Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Hungry Wolf

Well I just got back from a fun visit with Harpy to the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a great place to visit, to see your relatives. Always busy and always crowded though.

The first time I had ever gone to the museum was on a class trip with St Francis de Sales in 4th or 5th grade. Somehow they had gotten it together and got a bus or two full of students into the city which was not as kid friendly as it is now.

Eventually, we were herded together into the museum and the Hayden Planetarium. It must have been 5th grade because word was Jimmy Murray had copped a feel on a girl during the planetarium show in the dark.

He said he did, whether or not that was true remains unknown. She was a girl that I recently re-friended on Facebook and if we ever meet again I’ll have to ask her.

I do remember the big blue whale in a great hall. Not as darkly lit as it was today. Creating an environment that looked as natural as possible wasn’t a concern then.

The other thing I mainly remember was most of the boys fleeing from the class mother, Mrs. Munafo and running wild up and down the stairwells in the museum creating a ruckus.

The second time was probably 15 years ago with Meghan Taylor, the funniest girl alive. Meghan and I took Meghan’s daughter Lily to the museum. I believe it may have been an early spring day, with Meghan and myself pushing Lily in her stroller.

Meghan and I enjoyed ourselves as did Lily. The main thing I remember from that is that the three of us with our Irish faces looked like a family which cause a few other people to comment on what a lovely family we were. We didn’t discourage them.

That is when Lily became my ersatz daughter basically. We decided to run with that and we are still running to this day. The other time was when I took Perry Brody for a trip to the museum.

Perry lived around the block from me in Weehawken, the son of Cheryl Welch and the late Don Brody. Cheryl thought I would make for a good male role model in Perry’s life at that time and a trip to the city sounded like a fun idea.

Perry must have been around 6 or 7 at the time. We rode in on the bus and took a subway. I chose the first car of the train and Perry and I stood looking out the door window next to the engineer. It had a roller coaster effect that we both enjoyed.

Perry, of course loved the museum but we had to hurry through the dinosaur skeletons since they were a bit overpowering and scary for his young mind. Basically I picked him up and hustled him from one end of the hall to the other which his face buried in my shoulder.

After that was a trip to a playground in Central Park where Perry fell and nicked his knee. He cried a bit so I made it looked like I had hurt myself too and I wasn’t crying, so why should he?

It seemed to have worked but that was the last time I ever went anywhere with Perry. I did babysit a few times for him and his sister Molly though where I was declared to be cooler than Coolio.

I went once again after going with Perry, this time with Annemarie and Earl when he was a kid. Another good time with Anne and Earl but the main thing I remember was running around in the summertime heat in the Diana Ross playground, getting wet in the sprinklers.

So today was a visit with Harpy and it was a lot of fun. But by the end after schlepping around the museum, dodging strollers and restraining ourselves from braking the mini-mega phones that a few kids had going on and on, we were exhausted.

We parted ways, Harpy and I. He getting on the C train heading uptown and me trekking south to get a hot dog at Gray’s Papaya. Most of the pictures were posted on Facebook but there are some posted here as well.

This is actually from yesterday. They were all startled by a pigeon.

This is actually from yesterday. They were all startled by a pigeon.

8.31.09 AMNH with Harpy 001

8.31.09 AMNH with Harpy 014

Does anybody really know what day it is?

Does anybody really know what day it is?

John Ozed time!

John Ozed time!

Napping guard in the Amazonian room

Napping guard in the Amazonian room

8.31.09 AMNH with Harpy 025

8.31.09 AMNH with Harpy 026

Triceratops!

Triceratops!

Stegasaurus

Stegosaurus

Marc Bolan

Marc Bolan

♫ 3 Buffalo Gals go round the outside ♪

♫ 3 Buffalo Gals go round the outside ♪

Hanging with a bear

Hanging with a bear

Me and my wolf brethren

Me and my wolf brethren

An unhappy Toltec god about to take his revenge

An unhappy Toltec god about to take his revenge

the ancestors

the ancestors

Great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great ad infinitum grandma and grandpa

Great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great ad infinitum grandma and grandpa

Dear sweet Lucy

Dear sweet Lucy

'You're a pest'

'You're a pest'


Grrrr!

Grrrr!

I heart BATS

I heart BATS

The magnificent Blue Whale

The magnificent Blue Whale


8.31.09 AMNH with Harpy 090

Blue Whale belly!

Blue Whale belly!

Harpy on the Moon

Harpy on the Moon

That is it!

That is it!

The Cool Out

Well let’s see, I slept later than usual today. Bill had a bus charter trip to Bear Mountain today, fulfilling his desire to drive a bus again. It’s been an nice day, not so much rain.

I ran some errands this morning, though it was discouraging that the Daily News didn’t have a comics section so I won’t know what Winnie Winkle is up to, or whether Sarge will be saved or fall into the ravine on Beetle Bailey when the tiny tree branch breaks after the strain of Sarge’s weight. Or even the Lockhorns!

What abusive spousal hijinks will they be doing?How will I get by?

The news agent offered me a free NY Post but I refused. Just not the same and how much Mallard Fillmore do I need?

Today’s plan was to go to Central Park to see Conjunto Imagen in which my friend Excer plays keyboards.

He said it was at the band shell. Following that I thought about going to Brooklyn to see Grizzly Bear doing a free show. But from what I read it was a crazy scene last week when Girl Talk played and many people were turned away.

And Grizzly Bear is way bigger than Girl Talk, plus True Blood is on and I didn’t want to risk not catching tonight’s episode, especially since it’s leading up to a big showdown between Sookie and Marianne, plus Bill meeting the Vampire Queen of Louisiana.

Let’s face it, I’m pretty much addicted to True Blood.

I made it up to Central Park with no problems, avoided the crowded street fairs which was totally different than the street fair I strolled through yesterday on Second Avenue.

Lot’s of people in the park, the Sheep Meadow was closed for some reason so instead of the sheep being penned in, they were roaming freely throughout the park. I walked up to the band shell expecting to see and hear some Salsa but there was a puppet show of sorts going on there.

It turned out that Conjunto Imagen were playing at the Rumsey Playfield behind the band shell where Summerstage usually goes on. And they were at the end of the bill.

Lot’s of different things going on. It was a big Puerto Rican festival, featuring geriatric dancers, Puerto Rican puppets and a few other Salseros. I tried to walk out the entrance but was stopped. I took a picture of the guy stopping me who told me it was illegal to take his picture.

I wound up wandering around, sitting on the rock, walking over to Bear Hill overlooking the Skate Circle. Finally went back in just as Excer’s band was setting up.

Stayed for half the set and started feeling hungry. Decided to head home and make dinner which is what I did after walking down to the Path train.

A very pleasant evening followed by a good dinner of what else but penne, pesto and chicken. Light and easy to make.

Now True Blood is on, and my attention is compromised.

OK True Blood is over. Tried to stuff too much in this episode, trying to tie up loose ends before season finale in two weeks. Still it was sitting at the edge of your seat type stuff.

That’s it, I’m tired.

8.30.09 Central Park Etc 040
Pretty in Punk

"You can't go out this way and taking my picture is illegal" "You can't go in this way". The woman was p-i-s-s-e-d!
Yeah, THAT ended well.

Yeah, THAT ended well.

Where the show wasn't

Where the show wasn't

Excer, far left

Excer, far left

Ladies and Gentlemen, Excer Rivera!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Excer Rivera!

Rain Dogs

Oh it’s incredibly muggy. Plenty of hummus in the air. Like wearing a wet sweater in a very stuffy room, which by the way, is what I am wearing as well as where I am writing. All just to prove a point.

Bill is doing better, I guess what ever he had the other night was just a transient thing. Such drama though, but then again he is an actor. He was fine last night when he came home.

We watched Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral mass this morning into the afternoon. Couldn’t resist. Part of my Irish Catholic upbringing.

Despite my atheism, I try scrubbing them out and wringing them out and I still have that Irish Catholic upbringing. There’s no Calgon to ease my worried mind.

Bill having been brought up Evangelical Protestant hasn’t really seen the glitz and glamor of the Catholic ceremony so it was a thrill for him. He was also impressed that I knew the liturgical responses to various prayers.

Lift up your hearts/We lift them up to the Lord/Let us give thanks & praise to the Lord our God/It is right to give him thanks and praise because if we don’t he will kill us all.

Alright, so I ad-libbed a bit there.

It was a nice service though. Made it back in time for the burial broadcast which is going on right now.

Between then and now I went into the city, specifically to hang some pictures. After helping William hang his art work and whatnot for 11 years in Weehawken I sort of have a knack for hanging pictures.

At least that’s what I told them in the office.

Collected some potato salad too which was very nice & tasty. The rule of thumb for hanging pictures is not to hit your thumb. And balance too.

I guess I’ll hear if they don’t like the placement. Seemed alright by me.

I did find out the last time I was in the office that the neo-cons that I butted heads with might be out of business. They were counting on several million dollars to keep them afloat but they only got 700k.

