Monthly Archives: December 2009

Blue Moon

Let’s get it over with shall we? Goodbye 2009. Crap year for me and a lot of other people. New calendars are in order. I was going to head into the city and go to a Barnes & Noble to see what calendars I can get there.

Also to exchange the John Lennon biography that Julio got me. I read it already and changed my mind about keeping it. I can get a calendar and probably a different book.

I started out stopping by the library to drop off the DVD of The Apartment, the Billy Wilder movie. I had never seen it before and neither did Bill. Very good movie, Jack Lemmon was perfect, Shirley MacLaine was pretty and Fred MacMurray was a real dick. Just a pretty good movie to watch at the end of the year.

I headed towards Washington Street intending to walk to the Path train or catch a bubs into Manhattan and by the time I made it up to the boulevard I changed my mind. I just walked around a bit and came back to the apartment building and shoveled the sidewalk in front.

No one else had and it didn’t seem likely that anyone would. I didn’t mind and it was just pushing the snow into the gutter. I was finished with that in about 10 minutes and climbed up the four flights to my apartment.

Bill was at work and I was going to take a nap but started watching videos on YouTube, then Juan called. He’s in California having a good time. Bill came home as I was listening to Tomorrow Never Knows on YouTube, quite loudly. I didn’t hear the door open and I was startled.

Also spoke with Ulysses who had called to wish me a Happy New Year. He wasn’t doing anything, just spending the night with his mother like he’s been doing the past few years.

So the plan for Bill and myself, after he wakes up from his nap, is to go to our annual steak dinner at Arthur’s restaurant in Hoboken. We’ve been doing it for a number of years, then we smoke cigars and stroll around Hoboken, come home and rest and then go to Rand and Lisa’s for cocktails.

It’s usually a low key night which is how we like it. No complaints on this end.

Just finished watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High on cable. Seen it a few times before, now it’s a look back on the early 1980’s. Back then I didn’t know what to make of it. More of a Southern California scene than a North Jersey scene. Still can’t relate to it and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to.

I think Dark Was the Night was the best CD release this year. Best reissues were the Beatles remasters. Best compilation was Bob Dylan: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8. (which may have come out in 2008 but I got it in 2009 so fuck off) I guess the best movie was Avatar. Best concert, Paul McCartney at CitiField of course. That was an easy end of year list.

Hope you all have a Happy New Year. All the best wishes for 2010. It has to be a better year. It just has to!

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Best DVD watched in the past 24 hours!

Best DVD watched in the past 24 hours!

Blue moon New Years Eve which I will take as a good omen.

Perhaps the best song of the last decade:

She’s About A Mover

No motivation. Just lazy. Haven’t even done laundry and it’s a piling up. Nothing to write about either. Walked over to Barnes & Noble since a new calendar will be needed shortly.

That was a disappointment. For the past 8 years they’ve had Beatles calendars, this year not one. I asked the sleepy bearded guy behind the counter and he told me that they were in stock a few weeks ago but they’re all sold out.

He also said it wasn’t a good time to buy calendars. Which was odd since it is time to get a new calendar, unless you’re Mayan.

I just paid for the Christmas cards on sale for half price for next year since all the cards I sent out this year were from Farfetched. Last year I didn’t work at Farfetched since they weren’t doing so well. This year, no one worked at Farfetched.

In 2005 I hung out with Juan for the day. We were in the city then came home and watched a Rufus Wainwright DVD. I downloaded Lazy Sunday, which was an early if not the first SNL Digital Short. It was for my new iPod that Bill had given me for Christmas that year.

Also wrote some stream of consciousness stuff which I don’t do anymore since the last time I did, which was mainly sentences from the TV blaring behind me, a lot of people were confused, more than usual.

In 2006 I was licking my wounds having left Wolff Olins and about to start work for Golden Staffing. There was no bonus for me thought other people got them. They don’t give bonuses to quitters. I should have just kept my mouth shut and not tell anyone I was leaving. It was one of the worst jobs I ever had.

Juan and I saw Brazilian Girls at Irving Plaza the night before. Found out Juan likes to be in the middle of the throng whereas I prefer to remain on the perimeter. I didn’t write on December 30, 2007 I was in Otisville. Excer was there as was an old friend of Pedro and Excer, Gary. Just a long night hanging out and drinking. Pedro’s had a rough year this past year and I’m sure he’ll be happy with a New Year.

In 2008 it was all about a misunderstanding between Bill and myself. I had to go to the office even though I was off of work. The writing was on the wall but unreadable. The Titanic was starting to make some gurgling sounds but in December 2008 I still thought I would be there until February 2010.

And we know how that worked out.

No hard feelings, and I might be doing some work for Greg Stevens at the end of January since he’s vacating his office and moving across the street. He’ll have professional movers and I guess I will oversee. I’m no mover.

And in December 30, 2008 I wrote about going to Barnes and Noble and purchasing a new calendar, and looking to my right, it was a Beatles calendar.

The Chill is On

An early dinner again. 3:30 or so. Have to get ready to head up to Larchmont NY for my uncle Joseph’s wake. I’ve written about my uncle. He was irrepressible if that’s the proper word. He was the youngest of my mother’s family, 6 years younger than my mom. 30 years older than me.

My brothers and sister always enjoyed having him stop by for a visit. His ribald humor was just what we needed to hear. I don’t think my father liked him very much. I just got back from his wake.

As most wakes go, once the big ones are out of the way, it’s a social event. Maybe that is how it gets when you get older. You spend more time conversing with the living rather than sitting and bemoaning. Sometimes it’s a lump in the throat, sometimes it’s a chuckle.

I spent most of the time with my South Jersey cousins, Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn. Just reminiscing, talking about the boards of photographs. A photo of my mother and her brothers with their father from 1968.

I have to get a copy of that. Madelyn said she had a copy so I should contact her or her brother Neil. I did have pictures that I brought up to Hillsdale on Christmas Eve. I was going to take them with me, but Frank was looking at them. I figured he’d do a good job, at least a better job that what I did when I had the photos.

The only picture that I could remember that would have been something to show the girls was a picture of Annemarie with Eileen in Wildwood Crest sometime around 1970. Anne and Eileen both looking like they’d rather kill the photographer than stand there. You can almost hear their exasperated sighs over the sound of the ocean.

I took the train up to Larchmont, after a bus ride driven by a driver who didn’t know what to do once he was diverted out of the tunnel. I was going to say something, but I was in no rush at all. I knew there would be 3 trains that I could catch so I was in a comfort zone of time.

The driver wound up driving up Eighth Avenue towards the bus terminal and most of the passengers getting off the bus a block away. The temperature was in the low 20’s and with the wind chill coming in off the water and amplified by the canyons of buildings, the wind cut like a knife.

All one could do was keep moving, no matter how many layers of clothes you might have had on.

I rode the train to Larchmont with all the other commuters and was able to finish off 2 copies of the New Yorker. Still in November on that front. One was the Food issue and I didn’t read most of those articles. I had a brisk walk to the funeral home from the train station.

The old Irish proverb came true, the wind was at my back and the road rose to meet me.

I came in and hung up my coat and hat and as I was about to sign the book, my cousin Joe spotted me and gave me a great big hug. He was glad to see me albeit under such circumstances. He was quite busy greeting various people and introduced me to a few of them.

Then he walked me over to his and my cousins and I sat with them for almost all of the time I was there. They asked how Bill was which was nice. And of course they asked about Frank, Annemarie and Brian.

No one ever brings up the Long Island Powers cousins, since no one has seen them in decades. I wouldn’t know them if I fell over them. But that’s how some families are. There’s no book, no template. It’s all how you deal with what and who you got.

I’m glad I have Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn and their other sisters Ginger and Theresa and of course their brother Neil. Some plans should be made for a reunion, preferably when Annemarie is in town.

Right now it’s 18 degrees and I can still feel the cold from being outside an hour ago.

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins

Little Triggers

Well Bill and I just returned from seeing Avatar. We heard that the only way to see it was in 3D. We went one better and saw it IMAX 3D. Big glasses for all concerned. I walked up from the Path train and met Bill at the Verizon store where his new Droid was being looked at.

When it plugs it in, it gets all barmy. And though you should be able to use the phone while it’s being recharged, Bill can’t. Of course no one in the store knew what to do and wound up giving him a new charger. He’s happy with the results and so am I.

Then it was the 1 train up to Lincoln Center and a short walk to the Sony theaters. Pandemonium in the lobby, lines everywhere to buy tickets or get the tickets you had purchased on line earlier. I got on one line while Bill went to find out where to go with the printed tickets he had downloaded yesterday.

It took a while but Bill eventually found someone who worked there to tell him we can go right up to the theater. Long way up, and when we got to the theater, the only seats were in the first row. But seeing it in IMAX and 3D it didn’t matter since everything in the movie was right in front of our faces.

It was a full house and during the movie one or two people had to get up and leave their seats, initially it was a shock since I wasn’t sure whether or not they were part of the movie. Very enjoyable, certainly satisfied the 12 year old boys in Bill in myself. Oh that Steven Lang is a baddie.

I was hoping for a stroll down to the Path train but it was too cold for Bill. I didn’t protest and rode the train down to Herald Square. Back in Hoboken in no time at all. A pleasant uneventful ride. Young rowdies hanging outside of 7 Eleven.

I guess it better that they hang out there, fighting amongst themselves rather than fighting in front of Hoboken Daily News. I don’t think Andy and his brother would have any problem with that. The 7 Eleven hasn’t even been open a month yet and so far most weekends after the bars close, the police have been called.

Came home and saw that I am now friends with 3 members of the Gang of Four. That’s quite cool. Not a record company thing, but actually friends with Hugo Burnham, Dave Allen and Andy Gill. No word yet from Jon King. But I did think it was cool.

Now it’s later and Bill is asleep. I’m watching the Simpsons. Just a lazy night. Quite cold out. Supposed to be cold tomorrow.

And I’m taking the Metro North train to Larchmont NY for my uncle’s wake. I’m seeing my South Jersey cousins, first time in a few years. Once again I’m sure someone will remark that we should get together for something other than a funeral, like a reunion. The last of the Mohicans.

