Monthly Archives: November 2009

Star Me Kitten

Yesterday I saw my first Hybrid car. I may have seen them before, but I saw one pulling out of a parking space on my street and I was somewhat surprised at how quiet it was. Surprised enough to write about it today, but not so surprised as to write about it yesterday.

I came home and wrote, and ate dinner and burned Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water and Honky Chateau for Jim Mastro. Can I just say again that Jim Mastro is one of the best people on the planet?

I stopped by the Guitar Bar with the CD’s and asked him to show me how to change the strings on my acoustic guitar. He showed me once a while ago but I was probably somewhat addled and as you know, lately I’m not so addled.

So I paid attention this afternoon. I was just me and Jim in the store. I babbled and made jokes. Since there’s usually no one around to talk to, when I see friends I am usually so happy to have someone to talk to I am like a faucet that you can’t turn off.

It took Jim about five minutes whereas if it were me it would have taken an hour or more and I would most likely wind up bloody and possibly break the guitar from using the wrong tools to do so. Who knew you weren’t supposed to use a crowbar? Not me.

And Jim even adjusted the neck of the guitar which was great and something I would never have thought of. Oh he’s just great and I love him. Meghan Taylor is not only the funniest girl alive, but also the luckiest.

Now the guitar sounds brand new, and I’ve been enjoying it even more than ever. I did ask Jim what I owed him for the strings and he said three Elton John CD’s so I was fortunate to have those handy. He’s been working with Ian Hunter lately, and we talked about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert on HBO last night.

We both agreed that Mott the Hoople should be in the Hall of Fame, Ian Hunter is 70 years old, still rocking and the idiots at the Hall of Fame should get their act together instead of fellating Bono. I watched the concert on TV last night, Jim didn’t.

I thought it was merely OK. I think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a sham. Many great groups will never be in the hall. The people that decide who are in the hall are record company executives who sidestepped the tar pits and Jann Wenner.

It’s crap, but I watched it and occasionally watch the inductions from the Waldorf Astoria. True, some bands that I like are in the hall, The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Beatles etc, but David Bowie isn’t. It does give a bump in record sales for the artists so that’s good. And I did see the Rascals rehearsing when they were about to be inducted, thanks to Arif Mardin getting me in to the rehearsal.

Bowie turned then down from what I understand, feeling pretty much the same way as I do about the hall. Rock & Roll is free, the music of the streets, not some falsely hallowed hall.

First up on the show was Jerry Lee Lewis, playing with his Great Balls of Fire. I think the people were still arriving at their very pricey seats and not playing much attention to the Killer.

Then they wheeled out Crosby Stills and Nash. Not my favorites by any means, though I do respect Graham Nash somewhat, David Crosby a bit too, but Steven Stills is quite a burnout who from what I understand, thinks he was actually in the Vietnam War.

Not protesting it, but fighting in the rice paddies.

I was talking with Harpy on the phone while they were playing, surprised that Harpy kept insisting that Stills is still a great guitar player. That was enough for me to tweak Harpy and say that Stills may have been a good guitar player, but what has he done for me lately?

Harpy feigned being indignant. Maybe he wasn’t feigning but it was fun twisting Harpy’s pierced nipple over the phone.

Bonnie Raitt came out and she was fine. Jackson Browne came out and Harpy incorrectly said Jackson beat up Nico when he was going out with her in the 1960’s. When Jackson was 16. Wrong. It was rumored that Jackson beat up Darryl Hannah (pre Kill Bill, otherwise she would have mopped the floor with him) and Joni Mitchell wrote a song about how Jackson is a serial abuser, driving his first wife to suicide. Ouch!

In any event Jackson and Darryl never said anything about it, at least not to me.

James Taylor came out and sang Love the One You’re With with CSN. You know, the song that excuses cheating on your partner because they simply weren’t around.

Then Stevie Wonder came out like a breath of fresh air. He sang with Sting, BB King and Smokey Robinson. John Legend came out and they played The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson, causing Stevie to breakdown mid song sobbing.

The song carried on and then Jeff Beck came out and played Superstition with Stevie while dressed like Chrissie Hynde.

Paul Simon was next, along with Crosby and Nash. Stills was probably having Nam flashbacks. Then out came Dion followed by Little Anthony & the Imperials and then Art Garfunkel came out and sang a few of their hits and everyone clapped.

Aretha was up next looking good and sounding great. Aretha lost a few pounds and made a dedication to Ahmet Ertegun. Then Annie Lennox came out wearing a shirt that said HIV Positive. I don’t think she’s HIV Positive just showing awareness that anyone could be HIV Positive. They sang Chain of Fools and that was it for them two.

Then came Metallica, by which time Bill came home and said, ‘Is that Metallica?’ never knowing or even saying the word ‘Metallica’ prior to that.

Joe Piscopo Lou Reed came out and sang Sweet Jane, with a big picture of the Velvet Underground (Doug Yule version, NOT John Cale) projected behind Lars Ulrich. Yes, everyone has a Lou Reed story. He’s probably one of the most disputed men in rock & roll.

A love him or hate him kind of guy. John Cale said it best, ‘How could such a horrible person write such beautiful songs?’

Then out came Ozzy who sang some Black Sabbath crap, followed by Ray Davies who seemed like he couldn’t wait to get off stage, like he met Metallica for the first time onstage. U2 were next and to their credit had Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith together singing Because the Night while Bono looked like a dork. Patti split, Bruce stayed and sang ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ with the band.

Bruce split and out came Mick Jagger singing Gimme Shelter with Fergie who may have hurt herself trying to imitate Merry Clayton’s vocals on the original. Some other Black Eyed Peas may have been on stage at the same time but you couldn’t tell.

Jagger was hilarious, being ‘Mick Jagger’. Mr. Low Percentage Body Fat he is. Bill was amazed, that this guy on stage doing those patented Jagger moves could have been Fergie’s grandfather, as well as Bono’s dad.

Mick split and out came Chrissie Hynde Jeff Beck. Sting popped up again sang People Get Ready which Rod Stewart sang with Jeff Beck in an aborted reunion in the 1980’s. Buddy Guy came out and he was classy, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top came out and played Purple Haze with Jeff Beck under a big projection of Jimi Hendrix.

Bill asked if all the guys from ZZ Top had beards and I told him out of the three guys in ZZ Top, only two have beards. The one who doesn’t is named Frank Beard. True story!

Then out came Bruce and the E Street Band. Sam Moore from Sam and Dave came out and sang Hold On I’m Coming & Soul Man. Tom Morello came out and sang the Ghost of Tom Joad ( I heard it took a few attempts for Morello to get his guitar part down. Same with Patti Smith earlier. A few attempts for Because the Night)

Then John Fogerty came out for Fortunate Son and Pretty Woman. Bruce and the E Street Band played Jungleland after Fogerty left, then out came the great Darlene Love singing A Fine Fine Boy.

Darlene left and then it was time to give the accountant some. Some guy looking like Mr. Weatherby from Riverdale High sat at the piano and sang New York State of Mind, sounding just like Billy Joel. Big finish with Born to Run and Jackie Wilson’s Higher & Higher.

It was a really long concert. A little over 4 hours. Bill went to bed, I stayed up and watched The Day the Earth Stood Still which was terrible.

It had promise but the plugs for products where overwhelming and the part of the little boy should have gone to a different actor rather than Will Smith’s son.

The part that really threw me was a scene where the major characters are speeding up Sixth Avenue to Central Park. Then they switched to that street in Los Angeles that they use for shots of Manhattan. Too many trees to be real.

And it was hilarious when the world is about to end, and the earth stands still. Throughout the movie, people are panicking, no school, people fleeing where ever it is they are. Then the world stands still and bewildered people are shown leaving their offices and assembly lines, because you know people would still go to work and those cars still need to be made when the world is about to end.

Truly a crap movie, not even John Cleese could save it.

Bruce playing while Creed from The Office sings

Bruce playing while Creed from The Office sings

Burn Down the Mission

Ugh, so tired. Been a good day though. Mainly spent by myself. Whatever manic high I was on the past couple of days has faded along with the sun on this autumn evening. Ooh, how poetic.

Last night Bill was driving off to Atlantic City again, so I was home alone. Following my sister’s advice, I looked up some holiday songs to play. Had an idea, that since I made $3.00 yesterday, if I can play some holiday songs during the holiday season, I might make some more money. Maybe $5.00 next time.

I looked up Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland all of which were OK. But the song I was more interested in was 2000 Miles by the Pretenders. I love Chrissie Hynde’s voice and in my head I can approximate her vocal stylings and I wouldn’t change the pronouns.

I’d sing, “He’s gone, 2000 miles/It’s very far” and be happy with it. Any eyebrows raised by the fact that a guy is singing about missing another guy wouldn’t be my problem. The fact that it’s easy to play is a definite plus. I practiced that for a while.

Also reacquainted myself with the Rolling Stones Wild Horses, as well as Bob Marley’s Jamming. No TV really last night, mostly listening to music. Saturday Night Live was a repeat and I didn’t want to watch Shakira again for some reason.

I did watch Live from the Artists Den which had Aimee Mann on. To my chagrin I enjoyed her performance. I suppose since she’s put Till Tuesday behind her, I can too. It was live at a church somewhere in Los Angeles.

After that I went to bed and the dream I remember was me being a good friend of Belle Du Jour, or rather Billie Piper from Diary of a Call Girl. She was fun to hang around with and it was an interesting and erotically charged dream.

Nothing happened, just sexuality was in the air. One big bloke was definitely into me and I was feeling the same way but one or two anti-Semitic comments from him put the kibosh on whatever was going to happen.

Some disappointing things happened last night, both involving Facebook. One person who I suggested something to, did not take my suggestion under consideration which made me think whatever it is they’re planning will only go so far. Damn cannabis clear thinking!

Another Facebook contact, did not get a joke I made and took it too seriously which made me think that this person I thought was cool at one point is really a big jerk. Too bad I didn’t know it earlier, having known this person for about 20 years or so makes me want to wash my hands of their project and walk away.

Not terribly anxious about the thing that they have planned either and wish it was behind me already. But that’s life.

Bill came home this morning around 11:00 and went to bed. I told him I might be gone by the time he wakes up and he was fine with that. I decided to go out and play by Pier A again around 12:30.

I had no idea whether Tim or Tariq would be around and they weren’t. I was armed with new songs to play and gladly set myself up in the sunshine and played from 1:00 to about 3:45.

2000 Miles was enjoyable and I sang it a bit, which was fun. Not too loud though. As the sun went west, I went south a few benches to stay in the sun and out of the shadow of the buildings. I played the hell out of Maybe I’m Amazed, so much so that my arm locked up a bit.

