Monthly Archives: February 2010

Air

Got back a little while ago from the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at Maxwells which is organized by my friend Lois. This time we read Twelfth Night. I had about 4 or 5 roles, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and an Officer as well as another character with one or two lines.

I forget his name since the index cards go back to Lois at the end of the reading. It was fun and I did my voices, but Rand stole the show with his voicing of Feste. Had me laughing quite a bit, he did.

My 2 lead roles, Sirs Andrew and Toby were in conversation a few times which had me on my toes. I decided to try to make Sir Toby sound like Cary Grant and in my mind I thought I was close enough, but in reality I fell far short.

Sir Andrew I portrayed as a swishy queen and the Officer sounded a bit like Grover from Sesame Street. If only there were lines relating to the difference between here and there and I would have been set.

There were only 6 of us participating in the reading this month but I think we handled it with aplomb.

On the way to McSwells I ran into Stine and Alexander. Alexander has had a virus the past couple of days and was completely out of it. Nothing sadder than a sick toddler. He did give me a high five which was encouraging to me. I’m sure he’ll be OK.

Last night was pretty mellow. Just hung out, watched TV and listened to music. Also played some guitar. I’ll be reading something in Mojo or Uncut and decided to see if there were any available chords. Last night was some Pretenders songs mainly. That was fun.

Watched more news on CNN about the Chilean earthquake, and the tsunami that was approaching Japan. Bill was off at his rehearsal which opens in 2 weeks, I watched Jennifer Lopez on Saturday Night Live. It was lackluster as was Jennifer Lopez’ singing.

I only listened to the first song, the second song I was listening to something else until she finished. The best thing on the show was the digital short. Pretty much a disappointment all around.

Stayed up posting videos from You Tube to Facebook in response to a few friends posting videos that they liked, as well as exchanging snarky comments with my brother Brian. I stayed up longer than I expected, but long enough to be awake for when Bill came home.

He now has a piece, sort of like a mouth guard to help with his snoring. I went to bed before home and while I slept he recorded me snoring to prove that he isn’t the only one who snores. Even though I might snore, I think he snores louder than I do.

Yes, it’s sometimes a competition around here.

Tonight Bill is at rehearsal again, I’m just hanging out. Had a burger for dinner which was great. Had a hankering for one the past couple of days.

Get thee behind me penne, pesto and chicken!

Rand

Rand


Rand, Steve H, Lois

Rand, Steve H, Lois


Twelfth Night readers

Twelfth Night readers


Sir Toby

Sir Toby


Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew

Love Vigilantes

Stayed up late, waiting for Bill to come home. Went to bed at 2:22, still no Bill. I guess he came home an hour later since I wasn’t sleeping all too well and when I went to visit the loo, there he was getting ready for bed.

I slept better once he got home. Before I went to sleep I heard reports about the earthquake in Chile. It was reported as an 8.3 earthquake but when I woke up this morning it was 8.8 which is really big.

The closest I ever got to or felt an earthquake is about a year or so ago and it was a quake in Morristown NJ I believe. I was sitting where I am now, in front of the computer, my right elbow on the table when I felt a vibration that lasted a few seconds.

Enough for me to notice, but not enough to remember until it was announced on the 11:00 News. One can’t help but wonder, especially on the east coast, more specifically in this metropolitan zone how much destruction would be cause if the epicenter was in this area.

I try not to think about it but when it’s the main story on cable news, you can’t help but think about it. I watched most of the day, waiting for the tsunami to hit Hawaii. MSNBC seemed to have a loop of surfers in the water for some reason.

They would report that the waters have been cleared of people, then these two dudes on long boards would be shown.

It’s been reported that Hawaii dodged a bullet, the waves weren’t as destructive as anticipated. Of course, Guam, Japan and Russia as well as other Pacific coast countries are still in danger.

I spoke to my brother in law Rex in California, who told me people were headed out to the coast to see the tsunami which is stupid. The ocean will kill you and doesn’t care. Still the jabbering continues on the cable news.

I’ve been listening to Spoon lately. I heard of them and had a few tracks from Mojo/Uncut and the Dark Was the Night CD’s but never went any further than that. After reading about them in last month’s Uncut I decided to download a few tracks and I find that I love them.

Very close to the types of things I would be doing if I had a band. Really cool stuff, acoustic based. Looked them up on Ultimate Guitar and found that their songs are easy to play too. Not too many Norwegians.

I learned that via Nick Lowe on Spectacle with Elvis Costello. Norwegian Fjords = chords.

Like Hot Chip a couple of weeks ago, I would be listening to a song that I thought was merely alright would have me wanting more a few minutes later. Last night, Spoon’s song, The Underdog blew me away.

And manageable on the guitar, and that includes the tricky and fast chord changes in the middle eight.

On the other end of the spectrum, thanks to my friend Sheilah posting a video clip of Maria Callas the other day I went to the library and took out two Callas CD’s. Collections of her arias. Amazing stuff, quite powerful and beautiful. I do have a Kiri te Kanawa collection, but this is legendary stuff.

Then on Facebook there was a posting about Brian Wilson who was quoted as enthusing about Johann Sebastian Bach and when I was in the library this afternoon I saw a collection called Weekend Bach and took it out.

Jeez, look at me! I’m getting all cultural and shit.

I also downloaded Trans Europe Express by Kraftwerk. A remaster that came out late last year, and that of course is excellent.

And I downloaded Moses by Elizabeth Fraser (formerly from Cocteau Twins). Always good to hear Liz’ voice. All is recommended.

Here is what Hoboken looked like today.

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Ion Storm

Here I am writing to you, writing for you on a Friday evening. Nice and toasty evening. Well nice at least. Not so toasty, but I’m comfortable and glad to have a roof over my head and a full belly. Yes I just had some dinner and yes it was penne, pesto and chicken.

I made enough to stretch over a couple of days and I’m midway through. Really easy to make and only one pan is needed. I use the pan that Bill gave me for a gift a few years ago, and I ungratefully wondered why the hell did he get me a pan?

An expensive pan at that.

I didn’t cook that well, or enough to warrant a pan, but a year later I found it was the perfect pan to use on occasion. I can be such an ass sometimes and that was one of those times.

Bill didn’t make it home until 1:30 last night. I being the dutiful spouse, stayed up with curlers in my hair, a housecoat on and a butt hanging from my mouth. Rolling pin within arm’s reach. He reaped some good karma last night.

Coming back from Harlem he caught an express train to 34th street, and at the Path train he was the last one on board before the train left the station. Then when he got to Hoboken a bus was waiting, driven by a guy that Bill had trained with a few years ago.

That’s how I think karma works. It’s not the big payoff, it’s little things like a train waiting at the station, a line at the supermarket opening up and you’re first, things like that.

I went to bed, Bill stayed up watching TV. You’ll have to read his blog to find out what he watched. I slept soundly, woke up to see a lot of snow had fallen. Bill was up a few minutes before I was. He had a snow day from work.

I moved around him on the couch and stepped into the shower after setting up the coffee maker and fixing myself a bowl of cereal. After watching Gilmore Girls, I headed out a little while after that, trudging up to Washington Street and getting the paper and some bagels.

Came back home and deposited all that in the hallway and got the shovel and proceeded to make a path on the sidewalk as well as the front steps. Wet, heavy snow but it wasn’t too difficult to shovel it from one spot to another.

Not so much lifting, just pushing or plowing. Or is it ploughing?

Made it out again a few hours later, needed to run to the supermarket. Bill was off to another rehearsal for the play. I stopped by Julio & Stine’s for a few minutes.

It seems like I’m turning into my parents a bit. I cut out some coupons for Stine on items for Alexander. Didn’t get a chance to see the baby as he was sleeping but I did wake up the big baby who was trying to take a nap.

The supermarket wasn’t too crowded and the shelves still had items on them so it wasn’t like there was a panic run on the store before the snowstorm. It’s been snowing on and off and on all day and they say it will probably stop around 6:00 tomorrow morning with flurries the rest of the weekend.

I was supposed to see the Street Corner Mourners tonight at the Park Theater in Union City, but it’s been rescheduled until March 19. More time for the band to rehearse I said to Lily last night who was more than likely upset that everything was postponed.

Isn’t that what an ersatz father is supposed to do?

2.26.10 Snowstorm hoboken 001
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2.26.10 Snowstorm hoboken 010
2.26.10 Snowstorm hoboken 012

While I shoveled...

While I shoveled...


...Bill napped.

...Bill napped.


Judging

Judging


Not judging

Not judging


ozedBanner(2)

Please Come to Boston

Just had dinner. What else? Penne, pesto and chicken. What? It was on sale and it lasts for a few days. Don’t lecture me. Don’t look at me that way. That’s how it is.

I’m not complaining and neither should you. Plus I was on the phone a little while ago listening to Juan complain. He’s alright, I’m sure he’d be glad you asked. He was complaining though as only Juan could complain.

He was supposed to go to Boston this weekend with his boyfriend but with the major storm going on it was canceled. Juan was finally able to get the weekend off, but the storm wasn’t the only factor.

His boyfriend had 3 feet of standing water in his basement so that’s the official reason why they aren’t going. The snow is just gravy. White gravy at that.

Juan also asked me to come down to visit him but I couldn’t. Tomorrow my ersatz daughter is playing the Park Theater in Union City.

