A snowy and rainy day in Hoboken. And it’s been a lazy day. Last night I was active for a bit, I actually went out and walked the streets of Hoboken. It was a good night for it, much better than now. Last night I walked up to Maxwell’s. I wanted to see RoDa and give him a photograph and CD I had burned for him. I would have stayed at Maxwell’s but it was crazy crowded with a sold out show by Deer Tick. In total I was probably at Maxwell’s for about five minutes before hitting the streets once more.
I was home about an hour after leaving. Not much going on and since I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at Maxwell’s and there was no one that I knew besides RoDa I went home. RoDa was quite busy with the crowd. I did run into Tariq on the street, busking in 32 degree weather. Once again he tried to get me to play his guitar and once again I begged off. I did sing Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, a song that I taught Tariq earlier in the summer and for which he is most grateful.
Can’t say my singing caused any dollars to drop into Tariq’s guitar case, but I could say that money was not taken out of the case. Then again it was too cold for anyone to stand around and appreciate Tariq’s playing or my warbling. I made it home safe and sound and sweaty. That’s a problem with me lately. I sweat a lot. By the time I get to where I am going I am usually wearing a t-shirt drenched in sweat and for that I try to have an extra under shirt to change into if I get the chance, and a bag to carry the sweaty under shirt.
Not much happening at home, just watching the TV or at least having it on for background noise. I picked up a few movies, for Bill’s viewing mainly. I picked up The Music Never Stopped, which Bill and I discussed a few weeks ago about how music can get through to people who have had some sort of brain injury or brain attack. I had picked that up from the bibliothèque before and also picked up a DVD I requested, Prick Up Your Ears, a movie that I saw with Steve Saporito back in the days when I carried a torch for Steve Saporito.
It’s about Joe Orton and his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell. I knew it was directed by Stephen Frears but didn’t know it was written by Alan Bennett who also wrote The History Boys and The Madness of George III (which had to be called The Madness of King George in the US since audiences might wonder if this was the third part and wondered if there was a Part I & II). I watched a bit of The History Boys on cable yesterday, remembering how much fun it is, how clever and ultimately bittersweet it ends.
Tonight Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City. He didn’t quite make it last night with his bus breaking down on the Garden State Parkway, the passengers transferred to another bus. Bill of course had to stay with his broken bus and wound up back in Wally World. Tonight, another broken down bus. This time it was before the parkway and on the cold, wet streets of Bergen County. I’ll be receiving updates throughout the night so I won’t worry too much. Still some worrying will be involved.
No posting tomorrow on Sunday and once again with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I might not post until Wednesday, but we’ll see about that.
So Happy New Year! 2013 should be an improvement I hope!
It’s a Friday from what I gathered. Bill is driving to Atlantic City so that is a sure sign that the weekend is here. It’s been an interesting day overall. I had a dream that my front teeth were knocked out which was distressing enough to wake me up and check to see if my teeth were still in place. They were and it was a relief. I slept later than usual, I kept hitting the snooze button and each time the radio came on, it was the DJ and I did not want to hear her, I’d rather it were music.
I got out of bed, had some coffee after a shower and headed out. I stopped by Mona’s and dropped off Bill’s shirts and then headed to the supermarket. I saw the mighty Isis, it had been a while and the last time I saw her she was in a parade celebrating the Hoboken High School football team winning the state championship. She was good and seemed happy. It was good to see her and I was soon on the way home with assorted foodstuffs. I did get Bill his almonds but I forgot to buy coffee which I will have to get tomorrow. I think I have enough for one more day.
I saw Shlomo, he seemed alright a little more feeble than usual but he seemed to recover from his diabetic incident with nary a scratch. I also headed to the Guitar Bar where Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro was busy with a guitar sale and students going in and out. Jim gave me part of a package that was sent to Guitar Bar from an Ian Hunter/Mott the Hoople fan that I friended on Facebook, nice food and snacks. I picked up some photos at CVS and ran an errand for Jim, a trip to the post office. It was a decent day out, felt warm at 39 degrees which is an improvement over the past few days.
I headed into the city and did some running around there too. I ran into my friend Jessie who was glad to see me and just Bill by thismuch. He was off to Wally World and I was off to Hoboken, two ships passing in the afternoon. I got in the queue at the bus terminal and when I got to the gate I saw the bus was jam packed and decided to wait for the next bus. NJ Transit seems to have recovered from Hurricane Sandy, at least with the #126 bus to and from Hoboken.
I certainly did not think I would be waiting for 50 minutes though. I was now first in line and had no idea how long the line stretched and I was not about to give up my spot to find out. Everyone on their devices and people were looking at me trying to gauge my reaction to see if a bus was coming. Eventually they gave up. 50 minutes in a dispatcher shows up to tell us the wait would be 90 minutes. That was when I raised my voice.
I told the dispatcher that some of us had been waiting for nearly an hour and now he was telling us it would be another 90 minutes? He didn’t seem to know how long we had been waiting and walked off, coming back a few minutes later and used his position to commandeer another bus to take us to Hoboken.
It was odd, yesterday while at the cigar shop I saw a few 126 buses going by from Manhattan one after another. Today there wasn’t even one. My NJ Transit bad luck still carries forth and I do regret not thanking the dispassionate dispatcher as I got on the bus but I was tired and in no mood and I really had to pee.
Well Samuel Beckett won last night’s battle, taking down Dorothy Parker in 2 out of 3 steel death cage matches. Poor Dorothy did not see it coming. And it’s onto the next round if only someone could come up with a formidable opponent. I’m drawing a blank here (possible opponent) but Laurence Sterne just popped into my head waving around a dog eared copy of Tristam Shandy. And now I am giggling at a post on Facebook regarding a bloke who is having difficulty removing his too tight Prince Albert. He must be desperate if his posting on the Facebook.
No I don’t have one and no I’ve never had any contact with one and yes I think they’re incredibly stupid. I also think tattoos are incredibly stupid and generally ugly and when I am looking at pictures of men online, tattoos ruin the image for me. Hey anyone could do whatever it is with their body, but I don’t have to like it. My former roommate Kevin did the smart thing and designed his own tattoo. But overall it’s a waste of time. I did come thisclose to getting one about 13 years ago with Pedro but I chickened out much to his dismay.
Today I was at both the bibliothèque and the cigar shop. Bibliothèque was in and out though I did move things to their proper shelf as I was looking for something. The cigar shop, well Shlomo is not in very good shape, borderline diabetic who doesn’t eat and winds up passed out on the floor of a Quick Chek in Elizabeth NJ, waking up in an emergency room. An urgent rushed text from Israel who begged me to go in which I did out of the kindness of my heart and my love of cigars.
Of course there was not a whole lot of information and of course people were calling up for Shlomo and of course I had little or no information to give out. It was slow slow slow in the cigar shop. No smoking allowed which meant that someone was smoking in the shop the night before since there was a cigar butt in the ashtray. I don’t know how much longer this will go on. I do try to advise them on what to do, but my words they go unheard. When I was there before the holiday I was able to talk Shlomo out of ordering any more crap Davidoff cigars.
And he didn’t order them which was good but then again he turned around and ordered different crap, cigars with what looks like a child soldier in Angola on the box. Who wants that? No one I knew heard of the cigar which leads us to believe that Shlomo got the cigars since he thought the box was cool. Too little too late a customer said and I had to agree with him. The holiday rush was over and there is no need to order more. Unfortunately Shlomo didn’t get the memo.