I guess there isn’t any money in sub-prime mortgages these days. Or any faith in them.

The whole hanging pictures thing took under an hour. After the office visit I walked over to Second Avenue where a sparsely spaced street fair was going on. Saw some people from the neighborhood that I used to see often. A nod here, a smile there.

I walked down to the Path train and rode back to Hoboken from 33rd Street.

Last night I did watch Luis Bunuel’s Robinson Crusoe. Turned out I didn’t know a few things about it, like it was published in 1719. For some reason I thought it was written in the 1800’s.

It was Bunuel’s first color film and his only English film. Dan O’Herlihy was nominated for a best actor award for it in 1952.

The funeral procession just stopped by the Capitol Building in Washington DC en route to Arlington Cemetery. A prayer and some thanks to the staffers on Ted Kennedy. A nice send off.

That’s basically the day so far.

Move On

It’s been a quiet day. Woke up to pouring rain which meant no visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Harpy. I put the kibosh on that one. Just didn’t want to deal with the rain.

And it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, with Sunday just a threat of rain. That means on Sunday I might be able to see Excer’s band playing the band shell in Central Park. And Grizzly Bear is doing a free show in Williamsburg on Sunday night.

Dare I do both? Dare I?

I did make plans again with Harpy, this time I suggested the American Museum of Natural History. It’s an easier trip for Harpy, being on the West Side. And I reserved a museum pass from the Hoboken Library, good for one day which will be Monday. With or without the permission of the weather.

I just got choked up watching Jean Kennedy Smith describing the tribute to her brother Ted.

Last night Bill came home out of sorts, claiming to be very ill and not really making much sense. He attributed it to going in and out of various office climates and the heat on the street.

I tried telling him that he might be overdoing it (and he has) and not eating right.

Some people might get a chuckle out of someone like me commenting on what someone else is eating, but having gotten to 46 and having various people in my life telling me about the importance of diet I did actually listen.

Annemarie, Rex and Earl are all vegetarians, Julio was for a while and I did live with William for 11 years and he was thisclose to being macro-biotic. Last heard he was all about raw foods. And Rand & Lisa are 99.9% veggie.

So I tried to impart my cobbled together wisdom on eating right, without nagging but it fell on deaf ears mainly. I did mention it this morning once again with Bill on Google chat and he said it was a comfort.

Like me and my flirtations with certain jazz cigarettes from time to time. But I reminded him that this wasn’t about me, it was about him. It was best to let the chat end soon after that.

Like my friends and family wanted for me, I wanted the same for Bill. And like how I resented at the time to be ‘lectured’ on what I was eating, Bill probably resented me for doing the same.

I guess since I eventually came around somewhat and modified my diet, I can only hope Bill will do the same before it becomes too late.

I spent some time with Casey and the missus this afternoon. They’ve moving away tomorrow and were all packed up. I’m going to miss them. I wish we were able to spend more time together, but that’s adulthood I suppose.

That's him, Casey Chasm

That's him, Casey Chasm

People move up and away all the time. Sometimes you reconnect, sometimes you don’t. I certainly hope we all reconnect. But the Chasms read this frequently so perhaps they’ll post a comment every now and then.

So that is that. Hope you all have a good weekend.

Since it’s supposed to be rainy tomorrow, I picked up Woody Allen’s Manhattan, Mel Brooks High Anxiety and a vampire movie which is supposed to be one of the best ever made, Let the Right One In. Should make for an interesting viewing.

Razor Face

Nothing much happened today. Did some laundry. That’s about it. I may have another Susquehanna Investment Groups job coming up from another refugee from the jungle where I used to work. That remains to be seen.

I do have a job on Saturday, hanging some pictures in an office. That should take about an hour.

Tomorrow will be the trip to the Metropolitan Museum with Harpy. Then Hurricane Danny might hit here this weekend, making it an indoor weekend which is no fun. But I won’t know until I get there.

I hope it doesn’t happen. My friend Excer is supposed to play the Central Park band shell on Sunday afternoon and I would like to check that out. So fingers are crossed (which makes for difficult typing) for Sunday.

Time for you to roll your eyes since I’m about to write about the iPod shuffle.

Smalltown Boy- Bronski Beat
This came out in 1984. Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto. Patrick Morrissey and Alphonso Portillo’s apartment at 201 Madison Street. Crashed my last car in the afternoon, Patrick took me in and made me dinner. He and Alphonso lived on a floor below. Meat Loaf with cream cheese inside. And white wine. A good way to end a terrible day. A song about coming out and leaving home. It was a hit in the UK and got some airplay here on New Wave stations.

Towers of Dub- The Orb
A 10:24 track on a CD that Bill gave me as well as giving me an iPod one Christmas years ago. Fun trippy dance oriented stuff. Sounds great on headphones. Maybe in a club as well. But I’m not clubbing anymore, Blow Off was more than enough for me. I’ll be in the chill out room if you need to find me. Actually this would work better in the chill out room.

Filthy/Gorgeous- Scissor Sisters
From their first and best album. They are a fun group. Juan had a crush on Baby Daddy. Baby Daddy would probably have a crush on Juan if he ever met him. This album reminds me of being with Annemarie and Earl driving from the Saddle Brook A&P.

99 Problems- Jay Z & Danger Mouse
Most everyone knows who Jay Z is. Danger Mouse is a producer who is also one half of Gnarls Barkley. This is from the Gray Album which was Jay Z’s Black Album, mixed with the Beatles White Album. In this track, it’s Jay Z rapping over Helter Skelter. Of course it’s a totally illegal release, but it was everywhere a few years ago, and could be bought on Canal Street for $5.00.

Change- Killing Joke
Killing Joke was a band that a few people told me I would like since I liked Gang of Four so much. I couldn’t get into them. This is the only song of theirs that I like. Youth who was in Killing Joke is one half of the Fireman with Paul McCartney. I think it’s the right half since Macca is a lefty.

1/2- Brian Eno
From Music for Airports. Definitely a chill out track. I think the first time I heard this was when my brother Frank had a cassette of quiet songs to help with his wife Elaine’s delivery of their first daughter Meghan. I don’t think it was played since Elaine wound up having a caesarian section. I think it was played at La Guardia Airport for a time to help passengers relax.

Robber Dub- The Clash
I know the first time I heard this was when Laszlo Papp bought the 45 when it first came out at St. Mark Sounds. Then we traipsed over to some friend of his apartment and played our latest purchases. My purchase was Private Idaho by the B-52’s. Summer of 1980 it was. I was learning the truth at 17.

Get on the Good Foot (Pt 1) – James Brown
I never really heard James Brown when growing up. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that I really discovered him and that was mainly through the use of his beats and the sampling that went on in Hip Hop. I did go to see him once or twice at outdoor concerts. But I was so far away I couldn’t see him, only hear him. Would have loved to have seen him at the Apollo in the 1960’s though.

Be Here- Raphael Saadiq
I love Raphael Saadiq. He has one of the best voices out there and his music these days is very soulful, like in a 1970’s vibe. This also features D’Angelo who used to be the sexiest man in music 10 years ago. They also sang ‘She’s Always in my Hair’ by Prince together. Raphael Saadiq is always worth checking out if given the chance, especially if you like soul music.

Coal to Diamonds- The Gossip
From a collection of songs that Juan made for me when we first started hanging out. The Gossip are fronted by Beth Ditto and she’s a sensation in the UK. Here she wouldn’t get arrested, much like Scissor Sisters. I can easily picture Juan singing this song onstage. He’s be a good performer I think. Does he think so?

That’s it. Nothing more to see. Move on.

Da Doo Ron Ron

Well it’s a later posting than usual and I am sure you have all been sitting on pins and needles and with bated breath.

That must be an uncomfortable position for all concerned. Sitting next to someone who’s on pins and needles with breath that is bated.

Bill was up and out around 7:00 this morning. I just lay there. What am I supposed to do, get up and see him out the door? Nah, me lying there totally disoriented is the way to go for me.

I did get out of bed earlier than usual. 8:30! I showered and shaved and had some cereal and coffee in that order.

Got a text from Bill that Senator Ted Kennedy died. Everyone knew it was coming, especially Ted. True he fucked up in a major major major way, and would never forget it or be allowed to forget it.

I think that Ted Kennedy did the unexpected and poured his energies into making this nation a great country for all. Especially the downtrodden, the shunned and the loathed.

I was surprised to find some people remembering only the bad things, but I guess it was like when my father died, all I could remember was the shit he put me through. Oddly enough that’s about all I could remember about my father.

Of course when I saw a comment about Ted Kennedy that I didn’t agree with I spoke up which further opened the can of worms. I was just glad I had my cereal before embarking on a diet of worms.

I was glad and thankful that Senator Kennedy was able to make life easier for LGBT people, and also hopeful that a torch has been passed to a new generation who will help the fight for equal rights for LGBT people.

But until then know nothing/do nothing people like Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, Maggie Gallagher will do their best to maintain their status quo on the necks of the oppressed.