Lily Mastro is part of the Street Corner Mourners. Jim and Meghan will be there and I’m sure Ruby will be too. So I am looking forward to seeing those Mastro’s and also looking forward to seeing the Street Corner Mourners.

I would also be happy to see Juan but not this weekend. Sorry Juan.

Bill came back safe and sound last night. Three hours earlier than expected. He rented a zip car since it was he only way he could get to Wallington at 2:30 in the morning. So he was able to come home and not have to go crazy when trying to catch the train.

He had some gear that he left in the hallway on the first floor and asked if I could pick it up for him when he went to drop off the Zip Car. Last I heard he was on Washington Street and I thought he was in the car but he dropped it off already.

I called him and he was actually coming up on the third floor with his gear. I ran down and helped him the rest of the way. He also ordered a pizza from Grimaldi’s and that was very good.

He went to sleep halfway through watching Hellboy 2. I stayed up watching it. It was good, but not as good as the first one. Still I enjoyed it somewhat.

Woke up this morning and it was snowing. Big flakes, coming down in clumps. I made my way outside, ran some errands. Stopped by the Guitar Bar where I picked up my ticket for tomorrow night.

A trip to the supermarket where one of Juan’s former paramours was in a joking mood. Right now the snow fall seems to have subsided somewhat. It’s supposed to continue until tomorrow sometime.

I’m watching Katie Couric report the news. I like her. Nice change of pace from NBC news. I haven’t really been watching the Winter Olympics so I really haven’t been watching NBC.

That’s all I can think of for today. All is calm, all is bright.

2.25.10 SNowstorm hoboken 003
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2.25.10 SNowstorm hoboken 007

Lucifer Sam

Tired again. I used to walk around a lot, now when I do a lot of walking around, I invariably get pretty tired. It’s more than likely from sitting in at home and not walking much during the winter months. And also I’m usually wearing a lot more clothes than I do during the warmer months so that makes me heavier.

And then there are the boots which make for trudging. I know these boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do. But in the wintertime, it’s a schlep.

Bill was off to drive a bus this morning at 2:30 this morning. Somehow I was conscious enough to ask him to turn on his Google Latitude so I could track his progress. I was a bit worried since big snowstorms were headed for the Albany area and that was where Bill and his theater group were headed.

Not worried enough to stay awake and pace the floor. I went back to sleep.

I’ve been setting my alarm clock lately and so I’ve been waking up around 8:30. I know, 8:30. Those of you who are employed like I once was can all roll your eyes at the luxury of waking up at 8:30. The others can just put their clothes on instead of walking around their homes naked.

You know who you are.

I had plans to head into the city to help out Greg Stevens so instead of watching Gilmore Girls which is what I watch at 11:00, I headed out midway through. It was actually the last episode so I recorded it.

Ah, Stars Hollow. In some ways Hoboken reminds me of Stars Hollow. In very vague ways of course. When looking at it on paper it seems absurd. Then again, one of the categories for various entries, is Abstract Absurdist Otherness which is what I sometimes am.

I waited for the bus on Washington Street and ran into a neighbor from my building who was also heading into the city. Deborah from the fourth floor was off to her therapy. I asked perhaps brazenly if it was physical or psycho therapy.

It was psychotherapy.

We had a good talk. I told her of my experiences seeing a therapist, how I couldn’t commit to a long term relationship with them since the problem that got me there in the first place usually solved itself or subsided.

Deborah told me the therapist wasn’t charging her for the sessions, but she was stuck for something to say. I explained to Deborah that sometimes when I was going, I would feel fine and also wondering what I would talk about.

Like, if I had a session on a Tuesday, Wednesday through Monday I was fine, yet anxiety ridden that day trying to come up with something to say. I also did not appreciate being fit into a textbook, as my therapists would usually try to apply those lessons to me.

Not your average bear or wolf, me.

It was a good ride though and me being me, was all blah blah this and blah blah that. A walk across town, stopping at Barnes and Noble to get the latest Mojo. Syd Barrett on the cover, Syd Barrett influenced CD inside.

Made it over to Greg Stevens office and on the way up in the elevator I talked with Alex the IT guy who’s also helping Greg out. Alex mentioned that it would make sense for Greg to hire me as his assistant and I couldn’t help but agree.

Money being tight meant that it isn’t meant to be at this moment. Greg was as flustered as usual as Alex and I moved things around in his office. Soon I was out on the street again trying to find a 25 foot DSL cable.

No luck with that so we decided to order one online and have it delivered by Monday, which is when I will be back in Greg’s office. Walked back to the Path train and then back to the apartment which is where I am now, watching the final episode of the Gilmore Girls.

Could Have Been

Just a rainy day today. Didn’t do much of anything. Keep sending resumes out to no avail, but I persevere. Watched 2 Cary Grant movies, My Favorite Wife and The Awful Truth. Actually saw the second half of My Favorite Wife, but I did catch The Awful truth and it was pretty funny.

Then I watched Artists and Models starring Jack Benny & Ida Lupino, also featuring Judy Canova, Martha Raye and Louis Armstrong. The Martha Raye bit was odd. I think she was in mocha face, not black face.

She sang Public Melody Number One accompanied by Louis Armstrong set up in Harlem. Quite odd. There was even a bit where Jack Benny hears the Jack Benny show on the radio and says how much he admires him while his girlfriend says she doesn’t care much for Jack Benny.

That’s about how the day went. Bill is here, getting ready for bed since he has to get up at 2:30AM to drive to Albany NY. That’s about all there is to report. Doing some work for Greg Stevens tomorrow. Getting some fish (Garra Rufa) to eat the dead skin off of his feet.

Here’s a look back to February 23 over the past couple of years. What? I told you I didn’t have much going on today. Perhaps I did before. February 23, 2006 I was still working at Wanker Banker. My days were winding down there.

There was a big conference going on for the company, all of the branches met up in Manhattan for meeting at the Waldorf Astoria. I opted to stay in the office with no one around. I ran back and forth several times a day from 55th Street to 49th Street which I didn’t mind at all.

Had dinner at my fellow co-workers from London and San Francisco at a Grand Central Station restaurant. The next day, unbeknownst to me was when I met Mick Jones from the Clash.

Apparently February 23, 2007 wasn’t much different than today. I was recovering from being sick and working for Golden Staffing. In 2007 I just many did the iPod shuffle which I really don’t do anymore since certain people didn’t really care for it.

And you know me, I’m all about you, the reader. Ungrateful leeches. I wasn’t too happy with Golden Staffing. And Annemarie was right about working for another staffing agency since Staph Mark did not go so well.

February 23, 2008 was a break and I wound up writing something from a few years earlier, going to see Cheap Trick with Rita and her boyfriend Jerry at the Beacon Theater. Cheap Trick were good by we were way up in the balcony and unless you have seats in the orchestra, the view isn’t so good.

Earlier that week Bill and I saw his friend Mike MacArthur playing with Diane Schurr at the Blue Note. Also that week Roda and I went to see Lisa Riqoux Hoppe sing in the glee club at Stevens Tech with Rand.

In 2009 I wrote about Lois coming over to take some pictures for her then upcoming show “Is That Supposed to be Funny?”. I also wrote about the Academy Awards saying basically it was the Slumdog Millionaire show.

It was a play by play, with comments on what was going on. I think I took notes which I referred to when I wrote the next day, February 23.

Something about February 23 doesn’t lend itself to writing.

Check back next year. I know I’d be interested in what happens then, maybe you will be too.
Ungrateful leeches.

Me, February 23, 2010

Me, February 23, 2010

Ant Music

Last night I watched Big Love. Very edgy. A few surprises and a severed limb. Yikes! Luke Askew and Sandy Martin are two of the creepiest and enigmatic characters on TV, playing Hollis and Selma Green.

I really liked it a lot, surprised by not really that Entertainment Weekly thought it was over the top. I rely on Entertainment Weekly for Lost info, not Big Love so I didn’t pay it much attention.

After that I watched How to Make it in America. I watched it last week with Bill, and last night I watched it alone. To tell you the truth, I didn’t like it very much this time. I do enjoy Entourage and this is quite similar to it, but overall, I am tired of watching straight boys running around trying to be cool, trying to get laid.

Really boring. Haven’t we seen enough of this?

I know I have.

Bill came home after a very long rehearsal, lot’s of backstage drama happening. I guess things might have been going too smoothly when they started rehearsing a few weeks ago. Crazy dreams about hanging out with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, which was probably brought on after watching the Changeling the other night.

I also watched The Ricky Gervais Show last night and I didn’t like it. I just don’t get Ricky Gervais. He’s funny enough in scripted things but on his own, improvising or ad libbing I just don’t get it.

Today I watched Hellboy. I watched part of Hellboy 2 the other night and decided to watch the first part. It was pretty good. A lot of fun, a good comic book movie. I returned the movies I got from the library the other day and I took out Hellboy 2, Judgment at Nuremberg and Titanic.

I was compelled to watch Titanic since I visited the exhibition yesterday. I’m pretty sure my niece Corinne watched it when she got home. I did my part and watched it a little while ago. I’ve see it before and watching it again I found myself heading towards West Side Story territory.

That means that I might have watched it a few times, but I sometimes think that Tony and Maria will escape the ghetto, and now I found myself hoping that Jack and Rose make it alright. We know how both stories end. Both are top notch movies though.