Well it’s the Dorothy Parker/Samuel Beckett steel cage death match. Miss ‘I hate having to write but love having written’ vs. Mr. ‘I can’t go on- I’ll go on’. That’s basically where I am at right now. I told Bill a little while ago that I don’t think I will be writing tonight and here I am doing just that, writing. Crazier things have happened I can tell you, but this isn’t one of those. Whether or not this entry makes it to 500 words remains to be seen. So far it is not looking too good but I have rallied in the past and will do so again.
Let’s see when I was last doing this here blog thing, I had just gotten back from helping Shlomo out at the cigar shop. Oddly enough that is what I did today. Shlomo has been a bit under the weather and sent an urgent text to me this morning. He did order the cigars I asked for and would I mind working for him today at the cigar shop, in effect making my cigar request no charge. How could I refuse an offer like that? And what would the GZA have to say about that?
Monday I also helped out at the cigar shop. I had a feeling that Shlomo would need some help. Israel and Brandon were not to be found and so stopping by on Monday afternoon I was corralled into helping Shlomo. I was out of there by 4:30 and came home to find Bill getting himself together for a trip out to Bergen County. I was starving and looking forward to the trip, seeing my family and stuffing myself with food. It was infinitely better than being with some guys who did their best to avoid expectant spouses and nervous gym working cousins on Christmas Eve.
And once we landed in Bergen County, all was well. Brothers and their wives and children and their boyfriend/girlfriend were all assembled and it made for a lovely time, and the phone was handed around once again so that everyone could have a word with Annemarie. After a few hours that went by too fleetingly we all headed back to our homes. It was all very pleasant and the buildup and the hype takes so much time and effort and it is all over much too soon. A ride back past the house I grew up in was nice, the neighborhood all decorated nicely.
Back home Bill and I exchanged gifts and went to bed fairly soon. It had been a long day and now it was basically over. Christmas day, Bill was up before me and made coffee. I showered and looked forward to doing not much at all, but Bill wanted to shoot a video with a Christmas message. So we trooped out to Wally World and I recorded Bill driving a very large vehicle and him making a very nice, very funny holiday greeting. It’s on his Facebook wall if you’re so inclined.
That’s it. I said I wasn’t going to write and here I did write. Hope you had a good Christmas!
There it is, The Smoke Shop
You can smell like Antonio Banderas
or you can smell like Jennifer Aniston…
while watching Daniel Stern in A Christmas Story 2…
It is the Saturday before Christmas, and it is pretty cold out. The temperatures have dropped considerably and the winds are whipping, strong enough to push this 200 pound meat across the street on occasion. I enjoyed it but in the back of my head I couldn’t help but think of possible debris flying and hitting me or someone near me. So getting inside was soon to be of utmost importance. It’s been like this all day and it shows no sign of letting up anytime soon. Now that I am safely ensconced in our apartment I am safe and warm.
Bill came home this morning after driving to Atlantic City last night. He got into bed as I was getting out of bed. Donning his eye mask and noise canceling headphones he was soon off to sleep as I puttered about taking the drying clothes off the shower rack and putting them in the kitchen on the other racks so that I might take a shower. After that with coffee made I had a nice breakfast. Whatever had crawled up my nose activating my allergies had left leaving me feeling quite alright thank you. I was soon getting myself together to head outside.
I decided to walk up to the Burlington Coat Factory outlet here in Hoboken. It’s at the edge of Hoboken and on foot it’s a little out of the way so I wound my way through the backstreets, walking through the construction site underneath the viaduct and hopping a short fence. And to my surprise the outlet was closed. Closed for good it seems. I should have checked before leaving and walking so far but now I saw for myself. It was a disappointment as I headed home with the wind at my back, empty handed.
I chatted with a neighbor from a few doors down the street. I saw the U-Haul truck outside and asked if they were moving out. The chap told me that they were moving back in, they fled with most of their possessions early in November, fleeing the effects of Hurricane Sandy. He was happy to be back and I was glad to welcome him back to the neighborhood. Lots of hustle and bustle on the block this afternoon and Mr. L’s was quite busy with guys getting their hair cut or sitting and waiting for their turn in the chair.
Then I got a text from Shlomo. He asked if I could come in for a few hours today. I said OK, when. He said today. I had to text him again and say ‘what time?’. 1:00 was the time and checking my humidor and seeing replenishment in order I agreed. I was there at 1:00 exactly and soon Shlomo was on his way, wherever it was he was going. A Santa-Con was happening in Hoboken. It happened in Manhattan and Brooklyn last week, a chance for twenty somethings to don Santa and Elf outfits and get piss drunk.
Today was Hoboken’s turn and the cigar shop was busy. Good sales on my own and I saw that Shlomo left me with about five singles in the drawer. Most people do use credit cards, but not all. I made a sign saying I would be back in 15 minutes and attempted to get out to the bank with $100.00 in my pocket. Of course every time I attempted to head out, more people came in. Thankfully they all used their credit cards and after a little while I was able to head out. And as I headed back, there was Shlomo- 30 seconds ahead of me.
There were more sales, and more drunken twenty somethings lingering. I was able to get a nice assortment of cigars before heading out, making Shlomo was set as I was heading home. And that’s that. I thought I’d need to go to the supermarket but there was no real need, nothing that couldn’t wait until tomorrow. Things are up and happening and most people are in a good mood, which is nice.
Tomorrow is Sunday and I won’t be posting of course. Not so sure about Monday or Christmas Day. We shall see how it all turns out then, won’t we?
All the best to you and yours for this holiday season.
Been a bit under the weather the past 24 hours. Mostly congestion right behind my left eye leading me to believe that it’s an allergy. Like a mote of dust flew up my nose and is just bouncing around tickling and turning on the faucet. I slept fine, no problems then it seemed, but as today went on I would feel considerably congested. I don’t feel achy or fatigued – just ‘meh’. I did not do much of anything. Slept in, slept right through Bill kissing me goodbye and saying something to me and I grumbled something in return, perhaps a request to simply let me sleep.
There was interaction with people, a visit to the bibliothèque. They’re closed from 5PM today until Wednesday and I had a DVD on hold for me that I needed to get. I think I have a nice selection of DVD’s should things get dire with what’s on TV and all. I have Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Get Low, A Colbert Christmas and The Shop Around the Corner.
I saw part of The Shop Around the Corner a week or so ago and found it charming. I’d never seen it before you see. I do know, You Got Mail is based on it, but I never saw that. Just some trivia attached. I have seen A Colbert Christmas before and it’s funny and great and features John Legend dressed as a park ranger and he’s not really my type but…
Last night after posting I received a text from Lois. She was at Maxwell’s and ran into my friend Karyn Kuhl and her girlfriend Christina. Lois wanted me to go out and initially I begged off, saying my head was stuffed like a cabbage. But once I sent that, I decided that maybe going out for a pint wouldn’t be such a bad thing, so I texted once again and said I would be on my way.
I got myself together and headed out, I saw RoDa as soon as I walked in and there was Lois by the bar. I talked to Ro da for a few minutes before stepping over to Lois. A welcoming pint of Guinness from RoDa and a holiday toast to Ro Da and Lois. Quick catching up and quite a few people I knew walking around. I ran into Brian who lives in Saddle Brook. It had been probably over 10 years since I last saw him. He’s still a sweet guy and will talk your ear off.
Lois wanted to hear some dish and I had a few choice morsels to tell her about various people that were fluttering about including a certain artist bloke who was celebrating his birthday with garlands draped around his shoulders. Also told a story about the local coffee maven who surprisingly despite my distaste for her, actually sounded alright when she sang.
