Monthly Archives: September 2012

I Need You To Love Me

Another day, another grey day. Even less sun it seemed. Just a lazy Saturday. I slept in much later than usual, so much so that I was still in bed when Bill came home. And when he got into bed, I got out and started my day. Which wasn’t much to begin with. Drying clothes hanging on racks and in the bathroom. I did some tidying up yesterday which was mainly shredding documents. Nothing much going on today. Bill was asleep most of the day and I went out briefly for some foodstuffs. I thought about posting the thing I wrote the other day, but it is so bitter and nasty yet funny and vindictive.

Maybe someday, but not today. So here’s a look back.

September 29, 2006- Working for McMann and Tate. Company party at a club in the meat packing district. I neglected to write that when I went to Felicia’s apartment beforehand she buzzed me in while a walking around her apartment naked. She did offer me some powder which I ingested and set the tone for the rest of the evening. Partying with a group of Britishers made me realize that I was no match for them and proceeded to get quite pissed. I almost crashed in a client’s hotel but wound up paying for a taxi at 2:30 in the morning, back to Hoboken.

September 29, 2007- A Saturday and a day off, spent cleaning the apartment and posting a list of songs via the iPod shuffle. I was working at the Biotechnology Investment Bank.

September 29, 2008- Still at the Biotechnology Investment Bank and it was a Monday. Did banking for Greg Stevens, taking his money out of one bank and moving it to another. The stock market plunged and working in finance showed an atmosphere of stress and fear, much more than usual. I also included a list via JoeMyGod of the top ten bank collapses, all during republican administrations and which still did not equal the amount of money lost by Washington Mutual.

September 29, 2009- Bill and I still recovering from a previous argument. Heard from Julio twice in one day and also ran into Stine with Alexander. I watched Ripley’s Game and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, also Curb your Enthusiasm and the Colbert Report. Unemployed.

September 29, 2010- Working at the cigar shack and really hating that jazz crap. In the midst of going on interviews, hating the cigar shack so much that I was willing to unload trucks for Macy’s during the holidays. Thankfully Macy’s did not appreciate my willingness. Some cousins were contacted with regards to getting a new job, some replied other didn’t. I already stopped trusting Calvin (who later had a name change to Zack, exactly). Though unhappy I still went to work and did a decent job, though I was always on the lookout to better my station.

September 29, 2011- Still cigar shacking it. A day off though, sending cards and gifts to friends and a nephew who was born on the 30th. I just got a smartphone and then, like now, I am still trying to figure it out.

A lackluster entry for a lackluster day.

“Exactly, hur hur hur…”


I Need You Now- Olly Murs

Finally there are blue skies and the sun has been seen. It’s been grey and rainy all day, quite stormy and windy since last night. Now all is calm. I did go out a few times, ran into Mike Cecchini on the street. He was leaving the bibliothèque and I was headed to it. Nice talk about Beatle books, movies and what not. Good to see him. Then a trip to the supermarket nearby and a brief traipse up to Washington Street and before I knew it I was home again, right before another downpour. It is all in the timing.

I found it hard to believe that a single glass of white wine at an art opening did my head in. But it seems to be true. By the time Bill and I came home after holding hands walking down Washington Street I was quite tired and could easy figure out it was the wine. Bill was fine and he drank his glass quickly. I sipped mine and after leaving the gallery, I felt more light headed than usual. It wasn’t half bad but then again it was something that I hadn’t felt in a while, even after four pints with Rand on Monday evening.

It certainly helped with sleeping last night though, awoken by Bill leaving for the day and then awoken again by the storm raging outside. I won’t be seeing Bill until tomorrow since he is once again behind the wheel driving to Atlantic City. Another reason to be happy that it is not raining now. Still not used to it getting dark out so early but there is nothing I can do about that. Nothing planned of course for the evening, just some television I suppose.

This weekend is the Hoboken Art & Music Festival and there are no bold face names playing this time. It was probably getting to be too expensive to have name acts playing and the local talent could be culled at a less expensive rate. I don’t know what the weather will be like and I think it might rain so that will definitely suck, especially if you’re a vendor. I just checked the weather report and it’s a 50/50 chance that it might rain. Or it might not. It must be a nice gig being a weatherman. Especially if no one is asking about which way the wind is blowing.

New chapter in my life will start on Monday. If you’re on Facebook, you know all about it. It’s been in the works for years actually and I guess persistence finally paid off, and getting on with people certainly helped. I am quite a lucky guy though. My dear friend Brenda came through, I guess she was the one who got the call and from what she probably said, more than likely put me over the top. So the cigar shack saga is finally over. And to think, I owe the resolution to the old Mike Herklots. Why if it weren’t for him having Zack’s back I’d probably still be miserable.


I Need You Now- Agnes

“Listen to the Duquesne whistle blowin’.” A song I was playing earlier tonight, which I will get back to later. It has certainly been an interesting day, to say the least. The other day while traipsing around the Lower East Side and the East Village with Rand, he asked me if I wanted to go out to Bergen County with him today. Lisa, his wife had an appointment and while she was tending to that he was free to do some more wandering around. I said I was into it and last night he texted me the plans for today.

The plan was to take the bus to Weehawken and get Rand’s sister’s car and then drive out to Hackensack. Now I grew up around that area so I knew the ins and outs of the area, though plenty has changed since I was last in the area. Lisa went in for her appointment and rand and I drove around. We went to the heart of Lodi where I grew up and has totally changed. He had some banking to do and after that we made a wrong turn and we wound up in a part of Lodi where I had never been before.

I basically grew up closer to Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook and found out today that there are parts of my hometown that I know nothing about. After a few turns we wound up on Route 46 and back on Main Street. I have no idea how we got there but there we were. We then drove to Saddle Brook and visited the big building/warehouse where we used to work together. That was uneventful and drove on through Saddle Brook and into Rochelle Park where I knew a little bit more about where things were.

From there we went to the National Wholesale Liquidators which used to be two Guys and before that, Modells. I remembered Two Guys and Modells and this place was nothing like what I remembered. I told Rand where things were, this side was the women’s department- that side was the men’s department and on Sunday, due to the blue laws of Bergen County those areas of the store were roped off. You can see the items but you would have to wait until Monday to purchase them. There was no more pet department, I guess the dogs in cages and the fish all died.

More driving around, past my old homestead before we picked up Lisa and headed back to Hudson County. Rand wanted to take a scenic route so it was Tonnelle Avenue, which of course is under a lot of construction and causing heavy traffic. We got through it alright though. We made it to Union City where we had a lackluster lunch but I was happy since the waitress was able to charge up my phone. That’s been a bone of contention. Battery power goes down way too quickly, even with certain power using apps have been turned off.

Rand and Lisa dropped me off close to my building since there was construction going on the streets of Hoboken as well. I came home and settled in for a little while, changing some clothes before heading into the city. Bill was invited to an art opening in Soho and wanted me to go with him, so soon I was on the Path, getting off at Christopher Street. I enjoyed a cigar, strolling down Hudson to Houston and despite my lazy stroll, I was still pretty early.

I walked down West Broadway listening to the new Bob Dylan record (great-buy it) and ran into two customers from the cigar shack. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged, some details regarding my departure were disclosed and they seemed surprised but not really since they know the major players in this silly tale.

I couldn’t stay long since I was due to meet Bill, but I did add them as friends on Facebook so I’m sure I haven’t heard the last of them. The art opening was OK. No photographs allowed (boo) and the artwork was merely a rip off of Andy Warhol. I know my Warhol and I know a rip off when I see it. It wasn’t as bad as Peter Max, but still it lacked wit. You could buy similar things at Target or Pier 1. A lovely walk with Bill, a nice stroll through Washington Square Park and then the Path train again.