Christian compassion like that can only be found under rocks.

For Bill and myself, a lion has passed. For others, a spoiled rich man who got away with murder, even though the Kopechne family never said anything like that, at least not publicly.

I was planning on going to the Metropolitan Museum with Harpy but he bagged it, being hungover and whining about the temperature supposed to go up to 90 degrees. Maybe Friday.

I decided to head into the office to take care of something and to smooth the waters for Greg Stevens since Vivek seems to be showing his true colors. Greg is on vacation and I needed to take care of that so it wouldn’t explode on his face when he returned.

I’m so loyal.

Also lined up a chance to get some Cafe Press T-shirts on the weekend so the office visit worked out well for me.

I had a pass for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) so I decided to go there on my own. It’s not my favorite museum but it was free and it actually turned out to be one of the better times I’ve ever had at MoMA.

There was a surrealist sculpture show which was as entertaining as I would have expected it to be, as well as a Punk Rock exhibition and of course the usual Warhol, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Pollock works that I always like to visit.

Then a quick bus ride home and out the door again to have dinner with Casey Chasm and the missus at McSwells. Casey and the missus are fleeing Hoboken on Saturday and it’s off to the land of maple syrup for them.

I’m sure they will do well, they’ve both have good heads on their shoulders and the missus has an extra one in her uterus which will be debuting in a week or two. The missus had that glow about her and I think everything will be alright.

Casey, the missus and I met up with Bill at 14th and Washington where he got off the bus. The four of us walked down Washington Street in a light summer rain, just chatting.

The missus invited Bill and me up for a visit somewhere down the line and as we parted ways at 10th and Washington, Casey gave the same invite. So that might be something to look forward to in the future.

And also Rest in Peace Ellie Greenwich.

The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on.
8.26.09 NYC MoMA 140
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David Wojnarowicz

David Wojnarowicz


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8.26.09 NYC MoMA 173
Chicago 7

Chicago 7


Malcolm X

Malcolm X


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Lew Alcindor

Lew Alcindor


Picasso

Picasso


Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera


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Man Ray

Man Ray


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Never mind the Pollocks

Never mind the Pollocks


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Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys


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Andy's Gold Marilyn

Andy's Gold Marilyn

Two Weeks

It’s been a good day for me somewhat. I decided to head into the city and visit the Highline. It was a nice enough day for it.

A lot of the blues I’ve been suffering from was partly from nothing to do, and also party from it being too hot to do anything.

90 degree weather, 90% humidity didn’t lend itself for going out.

I’m doing my best to make the most of the time I have free and I am trying to enjoy it. And today I decided to do just that.

Last night was Weeds/Nurse Jackie night. Weeds is winding down, Nurse Jackie is finished for the season. Both were good, but Nurse Jackie was intense. Not going to give anything away.

Bill and I had a discussion about the Centers for Disease Control advocating circumcision as a preventive measure against HIV. Seems that circumcised men are less likely to get HIV than uncircumcised men.

I was surprised by the statistic that 65% of white men are circumcised and most Blacks and Hispanics are not. And the rate of HIV infection in Black and Hispanic groups are rising whereas in the White groups they are declining.

It wasn’t a good discussion but that may be from Bill working on the rehearsal for a reading coming up or on the foreskin in his pants.

It was odd to read that some gay men consider a circumcised penis to be mutilated. I never thought of mine that way and I’ve never had any complaints about it, but then again most people don’t talk with their mouths full.

Sorry but I’ve been meaning to use that line for quite a while.

I take consolation in the fact that no one under 18 reads filth such as this.

The Highline has been in the news in the past 24 hours. I wrote about the exhibitionists on display as well as the voyeurs.

Well the fact that there would be a few onlookers today didn’t deter me from going and I was surprised to see it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it might be.

There were a few camera crews interviewing people, but like people handing out religious tracts to various pedestrians, no one came up to me. Which is odd since I would offer my opinion on exhibitionists as well as religious dogma.

Sometimes I can’t tell the difference.

I didn’t see any exhibitionists though but then again I didn’t go out of my way to find any either. They usually find me anyhow.

I enjoyed the visit to the Highline and will probably head back another time.

A nice walk through Chelsea where I helped a blind man make it back to his residence on 23rd street and we talked about James Brown and George Clinton. This guy plans to make it to Amateur Night at the Apollo to sing a P-Funk song and I wished him well as I headed back to the Path train.

All in all a pretty good day.

Tomorrow I plan on going to the Metropolitan Museum with Harpy. We missed the Francis Bacon exhibition, but I’m sure there will be other things to occupy our minds. Should be a nice enough day for a walk in the park in any event.

Heading to the orgy

Heading to the orgy


That's THE hotel for the exhibitionists

That's THE hotel for the exhibitionists


Shyness?

Shyness?


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Suzanne and Laurie watching the traffic on 16th Street

Suzanne and Laurie watching the traffic on 16th Street


Tom and Al are disappointed voyeurs

Tom and Al are disappointed voyeurs


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Derek and Clive were upset at the lack of exhibitionism

Derek and Clive were upset at the lack of exhibitionism

Po’Boy

I can only assume that the weekend is over in Hoboken by the fact that all the parking spots have been filled. A lot of people leave town, head down the shore of weekends, and Sunday nights is when they generally return.

And Sunday night is when True Blood comes on and last night was a pretty good episode, but ended at 46 minutes which left Bill and I all ‘what the fuck?’. 2 episodes left so I guess they might be leading up into a big 2 part finale.

Marianne vs Sookie! Bill and the Vampire Queen! Eric and his grief (and Sookie?) Jason and that peanut sized brain and well endowed cock! Lafayette and his attitude and mascara and Tara & her mom (and Sookie)! Oh it’s on! Lafayette is seriously becoming the most loved character on the show.

Bill and I forgot all about Mad Men being on, since we’ve ignored the first 2 seasons. We watched Hung and Entourage instead. Both were good, Entourage was better and Johnny Drama is a great character. An asshole with a heart of gold and a head full of rocks.

I stayed up a bit watching Ramones Raw, Marky Ramone’s DVD of life with the bruddas. Harrowing and fascinating but on VH1 Classics so filled with commercials. Some footage of the Uncle Floyd show as well which was fun.

The night before on WLIW Bill and I watched Jimi Hendrix at Monterrey. To my surprise Bill really dug watching Jimi play in concert which he had never seen before. That’s always a thrill for me, turning Bill onto music that he had never heard before.

And there is a lot he has never heard before. Classic rock & soul, Punk, Post Punk, New Wave, all unknown to him.

Today was a nice day, in the 80 degree range and not as humid as it’s been the past week or so. I was planning on heading into the city, perhaps checking out the Highline Park that was opened a few months ago.

Actually just to see if there were any live sex acts going on and encouraged by a hotel that straddles the park. It’s been reported that porn movies have been made as well as exhibitionists of both sexes putting on a show.

But I couldn’t seem to get it together and just stayed local in Hoboken which doesn’t have the appeal that it had last month when Annemarie and Earl were around.

C’est la vie, that’s just the way that it goes.

Tonight is the finale of Nurse Jackie. I think her house of cards and pills and extra marital affair will come crashing down. I don’t know if this will be the season finale of Weeds. But that’s winding up to something big.

I’m sure it will be twisted, especially if it involves the wonderful Andy, played to perfection by one of my favorite actors, Justin Kirk. Funny, another one of my favorite actors is Jeffery Wright and they’ve both starred in Angels in America.

Made a date with Harpy to check out the Francis Bacon show at the Met on Wednesday afternoon. That should be fun.

That’s it for me. Smell ya later.

Elvis?

Elvis?

Hold Still

Well I had better get started before True Blood starts. A bit tired after walking around the canyons of midtown Manhattan in sheer mugginess.

There was a threat of rain so I carried a big ass umbrella and wore my work boots. Last time I was in Central Park and it rained it was a mess, so I tried to be prepared. It made for a cumbersome walk around Central Park but I managed.

Summerstage is mainly over except for a few paying shows and lot’s of strollers had taken over Bear Hill. I guess there are a lot of people who couldn’t get out of town or were tired of being cooped up yesterday from the rain.

A lot more musicians and street entertainers all out trying to make that elusive tourist buck. Not many places to sit and chill out.

Before I went into the park I did stop by the office to see if there were any more updates on the project I’ve been assisting Greg Stevens with. Part of that is reading his emails and I was surprised to find that the project that I was doing under the auspices of it being under the table doesn’t seem likely.

I came across an email from the check writers in Los Angeles asking that I fill out an I-9. Which would not make it under the table, nor off the books. And it’s an uneasy position that I find myself in since the email was not one of the emails I should have been looking for.

Greg Stevens is on vacation and to bring it up to him could mean I invaded his privacy. I could email the check writer in Los Angeles directly and ask her the status then break it down t her without leaving a paper trail.

To them it’s not a lot of money, but for me it could definitely help me out. So I guess I will do that tomorrow.

