Monthly Archives: January 2010

Hole in My Shoe

Well here I am in the apartment, in front of the computer again. Tomorrow I start the new job. Yes I am anxious. How could I not be? After 7 months of not working, jumping back into the world of employment can be nerve wracking.

It’s not that bad though. I’m just nervous about waking up in time or rather on time. I’m sure it will be fine. A few friends have stated the same message, I will be fine, it will be fine. Bill started it last week, as he was kissing me goodbye in the morning while I was still in bed, that my days of freedom were winding down.

It should be an interesting scenario nonetheless. I haven’t decided what suit I am going to wear, but more than likely I will be wearing pinstripes. Still time to decide that.

Last night in case you didn’t notice, I’ve started animating the reading of the blog. At least yesterday’s entry, Beast of Burden. I started animating Ruby, My Dear but it was quite wordy so I stopped midway through, with the reader saying that it was Part One and if you want to hear Part Two, contact John Ozed.

No one wants to hear Part Two I guess, since I never heard from anyone. It’s inspired by Martha Keavney’s series, The Andromedans. I was up until almost 3:00 last night watching Now Voyager again while fine tuning the 2 animations I made last night. Didn’t get as much feedback as I had hoped, but like this blog, I will persevere and carry on regardless.

Last night before Now Voyager I watched Saturday Night Live. John Hamm was the host and he was funny in several bits, the Digital Short was pretty funny as well. Sergio!

Bill was sleeping in Atlantic City as I wrote yesterday.

He made it home safely this morning and went to bed. I headed up to the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at McSwells. Once again organized by Lois, this month we read The Taming of the Shrew. We started out with 7 readers, turned into 8 when someone showed up late.

Lois went all out, with many index cards with each different character spelled out. I wound up having about 9 speaking parts, most of them were only a few lines, other parts had lines throughout the play.

I used different voices again, I played Baptista with an effeminate lisp, Christopher Shy as a cockney, the merchant as a wise talking 1920’s character, the widow as a Python woman and the haberdasher with a cookie monster type voice.

There were a few other voices thrown in here and there, covering for Rand when his two characters wound up in a dialogue with each other. It was fun once again. The only thing is no one except for a few of us, heeded Lois’ instruction that we use our outdoor voices.

Mainly it was a couple of women who just used their everyday speaking voice which didn’t help when the noise of the restaurant got louder. That was a bit frustrating and I held off on requesting that they speak up.

Me & Rand

Me & Rand

1.31.10 Shakespeare Mxwls 012

1.31.10 Shakespeare Mxwls 013

Taming_of_the_shrew

Back to work tomorrow! Whee!

Beast of Burden

On Facebook there is a theme, put up a photo of a celebrity that you look like as your profile picture. I can’t do that there, but here I can do it. I’ve heard that I look like Philip Seymour Hoffman & Drew Carey.

At the play reading I had participated in the other day one of the audience members said I looked like Jim Carrey, then he corrected himself and said Drew Carey.

Drew Carey

Drew Carey

I’ve found in these two specific instances that it can be broken down into two groups. Black people think I look like Drew Carey and white people think I look like Philip Seymour Hoffman. I myself tend to think if I’m to look like either one of these guys I would prefer Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

I do feel slightly insulted when I hear Drew Carey.

One time, years ago I found myself in a gay bar on the upper east side on 58th street called Oscar Wilde. It was the only gay bar that I knew of that served Guinness at $4.00 a pint. One night I’m just hanging out after work and next to me at the bar is a very drunk patron who claimed to be Carlo Gambino’s son.

Carlo Gambino

Carlo Gambino

I just nodded slowly as he slurred his words. On the TV at the end of the bar was an episode of the Drew Carey show. The younger Gambino turns to me, then to the TV, then back to me and says, ‘You know who you look like?’

I knew exactly what he meant even though that, I believe was the first time I ever heard the comparison. I guess the reason I would prefer to be compared to Philip Seymour Hoffman is that I prefer his work to Drew Carey’s.

The other day after hearing about J.D. Salinger’s death, I read a few obituaries bout him. One of them mentioned a fellow college student of Salinger’s recollection of Salinger walking around the college campus wearing a black chesterfield and walking with a cane saying he was going to make literary history.

JD Salinger

JD Salinger

A  burgandy Chesterfield

A burgandy Chesterfield

Me, not Drew Carey nor Philip Seymour Hoffman wearing a Chesterfield, not a couch

Me, not Drew Carey nor Philip Seymour Hoffman wearing a Chesterfield, not a couch

And I suppose he did. I never read The Catcher in the Rye. Most people have to read it in high school but I didn’t. I don’t think it’s because I went to a catholic school since I think other classes did read it. Not sure if I missed anything.

Salinger doesn’t really come up in conversation these days anyhow. Well actually because he recently died he comes up in conversation but other than that, not really.

It’s been a cold day today. Only went outside once or twice. And that was more than enough. Too bitter outside. Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight once again. I’m content to stay home.

I figured out why my feet are so cold in the apartment. Cold ceramic tile above an vacant, unheated apartment. Well that is what Julio mentioned the other day.

I just had a nice spaghetti dinner with some home made sauce that Stine made. Quite nice and perfect for a cold night such as this.

Beast of Burden, a reading.

Ruby, My Dear

Thank goodness it’s Friday. Been a while since I’ve written that. I’ve worked 4 days this week, and with 3 days last week I have a total of 24 hours under my belt. Already it’s more than an unemployment benefit.

Oddly enough, I’m not as tired as I’ve been the past couple of days. Pretty much awake. Last night was quiet mostly. Bill was off to see a rock and roll guitarist friend of his friend Tom, at the Bitter End. I was asked to go, but it was at 10:30 and I didn’t want to go.

If I couldn’t get it together to see Karen Kuhl last week with Alice Genese, I’m going to get it together to see somebody I don’t know? At the Bitter End? Oh I think not. I was more than content to stay home. Bill came home, then went out again which is more than I would do. Generally, once I’m home, I’m home.

I just watched TV and actually went to bed before midnight. It was something definitely out of the ordinary. Haven’t been to bed before midnight in months, at least not when I’ve been out of work. It was all good since I had to be at Greg Stevens office at 10:00 this morning.

I was out of bed before 8:00 this morning, got it together and was out headed to the bus stop at 9:00. It was 16 degrees out and I put on some thermal underwear under my blue jeans, thick socks, a long sleeved cotton shirt and a sweater on top of that. And a wool hat, my pea coat, gloves and work boots. Once again, affecting the longshoreman look.

Comfortable on the bus, reading the last issue of 2009 of the New Yorker and started on the January 4, 2010 issue. Nice to be in the same month and the same year. I’m catching up. Sat in the back of the bus where there’s more room and more comfortable.

On the bus my cellphone rings. It’s my old Rasta pal Jesse. He hasn’t heard from me in a while and was just checking in. At least that’s what I thought he was saying. With his patois and the noise of the bus I couldn’t really hear him so I told him I would call him back in 10 minutes when I was off the bus.

When a Rasta calls so early in the morning, I felt he couldn’t have good news. I thought, someone must have died. I hung out with a group of Rastas in the day with my friend Miriam and thought I was going to have to call her with bad news.

When I got off the bus I got back to Jesse, who like I initially heard, was just checking in. No bad news. He was wondering how I was doing. I said I was fine and would try to see him after I get through with my project today.

I hustled through Grand Central Station, using it as a short cut to get in from the cold. As I walked up Third Avenue, my phone rings. It’s 10:05 and it’s Greg Stevens wondering where I am. I was a block away and was in his office in 5 minutes.

Alex, an IT guy was there helping Greg with his computer. Or rather was setting Greg’s computer up, with Greg just standing there. Greg doesn’t know computers at all, in fact the other day I had to explain over the phone what a lap top was.

I set about unpacking the moving boxes and Greg made himself scarce. After an hour or so, Greg was en route to the Hamptons and Alex was done doing as much as he could. He’ll do more next week when the Los Angeles branch of Greg’s company is in, after being out this week.

I had a break and wandered over to Cohen’s Fashion Optical where I got my glasses a year or so ago. A few months ago, my glasses fell apart. One of the screws became loose and fell out rendering them useless.

I did my best, took a screw from an older pair of glasses and somehow, without wearing glasses was able to get a screw back in. But it wasn’t the right size screw and left my glasses a bit lopsided. So I went back to the store and explained what had happened and low and behold a few minutes later they fixed the glasses and they were as tight was they were 2 years ago.

Still a bit scratched even though I’ve used special cloths to clean them. While they were fixing the glasses they asked if there were any frames I would like to see and so I looked around. The woman behind the counter was helpful but came up short when I explained that I didn’t want any brand names on the side of my glasses.

No branding for me, thanks. I left the store with coupons for a free eye exam and a 20% discount on my next frames.

I did some more work at Greg’s office and submitted my hours. Also decided to send an email to a recruiter that I was in contact with a few months ago. Cathy Cline.

Cathy was the recruiter who was disappointed in me when I went behind her back and contacted the employer since I thought Cathy was bullshitting me.

She called me the next day and chewed me out, mentioning that she knew how hard it was out there to get a job, even her son was unemployed. Presumably still unemployed since his mother wasn’t getting him a job. I did try to remain in contact with her, wishing her a happy holiday and also mentioning that I was still looking for a job.

She never responded to me.

I sent an email that was written like it was a form letter, thanking her for all that she had done for me and that I had a new job that I would be starting next week and should I need staffing, and I would be in the position to choose staffers (a lie) I would keep her in mind.

Almost immediately she responded. Not to reply in kind to any holiday greetings, or any encouraging words regards to job searches. Just congratulations. I had to laugh.

I left Greg’s office around 3:00 leaving it looking like an office rather than a collection of moving boxes. On my way out, I talked with Eric who was sitting at the front desk. He works for a company called Regal which rents out office suites to small companies that can’t afford expensive Manhattan office rents, which is where Greg Stevens is now located.

I told him I had a friend who was starting a job with a company called Executive Suites, one of their competitors. Eric said he’d rather work at Executive Suites. I asked him why and he said he was the only guy in an office surrounded by women and their drama. He also didn’t like the artwork on the walls of the office. I didn’t think it was so bad. A Hopper print in the kitchen area, a Miro print in the hallway.

I guess I’ll find out about Executive Suites on Monday, when I start.

Back out in the cold I walked my old route to the Path train. Now I’m home, feet are still cold despite wearing socks and slippers, and waiting for Bill to come home.

It was a good day overall.

In The Flesh

Thursday. Woke up when the alarm clock went off. Looked out the window and it looked foggy which was odd. Shuffled around the apartment then I wondered why I was up so early and went back to bed for another 45 minutes.

When I woke up again it was a full blown snow storm. That was a drag. I had to rally myself for the interview scheduled for 10:30. Thought about canceling the interview since I already had a job scheduled to start, but I got it together and headed out. It wasn’t too bad, just a wet sticky snow.

I forgot my umbrella and just trudged onwards towards the Path train. I was wearing a wide brimmed hat so that definitely helped with the snow. Got a seat on the train and got off at Ninth Street. It had stopped snowing in the city and the sidewalks weren’t slippery at all, just wet.

I was about 20 minutes early for the interview so I just stood outside and talked to Bill on the phone for a while. The place where I interviewed is diagonally across the street from Wolff Olins. I thought about stopping by then I thought again and asked why would I do that.