It was a good day. And I haven’t even written about everything.

where I grew up

Rand outside the former HBJ

Same place, different bloke

Lovely Lisa

The man I love

I Need You Baby (Mona)

Another day, another day with a very good chance of rain. Well it has come and gone and will come again. Yesterday was a lot of fun with Rand, wandering around the Lower East Side and the East Village, finally coming back to Hoboken for a few pints. All out of the ordinary things that I used to do frequently. And tomorrow should be an interesting adventure as well, at least that’s how it reads now. Last night was an easy write, thanks to the pints. I was buzzing along quite nicely and knocked off quite a number of words, surpassing my daily quota.

And now this, this is actually the second thing I have written today. I wrote another entry which I will hold in reserve, waiting to see how things turn out. More than likely it will be posted on Saturday, which will make it a week since something was done. I know, cryptic, right? Well what I wrote proved to be so easy and a bit accusatory, so I am being generous towards a certain party, giving them enough time to reply- yea or nay. I even have an idea which should be interesting should I act upon it.

Today has been relatively OK. Not much going on in Hoboken as usual. Got some nice compliments from some cigar aficionados about something I posted. It was good for the ego I guess. Of course it only works when you’re in front of the computer screen reading their kind words. The photos of me smoking a cigar in front of Jack Kirby’s birthplace went over well. And these cigar aficionados are concerned about my job search, they’re hoping that I get back in the cigar world, but that is not going to happen. I am happy to buy my cigars online.

Another nail in the coffin for those bricks and mortar stores, or those glass walled establishments. Even while working at the cigar shack, I would occasionally order my cigars online, for a few dollars more than the discount I was getting. I knew that the future of that business would soon be an online experience and when I said so I felt a bit like Billy Mitchell (1920’s version of GZA). Yes, there was a bit of Cassandra in my wording and I guess I was ignored out of fear rather than anyone taking the appropriate steps in meeting the challenge head on.

Forewarned should be forearmed but in that situation I spoke to limbless trees. And I do not mean to denigrate trees in any way. I guess I never did thank the marsupial for supplying me with Xanax from time to time, I mean- he did suggest that the dosage he was giving me was higher than I usually took, saying he didn’t want me nodding off in the humidor. Thanks!

A phone call and now there is drama with regards to photos I posted from either my birthday picnic or in the scanned photos I posted for Chaz. Someone wrote something rude about someone in the photos and Chaz just called me with concern about it. I didn’t see anything and Chaz does not have easy access to the computer. He’ll check tomorrow for things that I may have overlooked a minute ago. I suppose there is always some kind of drama going on, sometimes I am in the thick of it, sometimes I am waiting in the wings and sometimes I am merely sitting in the audience.

I also have to post how excited I get when I see musicians and writers I like and admire, post comments on my Facebook things. Really groovy man…

ecce homo

Are you there Kevin? It’s me, God.

96 Tears

I Need You- Tim McGraw

Wow. Just got home from a fine afternoon spent with Rand Hoppe. It wasn’t anything planned but rather a spur of the moment thing. I slept a little later than usual this morning and once awake and out of bed I went about doing my morning routines. After showering and breakfast, as usual I found myself parked in front of the computer. After a spell of feeding the trolls I got a phone call from Rand. He wanted to know if I would be interested in heading into the city to shoot some video in front of the building where Jack Kirby was born.

I hadn’t hung out with Rand, mano y mano in a while and I haven’t been to the Lower East Side since 2006 I believe, so I was game. Rand was off to Journal Square, to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew his license and the plan was to meet at 1:00 in Hoboken by the Path train. I had enough time to go to the really big supermarket and get some groceries so that is what I did. I was home by noon and after putting things away I was back in front of the computer.

Rand was stuck in the black hole of the DMV and texted me that things were not going as easily as he had hoped. I suggested meeting at 2:00 or if he would rather, doing this tomorrow. Spontaneity was the key and Rand wanted to go with the flow so we just moved meeting up to 2:00 which was just fine. And instead of meeting in Hoboken, we would meet at Ninth Street and Sixth Avenue. I was fine with that and when I found myself on the Path train, opted to go one stop further so I wouldn’t be standing around and waiting for Rand.

I walked the extra blocks and found Rand waiting outside. He was there about 10 minutes so it wasn’t that bad. We walked and caught the F train to Delancey Street. Rand was feeling peckish so we got some lunch beforehand at Tiny’s Giant. Rand had the veggie burger and I had a BLT. After that it was over to 147 Essex Street where Jack Kirby was born. It turns out the storefront of the building is vacant and Rand thinks it would be the best place where the Jack Kirby Museum should be. It is, really.

We shot some video, people walking by in the frame, behind the camera. It wasn’t too long and Rand seemed satisfied with the amount we shot. I suppose I will hear more about it once he sees the footage shot. Perhaps we will shoot some more. I lit a cigar in Kirby’s memory (and also satisfied my own wanting of a cigar) and we strolled around some more, to the spot where Kirby moved to on Suffolk Street, to where Rand and Wolf Knapp and I saw KonK back in the day, to where Rand bought his horn rimmed glasses.

The Lower East Side had a few memories for us. A nice stroll back up to the East Village, stopping into a head shop to check out vaporizers (I want one), walking past the Goth crap store that occupies the space where Farfetched was. It had been a great afternoon and it wasn’t over yet. Rand went into Forbidden Planet (which had moved) and I stayed outside smoking a cigar. Then a walk to the Path at 14th Street where Rand got on the train and sat opposite me and I took about 30 photographs of Rand much to the confusion of the other passengers.

Back in Hoboken, we saw Chris and Dave at the Farmers Market before heading up Washington Street. Rand suggested pints and I couldn’t refuse, not wanting the good feeling to end. We wound up at Mikie Squared, a tavern I pass by often but never stopped by. We sat outside and rank about four pints apiece of Yuengling which at $2.00 a pint could not be passed by. Stories were told, stories revised, rewritten. I mentioned knowing Rand since 1982 and he said 1984 but in hindsight it had to be 1983 at least.

It was a great day spent with Rand, much like days in the past, wandering around Soho and the East Village, hitting Sohozat and Saint Mark’s Sounds among other places. Sohozat is long gone and I was saddened to see Sounds shuttered as we walked past. Now I am buzzed, bought food this morning, not in the mood for cooking it so sandwiches it will be for dinner. I look forward to more wandering around with Rand, in fact there is a plan to go out to NJ on Thursday. We shall see, plans need to be finalized. I do plan on documenting the excursion if and when it happens.

$2.00 pints of Yuengling is quite agreeable.

Rand in front of the Kirby birthplace

Me in front of the Kirby birthplace

03 Living Too Late

I Need You- N Dubz

Well now that it’s autumn, the sun goes down earlier. It has been going down earlier and earlier with each passing day, and now by 8:00PM it’s time to turn the porch light on. That is, if we had a porch light. Since we don’t people will have to stand outside in the shadows of the street lamps, which isn’t so bad. It adds a nice ambience to things I think. Nothing I can do about it anyway. I’ll light a candle rather than curse the darkness. It’s also considerably cooler, the air conditioner has been retired for a few weeks.

Yesterday was truly a nothing day. It was a beautiful day but for some reason I couldn’t be bothered to go out and enjoy it. Instead I stayed in and enjoyed things. I suppose my experience of going out and sitting by the river on Saturday tainted my plan on going out and doing the same thing on Sunday. Actually I just couldn’t stand to go and sit by the river. It was the absolute last thing I wanted to do and so I didn’t. I am sure I didn’t miss anything, as far as I could tell I hadn’t.

Bill slept most of the day and I farted around. I did go to the supermarket so I wasn’t a total shut in. On the way there I ran into a former neighbor who is going to be a neighbor again. This bloke who lived right next door to us will be moving into Claire’s apartment on the first floor. The bloke is subletting his apartment and in turn, moving into Claire’s sublet. It will be good to have the bloke and his bird and their dog around, though just because they’re in the building, doesn’t mean I will be seeing them.

When Bill woke up we watched the Emmy’s together. I was taken aback by how little TV I watch, at least not for entertainment. I rarely watch shows anymore. The TV is usually on MSNBC, CNN or TCM. Oh and HBO and Showtime and all those configurations. I haven’t given up on TV but more often than not I am watching the news and commentary on the news. I haven’t watched Doctor Who yet, though several people I know swear by it. I just never know when it’s on. Same with Archer and a few other shows that come highly recommended.

