Monthly Archives: November 2012

I Remember- Keyshia Cole

Well it’s Friday today and that’s good I guess. I am sure most of you made it through the week safely with no squabbles. It was a bit bumpy here but things have gotten better. It’s was that time, when Bill gets so tired and not much fun to be around. Nothing bad on his part, he just over does it and stretches himself too thin. And sometimes no matter how good the news is, or how happy someone is to see you, you’re just not in the mood and generally cranky. It happens to me and it happened to Bill.

But things are better, like I wrote. Hurt feelings don’t last mostly and there is no point in hanging onto them, they do not do anyone any good. Bill is off to Atlantic City once again and I am tracking him to give myself some peace of mind. Already he is at the border of Lodi and Hackensack. I guess he is picking up in Bergen County before heading south. I will hear from him once he gets to Atlantic City. Hard to believe but it was only a month ago that Atlantic City was almost under water. Nothing will prevent people from gambling I guess.

Today has been alright. I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill’s farewell kiss before he headed out. I got out of bed a little while after that. I had a dream that seemed to take place down the shore at a house that my family rented. My siblings were all there and at one point I decided to go to the beach and walking in the direction of the ocean I found myself at the intersection on Route 36 where Highlands borders with Rumson. That was about as far as I got before turning around in the dream.

Then I got back to the house and found that in order to get to one room, you had to climb a ladder and move a curtain so that a door could be opened. No one seemed to mind despite the fact that it was an odd way to go from one room to another. The dreams seem to have gotten very interesting, enough that I can actually remember them when I usually forget them once I am awake and starting my day.

I saw Shlomo today and talked with him for a bit while enjoying a cigar he blessed me with. I mentioned that he should get one of the Shop Local/Rebuild Hoboken signs that most stores have in their windows. I knew Jim Mastro created them so I had an actual reason to go to the Guitar Bar. And there was Mr. Wonderful himself and he did have a few of the signs. So I got one from Jim (who also loaned me a Bee Gees CD- Spicks & Specks) and headed back to the cigar shop where I gave it to Shlomo.

He set about putting it in the window and I headed out, picking up Raspberries for Bill since he asked me to get him some. Now I am home again, about to make some dinner. Nothing planned for tonight. I was invited to join the people who voted to save rent control at a nearby pub, but I reckon I will just be staying at home and saving some money. Next Friday, Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater.

It was my birthday present to Bill back in June, and now the date is here. Bill’s never been to the Apollo, where I have been a few times. It should be fun, we have good seats. It will be interesting since Bill loves Sinbad and has been reluctant to see live comedy since Bill has quite a rambunctious laugh, the type that could possibly draw the attention of the comic. So we shall see how that works out. It’s next Friday so there’s plenty of time to think about that.

Guitar Bar

Feels So Good

I Remember- Fay Victor

Well it is considerably colder outside. It was quite a cold day today and right now it is 60 degrees in the bedroom. I was out most of the afternoon. Not outdoors but actually at the smoke shop here in Hoboken. At around noon I received a message from Shlomo, asking if I could come in and sit in the store while he ran errands. I didn’t mind doing that since I was planning on paying them a visit this afternoon anyhow. I got myself together and headed over there about 30 minutes after I got the initial message.

There was Shlomo with a few other people. Apparently he had something to attend to and I didn’t know how long he would be gone for. I’ve offered my services, free of charge should he need someone at the store. So if he wants to throw me a free cigar, why not? No harm done and it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Laundry could wait for a few hours I guessed. About five minutes after I got there Shlomo and company were in the Shlomo mobile and headed up Washington Street.

I was smart and took the book about Yo La Tengo with me so I could have something to read. There were a few errors that I read and I knew they were errors since I was at a few of those events. I guess I should be glad that I wasn’t in the book. I had no idea that things were so difficult with Ira and Georgia and the quest for a steady, permanent bass player. I remember getting a cassette from Ira asking me if I wanted to play guitar with them, but my self-confidence was even worse than that it is these days.

I’m still on good terms with them and when we see each other on the street there is usually a warm and friendly greeting going back and forth. I last saw Ira a few months ago and I mentioned the rent control benefit at Maxwell’s. He told me they would be out of town and when I mentioned that I was going to be playing he joked that he was disappointed that he wasn’t going to see that. We had a laugh about that, then he was off on his way and I was off on mine.

Now I am back home. Between the last paragraph and this sentence I remembered Bill asked me to pick up his dry cleaning so it was on with the sneakers and a run down the stairs before they closed. I was worried they closed at 7:00 but when I called I was told it was 7:30. It was good to know and I will probably forget it. And now I have finished hanging the laundry on the racks as well on hangers in the bathroom.

For some reason Cabaret was playing in my head the past few days so that is what I am listening to right now. It’s too bad they never recorded the Alan Cumming/Natasha Richardson version. I’d love to see it. I did see it with Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh, but on the soundtrack it is Natasha Richardson, so that is the one I am most used to. It’s also helpful that it is the version I own.

13 Tonight

I Remember- Julee Cruise

Hope you all had a decent hump day. It was alright on this end. I was busy and I was also out and about. I did not go to the smoke shop though I walked by it and gave Shlomo a wave of the hand. Whether or not Shlomo responded in kind, I couldn’t say. It was fairly cold outside and I merely kept on walking. I would likely be walking past later on so I paid it no mind. I was on my way to the bus terminal. With the Path train still out of commission, the bus is the best way to get into the city.

There is the ferry but that’s a bit more money. Even the $5.00 each way at rush hour is a bit steep and I wasn’t going at rush hour so the cost was a few dollars more. It was a good idea to head over to the bus terminal since the buses usually are full by the time they get to my favored stop, or at the very least, standing room only. So I nabbed a seat and read some of that Yo La Tengo book. Ira Kaplan, cub reporter so far.

I got off the bus and bought a round trip ticket at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I wasn’t planning on using the bus to get back. The plan was to get to TekServe on 23rd St and 6th Avenue to have my iPod looked at. And since there is the Path train right there I decided I would be taking the train to Newport and walking back to Hoboken. Not that far a walk, maybe 20 minutes from the Path station in Jersey City to the Hoboken Train Station. I walked down 6th Avenue and ran into my old Rasta pals. They said to tell you they said ‘Hello’.

I didn’t linger, too cold. I strolled down the Avenue of the Americas and in no time I was at 23rd St. I had to take a number once inside TekServe and was told it would be a 15-20 wait. I didn’t mind. I was good to get in from the cold and I was able to sit and read while I waited. About 20 minutes later my number was called and I walked over to Timothy. Nice guy, asked if I was related to some British actor which was odd since Trevor Howard is so rarely remembered these days.

Timothy was British so that was probably why he asked. I told him what was wrong with the iPod and he said it happens every so often with the iPod classic. He was able to fix it for a nominal fee ad I was happy with the cost as long as I got my iPod back. I do have some priorities you see. I decided to walk up to the Path station at 33rd Street rather than getting on at 23rd St. I wanted a seat and my chances would be better at 33rd St.

Nose in the Yo La Tengo book once again, reading about Georgia and her growing up on the upper west side. I was at the Newport Station soon enough, listening to Richard Hawley on the iPod and headed for Hoboken. And like I planned I walked by the smoke shop again and waved to Shlomo who was looking at his laptop and not out the window. A stop at the bibliothèque to pick up a book I requested but couldn’t remember why I requested it. An experiment in time perhaps is what I think. And I think I am right. You’ll see.

And I’m really happy my iPod is back and fully functional.

I Remain

Let’s face it, there is not a lot that I like these days or at least willing to put up with. Patience is low and I am decidedly anti-social somewhat. I am content to stay in and today was a day for that. Rain and snow most of the day made for a good time staying indoors and avoiding most everyone. The only time I went out was to go to the supermarket which is a true test of patience. I passed the test and came home without anyone’s blood on my hands.

And last night was peculiar too. Being alone most of the day without interacting with anyone made me very happy to see Bill climbing the stairs. I had the door open and I had a nice smile on my face which was genuine since I was happy to see him. He questioned the smile and figured something was up or something went wrong. It was neither. I put away his groceries and took his back pack off of him. It was a bit later than Bill said he was going to be coming home and he still needed to eat dinner.

I correctly guessed he was having pasta and suggested that he use the pot that I always use to make pasta in, rather than the sauce pan that he uses and spills over into the stove. In fact I mentioned that he should think of the pot as water. You see, for the longest time, Bill avoided drinking water. He preferred Vitamin water or Gatorade or Ginger Ale. Anything but water. I always told him he should drink water but I always got the brush off.