I headed upstairs to the the 10th floor at 225 Varick Street. Dismal building, even more dismal office where I waited. So this company would hire me and send me out to wherever or whatever company would require my services.

I sat and read the New Yorker from last month. Finally Tim McSorley cam out and got me, leading me into his office. He offered me a water or coffee and I politely refused. He went and got his own water, leaving me to sit there. His office was shambles, wires all over the floor. I guess it was an improvement, other people were in cubicles outside on the floor.

Nice guy though, a lot more pleasant than he was on the phone. Tim McSorley doesn’t give good phone. The interview didn’t last long since most of the questions were done over the phone.

I was out of there in about 20 minutes and headed over to a newsstand to see if they had Uncut magazine. Apparently it’s unavailable in the tri-state area. I walked over to the West 4th Street subway station and waited for the E train uptown to Lexington Avenue.

Made my way into the office, Greg Stevens wasn’t around. He was in earlier but I guess he went to the racquet club. I got his things together and waited for the movers. I did go out to pick up some lunch and got a phone call from the girl who works for Vivek.

Apparently the building management didn’t know Greg Stevens was moving out today even though I set the whole thing up last week. The left a message for Vivek and he called them. He was intentionally left out of the loop by yours truly and almost messed up all the plans I made.

I called the building manager reminding her that I called her yesterday but she was out. She mentioned that we wouldn’t need to reserve the freight elevator since there wasn’t that much to move. I got that taken care of and shortly after that, the movers came and packed things up, putting chairs under blankets and onto dollies.

Goodbye 800 Third Avenue.

I met them a little further up Third Avenue and they moved everything in with skill and speed. Greg was soon off to lunch with his brother but before he left he asked me about how much I was going to get at the new job, leaving me to believe that he was ‘fishing’, perhaps to hire me as his assistant. It would be nice to work for him, after all that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years.

But that all remains to be seen. I might bring it up again tomorrow when I help Greg Stevens unpack his office.

It was a busy day for sure and I am pretty tired. Feel like falling asleep now, at 6:30, but if I did I know I would be up at 11:00 and unable to fall asleep again. So I will stay awake. I know in a little while I will get my second wind.

JD Salinger is dead. I never read The Catcher in the Rye, because I didn’t have to. Most everyone had to read it in high school, but not me. And when I heard that that was the book John Lennon’s killer was reading at the time of the murder, I never wanted to read it, ever.

Add It Up

It’s now a Wednesday. Last night was quiet. Just watched TV. Bill came home from seeing his mother. He’s making a point to do that at least once a week. He’s also seeing his cousin and her family at that time so it works out well for everyone.

I was home, a bit tired, after getting ready with Greg Stevens on his move. Not hard work but the trucking back and forth wore me down. I watched TV, O & RM. Bill came home in time for Rachel. I had enough news at that point but Bill wanted to watch it so we did.

Then at 10:00 I put on the Heroes episode from Monday night. Still lacking in luster. And of course, the last minute or two was cut off. Sort of like, ‘And the murderer is…’ Stay tuned for the Jay Leno Show! It’s happened so often that it’s become a joke around here.

Bill was busy getting some things ready for his friend Rome Neal’s one man show about Thelonious Monk called Monk. I’ve seen it a few times. Bill has been Rome’s trusted stage manager for the show for a long time, but the next show is in Rochester and Bill can’t make it so he’s been transferring things to CD’s so Rome can take them on the road.

After the 11:00 news I put on a recording of Scrubs: Med School. It takes place after the original show with Turk and Dr. Cox as well as Bob Kelso and the Todd reprising their roles. JD & Eliot have made appearances before. It’s OK. Not totally in love with it, but then I haven’t been following it much. Bill didn’t know anything about it so it was a kick for him.

He went to bed after that, wearing the sleep apnea mask which was great. A nice night of sleep. Of course there was the weird dream involving an old friend of my Simon Paterson. He was a special friend. Had many late nights with him.

A strange relationship though. Haven’t seen him in years and I don’t think he’s seen me in years either. At one point in the dream he produces some powdery packets and offers them to me like back in the old days, but in the dream I was saying that I don’t do that sort of thing and that the glasses he was wearing made him look like Bobby Womack.

It was a dream that probably had references to another friend, no not that type of friend, just another party person from the McSwells days. I ran into him, known as Midday since that’s when he usually got out of bed.

We were both waiting for the bus and comparing our lives. He’s been married for 10 years, me and Bill will have been together for 10 years in September. He used to party in much the same way I did and just like me, he doesn’t anymore. That conversation probably popped into the dream.

This morning I was up and started making the coffee when the phone rang. It was Brenda from back in the Wanker Banker days. She saw via one of the social networks that I’m on that I have a job and asked how it was going. Surprisingly I was able to answer her questions coherently without any coffee.

She was at her job and couldn’t talk much so we ended the call with me promising to call her back, which I haven’t yet. Had some breakfast when the phone rang again, this time it was a follow up call after the phone interview from the other day.

Tomorrow I have a face to face interview. This time with some guy named Tom. It’s at 10:30 so after that in a suit & tie I will supervise Greg Stevens move. I of course got worked up about the interview. I always think that I have the job.

Then I realized that I do have a job lined up and if the interview doesn’t go well, well I still have that job on Monday. Saw Stine and Alexander on the way to the park. Walked them over and played with Alexander for a few minutes.

Stine looked great and Alexander was the boy wonder, climbing over everything and ignoring me. I did get a high five and when I left I said Bye Bye. Stine couldn’t get him to do the same but when I was 20 feet away I heard a Bye Bye. Then at 30 feet, then at 50 feet. Each time I turned around and saw Stine laughing as I waved back.

Spoke to Bill about the interview tomorrow, me making a big deal out of it. Spoke to my brother Brian which was really good. His eldest daughter is looking at college. Yikes! By the time I made it to Greg Stevens office he was off at the Racquetball Club.

I don’t think he plays racquetball though, just the gym and sauna. I packed some boxed and got other things ready for the move.

Spoke to Bill again and told him I realized I was making too big a deal out of the interview. Now I’m home, watching the Simpsons ‘Mr Scorpio!’ and that’s about it.

Rest in peace, Howard Zinn.

That’s the Way

OK, when last we left off I was getting ready to head into Manhattan to meet up with Bill and head up to Harlem. It had finally stopped raining and the temperatures were in the upper 50’s. Blue sky as the sun was going down and it felt quite nice.

I headed over to the Path train since it was too late to catch the bus. I walked over listening to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, No Quarter: Unledded. Not too crowded heading into the city, going against the flow.

Reading Chris O’Dell’s book, Miss O’Dell. She was an employee at Apple records, friend of the Fabs and their wives, among other rock and roll groups and people. Fun, gossipy stuff.

When I got to 33rd Street I noticed the people coming down the stairs were all wet. Yes it started raining again. Not as bad as it was earlier in the day. I had my trusty umbrella and headed up to 42nd St, still listening to Plant and Page.

I was a bit early and decided to sit in the alcove next to Bill’s office building. It wasn’t too cold, still in the 50 degree range, so I sat and continued reading. A few people walking through, and one of them caught my eye.

It was Alice Genese, whom I’ve written about before. Always good to see Alice and we chatted. She had played at McSwells with Karen Kuhl last Friday and I apologized for not going, explaining that I really don’t go out anymore and plus I couldn’t afford to go out.

She understood and asked what I was doing sitting there. I told her that I was waiting for Bill before heading up to Harlem to help out with a stage reading of a play. I also expressed my nervousness but Alice was reassuring, saying that it would be fun and I would be fine.

Which is what a few people had told me in the comments previous, including Andrea Harbison and my brother Brian.

Bill came out a little while after Alice and I exchanged hugs and kisses and we headed over to the uptown train. It was of course a crowded train and as we rode uptown Bill asked if I had any questions about the role I would be reading.

I didn’t have any questions, just nervous. We got off at 145th Street and St. Nicholas. The theater for the Harlem School of the Arts is only a block away. We got inside one two or three people around, one of them an actor who was playing Barry that night.

A little while later the rest of the cast had shown up. The play was titled Ebony for Ivory and takes place in Asbury Park in 1968. Bill was in director mode, announcing that from now on he would be calling us by our character’s names.

The guy playing Barry was Lawrence in real life. I was Wiley, an apt name for my character since he’s a slimy manager of a sculptor named Rudy. We started before most of the audience came in since time was tight and we only had the space for two hours.

My lines began on page 38 and as I followed along I made mental notes to myself that my lines were coming up in 24 pages, 23 pages, 22, 21…

Everyone was doing a good job, being actors they read with emotions and passion and if I didn’t know what to do beforehand, I knew that whatever I did would be reacting to how they were acting. And that is something that Bill said a few days before, that acting was basically reacting.

My lines finally came up and I did my best to say what was on the page, clearly and loud enough for the audience to hear. Barry and Wiley had some head to head moments, Barry a young wanna be Black Panther and Wiley an older slimy business manager screwing his client.

It went well, and I was very happy I highlighted my lines. Barry had a big chunk of lines, all in a block and I wondered why that block couldn’t be broken down into paragraphs.

I mean, I write this blog, first in a block using a Word program to count the words as well as to spell Czech. Then I break it down into paragraphs as Rand suggested years ago when I started. Much easier on the eyes and easier to read. But Lawrence, playing Barry got through it just fine.

His scenes with Rudy and Sharon, playing the older adults of the teenage Ebony were intense and on point, as were the rest of the cast. Before I knew it we had read the entire play. The cast left the stage and sat in the audience as the playwright Kevin and the director of the writer’s workshop, Gordon Lee Thompson Sr and Bill sat and took questions and criticism from the audience.

Time was of the essence and after that we all headed out of the theater. Bill and I talked with Lawrence by the subway, with Lawrence hanging on the suggestions that Bill had to offer him.

I thought Lawrence was great, handling both the passion he felt for Ebony and rage he felt at the tragedy that ensued to be amazingly powerful. He’s only 19 but if he keeps at it he can go far.

Bill and I rode the train back, Bill was impressed and happy with my performance, telling me that I was good, good enough that the audience groaned when my character said his tacky lines, screwing Rudy out of his place in the art world. I didn’t hear the groans as I was too concerned with the words on the page.

I asked if I read too fast, if I misplaced a word or added a word but it didn’t really matter. I had stage fright for sure but once the play started to be read, there was no time for that. It really was an exciting experience and I could only say that I couldn’t have done it without the excellent cast seated next to me.

It was a high of sorts for me.

Bill and I came home in time to catch the second half of Keith Olbermann. Bill went to bed soon after and I joined him midway through Craig Ferguson.

The weird dream last night or rather this morning involved Julio and Stine who were upset with me since I wouldn’t join them in worshiping Mort. I annoyed them by singing songs from Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Mort from Bazooka Joe

Mort from Bazooka Joe


It was all rather sinister with music!

Barry, Wiley, Rudy, Director Bill, Playwright Kevin, Sharon, Ebony, Pauline

Barry, Wiley, Rudy, Director Bill, Playwright Kevin, Sharon, Ebony, Pauline

Gordon Lee Thompson Sr, Kevin Eugene Franklin, Bill Vila aka 555

Gordon Lee Thompson Sr, Kevin Eugene Franklin, Bill Vila aka 555

New Position

New day. Lot’s of rain and wind. Did not sleep well. Bill’s snoring was atrocious. I asked Rand how he dealt with it and he replied, lose weight, floss and rinse and brush teeth before sleep and also learn to sleep with your mouth closed.

