Monthly Archives: September 2009

Aftermath

9.29.09 025

Let’s see. It’s Wednesday, that much I know. It’s definitely a lot cooler out. And it’s now 6:00 and I was supposed to call Juan between 4 and 5:00. I just remembered that. What else? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Tried going to bed earlier than usual but couldn’t fall asleep so I wound up staying up until the usual time. No it’s not caffeine. I don’t drink caffeine after noon. It wasn’t so bad in any event. I did fall asleep eventually after following my own advice, to get out of bed instead of tossing and turning and my advice proved right.

I’ve taken to going out and getting the paper in the morning, if only to put away the garbage cans I put out the night before. Last week I had a talk with Julio about it. How I put out the garbage most nights, including the recyclables, but no one can put back the empty cans in the morning.

Julio claims he did and I cut him some slack, saying that 9 times out of 10 I’m the one who does it. He is that 1 time. I did not bring that up with Bill since it took a while to get him to stop putting the recyclables in with the trash.

When I was employed, I would leave the building after Bill, I would reach in the garbage cans and pull out empty Vitamin Water bottles that were recently in the kitchen here. In a suit and tie yet. It only took over a half dozen times before he eventually got the message.

Today I decided to go to Shop Rite in Hoboken. The A&P is closer but Shop Rite is much larger and has better selections and generally better prices, though I usually spend more money at Shop Rite. I don’t know how that works. Also ran into Roda and his son Logan, food shopping.

Midway through my shopping experience, I get a phone call from Bill. I suggested that if he has to sing a song for an audition and he’s no so sure, that he should write out the lyrics by hand so he will, in effect own those words and make them more personal by writing them out by hand.

He was calling to thank me for that idea. It’s something I picked up when growing up and had to sit at the dining room table for 2 hours, ostensibly to do homework. Even if I had homework that could be done in 10 minutes, I would still have to sit there for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

My brother Brian would sit opposite me for those 2 hours. It was mainly because we weren’t the top notch students our father encouraged us to be.

That was a joke. Our father never encouraged us to do anything.

So while my father sat about 15 feet away, my mother 9.5 feet away and the TV blaring quite loud since my father was losing his hearing, I would get one of the books from the encyclopedia and start writing out by hand various pages that caught my eye.

Brian, sitting where he was, would try to steal a glance at Johnny Mann’s Stand Up and Cheer.

The 2 hours at the table didn’t achieve much but some improvement did have to be shown in our grades. I don’t know how that worked out, but I certainly benefited from social promotion.

Remember, I’m the guy who wrote an essay on his Algebra final. And I’ve held up my end. Haven’t used Algebra since.
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Noise Annoys

9.29.09

Well it’s one of those days. Not one of those days, but one of those days. Not too bad. Still laundry gets done. I heard from Julio twice which was odd. I hardly ever hear from him, he with his hands full of work and wife and kid. He was actually pretty funny.

I had just run into Stine and Alexander as I went out for the paper and walked with them to the park. Stine noted that the nannies are more aware of what their charges are doing than the mothers who bring their kids. And sometimes the mothers look down upon other mothers.

A vicious cabal those mothers be.

I was up and about on this chilly autumn day. A walk to the post office to drop off a card for Lovely Rita’s birthday tomorrow. Almost forgot about that. But thanks to Facebook I remembered.

A walk around the waterfront which is collapsing in parts. Some parts were built on wooden pilings which are being eaten away by mollusks. And of course Hoboken is broke and could barely afford to fix a streetlight much less a crumbling pier.

Still I really like Hoboken despite all that.

I cleaned up the apartment a bit. Small steps. The argument between Bill and myself the other night was all about cleanliness. Who’s the bigger slob?

You’d think one of us would be Oscar and the other Felix, but we have 2 Oscars instead. One, a greater Oscar than the other. No names please.

Things are cool now between us and I asked him last night if he had a good time on Saturday night and he said he did and would like to do it again next time around.

Mary-get your coat!

And autumn has finally arrived. Temperature has dropped significantly. No more open windows all day, all night. It’s OK. It’s good weather to wear a suit, perfect actually.

Checked for jobs, nothing much happening. No job fairs listed anywhere, not that I would do that again. A cattle call basically.

The other night I watched Ripley’s Game starring John Malkovich. It takes place a number of years after The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I had never seen. I had seen this before, rented it via Netflix.

Intense and violent but compelling and no one plays a sociopath as well as Malkovich. Ray Winstone is in it too and both Bill and I enjoy watching Ray Winstone. Bill started to watch it but had to go to sleep midway through. I watched it all once again. Recommended.

I also finally watched Hedwig & the Angry Inch. It’s a long story, not the movie but for me to finally watch it. And I’m glad I finally did. Very good, John Cameron Mitchell is phenomenal as Hedwig. Also recommended.

Curb Your Enthusiasm was back to it’s old self. Cringe worthy humor.

Nothing much planned for tonight. Bill is out somewhere and I’m just chilling right now, Colbert Report is on. Then I’ll probably watch Keith Olbermann and then something else.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

It’s back to work for most, and another day with less people around for those of us between jobs, or to put it less delicately- unemployed. It’s now raining out quite hard making me glad that whatever I had to do today, I got it done before the downpour.

I did laundry, ran around midtown looking for a photograph of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in ‘Top Hat’. It’s for one of the occupants of the offices at the old job. Owner of the company is a multi millionaire and I was asked by his assistant to find the photograph and get it blown up for his mansion in Palm Beach.

Fred & Ginger

I didn’t mind, but Jerry Ohlingers’ once of west 3rd Street by Bleecker Bob’s, then on 14th Street is now on 35th Street. At this rate they will be across the street from the Apollo in a number of years. But I couldn’t find that exact picture and they suggested Movie Star News on 18th Street which was closed today, presumably for Yom Kippur.

So I will have to try tomorrow. Weather permitting.

I spoke with my sister in law Elaine today. She was off of work due to the Jewish holiday. It was an unexpected and fun chat. She was thinking about seeing Leon Russell yesterday but she was a fan of his back in the day. I emailed her some pics of ol’ Father Christmas and since she didn’t see them, not being at work, I told her about them which really isn’t the same thing as seeing them.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, and I sent her 4 pictures…well, do the math.

One of the things that came up was my brother Frank. I don’t know if I mentioned it in an earlier post, but one thing I told him in my Beatle remastered euphoria was the fact that there was a slight jealousy regarding the Fabs.

It was also an attempt to boost his ego.

I told him that I was envious that he was aware of the Beatles releasing new records back then, and when I started listening to them, they were history and nothing new was going to come from them as a group, only as individuals which as you may well know, is not quite the same.

It was just something that came into my mind as I was riding the bus into the city. Just odd little transient thoughts that take up temporary quarters in my mind. So things seem to be back to normal, which is so loosely defined in my world.

Not like ‘Next to Normal’ the Broadway musical about a woman who’s having a nervous breakdown. People apparently leave the theater very depressed and not singing a happy tune. Not the show for me to see though it did win a couple of Tony awards I think.

I myself happy that I haven’t won any Tony’s. I don’t have a mantle to put them and wouldn’t know if I should get the mantle first or win the award first. Overall, I am content, not contentious. That was Saturday
and not today.

Venus

I guess I’m a touch hungover from last night. Must have been the 3 Absolut shots that I had. There’s nothing like a nap to correct that situation somewhat. And nap is what I did. Apparently I had a leg up on Rand who phoned earlier.

He was surprised that I had been out and about already. Around 10:00 I was getting coffee, bagels and the paper as well as a trip to the supermarket. On only a half cup of coffee I was surprisingly human. No need for homicide. Relatively coherent too.

But all things being equal (whatever that means) it took a toll and I sit around the apartment so far watching the rain fall down on this humdrum town, morosely. The weather certainly lending itself to that mood.

So a 20 minute nap was a reboot which might have done the job. So much so that I put on a pair of shoes since the sneaker I wore this morning had gotten a bit wet. Also heard from Casey Chasm, trying to entice me to move up to South Burlington with Bill so we could get married, as if that was in our plans.

I didn’t mention that that wasn’t in the plans as far as I knew. The topic hasn’t come up in a long time and why should we risk losing an imperfect relationship?

I guess jaded and cynical is the theme thus far.

Casey said everyone was fine, the missus and the baby both doing well.

It’s now a few hours after all that. I heard from Rand asking if I was interested in seeing Leon Russell play the Hoboken Art & Music Fall Festival. I was ambivalent and so was Rand, but he wanted to see what Elton John saw in Leon Russell back in those early 1970’s.

Elton said Leon was a major influence. So I called Rand and made plans to meet him at 7th and Washington. I had a big cigar and walked up to Washington St. Julio and Stine were out there with the baby somewhere and I thought I would see them but perhaps they saw me first.

Due to the foreboding weather it certainly wasn’t that crowded, but then again there was the stroller set out in full force taking up much space. People used to have babies in Hoboken then move out to the suburbs. Now, they stay.

Rand and I walked towards where Leon Russell was playing some rock and roll standards. Where we stood I thought the dark figure on the left of the stage was Leon Russell and it wasn’t until towards the end of the show that I looked to the right (it was a bit crowded) when I saw the actual Leon Russell long white hair underneath a cowboy hat and wearing shades singing ‘A Song for You’.

He did Great Balls of Fire and Roll Over Beethoven as an encore and before the last note faded away he was probably on a bus headed to the next gig.

Rand and I saw Rob La Rosa and also Roger Johansen and his wife Dina. Small talk with all of them, Roger saying he smelled a cigar and figured I was nearby. Funny thing is there are usually quite a few guys smoking cigars during the festival but Roger sussed me out.

Rand showed me some footage he shot last night at Duet, the Karaoke place. Lisa and myself singing a duet of Madonna’s Borderline. I was definitely having a good time on the recording though I think I sounded better singing Jimi Hendrix.

Also footage of various Hoppes and offshoots singing Twist and Shout. We must have had a good time, Rand and I. How else can we explain our hungover natures today?

I am also happy to say Juan’s broken heart has healed.