The news on TV right now is about the Hoboken Fake Patrick’s Day parade. It’s generally a mess, a lot of amateur drinkers coming to town, partying, vomiting and pissing all over the place. Now if you get caught with public intoxication it will cost you a $2000 fine and community service.

Corinne is coming to Hoboken for the day, not to visit me, but to hang out with friends. She’s smart and will be taking the train and she knows enough not to be publicly intoxicated.

A big storm has been forecast for the rest of the week. I got a call from Greg Stevens, asking for my assistance with moving things in his office as well as packing up a computer to ship to his home in Arizona.

Of course I said I would help him, I could use some of that extra cheddar. It’s either Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the weather. I’m looking forward to it, and once again I am grateful to Greg Stevens.

Other than that I still have Passing Strange and Old Boy on DVD to watch, as well as the other movies. Bill is at rehearsal again and I have no plans at all really.

And I’m cool with that. And I’m cool like that.

Twist and Shout

So nice to sit down in a comfortable chair, he wrote after coming back from spending a good part of the day with his sister in law and his niece. The three of them had gotten together after a plan was hatched a couple of weeks ago.

The niece had texted him about meeting up on February 21, which is today, to visit the exhibition of Titanic artifacts. His niece loved the movie Titanic and wanted to see the exhibition before it closed.

So today was the day and it was a lot of fun, if looking at the effects of a disaster could be called fun. Actually the fun was in spending the time together. It was crowded a bit. Who knew so many people would still be interested in such a thing almost 100 years later?

We had all met up in Hoboken at a Dunkin Donuts by the Path train. We sat and drank coffee and chatted for about an hour. Some catching up had to be done. Soon enough though, we were on the Path train headed to 33rd Street, where we then walked up to 44th Street, in the old New York Times building.

When I was first asked about going I explained that it might have been too pricey, but the niece insisted on paying and that she wanted to see me so she made it so. As we entered we were given cards with various passengers and crew and instructed to check at the end to see who survived and who didn’t.

I was a third class passenger from Ireland traveling with the missus. I had a pretty good idea how it was going to turn out. My sister in law and my niece were first class passengers, boarding in Southampton, England.

A few tools, and mechanical things from the ill fated ship were on display. As we continued on through the exhibition the items got more personal, clothes, hats, and personal effects were on display as were coins, change purses, personal correspondence. As was a piece of an iceberg that we were encouraged to touch.

It could have been macabre but it really wasn’t, it was quite tasteful. We were also encouraged to touch some brace that was used to hold the ship together. Everything was arranged in air tight, climate controlled boxes except for the iceberg and brace.

There was even a replica of the staircase which features prominently in the movie. My niece and I were photographed on it We got to the end of the exhibition, and my outcome was assured.

White Star Line passenger Mr. John Bourke, accompanied by his wife Catherine, his sister Mary and a group of passengers from County Mayo boarded the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland, perished at sea when the ship sank.

Dishes and cutlery recovered from the ocean floor were displayed relatively intact in sand. The crate carrying them disintegrated from the pressure of being 2 miles down as well as worn away by salt and the currents.

After that we opted to leave, rather than pay for green screen photos, or shots of my niece and I on the fabled stairway. We were trying to do things on the cheap you see.

Then the three of us were hungry and we walked over to the midtown branch of John’s Pizza. I’ve eaten there a few times with Bill and I pointed out to my sister in law and niece that the restaurant used to be a church. Stained glass ceiling and windows still intact.

We left sated and I reassured them that whatever we ate, we would walk off, as we headed back to the Path train.

It was all well and good and I had a most excellent time, spending the day with Elaine and Corinne.

Corinne

Corinne

Elaine & Corinne

Elaine & Corinne

The meeting of the sunglasses

The meeting of the sunglasses

Corinne & me

Corinne & me

Me & Elaine

Me & Elaine

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Listening to Mumford & Sons. They were on Letterman the other night. I really liked the song. Enough so to download a few tracks. Well it’s not all that. Perhaps they pull it off live, but all the songs have sameness to them which isn’t very exciting.

The song they sang on Letterman was Little Lion Man which was excellent. The studio version is decent. Another good song is Dustbowl Dance. But the rest merely leaves me whelmed.

What is actually really good are the tracks I’ve gotten from Hot Chip. Now that is something special. Well worth investigating. And danceable in parts. They’ve even taking to use a live drummer on some songs which could only help.

I watched the rest of the Terry Jones documentary on Barbarians and that was very good. Left me wanting for more, but there were no extras. They should hire Terry Jones to do more things like that. I received my bus pass in the mail yesterday and today I returned it via the mail.

No need for it. I was going to drop it off last night but I was here waiting for the cable guy to arrive. The scheduled visit was until 8:00 but Cablevision found someone in West New York who drove down here.

He was a handsome chap who thought I was smoking a blunt which I wasn’t but wished I was. He swapped the swapped box with an HD box which is fine if we had an HD TV but since we don’t all the channels that are in HD are now in letterbox format and if it’s not in HD then the whole screen is filled.

The cable guy noticed a picture of my mother and me in Amish country, 1976. We’re standing next to a sculpture of a pretzel and the cable guy asked if it was a real pretzel. I explained that it wasn’t. He asked when the picture was taken and I told him 1976. He then mentioned how cool it must have been living in the 1970’s!

Mom-Me

According to Harpy we’ll have more space on the DVR to record. But we haven’t recorded anything yet. Bill came home after rehearsing his latest play. He says I will love it and I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that. I am looking forward to seeing it though.

I have a few movies from the library that are recommended. My brother Frank suggested The Changeling by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich. Old Boy, a Korean film was suggested by Michael Hill, a friend from McSwells days whom I ran into the other day.

Hellboy which I hadn’t seen but caught part of it’s sequel, Hellboy 2 last night and I was entertained. Next Day Air got some decent reviews when it came out last year and I do like Donald Faison and Mos Def, so it’s good that they’re in it.

And finally Passing Strange which Bill and I saw at the Public Theater a few years ago. We loved it and it was on PBS a few weeks ago, so we recorded it. Never got around to seeing it that way since the box went kaput, so here is the DVD. So I have plenty of things to watch if I’m in the mood.

Tomorrow I’m going to see an exhibit of artifacts from the Titanic with my niece Corrine and my sister in law Elaine. Corinne asked me and I simply couldn’t refuse, nor did I want to. It should be fun, something out of the ordinary which is what I am always after.

I did get a haircut for the occasion. A trip to Mr L’s where Tony did his magic. He asked me about how the research for hair cutting was going and nearly dropped his shears when I told him one school wanted $12,000 and the other wanted $16,000.

Not like the $900 he had to pay all those years ago at Atlas Barber School. I would go there if they had financial aid but they don’t.

If I was a veteran or had a disability or in their words: No financial aid is available. We are approved for Veterans, Immigration, and for Vocational and Educational Services of Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). I tell you they (vets, immigrants and the disabled) have it dead easy.

And that’s the thing I want to do, be a barber. Not a stylist. Don’t want to learn make up, manicures, pedicures, rinsing, coloring or any of that stuff. Just a hair cut.

And it’s the other stuff that is putting me off.

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Gulls!

Gulls!


Nice enough day for some painting I reckon

Nice enough day for some painting I reckon

Me, post haircut
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Prime Time

It’s Friday. I have spent a good part of the day waiting for Cablevision to come and do something about the cable box. Last night it started making clicking sounds then in the middle of Keith Olbermann it pixilated and froze.

A simple reboot, unplug the box, wait a few minutes then plug in again did the trick. No DVRing available. Not such a bad thing I thought. About an hour later, this time the cable box did it itself.

It stopped and started again all on it’s own.

I called Cablevision. No easy maneuvering through the phone prompts, you have to listen to everything. Don’t even thinking about pressing 1 for English before they tell you to. It will get you nowhere.

I spoke to the customer service representative from Cablevision and scheduled an appointment for today between 11:00AM and 2:00PM. At 1:59 I called up to see what was going on. They said they would call the man in the field and get back to me.

About 20 minutes later, it was confirmed the guy was running late.

He had my cell number and would call me when he was in the neighborhood. At 2:45 I get a call saying that he’s outside. I look out the window and there he is talking to another cable guy halfway down the street.

About 10 minutes later I buzz him in, all hard hat and tool belt. I offered him some water but he didn’t want any. He hit a few buttons on the box, lot’s of different screens popping up on the TV screen. He deduces that he’s going to have to swap this box for a new box.

So he goes back downstairs and comes back a couple of minutes later with another box, with the remnants of a ‘void’ sticker on the front. He sets it up, telling me everything that was on the old box is now gone.

No more Andy Warhol documentary, no more Bill on Late Night with Conan O’Brien or with Jimmy Fallon for that matter. Everything is gone. It’s a drag but what can you do.

He leaves after I sign a paper. There’s no charge for this visit. I turn on the TV a few minutes later. I start adding the favorite channels to the cable box and it’s pixilated again.

I call Cablevision again, speak to someone else again, and I am told that the guy will be back. An hour goes by. And another hour goes by.

I call again, speaking to someone else again and I am told a few instructions. Hit this button. Turn to the left. Now unplug it. Now stand on one leg. Now blink really hard. Turn to channel 500. Hit A-B-B-A on the remote control. You are the dancing queen. Turn it off. Turn it on. Show us your tits Coco.