I did go out into the maelstrom this morning. Needed milk for my cereal. Midway to the store, my umbrella turned into a pretzel. I made in back home soaking wet. A change of clothes was required. And the power went out, then back on, then out again and then back on.

I heard from Greg Stevens many times today. I told him I wasn’t going to make it in, too messy outside, plus I was rather grouchy from missing a good night’s sleep.

In the pit of my stomach is anxiety. From the new job that I am scheduled to start a week from today. More from that than from the stage reading I am doing tonight. Heard from my brother Brian who was encouraging as well as Annemarie and a friend from McSwells, Andrea.

Apparently she reads my blog, probably from Twitter feed that Rand set up. Also been using Google Analytics to see who and where my blog gets read. Apparently a lot more than the 2 or 3 that I usually expect. And from all over the world.

Page views last a minute sometimes, but I suppose it counts. Someone in Mount Holly reads it too. Who do I know in Mount Holly?

And now the reader in Mount Holly will read my writing about the reader in Mount Holly. Maybe they will find it an invasion of their privacy. Maybe they’ll respond and say hello. Or maybe they will stop reading this blog.

I have a phone interview in about 15 minutes with the person who sent me an online application on Saturday night at 11:00PM. I filled out the pre-screening application rather cheekily yesterday, but quite honestly.

The woman who sent it called me back almost immediately to set up the interview. So at 2:30 this afternoon I will be otherwise engaged for about 20 minutes. Then I should have a nice lunch and then get ready for the reading.

Bill and I watched 2 hours of Big Love last night, both good hours, the second hour getting more and more twisted plot wise, and also featured Sissy Spacek. Then we went over the lines I am going to read tonight. I think and Bill thinks it went well.

We’ll see how it goes tonight. I’m just helping out, sitting among the actors. I suppose I will adapt by how they go through their lines and read accordingly. At least I hope I do.

I did go out again this afternoon, things had calmed down quite a bit with regards to the weather. Had to drop off birthday greetings for my dear friend Billie in Washington DC as well as for my brother in law Rex.

Now it’s just drizzling out, earlier I could have sworn a tornado was passing overhead.

Well I just got off from the phone interview. Supposed to last 20 minutes, but I was so well spoken that it lasted 31 minutes. The woman who interviewed me was impressed with my phone manner and was taken with the fact that it was more like a conversation than an interview.

I was basically myself. I mentioned that if she wanted to interview me in person, it had best be soon since I am starting that new position next Monday. She understood.

She was the initial call before the actual company that is looking to hire, which is at the Citi Corp Center a block and a half away from where I previously worked. So basically I was myself, not the charmer, just answering the questions plainly and honestly.

I also did not lie about my education. I’m a high school graduate. I also said I was an autodidact.

Since I’ve written this now, I suppose I will write about what happens later at the reading, tomorrow. Right now it isn’t raining. I hope that continues.

Straight Lines

Well not soon after posting last night, I put Land of the Lost in the DVD player. I anticipated Bill coming home and wanting to watch it. It seemed silly enough, no thinking required. I could hear Bill climbing up the steps from the lower floors.

He was lumbering as usual and as usual I greeted him at the door with a smile, helping him with his bag. Just something nice to come home to. I know when he does it for me I have a look of ‘what the hell are you doing’ since it doesn’t happen that often.

And it doesn’t happen that often since he’s not home usually when I come home. It’s when he is home, that’s when the look comes out. Probably my father’s patented look. It’s too bad, I know- Bill tries. On the other hand I don’t mind doing it when he comes home.

So tonight he doesn’t seem as cheery and I ask what’s wrong. His knee has been acting up lately and it happened a few times today. Popping actually. And he also seems a bit subdued. He says he’ll be fine. He just wants to relax. He has his box of Cheerios, his Hershey bars.

I sit and continue watching the Office which was a good episode. The 7:30 repeat. Harpy called in the beginning. He’s getting nervous about getting his teeth removed so new choppers can go in. I did my best to reassure that it would be fine when call waiting interrupted, Nature was on the other line.

Harpy got off the phone and I took the other call. After that I settled in to watch Michael and Jan’s dinner party with Pam and Jim and Andy and Angela with Dwight and his former babysitter crashing. It was just the right amount of uncomfortableness to make it hilarious.

Bill asked me about Lois DiLivio’s Shakespeare Reading at McSwells next Sunday. He wasn’t sure whether or not he could make it as he has a play opening the following Monday (which is the day I am starting my new job) but asked me how I felt about the reading last time in December.

I told him I enjoyed it. It was fun, surrounded by mostly friendly faces and familiar people. I got people to laugh as I read my lines from The Merchant of Venice. Bill pulls out a script and asks me if I would read for his reading on Monday. That was surprising.

I was unprepared for it, even though I overheard him talking to the playwright on the phone saying that they needed a white actor. I thought about offering my services but didn’t think anything of it. Now here’s Bill asking me to do the same thing.

Almost immediately anxiety set in.

Yes I would be willing to do this. I explained how nervous it sounded. I would be onstage reading with people I don’t know. Bill said that since I was able to do it at McSwells, so why not again? I tried to tell him that yes I did it at McSwells but I was among people I mainly new, they were friendly and no one else would be paying attention.

Bill mentions my busking, how I can play my guitar in front of total strangers by the river. In my mind I say to myself, those people just keep moving on. No one stands there and pays any mind to what song I may be mangling. And I am basically hiding behind the guitar.

Bill says that people were paying attention to us at McSwells last month. They could hear us, they could see us and they were very interested in what we were doing. I disagreed, since we were in that fish bowl area, behind glass. It wasn’t that crowded, it was early Sunday afternoon. And I was among friends having fun.

Obviously Bill believes in me and had been thinking about it for a few days. I mention that it would have been nice to have been asked a few days ago, now I have to cram this anxiety into 36 hours instead of having the luxury of spreading that anxiety out over a number of days.

We watch Land of the Lost. Bill liked it a lot. I chuckled once or twice but my mind was elsewhere. After the movie and some of the DVD extras he starts to get ready for bed. My silence throughout most of the movie went unnoticed.

Only when he went to kiss me good night did he ask if I was alright. I told him I was really very nervous. He didn’t understand that and said well actors take that nervousness and put it in their acting. I tell him that’s all well and good but I’m not an actor.

‘Well you did it at McSwells’

‘Yes but I was among friends, it was very relaxed and fun. I don’t want to make you look like an idiot for getting me to do this.’

‘Look if you don’t want to do it, fine. I can get someone else. I just thought that this would be good for you.’

‘I said I was going to do it so I will do it. I just wish I had known about it sooner. I mean, I was fine, chilling out at home at 6:00 and now at 10:45 I’m really not so chill anymore.’

‘If you don’t want to…’

‘I said I will do it. Just very nervous. I’ll be with people I don’t know, on a stage, it’s very nerve wracking. And my part, it’s the bad guy.’

My part is the white manager of a black sculptor in 1968 Asbury Park who screws the artist. I’m going to do it, but I guess I have butterflies carrying hand grenades in my stomach. All for the experience I say to myself, all for something out of the ordinary.

And there are typos in the script.

And now I check my email and I have an invite for an interview with an application attached to fill out.

Now it’s an hour or so later. I watched Jazz on a Summer’s Day, another library DVD, disappointed that it was only 20 minutes long. Interesting to look at the jazz fans in the audience grooving to Louis Armstrong.

I also read the script that Bill wants me to read Monday night. It’s not bad, could definitely use some tweaking here and there, some tightening up, but I’m not a script doctor. I will participate though. I’ve highlighted all my lines and creased the pages where they are.

Just some stage fright to deal with.

I wrote that last night. Things are better. I am somewhat more prepared for the reading tomorrow.

I also have a phone interview for another job tomorrow afternoon. Feast or famine it seems. I didn’t take the pre-screening application too seriously. My cheekiness might have worked to my advantage.

If I post tomorrow, it will probably be later since I will be at the reading. So hang tight.

I did run into Julio & Alexander this morning in Church Square Park. While talking to Julio I notice a bird flying in to land on a tree branch. I noticed it had a wider wing span and it wasn’t a seagull. It was actually a hawk.

Julio remarked that it was probably going to eat a squirrel or pigeon. Or mice. A few weeks ago when Bill and I were headed to Chaz’ party, as we entered the park we saw a cat jump out of the bushes. In front of the cat was a mouse that desperately did not want to be dinner.

Anyway, here are some cellphone snaps of the hawk. Of all times, not to have my camera…

Hawk in the center of the photo

Hawk in the center of the photo

as close as I could get with a cellphone camera

as close as I could get with a cellphone camera

Best photo of the hawk I think

Best photo of the hawk I think

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Never Let Go

Well today has been a little bit different. My faithful companion has been awfully silent. Just sits there without anything to say, nothing to add as the day progresses. Big and boxy and a bit cold. Feeling under utilized.

Since about 9:30 this morning we haven’t really interacted. Nothing went wrong. I just decided on listening to music and not him. Things keep piling up. Made room a few months ago and it’s back to the same thing. Crap just piling up.

I’m usually better about it but lately distractions have been grabbing my attention. Perhaps tomorrow, that will be the day to do something about it. Today certainly wasn’t.

Like I said, the faithful companion has been intentionally neglected. I opted for music instead on TV. Pulled out Tom Waits, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. A nice collection. Hadn’t heard it in a while. Decided to burn the 3 disc set for my brother in law for his birthday next weekend.

That means I should put it in the mail on Monday. It’s really an eclectic collection, the Brawlers disc is Tom doing blues and rock & roll things, the Bawlers are just that- songs that get the eyes moist. And Bastards are songs of Tom being Tom.

He does a Bukowski number, a Kerouac number and the last song is a story that I remember my brother Brian telling me ages ago. As soon as I heard it start I knew what the story was. Love that Tom.

One song from Bawlers is called Never Let Go which I recently heard on a commercial for the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders or an organization that does good things like that. Nice of Tom to license the tune for a good cause like that.

I played it for Bill and he said we have to see Tom when he’s around next time. I neglected to tell him that tickets to see Tom lately aren’t cheap. I saw him in the 1980’s when he was doing a week long stint at a Broadway theater and that was affordable.

Last time I think the cheapest ticket was $75.00 at the Beacon theater. The thing about the Beacon theater is unless you’re seated in the orchestra, or on the first floor forget it. So those tickets were a bit out of my reach last time, but if Bill wants to go, then fine.

Tom Waits has been special for Bill and myself. When we first started going out, or rather staying in long ago, I specifically played for Bill, Picture in A Frame which for me summed up how I felt about him. Bill even learned how to play it on the piano and has played it at parties and for friends who were getting married.

Of course Bill’s style is more polished than Tom’s but the message is the same. I think Tom would enjoy the soul and passion that Bill puts into it. I found some of Tom Waits chords online and played some of Tom’s songs on guitar this afternoon which was fun.

Also on the playlist was Jimmy Page & Robert Plant: No Quarter-Unledded. Some Led Zeppelin songs done with an Egyptian string section. Quite nice and tasty. The version of Kashmir is outstanding.