Here are the pics from this afternoon at the Hoboken Art & Music Fall Festival.

Chug!

Chug!

9.27.09 Hoboken 003

I almost wore the same thing as the second from right.

I almost wore the same thing as the second from right.

9.27.09 Hoboken 007

9.27.09 Hoboken 008

9.27.09 Hoboken 010

9.27.09 Hoboken 012

9.27.09 Hoboken 013

Rand's cheek

Rand's cheek

An old lady, dressed as an old lady which is something you just don't see anymore

An old lady, dressed as an old lady which is something you just don't see anymore

He was actually told to get off his bike by his mom and this is his dismount.  True story.

He was actually told to get off his bike by his mom and this is his dismount. True story.

irresistible force meets an immovable object

irresistible force meets an immovable object

9.27.09 Hoboken 034

Leon Russell

Leon Russell

NOT Leon Russell

NOT Leon Russell

playing air congas

playing air congas

A profile, perfect for coinage.

A profile, perfect for coinage.

9.27.09 Hoboken 056

Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Well this starts at rock bottom. Been a good day so far, but now Bill has flown off a handle the size of a aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. A ton of resentment has collapsed upon me. Oh, and we’re about to go out and actually do Karaoke which is beneath Bill.

But he says he’s going to make me happy which right now means putting me through hell in order to get to that happiness.

I myself am exhausted from the Gate Sale which was successful, just four hours but it was tiring. Then I met up with Rand and went over to Roda’s daughter’s first birthday. Her name is Autumn.

Bill said some heinous things once again. I’m no innocent, surely I added to the fire, but reined it in. He was anger on a short leash. All about who cleans up more. I’m pretty sure I do and he’s pretty sure that I’m wrong.

We were supposed to meet up at Rand & Lisa’s since he arranged the whole thing. Some drinks and snacks beforehand. We’re taking a pass on that obviously.

I suppose I wear my emotions on my sleeve whereas Bill’s simmer at a low boil just below the surface and tonight’s match was the concept of going out and doing something fun and silly which Bill feels he is not when he leaves the apartment.

I’ve generally been in a good mood all day, talking to people and selling my past. Bill was upstairs cleaning the apartment in his way while the Lawn Hors d’oeuvre Criminal Mischief marathon played on the TV.

Well we didn’t make it to Rand and Lisa’s beforehand. Things were too ugly, too heated to inflict upon my friends and some of Rand’s family. We caught a bus into the city which at the next stop turned out to be the bus that Rand, Lois spouses and family also got on.

Unfortunately Bill and I were starting to open up on our feelings. Once the others joined us, I saw it a chance to avoid Bill altogether and focus on the other people. And it worked somewhat, once everyone settled in their seats I said that I was glad everyone could make it to the meeting.

Bus ride, subway ride and we were around the block from where I used to work a few months ago. Songs were sung and at one point The Wind Cries Mary came on and no one was singing so I took the mike and did what I thought was a decent cover of Jimi Hendrix.

It helped that I knew the song inside out and knew the inflections of Jimi’s delivery. I surprised myself actually.

A few other songs were sung, You Shook Me All Night Long, Save the Best for Last and Oklahoma are what springs to mind.

I had a good time, but I’m sure it would have been a better time if Bill didn’t have a loud argument beforehand. Spent too much avoiding Bill which did not make for a fun time. For one thing, I didn’t know when it was announced after leaving McSwells on September 12 and walking back with Rand & Lisa and Lois & Fred, that Karaoke might be a fun thing to do and that Bill had horrible times once or twice doing it.

You don’t speak up, how is anyone going to know? To find it out an hour or so beforehand seemed underhanded to me, even after giving him many opportunities to back out.

I also gave him excuse to go though. He mentioned that it might be too expensive for him, though saying that to an unemployed guy while he works a good job was ridiculous.

Bill and I did have a good talk, no raised voices, just the two of us talking in inside voices and each of us explaining why and how they were feeling did help.

Overall it was a good day with a hellish intermission but it definitely could have been a lot better.

Autumn
Roda’s daughter, Autumn

Pump

It’s been a lovely Friday afternoon, from what I can tell by looking out the window. I normally would have been out and about doing something, but no, not today. Apparently while watching the taping of Spectacle with Elvis Costello last night, Bill was home and tried to DVR something.

But the DVR wasn’t working at all. I don’t know if he was trying to record something or watch something that he recorded but he was unable to. By the time I came home last night Bill was fast asleep, snoring since he decided not to wear his sleep apnea mask. (Mask is broken and needs a replacement).

I found out this morning that Bill had arranged for Cablevision to stop by and try to fix the box. Now they might be able to and they might not. They were scheduled to be here between 2PM and 5PM. It’s 6:09 now.

Bill has spoken to them and they said they might be here by 7:00. That means I’ve been waiting for 5 hours. In that regard, it’s true. I have no patience.

I was able to get some things done before 2:00 and I hoped they would get her soon enough. But of course they didn’t. I even saw a cable guy a few doors down when I was running around earlier and I asked him if he was here for 616.

No, he was here for 608. I guess it’s easier to send a few different guys out than have one guy work a certain area. So I sit and wait. And wait. And then wait some more. I know this usually happens to everyone sooner or later, but in this instance I have had no say in the matter.

Bill made these arrangements in my best interest. Since it’s more than likely they won’t be able to fix the box (Bill-optimist. Me- not so much) he didn’t want to turn in the broken box with shows that I have saved for some time now.

Laurie Anderson narrating a documentary on Andy Warhol is probably the oldest recording on it. I’ve seen it once haven’t seen it since, but still you never know when someone with an interest in 20th Century American Artists might stop by and after climbing four flights of steps I’d be more than happy to oblige.

Customer service phoned and said the guy would be here shortly. I asked what is shortly. They said 10 minutes. I said well I’ve been waiting since 2:00. She said well just sit and wait for the bell. I said, ‘that was a brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that before?’

She hung up.

True to her word the cable did show up around 10 minutes later. Nice guy, handsome chap. Turns out he hates Cablevision too! He rebooted the cable box with the hitting of a few buttons then for 5 minutes it reset itself and now it’s working fine. And it only took 5.5 hours!

Harpy then called making ‘my phone was on vibrate’ excuses for not answering his cellphone. I suppose when I turn 58. I too will have some authority to not answer my cellphone. Then Julio called while Harpy was yakking away and I took Julio’s call since I hardly ever hear from him.

He was sitting on the stoop telling a neighbor not to throw his empty jug of Dewar’s in the garbage, ‘It’s recyclable’, he yelled. I walked downstairs where the guy hurried down the street. The bottle somehow wound up on the guys stoop a few doors down.

I had printed a dozen fliers for a Gate Sale that I am participating in with Rand and Lois. We did this last year and now we’re doing it this year. I walked up the block and taped the first flier to a telephone pole at 8th and Park.

Walked up to Washington Street and taped a few more fliers until I ran out of tape and wound up buying some crap tape which I wrestled with. Who knew packing tape could stretch so far? Ran out of fliers and retraced my steps, and at 8th and Park the first flier was already torn down.

I knew it might happen anyway.

I did get a call from Annemarie who is treating herself to a B-52’s concert at Humboldt State University. I’m sure she will have a good time, A B-52’s show is always a good dancin’ party!

I can’t wait to hear about it!

The Wait

It’s Thursday again. Not such a bad day though I didn’t sleep well last night. At the movie with Lois I got popcorn and a diet coke. It was the diet coke that kept me up. Way too much caffeine. I should have known better.

And of course I don’t follow my own advice of getting out of bed if you can’t sleep, but being awake at 2:30 makes me feel guilty about being up so late. I mainly go to bed not because I’m tired but more from thinking that ‘I should be asleep by now.’

Still I got some sleep though not as restful as I had hoped.

Inglourious Basterds was a good movie. Not a knock out but worth seeing. Good revenge on Nazis movie. It veers sharply from history but seeing Hitler getting shot in the face was worth a smirk. It’s more of a fantasy than anything.

If you haven’t seen it in a movie theater you might as well wait for the DVD. Overall I would give it a ‘B+’.

I’m just hanging out right now. I got a phone call from Billie in DC who was just checking in. He asked if I got the birthday card he sent and I said I did. I didn’t really, but it seemed like the thing to say. It was a short phone call and Billie mentioned before it ended that he hoped I could use the money.

I hung up thought to myself, ‘Why did I say yes?’ I didn’t mean to upset Billie basically. I eventually went out to the supermarket and saw I did get a birthday card from Billie, so I did tell the truth though I didn’t know about it initially.

Heard from Juan, nursing a broken heart. All I could tell him was that perhaps Time heals all wounds. He’s truly heartbroken though. Sad to hear him that way.

And now I’ve just gotten back from the world famous Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem USA. Brought my brother Brian, always good to hang out together like this. Lot’s of laughs, no beer. They sold it, much to my surprise but we didn’t realize it until we were in out seats.

Elvis was great, looking like a Beauregard or rather Rhett Butler with a hat like Gable’s and from where we sat, a moustache? Perhaps it was an homage to the Band. It was a taping for Spectacle with… Elvis Costello, with Allen Toussaint, Richard Thompson, Levon Helm and Nick Lowe.

Larry Campbell formerly with Bob Dylan sat in with Elvis and the Imposters (the Attractions sans Bruce Thomas) and Ray LaMontagne sang the Weight at the end.

It was an enjoyable evening, certainly out of the ordinary. Brian had never been to the Apollo before, I was there in the 1980’s to see Boogie Down Productions with DJ Red Alert and Rob Base. It was a Christmas night show, went with Rand and Maurice Menares.

We were at the early show, sitting in the balcony, the negative image of the ants in the sugar bowl. People around us wondered what three white boys were there and we simply told them we were into rap. And we were.

That was a good show and our timing was good since at the later show there was a shooting.

Tonight was good timing as well. Brian made it to Hoboken, caught the Path then an uptown express. Had to wait online outside the theater for a while but that was fine, good to catch up with Brian. The show was entertaining and an interesting look at how a show like Spectacle is put together.

One can only imagine Victor Spinetti in the control booth.

