Monthly Archives: October 2012

I Can’t Stand the Rain

Well I might as well start writing now while we still have power. And having written that sentence…
Bill and I are safely indoors waiting to the storm to arrive. So far it’s been windy and rainy but it’s not really raining. Some precipitation is falling or rather flying sideways. I went out earlier just for a few minutes to see what was happening and came home shortly thereafter. An hour or so later, the tree in front of our building was knocked over by winds. It was just chopped in two as the picture and video below will show.

We’ve been indoors mostly. I did go out yesterday and checked out the waterfront, where I used to busk. It wasn’t that bad, some white caps on the river and a bit windy. I walked around Pier A and took some snapshots, then walked into the train station for a moment. A couple of hours later the area by the train station was beginning to flood and soon after that, the train tracks inside the station were filling with water. It wasn’t windy, it wasn’t raining, it was the proximity of the river and a full moon high tide with the rising waters from the storm surge.

It was eerily quiet last night when I went to bed. Bill was already asleep. Before falling asleep he called his office to see if they were open or closed today (they were closed). I sent some info to friends in Manhattan to let them know that the MTA was shutting down as well as NJ Transit. Last year while working at the cigar shack, the same thing happened when Hurricane Irene approached. There was no way to get to and from work for anyone so there was no work.

We didn’t get paid for the day but if we were working at the cigar shack Swiss cheese headquarters in Florida and couldn’t make it in, then we would have gotten paid. Since we were mere grunts in suits and ties in New York City, and despite Zack’s impotent attempt we got nothing. So some of those friends got the word, I figured they would tell other people. I couldn’t give a damn if they told the marsupial. I don’t know if possums could swim.

It is now 4PM and there are no cars allowed to drive on the streets of Hoboken. A big construction crane is dangling on west 57th Street due to the high winds. A curfew is in effect in Hoboken at 6PM. And the fucking storm isn’t even here yet. I’ve seen pictures of Ocean City MD, Atlantic City, Ortley Beach and they’re all overrun by the ocean waters. Fire Island has been evacuated and I can only wonder what is going on in Sandy Hook or any of those shore towns on Route 36.

So far we are OK here in Hoboken. We can’t leave the building due to downed wires so we are in for the night. We’re fine with provisions so now we just have to ride it out. Hope all is well where you are.

goodbye tree

Sinatra Park, Hoboken

Between Pier A and Train Station

Ocean City MD

West 57th St NYC

Photo by theboken • Instagram.

Photo by cynthiamarie07 • Instagram.

Ann Peebles I Can’t Stand the Rain

I Only Said

I went out. On a Friday night. Not much to anyone really but I hardly ever go out these days. I took my time getting it together, not 100% sure if I was going out. I told Rand about it and he seemed ambivalent and then yesterday he told me he was staying in. No bother, I readied myself and was soon on the street. In the back of my mind I kept trying to talk myself out of going but as that was going on, I continued walking, one step after another and I enjoyed a cigar as I walked to the Path train.

Crossing Hudson Street, a jogger ran past me and instead of the usual complaint or look of disdain, the jogger said, ‘Even though I am running, that smells nice’ and I smiled at her as she kept on running. With Halloween on Wednesday this year and with the possibility that it might be canceled, there were a lot of people all going out in costume, headed to parties and bars. I of course was not one of them. I lucked out and when I got to the Path train, I was the last one on before the doors closed and found a seat.

The show was nice, it was certainly good to see Jane again and it was over within an hour. We were able to catch up only for a few minutes before Jane had to leave with the band to store their instruments. She couldn’t hang out today either since it was rehearsal before another gig tonight. Still, I was glad to spend whatever time I could get with her since I hadn’t seen her in a few years. I walked back across the East Village, to the Path train which departed as soon as I got to the turnstile.

It was a brief wait and I was back on the mainland in no time. Plenty of parties and party goers on the street since it was Halloween weekend. I watched some TV before heading off to bed, sleeping uneasily once again since Bill was not around.

I woke up with the alarm clock this morning and set about starting my day. I entered my name for a chance to attend a listening party for the latest Brian Eno release and the other day I found out I made the cut. I had a Plus One and since Bill was driving I asked Chaz to come with me. Chaz has taken me to things like this in the past and it was good to take him along this time. Notoriously we went to a god awful early screening of Howard the Duck in the 1980’s.

Since I wanted this to be a surprise I told him we were going to see the restored version of Howard the Duck. Chaz and I met up in Hoboken and took the bus in. We walked up Ninth Avenue to the Church of All Nations, where the listening party was going on. We were probably fourth and fifth in line. We sat in the church, in chairs not pews, perhaps because it was a Lutheran church, no gold, no glitz, no glamor.

The music started at 1:00 and it was nice chill out music, like the music that Brian Eno has been doing lately. Apparently it’s one piece in four sections. The type of music that would be played in Weehawken late at night, just hanging out and talking with William and Julio. The other people attending took it so seriously, sitting eyes closed. I mentioned to Chaz afterwards that if I closed my eyes I would likely be fast asleep in no time. The new release is called ‘Lux’ and I’ve been saying that he named it after the late lead singer of the Cramps.

75 minutes later it was over. It was pleasant and I will probably buy it when it comes out. Chaz and I walked around Columbus Circle, hoping to see the installation at the Columbus statue but not wanting to wait 30 minutes, we moved on with Chaz telling stories about meeting Marc Bolan here, David Bowie there. Chaz has been an active fan since the early 1970’s and has seen a lot of shows and acts and has the ticket stubs to each and every show as well as set lists for all of the above.

A walk to the Path train once again, this time quite crowded. I got off in Hoboken and Chaz continued to Jersey City. That’s basically the day. Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again, the Frankenstorm approaches. I haven’t been to the supermarket but from what I heard the shelves have been wiped out. I may still go to see what I can get though we do have enough, one can’t be too sure.

Chris Stamey, Andriana Markano & Jane Scarpantoni


10 Taking Tiger Mountain

I Only Wear Blue

Well, all that anxiety and nervousness for nothing. I mean I was all worked up with playing guitar last night, nerves of Jello I would say and it was all over in under 20 minutes. I enjoyed it somewhat though on the clips posted last night that could be disputed. A glitch or two during a couple of songs but recovered nicely I would say. We would have liked to have stayed at Maxwell’s but Bill was getting hungry and he needed to get to the supermarket. I’m still waiting for news on how the rest of the evening went.

The word is that it was a wild success!

Once again Bill is off to Atlantic City tonight and I am actually going out myself. Into Manhattan no less. I may be going solo, I don’t know but my friend Jane is playing and it’s been too long since I’d seen her. It’s on the lower east side and I am already plotting which way I should go. Weather-wise it’s yet another cloudy day, looking like rain and also the looming threat of the Frankenstorm crawling up the eastern seaboard which killed 29 in the Caribbean in the past 48 hours. The hype is that it will be worse than Hurricane Irene.

And that was last year in 2011, most everything was shut down, public transportation was not running and the cigar shack staff was told not to come in (even though we were unable to) and we did not get paid for the day. If we were in Florida where the cigar shack chalet was located and shut down due to a hurricane we would have gotten paid, but in the glass walled canyons of Manhattan- no dice. No notices have been posted yet about what will be open, what will not be running or whether Halloween will be canceled again.

Hoboken is getting prepared though, shelters being set up in schools, flood area residents being told to park their cars in garages. It’s all supposed to go down Sunday evening I believe so there should be plenty of time for hoarding whatever items one might need when hunkering down for a storm. Of course this storm has nothing to do with climate change, it is more than likely the fault of a woman’s right to choose as well as the perils of same sex marriage. I think Bill and I will be alright and should ride out the storm with no problem, knock wood.

According to the news online, Bloomberg is being cautious with regards to the approaching storm, allowing unused 32 ounce cups to be used as buckets should the need arise. Exterior construction is being halted at 5:00 PM today and people are being advised to stay out of the parks come Sunday afternoon. High tide, a full moon and a big storm approaching does not bode well. Subway work has been canceled.

I watched True Grit by Joel and Ethan Coen. Oh it was quite good, so much better than the John Wayne version. Then again I haven’t seen the John Wayne version in decades but still this version was great, top notch acting and story. I highly recommend it. The girl, Hailee Steinfeld was incredible as were Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. And Josh Brolin too. Apparently this version of True Grit is closer to the original novel than the John Wayne version. Not that I am about to find out, I have enough to read.

I have to admit my dismay with some Facebook friends, (some that I know in person and some that I grew up with) that are throwing their support behind Willard Romney. These friends say they support the relationship that Bill and I have and do support same sex marriage, yet on the other hand are behind Willard Romney who is against same sex marriage and pledges to fight against it with a constitutional amendment.

