And it’s not that much of a walk since Hoboken is only a mile square city.

Everything fit in my canvass bag as I strolled through the damp streets of Hoboken. Played the Fireman CD again, Electric Arguments.

Last night I had the iTunes on shuffle and today I played it straight through. Really McCartney’s best record in years, which is basically what I wrote as a post script last night.

Now it’s just gray skies and dampness and getting to be a little hummus as well. Bill is off doing the stage manager bit tonight, this time with a limp. I’m not doing much else.

Plus having written this already, I have nothing to do for the rest of the night.

Moonlight Mile

Well I am back on my own PC, a re-calibrated PC that Rand used to use, so you know it’s good. Got it last night and was spellbound by how fast it is compared to what I used to own.

And I was also able to finagle a flat screen monitor from work that wasn’t being used. It helps to write a building pass granting permission for someone to leave with something especially when that someone is me. I did get permission from Vivek so that made it OK.

So today was back to collecting No Fun Sallies. Still some in the pond but I don’t know how long it will last.

Just got off the phone with my bank. They changed their online system and I couldn’t access it. On hold for almost 15 minutes. Nice chatty girl on the other end dispelled my bad feelings. It was them not me after all. New computer system, transposed my previous password.

The other day as I was walking down the street I saw my face. It looked like I had a pocketbook mouth. That’s what my family called a puss, not smiling. I didn’t like the look of that so lately I’ve been making an effort to smile as I walk.

It takes a conscious effort that’s for sure and I’m certain that I look like a loon. But I’d rather have a silly smirk on my face rather than a puss. Interacting with people can get rid of that though.

OK, I’m back. Been distracted by many things. Stop. Start.

It’s a beautiful night. Anne & Earl made it back to California, Stine & Alexander are off to Denmark, Rand is off to San Diego on Wednesday to be joined by Lisa on Friday. Off to fight some giant squid I gather, after the comic book convention.

40 years ago the astronauts landed on the moon. I don’t remember much about it. I did happen in the middle of the night I think and by that time I was in bed for hours. And once again it was near impossible to get me out of bed.

According to Wikipedia, it the moon landing occurred at 10:56pm EST Sunday July 20. I was probably in bed for a few hours by then. I guess I was roused from bed to watch the historic event but I don’t think I cared much and wanted to go back to bed. And for me, 10:56 EST was the middle of the night.

Time is relative after all.

Last night I watched True Blood. That keeps getting better. Last night had an extremely interesting scene with regards to Eric. Almost homoerotic. We shall see where that winds up with that.

Bill and I also watched Hung which was OK, and Entourage which started a few weeks ago, but this was the first episode of the season that I’ve seen so far and it was OK as well.

I was up later than usual just enjoying the new computer and once again I have to thank Rand for his kindness and ingenuity.

That’s it. Sorry if it was all over the place, but then again, I am all over the place.

I posted some pictures of the Paul McCartney concert in the Here Today entry from Saturday, July 18, go check it out.

An hour later, I’m listening to Paul’s last record, it’s by The Fireman and it’s called Electric Arguments which is Macca and Youth who used to be in Killing Joke. It’s really good and I’m not just writing it as still coming down from Friday night. I just have it on and had forgotten that I was listening to Paul.

The Beatles shadow looms over all things he will ever do. Same with Ringo. Both seem fine with it.

I might have written this once before, and I attribute it to Pete Townshend. That a good rock & roll show or even a song will take you to another time and space for a few minutes. That’s what happened to me.

Throughout the show, I had no idea what the hell was going on and I loved it. Very trippy, and no, I wasn’t tripping.

Truly you had to be there.

Looking at some of the pictures posted in Here Today, and I’m there, obviously having a grand old time with friends and family. I look and still feel somewhat ecstatic.

Wonderful insanity.

You’ve Got A Friend

Well I am thisclose to writing on my own computer, but right now Bill is trying to get me access to his wireless network. Rand has graciously hooked me up with another new computer, new meaning, new to me.

A lot more disc space which is a good thing and everything has its place once again on the PC. So if you haven’t guessed by now I am writing this on Bill’s Mac. Today has been a beautiful day and a productive day at that.

But first off let me say in case you were wondering, Annemarie & Earl have made it safely home to the other side of the continent- Arcata, California. And she says she had a great time, so maybe, I’m not the terrible brother I envisioned myself to be.

I was up around 8:30 this morning after Bill was off to collect his mother and go to church. A bright and brilliant morning and definitely a beach day.

But there was no beach in the day planner for me.

I ran around Hoboken, got Julio & Stine bagels, even though picked up bagels last night from H&H in Manhattan. Also got the Daily News which was the usual terrible stuff.

I folded the laundry and put it away and also got rid of hundreds of pictures that I had printed out, mainly of musclemen.

I still dig looking at the bodybuilders but there’s really no need for those pictures anymore so I camouflaged them and got them ready to recycle this week.

I should put them in front of someone else’s building when the sun goes down just to be on the safe side.

I made a promise to myself and also to Bill that I would like to have this apartment cleaned up so that the next time Annemarie comes out here, she could stay in Hoboken which usually worked out for the best in previous years that she has come west.

Recycling photos of bodybuilders is a step in the right direction. Rand has been working on the new computer and was almost finished with it this afternoon. We texted each other and he and Lisa were wandering around Hoboken, visiting various tag and gate sales.

I passed one or two gate sales and snapped up Un-Ledded by Robert Plant & Jimmy Page for a buck.

Also met up with the funniest girl alive, Meghan Taylor as she was going to help out at hubby Jim’s Guitar Bar. It was fun to stop by and see Jim with Rand & Lisa & Meghan. Our daughter Lily also showed up for her drum lesson.