Came back to the states, playing Lucinda Williams Little Honey, that an online friend turned me onto a few months ago. So it’s been a day like that.

Last night I downloaded a Madonna song. Ray of Light. My former roommate William was enamored of that record and the title song Ray of Light really stands out. I remember coming home one night after work and walking through the door as the song was playing and joined in on the chorus, ‘And I feel, like I just got home’. It was a laugh.

I downloaded it during the telethon, Hope for Haiti. I gave earlier in the week via text message and that’s all I could afford this time. It’s better than nothing. The telethon was nice, understated. I was most surprised by Mary J Blige. She’s come a long way from Mount Vernon. I was also surprised by Justin Timberlake singing Leonard Cohen’s Halleujah.

I played Ray of Light while walking around Hoboken where it was bright & sunny and about 44 degrees. I needed to get birthday cards for Rex and Billie. Also went to see if the latest Uncut magazine was in at Barnes & Noble.

I’d rather not buy it there since they charge tax on magazines, but the local record store, Tunes doesn’t sell magazines like that anymore. They only sell Weird NJ. And still no Uncut magazine to be found.

I did see good old Martin Kelly at CVS and that was worth a chuckle or two.

Now I’m home. Cooked some chicken with pesto and pasta which was yummy. Cruising the olive oil aisle was fruitless, but I bought extra virgin olive oil.

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Lie to Me

It’s a Friday. I spent a few days this week, perhaps unknowingly getting back into the groove of working. Helping out Greg Stevens the past few days was nice. Still more work to be done next week. I suppose next on the agenda would be getting to bed early and waking up earlier than I’ve been.

I can safely say that I will not miss Hoda Kotb (and really, what kind of name is Hoda Kotb? According to Wikipedia, she’s Egyptian) and the one known as Kathie Lee. I can easily understand why Fang Gifford sat under someone else’s apple tree.

Last night Bill was running around in the city, I was here at home, feeling tired but other than that, OK. I knew that I would be more awake hours later than I was when I posted last night. Last night was The Office which was basically a clip show. Pretty funny nonetheless.

30 Rock which is usually funnier was not as funny as it’s been. Keith Olbermann was on the money last night with his commentary on the Supreme Court’s ruling, removing restrictions on how much money corporations can give to political campaigns.

Totally a fucked up ruling and I of course, am in line with what Olbermann had to say on the matter. Apparently, it’s now We the Corporation, no longer, We the People.

Also yesterday I posted on Facebook, an item from Crooks and Liars website about how a white power supremacist had been arrested for raping a child. Joe Jervis from Joe My God, a fellow blogger and also a Facebook friend posted the same article on Joe My God.

Last night Joe posted that he received about 1000 hits from Storm Front, a white power bowel movement. I’m sure will be alright but it was a bit unnerving. I can only guess that Crooks and Liars had many more hits on their website.

Right now Bill is driving a bus in Cliffside Park. I’m tracking him once again on Google Latitude. He’s off to Atlantic City again, driving the gamblers down the shore. I’ve never been to Atlantic City. I’m not one for gambling though, and if I went I would more than likely spend my time at the beach and right now it’s too cold for that.

When I was in the city I scrounged up my pennies to get the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines. Mojo is readily available but Uncut is nowhere to be found. It had been months since I had been to one news agent at 56th st and Lexington Avenue but to my surprise they went out of business.

I walked around the block to a different vendor and was able to buy Mojo but even they had no idea or explanation as to why there is no Uncut this month. I suppose I can wander around the Village this weekend and see if Rebel Rebel or somewhere else would have the February issue.

Last night I had 2 very weird dreams. One involved Bill and myself winning a trip to South Africa. We were on a tourist tram of sorts when an explosion occurred a a few cars behind the car we were in. We were OK but there were obviously people hurt.

It was a terrorist act. We tried communicating to friends and family in the States to let them know that we were alright, but Bill’s 3G service wasn’t working.

The next dream involved me going to a party that Joe Jervis was having at a house on stilts in the water that was only accessible by boat. I stayed for a while wandering around the house, saying hello to other bloggers and eventually getting into an argument with one of Joe’s neighbors.

I decided to leave the party but had to swim to my row boat which was drifting away while I held the Daily News over my head, trying not to get it wet.

Very strange indeed.

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Wax and Wane

I am so tired. I forgot how walking around midtown in work boots can weigh you down. Perhaps it as Harpy says, I am tired from the elation of getting a job. Last night wasn’t so bad. Bill was on the phone running lines with some guy who’s going to be in a play that Bill was working on.

I surprised Bill by having Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent on when he came out of the bedroom. It was actually a really good one. Logan’s (Chris Noth) last episode or at least one of the last ones. It piqued my interest when they mentioned Lenny Briscoe in the beginning. That was the late Jerry Orbach’s role.

Bill was surprised to see it on and I was surprised to hear Bill know most of the lines. It turned out that Bill has the episode on his iPod and has seen it quite a few times since it’s one of his favorites. We started to watch another Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent when my brother Brian texted me to tell me that Bruce Springsteen was on Spectacle with Elvis Costello.

Immediately we switched over to that, or rather I switched over since Bill decided to go to bed. I remember the first time I saw Elvis Costello and the Attractions at the Capitol Theater on the Armed Forces tour.

My brothers and I had fifth row seats on the left and at the end of the show walking a few feet away from us was Bruce heading backstage to meet Elvis and the boys. It was a good show on Spectacle and it was only part one. Bill was asleep by the end and I of course watched the news, Conan O’Brien and then Craig Ferguson before I turned in myself.

And yes, there were some weird dreams.

One involved me riding on the back of a motorcycle being driven by Fergie. We were heading to Fort Lee for the premiere of Nine. We rode across the George Washington Bridge and saw the traffic for the Harlem River Drive when she decided to turn around and head back to Fort Lee.

On the bridge I fell off the back of the motorcycle. We weren’t going fast and I merely went ‘plop’ and got back on. I wrote that down in the notebook that I’ve been keeping next to the bed to record these dreams.

I also wrote Rhane Stone/Coffee, Copier Love and Robin Guthrie. Robin was in the Cocteau Twins and married to fellow Cocteau Twin,Liz Fraser. Their relationship ended badly.

Today I went in to help out Greg Stevens again. It was an interesting time. I spoke with 2 of the subtenants who will need to vacate the offices at the end of February. They are scrambling to find new space as soon as possible.

Luckily for them I will be working for a company that leases offices for small companies. I called up Chaim who interviewed me and left a voice mail. Turns out, he is the president of the company. He called me back and I told him the scoop.

He told me to give them his direct number and was impressed with the fact that I produced 2 potential clients. A nice father in the cap and I haven’t even gotten the cap yet.

Also heard from Cindy See who returned my call. She recommended taking the job that was offered. She also felt that I was being underpaid for my services, but like I wrote yesterday, it’s the bird in hand.

And yes while it is a pay cut, it is better than the unemployment benefits on which I’ve been eking out a meager existence. She did tell me that I should keep looking and if anything comes up she would let me know.

The workplace drama begins anew.

I also had a realization. While I am happy to be working again, there is some trepidation. I realize that with each job that I’ve had, or anyone has, requires that you have to reinvent your personality, or adjust if you will.

My trepidation was about who will I have to be at this new job?

And what the fuck is up with the Supreme Court allowing corporations to donate as much money to campaigns as they might want?

Found A Job

Well there were no pictures taken last night. I made my way into the city to meet up with Harpy & Susan and as a bonus Lois. It was a Farfetched reunion of sorts. I got there midway through Lois & Susan having some bar snacks and Harpy having a Red Stripe.

Harpy was kind enough to have a copy of the new Massive Attack record which comes out next month. Nice promo packaging as well. Got my vote. If this was payola I would definitely add it to the chart rotation playlist. Yes I can be a whore when I need to be.

Susan is in love and that’s nice. I actually knew about it from Harpy a few weeks ago so I played surprised. It wasn’t hard to play surprised since I actually forgot about it, still it was nice to hear it directly from Susan.

Lois is selling her condo in Riverdale and moving to New Jersey to help care for her mother. They eventually had to leave since they were driving home and didn’t want to get drunk. It was nice to see them and they certainly enjoyed the bartender.

Some Irish bloke who works in Kenya. Some girls are just a sucker for a brogue. They settled up the bill, I felt like a poor relative with nothing to give. Luckily that was understood and Harpy carried my end.

Harpy and I stayed for another pint or two and then he was off in his direction and I headed off in mine. Made it home, nice night out. Bill was watching TV. I was glad I posted my entry for last night before I headed out.

Bill was watching the Bourne Ultimatum which is a really good movie, literate with lots of violence and action. I don’t see how he could watching it with commercial interruptions. Whatever fast forward momentum that was achieved was suddenly stopped with messages for some crap.

I offered to order it from the library and I probably will but still Bill was in the middle of it. He went to bed midway through the 10:00 airing of Keith Olbermann and I stayed up watching Conan and the first half of Craig Ferguson.

No dreams to really write about but I was awoken by my cellphone ringing. I checked the voice mail and it was Cindy See, who I interviewed with yesterday afternoon. She was going to a meeting this afternoon, a meeting with a magazine publisher who was looking for an office manager/executive assistant and was seeking my approval to submit my resume.

I called her back after a cuppa and told her that if she thought it was a good fit, then by all means, submit the resume. After breakfast and a shower and the Gilmore Girls I started to head out. I had plans to meet with Greg Stevens and assist him with his move from 800 Third Avenue to 845 Third Avenue.

He’s renting an office space from a company that specializes in renting out office spaces. His wife, Georgina had already moved into a space there and it seemed good for Greg. As soon as I stepped into my old office space I get a phone call.

The job that I wrote about in Wishful Beginnings, the one I wasn’t fully aware of due to having an out of body experience was calling me back with a job offer. I was stunned and thinking quickly thanked Chaim (the guy who interviewed me) and told him I would have to call him back since I was about to go into another interview.

I had to lie but my head was spinning. First the suggestion of a really good job from Cindy See and now Chaim calling me with an actual job offer.

I sat and talked with Greg Stevens and while talking about what was needed for his move, I asked his opinion of my job situation. He recommended not taking the first job that is offered, which seemed like good advice.

We walked over to his new office across the street and while talking with the receptionist, I asked her if she heard of Executive Suites. She did and remarked that they were their competition. Greg and I saw his space, looks like an easy move.

Most everything should go easy next week. We went back to the old office and Greg was soon off for the rest of the day, allowing me to use his office. I asked the alpha male in the office what he thought of my situation and he said I should take it and if something else comes up, take that one.

I was also surprised by Vivek who was all, ‘Hey buddy. You look good. I hear you’ve been working out, going to the gym.’ I laughed and told him I don’t even know anyone named Jim (a lie for comic effect) and I just walk by the gym, but I never go in.

Why was he trying to butter me up? Did he think I was angry with him? It didn’t matter.

I did have a cigar like in old times and I called up Bill. He was great as usual, 1000% supportive. He suggested calling Cindy See, so I did.

Left a voice mail telling her to call me back as I would like to know about the job she talked about this morning and that I have a legitimate job offer. I also left a message for Chaim. I called Bill back and told him I would call Cindy See before I headed underground into the Path train.