From playwright Doug Wright: I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say,” My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.” It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Projected path of Hurricane Sandy as of 5:15PM 10.26.2012

01 Heart Of Glass

I Only Want to be With You

Alright already! It’s the day of the Hoboken Fair Rent Association benefit at Maxwell’s and I am taking part in it. I will be the first person on stage which is only right since no one knows who I am really, or at least didn’t know I could play guitar. I helped one of the organizers get it together and mentioned that if he needed someone to fill holes in the schedule I would be willing to jump in. I did not expect to receive any billing at all, and I most certainly did not expect to be called ‘Johnnie’. So it goes.

I’m anxious of course. Just a fear of failing and by failing I mean playing the wrong chords. Bill will be there recording it so I will have my very own Zapruder film happening. I’ve been practicing and I am taking a precaution of scotch taping some chords to my guitar for when I get that deer in the headlights thing going on. I will be playing rock and roll hits on the acoustic guitar and would have been fine with that if it weren’t for someone asking me why I wasn’t playing any activist songs. Threw me for a loop it did.

So in the back of my mind I can’t help but think of activist songs to play but of course I am drawing a blank and let’s face it, I’m not the best guitar player out there. As I’ve explained to Bill who is an actual musician, I am not a musician- merely someone who plays guitar. I suppose some songs I am considering playing can have an activist slant to them. At least that is what I told ol’ Melvin. Am I comfortable playing these songs? Can I actually play these songs? It seemed easier when busking and being ignored by passerby.

Like I wrote I will be playing rock and roll tunes and when you think rock and roll tunes you might think of some guy jumping about on stage like Pete Townsend or any other animated performer. Me? I have the self reputation of merely standing there and strumming, or as I like to compare it, a tree with an itch. I’ve been texting with Lois just now and she has some good ideas that I might try out. The main thing is that I just have to stay out of my own way and hopefully out of my own head.

I am anxious about something that wouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and will more than likely be over with before I realize it. Why do I forget the punk ideal of getting up on stage and doing something? I know I have supported hundreds of bands when they got on stage, and I know I will have some support. Perhaps I am making too much out of this. According to Lois, I just have to own my moment and enjoy it while I can. I just have to make sure the fingers go in the right position and not try to hit those high notes.

And then there is some sort of backstage drama and I’m not even backstage. For your information there is no backstage at Maxwell’s. It’s a basement and to get to the stage you walk through the crowd. Anyway, it turns out I am not going on first. Apparently there is an act on the bill that is not for rent control and there is a desire to get them on and off the stage as soon as possible. So now I may be going on second.

I went on first and it went well. I didn’t suck is what I was told, high praise indeed! Bill was there, his recordings are posted below. Friends were there in the flesh and Facebook friends typed their well wishes, including Pedro telling me I’ve got ill talent which makes me smile. The videos are uploading now on YouTube so they should be done by tomorrow I guess. Four songs, Instant Karma, Heroes, Picture in a Frame and Heart of Glass. I was nervous but got through it safe and sound, no rotten vegetables thrown, no cat calls, so it’s all good.

I Only Have Eyes For You

October 24, 2012- A cold and clammy day today. Not much to write about I’m afraid. I would open myself up for suggestions but the only people who would post anything are Anne and Harpy and both of them won’t read this until I post this and of course by that time, it will be long over with. And still minutes later I have no idea as to what to write. For some of you, or perhaps most of you, there is the nodding of the head, the face slap of what else is new. I am of a similar mind as you of course.

6:30 and it is now dark out. Not much going on today, a nap was had nonetheless. In order to fill my word count requirement I’m afraid I have to resort to the basest of tactics, the flashback. I’ll understand if you stop reading now.

October 24, 2005- Separated from Bill I find a meet up on Fifth Avenue. Someone named Robert who walked very fast. Nothing happened, just an exchange of phone numbers and I have no recollection of any of this. My entry is cryptic and I have no idea of what is going on. Still working at Wanker Banker and not having a clue as to what would happen next.

October 24, 2006- I find myself at McMann and Tate, and also being seduced by the guy at the fruit stand (no pun intended) each morning. Felicia bought some tree branches for the front office. I organized a library. I also went to the dentist so there was no after work cigar for me that day. I also declared my love for Bill once again.

October 24, 2007- A rainy Wednesday. Seems to be a regular occurrence. I went to a sales pitch at the Hotel Pennsylvania for Canon copiers. Free lunch. I was the office manager for that Biotechnology Investment Bank. Things to be going well, full steam ahead. I helped an old man named Hugo who had Parkisnon’s disease get to the post office.

October 24, 2008- I was quite sick with a temperature of 100.5. I do remember this and I don’t think I was as sick as this in a long time, and haven’t been since then. A wicked bug got me and messed me up for about a week or so.

October 24, 2009- All about the damp and rain, is what I wrote on this day back then. Bill and I were getting in each other’s way, my computer was being fixed at Rand’s and Bill was none too happy about letting me use his Mac. I didn’t like the newest Facebook layout and Bill and I were going to watch Go Tell It On The Mountain on DVD from the bibliothèque. Annemarie was in Ashland OR.

October 24, 2010- I was working at the cigar shack at the time, not sure of working on the exact date since it was a Sunday and I had stopped writing on Sundays.

October 24, 2011- Back to work after a nice Sunday off, the Sunday spent running into Julio and Stine with Alexander in the hallway as they were removing things from their old apartment and having a pint at the biergarten in Hoboken on Sunday afternoon. Bill met Cornell West and we watched a friend of Bill’s on the canceled TV show Pan Am. And at the cigar shack I worked with Zack and Jerry Vale and it wasn’t so bad.

That is about all I can offer from past October 24’s. You can always go back and read the entries yourself if you were that enticed by my brief synopses here.

12 I Only Have Eyes For You

I Never Told You What I Did For A Living

Wow. I just woke up from a nap, did not set an alarm and still was able to sleep for a few minutes. I donned a suit and tie today and walked the drizzly streets of midtown Manhattan. I was in midtown last week and yesterday I had a phone call asking me to come in again. Well it wasn’t for anything earth shattering, just a request for me to come in and fill out some additional forms. Not a problem, I was happy too since not much seems to be happening at all on this side of the Hudson.

I came home after that and had a sandwich then decided to take a cat nap. I woke up to Mustang Sally playing in my head. I had a dream where I got into an argument with Rufus Wainwright (whom I’ve never met) about something on my iPod. He was quite a brat in the dream. It’s been a day with threatening rain and the occasional drizzle. Nice to stay in bed for that is for sure. It was a long nap, much needed since last night sleep was out of order despite being tired enough.

One of the forms I had to fill out asked how long have I been living where I’ve been living. And the answer to that is 10 years. It was around 10 years ago to the day that I left Weehawken for Hoboken. I still look fondly on my 11 years spent in Weehawken with my then roommate William. It wasn’t all a bed of roses during those 11 years but more often than not, we got along just fine. It was the landlords basically that sealed the deal for me up there on the Palisades. The demand that Bill not come over more than twice a week seemed unfair.

It was shortly after I turned 40 that Julio told me of an apartment in his building that was available. He might have offered it to both William and myself, not together but separately. Julio, being the mutual friend had heard enough sniping from me about William and vice versa. So I came and saw the apartment, and almost immediately agreed to move in. The landlord said it would be an extra $100 if I kept the washing machine and I told him that he could take the washing machine. It is still here.

William and his brother Chaz helped me move with Bill. I don’t think any of us had any idea what a difficult move it would be, four flights of stairs can be quite daunting and we moved over the weekend, a rainy weekend. I rode with William in his pickup and Chaz and Bill followed us. I recall hearing Cam’ron and his song Hey Ma a few times as we drove down the hill and so I will forever equate the song with the move. It was nerve wracking since after living in my parent’s house, Weehawken was the second place where I lived the longest.

I was also called Imelda Marcos since I had a lot of shoes. I still do, just don’t wear them that much anymore. I was between jobs and it was a risky maneuver, mainly working as a temp back then. The landlords in Weehawken were supposedly very upset that I didn’t say goodbye as they watched things leaving through the Venetian blinds. After everyone left and I was preparing to sleep in the apartment for the first time I was seized by a panic, ‘what the hell am I doing?’

As fate proved it turned out I was doing the right thing. The landlords in Weehawken decided after I moved to sell the building. They could have offered it to William and his brother Chaz, but instead went to a realtor and as the deal was going down, they promised the building would be empty of tenants. That was shitty since William and Chaz could have gotten a loan and bought the building from them. Instead they had to scramble. Chaz and his wife Kathe had poured thousands of dollars into their apartment to renovate, William turned a weed strewn yard into a wonderful garden full of flowers, vegetables and grapes.