Nothing had any effect. They tell me the guy has until 8:00PM to show up. It’s 7:04PM now. The clock, it is ticking. Harpy went through something similar with Time Warner a couple of weeks ago. I hope I don’t have the same problems.

In any event, here I sit waiting for someone who may or may not show up. He did call me earlier and I did have his number in my phone records. I texted him a few hours ago, asking if he had an ETA on returning to 616 Park Avenue. Of course it went unanswered.

I have little faith that they would show up. But I will be quite happy to be proven wrong. Again. There are still 50 minutes left.

Perhaps there will be a postscript to this entry. Or perhaps there won’t.

Break Up to Make Up

And here we are on a Thursday. Beats being in Bala Cynwyd I suppose. It certainly hasn’t been too busy a day. Rather low key. Found myself watching some of the Olympics.

I know I know. Me? Watching a sporting event? Wasn’t Scrubs on? Gilmore Girls? Lawn Hors d’œuvre? Apparently not. It was women’s hockey. Who knew women played hockey? Not me, that’s for sure.

I watched The Rocker, starring Rainn Wilson as a former drummer for a hair band called Vesuvius, given the sack like Pete Best. Funnily enough, there is a Pete Best cameo. He’s at the bus stop reading Rolling Stone magazine.

Rainn Wilson’s nephew has a band and needs a drummer and so Rainn Wilson’s character steps in. Of course there are a few twists and story lines, but overall it was a funny movie with some famous comedy names involved.

I also watched Terry Jones of Monty Python. He has a 2 disc DVD of The Barbarians, a fun and fascinating documentary about who the barbarians actually were. Remember, history is written by the victors and usually written in a light to make the victors look like the good guys. Rome basically wasn’t all that.

Not so noble after all, and when the coffers were near depletion, they didn’t think twice about invading a land who they had been trading with, and killing as many inhabitants with an eye on their gold. So far he’s gone over the Celts and the Goths.

Both given a bad rap throughout history, since history is written by the victors. And Terry Jones, being such a personable chap is an entertaining teacher.

I wish I had teachers like Terry Jones. Chances are I would have gone further into education instead of bailing out when I had the first real opportunity.

Bill and I had a short online chat today. He’s infatuated by the BBC and told me of a report that he heard from them, that Gordon Lightfoot died. I almost immediately sent the word to Harpy as that is what we do, when a boldface name passes away.

It’s our way of keeping in touch you see.

A search on Google News came up with a link to the Vancouver Sun, but the link went nowhere. I figured I would wait until more news sources came in, expecting a major tribute at the Olympics since Gordon Lightfoot is Canadian and that’s where the Winter Olympics are underway.

But as things turned out, Gordon Lightfoot is still vertical and singing somewhere. If you could read his mind, he’d probably be both pissed off and relieved, eh?

Also watched Lost the other night, which was all about Locke, or rather Fake Locke. Alternate planes of existence seem to be occurring. One Locke is in a wheelchair, came back from Australia and lives with his fiancee. Fake Locke (F.Locke) is the smoke monster and trying to get Sawyer on his side for some nefarious end.

It was actually a very good episode. Much better than the previous week.

No comedy on TV tonight, at least not the Thursday night lineup that I’ve taken to watching. Could be worse I guess.

JOT 1985

JOT 1985 2

I could be in Bala Cynwyd.

No New Tale to Tell

Wednesday. For some it’s hump day. However, for a lot of people it’s just Wednesday. It’s been an alright day. Not too cold, not too warm. Of course it could always be better.

Not much to write about I’m afraid. Is there ever much to write about? Is it all just gathering threads and trying to join them up, sew them together and make a nice fabric out of it? Is it the fabric that matters? Or is it the sewing?

These are the matters that spring from my mind and travel to my fingertips.

Listening to an interview with Brian Eno, something from about 20 years ago I think, rebroadcast on a Minnesota radio station on a show called Speaking of Music. It’s about a 2 hour interview, basically reviewing Brian Eno’s work and life up to that point.

Eno has a nice voice to listen to and since it’s an old tape that was digitized and playing on my Frankenstein computer occasionally a glitch pops up and Eno goes ‘Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm’ for a few extra seconds.

It seems to be recorded live in an auditorium before an audience of Eno-philes, laughing at just about everything Eno has to say.

I’ve taken to listening to podcasts while I eat dinner instead of the news. Usually I watch the Ed Show at 6:00 but since the Olympics are on, I’ve listened to discussions. It’s a nice change of space.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Eno when I worked at Skyline Studios. I remember reading an interview with Eno in Trouser Press, and the wrote about how Eno would tear off the filter of his cigarettes and smoke the unfiltered bits, and there it was, an ashtray with torn off filters.

He was working with Laurie Anderson at the time and both were incredibly nice. Both of them signed records that I asked them to sign and occasionally when money is tight, I look at the Eno records and wonder how much money I could get for them.

I’m sure he wouldn’t mind and definitely would understand the situation that I would find myself in. But I haven’t gone so far as to look into eBay and seeing what I could find there. Perhaps one of these days.

I’ve also caught some Oprah lately. Yesterday I watched people getting makeovers, helped by Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I never could understand how people get surprised when they open the door and there is Carson Kressley.

My main problem is the fact that the people are filmed from inside their homes, a camera man a few feet behind them. Do these people have camera men in their living rooms all the time? Wouldn’t they think that something was up, I mean, why is there a cameraman breathing down their necks?

It was the same thing when after the Super Bowl, Bill and I watched a TV show about the CEO of a company working down in the ranks, with the people that inhabit the bottom end of the totem pole. This one guy we watched, worked for a week at different parts of his company.

And all the time, he was followed around by a camera crew. Now if someone was a new person at a company, wouldn’t you think something was up when the newbie would be tailed by a camera crew?

Aren’t any eyebrows raised?
No yellow cards?

It’s easy to overlook the camera crews for most, but obviously not for me.

Today on Oprah was the son of Jim Jones, named Jim Jones Jr. He was in Guyana when the People’s Temple were killed or committed mass suicide.

He would have been in Jonestown when it all went down, but was instead in Georgetown playing basketball which in effect saved his life, but made him feel guilty and never played basketball until years later when his son was on a school team.

The other guest was the sister of John Wayne Gacy. She of course had her own tale to tell, about how she didn’t believe that her brother killed 33 men and boys up to a point, but eventually had to admit it to herself.

I’m just grateful that my nearest and dearest aren’t sociopaths.

Hello to Sao Paulo, Mission Viejo, Warwick, Chiang Mai, Eureka, Petaling Jaya and of course Bala Cynwyd.

Hair

It’s Fat Tuesday! It’s Mardi Gras! It just stopped snowing an hour ago. It wasn’t a fun snow either. It was wet and windy. I ventured out into the wet and windy wilderness.

I had an appointment to visit a beauty school on Bergenline Avenue in West New York. I originally thought it was at 2:00 but it’s a good thing I checked and saw it was actually at 1:00. I bundled up and headed over to the train station to catch the light rail.

I could have easily walked over to the Ninth Street station but didn’t. The thing about the light rail is that you have to buy a ticket and then have it validated next to the ticket vending machine. I saw the Tonnelle Avenue train waiting to go but the machine wasn’t giving me any tickets.

When I moved over to another machine and had the ticket stamped and validated the train was gone and I was standing out there in the cold. I thought I was going to be late, and called Bill who got the phone number for me, and called the school who didn’t seem to mind and appreciated my calling.

A few minutes later another light rail came in and I hopped on it. No one checks the tickets. No conductor walking through the cars. I have only seen a ticket check once, and that involved police asking to see tickets once people disembark.

I’ve often thought about just hopping on the train and taking my chances, but it would be a $300.00 fine and I’m a chicken.

The school was only a few blocks away from the Bergenline station and it was an easy walk with some side steps to avoid the ponds and lakes on the street corners. I hadn’t been up in this Bergenline area in years.

I used to come up here occasionally when I lived in Weehawken. Some good shopping deals and plenty of eye candy for me.

I made it into the school and filled out a form and sat. Definitely not as hectic as the other school last week. Where they had over 200 people running around, this place had maybe 50 at best.

I met with Carlos who seemed nice. Definitely looked like someone who’s been cutting hair for 23 years. Nice guy though. He had some things to say about the school I visited last week.

He said the city school gets money from the government to get mainly women from the homeless shelters to train as beauticians and sometimes the police would be called 3 times a day due to fights breaking out. Not my type of place at all.

Carlos said that because I was unemployed I would instantly qualify for financial aid, as well as a Pell grant and they would help me with all of that, including student loans if need be. It was a brief meeting but it went well I think.

I was definitely more comfortable there than I was at the other place which just seemed like a mill. And I didn’t have a cumbersome book to lug around afterward. The commute isn’t so bad and the smaller classes is a plus.

1600 hours versus 1200, an 8 month course against a 6 month course.

I haven’t made my mind up yet, but I am leaning in staying local. Walked back to the apartment, caked with snow. Not going out again, staying in. Lost is on tonight after all.

There is something for the unemployed of Hoboken going on at McSwells tonight. It seemed like a good thing, but it’s $10.00 cover was a bit off putting. I could see $5.00 as a reasonable cover, but not $10.00.

the view from the Light Rail station

the view from the Light Rail station

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A Lunar Module

A Lunar Module

An Astronaut

An Astronaut

A Stegosaurus ?

