Monthly Archives: April 2010

Hold On Hold On

Well it’s a Friday today and it’s a gorgeous day. Last night wasn’t so bad either. When I was home alone I meant. It was all good, watching TV, comedies on NBC Community, Parks and Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock.

And actually I think Community was the funniest last night. Parks and Recreation was so so as usual. The Office would be in second place I think and 30 Rock in third place. Sometimes they just try too hard.

Not enough Jack Donaghy and way too much Tracy Jordan. I think the opening photo during the credits of Tracy Morgan is too much. He is truly the weak link on the show. Then again he is the luckiest guy in show business since he generally sucks. I sometimes wonder if Tracy Morgan has something on Tina Fey hence his being on the show, because it certainly can’t be talent.

After all that I wound up watching some clips of director Kevin Smith talking about spending a week out in Paisley Park with Prince. Got the link from Harpy and watched all four installments. I thought it was hilarious.

The news came on after that and as usual I watch until the weather report is finished then I change the channel generally if I am home alone and I was up to a point.

Bill came home from wherever it was he was at. He was in a pretty good mood, happy to be home. He loves the fact that I’ve shaved the goatee. I hate not having a goatee. I think I look like a lesbian without it.

I mentioned to Bill that I was planning to grow the goatee back but wary that it might come back with white hair. Bill was quite exuberant when he came through the door and his exuberance carried over in the manner of him chanting ‘White hair white hair’.

It was all fun and games then. I faux protested and threatened to drop the H bomb on him, ‘H’ meaning hair. He’s thinning on top and the sides are speckled with gray hairs. It went on like this for a few minutes, Bill would say something and then I would refute whatever it was that he said.

Apparently he was hurt by each successful refutation, so much so that he snapped at me saying that he was trying to work on his laptop, when only a minute before he was joining in on the fun.

It’s similar to some words we had a few months ago, where were were having a heated discussion about something and Bill lost it, saying that he can’t argue with me since I am always right. Or words to that effect.

I just happen to use reason when I argue something. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much use for reason on the other side sometimes. So whatever boisterousness that was happening quickly deflated leaving me with hurt feelings and resentment.

Sometimes one vibe is better than two vibes and I was having a much better time when Bill wasn’t home last night.

Yes he drives me crazy and last night he drove me crazy again. I spent time and energy avoiding him whenever possible. He went to sleep as usual and I couldn’t have cared less.

I’m still resentful and maintained no contact with him today. He did apologize this morning as he was leaving for work but to half asleep me it made no difference. Even if I was fully awake this morning it would have made no difference.

The time for the apology would have been last night. And last night, or rather yesterday, the reason for my ambivalence about most things was because I took a Xanax in the afternoon, so I was definitely in quite a mellow mood last night.

He’s driving to Atlantic City tonight and I am relieved.

I think I had some good guitar playing going on today by the river. Ran into a Facebook friend, Juan Melli with whom I share mutual friends. Never met him before in the flesh.

Nice guy, took the picture below. He’s also a bicycling enthusiast so perhaps a ride will be underway this summer. Juan asked for a song so I played All My Loving which is committed to memory and Instant Karma.

He rode off after a little while and I played Sweet Little Sixteen and Maybe I’m Amazed among others.

Picked up Hot Chip- One Life Stand and MGMT Congratulations from the bibliothèque today as well as The Rutles DVD- Can’t Buy Me Lunch, the sequel to All You Need is Cash.

An evening alone is what I am looking forward to.

photo by Juan Melli

photo by Juan Melli

Hold Me Tight

A beautiful day today. A bit blustery though. An ambivalent day for me as well. Just feeling meh. No word from the interview yesterday but I wasn’t expecting that.

In the back of my mind there was the hope of them calling me up and saying, ‘You! John Ozed! It is you that we want! It is you that we need! So much so that we want you to write for us! We’ve seen your blog but we don’t care!’

Of course the phone didn’t ring. It did notify me that I had some texts coming in. I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and head out with the guitar and play by Pier A.

After tying up my newspapers (which broke open of the third floor leaving me to sit on the floor and retie them up) I wandered over to the Guitar Bar where I found that Jim Mastro was en route to England to do a short tour with Ian Hunter.

No matter though when he gets back I would like to ask him to show me how to play a song or two. I just can’t figure some songs out, despite YouTube, despite watching Stine play it. I think having Jim or one of his associates show me how to play would do the trick.

I wandered over to Pier A where there weren’t too many people out. There were some on the grass and of course there were clusters of cigarette smokers outside the Wylie building. I practiced my repertoire, All My Loving, Instant Karma, Don’t Play That Song.

Tariq showed up but didn’t take his guitar out. He was just hanging, encouraging me to keep playing. I tried Visions of Johanna, Panic by the Smiths, Gangsters and Do Nothing by the Specials, and my tour de force, Hercules by Elton John.

Also trying to figure out and commit to memory, (Love is Like a) Heatwave by Martha and the Vandellas.

I’m trying to get 10 to 15 songs that I know inside out that I can perhaps play for tourists in Central Park. That’s for the warmer weather and also depends on whether or not I have a job.

Once the sun went behind the Wylie building it got a lot cooler out so I just packed up and walked to a bench that was a it sunnier and sat there, staring at the Carnival Miracle luxury liner cruising down the Hudson while I smoked a cigar.

Went to the supermarket, bought juice and picked up Bill’s laundry and dry cleaning. So while the day has been mired in the humdrum I’ve been keeping myself busy. Last night I picked up a CD from the bibliothèque, Big Star .#1 Record / Radio City.

I’ve heard it in bits and pieces over the years but never got my own copy. So the bibliothèque came through and toady I returned that and took out the latest Madness release, The Liberty of Norton Folgate. Both are good CD’s.

I also ordered the latest release from MGMT and Hot Chip as well as a boxed collection of Big Star (which was Alex Chilton’s former group). Promises to be another quiet night, not much going on. Comedy on NBC which is something to look forward to.

That’s about it on this end, how are things on your end? I know besides Harpy and Annemarie responding it’s unlikely anyone else will.

Friggin’ lurkers.

ambivalance

ambivalance


a sunny ambivalance

a sunny ambivalance


Hold On Tight

It’s been a busy day somewhat for me today. Not as busy as yesterday and not as much fun either. Today was an interview. Didn’t get too worked up about it and was able to prepare for it at a casual pace. Got my resumes, my references and my photo ID together.

Dropped off a suit on Monday to get pressed and patched up as well as a shirt that needed a patch. Well the patch on the shirt was a bad idea, not because of the tear in the shirt, but rather because it’s a French cuff shirt and the cuff was frayed somewhat.

A letdown of sorts but luckily for me I have a few other shirts to wear. I had hoped to print out a few copies of my resume and references on Bill’s computer but it wasn’t working at all. This turns out to be the reason why Bill punched his computer a few weeks ago.

It was completely not working today. I had a Plan B lined up though. After getting suited up and polishing my shoes I headed up to Washington Street and walked to a store called The Office. Computer access and printing can be done there.

I re-did the references on Google Documents so all I would have to do was log in at The Office. I was assigned the third computer on the right and since there were 5 computers on the right I picked the one in the middle which made sense.

Logged into Google and into Documents and tried to print out a few copies. Nothing came out, not even the window for printing. It was about 1:50 and my interview was at 3:00. I walked up to the counter where I couldn’t find any help.

Finally the guy who assigned the computer to me came in after loading the parking meter with quarters. He had me log onto the computer at the counter which I did and explained to him I only needed 5 copies. What color? What paper stock? Black & white and plain paper.

Tried to use the copier in the store to make some copies of my resume as well. Now you need to purchase a card to use the copier and my dollar bill kept getting rejected. They made the copies behind the counter and altogether it cost me $1.40, but cost me more in aggravation.

I mentioned my experience with The Office with Rand who invited me to come over and do the stuff at his apartment but it was too late. Rand knew all about the way the Office is set up.

I did give myself enough time to be early for the interview and was soon on a Path train to the World Trade Center station at 2:25. Luckily for me the office where I was interviewing was a block away from the station.

The security desk in the street lobby gave me my pass as well as his story about how is ankle was all fucked up. All the security guys have fucked up ankles from working in the lobby of the former AT&T building.

I waited upstairs and Joan eventually came out. It was a good interview with Joan. Nice woman, told me about her father’s passing a few months ago. He had Alzheimer’s. After about 20 minutes with Joan I was introduced to Elaine.

The three of us sat in the interview room and I think I answered all the questions correctly, telling them the truth and what they wanted to hear, which turned out to be the truth. I think the interview went well. Maybe even a home run.

Of course they have other people they have to meet. I shook their hands and told them I hope to hear from them.

Walked around downtown for a little while, bought a La Flor Dominicana cigar at Barclay Rex and talked to a couple of other cigar smokers.

Then a short walk back to the Path train. I think the whole afternoon went well.

Game face.