Now they had to find somewhere else to live. Occasionally one of the landlords is seen in the bus terminal in Manhattan. They bought a condo a block away from where they grew up as brother and sister and it’s usually Chaz who sees the brother who never sees Chaz, which is how Chaz likes it. And now Bill lives here with me. An equal partner, no nonsense of being allowed over twice weekly. And the brother and sister are forever joined together in the Gregory Commons where they probably frighten their neighbors.

William and I were never frightened of them though we did find it odd that as the brother took a bath he would have a conversation with his sister while it sounded like she was right in the bathroom with him, or sitting just outside. They neighborhood changed after we all moved, some one was killed on the sidewalk around the block, Mary the sweet crossing guard passed away. And the building was converted from 4 apartments into 8.

give this guy a job!

Hey Ma – Cam’Ron

I Never Lost My Praise

A dream was had where I found myself working for the cigar shack again, only this time it was in an office setting. Many rooms shut off from me as I tried to track down Zack/Calvin/Hot Sauce to tell him that I shouldn’t be there, that I no longer work there. Then I was in a room with my father of all people, who asked me how my dentist visit was. I admitted that I lied, that I wasn’t off to see the dentist, I was actually looking for my mother which seemed to upset him somewhat.

Yesterday was a very good day. It was a Sunday and Bill came home in the morning after driving from Atlantic City. After giving me a bagel he went to take a nap. The plan was to head out to Saddle Brook to celebrate my brother Frank’s birthday. Frank turned 61 on Friday. Bill rented a Zip Car for the occasion and that definitely made it easy to get out there. On the ride we played a game, I picked out songs on the iPod and he tried to guess the artist. He did well, though got hung up on a Carpenters song.

We got to Meghan and Rob’s house and settled in. There was some catching up to do since I hadn’t seen Meghan or Rob since July. My sister in law Elaine was there and soon Frank showed up with his daughter Corinne, followed by Brian and Karen. Brian and Karen’s kids were busy so it was mainly a grown up gathering. Corinne had her ankle wrapped up in an Ace Bandage since she was out the night before at a Bachelorette party in heels. Bill, Brian and Frank were downstairs watching the football game and I sat upstairs with my sisters in law, Elaine & Karen.

Soon dinner was had and then we had cake. It was all very nice and good to see everyone, well mostly everyone once again. Then it was time to come home. Goodbyes were made, kisses and hugs exchanged. No guess the artists game on the way home, just an easy ride, avoiding the Sunday night tunnel traffic. We were home by 7:00. A wonderful afternoon was had.

Bill and I settled in, watching Boardwalk Empire before he was off to bed. I stayed up watching Night of Too Many Stars, the autism telethon on Comedy Central which was very funny. And touching, watching an autistic girl onstage playing piano and accompanying Katy Perry on the song Fireworks. I stayed up and watched the first half since I missed it during Boardwalk Empire, which was also good.

I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill kissing me goodbye for the day once again. I got out of bed after that and started my day anew. After showering and breakfast I sat with a cup of coffee in front of the computer. One of the first things I saw had me gutted. It seemed a friend from a Facebook group passed away the night before. A nice guy named Jeff Lunger. I never met Jeff though he lived in Jersey City, but we had many chats online and enjoyed posting videos of different performers and songs. He was good friends with Galt McDermott and from what I understand was working on a documentary about him.

It really floored me to hear of his dying. He hadn’t been online in a while but I just assumed he was busy. Death was the last thing I expected. I posted on his wall my condolences and posted in the mutual Facebook group some videos. I had hoped to meet him at some point, at a show or at Maxwells but now that isn’t going to happen.

Rest in peace Jeff Lunger.

I Never

This morning I had a dream of being somewhere down the Jersey shore, staying with some people I don’t know. Friends of friends. I took a bus down there to a strip mall. Annemarie was around somewhere and while waiting for Annemarie, I decided to take her jeep for a ride, then I remembered that I don’t like driving.

Then trying to get back to where I was staying I had to go in quite a roundabout route.

I started walking to the place where I was staying which turned out to be on a very steep hill by the strip mall. I had to be careful since the hill was steep enough to be fatal if I fell, though it looked like a hill that you could roll over end over end and have a good time doing so.

Then it was trying to figure out how to cross Route 17 under the Route 80 overpass while trying to get to Essex Street. Also in the dream, Dave Grohl had made an excellent sketch of a princess.

That is what I woke up to. I know, other people’s dreams are so boring and here I am telling you about mine. It was all so very Nick Colas if you ask me. It was a good night’s sleep once again and that doesn’t happen often. Not just to me but to other people, interrupted sleep sucks.

I got out of bed and made the coffee, poured the cereal and was about to step into the shower when Bill came home in dire need to use the loo, so I just sat back and had some coffee and surfed the net. I was happy he came home safe and sound and decided to do the morning routine in reverse. Coffee and cereal, then the shower. It was a thrill really. I felt like someone else, though of course I wasn’t. I was certainly no longer hungry at all as I got myself cleaner anyhow.

I did plan on going to the bibliothèque to do some volunteering but when I got there they were fully staffed and in no real need for a volunteer, plus one of the nicer people on staff seemed quite bitchy and I decided to avoid them. I asked about the Open Mic thing in the park across the street and they referred me upstairs to the two blokes who were setting the whole thing up. They seemed quite happy to have my interest and so after talking with them I headed home and got my act together so to speak.

Bill was trying to sleep but kept getting interrupted by his phone so he wasn’t having a good time of it. My playing guitar two rooms away seemed to calm his nerves and yelled his approval with each song I practiced. I was anxious of course but determined to do something. I was thinking of it being a practice for Maxwell’s on October 25. I was asked if it would be OK if I was the first onstage and I told them that I thought I was going to be first since I was the least known out of all the performers.

I also backed out of DJ’ing for that night since it would only be a song here and there between acts, and the sound booth can get crowded and I did not want to get in the sound man’s way. And the sound man usually has the songs he wants to hear, so let him. That means, with any luck, it would just be me and Bill there since it is so early. I’ll be on stage and Bill will be recording me butcher various songs. The things starts at 7:30 and I expect we’ll be back home by 8:30.

And I have no problem with that.

So I practiced before the Open Mic and decidedly did not over practice. I walked over at the end of a Flamenco act that was very good and signed the sheet. Judging by the scrawl I should have realized that there were a few children performing. First up was Rowan who sang an acapella song called Fireworks and everyone loved him.

Then a friend of one of the organizers sang two songs, talented yet maudlin. Then more kids came up and sang who knows what. I was more focused on my slot. A woman named Shana came up to buy a smoke form me and I rolled her one. She was interested in singing so I told her to sign up. She did, and then walked away. Julio, Stine and Alexander passed by on their way to meeting friends at the Path train so they didn’t stay, hence the lack of photographs.

My name was called and as I was walking up the gazebo steps I was told I could only do one song due to time constraints. Of course if I did the songs I envisioned I would have filled ten minutes probably. But since it was restricted I did the tried and true Fabs, All My Loving. Two minutes and 14 seconds I was done. I plugged the Thursday night show at Maxwells and headed off back home.

Shana’s name was called but she was nowhere around. So Sasha, the bloke who was running the show did his number, all pedal effects which sounded like Tangerine Dream or Robert Fripp. I mentioned that to Sasha and he had no idea what I was talking about which could mean he thought he was coming up with something original. And it was, just reminiscent.

not a sewing machine

07 All My Loving

I Never Knew You

It’s been a very rainy Friday. As I lay in bed this morning I thought, ‘now this is the day to stay in bed.’ Of course only a little while after that I got out of bed and started my day. There were plenty of mundane tasks to do, ennui waits. I wasn’t planning on doing much of anything today, it was raining quite hard and here on the sixth floor the wind was howling. A day not fit for man nor beast and here I was deciding which of those I was. I opted for being a man and duly stepped into the shower.

I got a few things off my chest with regards to this here blog. It’s noticeable if you know where to look. I mean, look beyond the obvious. Last night as I was going off to the arms of Morpheus, I came up with some lines for a song. I didn’t get out of bed and write them down, nor did I write them in the notebook I kept by the bed. The pen is there but the notebook is missing, or at least it was last night in the darkness. No, I went to sleep hoping to remember the line.

To my surprise I was able to remember the line so that worked out fine. It’s a good line, not to be revealed here, since I am trying to write a song. I was hoping to write a song for the benefit at Maxwells on the October 25, but it’s not as easy as I had hoped. I have songs in my head all the time and figured it would be easy, using the basic verse/chorus/verse, eschewing the middle eight. There’s still time anyhow. A few covers and an original might just be a few covers and nothing else.