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My Generation

Just got back a little while ago from McSwells with Bill. Lois DiLivio had organized an open reading of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. I was a bit apprehensive about it and suggested a few weeks ago that Lois choose a comedy rather than a drama.

But it was her doing and since she already posted what play we would be reading from she was averse to changing the selection. Perhaps next month. I don’t know who makes the decision on whether or not there would be a next month, but I would gladly participate if invited.

I portrayed 2 characters, Solanio, a friend to Antonio and Bassiano & also Old Gobbo, father to Lancelot. I surprised Bill and perhaps a few others when I read each character in a different voice. I surprised myself actually.

I’ve never participated in a reading like this though I have attended a few that Bill had either organized or participated in. All the roles were pulled out of a hat or rather a bag and some people found themselves playing characters that had dialogs between them.

That was weird and some tried different voices. Afterward, I suggested to Lois that perhaps if there is a conversation between 2 characters played by the same reader, perhaps the second lines should go to the person sitting to the left or the right of the initial character.

And perhaps for a fun twist, if the second reader says their lines in a different voice, then the person who originally had the lines, make them say it close to the way the secondary reader says. Does that make sense? It would also be a laugh.

And if that doesn’t work, helium should be introduced.

Lois did a commendable job organizing the whole thing, and Rand and Lisa with Rand’s sister Glenda as well as Jim and Diane and a guy named Steve with me & Bill all enjoyed ourselves. I wisely ate breakfast at home, skipping brunch which some had beforehand and others had to eat during the read.

There was some difficulty with ye olde English leading me to think but not suggest perhaps a more recent play, maybe George S. Kaufman? Even Oscar Wilde might be good. Obviously I am leaning towards comedy.

Considering that I spent a good part of the past 24 hours dealing with a most uncooperative toilet, I think leaning towards comedy isn’t such a bad thing. Beats shit, that’s for sure.

Finally after building up muscles in my arms via plunger usage a passage was created and things are flowing nicely in the porcelain world.

It was a pain and on the way up to McSwells I suggested that if he had to go, McSwells might be the best place to do it. I’m just glad it’s over with.

I also just found out that I’ll be attending a wake this week. My uncle, Joseph Powers passed away this morning. He was the last of my parents generation so now it’s down to the kids.

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Photo courtesy of Rand Hoppe

Photo courtesy of Rand Hoppe

Love Me Do

Lazy lazy lazy. Wet outside, been raining all day, melting most of the snow. Not even sure if I’m going to write today. Still not sure.

Last night was fine and mellow and quiet. Bill and I watched Robin Williams latest HBO special which was very funny in spots and not so funny in other spots. Spotty performance I guess.

Bill is on the train heading to Saddle River Tours in Garfield for a drive down to Atlantic City. That’s his evening for him. Me, right now I’m watching the first DVD of Bob Dylan: No Direction Home. PSE&G came today. Pretty sure it was the same guy as last month.

Once again it took 5 minutes and once again there was no charge. He did say the stove was about 50 years old and perhaps it was time for the landlord to get a new one. I know better. I doubt Peter the landlord would do such a thing.

But it’s working now and that’s what really matters. Last night, it was all a big pot of water cooking to a slow boil to make things warm. And humid. Now it’s dry and warm.

Just had some lasagne that Karen had sent me home with on Christmas Eve. There is still some left for Bill but I don’t think he’s the reheating type and I guess I’ll be eating that tomorrow, just so it doesn’t go bad. It was very good though.

Now I’m putting in the second DVD of Bob Dylan but I think I will hold off and watch the news so I can find out what’s been going on in the world. Besides the woman who tackled Papa Ratzi. The Nigerian guy who tried to blow up a plane over Detroit is an interesting story but what’s most interesting is the passengers who acted to subdue the flaming Nigerian.

In the New York Times there’s an article about the guy being the son of a prominent Nigerian banker which immediately makes him suspect, what with all the money schemes coming via email from Nigeria.

Overall just a lazy day, promising to be a lazy evening. More Bob Dylan, maybe the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. Nothing much on TV tonight anyhow. Bill and I watched most of the Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City concert DVD.

Bill loved it, but still we couldn’t see ourselves with Anne & Earl and Julio & Stine in the crowd. Still it was a fun watch. Bill went to bed midway through and I turned it off before the encores last night. But I did finish it off this afternoon.

I always enjoy listening to the Beatles, but during the holiday season they become much more special. It’s interesting to read the comments on their thousands of YouTube clips. So many people, younger people get into the Beatles for the first time. I

just think that’s amazing, but I always felt any person that loves music, at least almost as much as I do, eventually discover the Beatles and become fans, getting a thrill seeing their videos and interviews online. I think that’s fascinating.

I’ve decided to not write tonight.

Tomorrow I’ll be participating in an open reading of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice at 12:45PM. Join us, it should be interesting and fun, even! Yea or Nae!

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Purple Snowflakes

Well I hope this finds this in good health and safe wherever you you are. I’m pretty lazy right now, but here am, writing this on the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth. Possibly a good guy, just getting through the people around him would be a chore.

In any event, on this day of Solstice celebration and what have you, I found myself wondering, was Jesus delivered by a midwife? I mean when you look at, where any of the other participants qualified or even able to deliver a baby?

And with living under Hebraic law, would the messy parts of a woman’s vagina, even Mary’s, be an abomination in their god’s eyes?Yes that was one of the thoughts that floated through my over stuffed mind and belly.

No shame in going back for seconds, or eating just about everything on the table. Last night and this afternoon I ate least had seconds of most everything. Not a gavone but the potential was there. Bill and I arrived in Hillsdale where we promptly sat down and had dinner.

Brian and Karen and Cassie with Hillary and her beau Chris were quite hungry and caution was thrown to the wind regarding the Garfield contingent having had dinner. I hadn’t had homemade lasagne in a while and it was quite good. Even though I rarely eat sausage I indulged myself much to my liking.

That’s where the second helpings came in. Gifts exchanged, everyone satisfied and happy. Ride back to Hoboken where Bill and I exchanged gifts. A few ties and cufflinks from me collected over the year and an excellent electric pickup for my Fender acoustic.

All very nice and pleasant. Bedtime for both of us and I woke up first this morning to see if there were any presents under the tree from Santa, but then I realized we don’t have a tree. No room for it anyway. No tree, no gifts, but that was OK.

Went in the kitchen to make some coffee, and turned on the heater. No heater again. It went out last month on the 25th and now it’s out again. I made an online appointment for the PSE&G maintenance for tomorrow morning between 8AM and 12PM.

That’s fine with me, they’re generally show up in that time frame. Like around 11:55AM.I hope they won’t charge. Last month it took about 5 minutes and there was no charge, so I hope it will be the same situation.

Right now, we got a big pot of water on the stove, getting things warm and damp, but it beats being cold.

This afternoon we had the trip to Garfield to Frank and Elaine’s house. Nice and mellow there, Elaine’s dad on the couch watching everyone have a turn playing Wii which they got for a Christmas present. Corinne, Meg & Rob and I tried my hand at boxing and bowling as did everyone else. More food and gifts and then we were back on the road to Hoboken since the Zipcar needed to be returned by 5PM.

We are now watching the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special. It was originally broadcast last year but I remarkably had some foresight to check it out at the library a week or so ago. Hey, you snooze you lose.

We just watched Iron Man which Bill hadn’t seen. After catching bits and pieces of A Christmas Story, it was fun to point Peter Billingsley in his cameo in Iron Man. So that about sums up Christmas 2009. See ya tomorrow. Happy Crimble!

Me, Frank & Brian

Me, Frank & Brian

I Wanna Be Sedated

Well here we are, Christmas Eve 2009. An early posting for me. Won’t have time later since Bill and I are expected in Hillsdale, the home of the Relatives of the Powers. Brian, Karen, Hillary & Cassie. Little Brian is away at the moment. Frank, Elaine & Corrine are expected as are Meghan and Rob.

This has been going on I guess, since my mother passed away in 1991. The house in Lodi was more like a tomb at that point and I was no longer welcome in the house where I grew up. I guess we went up to Montvale for that first haunted Christmas without Mom.

My father and I weren’t speaking to each other and I started the first of several years of putting out my hand and wishing him a Merry Christmas only to have him look the other way. One year I stopped and at both Brian and Frank’s insistence I put my hand out once again and once again I was rebuffed.

I then had to chastise both of my brothers, saying in effect, ‘how many times do I have to show that I am the better man?’ . My father came around the year before he passed in 1999. Just a handshake and a hug. No apologies were expected and none were given.

I used to go up with William when I lived in Weehawken. He was welcomed in by my family, but looking back I have to wonder if they thought William and I were an item. I know a few people mentioned they thought we were, but no we weren’t. We certainly weren’t each others type, that’s for sure.

When I started going out with Bill in 2000, Bill replaced William as my companion of choice. And he’s been welcomed with open arms, with a provision that signs of affection between Bill and myself were to be kept to a bare minimum, or better yet, invisible.

That was no problem since relatives of the Powers aren’t known for open displays of affection anyhow.

This year is a bit tighter, tightest since the 1980’s. I tried my hand at homemade presents which over 20 years later I am embarrassed by but find that the original recipients trot them out each year, not to embarrass me, but for sentimental reasons.

Earlier this year when I heard about the Bob Dylan Christmas album I thought it would be nice to get a copy for my siblings. I shopped for the best present and with the fact that all of Dylan’s royalties were going in perpetuity to Feeding America it seemed like the best gift for a tight budget.

I didn’t expect the difficulty I would go through in getting people to merely accept it and perhaps just saying thanks, rather than a lecture and the browbeating that came along with it. Annemarie & Frank have both been told what the gift was so the only one who doesn’t is Brian. Unless he reads this before I get there.

In any event what’s done is done and I’m over it. It is the Christmas spirit to forget and forgive and move on so having written that, I am gone already.

Already did whatever I had to do today, wrapped Bill’s gifts, a walk to the post office. Stopped by the Guitar Bar where I saw Jim Mastro of course, but also Lily & Ruby. Meghan was home, baking cookies and dinner. Or maybe cookies for dinner. I

t was a nice afternoon. Bill should be home soon, he worked today and then I guess we will be off to Hillsdale.