After walking a few blocks, looking like a longshoreman in my pea coat and news cap, smoking a cigar, I called Bill and expressed my bewilderment. I told him a bird in hand is worth two in the bush and that was my situation.

I had a job offer and I was holding out for something that may or may not happen. Just then Chaim called me back. I told him I will take the job. He asked when I could start and I suggested February 1 so I can still help Greg Stevens with his move.

I then called up Bill and he was so happy. I was happy too. I even walked by Cindy See’s building, but just get on walking, puffing on my cigar.

So that’s how the day went for me. It certainly was out of the ordinary. Still no word from Cindy See. I’m glad I wasn’t holding my breath. And it is true, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.accutane alcohol consumption, Doxycycline Symptoms of zoloft working sie effects of lexapro 352.
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Dirt Road Blues

Well I am writing this on Google documents since Open Office is behaving rather testily right now. I just got back a little while ago from an interview. I think it went well. It’s for a temp to perm position and now that I am in their system I will wait and see how that works out.

I have plans to meet up with Harpy and Susan, part of an unofficial Farfetched reunion. It should be fun. I begged off initially but Harpy twisted my arm so to speak.

Everything seems to be working fine. It was the browser and a program I was running that made everything difficult. Now that the program is finished, all seems well.

So the interview went well despite the grouchy receptionist. Asking her for a key to the men’s room was like I was asking her for a bone marrow donation.

Since I am going out in a few minutes I decided to stop by McDonald’s and pick up a couple of burgers. Good to have something in your stomach before drinking. I know I started boycotting it a few months ago, but damn it I was hungry and making dinner for myself would take too much time.

As I sat and had a burger and some fries the cellphone rings. It was another interviewer that I met a few weeks ago. Actually the woman who set up the interview. She asked if I was still interested in the position and I of course said yes, that I was, but telling her to keep in mind that I have been going on other interviews since we last met.

Perhaps that will light a fire under their collective ass. She said that the guy who interviewed me a few weeks ago should call me back in a few days to let me know that I got the job. I guess if he doesn’t call that means I didn’t get the job.

Last night had a strange dream. I won a trip to England, staying in a town called Letterhead, which I think was somewhere between Manchester and London. Met some nice people there, had a lot of drinks and soaked up the local culture. There was something else that occurred in the dream, the day after I got to Letterhead, I had to fly back to Newark to for another job interview.

It was all paid for. Like I said it was a strange dream. Felt rather comfortable while visiting Letterhead.

Bill noticed that I did get up out of bed and write about the trip to Letterhead, England and then went back to bed. Bill also wore his sleep apnea mask which guaranteed sleep for me, but it was uncomfortable for him.

I have to say it was nice to put on a suit and tie and head into the city again. Tomorrow I am heading back to my old office to help Greg Stevens make his move from the old office at 800 Third to the new office across the street at 825 Third.

Now that I’ve hit my 500 word goal, I can safely say I am done with today’s entry and after I post, I can head into the city. Here are some pictures from the interview.

Tomorrow, pictures from drinks with Susan and Harpy.

Where they sat

Where they sat

Yours truly

Yours truly

ozedBanner

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New Toy

It’s a Monday and it’s Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday. The actual birthday was Friday but since it’s a federal holiday it is observed on a Monday. And since it’s a federal holiday a lot of people have off from work.

A three day weekend for those who are gainfully employed. Alas, I am still not one of those, but I do have an interview tomorrow, which is why I got my hair cut on Saturday.

It’s an interview with a staffing agency that Risotto set up. And I am grateful. I have seen some positions on the staffing agencies website that I feel I am uniquely qualified for.

One position was for some guy who’s 6’2”, reddish blonde hair, questionable weight and a cigar smoker who wears suits. And who better qualified for that than me?

Geez, they’re showing a clip of Ann Coulter on The Ed Show. God, even the sound of her voice is horrible. Still nipping at Clinton’s heel. Oh I how I hate most republicans.

I got into an argument on Hugo Burnham’s Facebook page with some guy from Athens GA. He claimed to be a libertarian which I guess is a different stripe of republican. I was commenting on the Senate race in Massachusetts, but adding a disclaimer, that NJ elected yet another crooked republican.

He replied with a link to a right wing bloggers page with a list of democrat missteps. I felt bad for Hugo and said that I didn’t want to have a discussion about politics on his page.

Bill was supposed to drive down to Atlantic City but while waiting at a rest area on the Parkway, was notified the drive was canceled and had to drive his bus back to the depot in Wallington. I was able to track his movement, via Google Logistics.

It’s through Google and his iPhone. On his way back to Hoboken I tracked him. It was a lot like Alien, where the alien is right behind them and they can see it on the tracker but can’t actually see it since it’s really above them. But Bill is no Alien.

1.18.10 hoboken 001

Last night he went to bed around midnight. I stayed up watching TV, surfing the net, chatting with friends. I went to bed a while later and slept well initially. But Bill wasn’t wearing his sleep apnea mask which made for some snoring.

I found that if I rubbed his arm or his back he would stop snoring, but I couldn’t sleep like that since it was uncomfortable for me. So I got up at 4:00 and sat in front of the computer, getting my eyes and mind tired so I’d be able to fall asleep with little problem.

And I did.

Had some crazy dreams, R rated. Sexually charged but nothing happened due to bad connections. They occurred in Hoboken as well as a junkyard somewhere in Queens.
Bill was up and active before me, saying that he didn’t sleep well at all last night. He could have fooled me.

I wandered around Hoboken for a bit today, nice afternoon, temperatures in the 40 degree range.
Got an email from Martha Keavney inviting me to see her animations. I did, and of course they were hilarious. I was inspired enough to create 2 animations of my own. Which are below. It’s all from xtraNormal.

I also watched a video of Peter and Gordon singing World Without Love and was unnerved to see that Peter Asher seemed to be the inspiration for Austin Powers.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else – you are the one who gets burned.
– Siddhartha Gautama [Buddha]
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Pictures of You

Well today has been a good day for me, internet wise. Been in front of the computer, looking at pictures that Rand scanned last night. Oldies of Rand and me in San Francisco, playing as the Art Hams with Mike Weinert at Maxwells for the Martha-thon back in 1986 or so, playing the River City Fair was the Art Hams with John Hamilton of Tiny Lights, who advised us not to drink beforehand and we didn’t follow his advice and performed a sloppy and silly set.

Last night I had a really good time, drinking pints with Rand at his apartment. One of the things Rand did was set me up so my blog postings will feed directly into Twitter as well as Facebook. Nothing about YouFace yet though.

Rand also turned me onto Pandora which we used for music last night. My sister uses it as well and I actually signed up for it a few years ago and set up about 20 stations before forgetting about it. So I’ve been playing that most of the day.

Bill just left for his bus driving gig once again, off to Atlantic City. Pictures of You by The Cure just played on Pandora which made me miss him even more than I usually do. Curse you Robert Smith and your melancholy airs!

It’s a rainy gray day which seems perfect for The Cure. They came up through the Cocteau Twins station that I just created.

Facebook has been busy, at least me and my friends. Thanks to Rand’s photos lot’s of people are showing up and commenting and others are compelled to post pictures of their own.

Great day like I said, reading about my niece Cassie doing work for the homeless this morning for her confirmation duties.

There are plans in the works for an Art Hams reunion in May, perhaps in upstate New York. More remains to be seen on that front but if it goes through it promises to be a lot of fun. But that’s way down the line.

I’m certainly glad I went over to Rand’s last night and I also think it was rather smart of me to write and post yesterday’s entry before I started drinking. I certainly wasn’t in the state of mind to do so when I came back.

Not that I was out of control or anything like that. On the contrary, I felt relatively OK after about 5 pints of Guinness. I don’t think I would pass a sobriety test if I had to despite all the studying I had done before.

Now on Pandora is Julee Cruise singing Falling which was produced by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti and used in Twin Peaks, at least the instrumental version was.

Also trying to track Bill on Google Latitude. It was track him through his phone from my location here in Hoboken. That should be fun. I do worry about these trips to Atlantic City. And I double worry when it’s cold and rainy.

Currently listening to Brian Eno station on Pandora while downloading a Brian Eno podcast from 1988.

Last night or rather this morning I had 2 cannabis free dreams. One involved me fighting with the guy from Across the Universe in various bistros and bars in the West Village and Soho/Tribeca. I think I had some sort of superpowers, either able to fly or shrink down my size.

Then I sort of woke up when Bill came home this morning and I said when I saw Bill, ‘Mom?’

Back to sleep after that and had a dream where all the women in the world were killing all the men, except for boys and old men and gay men. I suppose I had dreams like this when I was smoking the weed all the time, just never remembered them.

Too clouded a mind for them to really sink in. Sometimes the dreams are troubling and not ensuring a good night’s sleep. Nothing much else planned for today.

Going to make some dinner in a few minutes.

That’s my first entry to go out onto the web via Twitter and Facebook

♫ Take it or leave it, we’ll carry on regardless/If you don’t like it, you don’t have to dance. ♪

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me


Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

2010 JOZ

2010 JOZ

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Many Rivers to Cross

Well last night was cool. Mellowness abounds. Bill came home early and was in bed by 10:00. Juan came by about a half hour later, heeding my request not to show up empty handed. He came with 2 six packs of Heineken. The perfect choice it was.

Good to see Juan. It was only a month I think since I last saw him, but seemed longer than that. In the interim he had flown out to California and spent time with his uncle in Berkeley. We just drank beer and watched Almost Famous which I had gotten on loan from the library.

I do love that movie and think Patrick Fugit is adorable in the movie and Kate Hudson is beautiful. Juan says she has horrible teeth. Juan had seen it on a flight years ago and oddly enough the only scene he remembered was the scene where the plane looked like it was going to crash.

Of all scenes to watch on a plane, that wouldn’t be the one I would want to see. He was off to his sisters house in Bayonne via the light rail so he was out of here by 1:00. I can only guess he made it in time since I didn’t get a phone call.

And we didn’t finish off the beer, there are still a few cans in the fridge. Still, Bill was surprised by the amount of empty cans in the recycling bag.

Bill was up and active around 8:00. I slept until 8:30, when I couldn’t sleep anymore and didn’t want anymore dreams that took place in Iraq. The dream I had involved me in a situation like The Hurt Locker. Not very pleasant. Oh these cannabis free dreams, so unnerving.

Bill had gone and got the bagels and the papers, even getting a bagel for Stine. He also was able to practice the Danish phrases that the people who stayed in Julio & Stine’s apartment when they were in Denmark over the holidays. Alexander was playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine train set and didn’t speak much to Bill except to say ‘bye bye’ when he left.

Bill was off to the gym and I went to the supermarket to get some items on sale. More chicken. More pasta. Some pesto. Some juice.

Bill was taking a nap when I came back. I also stopped at the library and returned Almost Famous and picked up The Land of the Lost starring Will Farrell and also a Real World compilation, Peter Gabriel’s label, called Big Blue World.

I think I will burn it for my brother in law’s birthday in a couple of weeks. Bill was up and getting ready for his bus driving gig to Atlantic City. It was a nice day, 40 degrees or so. Felt like spring.

I walked around a bit, stopped by the Guitar Bar and returned a book, Redemption Song, about Joe Strummer, that Ruby Mastro lent me. I had it for a couple of months and didn’t want to hang onto it since I have so many other things to read.

