Monthly Archives: November 2009

Slow Dive

Well in case you didn’t know, the Yankees won last night. The World Series. Bill was thrilled. I was online, wearing headphones. Even if it were the Mets or another team I would likely be at the computer wearing headphones.

Bill watched the game in the bedroom while he was putting away his laundry, I watched the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. I offered him the chance to watch the game on the big TV and I sat and listened to music.

I didn’t do much of anything today, except argue with christianists online. That can get so tedious, mainly because their lack of spell check. Now I’m listening to the Minutemen, one of the best bands I ever saw at McSwells. Posted a few videos on YouTube which should get the curiosity of a few people and perhaps annoy other people.

So for lack of something substantial to write, I’ll write about what I listened to last night. I started off with Be Brave by Section 25. I first heard the song when I was hanging out with a character named Dave Bell.

It stayed with me long after hanging out with Dave Bell and in fact a few years later I asked Mojo Magazine, “what song went ‘Oh Happiness, You always made me laugh/Oh happiness…’” An issue or so later I found my answer, and wound up buying it from iTunes. I love it when Mojo publishes my letters. So far they’ve done it 3 times.

It seemed to be a good fit, to follow Section 25 with Tomorrow Never Knows from the Beatles. It’s quite possible that Tomorrow Never Knows is my favorite Beatles song. It’s a good marker that shows the divide of the 1960’s, being the last song on Revolver. The next songs from the Beatles after that was Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane.

Still I’ll take Tomorrow Never Knows. From there I went to Smells Like Teen Spirit from Nirvana, another band that played McSwells and were nowhere near as good as the Minutemen. My specific memory of that is coming home to Weehawken with William after visiting Connie down the shore in 1991.

It must have been in the waning months of the year. The song blew me away, I hadn’t heard anything quite like it at the time. It’s still quite an amazing song. Too bad it became an albatross for Kurt Cobain, but them’s the breaks.

Black Mirror by Arcade Fire was next up. It was a decent fit after Nirvana. I don’t think I played it since I saw them at Radio City with my brother Frank. Can’t really get into them anymore. That’s how it is for me. Something bad happens while I listen to a song and I can never really enjoy the song, or in this case, the band, anymore.

Don’t get me started about Elton John’s Blue Moves. I haven’t played that since 1976.

Then I went to the live version of Talking Heads The Great Curve. Don’t know why, but it was a lot of fun to bop my head and tap my feet while listening to it with Bill watching the game a few feet behind me. I also think it’s a good thing that Talking Heads will never reunite again.

I sort of broke my avoidance of Prince and played Glam Slam which out of all the songs that I played for myself, was the weakest. I was choosing by album titles and not artist names. But you know, John said ‘enough’ and it was over quickly.

Slow Dive by Siouxsie and the Banshees was a great 1980’s track. I saw the Banshees a few times back in the day, though I can’t say I was a rabid Banshees fan. Budgie was a great drummer though and the late John McGeoch was tops in the guitar department, though he doesn’t play on Slow Dive I think.

Can’t You Hear Me Knocking by the Rolling Stones was cued up next and being a 7 minute song, I stretched my legs, had some juice and had a pee. TMI?

Well that was about it for last night. A not very interesting night but the music was alright I think.

Revolution #9

It’s fucking Wednesday. And an ugly Wednesday. Weather wise it was OK, but politically it was just a really bad hangover.

Jon Corzine lost the governorship of New Jersey to Chris Christie, noted Bush ‘pioneer’. Chris Christie said he would reject Obama’s stimulus package, reject any public works projects. He’s also against a woman’s right to choose and if the New Jersey legislature passed a same sex marriage bill, he would veto it.

But that seems neither her nor there since Maggie Gallagher and her flying monkeys would swoop down and incite lies about how gay people were trying to indoctrinate children. The only indoctrination would be if a child asks if 2 men or 2 women can get married. If little Tommy or Betsy say they want to marry little Jimmy or Kathy it would be OK. And to Gallagher’s ilk, that is wrong.

It all basically boils down to the fact that they want to keep homosexuality a sin. Even if you do not believe in their god, they want to force their religious beliefs down your throat. And by witnessing the shit that happened in Maine yesterday, people will swallow it, hook line and sinker.

I am disgusted with religion and the catholic church can fall into a pit. All religion can resign themselves to their personal hells. I have no use for them.