Since Ray LaMontagne suddenly appeared and sang The Weight, they had to redo it with a proper introduction for LaMontagne. Brian and I split, caught an express back downtown where we found a Path train back to Hoboken waiting for us.

As soon as we took our seats the doors closed and we were en route. Good karma. Saw Brian off on a train to the hinterlands of Bergen County.

A good night with a good friend, my brother Brian.
Apollo Marquee

photo by Brian

The Weight

What’s with the early posts? Actually, these aren’t early posts. They’re written earlier but sometimes, like last night, posted later. Tonight since I am meeting up with Lois DiLivio and going to see Inglourious Basterds I thought I would get an early start.

Last night I came home, Bill was awfully quiet. Beating himself up for not getting the part that he auditioned for. I chalk it up to nerves, but it’s not my blackboard and not my chalk. It wasn’t easy sitting a few feet away from him and I guess it wasn’t easy sitting a few feet away from me, which is why he went into another room and shut the door.

I only wanted to help bolster his flagging spirits and end his self-flagellation. But he wasn’t into it and you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. He went to bed early enough and I stayed up until midway through Craig Ferguson.

He was up and out before me of course, off to work for our Bill. He gave me a nice kiss so I guess he is on the mend. I didn’t speak to him after that until he gave me a call around noon, telling me that he wanted to hear the sound of my voice and that he loved me.

So he’s progressing and perhaps learning from his mistakes. Before Bill called, I got a phone call from my brother frank, who had 2 words to say to me. Not, ‘drop dead’ nor ‘bad mood?’ but rather ‘I’m sorry’. I don’t know where that came from, prompting from Elaine? His shrink? Or perhaps he read what I had written the other day.

I, of course accepted his apology and that was that.

It’s been quite a humid day this day of Equinox, 12 hours of day, 12 hours of night. Perhaps the equinox helped Frank and Bill out or perhaps they worked it out for themselves. It’s quite humid here, the first full day of Autumn.

No haircuts today since barbers are closed on Wednesday. I asked about that a few years ago with Tony, my barber. He said all barbers close on Wednesday. I told him growing up in Lodi, the barber was closed on Monday. That sounded like crazy talk to him and it didn’t go much further than that. My hair is manageable though and no need to fret about it.

My old work neighborhood is under lock down again due to the UN Security Council holding their meetings. The President is staying at the Waldorf Astoria which is right around the block from my old office.

That would have been a thrill but since I’m not there anymore, not so much. Lot’s of protesters around so while I sit in Hoboken thinking that’s it’s quite exciting to be there, if I was there I’d more than likely be complaining what a pain in the ass it is to get around with the lock downs and restrictions.

That’s about it for now, it’s 4:27PM. Maybe I’ll write about the movie and spending time with Lois when I get back tonight. Inglourious Basterds was all that and a bag of chip. Entertaining revenge movie. More about it tomorrow, it’s late, I’m tired and it’s hummus out and it’s 10:47PM..

Song to the Siren

Gee I wonder if I should have marked on the calendar that this is Fucked Up Week on the 4:30 Movie. With the bullshit I jumped into on Sunday with the UK wanker, to yesterday’s butting heads with my brother and now today.

Bill had an audition this afternoon and I’ve been most supportive, trying to build up his confidence. But the fact that I mentioned Karaoke coming up this Saturday may have set him off his game. The audition did not go as well as planned and from what I gathered the Karaoke idea made him nervous.

At least that’s what I understood from his phone call after the audition when he was back at his desk talking to me through his headset which lends itself to lousy connections.

And it’s only Tuesday. What fresh hell awaits me for the rest of the week?

Already today, I decided to get a haircut. My man Tony a few doors down at Mr. L’s Barber Shop was standing outside with no one to sit in his chair. I see Tony, walk over and say hello and tell him I was running up to Washington Street to get some money for a haircut and to save me a spot as I’ll be back in 5 minutes.

Sure enough 5 minutes later, there is someone in the chair, someone who wasn’t me. That’s OK, I live close by and schlep up the four flights of stairs again and chill out. I get hungry and figure that I do have a plan to meet a former co-worker, Brenda for a drink after she gets out of work.

It’s always best to have some food in the system before drinking and I opt for 2 slices of pizza which is doughy and greasy enough to sit in my stomach for hours, negating the need for bar food at a costly price.

On the way I walk by Mr L’s again and sure enough there is someone else in the chair. So basically, I won’t be getting a haircut today. Not that I really need one, I look OK just wanted a trim to tidy things up a bit.

The main thing on my mind today is from what I understood as Bill saying that asking if he would be available for Karaoke on Saturday unnerved him enough to have a bad audition. Right now I feel that going to Karaoke this weekend would be a bad idea, financially and with my mindset today, a terrible idea.

This has been a truly crappy week and it’s only Tuesday.

I am just in a foul mood today. I sometimes complain that there is no one around to do anything with but right now I am very cool with that. I don’t even want to meet up for drinks, not that I don’t want to see Brenda, just that I don’t think I would make for good company.

We’ll see.

Once I get into the city that can all change and it usually does. It’s a perfectly gray sky today. No sun to be seen, hidden behind dense layers of clouds. I’m tired of fighting the right wing today, the christianists who want to impose their way of life onto everyone in the guise of freedom of religion. I sign petitions, call my senators and representative but to what end?

I get free address labels from these organizations asking for money. I don’t use these labels and they usually get tossed in the bin. Perhaps if they ask people if they wanted these idiotic address labels they would save a ton of money since they wouldn’t have to print such useless items that wind up being shredded.

Their hearts are in the right place, and their eyes are on my wallet.

In any event I will be going out with Brenda since I don’t want to be here when Bill gets home. Whenever that may be. It’s ironic since I think today is the 9th anniversary of Bill and I meeting for the first time.

Well I just got back from drinks with Brenda. It was good as it always is. I can’t help but feel like the poor relation since she keeps picking up the tab. Lot’s of catching up, she and her man Danny, me and Bill.

Tried to keep it positive on all levels, on all topics, the economy, the job situation. It wasn’t easy but things got better after some pints. It was an enjoyable evening to spend with an old friend.

Then I came home to find a mumbling Bill, not really communicating, perhaps licking his wounds. My wounds are still fresh and thankfully we are out of salt.

Don’t Pass Me By

Well I broke down and bought the remastered White Album, Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper. When at Target the other day I saw they had the best price and after obsessing about it, I decided to bite the bullet and get some.

The White Album was listed at $18.99 which is cheaper than what I paid for it 10 years ago, close to $30.00. If you’re a cashier at Target, if there is no one on your line you have to stand in front of the registers and tell people that you’re open.

At the register (#9) it was marked down to $16.99 and then the cashier applied a $5.00 gift card, knocking the price down to $12.58. At that price I also picked up Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper. And those were $13.99, at the register- $11.98 and the $5.00 gift card was applied to that as well so it was too good a deal to resist.

I was so excited about it that I told Rand and Chaz about it. And they do sound better. The CD’s. Rand and Chaz sounded the same. The records have more of a warm feeling, full sound- not flat like before. And I’m no audiophile.

That was basically the highpoint of the day. It’s been a better day than yesterday.

Online I sent the fat geezer from England who was giving me a hard time yesterday to the Spam folder never to be heard from again. I stopped by Tunes to check out their price and everything was a few dollars more for the remastered Beatles CD’s.

I called up my brother Frank, just to check in, to let him know about the Target prices. I was feeling pretty good, walked along the new walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City. They were setting up for the official opening with Governor Jon Corzine making a speech.

On the way home I had to get some juice and butter substitute and I got a call from Frank. I told him how the Target deal went down. He had mentioned earlier about how he would like a mono copy and I told him then that it wasn’t for individual sale, only as part of the $300.00 boxed set.

He said his friend Alex got it for $100.00 and I sort of disputed that. Outside the supermarket, in a good mood, last day of summer he mentions again how he’d like a mono copy. I said his friend Alex could burn a copy for him I’m sure, but I myself wouldn’t expect one from Alex since I’m not Alex’s friend.

Once again I get accused of being antagonistic. I tell him that I’m not antagonistic, I don’t appreciate being called antagonistic like he did on September 9 when the Beatles stuff came out again.

I was quite happy and thrilled and trying to share that happiness with him but he’s not having any of it either then or now. I told him it would probably be best to end this conversation right then and there since it’s going to a bad place and I didn’t want to go there.

I do my shopping and come home excited to hear the Beatles stuff. I feel a little bad, especially when I open my emails and there are 2 links that Frank sent. One was an R. Stevie Moore thing covering Elton John’s Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself and the other was this fabled rapid share list of the Beatles remastered from WFMU.

I decided to call him back and thank him for the links. I try to explain how I am feeling and during that he tries to interrupt me but I don’t let him. ‘Oh it’s all about you,’ he says. I tell him I am trying to tell him what is going on. He’s a bit put off that I didn’t enjoy a link he sent regarding an off shoot of Arcade Fire. I tell him I haven’t listened to Arcade Fire since May 2007 when I had my meltdown at their Radio City show.

I respect him, even admire him but what’s the point when there doesn’t seem to be any respect coming my way? He had another call and I told him to call me back if he wanted to. He hasn’t.

Now that’s the Junior side of the day.

The Senior side is about my father who died 10 years ago today. It’s hard to write positive things about my father. He did put a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and food on the table but he also ran a tight ship, kept us in line by browbeating us or actually beating us.

He was 40 years older than me and I don’t think we ever really got along. There was never any moments of a hug and saying I love you.

Growing up I disliked him so much that I indented an X on his face in a picture of him and his siblings. He did try to make a connection I guess, but talking to a 15 year old boy like he was 5 years old wasn’t the way to do it.

I didn’t like the way he treated everyone in my family and wanted him out of my life, the sooner the better.

But that would never happen, even after abandoning my mother in Cape May and driving back to Lodi after my mother jokingly said when having after dinner cocktails at some restaurant ‘that she was fine and didn’t need his money’.

He decided to teach her a lesson by deserting her, my mother. He felt totally justified in this.