Game face.

Hold Your Head Up

Back from a lovely day spent with Juan in Manhattan. Specifically the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was in town on a school thing, bus transportation arranged by his school.

I got a call from Juan as he was headed up north on the Turnpike. Most everyone on the bus were enthralled with the Lincoln Tunnel helix and the view but Juan grew up around here and for him it was nothing resembling awe inspiring.

He called and I decided to get it together and forgo my daily routine. Got my stuff ready and headed into the city via bus. Walked over to Grand Central, one step ahead of the rain, literally. Lucked out and hopped on a 5 express train to 86th Street.

Missed most of the rain while traveling underground and walked over to 5th Avenue and walked to the museum with Juan waiting in the lobby.

Paid $2.00 to get in. Not as snooty as has been in the past. The suggested donation is $20.00 but you can basically pay what you wish. With all the school trips and tourists I’m sure my $2.00 donation was offset somewhat by the full price paid by others.

The Met is a cool museum. For the longest time I didn’t much care for it, but I think it depended on who I went with. I’ve been there with Bill and with Pedro and both were good times, but Juan made for a perfect companion today. Also had a moment at the Met 30 years ago, but it’s quite tawdry and I won’t get into here.

We wandered around through Egyptian and Byzantine winds, past the Sub Continent and some of the deities worshiped therein.

Juan and I wound up in the Picasso exhibition which just opened a few weeks ago I think. It was crazy crowded and I remarked that if I were to come back to see this exhibit, it would likely be early when the museum just opened.

Went out for a break in Central Park which was breezy and sunny. Lot’s of catching up with Juan as a jazz cigarette wafted through the open air.

We walked back in had some lunch after that in the Met’s cafeteria. A bit pricey but had a nice salad and a Viennese Iced Coffee. More art to check out, religious figures and myths.

We decided to head out after that, Juan wanting to visit Urban Outfitters. He looked one up on his Blackberry and we opted to walk down to 60th Street and Third Avenue. He found a nice shirt and I found some nice things too.

Alas Juan is working and could afford things, I can only gaze. It’s not too bad as I do have enough clothes anyhow.

We walked down to the Path train after that, me stopping in a newsstand to see if the new Mojo or Uncut magazines were on the stands yet, Juan stopping into H&M.

I waited outside and chatted with Bill on the phone who had a surreal experience at work. Bill was helping out another attorney earlier in the day and the attorney mentioned that he knew another William Vila back in the day.

Bill asked how, and the attorney mentioned it was when he lived in Spanish Harlem in the 1950’s, where Bill’s father used to live. With a few more questions from Bill, it turned out that Bill’s father had done the attorney’s wedding invitations in the 1950’s.

Bill also asked what did William Vila look like and the attorney basically described his father. He also said that judging by the looks of Bill, his father did a fine job. I can’t help but agree with that.

Now, the sun is setting, Juan is here hanging out before he heads back to Union City to see his folks. That’s about it, I’m tried from all that walking.

I had a great time with Juan today. I miss him being around all the time, but then again, he has a life.

4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 005
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 010
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 007
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 012
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 016

The Smokers

The Smokers


4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 024
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 026
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 027
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 033
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 036
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 039
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 037
4.27.10 Metropolitan Museum of Art 038

Hold Back Time

Another Monday it seems. More rain. Gray gray day. Not much reason to go out except for bread and now that that’s done I have no reason to go out again.

Watched the Pacific again which was probably the most intense it’s been so far. And Treme was good too, just not as good as The Pacific. Thanks to the melatonin, no laying in bed thinking about how grenades work.

Bill had rehearsal for a play and didn’t get home until late. I stayed up until he came home and then went to bed. By the time Bill went to bed I was fast asleep. I love me my melatonin.

Haven’t seen or heard from anyone today except a phone call with Bill earlier and emails from my sister. Some Facebook postings and comments as well.

Sent out some resumes once again, hoping for the best and disregarding some requirements. I mean, really, anyone can be a brain surgeon, right? Why not me? Dropped off a suit at the dry cleaners also for some mending and pressing.

For the first time in weeks I have nothing out of the bibliothèque.

Nothing I ordered has come in, and once again an item I asked for, the DVD of Black Dynamite has been deemed too recent to order via BCCLS.org. It’s been a while since I first asked for it, and here we are weeks later being told it’s still too new. I don’t mind, I can wait.

I’ve waited this long and a few more weeks won’t kill me.

I watched the Graduate the other night. It wasn’t as good as I remembered. It had it’s moments but overall it couldn’t be called timeless. I wasn’t the generation it was aimed for so maybe that’s why I missed the boat.

But I used to enjoy watching it a number of years ago. Now, it was just something to watch while killing time.

MGMT were on Saturday Night Live the other night, and I thought they were better than expected. Any song that references Brian Eno is alright by me. Gabourey Sidibe was the guest host and she was funnier than I expected as well.

Still the rain falls.

Laundry is done and hanging in the kitchen and the rest room. Also grilled up some chicken so it’s penne, pesto and chicken tonight for me. I’m looking forward to that.

That’s the type of day it’s been. Shopping for bread, doing laundry, grilling chicken and watching the rain fall down. It’s supposed to let up on Wednesday so I am hoping Wednesday will be a good day.

Not expecting too much besides that. Right now watching Analyze That which is the sequel to Analyze This. The first one was so so and this one is even less so.

I do recall having dinner with Miriam, Suzanne Savage and some colleagues at Arista Records 12 years (?) ago at a restaurant named Gabriel’s on west 59th Street. At the next table was Harold Ramis, Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro in conversation regarding Analyze This.

It was a big thrill then, much better than the picture that was made.

Clean Shaven Me!

Clean Shaven Me!

It’s Up to You

Another lazy day, this time with drizzle!

Wrestling with the prospect of writing and deciding not to, and then eventually finding myself at the keyboard, writing. It’s a nasty habit and you would be ill advised to involve yourself with ink stained wretches like myself.

There’s really no excuse for it. It could have started and usually does, when I don’t have something to read, so instead I just make something else to read. For my own enjoyment. It used to be I’d write something and then squirrel it away never to be seen again.

There are a few notebooks, sometimes fueled by chemicals, alcohol or whatever might have been handy. But that was then and I named names as well as substances and locations.

I don’t do that anymore, names are changed, locations are described in a vague manner and rarely are substances ingested.

I have gone out once today. Too damp, too cold for me. Just mainly staying in. No reason to go out you see.

And I only went out to get some coffee at Dunkin Donuts. They have a sale on pounds of coffee and they’re way cheaper than Empire Coffee. I do like Empire Coffee but rarely go there anymore. I like to support the local businesses but when something is on sale you just can’t let it slip by.

And maybe there’s a smidgen of resentment since I wasn’t hired to work there when they had a help wanted sign in their window. And it’s just a smidgen anyhow.

Bill came home this morning as expected, after driving to and from Atlantic City. I did take a melatonin tablet last night which aided with sleep and definitely doesn’t lend itself to getting up early. Bill was watching Lawn Hors d’œuvre and I shuffled on past on my way to the shower.

What actually got me out of bed was the realization that I would have to head out to buy some coffee. I knew that yesterday but forgot all about it until this morning. So after a reheated cup from what was left in the pot from yesterday I felt steeled enough to go outside.

And it was raining and I had no umbrella and wasn’t about to climb four flights of steps again. It wasn’t raining too hard, just a steady drizzle. After buying the newspaper I came home and it’s where I’ve been all day, and perhaps will be here until tomorrow.

It’s certainly cheaper to stay home and do nothing rather than go out and spending money. The Pacific & Treme are on tonight and so I will more than likely watch both.

Right now I am watching John Jacob Niles and Odetta in a Folk Music Arm Wrestling series from 1959. My money would have been on Odetta, but John Jacob Niles had proven himself to be quite the formidable opponent.

Times were certainly different then. Or perhaps the era was different and the times remain the same.
Or they’re a changing. It’s up to you.

Napping Bill

Napping Bill


Rip It Up

Yet another day where I find myself not wanting to write, but compelled to do so. I have a few threads that I could possibly make something out of. It could be a stretch, it could be patchwork. It could be a rhyme and it could be without reason.

Last night had dinner with Julio & Stine for Alexander’s birthday. Some kind of bratwurst, potatoes salad, chicken salad, homemade rye bread and salad with some wine and home made birthday cake.

We sang Happy Birthday to Alexander who shouted ‘No! No!’ throughout. I brought my guitar and strummed a bit, but Alexander didn’t care, not when there were crayons and Thomas the Tank Engine and friends to draw all of his attention. Julio and Stine appreciated it though.

I thought the wine buzz would be enough to make for a restful sleep but that was not to be. I didn’t take a melatonin before sleep and therefore didn’t sleep all that well.

For some reason I decided not to go into the kitchen and take one, so stubborn I was with myself. Lot’s of tossing and turning and in the midst of that I jacked up my knee a bit. Just made for some difficulty when I walked.