Last night Bill and I watched The Panic in Needle Park, from 1971. Definitely the seedy side of New York City. It was good, not great.

I told Bill of how my Uncle Joseph would call every park in New York City ‘Needle Park’ and he was probably right about that, even though when visiting Uncle Joseph and Aunt Lil in the Bronx, Needle Park was where we would sometimes go when the grown ups had enough of me and my brother Brian being antsy from sitting around my Uncle’s house for so long.

Sad to say my Uncle Joseph isn’t the guy he used to be. It turns out that Brian visited him in his nursing home today and he didn’t know who Brian was. Sad, he was always a funny outgoing guy to us. I couldn’t really say how he was to other people though.

He was a bit racist and I used to make excuses that he was from the old school and resistant to change. Now he sits blind and legless in a nursing home, unable to recognize one of his few living relatives.

Almost time for True Blood. See ya.

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August Day

Well today is Saturday, I figured that out by myself. Bill is here and we’ve been cooped up all day. It’s been raining on and off but I was able to get out for an hour or so.

So I walked by the river and sat, reading the New Yorker and enjoying a cigar. Deep sea diving without scuba apparatus is not on my list of things to do. That was one of the articles I read.

The other was a pretty funny piece by David Sedaris about going to Australia as well as about living with his father when he was growing up and singing a song about the Kookaburra bird with his sister Amy.

It was funny until he was smacked with a fraternity paddle by his father after being told to go to bed 3 times. Ah memories.

Not much of anything going on today, just waiting for the next rainstorm I guess. The cicadas are still doing their thing and it’s quite humid out.

I have some DVD’s from Netflix that Bill and I are planning on watching tonight. One is the Luis Bunuel directed version of Robinson Crusoe.

The other is John Huston’s production of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, but I think Bill would be more interested in the third DVD, The Panic in Needle Park.

My Uncle Joseph lived in the Bronx for a time and called basically any NYC playground Needle Park. When visiting we would sometimes go play in Needle Park, or what he said was Needle Park.

It didn’t sound charming but it was somewhere to go while the adults kibbutzed. I’ve never seen the movie before but it should be an interesting period piece of Manhattan starring a young Al Pacino.

Right now we’re watching the end of The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. I pointed out former Chicago politician, now US Senator Roland Burris in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

I’m just waiting for the Janitor from Scrubs to make his appearance as the cop on the train. They even mentioned it in an episode of Scrubs a few years ago.

Today is also my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday to Annemarie! Tried calling at my usual weekend time but there was now answer so Bill & I left a nice happy birthday greeting accompanied by Altered Images singing Happy Birthday.

I’ll be giving a call later so hopefully Bill and I can sing live rather than committing to tape. That’s what I think would be preferable, don’t you?

No other plans for the evening and what I do tomorrow would depend on the weather as well. I’m hoping for a nice day. I guess a trip to Central Park would be nice.

Now Harpy is on the phone, bemoaning the fact that it’s so humid. As if it wasn’t humid here in the swamplands of Hoboken. But it’s an outlet for him and I’m glad to oblige. It gives him a cooler head somewhat which is good for him and the rest of Washington Heights I suppose.

Nicotine & Gravy

I guess it’s Friday. It must have been. I had an appointment to get some blood drawn to check out my cholesterol levels. It was a painless procedure but of course I didn’t watch.

I got there early and was out even before my scheduled appointment was to begin. It was a Path train ride to Journal Square.

I had enough time to check out a soul cover band doing Ain’t Nobody by Rufus and an instrumental version of Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye for a lunchtime show on the plaza. I decided to take the Path train back to Pavonia/Newport where I checked out the Newport Mall.

Some Israeli woman was doing her best to hard sell me some hand softening lotion made from some Dead Sea salts. It was on sale, marked down from $80.00 a jar to $40.00 a jar.

I explained I was unemployed as she washed the Dead Sea salts from my hands. They were softer than before I guess, but I wasn’t such a soft touch myself.

I bought some shorts a shirt and some underwear, all on sale. And some dress socks, the ones I like. Thick and thin ribbed, over the calf. Now all I need is a job to wear them under my suits.

But that’s not going to kick in full gear until October. I’m looking but things are barren out there.

I did make it home minutes before the skies opened up and the rain fell in a deluge. It was like that for about 30 minutes before eventually stopping. The rain cleared out the hummus leaving things nice and cool.

Now it’s been raining intermittently about every half hour. Which makes it cool outside but you have to close the windows which makes it stuffy inside. Presently it’s cloudy and the sky is the color of orange sherbert over Jersey City Heights.

Last night was a walk to Sinatra Park where I met up with Rand & Lisa while Swingadelic played. I finally saw Swingadelic live and they were OK. Nothing to write home about.

Rand, Lisa and I strolled up the river towards 11th Street. I expected a crowd outside of McSwells since Mitch Easter was playing, but Roda came out and said there was probably 30 people in the back room.

I opted to just go home since it was so humid out and I was very sweaty. It’s too bad for Mitch Easter but then again I only really liked the Let’s Active EP that came out 26 years ago and excepting the album Cypress that came out a year later I have no idea what he’s been up to and I guess I didn’t care enough to have a look see.

I’ll never know if it was my loss or not.

Now it’s 7:40, Bill is taking a nap, asking me to wake him up in 3 hours which seems odd but he reckons that he’ll know then whether or not to keep on sleeping or wake up for an hour or so.

Don’t try to figure him out, I gave up years ago.

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Dogs

Hot hot hot. Cicadas make their love songs in the trees. It’s an interesting sound, unless they’re right outside your window. A nice kind of day overall, especially if spent inside.

I watched Cadillac Records on DVD, and that was somewhat enjoyable. Enjoyable enough to finally load the Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues Boxed set that Julio got for me a few years ago.

Jeffrey Wright was in it, playing Muddy Waters and I would probably watch Jeffrey Wright in just about anything.

Adrien Brody played Leonard Chess, the owner of Chess Records, Eamonn Walker played Howlin Wolf, Cedric the Entertainer was Willie Dixon (who wrote most of those Blues songs), Mos Def was Chuck Berry and Beyonce was Etta James.

I’m sure certain liberties were taken with the story but it was an entertaining summer movie. There was even an appearance by an ersatz Rolling Stones with a Mick Jagger in awe of Muddy Waters holding the door for them, when it should have been the other way around.

Some artists sang their own material, others merely lip synced. It’s recommended if you want something good to watch on a hot summer night.

Tonight Bill is directing a new set of actors for a new play down the line.

Mitch Easter is playing at McSwells. My brother Frank asked me if I could get him in, so I duly called Roda who said he wouldn’t be able to say at the moment. I called Frank to let him know and he decided he probably wasn’t going to go anyway.

I plan on a walk to the river to check out Swingadelic who I didn’t see last night but think that a walk might bring them into my point of view. And I think Rand & Lisa might be there so that should be cool.

Plus it should help me finally wake up after the 2 hour siesta that I had a little while ago. And it’s a good chance to enjoy a nice cigar.

Tomorrow it’s off to Journal Square to get some blood work done. I set up an appointment on Monday but due to the wake and meeting up with my brother Brian in the afternoon, I postponed. So now tomorrow afternoon, that will be the time to roll up the sleeves.

Just checking cholesterol and whatnot. That will something out of the ordinary.

Haven’t been to the sunny climes of Jersey City, or at least that part of Jersey City since January. I wonder what it’s like during the summer? What do the natives wear?

For tonight, a walk by the river and probably coming home to watch some TV. I do have a copy of Luis Bunuel’s Robinson Crusoe. Not so much a surrealist film (though I’m sure there are surrealist touches), but an attempt from the late 1940’s early 1950’s to get a job in Hollywood.

So there should be no dream sequences of an eyeball being sliced open by a razor ala Un Chien Andalou, or for those playing at home, The Andalusian Dog, which Luis co-directed with Salvador Dali. But you knew that already.

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Too Hot

Yes it’s hot again. I think it’s Wednesday. Been taking it easy, walking out of the sunshine. Have done much of anything except looking at jobs online. Slim pickings.

Too hot to do much of anything. I did some laundry since I’ve been going through t-shirts quite a bit. That was productive, and so is writing this.

That’s two constructive things I’ve done today.

I went and sat by the river this afternoon and read Uncut magazine. Beautiful day, especially when under a tree.

Not a very good issue pf Uncut so far. Best thing in it was an interview with Quincy Jones about Michael Jackson. It seems like a slapdash issue that was years in the making, basically a compiling of clips of people who may have been somehow related to the Beatles in one way or another.

Not as interesting as I would have hoped and I’ve only just started it.

Last night I paid a short visit to the Chasms. Haven’t seen Casey and the missus in a while. They’re moving to Vermont. That’s too bad. I’m going to miss seeing them. But things being what they are, Casey will probably do better in Vermont than in this metropolitan area.