A nice walk around Hoboken after leaving the Mastro’s in Mastrodamia. I certainly enjoyed a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700 as I strolled with Rand & Lisa.

Sat in Elysian Park and talked for a while then headed to Casa de Hoppe where I read comic books while Lisa surfed the net and Rand ably got my computer functioning with all the info on my old computer.

Now Bill is here and was able to complete the wireless situation and now I am back in business and dizziness.

On a sad note, Frank McCourt passed away at 78. He wrote Angela’s Ashes, Tis, and Teacher Man. Angela’s Ashes was his memoir about living hand to mouth or worse in Limerick, Ireland.

Some people called him a phony saying (Richard Harris, my cousin Jackie) and that it was all made up, but for some reason I believed his story.

The movie version was OK, but for me the better book is Tis, and that’s probably because it takes place in Manhattan mostly. Teacher Man was good as well but by that time I had moved onto other things.

The reason that I am writing about Frank McCourt was because he was an inspiration to me. He didn’t start writing until late in life and won a Pulitzer Prize first time up at bat.

Not that I’m going to win a Pulitzer Prize, but that believing that the time had passed to start writing was a ridiculous idea.

So rest in peace Frankie. You did well mate. Hopefully someday I can come within a country mile of writing as wonderful as you did.


Here Today

Back on Bill’s Mac. Nothing bad happened, just that Rand is presently in the process of hooking me up with another computer, Frankenstein style. Meaning bits and pieces of my old computer as well as odds and ends that he has found here and there.

Good enough for me and with more disc space I’m happy with it. He’s a great guy that Rand and that makes Lisa a great gal.

I brought my computer over to Rand’s this afternoon after Rand called and suggested I bring the Tokyo Pop bag that I use to transport my computer back and forth. Unfortunately due to the heat and more than likely the hangover I had from last night, I only brought the bag and not my computer, which meant I had to come back home and get the computer.

Totally duh.

Last night was something else, that’s for sure. Julio and Stine decided to join Annemarie, Earl, Bill and myself to go see Paul McCartney. The 5 of us met up in front of my building to head over to the Path train into the city to collect Bill at his office.

The neighbor on the third floor of our building graciously offered to pick up my box at the UPS truck. To Anne’s dismay it was a box of cigars that I ordered online.

We made it to Bill’s office and waited outside for him to join before heading on a 7 train to Flushing. We wisely followed Bill’s lead since he knows these routes the best out of all of us.

We lucked out, and got on an express train getting there rather quickly. Thankfully the MTA added extra trains for the Macca event. We were there in no time and soon on an escalator up to the seating area.

Julio had the brilliant idea of getting some beers so we got on line. Two beers per person and we had our fill each except for Stine and Earl. The beers weren’t that expensive.

Standing around, Julio wandered a bit and found a nice spot to have our beers before splitting up to go to our respective seats. Annemarie had the idea to just stand there and watch the show until we were asked to move on.

Stine was hesitant to bend the rules like that so after a while she and Julio headed to their seats before realizing that the view was better where we were standing. Plus it was very close to the beer concession.

The opening act, The Script were ok in their thankless task of opening up for an ex-Beatle. Their sound wasn’t that good either. Annemarie recognized one of their songs and they closed their short set with a cover of David Bowie’s Heroes.

Paul came on a little while after that starting off with Drive My Car. The stadium erupted and Annemarie was screaming her head off. I did some yelling as well, just not in the upper register that Anne possessed.

Suppressed Beatlemania for 45 years was finally released.

Paul did the hits of course, including some decent songs from his latest releases. He also dedicated My Love to Linda McCartney. Paperback Writer, Day Tripper, Back in the USSR, The Long & Winding Road, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Band on the Run, Jet, Let Me Roll It and Live & Let Die were major stand outs as well as his song for John Lennon, Here Today.

He also did George Harrison’s Something, starting on ukulele then the band joined in (a crackerjack band if there ever was one I might add) as well as a medley of A Day in the Life/Give Peace a Chance.

The stadium went bananas when Billy Joel appeared and sang and played piano during I Saw Her Standing There with Paul. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and it was over in about 2 minutes.

The sound was excellent and of course most of the time we were staring at the gigantic screens bookending the stage since to the naked eye, Paul & the band were quite tiny. It was mainly a blur, the evening was.

They finished with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise and The End. As we were leaving the stadium some guy came up to Bill and said that he thought it was great that Bill and I were so affectionate to each other during the show.

The guy’s wife was a few feet behind and wanted to know what the guy said and when Bill told her, she said in 20 years of marriage she had never heard him speak like that.

Our party lucked out once again, getting on another express train back to Manhattan. Bill once again came to the rescue with his knowledge of bus schedules and we were soon on line in the bus terminal for a few minutes, then soon on the bus back to Hoboken.

A splendid time was had by all. I did upload some pics but they’re on the computer, which is at Rand and Lisa’s place. They can also be found on my Facebook page if you really want to see them. They’re worth a look.

Had a nice dinner with Anne & Earl and Rand & Lisa at Grimaldi’s. Anne & Earl and I ate there when they first got to Hoboken a very fast 9 days ago. It was a nice way to see them off with another dinner at the same spot.

We said goodbye on Washington Street, me somewhat regretful about the behavior that I showed once or twice. I just think my sister is one of the coolest people I have in my life and with all the stress in her life I certainly didn’t need to add to it and I hope my apologies for acting like that were enough.

I really do.
7.17.09 MACCA 002a

The drunken Uncle is always a favorite

The drunken Uncle is always a favorite

A below the radar picture of Stine & Julio

A below the radar picture of Stine & Julio

100 foot Macca on a musical rampage[/caption]
Bill and Earl

Bill and Earl

the where we were

the where we were

the train ride back

the train ride back

Thumbs aloft for Macca!

