Category Archives: Love Love Love

I Can Be Cool

Well let’s see. I’m writing this right now, but unable to post it, or at least, unable to access any browser. The browsers I use are mainly Firefox and Chrome. Neither is allowing me access to the internet. Bill isn’t getting action on his Mac-book.

Now it’s working but we were seriously offline for a while there. For a while means about 15 minutes. I tried my usual tricks. Turn that off. Turn this on. Look the the south while itching to the north. I blame the goddamned GOP.

They’ve won a few seats today, but what brings me satisfaction is that Linda McMahon, Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino all lost the races they were running in, and Brown & Boxer are predicted to have won their races. That brought a smile to my face.

This morning was all about going back to work. And the fear that I had done something wrong, was warranted. Apparently I overcharged a phone order. Not the end of the world and easier than undercharging a customer.

So I started out with negative sales. If I was really concerned with the 1/3 of 1% commission I would be bothered, but I’m not, so I wasn’t. It was Don and Bradley today featuring the Marcus who just would not leave.

It’s been fairly cold, too cold to go out and smoke, making me a prisoner. Not that I minded. I had my music playing, and the company in the backroom wasn’t so bad. Answered many questions about the music I was playing.

It wasn’t so bad, but I do prefer the chance to sit on a bench near the park and read and watch people go by, as well as not having to look at the same walls all day long. Both scenarios involve the smoking of cigars, which is the perk of working in the cigar shop.

Bradley is prone to saying the most absurd things without any wit or irony attached. He reminds me of me when I was 16, but I used wit & irony to my advantage. Or so I thought. Here I am, 32 years later and reluctantly happy to be working. Still the resumes go out.

I was surprised when I checked my Google Analytics that one of the most visits to this here blog was through a search for that investment bank’s personnel whom I named. So that left me feeling a bit queasy so I went and changed the names of Malcolm McConnell and Mary O’Shaughnessy who worked for the Whitney Partners Investment Group.

If I had gotten the job I would have more than likely written about Malcolm and Mary, after changing their names. For now the names will be changed, if only to protect myself.

If you do a search for those names, they will not appear. There were 37 searches for Malcolm McConnell and Whitney for the month of October. Perhaps I’ve edited things a bit late, maybe I shot myself in the foot.

The scenario that springs to mind is Malcolm and Mary or someone they know did a search and saw what I wrote which really wasn’t so bad when you look at it. And whomever it was, they did not have the cojones to leave a comment.

The scenario continues where Malcolm and Mary get in touch with the recruiter and ask where did I get the nerve to write their names on an obscure blog like this?

Juan made an appearance last night for a few hours. Surprised him when I said I really don’t drink anymore. That didn’t stop him from having some wine and a shot of bourbon I have laying around. It was great to see him for the few hours that I had.

We picked up like we only saw each other last week. We’re BFFF Best Fuckin’ Friends Forever. He may be moving back up here when his lease expires in January. That would be nice.

We shall see I guess.


I Won’t Back Down

Well it’s later than I expected but really can’t say I have any regrets. Just got back home after spending the day celebrating my dear friend Rand’s birthday. He’s turning 50 years old in a matter of days and today seemed like a good enough day to celebrate it.

He was able to have Maxwells available to him from 12 to 5PM this afternoon. It was a great party, quite a few friends from Rand’s past as well as Rand’s relatives were there to partake in the festivities. Karaoke, food and drinks available to all.

As I stood outside at one point having a cigarette when up walked the wonderful Jose Blackorby. It may have been 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and it was a thrill to see him once again. He’s married now and living in Oakland with his wife and 2 daughters.

Fortunately he was on the east coast this weekend and able to make the party. Rand’s sisters and family made the scene as did Lois & Fred and Roda. Cheryl Welch, Chris Repella, Rob La Rosa and a few others all made appearances. Drinks were had, food was eaten and talk abounded.

So many friends from Rand’s past that I knew and liked (John Donovan and fiance). Bill and I had a lovely time, Bill connected with Mike from the Neutron Drivers, Chaz was there connecting with Mike’s girlfriend Sarah about matters relating to Paul Weller and British music in general.

Songs were sung, stories were told told, catching up as much as possible was attempted. I suppose even some networking was done as well. I tried to avoid telling stories about working at the cigar shop but I guess it was inevitable that they would eventually surface.

Some of us had comparable stories to tell. Mainly it was between me and Fred. I suppose Fred and I are lucky enough to have spouses that are understanding and supportive at our sides. Many chats many drinks and quite a few bites to eat. Can’t say that enough apparently.

War stories were exchanged between Fred and myself and sad to say but Fred is in a worse position than I am. He’s within walking distance of his hell where I have to take a bus and a subway to get to mine. Fred wins.

And like Bill and I, Lois & Fred are lucky to have each other. Lisa looked as great and sexy as ever. It had been maybe 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and I didn’t realize that he was and perhaps still is a positive influence on my life.

I can’t say whether or not he knows that to be a fact but I walked him to the bus stop and as the bus approached, I realized what a lovely man he is, such a positive person. If he’s ever had a problem, I’ve never seen it. Perhaps he hides it well, doesn’t wear it on his sleeve like I do. Perhaps he’s the Buddha.

Needless to say, I teared up, giving Jose a hug & a kiss and telling him I loved him.