The sun is setting now, over the Jersey City heights, things should cool down a degree or two. No walk with Julio since he’s flying tomorrow and probably has some packing to do. I may go for a walk myself, there is music in the park, Swingadelic.

Dave Post is in that band, he’s one of the owners of McSwells. I’ve never seen them and they play every Monday night there, but it is a lot cooler inside on the top floor with a breeze coming in than it is on the street. No breeze and a crowd of people. Staying indoors seems more likely.

And there are no mosquitoes here.

Bill is here in the air conditioned bedroom on a conference call. It’s been a lazy summer day turning into a lazy summer night.

Right now Keith Olbermann is on, but I don;t think for much longer. Too much time spent online, reading about Barney Frank and the health care option. My sock puppets were busy most of the day.

But Olbermann has me on the hook right now. He’s saying the things I believe in. Things that make sense and aren’t talking points from an insurance lobbying group like Americans for Prosperity.

And as well as healthcare the chat online was also about bringing firearms to Town Hall meetings. Meetings that are hosted by the President.

And certain wing nuts are screaming that their second amendment rights are being violated by preventing entry. These are the people that are afraid of the ‘death panels’, and the inherent socialism in the Obama administration.

But Barney Frank is a hero to thousands today and probably thousands more hate him even more than ever.

I know, my sock puppets had a few things to say about it at various discussion groups on some newspaper websites.

Remember

Another scorcher of a day. No wakes to attend. Just a slow, take it easy sleazy, kind of day. Robert Novak died which isn’t such a bad thing. He was a bad man, and he won’t be missed by me.

I do wonder what Jon Stewart will have to say on the matter.

Right now on NBC, Chuck Todd broadcast various fears regarding the health care plan and refuted all the fears as being false. Whether or not that gets through some thick skulls remains to be seen.

The irony is that if more people had access to MRI’s then people could see exactly how thick some of those skulls are.

Here is a president trying to do something for the good of all of the nation and there they are, the people who are easily alarmed and not much for reading much of anything let alone a thousand page plan.

The middle class who would benefit from this don’t seem to know what to think. Then again they don’t like paying taxes, but will be the loudest when the infrastructure collapses and schools fall into disrepair.

And they also believe that they will be taxed more even though the majority of the middle class does not make $250k a year. Anyway that’s my take on the matter.

So today being sweltering and humid was a day to take it slow. And that’s what I did. Slow in getting out of bed. Who wants to leave a nice air cooled bedroom and sit in hummus?

A nice cool shower, cold cereal, but nothing could relieve the stifling heat.

I burned a few CD’s that I need to get in the mail tomorrow so they could make it to Arcata for Annemarie’s birthday. Nothing too much, just out of sight.

I was disappointed to hear last night that neither Hillary nor Brian got their birthday cards that I sent last month. Seems like someone in the Washington Township post office might have sticky fingers. You’d think that wouldn’t be a problem up there in Bergen County but it is.

It might have even happened last year when Annemarie sent birthday cards that were never received. It did remind me of how when I first moved to Hoboken in the early 1980’s, my mother figured my neighborhood was so dodgy that she forwarded my mail to McSwells much to Ann And Mario and some other Fallon’s dismay.

A few raised eyebrows but it never went beyond that.

I didn’t leave the apartment until mid-afternoon today and even then I was staying on the shady side of the street. I walked over to the river but there was more of a breeze on Washington Street.

Finished reading Mojo and waiting for the library to let me know my other copy of the Tom Waits biography is in. I did get the latest New Yorker which has pieces by David Sedaris and Dave Eggers.

That’s about it for me, too hot for much else.

I may take another walk around Hoboken with Julio, but time is running out since he has a flight to Copenhagen airport on Thursday where he’ll meet up with Stine and Alexander and then fly over to Spain to meet up with Julio’s mother, his sister and brother in law and their twins.

I wasn’t invited, so I’m not going.

(Not Just) Knee Deep

Night Owl Edition, you can pick it up at the Saddle Brook Diner for 5 cents. This is the updated version of that, only it’s free. You just need a computer and access to the Internets.

I just got back from Bergen County. Spent a good part of the afternoon with my brother Brian, who I think is a really good guy and a really good friend. I didn’t always think that way, especially after having to share a bedroom with him for the first quarter or so of my life.

It was a very hot day today, close to 90 degrees before noon. And of course, 100% hummus. Brian was picking me up around 2:00 so I had some errands to run.

To the library to return the Tom Waits biography which I wasn’t finished with. That was OK since I ordered another copy from another library. You can only renew items twice and I hit my limit and decided to go to the well again.

Then a walk to the supermarket, by which time I was totally drenched. I probably sweated off a few pounds too. I advised the cashier to stay after her shift since it was so hot out. She laughed.

Back home, carrying juices up four flights of steps. I was able to rest for awhile before Brian phoned to tell me he was outside in his air conditioned van waiting.

I was happy that before I did anything today, I installed the air conditioner in the window this morning and was humming along quite nicely.

A cool ride up to Hillsdale with Brian where we caught up on various events in our lives with Karen, Brian’s wife. The three of us chatting in a nice air conditioned living room. Their daughters Hillary and Cassie soon joined us, more catching up then dinner.

After that Brian and I got in the car and drove down to Paramus. My brother Frank and his wife Elaine were there as were all the children of Jim & Irene Grant.

Growing up, my family and the Grant family were very close. They had six kids to our four, but the ages between both groups of kids were close enough for most of us to play together growing up. And we all went to St. Francis de Sales school in Lodi.

I reconnected with the 2 youngest daughters Irene and Kathy when my father passed away and met them in Hoboken a few times for drinks at McSwells.

So there was some catching up with the two of them, as well as meeting Jimmy, Jeannie, Robert and William as well. Each time they said they last saw me when I was a little more than knee high.

Mrs. Grant sat in the front row, eyesight failing. She seemed to recognize me and we had a very brief chat. I always loved her, she used to watch me until my mother came home from work sometimes.

Always a kind and gracious lady, volunteered at the hospital when my brother Frank had his stroke and made a point to seek him out to see if he needed anything.

It was a mish mosh of jokes and memories.

As I get older, perhaps as we get older, wakes although sad, are also social events, reconnecting and remembering mostly good times.

I’ve gone to a lot of wakes in my life, the first one I remember is my Aunt Madeline. I must have been 4 or 5, she was in her coffin, blue dress, pearls and her white hair, resting in a box.

For me, wakes aren’t creepy, they’re obligations.

I am in no rush to fulfill any more obligations, so if any of you are reading this, don’t die. Please.

Time After Time (Annelise)

Nice and tired. Did a lot of walking last night and slept well, did even more walking today. Would have been a good day for a bike ride, but it was way too warm for that.

Since I did some work for Greg Stevens yesterday I decided to head back into the office and just tidy things up for when Greg got into his office tomorrow morning.

I did my usual Sunday morning thing, bagels, newspapers and whatnot. No murderous impulses towards my fellow Hobokenites, it was a warm morning all around. Bill was gone by 7:00 this morning, some big church function.

Came home, had a good breakfast and read the papers. After a while I figured it was now or never so I headed into the city around 1:30. Ran into Rand and Lisa on the bus, they were going to see Billy Elliot on Broadway with some of Rand’s relatives, already in the city.

I explained to them what was going on with me with regards to the Xanax and I was surprised to see Rand have a frown about it. Well it’s working well for me, even at half the dosage prescribed.

He recommended exercise, much like Annemarie did the other day, but there’s no one around to exercise with basically.

There are those Tai Chi classes in Bryant Park on Thursday mornings that I never had time for but now I might be able to find time. Well see about that come Thursday morning.

Made it to the office, wisely sidestepping the Madison Avenue street fair. No one in the office at all today and I was able to get somethings together and make life a little bit easier for Greg Stevens.

Grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and decided to head up to Central Park. I did not want to see or hear Dinosaur Jr so I walked over to the skate circle.

Found a seat by the flagpole monument and sat down, enjoyed a cigar and read the Tom Waits biography. Almost done with it and it’s due back at the library tomorrow.

A beautiful day, lot’s of people in the park. No bears on Bear Hill, but quite a few baby strollers. I guess the bear thing is a Saturday event. The music was classic disco mainly and when it started getting all housy housy I made my way out.

Still people were streaming into the park, lot’s of tourists. I strolled down Sixth Avenue to catch the Path train and one pulled into the station just when I got there. More reading about Tom Waits in an air conditioned train car.

It’s just been a nice, calm day. Really stress free, not even relatively.

I know why that is and I’m sure you have a pretty good idea as well. Feeling the way I am now is so much better than the internal rage that I carried around and never really wrote about except one or two times, which inspired my brother Brian to write that I sounded like our father.

Things have been getting quite intense for me and I needed something fast. And I think I found it for the time being.

So I’m cool.
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Marquee Moon

Well here it is, a Saturday night. Remarkably I am feeling no edge, even when I shave. Perhaps it’s time to get a new blade. Or a new strop.