Thumbs aloft for Macca!

Ram On

OK. I am very anxious. Manic even. I attribute it to seeing Paul McCartney and all that around the show.

I’m worried it might rain. I’m worried they won’t let me bring my camera inside. I’m worried about being able to get a box of cigars that I’ve ordered from UPS and bringing them to Bill’s office for pick up after the show.

I’m worried about Annemarie staying at Claire’s apartment for a night or two. That had been in the works for a while, at least my asking Claire if my sister and her son could crash there for a night or two.

I only found out from Claire that it would be ok mere minutes ago. Meanwhile Anne has reserved a room at a Days Inn in Newark since they have a crazy early flight Sunday morning.

I’m also worried about a rumor that since Macca appeared at the last show at Shea last year with Billy Joel, Billy Joel might do the same for Macca. I really hope not. I don’t really want to hear any Billy Joel songs tonight.

Other surprise guests are rumored but of course there are no other names except the Big Shot himself.

So it’s the coordination of all these things, including meeting up with Julio & Stine. It’s likely they will drive but it would be impossible for the four of us to fit in with Julio & Stine in their car, what with Bill and myself taking up that much space.
The MTA said they were adding more trains while Macca is performing there for all three nights so that will be hopefully accommodating.

I think the anxiety is all from seeing Paul McCartney. One the most basic, primal level for my love of music. I mean, he is who he is. A Beatle.

It would have been nice if we were all sitting together, but when I bought tickets when they went on sale, they were only available in pairs. I got mine and Bill’s first. I know, how selfish. Then Anne & Earl.

Bill & I are in the 100’s section while Anne & Earl as well as Julio & Stine are in separate sections of the 500’s area. There was a plan to perhaps swapping seats, meeting up somewhere and exchanging ticket stubs but that seems a bit unlikely. No one knows the layout and the rules of this new stadium as this is the first concert at the new Mets stadium.

So I am excited mainly and anxious. I hope things work out, I’m sure they will. The sky is cloudy and it’s quite hummus out right now. I’ve changed undershirts a few times today.

Now Annemarie and Earl are here, killing time in this messy apartment before we head out and pick up my UPS box and head into the city.

My neighbor on the 3rd floor, who aren’t Julio & Stine offered to pick mine up since she too is picking up a package and missed the deliveries herself.

That would be nice if the driver will release it to her. She said she was going to ring my bell but I think I will be gone by then. Nice offer on her part anyway.

Ants Invasion

It’s a Thursday now. Thursday night to be exact. Last night turned out to be better than I anticipated. No hurt feelings, no toes stepped on.

It was a nice seemingly impromptu gathering of my immediate family. There were a few hitches to overcome but they were taken care of. I was famished by the time I got there with Annemarie and Bill.

I took the train and Bill took a bus. It was a strange train ride for me. Apparently someone was talking too loud on their cell causing another passenger to stand up and yell, ‘Can you talk any louder?’

I was wearing my headphones so I didn’t hear the cellphone conversation but I did hear the NY Post reader yell at the other passenger, so in my book, he was the nuisance, not the cellphone user.

Got off the train at the Plauderville station in Garfield. A few entrances there and I couldn’t figure out where Annemarie was. It turned out she was on the street waving to me from her Volkswagen Beetle.

We picked up some beers and then drove to pick up Bill at his bus stop. Then it was off to Pierre Avenue where my brother Brian and my niece Meghan and her husband Rob were sitting soon joined by Anne’s son Earl.

It was a pleasant evening and eventually my brother Frank, his wife Elaine showed up, then Brian’s’ wife Karen and their two daughters Hillary & Cassie and finally Frank & Elaine’s daughter Corinne arrived.

I ate a lot of cheese and I rarely eat cheese, but I was that hungry. Even ate a cheeseburger which was probably the third time in my life that I’ve eaten a cheeseburger. The night went by fast, soon it was dark and our uncovered legs proved to be an ample feast for many mosquitoes flying around.

We left since Bill had to get up really early to take a drug test in Brooklyn. Bill drove Annemarie’s Beetle back to Hoboken with Anne & Earl in the backseat and me in the front.

It was a white knuckle ride with Bill thinking he was driving a bus and zooming in and out of traffic, passing on the right which anyone will tell you is a no no. I had to ask him to stop doing that. Bill’s rationale was that he’s an aggressive driver and a quick driver.

I explained there was no need for his aggression (plus it’s a bad way to drive. I remember being taught to drive defensively. Maybe in the 23 years since I last drove the rules had changed which could account for the dozens of horrible drivers out there that I see each week).

Luckily we got home safely though I was a bit disturbed by Bill’s driving and was a bit distant. I explained this morning why I was the way I was and thats when Bill told me his reason for his driving, that he wanted to get home and go to bed as soon as possible.

I did stay up and watched Paul McCartney on the David Letterman show. Macca was very good, performed outside on the marquee above Broadway surrounded by thousands. If I had known that’s what he was going to do I probably would have been there.

According to the Daily News, Macca played 7 songs, ending with Helter Skelter. Tomorrow it’s off to the new Mets stadium to see Macca and his band in concert.

Today it was a trip to Sandy Hook with Annemarie & Earl. It was originally supposed to be at 9:00 but I moved it to 10:00 which was great since I didn’t get out of bed until 9:00. It was an easy uneventful ride with not much traffic.

The only glitch was the choice of beach. I’m used to going to the North Beach on Sandy Hook, the farthest away from everything else. Anne was tired of driving and we parked in Beach C to my chagrin. I had never been to that beach before and I probably will never go back there again.