Don’t know what else to write. I’m tired and had a few drinks already. Perhaps a few too many, though I could be wrong. Glad to have been able to celebrate Rand’s 50th birthday with his friends and family.

Rand is also a great guy and a good friend and I am quite happy to have him and Lisa in my life. Been almost 30 years that I’ve known Rand and I look forward to many more years of friendship.

Despite the bullshit, the small stuff that I’m not supposed to sweat, it’s people like Rand and Lisa, Lois and Fred, Jose, Julio and Stine and Alexander and Bill of course, as well as Annemarie, Frank and Brian and their families (as well as others that I am not writing down here) that really make life worth living.





Lady Gigglepuss y El Jefe

Jose and Bill

photo by Jose Blackorby

Work tomorrow, not expecting to post, but you never know…

I Don’t Care

Oh it was quite a lovely day. The sun came up and Bill kissed me goodbye once again. He was looking quite nice in his work attire. From out of nowhere a puppy dog came running in and licked his face, then an hour later that same puppy dog ran in and licked me awake before vanishing into thin air.

I made some excellent coffee and fixed myself a bowl of Lucky Charms before stepping into the shower. It was a wonderful shower, one of the best ever. I think in the history of indoor plumbing, you would be hard pressed to have a shower as utterly fantastic as the one that I had this morning.

I dried my hair and got into some clean underwear and sat and had some coffee and ate my frosted moons and marshmallow clovers and read the bible. Such a good book it is. Read some emails after that and watched the Today show where Al Roker and Barbara Corcoran talked about some really fabulous real estate throughout the country.

Property that is exquisite and that I hope to own someday. It was uncanny, how did they know I desired a mansion in Greenwich, CT with a man made pond so near the horse stables? Uncanny. I soon donned my gray flannel suit and headed out to the bus stop.

A foggy day to start out with, but the sun promised to come out and shine shine shine. And it did. I walked to the subway, smiling at my fellow riders and got off at my stop. I was early so I sat in the shadow of a skyscraper and talked to Bill for a few minutes on the phone.

Soon I was skipping over to the cigar shop, greeting Don who was behind the register. Marcus and Calvin were in the middle of an interview with a amiable young man and the next interview, another amiable young man paced around the shop waiting for his turn at bat. Young amiable man exited and the second took his place.

I rang up sales with Don and the day was progressing nicely. About 45 minutes later the second interviewee left and Marcus and Calvin hunkered down in the the office while Don and I competed for that 1/3 of 1% commission.

Things were progressing nicely when Calvin came out and told me to go to the humidor and do the work that Sean was supposed to do yesterday. That took me out of the running for the commissions, allowing Calvin who more than likely gets more than 1/3 of 1% commission to get whatever I would have earned, but at a lesser rate.

So I was off the floor doing a part timer’s job (Sean will be in tomorrow, probably too busy cleaning his nails with an exacto knife to to the job himself) So Calvin decided to move me off the floor. I didn’t care really. I even told Don that the 1/3 of 1% commission is bullshit and didn’t care for it anymore.

I was able to head out for lunch allowing Calvin to take his 2.5 hour lunch/smoke a cigar/have a drink break. I spoke with Bill again but he was rushed since he was trying to leave his job early so he could drive to Atlantic City again.

I made it back to work and went back into the humidor. Where I usually pick out most of the music in the store I decided to let Calvin have his way and listen to that dead music, that jazz. He left the shop about an hour after Don and finally I played some music made in the past 5 years by living people.

I left the store, not caring about much at all, and now here I am, caring even less.

I’m Not In Love

Another day off. Having two in a row is pleasant. It’s my Saturday and Sunday I suppose. It would have been nice if it were actually on Saturday or Sunday but who am I to complain?

I slept really well last night, so much so that Bill had difficulty rousing me to kiss me goodbye this morning. I vaguely remember it. I slept until about 9:00 this morning.

Woke up, showered, had coffee and cereal. Tentative plans to see Radiant Child, a documentary about Jean Michel Basquiat with Roda.

Whenever there is something Basquiat related going on, I always try to involve Roda. It was a good documentary, ultimately sad. Forgot that Jean Michel died at the way too young age of 27. That dreaded number. I’m 20 years past it so I’m not especially worried.

I was in the end stages of laundry when Roda ambled on by, sitting on the stoop and waiting for me. I almost made us late, but pushed enough to make the 1:15 show.

Saw coming attractions for two other documentaries, one about Nazi propaganda made in the Warsaw Ghetto and the other one about a French contest for the best pastry chef. I would wait until both are shown on cable.

Next week a movie excursion to see Inception is in the works with Bill and his friend Fred. That should be interesting. Also looking forward to dinner at the Rocking Horse Cafe beforehand.

It was fun walking around the Village if only for a little while. I was right around the corner from Wolff Olins, where I worked 4 years ago. I don’t know if I would recognize anyone still there, in fact the people I really liked have moved on.

I did run into the newsstand in the building and picked up the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines. A walk back down Carmine Street to the Path train meant a stop at the Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Bookstore.

I enjoy going in there, lot’s of good, cheap remaindered books on sale. Saw a few things that would make for good books for various people.