A Stegosaurus ?

T Rex claw

T Rex claw

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Here at the Western World

Right now, watching the news. A John Fried in North Bergen has been fighting for four years against the 12 story buildings they are planning on raising alongside the Hudson River.

It will effectively block his view of the river and Manhattan. I don’t have any pity for him.

When he moved there did he actually think he was going to have the view for ever from his townhouse condo? No vista protections, they’ve lost in court and they’re going to appeal. Living in such a crowded area such as this, it is bound to happen sooner or later.

Plus these condos are just so nondescript they can only be described as ugly.

Other than that, it’s been a quiet day. Lot’s of people off of work wandering around Washington Street. It’s President’s Day. Banks are closed, no mail delivery.

I did have tentative plans to go visit Harpy but he never called. It’s a similar tale to the one that Harpy tells, of hearing from Susan who wants to get together and then doesn’t call when the scheduled day arrives. I didn’t mind.

I stopped by to see Stine and Alexander but they weren’t around. Yesterday I bought a bucket of chalk. I only wanted one piece so I left the rest outside their door on the third floor.

My friend Chris, who lives around the block had posted on her Facebook page that she misses her secret valentine. A neighbor who recently passed away would always write a Valentine’s Day message for her.

I decided to make a few hearts in chalk on her front steps and on the sidewalk in front of her building yesterday. This morning she thanked on her page, whomever it was that made all the hearts for Valentine’s Day.

I clicked that I liked her post and she asked if it was me so I had to own up for it. It was nice to do and I’m glad she appreciated it.

Last night Bill and I settled in to watch the second DVD of Zack & Miri Make a Porno. Lot’s of extras and deleted scenes. Bill of course loved it and now would like to work for Kevin Smith.

And Kevin Smith was on the news today after getting booted from a Southwest Airline flight because the pilot felt Kevin Smith was overweight and thus, a danger for the flight. It was repeated ad infinitum on most of the news reports today.

I started watching My Dinner with Andre earlier today but decided to make dinner for myself. What I did catch was fascinating and plan to watch it from the beginning later on tonight after Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann will probably have something to say about Kevin Smith no doubt.

The odds are in my favor. Another snowstorm is headed this way supposedly. 4 to 5 inches are expected. Nothing yet though.

Tomorrow I have another beauty school scheduled. This time on Bergenline Avenue in West New York. It was rescheduled after last weeks snowstorm, so I guess what happens tonight will effect tomorrow.

But isn’t that always the case?

The New Frontier

Happy Valentine’s Day. Happy VD Weekend. Happy Presidents Day Weekend. Just got back from Arthur’s Steakhouse where Bill and I had a nice Valentine’s dinner.

It was more crowded than I expected it to be. We gave our name and was told there would be a 15 minute wait so we decided to repair to the next room where there was a bar. We walked about 30 feet into the next room and I saw tables with tablecloths on them, so I asked the bartender and she told us that we could sit and order there.

It turned into a good decision. It was relatively empty, with people wandering and waiting for their name to be called over the loud speaker. Bill and I sat at the least wobbly table in the corner and had some garlic bread and a pint each of Guinness.

The bartender was busy but she got our food orders in. It was pleasant and out of the way. Away from loud tables and lots of people. Bill and I enjoyed our pints and our steaks and really enjoyed the chocolate mousse cake.

That was the perfect ending to a good meal. A nice walk home and here we are.

Earlier we watched Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Definitely funnier and sweeter than I expected. I had watched half of it last night and the other half while Bill was sleeping this afternoon. He woke up around 5:00 and we watched it again.

Actually while I was watching some of the deleted scenes, Bill woke up and started watching. I asked him and if he wanted to watch the movie and he did, so that’s what we did. Bill laughed out loud a few times.

He does love his comedy and his laughter is so boisterous that I have to pause and go back so the lines that are following the funny scene aren’t missed. This is a reason why Bill and I can’t go to a comedy show.

He would be so raucous with his laughter he would draw the attention of the comedian on stage.

We still have to watch disc 2 of Zack and Miri Make a Porno. We both enjoyed disc 1 so much that we’d be fools not to watch the 2nd disc. A nice walk back to the apartment after Arthur’s and now we’re watching Bog Love. Still on paths that twist and turn.

Really one of the best shows on TV these days. If you can’t watch it when originally broadcast, you should check out the DVD’s somewhere.

Now that’s finished and we’re watching How to Make It in America. New show, produced by Mark Wahlberg, Since Entourage is so good, we’re giving this a look. So far so good. It’s filmed in New York so maybe Bill can get a shot at being on it.

Gotta support the locals. And by locals, I mean Bill.

That’s it for today, it’s been a good day overall. Hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day.

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Kung Fu Fighting

Ah the lack of motivation. The open arms of distraction. The subtle lack of desire to write. But here I am yet again. But lacking in ideas of what to write about.

I could write about how cold it is outside. Very chilly winds that cut you to the bone.

Bill was in Atlantic City last night. I was here in Bohoken not doing much at all. I watched the Winter Olympics on and off. The sound was off a lot of the time.

I was posting and chatting and chatting and posting for most of the night. My friends Lisa and Margaret and a few other Facebook friends were constantly updating their status so I didn’t really need to turn the swivel chair and look at the TV screen to my left.

Yes kd lang is getting to be a big boned gal. I guess she hasn’t been playing softball or gone bowling lately.

I did watch Donald Sutherland carry the Olympic flag onto the field with 5 other notable Canadians. I also sat and watched with the rest of the world when the fourth pillar did not rise with the other three pillars.

Awkward for the Canadians eh?

Then Wayne Gretsky jumped in the back of a pick up truck and drove to where the Sex Cauldron Olympic cauldron was situated.

Watched Jimmy Fallon over Craig Ferguson after that and lost interest after Benicio Del Toro. I went to bed soon after that. Been having crazy dreams.

One dream involved Rush Limbaugh, another featured Julio & Stine and me standing on a ledge, inching away from them. Slept really well though. Woke up to my cellphone ringing in the next room.

Bill was back from Atlantic City and on his way back to Hoboken. He offered to pick up bagels which was awfully nice.

I did go out to the supermarket before he came home. Needed eggs and some other things. Saw my cereal on sale at $1.39 a box so I bought 2 boxes and used my dollar off coupon for 2 boxes and payed $1.78!

I even went back later in the afternoon and bought 2 more boxes and left a few other coupons that I saved on the boxes there. I had amassed quite a few coupons and could afford to be generous with my fellow Post Raisin Bran eaters.

Bill was up before he asked me to wake him up. He asked for 4:15 and he was up and about 10 minutes before then. He ran around the apartment getting his stuff together for his next drive to Atlantic City.

He’s in Union now. I just checked on Google latitude. Just another night in. Still have some library DVD’s to watch.

Also spent some time creating 2 new animations.

No, not of this blog, but 2 different songs. Kung Fu Fighting and 1999. Just some interesting lyrics said by 2 different sets of characters.

It’s been that kind of day I tell you.

Right now a documentary on Soul Train is on right now. Just started on VH1 Classics. I heard some things about it, so I might as well leave it on and get down.

Take It In

Another Friday. What else is new? Pretty tired. It’s been a somewhat productive day. Laundry mainly. That’s productive. Laundry isn’t about to clean itself. Last night was low key. Just TV basically, as usual.

It being a Thursday night I did not watch Keith Olbermann and still neglecting Rachel Maddow. By the time Rachel comes on I’ve had just about enough. So I watched Community which was very funny. I think the Indian dude, Abed (whom I thought was called Op-Ed) is the best thing on it.

Parks and Recreation was also funny, John Larroquette playing the old flame of Amy Poehler’s mother, played by Pamela Reed was silly. The Office was the best with Kathy Bates playing the southern owner of Sabre, the printer company that has taken over Dunder Mifflin.

It was a return to form for the Office, with the past couple of weeks being sub par at best. 30 Rock was also very good. Not too much Tracy Morgan which is a very good thing.

Tracy Morgan is probably the luckiest guy in television. His best routine on Saturday Night Live was Brian Fellows I think and that wore thin rather quickly. Elizabeth Banks played Alec Baldwin’s love interest and she was great as usual. And the hallucination after Liz Lemon had dental work done was tops. Jon Bon Jovi was actually good as well.

Bill came home in time to watch the 10:00 broadcast of Keith Olbermann but since he decided to clean up around his computer, I opted to play music instead of listening to Keith Olbermann. Bill had his laptop repaired by TekServe so after finally throwing out a lot of crap that piled up around his Mac, he started working on his laptop which needed to be reloaded with just about everything.

He was up until 1:30 doing that. He’s driving to Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow so I won’t be seeing him until Sunday, and most of Sunday will probably be spent sleeping in bed. The Winter Olympics start tonight. I’m fairly ambivalent about them. I may watch the opening ceremony though.

Nothing else seems to be on. But that won’t probably happen until later so I might as well catch Keith Olbermann. This afternoon while walking around town I ran into Chris Repella and her daughter about to go to lunch at Cafe Karma, or Karma Cafe.

Chris was talking to Eileen Lynch who I hadn’t seen in a few years. I think she might have moved but now she seems to be back. Also ran into Thaler Pekar who is a real sweetheart. She was looking good in her winter wear. Thaler and I talked for a while, she’s taking an improv class and I told her of my improv class story.