Tomorrow there is an open mike in Church Square Park, sponsored by the Bibliothèque and I might just jump in for the sake of getting my chops. If I do that, I would be following a Flamenco act and possibly a rapper who raps in American Sign Language. And that would be after doing some volunteer work at the bibliothèque. Apparently they were all quite happy with me being there last Saturday so helping out again this Saturday would probably be helpful, but then again, no two days are the same. One day is busy, another day perhaps not so much.

Bill is driving to Atlantic City tonight and doing it again tomorrow night. So things will be quiet and quite dull here. Things just aren’t as entertaining and funny when Bill isn’t around. And once again I got all misty just thinking about him this afternoon. It could have been the rain though, but the rain doesn’t necessarily leave one with a warm heart does it?

Today is my brother Frank’s birthday. 11 years between us. He’s a good guy, but we’re so much alike sometimes that we can’t avoid butting heads. The first five minutes of seeing each other can be very combustible. There is a gathering planned on Sunday afternoon and Bill and I said we would attend. It’s in Saddle Brook, not too far away. It would be good to see family once again before we separate and come together again during the end of the year holidays.

So that’s about it for today I reckon. What’s done is done and of course there is always tomorrow and the day after. So much depends on the weather, both inside and out. But overall things should be alright as far as I can tell, and I can tell a lot…

05 Towers Of London

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

It’s been an alright day today. I was out and about, ran into some friends, Mike Cecchini and then RoDa. I saw Mike as I was off to the really big supermarket and we each had tales to tell about the bibliothèque. Mike volunteers there too. Some notes were compared and some laughs were had. He’s a supportive chap and says he will be at Maxwells on October 25 (next week!) to see me play and support the Hoboken Fair rent Association. I’ve noticed some guerrilla tags popping up around town so someone is on the case, reminding people of what’s going on.

I walked by RoDa’s neighborhood and I heard him call my name. He was about 50 yards away and I was on a mission. I waved and pointed to where I was going, thinking I would swing by on my way back. It’s incredible that by walking about 15 minutes out of my way I could save quite a few dollars. And that is just what I did. Bought a few more items that would have been a few dollars more at the local supermarket, and despite its proximity it isn’t that convenient. And it’s double coupon week too!

After that I walked back past where I saw RoDa but he wasn’t around. He was probably waiting for his son to come home and when he did, they went home. I did see RoDa the other day so I am sure there were no hard feelings. When I came home I found I had a Facebook message from Chaz. He was off to see New Order somewhere in the city, but not only that, he wanted to tell me there was a cigar shop opening up in Hoboken on Washington Street. So once again it was outside for me.

I had walked earlier down the avenue but did not see it, but then again I wasn’t looking for it. I did have my resume and looked funky business casual when I walked into the shop which is being reconstructed. Unfortunately, none of the principals were there, just a guy who was doing some touch up painting and didn’t speak much English. He was concerned about me getting paint on what I was wearing but it seemed to be alright since I left without a smidgen of paint on my person. I walked back along the riverfront promenade.

No one I knew along the promenade. I suppose the other buskers were in for the season, it has been getting darker earlier and it is considerably cooler. Just as well, I didn’t feel like playing catch up with Tariq though it would have been good to see him. I came home and practiced the guitar, figuring out some songs to play next Thursday. I’m not going to say what songs since I haven’t fully decided on what I am going to play. I hope they will be inspiring or at least different than what anyone else would be playing.

I think I am fourth in the lineup and I have been told I will have four songs to play. This will be the first time I am playing solo. Rand declined my offer so I am on my own. I did think about asking Mike Cecchini but his band is playing around the same time and he will probably be busy practicing with them, though he did say that he will be showing up at Maxwells to see me play. So far I have three supporters, Mike, RoDa, and of course Bill- who will be recording my short set.

15 Use Ta Be My Girl

I Never Knew Love Like This Before

Another new page, or perhaps a new chapter. Who knows? Maybe it’s still being written. Time was spent once again volunteering at the bibliothèque. It went well, the staff wish I could get hired full time, I wish I could get hired full time, but not right now I guess. It’s a good gig, I like them, they like me. Only time will tell. They’re good people, some true Hoboken characters. I spent the time today putting away books and CD’s and DV’s, and also helping out people looking for items which I was able to do since I had just put most of those items away.

As I was putting away some of the audio visual items, I started talking to a young man named Esteban. He had taken out Television- Marquee Moon last week and I checked it out for him last week, Today I asked him what he thought and he was it was too much of a guitar record, which he wasn’t looking for but liked it. I guess he didn’t have a Stan Bogdansky in his life enthusing about Tom Verlaine and company like I did back in the day. I still remember Stan singing Prove It as I waited so we could go to a show.

Esteban did ask me for some suggestions and I asked if he was into something rock and roll, or something more on the chill out side of things. He was interested in the chill out side so I suggested Brian Eno, Another Green World. Half instrumental, half with vocals. He recognized Eno as being the producer of U2 and I told him there was so much more. We talked about Talking Heads and he recognized Remain in Light, having taken it out previously. He knew Once In A Lifetime from a movie.

He almost took out Remain in Light again but found Speaking in Tongues which is good but definitely pales in comparison to Remain in Light. I described it as more of a ‘pop’ record and he sort of looked disdainful. I explained there was nothing wrong with pop music, that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were considered pop when they started, and perhaps they still are pop 50 years later. He also expressed a fondness for Blonde on Blonde having taken it out a while ago, I Want You being his favorite song.

I made a remark about Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands being 17 minutes long, and he corrected me telling me it was actually 12 minutes. He asked how I knew so much about music and I explained I have friends (Harpy & Juan) and family (Frank & Annemarie) that turn me onto music all the time, plus I suggested getting Mojo and Uncut magazines. He never heard of those and was very excited when I told him that each month the latest issues of those magazines come with free CD samplers. Sometimes new stuff sometimes old stuff on the samplers but almost all of it is very good.

I guess I will have to volunteer next Wednesday at the bibliothèque so I can find out what Esteban thought of my suggestions. He seemed like a nice enough chap. There was another patron who is trying to get every record from Rolling Stone’s issue of the best 500 albums. That seemed a bit much, but then again it Rolling Stone which is better read nowadays for Matt Taibbi’s reporting rather than music coverage. Some of the bibliothèque staff saw a flier for the Hoboken Fair Rent Association benefit on October 25 at Maxwells and wanted to know if that was me listed on the flier. It is.

So right now I am walking a tight rope. The future is uncertain as well as unwritten and out of my hands.

07 Prove It

I Never Told You

I just got back from 5 hours of volunteering at the local bibliothèque. I enjoy working with them, the ladies. They enjoy me working there, and being a male they seem to feel safer having a guy around. In this case, I am the guy or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. And today it was all about doing whatever they wanted me to do. And so that meant putting a lot of items today. Notin the nonfiction department though. That resembles the office set from Being John Malkovich, a very low ceiling with only an inch between my head and the ceiling.

A good part of the time was in the Audio Visual room which is a mess. DVD’s and CD’s are kept in a very loose alphabetical sense. A through Z basically. Breaking it down further is near impossible since it is probably the most popular room and to maintain order someone would have to stay in there the whole time. But there isn’t anyone there the whole time and things fall out of order constantly. Then there are the people who hide DVD’s or CD’s to pick up later. They don’t get very far, at least not on my watch.

It was fairly busy, I worked with two women, Diane and Pat. Diane has seniority over Pat. I like them both very much. Diane was pulling for me to get in good with the library which I am doing with my volunteering. The last part of my time today was placing the items on hold for library patrons on the shrinking shelves. There is simply not enough room for all the books on hold and so some items have to be placed on the shelves an inch or two above the floor. And of course every time I situated myself on the floor, I had to get up since Pat or Diane needed to get by.

Finally at one point I was able to stand up as a patron walked in. She walked up to the counter and asked for an item that was on hold. I just said ‘Yay!’ and Diane and Pat lost it. Really laughing so hard for the next 20 minutes and in so doing the remaining time flew by. Apparently they just don’t have someone like me helping out. I am just glad I was able to help out and add some laughter to their day.

Now I am home, with Bill and waiting for the second debate. I hope it goes well for Obama, none of the narcolepsy that affected him during the last debate while Romney lied, lied and lied some more. And he got away with it since Obama did not point out his lies and backtracking and contradictory statements. Bill has been under the weather the past two days so to have him up and about is a good thing. Once again he worked really hard for about three weeks, driving, the day job and preparing for the reading last week, and also the Yankee game.