Easily shook it off though and played open chords until I felt comfortable to play barre chords again.

At one point, a shabby couple came up to me, both wearing plastic rosary beads around their dirty necks. The woman asked if she could strum my guitar a bit and being a nice guy I said sure. She did a little doodle on the guitar, played for less than a minute and gave the guitar back.

They walked off and I started to play again, but couldn’t play a complete song without making a mistake. The woman, Linda was the succubus’ name, stole my Mojo. Horrifying!

It was getting cold out and I was back in the shadow of the buildings but I would give up until I can play a song without any major mistakes. It took a while but I was eventually able to play Wild Horses at a slower tempo.

I didn’t make any money today and was ignored by most everyone that walked by this afternoon. I was fine with that though. That’s the thing about busking, sometimes there’s money, sometimes there isn’t.

Maybe Saturday is a better day, with people giving away their change to various churches and other superstitious institutions that they get dressed up for and attend on a Sunday. I’m very annoyed with the news this morning that NJ catholic churches were announcing their fight against same sex marriage.

After reading about how for the past 30 plus years the child sexual abuse that has been going on in Ireland and covered up by both the church and the Irish government, I can’t help but think these bastards in gowns are using same sex marriage as a boogeyman to distract people from the fact that children have been routinely raped and sodomized by this world wide ring of pedophiles.

I think Sinead O’Connor was right. Fight the real enemy.

Diggin the New

A blessed fatigue. Not overtly so. Let’s see. Last night, watched the second half of the Dark Knight. Still blown away by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Truly deserved the Academy Award for it I think.

The whole movie is so very good, but Heath Ledger stole the movie. It’s still a shame that his life was snuffed out like it was. It was on HBO and I knew if I waited I could catch the west coast broadcast and so that’s what I did. Caught the first half up till the convoy destruction scene in the middle of Gotham City.

Bill was working the 6PM to 6PM shift so he wasn’t home. I slept soundly when I went to bed, but missed his warmth in the night. He got home around 7AM with the sun shining through the blinds. And as usual after he put his sleep apnea mask on, his head hits the pillow and he is out like a light.

He was good enough to bring home the paper and bagels saving me from the trouble of doing it myself this morning. I puttered about on the quiet side as Bill slept.

Still avoiding the news programs and watched Across the Universe a few hours later. Bill was awake by that point and wondered what it was I was watching. He enjoyed it, as I slowly indoctrinated him into the Beatles music some more.

It’s a beautiful movie to watch, a bit over the top sometimes, sometimes a bit wonky but overall an enjoyable movie. I knew there was a Lawn Hors d’œuvre marathon on and I wasn’t in the mood for that. I wanted to be entertained.

After Across the Universe ended I searched on the TV and saw that All Together Now was about to begin and switched to that. Bill got a kick out of that. It’s about the making of the Beatles LOVE Show in Las Vegas with Cirque de Soleil. More Beatles, Paul & Ringo with Yoko and Olivia.

Bill enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the show in progress over the course of almost a year, asking me would I do some of the high wire acrobatics in the show for $1000. If there was no risk of life or limb of course I would. Hell, right now there isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do for $1000.00.

But I do have my limits and some principles and those can always be negotiated.

Just got back from Julio & Stine’s. They’re still having problems with their heater so I brought down the 2 Allen wrenches I had which we of no use and some matches. Alexander is now chatting somewhat.

The parents are clearly getting on each others nerves which makes me think that mother and child flying to Denmark next week might be a good thing for a break.

Alexander is quite amusing and always angling for my attention just like his parents. Now I’m being pulled in 3 directions, but I focus on Alexander since he’s less stressful.

Just checked my cellphone and I missed a call from my nephew Brian. I left the phone in the apartment while I was downstairs. That sucks but he sounded really good, saying he misses Bill and myself and he loves us and hopes to see us soon. He also said he’s feeling good so that is excellent news! Wow!

Today was a nice enough day that I went to the river with my guitar expecting to maybe see Tariq or Tim. Neither was around so I just played guitar by myself. Didn’t really sing, maybe grunted a bit.

Played a bluesy slower version of Love Shack, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Elton John’s Hercules, Please Please Me, Me & Julio by the Schoolyard.

It was a lot of fun, and I made $3.00 which isn’t a lot to most but it was a slice of pizza for me, and officially makes me a busker, having made some dosh while playing.

I’m very happy with that result. I think The Lion Sleep Tonight will be my go to song since it’s really easy to play and only three chords. And as Annemarie remarked, a lot of kids probably know it from the Lion King. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never seen it. But I think it’s a nice feather in my cap.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be even nicer and I plan to go out earlier. Not for the money, but for the practice.

The money is nice though, but as usual, I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for the music, for the art, for the X Ray Style.

Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

It’s a Friday, feels like a Saturday. Back in the day, when I lived in Lodi, this would be the day that my parents would go off to Cherry Hill, coming back on Sunday. That usually left my brother Brian and myself at home.

I would spend the day, walking up to the Garden State Plaza, buying records at Sam Goody, books at Schiller Books and then walking across Route 4, over the cloverleaf to Alexanders where records were $4.99 generally.

Maybe some cookies at David’s Cookies in Bamberger’s, or a cheap sandwich at Kresge’s. Then a walk home walking faster than the cars stuck in traffic on Rochelle Avenue. A simpler life it was then.

Don’t recall what Brian and I did for food, but being after Thanksgiving there were bound to be leftovers, pies and brownies and Pfeffernusse which would usually stay in a glass canister for months on end.

I remember one time Brian had a small party, I was upstairs watching Yellow Submarine on a black & white TV. Some friend of Brian’s was playing Dear Prudence on guitar which to my ears was amazing. I don’t remember his name but he also kept his pack of Marlboro in his Frye boots which I thought was sooo cool.

I suppose it must have been 1977 since I bought the 10th anniversary issue of Rolling Stone which made me somewhat hip, or so I thought. And that’s my memory from 32 years ago.

Right now, since nothing else is on I’m watching A Hard Day’s Night on VH1 Classics. Sure it’s distracting me from writing but it’s a fun distraction.

It’s been a giddy day for me today. Don’t know why but I’m not about to question it.

Maybe it had something to do with yet another cannabis free dream last night. This one, I was Bob Dylan’s assistant at his hotel somewhere in Manhattan. I had a problem dealing with his barbecue utensils & tongs so I asked a New York Times reporter in the next room what I should do with them.

Just then Bob entered and said not to touch them. Fine enough, I said I was leaving and I would see everyone tomorrow. As I was leaving the hotel room, in the hallway some guy grabs my arm and tells me to come with him.

Having no say in the matter I go with him and we wind up on the roof of the hotel. He starts telling me that he’s upset with the fact that I’ve been dealing weed in his hotel. Apparently he, and only he was allowed to do such dealings.

I plead my case, stating that it’s impossible, that I hadn’t smoked any weed in over a week! That actually got me off the hook.

I woke up to Bill watching Sanford & Son in the next room. After I got myself awake and alive, Bill and I walked around Hoboken a bit. Stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim.

I bought a guitar strap with the Guitar Bar logo on it which Jim graciously took a couple of bucks off the price. I’d still love Jim even if he charged me full price.

Then it was off to the Post Office to pay some bills. Bill saw me put the local mail in the wrong slot and after the letter left my fingers he asked if I had put a stamp on it.

I know at the apartment I thought about using a Homer Simpson stamp and when Bill mentioned that I thought I did. But doubt being what it is, I got back on line and told a postal worker about what I might have done.

He directed me to walk down the hall to the customer service window. I rang the bell and told them and they retrieved the letter, with no stamp on it. Then I had to get back on line and buy some stamps.

Being in a giddy mood, almost manic, I chatted with the man behind the glass, answering his question about using a credit card with a ‘Yes, Ma’am’. ‘Ma’am?’ he remarked and I apologized with him saying in turn, ‘It’s OK, Miss’. It was all a big giggle.

Came home Bill took a nap since he’s working from 6:00PM to 6:00AM. Overtime rarely comes to his office and he jumped at the chance. I changed my guitar strap, played some songs, Elton, Beck, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elvis Costello. Trying to figure out La Vie en Rose as well.

Woke Bill up at 4:00 by standing over him and playing The Lion Sleeps Tonight. A giddy day. Giddy I tell you, Giddy!

Here Today

Well it’s been a very good day. I hope it’s been a very good day for you as well. Woke up to find Bill traversed around Hoboken getting bagels and some brownies and also the newspaper. A lovely way to start off a Thanksgiving day.

I puttered around the apartment, having a few hours to get ready to go. Bill and I were going to Pine Bush NY to his cousin Hiram and Hiram’s wife Chris’ house. We went up there last year and had a good time and we were both looking forward to a similar time today.

I shaved and got myself ready, deciding to wear a suit and tie since I haven’t had many opportunities to get dressed up. Soon enough it was time to go. I hoped that we would see Julio and Alexander while walking through Church Square Park since Julio phoned from there a little bit earlier, but he had a full schedule, having to go to the market and then to North Bergen to pick up his mother for a dinner in Hoboken.

Bill, the master planner had it all figured out, having bought tickets yesterday enabled an easy walk to the train station. Bill was worried it would be like it was last year when we left from Grand Central Station.

That was a hassle since there were a ton of people leaving the city and getting to Grand Central was a pain in the ass since I needed to cross the street during the big Thanksgiving parade and the only way to do that was to use my Metro Card and go through the turnstile, walk past the subway booth and then climb the stairs out not using the subway at all.

No it wasn’t going to be like that since we were avoiding the city altogether. It turned out to be a beautiful day after all, enough so that we dilly dallied a bit.

As expected the train station wasn’t crowded at all and we found some good seats, Bill getting the window. About 2 hours later we got off the train in Middletown, which is the stop before Otisville where Pedro & Connie live.

We were picked up and on our way past horse farms and cows grazing in Pastures. We weren’t in Hoboken anymore. Bill’s cousin Hiram was outside holding court and I hung outside for a while taking in the scenery of the mountains in the background.

I remarked that it was a beautiful sight and another guest said it was broken. I asked him what he meant and he quoted from the book of Romans, some nonsense about how the Garden of Eden would be restored once Jesus would come back from wherever it was he’s been hiding for 2000 years.

I pegged him as someone to avoid and avoid him I did. Obviously someone who wears his religion on his sleeve and probably a supported of the recent Manhattan Doctrine, where christianists have vowed to disobey the law where it involves the rights and protections of LGBT people, relating to a higher power, somewhere in a cloud or orbiting the earth in a satellite.