Then time goes by and Bill is diagnosed as being a borderline diabetic and the doctor recommends drinking lots of water. I hold off on the ‘I Told You So’ mantra. And so, in saying that he should think of the pot to make pasta in as me telling him about water, I hear ‘I don’t want to think about it’. And that effectively shut me down. Haven’t really spoken to him since then, nothing besides the good night kiss. No wishing that he sleep well. I don’t even remember him leaving this morning but he did make a pot of coffee which was nice.

And there has been no contact between us all day. No texts, no emails. He did send a link for a job, stating that it wouldn’t hurt and he was right about that, it wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it didn’t hurt. I followed the link and sent in my resume. Despite all that I’ve been in a good mood. I guess it could be because I haven’t had much contact with anyone today. I’m cool with it. I don’t think any jobs will be coming my way, not until January at least. Anything offered would be seasonal and end in January anyhow.

I am happy to say I did not feed any trolls today. I figured I would let the militiamen play with themselves, no need for me to sink down to their levels. I have got better things to do with my time, I think. I did clear a whole bunch of crap off my computer. A lot of things. Doubles, triples. Everything had to go. And since I did that the computer seems to be acting alright. No warnings or anything like that. I was up until 2:00 in the morning, checking and deleting stuff anyhow. There is still a number fo things to get rid of but for now everything seems to be hunky dory.


I Really Miss You

It is now the holiday season I believe. It’s a Monday and with Thanksgiving being last Thursday the shopping season started on Friday at midnight in some stores. I don’t go to those stores and if I did you can bet that it wouldn’t be at midnight. I’ve been local of course and that’s how I intend to keep things. It’s cheaper that way. Just stay home and climb the walls. I have been busy though, clearing, doing laundry. You know- the mundane things. And I have been good at not feeding the trolls, well at least for today.

Yesterday I couldn’t help myself, trying to explain things regarding the woman who flipped the finger at a sign in Arlington cemetery but it was a losing battle. These people wanted blood and that is what they got since the woman in question was fired from her job. But the comments were priceless, most of them revolving around ‘Didn’t she know that soldiers died for her freedom?’ Freedom that they are condemning her for. It was humorous but when seeing a wall of the same comment it wasn’t that funny after a while. And of course, now I am a fascist and a member of the Westboro church.

And things have been weird computer wise as well as things that are computer related. The iPod seems to have lost a channel, so everything can only be heard on one side of the ear buds. Driving down to Baltimore I of course thought it was the car, but no, it was my iPod. So I am going to take it into the city this week and see what could be done about it. From what I’ve read online it’s no big thing, a simple repair but it’s the cost I am wary of.

What else is there? I went to the bibliothèque and helped out a bit. No one asked me to do anything and I didn’t even take off my coat. I saw things that needed to be put away and so that is what I did since I was going to be in that particular room. Other patrons didn’t know what to think, seeing me with books and DVD’s all piled up in my hands and putting them away. After that and talking to the librarians about their extended holidays (full timers got paid/part timers got nada) I headed out.

I walked past the smoke shop where I saw Shlomo. He was busy enough and talking in Hebrew on the phone. I made myself scarce and since I was passing through I asked him if there was anything he needed to do since I was there. He said no and I walked out onto the sunny side of the street back home. I came home and didn’t do much of anything except watch my clothes dry. Of course there are things going on that I am not writing about, things that will be revealed soon enough. Good news I would like to think, but not like what you are probably thinking.

the note for 2R

You’ll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)

I Really Like Him

Well it certainly feels like winter has arrived though it’s not official. Very cold and blustery outside today. It is just as the forecasters announced on the news the past couple of days. It looked like it was going to rain when I went out earlier so I brought and umbrella. I was off to see Raymond at the smoke shop. Shlomo was in as well as his partner, Israel. It was a good opportunity to have a smoke and chat with Raymond. He gets along really well with Shlomo and Israel and it is through Raymond that I’ve been in their good graces.

I enjoyed a smoke and using whatever expertise I had from the last job I held I was able to help various visitors to the smoke shop and turn them from visitors into customers. Just out of being a nice guy. I’m certainly not getting paid. I would like to see Shlomo and Israel succeed and I don’t mind helping out. If they want to throw me a free cigar, that’s fine. And if they don’t or can’t, well that’s fine too. Whatever I can do to help them out while I am just hanging out, I do.

Bill came home this morning and soon went to bed. He usually drives to Atlantic City tonight but there is a different itinerary. He’s not driving to Atlantic City, he’s not driving anywhere. No, he is home tonight and will drive tomorrow to somewhere different. The neighbors are still doing their illegal construction, furniture in the hallway, of course it’s the part of the hallway where the lights are out so if one isn’t careful there is a chance you can walk face first into a sofa. There are a lot of things moving in and out of that space.

Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro was on TV earlier. The local NBC affiliate had something about small businesses in Hoboken today, how they are doing after the storm and there was god old Jim, playing a mandolin. He also had screen time, telling people to shop local (in Hoboken). I’ve done my bit, getting that ukulele earlier this month during the dark ages and I hope other people purchase items at the Guitar Bar (as well as Guitar Bar Jr.) and the other stores in town. Hoboken still needs help despite city hall saying 93% of businesses are back.

The Path train is still out, no trains to and from Hoboken. The Erie Lackawanna station is open There are plenty of buses and there are plenty of buses to take people into the city and back. The word is that the really big supermarket will be out of business until February of next year. And of course there are the rumors. In the smoke shop a guy was talking about how Radio Shack was looted. It wasn’t. Nothing really bad happened crime-wise in Hoboken. No hordes, no Visigoths descending from Jersey City Heights to pillage the mile square city. Where do these people get their information?

Another Girl, Another Planet

I Really Taught Me To Watusi

Yes I did not post yesterday. It was a friggin’ holiday and I decided to not write, which in turn gave you all (both of you) the opportunity to not read. A ‘win win’ situation wouldn’t you say? I know I would. Yesterday was very much a mellow day, Bill was home the night before after driving to Massachusetts and back. Sleep came fairly easy, dreams somewhat disturbing. I was up earlier than expected thanks to some neighbors taking advantage of rebuilding after the storm to remodel their apartments without building permits and it sounded like a basketball game was in progress.

I’m sure there are a few people in town avoiding the building permit scene and doing whatever remodeling they could do. Some people are definitely in need of rebuilding but in my building a tenant is merely trying to make room for his wife moving back in. So being up early allowed me to go to the supermarket nearby to get a few things before the Thanksgiving last minute rush kicked in. I got a few things and then headed home where I had a nice breakfast. Bill was still asleep when I came back and of course I let him sleep.

He eventually got up and got himself together. The plan was the same as last year, dinner at Oscar’s Brasserie in the Waldorf Astoria. We started going there two years ago with Hyman Gross. He used to go with his lady friend and since she passed away we decided to treat Hyman. I was working then so it was doable. Then Hyman passed away and we went to honor Hyman. I don’t know if we’ll go again next year. We get dressed up to find no one else is dressed up. The food is great though.

After dinner a walk across town back to the bus terminal as we smoked our cigars. Someone blessed me with a few Cubans so it was especially enjoyable. Not too long of a wait for the bus and not too many people. A couple of hours after we left Hoboken for dinner, we were back in Hoboken, sated. Not much on the television so we watched a Harry Potter marathon which Bill seemed to enjoy. I of course told him to pay attention at certain points just so he would know who was who and what was what. It helped somewhat.

Soon it was bedtime for the Bonzos. Bill slumbered off first and I joined him shortly thereafter. This morning Bill was up first and out and about. I woke up to an empty apartment. I knew Bill was driving tonight and had no idea where he was. He soon came home, after spending some time talking with the neighbors. I showered and had some coffee that Bill made. He came home with more groceries and things he was going to need for the drive tonight. We spent some good time together before he headed out leaving me in solitude.

I unfortunately couldn’t help but feed the trolls. It seems a woman was photographed at Arlington Cemetery giving the finger to a sign that requested silence and respect. Yes, she flipped the bird to a sign. This of course cost her her job because she was disrespecting the dead, soldiers and veterans all at the same time by flipping off an inanimate sign. Oh she has stalkers after her, true ‘patriots’ screaming that she should go to Iran. You can just smell the tea and semen on their chins as they type.

And me being me, went to this woman’s defense. Yes it was a stupid joke, but ultimately it was harmless. ‘I have 37.5 relatives in national cemeteries and blah blah blah.’ Truly pathetic. I was slandered as well for pointing out the hypocrisy of terrible spellers. Pedro felt obliged to intervene and request that I stop feeding these trolls, and eventually I did.