I guess I might be able to get that through the library when the time is right. Also got a haircut for any job interviews that might be on the horizon. Gotta look sharp and my hair wasn’t growing long, it was getting thick and unmanageable. Makes a difference.

My head doesn’t resemble the Irish blockhead, now it looks oval. Which I think is an improvement.

Tony the barber at Mr. L’s told me about how he had to have dental surgery which cost him $1710.00. No insurance for the removal of wisdom teeth. He was surprised at the cost. Luckily for him it was no problem which leads me to think there’s money to be made in cutting hair.

Is there a barber college in my future? I do watch Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and sometimes think that that might be a good gig.

After I get something to eat, I’m going over to Rands for some cocktails.

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Innocent When You Dream

Back to ‘normal’ which is quite a relative term. In fact if I were to be called ‘normal’ I would take that as an insult. Been spending the day uploading videos from YouTube onto Facebook. Going from Dusty Springfield to the Pet Shop Boys to Electronic to New Order.

By then I was in the midst of doing laundry. Now the laundry hangs on racks and in the bathroom in the shower. Now I’ve gone to John Lennon to Yoko Ono to Marianne Faithfull to Tom Waits.

I spent some time last night arguing with a Lennon fan who was angry that Lennon’s assassin didn’t also kill Yoko Ono. That is truly fucked up. I put him in his place, telling him that he wasn’t too many steps from the assassin’s mindset.

How upset the assassin was because John Lennon didn’t live his life the way the assassin wanted him to. Which made the assassin think that he was actually John Lennon and had to destroy the real John Lennon in order to become him.

How sick is it that this ‘fan’ basically couldn’t wrap his pointy little head and accept that John wanted to live his life on his terms?

I remember before that dreadful December day in 1980, seeing a midnight showing of Let It Be and whenever Yoko would be on screen they would hiss and boo. I always liked Yoko ever since seeing her on the Mike Douglas Show singing Who Has Seen the Wind? Which I believe was the B-side to Instant Karma.

It’s troubling. This ‘fan’ also insisted that I used ‘sarcasm’ which he wrote was the lowest form of humor. I replied that I used satire, in the most Swiftian way, even going so far as to finish off saying it was ‘A Modest Proposal’.

Oh it’s a day’s work trying to enlighten some people. I loved John and if he loved Yoko that was fine with me. He was no saint and did fuck up in major ways, his treatment of his first wife Cynthia and absence from his son Julian’s life for long stretches. He was no god, no saint, just a man.

A very talented man who had been on top of the world most of his life. And to lose his life at the hands of a fan, well that was horrifying. I remember in February 1981 attending the BeatleFest and seeing all these people who only listened to the Beatles, even more than the Beatles did.

I was one of the few in attendance who actually listened to non Fab related stuff. But as my life goes on and I get a bit older, I find I have an affection for the Beatles music, it’s a comfort.

The other night I watched a documentary called “A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and Andy Warhol”. Danny Williams was a figure in the early days of the Factory and apparently one of Andy’s early boyfriends.

He also shot some of Andy’s first films,which are amazing. Some eerie footage of Henry Geldzahler in slight slow motion, looking like a smiling hyena demon.

Paul Morrissey is in the film as is Bridget Berlin and Billy Name. Morrissey seems quite bitter, and mentions that Andy didn’t know how to read which may be true since Andy was out of school a lot when he was growing up.

Danny Williams was squeezed out of the Factory scene when he received accolades in the press from the Exploding Plastic Inevitable with the Velvet Underground tour and Andy wasn’t even mentioned in the review.

That upset Andy and the Factory denizens who made life hell for Danny who by that time was addicted to methamphetamine. In the fragile state that he was in, he visited his family up by Cape Cod and after dinner took a walk into the ocean and was never seen again.

Danny’s films were marked on the lead and found and identified only a few years ago by the Whitney Museum. Major differences between Danny’s camera work and Andy’s. Edited in the camera no less.

Which reminded me of Super 8 footage I shot when driving to Austin, TX back in the 1980’s. I edited in the camera as well, found it easier with the shot thought out as I went along. I even held a screening in my 201 Madison apartment, about 20 friends showed up and watched 3 reels of film lasting about 10 minutes.

I don’t have the film anymore, lost somewhere over the years after moving from apartment to apartment. But I still have the idea in my head and if someone wants to lend me a camera I’d be sure I can duplicate it or at least come to a close approximation. And instead of having people in my apartment, I’d post it on YouTube.

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Everywhere I'm Not

OK, Last night was the Fiction class. I met up with Bill beforehand to give him some psychological support when he was about to go deal with his cousin in law. He had a rough day, dealing with family things that shouldn’t have been said but were said nonetheless.

I suggested he go to the lion’s den, hat in hand and apologize. He was full of apprehension so I gave him a Xanax. Actually it was his suggestion and asked for a Zantac. I explained that that was for acid reflux.

It seemed to have taken some of the edge off. Bill has a short fuse and he was going to talk to someone with an even shorter fuse. And it went well for Bill, he came back happy and relaxed and thankful that I was able to support him the way that I did.

Here are my notes from last night. Day 2 with the Gotham Writers Workshop. Fiction time or maybe fictional time. The class is smaller than the class I attended yesterday. David Winner is the teacher. He just introduced himself.

Everyone is given a sheet describing 1st Person, 1st Person Peripheral, 3rd Person Single Vision or Close 3rd, 3rd Person Multiple Vision and Omniscient.

Samples from different writers are on the sheet.

1st person is Charles Dickens- David Copperfield and JD Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye.
1st person peripheral is F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby.
3rd person is Joyce Carol Oates- Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?.
3rd person multiple vision is Mary Gaitskill- A Romantic Weekend,
Omniscient is Gabriel Garcia Marquez- 100 Years of Solitude.

At first the head count in the class was 12 women and 4 men including David Winner. So many women interested in writing fiction. Who knew? Most look like they’ve just gotten out of work. I look shabby compared to them.

I did shave though and my legs look great.

2 empty seats are left. I sit in the back. The age range of the women seems to be mid 20’s to mid 60’s. The men would be 20 something to me at 47. I’m the elder. Outside sirens and horns blare.

It’s 7:00 and David Winner asks us all to say our first names aloud going down through the aisles, makes things friendlier. I’m last.

David Winner starts talking about Point of View (POV). How is POV used in life and in fiction? In life it’s an opinion whereas in fiction it’s about seeing through someone else’s eyes. David Winner goes on to tell us about his MFA and his writing short stories with different POV.

He wrote a novel years ago.

David Copperfield is read aloud. The Catcher in the Rye is next. The benefits of 1st person? Immediacy, tone, releasing the passion within you. Decisions, gained and lost. Constricted by one person’s eyes. Anonymity is lost. Careful and conscious of what is being said.

I think I generally write in the 1st person.

The Great Gatsby is read aloud. Joyce Carol Oates is read after Fitzgerald.

Now there are 18 women in the class, 2 were late and one hovers by the door, eventually raising the number to 19 women.

Now Mary Gaitskill is read. The oldest woman says that Gaitskill’s excerpt is contrived, pretentious and a screen treatment. David Winner agrees. A younger woman quotes Atlas Shrugged which makes me keep an eye on her. Another woman suggests The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks.

I didn’t know the author and neither did she. I almost said Atom Egoyan but he directed the movie adaptation.

Finally the excerpt of 100 Years of Solitude is read. The girl sitting in front of me cracks her neck loudly, her ponytail flails in the opposite direction of her neck. I’m having difficulty staying alert in this class. Doesn’t have the pizazz of the class the previous evening.

David Winner says, ‘That little metaphor that you have in your writing, that you think is so great is really rather flat.”

Now we have a writing exercise. Start out by writing in 1st person, describe a dramatic but not traumatic incident. I dive in, 1st person style.

I was meeting Bill on the corner, across the street from his office. I was feeling pretty good having been able to get out of work earlier than usual. (See? Fiction!) I didn’t mind waiting. Bill on the other hand had to stay a bit later. I just walked around in a small circle, having a smoke amongst the crowds of office workers and the odd tourists.

I Looked up, trying to locate Bill’s office but the distance caused in me a sense of vertigo. So I focused on a different building, one with a lower height.

It was then that I saw Luanne, just looking out the window, onto the street below. Though it seemed impossible, I could swear our eyes had met. I say impossible since she was on the 10th floor and I was at street level.

After this, David Winner instructed us to then take the situation and write it in the 3rd person and I do.

Bill was upset that he had to stay late, keeping Laurence waiting which Bill hated to do. Laurence could be quite a stickler for time and Bill recalled an argument they had a while back when he was late. “No need to revisit that” Bill thought. His desk was a mess and he did his best to keep it clear of clutter since he hated coming in, in the morning to a messy workspace.

It had now been a long time, Bill felt and didn’t want to stay much longer in the office. But he did have a fire breathing dragon of a boss who wasn’t the type to let Bill out of work so easily.

Even on 3 day weekends, his boss made sure Bill stayed at his desk a bit longer than other people on his floor.

A song wafted through Bill’s consciousness, a song from the early 1980’s. Bill thought it was this group or that group, but ultimately all Bill knew was the chorus, ‘You’re Everywhere that I’m not’.

It made Bill smile to himself. It didn’t make the clock go faster but it did make the killing of time that much more bearable.

And scene.

Once again, I read my writing aloud. I followed the sixty something woman who wrote about being stabbed on Christmas Day and laying in the Bus Lane on the street. Very Lawn Hors d’œuvre. After that class was over and there was no time to critique my writing.

A walk to the Path train and soon I was home. Sometime after that I was asleep, waking up at 4:00 due to Bill’s apnea mask making sounds. Back to sleep at 4:30.

Cannabis free dreams? Sure. One involved me running for public office in Hudson County. Hiram Monster Rat was a power broker who lived by a gas station. He tried to get me to have sex with his girlfriend wearing a priest’s collar (not sure if this was the same girlfriend he stabbed in the face with a broken glass). I reject the offer due to my atheism.

The other dream involved me watching the sequel to Corky Romano starring Chris Kattan at 49th Street and Park Avenue. Oh how I miss my cannabis.

ozedBanner

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The Green Manalishi

From last night as promised to both my anxious readers.

Been a while since I wrote in this notebook. Over a month actually. Presently sitting in 273 Bowery at the Gotham Writers Workshop. I received a free invitation to sit in on a class for non fiction writing so I thought I would check it out.

It’s quite cold on the street. I killed time by walking around, spending a few minutes in a bookstore on Carmine Street. As I walked towards Houston Street I got a phone call from Publishers Service. Apparently Publishers Service liked something that I did, so much so that that they are awarding me with a gift certificate for a $1000.00 online shopping spree.

The guy who called me as I walked around asked if I would be interested in a subscription to ESPN Magazine, Rolling Stone or Men’s Journal to name a few.

As I stood by the bus stop at Sixth Avenue and Houston Street, I played along waiting for ‘the catch’.

It seemed there was one forthcoming. I told the guy there were only 2 magazines I would be interested in subscribing to and they were from the UK. I don’t think the guy knew what UK stood for.

The class is slowly filling up.

The guy on the phone asked if whatever deal he was talking about sounded good. I said ‘yes it sounded good but sounding good doesn’t necessarily mean it actually IS good.’

The class is labeled Non Fiction Writing with Pauline Millard.