Today I was out and about and spotted a few cuties on the street. One time while ogling one of them, an old friend grabbed my arm. It was comical since they knew what they were interrupting and they could only grab me to get my attention. It wouldn’t matter anyhow if the friend didn’t grab my arm. Nothing would have happened with the hotties, it’s been so long I would have to look up ‘How To’ online at least to have a refresher on what part goes where. Still I do appreciate seeing a hot man walking down the street, so I guess I am not dead.

Hold Your Head Up

I Need You- The Beatles

A lovely Saturday. For the first day of autumn it isn’t so bad. Quite agreeable actually. Last night was mellow and quiet with Bill driving down to Atlantic City. I stayed home of course, watched Bill Maher and had two pints of Guinness. They’ve been in the fridge since early thi year and for some reason I had a hankerin’ for it. Took me a couple of hours to finish them. It’s not like hanging out with friends when they go down like water. A limited supply means to hold back on drinking in a hurry I suppose. And that’s what I did.

Probably because of the Guinness I slept quite soundly and since I only had 2 pints there was no hangover this morning. I was grateful for that. There was a certain reluctance to get out of bed, but I managed. Coffee was made and I stepped into the shower. Bill arrived as I was lathering up and soon he was going to bed. Driving back down to Atlantic City you see. He was fast asleep and I had some breakfast and after that the running of the errands to the nearby supermarket. Soon I was home in front of the computer again.

While in front of the computer I sent an email to my former boss, the one I had written about as Zack. I had a request to ask of him. When I go on interviews they always ask what happened to my job at the cigar shack. I tell them that I was let go due to slow sales. I heard from some customers that when they asked about me, they were told I went off to do office type things which is fine. The truth is too muddled (though a very good story I found).

My request was that if some calls about my employment at the cigar shack were made, would it be possible for Zack to tell them I was let go because of slow sales. I sent that out earlier this afternoon and I hadn’t heard anything from Zack yet. I would hope he does this for me, it’s a simple, yet minor request. I was sincere in telling him that I hoped all was well with his wife and kids and I also mentioned that how on the Facebook page for the cigar shack I posted the text to the spread about Zack being a black entrepreneur, underneath his photos.

I was surprised no one else had done that. After that I just chilled out around the apartment while Bill slept. I was feeling antsy and decided to take the guitar out and do some busking. It was more productive than yesterday and I won over a toddler who tried mimicking my playing. The boy’s dad gave him a dollar to put in the guitar case. There were a lot more people out and there was also a scavenger hunt going on. I sold a guitar pick for a dollar to a group of guys following a list.

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

I Need You- America

The last day of summer, that would be today. It’s been an interesting day, best one of the week as far as I can tell. I could look back at what I had written previously this week but I know it was just overall rather blasé. But where I was subject to the weather, today I was out and about and actually saw a few friends. Like I said, it’s the last day of summer, autumn starts tomorrow morning at around 10:45 I think. I’m not too happy about summer going away but what can I do? Not much at all.

Bill was at the Yankee game last night, came back happy that they one. He went with a classmate that he reconnected with at his reunion. I of course stayed home. Seeing a Yankee game isn’t really for me, a lesson learned a few years ago when I went to a game with Bill and found myself really bored. We were sitting with the bleacher creatures so a lack of back support probably added to my discomfort. I also wore an old pair of glasses which while they looked good on my face, did nothing for focusing on the game at hand.

And now Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again. It’s a good thing he loves to drive a bus. Still I worry, I worry about other drivers doing something stupid, I worry about the passengers doing something stupid. I know Bill won’t do anything stupid, and it’s the other things that are a concern. I expect the usual phone call at around 11:00, letting me know that he has dropped off his passengers and is headed to the depot so he can catch some shut eye. And I will be following him via Google Latitude just to be sure.

The weather was most cooperative today, so much so that I went busking for the first time since last week. I was in contact with my former roommate William on and off through the week, he has been itching to see me playing by the river. I sat and strummed for a while and William showed up. Once he showed up it was more conversation and not too much busking. The toddlers from day care made an appearance and William was going to take some pictures but the minders put a stop to that and I also told him, no pictures.

We hung out for a couple of hours before he hopped on his bike back to Jersey City and I packed up my stuff and headed home. It was great spending time with William.

Walking through Church Square Park, I saw someone with a scarf who looked like Julio’s wife Stine and it just so happened to be Stine. She was with Julio’s sister Maria and cousins Anna and Adela. They all had kids and were wrapping things up, heading to Anna’s house to get some dinner. I headed on home after chatting for a few minutes and got my own dinner.

I texted Julio about who I just saw and he knew already. He asked me if I wanted to grab a beer but I was too hungry and needed to eat. I treated myself to some pizza and now I am just chillin’. It was a good day, a mellow end to the summer. And I hope Annemarie made it to Florida. No news otherwise so I can guess that all went well. I am sure her arms are tired. Not much else to do, not much else to write so I guess I will just end everything right about now.

14 Used To

I Need U Bad

Another weird weather day. Up earlier than usual and out later than that, I was intending to do some busking. It was quite cool out and there were plenty of dark clouds threatening rain. I ran some errands including a stop at Solid Threads, a T-Shirt shop in Hoboken. Rand and Lisa got me a Jersey Fresh T-Shirt for my birthday and it seemed to be a size too small. I had a gift receipt which allowed for a hassle free transaction. There were other shirts I could have chosen from but I stuck with the original Jersey fresh plan.

From there I walked up First Street and walked over to the river. No buskers around, all quiet on the waterfront. I sat and read the Village Voice since I had nothing else to read. There was an interesting article about Fracking and how big business is doing whatever it wants, including fucking up the environment with polluted water and land. And then there is the nasty problem of natural gas being released through water lines, so if you turn on your faucet and no water comes out but gas does a simple spark can blow your house as well as your neighborhood to bits.

Why they don’t research solar power or wind power is beyond me. An inexhaustible supply is there ready to be used. It’s clean and would provide a lot of jobs, but instead we just concentrate on getting more oil from the ground and polluting the air with emissions. This is where a mash up of The Road Warrior and Koyaanisqatsi would make a lot of sense. Living on the top floor of a five story building I can tell you, there is a lot of wind out there. And some of you reading this can probably say there is a lot of wind here.

Back indoors I was surprised to see a friend from Murdoch daze on Facebook. Ulysses Sankitts, my old friend who saved my ass a few times has made it online. I will never forget the first time I met Ulysses, I started working for Murdoch Magazines a day before him. A friend from Maxwells was getting married that weekend and I was asked to DJ. Alas I had no equipment and the wedding day was just a few days away. I didn’t know what to do but I did know Ulysses and his brother Tony were also DJ’s.

So I asked this relative stranger if I could borrow his equipment, I would even give him my fee in exchange for the use of his turntables and PA. To my delight (and surprise) he said yes. That Sunday Ulysses and Tony arrived and delivered their gear and even set it up since I didn’t not know how to do that. It must have been 1987 since I remember playing Prince’s ‘It’ a few times at the reception. Twenty five years ago and here we are friends again thanks to Facebook.

We always were friends though, it’s not like I never saw him again. We became good friends, I crashed at his house out in Queens, partied with him at several clubs and he made a few appearances at parties that I had thrown, including the infamous basement party that must have had fifty people there, with party crashers. He seemed to get a kick out of my friends as did his brother Tony. Anyway he seemed just as happy to find me on Facebook as I was to find him. That Queens posse of Excer, Ray, Pedro and Ulysses is still around. Tony unfortunately passed away early in the century.

It wasn’t all grey…

Runaway Boys

I Need To Wake Up

Less than two months until the presidential election and already I have had it up to here! I do like to be informed but all day long it is regurgitation over and over. Different mouths, same spew. I’ve gotten better with dealing with it, so much so I can tell you all about Greta Garbo or John Garfield since I’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies instead of the information channels. I don’t want to call it news, so information is what I will call it, for now. Greta Garbo sure was a looker though, and John Garfield good at being that everyman with a problem.