So this guy while he turned out to be OK I was wary being around him. Dinner was wonderful, Chris really outdid herself on the turkey and all the side dishes and pies. A really nice time. Time flew by, we had to catch a 6:00 train so all in all we were there about four hours.

It was a close call, if we missed that train which ran express we would have to wait until 9:00 to catch the next train and that wasn’t express. Hiram’s son in law Aarick (pronounced Eric) got to the station where the train was about to leave.

A long nap for Bill and a 5 minute nap for me after reading the October 25 issue of the New Yorker. I am so behind on the New Yorker. Bill and I enjoyed some cigars, walking through the mostly deserted streets of Hoboken.

Now we sit, eating brownies and watching the Paul McCartney Live at Citi Field special on the telly. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving like we did, luv.

11.26.09 Thanksgiving 002

11.26.09 Thanksgiving 004

11.26.09 Thanksgiving 009

The 'broken' landscape...idiot.

The 'broken' landscape...idiot.

11.26.09 Thanksgiving 012

'Ahh I have family in Cornwall...'

'Ahh I have family in Cornwall...'

Let It Down

Woke up with a cannabis hangover though I haven’t smoked it in a week now. Perhaps it’s leaving my body, leaving me, well, just leaving me I guess with vivid dreams.

Last night was about someone, maybe Bill switching the tables on me, taking my table which this computer is on and giving me a table I used to have back in Riverview Avenue. It was maybe 2 feet tall and a lot smaller. Don’t know what that is supposed to represent if it’s supposed to represent anything.

I had to get up earlier than I’ve been since I scheduled a visit from PSE&G for this morning between 8:00AM and 12:00PM. I made some coffee and did my usual routine. Online I got an instant message from Vinnie, who I used to work with in the Wanker Banker days.

He asked that I call him as soon as possible and so I did. I contacted Vinnie the other day regarding putting him down as a reference. I was apprehensive since his mother has been sick and in the hospital and I hoped my timing wouldn’t be awful. It wasn’t his mother just came home yesterday.

He was surprised that I’ve been out of work since July and he’d be more than happy to be a reference. We had a good talk and he had a suggestion that I should look into taking a real estate license test, figuring I would be good at that.

Vinnie said if he was going to buy some real estate, he’d buy it from someone like me. The funny thing is, yesterday while ambling around Hoboken where there is a real estate office on almost every block I passed by an office with a sign in their window suggesting a change of career, try real estate.

I thought I might do good in that so it’s actually something I was considering and Vinnie saying the same thing seemed fortuitous. He’s really a good guy and I am glad to have him in my corner. I even sent an email to a friend of Julio’s who did the same thing, got her broker license and now works in real estate.

Who knows? It seems like a good idea right now. I wished Vinnie and his wife and kids a Happy Thanksgiving and made tentative plans to meet up for a coffee down the line.

Walked around a bit today and stopped by a stationary store that had a help wanted sign in their window. I went in and asked if it was an off the books job and it wasn’t. They gave me an application and I started to fill it out, then I said that I was running late and would fill out the application at home and bring it back.

I’m not going to bring it back. I was hoping for a situation like Farfetched but obviously that wasn’t in the cards, so to speak.

Ran out of Stevia and so it was off to the A&P where I ran into Clara a girl I used to work with at that video store almost 20 years ago. She lives around the block and I see her every couple of months. She’s a happily married mom now with 2 kids.

We were close at one point but as it happened we drifted apart after I got fired from the video store after being caught doing something I shouldn’t have been doing while in the downward spiral I was in in the months following my mother’s passing.

It was good to see her though, she’s still a sweet heart though time and rumors widened the chasm between us. It was a day where former co-workers from my past popped up.

And then there’s Harpy. He pops up like clockwork. While I’m writing, or eating dinner, Harpy invariably calls. I don’t mind since I love Harpy and I know he loves me.

Had a good talk with my brother Brian last night. He’s a good guy and I love him a lot. We went though a lot of shit together and being the brother closest to me in age, a lot of fighting which he almost always won.

But that was then, here we are now and I consider him not just a brother but a very dear friend. I’m sure he doesn’t understand things about me but I know he’s there for me and I am there for him, lending an ear whenever possible.

Played guitar today as well, learning some Paul Simon songs since if I’m going to be busking, it’s good to play songs that people know, rather than going for songs that maybe be cool to me, but unknown to most.

I mean, I’d love to play All Tomorrows Parties by the Velvet Underground and singing it like Nico would, but really, would the people walking by the riverside know what I was singing? More than likely not, so I’ll play Me & Julio by the Schoolyard or Kodachrome and be happy with that and hopefully get some greenbacks in my guitar case.

And with that, I will wish you all, or the both of you, a very Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t know when I’ll be posting, we’re heading upstate and if we don’t catch the 6:00 train getting into Hoboken around 9:00, we’ll catch the 9:00 train, getting into Hoboken around midnight.

So Happy Thanksgiving from me.

Turn the Heater On

It’s a Tuesday. Not necessarily a sunny day but it was OK enough to get me out of the apartment after job searching for a good part of the day. Last night’s cannabis free dreams involved being in a taxi on Eighth Avenue with a former co-worker who was a composite of a few different co-workers.

In the dream I started out wandering lost in the Port Authority bus terminal. Larger and more sprawling than it actually is. Caught a cab with the co-worker, and as we sat in traffic the cab driver decided to take a short cut which was basically a parking lot with only one way to get in and out. Bumper to bumper traffic.

The co-worker left when we got back into the traffic and I eventually woke up. Made some coffee, had breakfast and showered. Yes, all blah blah blah. Living on the 5th floor of a building means that it’s generally cooler five stories up than it is on the street.

I usually turn on the heater built into the stove for a little while to warm things up but found that when I went to turn on the heater, there was no heat. I checked and the pilot was out. SO I lay on the floor trying to turn it on to no avail.

I texted Julio to see if he could help me with it, but they have a similar problem with the heater in the bedroom and even a handyman like Julio couldn’t fix it so they’ve been using a space heater. He suggested calling PSE&G for an appointment so they’re scheduled to come here tomorrow between 8AM and 12PM.

And since the stove which is pretty old is not under warranty it could cost us some money for the visit. The stove works, but not the heater. I called Bill and left a voice mail for him.

I’ve been doing good. Avoiding most TV news. No more MSNBC on during the day. Instead I watched the Gilmore Girls and wanted to move to Stars Hollow. I watched a repeat of the Daily Show from last week and then headed out.

Wandered around Hoboken, making my way up to 14th Street and then over to the river. Bill called back a few hours after I called and he was his usual ebullient self. He asked what I was up to and I told him I was walking around Hoboken, glad to get out of the apartment.

I also remarked that I was glad to be away from people and he laughed at how I was alone in the apartment and now alone outside. I told him that there was no one around where I was walking, that that was what I meant.

He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was reluctant to tell him about being a little depressed. He didn’t mind hearing it, saying that I would be there for him if the situation was different. And it’s true, I would be and I have been.

But this has been going on more and more lately, hence my reluctance to say anything. Then Bill had another call and said he’d call me back. That was about 6 hours ago, not that I’m counting. He’s at work and doesn’t need to hear the crap I’m going through.

Walked towards the train station, circled around Pier A. In the distance I saw Tariq, packing up his guitar and heading away from me. I could have yelled out to him but decided not to.

I made my way home, and called my brother Frank. It’s been hit or miss with him lately and decided not to let him interrupt. Told him about the guitar playing and the keyboard playing the other day and even how I’ve been a little bit depressed lately.

He suggested playing the guitar some more and once I got off the phone with him that is exactly what I did. And he was right. It took my mind off my problems and gave me a feeling that I was accomplishing something.

I’m trying to build up a repertoire for when I actually try my hand at busking and for the past couple of hours I’ve been playing Paul Simon songs courtesy of the Ultimate Guitar website.

One song in particular stands out and it’s a from a video by Gary Weis from the early days of Saturday Night Live, just footage of people coming home for the holidays at various terminals and meeting their loved ones.

I always think of Gary Weis’ video when I hear Homeward Bound, and just sent him an email telling him so. Another person sent an email to him saying basically the same thing. A short 3 minute video that resonated so deeply 30 years ago, still resides in my mind and my heart.

Most of The Time

Last night was melancholy. It was a slow descent into melancholia. In the back of my mind was the anxiety of the job interview this morning. Well maybe it was more like a full occupation of my mind, the melancholia.

I had a fun phone call with Annemarie and a good time with Bill but I couldn’t enjoy things like Curb Your Enthusiasm. There were aspects that I did laugh at but most everything was clouded by the anxiety. And it wasn’t so much the interview, it’s the whole idea of being unemployed.

It’s really a drag and that is really an understatement. I’ve been unemployed before and knew it was only a matter of time before I would land another gig. But it really is scary out there. I didn’t know how scary it was until I became part of it.

I had an appointment for 11:00 this morning for an interview and felt that the tutorials I did a few weeks ago would help me out. I set the alarm clock for 7:00. Bill was up and out around 6:00, giving me a kiss goodbye and wishing me well.

He’s so great. Drives me crazy sometimes, but any relationship usually involves one party driving the other party crazy. The toothpaste cap. The dishes in the sink. Neither one of those issues concern us, just using it for an example.

He’s so incredibly supportive of me, believing in me when I don’t. And that’s a lot of the time.

Yesterday when I was at Tariq’s studio, the two of us were on the fire escape having a smoke. He had some good advice having been through a lot in his own life. It was advice that I had given to people from time to time and I had forgotten it.

There’s always someone who has it worse than you. As he was saying this I saw two people in electric wheelchairs in the distance headed to the light rail. How’s that for reality? I told Tariq I know I have it good. I have a roof over my head and I have someone who loves me. And some people don’t have either. So I’m grateful.

And if I am asked on Thursday to state what I am thankful for I can just point at Bill and say ‘Him’.

I reset the alarm clock to 9:00 and finally got some real good sleep. Woke up to the music of War singing Low Rider. I even said an affirmation. ‘Good day, good day, it’s gonna be a good day’ I kept repeating that to myself and I got myself ready.

Had to print out three references, got a nice suit & tie on. Braces, socks, sock garters (hate droopy socks), lightly polished my shoes and had my passport for government ID, my resume and I was out the door.

The light rail was at 10:38 and I thought I had enough time but by the time I was about 150 yards from the light rail I looked at my watch and it was 10:35. I ran through the terminal, jammed my credit card in the ticket machine, had it validated, time stamped at 10:38 and saw the light rail pulling away.