There was also dish from Lois involving some people we used to know. Hearing the news I told Lois I was glad Mary Bailey wasn’t going to be a spinster librarian anytime soon. Yes its code, just for the sake that the subject might be reading this or hearing the podcast.
I saw Jon and Deena and though I was having a good time and had a few pints under my belt, I wasn’t feeling 100% and my spirits were flagging at that point. I stayed long enough to see Karyn Kuhl do a couple of songs, but after that I had to go home. My mind was telling me it was 1:00AM but it was actually 10:30 when Lois and I left, and after a quick chat with Ro Da outside on 11th Street, I walked Lois home.
And no, there isn’t a podcast. Perhaps there should be.
I like Shlomo, he seems like a nice guy. Somewhat intelligent, but he occasionally suffers from a frozen scrotum, causing his nuts to become numb. Late night text request to come in and open this morning which I responded to positively. Not a problem and a stop at the bibliotheque was in order as well. Just a drop off and exchange and soon I was in the cigar shop with a coffee and a bagel. After about an hour the phone rings, a guy telling me that he asked me about a certain cigar, the Zino Platinum Chubby Especial something or other.
I tell the caller that I was not the one he was talking to, but I would see what I could do. The caller mentioned that whomever he spoke to would be checking his other store. I remarked that I didn’t think there was another store, in fact I asked if he was calling the correct cigar store. He said he was and mentioned the store by name which was easy to do since I answered the phone stating the cigar store’s name. I didn’t know what else to tell the guy and let the phone call peter out.
About a half hour Shlomo calls telling me that someone will be calling about the Zino Platinum Chubby Especial thing. I tell Shlomo that someone did call and I told him we didn’t have what he was asking for. It turned out Shlomo was the guy who was spoken to and Shlomo did tell the guy he would look at the other store, a store I had no idea existed. And Shlomo seems annoyed by the fact that I answered truthfully to the inquisitive caller. I eventually found the phone number of the caller and texted Shlomo, also suggesting that he might want to leave a note, or a text message or a phone message so I might know what a caller is actually calling about.
Shlomo is a bit slo-mo when it comes to communication. I attribute it to the frozen scroto.
Whether or not he got the text I won’t know since I responded to a request and sent some photos that he asked that I take of some items in the cigar shop. Three days later he says he still did not get them despite my emailing them as well as texting. I’m sure he received them, it’s just that his scrotum has gotten so cold. I will find out eventually one of these days.
Now I am listening to the Strokes, just got off the phone with a recruiter named Cesar who just kept whispering and calling me a bitch. I protested to no avail and felt compelled to respond to every whisper.
I look out the window at passerby and usually catching them staring right at me. I return the stare which makes them very uncomfortable and they generally quicken their pace.
Last night, I was up later that I had hoped, watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Stylish and gruesome and I know why they had Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder in the leads, but I wish they hadn’t.
I also watched Double Indemnity baby. Yeah it was good, real good. I didn’t expect to see Fred MacMurray playing such a heel but there he was opposite Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G Robinson baby. Everyone smoking up a storm and not trusting anyone else. Barbara Stanwyck made a lot of movies and they’re always on TCM baby. That’s about all I got for you baby. Sure baby, sure. Yeah, I love you too baby.
A divided day, half spent at the bibliothèque and the other half at the cigar shop. Both are volunteer gigs, one gives me free cigars, the other gives me time. I put various items on the shelves in the bibliothèque , mainly DVD’s, CD’s and Blue Rays. After that I made my way to the cigar shop where Shlomo was anxiously waiting on my arrival. Once again Shlomo had other places to be, so it was up to me to open the shop and run it. I don’t mind that the carrot at the end of the stick is a cigar.
Brandon stopped by after Shlomo hit the road and blessed me with a cigar that a salesman had dropped off last night. I’ll smoke it and if I like it it might be picked up by the cigar shop. I’m not the only one who was blessed so once all the reviews are in, a decision should be made. Brandon split after a few minutes and I set about cleaning up and doing some data entry on the computer, holding the clipped and unlit cigar in my hand or my jaw. Since the board of health stopped by, smoking is verboten in the cigar shop.
I occasionally have a puff though and when I do, I don my overcoat and stand in front of the cigar shop next to a politically incorrect native American wooden statue that a lot of cigar stores used to have. But there was no time this morning for that and I sat chomping on an unlit stogie. Shlomo came back and we moved a few items around. Then my cellphone rang. It was Israel, one of Shlomo’s partners in cigars. Israel was quite irate, in fact I think furious would be the best word to use.
Israel was yelling into my cell phone, asking who was smoking in the shop this morning. I told Israel that there was no one smoking in the shop. I explained that if I would be smoking I would be right outside the shop, and if I needed to come back in I would leave my cigar on the wooden indigenous person outside. It turned out that someone from the board of health (or a twenty something tenant) was probably walking by and saw me with an unlit cigar in my mouth and figured it was lit and I was smoking. Which of course I wasn’t.
But the board of health (or a twenty something tenant) saw what they wanted to see and complained about nothing. It’s bullshit and these guys who are trying to open a legitimate business here in downtrodden Hoboken have the full weight and heft of the obese direction of the board of health. Perhaps they’re looking for a greased palm, perhaps they are actually doing their job however haphazardly. Shop Local Help Rebuild Hoboken say the signs on a lot of stores in town, and on the other hand you have foolhardy zealots seeing things that aren’t there and causing a lot of stress and commotion when it’s not needed. Ode to Billie Joe
Another day spent helping out Shlomo at the cigar shop. I thought Hanukkah was over but for Shlomo it’s all holidays, not just Chanukah. I don’t mind, a free cigar and someplace warm with a view of the street is all I need right now. I am happy,they are happy so everyone is happy, at least in the square footage in which I sit. And isn’t that what is most important at the end of a fiscal quarter when working retail? Israel just popped in looking for Shlomo who seems to have escaped from his electronic ankle bracelet.
A friend asked me the other day if I was going to the Maxwell’s Christmas party which was last night. I wasn’t invited and I was fine with that. I have a history there but it’s really not my scene anymore. I don’t know anyone that works there except for RoDa and Todd and neither of them invited me. It’s not like the Steve Fallon days where it was an open bar and filled with White Castle burgers. I did go a few years ago and tried several times to leave early but was stopped by various friends and acquaintances. I eventually did leave and wandered the streets of Hoboken for a few hours with RoDa.
Last night I was glad to be home. Bill had a lot on his chest that he needed to unload and it was my turn to listen. In fact I had to remind myself to just listen, not suggest anything, let him vent. I was happy to be there and gave a hearty ‘pshaw’ when Bill apologized for venting, I had to remind Bill that he listens to me vent often enough he should be certified for HVAC work or at least a listing as a casual therapist.
I do have a modest complaint. Some friends have taken to complaining about their bonuses this year. I am usually silent as they complain, waiting for my moment when I can remind them that they are complaining about their bonuses to someone who is currently out of work. Sometimes they understand, sometimes I get ‘Yeah I know but…’ In my years of working I have gone without bonuses more often than I had actually received them. There was that last Christmas at Wanker Banker where they were so desperate to get rid of me, they surprisingly screwed me over.
My assistant Ms. Miro and I discussed what we had gotten and she had gotten double what I had received. Then came the memo from good ol’ John Griff who said we weren’t allowed to discuss our bonuses with our co-workers. Once again a day late and a dollar short for that pretty polly John Griff. My co-workers and most of the people I supported heard about my being screwed and rallied enough to pass the hat making for a nice Christmas bonus despite what the useless and spineless Maggie Alexandre and her human be-in cabal had to say on the matter.