The bullshit of ‘Oh it’s in the bible so it must be true’ is patently ridiculous. A crap book written and edited over and over again by people worshiping an iron age sky god has no relevance in the 21st century.

My life is not a sin. Bill’s life is not a sin. I try to be a good person. I help people who need help when I see it. Bill has remarked a few times that I am more christian than most christians by the things that I do. I don’t blow my horn about the things that I do. I just do them and I am on my way.

For the past 25 years or so I have been fighting. I have been marching. I have stood with ACT-UP fighting the government’s inaction on AIDS research in the 1980’s. I have held the hand of one of my best friends as they lay dying in a hospital room. I have changed his diaper since the hospital staff refused to while in the hallway the nurses clucked and basically said that he had brought it upon himself.

I have buried a few friends since then. I marched on Washington a few times and marched in the New York City streets protesting the murders of Matthew Shepard beaten nearly to death and left to die in Wyoming, murdered because he was gay and James Byrd dragged to his death behind a truck in Texas, decapitated when the truck went over a culvert, murdered because he was black.

Why?

Why do I have to fight for the same rights that my straight friends and family members take for granted. Why can they kiss their loved one whenever and wherever they want but I have to take a cursory look around before I do the same to kiss Bill?

In the past year alone, in New York City Jose Sucuzhanay was beaten to death by attackers who thought he was gay. He wasn’t.

Jack Price who is gay was beaten over the weekend that I marched on Washington last month. He was only just recently released from the hospital a week or so ago.

And these were only the gay bashings that have been reported.

Because of this alleged shame that is forced upon gay people, most beatings generally go unreported.

I am tired of fighting. I am greatly disappointed in President Obama, who will court the gay vote and collect the gay dollars, has gone on record as being against same sex marriage, saying that it should be left up to states.

I wonder if he would have felt the same if his parents had to deal with interracial marriage on a state by state basis? And his attorney general Eric Holder who also had a chance to say something about the referendum in Maine but opted out, saying he didn’t know enough about it. The current administration has also gone on record urging the Defense of Marriage Act to stand.

Today I watched some of The Price of the Ticket, the James Baldwin documentary and found 2 quotes that I posted on Facebook and posting here.

“The flag that we pledge allegiance to, does not pledge allegiance to us.”

And

‘You’ve always told me, it takes time. It’s taken my father’s time. It’s taken my mother’s time. My uncles time, my brothers and sisters time. My nieces and my nephews time. How much time do you want for your ‘progress’?’

It’s statements like this that enables me, or perhaps forces me to equate the battle for equal rights for LGBT people and the civil rights battles in the 1950’s and 60’s.

James Byrd Jr.

James Byrd Jr.

Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard

Jose Sucuzhanay

Jose Sucuzhanay

Jack Price

Jack Price

The Moon is Blue

Well I certainly did expect to come home to bad news. Bad news meaning that Chris Christie has won the gubernatorial election in New Jersey. NYC was a given, Bloomfield was going to win overturning the people’s mandate for term limits. But it wasn’t the landslide he bought expected.

In Maine, it’s too close to tell. At this moment the people that want to take away civil rights granted by the legislature from same sex couples are ahead by a few percentage points. Losing elections is nothing new to me.

I hardly ever vote for the winning candidate. Obama was the biggest election that I ever voted in, and the first I ever worked for. Unfortunately I did not have the admiration for Corzine that I did for Obama and did not do anything for his campaign.

Well all I can say was New Jersey has been fucked before and I suppose New Jersey will get fucked again. Christie has said that if Same Sex marriage come to his desk he will veto it. And women better watch their bodies because he’s not for the right of a woman to choose.

I should have known, and perhaps deep down I knew that things might not go in the direction I favored.

Tonight I went to the Bronx to attend a wake for Bill’s band mate, Kirk’s father who passed away on Kirk’s 50th birthday. It was a schlep. And also an opportunity to wear a suit and tie again. Apparently I lost a couple of pound since a shirt that I bought that was a bit tight around the neck a few months ago fit nicely and was not snug at all.

Kirk was happy to see Bill and me at the sad occasion and gave us both big hugs. It was more of a service than a wake and it took place in an episcopal church somewhere in the Bronx. I remarked to Bill that if I lost him and needed to find my way home I would be screwed.