I am quite glad there was no internet when I visited Ford’s Theater with my family in the 1960’s.

I also saw Shlomo at the smoke scene. He was hanging out with some guy named MJ. I just gave Shlomo a book that I’ve had for the past couple of years about cigars and tobacco, a handbook of sorts for tobacconists. I wasn’t using it as anything besides a doorstop and figured Shlomo would be better off with it than me. I think he figured I was angling for a free cigar but with the Cuban bounty that washed up on our doorstep, I could afford to walk off with a simple handshake. I don’t think Shlomo is used to someone like me, just being kind for no particular reason.

I’m The Urban Spaceman

I Read A Lot

Sugarplum Fairy Sugarplum Fairy, Dorothy Parker Dorothy Parker. You might be able to tell where my head is at with regards to that opening line, if not- c’est la vie. It’s the day before a holiday which makes it an eve, however unofficial. Newscasters have been calling it Thanksgiving Eve and you know how right they are. It’s a Wednesday and the Nor’Easter that was predicted seems to have been forgotten. I’m grateful for it. People leaving town for the weekend, lots of buses headed in different directions. Since the Path train is still out of service in Hoboken it’s not that crowded down by the terminal.

I’ve been spending time at the smoke scene in Hoboken. To my chagrin I am becoming ‘one of those guys’, hanging out at a cigar store and chatting with the proprietor. Shlomo seems like a nice guy and I’ve just been hanging out as he tries to get his shop off the ground. It’s fairly new you see. He’s been in the business for a long time and this is an attempt to get something of his own in Hoboken. He’s meddled about here and there but now he is staking out his own turf.

Since I’ve been in the Mile Square City for quite a while it figures that I know a number of people. Some are surprised to see me smoking a cigar, others not so much. I’ve introduced Shlomo to a few people and also identified people from old Hoboken, the ones that use certain phrases that no one really uses anymore. Nothing bad, just a friend greeting amongst the natives, calling each other ‘Comp’. I don’t know if it means ‘Compadre’ or ‘Compari’ or even company or companion. Perhaps it is a mixture of all of those in Hoboken.

In any event, hardly anyone uses it so to hear some characters talking like that certainly got my attention. Shlomo was doing well and that’s what really matters. A few guys were buying cigars to smoke after their Thanksgiving dinners tomorrow and asking Shlomo if he, meaning the store, was going to be open. He said yes they would be. I am not too sure what kind of traffic he would have tomorrow since Hoboken on Thanksgiving can be a ghost town of sorts. Parking should be easy and there were quite a few people with luggage getting onto buses.

Bill is driving tonight and might even be back tonight which is a plus. We’re going to dinner tomorrow at Oscar’s, the same bistro where we went with Hyman Gross two years ago and last year decided to make it a regular occurrence in Hyman’s honor. It’s later in the afternoon than usual which I guess is fine. Bill once again set the whole thing up thinking he would be doing an overnight drive somewhere. But now he is not, in fact I can see on Latitude that he is on his way back to the Garden State.

I’m just going to sit and wait. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Tariq and Co.

Hot, no?

I Have Everything I Need

I Ran

Today has been one of those days where every move you make is the wrong move. Every step is a misstep. Just going to the supermarket turned out to be something out of the ordinary. I tried to walk down an aisle when an employee planted herself in front of me asking if there was anything she could get me. I didn’t notice the blood on the floor until I heard one of her co-workers complaining about it as they were about to start mopping it up.

Apparently, from what I heard was some guy who was cheating on his girlfriend for a number of years and possibly abusive to her was dropped by the former girlfriend. And she was grocery shopping in the supermarket with her new boyfriend when the old boyfriend came upon them and punches were thrown, hence the blood on the supermarket floor. I am not sure whether or not the cops were called or if someone ran out. So it’s not just me, today has been a weird day, at least for the employees of the nearby supermarket. And there didn’t seem to be too much blood, a few drops here and there, nothing you probably have seen before.

A trip to the bibliothèque once again, getting things to watch and read for the holiday weekend when they will be closed. I picked up a book about Yo La Tengo which I found had 2 inaccuracies in it. Both were found by looking through the index. My brother is mentioned in the book as being a former bartender at Maxwell’s and someone I used to know, and mistakenly Wolf Knapp used to work the door to the back room. I can easily understand how a few people are now royally pissed off at Jesse Jarnow.

And now I find myself debating some Paulist nutjobs. A group of young men wearing red capes that stand on corners protesting for the holy roman church. I am through with these papists and now someone else is debating them so I can hasten my exit from that group. Like I said it’s been one of those days.

Right now I am listening to Tame Impala, a band some Facebook friends have recommended. They’re OK, in a vague way they remind me of MGMT. The low fi, rubbing of the microphone is really annoying though. I also watched A Serious Man by the Coen Brothers the other day and enjoyed that a lot more than I expected to. What drew me in was the actor who plays Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) on Boardwalk Empire (which was really good and heartbreaking last week) plays the lead in A Serious Man.

The other night I also watched half of Luis Bunuel’s Simon of the Desert. It’s about an hour long and it was on TCM at 1:00. I had seen it before and decided to go to bed before Simon and the devil wind up in a 1960’s discothèque. I’m sure Bunuel would have understood.

Apple Scruffs

I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!

This has been a strange day, perhaps a strange couple of days. It’s a Monday so that’s a start. Mondays are generally strange to begin with. But the strangeness started the other day I suppose. A Facebook friend that I’ve known all my life requested that I remove certain pictures. Pictures that they were in as well as other friends. The other friends were not complaining so I merely untagged the photos that this person wanted removed. I went so far as to untag any photos I had with them in it. Seemed to work out fine as far as I knew.

For the past hour today, I have been getting requests from this Facebook friend to confirm tags that they want on the photos. Photos that I untagged. Fine, I confirmed all the photos that they were in, but what really gets my goat is the fact that now they want to be tagged in photos they are not in at all. True certain concessions are to be made since they’re connected in some ways to certain photos but it is pissing me off quite a bit. I’ve ignored the other requests that have been made and confirmed only those photos they are in.

I have been visiting the cigar shop in town, nice guys it seems. I keep getting blessed which is always a nice carrot at the end of the stick. Talking to Raymond was good the other night. I told him of how Zack had a layout in a magazine in September, (no not that type of magazine) and all Zack did was take a photo of the layout and post it to the cigar shack Facebook page. It was a little blurry and you could not read all the wonderful things about Zack nor the tips that he offered regarding cigar smoking.

So feeling sad for poor old Zack, I went to the original website and found the link to the layout and pasted it in the comment box underneath Zack’s attempt. It was there for some time and having spoken to Raymond the other day, I thought I would visit the page. There was the blurry layout with 5 comments listed but only 4 comments shown. My largesse was discarded, no more link to the article saying what an awesome guy Zack is. It was fine by me and showed how pathetic things are back in that shack or at least in that closet like office.

Time to move on I know. Seeing Raymond was good the other night and his friendship (as well as a few other people’s) is what I will keep. The rest will fall by the wayside. I was correct about so many things about that cigar shack, from gauges on cigars to what the word ‘ligero’ means, to discover someone attempting to steal cigars by putting boxes of them in with the empty boxes. It’s a good thing they don’t have the annual inventory anymore since the head Swiss cheeses would be dismayed to find out how much of the inventory is walking out the door.

It’s his fiefdom and he will be happy working in a place that will eventually be shuttered soon enough. Call me Cassandra if you will. And with someone like the possum as his lieutenant who will stab him in the back (I stab in the front) at the first opportunity, I can only hope the cleaning lady doesn’t have too much of a mess to clean up. I think this will be the last I will ever write of that godforsaken cigar shack but I will always remember what GZA said about matters such as this and also remember to tip my hat to Freud, for after all why else would Zack send me an email alerting me to what was about to happen back in May? For that I am grateful Zack is no friend of Bill W.

See? I am such a nice guy that I still don’t post the real names, no threats involved.

Painting by Tim Daly

I met Joe Biden Sunday night

And now for something completely different.

I Feel Mysterious Today

I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

Well today has been a sociable day for me. Started out nicely with Bill getting home before I woke up and a good morning kiss was sweet. I got out of bed as Bill saw getting his stuff together so he would be all ready to go when the time came. I had a nice breakfast after showering and talked with Bill before he went to sleep for a few hours. It was nice, he is great. A trip to the supermarket was in order, needed to buy milk. No 2% available so I went totally skim which is good I suppose, just not enough body for a decent cup of coffee.