Too small a beach, swimming area and way too crowded for my taste. Filled with people who would never dream of going to North Beach or the nude beach at Gunnison Beach. The people I try to stay away from.

I was uneasy and Annemarie knew it, offering to move to another beach. No, I did my silent martyr bit and sat there stone faced taking it all in before I realized that it wasn’t fair to Anne or Earl to behave this way.

Things got better and we all swam a bit. Too windy and too crowded to toss a Frisbee so we mainly sat around under neath the umbrellas.

Earl and I did go in later in the afternoon when the water was a little bit warmer. There were also hundreds of dead ants floating in the water so maybe that helped with the temperature.

A drive to Rumson like we’ve done previous summers where we got some ice cream and soon we were on the rode back to Hoboken.

A nice Mexican dinner at Mision Burrito on 4th Street and a quick chat with Stine and Alexander before Anne and Earl were on their way back to Garfield.

Tomorrow, we’re off to see Paul McCartney!

The O'Toole Family 2009

The O'Toole Family 2009

t'is himself?

t'is himself?

Californian Earl

Californian Earl

Annemarie in shade

Annemarie in shade

7.15-16.09 Garfield Sandy Hook 043
7.15-16.09 Garfield Sandy Hook 0467.15-16.09 Garfield Sandy Hook 051aa
7.15-16.09 Garfield Sandy Hook 060
who wants ice cream? Crazies!

who wants ice cream? Crazies!

Infinite Circle

Well it’s a Wednesday and it’s been a stressful Wednesday at that.

Not much fun today. Last night was no great shakes. I did watch True Blood and that was excellent. One or two sight gags that made me wonder what the acronym on the baseball hats meant.

With regards to work, I’m glad it’s behind me and tonight is a family visit which is fraught with nerves as well. No one seems to communicate and I fear that my family is at risk of turning into my father’s family.

A bunch of grudge holders that didn’t communicate that often. My ex-boss Robert used to say Communicate early and often. I used to make fun of Robert for that but since then I found his adage to be true.

If you communicate most problems can be solved or avoided. If you don’t communicate it all turns to shit.

I feel bad for my sister who has a stressful enough life, what with her husband having a bum ticker and is in pain quite often and a teenage son who behaves very much like a teenager, meaning he has an awesome capacity for being a pain in the ass.

Not that he’s a pain in the ass to me, but rather how a teenager behaves with his mother. We’ve all been there with one parent or another or even both parents.

But like when I wrote about my brother Brian’s travails, it’s not my story and it’s certainly not my place to write about it here. My role, it seems is to be a pillar of support for Annemarie and I hope I can be that.

On top of that, there is the stress of my unemployment and the stress of having to justify the collection of Susquehanna Investment Groups.

I was upset when I left the office this afternoon. Even though I strolled across midtown to the bus terminal, enjoying a cigar and listening to a collection of Simple Minds songs I couldn’t shake the chip on my shoulder.

On my way there was a guy, handsomely dressed and obviously ogling a woman talking on her cellphone. I noticed it and wound up staring at him like he was a piece of meat which made him feel greatly uncomfortable.

Whether or not he was able to figure out what was being done to him was what he was doing to that woman, I don’t know. But being handsomely dressed helped make it easier to stare directly at his crotch.

And then as I was waiting on line inside the gate with the other drones, one wanker carrying a big bouquet of flowers for perhaps his loved one, he bypasses the line and stands outside the gate just so he could be the first on the bus.

I could only hope the fragrance of the flowers were replaced by the fumes of diesel exhaust from the buses. He also received a hard look but it was nothing overt.

Then as the bus travels down Washington Street, the bus driver gets into a yelling match with some idiot who was double parked and refused to move his car.

Could it be the metropolitan area is under a cloud of stupidity, so much so that even I couldn’t help but take a big gulp of it?

Hi Hi Hi

It’s a Tuesday. Big deal, right? I know, it really isn’t that much of anything. I’m glad I made it through the day. Last night I was sitting on the stoop, having a cigar and reading The Last Gang in Town by Marcus Gray.

It’s an unauthorized biography of the Clash. So far I read about my buddy Mick Jones, Paul Simenon and just getting into Joe Strummer’s life which is the most interesting and conflicted. Nothing about Topper Headon or Terry Chimes yet.

As I sat, along comes Julio and Alexander from the park. It was fun to sit with the two of them and I was thrilled that Alexander is really recognizing me now. He loves it when I do a Chewbacca yell and he also loves to watch planes fly through the sky.

He really is an adorable boy and he really looks like Julio. I called him Julio’s Mini Me and Julio told me he had brought Alexander to work that day and that’s basically what everyone said.

We all went upstairs at the same time, stopping off on the third floor to chat with Stine and trying to figure out how we were all going to get to the new Mets stadium to see Paul McCartney on Friday night.

I recommended taking the 7 Train out to Flushing which really makes the most sense. I’m sure it will all be figured out by Friday night.

I came upstairs where Bill was watching a home run derby, part of the All Star festivities. I was hoping to watch True Blood but that wasn’t going to happen while the home run derby was on.

Bill did have to go to bed early so he could get up early and go to Brooklyn to take a drug test for the Hassidic bus company he’s trying to work for.

I started to watch a recording of True Blood but then Annemarie called midway through so I decided to watch the recording some other time.

I did watch Weeds which was good, set six months past the last episode with a bearded Andy. Nurse Jackie was even better. That just gets more and more interesting each week, Edie Falco is great as well as the rest of the cast.

The office was a little bit easier today. Came up with a new system for the conference rooms and I didn’t have to yell at anyone.