He was destined to crash as he usually does when he works for weeks on end. So his day was spent in bed today. I was out and about earlier, made the trip to the really big supermarket where I ran into my dear friend Ro Da. We talked for quite a while, his tales of woe, my tales of woe. Despite that it was great to see him as it always is. I’ve known him for almost 30 years which is a mind blower. He is a sweetheart and I certainly wish him on the very best.


I Never Said I Was Deep

A rainy Monday. It hasn’t been raining all day, just started a few hours ago when I was off to the bibliothèque to do some volunteering. Just a few hours putting away DVD’s and CD’s and a ton of non-fiction books and also helping out customers who couldn’t find certain items. One guy had an interview tomorrow and was looking for a book on how to ‘ace’ the interview. His thing is at Conde Nast and I wished him well. He kept calling me ‘sir’ which I found unnerving but it is something that I should probably get used to.

Yesterday was also spent volunteering at the bibliothèque. It was a quiet day inside, and I helped in when I could. Saturday was the busy day and I heard several times how grateful they were that I was there to help out. They’re good people and I don’t mind helping them out. The staff there likes me and I like them so it all works out. It would be nice to get a full time job there but we’ll see how that goes. It’s a civil service job and that’s a job one does not walk away from.

There was the chance to work part time but that salary would pay considerably less than the unemployment insurance I get. If I was collecting from NJ then NJ would make up the difference between the part time pay and the unemployment benefit. But since I am collecting from New York State, where I worked, it’s not that easy. For each day you work, it is a 25% deduction from your already low benefit. So if you work 4 or more days, you are screwed. In NJ they’re willing to do the math, in New York State they really don’t want to.

Today I had an interview finally. It was with a staffing agency in midtown, an agency I signed up for years ago, perhaps when I was still living in Weehawken. They sent me out on one gig, I showed up in a suit and tie, working for a publisher that puts out legal newsletters and books. They had me in the mail room and I was dressed more like the executives than the mail room personnel. That made everyone uncomfortable and the job ended only an hour or two later, not the full day I was told I would be working.

It was unnerving, the agency visit. I showed up early, suit & tie, looking fly. The appointment was at 1:00, I was there at 12:45. I brought the attachments they sent in an email, all filled out, plus proper identification and the resume with references attached. An hour later I hadn’t seen anyone. I mentioned that I had somewhere to go downtown at 2:30 and the receptionist said something that I didn’t quite hear since they play Pandora quite loudly in the reception area. Not relaxing stuff, not music, but ‘what the kids are listening to nowadays’.

That meant One Republic, Maroon 5, Gusttavo Lima, Muse and Spoon (whom I do like) all at a really loud volume. People are stressed to begin with looking for work and while they stress out sitting for their counselor, they get to listen to alternative Top 40 radio with songs picked by an algorithm in Kansas. I was certainly stressed when they set me up with some tests and I did not do well at all. I did better than I expected but overall, I was just above a passing grade.

My counselor did come out and we talked. He told me he would send me the test again to do at home and practice to that I could get a higher score. At the elevator he told me to stay in touch, maybe email him twice a week to let him know if I am still looking. It seemed like a brush off but I remain hopeful. So far there is nothing from the counselor in my mail box. I just found it, it wasn’t from the counselor it was from a third party and therefore wound up in the Spam folder. Now I have something to do tomorrow.

Last night Bill did not come home from driving until late. I watched Rent on HBO and it was good, not as good as when I saw it with Bill. A little too earnest and watching the opening 15 minutes I was reminded of the scene from Team America, Everyone’s Got AIDS, because of the first four characters in the movie Rent, 3 of them have AIDS. Still it was good to see Jesse L. Martin singing and it made me wonder whatever happened to the Marvin Gaye bio that he filmed a few years ago. Never released, not even straight to DVD.

last of the sunflowers?

I Never Play Basketball Now

Well it finally feels like autumn. Temperatures drop down to the 30 degree range at night and the afternoon, when sunny is cool and crisp. Leaves and twigs crunch underfoot when walking on sidewalks. I don’t mind it, though I do prefer the summer. When I was a suit & tie wearing guy it was somewhat reversed. I preferred the autumn since the suits were just fine, no need for an overcoat- I could just go in the suit and tie. Now that that isn’t happening much these days I find myself comfortable in whatever it is I seem to be wearing.

I spent time at the bibliothèque today, volunteering. I told them that I was going to be doing that and they were extremely grateful that I was there. They were swamped with returns and requests and having me there enabled them to get whatever needed to be done, completed. They told me they appreciated me being there and I certainly appreciate them so it was a win win situation. I’ll put in some more time tomorrow as well as a few days this week. Good guy Mike Cecchini does the same thing so I will at least have good company.

It turned out Bill was not at the Yankee game last night, he was at work watching the game there. He knows I’m not a sports fan, definitely not a Yankee fan and spared me the overpriced testosterone showboating. Normally I don’t mind looking at the slabs of beef in tight fitting uniforms but my disdain for the Yankees prevents me from seeing anything remotely sexual from those Bronx bombers. As long as Bill is happy, I am happy. Tonight he is going to the game with a friend since it is game one of a pennant race or something like that.

No plans here for me tonight, just laying low once again. Practice the guitar a bit, watch some TV, some DVD’s. I have True Grit with Jeff Bridges, Carnage, Drive and We Bought A Zoo. The last one is the latest Cameron Crowe movie and I am hoping for the best. And I still have the New Yorker, Mojo and Uncut as well as a few books to read so my input is good at least. And then there is the beast which is the internet forever demanding of my time. Something clever needs to be posted!

Well Bill has a bit of an upset stomach, he is waiting for a friend to join him before heading up to the Bronx. Then he has to get back at a reasonable hour since he is driving a charter somewhere tomorrow. I wouldn’t have a problem if Bill wanted to watch the game here at home, he watches just about everything I put on so one good turn deserves another. But then again there is nothing quite like going to a baseball game and watching it in the stands, or even the bleachers.

Even if it is the dreaded Yankees.

Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard

I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

Last night I slept really well and had a dream where I had an electric guitar, a Les Paul at that, and I don’t think I was supposed to be playing it but I was. In the dream I had to hide while the guitar was still humming and I was in a cloakroom fiddling around with the pickup switch. Strange dream, especially when I take into consideration that I prefer Fender guitars to Gibson. But, if someone was going to give me a Gibson guitar, I would gladly accept it and perhaps (definitely) name it after my benefactor.

It’s been an interesting day, lazy, overcast again. There is a benefit at Maxwells for the Hoboken Fair Rent Association, and I am DJing the event as well as playing a couple of songs. I think I will be playing solo. I asked some people if they wanted to join me, but so far have not heard anything definite. I did ask someone on Facebook whom I admire if they would send me the chords to a song I am planning on covering and they said they would so that’s something to look forward to.

After playing the guitar almost every day during the summer, I admit I haven’t been playing much lately. That’s been a good thing I think since it allows me to take a different approach sometimes. The other day when I was feeling quite down, I did pick up the Fender F-210 and played for a while and it definitely helped lift my spirits considerably. So with so and so sending me the chords to their song, I’ll be able to learn something that is not a Beatle song.

Of course I will probably play a Fab song or two since it is in my DNA. I have no idea what to expect. I am getting a phone call later on from the bloke who is organizing the event so I should know a little bit more. And already I am thinking of things to play when I DJ. Of course I do that most every minute of my life, usually every 3:43.

I’m watching Almost Famous on TV right now, such a sweet movie. I fell in love with it when I first saw it with Julio and our mutual friend, Claire. I loved it and related to it a lot more than either one of them. It’s a movie I can watch over and over and I always hope that Cameron Crowe makes a movie as great as this one is.

I am feeling pretty good, the previous couple of days of gloom and doom have lifted. I definitely look forward to Bill coming home. He’s not driving to Atlantic City tonight and Friday nights together are so infrequent these days. He was so good in the reading last night, it was good to see the respect that his fellow readers/actors gave him. He was quite passionate and according to Bill having me there helped, especially since I was who he focused on.

I forgot that it’s going to be a while since he is at the Yankees game. Silly me.

Call Me

I Never Learnt to Share

Termination without cause is what they said and termination without cause is what happened. I suppose budgets should have been checked beforehand, and now this. It’s wasn’t that great an investment in time but I do have to confess my disappointment. I certainly do appreciate the time spent and still think highly of them, enough to not harbor any bad feelings. That’s the way things go I guess. I stopped by the morning and received the official news. There are still days left on the schedule and where they stand on this remains to be seen. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

A beautiful day today though. I’m heading into the city in a few hours, Bill is taking part in a staged reading about the Proposition 8 trial in California, about same sex marriage. It was written by Dustin Lance Black and when first put on in Hollywood, had bold faced names in the roles. Bill is my bold faced name. It’s a few hours from now and I just have to figure out how to fill my time until then. I’ve already done laundry and ran a few errands. I could always watch my clothes dry I guess.