After a few hours of reading and posting some very funny things on Facebook I headed out. I stopped by the new cigar shop in town, nice guys, good staff, and a decent selection. I was blessed yesterday by a cigar salesman. Being blessed is cigar shack lingo from back in the day, primarily what Raymond used to say, meaning a cigar salesman just gave you a free cigar. It does have a certain ring to it and lacks the pretense that exists in certain circles I guess.

I chatted with the fellows who run the shop and had a nice robusto. They told me that Raymond was going to be around, he was in his way to Hoboken. They knew I knew Raymond since I last saw Raymond at another local cigar shop in May soon after my dismissal from the cigar shack. It was for an event in Hoboken and to my surprise as well as Raymond there were a number of cigar shack customers there all bitching and moaning about how the cigar shack is terrible since a phogna bologna like Zack is running the show.

I couldn’t stay though, I needed to get home and make sure Bill was up and ready to go driving again and there was also the weekend call to California, almost every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 PM. I was walking home, picking up Bill’s laundry and taking to Annemarie on the phone when Raymond phoned. I couldn’t take the call since I was talking to my sister but I did get the voicemail. I came home, there was Bill running around. A kiss goodbye and then I asked where his glasses were. Oh yeah, he needs those when driving.

He made it down a flight of stairs before I heard him coming back. He left his phones behind. I got them for him and he was finally on his way, promising to use his latitude. I called Raymond and soon I was headed back to Washington Street. It was considerably cooler out since the sun had gone down, but I was fine. I had a cigar in my pocket from earlier and met up with Raymond. Good talk, he seems to be doing well. I seem to be doing well so we were both happy with our respective states.

Of course we discussed the cigar shack, how Marcus informed Zack about this here blog. How Zack told Raymond that I was bad mouthing the cigar shack. I just went back and read the entries from earlier in May and yeah I did make a comment about Zack is a great manager when he is sober. Perhaps it was the fear that I would say such a thing to the inhuman resource manager who was coming in to review Zack’s managerial performance so far.

Well that was then, this is now. I won’t grace the cigar shack with the bottom of my shoe. I’ve moved on, I just keep glancing in the rear view mirror as they shrink in the distance. Funny how the lack of an ego can turn out to be quite a large ego, but still that large ego shrinks like George Costanza coming out of the ocean.

Dopestyle – I’ll Bass You (Club Mix)

I Pity the Fool

It’s a Friday today. Which is good I guess, yet another day for me. Resumes going out, Bill has been helping out on that front. An extra pair of eyes helps. I was up and out pretty early today, Hoboken still on the disabled list. And with the really big supermarket still under repair, it’s the smaller and now more crowded supermarket that has been my destination lately. The rumors are that the big supermarket won’t open for a few weeks if at all. They were inundated with a lot of water and who knows, word is their lease was up and they won’t be renewing.

That would be too bad, not just for consumers like myself but it would also put a couple of hundred people out of work. Their location is not a good one and in the past year I’ve heard they’ve been flooded three times. There are new piles of debris on the sidewalks and streets, and a lot of basement apartments are being totally gutted. The day laborers are keeping busy moving rubbish and remnants of people’s lives into overflowing dumpsters. It does weigh on you and makes me appreciate that despite my losing some things, other people lost everything.

Last night I watched the Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane. It was very good, great footage of the Stones from the early days. It definitely looked like riots going on during the shows, both boys and girls charging the stage just to get a grab at Brian or Mick or Keith. No one really seemed to go after Charlie or Bill, probably to their relief. And who knew besides Mick Taylor that he left due to a developing heroin habit? I thought it was because of him not be able to get any songs on the albums, but he said it himself.

Bill came home after that, he was helping his mother. His cousin had to be somewhere so Bill stepped in. And since the Path train is still inoperable from Hoboken to Manhattan he needed to take the bus which is usually fine by him, but last night at 11:00 there were a few hundred people on a line that was snaking around itself from the south terminal to the north terminal. NJ Transit decided to go back to their normal schedule despite the other transportation (besides the ferry which stops around 11:00) down for the count.

Still Bill was able to get home midway through the Colbert Report and after some soup he was off to bed. And it being a Friday his is driving a bus. Not to Atlantic City but rather he is being trained on the route to Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun which is exciting for Bill. I am not looking forward to another bad night of sleep but I will do what I can and not get too worked up about it. Tomorrow will be here soon enough and I’ll be able to see my man once again. Even if he’s just sleeping in bed it will be good to have him home for a few hours.

10 Fool To Cry

I Pity The Poor Immigrant

A Thursday, and it’s been a good day. Yesterday after the adventure on Tuesday, I had the usual blues. A good time was had and for me depression sets in. It was nothing crippling, nothing a banana couldn’t change but still it happens. It’s been happening all of my life. I certainly appreciate the good times, the good days spent with Bill and friends and family. It’s just like the next day I feel like Wile E. Coyote treading air as I stepped off the cliff chasing the Roadrunner. There’s no descent, just a simple about face and all is well.

Last night was cool and mellow, just me and Bill hanging out watching the television. After the Ed Show we watched Modern Family just so we could have something to laugh about and then we watched Suburgatory which was alright, a Thanksgiving episode. And Thanksgiving is a mere week away.

Bill was up and out before the sun rise this morning, leaving a farewell kiss to me. I stayed in bed waiting for the sun to rise but fell asleep once again, only waking until after the fact. No one seemed to mind, let alone me.

I went out and about once again. More debris has been crated off only to be replaced by more debris. The bibliothèque has reopened and the staff was there, grumbling since the person in charge had left already. They’re all full timers so they got paid even though they couldn’t make it in. They all seemed to have been safe while the waters rose and receded. And there was quite a back log of books and other items to be returned and audited before going back on the shelves. I returned Naked Lunch, a movie I had seen with William Charas at the Galaxy Theater 20 years ago.

A movie I only needed to see once. It’s good and I remembered that it got my creative juices flowing back then, nowadays I just saw it as a valiant attempt to film the unfilmable. Peter Weller did do a great job of channeling el hombre invisible, William S. Burroughs. Adaptation is another movie like that. Of course both movies are related to the writing process, as is the Shining when you get down to it. I prefer not to think of myself as a dull, dull boy but ultimately that would be up to you to decide.

On my excursion I swung by the Guitar Bar, and there was Jim Mastro moving amplifiers around and not letting me help him. I did pester him enough that I might be able to help him out on Sunday, that is if his lovely wife Meghan is unable to help. I’m not looking to get paid, I just want to help him out since he helped me and so many others out a couple of weeks ago. After that I walked to the new cigar store and chatted with those guys. Got a freebie which was nice.

I was looking over something I wrote last month regarding Zack and his lack of response to my email. Still no response at this date which I suppose I should have expected. That ‘Caesar’ should be fine with a ‘Brutus’ at his side. No one will tell him the marsupial keeps his shiv in his pouch. Of course those that don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and I am sure I will hear about whatever happens somehow.

Customers are chatty and my lines of communication with them are still open. Still no new point of sale system from what they tell me, the music sucks there without me and I am sure the employees still aren’t a part of the TransitChek system despite overtures and promises from the inhuman resources director. Don’t worry, Zack is not one to make waves.

It’s a good thing they don’t know about the Bizarro cigar shack blog that was created shortly after my departure. Names, faces and the kitchen sink I tell ya!

goodbye tree

Sign in the now gutted liquor store window.

05 The Great Pretender

I Pray For You

It’s funny, after writing about not listening to music much the other day, Bill and I head down to Baltimore to watch a friend of his perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchetrsa. It was more like a chance to watch an orchestra practice and during the practice, in the second half they have musicians that are good enough to play in orchestras but live in the Muggle world for their bread and butter. A gent named Paul lived on the same floor as Bill and went to the same high school (the Fame school) now lives in DC with his wife and kids.

Bill reconnected via Facebook and decided that we were going. I of course had nothing else to do and haven’t left Hoboken since October. I wasn’t sure how much the world has changed outside the mile square city and I was game. We were going to take a train down there and I was fine with that. But trains are pretty expensive and Bill figured it would be cheaper to rent a car. I wasn’t going to argue, it did seem like a good idea. We would not be beholden to schedules which makes a difference.

The plan was to leave around 2:00 but around 11:30 the plan had changed and we would be going at 12:30. That made moving things up a little faster but like I wrote, I had nothing else to do. We were soon on the road, driving down rainy Hoboken streets to the turnpike. My job was to pick the tunes. Only one channel was playing though, the left speakers were OK, my side, the right side was muted. No way around that. As we went further south, crossing into Delaware the weather had cleared up.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike we passed a number of utility trucks from Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida all returning after helping out the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

As we entered Baltimore I made it a point to play the soundtrack to Hairspray, the 1988 John Waters movie. I also played Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis. The first time I heard that song was on Homicide: Life on the Street which took place in Baltimore.