And the intern, who in real life has quite a similar name to Vivek is now named Viveka. They’re really taking advantage of her as well as taking advantage of me.

I keep thinking that I’ll be leaving the office around 1:00 or 2:00 but once again I stayed later than that, leaving the office at 3:30. Gotta collect those Sally at kinematics I suppose.

Just one more day this week, ending tomorrow on Wednesday. I hope to collect a note for the Susquehanna Investment Groups tomorrow and not have to go in on Thursday.

Guess I will have to ambush Vivek and not injure his ‘Sally’s T shirt shingles’ writing hand.

Yesterday, When I Was Young

Well last night I was so tired and Word Press was misbehaving that somehow I lost what I originally wrote. Between the lost entry and the one I eventually posted,

I wrote over 1000 words in under an hour. The second one was easier, just reconnecting the threads in my mind of what I had just written. Tonight I am not as tired and will limit myself to over 500 words but under 1000 words.

I slept really well last night, due to playing Frisbee with Annemarie on the beach, some swimming and the stress of trying to get to Bill’s show last night at Joe’s Pub. Of course, I could have used another hour of sleep but that didn’t happen.

Bill was up and at ’em this morning, I was dragging ass. I did get it together and was out the door, making it to work before 9:00.

There were things that should have been done last week, and the intern didn’t know what to do with the mail despite me telling her that the mail has to be delivered to the proper companies when it comes in.

Some of these companies are financial firms and the mail they get is sometimes time sensitive. There was a fiasco of sorts with the conference rooms today and it happened when I was out.

Really arrogant people, forcing someone to move their catered meeting in progress to another room. Incredible! It made me angry that the intern allowed this to happen.

Here’s the scenario: One party by the name of Seth asked me to book the conference room last week for today, from 12:30 to 3:00 and I did.

Today one of the neo-cons booked the same room at 2:00 even though the room was already booked. It’s a scenic room, windows overlooking Third Avenue. The neo-con goes into the room and tells Seth that he has to move.

Seth, being a very nice guy and also new to the office got it all together and moved with his guests. The neo-con’s meeting was an internal meeting, meaning no guests. He could have had that meeting in his office or in one of the other conference rooms, but no, stupid ass wanted the scenic room.

I was very upset, Seth didn’t mind. For me it was the principle and also the fact that the intern didn’t do anything about it, nor did she call me.

I think it all boiled down to the fact that what I call the Large Conference Room is what the neo-cons consider the boardroom.

There is another large conference room which I call the End Conference Room since it’s at the end of a hall and the neo-con when he wrote in his reservation called it the Boardroom which in his mind made it correct when it wasn’t.

There is also another conference room called either the Small Conference Room or the Round Table Room since it has a round table in it. I know this sounds petty to you, the reader but this is what I was hired to do, to maintain the booking of the rooms.

I have no problem kicking people out when it’s time for them to move on and obviously the intern does have a problem with doing anything like that. It more than likely comes from having to get people out of McSwells when it was closing time.

And of course, I thought I would be leaving today at 1:00 or 2:00 but actually left at 4:00.

I know, it’s good for the Susquehanna Investment Group, but still my hours are supposed to be limited and I don’t want any trouble when the time sheet is submitted for some fresh Cafe Press T-Shirts.

Anyway, here are some pictures from yesterday’s adventures.

The view from the beach

The view from the beach

Anne on the beach

Anne on the beach

Me on the beach

Me on the beach

Crazy close up

Crazy close up

the view from under the umbrella

the view from under the umbrella

a Speedo butt

a Speedo butt

the car of an idiot who was texting & driving

the car of an idiot who was texting & driving

Bill Comes Alive

Bill Comes Alive

Bill Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Bill Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Bill at Budokan

Bill at Budokan

Bill: Take No Prisoners

Bill: Take No Prisoners

Dig It

Well this is the second attempt. Lost the first set. Word Press being difficult. Last night watched Bananas by Woody Allen with Bill.

It was ok, I had seen it a few times already. Bill liked it a lot, having seen it only for the first time. It left me wondering if a movie that was funny in 1971 be funny almost 40 years later?

It did have it moments but overall it doesn’t hold up. I can see why Woody Allen wanted to make movies that were different than that.

After that I went to bed since I had to get up early for a trip to Sandy Hook with Annemarie. I made arrangements with Julio to get my beach gear back. I’m sure Julio would have liked to go but he has familial duties for the next 20 years.

Anne and I were on the road after I made some sandwiches and it was smooth sailing until we got to the bridge on Route 36. They’re making a new bridge and everything stopped for major merges.

We did make it into Sandy Hook at 11:00 after leaving Hoboken at 9:00. We would have been earlier if it wasn’t for the traffic.

It wasn’t too crowded when we got to the last beach, but it soon started filling up. All day long people were trickling in.

We had plans to see Bill sing at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan at 7:00 so we left the beach at 4:00. We certainly did not expect the traffic on the way out of the park. For an hour, we inched towards Route 36.

We were soon on the highway to the Parkway to the Turnpike. Approaching the Holland Tunnel it was more bumper to bumper so I navigated Annemarie through the streets of Jersey City.

We were going to get back to my apartment, change clothes and take the Path train in, but by 6:30 that seemed highly unlikely. I suggested we just head right into the city.

Anne was a bit mortified at wearing the beach clothes to a nightclub but I assured her that it would be ok, and it was. She followed my directions for driving across town on Canal Street and then up Lafayette Street.

We found a spot on Lafayette a block away and found a cozy corner in the club just as the compère, Rome Neal was making his introductions.

There were a few excellent singers, but of course we were there for Bill who sung 2 beautiful songs. Anne and I split some brushetta and I had 2 Stella Artois to Anne’s 1.