Path train home was comfortable, new car, air conditioned and the fact that it wasn’t rush hour meant we had seats. Back in Hoboken, Roda opted for the light rail since he had a birthday party to attend.

I opted to walk along the river for a while before heading to the supermarket and then home. Laundry done, hanging on racks and in the bathroom.

My Netflix account was activated again and I have Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky here. I saw that in the 1970’s with my sister at the Bergen Mall. I recall both of us being disappointed that it wasn’t as good as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Maybe 30 years or so will allow me to look at it with fresh eyes, or at least an informed outlook. Then again, the DVD looks like it’s in bad condition.

I also have The Wonder Boys from the bibliothèque. I never saw it, Julio recommended it when it came out and I just read a review in the New Yorker that mentioned it as Michael Douglas’ best film. It’s always available at the bibliothèque so I thought now would be the time to check it out.

Also after reading a review in the New Yorker, I have a copy of Duke Ellington’s America by Harvey G. Cohen. That’s a tome with a small font.

I am looking forward to Leo and His Circle, a biography of Leo Castelli. That looks like a more entertaining read, I think.

Jean Michel Basquiat

I’m Sticking With You

OK. Just got home a little while ago. Harpy called while I was at Napoli pizza with Annemarie and Bill, Elaine & Corinne. I didn’t take the call. I usually do, but decided to focus on the people sitting around me. Sorry Harpy.

The pizzas were good. We ordered too much, but Bill and I took care of that. We walked Elaine & Corinne to their car, parked outside of Maxwells. Rand was on his cellphone talking outside. Lisa was indoors.

Rand spent some time with us, before heading in. Then Lisa came out and joined us for a few minutes. Then she went inside and Elaine and Corinne drove off to Garfield after kisses and hugs. Annemarie, Bill & I walked down Washington Street to where Annemarie parked her rental car.

Rand texted, offering to buy us drinks but by that time we were a block away, plus Annemarie had to get a 6:00 AM flight, and Bill & I have to work tomorrow. More hugs and kisses and a few tears. Not all tears are sad though.

I mentioned that even though we didn’t spend as much time together as we usually do, we had a good time. The times we spent together were extra special I think. And quality time was spent at Sandy Hook, and not just with me, since Annemarie was able to go to the beach with our niece Cassie where from what I understand, they had a very nice time between Aunt & niece.

Just heard from Annemarie, she’s gotten into her hotel room by the airport. That was even sadder than saying goodbye to her on the street. I know she’ll be alright and I know we will talk to each other a few times a week, but still I’m going to miss her.

She’s my dearest, best friend.

On the work front, I opened the store by myself. I had to get up earlier than usual to do so, and I was grateful to Don Birch for switching shifts with me. I started the day by myself, playing Another Green World by Brian Eno and then playing Do It Yourself by Ian Dury & the Blockheads.

By the time Don Birch and Calvin came in, I sold about $500.00 worth of goods. I kept checking the stats on sales today and I was in the lead for most of the day, eventually surpassed by Calvin who’s been at it longer and has a few monied clients who will only deal with him.

Still, at the end of the day I sold about $1500.00 worth of cigars and related products.

When Don Birch came in we somehow wound up talking about Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. At 1:00 as I was about to leave for lunch I looked out the window and there was Steve Winwood looking at the display.

I headed out and said, ‘Hey Steve’. He turned around and I said hello and introduced myself. Nice guy. Don Birch came out and also said hello. I mentioned to Steve Winwood, that we were talking about him earlier. I asked him how the tour with Carlos Santana was going and he said it was going well.

He then asked if I had seen it and I told him that I was unemployed for 11 months and now I have a job but no time for things like that. That might have turned him off.

I asked him if I could take a photo and he said he wasn’t being photographed today. That was fine by me. It was probably his day off and didn’t want to be a rock star or attract attention to himself.

I wished him well and left him staring at the window of the shop and headed off to Central Park where I enjoyed a nice cigar.

Anne, Cori, Me, Elaine & Bill

I’m In Love With My Car

Late posting again. What’s up with that? Well I didn’t post yesterday. Didn’t even write. I couldn’t access the blog (and neither could you perhaps) and I tried contacting Rand who I guess went to work on it.

A few hours later it was accessible once again, but by then I was pretty tired and in no condition to write about anything. So I decided not to write and I am even considering taking Sundays off from writing unless I have something worthwhile to write about.

Not that I usually do have anything to write about. There are always other navels to gaze at.

Yesterday was spent mainly in Saddle Brook at my niece Meghan and her husband Rob’s new home. It’s a very nice home and actually got me thinking that maybe someday Bill and I would have a house to live in that we could call our own.

That’s not happening anytime soon. I think we’d both like to stay in the Hoboken area and houses or brownstones are out of our price range, but right now it makes for a nice daydream.

It was the annual birthday barbecue, my siblings and their families all gather together to celebrate the July birthdays. There are about 5 birthdays, 6 if you count Bill’s birthday at the end of June. Rob played the grill meister, his parents and grandparents were also there, a lovely group of people and a few friends. All making for quite pleasant company.

The sun beaming down and I had a few Stella Artois which nearly did my head in, if it weren’t for Annemarie suggesting I drink some water, which did my body good. Burgers, hot dogs, steak and salads were the menu followed by cakes and cupcakes for the birthdays.