Thanks to Bill’s GPS we found the symphony hall. We were crazy early though and after walking around in the dusk we found a spot to sit and have a beer beforehand. I guess it was a microbrewery since all the beer was made there. We had what was called an Ozzy, which was a dry Belgian like beer. And to my surprise, Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis was playing when we got there.

We were hoping to find a cigar lounge but despite the neighborhood looking like it needed one, they came up short. There was a cigar lounge around the block from the hall, but there was a sign on the door saying they were out looking for supplies and would be back around 6:30.

The show was going to start at 6:45 so waiting around for that would not work for us. We made it into the hall and saw Paul who was nervous. We reassured him he would be fine, or rather Bill did since I did not know him. I merely told him to break a leg. The first half came on and I was at first jolted by the sound of a live orchestra but soon found myself nodding off to the sweet strings thanks to the Ozzy I had had about an hour earlier.

At the intermission I had two cups of coffee which did the trick and I was wide awake for the Anvil Chorus. It was all a few selections of Verdi’s music and the Anvil Chorus is the one that I remembered out of five or six pieces. Full orchestra and chorus and Paul sat next to the first chair under the baton of Marin Alsop. It was a wonderful excuse to get out of town and I wish we had more time to spend in Baltimore since we do have friends down there.

The ride back was exhausting. It seemed to take forever. Bill was feeling tired and so I wound up playing some house music to get him going. Then it was Girl Talk mostly. Bill never really heard Girl Talk before, even though I had played it often enough. He liked it a lot yesterday. We were back in Hoboken a little after midnight, Bill went to bed and I stayed up for a little while longer, before joining him in slumber.

with Paul and Bill

I Predict

Another Dorothy Parker feeling. Oh well, like I said the other night watching the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz movie Knight And Day, ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’. But I did not watch the whole thing, I was barely watching it at all and I have no idea how it ends. It was listed as an action adventure romantic comedy. It was worth catching Paul Dano. That’s about it. It’s a strange film, and it was like watching a car accident which was fitting since there are numerous car chases and accidents throughout the movie. I only had it on since nothing was on the other 350 channels, I swear.

The four to five feet of debris has been removed from my street. There is still the matter of the tree which was sawed up and stashed behind the gate. I saw the absentee landlord yesterday and he said someone will be removing it soon enough. His handyman, Robert lost a lot in the flooding and the landlord has a few buildings in the area, so it might take some time. It has been a gorgeous day today, and it was even better yesterday. Just bright and sunny and warm .

It was hard to believe yesterday that a mere seven days earlier most of Hoboken was walking around in shock. Things are slowly getting back to how it was beforehand, but there is still that air of neighborliness which is good to have. The bibliothèque is still closed, sorry part timers. And the Path still isn’t running from Hoboken and won’t be for a few weeks, as far as the official word goes. It is running from Journal Square to 33rd Street but no stops at Christopher or Ninth Streets. The ferry is cheaper though, $5.00 for a one way rush hour crossing.

And now the sun has gone down and it is a lot cooler. Sweater time. For some reason I haven’t been listening to much music lately. Well, the storm and it’s aftermath and also the election has been foremost in my thoughts. There’s always a tune playing in my head, but I have to make a conscious decision to listen to music and cut down on the TV. Music best sums up my mood mostly. Today is Neil Young’s birthday and it is also Booker T. Washington’s birthday. I posted a slew of videos by both as well as Booker T & the MG’s backing up Neil, so that was good music to listen to this afternoon.

Right now, Gang of Four are on with Life, It’s a Shame. Out of the 500 or so records I had to throw away last week, I was able to save about 100 which I finally found a spot for in the apartment. Strategically located album covers, some I cherish more than others. Of course some crap was saved. Have to take the good with the bad I suppose. Can’t forget the doubles either, the 3 copies of the B-52’s Mesopotamia. The Cocteau Twins. The 12 inch of The Word Girl by Scritti Politti.

Tomorrow is a road trip. Don’t know if I will be writing tomorrow. Bill and I are going to Baltimore. Totally his idea, I am merely a passenger on this adventure of his. It’s just a day trip, we’re going to see a friend of his sing play somewherewith the Baltimore Symphony in Charm City. We were going to take the train but it’s cheaper to rent a car. I just have to show up and DJ on the way down. There should be a report of some sort on Wednesday.

Dorothy Parker, right once again!

I’ve always loved the cover of this 12″, and of course the song is fantastic.

06 Powderfinger

I Predict A Riot

The guy who lives across the street from me and Bill had a 1957 Corvette convertible in the basement garage, just below street level. I found out today that the car was ruined by flooding. I also heard that the guy has a 1956 convertible at his house down the shoe, but as it turned out that was destroyed by the flooding down there. This was all told to me second hand by neighbor Chris from next door. He still doesn’t have power. The liquor store on the corner is still out, doing business by generator until nightfall.

And now it’s nightfall, a little past 5:30. I’ve been to the supermarket, the only one around these parts, and found it swamped with people. I only needed to buy coffee for tomorrow, I’m using the instant coffee I bought last week as emergency provisions. Of course we are much more prepared for a major storm now than we were. We were OK, but didn’t expect an electrical outage for 5 days. We anticipated running out of food and water, so that we stocked up on. He had heat as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am grateful we had what we had.

It’s hard to believe that last Saturday was when the power came back on.

I walked around town today, stopped by the Guitar Bar on Newark Street where I saw Jim Mastro. I try to make it a point to see if he needed anything. I offered my services if he ever needed something dropped off at the bank or even if he needed to get something from Guitar Bar to Guitar Bar Jr. on 11th Street. He didn’t need anything and hardly ever asks for anything, but one day he will and I am hopeful to be there if and when he does. That includes getting plastic cups.

I am in for the night once again. Not even 6:00. I did not sleep well at all last night. Kept waking up and when I finally had some deep sleep, I wound up waking up shortly thereafter. Bill was not around and that is what I would attribute the fitful sleep to. I have been wary about getting those leg cramps and figured I should eat more bananas. I had a banana yesterday and this morning around 6:00 I had a leg cramp. Not a good way to wake up even if I wasn’t that fully asleep anyway.

Last night I had a phone call from a former co-worker. It was a lot of fun she kept me informed about what was going on, how so and so is up to her usual shady tricks. It proved to me that there were certain aspects of this particular job which I can look back fondly upon, but overall I am quite happy not to be there anymore. The mere mention of certain names made my stomach curdle. I am still trying to improve my lot in life, trying to get to a better station if you will. Time is on my side.

Sts. Peter & Paul Church, where we charged up last week.

Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love 12 Inch Mix

I Pray

Well Dorothy Parker. I’ve posted her quote in the past and reluctant to do it again, so I am not. It’s a Friday night and it’s cold up here in the fifth floor. Earlier I had gone out and it was considerably warmer on the street level. It’s dark in Hoboken and since I haven’t really gone out at night the past few days I’ve noticed there is no power on the next block. And the funeral home around the corner had power when everyone else was out, and tonight they are dark. I think there is a viewing and they have a generator running.

There hasn’t been a garbage pickup and so items are just wasting away on the streets and sidewalks in this neighborhood. It was discussed the other day that if this keeps up we might have a rodent problem. Luckily neighbor Chris feeds a few cats in the neighborhood so that might hold them off, the rodents that is. Chris thinks he lost one of the cats in the storm and from up here on the fifth floor I can hear him at street level, singing and whistling for his wayward cats. I’ve known Chris for over 20 years and the storm reconnected us.

Bill is driving to Pennsylvania tonight, to where exactly I couldn’t tell you. I probably won’t see him until Sunday. Although right now according to Google Latitude, he seems to be driving to Atlantic City, or at least Tinton Falls. He’s been great the past week. He’s always great but this week he’s been stellar. We make a very good team. And of course since he won’t be around I do not expect to sleep well at all. He doesn’t sleep well when I’m not around either so that makes us a pair of solo insomniacs.

I saw Stine and Alexander at the nearby supermarket. The really big supermarket where things are considerably cheaper has been closed since the storm last week. This was reportedly the third time in a year that they’ve been flooded and the rumors around town is they won’t be reopened for some time or even worse, the lease was up and they are not going to renew. That means a lot of people will be out of work which means more competition of jobs here in Hoboken. And people will go back to paying too much for items.