I called up the agency, getting the number through Google411 and dialed the number. No answer. I called Bill and asked him to go into my email and get the info from the email that the counselor Rainier sent me.

Bill was great and asked if I was going to call the counselor. Steam leaked a little bit from my ears but I kept it cool. He got the info and told me and I called, telling Rainier that I was going to be 10 minutes late.

He was fine with it, but I hate being late. Generally I’m early. Good day good day, it’s gonna be a good day. Got off the light rail in the middle of the Harborside complex which consists of a few post modern buildings.

Which one? I called Bill once again and once again Bill came through.

Got to the office, filled out paperwork. Took an Excel, Word and Outlook test. Oddly enough I did better on the Excel than I did on the Word. Outlook was a walk in the park.

I was in a tiny room with four other guys, all of us intensely focused on the computer screens in front of us. I was gassy. Not releasing gas mind you, but it was moving it’s way through my body and was a little bit noisy. At least noisy to me.

Don’t know if the others heard it. It was like an interview I had tears ago for a production company called Geronimo. Same thing happened but that was during the interview. No gas, just internal noise.

Finally met Rainier who was a crazy cute guy. We went over the tests and he remarked that I did better than most which was a pleasant surprise. I have a good feeling about this agency. Perhaps they’ll place me somewhere.

Maybe it was butterflies in my stomach from talking with Rainier, maybe it was gas. It went well and I wished him and the receptionist and Happy Thanksgiving which is the thing to say this week.

Even though it was cold and windy I decided to walk back to Hoboken through the Jersey City waterfront. I enjoyed a cigar on the way and listened to the iPod. Overall I think it went well. A positive way to spend a few hours.

I feel a lot better tonight and shook a rosebush when I got home.

Here’s some pics from the walk home.

9/11 Memorial @ Harborside

9/11 Memorial @ Harborside

11.23.09 Jersey City area 002

11.23.09 Jersey City area 003

11.23.09 Jersey City area 004

11.23.09 Jersey City area 005

Tiny terracotta warrior @ a Cooperative school

Tiny terracotta warrior @ a Cooperative school

Elephants by an ice rink

Elephants by an ice rink

11.23.09 Jersey City area 008

11.23.09 Jersey City area 009

11.23.09 Jersey City area 010

11.23.09 Jersey City area 011

11.23.09 Jersey City area 012

Just keeping it Gully.

Just keeping it Gully.

Rocky Racoon

Well this day is just another day I suppose. It’s a Sunday, that much I know. And it’s been another up & down day for me. Last night I didn’t turn on the TV until the 11:00 news. I mainly sat in front of the computer and copied dozens of songs from the Rolling Stones to the Specials to Elvis Costello to the Cure to Elton John.

Trying to figure out the easiest songs to play. If I’m going to start busking for real, I should have at least 10 songs that I know inside out, songs that the passerby would know. I’ve loved the Specials for 30 years but never attempted any of their songs.

Turns out their songs are remarkably easy to play. I wonder if that was former head Specials leader Jerry Dammers doing? He’s always been the one to do things with the fans in mind. Rat Race, a classic Specials song is really easy to play and lot’s of fun.

Though being unemployed it has a different meaning as I want to be a part of the Rat Race. No more harboring dreams of somehow living my life and not having any part of mainstream employment. I want a job. A mainstream job.

I’ve worked in the music business, worked in magazine publishing, a Rupert Murdoch experiment. Not your average jobs. They were fun and definitely interesting, but the real jobs that I’ve had paid well and offered benefits and some relative stability. But of course as we all know, the stability wasn’t going to last.

But back to the music, Elton John songs aren’t that hard either. I’m no Davey Johnstone, but he’s no John Ozed either.

It was good not watching much TV last night. I did watch Saturday Night Live and was charmed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I loved his ‘Make ’em Laugh’ opener. Who wouldn’t be impressed by those back flips? I’m sure Donald O’Connor would have been.

Dave Matthews was meh, but I wasn’t expecting anything different. Just don’t get the whole Dave Matthews thing.

Due to my financial situation certain substances are out of reach. And since those herbs aren’t being ingested, oh the dreams I’ve been having have been quite weird. I guess they generally are weird, but I woke up this morning with three dreams that stood out.

One involved those certain herbs and how the buds were actually infested with spider eggs and when you smoked those buds, the spider eggs would explode leaving one’s face with a white substance. In the dream there were some buds laying there, and one of them started to move on their own.

Another dream involved my sister and myself somewhere in central New Jersey. We were arguing which is something we never do and never did before really. But I was spitting ice cubes at her, then I lost my clothes and was trying to make my way to a mall where I could by some clothes. It involved winding my way down some stadium seating and some farmland.

The last dream was me being at Tower Records in the Village for their closing sale and buying a container of tobacco but not having any rolling papers and being incredibly frustrated. Perhaps I’d have dreams like these frequently but they were usually suppressed from what I had smoked prior to sleeping.

It’s a good enough reason to resume ingesting those herbs again, but finances being what they are lately it’s not likely to be happening any time soon. That’s a drag, or rather the lack of a drag.

I did make it to Tariq’s studio this afternoon. I’m glad I went. I was surprised to see some accomplished musicians there playing bass, drums and guitars. Tariq once again encouraged me to play guitar but I was once again intimidated by actual musicians. The great Tim wasn’t there but he doesn’t intimidate me, he’s 15 years old.

Spying a Ensonic keyboard in the corner that no one was using I opted for that. I played keys for a friends band about 15 years ago, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch. I did my best to add some color and textures to what they were playing and did my best to emulate Alan Price when they played House of the Rising Sun.

When I play that song on guitar (another easy song to play by the way), I tend to imitate the organ in my phrasing. Hard playing towards the end on my part. I also like to think I added a Middle Eastern vibe to a Pearl Jam song they were playing.

I think it was called Black, but I don’t know any Pearl Jam songs so it might have been some other group. Anyway, no one complained or said ‘Get that guy out of here, he’s horrible’ so I would like to think I did alright.

Right now, Bill is watching Lawn Hors d’œuvre and I’m listening to the White Album on headphones as I write. Sort of like listening to music before I had my own stereo when I was living in my parent’s house. The White Album was released today, 41 years ago. So there’s a Beatles fact for you today.

Heart of Gold

It’s a cool Saturday night. Been an alright kind of day. Somewhat busy with things like laundry. Last night wasn’t anything special. Which was fine. It had been an up and down kid of week and I’m glad it’s over. Whatever happened, happened.

It’s all in the past. It was good to have Bill around. He’s so supportive, I can only hope I am that way for him. He claims I’m so easy to love. That’s something that throws me for a loop. I’m grateful though. With the way things have been lately, I would have said I was difficult to love.

But I’m not going to disagree and I usually keep my mouth shut when he says that I’m so easy to love.

We watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent which made up for the fact that we missed the episode broadcast last night. It was a good one, with Chris Noth as the main detective and Julianne Nicholson, about a closeted fireman who was murdered. Bill and I had seen it a few times and I didn’t mind much, it was that good an episode.

Bill ordered a new sleep apnea mask which was a size too small which was upsetting for both of us. I convinced him to open the package a few hours before bedtime which is when he noticed it was too small. Better to find out then, rather than right before he was going to sleep.

So Bill had to use the old mask which by the time I went to sleep last night was making sounds like a muted trombone. That wasn’t so bad to fall asleep to. It certainly was better than his snoring.

Bill was up and active by the time I got out of bed. He also bought bagels and the paper for me. He was cleaning up while I ate breakfast. After that I did some laundry. Decided to head out this afternoon, with my guitar.

Since last Sunday was the dipping of my toe in the waters of busking and the fact that today was a nice day weather-wise, it seemed like the thing to do. Bill was getting ready for a nap when I was getting ready, and when I told him my plans, he was very excited.

He’s driving down to Atlantic City again and won’t be back until the morning.

I got some guitar chords together, written on post its as well as sheets of chords that I’ve downloaded over the years. The Smiths, some Rolling Stones. An Elton John song, Hercules and a song by The Roches, Losing You. The Roches song was too delicate for outside and perhaps too obscure.

When you’re busking you have to play songs that people recognize.

I stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim Mastro and he was also excited that I was out playing the guitar. I walked over to the spot by Pier A where Tim and Tariq were playing last Sunday and there they were again.

They were happy to see me and liked the sound of my guitar playing. Did what I could with regards to playing with Tim. Tariq fancies himself more of a percussionist, but Tim knows a lot of songs so I just tried to follow him as he played.

Tim had a buddy of his hanging out and had been playing a while. His fingers were getting cold so he split. He made a couple of dollars. Tariq was off talking to someone and a guy named Richard came up and started playing Tariq’s guitar.

Richard taught me some Blues chords structure and I have to admit that I didn’t really know that much about the blues. Richard reassured me, telling me not to worry, most blues songs are only three chords and I wound up playing a three chord blues for about 15 minutes.

Obviously my fingers weren’t bothering me too much. It was fun to play and I was out there for a couple of hours which was the longest I’ve played guitar for a long time. Another week, playing outside in the fresh air.

Richard split and Tariq and I walked up Washington Street, he was headed to his studio and I was off to McSwells. Andy Peters, Super nice guy and ace sound engineer was in town for the Feelies show tonight. They’re performing their first album Crazy Rhythms tonight. I needed to find out about the set up for when I DJ there next month on the 13th, for a benefit.

It was a brief visit. The Feelies were getting ready to sound check for their sold out show. Met the sound guy Carson and he will be doing the sound for the benefit. I just have to buy a cable since I’m not lugging around CD’s or vinyl. It’s all in the iPods.

On the way home I had the Elton John song Hercules in my head so I walked by my apartment building and sat in Church Square Park for a little while playing some more in the evening. I’m getting back into playing guitar and that’s pretty exciting. Practice practice practice!

I might even go to Tariq’s studio and jam with him and his friends tomorrow afternoon. I’ll let you know.

Back Door Man

Well it’s been yet another odd day in the course of a weird week. Let me also start off by saying that I was upset yesterday and decided to post directly to the people that comment frequently, namely Annemarie and Harpy.

It left me with a strange feeling, enough so that I relented and posted on the blog today, what was written yesterday. I’m feeling slightly better today despite somethings that have happened in the last couple of days.

It all started Tuesday night. Around the close of the business day for those that are still engaged in business, I saw an ad on Craigslist and sent my resume to the email address posted. I didn’t expect to hear anything until the next day, but to my surprise, I got a call back within minutes.

Cathy Cline was her name and she told me that she had received a job posting that I would be perfect for, and could I come in to see her the next day, Wednesday? She mentioned that timing was everything and I chose the 9:30 appointment in the morning.