It seems to work for her, but I could never get past the most important rule of improv. Don’t say ‘No’. If you say no it ends the sketch you’re working on. If you say yes the sketch can continue in many directions. And my first reaction all those years ago was no.

Not too wordy tonight, so I will just end it right here.

To all the visitors who visit this blog and wonder ‘what the fuck is this?’, sometimes I have things to write about, sometimes I don’t. The thing was back in the day, I established a goal of writing at least 500 words a day. I was thinking of John Hughes, and felt I had to explain, and no, not that John Hughes.

Rand suggested putting it up on a blog so he created johnozed.com for me. Since I really didn’t have anything to write about today, I still felt compelled to write the daily allotment. And here we are with now over 600 words.

I guess I was wordier than I expected. Cheers!

Snowman

The day after the major snowstorm. It’s been reported that about 14 inches fell but I really couldn’t say. I’ll have to take their word for it. Just found out that NJ Transit has sent me a bus pass for the month of March.

I suspended the account last year, thinking I would be back at work by March. Well I was wrong on that count. So now when I get it, I have to return it in the blue envelope they supply. It was a good deal but obviously not needed at all these days.

I hoped they would send an email saying that the account was about to be activated again, that would be the ‘nice’ thing to do, but NJ Transit is not in the business of being ‘nice’. I won’t get a full refund, a deduction of $3.00 will be levied for all the trouble I put them through.

Nasty me, spitting in the face of NJ Transit.

Where do I get off? Next stop, please. Proxima parada, por favor.

It finally stopped snowing at some point last night. I had gone to the supermarket with Julio and never went out to shovel again after shoveling in the afternoon. I stayed in all last night, driving Bill crazy and being driven crazy by Bill.

As I wrote last night, we watched Eyewitness News at 5:00 hoping to catch Stine and Alexander. I gave up at 6:00 which is when they made the news. Julio called up and mocked me and Bill spent a good couple of minutes telling me ‘I told you so!’

We watched Keith Olbermann as usual, and then at 9:00 we watched 2 hours of Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV. I had seen both episodes before, it took Bill until the last 10 minutes to realize that he had seen the first one.

The second one he remembered since it featured Rosie Perez. I reminded Bill of the time I worked with Rosie Perez as her escort for the AIDS Dance-a-thon in the 1990’s. She was with 2 of her friends and I was pretty much wired for sound.

I’m pretty sure we all had a good time, quite a few drinks were enjoyed by the 4 of us. Madonna even stopped by. She looked weird, shaved eyebrows and dressed like a fallen Swiss Miss, hair in tight buns on the side of her head.

She stopped by our table and said hi. Rosie looked up to her and said, ‘How you are?’ Then we all laughed at Rosie’s gaffe. That’s how I remember it.

I had done the AIDS Dance-a-thon a few years, then they stopped asking me. Not because I was wired for sound. Most everyone else was. I think it was because at the end of the night I said to the other volunteers that I hoped we don’t see each other again, explaining that I had hoped there would be no need for the Dance-a-thon, that there would be a cure for AIDS.

Well, there is no cure for AIDS yet, and there is no more Dance-a-thon either.

Bill was off to work this morning, I as usual slept in. He did call later on saying that the front of the building was caked with ice and that I should be careful. By the time I had left the apartment, it had all melted away.

I took a stroll along the waterfront. Not many people around. I enjoyed that. Took some pictures which are below. Saw quite a few snowmen and took some photos of them. I did see what, from a distance was a near perfect snowman.

2 teenagers were approaching it, and one of them decided to take it down with a flying tackle. I was pissed off at that, figured that someone took the time to make the snowman, but didn’t say anything, though I did secretly wish him harm on behalf of snowmen all over the world.

I know I wrote an entry called Snowman back in February 2006. In fact it was on the 12th., almost 4 years to the day.

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A job you won't see me doing.

A job you won't see me doing.

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Happy birthday Madelyn Powers Brozis!

Winter Wonderland

It’s a snow day. Most everyone had off from work. Not because the commute would be so bad in the morning, just getting home at night would be difficult. Some people did have to go into work today. They were on the news most of the day, the same story at the same train stations on Long Island.

The same woman having to go into work at JP Morgan. The same story of the guy who got on the train and suddenly asked himself, ‘What am I doing?’ before turning around and jumping off the train right before the doors closed.

I was surprised to hear from Bill, who was also home from work today, that there was a 4.3 earthquake in Chicago. That was major news in my book, since the northeast has had many snowstorms before, it really isn’t anything new. But no news on Chicago as far as I could tell.

The big news was on the snowstorm. No building crumbled, just books knocked off the shelves. No injuries reported. Still an earthquake hitting Chicago would be big news. I’m sure the right wing nuts will blame either the snowstorm or the earthquake on abortion or the rights of LGBT people becoming accepted. It’s just a matter of time and as usual they’re late.

Last night I watched Lost which was OK. Not much progress as far as I could tell. The alternative universe story was about Kate and Claire while back on the island it was mainly about Kate and Sawyer with a Jack and Sayid story thrown in. After the big season premiere last week, this was a bit of a let down.

After Lost I watched a mini series documentary on the Sundance Channel about Saville Row. Not 3 Saville Row once the home of Apple Records. Lot’s of nice looking bespoke suits which are definitely out of my price range at the moment. A few of the bespoke houses went to Florence, Italy to promote Saville Row abroad since bespoke suits are no longer the exclusive domain of Saville Row.

One representative of a Saville Row house was in Beijing trying to establish his label to the Chinese. It was quite awkward for the representative, culture clashes, communication problems and also finding out the the food in China is not the same as Chinese food in Knightsbridge.

Still it was somewhat schwing city just looking at the fine pinstriped suits. After that I watched the news which was all about the upcoming snowstorm. Then Seinfeld, the Simpsons and caught Sade on Letterman.

Bill was home a little while after that and we watched Craig Ferguson. I did make it out once or twice today. I do enjoy snowstorms, walking around, smoking a cigar and taking pictures. Walked over to Church Square Park which had kids and toddlers and their parents having fun in the snow.

Various snowmen around, huskies and other winter dogs and a makeshift igloo were spotted. I walked up to Hoboken Daily News and talked to Andy who was worried about how he was going to get home to Jersey City. He might end up walking.

Apparently I missed Julio, Stine and Alexander in the park by minutes. Stine and Alexander were also interviewed briefly by Eyewitness News. I figured they would be on for the human interest hour from 5 to 6PM.

After an hour of all these snow stories Bill and I had enough and changed the channel. Of course that meant we missed the interview which was in the half hour from 6 to 6:30. Julio called me up after it was over to see if we caught it and mocked me when I said we missed it.

We hope it will be on at the 11:00 broadcast.

I also shoveled a bit today and I am feeling it now. Pretty tired.

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Gamma Rays

Here we are on Tuesday. Been a somewhat busy day. Last night wasn’t so bad either. Watched Heroes which was finally entertaining and it was the season finale. It was interesting to see Sylar become a hero. I hope he remains that way.

Yes I know what a pointless thing to write about.

Bill came home from stage managing the one man show Monk last night. Better turn out than the previous week, meaning, people showed up. Not a full house, but last week no one showed up. They decided to make it a tech rehearsal.

We watched Big Love which of course was very good. Even though I knew they were republicans it was odd to see Bill and Barb having a 1980’s Reagan party. Sissy Spacek was great as usual and I could have sworn Annette Bening made a very cameo appearance. She didn’t come up in the credits though.

Bill’s knees were messed up so he iced them for about 40 minutes before heading off to bed. I stayed up watching some Craig Ferguson before heading off to bed myself. Bill was off before I was this morning.

I got up and got myself together, donning a suit and tie before heading into the city for my appointment at the beauty school. Yes, I will have to attend beauty school since there are no barber schools anymore, except for Atlas on Third Avenue. But Atlas does not provide financial aid so that crossed them off the list.

I left the apartment at 10:00, arriving early for my appointment at 11:00. I went up the stairs to the second floor where I found myself in the middle of a very busy lobby. A lot of women signing up for the beauty school and today was also orientation day.

I sat on a bench to the side and waited until a woman named Haley came out and took me in the back. She was very nice, quite outgoing. She set me up in the back so I could fill out a brief questionnaire about why I was there and what I was planning on doing. I wrote down ‘barber/stylist’ since it seemed most appropriate.

Haley came back a few minutes later and I sat with her in her cubicle and she gave me the whole she bang about why this school would be the best. She also mentioned a few times that while being a barber was all nice, it would cut off half of the potential revenue, meaning cutting and styling women’s hair.

That means coloring and dyeing, rinses and perms and sets. Things like that. I can see the point even though it was something I wasn’t looking to get into.

A tour of the school was next and I was escorted past long lines of mainly women most of them checking me out, wondering who the hell was this guy in a suit and tie. Out of a couple of hundred women I saw about 4 or 5 guys.

Guys seemed more apt to use rather than men. They checked me out too.

There was a lot going on and soon Haley and I wound up back at her cube, where I made crazy love to her. It was odd to see a cube without a computer in it.

Haley told me that if I took the class in New York I would get a New York State license for hair. I wasn’t looking to work in New York though, thinking more of New Jersey. Luckily they have a NJ school in Jersey City, accessible via the Path train.