My sister told me of a bus to Newark from Hoboken tomorrow morning. They were looking for 30 volunteers and were presented with more than 30. I posted the info on my Facebook page which might have helped put them over. I emailed the guy who was organizing the jaunt and he thanked me for posting it and also there was no need for me to go. The trip was to unload trucks in Newark and send the storm relief supplies to Hoboken. The bibliothèque remains closed. And so this day like the previous days ends cold and damp at night.

It’s supposed to be a nice weekend though so we’ll see what that brings. A new cigar store is opening in Hoboken, or at least trying to. They seem all ready to go, they just have to open their doors. I spoke with someone I thought was one of the owners who also knew Raymond from the cigar shack. With no threat of Zack, I gave Raymond a nice review, really talked him up when I was asked if I knew him. So that’s that. Pretty dull and boring yet again.

C’est la vie. That’s just the way that it goes.

He’ll Have to Go

I Never Will Marry

Yesterday and last night was a snow storm, today bright and sunny. More flooding though not as severe as it was last week. Still debris covers a lot of sidewalks in Hoboken, basements emptied of all contents. Beds, dressers and of course personal belongings piled up. I think the basement in my building has been cleaned out. I haven’t been down there since I threw out my stuff. Perhaps tomorrow I will go again. It does take its toll, just walking around the street and seeing people trying to put on a brave face while their lives and possessions are ruined.

When I tell people I lost a couple of hundred records (maybe 500), they’re sympathetic. All I need to do is just look a few doors down and see I got off easy. A friend online was almost bemoaning the fact that he can’t get from Jersey City to Brooklyn tonight to see a concert due to the lingering consequences of the Sandy storm last week. He realizes that his whining is stupid because of the fact that it is a minor inconvenience especially compared to others in this area. He does hope its better next week since there is a better show he wants to attend.

It’s hard for me to believe but I have not left Hoboken in almost two weeks. Usually I would jump into the city for something but I’ve been in town since the storm. Strangers still chat with one another as they walk past each other, wishing each other the best. I saw Jim Mastro and he’s still recovering from the storm. I’m not writing a lot about what he’s going through but I hope it works out. He lost a recording studio with some expensive, vintage equipment in it. Perhaps FEMA could help him out.

And despite when snow falls things generally look pretty, when it falls on debris it just looks terribly sad. I guess things are slowly getting back to something resembling normal in most of Hoboken. The bibliothèque is closed, been closed since last week. The majority of the employees are probably getting paid since they’re full time, but of course the part timers aren’t going to get paid. That’s just how things are. I do hope they open soon though since I do have items that need to be returned and the drop off boxes are filled to capacity.

And the Republican Party are licking their wounds, trying to figure out how they lost the election. Now that they’re number one job of making Barack Obama a one term President has failed will they cooperate? Will they help pass a jobs bill? Will both parties do something about climate change? Something has to be done. AIDS prevention, education, the crumbling infrastructure are all things that need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Also closing Guantanamo, getting the troops out of Afghanistan are on the list. I want the President to start kicking ass and not let them off the hook.

Have You Been Making Out OK

I Only Wanna Laugh

So now it’s Wednesday and here in Hoboken some of us are still digging out of our apartments, or throwing possessions away since they were damaged by flooding. Outside it’s been relatively dry, inside it is soggy and wet mostly. And on top of all that, it is snowing. Quite hard, white out conditions and it’s sticking. We can’t see Manhattan or Jersey City or Union City from our windows. Earlier today it was snowing so hard that we could barely see the buildings behind us. So needless to say, staying in is the way to go tonight, no going out for us.

I heard from Chaz that it’s supposed to go up to 61° on Sunday so I guess that could all be attributed to climate change, the bugaboo that got nary a mention during the debates. It was a subject of derision from Willard Mitt Romney during the Republican National Convention, raising guffaws and chortles as their nominee cracked wise about how President Obama pledged to try to stop the ocean rising (a result of melting ice caps), whereas the GOP nominee pledged to help the American people instead, because as you know those are two mutually exclusive- American people are not affected by rising oceans.

Yesterday was quite an experience. As with the past week it was spent entirely in Hoboken. Claire was in town clearing out her things in the basement wearing a hazmat suit, Wellingtons and industrial gloves. She was a bit despondent throwing her things out, finding coins that belonged to her grandfather which luckily for her she did not have to throw out. Still it was a shock for her. The sidewalk in front of the building filled with debris and trash, the sidewalks in front of most every building looking like the aftermath of a war.

Bill was up and out early in the morning. It makes for an easier commute. With the Path trains out of service from Hoboken, by the time the bus gets near the halfway point on 5th Street it is packed, standing room only. Bill made sure he voted yesterday morning before heading into Manhattan and found a line at 6:00 AM and one of the two voting machines out of service. Still he voted after about a 20 minute wait which wasn’t so bad compared to other people in certain states.

A few hours later it was my turn. A mere 10 minute wait and both machines operating. The poll workers were trying to communicate with whoever was in charge about some issues that I was not privy to. Of course I voted for Obama, straight up Democratic ticket. Also on the ballot was the public question regarding rent control in Hoboken. I of course voted ‘No’ which was the way to go since the oh so shady Mile Square Taxpayers Association once again inserted confusion in the question which last time forced people to vote against their best interest.

Because a straightforward question would have ensured a swift defeat, if you were for rent control you had to vote no. I gleefully voted no, and I encouraged other voters and Hoboken residents to do the same. I participated in the benefit at Maxwells and also posted fliers and stickers throughout town. And I am happy to report that rent control still stands. They were able to gut rent control in a few other Hudson County towns and cities but Hoboken mobilized and we successfully pushed them back to the slime hole from whence they came.

It was a great day all around, a fantastic speech by the President of the United States. I couldn’t watch any reports or news all day, not turning it on until Bill got home. It was nerve wracking but with a happy ending, both for the United States but also for Hoboken. And I am happy to have participated in the election, fighting the good fight.

People have the power.

07 – People Have The Power

Hoboken Post Sandy Part Two

Part Two
Saturday came and I wasn’t so keen on it. Still no electricity and food supplies were running low. The supermarket was open thanks to generators and throughout the neighborhood generators were heard several times on different blocks. We had about four to five feet in the basement which is used by myself and neighbors for storage. I had books and records and some stereo equipment and Bill had an amplifier down there.

Other people on our block and throughout Hoboken had basement apartments and most of them were devastated. Businesses were destroyed. A studio that Jim Mastro owned was ruined. And there he was letting people hang out in the store and play instruments and also organized a gathering for his staff to entertain the people of Hoboken that night in the store. I had lunch and dinner at the Elks Lodge and Bill was off driving, not coming back until Sunday morning. Not a trip to Atlantic City, which was closed but open for business somehow a few days later after the storm.

While at the store we heard of different parts of Hoboken getting their electricity back. I had hope and walked back to my building. Of course hope wasn’t there, things were still dark. I talked with neighbors for about an hour, remembering my things charging up at the store I headed back, taking a slightly different route, I ran into more friends (Mike & Sarah and Michael Hill) and was enjoyably delayed. When I got back to the Guitar Bar Jr. I had to negotiate my body around a drum kit. Jim left everything charging so I had to unplug and pack with no problem at all really, just some of my usual clumsiness.

Finally Jim had something for me to do. People started showing up with bottles and snacks and cups were needed. I walked over to Rite Aid and bought the last dozen plastic cups. It was fairly crowded when I got back and when I got my shoulder bag it felt even more crowded so I went outside. The music was good but my spirits were flagging. I wasn’t feeling as sociable as I had hoped and soon I wanted to go home. And that is what I did, an invisible exit.

I walked down Park Avenue, in the middle of the street smacking my flashlight every now and then when it dimmed. I made it home to a quiet building and called Bill. He was in the Bronx and hearing his voice after spending so much time together the past few nights made me feel even worse. He was doing his best to bolster my spirits when all of a sudden the doorbell rang. I told Bill that on the phone as I walked to the bedroom window and looked down.

There was our neighbor Frank telling me the power was back on. I checked the hallway and there was light. I whooped, I hollered. Bill listened to my emotional rollercoaster, a 180° turn of events. Only some lights were on which meant a trip to the basement to check the circuit breaker. It was off and when I got back upstairs the lights were on.

I went to YouTube and I posted on Facebook New York Groove by Hello and I Got The Power by Snap on Facebook. I was vibrating with positive energy. I didn’t hear my neighbor Deborah calling me on the phone, and when the song ended I saw the voicemail and called right then. I explained I was dancing to I Got the Power and cued up the last line which is the title and when the vocal was done, the power went out again.