Last night I watched the Paul McCartney performance on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater from July, when Macca was the guest on the Letterman show. So exciting. I really enjoyed the Fireman album so hearing it live in that situation was pretty cool. Wished I was there, but I wasn’t.

This has been my 1500th posting. Yay Me!

Cranberry Sauce.

Oliver’s Army

Well I just came back from a walk to the Post Office and I find an email telling me I won the Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna contest. I win 2 autographed posters, a playbill from the opening night in Manchester, England and a Sundance Channel tote bag!

They won’t ship these out until after the holidays so any re-gifting will have to wait until next year. Thems the breaks I suppose. It’s not the Mega Millions.

Someone won the whole $160 million. One person. Not me. But the Sundance channel tote bag is nothing to sneeze at though it might be good to wipe your nose with after the sneeze.

What? Too soon?

Last night I watched the Miracle Worker which I had never seen before. I did read the play ages ago in either Annemarie’s or Brian’s Literature book from Lodi High School. They had to read it, I read it for fun.

I enjoyed it, great performances from Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. There were some scenes where Annie Sullivan who had terrible vision squints into the distance when Helen Keller goes off in the distance with her mother.

The squinting, accompanied by the wringing of hands makes it look like Annie Sullivan is scheming. It is also ripe for satire and I wonder if SCTV ever did a sketch based on it.

It would seem to be a perfect match. There’s probably so many episodes of SCTV that it has to be in there, along with Ben Him and the story of Natalie Ringneck, the girl who was raised by geese.

Right at the buildup for the climactic finale, Harpy called. ‘What is it with Tyler Perry’ ‘What is it with hat hair?’ ‘What is it with…’ blah blah blah. Oh Harpy was in his ivory tower playing the snob. If he didn’t get it, if he was who it was aimed for, he deemed it inferior as are the people who enjoy such things.

He also had a ton of advice for me and this blog and what I should do about it. He did mention one thing and it struck a chord/ Basically this blog is like one of Harpy’s favorite books, The Andy Warhol Diaries.

And it’s true, that’s just one of the influences on this here blog. Andy was an influence on me and how I look at things, and I did get the Diaries when they first came out, and even have the Spy Magazine unofficial index yucked away inside. I just missed being included in page 689 of the hardcover, arriving after the incident happened and the books being sold out. I don’t write about it again so, I wrote about it here:

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Harpy droned on and whatever momentum I had gained while watching the movie soon petered out. I did watch some of the Paul McCartney: Good Evening New York City, a DVD and CD and book of Macca’s shows at Citifield back over the past summer.

It was a wonderful gift from Annemarie, Rex and Earl. As sweet as the cookies and brownies she sent. I offered to get a copy burned for her but she already got her own. I only watched the first 10 songs and want to watch the rest with Bill sometime soon.

2 pairs of eyes will come in handy trying to find Annemarie & Earl, Julio & Stine and Bill & myself in the stands.

What? It could happen.

Apparently they handed out flip cameras to people in the audience for the recording and you never know, maybe somebody was walking by and caught the six of us doing whatever it was we were doing that night. I honestly don’t remember.

I heard from Casey Chasm, calling with holiday greetings and an update on his life. He seems to be going ahead and joining the army. For the insurance, for he and the missus and the baby. To me it seems drastic, but it’s not my life. I’d rather he didn’t need to enlist, but I support his decision. So good luck to him, Pvt. Chasm.

Wet Job

Last night was quiet. No Juan showing up. Apparently he was sick. Bill came home and he was sick. He had a nasty cold. Quite miserable. I was glad to help him with his coat and hat and back pack. He settled down and then was off to bed where he didn’t sleep comfortably.

A stuffed up nose and an apnea mask do not make for a good night’s sleep. I didn’t stay awake much later than that and soon settled in for an uncomfortable sleep myself. Many crazy dreams which I wrote about for your annoyance or amusement.

The first dream I wrote about concerned my mother and my brother Brian attending a function that involved President Barack Obama. In the dream there were a few dozen Americans all picked to attend an event in New York City.

Buses were called for and my mother, brother and I were assigned to Michelle Obama’s cousin. We sat with her through the event and found her to be most pleasant and very pretty.

That was one of the later dreams before Bill kissed me goodbye for the day and after I woke up for some water and aspirin since I had a terrible dehydrated headache that wouldn’t go away.

After Bill split I fell asleep where I dreamed I was working at the now closed Virgin Megastore in Times Square. Martin Kelly showed up with some cash for the box as we were about to sell tickets for The Cure which were going on sale for $185.00 a pop.

I checked the voice mail and heard a message of Ann Boyles listening to a voice mail of her husband Pat Paterson. Then I was behind the customer service desk when up comes the late German artist Joseph Bueys. He was surprised that I recognized him.

He was carrying a large stuffed banana and asked me if the book he was buying would be allowed on his flight back to Germany. It was a book about Animal House and he remarked that German television could probably learn a few things from the book.

Then I tossed and turned and found myself in a different dream, a different part of Manhattan.

It seemed I was a back up dancer for Wham, George Michael’s former band. How that happened I don’t know but I do know I was not that good a dancer and spent most of my time offstage chatting with other stage personnel.

I eventually walked off stage and went to the lobby which turned out to be the Knitting Factory which moved to 52nd Street and Third Avenue. Jane Scarpantoni was there singing along to Scritti Politti’s Cupid & Psyche ’85 while sitting next to Rand.

I then woke up and had some more water to rehydrate myself. I didn’t have that busy a day and wandered around Hoboken again, taking my time to walk around various lakes of slush that appeared at various corners.

I saw Todd from McSwells and said hello to him. He said something in return but I couldn’t say what it was he was saying. Maybe I’m banned from McSwells, maybe he wished me some Happy Holidays.

I also saw Ira from Yo La Tengo and chatted with him on the street. I commended him on the song Quiet Hours from the Dark Was The Night compilation. He gave me the lowdown on that, telling me it was originally from Snapper, a guy from New Zealand.

Yo La Tengo just returned from a tour of Asia which went well. I also told him I enjoyed Adventureland and that Yo La Tengo’s music was fitting, especially since the male lead, Jesse Eisenberg looked like Ira Kaplan from back in the day. He giggled and then we parted way, each of us wishing a very happy holiday to the other.

I would like to thank Andy Savva for sending me the mp3 of Fingerprintz ‘Wet Job’ last night. He’s a Prince that Andy, cheers to him!

I played the track several times last night and walked around Hoboken with it on repeat on my iPod. Nothing like a song about espionage and murder sung in a Scottish burr to make a walk enjoyable.

The Hangover Strikes

Well here we are, the first day of Winter. I came home last night before Bill, leaving him at the game so I could start the blog and uploading the video which was a chore.

The initial attempt rendered the video split in two. I attempted to rejoin them but there was a drop out of a second or so. So I decided to tack on the sound check but still I wasn’t satisfied.

Midway through Bill made it home, the Knicks won leaving us to believe that Bill was their good luck charm. We stayed up and watched some TV while I continued working on the video.

I was finally able to get the video up in one piece which was a relief. The only problem was that I was only able to shoot the video between the heads of two guys on the basketball court. Still it was a good performance by Bill.

Something different than the previous times when Bill sang the National Anthem before the NY Liberty games. The set up for those games were a lot different and there was no Steve Schirippa or Spike Lee to be seen. Schirippa is not as heavy as he was when he played Bobby Bacala on The Sopranos, he must have dropped 100 pounds or so.

I went to bed once I figured it all out with the video. Bill had a doctor’s appointment so he was sleeping in a little later than usual. I of course stayed in bed groggy. Didn’t sleep as late as I had been and was up before 9:00.

I had a hangover but it wasn’t from drinking, it was more from familial frustration and also resentment on the lack of job front. I’ve been searching all hours of the day, after midnight whenever seems right.

Nothing is happening and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen despite the New York Times saying that looking for a job during the holiday season is the smart thing to do since employers are generally in a good mood.

Of course I have to wonder if the recently laid off employees of the New York Times took comfort in that tidbit.

I was generally cranky and went about my daily routines. Coffee, cereal, shower and sit in front of the computer. Most of the day I was irate.

Made it to the post office to drop off a package to send to Annemarie in California. The line was long and I left my iPod home so I had to listen to various people complaining about how long the line was. What did they expect? It’s the last days before Christmas for goodness sake.

I saw Bill Ryan at the window but he didn’t see me so I didn’t say hello or anything like that. Nothing against Bill Ryan, but like I said I was irate.

I walked around a bit, tried to enjoy a cigar but it was too windy and didn’t light it properly. Just came home from all that, nothing worth taking pictures of.

After surfing around for a little while I decided to take a nap which was nice.

A winter’s nap, the first of the season seemed to dispel whatever it was that was bugging me. Woke up hungry and finished off the penne pesto and chicken that I set aside for Bill yesterday.

Decided to make more for the rest of the week. I enjoy it, and chicken has been on sale lately. I’m not complaining and neither should you since you’re not eating it, I am.

Now I’m doing laundry.

Juan called earlier in the day, he’s coming up to this neck of the woods. I was fairly distant on the phone, explaining that I was somewhat depressed and I was. I told him he could stop by but chances are I wouldn’t be good company.

Now I think I would be good company but if he doesn’t show up, that’s fine. If he does show up, I would hope he doesn’t show up with one arm longer than the other. It doesn’t have to be anything big, something that could be concealed in a cigarette pack would suffice.

I love this song. Anyone know where I could find it? It’s by lene Lovich’ former backing band, fronted by Jimme O’Neill, Fingerprintz, Wet Job. A WPIX-FM classic which makes it 30 years old….

Basketball Jones

This is one of those moments in life where a joint would be most nice. But of course I am lacking in that department. What started as a fine day almost degenerated into crap and it wasn’t my fault. I do have to thank the makers of Xanax for taking a major edge off the trouble I found myself in this afternoon.

I suppose it’s true, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In that case, to quote AC/DC I’m on the Highway to Hell.