We even made it to the party after the show, enjoying some banana pudding that Rome Neal made and satisfied our hunger.

Now Anne is back in Garfield, Bill is in bed and I’m writing this for the second time. I’m at least glad I was able to take a shower and change out of the bathing suit I had been wearing for the past 15 hours.

Now it’s time for sleep. No pics tonight, no time. I will post the beach pics tomorrow and also post 2 videos I shot from the show tomorrow on YouTube under the log in johnotoole99.

Big Sister’s Clothes

Well this is a first. I’m writing and my sister is about four feet away from me. She’s watching the first episode of True Blood from this season. Of course she’s hooked. It’s quite good.

Earl isn’t here. He went upstate with his father Rex, to see Rex’s mother and sister. It’s been a nice day. Almost went bicycle riding, nothing too much, just local.

I arranged for Annemarie to borrow Stine’s bike, but it looked like it was going to rain so we just walked around Hoboken.

Basically covered the waterfront from 14th Street down to the train station. A nice walk with a balmy breeze. Lot’s to talk about too.

My sister is just great and one of my closest friends. Hard to believe but I’ve known her all my life. It was a lot like when I was growing up, Annemarie and I would go out for long bike rides, not telling anyone where we were going, just riding through Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook and Paramus.

This was before cellphones so there would be no way for anyone to get in touch with us if they had to.

Other times during the summer, Anne would take me for a day trip to Darlington County Park up by Mahwah. She’d drive in her red Volkswagen Beetle and we’d spend the day just swimming, paddle boating and listening to music.

Anne moved up to New Hampshire a few years later and I would sometimes take a bus trip up there for a week. We would go blueberry picking, or a trip to Maine to go swimming in the ocean or a nearby lake.

Sometimes we would drive to Brattleboro, Vermont which was the cultural hub of the area. We saw the movie Annie there as well as the Wrath of Khan.

Sometimes I get the two confused.

Wrath of Khan features a space orphan having some sort of insect being inserted into it’s ear, didn’t it? Great songs too. In Brattleboro, I would also stock up on used vinyl records, buying Beatles records with the original Capitol Records label, with the rainbow around the edges of the label for $1.00 a piece.

Annemarie would drive me back to Lodi, a long drive with me playing the DJ which is probably where I got that started. I was just discovering a lot of the music that Annemarie, Frank and Brian were playing when they were growing up.

Not so much Emerson Lake and Palmer though, sorry Brian.

It was a great day yesterday and today was just as good except for Earl being away from us with his dad. But Annemarie, who spends so much time with Rex and Earl in Arcata, welcomes the time apart and I was glad she chose to spend that time with me.

I’m quite lucky to have such a great sister and a good friend. And I’m not writing that because she’s sitting four feet away from me.

Well now I just walked her to her rental white Volkswagen Beetle and I could wright just about anything that I want to. And I will.

Best. Sister. Ever.





With a Girl Like You

And it’s been quite a nice day spent with my sister Annemarie and her son Earl. Earl is now 6’1”. Almost as tall as me, and as tall as Bill. A not so angry inch on this end.

I met up with them last night. They stopped here in Hoboken where we had pizza at Grimaldi’s. They can’t get pizza like that in Arcata. It was a quick stop before they headed up to Garfield to my brother Frank’s house.

I stayed in Hoboken, eventually going out for a stroll, walking off the pizza I helped inhale. Nice night smoking a cigar, listening to some of the London Calling album up to Lost in The Supermarket before switching over to the first side of Talking Heads: 77.

Bill came home a little after that, watched Lawn hors d’œuvre Criminal Relent up to a point when Bill switched into stage manager mode and hit pause on the digital cable box for about 50 minutes. He un-paused it when the news came on and his phone call was finished. The news was nothing in particular, mostly bad.

Then the Simpsons came on and Bill was off to bed, me joining him a little while later. He was off in the morning and kissed me goodbye as I lay in bed.

No work today. Annemarie called a little while later, checking to see if I was awake and also to see if anything was planned for the day.

At that moment I didn’t have any plans but after a cup of coffee I had an idea. A trip to the city and visiting some art galleries. Always fun to do and also easy on the wallet.

Anne and Earl rode down to Hoboken and found a spot on my block and we walked over to the Path, riding to 14th Street and walking up Fifth Avenue.

I had hoped to go to the Not Fade Away Gallery to check out the New York City 1970’s photos of Allen Tannenbaum. Despite getting there after 12:00 on a Friday when they were supposed to be open, they weren’t. It was just a little bit disappointing but other galleries lay ahead.

We walked down 20th street and wound up having lunch at the Rocking Horse Cafe which was good as usual. Then it was off to the galleries, first stop was a Stephen Shore exhibition.

In the 1960’s, Stephen Shore was a young man in his 20’s and took a lot of classic photos of Andy Warhol and the Factory crowd. I had seen some of the pictures in books but it was great to see them blown up in a gallery.

Then it was a hodgepodge of gallery hopping mainly from 22nd street to 24th and 25th Streets. Earl had gotten a phone call from a friend back in Arcata about completing his college registration today so I made a call to Bill and the three of us hopped in a taxi and rode up to midtown where we met up with Bill.

Bill was kind enough to bring his laptop down to the street where Earl worked the wireless connection and my cellphone and spoke to Susan, the administrative help at Humboldt State.

The process didn’t go as planned and Bill needed to get back to his office so we meandered down Broadway, saw a big chess game in Herald Square and hopped on a Path train back to Hoboken.

We came back here where I set Earl up on Bill’s Mac and I played DJ while Annemarie read some magazines and eventually catnapped. After Earl completed his registration, they were going to get some food in Hoboken before heading back to Garfield so I joined them for dinner at the Karma Cafe.