I told Deborah I would call her back and then walked to the bedroom window and yelled out, ‘This is not fair!’ I was crestfallen really. I put my sneakers on and walked down to the street. Frank and his wife Mithra came outside too. We talked to neighbors, Rob, Sean and Melissa, as well as Chris who I’ve known for a long time. I flagged down a police cruiser and asked the officer what was going on. Lights on and now this. He said he didn’t know, he lived on the next block and wanted to know too but he thought PSE&G were tweaking the system.

That made me think Meth heads were running the show. A few other police officers passing through said the same thing basically. I didn’t get the voicemail until later from Bill but there was a report of a fire from the power being turned on again so it needed to be turned off. He got it from listening to the Hoboken police scanner in the Bronx.

I was pretty funny talking to the neighbors I thought. Perhaps I could do stand up comedy, but only in a darkened room. After joking and talking on the street with temperatures dropping we all headed back inside. About an hour or so later it was lights on again, to a more subdued reaction. No happy dance, no posting of videos. I called Deborah, I called Bill and went back online soon enough. Saturday Night Live was very funny, hosted by Louis CK.

Sunday was totally different of course. Power was slowly coming to the rest of Hoboken. For a few days before we got our power back, we looked longingly at a few buildings diagonally on the next corner that had power. Now there were probably people in other buildings doing the same to me. I headed out in the afternoon, most people were walking around in a daze, shock really. Though we had interacted the past few days, it really all came home on Sunday.

I walked, thanked some National Guardsmen for helping out and got choked up saying it. More friends on the street, Karyn and Christina, Lois and Fred. It was likely the week’s events and the daylight savings that did my head in, perhaps it was the same for others. Bill had come home in the morning and went to sleep almost immediately. I came home and had a nap. Bill watched Saturday Night Live. Things sort of started going back to something resembling normal.

Today was Monday. Today was the day I had to check out my things in the basement. Going down there on Saturday night didn’t give me much of a chance to see how things were since it was so dark and I was preoccupied with having electricity once more. I went down in the early afternoon and started moving my things to put on top of other things people had thrown out. There were scavengers going about salvaging whatever they thought was salvageable.

I had a lot of books, magazines and of course vinyl in the form of record albums and 12 inch singles. I moved my 45’s up to the apartment a few months ago. And photographs. And super 8 films I made back in the 1980’s as well as videotapes I collected and videos I had shot. I was upset but not too much. Others had lost a lot more than me, plus I had basically ignored these things for years. And anyway you can’t take it with you.

Such there was a pang when I saw Talking Heads- Remain in Light, Sgt. Pepper and White Light White Heat at the curb next to Bill’s amplifier. But I couldn’t dwell and I couldn’t cry. All in all maybe 400-500 records were curbed. I was able to save about 100, and though I haven’t gone through them all, I’m sure that they weren’t the best, especially after naming those three albums above. I saved the first guitar I ever had and it was in a sorry state. Best used for decoration rather than making music, but I couldn’t throw it out.

I walked over to the Guitar Bar on First Street which finally had power and saw Jim. I told him that he could use it for decoration in the store, or he could do what I couldn’t do and throw it out. It was a good talk with Jim, something that I will probably bring up soon enough. Leaving the Guitar Bar I walked up to Washington Street and saw Tariq playing. He usually plays the street at night, but there he was around 3:00 in the afternoon.

Then I ran into Rand and Lisa and walked with them for a little while. I treated myself to a slice of pizza and watched the weather reports of a storm coming in on Wednesday and a 2.2 earthquake in Passaic County this morning. Talked with some more neighbors, including Claire who was cleaning out her part of the basement. And today was all about the election.
Of course I am voting for Obama as is Bill. And we are voting NO on Public Question #2 in Hoboken. But that will be old news since I am making this a two part entry, so you dear reader won’t have to read over four thousand words. I figure two thousand should be enough.

It was a remarkable thing that happened the past week, as well as obviously devastating. One time at the Elks Lodge I ran into a guy named Jake who I used to know back in the fuzzy days of Maxwell’s. He’s an Elk, moderately sized antlers. Also born and raised in Hoboken. He used to hang out at the Elysian which was more of an old Hoboken pub compared to the next corner, where Maxwell’s was representing the new Hoboken.

I told Jake how great it was to see the community coming together. Jake said he was impressed with how old Hoboken and new Hoboken came together. There was some faint animosity over the years , getting dimmer and dimmer with older generations of Hobokeners passing away.

But politics aside mostly, it was people helping people, talking to people I had seen for years, decades and never spoke to before. That includes neighbors and people from Maxwell’s back in the day. Talking to Jim this afternoon, I mentioned a woman who I had seen through the years and always felt she was scowling at me. I thought maybe I had done her wrong, or perhaps disgusted her after leaving the men’s room looking like I had a small powdered donut. Jim just said she was a hard looking woman.

My friend Karyn Kuhl got power here in Hoboken and in Bergen County my niece Meghan and her husband Rob got theirs this afternoon as well. We’re still not out of the woods yet.

Now it is Tuesday, Election Day. Former roommate William got power at his flat in Jersey City this afternoon. More debris piled up outside. After a week full of stress from the storm, today is concentrated with regards to the election. All day long I have been feeling good, feeling that Obama had it in the bag. I still do but I do come in contact with friends who are worried and I try not to let it affect me, but it does. It wears down my optimism bit by bit.

Juan stopped by earlier today, it was his birthday over the weekend and he was up here to see his family. He would have stayed longer but he has to work a double tomorrow. He was here for about two hours and it was fun. He really does have a wicked wit and had me laughing quite a bit. He also turned me onto some music- Bonde Do Role, Mia Diekow, Grimes and even Taylor Swift and a Justin Bieber track which was well produced. Juan is of that generation that doesn’t have categories for his music. For Juan, it’s all good.

And so now tonight will be all about the election. Glad to get the results with Bill by my side.
Tomorrow it’s about the snowstorm that has been predicted. We certainly do live in interesting times, don’t we?

Once again photos are on the Post Sandy Photos page towards the bottom of the column on the right.

This just in- Via Hoboken Patch:
As a result of Tuesday’s elections, municipal elections will be moved to November.
Run-off elections were eliminated and RENT CONTROL UPHELD IN THE CITY OF HOBOKEN!

Hoboken Post Sandy Part One

OK. Must focus. Too distracted. YouTube comments, Facebook updates. What has happened? Where have I been?
It’s been a long, long week.

A week ago, Monday, we were housebound anticipating the storm. Bill and I settled in and soon enough the lights went out. We still had hot water and heat. Bathtub filled with water, fridge stocked with cold cuts and ice. Time slowed down without electricity, and sleeping was easy. Earlier nights of sleep for me, for Bill it was still the same. We spent Monday night listening to the Hoboken police scanner by candlelight.

On Tuesday Bill and I ventured out to see what hath Sandy wrought. No power in town, a few people roaming around like this. People like me with cameras, documenting and uploading. For me, power was dwindling on the smartphone. We walked by Newark and Garden Streets which was badly hit. My friend Lisa lives on that corner and she was stuck indoors due to three feet of water outside her door. We walked around the block to see the Guitar Bar on First Street and it seemed alright. Major damage and flooding just a few feet from the Guitar Bar. There but for the grace of the gods…

We came home around noon and I was exhausted. It was windy at times and the two of us, on the other side of 200 lbs. resembled Marcel Marceau walking into the wind and drizzle. When we got upstairs I took a two hour nap. When I woke up, Bill took a nap. Soon I was feeling antsy and decided to head north while Bill slept. I nudged him to let him know what I was doing. He grunted and I went out.

More damage heading up the avenue. The west was impassable on foot. You could see where cars were lifted by the water, once parked alongside the curb were now on the sidewalk and the street, or jutting out dangerously into the thoroughfare. Not that there was any worry about passing traffic since the only thing that would get by would be a boat. I found the sidewalks to be slick with who knows what and I slid a couple of times, leading me to regret going out without Bill.

I pictured myself falling and breaking a leg or arm or even a hip and being taken to Jersey City Heights and without any way to get in touch with Bill who also had no way to reach me. But since I was out I was determined to find somewhere to go and charge my phone. I looked towards the high school which was supposed to be a shelter but nothing was going on there. Bill and I read the night before the Wallace School shelter was being evacuated and moved to the high school. I decided to head towards the Wallace School.