Last night was quite pleasant enough. Bill came home and we watched The Baroness of Jazz, about a woman, an heiress to the Rothschild fortune who left England and wound up being a major supporter of Thelonious Monk and a few others in that Jazz scene.

I recorded it since Bill has a connection to Thelonious Monk in some regard. Right now, my patience is sorely being tested by the sound card I guess on my computer.

Right now I’m trying to listen to some Kate Bush on iTunes, while also trying to upload the videos I shot of Bill tonight. Unfortunately with every keystroke on the computer the sound goes to shit.

Apparently I cannot do more than one thing on the computer without something going wrong. You get what you paid for I guess. Be ru-un-nni-i-i-nn-ggg u-u-u-p-p t-hhhhaaa-tttt hi-ll-ll is not how Kate Bush is supposed to sound. A 5:01 song gets stretched to 6 and change.

And the one clip I had shot of Bill was somehow turned into 2 clips, so I decided to add the sound check making it a 2:36 clip. I know I would be feeling a lot worse if it weren’t for the Xanax which is merely making me frustrated rather than angry.

Anyhow, The Baroness of Jazz was good and Bill really enjoyed it. After that, Bill and I watched Saturday Night Live. I generally enjoy the holiday episodes of Saturday Night Live. I often wondered if it was Lorne Michaels generosity that lets some truly strange sketches go on air.

I loved the digital short, it was hilarious and definitely weird. No more pajamas for me. Bill went to bed during Weekend Update, I stayed up to watch the rest. Muse were the musical guests and I thought they were alright.

Soon I went to bed as the snow continued falling. I woke up around 8:30, Bill was off to church for the first time in weeks, delivering the liturgy. I soon had my boots on, walked up to Washington Street where the bagel shop was empty. Yesterday the line was out onto the sidewalk.

In and out in under a minute, I made my way through sloppy streets to the supermarket. Cute cashier, reminded me of Karen Kuhl from Gutbank, 20 years ago.

The rest of the day was OK, until I responded to matters regarding Christmas presents. Where I planned and saved to get these presents I was left feeling foolish for getting these meager presents. Whatever good feeling I had was soon gone.

Bill was home by then and taking a nap, I had an early supper. That’s when I had the Xanax which couldn’t activate fast enough for my nerves. Eventually it did and talking to Bill about it certainly helped.

Things will have to be done differently and certain plans will be changed within the next five days. C’est la vie, that’s just the way that it goes.

Bill and I ran into Rand and Lisa as we walked to the Path train, good to see them. They wished Bill good luck with his singing. We also ran into Kathe Charas who is leaving New York and heading to Florida to help out some relatives. Glad to be able to see her on the day she was leaving though it was quite inadvertent.

We were set up nicely at the Garden, had dinner in the Press Room and Bill had a small dressing room. We had passes that allowed me to walk through the bowels of the Garden and shoot Bill’s sound check and the pass came in handy during the actual performance.

Unfortunately, someone bumped into me during the actual performance which left the video slightly disjointed. I posted it on YouTube as johnotoole99 as well on Facebook and also here.

Our singer

Our singer

'Just the facts, ma'am'

'Just the facts, ma'am'

Don’t Believe the Hype

Well right now it’s 25 degrees and it’s supposed to be a major snowstorm, but I can still see Penn Plaza, I can still see Jersey City and Marineview Plaza in Hoboken. The streets are wet but it’s not really sticking.

The local news channels are on full alert, alarming people but so far there’s really no need. My brother Brian texted me and said that the supermarket up by his neck of the woods was a madhouse. Here in Hoboken it’s windy and cold but really nothing to be worried about.

I say that of course since I don’t drive. Walking proved to be no problem, and I even strolled to the end of Pier A in Hoboken and took a snapshot or two just to show that it isn’t so bad.

Julio is flying to Denmark tonight and that hasn’t been much of a delay. He did call to tell me Helena Christiansen was on his flight. We’ve seen her around the village, having dinner a few tables away from us at Benny’s Burritos on Greenwich years ago.

So they are saying the 15 inches are expected but so far less than an inch has fallen in Hoboken. Bill is in the city doing some theater stuff. Last night we watched 2 hours of Chris Noth in Lawn Hors d’œuvre on the Sleuth channel.

Bill definitely enjoyed it. I remembered who the bad guys were or bad chicks actually. Bill didn’t despite his claims to have the memory of an elephant. I told him he must have been right next to me when we first watched the show, since I don’t watch it on my own.

More weather hype with the Winter Alert in effect until 11:00 tomorrow morning. Bah!

The other night I had a dream where I had to drive around the Garden State Plaza in a car with Alexander Lopez as my passenger, not in a baby seat. The objective was to get him to 13 Riverview Avenue which I did, safely.

Last night’s cannabis free dream, I was in the Riverview Avenue neighborhood, this time as a passenger. The driver was President Gerald Ford. Nice guy. I told him I saw him speak in 1976 at the Garden State Plaza and almost shook his hand.

That was true. I was on the line outside of Gimbels after he spoke outdoors at the Plaza but the Secret Service caught off the handshaking a few people before me. He dropped me off across the street where I grew up and I walked into a house devoid of people.

I woke up at 7:30 and almost woke Bill up as well, thinking that he was late for work. Oh, I’m in the unemployment zone where the days blur into one another. Then I went back to sleep.

From that dream of Lodi, I wound up in Chelsea where I then had an argument with Bill. I wrote these down when I woke up. The last notes I wrote with regards to dreams were about me being in the Office and talking to Jim Halpert about coffee.

It didn’t go well and I felt slighted when awards were being given out. So I split that scene and wandered to a bar located in a empty lot at 16th Street between Park and Willow Avenues in Hoboken. Lot’s of commuters getting off their buses and passing through and sometimes sitting on rusty lawn furniture from the 1950’s. And it wasn’t that good a bar since there was no booze.

Oh these dreams go on when I close my eyes. Every moment I’m awake, I live another life.

Looking north, up Park Avenue, 3PM

Looking north, up Park Avenue, 3PM

12.17.09 Hoboken Daily News 002

12.17.09 Hoboken Daily News 005

Looking souht on Park Avenue

Looking south on Park Avenue

Not so bad, is it?

Not so bad, is it?

On NBC News, some guy with a tan is pushing the snow hype, live from Times Square.

Two Sevens Clash

Despite my occasional insisting that I don’t take naps, I took a nap. And it was good. I was tempted to write ‘winter time nap’ but we all know that it’s not winter time yet. That would be December 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM EST. And by ‘we’ I mean Harpy & Annemarie. That’s right, I’m down to 2 regular readers.

Or rather one regular reader and one irregular reader. I’m not naming names but the irregular reader is not my sister.

It was a good power nap, set an alarm so I wouldn’t oversleep. I woke up and cooked some chicken and made some pasta. The metropolitan area is bracing for a big snowstorm, 10 inches expected. I expect that the supermarket has been cleared out and most corner shops were ready for gouging.

I do need to go to the supermarket after writing this. It could wind up looking like ‘The Road’ which is a movie I want to see. It’s supposed to be very depressing, but t’is the season and spirit of the holidays, right?

Right?

I followed Betty Colatrella’s advice and rented Shine A Light, the Martin Scorsese concert film of the Rolling Stones. I should have stayed with my first opinion that it wasn’t worth seeing, since it wasn’t worth seeing. Perhaps the Stones shot their wad in the 1970’s.

I didn’t finish watching the DVD and plan on dropping it off at the library en route to the supermarket. I did watch the Monk finale finally and it was a nice finish to the end of the series. I didn’t watch it regularly but I usually enjoyed it when I did. Can’t remember a bad episode really and I suppose it was typecasting when Craig T. Nelson played an asshole.

Burned some more CD’s today and have a few more to burn. Something to do when hunkered down this weekend I suppose. More people are joining my Hoboken Daily News group on Facebook which is nice. Andy is still thrilled even though he doesn’t know a thing about Facebook or the Internets.

I am also quite happy that Mike Watt is now a Facebook friend. I requested his friendship and sent a note about how great it was, seeing the Minutemen playing McSwells back in the day. He was touched by that and replied in kind, signing off, ‘On bass, Watt’. Can he get any nicer or cooler?

Uploaded Count Basie’s Greatest Hits on my iTunes. Perhaps I’ll burn that for someone. But who?

I did scrimp and save and cut off all my hair and sold it to get Bill a watch fob for Christmas. Sure I look demented but isn’t that what love is all about? No plans for me tonight except going to the supermarket. I suppose my bald look will draw some stares but I don’t mind.

December 18, 2005 I wrote about the previous evening’s Saturday Night Live which had Lazy Sunday, the rap by Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg. Also wrote about seeing Devo at the Palladium.

December 18, 2006 was all about me having 2 weeks off after leaving Wolff Olins. Expected my year end bonus but they didn’t give it to me since I quit. I did work at Farfetched at the time. I wish I was still doing that. I miss Farfetched.

December 18, 2007 was the day of the holiday party at Bio-IB. Quite an awkward party, at least for me. No bonus in December, it was coming in February which I was surprised to learn. Also the start of the troubles between me and Tom Chin who is also known as Harry Wong in real life.

December 18, 2008 was all about my anger with the choice of Pastor Rick Warren to say the magic words to the iron age sky god during the Inauguration. P.Rick Warren was in the media lately with his friends in Uganda and Rwanda introducing legislation for imprisoning and executing gays and lesbians. He’s still a fat little turd.

Just because he wrote a few bestsellers only means that a lot of misguided or stupid people bought his books.

Black Slacks

Well it’s a pretty cold Thursday. But I enjoyed it. Been an Ian Dury & the Blockheads day. Spent some time wandering around Hoboken and listening to New Boots and Panties on the iPod. Also downloaded a few rockabilly tracks and several disco tracks since if you’re on my gift list, burned CD’s is what you’ll be getting.

It’s been fun. Some Link Wray, Robert Gordon, Bill Justis, Eddie Cochran and Sweet Gene Vincent on the rockabilly side. France Joli, Alicia Bridges, KC & the Sunshine Band and the Trammps on the disco side.