Annemarie drove us home and Bill and I watched True Blood. Plans were made to go to Sandy hook this morning. Bill went to sleep soon after True Blood and I stayed up trying to upload some pics. I slept quite deeply, Bill unable to wake me with his farewell kisses at 5:30 as he headed out to the gym.

I didn’t wake up until 9:00. It was overcast and I wasn’t sure if the beach jaunt was actually going to occur. Phone calls between Hoboken and Garfield went by, discussing whether or not to see a movie (Inception) or go to the beach.

We decided to take a gamble and head down the shore. Corinne was driving and Annemarie was in the backseat, giving me the front passenger side. Not much traffic down the Parkway, and few people at the North Beach of Sandy Hook.

Beautiful clear day, Manhattan, Jersey City and Coney Island as well as the Rockaways were visible across the harbor. The water was in the upper 70’s and was quite nice after a warm Frisbee volley. I wound up being bitten and bloody from the flies on the beach.

We figured out that it was probably the perfume in the sun block that attracted them. Another jump into the ocean for relief from the flies and also one last chance to play in the water until the next time.

We spoke to Meghan via text and made plans for a trip to Saddle Brook where I was quite a gavone and devoured quite a bit. Meghan and rob seemed tired. Or at least I hope they were tired and not pissed off from my over eating and our trip to the beach.

Corinne once again drove, this time back to Hoboken where we emptied her trunk of beach stuff. And now I am home. Early day tomorrow since I am having dinner with Bill, and Annemarie and perhaps Corinne before Annemarie flies back to California early Wednesday morning.

It certainly has been a fun time with Annemarie this time. Though we weren’t able to spend too much time together, the quality of the time spent was top notch. She’s so great.

Annemarie, Me, Corinne

I’m In Love

Hey! I didn’t write yesterday. I was sort of cross eyed and painless but I wouldn’t say shitfaced. It was the end of a perfect day. The day started nicely enough, I was able to get up and get out and get some bagels.

Came home with the newspaper and the bagels and had some eggs. It made for a nice breakfast. Little did I know that it would be basically the only thing I would have eaten beside cake later on.

Seven pizzas came and went, Spanakopita (Chaz!), various salads, and cakes were all devoured. I’m not complaining. That’s why the food was there. I reckon there were about 50 people there. A few people wandered into Maxwells thinking the restaurant was open for brunch.

I generally caught them and showed them out and directed them to the Madison at 14th & Washington Street. Most of them were cool but one asshole walked away saying ‘go fuck yourself’. Me being me- couldn’t resist saying, ‘no, you go fuck yourself!’

What the hell… I had backup. Luckily the backup wasn’t needed and she wheeled himself away in her wheelchair. It was a great collection of family and friends. The cousins from South Jersey showed up, mostly.

Old friends of mine, former co-workers arrived too. These former co-workers are now good friends. Billie made it up from DC on the Mega Bus for the afternoon, then back to DC at 6:00PM.

Jim Mastro re-officiated the vows that were said originally on April Fool’s Day. . It was great to have so many friends and family witness. Unfortunately the original witnesses Chris Repella & Tom Winnick couldn’t make it due to unforeseen circumstances.

Lot’s of photos taken and even video. I have seen some of the photos but none of the videos. I’ve been trying for the past 24 hours to upload my pics, but my computer seems to be behaving quite oddly. I will have to get in touch with Rand on the computer front.

Deena Shoshkes & Jon Fried sang My Boyfriend for me.. I snag along standing next to Bill. Then Lily & Tim from the Street Corner Mourners sang 2 songs, one of them seemed written or rewritten so it could be about me.

Awfully sweet.

I was compelled to take the straw hat off of Bill’s head and pass it around so people could donate some cash to the Street Corner Mourners. I did clear it with Jon & Deena beforehand. They were fine with it. It looked like a nice collection.

Bill sang Picture in a Frame by Tom Waits accompanied by Lois. I was going to sing that, having practiced it for two days beforehand. Instead I sang All My Loving by the Beatles which to my surprise most everyone joined in and sang along with me.

They jumped into a chorus too soon but I got them back on track.

It was actually the first time I played and sang in front of most of my friends and all of my family. After that, it was all a blur for me mainly. So much going on, so many friendly faces.

Juan arrived late but still welcomed and he jumped into the festivities with gusto. Bill’s cousin Elisa and her husband King also arrived looking fantastic. Elisa looked great in her new ‘do and King looked regal in a pink suit.

It ended basically when the World Cup ended.

Some of us made it over to Rand & Lisa’s apartment for an after party. Jane, Martha Griffin and Loren & Andrew joined Rand & Lisa, Bill and me and Lois. More drinks were consumed and some spicy hot cheese was served.

Today was a quieter day, spent down in Sandy Hook with Annemarie, followed by Ice Cream at Crazies in Rumson.

Two wonderful days. One spent with a lot of friends and family, the other spent with my dear sister Annemarie.

Still having difficulty uploading pics, even off of Facebook. Sorry!

I was able to get this one uploaded!

I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Baby

It’s a Saturday and it’s a day off. It’s been overcast with threats of rain and quite muggy too. But I don’t mind. Like I said, it’s a day off. I did some shopping for tomorrow and also played the guitar.