It’s a beautiful day today, after the raging storm last night. Bill called from the cigar shop near the Path train. He was on his way home and found the exit stairs blocked by people overwhelmed by the downpour. Bill was able to make it out, only getting about as far as maybe 20 yards and winding up cozy inside the shop. He called me, telling me of his whereabouts and asking if there was anything I needed from the store, if and when he made it out. About an hour later he was walking through the door, soaked.

Today marks a week since my birthday. It’s been an interesting time since then. Has my mind changed? Has my body changed? Would it change just because of a day? No, not really is the answer for all three. I am more aware of the time and space I occupy, perhaps a little bit more than I did weeks ago. And I am so grateful for Bill. Such a rock in my life, steadfast and true, and willing to go to the supermarket in the middle of a monsoon. I am amazed by him so often.

I am a week behind in my reading of the New Yorker and have barely cracked the latest Mojo Magazine. Just been waylaid by current events I suppose. I do have the time to catch up, just easily distracted by the television and the internet. All it takes is a click and the problem is solved. Still getting the nerve to actually use that click can be an obstacle. Now the television is off, but of course the computer is still on obviously since I am currently writing this bit of fluff. Soon the autumnal equinox will be upon us.

I had a phone call today, from a company that strung me along through three interviews a year or so ago. Each interview went well until the last one where some hyper caffeinated character named John Hunt fobbed me off on someone they had hired the previous week. I told them I needed to be out of there by 11:00 so I could make it to the cigar shack and here I was in a conference room at 11 Penn Plaza at 11:15 being asked questions by a newbie. I was a bit irate at this turn of events since I abhor being late.

And that included being late for a job that I didn’t particularly care for. They woman on the phone had a southern accent and she asked me a few questions, mainly why did I leave the cigar shack. I explained that it was due to slow sales, even though some people have told me the ‘official’ line from the cigar shack is that I left to do ‘officey’ things. What actually got me off the hook with the southern accented woman was when I told her what I was looking for salary wise, meaning what was I making at the cigar shack.

Apparently I had priced myself out of their game.

Making Plans for Nigel

I Need To Know- Diggy

Like I wrote yesterday, today would have been a better day to be ill. I felt better last night, whatever it was that was putting me under the weather had subsided and left. Today it’s been nothing but a grey day, rain and strong winds. I was able to make it out to the really big supermarket and saved some money in doing so, but mostly it’s been a day spent indoors. Bits of my information still routinely gets sent out in the morning, occasionally a phone call comes back. Very occasionally. I keep getting calls from Geico, trying to set up an interview.

The thing is the interview is in Elmwood Park and I have no way to get out there. Plus I am not interested in the position. A friend of mine pursued it and found that they charge you a fee to take their tests. This friend was offered a similar position with Geico in lower Manhattan and took the test a couple of times, paying for each test as she went along. They call and sound so happy, happy that they have your resume and telling you that you are a good fit for this position.

I have spoken with them a number of times, expressed my lack of interest and my inability to make it out to the former East Paterson via email and still they call, so glad to have gotten me on the phone. I suppose it is a bit flattering but each time I’ve turned them down, only to have them contact me some time later. I know it’s not personal, they’ve merely gotten to the “O” section of their indexes. I am sure they do get a number of responses via their bait and switch methods, only for some it is too late.

Too late once they realize they have signed up for what seems to be a bit dodgy, charging people to take tests so they could work for their insurance company. There are vultures out there, swindlers who try to get as much information about you. I just got a notice that I’ve been picked to be a secret shopper. I give them my bank information and then they ‘transfer funds’ to my account and I am to take the money out and do some spying on various sales clerks and floor workers at least that’s how it is on paper.

“You have been selected for assignment as a “Secretshopper” in your area. You will get $200 has been a Secretshopper and your employment packet will include funds for the shopping. Full job description will be sent to you prior in your assignment. You will have access to training materials after
you register. Payment check/Money order would be in a certain amount which you would be required to cash a your Bank then deduct your salary and have the rest used for evaluation.”

Seems fishy doesn’t it? I mean, I never even applied for such a thing.

I am sure people get taken in through desperation. Who knows? If nothing happens for me I might fall for such a thing as the end of my rope seems closer and closer. I would certainly hope that isn’t the case but desperate people tend to do desperate things, no matter how intelligent they might seem to be. I do have hope that something might happen that I get on my own merits, steering away from scams and con artistry. And once again I have several offers at being a truck driver, though I haven’t been behind the wheel since 1985. That should be fun!

02 – Venus

I Need To Know- Kris Allen

I was feeling a bit unwell earlier but I am feeling alright now, a few naps helped but going outside was pushing it. You see, after all the fun and beauty on Saturday, it spilled over into Sunday though with a bit of the old catholic nonsense of having to pay for your fun. There was no drinking at the picnic (in a public park, a no no) and nothing illicit was consumed as far as I know. It was all clean and nice and good and sweet, especially the malomars and madeleines and chocolate mousse face cake. There was pasta salad and crudité and they were packaged up nicely and brought home after being out in the open air for a few hours. Perhaps that was what did me in this morning, having been grazing on the pasta salad and the crudité most of the day. Either way I woke up feeling quite unwell in my lower regions.

I woke up earlier than usual today, not from feeling ill, just felt it was time to get up. After a shower, some coffee and cereal- that’s when I started feeling funny. And not ‘haha’ funny, more like ‘what the fuck is that all about’ funny. Took it easy and went back to sleep. I did have to go to the bibliothèque and the supermarket and that was my only time out.

At the bibliothèque was Mike Cecchini from up the block. We walked out together and since he had to go to the supermarket we did that as well. I was sociable but not at the top of my game and soon was climbing up the four flights of stairs to my bed. I slept once again for about a half hour and got out. I was able to do laundry this morning and it’s been slowly drying. Not much else to write about. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and that would have been the better day to be unwell since the weather looks so pleasant today. But I didn’t have any say in the matter so I have to take it as it comes. That will be about it for today’s entry.

I am surprised that I wrote this much. Earlier I had a temperature of 97.5 and now it is at 98.0 so I guess I am on the mend, but that is all I am writing today. I am definitely running on a low flame.

I Need To Know- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Back home after a wonderful afternoon spent with dear friends and family. Bill mentioned a while back that something should be done for my 50th birthday. He mentioned it to Rand and Lisa and Rand mentioned that his apartment just couldn’t handle a party at this time, so a picnic was suggested and it seemed most appropriate. The weather was perfect for it. Invites were sent via Facebook and people responded mainly saying they couldn’t make it. It lingered in the back of my mind throughout the week and eventually the day came, meaning today. Lois joined Rand and Lisa in the planning.

Today came and I was full of anxiety. I didn’t know who was going to come but I knew at least Rand and Lisa and Lois would be there. Bill was uncertain. Bill’s cousin had to take her boys out today and no one would be able to watch Bill’s mother except for Bill. That could possibly be a drag but there was nothing we could do about it. We proceeded as planned, Bill headed off this morning and I did my thing, meaning a trip to the bibliothèque to return items that were due back today.

One of the items was a DVD, The Descendants. A very good movie, Bill and I watched it last night. Though it was billed as a comedy it was more of a drama with some comedic moments. The script was excellent and the acting top notch. George Clooney is so easy on the eyes and a very good actor. I’d like to think he’s a nice guy as well, that seems to be what the word is. At least that was brought up in the extras on the DVD. All the cast and crew loved working with George Clooney. I would too.

Bill went to bed, I stayed up watching nothing in particular. He was off to Manhattan to take care of his mother and I was left with anxiety. Who was coming? What should I do? What should I bring? These were the questions running through my mind most of the day. At around 2:15 I decided to head out. The picnic was at Elysian Park here in Hoboken and I figured Rand, Lisa and Lois would be there setting up or something. I was at Elysian Park by 2:25 and walked around the park. I figured Rand would be dressed up somewhat since he dresses up lately, so I decided to dress nicely.