I got there, right on time, filled out paperwork that I was told I would not have to fill out since I filled it out online. I meet with Cathy Cline who mentions that she’s worked with Teresa Scalisi & Janelle Rintrona, both former Wanker Banker employees.

It seemed like I was in good company. Cathy Cline had some requests, to revamp my resume, using bullet points. She gave me a memo with the company’s name on it, Selective Equity. Selective Equity is located at Great Jones Alley by Lafayette Street. I could definitely work there.

I called Bill afterward and asked if he could help with the revamping. He started doing it when he got the chance and I continued working on it when I got home. Emails between Bill and myself and Cathy Cline went on for an hour or so before we agreed on a bullet point resume.

All I had to do was wait. The day progressed into the evening, no problems. I had a good feeling about Selective Equity and hoped for the best. The next morning I was in the shower.

I heard the phone ring but couldn’t get to it. When I dried myself off I checked the phone. It was Cathy Cline asking me to call back. It’s all in the timing. Cathy Cline seemed pretty happy.

I called her back. She told me that the company, Selective Equity liked my resume and wanted to see me either that day or today, Friday. Timing being everything, I said today, meaning yesterday.

I was excited and started to think about what I was going to wear when the phone rang again a few minutes later. It was Cathy Cline. This time she didn’t sound so happy. She tells me that Selective Equity changed their minds, something about tossing out all the resumes and going to start all over again.

It seemed that Selective Equity was revamping their job posting. That was crushing. And from that point I drifted into despair. And while despairing, I decided to not post last night. I was that unhappy.

The day went on and it dragged for me. As I shuffled about here and there both inside the apartment and outside in Hoboken, a dark cloud hovered over me. I did whatever it was that I did yesterday when I finally had an idea.

I decided to call Selective Equity directly. Their website was quite lame, just a pitiful logo with no information available but I did have their phone number from the memo.

It was around 5:00 when I called and spoke to the receptionist. I mentioned that I had applied for a job and was told that Selective Equity had decided to do the job search a different way and threw out the resumes they had gathered.

The receptionist didn’t know anything about it and asked how I knew about the job, what company did I sign with? I told her I was reluctant to say the company’s name. She asked the counselor’s name and once again I was reluctant. She asked my name and I said, John.

Then she put me on hold and I thought to myself, ‘What the fuck am I doing?’ and hung up. I had a feeling I had gone too far. I did my best to put it out of my mind.

No harm, no foul, right?

Watched the usual Thursday night comedies, couldn’t get into them. My phone call lurked in the back of my mind. Bill came home but I didn’t say anything about it. We watched Jurassic Park, which I rented from the library.

I had seen it a few times, and I still really enjoy it. Bill had never seen it so we watched it. I was still enjoying the intensity of the whole thing. Spielberg, if anything truly can do suspense really well.

Bill went to bed afterward, I stayed awake watching TV. The day started as usual, Bill kissing me goodbye, me getting out of bed some time later.

Once again, I showered and once again the phone rang. Once again I checked the voice mail. Once again, Cathy Cline. Not so happy. I called Bill.

Now here is the basic difference between Bill and myself. I’m hesitant to call Cathy Cline back, and I explain what I had done the day before. Bill says I should call, that she might have a different position for me.

For Bill the glass is half full. For me, the glass is being held by Hiram Monserratte and he’s coming towards my face.

I thought the best possible thing I could do is deny, deny, deny. I get off the phone with Bill and call Cathy Cline. Oh how Cathy Cline was upset with me.

How could I betray her like that? She trusted in me, giving me the name of the company, since I knew Teresa Scalisi and Janelle Rintrona that I must be alright. This is why companies hire recruiters so they don’t have to deal with applicants like myself.

I explained that I was desperate and just wanted to find out about the job. She didn’t need to hear that, telling me that she knows how hard it is out there. Only a few jobs and way too many applicants. Her own son is unemployed so she knows all about that.

Oh she was disappointed with me and basically left me feeling that she would not doing anything else for me. Oh, and she wished that I would have a good weekend.

I actually felt a little better once I knew where I stood. The day wasn’t as heavy as it was yesterday. I went out, walked around. Enjoyed the sunshine. Texted a lot with Rand and when I got home sent out more resumes.

Hopefully Cathy Cline won’t blacklist me, sending my name out to other staffing agencies and letting them know of the egregious sin that I performed.

If she did, well the news hasn’t reached Jersey City, where I have a job interview set up for Monday morning for yet another agency.

Nothing is guaranteed, they’re just going to meet me and see what skills I have.

I will be there at 10:59.

Home

I’m going to do something different. I could be doing it for a day or two or I could very well continue doing it forever. There is no end date in sight you see. Once again, I’m tired. Not of writing. Unfortunately it’s one of the few things I do well.

Other things I do well is self censorship. Keeping my true thoughts and feelings hidden. So I might not be doing that. No, for now, for today, I am only writing this for 2 people, Annemarie & Harpy.

They can do what they want with this. Delete it, spam it, or even repost it somewhere else. It’s up to them. I don’t really care. Just writing at least 500 words to keep up my end of the bargain. I’ve written 1,463 entries since October 2005. All with the promise to myself that I will write at least 500 words.

I’m not breaking that promise.

Harpy, one of the recipients might have a clue as to why I’m not posting anymore. That is, I told him last night why I was thinking about not posting anymore. Whether or not he remembers, is not my concern.

I’m feeling despondent today. Professionally and creatively. Professionally you will understand with me being unemployed. Creatively stems from what I wrote the other day.

Thinking I might get some words of encouragement and support from the 5 subscribers (who never, ever comment and probably do not read those things that I posted), or from people who have told me they read what I write every day.

That would include some family members, mainly my brother Brian and his wife Karen. I understand they have their own dramas going on, dramas that are probably more important than me feeling sorry for myself. My brother Frank did call, surprising me and telling me that he had read the previous entry, but not in so many words.

And it’s obvious that without the support and encouragement that I actually hoped for, I was able to do whatever it was I had to do. Which was to go on a interview.

The interview went well. I was comfortable but that could be from the Xanax that I took yesterday morning.

I’m sure Bill doesn’t read this forsaken blog, but he is supportive in real life. He helped me out yesterday, revamping the resume, and editing things down. I had a really good feeling about this job, despite my trepidation.

After a few edits working with Bill and the counselor I met with I hoped for the best. That was probably a mistake, getting my hopes up.

This morning while taking a shower, I heard my cellphone ring. After I dried myself off I checked the message. It was the counselor asking me to call her back which I did immediately.

She said the company had my resume and would I be available to meet with them either today or tomorrow. I said today since I had such a good feeling about it.

I did not expect a call back about 5 minutes later, the counselor saying that the company has decided to forgo the whole process that was set up and they were not seeing anyone after all.

So it’s been one of those days.

But it was also one of those days that I actually used common sense and didn’t do something that I was going to do. It might have actually made me feel better but ultimately it was foolish.

So I stayed home.

Advantage in Height

In 1987 I went on a trip to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with some people from McSwells. Steve Raposito, Susan Sear, Martha Groffin, Julie Meanderhall and Bonnie Hauxhurst.

It was my first and only time that I visited North Carolina. The plan came to being one night at McSwells with the principals involved and it seemed like a fun thing to do. We went in two cars. Martha, Steve, Susan and myself in one car, Julie and Bonnie in the other. Bonnie and Julie were a couple at that time.

It was a long, arduous trip down there. We talked about Blue Velvet which was filmed in North Carolina and was released a year earlier so that added a creepy thrill to this vacation.

I think we went down in May before the summer season. We rented a house across the street from the beach and at the time, the outer banks were still somewhat underdeveloped.

One night after having been there for a few days, Martha, Susan, Steve and I decided to do some LSD. Acid was around quite a bit in the 1980’s. Julie and Bonnie didn’t partake. After an hour the four of us were buzzing nicely and decided to venture out to the beach.

It was quite dark out and somehow I was separated from the other three. Martha also became separated. I recall walking on the beach, singing Walking After Midnight and making a pact with the crabs, telling them I wouldn’t step on them if they stayed out of my way. I

t was a good pact and no crabs were stepped on.

It was only a matter of time when the four of us would meet up again in the darkness. I heard Susan and Steve before I saw them and then the three of us were loud enough for Martha to hear us and reconvene.

Steve and Susan were going on about a penis they found which I believe was a toothbrush holder. Martha actually found a penis sculpture in the sand that was about 10 feet long.

It was quite an impressive sculpture. Perhaps the crabs had something to do with it. The sun came up and we wandered back to the house in the light of dawn.

Not many people were stirring and we needed provisions. I went with someone, could have been Steve, could have been Martha to the generals store where a few townsfolk were there starting up their day.

There was a radio playing Roy Orbison, specifically In Dreams which was also featured in Blue Velvet. Behind the counter was an older woman, older to my 24 year old eyes in a bouffant and skirt dancing around, twirling and singing to Roy Orbison.

I turned to Martha or Steve and asked if they were seeing what I was seeing. They were. We bought whatever it is we were buying, probably cigarettes and got out of there as soon as we could, laughing all the way back to the house.

It probably took a day to recover from the trip. But the vacation wasn’t going to last for me anyhow. On a sightseeing trip, while on a ferry I was suffering from sunstroke and while trying to get to some shade and very angry dog snapped at me causing me more distress.

It got a big laugh from the others, that if I wasn’t doing so well before, the dog snapping at me truly was a side splitter.

It didn’t matter much for me anyhow. A day or so later I was getting on a bus to go to Philadelphia to see Wire playing their first US show in a number of years.

Don’t know why that story came up. I was actually going to write about it the other day. Guess I had nothing else to write about.

Pinball Wizard

It’s Tuesday. So far so good. Spent part of the day job searching. Online of course. New York State Department of Labor, the New York Times and Craigslist. More of the same, cover letters, resumes and waiting with hope.

The online job search has included some phishing lately. If you don’t click a box for continuing your education via online ‘colleges’ your search ends. If you do click the box you get phone calls telling you why you should sign up with them.

Today I heard from Tiffany at AIU and Sharon from the University of Phoenix. Both tried the hard sell telling me that continuing my education (which I marked as interested in a post doctorate degree in criminal justice) would be the way to go.

One of them even went so far as to ask, ‘Don’t you think you didn’t get that job because of your education status?’ I answered no. I think I didn’t get the job because someone will work for less money than I would.

And that’s basically the reason. Money. Someone will be hired because they are willing to work cheap. I am willing to take a $10,000 cut in salary but any more than that would be crazy.