After that a quick visit to Julio & Stine’s apartment where they were able to finally meet Alexander who clearly loved being the center of attention. Still an adorable lad, running around trying to communicate.

I sat in the next room and read to Alexander while Annemarie and Earl caught up with Julio & Stine. A perfect finish to a perfect day. Simply a nice, nice, nice day with some of my favorite people.

And now, the pics

en route to the Path

en route to the Path

Earl & Me. Missing from picture, Cornbread.

Earl & Me. Missing from picture, Cornbread.



Edie Sedgewick

Edie Sedgewick

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Gallery hopping

Gallery hopping

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7.10.09 Anne & Earl NYC 017
Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

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Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

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actually photographed this once before in a previous entry

actually photographed this once before in a previous entry

this one as well...

this one as well...

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7.10.09 Anne & Earl NYC 030
7.10.09 Anne & Earl NYC 031
Tough Titty

Tough Titty

Anne, Bill & the college registrant

Anne, Bill & the college registrant

my homage to Mapplethorpe

my homage to Mapplethorpe

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Us 2

Us 2

big chess match in Herald Square

big chess match in Herald Square

a mom and her son

a mom and her son

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he usually smiles.

he usually smiles.

Here Comes The Moon

Today is Thursday. Been overcast most of the day until I headed out and then it was quite sunny. I slept until 9:00 and that was great. I was so tired yesterday after skipping lunch and the dinner I had last night barely kept me awake.

Still I got myself together and wrote. I was thinking about having a cigar and checking out the music at Church Square Park down the street, but Rand called and asked if I wanted to join him and Lisa on a walk over to the 13th Street pier.

Apparently they too were having live music. That sounded more enjoyable, what with the company I would be keeping and the fact that it sounded like some turgid blues were being played at Church Square Park.

I met up with Rand & Lisa outside their building and the three of us having a few laughs courtesy of Lisa, ably reprising her role as Lady Gigglepuss. It actually would have been ideal if our friend Lois would join us, but she was in for the night, which was too bad since this was right up her alley.

It was a beautiful night on the pier and a good way to enjoy a cigar and have some beers.

It’s actually a private pier, but someone finagled it for the night. Four musicians playing separate sets on acoustic guitars. I don’t know if calling them ‘folk’ would have fit, more like ’emo’. It wasn’t bad though Rand and I had a few laughs comparing one of the musicians to Yusef Islam nee, Cat Stevens.

Saw some familiar faces from Hoboken, but none more familiar than Alice Genese. It’s always a pleasure to see Alice. Last time I saw her, she was giving me a ride home a few years ago from Chaz’ holiday party, when she told me she thought my former roommate William and I were a couple.

Oh no, I quickly dissuaded her of that thought. Too damn skinny for my appetite!

I had a few Heinekens with Alice, Rand and Lisa had Vodka Tonics. The music was ok but it was more about the atmosphere, being out on the pier on a beautiful summer night.

Came home, Bill was watching a marathon of Entourage and wishing he had an agent like Ari Gold. He soon went to bed and I stayed up later than usual since I didn’t have to get up early.

Like I said, it was a gorgeous day, enjoyed a cigar as I walked across town to the office. Vivek was in doling out Kinematic T Shirts and I duly collected my share. Also did some things that needed to be done, things that no one else would think of doing.

Apparently I’m only in for 3 days a week, which is better than nothing and I could always use the Kinematic T Shirts

It seemed like a bus dropped off a lot of good looking men as I walked around midtown. Almost got whiplash turning my head so fast.

I did track Annemarie’s flight from San Francisco and it was on time, so now I wait for her and her son Earl to arrive so we could get some pizza at Grimaldi’s in Hoboken.

I’m looking forward to seeing them since it’s been a couple of years since we last spent time together. And I’m hungry.

The Lady Gigglepuss

The Lady Gigglepuss

7.8.09 005
7.8.09 007

So Fresh, So Clean

Jeez I’m tired. Skipped lunch and that’s probably why. I don’t skip lunch and it was because I thought I would be out of the office by 2:00 that I didn’t eat.

The reason for that was Greg Stevens. He’s still having Blackberry problems, carrying over from the other day. I couldn’t do much but provide physical support, which meant sitting in Greg’s office while he talked with his actual IT guy in Los Angeles, AT&T customer service, Blackberry customer service and some other service, all on a conference call.

Greg considers me his IT guy in Manhattan which is nice but would make people like Rand and even Bill chortle at the thought of me being in Information Technology. Sure I know a little bit more than Greg which is a good thing, keeps my foot still in the door.

The intern came in today. She was telling me that Abby called her mother to complain that the intern wasn’t taking Abby’s calls. The intern is Asian Indian as well and she got the job since they’re all part of a sub-continental network of sorts.

Apparently Abby has taken to showing up at around 6:00 and actually asked where I was last time he was in. Numb nuts doesn’t know that I don’t work with him anymore. Still, he is welcome to ask, but it doesn’t mean he’ll get me to do anything for him.

Whom am I kidding? If I could help him I’m sure I would, but he’s the type to take my kindness for weakness.

I also found out from the intern that she heard I’ll be working 3 days a week. Well today is day 3. I did get an email from Vivek and I told him that I’ve worked 29 hours so far, and that includes the 2 days I worked last week.

He said that he would give me a Cafe Press T-shirt for my collection tomorrow so I will just have to go in with my sweet kissable taint, hopefully for just a few minutes and then off to the bait shop.

Today on my way home I stopped by the Chasm residence. Good to see Casey and the missus. Casey has a great opportunity tomorrow and I off course wished him well. He’d make a great spokesperson for his invention.