Back to the phone call, I could hear other telemarketers in the background. I told the guy that before I commit to anything I would like to see it in writing rather than make a decision standing out in the cold and talking to someone out of the blue on the phone.

I don’t think it was something he wanted to hear. I maybe getting ESPN Magazine in 3 to 5 days, a subscription that lasts either 16 months or 60 months.

I also signed up for a fiction class which may be tomorrow. I thought tonight was fiction but the organizers said otherwise. I still think I am right, but when I got home and checked, they were the ones who were right.

Pauline Millard sits at her table, reading a magazine (possibly from Publishers Service), waiting for 7:00 so the class could begin.

It’s funny, I haven’t been downtown in months. It seems a lot cleaner.

*****************************************************************
The door closes and the class begins. Pauline says she has one contact lens in so half the class is blurry to her. My half.

There is money to be made in non fiction writing. She brings up Huffington Post as an example.

It’s a 6 week class, covering Memoir writing, Personal Essay and Op Ed features, as wells as Profiles, Travel, Reviews and Business. Pauline says she makes you read and write a lot, and you can’t write unless you read.

We’re going to start with a short memoir exercise on Why you came to New York, or Why are you still here.

THE 5 MINUTE ESSAY- WHY I CAME TO NEW YORK. Well I got as far as Hoboken actually. I am a music lover and would come into Manhattan to see bands playing at various venues. Manhattan was a bit too pricey so I opted for Hoboken, which is directly across the river.

I actually grew up in North Jersey and could see Manhattan or rather the Empire State Building and from the town I grew up in. I do like to maintain a distance, perhaps an arms length with the river between me and the city. I like the ability to relax, to let my guard down so to speak.

I do work, or rather, did work in a variety of Manhattan jobs. The music business, magazine publishing and the corporate world which are all situated in Manhattan. 5 MINUTES ARE UP.

Pauline says you don’t have to write everyday and on that count, she is no Lewis Lapham. Some tips for non fiction writing, go online and look up writing prompts. She says the prompts might be geared towards 7th graders.

Short sentences are good. Simple language. Pauline recommends reading Stephen King, On Writing.

A memoir is a portion of your life, a slice on her pie chart.
‘Write down every year you’ve been alive’ with different events becoming writing prompts.

Memoirs have a beginning, a middle and an end. Journals, not so much. Nothing is said about blogging.

ANOTHER 5 MINUTE EXERCISE this time, ‘Somebody you can’t stand’

Oh how I disliked Howard’s wife Leslie. Short, loud and obnoxious with a mouth on her. She tried to ingratiate herself into the rock and roll scene I was a part of. Out of kindness I tolerated her I suppose. Others went further but to me she was a gnat and I called her that.

Not to her face of course but behind her back. Somehow she got others to believe in her and actually became business partners with 2 friends of mine. Not me though, none of my business. Surprisingly my feelings about her became manifest.

She wound up suing the 2 friends to get out of the business agreement. It’s been years since I even thought about her.

Last I heard she and Howard divorced, Howard was a cipher but could easily have done better than having a gnat for a wife.

Do I wonder where she is now? No, not really. She popped into my mind a few weeks ago when I saw a business card from that ill fated venture, scanned onto a Facebook page

I actually that aloud to the class.

More non fiction advice from Pauline: Start with Action. Timeliness/Topical issues. Trendiness.

She also mentions that she worked for the Associated Press, now she writes for the Huffington Post and is in the Columbia Masters program.

3 people have gotten up and walked out of the class.

Pauline says writing is hard, but it depends on the circumstances or what you’re on. She has also brought up the TV show ‘Lost’ 2 times already.

“Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t.”

She quotes Dorothy Parker, ‘I hate writing but love having written’.
Pauline advises ‘Don’t expect too much of yourself’.

An exercise in coming up with ideas- What’s interesting about your hometown, your neighborhood. I write-
Friends.
The Fact that it is Hoboken,
Everything is within walking distance.
Sinatra.
Baseball.
Musicians.
Artists.
Old Italian Ladies dressed in black.
Maxwells.
Major transportation hub.
The view of Manhattan that you can’t see if you’re in Manhattan.
The Mile Square City.
Blogging battles.

I misunderstood and made a list instead of a short essay.

Pauline mentions how she sneaked into a book publishing party and got there early. Later on at the party she met a guy who she asked who he was, did he write fiction or non fiction?

It was Jonathan Letham but she didn’t know who he was much to Jonathan Letham’s annoyance.

A woman asks about ‘her piece’ but the way she says ‘her piece’ sounds like she’s talking about herpes.
***********************************************************************
And that was what I did last night. Walked from Bowery and Houston Street to 14th and Sixth, smoking a cigar.

Stopped by what was Farfetched. It was closed and instead of the lightness of the space, it’s dark with a gargoyle that confronts you right by the entrance.

Tonight I attend a class on fiction writing, so expect more of the same tomorrow. Maybe.

Last nights dreams involved fighting with Samuel Jackson. And also a reunion of the Replacements with Ann Boyles, Steve Fallon & Bill Ryan passing through.

Pity & sympathy for Haiti.

ozedBanner(2)

Hi Ho Silver Lining

Getting an early start today since I have something scheduled for later tonight which I will write about later. Something out of the ordinary which you may or may not get a kick out of. I don’t even know how it will turn out but it’s something that has been suggested to me once or twice before.

It’s a free thing whereas other times it was something you had to pay for. It could all turn out to be a plea to give money to this thing, or it can actually be useful. Or at least, interesting.

And tonight is part one actually. I suppose I’m leaving you anxiously waiting for whatever is going to happen. It does involve heading into Manhattan and at night too. So I’m leaving a little after 5PM and taking the Path train in and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

What else is there?

Well I did have some more strange dreams, cannabis free of course. New Jersey legislature approved the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons but that’s besides the point and that happened in real life not in my dreams.

One dream involved being down the shore, around Sandy Hook it seemed where I came across a horseshoe crab that was shaped like a box. Quite strange.

The other dream was involved with a church which may have been Saint Philip’s Church in Saddle Brook. It may have also included some kids I hung out with, Billy and Kenny Hayes,. One of them was diagnosed as psychotic and the other was a fireman, which is what their father was.

In the dream I was attending a service and holding the sacraments which when I looked closely at it, contained fruit flies. I tried to dissuade people from taking the sacraments but all they did was chuckle as they were passed around. It was pretty gross.

I’ve already eaten dinner, and now it’s 4:30. Seems I’ve been eating earlier and earlier. Is it my slide into senior citizen status? No more than likely it’s because the food is ready then. Plus since I’m going out and won’t be back until later (my cut off eating time is 7:00) now seemed to be the best time.

Some pasta and chicken. Fortifying and good for going out into the cold cold night. I’m also wearing my father’s silk long johns, for the first time in 10 years. I got them when we cleaned out the house in the last century but never had the nerve, or guts to wear them.

Very comfortable and they do keep my legs quite warm, though the true test will be when I am out on the street in the city.

And from what I read on the New York Times, Conan O’Brien is leaving NBC since they’re moving the unfunny Jay Leno back into late night scheduling. Conan seemed a bit pissed, after all he and his staff picked up and moved to Los Angeles from New York.

It’s a shame NBC didn’t give him a chance but he will have his millions to keep him warm and dry his eyes with. And here I go heading out into the night, or rather, twilight.

Hopefully you both have good nights and I will tell you all about tonight’s excursion tomorrow.

ozedBanner

Just A Minute

It is back to work for you lot. But not for me though. Once again on the outs with employment. It’s a Monday. Things got better between Bill and myself which I wrote about yesterday.

He was upset that the full time bus drivers pulled rank over the part time drivers. I can’t really blame the full timers. If I was in their position I would more than likely be trying for some overtime.

Occasionally I flashback to when I worked at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, my first job. Dave Manzo, my comically inept supervisor would ask around 4:00 if anyone wanted to work overtime. I usually raised my hand.

Things in the warehouse would be quieter and calmer. Sometimes I would work until 6:00, other times until 7:15. And yes, I would work on Saturdays as well, from 8:00 to 1:00. Most everyone would leave at 4:15 in the afternoon, and at 4:30 there would be a 15 minute break.

It was a decent job, though I have no contact with anyone from those days. I worked there from 1978 to 1984. Both my brothers also worked there as well as my mother. My brothers and I didn’t work together though, not during the same time period.

I used to dream about going back to the warehouse but I haven’t lately. I suppose my time of working there was part of my formative years. High racks of books and materials, 100 feet high. A very rough estimate since I can’t really tell how high things are, especially from 25 years ago.

I do think it was one of my better jobs (maybe I’m just being naive, and it was a different time) and I left while the leaving was good.

Last night I had 2 dreams related to being a DJ. The first dream concerned me spinning records at McSwells again, but this time in the front room, and not just in the front room, but alongside in the cafe area. Not enough room actually for my records or whatever I was using as turntables.

I was set up in the front room despite the fact that there was a poetry group going on at the same time. They weren’t too happy about it. Chaz and Andy the sound man were involved with the dream, as well as the angry poets.

I think Bill had kissed me goodbye which was an intermission of sorts regarding the dreams. After Bill left for work, I carried on dreaming, this time, being a DJ in Lodi, in my parents house, with the DJ set up in my parents bedroom.

In the dream I spent a lot of time on our back porch looking for a Grace Jones record as well as being on the phone with Pedro who was bemoaning the fact that he was looking for a job. I told him I had a job for him, nudge nudge wink wink, but he wasn’t at all into that sort of thing, just like in real life.

I remember these dreams since I’ve taken to having a notebook next to the bed so I can write these things down.

Right now I am watching disc 2 of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all about the effects which were so well done you couldn’t really tell that they were using special effects, or more precisely, CG effects.

I watched it again last night with Bill and once again I was choked up at the end. Bill was surprised by that and said it was reminiscent of how choked up I was at the end of final episode of Six Feet Under. And I can definitely understand that.

If you saw the finale of Six Feet Under you would probably understand by what that meant.

The Hardest Button to Button

Well last night I wrote after thinking I wasn’t going to write. It came easily despite not really having anything to write about. After I wrote, Bill came home from his rehearsal and got himself together before we headed out again.

We walked to the Path train where in Hoboken it wasn’t that cold. Hopped on a train to Journal Square in Jersey City right before the train doors closed. Train was not that crowded, at least our car wasn’t. When we got into the open air my phone buzzed telling me I had a voice mail.

I checked it and it was Annemarie telling me there was a major earthquake in Northern California. She asked if I was still at home to check the USGS website. Luckily I was with Bill who has a Droid and an iPhone. But the iPhone was home.

It didn’t matter Bill was able to check the information with the Droid, which was that a 6.5 earthquake had struck off the coast of California. There was also a 3. something in San Francisco the day before. Even though Annemarie said there was no need to call, I called.

Spoke with my nephew Earl and asked him what was shakin’. Earl laughed and told me that the power was out and they had all been on the street where all you could hear were car alarms going off. Aftershocks continued no doubt and I talked to Annemarie who said it was the worst they had felt but all was OK.

Bill and I walked up Kennedy Boulevard to Carlton Avenue, in the bleedin’ cold, stopping every now and then to write down phone numbers regarding apartments for rent for Bill’s friend Tom who is looking for an apartment. It was so cold that it was easier to take a photo with the Droid rather than write down the phone number.