So that is something I would consider. All together the training would cost about $12,000 which could hopefully be covered by financial aid and/or a student loan. It was a good meeting and I left with a big rather large book about 2 feet by 1.5 feet.

A bit cumbersome but luckily I keep a bag in my shoulder bag for when I buy groceries. I made my way uptown through Grand Central where I saw a partial exhibit advertising the Prado in Madrid.

I had plans to meet up with Brenda for coffee. I called Greg Stevens and hoped to meet up with him as well, but he would only be available until 1:00 which was the time I was going to see Brenda. Couldn’t do both so I went with Brenda.

It was good to see her and we went to a nearby public atrium where Brenda treated me to a Starbucks coffee and splitting a brownie. I explained the story of the past month, the phone calls the interviews, moving Greg Stevens’ office and the job that was the wrong job.

She sort of understood but got very excited when I told her of my plans to become a barber. It turns out her spouse has 2 brothers who are barber stylists and Brenda thinks that I would be very good at it. It was a fun lunch and I soon made my way back down to the Path train and eventually back home.

I was planning to stop by Mr. L’s and talk to Tony and his son about the visit to the beauty school, but they were both busy with customers and I didn’t feel like waiting.

2.9.10 nyc gcs 001

2.9.10 nyc gcs 003

The Barber Feel It

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. First off, though I really didn’t care, I am happy that the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, just for the fact that it more than likely bolstered the spirits of the residents of New Orleans.

The TV was on during the first half of the game, but the sound was off and I was listening to music. Led Zeppelin, the Bee Gees and Chicago, hence the title of last night’s entry. It’s funny, like my antipathy towards Zeppelin back in the day turning into an appreciation, I find myself liking certain Chicago songs, specifically Does Anyone Really Know what Time It Is and Make Me Smile.

I suppose it’s the late Terry Kath’s songs, definitely not the Peter Cetera songs, though who knows? Check back in 20 years and I could be writing about how good Just You & Me and If You Leave Me Now actually are. By then though, it might be attributed to dementia.

Bill came home and was surprised to see the game on, and asking me who I was, since the ‘real’ me wouldn’t have the game on. I explained that I was waiting to see the Who, or rather “’alf the ‘Ooo”. Which is what they would have been 41 years ago if John Entwhistle and Keith Moon joined up with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page when Page was putting together Led Zeppelin.

The Who came on and did a good job, Roger & Pete with Pino Palladino on bass and Ringo’s son, Zak Starkey on drums and Rabbit Bundrick on keys. I thought it was Wix Wickens from Macca’s group but Wikipedia says otherwise, so no Wix, yes Rabbit.

It was a decent show. Daltrey straining to hit some notes, and Pete not being able to windmill on the guitar wearing a suit jacket. The stage design was really cool, Bill mentioned that it looked like the 1980’s electronic game, Simon, which it did at points.

Zak Starkey had the Mod bull’s eye on his cymbals and that looked really cool. Lily Mastro commented on Facebook that Zak looked like Terry Gilliam, and he did. I called up Rita after the Who. She was a major Who fan when they first came over in the 1960’s and she loved it saying that Pete could do no wrong.

It was a fun talk with Rita who invited me to go along with her to a Jim Carroll memorial on Wednesday. I asked that she remind me on Wednesday.

I wrote about 2 people last night that I came in contact with today. One was Pedro whom I wrote about doing the Roof Top dance 22 years ago. We talked on the phone about a plan that I have which my sister mentioned that would be good for me. A different career path. Not corporate, no suits involved, though I’m sure if I wanted to wear a suit I could.

I also ran into Damian, Julio’s buddy. I wrote about them last night also attending a party after seeing Led Zeppelin at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert. I run into Damian more than Julio does, I think the last time I saw him was in 2006. Damian’s a Hoboken police officer now and I ran into him on the street. So good to see him, such a nice guy. We did some catching up standing on the corner. Wife and kids are good, he’s happy with his life.

Funny how both Damian and Pedro are now law enforcement officers considering how wild we all used to be.

During the second half of the football game with the volume up and Bill cheering and shouting I researched different beauty schools in the area. I am seriously considering becoming a barber.

Yes, you’ve read that right.

It seems like a smart move, everyone needs a haircut every now and then. I already have an appointment at one school in Manhattan tomorrow and another on Thursday in West New York on Bergenline Avenue.

No more barber colleges, now I would have to take a cosmetology course. Also looking into getting stimulus funding for the schooling as well as financial aid. Pedro thought it was a great idea and was very supportive as a few other people I talked about it with were.

I also made it a point to visit with my barber at Mr. L’s. He thought it was a bad idea as did his son. Their whole point was that it was a lot of standing around waiting for customers, Tony mentioning that you’re always being watched by the person who’s hair you’re cutting.

I don’t watch what Tony’s doing since I don’t have my glasses on while he cuts my hair and I just tell him what I want and trust him to do the job. Last time I had gotten my hair cut from him, I told him to do what he wanted and I think he did a good job.

Tony who’s in his 70’s, also mentioned that during the depression a barber he knew had 3 kids to support as well as a wife and did not go on public assistance like a lot of people, since as Tony put it, a barber always has a dollar in his pocket.

It’s definitely an out of left field idea but it seems right to me, obviously since I am checking out 2 schools this week. I told Tony and his son that after I visit the school tomorrow I would stop by and let them know how it went.

I don’t think they’re afraid I would be taking away business, in fact I would be willing to pick up any slack. Since they’re closed on Wednesday and Sunday, I might be willing to rent a chair and work on those days. I’m only a few doors away anyhow.

But that’s a ways down the line and I’m getting ahead of myself. It does seem like a job that I would be pretty good at. And then there’s that whole Sweeney Todd thing.

What do you think? Your comments would be worth reading should you care to write them…

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

Well I went outside today. After staying inside most of the day yesterday it was a treat. It wasn’t as cold as it was yesterday and it was actually bright and sunny. Last night I watched Led Zeppelin, downloaded a slew of tracks as well.

And I had forgotten that John Paul Jones, perhaps my favorite Zep was on Saturday Night Live as part of Them Crooked Vultures. Didn’t really care for them, but it’s a treat to see JPJ playing bass and having a good time, and despite what some people say, I do like Dave Grohl. Seems like a nice guy.

And while thinking of Led Zeppelin, I thought of a party I had thrown at my basement apartment at 1124 Willow. No real theme or reason for the party, just the idea of having a party. I knew a lot of people then, many people came, maybe 50.

Back then I used to say 100 people came but I was probably seeing double at the time. I was working for Murdoch Magazines at the time during the day and also working at McSwells at night.

The date was May 14, 1988 and I remember that since Julio and his buddy Damian came later in the night after attending the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden, where they saw a version of Led Zeppelin.

People did not come empty handed and we wound up keeping the beer cold in the bathroom, in an ice filled bathtub. The McSwells crew all came after the bar closed at 3:00AM, with more supplies and one or two bar flies/party crashers.

I remember Martin Kelly, after closing McSwells and coming over, telling me that when he walked through the door and down the hallway it looked like a certain friend of mine was eating powdered donuts from a bag, and I should be more careful that the police didn’t come.

I wasn’t worried about that since next door was a school and the apartment directly above was vacant. I did have the party crashers thrown out as well. I think either they or someone else stole someone’s jacket.

Another memory was some friends, Sean & Susan (?) doing ‘Da Butt’ by E.U. which was a hot song at the time, while my other friends laughed with them since they had it going on so well. Steve Fallon might have even made an appearance before the party ended at what I guess was about 5:30 or so.

The powdered donuts guy left Rand and myself a nice little mound of confectioners sugar which thrilled us some more for a while after that. It was a rousing success even though my answering machine was trashed, but then again, so most everyone was.

I did tried to duplicate the party again a few months later and it was not as successful but still a good time was had. I was psychedicized for that one as were a few other guests. Made changing records a major challenge.

One of the tripping guests who was tripping for the first time, the late Tony Sankitts, wound up feeling queasy and I set him up in my roommate’s empty room, where Tony threw up on the carpet. Pedro danced a dance called the rooftop in the back yard.

Like I said while it was a fun party, it wasn’t the event that the first party was. Couldn’t duplicate it I suppose. Last night I watched Saturday Night Live like I wrote about earlier. It was OK, could have been funnier.

The funniest sketch was towards the end, featuring a wedding reception and the former band of the bride’s father who were a hardcore band in the early 1980’s. Oh man it was classic.

I wasn’t really involved with the hardcore scene, I tended to listen to more melodic stuff. I think that’s when the music scene became fragmented, bands that were hardcore emerging and other bands with more tuneful songs which also fragmented into the silly new romantic crap of which hardcore was probably a rebellion against as well.

Became of a US vs UK thing as well. Still there were lots of interesting things happening with X, the Minutemen and REM as well as XTC, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads among others holding up the late 1970’s style, going forward for a spell.

I should write about the acid resurgence in the underground scene of the mid 80’s sometime. Just not this time.

Bill decided not to wear his sleep apnea mask last night which made him snore like he was playing a horn. I tried to fall asleep, pleading with him to at least give me 10 minutes to sleep then he could perhaps snore all he wanted, but he was unresponsive and asleep.