Hyman Gross lived across the street from the Wallace School and I lived in a basement apartment right next door in the 1980’s. But it was all shut down as I walked by. I continued up past Rite Aid which was closed as was everything on 14th Street. Not many people around and few cars. I walked over to Washington Street which was sparse. A handful of people standing around here and there as I walked by. I eventually ran into Rand and Lisa and we talked for a few minutes. I mentioned how I should have bought a deck of cards so Bill and I could at least play gin rummy.

Lisa said they had a few decks and Rand suggested I go with them to get the cards so we walked over to their place. Cards duly found and with slight arm twisting I decided to have a shot of Woodford Reserve bourbon. Nice. I have a bottle here with a little bit in it. It’s a great bourbon when you’re smoking a cigar. Rand suggested sipping it instead of doing it like a shot so I sipped mine for about five minutes. I wanted to get back home before it got dark out, and I figured Bill would be awake.

Rand and Lisa were invited to dinner at a neighbor’s in their building so we all headed downstairs together. I felt good from the bourbon and walked back to Washington Street. There I ran into Mike and Sarah. They had just gotten back from church. Not for religious reasons which Mike had emphatically stated, but rather for the charging of the smartphones. A quick thank you and soon I was climbing up the stairs to get Bill.

He was awake when I walked in and I told him to get his clothes on and his stuff together, explaining what was going on at Saints Peter and Paul Church at 4th and Hudson. It was quite dark outside and we would probably be able to see the stars if it weren’t so cloudy. Inside the church it was warm and there were pockets of people huddled around outlets and power strips. I met a few nice people there, some regular attendees and others who like Bill and myself, there for the AC/DC.

At one point Bill got up and started playing the church piano. It was a bit muffled due to the cartage blanket still atop the piano. He played hymns of course, he grew up in a church and here he was in a catholic one. Pastor Bob didn’t mind though he mentioned that he didn’t really want anyone playing the piano, since he was worried they would be playing with their elbows. Hoboken PD stopped by with cupcakes which we almost started to eat in the church until Pastor Bob said there was to be no eating in the sanctuary.

So we went outside on the sidewalk and ate Halloween cupcakes, keeping the black cat plastic sticks as an homage to Zed. Walking home, Bill and I stayed close to each other holding flashlights in the darkness. We were juiced up and stayed up for a while posting reports on Facebook and calling friends and family letting them know what was going on and that we were alright. Facebook prived to be most effective throughout all this. Phone service was spotty as were texts via SMS. But if you could get to Facebook messaging was very easy and fast. And there were updates on curfews, emergency services and the general state of Hoboken. Luckily for me and Bill, most of our loved ones are on Facebook and we were able to see how they were doing as well. If you were in New Jersey you were likely screwed.

Bill took the ferry to work on Wednesday which from what I heard was Halloween. The parade in the Village was canceled, wisely so since there was no power in Manhattan south of 34th Street. Bill and I watched a video of the Con Ed plant exploding which helped with their blackout. Bill left early anticipating a crowd at the ferry and it proved wise since it took him a few hours to get to his desk after leaving Hoboken. I walked over to the church again.

I hoped it would be the peaceful scene it was the night before but it was quite the opposite. Word got out and it was crowded, almost like it was Christmas Eve or at least the feast day of Saint Blaise. There was no way I was going to get to an electrical outlet so I left disheartened. I made it back home through lonely streets and was able to get online through the juice left on Bill’s iPad.

I did run into some neighbors who let me sit in their car and charge up the devices, but I didn’t want them to use their gas on me plus I was getting cramped in their car. After an hour of car sitting I headed up to my apartment. Using the juice from the car I was able to see on Facebook (told ya) that Guitar Bar Jr was up and running and Jim Mastro was allowing people to come in and juice up. Now that’s my kind of church.

I was surprised when I got to 11th Street. Up and down the block, people had power strips on their front stoop, letting people sit and charge up. Coffee and snacks were offered. It was heartwarming and I headed inside to the Guitar Bar Jr where Jim’s wife Meghan and their daughter Ruby were getting ready to head out. It was great to see them. Other daughter Lily (my ersatz kid) was safe and sound at college. Various friends and people I had seen throughout the years were passing by, checking in on Jim and the downtown store.

Jim allowed people to pick up a guitar and play if they wanted, and he encouraged me to do so. SO I sat outside and played a song or two with another gent who was charging up. I was lucky, before Meghan left she set me up in a room where I could charge my phone, iPad and MyFi device in private, so I didn’t have to worry about someone walking off with it. On Washington Street restaurants were giving away their food with some requesting a Red Cross donation. The Elks Lodge were setting up for hot meals as well.

I did not partake since we had food at home which was going to have to be eaten since the ice was melting. Bill met me at Guitar Bar Jr and told some of the folks around his tale of heading in and out of Manhattan. Then we walked home once again in the dark. More posting of updates and getting information by candlelight as we watched our batteries dwindle faster than the time passing by. We heard that NJ Transit was going to have buses running which got Bill excited. He went to bed and I soon joined him since I had discovered some wine given as gifts over the years and required no refrigeration at all. It was Halloween.

With a kiss goodbye, Bill was up and out again Thursday, early enough just before the sun rose. I slept soundly for another hour before getting out of bed. Still no power and despite trying to conserve a visit to the Guitar Bar Jr. was on the agenda.

More friends at the store, no Meghan and no Ruby though. Their lives were getting back to normal. Jim Mastro tirelessly proved himself to be a truly great guy. He would not let me help him with anything, not that there was anything to do. Once or twice I was the ‘manager’ while he ran out for just a minute. No one was buying, no one was shopping. Outside the store he set up some speakers playing Bob Dylan, inside people would play banjos or guitars or surf the net while Jim repaired guitars.

I talked with people, reconnected with people and also made new friends and acquaintances. I am sure to forget names but I don’t forget faces so there will be awkward reintroductions in my future. I was going to get a hot meal at the Elks Lodge but ran into Mike and Sarah once again and while talking to them I partook of some snacks the electrical host offered.

Bill came back to the mainland and told more harrowing tales of commuting. This time involved way too many people waiting for the bus back to Hoboken, so instead he took the ferry back once again. The ferry ain’t cheap, $9.00 each way. But Bill being the smart man he is, already bought 10 which was slightly cheaper for him yet still an extravagance for a geezer like myself.

A walk in the dark once again, this time seeing Mark Singleton and his mother Maureen on the sidewalk. Also ran into Lois, almost literally. We heard there was a truck delivering ice downtown and all we had to do was go there and get it. Someone had the idea to take the downtown bus and just then a bus appeared. We rode to the end of the run, then walked over to Observer Highway where the ice was. Too cold and heavy to carry all the way back uptown we caught another bus which was a very good idea. So the items in the refrigerator had some more time before wasting. Lois rode on as Bill and I got off a stop before her.

Re-positioning items in a fridge using flashlights wasn’t easy with 2 bags of ice but we somehow got it done. More update posting, getting info and wine before Bill going to bed followed by me playing the tipsy geezer. I’d like to think I was charming and who’s to say I wasn’t charming in the dark?

Friday was once again spent at the Guitar Bar. Karyn Kuhl stopped by and there was a kid who had been hanging around wanting to learn guitar the past few days. I tried showing him how to play Get Back by the Fabs and Karyn tried showing him No Expectations by the Rolling Stones. I wound up learning the song from Karyn and played along with her as she sang when Jim Mastro jumped in playing a sweet slide guitar lick which made the hair on the back of my neck rise, never having played with Jim before or playing a song that sounded so good.

After playing discussing what was going on in Hoboken and in politics at the store with friends for the rest of the afternoon (and a hot meal at the Elks Lodge), Bill came by once again and we were back to walking home in the dark. This time with a chap named Caesar who knew me from Maxwell’s back in the day and whom I did not recollect at all. He named all the right names so it didn’t seem to be a phony and I made a mental note to contact Steve Fallon and ask him if he remembered Pat Clarke’s former roommate. Steve got back to me, saying it was fuzzy.

Caesar had no heat or hot water or electricity and I felt bad for him. I thought about asking him if he wanted to come home with us, but I didn’t know him at all really and Bill certainly didn’t either, plus the apartment was a shambles. We checked our messages online and Rand and Lisa invited us over for some drinks. Bill and I walked over, flashlights in hand and we stood outside flashing the light into their top floor window to get their attention.

Rand walked down and let us in, there was Mike and Sarah as well as Lois and Fred. We sat and chatted, Lisa providing snacks and dip, Rand pouring the wine. Many laughs were had which were greatly appreciated. Time flew at this point, probably since we were having fun. Bill and I walked Mike and Sarah to their apartment up the block from us. Soon Bill and I were fast asleep.

There are Post Sandy photographs in the PAGES section, lower column on right.