Bill and I have been taking a break from politics and the news, opting to watch comedies on TV. A few weeks ago when I was hanging out with Rand, he asked me what shows I watch on TV. I realized that I don’t watch programs, the channel has usually been set on MSNBC. And that has been stressing me out. So a conscious decision was made to laugh, or at least watch something amusing. So we watched The New Girl and The Mindy Project, both were actually funny. Then for old times’ sake, Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV which was pretty good. Then we watched The Soup and Key & Peele on Comedy Central. Bill loved Key & Peele a lot.

That’s the TV roundup since Bill went to bed soon after that I followed a little while later. Quite boring isn’t it?

Today is also National Coming Out Day. That’s a way of showing support to people in the closet about their sexuality, showing them that there is nothing wrong with being gay and that life is better once you stop hiding yourself. Staying in the closet does not help anyone and in fact makes a lot of problems.

I was outed myself and once my sexuality was revealed, some people were fine with it and others dropped me as a friend. Nothing had changed really, something I had kept hidden was revealed. People who were friends on Friday were no longer my friend on Monday. Nothing I could do about that. There was a betrayal involved, the ‘friend’ I had come out to, told his girlfriend who had a big mouth. Luckily I did find new friends who were quite supportive.

It’s all about support you see. It is a necessary thing, considering that there are so many people against coming out. They seem to prefer a person living a lie.

I just got back from seeing Julio for a few minutes. It was good to see him. He is going to a wedding tonight and needed a pair of cufflinks. He knew I had a pair to loan him and it was good to get out in the sunshine and talk. He was disappointed with my turn of events and offered a few words of support. We had a few laughs, it’s rare that we see each other these days and he is hardly ever online, spending more time in the real world.

And now I just came home with Bill. Bill played the role of Paul, one of the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 Trial reading. He was excellent and quite passionate, drawing tears from members of the audience, not just me. Well done, excellent cast, excellent reading of an excellent script by Dustin Lance Black. I am quite glad I made it, walking up to 80th Street and Lexington Avenue from 33rd St and Sixth Avenue. I was early and it was a good walk. With all that walking (in dress shoes no less), I wore a suit & tie for the occasion.

Kudos all around.

09 Feels So Good

I Never Enjoyed My Operation More

Last night provided a rough night of sleep. I went to bed earlier than usual and actually fell asleep but at 2:30 I woke up very dehydrated and with a killer headache. I got out of bed and drank a lot of water and tried to go back to sleep but that proved to be difficult. So I took two Motrin, drank some more water and went back to bed, eventually falling back asleep. Today was the day that something had to be done and I was grateful for a few hours of sleep. Things just have not been going right for me lately.

Of course things were better last week, then the weekend revealed things that I had feared. Perhaps feared isn’t the right word, I should have written ‘wary about’. I had hope but hope proved to be damning. It hasn’t been easy and today after doing the right thing, I came home and fell asleep. I woke up and got myself together once again, heading off to the nearby supermarket since there was not enough to eat and I couldn’t wait for Bill to do grocery shopping. That was the high point of the day, made possible thanks to Isis at the register.

I hadn’t seen her in weeks, we kept missing each other. Some catching up ended with her sympathy for my situation. I came home with some groceries in my canvas bag and my head in my hands. I wasn’t expecting company today but there they were- my personal demons. All the things I think about, letting people down, letting Bill down, cursing myself for posting on Facebook something that I was excited about not realizing that it was a big mistake. Oh the demons were there to back me up with their name calling and general self-loathing.

Every step seems to be a misstep today. Just now, a little after 3:00 in the afternoon I walked down the four flights of steps to get the mail only to find when I got to the mail box, there was no mail. Yes, it is a day like that. So today I am a shut in, having gone out twice today with no desire to have anything to do with the rest for the world, just waiting for Bill to come home. He’s about the only person I can deal with right now. He was great and supportive last night.

Resumes went out again today and I find myself set up with an agency meeting next week. An agency I sent emails to in 2010 which went unanswered, today they answered. Tomorrow I have to go back to the other place and discuss my volunteering with them. I do enjoy them and don’t want to let them down, even though I have already. The brief meeting this morning went well enough I suppose but no one had any paperwork and all I had was an open heart and a lump in my throat. I couldn’t help but feel like a fool.

It’s been a day of despair, a day of self-loathing. It’s not always going to be like this, just today I find myself in the ditch.

That was a few hours ago. Not much has changed. Heard from an old friend I hadn’t heard from since I had last seen him at the party at Maxwells in 2010. It was an email congratulating me on leaving retail and making a joke about the ‘new’ gig. I had to set him straight as it were.

Sometimes my enthusiasm can be a curse, for me at least. And anyway, I am still feeling like a fool.

Fat Chance Hotel

no title

Yet another cloudy and rainy grey day both inside and out. It hasn’t been an easy day that’s for sure and with each passing minute it seems to get worse and worse. Things don’t seem to be going in the direction I had hoped for. I couldn’t do anything about it yesterday since it was Columbus Day but today I was able to make a phone call and my worst suspicions were confirmed. Now my hand or rather my wallet is being forced to do something that I really don’t want to do. That’s about all I will say about it for now.

Today was spent in Secaucus and Hackensack. Training for the new job. I was anxious about it and met up with my co-workers at the designated pick up spot. Some of us were off to Secaucus and some were off to Hackensack. Then at midday there would be a switch. Two buses were involved. I rode out to Secaucus where I wound up helping a co-worker out with the computer program we were learning. I was surprised at how resistant to new things she was, everything was wrong. It wasn’t like she wasn’t getting it, she did not want to get it at all.

Then a lunch supplied by a local deli. The Hackensack crew came in and ate with us then the Secaucus crew hopped on the Hackensack bus. Dismal Hackensack, even more depressing in the rain. We drove by the Bergen County Jail, past where the Bergen Record used to be. White Manna is still there and once again I sailed on by. The place where we went was a nondescript building, must have looked good in the 1970’s when it was built, now it is basically described as shabby. Not in disrepair, not yet.

The whole thing was over soon enough and we were riding the bus back to Hoboken. Some people got out earlier, closer to their homes. I rode to the end. It was drizzly as I walked home and climbed the stairs. I relaxed when I got home, but the relaxation did not last.

Less than the daily quota of 500 words.

Here I am again. Still forlorn, but Bill is home and he makes me feel better.

Since October 7, 2005 I have posted 2,386 times. I’m sure at least a dozen were very good. I would like to think so at least. Life sure has changed since 2005 though. Bill and I were on the outs then, separated but not really. We were still in constant contact though living apart for a spell. Now we are together for life, taking the good and the bad and it’s times like this that make me realize that it is definitely good to have someone there.

Tomorrow will be the day that something will be done, one way or another. A talk will be had and what follows depends on what was said by them and by me. I truly wish things were different but reality has a way of jumping in.

510 words, not bad.

18 Being Alive

I Never Dream

The weather on Saturday was quite nice, almost 80 degrees. Yesterday, it was in the lower 50’s and cold and damp. Today it is still cold and damp. Not much fun today. It is Columbus Day so some things are closed and some things aren’t. It’s been alright, even though it’s been spent indoors mostly. A lot of reading, catching up on the New Yorker, some books and I have finally finished the October issue of Mojo and moved onto Uncut. Uncut is not as much of an entertaining read as Mojo so my heart certainly isn’t in it. Still I will get through it.

It has been cool enough that yesterday I turned on the heater. Also dressing warmer and the heater is only on for a few minutes here and there. Short sleeves out, long sleeves are in, jackets are on whenever going outside. In fact I have to head outside in a few minutes to get Bill’s laundry from the dry cleaners so I have a jacket ready. I was out earlier today, a trip to the really big supermarket was in order. I saved myself a few dollars in doing so. It’s a bit of a hike but not so bad since it’s still in Hoboken and Hoboken is only a mile squared city.

I slept really well last night, it’s been a while since I had done that. I even had a dream where I was with Joe Klein and his family. Joe Klein is a writer and a pundit on the news shows. He also wrote Primary Colors about the Clinton administration. In the dream I was on 10th Avenue in Chelsea by the art galleries and trying to help Joe Klein get a cab for him and his family who all had iPhones and iPads. A strange but not an awful dream. Joe Klein, really?

It’s also funny that when I use Google on my Gmail page to look up Joe Klein, Katie Klein always pops up. She was and perhaps still is a staffing consultant. I stepped on her toes a few years ago and certainly set fire to the bridge between us when I went behind her back and contacted a client that I was hoping to get a position through. She was understandably pissed off and probably blackballed me in the staffing agency world, if blackballing is a thing that staffing agencies to. 420 Blazers might do it, I don’t think Staffmark does.