After my mother passed away in 1991, I was living in a bad situation and he was as well after losing his wife that I thought we could both help each other out. Everyone warned me about moving back to Lodi but I saw a side of him I had never seen before.

Loss and grief.

I was working in Hoboken and taking a bus to Manhattan and then a bus to Hoboken. It was a job and I had no other options.

One morning as I was getting ready to go to work, I used his deodorant. He must have seen me doing it and he says, ‘I don’t know what diseases you have, but don’t use my things!’ I could not wait to get away from him, I would be happy if I had never saw him again.

I lived with him for 3 months in Lodi and didn’t speak to him from 1991 to 1998. Before that I didn’t speak to him after kicking his pregnant daughter out of the house for a couple of years, until my mother passed away.

But of course he was around. At Xmas eve dinners at Brian & Karen’s my brothers would try to get me to wish him a Merry Christmas. I had done it before and each time I would be rebuffed. And once again I went up to him hand out for a hand shake and he would look the other way. I told my brothers that I am tired of being the ‘better man’.

To others he could be quite the charmer, but to me he was a mean, petty and vindictive man and I do not miss him at all. I didn’t like him and thought he was an idiot. I’m sure he felt the same way about me.

In fact, I don’t think I really became an adult (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) until he died. Bill notices my lack of self confidence and my zero self esteem, and has figured out where that came from.

It was oddly reassuring to hear from my cousin Jackie that he didn’t realize how bad things were under his Uncle Francis’ roof until after he died. It was good to get some sort of recognition of neglect.

So here I am 10 years later, butting heads with his son with the same name.

I simply cannot win with anyone named Francis Xavier.

But I will always give Junior another chance.

An hour or so later.

Just got back from a walk around Hoboken after dinner. Enjoyed a cigar, listening to the iPod. Thinking about my father and that classic line from Paul Westerberg from the Replacements, ‘He might be a father but he sure ain’t a dad’. That sums up a lot.

I recalled when I was living with my father and during a lull in our stormy relationship we went out to dinner. He was going on about how his mother, my grandmother, treated him like a prince and my mother treated him like a prince. What a princely life he had.

The thing is, around that time Jim Mastro and Meghan Taylor had thier first daughter Lily. Now Jim and Meghan weren’t selfish at all and when Lily came into their lives Lily became the center of all tings Jim and Meghan, as it should be.

I couldn’t (or can’t) help but compare my father to Frank & Elaine and their daughters, Anne & Rex with Earl and Brian and Karen with their 3 kids and how their lives revolved around their children, like Jim and Meghan. But no one would be most the important in my father’s life, except my father. It struck me as odd and made me realize that we were in competition with my father for my mother’s affection.

We lost of course since we weren’t the breadwinners.

He said and did some truly rotten things. But he was my father and he put food on the table, clothes on our backs and put a roof over our heads.

So for that I will say ‘Thank you’.

Addicted

Well today I came to the realization that I am addicted to the Internets. I do spend a lot of time online and sometimes find myself away from the computer thinking about what is going on, online. Today was no exception.

Now I am a member of a few Yahoo groups, one of them pertains to big men. Big muscle men. A stereotype I know, but it works for me.

So the other day I get a posting in my email with some pictures of a certain body builder, really phenomenal. Who cares if he can barely complete a sentence. Maybe he can, I don’t know. Stereotyping again.

Anyhow, I was smitten. Plain and simple. Enough so that I replied to the whole group like most everyone does, and I used one word, ‘DAMN’. What guys say or think when they see a hot guy or girl, DAYUM. He was hot or hawt.

This wanker in the UK, some older flabby geezer took offense to my one word comment and decided to speak on behalf of all those who could give a shit. But me, being me of course kept taking the bait this fallen Mr. Clean looking type put out there.

It escalated this afternoon to the point where I just had to leave the apartment, he was potentially ruining my day. I did feel bad for this geezer, such a lonely chap living by Heathrow.

I’m sure the planes taking off and coming in would have an effect on this misbegotten son of a slug and he decided to go after me. With horrible spelling at that.

He was trashy and offensive enough that I felt compelled to head into the city and seek refuge by the skate circle. I took the Path train in and walked to Grand Central Station, then the train up to 68th Street/Hunter College.

It is the last Sunday of the summer.

I walked over to the park, tons of tourists. I enjoyed another cigar that Bill gave me and sat on top of Bear Hill overlooking the skaters. This UK arsehole got under my skin enough that it took a while to relax and chill out to the music.

It was a beautiful day though, people with dogs socializing with other people with dogs, some baby wrangling going on. A woman with her baby was trying to position her toddler so the photographer could take the picture with a Wish You Were Here/Happy Birthday balloon just so.

The DJ was really cookin’ when they stopped things so they can eulogize someone who was no longer with them. Apparently he passed away during the week. It went on and on enough to make me realize that I was hungry.

Hungry enough to head home.

Walked through midtown, chatted with Planet Bernadette calling from the ledge. I followed Bill’s advice and avoided the bus terminal. Sunday evening the Lincoln Tunnel is packed with people coming back from wherever it is that they were.

I got myself a seat and regretted not having something to read. All I had was the New Yorker and I had read it already. Still, it’s good to be home, UK wanker geezer has been marked as spam so I won’t be hearing from it anymore.

9.20.09 Nyc 004

9.20.09 Nyc 003

Faust Arp

Something happened yesterday that I forgot to write about. A nice thing, doesn’t happen often, at least not to me. I was at the supermarket buying groceries. I try to buy what’s on sale and use the store shopping card to get the necessary discounts.

At the express line the total came out to be $20.10. I checked my wallet and had the 20 dollars but no change. That meant I was going to have to charge it, which I was hoping not to do.

It’s not like Farfetched where when I was working I always made sure I had some extra coinage in my pocket so if someone couldn’t make the full total, maybe off by a quarter I would cover it for them.

That never really happened often but I had the money and didn’t really mind and it helped make Farfetched such a good place to shop, at least when I was behind the counter.

So at the supermarket in the express line I was short 10¢ and I said aloud that I had the 20 but no 10. I swiped my credit card when a young woman behind me offered me 10¢. Awfully nice of her and I took advantage of her generosity.

I thanked her profusely and wished her a good evening and headed out the door. Quite nice and almost restored my faith in the kindness of strangers.

I made myself a decent dinner of ravioli and after that started to watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann. But Olbermann was off and Laurence O’Donnell was guest hosting. In the middle of the first quarter, I got a distress call from Planet Bernadette.

The Planet just needed a ear to vent into and I was more than willing since I’ve done the same to her once or twice. I tried to reassure her that she was in a temporary set back, and sometimes 19 year old boys are just that, boys.

I did my best even though I don’t think it was enough but I did get her to chuckle by the end of the call. When the distress call came in I turned off the TV and when the call was over, I headed out for a walk around Hoboken.

No Bill, no Julio to accompany me and I didn’t bring the iPod. I did have a nice La Flor Domincana Double Ligero cigar that Bill got me for my birthday and walked up Bloomfield Street to the Lipton Tea building at 15th Street on the border of Weehawken.

On my way up there, walking past Rand’s house where the lights were out I got a phone call from Harpy. His disembodied voice made for some pretty good company. We were on the same page basically, ‘fucking republicans’ etc.

It was a 45 minute call with both ends making some pretty good points. I wasn’t red eyed and he didn’t seem too drunk. Came home finishing the cigar around 9:00 and settled in after walking around the Hoboken waterfront.

Around 10:00 I get a call from Lois whom I’ve been hearing a lot from lately and that’s a good thing. She was calling from a bar and she sounded drunk. She had 2 words to say to me, Art Hams.

The Art Hams were a band that Rand and I created about 22 years ago to play at the Martha-thon for Martha Griffin who was trying to make a movie at the time. I figured she was hoping to get Rand and I active again and I really didn’t see any reason we couldn’t do it.

Perhaps these Nurk Twins will ride again someday. Then Lois drunkenly slurred that she loved me and hung up.

It’s funny, nowadays when rand, Lois and I go out we’re usually home by midnight which moves the time for drunk dialing up a few hours, from 3:00AM to 10:00PM which is acceptable.

Then after that a text from Rand basically saying Art Hams. I figured that he was out with Lois. I was slightly put off by the fact that I wasn’t asked but I had just gotten home from walking around Hoboken and probably wouldn’t have gone out again, but with some prodding I probably would have made an attempt as my sneakers were still on my feet.

Am I a recluse? Is that why I wasn’t asked? Am I Greta Hughes or Howard Garbo or something? I didn’t care anyway, it was a momentary thing.

Bill was off in Elmira and after watching Bill Maher I watched the news, then the Simpsons and then started clearing out the DVR recorded list.

Such an exciting Friday night.

Wound up watching Scrubs from the last season and eventually deleted most of them except for the last 3 episodes. Then I went to bed, not because I was tired, but because I was bored.

Couldn’t fall asleep easily, perhaps because Bill wasn’t there next to me sleeping. I listened to the garbage truck roll up the street picking up the trash and my gigantic computer monitor that I had no use for and no one would want it since it was a big tube thing and not the flat screen that most everyone uses these days.

Woke up OK. Got a text from Casey Chasm, which is what actually woke me up. Mrs Chasm had a baby girl, Anna I believe, 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Beautiful news to wake up to.

Casey and Baby

I got myself together and headed out after a cuppa. Got some bagels and the paper and came back home where I noticed a bicycle lock, cut open.

Julio’s bike was no longer in the front of the building like it’s been for weeks. Gone. Not his $1,000 Bianchi but his everyday street bike. Douche bags a plenty. He was sad as was I. He was off with Stine and Alexander when I called.

After that I walked over to Target to get an over the door coat rack since I broke the one we had a week ago. A nice walk on the new walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City and within minutes I was in Target.

I found what I needed and also picked up a cool t-shirt and an iTunes gift card for a certain nephew who’s birthday is next week or so. Also picked up some t-shirts for Jim Mastro who asked Meghan to ask me.

Not a problem.

Ran into Rand (and also saw Patrick Murphy for the 2nd time today). Rand was on his bike and pedaled next to me as we headed back to Hoboken on the walkway.