Just got back from a boogie woogie ramble in Manhattan. Went in and did some coconut work for Greg Stevens. It was nice for a while, no one was in and all the lights were off.

I left it that way, giving it a cool atmosphere and not wasting any electricity. Of course about 90 minutes later in comes Abby and about six of his fellow country men and women.

It was odd, when I came into the building I saw two of Abby’s countrymen outside having a smoke. I had met them before and waved as I was going in. The security guard Rick, knows me fairly well and said that those two guys outside (the countrymen) tried to get in, but since no one was there he refused them access, despite their pleading that they had keys.

I told Rick that I sort of knew them and waved when I came in. Since they looked at me with an air of indifference I told Rick that they can stay outside for all I cared.

So they waited 90 minutes until the perpetually late Abby showed up for a guided tour of empty cubicles and overturned garbage cans.

Working on Greg Stevens coconut job was tedious but I was grateful to get some tasty cole slaw coming in.

Walking home I listened to Sly and the Family Stone- Anthology. Incredible stuff even after getting burned with Chaz a few years ago seeing Sly at BB King’s nightclub. Sly was shy and unintelligible. Chaz took me and I still have to make it up to him somehow.

Just listening to I Want to Take You Higher made the hair on my arms stand on end. Well it was either Sly & the Family Stone or the electrified subway grating that I was standing on. I’d like to think it was Sly.

Last night after doing some other coconut work for Greg Stevens I walked across town and saw a play that Bill has been stage managing the past few weeks. Now I had seen quite a few projects that Bill has been involved with, some good, some bad.

Fair to middling.

Last night’s show was 4 one act plays that ranged from OK to very funny. I can’t knock the playwright and director since he’s a friend of Bill’s (Arthur French III- not ‘friend of Bill’s’ like in AA) and there really isn’t any need to.

The first act took place in a locker room, after a professional basketball player’s last game. The team manager, the player and his girlfriend. The player’s wife and kids were off stage. It was OK.

The second act took place that beautiful morning in September 2001. Office workers in limbo at 9:15 AM. Some are dead, one is still alive, but basically they’re in limbo. Sort of an existential Twilight Zone which got some nervous giggles from the audience members behind me.

Then came the third act, a two actor piece about 2 former drug buddies, she has HIV and he doesn’t. They were old friends since they were teenagers who became junkies. That was very good and touching.

The fourth and final act was the silliest of all. Set in some near future, maybe 15 minutes from now, a guy is having problems with his robot girlfriend, her replacement robot and the supervisor robot woman who almost became his latest hook up or plug in.

I went out with Bill and the cast for some snacks and a pint. Nice people all of them and if tomorrow wasn’t the last performance I would recommend going to see it.

That’s it for me on this end. How are things holding up on your end?

The Pressure Of Life (Takes the Weight Off the Body)

OK, back to the present day. The past few weeks have been quite stressful for me. Job loss, staying home climbing the walls, planes and helicopters crashing nearby.

Plus my people skills have been non-existent. Going to the supermarket would leave me enraged. Crossing the street was a matter of life or death with me tempting fate.

Not that I was trying to get hit by a car, but rather looking for trouble as a pedestrian yelling at and sometimes smacking the trunk of a car as it rolled through a stop sign.

The sort of thing that occasionally winds up with someone getting shot and since I do not own a gun, the person who might get shot would be me.

I discussed this with Casey Chasm who is fleeing Hoboken with the missus at the end of the month since Hoboken is so bleedin’ expensive. He’s been unemployed longer than I’ve been and went through similar feelings.

He recommended a prescription for Xanax. I’ve used Xanax back in the day, usually from Susan Sled’s pillbox hat. Didn’t do much for me 19 years ago, but it was for recreational purposes then, and foolishly so.

Now I had an actual reason.

Casey suggested seeing his doctor and since the doctor I used a few years ago has quite a flaky schedule I called up Casey’s MD and got an appointment for the same day.

So following Casey’s well timed advice I went and had an EKG, and some lung capacity tests and they were fine. Of course the discussion about quitting cigarettes came up and it will be discussed further once I get my blood work done next week.

I do like the doctor though, and his staff were very nice as well. So after picking up the prescription, I took one. The recommended dosage was 2 a day, but 1 was enough. Plus it was late afternoon. Within about 20 minutes, things started to get warm, edginess fading.

Ran into the funniest girl alive, Meghan and her daughter Ruby. All very pleasant, even more pleasant than usual. And I still had a sense of humor. Walked around with Meghan and Ruby, saw Jim at the Guitar Bar where Jim was putting stuff in the car for the Guitar Bar Summer Camp show at the Frozen Monkey Cafe.

Jim & Ruby drove up there, Meghan and I walked up. I was feeling generally pretty good and Meghan was feeling pretty much the same way.

I decided not to stay to watch the kids playing whatever it is they were going to play. A few weeks ago all I needed to hear was the opening notes to Sweet Child of Mine by Guns & Roses to get me out of there.

I opted to go to the supermarket to see if my murderous rage was suppressed enough. On the way there I talked on the phone to my sister in law Elaine since my new doctor asked me for info on my brother Frank’s stroke in 2007.

Got the info and headed into the store which was crowded and staffed with the usual belligerent people. This time it didn’t bother me. It didn’t bother me either when on the express line someone ahead of me had 20 items instead of the limit of 15.

Had a light supper when I came home, a few hours later, a walk around Hoboken once again with Julio. And that was pleasant, none of the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I know that weight is still there but not crushing me like it’s been lately.

I could have used a Xanax the other night when I went to the Yankee game with Bill. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I was pretty much miserable and Bill had a feeling that was going to happen. Overall that was a bad night. Sitting in the bleachers with no back support, my neck was stiff and I was wearing an older pair of glasses that I thought looked better but with a weaker prescription, I couldn’t focus on much at all.

Bill enjoyed himself despite me. And it made for an uncomfortable ride home.

I can be quite an asshole sometimes. Hopefully now I’ll have a better grip on that.

Today I’m going into Greg Stevens office to do some coconut work, then heading across town to see the play that Bill has been stage managing the past few weeks.

I think this weekend or early next week, I’ll have a return trip to Lodi, a family friend passed away this morning. Back to the social milieu of wakes and funerals.

Bill & his friend Kirk

Bill & his friend Kirk

Bango (To The Batmobile)

And here is the last installment of what was written in 2002 about 1991/1992

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

That Thanksgiving, I woke up Thursday morning, to find that the phone had been turned off. It seems that Little Willy felt that I was reckless with the phone bill and perhaps he was right then.

But instead of talking about it with me, he took the advice of Sally Starfish an old drugging buddy of mine. The tiny terror they called her.

Good old Sally told Little Willy that he should, A) Shut off the phone and put it in his name only. B) Put a lock on his bedroom door since I was bound to go and use his phone C) Put a lock on his phone in his workshop in the basement because that would be on my list of places to visit and use his phone once I found out that his bedroom door was locked.

Sally Sally Sally. She always said she knew me better than anyone, even better than myself.

Little Willy still waiting for his backbone to arrive in the mail, merely left a note on the kitchen table, telling me what he had done.

Of course, being Thanksgiving, my family would probably try to contact me to check and see if I was ok, and I would’ve done the same, had I had a phone.

So that cold Thanksgiving morning I went out to the street armed with as much change as I could get, and set out for a pay phone. I went to the corner and it was cold in the shade of the building.

Then I remembered a block away on Palisades Ave was a pay phone in direct sunlight and went over there. Armed with all my change, I stood in the light and deposited my coins.

The coins came back out in the change slot, after the connection was made. A free call to California! A free call to Garfield! A free call to Montvale! I was living large! But without my phone book couldn’t call everyone, just the one’s who’s numbers I had committed to memory.

After the family, I called Julio. Julio I had known for a few years, both of us working at McSwells. Party buddies, drinking buddies. Very handsome he was, and all the gay barflies at McSwells couldn’t tell him enough.

I never did.

Alright I did, once, but that’s another story. He was surprised at our mutual ‘friend’ doing what he did, switching the phone off and creating a new line in his name. “That’s fucked up man.” He said. I agreed. He was busy getting ready to see his family for Thanksgiving dinner. I was getting ready to do nothing.
That was fine with me. Watched a lot of TV, smoked a lot of herb. Fairly typical. Just another day. I was able to call NJ Bell and arranged for a line to be installed in my room. Another expense, but one that was needed.

Julio mentioned my phone habit which I don’t think was that great, but he insisted otherwise. I called the Friday after Thanksgiving and scheduled an appointment for the next day. The phone guy showed up around 10am.

I was groggy from the night before and probably smelled like the night before. He took his ladder and made the connection outside and then came inside to finish the work.

When he came into my room this guy saw my records and pegged me for a DJ. He was right, and cute, but I concentrated more on his being right.

He started telling me about an old friend of his that he used to DJ with. “Goes by the name of Todd Terry. Ever hear of him?”

Almost instantly I pulled out “Bango/Back to the Beat” A very hot 12” by Todd Terry. He was impressed. I was impressed. We hung out for a while, or I hung out he worked.