All promising a good time, some songs that I heard the other night at the McSwells Christmas party, some songs that I last heard on WPIX-FM at the end of the 1970’s. I enjoyed playing them all, loud this afternoon.

Last night was quite nice. Warm and cozy. Bill made it home in time to catch the Simpsons episode which featured Lisa on a bus.

Bill is currently driving me crazy since he has a Droid now and is texting like mad while riding the 126 bus.

It was one of my favorite episodes it involved Homer and Lisa breaking into the Isis exhibit at the Springfield Museum. It’s all about taking stupid risks. One of my favorites.

Bill hoped that Lawn Hors d’œuvre would be on but it wasn’t. I decided to show him something that I recorded the other night, Voices of the People with Howard Zinn. Oh it was as good as expected, as powerful too. Bill definitely was into it. Several actors that he admires were in it, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Viggo Mortensen and Jasmine Guy to name but a few.

I recorded it, so it wound up being about 90 minutes rather than the 2 hours originally broadcast. Blip-verts! Bill went to bed soon after that and I of course stayed up and watched most of Craig Ferguson. I also started a Facebook group for Hoboken Daily News. An attempt to bolster their spirits since they’re a bit afraid now that 7 Eleven opened up across the street from them.

Slept soundly after that. Woke up and started the downloading. Walked around listening to Ian Dury, stopped by the Guitar Bar and picked up some mail from Jim for the post office. I was mailing some holiday cards so it was a nice thing to do.

I stopped by Hoboken Daily News and told the proprietor Andy about the Facebook group and he was thrilled even though he didn’t know what Facebook was. I took some more pictures and posted them to the Facebook group. Bought some CD’s at CVS for the burning I continue to do.

Came home and while burning some reggae CD’s for my nephew Earl I decided to watch Synecdoche, New York. It’s written by Charlie Kaufman who also wrote Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Charlie Kaufman also directed. It’s really quite a movie.

Unnerving and unsettling and also very engrossing.

It’s funny, I’ve been told I look like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and since I also look like by brother Frank quite a bit, it’s safe to say that if A=B, and B=C, then A=C. The funny part and by funny I mean strange, was the fact that so much of the first part of the film reminded me of Frank and his current ailments.

Great cast including Catherine Keener, Dianne Weist, Samantha Morton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Michelle Williams to name but a few. I definitely intend on seeing it again there is a lot involved in watching it and I probably missed some of it since I was also burning CD’s. It has so many layers involved, I highly recommend it!

12.17.09 Hoboken Daily News 010

Dracula’s Lament

Well I was all set to start writing about a half hour ago but I started playing So It Goes by Nick Lowe on guitar, then wound up playing Stereotypes by the Specials and then I went into Give A Little Bit by Supertramp and then finally found myself playing The True Wheel by Brian Eno and I was in heaven.

So many changes but so much fun to play. A welcome distraction. My callouses are coming along quite nicely and my index finger on the left hand isn’t as cramped as it had been. I haven’t been playing as much as I would have liked to but apparently not playing had served me well.

This evening from Bill: You know baby, you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Me: Aw I agree baby, I feel the same way. I AM the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Last night I went down to Julio’s apartment and hung out. Like old times, we had a bottle of wine and talked. Stine and Alexander are in Denmark and Julio is flying out there on Saturday, not coming back until next year. And by next year, I mean in a couple of weeks.

It was good last night, we talked about McSwells and how he doesn’t ever want to go there again. Not even for a drink, but of course I am always game to hoist a pint or two with Rand.

We also talked about seeing Macca at both Madison Square Garden and CitiField. He felt the Garden was more intimate but the sound and sightlines at CitiField were much better.

Julio also had 2 Christmas presents for me, which was an awfully nice surprise.

One was a biography on Paul McCartney that just came out. I had read the reviews and they were quite good. It’s by Peter Ames Carlin and not a puff piece. I don’t think I’ve ever read a McCartney bio, except for the authorized one by Barry Miles, Many Years from Now.

That was good, but Paul was directly involved in it. The one that Julio gave me last night mentions how Paul has been rewriting the past to suit his needs, like saying that he basically wrote In My Life. Julio hoped I didn’t have it and I didn’t.

He also hoped I didn’t have the other book, John Lennon : The Life by Phillip Norman. I didn’t have that either but I did take it out of the library earlier this year and read it. Julio was dismayed by that but also to be on the safe side, gave me gift receipts for both books.

I did take a walk to Barnes and Noble in Hoboken this afternoon looking to exchange the Lennon book, but they had a meager selection. I could go to another Barnes and Noble in the city and exchange it there, but it’s such a lovely picture of John on the cover and not wanting to disappoint Julio, I think I will end up keeping it.

But I may go into the city and just take a look see. There is that Beatles book scheduled to be released in June 2010, You Never Give Me Your Money but I don’t think I can or should wait that long.

I came upstairs and stayed up to watch Craig Ferguson’s 1000th broadcast. I’m really enjoying his show and last night was very funny. No Craig Ferguson, he had puppets instead, interviewing the guests and also had Jason Segal and Nathan Danforth with The Broken West featuring Ferguson’s Dracula puppet singing Dracula’s Lament from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

So sweet that I posted it on Facebook. Just something really nice and Jason Segal is cute too. And now I am posting it here too…

Back Off Boogaloo

It was a humid day today, but maybe that was me. But when walking around Hoboken I saw people that weren’t bundled up, in fact I was relatively overdressed. A bit sweaty when I came home. I didn’t mind, it wasn’t raining and the temperature has been predicted to drop quite a bit.

Last night I went to the McSwells holiday party. I wasn’t invited per se, but I did go as Chris Repella’s chaperone and also as Roda’s guest. I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t been to the McSwells holiday party in a long time, at least when I used to write it as Maxwells.

I don’t recall it starting at 9:00, maybe it started at 8:00. I DJ’d it a few times, Steve Fallon would make a run and brings back dozens of White Castle burgers. An occasional pot luck and an open bar with 2 irregular regulars behind the bar, one a high school teacher and the other part of the scene at the Elysian Cafe down the block.

It was always a good time, drinks flowing, people running upstairs to various apartments to sniff or smoke various things that couldn’t be done in public. Nobody got hurt, no fist fights, just a general good time.

The first time I went I did feel privileged to be there and had Rand as my guest. One time his sister showed up after seeing him and Rand had to tell her she couldn’t stay, she wasn’t invited. That was how exclusive it was, if exclusive was the right word.

Mainly it was all about the love for Steve Fallon and his family, from the workers and regulars. Last night it was a different scene, quite crowded and no open bar. That was a shocker. I had a couple of singles for tips but not enough for an actual drink, thinking that it would be a freebie.

I met up with Chris and we strolled up. Once inside, I saw Rand & Lisa chatting and it was crazy crowded in the front room as a two man band played some funk and soul classics. It was fun for me but for others it’s was the same bloody thing they’ve had the past four years.

I saw Roda and he is much loved there, or at least he was last night with various people among his co-workers saying and slurring how much they loved him. He is a loveable guy. I tried to get a Guinness but couldn’t get served though most everyone else around me at the bar seemed to have no problem.

I decided to leave, perhaps vanish and no one would notice, I hoped. But the coat rack was laden with winter coats and I couldn’t find my navy pea coat on a rack, mixed in with other coats, much the same color.

After about 10 minutes of searching, Lisa and Chris both saw what I was doing and asked where I was going. I said I was going to the ATM to get some cash and they both said forget about it, they’d buy me a beer.

So I stayed and had a beer. I was swept into the backroom where a DJ was playing some old and obscure 45’s of soul and garage songs. Lisa was on the floor dancing and Rand and I were holding up the wall when Chris grabbed me by the arm and soon had me dancing on the floor.

It was fun, Rand & Lisa, me & Chris, Todd Abramson and his wife, Gaylord Fields and his wife, and quite a few others all doing whatever frugs or watusi’s or foot stomping required. I wished it was Madison Time myself.

I was quite sweaty by then. Went out for a smoke with Roda and should have worn my coat, but got over it. More dancing in the front room to the two man band playing Brick House by the Commodores and Give It To Me Baby by Rick James.

It went on like that for a while. Finally Roda got me and asked if I wanted to take a walk so walk we did. A good walk, a bit gossipy and a bit fan boy, talking about the Dark Knight movie and how good it was. Also how McSwells had changed from people that showered daily (when I worked there) to guys that proudly did not.

Heard about one guy who used to be quite friendly, Chris Ward and no longer around in NJ, out west somewhere who treated Roda like crap, enough so that Roda had to threaten to belt him just to get out of his face.

Yep, Maxwells had changed into McSwells and apparently I got out at just the right time. And so did Steve Fallon. Who would want to deal with the ABC, the Health Inspector, taxes, Hoboken politics and various bands? After almost 20 years, that would be enough.

Still times being the way they are lately, if offered a job there I’d probably take it. But that won’t happen since Todd doesn’t like me very much.

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Blockheads

Well last night, or rather prior to last night I was fraught with anxiety which both my sister Annemarie and my brother Frank detected when they called me on the phone. I tried working through it on my own, having a hearty dinner and decided some music might be good to clear the decks.

I picked Sweeney Todd and got through the first 2 songs then I asked myself, ‘Is this supposed to make me feel better?’ It wasn’t working and went to the tried and true record that always gets me out of my blues, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, ‘Do It Yourself’. And it worked.

I got my stuff together, 2 iPods, cables for the iPods as well as AC cables and the new cables to connect to the soundboard. I checked a few times to make sure it wasn’t forgetting anything. It was pouring rain as I walked up to 14th Street and got some cash from the ATM, just in case I wanted a drink.

I initially thought I wasn’t going to have a drop, but then I thought ‘why the hell not?’ Also enjoyed a cigar on the way, walking under my big umbrella and took some pictures of various holidays lights with my cellphone which I sent to Facebook.

Got to McSwells as one of the bands were sound checking their way through Rock & Roll by Led Zeppelin. Carson was the sound man as expected and he was a pleasure to work with. Since they don’t employ DJ’s anymore at McSwells, they usually play CD’s between acts nowadays, there was no mixer so I was going to use 2 channels on the soundboard to switch back and forth from the iPods using volume control.