There was no one I knew at the park, in fact the only people in the park were parents and their kids giving off the vibe of ‘who’s that man by himself in the park’. Cue Aqualung by Jethro Tull or anything by Gary Glitter really. I texted Rand and asked if he needed help, to which he replied ‘Si.’ I walked back to Rand’s place, bumping into a friend May who was invited and had other things to do but she did say she would try to make it.

Rand and Lisa had a whole bunch of stuff that needed to be transported so we got all that together, and carted them over to the park. I also had my guitar with me and had my shoulder bag full of songs. Once we got to the park, Chaz joined us and Lisa went off to help Lois. I still had some anxiety as we set everything up.

We had a tent that we didn’t open since there was no need. It was bright and sunny and we chose a spot under some trees. Lois and Lisa arrived with foodstuffs and blankets and we all settled down. Friends started arriving and it was a lot of socializing, jokes and catching up. My sister in law Elaine came with Corinne and it was great they made it. Frank stayed home with Elaine’s father.

As I stood there talking I saw my cousin Neil drive by. At first I thought it was my brother Brian, but a few minutes went by and it was Neil, his wife Linda and her son Anthony. Julio and Stine arrived with Alexander, all on bicycles. Bill texted that he was on his way and was going to pick up the cake he ordered last night from the Cake Boss. I walked around socializing, playing my guitar, snacking and enjoying the company of friends and family.

Pictures were taken, people came and went. It was a great time and that’s about it. Some friends and family were missed, some understandably, some not. It was a fun time and now my anxiety is gone.

friends and family

11 In My Life

I Need To Hear A Country Song

It must be a Friday since there weren’t that many people out while I was busking this afternoon. The toddlers were kept in a short leash and the infants were just a drive by. No matter, I just practiced my playing, I’ve been focusing on the Beatles so today was I Dig a Pony and I Saw Her Standing There. I figure that most everyone likes the Beatles (it’s odd to meet someone who doesn’t) and their songs are easy and fun to play and recognizable. I’ve been wrestling with Baby’s In Black, it is easy enough with the chords, it’s the waltz timing that I am having trouble with.

Get Back is incredibly easy to play and sing along with and tomorrow I will see if I can get some backing vocals on Twist and Shout. Tomorrow is the party that Rand, Lisa and Lois are having for me, bring a guitar, a musical instrument and some food. Some people have RSVP’d and some have contacted me telling me they can’t make it. That’s too bad but them’s the breaks. Some people have to work, some people have to work around the house. Still it should be a good time with the friends that do arrive.

I texted my former co-worker Thomas today, wishing him and his fiancé a wonderful time at their wedding. Bill and I were invited but we couldn’t afford a gift and a rental car, and since we couldn’t very well show up without a gift we opted out. Thomas did express regret that Bill and I weren’t going to be there, and I bet as soon as the texting stopped he forgot all about it and continued to feed those butterflies in his stomach. As it should be. Thomas is a good guy, good enough to call him his real name, Brian.

I heard from my dear friend Billie from DC a few times this week. Apparently he sent me a birthday card which never arrived. He told me he sent a card to a friend in Baltimore in June and the friend didn’t get her card either. Both cards had cash in them. Someone in the USPS is a thief and stealing cards, or at least what accompanies the cards. Billie was justifiably pissed off and filed a complaint with the post office. Nothing will be done and no money will be recovered.

And Bill has been stressed. His aunt died last week, a week after his cousin was murdered in Puerto Rico. Bill’s mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s was sharing a room with her late sister at Bill’s cousin’s apartment, and now it seems that Bill’s mother will have to go to a home. Bill’s mother has gotten worse, to the point where she doesn’t recognize her own son anymore. Obviously she can’t be left alone and a rest home seems to be the only way to go. So there is a sadness that is mixed in with the happiness of the week.

I suppose that’s how life is- you have to take the good with the bad. We’ve had some wonderful times this week and of course there is the underlying current of sadness. I am just glad that I can be there for Bill, if only to offer a hug and a shoulder to cry on. My life would be a mess if he wasn’t around and I am certainly glad he is, just as he is glad I am around. You’re riding high on Monday, and you’re shot down on Thursday. But we’ve got each other and that’s enough.

I Need To Be In Love

It’s Thursday and it’s the day after my birthday. I got lots of good wishes from many friends and it was all very nice and groovy. I did not do any busking yesterday, instead just laid back. Of course resumes went out and of course no responses came in. I went to bed later than usual the night before and that made me sleep later than usual but it was alright. I forgot that Chaz was stopping by, but within the space of an hour I was relatively awake and caffeinated enough to have Chaz come over. No scanning, just coffee.

Chaz got me four Andy Warhol cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup from Target as well as a nice Andy Warhol coffee mug. I drank from my usual cup and let Chaz have the first sips from the new mug. We talked for a while then walked over to the record store where I picked up the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines. I thought about heading into the city to get them but Chaz said they were in stock in Hoboken and that made my life a little bit easier. I was going into the city anyhow, but did not have to rush around.

Chaz split and I busied myself thanking so many people on Facebook for their birthday greetings. I’m a lucky guy to have so many friends and family. Bill had something planned and wasn’t letting me know what it was. The plan was to meet him in front of his office building and from there we would go wherever it was that he had set up. I was on time, actually a little bit early and he was running late so I found a place to sit and enjoy a cigar. I sat on a chair on Broadway at 41st and waited while listening to the iPod.

Bill showed up, calling first and looking for me. Once we found each other we walked up a few blocks to John’s Pizza which is an occasional thing we do for birthdays when we’re in the theater district. Not much of a wait and the food came quickly. I sat next to an electrical outlet and was able to charge up my smartphone which was good. Bill had a ginger ale and I had a diet Pepsi and soon enough we were on the street walking towards Eighth Avenue.

We passed a mounted policeman and I stroked the horse’s face as I walked by. I never did that before and the policeman didn’t seem to mind, neither did the horse. Bill still was not letting on where we were going. I mentioned Jersey Boys and he said no. I also mentioned Rock of Ages but Bill knew better than that. Once we passed 54th Street I was stumped. I couldn’t think of anymore theaters in the area and Bill remained tight lipped. I thought Carnegie Club but thankfully that wasn’t it either and I did not mention it.

As we got closer to the cigar shack environs I joked about how weak I was feeling, like Superman with kryptonite. But we merely walked by without me seeing anyone I knew. I did get a call from Jerry vale who called with birthday greetings earlier, but he was off work at the cigar shack. I thought we might be going to a movie but Bill said why would we go up this far to see a movie when there are quite a number of screens on 42nd Street that we could have checked out. I remained baffled as we continued walking, enjoying cigars.

Finally we made it. We were going to see War Horse. We were both blown away when we saw some of it on the Tony Awards and Bill remembered that. We had gotten there at the right time and settled in our seats, eventually having to get up to accommodate 8 people who came in just as the lights were dimming. I sat next to a guy with a cowboy hat who was breathing quite heavily and seemed to focus on the fact that Bill and I were holding hands during the play, rather than watching the story unfold on stage.

At intermission I asked the guy with the cowboy hat if he was in fact a cowboy but he wasn’t. He did ask where Bill & I thought he was from and we both answered at the same time, ‘Texas’ which is where he was from. An amazing play, the puppeteers were phenomenal, it was like watching a real horse on stage and I did ask Bill if my stroking the horse’s face back in Times Square threw him for a loop. It didn’t, in fact he didn’t put it together until I brought it up.

Bill and I were the only ones in a full house standing up and applauding at the end of the show and we thought that was odd. I think War Horse is ending its run soon having been running for about two years. Back on the street outside the theater we opted to have another cigar and take our time, walking back to the bus terminal. A lovely evening and a short wait for the bus. We found some good seats and Bill was able to stretch out his leg which was acting up since we had done a lot of walking.

At one point both Bill and I were staring at our smartphones and we heard someone comment that they hoped Bill & I weren’t texting each other. We weren’t and that someone turned out to be our neighbor Kevin who lives with Deborah on the fourth floor. We had a nice chat as we walked to our building, leaving Kevin on the fourth floor as Bill and I continued up one flight. By then it was almost midnight and too late to write. I mean, I could have but was too tuckered out after such a busy evening.