I also used a link that Janelle, a friend and former co-worker from my Wanker Banker days gave me. I sent an email a little after 5:00 not expecting anything until tomorrow.

About 5 minutes later I get a call from the woman I sent a resume to. I remarked that I was surprised at how fast she called back. She said timing was everything.

Turns out just as she got my resume, she received a job posting. She thinks I will be good as an office assistant and would I like to see her tomorrow. She offered a 9:30 or 11:30 interview. I said 9:30 since it’s all about the timing and if it works out, it will work out earlier.

I already have my suit picked out, my shoes, socks shirt & tie. I’m trying not to get anxious about it, thinking that the job is mine. I do that a lot and wind up having my spirit crushed, but I do have a good feeling about it.

Also smartly decided not to post anything about it on Facebook. It was nice getting all the good wishes and thoughts regarding the last interview, but it was a drag to keep repeating the outcome. So if you have good wishes, post them here.

Easier to maintain and you’ll read about what happened tomorrow night. Last night, Heroes was pretty good. Perhaps for the first time this season. After that I watched Futurama which is always fun to watch.

Helped Bill with his sleep apnea mask which works best when he wears an eye mask. Unfortunately Bill can’t see what he’s doing while wearing the eye mask so that’s where I came in. If we plugged his ears too he’d probably play a mean pinball.

It worked and I had the best sleep I’ve had in days. And so did Bill. So that’s that for today. I’ll fill you in tomorrow with regards to the interview. Until then, keep it under your hat.

8:32PM Phishing. Nathan calls with an offer for online education with the pre-approved GE Home Safety Alarm attached.

I’m Not Scared

Yep, it’s a Monday again. Some of you had to go back to work. Some of you just had to get out of bed. I of course am in the latter category. Last night was the testing. Still no feedback on it.

I didn’t get much of a chance to watch anything on TV until Bill went to sleep. I did watch the second half of Pulp Fiction since there was nothing else on. It’s a good movie still. Certainly inspired quite a few other movies.

I saw Pulp Fiction when it came out with Julio at a run down theater in Times Square. The ticket seller outside kept calling it “Pole Fishin'”

Did Tarantino ever reach that level again? Maybe Kill Bill in moments, but as a whole it missed the mark. It ended around 1:30 in the morning and that’s when I went to bed.

I didn’t fall asleep though. Bill wasn’t wearing his sleep apnea mask and was snoring. Funny that I wrote how I missed the sounds he makes when he was away the night before. I take it back.

When he was leaving this morning Bill was apologetic. I just wanted him to go so that I could finally sleep soundly without sound. He called later in the morning apologizing again and promising to wear the sleep apnea mask tonight.

I will hold him to that.

Other than that it’s been a quiet day. Sent out some resumes, communicated with a fellow named JohnsonTech in the comments section of Revolution #9 which I wrote a week or so ago. He felt I was stressed out when I wrote about the gay bashings and murders.

Funny thing is, most of the entries are quite boring and tedious and finally I write something that I was passionate about and I wind up being told that I’m unnecessarily stressing.

It’s actually the boring everyday entries that I stress out about. What am I going to write about? Will I reach 500 words? What will my brother Brian think? Yes this is what I stress out over.

Like right now.

Didn’t do much today except what I wrote about. Am I at 500 words yet? I usually try for 600 hundred, but will be happy with 500 if it’s been one of those days.

I also played some guitar today. Since I played outdoors yesterday with ace guitarist Tim I felt inspired enough to scrape the rust off my guitar strings. And I also became friends with him on Facebook which was nice.

Tonight Bill is at his theater group meeting up in Harlem. I have got nothing scheduled for myself. I’ll watch Heroes and I’ll likely be disappointed.

I returned Adventureland today. It was a day late and cost me a dollar.

I’ve been weaning myself off the news programs since I have enough upsetting things in my life and do not need anymore.

Still I watched a few minutes of the idiot Sara Palign on Oprah this afternoon. Why is she liked? Why are people dumb and lazy and not willing to see that she has nothing to say. A true definition of vapid in my book.

I like the word ‘vapid’ even though it has a harsh meaning and once called a woman I was friends with vapid one drunken evening. She called me up the next day and told me she would never be my friend after calling her that. And she stayed true to her word, I’ve never heard from her again.

I was the vapid one and proved it by my careless use of the word.

It’s one of my regrets. It’s one of those things that floats in my mind as I’m laying in bed listening to Bill snoring.

Just Like Heaven

It’s a late entry tonight due to the fact that I was taking some office skills tests from the interview. I’ve been doing tutorials for Excel, Word, PowerPoint & a typing test for the past few days.

Finally felt comfortable enough with Excel which was my main sticking point. Word I was good at, Power Point I never used before and abandoned after being stuck on question 6 for about 20 minutes.

Bill was here, trying to to coach me during various parts but it was also during Lawn Hors d’œuvre followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm so I didn’t have his full attention. Surprisingly enough Excel wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not bad for learning it on the fly.

Bill did his best, but both of us were waylaid by Power Point. It was sort of like coming home after having fun outside on a Sunday and then having to do the homework which was put off a few times. But my frame of mind was best for it as the previous 24 hours were very good.

Last night I watched Adventureland which was mostly enjoyable. Nice refreshing look on the 1980’s. Some bits of that decade I remember and that was through the songs they used in the movie. One song in particular stood out, besides Rock Me, Amadeus.

Just Like Heaven by the Cure. I’ve liked the Cure, have one of their greatest hits collections and some of their vinyl somewhere. I remembered hearing Just Like Heaven over and over at McSwells when I was a bar back.

Hearing it last night was like hearing it for the first time and it sounded easy to play. I looked up the chords online and yes, it was quite easy to play. A E Bm D with the chorus of F#m G repeated and followed by a D & E. That’s it. I played it a few times last night and downloaded it since it wasn’t on the Staring At The Sea Greatest Hits compilation.

Saturday Night Live was alright, funny in parts. The Black Eyed Peas were OK. After that I wound up watching ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’ which was about how the Beatles were a major force in the cultural upheaval and eventual downfall of the Soviet Union.

Before I knew it it was 2:00. Bill was driving a bus back from Atlantic City so he wasn’t home and I missed his snoring/sleep apnea mask noises. Woke up around 9:00 this morning. Message from Bill that he was driving back to Atlantic City. Then another message that he wasn’t driving back to Atlantic City.

So he was getting the bagels after all. He came home and promptly went to bed while I ate breakfast and read the paper.

I decided to enjoy the nice day outside and called Julio who was napping. Called Rand and left a message. Walked around town, headed towards Pier A.

Up ahead I saw Tim, a 15 year old red headed guitar player who I saw a few weeks ago. He was doing some Dylan songs last time. This time he was also doing some Neil Young.

There was another guy who bummed a cigarette off me, Tariq. I saw Tariq playing the other day and he was a decent player as well. While Tim played Tariq and I talked about how good Tim was. People were throwing change and dollar bills into his guitar case.

Another guitar player showed up but I didn’t get his name. He sort of took over whatever was going on which was a bit of a drag. Stones, Skynyrd was the direction he was trying to go towards.

Earlier I mentioned to Tariq that I sort of play the guitar and he offered me his guitar. I begged off. He insisted and finally said, ‘Listen man, I gotta take a piss. You can hold the guitar for me, alright?’

So I did and sat next to Tim. I asked Tim if he knew any Cure songs and he asked which one. I said Just Like Heaven and he said it was one of his favorites. So we played that for a while.

Another guy joined us reading lyrics off his Blackberry to whatever was being played. As I sat and played I looked across the Hudson River and the city had turned green. The sun reflecting off the water was very impressive and I had to ask the others if they saw what I saw, that’s how impressive it was. They saw it too.

I found out that playing outside isn’t so bad after all and these guys were supportive which was something I wasn’t that used to regarding my guitar playing. I was even asked back and I told them I would bring my own guitar next time when the weather was nice.

Then I caught up with Julio and Superboy. They were on Washington Street and we strolled along. Alexander hung onto his rubber ball even when we made it to the park and he would climb the kiddie slide.

It’s funny to see Julio and Alexander together. It’s like Julio has his own Mini Me. A walk home with Alexander flying with Julio and I grabbing each of his hands and lifting, one, two three!

Tim the guitarist

Tim the guitarist

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 009

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 002

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 008

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 010

Somebody Else’s Guy

Yesterday was definitely a better day than the sturm und drang of the days preceding it. Last night Bill came home from his deep tissue massage therapy and I was clearly in a better mood and happy to see him.

All the worries from the days before were talked about and resolved nicely. We watched some Herbie Hancock on Sundance channel and also enjoyed some Grimaldi’s Pizza. Also watched a documentary on Cary Grant which was very good. Bill once again went to bed earlier than me and I stayed up watching who knows what.

I do remember the Simpsons which was great as usual. After that, it was off to bed for me as well. Bill was up early, rented a Zip Car and drove out to Clifton NJ for a medical exam so he could change his license from New York to New Jersey. Since he’s a professional bus driver there’s a hoop he has to jump through.

I of course slept in. Rainy and gray outside. Bill was picking up the paper and the bagels so there was no need for me to go outside. Eventually I did go outside. I needed a haircut and walked by Mr. L’s. Of course my barber, Tony was busy.

Walked over to the library and dropped off some items. Did not bring and umbrella and I should not have been surprised that when I left it was pouring out. Once again Tony was cutting someone else’s hair.

I came home a little bit soaked. Bill came home from Clifton. Unable to get his exam completed since there were a few people ahead of him and he needed to return the Zip Car to Hoboken by 11:00. He took a nap and I watched a DVD about Beyond the Fringe. It was definitely funny.

Watching Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett in the early 1960’s doing their final performance on the West End. Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett are still alive perhaps they decided early on that the life of a performer wasn’t for them.

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore obviously thought otherwise and made big names for themselves but both came to untimely ends.

Bill was out on the road once again this afternoon and I sat and watched various clips about Peter Cook. I ventured out into the rain again, this time armed with an umbrella. And since I had an umbrella it didn’t rain.

A trip to the supermarket was in order so I walked by Mr. L’s once again and once again Tony was busy. Dropped off the items in my hallway for a trip to Hoboken Daily News that has milk cheaper than the supermarket.

Walked by Mr. L’s and saw Tony was free. He was happy to see me. Hadn’t sat in his chair since July. No more monthly haircuts since I didn’t have any need for upkeep. Just a trim for me. My hair grows thick and not long so it was a few layers taken off which made everything lighter and cooler.

And a haircut will do me some good in case some job interviews appear on the horizon. Tony did his usual ace job, trimming most of the gray hairs from my goatee. I was growing a beard but shaved it the other day before the interview.