The whole ‘something’s not right with that knee’ feeling.

I did go out and play guitar today, played some Specials songs, naturally. Do Nothing and Gangsters. As expected no one paid much attention, but some drunkards settled in at the next bench. They really enjoyed my playing and would applaud after each song.

Then they would bicker and one would walk away. Then he would come back and sit. Eventually the two of them walked away for a while then came back and sat further away. When I was done playing I walked past them and they both commented that I was a good guitar player.

Then they bickered again.

I went to the supermarket, I was out of Stevia which I got as well as some Ramen noodles for the homeless shelter that was doing a collection outside the supermarket. Bought them some lentils too.

Came home to wake Bill up so he could get ready to drive down to Atlantic City again and found him awake and getting his act together.

Played some more guitar and watched Bewitched which is really a terrible show, or rather was a terrible show. Canned laughter! I’ll have a double, better make that a triple! Haw haw! Everybody drink and drive!

I couldn’t help but remember something from National Lampoon, a comic where Samantha and her mother are having sex with demons. Edna Kravitz, the nosy neighbor has her eyes burned out while spying on Samantha and her coven.

The comic ended with Samantha and Endora being burned at the stake, Endora spewing forth profanity at everyone involved.

Now that was funny.

No plans to do anything tonight. I did think about seeing A Hard Day’s Night at the Loews in Journal Square with Chaz and Andy but opting to stay home once again. Perhaps a walk later on.

Anything but writing.
Please.

one half of my audience

one half of my audience


54-46 (That’s My Number)

Still buzzing from Wednesday night’s Special’s concert. Not surprising though, I had been waiting 30 years to see them and I definitely had a smashing time at the show.

Just reliving the event for a few minutes via You Tube was a thrill. All I’ve been listening to for the past 48 hours have been the Specials in all their incarnations. Neighbors haven’t complained.

Below me is a vacant apartment and Mike & Nicole have been away for the past few months taking care of Mike’s mom. I will have to bide my time until August 22 when the Specials play Summerstage. If it’s a free show I will be inside the play field. If not, I will more than likely be on the rock.

Today is Alexander’s birthday. He’s now 2 years old. I just saw him and Stine in the hallway. He’s even more adorable than last time. A few high fives, a kiss and a few bye byes. I’m having dinner with Stine, Alexander and Julio in a little while.

I bought a soft globe for Alexander for his birthday at Big Fun on Washington Street. They were helpful. I asked for toys for 2 year old boys and they found a few that were nicely priced. I decided to go for a quiet toy rather than a noisy toy.

Best for all concerned I think.

It’s been a beautiful day today. Yesterday I did attempt to go play by the river but after playing Do Nothing by the Specials a few rain drops fell and I sought some cover. It did eventually relent but then everything was wet so I headed home. And that’s how it’s been.

There were a flurry of job listings last week, most of which I applied for. Lately, not so much. And of course, there’s been no responses. Even sent a ‘Hello’ email to Greg Stevens, just checking in to which no reply has been received yet. No worries yet. I’ll give him a call on Monday.

Now I’m just killing time before heading downstairs for dinner, enjoying a cigar while I am at it. Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight so he won’t be back until tomorrow morning.

I’ve been sleeping better. Been taking melatonin at night before I sleep and I’m definitely more relaxed than I’ve been. Maybe it’s actually working, maybe it’s mind over matter. Either way I can sleep restfully.

Didn’t need to take it on Wednesday since I did walk up from 42nd and 8th Avenue to 56th Street and 12th Avenue, then standing around and dancing for a few hours, a ride to 34th and 9th from Miriam and a walk over to 32nd and 6th and finally a walk home did me in pretty much that night.

But last night I did take it and felt pretty good. Sometimes messages still get through my mind as I try to sleep but I don’t dwell on them.

Perhaps after I watch the Pacific & Treme on Sunday night I’ll be able to sleep without thinking about how hand grenades work or the catastrophe that Katrina wrought.

You can be sure I will let you know.

1-2!

1-2!


Hey Little Rich Girl

Well here I am about 24 hours later. I saw the Specials. After 30 years of waiting, seeing a different version of the Specials, seeing a version of their label mates The Selecter, I finally got it together, got a ticket and I was there.

I was anxious of course. After I wrote here, I slowly got myself together. Phat Farm suit with a few errant threads, a seed hole in the pants, wear and tear on the crotch area took it out of being an office suit and is now the rock and roll suit.

Played tag with Miriam on the cellphone as I waited for the bus, finishing up a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700. It had rained a bit and I brought my umbrella. There was no need since it never rained again last night. But still I didn’t want to arrive all soggy.

Texted Miriam as well as pseudonym as I was on the bus. Pleasantly uneventful sight. Couldn’t tell if I was being cruised by an Indian fellow or he was merely entranced by my thick and thin white over the calf socks.

I went all out with my Rude Boy look, but did not wear a pork pie hat. As I walked up 9th Avenue from the bus terminal I could spot a few other concert goers by the checkerboard patterns they were wearing. Miriam had an extra ticket and she was looking to sell it.

Pseudonym texted me that she was parking in a garage across the street from the venue, Terminal 5. I met up with Miriam and we drove around looking for a spot where we found one a few blocks away. I should have left the umbrella in the car but didn’t.

Pseudonym was inside already while Miriam scalped a scalper outside Terminal 5. He was about to make a sale, selling a ticket for $50.00 when Miriam undercut him and sold it for face value, $30.00.

We made it inside and got on line for some beer when Pseudonym showed up and told us it was less crowded at the back bar. It was a bit less crowded as Miriam bought us all a drink. Pseudonym was a trip to be around. “I got tickets to see PiL and Buzzcocks” she remarked. I was nonplussed.

I remarked at how warm it was inside with me wearing a suit & tie and all the bodies that were filling in which caused her to call me, ‘Saporito’. Yes, anyone who sweats, any mammal will get that name in her eyes.

Pseudonym wandered off saying that she was going to stand by a wall where she usually stands and Miriam and I got another round. We headed in the direction of the wall that Pseudonym was talking about when midway we found an excellent spot.

The DJ was playing some old school roots reggae and Miriam were grooving on it when all of a sudden the lights went down and the Special logo appeared onstage, causing a lot of whooping and hollering.

They opened with Do The Dog and immediately went into Dawning of a New Era. Screaming and dancing all around.

I looked around and felt I was a part of something. Some of us in the crowd probably bought the albums when they first came out years ago and now here we all were, singing along to every song, dancing as much as space would allow.

These were my 2 Tone brothers and sisters. Skinheads, rude boys, wool hat types, mods, rockers, punks, hippies and average folk (including Miriam, mother of 2) all getting along and having fun.

Once in a while a behemoth of a skinhead would surge through the crowd, trying to get to the stage and I would sweep Miriam out of the way, making sure she wouldn’t get trampled. No harm intended just a big guy followed by littler guys but barreling through.

Song after song came out. Terry Hall lead singer who’s recently gone on record about his battles with depression and he didn’t look like he was having a good time. He never did before though. At one point, during the song Nite Klub he sang his parts behind a pillar and eventually sitting on the steps behind the pillar.

Then he went off stage and when he came back, had an armful of bottled water which he handed out to the thirsty punters up front.

Every song was a singalong. My friend Andy who went the night before was absolutely spot on when he said the crowd went apeshit. They certainly did.

I did keep an eye out for Pseudonym but she went missing in action. I asked her earlier if she would give me a ride back to Hoboken, just 15 minutes out of her way but she was determined to get out of there as soon as possible, out of Manhattan and onto the George Washington Bridge to Hackensack.

Miriam was kind enough to drive me close to the Path train before she headed up to Westchester. I can only guess Pseudonym got out alright since she was nowhere to be seen nor did she try to contact me on the cellphone.

Didn’t matter though, Miriam and I had a great time, singing and dancing, no negativity around. Even walking the streets looking to get some water after the show was nice, looking at the other concert goers with the same blissful faces that we had.

3000 people singing along to songs they hold dear. Truly a wonderful evening. Special indeed. Miss ya Jerry!

I will definitely be there on Sunday August 22 at Summerstage when the Specials are scheduled to do a free show.

1-2!
much better pics at Brooklyn Vegan:
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2010/04/the_specials_pl_2.html

Neville, Horace, Terry, John, Lynval and Roddy (Missing Jerry)

Neville, Horace, Terry, John, Lynval and Roddy (Missing Jerry)


Miriam!

Miriam!


Behind that pillar, Terry Hall

Behind that pillar, Terry Hall


4.21.10 Specials Night LFD DL 700 002
4.21.10 Specials Night LFD DL 700 004
4.21.10 Specials Night LFD DL 700 005
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4.21.10 Specials Night LFD DL 700 012
4.21.10 Specials Night LFD DL 700 008
Roddy & Neville watching Terry hand out bottles of water to the crowd up front

Roddy & Neville watching Terry hand out bottles of water to the crowd up front

Touch 2 Feel

Well today’s the day I’ve been waiting for. Tonight’s the night. The Specials at Terminal 5. Never had a chance to see the original lineup 30 years ago.