Then there is Emmitt Josephs from Harborview Consultants. In July as I was going down the shore with Annemarie Emmitt called with a great new position for me. Emmitt needed an updated resume which I told him I would send when I got home that night. And Emmitt had one more question, ‘What year did I graduate high school?’ Now staffing agencies and potential employers can’t come right out and ask you your age, but then can figure it out by asking a question like that. I told him 1980 and when I got home I sent Emmitt the resume.

A week later I contacted Emmitt. A month later I contacted Emmitt again. The other day I tried once again, identifying myself as the geezer from the class of 1980. A little humor, a little snark- well those are two things that Harborview Consultants certainly have no need for and I once again set afire to the bridge between myself and Emmitt Josephs. Emmitt will find out eventually the disparity of the whole job search thing, and it’s too bad but then again he propagates the methods however underhanded that are used.
That seems to be the nature of the beast.

14 Wedding Bell Blues

I Never Cry

I just got home from a few hours spent in Manhattan with Pedro and Connie and I am more than happy to report that I am not trashed. Eating definitely helped. I heard from Pedro once he and Connie hit the city, they were about to check out the Highline. I had done it once, maybe twice. Once I was solo, and I think the other time I did it with Harpy. No need to do it again, so the plan was to meet Pedro and Connie at 30th Street. I stood around enjoying a cigar when the two of them snuck up on me.

I knew a drink would be in the plan, and was going to suggest the Little King pub on 23rd Street, but they wanted Mexican so I suggested the Rocking Horse Café on Eighth Avenue. We strolled on over there, walking down 22nd Street past where Rita used to live and over to the restaurant. It was still early enough for the brunch menu so that’s what we had, all of us had Coronas and of course Pedro insisted on a shot of top shelf Tequila. He had one shot by himself and then ordered two the next time around.

The food was excellent of course, the wait staff all a twitter over Pedro. It was fun, lots of stories and catching up. Pedro just had a vacation in Las Vegas so the majority was about his trip. Entertaining stories with tributes to both Elvis Presley and Prince, interrupted with laughs and giggles. I suggested checking out some art galleries but they weren’t into it so we basically walked around Chelsea and the West Village, remembering adventures from the 1990’s, so very long ago it seemed.

It was getting time to head home and Pedro insisted on the proverbial nightcap. I did have a spot in mind since we were walking down Hudson Street, but that spot was closed for a private party. Then I remembered Mr. Dennehy’s on Carmine Street with an entrance on Seventh Avenue South so we went there. A pint for me, a Corona for Pedro and nothing for Connie. The last time I was at Mr. Dennehy’s was in 2006, with Lesley Robertson and Adam Ames before seeing Scritti Politti. Oddly enough I remember most everything from that night despite being so trashed that I needed a taxi home from Manhattan.

Pedro and Connie parked on Jane Street and were headed in that direction. I walked with them part way then walked down Greenwich to the Ninth Street Path station. Not much else planned, they headed off after kisses and hugs and I listened to Led Zeppelin walking down the street. Crowded train home, standing room only. I was in Hoboken in no time, walked along the river promenade, no one out really. Too cold for some, just right for me. And that was it basically. Harpy invited me to the Metropolitan Museum to see the Warhol exhibition as well as Dean and Britta but Pedro asked me first.

I saw that Harpy did make it to the show and I am glad that he did. I am also glad I made it out to see a dear friend. And I’m glad that Annemarie is having a good time in San Francisco!

03 I Found Out

I Need You Tonight- Junior M.A.F.I.A feat. Aaliyah & Lil’ Kim

Well it’s been an interesting week, a Monday through Friday gig. And now I am off for the next 3 days, with work meetings scheduled next Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:00 in the morning. Not complaining, no I am not. The new gig is about 5 minutes from my door which is nice. I save quite a bit of money on the commute. Working at the cigar shack was approximately $200.00 a month to commute back and forth, now it’s down to zero. My world has shrunk considerably as well. Since it’s just a walk down the block, walking to Washington Street has become an excursion.

Of course that will change eventually I guess. I mainly work with women now so I suppose I will have to get my menstrual cycle in line with the women, though half of them are post-menopausal. It’s been a learning experience this week, getting everything together and trying to understand what’s what. I found out today, one of the women I work with is the daughter of a woman I worked with at Maxwells back in the day. She remembered me somewhat but wasn’t sure and I confirmed it when I told her about Maxwells.

I don’t think the daughter is on good terms with her mother. To tell you the truth the mother was starting to lose it back then and through the years she may have gotten worse. I am not sure if innocent is the proper word to describe the times back then, but after all these years in the cold light of today things are a lot more real. Most of the people back then have moved on, a select few are still around and connections are reestablished via Facebook. The other day the women announced they were going out for drinks after work today.

I immediately started thinking of excuses not to. Nothing against them, it’s just that it would be an expense I couldn’t afford, plus drinking takes more than a physical toll on me, it takes time, time to recover from the drinks. Even that one glass of wine last week did my head in for a few hours afterward. A few margarita’s with then girls would render tomorrow inactive. Then again I did hear from Pedro who said he might be coming to town tomorrow and that might entail drinks with him and Connie.

Of course Pedro could talk me into it though I have to keep in mind that last time I was properly rocked and it took a lot of will power to keep myself together. Of course when you look at me in that condition you never can tell. It’s what’s inside that you don’t see and that inside is usually a mess. I handle myself well but usually I would rather be in bed sleeping it off. Tomorrow with Pedro depends on the weather. If it’s raining then he and Connie will probably stay upstate. If it’s nice then they will be down here, perhaps in a dark pub.

It’s been interesting with Pedro the past couple of days. He’s leaning right politically and setting me up with Facebook messages that are pro-Willard. I fall for it and as I write with pure emotion, he feeds the fire somewhat then takes a step back letting me know he is merely busting my balls and that he loves me, calling me his big brother. And that makes it alright. I certainly hope he does not bring up politics tomorrow, I know I won’t. Until then I will occupy my time one way or another. It has been a good week.

And hello Casey Chasm en familie!

New layout! What do you think?

She’s a Lady

I Need You Tonight- Peter Wolf

Today is October 4, which is my friend Ulysses birthday, my friend Jane’s birthday and my mother’s birthday. My mother was born in 1926, the only girl amongst 5 sons in the Bronx. I only recently got a grip on my mother’s era, she loved movies and I guess she was about 13 when she saw Gone With The Wind when it came out in 1939. I think it was one of her favorite movies, as it was for a lot of people. She was only 7 when King Kong when it first came out, and 5 when both Frankenstein and Dracula were released.

I don’t think she much cared for those movies, but I didn’t know better. I remember when I was growing up, asking my mother if she remembered seeing King Kong climb the Empire State Building. I had problems differentiating between fantasy and reality. Some people might say I still do. My mother more than likely gave me the look of ‘what am I going to do with you’. I was the last born to Francis and Mary, and I am certain I wasn’t planned. There are 3 years between my siblings but between me and Brian there are 5 years.

There were a couple of kids that didn’t make it, Kevin and Mary Margaret are the two that I recall, visiting their headstones in Calgary Cemetery in Queens. There is another child in Valhalla up in Westchester but I forgot their name. I don’t think the plan was to have 7 kids, and if Kevin, Mary Margaret or the other one lived, it’s possible that Brian or myself would not be. Of course that is all speculation on my part since I have no idea what they were thinking, especially that January night 50 years ago.

My mother was definitely a product of her time and like others of her generation, had to face the times that were changing after World War 2. 4 kids that didn’t get into trouble (or at least weren’t caught) where other kids, neighbors and relatives did have scandalous moments. Not us, though that could be attributed to the fact that we were certainly afraid of what our father would say or do if we crossed that line. I remember walking home with my mother from my brother Frank’s apartment a few blocks away, my mother making me swear on her mother’s grave that I wouldn’t do drugs.

I did swear at the time, but eventually I dabbled to say the least. She asked me a few years later if I was smoking pot and I answered that I was, saying that I preferred it to alcohol. She was disappointed, probably heart broken, then surprised when I offered her a chance to smoke with me. Of course she declined, but I saw no reason to lie. She knew from me coming home, red eyed and ravenous. Was she hoping I would lie? I have no idea.

It’s possible she was hoping I would lie to spare her feelings and her fears. I do know she was upset when I came out (and my coming out was not voluntary) and might have gone to her grave in 1991 thinking that I was just going through a phase despite my sister telling her that it was for real. Her passing blindsided us all and sent my life in a direction unforeseen. But that’s life. She almost passed away when she was pregnant with me, having a heart attack. I guess it caught up with her 29 years later.