We made it to Chaz’ apartment soon enough which was comfy and cozy and quite warm. Lot’s of food and alcohol to drink. Chaz’ brother, my former roommate, William and Andy, one of Chaz’ oldest friends were there as were a few people from previous holiday parties that Chaz had thrown.

Jennifer Poulakos as well, all the way from California by way of the Highlands in NJ. She’s looking after her sister Connie who had surgery last month.

We settled in and chatted throughout the night many laughs, Bill telling his story about singing the National Anthem before the NY Knicks game last month and me talking about the Dark Was the Night CD and Paul McCartney at CitiField in July.

Unfortunately we had to be the first to leave since Bill was scheduled to drive a bus to Atlantic City today. Hasty goodbyes and all that and soon we were in a taxi coming back to Hoboken. Back in the apartment Bill found he had a message on his voice mail on his iPhone from the bus company.

It seemed that the full time drivers were resentful of the part time drivers taking weekend work from them and so Bill’s services wouldn’t be required for the Sunday morning trip. Bill seemed to get over it but was annoyed since we left a pretty good party so he could come home early and go to sleep.

He did go to sleep a little while after that and I stayed up watching Saturday Night Live. I thought it was pretty funny and of course the Digital Short was the best. I woke up before Bill and set about making coffee when I got a text from Julio asking if I wanted bagels.

Of course I did and I did not want to go out in 15 degree weather. I called him up and asked him if he wouldn’t mind getting a few bagels and the paper and Julio was more than happy to oblige.

He was knocking on the door a little while after that and I told Bill I was going downstairs with Julio to give Alexander his Cookie Monster toy. A nice hug and kiss greeted me at the door and Alexander though smiling was determined not to shake my hand or give me a high five.

He speaks a lot of Danish lately and ‘Ni’ or in English- ‘No’ is his word of choice. Eventually he did warm up to me after prodding from his mother and father. I eventually made my way upstairs to find the door locked.

I knocked but there was no answer. Apparently Bill decided to go to church. I knew he was thinking about it but was surprised that he didn’t even say goodbye and locked me out. I did have the foresight of having a key hidden somewhere in the hallway so I let myself in and made myself breakfast.

After that I decided to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which I enjoyed a lot more than I though and was chocked up at the end. Watching it by myself I couldn’t help but think how much Bill would enjoy it.

Soon he came home, all silent and not saying much at all, just filling the apartment with a foul mood. I asked a few times what was wrong to no avail. I decided then to go out into the cold weather were it was a lot warmer.

After talking to Annemarie while walking around Hoboken I came back home and watched the second DVD, the extras of Benjamin Button. Bill had woken from his nap and I once again inquired what was wrong.

He reassured me that it wasn’t anything that I had done, he was just incredibly bitter about being knocked off the bus driving schedule. That was a relief of sorts and I asked him to next time, let me know what was going on instead of letting me feeling like I had done something wrong.

He responded that way back when, when I had a job, sometimes I would come home in a foul mood and despite his pleas I wouldn’t readily tell him what was going on. I told him that, that was true, but usually within a half hour he would hear all about it.

Things are back to normal relatively speaking, Bill is watching Benjamin Button as I write this and really enjoying it and here am I, with over 1000 words under my belt.

Lua

To write or not to write? I sent a message to Harpy and Annemarie telling them I wasn’t going to write tonight but here I am with nothing to do, so I thought I would write. Sometimes when I have nothing to write about, it just flows out of me, and I can easily post 500 words.

Other times when I do have something to write about, it can be a chore, trying to find the right words, the right turn of phrase. But here I am now trying the same old thing.

It’s quite cold out. I oughta know. Just walked over to the main post office and thought the outdoor thermometer at the bank said it was 32 degrees, it was certainly colder than that. I had gotten some photographs from my cousin Joe who’s father, my uncle Joseph just passed away.

He entrusted me to send them to the proper people and as far as I could tell, the only proper person was my cousin Theresa. So I wrote a quick note and put the photographs in an envelope, taking care to put them in with some cardboard so they wouldn’t get bent.

And with a hop, skip and a jump I was in the post office where it was nice and toasty. I was going to walk by the Guitar Bar, but I didn’t agree with their menu.

Instead I continued trucking along to the supermarket to buy some juice. I was going to buy a four pack of Guinness to bring to Chaz’ party tonight but thought the price of it, $8.79 was a bit much. With tax that would make it $9.00 and change. I held off and bought my juice and some diet 7Up.

I usually make an orange juice, cranberry raspberry juice and diet 7Up beverage to drink and soon found myself on a very long express line. As I inched closer to the register I side stepped and picked up 2 copies of the Hoboken Reporter, one for myself and one for Julio.

The elderly gent in front of me thought I had cut the line and turned around to tell me so. I explained to him that I had been behind him for the past 10 minutes and that the people behind me would more than likely have something to say if indeed I did cut.

He asked for my forgiveness after clearing up the matter and I forgave him. He said he was going to have to hit me over the head with his loaf of Italian bread if I did cut. I told him that I have quite a hard head and that I would do more damage to the bread if that was the case.

He laughed and I guess he felt bad and offered to drive me home. I told him there was no need, that I would be just fine. The cashier and the guy behind me chuckled to themselves. I passed the gent in the parking lot and wished him a good night and continued on my way home.

I went into Garden Liquor and bought the Guinness there which was a dollar less than it was in the supermarket. The store owner was surprised when I told him that his price cheaper than the supermarket. He also told me not to buy any beer there or he would hurt me.

And once again I have written over 500 words without any problems and without anything to really write about, but then again, do I ever have anything to write about, really? Had some ravioli for dinner, not sure if Chaz would have any food.

Bill is in the city doing some rehearsal for a reading on Monday. He’s going to text me when he’s en route to Hoboken and I guess we’ll head over to Chaz’ house soon enough.

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Wishful Beginnings

Well let’s see. Last night had some crazy dreams. Me going to Hawaii and not wanting Annemarie to know about it. I flew there myself it seems, almost landed at Pearl Harbor but decided against that.

Wound up somewhere on some island where a lot of people I knew and some of whom I was trying to avoid were all ensconced in a big house with tiny rooms. It was a dream that seemed to go on forever leaving me to wonder if some dreams go on longer than other dreams.

In any event though it was a deep sleep it wasn’t restful. I got out of bed later than I’ve been the past week and went out for the paper and some bagels. Came home and looked forward to doing nothing when I received a phone call.

It was a response to an advert that I saw on Craigslist for a job. Apparently I sounded professional on the phone and they wanted to schedule and interview as soon as possible. I had hoped Monday would be soon enough but they insisted on today. So I said I could be there at 3:00. It was around 11:30 when they called.

I wasn’t feeling up for it and tried to take a nap but since I had some coffee all I could do was lay in bed. After about 15 minutes of that I decided to get it together and shave. Also wet my hair somewhat so I could at least use some gel and get it into some sort of presentable shape.

Left the apartment around 2:00 and walked over to the Path train where I sat and read the New Yorker from December 14. Almost caught up and grateful for the Patricia Marx article that I totally skipped over (Jump rope $374.95 at Bergdorf Goodman).

Went to the office which is across the street from where I would run into my Rasta friends. Filled out an application while having an out of body experience. Tried to tighten my shoelace which broke causing me to improvise and skipping some eyelets.

I was a bit anxious since I read in an article from the Wall Street Journal about the reasons why some people were passed over on job interviews. The interview was with Chaim. As I sat in reception I couldn’t help but over hear the woman being interviewed before me.

I was eventually allowed to sit in the conference room after the last interview finished. I sat and read the New Yorker, still out of body. Chaim came in and of course it was nothing but eye contact from my end of the table.

We walked through the resume and I wasn’t as relaxed as I was during the last interview in December. I explained why I left Wanker Banker and McMann and Tate and told him what happened to BIOIB.

I’m getting better at spinning these yarns as well as plucking the heart strings when I tell them how I needed to drop out of college to care for my parents, mom had Alzheimer’s and dad, well dad was dad. I left the interview, still partially in my body.

No Rastas across the street and I walked back to the Path train. Believe it or not, I think the fact that I wasn’t fully there could have helped in my favor. But I’m not getting my hopes up. Now there is nothing to do but wait and see. And send more resumes out.

For now, it’s laundry time. And the clothes should be dry by Sunday if I’m lucky.

Happy Birthday David Bowie!

I am now friends with all the members of Gang of Four. In fact Hugo Burnham, drummer extraordinaire commented on a David Bowie video of Five Years that I posted for the Dame’s birthday, ‘As fabulous now as it was to see it then. Chills down my spine…then and now…’

That was awfully nice of Hugo!

Hitherto

Gonna ramble. Here goes. And there I go. Just an aimless sort. Stream of consciousness stuff. Haven’t done it in a while. A good way to clear the decks. If you’re not into it, you might as well stop right here.

Or Here.

Who do I wrote for? Me or you? Hard to say since the rules keep changing, the margins keep moving. Things appear and disappear.

Saw Eddie Rodriquez in the supermarket. He and his wife and his Alzheimer’s afflicted mother. I saw the mother in a wheel chair just staring into space and when I asked if she needed help she just stared. I asked again before I gave up.

I didn’t see Eddie down the aisle with his wife and he came up and said hi. He too is unemployed as is his wife. She’s been out of work since October 2008, and he’s been out since January 2009.

Makes me feel like a newbie since I’ve only been out of work since July of last year. I feel like a schmuck bemoaning my fate, when people like Eddie and his wife, and yes, even Harpy have been out of work even longer than me. But they’re in their world and here am I, in mine. Most of us have the same stories, except for Harpy of course.

Saw on TV a former friend, in the NY Gilbert & Sullivan players commercial. Actually I didn’t notice the former friend until Rand pointed it out. Hail hail the gang’s all here indeed. I used to shoot video for this former friend.

The friend became former since he was quite underhanded to a mutual friend who was sharing his bed. The friend didn’t think sharing the bed would be THAT way but the former friend has designs that where heretofore unknown, hence the falling out and my siding with the friend. I was out of the McSwells scene in 1996 by then anyhow.

And the former friend was forced out for being a douche bag to Steve Fallon, exiled to Jersey City. Now he pops up on TV.

Today was a walk around Hoboken to the supermarket. Not the one around the block but the one farther away. Did not get what I expected, thought that there was a sale but there wasn’t. Somehow I misread the info.

Presently uploading Bob Dylan: The ‘Royal Albert Hall’ Concert from 1966. I bought it when it came out as Volume 4 of the Bootleg Series. I think I was working at Arista Records then and drove some of my coworkers crazy by playing it.

I think sometimes people don’t ‘get’ Bob Dylan at first. I know it took me a while. Now I really appreciate him and truly love his latest stuff. The 1970’s things I generally ignore at the moment. I have Blood on the Tracks but I rarely play it.

I like the 1960’s and 1990’s stuff and of course the 8th volume of the Bootleg Series, Tell Tale Signs is one of my favorites from last year and that’s a collection from the late 1980’s to the last decade, which may or may not be known as the ‘naughts’.

Just stood up from the computer and looked out the kitchen window where much to my surprise I could see directly into a neighbor’s window. Luckily I’m not the type to see what other people are doing since I don’t want other people to see whatever it is I’m doing, which right now is sitting in front of a computer writing.

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