Today has been an interesting day otherwise. Leaving the building this morning on one cup of coffee I waved to people I did not immediately recognize, Julio & his father in law. Julio could tell I didn’t know it was him at first and of course mocked me for it. Later I ran into Tom, Mike and Juan at separate intervals. Good to see everyone, and everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirit. Now I am home, just had some dinner and not planning on doing much of anything tonight. That could all change once Bill eventually gets home. Make The World Go Away
Late night text from Israel, he of the cigar shop, asking if I could come in this week. Israel anticipates last minute shoppers since we are now in what can be called the homestretch for Christmas. And with nothing better to do, I agreed. My cigar supply has been low so here was an opportunity to do something about that, plus help out these Zionist hoodlums I am friendly with. I’ve taken to calling Israel and Shlomo that even though neither one is a Zionist nor a hoodlum. It’s always guaranteed a chuckle when I call them that as they curse me in Hebrew.
Unfortunately it’s quite cold and very damp outside so not much foot traffic is occurring. I’m sure if they were in a shopping mall in midtown Manhattan there might be foot traffic but that might not be the case. So I’ve been keeping myself busy, like a threatening Kevin from a previous life somewhere used to say exactly, ‘If you’re leanin’ you ain’t cleanin’’. Quite the wordsmith he was, I wonder whatever happened to his screenwriting career? I busied myself cleaning, running some quick errands and mopping. No cleaning lady here, it’s all hands on deck.
Bill was off to Boston or to be exact, Framingham on Saturday and Sunday. I went up to Framingham a few times when growing up, my father had a buddy from World War II and we used to visit his family. It was like visiting another world, they had stores called Stop & Shop up there, so exotic. I learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and was gifted one when we headed back to NJ. I fancied myself a huntsman and set up a target with an old mattress and some bullseyes drawn by me in the guise of monsters.
Our neighbor John B was quite good with a bow and arrow, shooting his targets from the opposite end on his driveway. Me, I could barely hit the mattress from 10 feet away in my backyard. It was fun while it lasted but ultimately a solitary sport and I would rather hang out with my friends. Bill did have a good time while in Framingham and was back last night full of tales of New England to tell. Bill delicately chewed my ear off and I didn’t mind in the slightest. It was good to have him home again.
I did go out myself on Saturday night, Julio picking me up and we headed to his place. No trip to Denmark for Him and Stine and Alexander this season. Her family are coming to Hoboken. Alexander stayed up waiting for me, past his bedtime and he was the funny little guy he always is, hiding from me when I first got there and Julio and Stine acting like they had no idea where he was. Soon he was asleep as the grown ups drank wine and chatted. Good time, good people and good wine. Is that too much to ask for?
I had some encounters with some Hoboken bloggers, I’m not naming names one I removed from the blogroll and the other is still there. I was surprised to find that one of the bloggers had President Obama as Heath Ledger’s Joker on his page, no irony involved. We have similar political affiliations here in the mile square city, but I guess nationally for him it’s ‘time to get yer guns’ I was chatting with him and a mutual friend on the mutual friend’s Facebook wall when I was alarmed by his pro-gun stance and once I knew who it was, had to remove him from the blogroll.
The other blogger came into the cigar shop while I was sitting there for Shlomo one afternoon. He was taking photographs and asking questions. I answered the questions that get asked several times a day, ‘a cigar lounge will be in the basement soon enough’. Well answering that question got the attention of the health department who visited and insisted that they told ME weeks ago that a cigar lounge couldn’t be done.
I can tell you that even though it was a night like this, 10 years ago I never hitched a ride with the truck driving woman from City Hall, nor have I ever spoken with her. Israel is a bit upset that city hall read the blog which is where they got their information on the cigar shop.
Oh me and the blogs. Whatever will happen next? Go Now
It’s actually pretty funny, looking through some friends Facebook pages and seeing some mutual friends. Friends that they’re friendly with on Facebook whereas I am not so friendly. I mean I am not mean but would rather keep them separate from my two Facebook pages. One guy’s page I was looking that threw me for a loop since I always thought this guy was probably 10 years older than me, well it turns out he’s actually a few years younger than me, it’s just that he is an old Italian woman most of the time, just not dressed in black.
He’s still in the closet, a deep walk in closet since he doesn’t want his family to know that he’s gay. He’d even gone so far as to marry in the past and have a kid or two but overall the guy is a big queen. Following his friend’s page there are a few other guys I could have sworn were older than me, but it turns out they are quite younger than me. Younger than a lot of my friends who I had already thought were young. I guess these guys are just prematurely old men, older acting than me.
Today was an alright day, nothing special. Bill was off to Boston to visit his friends. I of course remain in Hoboken. I saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro at the Guitar Bar and chatted with him for a while, then headed over to the cigar shop where I chatted with Shlomo for a few minutes. I had a nice Opus X while I sat in the lounge that is under construction as well as being underground. It was cozy and relaxing and unfortunately I could not stay too long as I had another place I wanted to visit today.
With the Opus X burning quite nicely I walked up the boulevard, past a graffiti exhibition, past young men selling M&M’s out of a box, for the football team which just ended their season a few weeks ago after winning the state championship. Jewelry was being sold on small tables’ curbside, next to scarves and wool hats. I didn’t need jewelry, and I was wearing a scarf and wool hat so I was fine on that front. I walked up past Maxwell’s up to a lingerie store where my good friend Lois was playing holiday songs on her violin in the window.
I finished off my Opus X, and stepped inside the shop. Not buying lingerie, merely suggesting a song or two for Lois to play. I recommended Good King Wenceslas which she picked up right away, sawing away and doing a credible job. Lois looked lovely in a green dress festooned with Christmas balls. She was soon taking a break, enjoying a pear and I headed out once more, walking the cobblestone streets of Hoboken.
I just got a message from Julio who sent it at 5:00, asking me if I wanted to have a glass of wine. Nearly 3 hours later I responded which could be a little bit late. Either way is fine with me, drinks with Julio, or merely staying in. Well Julio just responded so it may still be on.
After a week of uneasy sleep, last night I slept really well. It was good and I slept later than usual and woke up refreshed. I puttered about, nothing in the plan for today except maybe a cigar or two. That meant a visit to the cigar shop which I was looking forward to. I watched the repeats of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report and the John Mulaney Comedy Central special before turning on the news at noon.
I was surprised but not surprised when I heard about a shooting in Connecticut. After all it was just the other day when there were reports of a shooting at a mall in Portland, OR and murder by gun is unfortunately commonplace in these United States of America. It was only a few months ago in the summer when a psycho shot up a theater in Aurora CO, and people are murdered by guns every day, several times a day. The initial report was that 3 people were shot, and I callously didn’t think that was so bad.
Shortly, a few minutes later actually, the death report jumped up to 20, including 14 children. 14 children slaughtered in their fucking classroom. Children who did not do anything to anyone. Time slowed considerably for me in Hoboken. The 30 minute news stretched to an hour and change and I didn’t notice. I was stuck in that moment. The final tally was 20 children murdered. Time stopped. Sadness came in. Anger came in. Disgust at the easy access of guns, why automatic weapons are available to people. They’re not used for hunting are they? What is their purpose?