Talked to various friends on the phone. Some are coming, some aren’t, some are leaving early to watch the World Cup final. I sent Todd an email telling him that close to 40 people are expected.

Tim and Lily of the Street Corner Mourners (pass the hat!) are playing tomorrow and I think Jon & Deena from the Cucumbers are playing as well. I did ask Deena a few months ago when this whole shebang started.

Rand is supposed to be handling the music on the iPods. Chaz is making or bringing Spanakopita, Lois and Sheilah are making salads and Karen, Elaine and Meghan Taylor are bringing cakes or desserts. I’m alternately psyched and anxious about the whole thing.

I doubt there will be any problems but having said that, this superstitious atheist gets nervous.

Annemarie made it safely to New Jersey. She stopped by Hoboken on her way to Garfield. We walked around a bit and had salads at the Garden of Eden in the upstairs room. No one else was there and it made for some quality time. After that, a walk around Pier A. I enjoyed a nice cigar, a freebie from work. A La Reloba by My Father’s Cigars.

Earlier, I stopped by the library and took out the Celluloid Closet and the Dark Knight. I’ve seen both of them of course, but there’s nothing on TV tonight and I figured when Bill gets home, maybe something familiar to watch would be nice. That’s about it.

Downloaded some songs that I remembered from a Stiff Records collection from 20 years ago, as well as the new single from N*E*R*D*. That track is swinging.

I will have to get Rand to play it tomorrow. I pointed him in the direction of what I would like to hear and what I think the other ‘grown ups’ would also like. I have two playlists for him to use if he would like and also requested a certain song be played.

Hopefully that will be revealed tomorrow.

Don’t know what else to write. I think I’ve covered all the bases. Don’t know if I’ll write tomorrow. I will be busy enough, but then again there will probably be a lot to write about. I suppose I will see what state of mind I am in at the end of the day.

I hope to be feeling quite nice and relatively cross eyed and painless.

I am certainly looking forward to seeing family and friends. If you’re reading this and know where to go at what time, I look forward to seeing you. For the rest of you I hope you have a good day tomorrow doing whatever it is that you do.

Even if you’re in Bala Cynwyd or even Portland.

Not Annemarie's car

(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear

Well it’s later than I anticipated. It’s almost 11:30 here. I just got back from having dinner with Bill and his friend Lawrence and Lawrence’s boyfriend Joe. Lawrence used to live in Hoboken and now he and his boyfriend live in Secaucus.

I remembered Lawrence vaguely from 20 years ago when I worked at a local video store. He has an out of the ordinary surname so that would stick out in my mind.

Lawrence suggested East LA, one of his old haunts when he lived here and Bill not knowing any better agreed. It’s not my favorite spot. The food is edible, the service is horrible and the music is way too loud. It’s also owned by the dickhead former Mayor of Hoboken.

I enjoy going out to dinner and having a conversation, but going to East LA, one doesn’t go for conversation. It could be the food, the margaritas, not the ambiance.

I hustled to get out of work on time to make it to dinner at 8:00, not taking into consideration that many people with no taste would be going there on a Tuesday night, causing us to wait for a table for 4.

The host told us 20 minutes and when the 20 minutes passed, Joe went and asked. The host said he told us 30 to 40 minutes, but just then a table opened up.

We ordered 3 Corona’s and a margarita. Bill got the last Corona. A faux Mexican restaurant with no Corona. I had a Heineken.

After about 45 minutes the wait thing finally decided to take our orders. I had to check Bill’s menu since my menu had smudges on the price list. Still I put on a smiling face and engaged in conversation which was mainly trying to be heard above Good Life, by Inner City. A 12” club record I played about 23 years ago.

A group of 20 somethings threw food at each other landing on our table. It was Bill’s birthday and I did my best to have a good time. I could barely hear Lawrence or Joe but I think I laughed and smiled at the appropriate moments.

Despite all the noise and the lousy service it was good to spend time with Bill and his friends. There was no birthday cake to celebrate Bill’s birthday though. That was a drag. Arthur’s would have been a better spot to go, but I wasn’t making any decisions. I was along for the ride.

I grinned and bared it. I think Bill, Lawrence and Joe would have been content to stay there longer than we did if I didn’t mention that I needed to go grocery shopping at 11:00 to buy things for breakfast. Perhaps Lawrence and Joe thought I was a stick in the mud.

It’s more than likely that I will go to the actual Eastern Los Angeles before I go to East LA again.

It was a long day for me and I was hoping for a nice time with friends of Bill’s, not anticipating being horse from shouting while trying to have a conversation.

Now Bill is asleep in bed, and here I am, finally home and writing. I ‘m glad Bill had a happy birthday.

Lawrence & Joe

El Stiffo & the Birthday boy

I’m Lucky

Happy Gay Pride day to my people and my friends & family who are gay friendly. I didn’t make it to the Gay Pride march in Manhattan. Too hot and I’m on my feet all day at work.

The last thing I wanted to do was stand around some more on a day off. It was 95º Fahrenheit today. And Bill was driving to Atlantic City and I wouldn’t want to go without him. I suppose that’s the consequence of not having many gay friends around here.

I know Andy, Chaz’ friend is there, but he’s probably with his boyfriend and I wouldn’t want to be the third wheel, plus they’re going to the dance afterward, and I wouldn’t want to do that.

And it’s HOT.