And that was it basically. Bill once again outdid himself and I was blown away. A easy day today, resumes out, busking in the afternoon, mainly Get Back and Twist and Shout. The toddlers came by, but the second time as they were walking back, they were so thrilled to see me, they ran from their minders and were taken back to the day care without any stopping to dance and clap hands.

The infants in the four seat strollers did come by and they of course shook in their seats and clapped hands as much as they could. I headed home after about two hours of playing, running into young Tim who was setting up with some friends of his. Tim had his banjo and his buddies had a saxophone and an acoustic guitar, ready to do some Dixieland thing.

I invited them and I am inviting you to join the party that Rand, Lisa and Lois are throwing me in Elysian Park on Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00. Bring food, bring an instrument. Have fun and celebrate my half century.

former Farfetched customer Ray, who made it a point to stop by and say hello.

Me and the one I love.

03 Oh Babe, What Would You Say_

I Need This

Yes it’s that time of year again. Sadness and melancholy fill the air. Memories of what was and how things were, haunt the airwaves. Some television stations go so far as to play their original broadcasts from 11 years ago. Down to the last second. I suppose it’s needed for some people but personally I have no need to relive those events today since it is always in my mind. The fact that the weather is just like it was 11 years ago doesn’t help. It’s a bad, sad day and I guess it will continue to be so for a long time.

10 years ago was the last time I spoke to Derry Gelaney. She and I worked together 12 years ago and I was let go from that position during the summer. When the first anniversary of the tragic events came up, I called Derry to see how she was doing. Her response was along the lines of ‘why are you calling me?’ Not what I expected, since I thought she might have been feeling the way I was feeling since we were at each other’s side then. I had seen her twice since then but never said anything since she didn’t seem to recognize me.

Last night I went out. I walked over to Maxwells to see Mike Cecchini’s band, the Neutron Drivers play. They were very good, cracking power pop. I enjoyed them a lot more than the headliners who were just alright. Rand & Lisa were there as was Sarah who is Mike’s girlfriend.

I had two Corona’s and that was it for me. I just wasn’t feeling the music and if I’m not feeling the music then I generally try to leave. I think Rand was disappointed in my early departure but I didn’t want to spend any more money and wanted to be with Bill.

And there was Bill, so happy to have me back home. And of course soon after I came home Bill went to bed. I stayed up of course watching Harry Potter. After that I too was in bed, sleeping soundly despite having a very nice nap earlier in the day. Apparently though, when Bill’s alarm clock went off I started yelling at Bill to turn it off. I have no recollection of this but Bill told me when he called me this morning. I do remember him kissing me goodbye and I’m sure I was somewhat pleasant.

With all the melancholy in the air today I did make it out busking. A memorial was set for 6:30 this evening so I figured it would be alright to play some songs this afternoon. Tariq made it by and I showed him how to play Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith. I even gave him the chord sheet since I think I know it well enough, but having written that I will probably freeze up and forget all that I had learned. The toddlers did not make it by me today but their younger counterparts, infants did make it and they clapped and swayed in their four seat strollers as they were pushed by.

Not too many people out and about this afternoon. It has gotten cooler and I wore blue jeans instead of shorts. I think next time I will wear a long sleeved shirt as well. I don’t know if I will be busking tomorrow since tomorrow is my birthday and Bill told me to keep tomorrow night free. I may head into the city and check out some art galleries, and of course pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines.

What Bill has planned, he won’t say. He likes surprising me and so tomorrow I think I will be surprised. Rand, Lisa and Lois have planned a birthday party for me on Saturday at a park I Hoboken so that should be fun. If you’d like to join us, drop me a line and I will give you the info.

Neutron Drivers

07 Love

I Need Love

And so today, I find myself on September 10. Not a bad day, it’s been alright thanks. Yesterday wasn’t so bad either. No busking but I did sit by the river and enjoyed a cigar as I read. After the maelstrom on Saturday it was good to be out and about. And there were a lot of people out and about. There was also the last day of the Italian feast on River Road which accounted for the marching band and the testing of fireworks in the afternoon. That was why a quarter of Pier A being inaccessible to the out and about crowd.

I was home at an all too decent hour and once again, once home I am in for the evening. That meant no going to see any acquaintance play. I did intend to go but the four flights of stairs defeated me and I wanted to spend time with Bill who had spent the day with his cousin and her family since his cousin lost her mother earlier in the week. I didn’t know what type of mood Bill would be in so I waited with tea and sympathy, or rather a Klondike bar and a hug.

He was OK and we just hung out watching TV, nothing in particular just the news. Then he went to bed and I stayed up watching more of nothing in particular. Slept well last night and woke up easy as well. I was up and out rather quickly, a trip to the bibliothèque and then a walk to the really big supermarket. It was the right time, apparently if you go before noon there are significantly less people which makes for a pleasant shopping experience as I walked up and down the aisles humming along to She’d Rather be With Me by the Turtles.

Though it’s unofficial, today felt like summer was over with the air feeling quite autumnal. I decided to go out and do some busking. I practiced Maggie May by Rod Stewart at home and did alright, but once I was on the promenade it did not go over well. It was too windy to pull out the sheets of songs and chords so whatever I had memorized would have to do. Well that and whatever I had on Google Drive which is also on my smartphone, just much smaller. And since it was September 10, the song of the day was One After 909.

The other night for a lark I decided to see if I could download the movie, Let It Be and I did. Not exactly the feel good Fabs movie as they’re falling apart and Paul’s trying to keep it all together. But it’s the rooftop concert which is the best part and what inspired me to figure out One After 909. Easy enough to play and I had the Google Drive to back me up should I falter. Mike Cecchini walked by and we had a good talk before I started playing.

I reckon that I will have to dress a little more appropriately for the weather which means I would have to wear pants. Since May I’ve only worn pants once and that was for an interview a week or so ago. From what I heard I might have a good foot in the running. It was getting too cold to continue busking plus nature was calling so that meant I had to pack everything up and go and answer the call which I did. Then I came home and opened a box that Annemarie, Rex and Earl sent for my birthday and once the box was opened cookies and brownies were enjoyed.

I Need Air

Well timing is everything and time is relative. I was just sitting by the river, reading a book and enjoying a cigar. The weather was pleasant after a few hours of dark clouds and rain. Bill was supposed to sing at Randall’s Island for an event this morning but it was cancelled on account of rain. The rest of my reading a book and sitting by the river enjoying a cigar was also cancelled by the rain. I sat there and the wind started and I turned around to look westward. There it was- a major storm approaching my way.

I packed up my things and headed home. Lots of people had the same idea, though they were running. I just walked fast and plotted my course with the least amount of trees on the path I was taking. It was getting windy and the trees were swaying. There were some buskers (Pat and Benny) who were probably cocktailing and oblivious to the oncoming storm. I told them about it and they turned around and started packing up their gear. The storm mainly passed, only some rain nothing torrential coming down. But it certainly looked quite ominous, enough to hurry home.

It was certainly bad out by Breezy Point in Queens where a tornado touched down. There is video out there on the interwebs should you care to look for it. I don’t think anyone was hurt which is good. Last night Bill and I watched the news where it was reported that a grandfather was watching his grandson practice football and was struck by lightning out of a clear blue sky. I guess that you never can tell, blue skies, cloudy skies- when you’re number is up, that’s it-time to go. A bunch of kids saw the old man get zapped.

Bill came home a bit damp on the clothes and more damp in the spirit. He was in no mood for anything and went back to bed. After that I headed out to read by the river. Which was the beginning of this here blog entry. I meant to post the other day that Bill and I watched the Black Swan last weekend. It was quite good and very intense. We were both impressed with the whole thing. I myself re-watched the last episodes of True Blood which ended the season last Sunday. The last two episodes of the season were the best of the season.