I went outside for a smoke while the sound checking continued and saw someone who looked familiar. I asked if he was Chris Butler and it was. I introduced myself as Frank’s brother and told him that Frank would not be coming but he told me to say hello.

Chris Butler was quite nice and I mentioned that I would be playing a song that he wrote later in the night, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. I do love that song and he said thanks and ran off.

I went inside and started playing, figuring that things would be delayed a while, starting off with Wah Wah by George Harrison.

Soon the first band came on, Tammy Faye Starlite featuring Miss Tammy Faye with assorted musicians that would appear later on in the evening. She was good, at least singing wise. Her between song patter was best described as crude. I suppose it was funny but lacked in sophistication and wit.

Ran into Rand who was by the bar and wound up hanging out with him through the night. Also saw Roger Johansen and it’s always good to see him. George Usher was next, he played an earnest set. I mainly know him as having lived in the same building as Jim and Meghan when they lived in Hoboken last.

The Individuals were next, Jim Mastro filling in on guitar playing with Glenn Morrow, Janet Wygal and Doug Wygal. I love watching Jim play, he certainly brings a spark to the proceedings. Then up came the Guitar Bar All Stars, various employees of my favorite shop.

They opened with Heroes by David Bowie which I had to then scratch off my playlist, then they played Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and that made another song I had to cross off. But it was all in fun. In between acts I only had one or two songs to play, the changeover from band to band was that smooth and swift.

I did play Christmas Wrapping and a couple of guys came up to me saying that Chris Butler was right there as I was playing it. Yes, it was a thrilling moment. A few other guys came up to me throughout the night, telling me how much they liked the tunes I was playing, how it brought them back to the 1980’s-90’s when I last DJ’d at McSwells.

Sweet.

Up next was Elena & Boo, doing a nice country & western set of duets, guitar and banjo. While the bands were on I usually took a picture of who was playing, then ran out front and had a pint with Rand, timing it to be back in time, but just in case, I told Carson the sound guy which iPod was cued up.

The big surprise was Antietam. They were old friends from the Louisville contingent that Rand and I et al used to occasionally hang out with. It was great to see them again and they looked great and they sounded better than they ever did before, even covering a song written by Terry Karydes who the benefit was for. Melodies mean a lot!

Everyone’s favorite nice guy drummer Dennis Diken was up next with the Bell Sound and they were fun. Chris Butler was playing with them and much to my surprise, they covered Christmas Wrapping! It was a lovely surprise and I found myself singing along, spurred on by what was now a few pints of Guinness.

Next up were the Schramms which was the band that Terry Karydes played with back in the day. They rocked of course,, and of course I was getting rocked myself.

The wonderful Chris Repella made an appearance, just hanging out. She lives around the block from me. She’s another sweetheart. Then Kate Jacobs followed with her band and played a sweet set. Then closing the show was Freedy Johnston who opened with Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes.

All in all a very lovely evening. Guy Ewald was there, he was the guy I replaced when he gave up DJing, John, Toni and Mark from Speed the Plough were also there, asking about Frank and once again I gave the spiel.

Also spotted was the legendary and beloved Bill Ryan who hardly anyone sees these days and he was with Suzanne who used to be around a lot. She looked as great as ever and still one of the prettiest and sweetest people.

I actually saw her at the Library the other day, I was heading out and held the door for her as she was heading in. I descended the steps and thought, ‘Was that Suzanne?’ and lingered outside thinking she’d be back out. I asked if she was at the library and she said she was and thought basically the same thing about me.

I spoke with Dennis Diken who’s a really nice guy, and he remembered Frank of course, and also my brother Brian. He asked if there were any more of us, and I mentioned Annemarie but she’s in Northern California. Rand, Chris Repella and I just hung out by the front bar drinking more and more Guinness and having many laughs.

We almost closed the bar but there was a table of 6 people who came in late for some cocktails, so technically we weren’t the dirty stay outs. Once again, I had a much better time than I expected to have.

It’s nice when that happens.

Here’s the playlist from last night and pictures of all the bands….
Wah Wah- George Harrison
Cut it Out- The Go Betweens
Time to Pretend- MGMT
Joy to the World- The Fab Four
Winter of Love- Chris Stamey
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot- A Girl Called Eddy
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Husky Team
I’d Like You for Christmas (Ursula 1000 Remix)- Julie London
Love in the Year 3000- The B-52’s
Christmas Time is Here Again- The Beatles
Inspiration Information- Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas- The Staple Singers
2000 Miles- Pretenders
Purple Snowflakes- Marvin Gaye
Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Backing Track with Vocals) The Beach Boys
Two Weeks- Grizzly Bear
Jack the Ripper- Raybeats
Shakin’ All Over- The Yardbirds
Christmas Wrapping- Waitresses
A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)- The Flaming Lips
Marshmallow World- Darlene Love
Jump in the Fire- Harry Nilsson
Well Alright- Spoon
Lenin- Arcade Fire
Buzz- Pylon
Fairytale of New York- The Pogues
My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)- Regina Spektor

Tammy Faye Starlite

Tammy Faye Starlite

George Usher

George Usher

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Guitar Bar All Stars

The Guitar Bar All Stars

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Antietam!

Antietam!

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

The Schramms

The Schramms

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston

Eastern Standard

A rainy Sunday. It’s in the 40’s, or so they say. I was outside earlier when It wasn’t raining and when it wasn’t too cold. But from the constant downpour it just looks like it’s too wet to go outside. But outside I must go, later on around 5:00, for tonight is the night I will be DJing at McSwells for the first time in about 15 years.

I’m a bit apprehensive, a bit anxious. Not so much since it’s been 15 years, but more like it’s from I don’t want to upset anyone with what I play. I have an idea of what I’ll play. And it will probably the first time that I’ve DJ’d at McSwells where I didn’t get fucked up.

There’s 10 bands playing, one or two dropped off the original line up which is too bad since I always enjoy seeing Karen Kuhl. From the looks of the schedule, I should be selecting songs to play for 10 minutes between each act, but things being what they are and this being a rock and roll situation, who can really tell?

I ‘m sure it will be a good time. Starts at 6PM and should go to 11PM but you know these Rock & Rollers…

Last night was a good time for sure. My former boss Risotto and his partner GFunk threw a nicely sophisticated party at their place in Newport. It was a pleasant walk over to Newport from Hoboken, Bill hadn’t walked on the walkway that was opened a few months ago connecting Hoboken to the Newport area of Jersey City.

Bought a bottle of wine since it’s good form not to show up with one arm longer than the other. Had the wine in my shoulder bag as Bill and I strolled over enjoying cigars and made it to the 21st floor apartment.

Very nice space and as Risotto does things, a place for everything and for everything a place. It was the first time I had met Gregoire and he seemed like a nice enough fellow. Quite a mix of friends, all pleasant and interesting.

I had a few glasses of wine and Bill and I mingled. The food was excellent as was the wine. The view from Risotto’s apartment was interesting enough to look across and see other people in their apartments. Some parties going on, some other things going on as well.

It was a bit like Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, with me playing the Thelma Ritter role instead of James Stewart or Grace Kelly. Unfortunately after a few hours we needed to leave since Bill had to get up mighty early to drive a bus once again to Atlantic City.

But we had a good time with Risotto and GFunk and their guests and wished them all a happy and healthy holiday. Bill and I had another leisurely stroll back to Hoboken, where the bars were packed once again.

Bill was soon ready for bed, I stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live, not really paying much attention but from what I did pay attention it was merely OK. They are doing good by not letting the sketches run too long.

Bill was gone by the time I woke up and got the paper and some things for breakfast. And so far most of the day has been spent on the phone with Annemarie, my brother Frank and brave Ulysses. Ulysses called to see if I heard from Pedro who flew down to Puerto Rico last night for his father’s funeral. I hadn’t and didn’t expect to.

Annemarie was calling just to check in on a Sunday like we do, Frank called and told me he more than likely wasn’t going to show up at McSwells tonight.

Too much of a hassle with the rain and parking. I don’t expect my brother Brian to show either since the band he wants to see, Dennis Diken & the Bell Sound is only going to play for 20 minutes or so. He could always show up but with the weather is I doubt it.

I think the main thing that is making me nervous is the fact that I’ll be using iPods instead of vinyl or CD’s. Hopefully it will work out since I followed Carson the sound guy’s instructions and bought the cables he suggested.

So my fingers are crossed and I hope it will be a successful evening for Terry Karydes.

Due to the outing of Risotto, the pictures have been renamed and made even sexier since Risotto’s parole officers are freaking out. You should have come out earlier Risotto, But to each in their own time.

Ahh what the fuck.
bill 2

jot 4

bill 3

jot 5

12.12.09 essence of ridiculousness

Bill called and told me to break a leg with regards to my DJing tonight. He says I’ll be stupendous and that was nice to hear. Annemarie and Frank said the same, so I guess I had better be on top of my game!

Flip Flop and Fly

Oh so tired, but it’s a good tired. Only have an hour or so to rest before Bill and I head over to Newport in Jersey City for Risotto’s Christmas Party. We were invited a month or so ago and now the time has come. It should be a nice time.

Hadn’t seen Risotto in years and never met his partner. It’s also within walking distance. It starts at 7:00 but we can’t stay too late since Bill has to drive tomorrow morning. We’re both looking forward to attending the party, it promises to be a good time.

Another cannabis free dream last night, involving a trip to New England. Could have been Vermont, or New Hampshire. It involved Bill, my mother, Julio, my brother Brian and my sister in law Elaine. One part of the dream involved me walking up a river, knee deep to catch up with the others.

In some bushes on the shore, there might have been my former roommate Jimmy Lee whom I asked if he had figured out a song for me. I tried to get the people in the dream to move from the bed and breakfast we seemed to be meeting at to a local cigar establishment.

Then I woke up with Don’t Rain on My Parade in my head. It was endlessly repeating. Almost maddening.

What got me out of bed was the fact that I had a plan to visit the Man Ray exhibition in Manhattan at the Jewish Museum. If you recall, I was going to go last week, but it was too cold and rainy. Today it was mainly cold. I showered, made coffee and headed out to get the paper and some bagels.