I offered him some herb but he said no, he couldn’t. Small talk followed and when I asked him about the charge, he said there was none.

“You seem like a pretty cool guy. Don’t sweat it.” He left and I had a phone, free of charge, well, at least free installation.

That was a case of being in on the Cosmic Joke.

Little Willy still scampered about once again, staying out of sight.

Sally Starfish later wound up doing a similar thing to Julio vis-à-vis his roommate.

And dats da name of dat tune.

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Well last night I went to the Yankees/Blue Jays game. Bill was right, saying that he didn’t want me to be intense, he wanted a good time. I wanted a good time too. Bill enjoyed himself, I didn’t. More about that further down the line. In the interim, here is the third installment about 1991/1992 written in 2002.

“What are you talking about?” Miss Pasty asked. “I have nowhere else to go. I’ll do anything to stay here. I like you guys. Please reconsider.” Mr. Derf and Miss Pasty looked at each other.

Mr. Derf said, “Well we had a problem with you dropping the coats on the chair and the chair crashing and you guys thump around a lot but we didn’t ask you to leave.”

Miss Pasty chimed in, “Where did you hear that?” “Little Willy told me that you guys wanted me out.” “Our parents rented the place to both of you and that’s it. You and Little Willy.”

Mr. Derf added, “If one of you goes, then the other has to go too. At least that’s what my father said.” “Yeah, you should talk to Little Willy.” “Thanks Pasty, I will. Have a good dinner.”

I was relieved and confused. I saw Little Willy and asked him. He shrugged his shoulders, ran into his room and hid. Monica was still floating around the apartment.

It was now about 6 months after we moved in. I ran into Miss Pasty one day outside the building. She mentioned that her mom wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of three people living in my apartment, and then she dropped a bombshell.

“Your roommate’s girlfriend has been going around the neighborhood telling all the neighbors that you’re gay.” Wow. Monica? What did I do to deserve that? I mean I was gay, still am, but never been one to be all up in your face about it.

“Everyone?” I asked Miss Pasty. “Everyone, even the firemen.” “The firemen? Hmmm….kinky…” Miss Pasty laughed, “Even my mother.” “Oh no, what did she say?” “She told Monica, that it was none of Monica’s business and it wasn’t her business either. She thinks you’re a good boy. She likes you.”

It was good to have someone in my corner.

I found out that Little Willy told Monica that he was going to kick me out and have her move in. And apparently Monica didn’t think Little Willy was acting fast enough so she decided to speed things up and attempt to slander me.

It didn’t work.

Monica being a German tourist figured that these Americans with their meat eating ways would be so disgusted that I’d be run out to the windmill like the Frankenstein monster chased by villagers.

Little Willy started playing both sides against the other. I was working at a video store and giving video rentals away to various friends and bartenders I knew, and also DJ-ing at McSwells. I was a DJ, ID checker, doorman, and bar back sometimes on consecutive nights.

There were records usually piled up by the stereo system that Little Willy and I shared. 2 Live Crew had a smash hit called ‘Me So Horny’. A decent song, usually guaranteed a laugh from me and my friends.

The B side to ‘Me So Horny’ was an aptly named song called ‘Get the fuck out of my House Bitch’. I left it lying around so Monica would see it.

She did.

One night while I was in my room, there was a knock on the door. It was Monica. Her German accent furious, eyes full of rage, she started screaming at me about how I was trying to seduce Little Willy.

“Leaving a record called ‘I am so horny’ around the apartment. Don’t take my man!” I laughed which enraged her even more.

“John, Little Willy said you were leaving. When will you leave?” “Leave? Monica, I ain’t going anywhere! And it’s not ‘I am so horny’ and I’m not horny for Little Willy. He’s not my type. I like MEN. Not skinny little toothpicks that can’t stand up straight.”

“Well he said…” Monica continued. “I don’t care what he said. And it’s the flip side you bitch. It’s called ‘Get the Fuck Out of my House Bitch.’

You should play it sometimes. It should have instructions on what to do.” She yelled. I yelled louder. Little Willy hid in his room.

It ended with me screaming, “Get the hell out of here you hag!”

Blue Jay Way

Well I am actually doing something today. Visiting Greg Stevens office for a few hours then meeting up with Bill and some of his compadres, heading off to see the Yankees/Blue Jays tonight. So since I won’t be back until late, here is part 2 of what I wrote in 2002 about 1991.

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

I was living in Lodi with my father who I hadn’t been getting along with for about 20 years. I moved in with him despite everyone’s warnings. I had seen a side of him that I had never seen before.

He was grieving.

Quite sad, his wife, my mother decided to leave her mortal coil on Mother’s Day. Talk about making a statement. May 12 was a day of infamy for me and my siblings. So having seen a side of him that I had never seen before, I moved in with him into the house I grew up and threw up in.

It was hell. Everyone was right. It was a mistake. I started drinking a lot and at night when I was hiding in my brother’s room where I slept fitfully at night. One night I had to pee but I didn’t want to risk waking up the old man who slept across from the bathroom.

So I did what anybody would do in a similar situation. I opened up the window and pissed down the side of the house. It seemed to be the only peaceful solution.

After battles and wars, I told my father I was moving out. Little Willy had parked his dilap-a-van outside and I warned him to stay away from the house I’ll bring my stuff outside to the van. Dad was watching me like the crotchety old hawk he was.

Annemarie, my sister was there at the time, calming me down and acting like a buffer between 2 grown men who couldn’t stand each other. Little Willy and I got all my stuff down to Weehawken.

Annemarie was sad to see the relationship die between my father and I but I was glad to see a toe tag on the body of the relationship.

It was quite pathetic when I moved. I didn’t have a bed; I had a sleeping bag lent to me by Raul the owner of the video store and a strip of foam rubber padding that I was using as a mattress of sorts.

My cat Zed was able to return from exile. I brought him with me to Lodi and he basically lived in the basement until my father almost tripped on the stairs one day and swore that Zed was trying to kill him.

I then brought Zed to Hoboken where he lived in the basement of the video store, which was actually the storage room rented in a basement 2 doors down. Poor Zed felt abandoned but now I was able to put a bona fide roof over his head.

Little Willy and I seemed to get along. I didn’t know then that he told Monica his traveling companion that he was going to kick me out and the two of them would live in quasi-Aztec bliss forever and ever.

Little Willy told me after a month or two that Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf were quite upset with me and wanted me out. I didn’t understand it.

There were one or two incidents where a chair over laden with coats crashed one late night hang out, but it was taken care of.

Sure there would be an adjustment to the fact that instead of one old man who couldn’t walk much living above them was now two men who can walk with relative ease taking his place. I asked Little Willy and he was vague, saying he didn’t know what was going on but I had to go.

Panic stricken and faced with no options, I was leaving the apartment one night when I saw Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf. I asked them I pleaded with them. “I’m so sorry. What have I done? Why do you want me to go? I have nowhere else to go. What can I do to change your mind?”

They didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. All they wanted to do was to go to dinner next door at their parent’s apartment. My eyes were tearing up. It’s been said I can cry at the drop of a hat, and a major sombrero had hit the floor.

Come Together

Nothing much happened today. In fact I just left the apartment building for the first time at 5:15. Ran out of juices you see. Too hot to do much of anything except lay in front of a fan.

It’s a scorcher. The most that I did today was take a nap.

Over the weekend, I bought a selection of songs from the Fun Boy Three on iTunes, after which I was asked to do a back up.

It seemed like the thing to do. As I ran the back up onto 6 discs, I lost my playlists, some of which were a few years old. So I’ve been trying to find them to no avail, but I also found something that I wrote in 2002, about 1991.

Since I didn’t do anything today, I thought I would serialize it. Today is part 1. In case I don’t do anything else this week, I may add the following parts as installments.

Riding the bus with Miss Pasty. I was unusually charming despite the unwelcome hour of 8:20am. I would’ve preferred being alone, but hey, she is my landlord. Or Landlady. Or something resembling both.

“I heard on the radio there was a 40 minute delay in getting into NYC. I’m gonna take a van” Now this would ordinarily sound fine, but Miss Pasty has a relatively shrill voice and for a non-morning person like myself it was nearly unbearable, and that was after my initial three cups of coffee, rocket fuel.

Miss Pasty and her brother Mr. Derf are my landlord and lady. Quite royal I think they think. It feels like I’ve been living above them all of my life though physically it’s been 11 years.

It’s been an up and down ride with them and any problems I’ve had with them are generally because of my room mate, Little Willy Archas.

For example, in 1991 when Carl and Katie Archas told me about the apt, Carl had mentioned that his brother Little Willy was probably going to look for an apartment since when Little Willy got back from Mexico he wouldn’t be living with his parents in Jersey City.

I took it into consideration.

So one day when I was walking down Washington St in Hoboken from Take 99 video to Blockbuster to pick up an errant video tape, I spied a dilapidated van with 2 even more dilapidated passengers within.