I sat by the river this afternoon sans guitar and read the New Yorker and finished off Uncut. I gazed across the Hudson River and saw what I guessed to be revelers after the parade and sorting it out, on where to go next.

That was me and Bill on some previous parades. I couldn’t help but think of the Pride festivities that I had attended. I remember walking through the parade on my way to buy records at St. Mark’s Sounds and buying a pink triangle button with a peace sign in the pink. Lost it as time passed, but still I remember it.

Back then even though I was gay, I didn’t have much to do with the scene as it were mainly since the scene didn’t have anything to do with me.

I remember one night before Gay Pride day being at the Dugout on Christopher Street and seeing Billie being slapped by Joey, Jet’s obnoxious last boyfriend. It was the last we saw of Joey, that’s for sure. No great loss.

Another year, or maybe the same year, walking after the parade through the West Village with Billie and Gracie, another DC friend. We walked up some street and saw some revelers on a fire escape wearing Patsy Cline masks.

For some reason I was compelled to yell out ‘Free Patsy Cline’ which Billie and Gracie also yelled with me and we laughed as we strolled up the streets.

Another year, going with Julio & Patrick Morrissey. As soon as we got there Morrissey was off somewhere else. It didn’t matter since Julio and I were both tripping. Another time, where I went solo and sat by the pier smoking joints with a bunch of nice lesbians while the menfolk were quite standoffish and catty.

There was the time when Bill and I volunteered to herd the parade people from start to finish. We picked the religious groups. No one else wanted to work with them and I soon found out why.

Bill was a member of the congregation at Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) and he wound up with them during the parade. I was with a whiny bunch, different denominations.

The Radical Faeries ahead of the reformed Jews who were ahead of the Catholic groups. The Catholics were whining about their place in line. I couldn’t get them to move fast enough, too many gaps in the parade which slowed the already long parade.

I abandoned my post by the time we passed 37th Street and Fifth Avenue.

I caught up with Bill at 23rd Street and was basically a wreck. One of the congregants of MCC slapped a ‘God Made Me Queer’ sticker on my shirt and I barked at him to leave me the fuck alone.

I don’t know what was more offensive, the God mention or the use of the word Queer, which some gay guys like to use. But not me. He sped away frightened by my overheated temper and Bill told me the young man’s mother passed away a few weeks before.

I didn’t know that of course.

Another time Bill and I marched with the church he goes to now. A nice group, no stickers involved. Just handing out balloons throughout the parade route. It’s a lot of marching, a lot of stopping and starting all in the hot sun.

Friends have said they had seen me & Bill in the parade and shouted and yelled but in the din we couldn’t hear them.

There was also the time in 2003 when Bill and I exchanged some vows of some kind in Grand Army Plaza by the Plaza hotel. Kate Pierson from the B-52s serenaded Bill and myself as well as the other same sex couples who got some what hitched.

Sarah Fortner made a lovely painting from the event which was witnessed by Rand & Lisa and Julio & Stine. So I do have good memories of the parade and today was about revisiting those memories.


I’m going to watch True Blood and then watch the fireworks from Pier A after I drop Bill’s birthday card at the post office.

god's angry jazz hands

I’m a Greedy Man

Ugh. So tired. How many times have I written that as an intro to an entry? Can I get a Bala Cynwyd auditor here? And maybe some choice Cafe Press items to peruse and perhaps purchase? I had a day off yesterday and this retail schedule is wrecking havoc with my body clock.

Today was arduous. Just very slow. I opened the store today, not by myself since they still haven’t trusted me with a key. It was me and Don Birch.

I stood outside for a few minutes knocking on the window trying to get his attention in the humidor. He finally looked up when I decided to call the store.

It was a slow start but in the afternoon the back room was thick with cigar smoke as about 12 guys sat around watching the World Cup. Raymond and Sean made it in for the 11:30 shift.

We make for a good crew. We can obviously handle things on our own. Calvin had off and we guessed that Marcus took the day off to make ready his wedding plans on July 11. No one from the store is invited and everyone is happy not to be invited.

A comment was passed on my music, specifically a track by Tricky, ‘Pumpkin’. It was said it sounded like music from an opium den. I guess that was supposed to be a bad thing.

Before my official lunch, I ate my turkey sandwich and for my official lunch went out and sat in one of my usual benches by the park, had a cigar and read the May 3 edition of the New Yorker.

It’s a very long article about a custody battle, murder and the trial that followed in Queens involving Russian immigrants from an obscure Jewish sect. It’s very involving and engrossing and so far I’ve been reading it for the past 4 days. Or maybe 3 days, my body clock being out of whack.

Back in time to relax amidst the cigar smoke in the back room. After that, the afternoon crawled yet again. In fact the last hour was so slow. Too much watching the clock on the wall.

I did not sleep well at all last night. I did sleep but had an angry dream with me being kidnapped to Orlando, Florida by my parents. My father oddly quiet, my mother passive. My brothers and their wives were there as was my sister and her husband.

None of their kids were there. I yelled at my mother that I wasn’t supposed to be there since I just started a new job and couldn’t afford to be there.

To my dismay the only way to get out of Orlando was to try to get the one called Ann B. Davis to pick me up at the airport and that was like pulling teeth. The one called Ann B. Davis more than likely came up since Connie and I talked about her in the phone conversation we had earlier in the afternoon.