Like with the Clash I always said, ‘I’ll see them next time.’ Then they broke up and then it was with regards to Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros ‘I’ll see them next time’ then Joe up and died.

Now technically it’s not the Specials since founding member Jerry Dammers has not been asked to join the group. Jerry who directed and wrote most of their songs did not want a Specials reunion to be a nostalgia trip.

Jerry’s songs 30 years ago were topical, dealing with nuclear war, Margaret Thatcher and Racism and Jerry had hoped to continue moving in that direction with the band. The band decided not to go that way and decided to go the nostalgia route.

I’m of two minds on this.

I definitely agree with Jerry Dammers, but I have never seen most of the Specials live and this is my opportunity. They’re also scheduled for a free show at Summerstage on August 22 this summer but I found that out after I bought my ticket. Ideally, I would love it if Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra would make it to the states, but it seems unlikely.

I’m excited and I’m anxious for tonight. So much so that I almost didn’t leave the apartment at all today. I did eventually head out and it was beautiful. Sat by the river and read the paper and enjoyed a cigar.
Tonight at Terminal 5 I’m meeting two friends , Miriam and Susan.

I saw a version of the Specials in the 1990’s with Miriam and Susan at Roseland I think. No Terry Hall in the band, just a roomful of guys singing as close to the adenoidal tones as possible to recreate Terry Hall’s style. I doubt if Susan or Miriam remember each other. They’re arriving separately and hopefully I can get a ride home or to the Path train from one of them.

I even remember the day I bought the Specials first album. More specifically I remember being at the Bergen mall in 1979, waiting for the #44 bus headed home with three albums in the bag from Korvettes. The Pretenders first album, Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric and the Specials fist album.

A little old lady asked me about the music and I don’t remember what I told her. I was more familiar with Wreckless Eric and the Pretenders than I was with the Specials but all three were usually in heavy rotation on WPIX-FM.

And the Specials with their political views, fighting racism, demanding equality and fairness definitely struck a chord with me.

Oddly enough, I didn’t even see the Specials when they were on Saturday Night Live for some reason.

Tonight I am wearing a close approximation of a 2 Tone Rude Boy suit. I’m wearing my Phat Farm suit which has moved from business wear to rock and roll wear due to wear and tear. I also have a thin Ben Sherman tie with tiny Vespa scooters on it and more than likely will be wearing white socks.

Goofy?

Perhaps.

But dudes- I’ve been wanting to do this for 30 bloody years.

Dark clouds are moving in so I’m hoping it won’t be too bad going in. Or let it rain now and get it over with.

Chaz’ pal Andy went last night and he said the band went on around 9:30. No opening act just a DJ which is fine. Andy said the people were super excited. Actually Andy wrote the crowd was absolutely apeshit.

Which will probably sum up how I will be feeling in a few hours.
Hoboken 4.21.10

and from SNL

and beyond…

Specials 2009

Too Tender (To Touch)

Well here I am writing again even though I said I might not. Force of habit I suppose. Today was somewhat different. I got my bicycle together, inflated the tires and went out for a ride.

Lovely day for it. I decided to stay away from the guitar as much as possible today. Just a break. Will return to it fresh tomorrow.

But in honor of Albert Hoffman and his fateful bicycle ride on April 19, I decided to take the bike out for a spin on April 20 (4/20 for some). I rode up Park Avenue, feeling a bit naked since I didn’t have the rear view mirror that I usually strap to my left wrist.

I had a feeling it was somewhere in my backpack and made a note to check it when I had the chance. I found the strapped mirror and put it on. I bought three of these things at Farfetched back in the 1990’s, one for me, for Julio and one for my then roommate William. I know I still have mine.

I rode up to 15th Street and Park Avenue making a right to head into the Lipton Tea Building complex. No one around except for nannies and their charges. Beautiful day, blue skies, a few clouds. Rode along the river past more nannies, past Maxwell Place onto Sinatra Drive.

The skateboarders were out as I rolled past. Decided to head into Jersey City and pedaled over to the train station. Had to walk through the station but once I got back to the light rail station I hopped on and started pedaling again.

Saw a baby blanket on the river walk and asked a few nannies up ahead if they lost a blanket. If they did I would have turned around and picked it up. They said they hadn’t but each nanny thanked me for asking.

I rode along the Newport river walk, past office workers out having a smoke. Found a nice spot across the river from the Winter Garden and sat for a spell, just staring across the river. It was nice and quiet, no one else around, save a guy who decided to take a nap a few yards down.

Back up on the bike, I rode around again, past OfficeTeam when I was interviewed by Omar Castillo back in November and who called me up about a possible job, or a lead in Hoboken. Told him I was interested and sent an email back to see how it went but haven’t heard anything yet.

Perhaps if he Google’s his name he’ll see this. Then again the name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Back up to Hoboken. On te way I bought a banana. In Hoboken at Natural & Plus they usually cost 45¢. On weekends they weigh the banana and will charge you the extra 2¢. From a cart in Jersey City it was 25¢. (I do like Alt 155).

Back through the train station where I bought the Daily News and sat by the river and read the paper, had a banana and smoked a cigar. Even rode the bike down the bike path to see if Tariq was out with his guitar but I guess he was singing ‘Melissa’ across the street from the Plaza Hotel.

Just rode back home after all that and had an earlier supper than usual since I was plenty hungry when I got home.

That’s about it. An easy peasy day.

Tomorrow night is the Specials concert. Have to figure out whom I am meeting and where.
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The bicycle
JOT Bike break
Hoboken 001

Touch Too Much

Today I don’t feel like writing. Mainly it’s from not sleeping well again last night. Cut down on coffee drinking considerably. I should have it together by Wednesday night, when I will go see the Specials.

Played guitar by the river for about 45 minutes. Hardly anyone around and once again it was cool and breezy which is sort of how I feel. You would think it would be a good fit, but no, not really.

Just couldn’t connect with the guitar which happens sometimes. Perhaps a day away from each other should do us both some good. I did relearn two Specials songs, Gangsters and Rat Race. Just the right amount of Norwegians involved.

Of course no one in Hoboken will understand or know the songs but they often don’t understand my covers or recognize them.

Gave up on More Tales of the City and returned it to the bibliothèque along with Gosford Park which I wanted Bill to see but it didn’t seem like it was going to happen anytime soon. Last night I watched the Pacific which left me laying in bed as I tried to sleep, thinking about grenades.

Not exactly the most relaxing thing to think of when you are trying to fall asleep. Also watched Treme, the new series about New Orleans post-Katrina. Also not the funny, relaxing type of entertainment that might help.

Right now I’m watching ‘In the Loop’ a British satire on the events leading up to the Iraq invasion. It’s pretty funny oddly enough.

An hour later I am back here in front of the computer.

Had a nap. No, the naps are not the reason why I can’t sleep at night. The naps are needed since I haven’t been sleeping correctly.

The volcano seem to be getting worse. Stine’s parents were supposed to fly in from Copenhagen this week but it now seems unlikely. According to the NY Daily News, NYC has lost $250 million from the canceled flights and minimal European tourists. And airports on both ends are filled with travelers trying to get home.

Stine was understandably disappointed but what can you do? She told me when we talked on the phone this morning. On the news just now they said the volcanic activity is getting worse and stronger than previously expected.

Which goes to show, no one really knows anything about anything.

Today is Bicycle Day which is named in honor of Albert Hoffman who discovered LSD and felt it’s effects from quite an eventful bicycle ride. I should have gotten the bicycle out and gone for a spin.

Perhaps I’ll do that tomorrow. It’s supposed to be a warmer day and I’ll simply take a day off from guitar playing. Perhaps even from writing.

This is the 1,616 post and I think I’ve earned a day off from writing. Of course I say that now. It’s so ingrained into my daily routine that I will probably find something missing in my life around 6:00.
You’ve been forewarned.
pier a
CompactCassetteLogo

Touching Me, Touching You

Just woke up from a nap. Set the cellphone alarm for an hour, only a half hour was needed. I did try to sleep some more but my mind wasn’t having it.

Woke up thinking of Maggie Alexandre. She was the inhuman resources director at Wanker Banker. She claimed to be at the Human Be-In in San Francisco during the summer of love back in 1967 but I have my doubts about that.

The thing that stuck in my mind was the fact that she was responsible for the hiring of some rotten lying conniving office manager and when it was revealed that the person she hired was such a beast the only thing old Maggie could do is try to get me fired.

I know it’s old news but for some reason the hunchbacked crone known as Maggie Alexandre seeped into my consciousness like so much ergot fungi. Maybe it’s because she reminds me of the natural gas spokeswoman for the energy today website.