Rand went his way and I gave Jim his t-shirts. He’s off to the UK to possibly play with Mott the Hoople at their reunion next month.

I came home, had a salad and headed to the Hoboken Historical Museum where my friend Pat Longo’s brother Mike has an exhibition. It was fun, good to see Pat who was spinning records and Allison Lee his wife, partner and mother of Hank. Allison and I share a birthday. After a crunchy Boca burger I was out of there.

Super nice guy Pat Longo

Super nice guy Pat Longo

So that was that.

Planet Bernadette still is a bit shaky but like Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius by way of 24 Hour Party People says: It’s my belief that history is a wheel. “Inconsistency is my very essence” -says the wheel- “Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don’t complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away”.

Probably said it in a bathhouse, but it’s the message, not the medium damn it!

9.19.09 Around HOB 001

This piece got my attention.

This piece got my attention.

9.19.09 Around HOB 010

Empire State Building out for a cruise

Empire State Building out for a cruise

The Planet Bernadette Dancers

The Planet Bernadette Dancers

9.19.09 Around HOB 019

Leaving on a Jet Plane

And here we are at Friday. So far it’s been a busy day. Running around here and there. Saw Bill off this morning. He was off to Elmira NY to play keyboards at some church function and also see a friend he hasn’t seen in years, Jennifer. I met the two women driving him, nice people.

I heard from Casey Chasm yesterday, Mrs. Chasm was due yesterday so today I asked how things went and they were inducing labor today. I’m sure all will be well with them.

Besides quite a few unemployed people wandering around. So I have the apartment to myself tonight. What to do? I did laundry today, returned Close Encounters to the library this morning. Read the papers.

Not much going on in Hoboken or so I thought. Just read about someone who was brandishing weapons on Garden Street, right around the block from where I am. On my travels I saw some sort of commotion. I

figured they were chopping down trees like they’ve been doing around Hoboken lately. But apparently a senior citizen with a gun and a grenade was running around. Inside the senior’s house there was a stockpile of guns and grenades.

The bomb squad has been called in from Jersey City to investigate 632 Garden Street. 20 guns have been found. It all started this morning and the investigation continues at this hour. Oh Hoboken, so much to answer for.

That’s about the high point of the day.

Bill just phoned from Jennifer’s car. They were out looking for a steakhouse where they can eat and catch up on the last 20 years. I

took the air conditioner out from the window yesterday. Didn’t use it that much this summer. Only had it in the window for about a month. Life on the 5th floor brings a nice breeze provided all the windows are open for circulation.

There was talk of a Karaoke night earlier this week but haven’t heard much about it since. I asked around and got some links which I distributed to Rand, Lois & Bill but haven’t heard from anyone about it. The date was next Saturday so maybe there is still time. Or maybe not.

Tonight is Blow Off at the Highline Ballroom again and I will definitely not be attending that again. Juan’s working and Bill’s out of town and I sure as hell ain’t going there solo. Turns out I don’t like club music so much.

And to tell you the truth I never really cared much for Husker Du. Sacrilege? Perhaps. The Minutemen were so much better and easier to talk to rather than grumpy old Bob Mould.

I did like Husker Du’s cover of the Byrds Eight Miles High and that was sung by Grant Hart, the drummer.

Bob Mould did have a really nice boyfriend. I forget his name and don’t know if they’re still together. He is friends with a few of my friends so if I ever cross paths with him again I guess I will have to play nice.

RIP Mary Travers

& Jury

Well today was certainly different. Out of the ordinary. But before that, last night. Nothing happened. I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind the director’s cut, and the director of course was Steven Spielberg.

Some added scenes, some make out session between Teri Garr and Richard Dreyfuss, some Melinda Dillon walking through the woods looking for her wayward son. It still is one of my favorite movies from when I was growing up. A perfect movie for a 15 year old me.

And of course, if given the chance I too would go off with the aliens in the end.

The trick is would I go through all that Melinda Dillon and Richard Dreyfuss went through to get to Devil’s Tower? Would I have felt that compulsion or would I have quit halfway there.

Perhaps if Bill or Julio were with me egging me on I would have gone the whole route, if left on my own I’d probably fall asleep on the rocks like the third guy running with Dillon and Dreyfuss..

Bill came home, feeling tired but wound up watching the movie until the end since he had never really seen it before. He went to bed soon after and so did I.

This morning Bill kissed me goodbye as I lay in bed and I wasn’t too pleased about being awoken. No cursing or anything like that but I’m sure I gave him the infamous glare of my father. He shrugged it off since he’s basically used to it and the glare has no effect unless you were brought up under that glare.

I had a tentative plan to go to a Job Fair today at the LGBT Center in west 13th street in the Village. I had heard and seen on TV that these job fairs are usually very crowded and that planted a seed of not wanting to go in my head.

Then it started to rain a bit and that made me not want to go in. Still I searched around the apartment for some résumés Bill had printed for me. Of course I couldn’t find them and the website suggested bringing 40 copies since there would be 40 companies looking for people just like me.

I decided that since the résumé was online I would be able to log onto Bill’s Mac and just print it out from there using his printer since my computer cannot access his printer. I was thwarted in that since every time I tired to log into my gmail account I was asked to log into Optimum Online.

I asked Bill what his password was but he didn’t know since he never had to do that before. Bill suggested that he could print it from his office and I could just pick it up from there.

Well that was nice of him to offer, but I was just hoping to take the Path train in and walking over to the LGBT Center from the Path station. I wasn’t planning on heading into the city on the bus and then taking a subway downtown since the Center was only a block away from the Path train.

I headed out, saw Stine and Alexander. Stine said I looked good and asked where I was going. I told her my printer woes and she said I should have just asked her to use her printer. I didn’t know she was a round or else I would have.

So I followed Bill’s suggestion and hopped on the bus. Found Bill outside his building. He said I looked sharp in my new suit. It was a suit I purchased before I lost the last job and finally had a reason to wear it.

I have to admit it was good to wear a suit and tie again. Felt good too. No more slouching when I walked, wearing a suit, at least for me, commands me to walk shoulders back, chest out, head up, looking forward.

After seeing Bill, I hopped on an express train to 14th street and walked over to the Center. The line wasn’t that long, I pre-registered online so I was taken care of. 3000 people did the same.

9. 002

If the line went around the Edward and Theresa O’Toole Building on 7th Avenue I would have kept walking but it wasn’t that bad. Only on line outside for about 20 minutes. I did make the mistake of getting online inside for the A&E Networks table which was quite a long line.

30 minute wait for a 30 second handshake and a suggestion to visit their website in 30 days.

A&E is merging with Lifetime TV so they need to clear out the people working for decent salaries so they could hire people just like me for half the cost of their soon to be former employees.

9. 005

More lines on 2 different floors and I did my best and handed in about 5 résumés. After an hour I left.

I thought it odd that one of the company tables was for Whole Foods which is currently being boycotted by several groups since John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on August 12, 2009 quoting Margaret Thatcher and suggesting that healthcare is a commodity that only the rich, like him, deserve. An he’s an Ayn Rand follower.

But that’s a different battle.They were handing out free bottles of cold water which was nice but the water was tainted with an Rand like aftertaste.

I decided to walk down to the World Trade Center Path station and enjoyed one of the cigars Bill gave me for my birthday.

A Million Miles Away

Right now I am watching Glenn Beck. I always wanted to see this car wreck of a show. Right now some puppet is calling Jimmy Carter an anti Semite. Really couldn’t take much of it, played Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel which is a nice palate cleanser.

I knew that Glenn Beck was an asshole, but wow, what a big asshole he is, or has.

Today has been an overcast day, gray clouds and considerably cooler. Autumnal weather. Got an email inviting me to see a taping of Spectacle with Elvis Costello at the Apollo Theater with Nick Lowe as a guest so I decided to invite my brother Brian, knowing that he would get a kick out of it. It’s next Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 and we have a plan.

Last night was a good night. Juan stopped by for a little while and just like old times he assumed his place on the couch, me in front of the computer and Bill, for a bit of a change was in front of his Mac doing some homework.

Juan and I watched the last three episodes of True Blood. He calls it goth, I don’t go for his bait. Also calls True Blood fans ‘Fang Bangers’. Still I resist the bait. It was good to see Juan, looking so handsome.

He’s invited me down to Trenton, what’s best for him would be a Monday. I just have to check which Monday that would be.

Been a quiet day today. Got a text from Casey Chasm, they were going to induce labor for Mrs. Chasm who is due to have her baby today. I hope everything will go as they hoped. They will make great parents I’m sure. I think life is working out just fine for them up in Vermont.

Tonight I might just watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I ordered it from the library and it came in yesterday. It’s the deluxe three disc set. The theatrical version, the ‘Special Edition’ which features the inside of the mother ship that looks like a parking garage and the director’s cut.

It’s from the Ridgewood library and it’s due back next week, so I had better get cracking. I’ve seen the first two versions and I’m not sure what the director’s cut will entail so maybe I will watch that.

I heard from the wonderful Jared Nickerson. He’s putting together a benefit for someone at McSwells in December and asked me to DJ for it.

I agreed to do it and I’m looking forward to it. Just bringing an iPod, no more lugging crates of records around. Not with my back. I’ll bring the Nano as a back up. Just another thing to look forward to.

Bill has class tonight, Juan is back in Trenton and I’m here with Close Encounters ready to go. A mellow night and I am fine with that. I have to gather a few of these entries and mail them up to my friend Jane up by Woodstock who has no internet.

That should give me a chance to go back and review the things I’ve written and send her the best, or what I think is the best. What do you think is the best? Any suggestions?

Banzai Pipeline

Well today is Tuesday. Nothing much happening today, the potential job I had for Greg Stevens fell through. Still I was handed a nice $20.00 bill for my services yesterday.

Today was a beautiful day. Now all the kids are in school, but still the stroller set roam, free range style throughout Hoboken.

No need to head into the city so I didn’t go. Last night came home in time to catch the first episode of the Jay Leno show and to my surprise is wasn’t that bad. Sure there is no edge to his comedy and I do like edgy comedy, but I did chuckle at one or two bits.