Just saw Chaz for a few minutes. He had a collection of clippings as well as Pride Magazine which has the photo of Bill and myself. It turns out Bill got a copy and scanned it to me this afternoon and now it’s my profile picture as well as Bill’s on Facebook.

In case you’re not in Facebook, here it is. 2 more days of work, then I am off for the weekend.

For Today I Am A Boy

So tired. I’m pretty sure I am more tired today than I was after bicycling yesterday. Today’s fatigue is mainly from chasing Alexander around. Yes, he’s now in his 2’s. Stine once again planned an excellent party at Van Saun Park in Paramus NJ.

She had a party there last year and today was even better. Lots of food was prepared. All of it good. Stine is an excellent cook. The day started early, Julio and I with Alexander riding up to Van Saun Park to set up everything, move picnic tables and unpack various coolers.

I volunteered to help since I knew Julio would need my help and any opportunity to spend time with Alexander is always a good thing. After we unpacked everything Alexander took off to a play area, designed for 4 to 6 years, but Alexander doesn’t like to play in areas designed for his age group.

That left me chasing after him to the best of my ability. It was like that most of the day. Julio was busy grilling, Stine busy setting up the tables and making sure everyone had food to eat and beverages to drink.

It was up to me to play my part as the ‘manny’. And it was mostly a pleasurable experience. He held my hand when needed, and paid attention to me when he had to. The weather report mentioned scattered showers so I wore jeans and work boots since in case it rained, I wouldn’t want to get too muddy.

No one likes a muddy manny.

But despite the gray storm clouds in the distance it didn’t rain. It was quite muggy though. The food was excellent, the standard picnic fare, hot dogs, hamburgers, cole slaw, potato salad, salad salad. And a few birthday cakes which were quite good.

Stine definitely made a lot of food and of course I stood to benefit from the overabundance, which I did since my refrigerator now has a lot of food in it. I ate a lot today so I’m not hungry now, but it certainly won’t last past tomorrow. I’m looking at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I will be sated.

I helped them lug all the food and presents upstairs. Though the day was pleasant enough, I did find Alexander filling the role of the terrible 2’s. At one point he had one of his cousins toys, some cart that gets pushed around and Alexander pushed it around and around.

I didn’t want to stray too far from the group so I tried to get Alexander to circle back but he was most resistant to the idea, enough so that he was screaming ‘Ni ni ni’ pronounced ‘nigh’ it’s Danish for ‘No’. I did get my way and we headed back and I situated him amongst his family.

About 5 minutes later I was looking around and noticed Alexander missing. I mentioned to Stine, ‘where’s the baby?’ and she looked around frantically as did I. We spotted him about 50 feet away pushing that cart and headed to a play area on his own.

I ran over there and got him, gathered him up under one arm and carrying the cart in the other. He was screaming ‘Ni Ni Ni’ and wheat I believe was ‘Let Me Go!’ really putting up a fight. He looked at me as if I betrayed him badly.

Basically he was overtired, over stimulated and still trying to figure out his boundaries. I felt bad but as I had hoped, he forgot all about it 20 minutes later.

That’s it for me, I wanted to write before Lost comes on tonight and I do not expect to answer the phone or do much else but watch the show for the next 3.5 hours. Under the Wire.
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Crazy Water

Just got home from spending a few hours with Bill in Manhattan. It doesn’t happen as often as you might think. Bill and I volunteered to be part of a photo shoot for Pride magazine’s article on interracial gay couples and today was the date.

Bill was in the city already rehearsing for his play and I wound up taking the train in around 3:00 this afternoon. I did know what to wear so I followed Bill’s suggestion to don a suit & tie.

Don’t have to tell me twice.

Rode the train into the city, getting off on 23rd Street. Seemed like a long time since I’ve ridden the train on a weekend, when the Jersey City and Hoboken trains are combined making it a bit crowded. Still it wasn’t so bad.

I walked over to Madison Square park and sat and waited for Bill. Chatted for a bit with Annemarie on the phone, part of the weekend phone calls. Bill arrived and we walked over to 88 Lexington Avenue where the photo shoot was.

Got to the 15th floor but no one was responding to the knocking on the door. The door was unlocked and we walked in. The type of Lawn Hors d’œuvre scenario, bodies on the floor and what have you. But it wasn’t like that at all.

Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod greeted us. He arranged the whole thing. He introduced us to Warren and Marius, the director and photographer respectively. It turns out our timing was perfect since some previous couples did not show up or canceled.

Of course our timing was perfect, we were on time, we’re not your average gay people. A few pictures of Bill & I together, followed by separate shots of Bill and finally myself. The whole thing was over in about 20 minutes.

Quite painless. It was a fun time. The issue should be out next month and we hope to have some copies to share to the ones we know and love. We also invited Joe, Warren and Marius to the party in July.

Bill and I were back on the street where we both enjoyed our cigars. Bill had a plan to head over to Arthur’s for dinner, but I had the idea to use a gift card that I got a few years ago for a restaurant group in Manhattan.

The restaurant is part of the Madison Square Garden complex and we walked over there from Lexington Avenue. We were a little early for dinner so we wound up sitting in a concrete plaza across the street.