I decided to record him snoring and at one point, getting out of bed and uploading 5 recordings into the computer. Wound up with about 10 recordings overall. After the last recording, I said loudly ‘That’s a wrap’ which woke him up. I think when he woke up he jumped up and his head hit my hand holding the recorder.

This morning, I asked him if he slept well and he said he didn’t. He did ask, why did I hit him in the head last night and I swore I didn’t but he insisted that I did. Tonight I will crazy glue the sleep apnea mask to his face.

Hoboken scenes.

2.7.10 Hoboken 001

2.7.10 Hoboken 004

2.7.10 Hoboken 006

2.7.10 Hoboken 007

Pedro/Otisville

Pedro/Otisville

JOZ Colorize

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

looking up, looking ahead

looking up, looking ahead

How Many More Times

Well I was actually hoping for a big snowstorm. It would be fun (since I don’t drive) and those people named Brian who make money with snow plows would have the chance to make some snow dough. But the way things turned out, it was barely a dusting.

In Washington DC they received 2 feet, in Atlantic City there was quite an accumulation. Here in Hoboken it was barely noticeable. A disappointment if you ask me. I was hoping to take some photos, enjoy a cigar and walk around in the the snow.

I did go out today though and it was quite bitter. Bitter enough that one trip outside was all I needed to do. On the way back up the four flights of stairs, I did stop at the third floor. Had the Hoboken Reporter and the mail for Julio, Stine and Alexander.

Well actually for Julio & Stine since Alexander couldn’t be arsed with mail or newspapers, unless having a crayon in his hands.

I did find out that after I left Stine and Alexander on Wednesday night Alexander woke up violently ill. Projectile vomiting, pale as a ghost and with a fever of 103.

The next morning, after staying up all night with the baby they brought him to the doctor who gave him a shot of antibiotics and today he was just as good as he was when I last saw him. Leave it to Julio to blame me for getting the baby sick.

Of course it wasn’t my fault but I did think that it was for a moment. Apparently Julio’s sister’s baby was very ill and chances are that Alexander picked up whatever virus from his cousin. So blame Jake, who is on the mend himself.

Been an indoor day, after leaving the family unit on the third floor. Bill left a few hours ago after studying a script for a play he is stage managing up in Harlem in a week or so. This morning I made blueberry pancakes. I planned ahead about bought some Aunt Jemima’s on sale the other day in anticipation of the snowstorm.

Who wouldn’t want blueberry pancakes when stuck inside all day? I have to say they were very good. Perfect for a cold winter’s morning. Bill was asleep as I ate all of my nine pancakes. Washed the dishes, the utensils and the frying pan by the time he was awake.

He wasn’t hungry when he woke up but a few minutes later after I asked him if he wanted any pancakes he said that he did. And he too enjoyed the pancakes. I thought about having pancakes for dinner which is a rarity.

Once in a while, when I was growing up my mother would make pancakes for dinner. Maybe not once in a while, perhaps once or twice. Still it sticks in my mind, enough for me to consider the same menu 40 years later.

Right now watching the Led Zeppelin DVD’s, from the Hoboken Library via BCCLS. Much prefer the second DVD. Madison Square Garden (where my brother Frank and his wife Elaine are supposedly in the front row), Earl’s Court and Knebworth.

It’s astounding how many crotch shots of Robert Plant exist in the footage. You’d think with all that money he’d be able to afford a shirt that fits him properly, instead of a midriff. Then again it was the 1970’s so anything went.

Pandrogyny.

Jimmy Page did throw out the perfect rock star shapes though, so damn cool when at the Garden while playing The Ocean. Impressive 37 years later.

Don’t know if I posted these things previously, but here is a painting by a friend of mine, Andre Scot Grindle from a photo of myself, and my own playing with a computer program and attempting to Warhol my photo, but going too far as usual.

As Andy used to say, ‘Always leave them wanting less.’

Ozed by Andre Scot Grindle

Ozed by Andre Scot Grindle

JOT Train Hat

JOZ Color

1.31.10 Shakespeare Mxwls 006

Be Stiff

Yes it’s a Friday again. Nothing special on this end. Would have been the end of my first work if I stayed at the place I wasn’t too comfortable in. I know I did the smart thing though. Feeling better today than I would have if I stayed, despite what someone in Bala Cynwyd thinks.

Some people call him ‘Maurice’, cause it speaks for the pompatus of the working stiffs. But it wasn’t the Maurice that I knew and loved though. I did hear from him, I guess he’s still happily married in Portland.

Facebook suggested getting in touch with him a week or so ago, and since I do just about everything that Facebook suggests I sent him a message. He replied in kind, with his phone number so I might just call him up and check in this weekend.

Today was spent doing laundry, cleaning up and buying groceries. Big snowstorm expected. Bill was supposed to drive to Atlantic City tonight but all trips were canceled since down in South Jersey they’re expecting about a foot of snow. He was disappointed in this, but I was glad I didn’t have to spend the night worrying.

A while back at the old job, the real one that I enjoyed working at, I received a gift certificate for a restaurant group in Manhattan. Nice pricey gift card too. I called to check to see if it was still valid and was told that they didn’t expire.

So since next weekend is Valentine’s Day I thought taking Bill out for a nice dinner would be cool. Get dressed up, have some good food and just enjoy a night out. I asked Bill if he would be available but since he’s not driving this weekend, he’s looking forward to driving a bus next weekend, leaving me to play the role of Alice Kramden in Hoboken.

Valentine’s day has been a varying thing each year. The first couple of years it was all good, but then there was a year that Bill was complaining about all the hype and the crass commercialism of Valentine’s day.

The next year he was in the swing of it and has been for the past few years. Last year Bill won a contest at his company cafeteria and had a very nice lunch for us. It’s not your average cafeteria, and we had poached salmon and some nice wine, followed by a nice dessert.

He also gave me a Cuisinart coffee maker last year too which I use every day. He doesn’t use it since he doesn’t drink coffee. Let’s face it, I’m a bus widower. Still it could be worse.

Tickets for The Specials in April went on sale for Terminal 5 today. Cheap too, $30.00 but not in this weeks budget. I could scrimp and save next week if they’re still on sale. Even though Jerry Dammers isn’t in the band these days, (he was the founder you know) the original band is still intact.

I just hope there is a ticket available on Wednesday. Other than that, just looking forward to the big snow, or any snow. I’ll go out and take pictures if and when I can. Other than that, I do have some DVD’s from the library (there I go suckling at the teat of the government, thanks Mo).

I have the Led Zeppelin collection that came out a few years ago, 2 disc set mastered by Jimmy Page, Zack & Miri Make a Porno- which looks very silly, directed by Kevin Smith, My Dinner with Andre- which I had never seen, directed by Louis Malle. That’s a 2 disc set as well, and in the player is Up, the Pixar flick that came out last year and is supposed to be very good.

It’s in the DVD player so I can surprise Bill later and just turn on the machine and it should start playing. Thanks BCCLS!

And just so you don’t think I only take DVD’s out from the library, I have a biography of Robert Mapplethorpe ready to be read.

Earthquake Weather

Let’s see. What’s new?

Not much actually.

Earthquake, a 6.0 off the coast of Northern California. Annemarie felt it while home for lunch. Bill knew about it before I did. I found out when I called him just to say hello. He was quite serious on the phone.

Apparently he had just sent me a text about it. I called Annemarie who was back at work and she told me about it. I guess it wasn’t so bad that she went back to work after the earthquake.

Today I spent a good couple of hours pounding the cyber pavement looking for work. Even went so far as to apply for a job that required a four year college diploma for doing the same bloody job that I’ve done for 10 years.

I mentioned that in the cover letter, just did not use those exact words. Would be bad form you see. I’m definitely aiming a bit higher than I did. No need to spit in the face of employers.

I had a somewhat busy day. After pounding the cyber pavement I was in the library, visited Jim Mastro at the Guitar Bar and wandered around Hoboken a bit today. No sightings of Stine and Alexander today. Did clean the apartment some.

Still more to be done.

Bill started cleaning a bit last night, then we watched The Dead Zone. The David Cronenberg movie, starring Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen, not the TV show starring Anthony Michael Hall. I read the book ages ago, enjoyed it quite a bit while I was in the midst of reading most everything Stephen King had written.

I remember seeing the movie when it released. It is one of the better versions of a Stephen King story. When The West Wing was on TV starring Martin Sheen as President Bartlett, I couldn’t help but think of him as Greg Stillson, who ran for Senate and eventually occupies the White House.

Too creepy, but the future was altered despite the name change and eventually Jimmy Smits occupied the Pennsylvania Avenue address and the word was safe.

Lot’s of 1970’s/80’s actors in the Dead Zone. Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, and Brooke Adams who is now Mrs. Tony Shaloub. Colleen Dewhurst is in it for about 5 minutes as well. That actually stopped Bill from his cleaning routine.

The other night Bill and I watched 3 hours of Lost. First the recap before the two hour premiere. After 6 seasons, Bill is into watching the show. The recap helped Bill catch up and he was oddly silent for three hours, except for his Craig Ferguson impersonations. “I know!”

Time moves on and the unease I felt at the beginning of the week is dissipating.

I was invited to Otisville on Sunday for a Super Bowl party but I am sticking closer to home in case Greg Stevens rings that bell for some work on Monday. Other than that, I would be totally clueless with regards to the Super Bowl. I have no idea who is playing anyhow.

I do know it is not the Jets.

JOT RAY