The now more than ever, infamous Kanye West was on with Jay Z and Rhianna, before that Jay had him out for a conversation about his being an asshole at the previous night’s MTV awards.

He got choked up when Leno asked him how he thought his mother would react to his behavior of bum rushing the stage and stealing Taylor Swift’s time. I didn’t see the show but I did see the clip and found myself so far removed from this modern day pop scene that I really didn’t care.

I don’t know most of the songs these days. In fact last week was the first time I actually heard Rhianna’s Umbrella and that song is two years old. I heard it twice in one day.

I heard from Juan yesterday asking if I would be around today. I told him then that I wasn’t sure but sent a text last night saying that I would be free. We spoke today and he said he was heading up and wanted to hang out.

I was hoping he would be up this afternoon but here it is 8:00 and no sign nor word from him. It’s OK, I didn’t sit around the apartment waiting for him. I walked over to the river and read for a bit. Nice day for it.

Also looked into some Karaoke places to go to for what I guess might be for Rand’s birthday. There is a place, Pulse on west 41st near the bus terminal that I passed by many times. I sent a link for that place to Rand, Lois and Bill.

And I contacted former co-worker Janelle who suggested Sing Sing on St Marks Place and Chorus on west 23rd St in Korea-town. It all depends on how many people want to go basically. The more people coming, the less costly it will be for all concerned.

I know Bill would love as will Lois, Rand & Lisa. I would like to give it a go, try out my Boz Scaggs number. I think I could do it. I still don’t know the rules of Karaoke, are you supposed to sing just like the song or do a radical deconstruction?

Leave people in awe, or leave them laughing. And if they laugh, will it be at you or with you? I suppose it remains to be seen. If you want to go, let me know.

I think the date is September 26 before Rand flies off to Florida.

Juan called, he’s visiting his mom and then heading over here.

Short’nin’ Bread

Just got in from seeing a staged reading that Bill directed at the Theater for the New City. It went well. It was a good play, could definitely use some work, some things should be cut or shortened, other things need to be developed further.

It was a musical oddly enough, about a black woman adopted by a white couple and raised as white. They remove all mirrors in their home and go so far as to hire a white woman to be her doppelganger in real life.

Yes it can be filed under hare brained but it was performed in earnest. Bill did well and should be satisfied with the result. The audience loved it as well.

Bill’s friend Kirk played flute and another friend of Bill’s, Tom played drums. Bill was worried about Tom being up for the task since his background is more in rock and roll and not musical theater but I think he did a decent job though he said after the show he would never do it again.

Too much restraint, not much room for improvisation for Tom.

Bill wasn’t around last night to watch the season finale of True Blood. It was OK, left me whelmed, neither over nor under but merely. Of course I can’t give anything away. That would be heartless.

Today I went in and did some work for Greg Stevens. It was supposed to be for tomorrow as well but there’s really no need for me to come in. The office is now a shambles, things aren’t ordered anymore, it really is a mess.

I had to type up an itinerary for Greg and his head honcho. Basically got paid for typing one and a quarter pages of meetings and lunches and dinners. I’m not complaining, every little bit helps.

Over the weekend I got phone calls from people I hadn’t heard from in a while. On Saturday I heard from one particular person. We were really close back in the day but time moves on and people move away.

I was glad that they called but couldn’t stay on the phone too long as I was getting ready to head out. I told them I would call them tomorrow.

So thinking that they were next to their phone all day waiting for me to call and not wanting to ruin their day, I called. I got voice mail and decided not to leave a message. They noticed I called and called me back to see what was up.

I replied that nothing was going on, just calling back like I had said I was going to do. It was awkward as they were in the middle of something and I was just sitting there feeling rather stupid with nothing to really say.

I still have to call some other people but I think it would be best to call when I have something to say.

Now Bill is at McSorley’s with the cast. He asked if I wanted to go but this was his night, let him bask in the glow of his successful directing. He should be home soon since he does have to work tomorrow.

I’m proud of him.

RIP Jim Carroll.

Hold Your Head Up

The earlier posting I did today, marked yesterday, Lady Godiva’s Operation was about 945 words. So I guess I did my 500 words a day already. But no, that was just coverage of last night. I did somethings today, but not too much.

I read the paper and watched Lord of the Rings basically on cable. Good stuff to take my mind off the fact that I drank a few pints more than usual last night. I didn’t feel too bad, but I was definitely not running at full speed.

Bill came home from church and was relaxing here while I watched LOTR. At around 2:30, I thought it best that I take a nap. Actually my body insisted that I get some more sleep so that’s what I did, leaving Bill with LOTR on TV.

I fell into a deep sleep, interrupted when Rand called saying that he was going for a bicycle ride around town. Was I willing to go? It seemed like a good idea, but having just woken up I was still horizontal and could have used a little but more sleep.

I told Rand that I didn’t think I was up for a ride, and that walking would be better suited for my 47 year old self.

I tried going back to sleep after Rand’s call but that didn’t happen. Instead I got out of bed and found Bill watching the Blue Collar Comedy Tour which he likes a lot. Me? Not so much. I got myself together and set out to see the beautiful afternoon.

It was indeed a nice day and there were plenty of people out determined to enjoy themselves. Foolishly I walked through the Italian Festival and found it was jam packed as opposed to last night which was sparsely attended and rather damp.

No spot to sit and read, at least not in my preferred area so I walked along Sinatra Drive and found a bench in the shade of Steven’s Tech and read Uncut magazine. Called Rand a few times with updates on where I was but got no response.

I did see a replica of Henry Hudson’s Half Moon go sailing by. 400 Years since ol’ Henry found the river.

Eventually I got hungry and started walking home. Bill was watching an HBO documentary on Mickey Mantle. I made myself some chicken with penne and pesto.

Bill has headed off to the final rehearsal of the play that is going on tomorrow night. I’m home now watching the ending of LOTR. I did pick up a little hair of the dog, some Guinness for my viewing of True Blood tonight.

So it’s been a pretty good day basically.

Tomorrow I’m going into the office to help Greg Stevens out for a few hours and might also go in on Tuesday as well, but I’m sure I will know about that tomorrow.

That’s a late afternoon thing so I’ll just be staying in the city and then heading downtown to see Bill’s play at Theater for the New City. At least that’s the plan so far.

Anything could happen between now and then of course.

The Half Moon

The Half Moon


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Lady Godiva’s Operation

Well this is a twist and a bit of a cheat. Writing about yesterday the day after. The cheat part is that I am going to post it for yesterday. Even though it’s now 12 hours since the day has passed, which also happens to have been my birthday.

Yes, I am now 47. No one is more surprised at that than I am.

The day was cloudy and drizzly and of course quite humid. The day started with Bill all dressed up heading out. I thought he had a call back or something, it turns out they were having a Super Saturday at his office.

Super Saturday is when college students come in to take a tour of the offices and learn about the company that they hope to work for when they get out of school. Wanker Banker used to have Super Saturdays also.

They get shown around, taken to a nice dinner and set up in a nice hotel. So for Bill it was an opportunity to get some rare overtime. Bill and I had plans to do something when he was free in the afternoon.

I got out of bed, found a bag of Godiva chocolate and a few premium cigars by my computer. Turning on the screen of my computer was a sweet message from Bill, flashing words in color, Happy Birthday Mi Amor.

Quite a nice thing to wake up to.

Better than coffee. But coffee was needed in any event. After a cuppa I headed out to get some bagels and the paper. Talked to Julio for the first time since his return on Tuesday. Every little detail that occurred was revealed.

A bit much especially since I only wanted to know if he wanted any bagels. Not enough coffee on my end made me shorten the call, especially since I was outside the store in the drizzle, and he and Stine didn’t want any bagels anyhow.

I came home, had a nice breakfast. Had some cookies and brownies that Annemarie made for me, opened birthday cards from Robert, my former boss, Connie and Rita. I heard from Bill who had a moment to check in and see what was up.

We talked about what to do in the afternoon. Gallery hopping seemed to be the plan. I also thought about a jaunt to Governor’s Island, but figured that since it was so wet out and Bill was dressed quite nicely that that probably wouldn’t be a good idea though Bill was game.

Heard from a few friends and family through phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages, all very nice. Had a fun chat with Karen Kuhl on the Path train and I met Bill at Tekserve on 23rd Street.

We walked over tot 10th Avenue and went into a few galleries there, me pointing out some Warhol pieces and some Keith Haring art as well. It was fun, but Bill was very tired and his knees were bothering him.

Not that he was complaining, he was doing this for my birthday.

We hit a few other galleries and after an hour or so we decided to head back to Hoboken. He was nodding off as we sat and rode back to Hoboken. Bill was very uncomfortable because of his knees and very quiet. We decided to head home so he could take a nap.

On the way home, I got a call from Rand offering to buy me a drink for my birthday. I told him that we were on the way home. Rand said he wanted to catch us before we climbed the four flights of steps to the apartment and were in for the night but I assured him that it was so Bill could have a nap before we went out for dinner.

So drinks after dinner was in order.

We headed out to Arthur’s Steakhouse around 7:30, outside the building, Julio hanging out of his window wishing me a happy birthday and commenting about how we always go to Arthur’s for special occasions. I was surprised to see him awake since he still is on Euro time.

Arthur’s was crowded and there were a few other birthdays last night. Steaks and Guinness and a nice slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle in accompanied by Happy Birthday sung by the staff and a few customers clapping along.

Former NY Giant Carl Banks was having dinner at a table a few feet from us with a group of big guys.

We headed out after that, Bill and I enjoying cigars. We walked through the Italian festival along the river. Not too crowded since the weather was so damp.

Got to McSwells and finished out cigars before heading in. Rand and Lisa were there with Lois who was soon joined by her husband Fred. My niece Corinne joined us as well. She texted me to see what Bill and I were doing and I invited her to join us.

She looked as smashing as ever. She’s a sweetheart and she bought me a Guinness, one of several that I had last night. Gifts from Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred were greatly appreciated. Corinne’s friends showed up as well. I met some of them before at Cory’s barbecue for her graduation but by that time last night I couldn’t remember their names, I just smiled and shook their hands.