She is missed to this day and I hope she is enjoying whatever and wherever she might be in this universe.

07 Dreadlock Holiday

I Need You Tonight- Backstreet Boys

Hump day? Yes, hump day and for me another day, the third day at the new gig. It’s been interesting so far, I just have to remember to breathe and relax and not get flummoxed as I am still in training. Of course I am swinging for the fences and should really concentrate on my batting stance. What’s with the baseball metaphors? I don’t know, they seemed appropriate. I do enjoy writing earlier in the day rather than later like I have been doing for so long. Can you tell the difference? I don’t know if I can so I will just keep on keepin’ on.

Another morning where I get up and start the routine, shower, coffee, cereal. Then I find I am still tired so I set the alarm and go back to bed, falling into a deep sleep that seems like hours when it is actually less than 30 minutes. It happened yesterday and it happened again this morning. I was woken up by Bill who had the day off to take care of his mother, a trip to the beauty parlor then a doctor’s visit. He was moving things around looking for some of his mother’s documents.

He found most of the documents and headed out and after two cups of coffee I went back to bed. Perhaps the coffee prevents me from getting more than a few minutes, but then again after the nap I do feel refreshed and more than able to get in line with the order of the day. And I still have a few hours to go before heading into the job. It’s how I fill those hours that can be tricky. I am sure I can find some things, some activity to do before I head in. Something besides sleep.

I had a good phone call last night with former co-worker Brenda. She had received a call from the director at the new job and I am pretty sure that is what got me the job. She was so effusive in her description of me, that I would have hired me if I had gotten the call. Of course there is still no word from Zack/Calvin/HotSauce/Whatever and I certainly don’t expect one now. I suppose whatever his name is, is still sore or at least his lack of ego is still somewhat bruised. In the meantime I look at what I wrote and didn’t post and still enjoy a chuckle.

Brenda was great though, a lot of catching up. Who is getting divorced, who moved out to Short Hills and who is having or had a baby. She is working for a great guy, someone I enjoyed supporting when Brenda and I worked together all those years ago. And I am glad that Brenda is happy. She’s in midtown and next time I am in midtown we have plans to have a coffee together. It was a positive phone call and negative comments were kept to a minimum.

I just found an appointment from a few years ago, meeting Amy Holgerson at Thomson Reuters at 195 Broadway. If I recall that meeting went alright but still I did not get the job and therefore still serving my karmic sentence at the cigar shack. I had a laugh last night talking with Brenda about a position at Matlin Paterson, across from the east side cigar shack and in a building where Brenda once worked after Wanker Banker went under. Another position I was qualified for but did not get. At least I thought I was qualified, but Jennifer Muscarello obviously did not feel the same.

Funny thing happened today. I ran onto Ira Kaplan. I ran into him last week and here we are again meeting on the street. A few laughs and chuckles. Then I go to the new gig and what comes up, a few Yo La Tengo CD’s and the book written about Yo La Tengo. Was today Ira Kaplan day? It was a good day for it.

11 Map Ref. 41ºn 93ºw

I Need You Tonight- ZZ Top

It’s a rainy Tuesday. I can’t really say what kind of day it is since I haven’t really done anything. I slept really well last night, I did not remember Bill kissing me goodbye this morning even though he said I was very chatty. I woke up with the alarm clock, actually after hitting the snooze button a few times. I did eventually get out of bed and started the routine once again. Made coffee, poured cereal, jumped into the shower. About an hour after that, after cereal and 2 cups of coffee I found I was quite tired.

So I went back to bed. Normally the coffee would have prevented that, but it didn’t this time. I didn’t have to be at the new job until 3:00 so I set the online alarm clock for 1:30 figuring that would be enough. Apparently all I needed was a half hor. I did sleep a deep sleep, awoken by students at the nearby school applauding something. Then I heard it start to rain so I got out of bed to make sure the windows were closed. All the time I left the TV on as a way of not drifting off too far to sleep.

I did get back into bed once again intending to get some more sleep but it seemed I had enough. I walked through the apartment, and watched the rain fall steadily upon Hoboken. And the rain still falls an hour later. The new job is a good job. It’s similar to the first job I ever had in some ways, at least elementally. I do hope the schedule is set soon though. I would like to see Bill in the staged reading of 8, a play by Dustin Lance Black about the Proposition 8 trial (same sex marriage in California) on October 11.

I don’t know what’s what with regard to that and Bill is somewhat resigned to the fact that I might not be there. I think it would be the first time (or the first time in a long time) that I won’t be able to see Bill onstage. I will definitely have to put in a request to have December 7 off since that is the date that Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater. It’s what I got Bill for his birthday. But I am still in a probationary period so who knows?

Despite my efforts to not look backwards, I do have to say that if it weren’t for this here blog being found out by Michael Herklots, who in turn informed Zack/Calvin/Hot Sauce/Whatever who got his feeling hurt, I would likely still be toiling away at the cigar shack having to put up with a marsupial and his snortish ways. Sure I was prepared to jump, just waiting for the right time. But too much time was spent on the plank and so instead of jumping off, I was pushed. And I don’t regret it, since if I was still there I would likely be filled with regret and despair.

The cloud did have a silver lining. I still have some anxiety about the new gig, but that should be expected since I am about to start my second day. And the second day went well. Trying my best to do things correctly, to show I have a handle on things and perhaps I am trying to hard. Then again there are the inner demons and doubts that occur from time to time, more often than not, when I am alone. At home with Bill I am fine, at work I am fine. It’s the in between moments that do my head in. I guess this happens to everyone at some point, doesn’t it?

John Riley

I Need You Tonight- Professor Green

It’s a Monday. I know this to be true since I just started a new job today. I’m happy about it and just got home a little while ago. Gone are the days of having to deal with the passive aggressive tendencies, the meetings at 8:00 in the morning, the meetings after work. Those days are gone and I do not miss them at all. I do have to admit, over the weekend I realized that they probably should not have stopped doing their inventory since someone did tell me of the things they had stolen from the cigar shack.

But that is no longer my problem. The new job allows me to move on and not look ass backwards at the way things turned out. True there are some people I will miss but things are better for me now and I can always meet up with some of these people at a later date, perhaps a later hour. But that is not going to happen anytime soon since I still have to get settled into the task at hand. I am happy where I am now and apparently on Day One, I had done a very good job. Impressive, even.

Yesterday was Sunday since today is Monday. It was the Hoboken Art & Music Festival and the weather was a bit sketchy. Each time I intended to go out, the skies seemed threatening. I did want to see Lenny Kaye playing alongside Jim Mastro who were backing up a singer but it started raining so I opted to stay inside and prepare dinner. Once the food prep was over I decided to go against the odds and head out to see what was what on Washington Street. The festival runs from Observer Highway up to 7th Street.

I walked up 7th Street and hoped I would see some cigar sellers like there were at previous festivals but they were nowhere to be seen or smelled (which is the tip off they were around). The Hoboken Motorcycle Club was in the former cigar maker spot. No worries. I had heard that Rand and Lisa were around somewhere, as was Chaz. So I walked down the middle of Washington Street, dodging baby strollers and dogs, of which there were more than enough. Too much for my liking. There were some interesting crafts for sale but me being rich in spirit yet poor in wallet, I kept walking.

I made it down to the main stage at Observer Highway, some nondescript guys on stage doing something that did not hold my attention in the slightest. I scanned the crowd but did not see anyone I knew so after a couple of songs headed back, this time walking on the sidewalk instead of the middle of the street. I did buy three Harry Potter DVD’s which were 3 for $5.00. All widescreen, not full screen and I got the first, third and fifth movies which were all that was available in widescreen.

I also stopped by the Hoboken Fair Rent Association and talked to a few of the workers there about the upcoming election. Hoboken residents should vote NO on the public question #2. Then it started to drizzle a bit and I headed home. And when I got home I got a text from Rand, saying that he and Lisa were about to head out to the festival. I texted that I had just got back home. I watched some things on the TV, tried to take a nap to no avail. Bill came home a little after that, he had come home earlier then went out to rehearse for a reading coming up in a week or two.

Bill took a nap and at around 8:00 I tried to wake him up but he was unmovable. At 9:00 I tried and again and he stirred, getting up to watch Boardwalk Empire before going back to bed. I watched one of the Harry Potter movies and a little after midnight I could hear Bill making a racket. I stopped watching and walked into the bedroom. Bill was quite distraught. Apparently he had a dream that his mother passed away and he was freaking out.

All I could do was hold him and tell him it was probably a dream. He got out of bed and I got him some water while he called his cousin. His mother was alive and Bill calmed down considerably and went to bed. I soon joined him, a bit anxious since I was about to start a new job, the next day, meaning today.

Need You Tonight