Online the argument of ‘cars kill people, are you going to outlaw cars?’ came into play. And a psycho in China stabbed students a few months ago with a knife and out came ‘are you going to outlaw knives?’ Cars are built for transportation. Knives have other uses besides stabbing. Guns are designed to injure or murder others.
I got a phone call from Julio this afternoon. He was understandably stressed by the shootings, his son Alexander goes to school in Hoboken. Any parent should be worried and outraged by today’s event. You send your kids off to school in the morning, never expecting them to be murdered and returned to you in a body bag. An unbalanced man murdered his mother and stole her gun collection and then shot up a school, slaughtering 20 children and six adults before taking his own life.
The holiday season will be forever ruined for the families who have lost loved ones. The second amendment stays strong, preventing the British from invading our homes. The United States of America in the 21st Century. Sad but true and covered in the blood of innocents. A tragic shame for all concerned.
This was not easy to write today. I considered not writing anything at all, but here it is. I guess some NRA supporter acquaintances don’t read this blog anymore so I don’t expect to hear from them on this, or perhaps ever again. The number one country in the world with regards to death by guns.
Children being evacuated from what should have been a safe space at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT.
So I watched the 12.12.12 Concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Can’t help but compare it to the Concert for New York from 2001, but that was then and this is now. Different circumstances this time. And this time I was living in Hoboken. Similar vibes though and a hearty round of applause for the firemen from the Rockaways and Breezy Point. It was definitely based around NY though NJ was mentioned several times and Connecticut a few times. It was enjoyable despite the fact there was no David Bowie (retired) nor Elton John (touring) on stage last night.
It started out with Bruce Springsteen which was a surprise since he is a top shelf act. He was entertaining and it was funny to watch Jon Bon Jovi on stage singing Born to Run as the last song of the set. I did wonder if Bon Jovi asked Bruce for advice on child rearing since Bon Jovi’s daughter was busted for heroin possession in college a few weeks ago. Clarence Clemmons nephew did a pretty good job on sax, filling in the big man’s big shoes. Once again the E Street Band were commendable and a force of nature, better than Sandy.
Bruce was followed by Roger Waters who was for me, as boring as ever. Little or no charisma involved with him. Good band I suppose though I am not a Pink Floyd fan and was nonplussed. And I am also not a Pearl Jam fan so I couldn’t care less when Eddie Vedder came out and sang Comfortably Numb. I much preferred the Scissor Sisters version of Comfortably Numb, but they weren’t asked to play so it doesn’t matter what I think. A meeting of the bores if you ask me but the audience didn’t seem to mind.
Adam Sandler came out (not that way) with Paul Shaffer on piano for a mild butchering of Leonard Cohen’s Halleujah. Comedy genius of the highest order. That was snark. It was over quickly and painlessly so that was good. One song- on and off. At that point I left point A (the cigar shop) and headed to point B (home). That meant I missed Bon Jovi (the band) and Bruce Springsteen coming out for a song with them. I didn’t see it so I didn’t know what it was.
I hoped I would miss the awful Eric Clapton but as I got home there he was being adored and singing whatever it was he sang. Bill was home when I walked in and was surprised to see me watching Eric Clapton, since Bill knows how I feel about him. Clapton was followed by the Rolling Stones who did a very short set, maybe three (two) songs ‘Has Anyone Seen My Baby’ and ‘Jumping Jack Flash’. They were quickly off the stage and were followed by Alicia Keys.
I don’t care much for Alicia Keys. She’s alright I guess but her music leaves me cold, but I think of her highly, more than I think of Eric Clapton. To my surprise she quieted down the Garden and the audience seemed to really enjoy her. I was impressed by her playing and her presence. Still I wouldn’t rush out and buy her music.
The Who followed and were much better than I anticipated. Roger Daltrey’s voice seemed a bit haggard, Pete Townshend didn’t have much to sing if at all. Keith Moon sang more than Townshend and he’s been dead since the late 1970’s. Apparently the censors on the broadcast channels were asleep at the switch and missed Daltrey’s ‘Who the fuck are you’. I am not sure if they got Townshend telling everyone to go get a fucking beer.
But they were impressive, perhaps the best of the lot and I almost regret not seeing them for free last weekend in Newark. I did see them back in 1979 and I found them boring but then again I was having a major anxiety attack due to the threat of being outed by my brother Brian earlier that night. That’s another story for another time.
Kanye West came out reminded everyone that it wasn’t all about classic rock, the kids- they do like their hip hop. He was underwhelming and in his leather kilt, looked out of place. The audience seemed to like him and he probably would have done better with a live band rather than a DJ and triggered tracks and samples. His set went on way too long and was probably even longer than Paul McCartney’s.
Billy Joel came out and did his thing. He looks like someone’s uncle who is an accountant from Long Island. His singing voice was good, his talking voice was craggy. He did what was expected of him and of course the audience ate it up. I was reminded of my former classmate, John Nesselt, whom I used to argue with about who was better, Billy Joel or Elton John. Last night Billy Joel won by default.
Chris Martin from Coldplay came out and did a song or two, including a duet with Michael Stipe on Losing My Religion. Chris Martin seemed genuinely thrilled to be there and remarked that if everyone donated to the cause, they might be able to match the ages of the rock stars backstage.
Then out came Paul McCartney with his crackerjack band. They opened with Helter Skelter which still has negative Manson connotations. I know my sister in law was a bit perturbed by Macca’s opening selection, I thought it was great. I was dreading Yesterday or Hey Jude, not that they’re bad songs but just a bit on the side of overplayed. The big thing that everyone was a buzz about was Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Pat Smear with Macca.
They played a song that might be titled Cut Me Some Slack and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the sounds coming out of Paul’s guitar thing. It looked like a cigar box guitar or an electric ukulele and some tasty noises were coming out of it. That was it, one song with the remnants of Nirvana, then Paul did I Got a Feeling and Live and Let Die. No Hey Jude, Yesterday, Long and Winding Road or Let It Be. Then he gave the stage over to a bunch of firemen and people affected by Sandy as Alicia Keys sang Empire State of Mind.
It certainly ran over and we had recorded it on the DVR, then hastily adding some more time to the recording before that too ran out and I couldn’t be arsed to record anymore. I figure it will all be out in one form or another and I will catch it then, even though I’ve seen it already.
The 12/12/12: A Concert for Sandy Relief Set List
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
“Land of Hope and Dreams”
“My City of Ruins” > “Jersey Girl”
“Born to Run” (with Jon Bon Jovi)
“In the Flesh”
“Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”
“Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)”
“Us and Them”
“Comfortably Numb” (with Eddie Vedder)
“It’s My Life”
“Wanted Dead or Alive”
“Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (with Bruce Springsteen)
“Livin’ on a Prayer”
“Nobody Love You When You’re Down and Out”
“Got to Get Better in a Little While”
Today I find myself at the Israeli Consulate. Well not really, but it might as well be. No Zionists here, just Shlomo and I don’t think he cares much for Zion or much of anything except for cigars. I got a desperate phone call this morning from Shlomo, begging me to come to the store. He can’t pay me, but I will get a few cigars out of the deal, plus a discount on future purchases. He has a lot of running around today and tonight and since Israel is unavailable and I am very close by, I got the call.
It hasn’t been that bad, in fact Shlomo has been in and out all day. At one point I was running errands for him., a trip to the copy shop, a trip to the post office and a trip to the bank. Shlomo does all the heavy lifting and I am merely the gopher. I don’t mind. A few minutes here and there outdoors is fine by me. Not too much time, since it has gotten quite cold outside. Now I am solo, Shlomo running around in his Dreidel mobile and I am safely inside listening to old school reggae.