Soon they were off to a real club, ostensibly to hang out with people in their own age group with music they could dance to and boys they could flirt with. Us older folks didn’t stay much longer after that.

After all the Guinness and good times we parted ways at 9th and Bloomfield, making tentative plans for a night of Karaoke sometime in the future, perhaps for Rand’s birthday next month. Too tired to write, too drunk in any event, last night so here it is, now.

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I'm in there somewhere

I'm in there somewhere


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By me!

By me!


By me too!

By me too!


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Wind in the Lonely Fences

It’s 9/11 in case you didn’t know. Still a sad say, but as with time passing the sadness diminishes for some people and for others it’s compounded.

I will never forget what happened that day and I really don’t think anyone who was aware of what was going on that day will ever forget either. I wonder if there are a lot of forgetful people out there that need to be reminded.

For me, it was a beautiful day, with a deep blue sky. It was the day before my birthday so of course I was rather happy about that.

I was working for a staffing agency called Staff Mark on 40th Street in Manhattan on the 20th Floor. From the office you could see the Empire State Building and beyond that, the World Trade Center.

I was manning the front desk when the FedEx guy came by saying that he had heard of a plane hitting one of the twin towers. I was surprised and didn’t really believe him anyway.

If it was a plane I thought it was a small plane, a Cessna, a Piper Cub. I turned the corner and looked downtown where I saw smoke rising and a big chunk missing. Went back to my desk thinking ‘how fucked up is that?’

A few minutes after that, I hear screams from the office with the downtown view. The second plane hit the south tower. Everything went numb after that. I guess I was in shock.

A co-worker had his brother working in the World Trade Center. He was never seen again. Neither were a lot of people. People that had gone to work on that sunny day, perhaps ignoring the emergency intercoms advising people to stay where they were and trying to get out were murdered.

So much misinformation was around that day. Reports that planes were attacking the White House, the Washington Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial was under attack. There was no clear information and the people on TV with the news knew just as much as the guy on the street.

Though the internet was around, it wasn’t as much as it is today. Watching footage on YouTube, you see people on the street where it happened fleeing the toxic cloud of chemicals, office materials and flesh and blood.

Today I watched an hour long video about one of the people who jumped from one of the towers. Hard to watch and I thought about those people who jumped from the towers that day.

What was going through their minds? Was it the survival instinct, to get away from the heat and the smoke and the only way out was through the window? Were they thinking clearly? Was it just instinct or was it desperation?

Staff Mark had a grief counselor come in and I asked him those questions, not that he would know the answers, nor would anyone else.

The footage of the second plane hitting the South Tower is chilling. Sinister looking. I think of those people on the planes and the people that were left behind. 8 years later it still is a terrible day, and terrible is not that strong an adjective to describe that day in September.

Daniel

OK, last night after writing I read my daily edition of Popdose, which is an excellent online source for music and other things. They had a very good review of the Beatles catalog being re-released. Or rather several good reviews of the catalog.

Let’s face it, this is the only time that most music writers would ever have a chance to review the Beatles as a ‘new’ release. At the end of the review was a free download of the remastered A Day in the Life, which I of course downloaded.

And I have to say, A Day in the Life sounded really, really good. I listened to it on headphones and I heard somethings a lot clearer than I ever did before.

Got me thinking that perhaps I will eventually buy everything all over again eventually, especially if I don’t get any for this weekend (and I’m not expecting to get any) for my birthday.

I even liked it enough to post a link to the Popdose website on Facebook, even stating that it included a free download. No one commented so I couldn’t say if anyone followed my lead.

I went to bed a little while after that. 1:00 seems to be the ‘go to bed’ time these days for me. Bill was up and out, kissing me good bye before he headed off to work at 7:00.

I stayed in bed until 9:00 which is the usual lately. I puttered around trying to figure out my day. I called my brother Frank to see how he was doing. I called him the other day but he was having computer problems and his computer guy had shown up.

He never called back which is no big deal, so here I was calling him again. I was initially calling to tell him about the A Day in the Life download and how good it sounded.

He asked how I was handling my unemployment. I said there is a sometime battle with depression but it usually doesn’t last. He asked about the Xanax and I told him I take it every now and then when things seem overwhelming and anxious.

He suggested anti-depressants and I told him I would pass, like I said the depression that I sometimes feel is momentary and I can get through it just fine. Still he suggested the anti-depressants again.

He still has difficulty speaking sometimes, trying to gather his thoughts. He also said I sounded antagonistic (or words to that effect) and I swear I wasn’t.

The thing is I take him seriously and try to be patient with him when he tries to talk. He doesn’t think I am patient at all.

I tried steering the conversation back to the Beatles and the remastering but it seemed pointless. He said we weren’t on the same wavelength. I made a joke about how we weren’t on the same Van Morrison album (Wavelength) which he didn’t seem to get.

It’s a shame, Frank and I used to be really close but not lately. There’s something like a chemical reaction when we meet or talk. He’ll always be the older brother and I’m always trying to win his favor while walking a tightrope and being true to myself.

It seems that when I am true to myself, and not liking something he likes, he takes it really personally and gets offended. Still, I do my best to be there for him.

I guess this is how it will be between me and him from now on. It’s also probably the reason I wasn’t invited down the shore.

I mean after the blow up between me and him in May with Elaine in the car as we meandered though Brooklyn, who would want to be in a beach house with two brothers at each others throats?

I guess he resents me, thinking I live such an easy life. But I don’t lead an easy life, it’s quite hard sometimes. The thing is I don’t complain about it.

Sure I’ll write about it on here, but as you can sometimes tell, that I occasionally start out bitchy, but by the end it’s over, or at the very least by the next entry.

I do love him, warts n’all. He is my oldest brother and out of Annemarie and Brian and myself I’m the one who is most in contact with him.

This afternoon I went into the city and helped out my old friend Dan Moore who works at Housing Works on east 23rd Street.

From their website: Housing Works is the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States, as well as the nation’s largest minority-controlled AIDS service organization.

They have a big event going on next week and needed some help preparing. Dan has been posting on Facebook, looking for volunteers. I replied a few weeks ago saying I would pitch in and I felt today would be a good day.

I walked over from the 23rd Street Path train and saw Dan who graciously said I looked 15 years younger than I did when we last saw each other. He quickly set me to work, moving things from their basement to a spot on the main floor where the event will take place.

In the midst of moving some big, heavy, cumbersome pieces of furniture who calls me but Frank to tell me he downloaded the White Album from the WFMU website. I tell him I couldn’t really talk at that moment which of course seemed to upset him.

As Juan used to say, ‘Whatevs’.

I helped move some more things up the stairs but after two hours, my back started bothering me. I found Dan and told him that my back was acting up and he was quite understanding and thanked me profusely for helping out.

I told him I would try to come back and do some more but for today, I was done. He invited me back for the event on Tuesday which was nice.

On the way back to the Path train I called up Frank who told me about the download from WFMU. He said they posted it on Rapid Share and I told him I would try to get it somehow.

Since I was calling from the street, the phone connection wasn’t the greatest and I didn’t hear everything that he said and I sure as hell wasn’t going to ask him to repeat himself

Day by Day

It’s Wednesday I suppose. Overcast at that. Not much going on. The Beatles were all over the place today. Except in Tunes, the local record store where all they had were the old discs.

I wasn’t going to buy any since I had everything already, plus the Beatles have enough of my money already. I’ve owned their stuff on vinyl (both LP & 45’s), cassette and CD.

I was most interested in the mono releases but their only available as part of a boxed set. You see up until the White Album, the Beatles were most involved in mixing their records in mono.

Stereo was more popular in the US and after the mono mixing, the Beatles would go home, leaving the stereo mixing to the production staff.

From what I heard it’s supposed to sound amazing but not being much of an audiophile I probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, despite the rave reviews from Mojo and Uncut as well as a few other publications.

Don’t get me wrong, if someone came and gave me a copy of Revolver I wouldn’t turn it down. Tunes did have the re-release of the Feelies first two records, Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth.

I will probably pick up Crazy Rhythms sooner or later. From what I heard, there’s a live show from the 9:30 Club in DC that Andy, the former sound guy at McSwells recorded and mixed.

Last night Bill sang the National Anthem for the third time before the NY Liberty game at Madison Square Garden. This time it was certainly different. More stringent security, passes needed, a wave of the wand.

Our assigned intern, Mike led us through the passageways of the Garden setting us up in the Press Room. Previous years we had a dressing room so Bill could change his clothes and do some vocal exercises beforehand.

Intern Mike had left us so Bill asked if there was a space where he could practice. It turned out Mike wasn’t supposed to leave us in the Press Room and a guy named Rick brought us to where we were supposed to be.

An empty room close to the basketball court.

There was someone’s things in there already, but Bill and I didn’t pay it any attention. He changed his clothes and did his warm ups. We were pretty much comfortable there when I heard a knock on the door.

I opened it and there were a few women. Groupies? I thought, but no, they were supposed to be in there and not us. So we were shuffled along to yet another room, and waited to be called up.

I once again recorded Bill singing on camera. That was done in a low key manner since Cablevision likes to control everything that goes on under their roof. I had an all access pass so I was able to walk around the basketball court.

Bill sang quite well once again and got an nice round of applause. As we headed back to our seats a few people stopped him and told him was a good job he had done. We sat with Bill’s boss and a few co-workers.

The NY Liberty were getting trounced and Bill and I made a hasty exit at half time. Just in time to miss the Jon Benet Ramsay types on the court screeching Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

A nice ride home, ordered some pizza from Grimaldi’s and just chilled out for the rest of the night. That’s it, plain and simple.

Here’s Bill again from last night, singing the National Anthem.

I’ll See You In My Dreams

OK, here’s an early post. Bill is singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden tonight before the WNBA NY Liberty game. I’m heading out shortly and might post later, but if I don’t….

Inspired by Popdose as well as a few other articles and blogs I’ve decided to follow their lead and do a posting on my favorite (not so famous) Beatles songs. So either read on or roll your eyes, it’s entirely up to you.