Came home, had a hearty breakfast as Bill sat and watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre . No time for Bill to watch the Closer which is his Saturday morning routine. He was off to see his mom and run around Manhattan.

About an hour later I too was headed into the city, taking the Path train to 14th Street and walking over to Union Square to catch an uptown train. On the way to the Path I stopped by the Guitar Bar and wished Jim a belated birthday and also said hello to his daughter (and mine) Lily who was working at the store for the afternoon.

Throughout Hoboken there were Santas everywhere, all participating in a Santa clad pub crawl. Walking down the stairs at the Path station there were a few Santas dressed up obviously off to participate in drunken shenanigans.

The train was crowded as was the 4 train uptown from Union Square. What was an express train, turned local once it went to Grand Central. I rode up to 96th street and thought the Jewish Museum was at 96th Street but it was at 92nd Street.

Went into the museum, was searched, as was my bag which I had to check. I walked into the galleries and took off my coat and held it over my folded arms. A few minutes later a security guard came up to me and told me I had to either check the coat or wear it.

No carrying coats at this museum. I blame Tony Shafrazi. He was the former art adviser to the Shah of Iran and his Peacock Throne, that all around Iranian ghoul who spray painted Picasso’s Guernica. Or maybe it was because it was the Jewish Museum. It was a minor hassle nonetheless.

Great pieces of art, with me having a laugh at a few pieces, like Rrose Sélavy created by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp after they both fled Ridgefield NJ to Paris. Rrose Sélavy is a ‘person’ portrayed by Duchamp and photographed by Man Ray and it’s a play on Eros, C’est La Vie.

Hilarious I thought and chuckled. The other patrons merely sniffed. So much fun to be found, especially in the letter to Tristan Tzara where Man Ray writes “dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival.” Still rings true almost 100 years later.

After than, a cigar and a stroll down Fifth Avenue, taking pictures at whatever I deemed art and whatever screamed loudly enough for me to take it’s photograph. I’ll more than likely go back again to the exhibition, I just won’t wear such a heavy coat.

I walked from 92nd Street and Fifth Avenue to 33rd Street and Sixth Avenue. That’s about it.

Here’s some pictures.

man ray kiki

man ray le cadeau 1921

Tristan Tzara photographed by Man Ray

Tristan Tzara photographed by Man Ray

My self portrait inspired by Man Ray

My self portrait inspired by Man Ray

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 002

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 003

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 004

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12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 007

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 008

12.12.09 NYC post Man Ray 009

This is Pop

Ah, had a good nap after going into the city and meeting Bill. I needed to get some cables for the DJ gig I’m doing at McSwells on Sunday. It’s a benefit for a local musician and a host of bands from the past are all playing.

When I first heard about while riding the bus during the summer I volunteered my services. And now the time has come. It hadn’t exactly been on the front burner until about a month ago when the guy who initially told me about it on the bus contacted me about it, suggesting that I play Grand Funk Railroad, Paul Revere & the Raiders and other groups like that.

Whether he was joking I couldn’t tell. It’s just as well for when this guy contacted me and asked if I was ready to DJ and I said sure. Jokingly I replied that what I was going to play was going to be amusing, entertaining and perhaps infuriating.

Almost instantly a reply was sent, berating me with the worry that it was a benefit I was going to be playing, and infuriating people was NOT the way to inspire people to give to help the ill musician pay her medical bills.

Once again, humor did not translate through email, much like I wasn’t sure if this guy was joking about playing Grand Funk Railroad for the benefit. I did speak with one of the people who is playing and they weren’t so much into doing the gig.

They didn’t know the musician and neither did I, though I probably did see the band the ill musician did play for at one time, but more than likely did not stick around for a full song since it wasn’t my type of music then and thought the band rather lackluster.

But I suppose my heart is in the right place. I won’t be getting fucked up like I used to back in the day when I would DJ at McSwells on a regular basis. I guess while the bands are playing I’ll be going outside having a smoke and listening for each of the bands to end their set.

The sound guy, Carson seemed nice enough when I met him last month so I guess I’ll find out how long each set will be and time my exits and entrances accordingly.

I am doing my best to promote the event, at least once a day I repost it on my Facebook page and Kirk Gardiner of the Hoboken Journal was nice enough to give it a blog on his blog.

I also have planned some things to play and since we’re slipping and sliding towards the holidays, I have a playlist of about 125 Christmas songs that I can draw from and alternate with the standard rock and roll fare that is probably expected.

So today I had to head into the city, braving the 24 degree weather with a most nasty wind chill factor. When I met with sound guy Carson I asked what I needed to use my iPods instead of vinyl or CD’s and he told me which type of cables to get.

After checking with Radio Shack as Carson suggested I decided to try Sam Ash. Bill said he would buy them since he would need them eventually for whatever projects he would have down the road. Bill called up a audio place down the street from where he worked and he said they would probably have what I needed. If not, they could make them for us.

I went a different route and contacted Sam Ash on 48th Street and they said they had them. So a custom made cable wouldn’t be needed and I thought it would be good to save Bill some money on that front. I met Bill on 43rd street and walked up to 48th street.

Times Square filled with tourists despite the shoot out last night outside the Marriott Marquis. We made our way to the DJ area and the salesman was most helpful. I actually hadn’t been to Sam Ash since my late friend Tony Sankitts was running the DJ department.

I bought 2 cables and headed out with Bill, back into the cold midtown air. We walked to Godiva chocolate where Bill is a regular and bought me some chocolates which was nice. I then walked him back to his office and I walked over to JR Cigars on Fifth Avenue and bought a couple of cigars that were incredibly cheap.

Came home exhausted, and took a nap which is where I started this thing tonight. I still have no idea what I will be playing on Sunday night, but then again I never did when I had a regular DJ gig at McSwells.

I was invited to their Christmas party on Monday night by Roda, but having been to one or two of those during the new regime, I probably won’t go. Too weird for and Rand is better with the current McSwells scene than I am anyway which is 180 degrees than how it was 20 years ago.

Galaxy-NJ-Musicians-evert

It’s funny, I can’t help but run into people who thing the guy who runs Hoboken411 is a jerk.

Tramp The Dirt Down

Last night was an interesting night for lack of a better word. As furious as Juan was when he came over, he calmed down enough to be hilarious. Actually I think both of us were hilarious. Sometimes the hilarity subsided when he had a phone call from some family member.

Juan was kind enough to go into the bathroom and talk on the phone but as his anger returned his voice got louder and the acoustics in the bathroom accentuated his ire creating more of a noise than it would have been if he was sitting right next to me.

Plus the neighbors probably heard everything perfectly. At least they would probably have something to talk about since things are generally pretty quiet here with Bill and myself. I had to go knock on the door and tell him to take the call in the bedroom which was a bit quieter for the residents of the 5th floor.

He was soon back on Earth and settled on the couch where we watched episodes of The Office which I had saved for moments like this, when Juan was over. Also posted one or two other new links to the blogroll regarding Hoboken blogs.

Blogga please!

Juan was on yet another call (for which he was ultimately apologetic for) in the bedroom when Bill came home. Bill was happy to be home and showed me his New Jersey Driver’s License which establishes his new residency as one of those who live on the mainland. Nice picture too.

He had his Subway sandwich and Juan sat next to him on the couch and we watched Elvis Costello Presents Spectacle. It was the first episode of the new season, last night’s guests were Bono and The Edge from U2.

It was enjoyable, Bono was as usual talking most of the time. Elvis and the Imposters played Mysterious Ways by U2 and at the end both Bono and The Edge did a duet with Elvis singing a medley of Pump It Up/Get on Your Boots with a little bit of Subterranean Homesick Blues thrown in for good measure.

Juan then checked his 7000 emails from school and I sat on the couch reading about Tom Petty in Mojo which did not publish my letter about the Specials this month. The Simpsons came on, the Lord of the Flies episode which was not as good as most of them despite the promise. I had to send Juan home after that. I was tired and needed my sleep.

Last night’s cannabis free dream was a Zombie dream that took place at a besieged 13 Riverview Avenue, the house where I grew up. I was grateful it wasn’t Zoombies but rather the slow walking Zombies.

It was a relatively quiet day. I walked around Hoboken a bit and found that I like startling people by saying ‘Good morning’ or ‘Hello’ when I pass them and catching them looking at me.

Old people are usually pleasantly surprised when they hear it and usually reply in kind. Younger folk have no idea what to say.

Spent a lot of time in front of the computer, probably too much. Got tipped by Jeremy at Good As You about some geezer on his front porch, smoking a butt and dispensing his views on gay marriage. After watching the video on YouTube, I had to unleash the sock puppet.

The geezer was upset by what the sock puppet had to say and then posted an even more heinous video wishing death to queers, homosexuals and lesbians, despite saying in an earlier video that he loved his late epileptic bisexual brother.

The sock puppet reminded him that he was in effect wising his brother dead if his brother was still alive, since he felt that the granting of a civil right to gays and lesbians would infringe upon his rights.

That’s the point that is so stupid.

Well, that point as well as the point they try to make that being gay is a choice.

The sock puppet had to ask when did he decide to be straight?

I mean if sexuality is a choice, isn’t it a choice for everyone? Or was he like Larry Craig, who felt that the louder he protested against gays, the less likely people would think he enjoyed performing oral sex on men in public rest rooms.

Oh he short circuited and shut down. It was a fun way to spend this afternoon, tramping down the dirt on some red neck geezer from South Jersey.

That’ll Be The Day

Well it rained quite a bit overnight. So much rain it woke me up. Why, I was awake before 9:00 it was so loud. Bill was off to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Bayonne so he could have a legitimate New Jersey address.

It could come in handy should we decide to tie the knot. The other night I showed him how to make a square knot, which is something my brother Frank taught me way back when.

Right over left, left over right. Ta da!

Have some good news possibly. Juan might have been misdiagnosed. What they thought was kidney cancer might actually be a tumor. A type of tumor which is sometimes mistaken for cancer. More info next week on that.

You’d think he’d be over the moon but he had just made arrangements with school to suspend his studies, spoke with his landlord who canceled his lease.