Last night as Bill was looking for an envelope I threw in a Harry Potter movie, the Goblet of Fire. Bill never saw it before and he liked it. There was nothing else on and he wanted to watch something and so it fell to me to find something fitting to watch. It did the job, he was happy and he searched through the apartment. He’s been looking for a while and I don’t know where it is and I know I didn’t throw it out since I never throw out anything of Bill’s, no matter how questionable it is.
As Andrew Feldman said all those years ago, ‘it’s always the last place you looked’.
Tonight is the 12.12.12 concert at Madison Square Garden and the internets are abuzz with the word that Paul McCartney will be performing with Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from Nirvana. Why not? Kurt was a left handed guitarist as is Macca so maybe Paul will be on one of Kurt’s old guitars. Some people were upset for some reason, I just think things have just gotten that much more interesting. I was going to watch it anyway, and just in case, Bill set the recording up on the DVR.
Still not used to it being dark out at 5PM. You’d think after all these years I would be, but I’m not. A few interesting things at Maxwell’s for Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah stint. The Raybeats opened up the other night with Emo Phillips, followed by the Sun Ra Arkestra and then last night the Feelies opened up. I finally finished the Yo La Tengo book. So many errors, didn’t the publisher ever do any fact checking? I was more embarrassed than anything with regards to the book. But then again the author has one on me.
And on Facebook, I hope I did not insult Hugo, former drummer for Gang of Four. I admit I was snarky but couldn’t resist taking the piss. He responded in kind, calling me a pillock, which I deserved. I saw Joe Pantoliano on the street walking past the cigar shop. He said hello and I said he has to stop by sometime. He remarked that he doesn’t smoke anymore, but still a photo op would be nice. He doesn’t have to smoke the cigar, just hold one, maybe shake hands with Shlomo or Israel or Brandon. Let It Be Me
Tuesday afternoon, 2:00. This is not a drill, nor is it a dream. It just is. Temperature has dropped considerably, back to December weather after another warmish day. I am at the bibliotheque once again, not in the Marquis de Sade chair, no this one is more suited for Stephen Hawking. Whatever event they had planned in the bibliotheque today has been cancelled. In the distance I can hear the women at the circulation desk doing their thing with an occasional giggle as the carts full of CD’s and DVD’s wind their way back to the audio visual room.
Bill and I watched In Bruges the other night, a British movie starring Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. I had watched it once before, not paying much attention and didn’t much care for it. This time with Bill on Sunday night, nothing else was on and we both enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely dark humor, I won’t give it away and a bit violent. Definitely haunting though as Bill and I both found ourselves thinking of it separately the next day. I would recommend it for certain people, but not for everyone since it does get a little bit bloody throughout the film.
I’ve been making an effort to listen to more music and watch less TV. So far it’s been working out nicely. Last night when Bill came home from a staged reading he is directing I was in the middle of a playlist I made called ‘Lazy Day’ with the Seekers and Spanky and Our Gang. Music that usually gets sneered at but for me it’s all sunshine and lollipops. Basically it was a Top 40 sampler from the 1960’s to the late 1970’s. I know I enjoyed it. And of course there is Port St. Willow.
I can’t stop playing Port St. Willow, especially since it is properly loaded into my iPod, so it goes with me everywhere. I had to contact Bandcamp with regards to a problem I had with the download and in doing so I also had a question to ask. Is it Port Saint Willow, or Port Street Willow. They didn’t know and recommended that I contact Port St. Willow also known as Nick Principe. And so I did. Nick Principe answered my question soon enough with an initial ‘Ha’. I don’t think he anticipated the question but he answered that it is Port SAINT Willow.
I also asked if he was playing Maxwells anytime soon, or did I miss the boat. It turns out that they did have a gig at Maxwells but it was canceled. He could see a show coming up in the early part of next year and that info will be posted on the band’s page on Tumblr. With that, he wished me well and I did the same. I was tickled to get a response so soon and with the answers I was looking for. I will be at the Maxwells show if and when it happens.
Now I am home. Bill swing by the bibliotheque to say hello. He’s now in bed, fast asleep and it’s not even 7:00. He was that tired. ANd I am a bit tired myself since I haven’t slept well the past two nights. I do have to thank Casey Chasm for the vinyl copy of Stop Making Sense. Heart in the right place for the Casey Chasm. I wish he would have asked if I had it, since I now have three copies, two vinyl and the CD, four if you count the DVD.
Last dream of the night & day. Visiting Annemarie who is somewhere in New Hampshire or Northern California. She works in, or near a big building filled with many companies that are under one big umbrella. I had interviewed there before and this time I am getting the run around. It also resembles a Valley Fair supermarket. In one part of the dream I walk into a men’s room where I see the paws of a dog, a kangaroo and could hear the cries of an infant. When I bend down to see what was going on, the dog, a large pit bull comes after me, but I fake it out and move aside.
The infant’s guardians- two older women come into the rest room eyeing me suspiciously, as if having a kangaroo and pit bull watch an infant is the most normal thing. I walk out and as I walk I run into a former coworker from Skyline Studios, Brian Daniels. He tells me so and so wants to see me and to bring my cable box. I have the box and head to the elevators which are not working so I have to take the stairs. And the stairs are tricky, sometimes leading nowhere, sometimes ending suddenly leading to a fall over a cliff.
Stairs that open up to no floors, and you have to position yourself and the doorframe just right in order to get out and stay alive and uninjured.
I see a woman who I interviewed with walk past me, she was in a hurry to get somewhere. I start to follow her but she is going to a very large holiday party to which I was not invited. There are a few people I know there, people I worked with in the past.
Just then Annemarie shows up telling me to get into her car. I do and we drive off. I ‘recognize’ some spots, log cabins with neon signs stating what buildings they are as we drive past but we just keep driving. I finally ask where we are going and she is taking me to Earl’s apartment since I was too disruptive in the office building supermarket. Hopefully Earl would be there. I am a little annoyed that I only brought one joint with me and it’s basically smoked, then I realize where I am going and become somewhat hopeful.
I am on line on a stair case at a bucolic campus, everyone younger than me. I am standing behind a big jock. Finally once at the top of the stairs I look for apartment 1428 but can’t find it and feel that if I asked the students I would be mocked for not knowing where it is. Annemarie has driven off by then and I wander the campus looking at doors and index cards for 1428, to no avail.
Yeah that was from yesterday. I got 475 words out of that dream, standing in front on my computer groggy, no coffee and no shower. Later that day I got a phone call from Shlomo. He asked if I could sit in the cigar shop as he ran around to do some Hanukkah shopping. I had no problem with that since I wasn’t really doing anything anyway. Plus I was running low on cigars so I was able to help Shlomo and replenish my stock.
As I sat there, a customer from that other place in that mall stopped by. It was good to see Nick and there were many laughs had. Some catching up was done and time flew by, before I knew it Shlomo was back with a flaming menorah and I was headed home after exchanging numbers with Nick.
A nice, mellow Saturday night. For the past couple of hours I’ve been playing Port St. Willow- Holiday. I obviously am enjoying it, if I wasn’t I don’t think I would have it on repeat since 4PM, and it’s now after 7PM. I read a posting from Brian Eno about Port St. Willow and since I trust Eno with regards to music I checked it out and even posted it on my Facebook page. Good ol’ Rand stepped in with the bandcamp linkage (http://music.portstwillow.com/) and I felt obliged to get a copy for myself. It was most definitely worth it.