Now Bill and I are watching The Apartment which Bill had never seen before. Jack Lemmon’s character CC Baxter lives on west 67th Street off the park his rent was $85.00 a month. He was making $95.00 a week which was quite a princely sum back then. Bill is amazed at the pacing and plotting of the movie. It really is a great movie, one of Billy Wilder’s best. Bill is totally engrossed in the movie and I am enjoying watching Bill see it for the first time. It’s like a window into the past watching The Apartment.

13 Dirty Water

I Need A Silent Night

It’s a Friday and so far so good. Last night did not go so well. Fell asleep for about an hour or so then I woke up with the Everly Brothers singing Cathy’s Clown in my head. I did the right thing and got out of bed around 3:00 and surfed the net for a while before heading back to sleep for a few more hours. That went well, then Bill kissed me goodbye as he was headed off to the gym and then work at 6:00 then I woke up again for a little while before I was able to sleep again.

I did have a plan today. I had been corresponding with Payless since my sneakers started to fall apart soon after I bought them, but they were still wearable and they matched the chip on my shoulder. About a week after that they fell into further disrepair and I stopped wearing them. Of course I did not have the receipt but according to customer service that would be no problem. So I trooped over a couple of miles to the Newport Mall, Airwalks in my bag. I called customer service once again to make sure it was OK that I didn’t have the receipt.

And it was OK. I walked in and stood by an empty register. Just then a manager appeared and I told her my tale of woe. She understood and directed me to get a new pair if I wanted to or get store credit. I opted for the new Airwalks and after a quick and easy transaction, I was walking back to Hoboken. It was quite hot too, dense heat and a cloudless sky. I came home and took off the work boots and put on the new sneakers. Then after a few minutes I headed out again.

Busking was on the agenda for today and it had been a number of days since I last busked. I found a decent spot under a tree and set about playing some songs, A Hard Day’s Night, Walk on By, and Hateful by the Clash. It was going well. Tariq even showed up and was enjoying my playing as he was cocktailing. He is a good player and has the cojones to play on Washington Street at night, where he probably makes good money. I opt for the waterfront and the adoration of toddlers and change.

Tariq mentioned how much he enjoyed what I used to do, which was some improvisations. I play a few chords and sing about the people walking by in front of me. The color of their clothes, what’s on their t-shirts, the fact that some people look serious (but when they hear me singing about them they smile). I also sing about students from Stevens Tech and the amount of backpacks they carry to the trains and also sing about the nannies pushing strollers. So I did it again and had Tariq doubled over in laughter.

The funny thing is I am more comfortable doing that improve thing when there is a friendly face around and Tariq had the friendly face. If I had the nerve to do it without anyone around I would but since that rarely happens I rarely do it. Plus, when I do such a thing the people smile or smirk and just hurry along. They don’t linger and they don’t dig for change. But today turned out to be a good day, things went well and the toddlers showed up so happy to dance and clap along as I play. And you know that can’t be bad.

I Need A Lover

Blah blah blah. Am I right? Another day, low key at best. Ran around some, did some errands. I did not go to the bibliothèque, at least not yet. There’s still time. I did request a book the other day and as of yesterday it is en route. I figured it would get here by today and since the bibliothèque closes at 8:00 tonight I still might get an email letting me know it had arrived. It’s a lot like watching paint dry. It’s been a slow going day today with the sun finally making an appearance late in the afternoon.

I was in midtown Manhattan this afternoon and ran into my friend Jesse. Jesse had news to tell me about our mutual friend Marcus. When Jesse told me this news I feared the worst. But as it turns out it wasn’t the worst, but it wasn’t the best either. It seems that Marcus has been deported. Apparently he was in custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the past year. That is certainly too bad, but Marcus is a survivor and I am sure he will be back one way or another. He does have family here.

I told Jesse to give my best to Marcus’ family. I was soon back in Hoboken and decided to have a seat by Pier A and read. It felt funny without my guitar. I thought I would be situated to be away from my usual spot so I wouldn’t be seen by the toddlers without the guitar. As luck would have it, there they were trooping around Pier A with their minders, asking me where my guitar was, and making the motions of strumming. I told them the guitar was home sleeping but they would see it tomorrow. Too much information for their minds.

I have been playing the guitar inside and trying to remember songs by heart. Not Ann & Nancy Wilson from Heart, but by memory is what I should have written. Lately after I’ve properly butchered a song enough, I’ve been going off on musical tangents which I think sound pretty cool. I have one on a Sound Cloud and I am sure I have posted it here before, around 8 months ago. So now I have the itch to do another and I might just post a new ditty tonight. I have no idea what it will sound like.

I listened to the older song on Sound Cloud since someone I used to admire in the 1980’s started following me on the Cloud. To me I think it sounds a lot like Laraaji, someone that Brian Eno produced back in the 1970’s. Not as melodious as Laraaji of course but conceptually it’s near that neighborhood. And also perhaps a little Feelies in the mix which is probably by osmosis. Having written that I can safely say that it is nowhere near Laraaji or the Feelies. Or anything else for that matter. I guess it sounds like me.

I just did a search online for this here blog and could not find the link to the Sound Cloud. So here it is again. NSFH or NSFW, and definitely NSFD. It may cause drowsiness and alcohol intensifies the effect. Use care when using the Sound Cloud. It may cause dizziness as well. Do use caution. And now, on with the shoe.

I Need A Dollar

Another wishy washy day. And it’s a Wednesday and even for me it feels like a Tuesday. The holiday on Monday once again throws everything out of whack. I’ve been out and about, sometimes in the rain today. Not going far, just within Hoboken city limits and not even near the borders. A trip to the really big supermarket not just because it’s cheaper but because the workers at the other supermarket are just a bit on the snotty side of things. I wander around the really big supermarket with a basket singing along to the songs that are played on the store’s PA.

Another bibliothèque visit was in order. They did correct the problem with regards to the DVD return, it was finally taken off my card. As I suspected, the dear old lady who I talked to about it yesterday did not do anything about it. I brought it up again and by the time I got home it was taken care of. And I took out a new DVD, Infamous, the ‘other’ Truman Capote movie, this one starring Toby Jones and Sandra Bullock with Daniel Craig as the Beaver. I’d seen it before and figured why not again?

I also have The Decendants and The Apartment. I watched The Apartment a week or so ago on Turner Classic Movies and I didn’t think Bill had seen it before. It’s a great movie and I am sure he would love it. That’s two things I like to do with Bill, turn him onto new music as well as classic movies. And so far I am doing good. Last night we watched the Democratic National Convention on C-Span. It made so much sense to watch it on C-Span. No advertising. I tried watching the Repugnant Convention last week on PBS and even they had adverts. Adverts for themselves, but still…

Finally there is a blue sky after it being rainy and cloudy all day. Of course since the weather was most uncooperative there was no busking today. Despite that I practiced a bit and I think it went well. No complaints, no blood, just callouses. Oh and Harpy was right, both the new Bob Dylan and the new Cat Power records are very good. I would also add the new Tom Tom Club EP to the list. I heard it first via Chris Frantz posting via East Village Radio the streaming of Downtown Rockers. It’s light, it’s fun and it’s the Tom Tom Club.

I saw online that the National Guard is looking for a Human Resources Specialist and thought about applying for it, but upon further reading of “Job training requires nine weeks of Basic Training, where you’ll learn basic Soldiering skills, and seven to nine weeks of Advanced Individual Training and on-the-job instruction, where you will learn basic typing skills, how to prepare Army correspondence and forms, how to manage personnel records, and computer update and retrieval procedures.” I thought better of it.

I don’t need to learn basic typing skills, at least I don’t think I do. After all, I have posted 2,357 entries so far and I think I have the hang of it. It did seem promising (the job posting that is. This here blog seems promising every so often, but more often than not it seems somewhat needy). While it does occur to me on occasion that it is truly ‘De Profundis’ in the most banal way, I still find it worthwhile to continue on whatever path it may lead.

Bill and I had a talk about it over the weekend, with me bringing up Jimmy Seltzer’s name and the scheme to collaborate on something. But that was earlier this year and since I have not seen dear Jimmy since May, I can only guess that that collaboration has been shelved indefinitely. C’est la vie!