Bill is in Atlantic City leaving at 1:30 or so and coming back to Hoboken around 7:00. I’m laying low as usual. Planning on watching Adventureland and probably some more Beyond the Fringe clips online. It’s going to be a mellow, quiet Saturday night and I am fine with that.

Hymn of the Big Wheel

Well today is a better day. It’s because I took a Xanax. Now some people frown upon the fact that I occasionally take a Xanax, but then again those people haven’t set foot in my size 12’s.

And what those people think actually has an effect on me taking some medication to feel better. Today I decided to ignore their opinions, worries and fears and it’s not a surprise that I actually feel better.

It’s my choice and I try not to judge what other people do in their lives or what they might do to make them happy, but I can safely say over the past few days I’ve never felt as despondent as I have. I appreciate their worry and concern but I do have to look out for myself first.

And I’m glad that I did.

Whether or not they’re glad about the reason I’m feeling better is something that I obviously cannot be concerned about. And it’s not like I take a Xanax every day, maybe one every two weeks at best.

Last night was a roller coaster of emotion for me. Bill came home after having deep tissue massage on his knees and we chatted a bit. At one point I decided to open myself up and actually tell him what was going on in my mind.

I told him how depressed I was and said a few other things, open ended stuff, hoping for some sort of feedback. I never got it. So my last statement on that matter was ‘this was my attempt to open up and talk about what is going on with me.’

That seemed to have gone unheard.

It hurt and reminded me of my Arcade Fire meltdown with my brother Frank. I was losing it and needed to talk to Frank about it, but he wasn’t having it, thinking I was baiting him for an argument. I am a firm believer in talking things out, but if there is no one responding to what I am talking about, it is basically useless.

Sure there are a few friends I can call, but even then I go unheard and wind up listening to everything they have to say about themselves with little or no input on my end. I generally would like to talk about what is going on with me.

If I believed in therapy for myself that would be the way to go, but since I don’t, it is not the way for me. Anyone else gets something out of therapy is fine, but for me it requires too much of a commitment that I am willing to make.

I was fairly distant with Bill most of the night. We watched all the comedy shows on NBC. Community was funny, Parks and Recreation not so much. The Office was OK as was 30 Rock, but those could be attributed to my lousy mood.

Bill went to bed soon after that and gave me a hug which was when he noticed that I wasn’t doing so well. I then explained what was going on, how I said I was so depressed and needed to hear some feedback from him and that since I didn’t I shut down and realized that whatever I was feeling, I would have to work through it on my own.

And perhaps even if Bill was there for me in that sense, I would still have to work through it on my own. He looked crestfallen and I felt bad dropping that on him before he went to bed.

Not that it kept him awake. As soon as his head hits the pillow he is out. This morning, Bill did make it a point to say he would be more attentive to my situation when he’s at home and in my groggy haze of the morning I told him I appreciated it and also apologized for my timing.

I should have brought it up right away when it was happening rather than feeling hurt and shutting down most forms of communication. I usually try to do that, but last night I was too far gone.

And like I said, I am better now.

Just got a phone call from my former boss Ashish. His first words? ‘Sounds like you’ve been drinking!’ Why does everyone think I drink all the time? He said I could use him as a reference which was gracious of him.

Mr. Lee

Well today was the day of the interview. Not much to report on. Just met with a staffer at an agency. They check you out before sending you to the actual company. Then the company interviews you and then makes their decision.

The only drawback I can see if the fact that they are asking for a college diploma, ideally a bachelor’s degree and I did not go to college due to my loathing of education.

If you think I’m smart, it isn’t because of schooling. It’s more from the people I’ve met and things that I’ve read on my own. Obviously I don’t recommend this for everyone. I don’t regret not going to college, but I wonder what those college graduates who are presently jobless might be thinking.

The interview went well I think though. Met with Peter Lee since the original person I was supposed to meet was out today. We clicked I think and he mentioned that if this doesn’t happen, then he would keep me in mind for other positions that might come up.

I think they’re connected through the New York State Department of Labor so they might get a kick back if they can place someone in a job somewhere. The job was originally posted through their Paramus NJ offices and when Peter mentioned that I was ready to say I can’t work in Paramus.

But no, the job is at 38th Street and Fifth Avenue. I do have to take a skill test which Peter sent to my email. That’s a bit nerve wracking even without the pressure. Of course it all boils down to confidence and that is something I generally lack.

I’m going to wait until Bill comes home so he can bolster my spirits and perhaps give me a nudge in the right direction while I do the test. He’s been so good lately with his belief in me (though he always believes in me, a lot more than I believe in myself) and I can say that without him I’d more than likely be lost.

I have given advice to various people in the past advising them to stop beating themselves up, the world is always more than willing to do that to them. And of course I have difficulty in following my own advice leaving me with the wringing of my hands, the scratching of my head and an overall sense of uselessness.

With all that on my mind it’s no surprise that I didn’t sleep to well last night. I was tired enough but couldn’t really sleep too well due to the fact that Bill’s sleep apnea mask was making some noise which kept waking me up.

At some point I did ask him to take the mask off. He heard me ask him that but still slept with the mask on.

I did eventually get a couple of hours of sleep once Bill went to work. And then’s when I had a dream about my father. And it wasn’t a bad dream.

I never dream of him as far as I can remember but it started out with my brother Brian cleaning the front of 13 Riverview, where we used to have bushes. I went into the house where I saw my father and gave him a hug.

He was talking to someone about me, saying that I used to be called Idaho John since that’s where I was conceived (?) but now that I go out with men of color (that would be Bill) I’m now called Black John.

Yes it was a weird dream and I quite sure I wasn’t conceived in Idaho in any event.

Just got a phone call from the previous job. My replacement was asking me about the dimensions of a glass table piece that was broken last year. As if I carry that info around. I never had the info to begin with and suggested she get a tape measure and measure it herself.

Such knuckleheads they be.

It's me

It's me

11:11

Well yesterday was a day of despair. Didn’t want to write about it lest some people get overly alarmed. So I wisely skirted the issue. Nothing bad happened just an overall bottoming out and spending too much time in my head, in my apartment, in Hoboken.

I knew I could get through it and that today would be a different day. All I had to do was to get to it. And I did. Last night was no great shakes. After watching Olbermann, I watched Arrested Development but even that didn’t help.

Bill came home in time to watch a really funny show following Arrested Development on IFC, the Jon Dore Show. He’s a funny Canadian guy and we stumbled on his show a few weeks ago. Bill offered to listen to me about whatever it was that was bothering me, but by then it was too late.

I had gone through the worst of it and did not want to revisit. All I needed was to make it to today. He was tired and went to bed around 10:30. I stayed up watching a show from BBC Manchester called Ideal which was OK, but the Mancunian accents were a bit too thick even for my ear.

Stayed up for the Simpsons and then some of Craig Ferguson who is really funny and worth catching if you’re up at 12:35AM. I went to sleep after that. Not a deep sleep. Felt like I was sleeping on the installment plan.

I have been getting about 8 hours of sleep each night so that meant I woke up around 10:00. I know, some of you are up at 6:00 or even earlier and it sounds like laziness on my part. But it isn’t. Just can’t find a reason to get up earlier and in any event, I don’t want to get up earlier.

I discovered that my computer updated itself last night and since I had a few USB cables hooked up, it didn’t restart. So I had to restart it after disconnecting those cables and hopped in the shower.

Wednesday is the day I usually get my unemployment benefit and since today was Veterans Day, a Federal holiday, my direct deposit didn’t go through even though it was set up on Monday. That was upsetting somewhat.

Apparently robots and automated services had the day off as well. There was nothing I could do about it. I did check the New York State Department of Labor’s website and logged in the ‘Looking for a Job’ section. I expected it to be bottom feeders but it wasn’t that bad.

Almost immediately I got an email from an agency inquiring about my inquiry. I tool the bait, made a phone call and set up an interview for tomorrow at 2:00PM. Posted that on Facebook and a nice group of people wished me well and good luck.

Once again the routine is to go to the agency and have them check me out before they send me anywhere. The position they want to see me for is for a midtown position. I set about getting a suit and shirt and tie all together.

I haven’t had a hair cut since July so my hair is a bit unkempt. That was another factor yesterday. A bad hair day. This morning before I knew anything, I decided to gel the hair again like I used to when I was employed and it’s manageable but still I will need to see my barber Tony on Saturday.

He’s been forlorn as he sees me walking by all shaggy. So as I thought, today would be a better day than yesterday and so far it has been.

It’s off to Wall Street tomorrow afternoon and I’m looking forward to getting dressed up again with fingers crossed, which can make for difficult buttoning but I don’t care.

Over and out.

99 Bottles of Beer

Don’t know what to write about since there’s nothing really to write about. I went for a walk around Hoboken. Saw a few other unemployed people, all with the same look on their faces as me. Though I’m reluctant to describe it this way, it certainly was a vanilla sky.

I tried watching Gran Casino by Luis Bunuel finally after getting it from Netflix back in September. I did some reading about it online and read that Bunuel felt it was one of his lesser films so I stopped halfway through. I really didn’t care for the story and didn’t have the attention span to sit and watch it.

So that got me out of the apartment. Things being tight financially made buying anything risky behavior.

Heard from Pedro who is in Puerto Rico since his father is not doing that well. He called me up the other night to ask me about what type of luggage could be carried on board. I explained that a 2.5 foot bag worked for me when I last flew and that I was able to stow it in the overhead compartment.

When he called he asked me to guess where he was calling from and when I answered, Puerto Rico he was surprised, having forgotten that he actually called me telling me what he was doing and where he was going. Such is his state of mind lately.

Sent out a few resumes today, with hope mixed with antipathy. I almost wrote despair but I know how that would go over with some people. Antipathy is a better word anyhow. Almost like antipasto which is more repugnant to my delicate palette.

Having this time is good though sometimes.

I’ve been cleaning the apartment, bit by bit. Unfortunately there are quite a few bits.

Last night, being a Monday night meant Heroes is on. I feel I’m committed to seeing it all the way through. Bill was home when I started watching it and he remarked that he likes the show but finds it difficult to follow.

He hasn’t seen all the episodes like I have. Bill also mentioned that it reminded him of Lost. Well Lost is something totally different though also in the realm of science fiction. And that’s scheduled to wrap up next year.

Heroes doesn’t seem to have an end date and they keep introducing ludicrous characters that no one (at least in the forum that I read about it) cares much for the new actors. They should definitely tie it all together as much as they can and pull the plug.