It’s been described as sad, but I would rather say it was between words, between being awake and being asleep. It reminds me of a few things, some Radiohead, some Arcade Fire, a little bit of My Bloody Valentine. Because it’s a one man show I am tempted to compare it to Bon Iver but this is much more interesting. I tried taking a nap while it was playing in another room and had some strange short dreams that quickly dissipated once shaken awake. All the songs seem to melt into one another and this guy, Nick Principe originally from Oregon and now in Brooklyn has quite a voice and vision. And ear.
I was pretty much out and about today in Hoboken and it was almost like old home week. I saw Phil who owns the liquor store on the corner and went in and shook his hand, congratulating him on his reopening. Then I ran into Martin Kelly at CVS and while on line in that very same CVS, ran into Alison Lee whom it is always good to see. Also saw Mike Korman and his son off to some sporting event and finally Nelson, a kid who used to work at Maxwells back in the day. He was working on the floor where Julio works. So it was a mini Maxwells Old Home Week on the 4:30 Movie for an hour or so today.
Last night was extra super-duper special for Bill and myself. I am sure I wrote earlier this week about going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater. Bill had never been to the Apollo and I think it was my third time. We scored 5th row center seats in the orchestra which was dicey since Bill can be quite rambunctious when he laughs but compared to the other fans in the seats Bill was somewhat subdued. He laughed alright, but this was the Apollo where the audience talks back to whomever is on stage. And there was a lot of that going on, feeding Sinbad’s act.
Sinbad is pretty funny, he’s clean, doesn’t do blue. And it was a two hour show, no opening act. Classic 1970’s soul played beforehand and a few times the opening to Adore by Prince was played, then promptly shut off for the next song. The Apollo is a great theater and I am glad I was able to take Bill for his first visit. Who knows? Perhaps someday he will perform on that stage, one way or another. I don’t think I had ever seen a live comedy show before.
I did see David Brenner with Florence Henderson opening up in August 1977 with my parents in Smithville NJ. It was an interesting show and it was around the same time that David Berkowitz was caught. Smithville is an 1700’s type of village which is a tourist attraction. As far as I knew it was known for selling yards of beer, which my parents got my brother Brian for a souvenir. It sat for years gathering dust on the top of the cabinets in my parent’s house.
That was an interesting vacation with my folks. We stayed in Central NJ, went to Great Adventure and Smithville and also visited friend of my parents in Jackson. These friends had a few kids and I remember hanging out with one son in his basement bedroom listening to Neil Young. This kid was wearing gym shorts and nothing underneath, giving me an inadvertent show and a sexual awakening as well as a fetish for terry cloth gym shorts for a few months.
I think after this go round on the player, I will give Port St. Willow a break. I contacted them since I was having problems getting the tracks on my iPod. I also asked them if it’s Port Saint Willow or Port Street Willow. I need to know these things.
Port St. Willow- Holiday is my record of the year.
Well I am back on my own computer and I am happy about it but Bill is happier for sure. When Bill would go to bed, he would allow me to use his laptop. I knew he would rather I didn’t but all I used it for was to check email and Facebook nonsense. Bill thinks otherwise and believes I was looking at prawns. Maybe a glance at the crawfish but other than that, no not really. And like I figured the fans inside the computer were quite dusty and in need of a cleaning, and so they were cleaned.
And now that I know what needs to be done I can simply do it myself and save some money. I had an idea as to what was wrong, but wasn’t too sure. So they had a better idea, ran some tests and it was just like I figured, dust on the fans slowly strangling the circular motion. It’s all so quiet now, it was making an intermittent racket before I brought it in. It got noisy and then suddenly silent, that is when I knew it needed repair. I usually ask Rand and in fact I did ask him but he didn’t get back to me until after I dropped it off.
I spent some time at the old bibliothèque today. No seminars for women and economics today but they were getting a group for a workshop on writing a personal memoir. Something I know nothing about and haven’t the slightest interest in such a thing. I mean, I wouldn’t know where to begin with such a thing. Me? Writing a memoir? An interesting concept to be sure but who would I write it for? What practice or precedent would I have to do such a thing? If only fitness guru and baccarat champion Nick Colas was available for guidance.
I wandered by the smoke shop in Hoboken. Israel and Shlomo seem to be at each other’s throats. Perhaps that is how things go when you are starting a business from scratch. Kevin hovered about doing whatever it is that Kevin does. He is like a throwback to older Kevins in my life and a definite improvement over recent Kevins from the past few years. I mentioned to Bill that though I would like to work there, it seems there are too many cooks and not nearly enough squaws. But I do like these guys, they seem alright I reckon.
Bill is in the city working on a reading. He’s been great lately especially after the head butting last week with both of us wrong, he has really stepped up. He’s also been very busy with this reading. The reading is going on for two nights, one a week- so it’s not going to be that long a run or anything like that. That means that the chances of Bill flaming out and crashing will be greatly reduced. And that works out best for the both of us I think.
And I am happy my computer is back. So many prawns slipped through the net!
Tonight: Casablanca, 8PM on Turner Classic Movies! Be My Baby
I was invited to see The Who tonight in Newark for free. I said no.
It’s a long day and it’s a little more than halfway. I am currently at the bibliotheque using their computers since my computer crapped out last night. The fan inside the computer stopped working and I think it was because there was so much dust in there that it overwhelmed the poor fan. I dropped off this morning at a repair store and waiting for the estimate. I don’t think it would be too much, just a simple vacuuming should do the trick, but then again I am not a computer guy so it could be something else despite the warning on the screen last night saying the CPU Fan has malfunctioned.
It’s nice and quiet here, it being a bibliotheque, what else would it be. There is a lecture going on soon regarding women and economics and I will probably be able to hear it from where I sit. The temperature has dropped considerably from last night to now and despite the heat being on here in the bibliotheque, the high ceilings make sure the heat stays away from those of us hunkered at tables in front of public computers. I’m not complaining, I dressed accordingly. But you can hear the wind whistling down the streets of Hoboken.
The bibliotheque is bustling today. Lot’s of people checking in and out of circulation, and you can hear the staff chuckle and tell jokes as they work through their day. I helped put away some books and DVD’s earlier before settling in on a vacant computer. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them. They’re good people, the staff- and I am sometimes privy to their jokes and comments which usually leave me with a chuckle. I can now see why this particular computer was vacant.
After a few hours I feel like I am turning into a hunchback. The chair seems designed by the Marquis de Sade and requires stepping away from it for a few minutes, like now. I haven’t dressed appropriately for this weather and I am starting to think, chaps and a jock strap was not the way to go. Then again I am just a quick hop across Church Square Park so if anything there will be shrinkage, accompanied by high beams when I power walk my way home. ANd if that isn’t an invitation to molest me, then I don’t know what is.
I can hear holiday music from the circulation desk, and I think I have heard Feliz Navidad a dozen times already. It beats working in a mall with Mannheim Steamroller playing constantly at levels that defy the standards of the Geneva Convention. I have my own respite from that, I play the Phil Spector Christmas Album, the Beatles Christmas Messages, The Roches and various other collections including a very good one from Mojo Magazine a few years ago. And then there are the Waitresses with Christmas Wrapping and a find from a year or so ago, Regina Spektor with My Dear Acquaintance.
Tuesday Tuesday, where would I be without you? Possibly in a Monday or Wednesday, I don’t know. I slept well last night. I am sure that you were all wondering about that. Well enough that waking up this morning was somewhat difficult despite Bill’s words of encouragement and farewell kiss. I rallied, showered and ate and then I found myself thinking of what to do. I didn’t have to think that much since I got a phone call from Shlomo. He needed to run some errands and asked if I could sit in the cigar store for an hour or so.