The Bronx is the great unknown to me. Brooklyn and Queens I would at least have a clue, forget about Staten Island. I go there maybe once every 15 years. Even though when I grew up my family would occasionally visit relatives in the Bronx, I never felt comfortable there.

I still feel that way.

Nothing against the Bronx per se, but I generally my best to not go there. Invited to a party in the Bronx? Excuses need to be made up. My mother grew up in the Bronx, Bill spent the first 10 years of his life in the Bronx.

The only sibling left on my mother’s side now resides in a nursing home in Mount Vernon, I think. Thanks to Bill’s direction skills it was all an easy ride. In fact we caught an express bus that got us from the middle of the Bronx to 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in 20 minutes.

Sorry but election results are grabbing my attention. New Jersey is screwed. Maine looks like it will be screwing same sex marriage. The only candidate I voted for, Dawn Zimmer for Mayor of Hoboken seems to have won.

Hoboken is a mess so it’s not going to be easy for her. The knives have been out for a while. A blog that I have in the blog roll on the right of the home page, Hoboken411 has been rabidly anti-Zimmer.

I am thinking of never voting again. If the majority of the country sees Bill and myself as second class citizens, not deserving of the same rights for marriage, workplace protections among other things, what is the fucking point?

Bronx Moon

Bronx Moon

Bolero Sonambulo

It’s a Monday from what I gathered. And a nippy Monday at that. Last night was mellow. After walking back and forth through midtown, I was pretty tired. Didn’t do much of anything except sit in front of the computer while Bill watched the World Series.

The Yankees had him screaming at the TV which I learned to ignore. The game ended around a little before midnight and Bill stayed up and watched Curb Your Enthusiasm (which was OK, but predictable) and Bored to Death (which was funny).

Then Bill went to bed and I almost watched Australia again but decided not to. Nothing against Australia the country, but the movie was a bit hokey from what I have seen so far. Perhaps it gets better. I only watched about 45 minutes so far and will eventually give it another chance.

Tomorrow is election day again. Not as active as I was last year. In fact overall I am fatigued from activism. I’m sure some of you who read Facebook might beg to differ, but that is mainly sharing things that I have read elsewhere.

Mainly things that concern the election in Maine tomorrow. The legislature passed same sex marriage but outside forces, headed by the beast known as Maggie Gallagher have been fighting to have the voters overturn the measure. They cite that it would be a re-definition of marriage when it’s not that at all. It is the stripping away of civil rights, much like what happened a year ago in California.

No, these people don’t want same sex couples to have the same rights as they do. They use the bible as the basis for their inherent wrongness and also claim to love the sinner and hate the sin. The thing is, being gay is not a sin. The fact that they feel that way shows how they really feel.

There’s a segment of this population that would love a theocracy, much like Saudi Arabia or Iran, only Christian. Religious law rules over all and if you don’t subscribe to their religion, well then that is just too damn bad.

Also up tomorrow is the election for Governor of New Jersey. Of course I’m voting for Jon Corzine, not that I’m a big fan. But he’s go to be better than Chris Christie. But New Jerseyans can be quite daft and I hope many other, perhaps much more people will be voting Democratic. No much info or faith in the independent candidate, Chris Daggett.

After a fun day like yesterday, today was bound to be a let down. And it was a let down. Not that I expected any different. I sent some more resumes out and surprised that emails that I’ve sent to various friends and former co-workers, merely requesting advice have gone unanswered.

I wouldn’t be put off by ‘ sorry I can’t help you’. I would rather hear that than nothing at all, but nothing at all is what I got. And when you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose.

I did go out for a while this afternoon, walked around Hoboken, did some grocery shopping. Sad to say, but that was the highlight of my day. I’m not complaining.

October was disappointing. I had hoped something would happen employment wise, only because I did get a good job a few years ago in October. But that was then, this is now. And that is that.

Run Run Run

Well it’s a Sunday evening. Clocks were moved back an hour last night/this morning so though my body is saying it’s 6:24PM, it’s actually 5:24PM. That should take some getting used to but I think I might be used to it already.

Last night I sat at home, in front of the computer, just playing music through iTunes. Bill came home and started to go into the bedroom to watch the World Series. I suggested he watch it in the TV room since I wasn’t watching just playing music.