You might have noticed that it was a late posting last night. That was mainly because I was distracted by the Google Chrome browser that I started using. Harpy suggested it so I downloaded and played with it, figured out the ins and outs.

I had actually finished the post before 6:00 last night, but when I went to check it still wasn’t up. Then I checked out the Word Press dashboard and there it was, forlorn and forgotten. So I posted after midnight even though the time stamp was something like 17:45.

I can tell how alarmed you all were, being inundated by emails showing concern. Well rest assured it will not happen again, at least not tonight.

11.10.09 Sun

Talk of the Town

And here we are on a Monday. Not much going on here. Just cooked up some chicken and pasta for the next couple of days, since Stine’s cooking is now gone. Just another hum drum day really. Not too much going on.

Heard from Janelle who gave me the names of her contacts so I can send my resume out to them and she what will happen. I’m grateful so if she’s reading this, Thank you Janelle. And she just posted on Facebook that she just got a job.

Walked around a bit his afternoon in Hoboken. Not much going on here. Stroller set, dogs and dog shit. Hoboken is starting to look like Union City with the dog shit.

Had a fun talk on the phone with Julio. Asked if there was a job at his company. I’d sweep if need be. I conveniently forgotten the fact that though Julio and I are good friends, we can’t work together. But there’s no job to be had there.

Last night was a good night with Bill. We watched a documentary on the making of a Steinway piano. Bill mentioned that he wouldn’t want a Grand Piano and I remarked, ‘Oh great. Now I have to cancel that order for Christmas.’

Then we watched Curb Your Enthusiasm which was funny and Bored to Death which was funnier. For a change we watched Mad Men which we had never done before. It was the season finale and it was very good. Couldn’t get into the previous seasons but this season was worth catching.

We both agreed that not only do I ‘look like’ Phillip Seymour Hoffman and perhaps even Drew Carey, we can add Jared Harris to the list. I knew that from the 1990’s when I saw him playing Andy Warhol in “I Shot Andy Warhol” which Julio actually worked on.

Jared Harris is the son of Richard Harris by the way. It’s an OK movie despite Lili Taylor and some excellent carpentry work.

It’s getting dark at 4:30 now. I may go for a walk later after eating. Where to? The streets of Hoboken? It’s a well trodden path.

Listened to the Feelies a lot today. Mainly since I was trying to download some free songs that my friend Andy recorded at the 9:30 Club in DC. It was a free download since I actually bought the CD last month.

I remember when I first saw their album. It was at Crazy Eddie’s on Route 4 with my brother Brian. I thought to myself, ‘who are these nerds?’. A few months later I was hanging out with Laszlo Papp who was good friends with their bass player, Keith.

In fact, one summer night in 1980, I hung out with Laszlo, Keith and Keith’s wife Kim (who it turned out was a good friend of my roommate in Weehawken, William) playing soccer at 2:00 in the morning on a field from St. Leo’s church in Elmwood Park.

I was sober and not high, just having a good time. Came home around 3:00 and promptly got my head handed to me from my father who was angry that I was coming home so late.

Things got convoluted in all my relationships with Laszlo, Keith & Kim and my father. But that’s another story for another time.

She

It’s been a beautiful Sunday. Really no complaints. At least none worth writing about. Mellow night last night too. Bill was in Atlantic City for the night. Driving people back to Bergen County at something like 2:00 in the morning.

I had an interesting phone call with Harpy. Not too garrulous. He was talking about music and how great it is to have it in one’s life. I had to agree. In fact while walking around Hoboken this afternoon, I wasn’t belly aching about no one to walk around with.

In fact if I was with someone I wouldn’t be listening to music, now would I?

I was quite happy to just be listening to music. I’ve always felt that way. Even when there is no music playing, there’s always a tune in my head. Been my constant and faithful companion for years.

I actually prefer it to sex, which might go to show how long it’s been since I’ve had sex. Or at least good sex. I’m willing of course, to disprove this theory. But Harpy feels the same way about music. About sex, I couldn’t say. You’d have to ask Harpy.

His blog is in the blogroll on the right, listed as Harpy’s Nest.

I wandered around listening to Led Zeppelin mainly. Just certain tracks that I like. Harpy also talked about pirating music. I was going to mention to Harpy that I had downloaded a movie but forgot about it since he was as usual dominating the conversation.

Oddly enough the movie I downloaded was The Boat That Rocked. A British movie that came out in the UK a few months ago. It’s going to be released here in the States next week with a different title, Pirate Radio. I prefer the title, The Boat That Rocked myself.

I haven’t watched it fully yet. It’s OK. Perhaps somewhere in the movie they’ll explain what Drew Carey is doing in it, playing an American DJ. Wait, that’s the wrong doppleganger. I meant Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Now that I have it though I can watch it anytime. I do like Bill Nighy though. He’s in it too.

Not as good as District 9.

Last night I also got a call from someone who was extremely irate. She’ll remain nameless. She was upset since her birthday was the other day and she was having dinner with her divorced parents who seem to be making overtures of getting back together again.

Perhaps that is what pushed her over the edge, though the excuse was that she needed cash and her parents were going to give her cash but her father took her and her mother out to dinner instead which made her furious.

It was quite an unpleasant phone call and since she was driving I advised her to calm down. I tried telling her that the suggestion or promise of a gift doesn’t always mean you are going to get that gift. That’s not what she wanted to hear though, and I did not want to hear her in that mood anyhow.

I did check to see if she made it back today and she did.

Happy birthday Maurice Menares!

11.03.09 Bronx Moon 004

11.03.09 Bronx Moon 005

11.03.09 Bronx Moon 006

11.03.09 Bronx Moon 007

This Charming Man

Just woke up from a dream, where I was on the phone with a former co-worker. She’s been out of work too and there wasn’t too good a connection so I had to ask her a few times what she had just said. In the dream I was in the apartment and walking through the kitchen and all of a sudden there was a water leak from somewhere where there isn’t any pipes or anything like that.

Just thought it was odd and it’s what actually woke me up from a fairly deep sleep of about a hour.

The day has been OK. Last night was cool too. Last night was watching Olbermann and then Radio Days with Bill. Funny thing is, when I first saw Radio Days in 1986 I didn’t much care for it. It was good, but I thought it was too treacly.

Too close to Neil Simon territory for me. It wasn’t until a few years later did I realize that it’s probably one of Woody Allen’s best. Seth Green was excellent in in. I wonder whatever happened to him?

We totally bypassed the news and watched instead 30 Rock from the other night. That had to be one of the funniest episodes ever, if only for Alec Baldwin on the subway. He had the panhandler spiel down pat.

It was hilarious, not to demean panhandlers of course. At least the ones who actually need to beg for money, not the scam artists.

It was 11:30 when Bill decided it was the best time to start shredding papers. That was a bit unnerving. I wound up going to be around 1:00, leaving Bill to watch Colin Ferguson with Ewan McGregor alone. I did catch the Pixies on Conan O’Brien and they were actually pretty good. Looked like they all were getting along too.

Never quite got into the Pixies though even after I’d seen them at McSwells. Slept well and woke up to see Bill shredding some more paper. The room was more crowded than it was before I went to sleep. Bill was off for some physical therapy, deep tissue massage for his knees.

I went out and got the paper and some bagels. Nothing for the third floor family though. Bill came home with his own bagels and eventually did what he does all the time with his bagels. He puts them in the oven until their charred and then he eats them.

Drives me crazy and stinks up the apartment with the odor of burnt bread. He’s a strange one that Bill, but I can’t help but love him. Despite that, with each gnaw of a burnt bagel I climbed the wall an inch or two.

I decided to head into the city just to get away. A walk around midtown on a Saturday afternoon. No one around except tourists and they were easy to avoid.

I hadn’t had a cigar in a while so I bought one at Barclay Rex and wandered around. It wasn’t as exciting as it sounded though and soon enough, I was on the Path train heading back home to Hoboken.

Bill was off driving to Atlantic City today and isn’t coming back until tomorrow. So no burnt bagels tonight.

Everyone Says ‘Hi’

So they tell me it’s Friday. That means tomorrow is Saturday. And the people that work will be roaming around on the streets. Today people who do work, well some of them took off to cheer their favorite baseball team, the Yankees.

Nice to have the fans all corralled somewhere, easily identified and tagged before being let into the wild again.

I really can’t say anything bad about the Yankee fans since Bill is a Yankee fan. The exception to the rule. He didn’t make it to the parade in Lower Manhattan. He has a job and wants to keep it.

Despite the shooting at Fort Hood yesterday in Texas, the big news around here was the parade. Just as well though since I’m trying to ween myself off the cable news lately. Just too much information and most of it bad news. Perhaps the Yankee parade could be seen as a relief, a tonic for the troops as it were. Also an office shooting in Orlando FL this afternoon.

Instead of all that I watched Mad Men. I’ve been watching this season since there is a free on demand service on the cable system here. No Ovation channel but free AMC on demand. The last episode I watched takes place on November 22, 1963.

When that happened, I was only a year and two months old so my recollection is mighty fuzzy. It was interesting to watch how life stopped for a few days for some, and for others it went on, slightly adjusted due to then unforeseen circumstances.

Just had a very nice interruption. Julio’s wife Stine gave me some meatballs and a cabbage, carrot sauce. She was making them and texted me that she was making them as I was eating dinner myself. Jet taught me years ago that you should never turn down free food.

Stine made me an excellent meat sauce the other day, which I’ve had half of with some pasta. I will probably finish that off tomorrow. I’ll have the meatballs for lunch. It was nice to spend a little bit of time with Stine and Alexander.

Kicked a ball back and forth with Alexander and if I might make a prediction, he has the potential to be an excellent soccer player. He rarely let the ball get past him and kicked it directly back to me. He’s amazing.

Maybe other kids are just like that, but Alexander is actually the first kid that I’ve seen with regularity, watching him grow and develop every couple of days. Today he danced and laughed and kicked a ball. According to Stine he does a lot of this to impress me.

Just like his father. But I’m more impressed by Alexander, no matter how many times Julio screams, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’

I also watched RockNRolla, directed by Guy Ritchie. Not as good as Snatch but somewhat enjoyable. I got it from the library and went back to drop it off, I noticed I had a little bit of swagger in my walk. Just a little bit.

I’m just happy to have my food this weekend all set and just needs to be reheated.

I plan on getting Stine some flowers tomorrow as a thank you.

Yankees Good. Phillies are bad = Gay. Yay let's hear let's hear it for sportsmanship! Gotta love those classy Yankees fans!

Yankees Good. Phillies are bad = Gay. Yay let's hear let's hear it for sportsmanship! Gotta love those classy Yankees fans!