The ball is in your court and my words are on the page… or rather screen.

One After 909- Let It Be. Great songs from their early days, recorded then and re-recorded in 1969. Almost a sloppy take, but it sounds like a lot of fun. This song has been popping into my head a lot lately, but having written that it probably won’t anymore.

She’s A Woman- Past Masters Vol 1. I actually prefer the reverb version that came out in the US on Beatles 65. A really fun song to play, pretty simple. A great rocker of a song.

Old Brown Shoe- Past Masters Vol 2. The B-side to The Ballad of John & Yoko. I love this song, perfect pop. Great middle eight. George was definitely coming into his own on this one. I just love this song.

With A Little Help From My Friends- Sgt. Pepper. Yay Ringo makes the list! Of course it’s a Lennon & McCartney song written especially for Richie. Very simple and written for Ringo’s range. Don’t throw tomatoes, just stand up and walk out on him if he sings out of key.

I’ll Be Back- A Hard Day’s Night. A Lennon song, he wasn’t entirely pleased with it, at least in one interview, but he was known for vacillating on his opinions as we all do. Last song on A Hard Day’s Night, nice way to finish the album. Another song I enjoy playing on the guitar.

You Won’t See Me- Rubber Soul. Another great pop song from, let’s face it, the best pop band ever. Even Anne Murray couldn’t damage this song. Great lyrics, great backing vocals.

I Want to Tell You- Revolver One of three George tracks from Revolver and my personal favorite of those three. I think the Fabs were at their most together on this album and they all gave their best on each track, with this one standing out.

Boys- Please Please Me A cover for Ringo to sing. Sounds like a lot of fun going on with the bop shoo bops. Had to change the pronouns though of course.

Rain- Past Masters 2 B-Side to Paperback Writer. I’m pretty sure this is when they first started using backwards tapes in the mix. Pop psychedelia from 1966, also a great video, with the four of them looking so cool.

Things We Said Today- A Hard Day’s Night A song from Paul for Jane Asher? Maybe. Pretty mature for a 22 year old. Great opening guitar hook, downbeat. Always reminded me of gypsies.

For You Blue- Let It Be Another George song, not his best but included here. I sometimes play Kansas City on guitar and a few people asked me if the songs is ‘Because you’re sweet & lovely’ meaning this song. Similar chords perhaps or maybe it’s just the way I play it.

If You’ve Got Trouble- Anthology 2 Give the drummer some! Written I believe for Help, but not used. A throwaway song but another fun track, especially when Ringo says, ‘Oh rock on anybody!’.

Tomorrow Never Knows- Revolver
Last song on my favorite Beatle album. I sometimes wonder how much this track freaked out the teenagers who heard it for the first time. It might have been misunderstood back then, or even hated but it certainly has gained a lot of cool creditability as time went on.

Here There & Everywhere- Revolver
This is the song that Paul definitely wrote about Jane Asher. I first heard it on the Love Songs compilation in the late 1970’s. A truly beautiful song, great harmonies.

Here Comes the Sun- Abbey Road
Like someone wrote on another blog or article, is there a better song that ever started a side two of an album? Legendarily written when George played hooky from an Apple Corps meeting. I don’t think John was in on the session.

What Goes On- Rubber Soul
The only Beatle song credited to Lennon/McCartney/Starkey. Not the best but not the worst either. Good Carl Perkins like guitar from George.

A Day in the Life- Sgt Pepper Still a fantastic track, the ending to Sgt Pepper, simply amazing and thrilling. Even watching the video or short film of the orchestra recording is a gas. 42 years later it still raises goosebumps.

There are other songs as well, It’s All Too Much & Hey Bulldog from Yellow Submarine, You Can’t Do That from A Hard Day’s Night, Lovely Rita from Sgt. Pepper, I Need You from Help, Revolution 1 from the White Album. I could go on you know, but I won’t.

Last night Bill and I watched the last hour of the Concert for George from 2002 after the daily dose of Lawn Hors d’œuvre.

It’s a very good video despite Eric Clapton being around. I enjoyed it even more than previous times I’ve watched it. It ends with George’s buddy, Joe Brown playing a ukelele and singing I’ll See You in My Dreams.

I woke up this morning with that song in my head. A nice yet sad song.

And here’s Bill…

He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)

It’s Labor Day 2009. For some it’s the end of summer, for others it’s back to work, back to school. For me it’s another day.

All the ample parking that existed in Hoboken for the past couple of months is gone. They’re all back and shopping at the supermarket all at once. It’s a madhouse.

Labor Day for me was the last holiday before school started. Growing up it was usually the weekend of the Romaine Singer VFW Post 3484 picnic at Saddle River County Park in Saddle Brook.

My father was a member and most of my family would go. There were other kids to play with as the adults generally got really drunk. Usually there was a major fist fight each year, sometimes because one guy smacked his wife and someone would intervene.

“Don’t hit your wife!”
‘Don’t tell me what to do! Mind your own fucking business!’
Bam! Pow! Smack Smack!

Me and the other kids would get all sugared up at the 7Up trailer, drinking as much orange soda as we could. There would be egg tossing contests and a tug of war and softball as activities. Most families knew to stay away from the picnic area on those days, drunken veterans were not to be fooled with.

We would also play in the Saddle River, avoiding the carcasses of water rats as they floated downstream. Eventually the picnic would end as the park would close at dusk. Lot’s of drunk driving home, no accidents reported.

Remember this was the 1970’s when if you were pulled over by the police you would be told to drive directly home.

Mostly the veterans were all from World War II and the Korean War. A sprinkling of Vietnam vets were eventually represented. At some point in the 1970’s the picnics moved from the County Park to a space behind the VFW on Market Street in Saddle Brook, between the road and Riverside Jewish Cemetery.

The other children of the veterans and myself would play in those woods before it was developed, learning how to smoke cigarettes.

It was more contained in that space by the cemetery, still a fist fight would occur, oyster shuckers would throw down their shucking knives and join the melee. I only went to one or two of the picnics there.

No 7Up trailers there and the other kids were off doing other things, perhaps joining Al-A-Teen. It started not being fun sitting there watching the adults get 3 sheets to the wind.

In the 1980’s I did go to the Labor Day parade in Manhattan with my friend Lois. That was sparsely attended by both marchers and spectators.

I also went to the Carnival in Flatbush a few times on Labor Day. Each successive year I had less and less of a good time, eventually avoiding it all together. I

went with Rand & Lisa once, also with Julio once and another time hanging out with my old Rasta pal Marcus. The time with Marcus was mainly a blur since I was quite red eyed when I left. I am pretty sure I had a good time though.

Lorries

Still pretty tired from yesterday’s bicycle riding and despite how tired I was last night, I did not sleep well at all. Lot’s of tossing and turning and very little rest. Bill slept like a log of course. He was up early for another bus excursion.

Last night we watched some Beatles stuff on VH-1 after a dosage of Lawn Hors d’œuvre. Basically the last hour of John Lennon: Imagine which has a great scene where John and Yoko are strolling through Central Park and they come across some guy who’s absolutely thrilled to meet THE John Lennon.

Of course he asks when the Beatles are getting back together and John says ‘Tomorrow’ which makes the guy laugh and say ‘You’re full of it.’ The next scenes are about John being brutally murdered at the Dakota in front of his wife.

Bill was off to bed, and I joined him after entering my unemployment claim at 12:01AM. And from there on in it was an uneasy sleep. Woke up, Bill was on the road. I made some coffee and had a cup before deciding to head out in the world.

I was out of coffee and decided to get some more so I wouldn’t need to stress that tomorrow morning. But since the was a holiday weekend, Empire Coffee wasn’t opening until 10:00. There was a young woman standing outside as I walked up and she asked me the time.

I told her, ‘It’s not 10:00!’ She laughed, and I told her the true time, 9:35. Then she asked if there was a Starbucks nearby and I told her there was and set her in that direction.

I decided to do some other errands, bagels, newspapers to pass the time but despite walking a few blocks up and over and getting those items I was still waiting in from of Empire Coffee 10 minutes early, despite taking my time.

This time I waited with some members of the stroller set. I was a gentleman and let them in before me for their lattes, their chai tea before I got my pound of flesh coffee. Then I came home and read and ate and tried to figure out what to do today.

I was still tired and achy from yesterday. I thought about going to Tomkins Square where Rand and Lisa had a table for the Jack Kirby Museum.

Also thought about walking up to Central Park again, this time through the Brazil Day festival on Sixth Avenue. I wound up heading into the city on the Path to 14th Street and walked down the street enjoying a cigar.

Walked by the former Farfetched which is now a black hole of goth. Such a drag. Walked down St. Mark’s Place, surprised to see a new sneaker by Vans, featuring the Pixies, or at least their logo.

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Crazy crowded on St. Marks, lot’s of tourists and perhaps NYU students which is basically the same thing. Saw Rand & Lisa and their friend Richard and hung out with them for a while.

The Lady Gigglepuss

The Lady Gigglepuss

Jerri Meyer, Lady Gigglepuss & El Jefe

Jerri Meyer, Lady Gigglepuss & El Jefe

Jerri Meyer showed up, former girlfriend of my former roommate Jimmy Lee. Nice to see her, she’s still employed at Sony much to her surprise.

Rand & Richard for the Jack Kirby Museum

Rand & Richard for the Jack Kirby Museum

Spent over an hour there and had an enjoyable time. After Tomkins Square I walked over to First Avenue and caught an uptown bus for a quick stop in the office.

I wanted to check Greg Stevens stuff before he came in on Tuesday and all was in order.

Then a walk to the bus terminal, skirting the Brazilian Festival and most of the gawking tourists in Times Square.

Came home, made myself a nice supper and now here I sit, not as tired as earlier but still pretty much tired.

9.6.09 EV etc 002

at risk of sounding like an old geezer, I remember when this neighboor was all cement windows and very rough...

at risk of sounding like an old geezer, but I remember when this neighboor was all cement windows and very rough...

skirting the Brazilian Street festival

skirting the Brazilian Street festival