Today has been an alright day. Went and played guitar for a few hours by the river. Tariq was there, after a few cocktails. It was a bit chilly and he claimed to have been strumming since around 11:30. I didn’t show up until 2:00 and by that time he wasn’t strumming much.

He did try to follow me on a few songs but gave up after a couple of strums and spaced out a bit. He did offer to show me how to play some grunge, and I knew what he meant when he said grunge.

Pearl Jam. A soulless band full of testosterone. I put my foot down and instead played Twist & Shout. He’s getting into the habit of repeating stories that he told me a few days previously and when I tell him he told me that already he merely says, ‘Oh yeah, I forgot that I saw you.’

Still he’s a nice guy. He likes to drink and always has an eye out for the ladles.

It was a bit cooler than it’s been the past week and a lot breezier. I stretched my arms and fingers and neck before and during playing but it was a might bit too chilly. Tariq also talked about building up a set list for playing on the street.

He’s been busking longer than I have and always brings up his friend Steve as a human jukebox. He plays with Steve at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel where they supposedly make good money playing for the tourists.

Steve is also the guy I saw playing with Tariq singing Melissa by the Allman Brothers a few weeks ago. That is when I realized that I didn’t want to play the songs that everyone else plays. I’d rather play Instant Karma and Love Shack.

In the back of my mind I see myself playing at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue. Perhaps if the weather gets warmer and I am still looking for work, that is what I’ll do. I actually envisioned that a year or so ago, before I ever started playing my guitar outside.

This week promises to be a better week weather wise and will provide some opportunities to go out and play by the river once again.

Last night I watched all of the first season of Tales of the City. Still as charming as I remembered. I put in the first disc of More Tales of the City. It was a bit of a let down.

Some cast members did not return and the ones that replaced the originals in my eyes didn’t make the cut. I only watched the first episode of the second set so maybe it gets better. I think

Bill wants to check it out so I’ll hang onto it for as long as I can.
JOTTTTTTTTTT

Touch Me

Watching Tales of the City on a blue gray Saturday afternoon. Endearing. I have the first series which was on PBS and the next series, More Tales of the City w3hich was on Showtime after PBS got cold feet.

It was odd because the first series was a big smash ratings wise but the timing was bad since it was around the time Newt Gingrich and company started attacking Public Television and the NEA. And from there it went to Showtime where it did well enough.

I didn’t have cable then and never saw the succeeding episodes. But I’m reviewing the first series and forgot that Syd Straw, Country Joe, Mimi Farina, Parker Posey all pass through. Olympia Dukakis is excellent as is Laura Linney and Chloe Webb et al.

Today is also Record Store Day. I usually visit the local store here in town every now and then. I was there the other day and picked up some good used CD’s a really cheap prices. Today being Record Store Day it was a bit more crowded with guys like me, they’re just wider, balder, sometimes hairier and more often than not, straighter in most every sense of the word.

But I do like the whole aspect of buying a CD, and I really like paying $1.99 for it, Pretenders- The Isle of You. But I think, and I could be wrong, but I think they jacked up the prices of items because it was Record Store Day.

That would be tacky, but having been there the other day I don’t recall things being what they were today. I lucked out and snagged a CD of Lene Lovich, Lucky Number, a best of compilation. I probably could have picked it up for $3.99 the other day.

I’ve always liked her, a special place in my heart for Lene Lovich. I did see her at the Meadowbrook in 1982 and she was electrifying. I was going to head into the Village to check out the Budos Band at Generation Records, but the weather is crappy.

Last night I did head out in a rainstorm and walked up to Maxwells where I saw Glass Trees, the band my friend Chris Repella is in. Rand was there and Roda was managing the place. Glass Trees were pretty good, though Rand and I both preferred the instrumentals to the songs with vocals.

The instrumentals were other worldly whereas the songs with vocals brought the back room back to Earth. They reminded me of My Bloody Valentine and Neu!. Chris was a regular Brian Eno on the synthesizer.

Rand had seen them before and they were accompanied by some visuals. Not last night though. I would have focused on the noisy instrumentals rather than the vocal songs which killed whatever momentum existed from the previous song.

For the past week, Monday through Friday I had 239 visits from 140 cities around the world. From New York City to Winchester, Arcata to Zagreb. Edinburgh to Xuzhou. I think that’s impressive. Some of the visits were just a glance, lasting less than a minute. Some were sent via Google word or name searches and some were return visits.

Still no one in Hoboken reads it. I have no problem with that. In fact I might prefer it that way.

Glass Trees

Glass Trees


Glass Trees

Glass Trees


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A Double Doodle

A Double Doodle


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Photo-0124

Touch

It’s a bit cooler out today. Not necessarily attitude wise but temperature wise. As in degrees, meaning °. Gray skies, supposed to rain the next couple of days.

I took Tales of the City on DVD from the bibliothèque. In a strange way, I was hoping to use this blog the way Armistead Maupin used his San Francisco newspaper column to create the characters of Barbary Lane.

I loved the mini series when it was on PBS. I was living on Jane Street in Weehawken when it was originally broadcast. Such happy times on occasion there and I sometimes thought that there was the potential for the Jane Street residents to live a life akin to Tales from the City.

We were interesting enough and creative enough. The landlady’s daughter working for Penthouse magazine, her undiagnosed Autistic brother being a mail room drone downtown somewhere. There was me and William, he being super creative, me working in the music studios and People magazine.

Could have been something. But I moved out (after 11 years) and within a year later William, his brother Chaz and Chaz wife Kathe, all tossed out when the landlords, Ms Penthouse and Mr Autistic decided to sell without even offering it to William or Chaz who would have bought it.

I could still write about that place, and with the passage of time I could make it a semi fictional account which would have been my original modus operandi.

I did wander around Hoboken for a while and ran in Tariq who did not win the lottery. Living his life the way he sees fit, the temperatures were in the 60-70° range, today being around 50° he decides to come out.

I showed him 2 new songs, Instant Karma and Don’t Play that Song and he was impressed. But it was cold and he wound up walking me towards the library before he headed off to his girlfriend’s studio.

Tonight I plan on going to Maxwells (yes Maxwells. I am being nice) to see Chris Repella’s band Glass Trees. They played last month in Jersey City, but Maxwells is so much closer.

And they’re going on between 9:30 and 10:00 so that means I will be home at a decent hour. Plus I’ve never seen Chris play, even though she’s been in a few East Village/Pyramid Club bands. So it should be nice to get out and about.

Tomorrow is Record Store Day so go out and pay your local record store a visit. I went to Tunes this week where I bought the Pretenders The Isle of View CD for $1.99. Sort of The Pretenders Unplugged.

And tomorrow I am planning on going to Thompson Street to see the Budos Band play a set at a local record store,.Generation Records which I think is between West 3rd and Bleecker St at 2:00PM. Of course it will depend on the weather.

For now, for me, it’s all about the laundry.

Bill is driving to Atlantic City this weekend, so he’s happy and I’m happy. So it’s all good.

Instant Karma

What a difference a day makes. 24 little hours. Yesterday I went out to play guitar and it didn’t go as well as usual. Just couldn’t connect. Everything was a bit off with my playing.

Frustrated was the operative word. After 90 minutes I gave up and came home.

Today I was out for over 2 hours and it went well. I was very comfortable playing ‘Don’t Play That Song’ by Aretha Franklin. Mainly the verses, not so much the break. Would have been fun if there was someone to sing with but there wasn’t.

No sign of Tariq this week either. Guess he won the lottery. Shirley Jackson anyone?

I also played Instant Karma and Blue Moon of Kentucky. I was a hit with a few toddlers and made myself a buck. Also made the acquaintance of the drunken Angel who tried to accompany me on harmonica. He insisted he was more of a drummer and had only been playing the harmonica for a month now.

Quite a few men walking around smoking cigars too.

And Bill’s mood had greatly improved from the night before. He came home and said he was feeling a lot better than the previous evening. He was much more pleasant to be around. Things had definitely turned around for him somewhat. We all have our days like that. I know I have.

He was puttering about while I watched Modern Family & Cougartown. He asked me to record Ugly Betty while he went and worked on his computer. I asked that he didn’t beat up the Mac like he did the other night.

And Ugly Betty was sweet. A nice series finale. All loose ends tied up. Betty was a stunner with her braces off and everyone made nice at the end. Sad to see it go, even I lost interest when ABC moved the around over and over.

When I realized it was going to end I made sure to catch the remaining episodes. Justin coming out of the closet was sweet last week, incredibly well done, funny and touching. Of course the week before I applauded when he kissed Austin, the boy he liked.

Betty moved on, taking a job in London. She didn’t make it with Daniel, but he did follow her to London, leaving Mode magazine in the hands of Wilhelmina. It all ended happily ever after. Bill was up late doing whatever it was he was doing.