It was good to sit still and hang out with them for a little while. Probably much like Juan felt last night when he stopped by for a spell. A nice visit with friends, not too long.

So tomorrow I’ll sleep late and get to the office around noon which isn’t that bad. And I’ll probably get some work done while I’m there since Vivek as you know from reading these entries is notoriously late.

Annemarie and Earl fly in tomorrow and I already told Julio I need the beach gear since there is a good chance that I’ll be headed to Sandy Hook on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll have to keep on him about that. It will be good to sit on the beach and look at the ocean.

I’m probably going to head out with Rand & Lisa check out some music on the pier at 13th street in Hoboken tonight. He called and I didn’t have anything else to do anyway, so why the hell not?

Jump In The Fire

And another day goes by, with me collecting Cafe Press T-shirts in the city. That’s code you know. Not working, but collecting Cafe Press T-shirts. It’s all I could come up with.

Do a search on this blog for Cafe Press T-Shirts and see what comes up.

That’s how I will be paid in the blogosphere for the work that I do.

Last night Bill came home and took a nap asking me to wake him up at 9:30. At 9:30 I went to wake him up. He had no idea what time it was or where he was it seemed. I decided to let him sleep, if he gets up he gets up.

I watched Weeds last night. Very good. And Justin Kirk is really great as Andy. The whole episode was quite good but Andy’s scenes were the best, very touching.

After that came Nurse Jackie which is also very good. Perhaps they are trying to cram a lot into 30 minutes, but they managed to pull it off.

One of the story lines on Nurse Jackie was about a Russian immigrant who had a stroke. That hit home. The actor was great, didn’t get his name though.

As his family bickered and attacked each other as well as Jackie who was actually the only who was able to get through and understand the effects of a debilitated stroke victim. I still think Brain Attack is a better way to confer what a stroke is.

In my younger days I would have written Brian Attack due to the antagonistic relationship I had with my brother Brian. Went to bed a little while after that and woke up with Bill who had slept the whole night kissing me goodbye at 7:00.

I got out of bed and showered and shaved and got myself ready for the days collection of Sally Maurice Kotex. Greg Stevens called as I was heading into the office. He was afraid his computer crashed since he was out in the Hamptons over the weekend and couldn’t receive any emails.

I reassured him that I would check out his computer as soon as I got into the office. And I did just that. Everything seemed to be operating normally and I figured the problem was Greg’s Blackberry. I don’t know anything about Blackberries, so Greg was out of luck.

I busied myself with whatever needed to be done and also watched the Michael Jackson memorial online. Saw Queen Latifah and Smokey Robinson make speeches and also saw Stevie Wonder sing, Never Thought You’d Leave in Summer and They Won’t Go When I Go.

That was something.

I left the office around 2:30, enjoyed a Saint Luis Rey cigar and walked over to Times Square where I watched the people watching a big CNN broadcast of the memorial service.

It was odd watching Usher sing with no sound, only subtitles. I didn’t mind though.

Times Square has two areas stretching a number of blocks of Broadway that are now pedestrian areas with folding beach chairs scattered about for mainly tourists to sit on. I wandered through the throngs, enjoying my cigar and headed to the bus terminal for the ride home.

the big screen

the big screen

7.7.09 013
7.7.09 014
7.7.09 008
I just thought this was cool- 2 billboards connecting to each other

I just thought this was cool- 2 billboards connecting to each other

Dancing Machine

Well it was a strange day basically. Did I work? Sort of. I went to the office and did things. Did I work a full day? No. I was in at 9:00 and out by 1:30. Will it be the same tomorrow and other days? Yes I think so.

It will get even stranger when my sister comes to town. The plan for then is, to come in earlier and leaving earlier. I’m looking at being in around 8:00 and out by 11:30 or 12:00. And I don’t even know if I will be working 4 or 5 days a week.

I did not see Vivek at all during the hours I was in today. I asked the intern if she had heard from Vivek and she didn’t but one of the neo-cons piped up and said that Vivek had a meeting at 3:00. It was a good reminder of the bullshit of non-communication that Vivek excels at.

Someone who has nothing to do with Vivek knows more about his schedule than the people that support him.

I did get a green light from New York State and that’s a good sign. I was a bit worried about that. I do have a phone call to make on Wednesday to complete that process. I was fairly busy today and it was weird to be leaving in the middle of the day.

But it was a beautiful day and I got over it soon enough. There is still a mellow sense in Hoboken, like a pleasant hangover from the past weekend. The weekend was a three day holiday, but oddly enough it felt longer than that.

I came home and changed out of my work clothes and into the summer wear of shorts and a t-shirt. Fiddled around at home and then realized that I needed to get some food for dinner.

It was an nice enough day so I walked over to Shop Rite which is further away than the supermarket around the block from my apartment. It’s cheaper at Shop Rite and the employees aren’t as surly. Of course I walk through the door and forget what it was I was there for.

I recovered and picked up some pesto and a few other items. On the way home I walk by where Roda’s mother lives and I see Roda having a BBQ.

I hung out with Roda and his mom and his cousin Tony. Roda’s kids, Logan and Autumn were there of course as well as a few other friends and family members. They invited me to stay for dinner but I had a bag full of groceries.

It was tempting but I came home and made myself my usual weekend fare of pesto, chicken and pasta. It was good and I’m satisfied. I’m going to try and use Rand’s method of eating.

No food after 6:00 for him, but for me it will be 7:00 since I didn’t get started until after 6:00 so some adjustments had to be made.

Roda and Autumn
Roda and Autumn

ps- I heard a club music version of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ this afternoon. It chilled me to the core.