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

“Your brother told me you might be looking for a new place. I might be looking for a room mate. Into it?” “Yeah, sure, I guess. Where is it?” “Weehawken. You know Pasty K from McSwells?” “Uh, I don’t know.” “Well your brother knows her. I once gave her a ride home. Nice neighborhood. Anyway if you want I can set something up for tomorrow night.” “Uh, yeah sure. I guess so.”

Little did I know that his vocabulary skills wouldn’t really go farther than that. “Alright, call me at the video store and I’ll see if I can set something up.” “Uh yeah sure. I guess.”

I called Miss Pasty and set it up. Little Willy met me at Take 99 Video the next night and I was able to take some time off and see the apartment.

We met Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf’s parents, Adele and Derf Sr. A very old couple. A bit strange at first. But so was my room mate to be. I wasn’t used to being the most normal in a group but that is how it was turning out to be.

We left 129 Jane Street, climbing downstairs in order to get to 127 Jane to climb upstairs. Little Willy was able to turn on the hallway light which greatly impressed Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf.

We saw the apartment which was previously occupied by an old man who really didn’t or couldn’t walk around much. Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf were quite used to this fact that no one was walking around the apartment above them.

Little Willy and I both liked the apartment and since Little Willy painted houses and apartments, offered to paint the rooms from a purple yellow Easter combination to something more than that.

We went back to Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf’s parents and told then we were interested. Derf Sr. thought that was fine and since it was the beginning of October we would be able to move in anytime and not have to pay any rent until November 1.

Bummed Out City

Yeah, It’s been one of those days. I should have stayed in bed until the afternoon instead of rising at 9:00.

Last night Julio and I took yet another walk along the river, a few other people looking at the wreckage or at least trying to. It was dark and all that could be seen were police boats anchored around the site where the helicopter and the plane hit the Hudson River.

Like I wrote yesterday there were no survivors.

Not much to see yet people kept coming and staring into the darkness that lay between the shores of Hoboken and Manhattan.

A block or so away the girls were all dolled up for a Saturday night on the town. Big bouncers stood next to them as the girls tried to entice Julio & myself into various bars and clubs.

We just wandered up the boulevard, running into the Latino kid who works at the shoemaker shop around the corner. He invited me to stop by the store sometime, saying he had a gift certificate for me.

Since the last time I was there in November 2008, things had gotten ugly real fast. It wasn’t his fault, it was the runner they have, some GED program drop out who turned up the heat on the problem at hand. A born & raised Hobokenite from way back when with nary a tooth in his head.

The Latino kid was gracious and shook my hand and wished me a good evening before going on his merry way.

Julio and I continued walking when we ran into Bill who was just getting back from stage managing a play in midtown, off off Broadway.

Actually we heard him first, saying that Julio and I made for a nice couple. The three of us walked back to our building, Bill explaining his plan for the night at 10:00.

He was going to rent a Zip Car at midnight so he could drive around Bergen County and explore the routes for the bus company he’s going to be driving for.

Having grown up in Bergen County I knew of some of the routes, but I wasn’t about to head out there and go driving. He expected to get back in a few hours, like around 2:00 or 3:00.

I didn’t stay up, I just went to bed. When I woke up this morning, there was Bill in bed. I asked him what time he got in and he said 5:00 making me feel I did the smart thing and stayed home.

It’s ridiculous, but Bill wants to drive a bus that badly and who am I to say otherwise? He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs. He just wants to drive a bus.

Now I’m at home after walking around by myself. I was going to head into the city, just to get out of Hoboken and brave what appeared to be approaching storm clouds.

But, I missed the bus and walked along the river and sat, enjoying a cigar and finishing up the New Yorker and reading some of the Tom Waits biography by Barney Hoskyns.

Not much to see again, just some boats and some buoys making where debris was submerged as well as various news trucks parked alongside the road.

I should have gone into Manhattan.

8.9.09 Recovery boats 001
8.9.09 Recovery boats 002
8.9.09 Recovery boats 003
8.9.09 Recovery boats 004

News crews in their tents

News crews in their tents

Her Majesty

Today has been a day unlike any other. This morning just before noon I was sitting at the computer, planning my day when I heard what sounded like an explosion.

Didn’t hear anything after that so I didn’t think too much about it. A few minutes later, I was looking at Hoboken 411 when it was announced there was an twin engine plane in a collision with a helicopter over the Hudson River.

I texted Julio as well as Rand & Lisa. Julio didn’t know anything about, he was in West New York, Rand & Lisa think they heard the explosion.

Julio and I had walked around that area last night talking about how nice it would be to live in the upper reaches of Hoboken, but he had discussed it with Stine a few weeks ago and they agreed that yes it was nice, but too noisy what with all the helicopters going up and down.

It’s quite noisy across the Hudson River from the west 30th street heliport. There are helicopters going in and out all day long.

I wanted to put Bill on one of those helicopters a few years ago for a birthday present. It was something like $100 for 3 minutes flying over Manhattan but I put that idea on the back burner and soon forgot about it.

The heliport is used also by celebrities flying into Manhattan from various airports or the Hamptons. I saw Penny Marshall leaving the heliport a few years ago when I was riding along the Manhattan bike path.

The reports are saying that there were no survivors, 9 people dead. It’s also been reported that a wing from the twin engine plane landed on a roof at the campus of Stevens Tech.

It’s been a messed up week, outside of my world.

There was that loser asshole who went to that gym outside of Pittsburgh and turned out the lights and started shooting a room full of women who were doing an aerobics workout.

He claimed that he was rejected so many times by women (30 million by his count). How many women did he reject, that weren’t up to his standards? What a scumbag.

He left a trail, his plotting for a year or two about how he was going to kill some women. What a fucking loser. I hope that the maggots and worms don’t have anything to do with him, too bitter. Let him rot.

There was some good that also happened this week, Judge Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed to be an associate justice for the Supreme Court, and was sworn in this morning.

Bill and I watched it, afterwards, Bill let out a loud ‘Boricua!’, signifying that he and Judge Sonia Sotomayor are both Puerto Rican.

And today, or rather this morning in London, crowds of people showed up to celebrate the photo shoot for the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road. It was 40 years ago today, Iain Macmillan set up a step ladder and had the Fabs on the zebra crossing a few times.

It was over in 10 minutes, then they went back to disliking each other.

I also went into the office today and did 2 hours of work for Greg Stevens. It was nice, no one else was there. If I can continue helping out Greg Stevens, this is the way I would like to do it.

Number One

Well today is a beautiful day, no rain, a blue sky with a few clouds, temperature just right, low humidity, everything seems just right and I’ve got the ‘blahs’.

The cloud of discontent which comes with unemployment sometimes floats in my head. I know things could be worse, but still- this malaise. It’s been around in small doses lately and I’ve been dealing with it, not writing about it, but today it is the elephant in the room.

Too much news didn’t help matters much at all. Lot’s of health care talk, lot’s of talk about right wing disruptions of Town Hall meetings. Nonstop throughout most of the day. It wore me down quite a bit.

Even took a cat nap which was good for a few minutes, but whatever good came from it didn’t last long. The highpoint of the day was a trip to the supermarket. Really, that was it.

Actually running into Scott Harbison who was on his way to Williamsburg was the highpoint. After Scott, I sat on Pier A and read the New Yorker, an article about traveling through Siberia. I couldn’t get into part one from last week, but I found myself somewhat engrossed by part two.

From reading that, I have no plans to travel in Siberia, not that I ever did before. I did DJ one night many years ago at a club in Manhattan called Siberia and that seems enough for me.

Last night I went for a walk with Julio again. Avoided some people that he didn’t want to see. Strolling by Sinatra Park there was a band doing the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with attampts at the dance steps described in the song.

Spoke with my brother Brian for a few minutes on the phone and that was quite nice. Then Julio & I walked along the river further up to Pier 13 where some reggae music could be heard. We wandered over to check it out.

Where on Wednesday night, there was maybe 50 people watching Karen Kuhl, The Fave & Lloyd United, last night there was about 5 people. It was poorly promoted and it’s too bad since the Skyrockers Reggae Band were actually pretty good.

Julio and I stayed for a few songs. They sound more like Gregory Isaacs or Inner Circle with Jacob Miller than a cover band doing the Bob Marley & the Wailers’ Legend album.

It would have been fine with me to stay but Julio was more inclined to leave after buying a bottle of water for himself and a beer for me. If I had known the show would be so under attended I would have put up some fliers or at least tried to have gotten the word out online somehow.

Since there was no cover charge I could only guess the band was getting a flat fee, making their performance last night a paid rehearsal.

Came home after that and watched some TV with Bill which was nice. Just don’t ask me what was on since Bill was calling the shots.

Julio just called, he’s outside on the stoop. I told him to give me a call when he’s ready to go for a walk so that’s basically what I’m doing tonight, what I’ve done most every night this week.

I’m not complaining, Julio is good company and it is a nice night after all.

Best to get outside before I start watching the news again.