He went to sleep and wore his sleep apnea mask which while nice was making the sound of mewling kittens. The air escaping through the gel seal between his face and the mask. Kept me up and I even pleaded with him to take the mask off.

After a half hour I finally fell asleep. He was gone this morning, leaving me with a good bye kiss. He called earlier, I think he figured out that I wasn’t about to call him. Not going to take the chance of him having a bad day at work.

Plus I really didn’t have anything to say, so that would be a waste of time for the both of us. Just playing it safe.
4.13.10 Hoboken folks 003
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guitar

pre haircut

pre haircut

Behind Blue Eyes

Well last night was discomfiting somewhat. Hadn’t had a night like that in a long time. After I posted I settled down (settled down means moving the swivel chair from the right to the left) and watched TV. Lost was on and I was looking forward to it.

Harpy called before 9:00, usual rants, usual tirades. You can set you watch by Harpy sometimes. The time would be incorrect but you could try. I had one eye on the clock when 9:00 approached. At 9:01, I had to ask, ‘Why am I still talking to you? Lost is on’ Harpy said good bye and hung up.

I recorded the show and was able to rewind back to the beginning. Very good episode, Hugo centric. The series is starting to come together as it creeps towards the finale.

Bill was in an awful mood. I spoke to him exactly twice yesterday on the phone and I knew that he was pretty much rotten. The first time I called was to tell him that I heard from a recruiter about a job that is very close by. He wasn’t too impressed or encouraging.

I also asked him if he knew where my black suit jacket might be. I noticed it missing on Monday, and sometimes Bill takes my stuff to be cleaned at the dry cleaners which is very nice. He didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t taken anything to the cleaners.

I hadn’t heard anything since about the job either. Still my spirits rose somewhat.

The day progressed, went to the Soviet bloc building and had my little pas de deux there and called up Bill again to let him know that I got the certificate. Remarkably nonplussed.

He has a lot of work, his boss was going to the home opener at Yankee stadium and people who ordered tickets backed out at the last minute leaving Bill with more work that he needed to deal with. And then there were my two phone calls which were probably the icing on the cake.

Bill comes home with 15 minutes left in Lost. At the commercial break I ask him how he was, how did his rehearsal go. Bill grunted. I asked if it was anything I did and he said no, then he said yes. He asked if I really needed to call him about my suit jacket?

As calm as that might read he was smoldering in the manner in which it was said.

I reminded him that I called to share some good news about a possible job lead and I asked if he dropped off my suit jacket. He said he would have told me if he did. I tell him that he would have told me that he did if he was asking me to pick up his dry cleaning. Sort of like an enticement- ‘Your shirts are at the cleaners with mine, could you pick them up? They’re paid for.’

I actually said I was sorry for trying to share some possibly good news, but I really wasn’t sorry. And I brought up the other call about the Civil Union certificate. That was it. Both calls lasted about 4 minutes total.

I explained my side and he was silent and went into the room where his Mac is. After Lost I put on Lawn hors-d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent figuring that Bill might enjoy that somewhat now that Jeff ‘Chestnut Brown’ Goldblum is now the regular detective. As far as I know, Bill didn’t notice.

Midway through the show I hear a bang and I yell ‘is everything alright?’ I didn’t get any response so I walk in there and see Bill’s Mac screen on it’s side. Turns out it didn’t behave the way Bill wanted it to so he punched it.

I walked away and he punched it again. He enjoyed it. I think perhaps Bill is in a constant struggle to suppress the rage that he feels all the time and this is a way for him to deal with it. Better the Mac than me or anyone else I suppose.

He took a Fukitall and a little while later came out and explained the day he had.

Crap. It was all crap. And on top of that, more crap. I listened and didn’t say anything. It had been two hours since he came home and finally he unloaded.

Then he comes up to me with a dark suit jacket and asked if this was the jacket I was talking about. It was navy blue, the jacket I was looking for was black. The navy blue is what I wore instead.

I tell him it’s about 10 years old, a Today’s Man jacket. He shows me the jacket that he’s worn to work the past two days. A black Today’s Man jacket. It doesn’t fit him, yet still he wore it.

He insisted it was his, until I reached into the inside pocket and pulled out a receipt from Sunday when I last wore it. He wondered where his dark jacket was and I opened the closet and pulled out his jacket. Almost the same but his has metal buttons. I loathe metal buttons.

Ah, love. Can’t always be sunshine and rainbows, can it?

Previously on LOST

Previously on LOST


Me having a nap and looking like a Powers.

Me having a nap and looking like a Powers.


My niece in Ireland a week or so again...

My niece in Ireland a week or so again...

O Solo Mio

It’s a dismal Tuesday, I did my best to make it less dismal but despite my best efforts it’s all fallen by the wayside. I can only guess this is how it is in Bala Cynwyd, day after bleedin’ day.

Been gray at times, then it was sunny with blue skies. Then a few drops of rain would appear. Too windy and nippy to play guitar by the river.

I ran into Tony, my barber at Mr. L’s. He saw me carrying my guitar the other day and told me it would be a good way to make some money, playing in restaurants.

He’s from Italy and told me his favorite place in Italy is Naples. He doesn’t like Rome. And the thing he likes about Naples is the fact that there is music everywhere. Old timey Italian music that is. I doubt if their playing the Beatles or Talking Heads.

Maybe they are. Maybe I should hot foot it to Naples.

I saw Tony on my way to the Soviet bloc building in Hoboken. I had called a few times to inquire about the Civil Union certificate. Left voice mail which went un-returned. Nice hours they have. 9AM to 3:30PM with an hour off for lunch.

A job for life it is, especially when they got the job because they knew someone at City Hall. That’s how Hoboken used to run until recently and probably still is. I finally did get through and showed up. I brought my passport as my identification figuring it would be enough.

At the bulletproof glass they asked for a driver’s license. I live in Hoboken and don’t need a car to get around. Then again, these are the types that work four blocks away and drive to work.

I mentioned that no one said on the phone that I would need 2 forms of identification and they merely replied, ‘well you probably didn’t ask’.

Touché.

I did have a feeling that might happen and resigned myself to the fact that I might have to go through all this tomorrow. But I did look in my wallet and found my Voter Identification Card which was good enough with the Passport.

Paid them $10.00 and they gave me an embossed document. I bet they pocketed the $10.00 once I left.

Wandered around Hoboken for a while after that. Spoke with Bill and told him we were now legit. He seemed annoyed. I mentioned now we can get divorced. He said ‘that’s good’. Maybe we’re both getting on each others nerves as it sometimes happens. Maybe our cycles are in sync.

On my way home I ran into barber Tony so I decided to get my hair cut. A trim. Give it some shape. My hair is so bloody thick that I sweat a lot. Some people would say I had a thick skull but it’s really the hair.

It’s a good idea I think, to look snappy whenever possible. You never know when a job interview might be happening. Tony certainly agreed.

I really tower over him, which in the eight years he’s been cutting my hair, I never really noticed. I have maybe a little over two feet on him, which means the barber chair gets lowered greatly.

And I also have to say I am simply thrilled that Chris Frantz from Talking Heads (and Tom Tom Club) is my Facebook friend. He comments on my videos from time to time and I think it’s so great.

I mean, who cares if he writes, ‘What the fuck do you know about anything? John Ozed, you’re an idiot!’ *
Chris Frantz ladies and gentlemen!

Dog owners now put their dog shit in bags, but they still don't throw it out

Dog owners now put their dog shit in bags, but they still don't throw it out


Parking garage

Parking garage


JOT
Photo-0115 JOT

*Chris Frantz has NEVER written anything like that at all.

Like A Hurricane

Monday again. It’s sort of been a rather blah day. Not even blasé, but rather ‘blah’. Woke up this morning, still asleep with Bill kissing me good bye and asking what I was doing. I said sleeping and tried to get back to sleep.

He was snoring again last night. It doesn’t make for a restful sleep. Usually when he leaves for work, that is when I finally can get some rest. The last thing I needed was for Bill to ask what I was doing when it was plain to see that I was sleeping.

A letter I wrote was recently published in the Hudson Reporter, singing the praises of the bibliothèque. They’ve published me before, but this time I’ve used my pseudo real name instead of Anonymous.

I pointed it out to the librarians when I returned the DVD of The September Issue, a documentary on the making of the September issue of Vogue magazine. Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington and Andre Leon Talley.

It was a fascinating documentary on how a magazine is put together and reminded me of the time I spent at People Magazine. But Carol Wallace certainly did not have the clout of Anna Wintour. And Anna Wintour was the inspiration behind The Devil Wears Prada.

I wanted Bill to see it since his office building is shared with Conde Nast publications. But instead I returned it and will take it out again at another time.

I neglected to mention that yesterday while busking with Francine I also played along with Teach Your Children. Today I went to the river, not too many people around, despite it being a nice day. No Tariq around and the drunkards were nowhere to be found.