I thought he would have the sound down while the game went on and the music played. But he needed to hear the commentary so he sat with headphones on. I didn’t realize it until I actually turned around. I was playing for his benefit so that was a bit of a downer for me.

I even went in a Jazz direction with some Miles Davis, Cesaria Evora and Chocolate Genius to name a few. I decided to let him listen to the game without the headphones and sat and listened to Bill yell at the TV.

The only time I yell at the TV is when I watch Millionaire in the afternoon. I grew up in a house where my father would yell at the TV during sporting events and now, here’s Bill yelling at the TV. He didn’t stay up to watch the game and I certainly didn’t watch it after he went to bed.

I stayed up watching part of ‘Australia’ until 1:30/12:30AM. Today my niece Meghan was running in the NYC Marathon and the plan was to meet up with my sister in law Elaine and Corinne, Meghan’s sister at the train station.

They were coming in from Garfield at around 8:30. I was up at 7:00 and got myself ready. Got a call at 8:00 from Corinne, they were one stop away. I hustled a bit more and soon was on my way. I met up with them in the Dunkin Donuts by the Path train and soon we were in the station.

Meghan’s husband showed up after driving from Staten Island, seeing Meghan get to the starting line. We all rode up to 33rd Street in a very crowded train. Rob took off to queens hoping to catch Meghan before she crossed over the 59th Street Bridge. Corinne, Elaine and I trekked up Sixth Avenue, through a street fair, past the HBO store with a pit stop in the Hilton to hit the head as it were.

Then it was up to 59th street where it wasn’t too crowded. I let Elaine call the shots and we wound up walking to First Avenue where I ran into Steve Dressel who I used to work with earlier this year. He got a job up by Tarrytown and now he and his wife are likely fleeing Manhattan and moving to Croton on Hudson.

I could only stay for a minute since Elaine was chomping at the bit to find a better spot to try and catch Meghan. After moving about for close to an hour we finally saw Meghan running by. I yelled out Meghan and she turned and waved.

It was a relief to see her since Elaine and I secretly were worried and hoped she was able to make it this far. After that came the plan to head into Central Park which was the first time for Corinne.

We found a not too crowded spot in the east drive and we sat on the wooden rail like a few other people were. Unfortunately a volunteer across the drive shouted that we couldn’t sit on the wooded rail so for some reason we all got up and stood just inches from where we sat.

I was tired and my lower back was killing me and sitting down brought some relief. I looked down about a hundred feet or so where I saw a few other people sitting on the wooden rail opposite a few police officers who weren’t telling them to move.

I mentioned to Elaine that I was going there to sit. It was a great place to sit, right off a curve in the road. There were so many runners that I looked up the road towards Elaine and Corinne, scanning their faces for enthusiasm for when Meghan was running by. I had my cellphone camera all set to go, my digital camera all set to go, and my GO MEGHAN sign ready for viewing.

I sat there for about 20 minutes when some guy next to me asks what mile this part of the marathon was. I guessed about 2 miles to go so that would make where we were, at the 24 mile mark. He mentioned that his daughter was in the marathon and I said that my niece was too.

I then looked up to see Elaine & Corinne but I couldn’t find them. That meant Meghan had run by as the neckbone next to me was telling me about his daughter. I saw Elaine and Corinne and they asked if I saw Meghan and of course, I hadn’t.

Oh I was so pissed at the guy next to me, I should have just ignored him. I could only hope pigeons attacked his eyes as his daughter approached. I did stop complaining about him since I noticed I sounded like ‘himself’ or ‘himself’s eldest son’.

We did make it over to the west side where families and friends could meet up with the marathon runners. Rob had run with Meghan for a bit but was ejected at the 400k mark since he wasn’t registered. He would have run the whole marathon with Meghan but did not qualify.

26.2 MILES. 3HRS 21MIN. 7.67 MIN PER MILE

We had a good walk to the subway after meeting up and a quick ride on the Path train home. Some pizza in Hoboken before we parted ways, they going back to Garfield and me, back home in Hoboken. It was a very good, if not tiring, day. And if I’m tired Meghan is more than likely far more tired than I could ever be.

Rob De Carlo, Ace coach

Rob De Carlo, Ace coach

Elaine

Elaine

Elaine and Corinne

Elaine and Corinne

2009 NYC Marathon 007

Meghan!

Meghan!

2009 NYC Marathon 026