07 – Red Leaves

I Need A Girl

I guess most everyone has gone back to their routines now that summer is unofficially over. And I guess it is somewhat fitting that it’s been a grey day overall, with periods of rain. It’s supposed to be like this until Thursday, at least that is what the forecast said. I was intending to go busking and tempt the weather but after a trip to the supermarket it started to rain so busking wasn’t going to happen. I practiced inside instead. It went well, keeping the callouses intact which makes playing chords that much easier. Still it would have been nice to go and play.

A trip to the bibliothèque was also in order. A DVD I had taken out was never put on my card. When I returned it, that’s when it went on the card. I walked to the bibliothèque and spoke to an elderly woman behind the counter. I don’t think she is that computer savvy so I’ve been checking the library card on the BCCLS website which still has the DVD on my library card. I did contact BCCLS about it when I got back home and they suggested doing what I had already done, talk to my bibliothèque.

That’s about all for now so here is a flashback to previous September 4’s over the years.

September 4, 2006 was Labor Day and Bill and I just got a California King sized bed. It was difficult to carry up four flights of steps, difficult until Julio helped us. We watched Syriana on DVD, Julio, Bill and I and also drank some beers on the front stoop, at least Julio and I did. Personally I think my writing has improved since 2006 but then again, what do I know?

September 4, 2007 was a Tuesday and it was 80 degrees. Bill was with his mother who was beginning to suffer from Alzheimer’s. I was working for that Biotechnology Investment Bank (BIO-IB), everyone back from their holiday weekend including Greg Stevens who was in the Hamptons for two weeks. Everything seemed to be going nicely in 2007.

September 4, 2008 was a scorcher and a Thursday. The place where I used to get my lunch on Thursdays was closed. I was still working for the BIO-IB. Bill and I watched the right wing convention and collection of idiots and morons. Also got into a flame war with some trolls. My how times have changed.

September 4, 2009 was a Friday and I was unemployed after the BIO-IB went under. Not my fault! Some Maxwells people were heard from via casual encounters on the street. I wrote about how the state of Texas murdered an innocent man ignoring scientific evidence and instead believeing in superstitious ways. God will welcome the innocent I suppose but would this god condemn those who had the innocent man’s blood on their hands? Silly gods and stupid believers. Bill got ready for driving the bus again. plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

September 4, 2010 working at the cigar shack on a Saturday. The one I wrote about as Raymond was still working there even though he was caught with his hand in the till on the store camera. It’s a good thing Raymond did not take to writing about his day or else they would have fired his ass ASAP. A bomb scare had the cigar shack evacuated with the rest of the area. A fire at the sanitation terminal made for a smoky and smelly lunch hour. Drinks with Rand and Lisa and Lois at Maxwells.

September 4, 2011 was a Sunday and therefore I did not write. Aren’t you lucky?

Enjoy the Silence 12 Inch Mix

I Need A Doctor

Well today is a rather unimpressive Labor Day. It’s been cloudy and seems like it is going to rain at any time. I suppose that is how it should be the ones who feel that Labor Day is the end of summer though we know it isn’t really. Bill is down in Atlantic City, with no play to stage manage and no wakes to attend in Puerto Rico and no place to sing the Star Spangled Banner he is back to bus driving which is his true love, or at least one of them. I guess it’s a return to normalcy… whatever that is.

Saturday was a very nice day. I did post the videos of Bill singing. We had a few giggles when we got back home, specifically how Bill marches out of the frame, his chest all puffed up like someone is about to get duffed. We also discussed how we have to get Bill a new outfit for events such as this. Some nice new trousers would do, something more fitting since Bill has lost quite a bit of weight the past months. Overall though, the trip to Staten Island was a lot of fun, the ferry ride is always fun.

It was quite crowded in the Manhattan terminal, at least a few hundred of us standing around waiting for the ferry to arrive while an earnest busker played her songs, vocals and guitar over amplified where it was thisclose to being distorted. Still she has more nerve than I and I duly tossed a dollar into her case for which she thanked me. After each song she received a smattering of applause and when she covered The Police, Message in a Bottle I told Bill that I had been practicing that song a few days before.

We received wristbands that enabled us to ‘All You Can Eat’ only it was certain foods we were allowed to eat. We found that out getting on a line and ordering food and then showing the wristband. Then we were told we had to get in the queue about thirty feet away where the foods were hot dogs, hamburgers, bags of potato chips and Pepsi. So of course Bill and I ate what we could, occasionally getting back in the queue for more grub. It was ‘All You Can Eat’ after all and we were very hungry.

Bill’s voice teacher Susan joined us near our seats with her friend Laura. They set about doing box scores as Bill and I enjoyed the game and the antics that the Staten Island Yankees provide. Dancers, games and t-shirts thrown into the crowd. At the 7th Inning, Bill sang God Bless America and that went over very well. Staten Islanders all reaching out to sake Bill’s hand, telling him his version was the best ever. I was quite proud of Bill.

We left at the 8th inning, the Staten Island Yankees hadn’t scored. Another couple of hundred people all milling about waiting for the next ferry. Young people, all dolled up for a night in Manhattan. Girls and boys all tarted up ready to paint the town red. We were home around 11:30 and it was too late for me to go to Maxwells, plus I was very tired. My mood had lifted, probably from spending time with Bill. We watched Humoresque on Turner Classic Movies, starring Joan Crawford, John Garfield and Oscar Levant who impressed both Bill and myself. I enjoyed Levant’s humor and Bill enjoyed his piano playing. It was a nice end to a nice day overall, and I owe it all to Bill.

Susan and Bill


More Eastwooding

Ho Hum Labor Day

3 – What the World Needs Now Is Love

I Love You Bill Vila

Another day in Hoboken. Plenty of parking to be had and not much of a reason to write, except to write those 500 words and be done with it. I am still in a bit of a funk and I guess I will work my own way out of it eventually. I was pretty tired yesterday and had a nice nap in the late afternoon. And I had a dream where I had woken up from the nap and opened the door while holding the guitar as Bill walked in. Of course that didn’t happen. Bill didn’t come home until a few hours later, having had a lesson with his voice teacher in preparation for the singing of the national anthem and another song during the seventh inning stretch.

That is happening tonight at the baseball stadium of the Staten Island Yankees which is supposed to be close to the ferry terminal. I am fairly ambivalent to the whole thing. Of course seeing Bill sing is always a thrill. The national anthem takes about one minute and thirty seconds to sing. The other song, written by Irving Berlin more than likely takes about two minutes and hopefully thirty seconds to sing. It’s not one of my favorite songs and hopefully once that song is completed we can head back home.

There was a plan to see my brother Frank at Maxwells. He is going to see the dB’s and I would be going to see him, but since I am feeling the way I am feeling I would much rather just go home than do anything that involves going out. Plus as much as I like the dB’s on their records, I find them live to be rather dull. They’re all competent musicians but live there is something lacking. Of course I’ve had hit or miss experiences when going to see the dB’s which my brother brought up when we spoke the other day on the phone.

As usual writing helps me out despite my dislike of writing. To quote Dorothy Parker: “I hate having to write but love having written”. That sums it up for me basically. Last night Bill and I watched the Sound of Music. He had never seen it before from start to finish (and technically he still hasn’t since he walked in on the first half hour) and he loved it and kept thanking me for showing it to him. I enjoyed it myself but still it didn’t lift me out of my funk. Perhaps it would take something other than a movie that is almost as old as I am.

I went to bed before Bill and did not sleep that well at all. Lots of tossing and turning and not much rest in that. I could have used a few more hours but I was up before Bill and when I went out he was still asleep. And now it’s going on almost three hours with no contact from Bill. Perhaps he is still asleep. I did turn the volume up on the phone so if he decides to call I will hear it. But if he doesn’t and heads to the Staten Island Yankees game without me, well then I am off the hook and able to do nothing whatsoever which of course, is more than fine with me.

Sleep seems like the proper option which I hope to do the first chance I get, the sooner the better.