The promise of a couple of free cigars did the trick. It was a fair barter. Hard to believe it had been a while since I had the La Trompeta by Avo. Back in March I had to attend the unveiling of the Trompeta at a exclusive cigar club at the former Top of the Sixes restaurant. Now it’s a pricey cigar club, with nouveau riche and those that aspire to be. It was fun to watch silly men with ‘money’ getting very excited over scantily clad girls handing out free cigars. As Mark E. Smith said, ‘it was like peasants getting free milk!”
It was my day off and I was required to attend this event and my job was to take photos which I did.. Food was promised and also scarce by the time my co-workers and I were able to eat and what we were fed was an expensive version of a White Castle slider. It was a cash bar for the underlings like myself and I couldn’t get out of there soon enough, it was funny watching some supervisors and underlings nodding off drunk. I have seen junkies with more stamina. The reason I write about that is because I found the text I wrote for a blog I was writing for some group earlier this year.The blog is dead and gone but I still have the photos and the text
Last night Bill and I did not watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Instead we watched The Late Show with David Letterman. We don’t usually watch it but I wanted to see Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. They didn’t perform, the three of them sat and chatted with Dave for the first 20 minutes. I enjoyed it and also enjoyed Bill’s questions regarding Led Zeppelin. Actually he was asking about me and how I would feel should I meet them on the street like when I met Mick Jones from the Clash on the street.
It wouldn’t be like meeting Mick Jones, I told Bill. Mick Jones was more of a personal thing, whereas Led Zeppelin was something that I didn’t always like. I explained that when I was growing up, the ‘bad’ kids listened to led Zeppelin and I was a goody goody kid into pop music. I didn’t mention that Jimmy Page had such a power over budding guitarists when I was starting to be interested in playing guitar that most kids figured out how to play Stairway to Heaven.
I didn’t see the point in learning the songs I didn’t much care for back then. Nowadays, thanks to Ultimate Guitar or the Led Zeppelin songbook I own, I could play their songs (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), but still I could not play Stairway. We did enjoy the show and Bill went to sleep soon after Led Zeppelin and I stayed up and watched the rest of the show. It’s been one of those nights I suppose. One of these Nights
Well today has been a long day, following a night of restless sleep. Right now I am pretty tired, but OK. I just had some supper so the energy should be kicking in soon enough. Yesterday was Sunday and that meant I didn’t write. What I did do was hang out with Kevin at the smoke shop. Kevin is a nice guy and it was fun to hang out with him. I can’t help but feel like one of the background characters in Wayne Wang’s Smoke. The guys who hang out in Augie’s shop. Augie was played by Harvey Keitel.
It’s a decent movie but not one of my favorites. The best scene I think is the closing, where Augie returns a wallet that was dropped by a shoplifter he was chasing. And the scene has the Tom Waits song, ‘Innocent When You Dream’. Augie returns the wallet to the shoplifter’s mother who is blind and all alone. It’s really sweet and touching and very much the best thing in the movie. The clip is on YouTube and it beats having to sit through the movie to get to the last five minutes. Just writing about it, my bladder moves closer to my eyes.
I had fun with Kevin and his friend Brandon and Brandon’s girlfriend Marie. Things did get a little but heated once theology was brought into the conversation. I of course played the loyal opposition, in favor of the big bang and evolution whereas Brandon asked how could evolution exist when not much has changed in the past 200 years. That threw me for a loop and I realized Brandon wasn’t playing with a full deck. I said time was relative and he denied it was relative, despite my efforts to explain how such a theory works.
Today has been a long day, yes, it’s what I wrote earlier and it was also 60 degrees out which is not very seasonable to say the least. I am not complaining, even though I was overdressed this morning and evening. Midway through the day it was quite agreeable. It will all be different next week I’m sure. In a few days it will got back to be how it’s supposed to be, at least that is what they mentioned during the weather portion of the morning shows. Rare is the attention I give to the morning shows lately.
I did have to go to the supermarket today and that was a disappointment. Not much on sale and the supermarket is really taking advantage of the fact that presently they are the only game in town. The really big supermarket might open in February, so until then it will be time to pay through the nose. I did run into my neighbor Chris as he was returning from taking the light rail to Jersey City to do his grocery shopping there. SInce the Path train is still out of commission, the light rail is free from Hoboken to Newport in Jersey City.
That is something I should do, if and when I have the time. It was ridiculous walking through the aisles of the nearby supermarket, things that are usually marked down, aren’t. And of course certain items I wished to buy were now unavailable. But now I am home, that is behind me. Still tired and I bet it has everything to do with not being able to get a good night’s sleep last night. If I can hold onto this tired feeling until later, I should have no problem sleeping tonight. And having written that, I am bound to have problems sleeping tonight. The atheist jinx!
Well today has been an interesting day. Bill made it home safely this morning. Once again, since he wasn’t home I did not sleep so well. I am usually awake by the time he gets home but this morning I was sleeping quite well. I didn’t exactly wake up refreshed but I wasn’t dragging ass either. Bill made coffee and brought home some bagels so that was good. I showered and proceeded to start my day. I decided to make some eggs for breakfast and in between the refrigerator and the stove, gravity played a trick on my and snatched an egg from out of my hands.
It was an auspicious start to the day but nothing too terrible. A sweep and a clean and I still had other eggs to fry. Once that was done the day lay ahead. My sister in law Elaine contacted me the other night. She and her daughter Corinne were planning on coming to Hoboken to do some shopping, throw some cash into the local economy. I was ready for them, though they were running a bit later than they hoped. Corinne went to see the Dave Matthews band last night so that was a factor.
They got to Hoboken a little later than planned but that was alright. Hoboken had a plan, you spend $20.00 at a local merchant, and you can park for free in one of the garages. I told Elaine that as Corinne was driving and met them soon after by Church Square Park. They had Corinne’s friend Felicia with them and Felicia remembered me, but I drew a blank. Elaine specifically wanted to go to Guitar Bar so that was our first destination. A few Snark tuners that I recommended and some other odds and ends and Elaine’s purchase made the parking free.
Then we went to City Hall were an Arts and Crafts thing was going on. Some nice things but I only bought a button and a card. Felicia and Elaine bought some items and soon we were back on the chilly Washington Street. We walked by the smoke shop were Israel looked fairly busy, which was good. Hunger came to us all at once so we wound up eating at Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant. My former favorite Mexican restaurant has been closed for weeks, possibly from the storm, possibly from the food being bland after new management took over earlier this year.
We walked around some more before walking back to the parking garage. I got a ride from Corinne and we drove to the gate where we showed the receipt to the attendant. She said she was going to keep the receipt and I told her she couldn’t do that, since the items on the receipt might have to be returned. She said the receipt would go to City hall and that didn’t make a difference at all. Cars were honking behind us, so Corinne wound up paying the $8.00 charge.
I came home after they dropped me off and I went online to the Hoboken Facebook page and complained, saying it was bogus. They replied that the attendant had it wrong, the receipt gets stamped and they were informing the attendants to let them know. Of course this was information that was useless since at this point, Elaine, Corinne and Felicia were headed back to Bergen County. It was the only drag really today. Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City, I am staying home.
Last night I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It wasn’t bad, there was a certain charm to it. It’s not a great picture but it was enjoyable. I also watched My Week with Marilyn the other day and that was very good. Michelle Williams was excellent.