I played Walk On By without the capo that’s suggested and also The Wind Cries Mary. No singing, no encouragement. Nearby there were three women doing a modeling shoot. A photographer, a stylist and the model. They paid me no mind and I did the same.

While the model was changing clothes the photographer asked if she could take my photo. I said sure, and also gave her my camera and asked if she could take a couple of snaps with it. She gladly obliged. She said she was going to take my photograph when I wasn’t looking so she might have done just that.

I was only out for a couple of hours before heading back home. Bill is at rehearsal tonight, I’m watching TV once again. I did spend some time this morning listening to my brother Frank’s podcast.

It sounded good. I hardly listen to the radio though. He’s the exception. I’m embedding his podcast below for you to hear for yourself.

Not much going on other than that. Just a rather dull day. Bright and sunny, but a bit cool. Maybe tonight I will sleep well. I would appreciate that. But that’s more up to Bill than me.

Should be a nice quiet time tonight here at home. Hope you have the same, even if you’re in Bala Cynwyd.

While passing through Algiers...

While passing through Algiers...


The photographer, the model and the stylist

The photographer, the model and the stylist


Me, taken by the photographer with my camera

Me, taken by the photographer with my camera


Me again, taken by the photographer with my camera

Me again, taken by the photographer with my camera


Well Did You Evah

Sunday. Another day out by the river. Francine (Tariq’s girlfriend) was there as well as Tariq. I taught Francine how to play Twist & Shout. We also played I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash. I added an extra middle eight which I thought worked better.

And I made a concession, I learned how to play ‘Feelin’ Alright’ by Joe Cocker. Two chords is easy enough and it is rather soulful. It was a slow starting day and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would go out to play.

I picked a few songs off of Ultimate Guitar and chose them because of the lack of chords and my familiarity with them. Old Brown Shoe and The Ballad of John & Yoko were but two songs I learned.

Julio mentioned he would like to learn some guitar at some point and I offered to show him a few chords. That should be fun. It will be somewhere down the line since he really doesn’t have much time for that sort of thing.

Last night I sort of watched Saturday Night Live. I was actually more interested in recording songs for ring tones on my phone. Of course since I did that, no one called. And I forgot what song I picked.

Maybe the version of Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows from the Beatles Love album. Maybe Human Fly by the Cramps. Maybe the Telephone Call by Kraftwerk. I honestly don’t remember. And though the phone is right in my pocket I can’t be bothered to open it up and check it out.

It could also be You’re Wondering Now by the Specials who I am going to see on the 21st at Terminal Five.

And though I sent out online invites for the party this summer, a few people, friends and family thought the party was this weekend. I do hope no one showed up at Maxwells looking for me and Bill. That would be embarrassing for all concerned.

So I wasn’t all that interested in Saturday Night Live, but I did try to pay attention in parts. After that I started watching High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Music by Cole Porter.

I knew most of the songs from the Red Hot & Blue Cole Porter compilation from 20 years ago. I actually prefer those songs.

I know, sacrilege!

Also prefer George Harrison’s version of True Love to Bing & Grace’s version. I feel Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop’s version of Well Did You Evah to be much more fun than Bing and Sinatra.

And I do prefer The Philadelphia Story to High Society. I would take Katherine Hepburn to Grace Kelly, Cary Grant definitely over Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart over Frank Sinatra any day. Before I knew it it was almost 2:30.

I stumbled to bed where I had a dream I was working for a company that was changing management, much like what happened in 1982 when I was working for HBJ. I certainly saw what was going on and got a job that eventually changed my life. But that’s another story for another time.

Hope everyone has a good week. More resumes going out. Hope springs eternal.

From last week. I generally don't wear a suit when playing guitar, unless Mr. Epstein insists

From last week. I generally don't wear a suit when playing guitar, unless Mr. Epstein insists

Hotel Yorba

Totally disjointed. Cohesion makes no sense. I can’t go on. I’ll go on. It’s been yet another out of the ordinary day. And yet every day is out of the ordinary since there are truly no ‘ordinary’ days. Each one is different from the one that precedes it.

Oh the depths I am plunging. Must be the white wine I have just shared with Julio and Stine. It’s been a good day.

Last night I played some songs by the Marine Girls and decided that was a band that Lily Mastro should be aware of. So I burned her a CD and made sure to meet up with her today. She was playing with the Street Corner Mourners around Pier A this afternoon.

Bill came home this morning after driving a bus to and from Atlantic City. He’s doing the same thing tonight. I went off to the bibliothèque this morning and ran into Julio and Alexander in the park across the street.

When Alexander saw me, he came running towards me with arms wide open for a hug. So sweet. He’s never done that before. And not only can he identify me, when you say ‘Where’s John?’ He points to me and says ‘there’. Now when he wants my attention he yells ‘Don’. Still needs to work on his ‘J’s’ you see.

After spending time with the father & son, I headed towards the river while Julio & Alexander went home for a nap. The Street Corner Mourners where playing near Pier A and I decided to record a few of their songs.

When I got there, Lily came running up to me. Apparently some of Tariq’s dodgy acquaintances found their way around them and it was a bit unnerving for these 16 year olds. I played the role of responsible and sober adult.

I humored Lily while Tim and Cyrus played guitars with Tariq. Tariq was only around for a little while before he headed into the city. After he was off the Mourners and I headed down a few benches, best for collecting change from passerby.

Having drunkards around doesn’t really entice young urban mommies and daddies to throw change into an open guitar case.

I recorded about 7 songs, as well as getting duct tape so Lily could do a quick repair on her accordion strap and some batteries for her flip cam.

After a while I headed home to pick up Bill’s dry cleaning while he slept the day away before heading to Atlantic City again.

Had a call from Julio who asked if I wanted to go to Ikea with him. I met up with him and went to Ikea on a weekend afternoon. Last time I was there was sometime last year with Juan on a weekday. Definitely not as crowded. Today, jam packed.

It did tire me out somewhat, Julio bought a bookshelf for Alexander’s toys and books and I dealt with the crowds. Then there was traffic coming back to Hoboken.

Stine invited me over for dinner and being the fine cook that she is I certainly couldn’t resist and nor did I want to cook dinner for myself.

It was a wonderful faux Mexican dinner, Alexander doing his best to get my attention by running back and forth showing me every book that he has. Like I said, it was a fun day but now I am tired.

And surprised I was able to write this. But here it is.

More videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/johnotoole99?feature=mhw5

Que Te Quiero

Just woke up from a nap. All of a sudden I was tired and felt a nap would be the way to go. Could it have been the turkey sandwich I ate? The tryptophan?

It was a nice nap though. A nice half hour. Didn’t seem like it though. Left the TV on in the next room, so as to act like a life raft and I would drift too far off into the land of sleep.

Last night I had 2 weird cannabis free dreams, one was about Lost and in the dream it turned out that Sun was pregnant with Jin’s baby, and the baby was Jin’s! Yes that doesn’t make sense but I’m talking about Lost here and that show defies the rules of logic and physics. And dramatic structure.

But like I’ve been reading in various articles regarding the 20th anniversary it all stems from Twin Peaks and how that show went so far into left field with it’s dramatic theme. A direct line through the X-Files can be drawn to Lost and it’s meandering plot and into my dreams!

It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

The other dream involved me being in a Yeshiva with some of my male co-workers and getting thrown out. My last words to my fellow Yeshiva students were, ‘Goodbye. I always liked you guys, and not in THAT way.’

I told you they were weird dreams.

Last night Bill and I watched Saving Private Ryan. He had never seen it from start to finish and I figured that since we were both watching The Pacific on HBO he should watch Saving Private Ryan.

I saw it when it first came out at the Ziegfeld with Rand. I figured that since both our fathers were in World War II it might be worth checking out.

The first 40 minutes are still as harrowing as it was the first time I saw it. Great characters, good cast. Bill was tired at first when the movie started but after the invasion at Omaha beach he was at the edge of the futon.

Probably one of Senor Spielbergo’s best. Bill really enjoyed it and I did too and I’ve seen it a few times.

Tonight Bill is back to bus driving. He claims it’s to give me a break from his snoring. The other night he was snoring again and it woke me up.

I woke him up and told him he was snoring. Then after that he was eerily quiet. Too quiet. I was worried and I woke him up again. He was irate and snarled, ‘What? I’m not snoring!’. I told him I wanted to make sure he was still alive.

The sleep apnea thing, death. You understand.

So he’s back to driving a bus to Atlantic City and I know it’s not to give me a break from his snoring. Bill loves to drive a bus. He’s always been fascinated by buses ever since he was a kid and now when he has the chance he wants to drive a bus.

I don’t mind.

And the weather seems to have gotten back to normal.

Claire!

Claire!


Not Claire!

Not Claire!


Photo-0093

Worlds Famous

Today’s certainly been an odd day. Yesterday it reached the 92 temperature range and today it was in the 80’s.