It turns out he didn’t have to do all that. I told him he now has an opportunity to restart his life, but oddly enough he’s worried that his friends and school will think he was trying to get over. I wrote oddly since he never cares what other people think.

And in any event, if he has this tumor, an operation will more than likely need to be performed so he will have the scar to show that it wasn’t cosmetic surgery. He’s on his way over right now and I guess things are back to normal since he’s basically furious with certain members of his family.

I expect him to initially be as charming in person as he was on the phone. I’m so HVAC sometimes.

Made fast friends with Kurt who runs The Hoboken Journal blog. He’s anti-Hoboken411 too so it’s good to have an ally in the blogosphere. I did visit that other accursed site, Hoboken411 and saw how good ol’ ‘Libertarian’ Perry so damn excited that a 7/11 is coming to town.

He’s more than likely angling for free Slurpees and burritos. Across the street is Hoboken Daily News which is a nice little store currently run by Andy and his brother, both upstanding gents. I’ve been going there since I moved to Hoboken in 1984.

Andy and his brother are worried since 7/11 is a big impersonal powerhouse and these newcomers to Hoboken probably have no loyalty and will cling to the comforts of the suburbs that apparently have followed them to Hoboken.

Andy is a great guy and will let you slide if you don’t have enough cash, just pay the next day. In this day and age that is a rare thing.

Last week while I was in there getting my smokes, a thug wannabe was hanging out reading the magazines. Apparently he’d been there long enough so Andy told him he couldn’t read the magazines anymore.

The wannabe was indignant despite standing directly in front of a sign that said ‘Please Don’t Read the Magazines’. It’s OK to thumb through but to stand there and read an article is fairly enough, not allowed.

So the wannabe throws the magazine to the floor gets behind me muttering to himself that he’s going to ‘duff’ this guy. For those playing at home, ‘duff’ means to deliver a severe beating. I heard this and said ‘Whoa. Easy with that duff talk’.

The thug wannabe was obviously surprised that a white dude like myself would know what it means and challenged me on what it meant. I told him using the Queen’s English and he asked how I knew. I told him I knew because I knew.

I didn’t say my good buddy, Pedro the corrections officer told me. Anyway the thug wannabe buys himself a cheap ass plastic tipped cigar like the kind Snoop Dogg smokes and tries to walk all hard out of the store. Andy was most appreciative. I kept it gully. It was all on tape.

I picked up the magazine the thug threw down after saying that Andy wasn’t respecting him, and ironically enough, the magazine’s title was Respect.

I know, I thought it would be Cat Fancy or Modern Bride too.

I don’t usually involve myself in situations but I do consider Andy to be a friend.

This afternoon I had a nice little chat with Andy and his wife about blogs, told him about mine and Kurt’s Hoboken Journal. Kurt had posted about Hoboken Daily News and a few people commented how much they liked the store and Andy was very much interested so I gave him both blog addresses, telling him that Kurt’s was more political and social whereas mine was ‘all up here’ and pointed at my head.

I heard crickets in a hollow hall.

Walked around after taking pics of Andy and his wife as well as the exterior of Hoboken Daily News. Ran into Chris Repella on the street. Ran into her yesterday too. She was with her charge, a young autistic boy. She was a bit blue, broke up with her boyfriend and her cat died this week.

I did my best to bolster her spirits and told her that she’ll be OK. I love her and told her so. She’s a sweetie from the McSwells days 20 years ago. She appreciated it and I was glad to say it.

Now Juan is here reading and cutting up magazines and slowly coming in off the ledge. He wasn’t going to jump, just scream at the world about his frustration.

Also spoke this afternoon with that Chasm fella in Vermont. Mr. & Mrs Chasm and the baby are doing OK, Casey is trying to figure out some major life choices. He was surprised with the fact that I’ve been cannabis free for about 3 weeks now. He asked why and I told him financial. He asked if I had a job would I go back to it and I said probably not. I really don’t miss it.

OK that’s a bit of a lie. I miss it when trying to go to sleep at night.

Oh, last night Bill and I watched the Dark Knight on DVD. Bill had never seen it before and it was than Lawn Hors d’œuvre repeats. He loved it, sitting at the edge of the couch throughout the movie. We will probably watch it again before I return it to the Library. That’s where I get my DVD’s now since I suspended my Netflix account.

Flowers while on the phone with Casey Chasm

Flowers while on the phone with Casey Chasm

Hoboken City Hall

Hoboken City Hall

12.9.09 Hoboken Daily News 007

12.9.09 Hoboken Daily News 006

Not the job for me...

Not the job for me...

Andy and the Missus

Andy and the Missus

Hoboken Daily News @ 500 Washington Street

Hoboken Daily News @ 500 Washington Street

Walking on Thin Ice

Felt like taking a nap, but didn’t. Ate dinner instead. Some pesto,chicken and penne which is my old stand by. Works for me. Cook the chicken one day and it’s good for at least 3 meals later in the week.

Last night or rather this morning, my cannabis free dreams involved 2 people from McSwells, Louie who in the dream was tending bar at the Elysian Cafe. He burned a couple of bridges in real life and is basically persona non grata to a few people. Me? I’m a loyalist. He did something nasty to a friend of mine and when I heard about it, cut all communication with him.

But there he was in the dream, behind the bar and behaving much like he used to all those years ago. Then in a related dream perhaps was Steve Fallon’s sister Mary. In the dream she was working at S. Sullivan’s, a bar at 6th and Washington. I’ve walked by S. Sullivan’s 8 million times but never went in.

Mary was a bit shy in the dream for lack of a better word and talking to her was like pulling teeth. Last time I saw Mary was at the Hoboken Music scene exhibit at the Hoboken Museum. She seemed a bit perplexed when I went up to her as did other people, so happy to see her. And we were happy to see her, and not because she was Steve’s sister.

I know how it is to be in a sibling’s shadow but I adapted and made my own light. It would have been nice to have spent more time with her then, but I guess I will just have to settle for dreams.

Then there was a dream about my nephew Earl, who was playing at SOB’s nightclub in Soho. I was getting ready to go when I woke up so I have no idea how it went. Perhaps tonight I’ll be reading the reviews in the next installment of my cannabis free dreams.

Yesterday in NJ The state senate moved along a bill to vote on same sex marriage in this Garden State. Hopefully my friends and family will do the right thing, take a minute and call their state senators and voice their support for the civil right of marriage, for me and Bill. Strange that no one commented or sent word to me regarding this. I guess I do have strange friends and relatives overall.

Once again I find myself dialing members of my state senate. Most of them (Bateman, Beck, Kean, Kean Jr.) are voting NO, though Bateman’s staffer is for our marriage rights, her daughter works for LGBT organizations in NJ. Madden and Turner are unknown and Sacco’s phone seems to be off the hook. So I sent Sacco an email telling him to get his phone fixed, and not to worry about the bill, the voters will pay for it.

Call one or all of these undecided Senators now:
Christopher Bateman – (908) 526-3600
Jennifer Beck – (732) 933-1591
Sean Kean – (732) 974-0400
Thomas Kean, Jr. – (908) 232-3673
Fred Madden – (856) 232-6700
Nicholas Sacco – (201) 295-0200
Shirley Turner – (609) 530-3277
Call these Senators today and let them know you’re depending on them to put human rights above politics. Let them know that civil unions represent an outdated separate-but-equal mindset. Let them know that marriage should be an equal right for all.
This is a civil rights issue that transcends partisan lines, so every Senator needs to be called.
I called about 15 state senators within the past 24 hours voicing my support and urging them to do the same. Most of them were voting no, or had voted no on pushing the bill to a vote on Thursday. I do hope these friends and relatives realize that if they were in the same position as Bill and I find ourselves, I would sure as hell vote for their civil rights.

But that’s me and I can’t expect people to rock the boat especially if they might have a fear of water.

Last night I visited Hoboken411 which is usually a fun and interesting website to visit. Apparently I pissed off whomever Hoboken411 (Perry) is. He usually leans to the right and that’s usually easily overlooked.

Yesterday one of his ‘pals’, Murph posted a few shots of the present Mayor, Dawn Zimmer next to some photos of various apes. The shots were of Zimmer, photographed mid-speech so her facial expressions were a bit weird.

True, the same thing was done to George Bush, but to Dawn Zimmer’s credit, she was elected fair and square and did not subvert the Constitution to illegally invade a country nor did she do the other heinous things that Dubya was involved with.

I made a comment that it seemed unfair since he was basically saying that Dawn Zimmer is a monkey and unsexy. I mentioned that since he never posted pictures of previous Mayors Dave Roberts and Peter Cammarano, probably because he thought they were sexy.

Oh that must have upset the thin skinned Hoboken411. My comment didn’t make the cut even though it was well within his posting rules. He also deleted a few other comments from other people, but they probably didn’t question his sexuality. To even be thought of as gay is bad, you see.

Because probably in Hoboken411’s tiny world, even the suggestion of being gay is a horrible thing to consider. I also remarked and thanked him for reminding me why I don’t visit Hoboken411 every day like I used to.

I might miss reading about him and his dog going to the dog run and his restaurant and bar reviews which more than likely involve having those establishments picking up whatever tab or bill he might incur while visiting these establishments.

He also doubts global warming, calling it a scam. I should have realized it earlier but I’m always willing to give the benefit of the doubt, and in his case, I thought he might have been cool.

Only this guy sits in his home, dog at his feet and an ear to the police scanner. Maybe he wants to be the Rupert Murdoch of the Hoboken blog scene, since Hoboken411 is starting to smell like the NY Post, so anti-Dawn Zimmer he appears to be, actually is.

The only comments that don’t get posted here are spam, and I’m no chicken shit. But I’ll probably keep this Perry’s blog in the blogroll, if only to remind myself, how not to run a blog.

In any event, the chap who runs The Hoboken Journal has similar problems with Mr. Perry Klaussen. So I added The Hoboken Journal to the blogroll.
http://thehobokenjournal.blogspot.com/

And here’s some photographs of my stroll around Hoboken this afternoon.

12.8.09 Hoboken 001

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