Malcolm McLaren died today. He managed the Sex Pistols in their initial incarnation, the New York Dolls in their last days and created Bow Wow Wow after taking the Ants away from Adam. He also introduced hip hop and rap to a larger audience.

The Sex Pistols were supposed to play Saturday Night Live in 1977 but canceled and so Elvis Costello & the Attractions stepped into the breach with drummer Pete Thomas wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Thanks Malc’.

I remember one of the first times I was visiting Washington DC and was in some club with Jet when I heard this opera thing mixed with hip hop playing. It turned out to be Madame Butterfly by Malcolm McLaren.

He was influential for sure and apparently pushed more boundaries than Johnny Rotten and the rest of the Pistols ever did.“Rock and roll doesn’t necessarily mean a band. It doesn’t mean a singer, and it doesn’t mean a lyric, really. It’s that question of trying to be immortal.” – Malcolm McLaren.

Last night Bill and I watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent. The farewell to Vincent D’onofrio and Katheryn Erbe. It was good but I don’t think Bill appreciated my snark throughout the show. I won’t give it away if you haven’t seen it yet.

After that Bill went to play his keyboards and I watched Ugly Betty which was really good. I used to watch it all the time but then they kept moving it around and I lost track of where it was an ultimately lost interest. I decided to give it a go once again when I found there were only a handful of episodes left.

And it was great and hilarious and wonderful to see Betty’s nephew Justin coming out to himself and his family. You never can tell if someone is gay or not until they actually come out at their own time. True, Justin was flaming, but there are effeminate straight men out there and there are butch as all hell gay guys out there.

I kept calling Bill into the TV room to watch what was going on. It was so much more enjoyable than Lawn Hors d’œuvre, though both feature excellent actors. Ugly Betty ended with a cliffhanger. Wilhelmina shot?

Today was nice enough. Ran into Deborah and Claire, two neighbors from my building, Deborah on the fourth floor, and Claire maintaining her apartment on the first. Seems that I only see Claire once a year now. Deborah I see once a month.

I invited both of them to the summer party. Picked up Mojo and Uncut today which was super cool. Haven’t started to read Mojo yet but it won’t be delayed like the New Yorker, of which I am still in the February issues.

Also busked today. Tariq stopped by complaining about not getting home until 7:00 this morning. Not the life I want to lead, having lead that life but not those hours in the last century. He was heading into the city and didn’t stay long, his girlfriend stopped by.

She’s sweet and French and also showed me how to play I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash. I met her the other day when she was with Tariq and I got her name then but forgot about it today and forgot to ask as well.

I have to say it was a thrill to learn that song since it was one of the first 45’s I bought for myself.



Help Me, Rhonda

It’s summer. It’s April 7. It reached 82 degrees today. Craziness abounds. Yesterday was quite warm as well. Bananas. Bananas I tell you. Last night I sat on the stoop and had a cigar. Talked to Harpy for a bit. Talked to my pal Claymore as well.

Just killing time before I went back upstairs in time to watch Lost. I will be glad when it’s over. 5 episodes left. Last night was all about Desmond and a barrow in the marketplace. Midway through I got a call from Pedro. Normally I would resent the caller and not take the call but he’s been going through some hard times and felt I should take the call.

He thinks I’m one of the smartest people he knows and really respects my opinion. So I had to be there for him. He’s a great friend though and even if he thought I was an idiot I would be there for him, though it wouldn’t be nice of him to think I was an idiot. He’s called me up twice the past 2 nights, stressed out. Too much drama and since it’s not mine I won’t write about it here.

I caught up with Lost after pausing it for about 25 minutes. I recorded Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent for Bill since he was rehearsing with Tom his drummer pal, the guy who witnessed the civil union thingy last Saturday. Last weeks episode was good and last night was the exit of Vincent D’onofrio. Haven’t seen it yet. I also spent some time learning how to play Walk on By, Help Me Rhonda, Going Down to Liverpool and Don’t Worry Baby.

Today was a beautiful day and I made it out to the river after emailing my resume to a few more job listings. No drunkards to be seen and Tariq wasn’t around. I applied sun block and found a nice spot to play. Karen Kuhl and her friend Christine walked by. Karen was surprised to see me out playing. She asked me to play something for her and I played Walk on By. Then Tariq showed up while I was playing Walk on By and he liked it.

He mentioned how he was out at an open mike last night and was a bit hungover. He wanted to play Melissa by the Allman Brothers and I said no. I explained that I didn’t want to play the same songs everyone else plays and I wasn’t interested in playing hippie songs like Melissa. I think he was a bit put off since he mentioned that he was a hippie.

I said that was why I didn’t want to play in Washington Square Park. Too many squares playing the same old crap. To cheer him up we played Love Shack while some guy played Tariq’s drum, which Tariq usually carries around.

Tariq loves that song and once again remarked on how he has to learn it. I told him to put it on the list of songs to learn to play. Then I surprised him and myself by doing some guitar improv. Same three chords with different people walking by and different comments. I made Tariq laugh and he said I made his day.

He was off to the city and asked me to come along but I opted to stay in Hoboken. He was off and a few minutes later Rand stopped by on the way to the Path train. I was in the middle of playing Don’t Worry Baby and then played Walk on By for him. All in all I was out there for 3 hours again, just playing singing and having a good time.
4.7.10 hoboken 003

A Well Respected Man

Well I was a bit crabby yesterday. The disheveled drunkards can do that to you. On my way home I got a text message from Rand who was telling me about his buddy Karl having an art opening last night at Maxwells.

Yes that’s right, I wrote Maxwells.

I was weary, and merely replied ‘Sweet’. Rand invited me and I couldn’t say yes or no. I came upstairs and wrote over 1000 words and felt a bit better, and less bitter. Bill came home as I ate a turkey sandwich.

He was pretty tired. I continued writing and thought about going to the art opening. Last time I went it was pretty crowded and all I could do was think about how the art openings at Maxwells were so much more fun 20 years ago. Free beer and wine and familiar faces made the difference.

Bill went to take a nap and asked me to wake him up in a few hours. I mentioned that I was probably going out. Though his body was tired, his mind was racing and was unable to nap so he wandered around the apartment.

By the time I was done writing and posting entry 1601 I had decided to head out. As I walked down the stairs I texted Rand and told him I was on the way.

Got to Maxwells and it was crowded and loud but I enjoyed Karl’s artwork. Very comic book style, a lot of fun. Talked to Rand and Mike C and Mike’s girlfriend Sarah who was very sweet. I talked about busking and music and made Sarah giggle a bit.

Chris Repella showed up and bought some artwork. I thanked her once again for the photographs of the civil union thingamajig on Saturday. She joined Rand and Mike and Sarah as well as Lisa, Rand’s wife. I spotted Todd and told him I needed to talk to him.

Todd and I used to butt heads back in the day. We went out side and I told Todd about the civil union and asked if he would let me use the back room for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in the summer. To my delight he said yes.

I thanked him profusely and offered an invitation to join us. He asked that I send him an email today to remind him to keep the date booked for us. Quite nice. I called Bill and told him the good news and also called Annemarie.

After Maxwells I walked home with Chris Repella, walking with Mike C and Sarah. Chris and I sat in front of her building just talking about music. Mainly about the Kinks and how she doesn’t like the Beatles. Chris went off to either the supermarket or to Starbucks to see her daughter and I came home and invited about 120 Facebook friends to the summer Civil Union event.

Then I remembered that not all of my friends are on Facebook or even online so I text messaged about 20 more friends about it. I know that not all of the invitees will be able to make it, so I’m not worried about too many people.

Anyway if it gets too crowded there could be a nice back and forth between the front and back room at Maxwells.

A few trays of pasta and salad, paper plates and plastic utensils on the back bar and if you want a drink, you’ll have to pay for it in the front bar.

Today was a good day for busking. Yesterday while playing I spent too much time in the sun and my nose was bit red. Bill mentioned that this morning while kissing me good bye. So today I applied the sun block and wound up playing in the shade.

Today’s songs were Lola, Sunny Afternoon, I Should Have Known Better and You Can’t Do That, as well as the toddler’s favorite, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I even sang today. Loudly and to the sky. Tariq joined me. Couldn’t keep up though. Not good with the sevenths still.

I indulged Tariq somewhat and we played Hotel California. Then the guy who sat next to me on Sunday showed up and it turns out Tariq knew him. The guy asked how to pass a screening for alcohol and I said the best way to pass the test is to not drink.

Tariq went off to buy some beer and asked me to watch his guitar again. I did and played my guitar while ignoring the guy to the best of my ability. Tariq came back with some beer and I took that as my opportunity to leave, saying that I had to bounce.

Sorry if this was a little disjointed tonight, but there were a few phone calls going on while I wrote. Perhaps I should shut off the phone while I write.

But still it was Jane who called who was thrilled to hear about the party and she said she will be there this summer, as will be Connie who plans on buying a new dress for the occasion. And Harpy who will probably show up naked.
FLOWERS