We killed about 20 minutes before heading in. I had the hostess check my gift card to see if it was still valid. I knew that it was since last time I check I was told they never expire. We sat down, ordered some Guinness, had a salad.

I ordered Filet Mignon and Bill had a T Bone steak. It was a good time. In a restaurant of maybe 100 tables there were only 5 occupied and Bill and I were the youngest patrons, not that it mattered.

We had chocolate mousse cake which was OK. Arthur’s has better chocolate mousse cake, we agreed. The time came for the bill and it was reasonable.

Arthur’s would have been cheaper but this was a special thing. With a 20% tip the gift card was all used up which was fine by me. The waitress came up and I explained that she can put it all on the gift card, her tip included. I thought that was fine, she was fairly attentive.

But whatever cheeriness she had before then totally dissipated when I gave her the gift card. Was I wrong to include her tip in the gift card? I didn’t think so. Did we commit a faux pas?

It was off-putting to say the least and even Bill noticed the change in her demeanor. Needless to say, we never saw her again. The hostess and staff were cheerful enough but that waitress left us with a weird feeling.

Of course we’re not going to let her ruin our otherwise perfectly nice day.

Now we are home. We were invited to a party, or rather our friend Lois was invited to a party and we’re thinking about going, but Bill is napping. If he’s up for it, we can make an appearance, that is when Lois gives us a heads up on the party. We’ll see.

Other than that, we’re content to stay home which is really no surprise to anyone who reads this or the Bala Cynwyd Penny Saver daily.

Just heard from Lois. ‘Heavy Metal. Low Key. Drinking.’ I respond, “Heavy metal too heavy for us. Have fun!”
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Just a couple of gay geezers.

This is Marius’ link
We’re in good company.

54-46 (That’s My Number)

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

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

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

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

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

Best for all concerned I think.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can be sure I will let you know.



Just Like (Starting Over)

Well today has been a busy day. After some weeks in planning Bill and I finally had our civil union officiated by then one and only Jim Mastro. The whole thing was under 2 minutes and that was a factor in not really telling anyone about it.

I’m sure there was bewilderment and perhaps even some hurt feelings but we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and when there is marriage equality in New Jersey, that is when people will be invited. Until then a civil ceremony would have to do.

The whole thing started on March 11 when Bill and I went to the Soviet bloc building to fill out paperwork for a civil union with Stine and Alexander. Stine was our witness while Alexander was fascinated by the Soviet kitsch.

They asked when the ceremony would be done and I said July. They said too late, has to be within 30 days so I quickly rethought and came up with April 1. Seemed like an apt day to get civil unionized in my book.

I asked Jim Mastro if he could say the magic words and he was more than happy to help. As April 1 approached Jim suggested meeting at the Guitar Bar before the store opens at 11:00 in the morning. Fine with me, not so fine for Bill since he’s employed.

We thought after work at around 6:00 but that wasn’t too good for Jim.

So we aimed for today, April 3. It worked out for the best for all concerned. Since I was putting it all together somewhat I thought Bill should see if he could find a witness. He asked his friend Tom from work. I had a feeling that was who he would ask.

Tom’s a really nice guy, former Marine and a guard in Bill’s office tower. Jim asked if we were going to have anything to say vow wise and I figured if we did, I could at least say something off the top of my head.

I asked Bill last night if he had planned on saying anything and he felt the same, off the top of his head. As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep I kept in mind that whatever I would say I would think of right then and there but I tossed and turned trying to thing of what I would say.

Crazy dreams followed. Jake Gyllenhall and I at the Elysian Cafe joined by my friends Connie, her sister Jennifer and Susan Sher. Then a dream about a Caribbean cruise with my sister. Clear blue water. Both dreams had ominous overtones though.

Bill was up first this morning, I followed groggy from not sleeping that well again. A shower, a shave and a nice breakfast fixed all that. We were on our way to the Guitar Bar, Bill trying to keep track of where Tom was.

Tom was bringing his wife Carmen, their son Sebastian and Carmen’s daughter Ashley and her son, all coming in from Harlem. We got to the Guitar Bar where Jim and Ruby Mastro were waiting. Spoke with Meghan Taylor Mastro on the phone, beating herself up for not being there like she said she would. It was OK, it would have been nice though.

Sorry Harpy.

We were thinking about heading over to the Hudson river to do the civil union thing but Tom and company arrived late and we wouldn’t make it there and back in time for Jim to open the store at 11:00.

Jim suggested the back of City Hall so that’s what we did, on the grass, in the sun, next to a big tree. All very nice. Chris Repella witnessed along with Tom and she also took some pictures. Ruby recorded it on a flip cam.

I set up my camera to record it all. You can see it but you can’t really hear it so I’m depending on Ruby’s video.

After all that Jim and Ruby went back to the Guitar Bar and Bill and I went with Tom and company to the Spa restaurant, a true greasy spoon for breakfast. My second, their first.

Then a walk to Pier A where we ran into Tariq. He went off to get some plectrums and I strummed his guitar a bit which had a calming effect on Tom and Carmen’s kid. The sun was certainly beaming.

We were soon joined by Ruby and her sister Lily and a friend. They were all heading into the city to take part in a pillow fight in Union Square.

Tom and family were headed out to New Jersey in their Zip Car and so Bill and I walked them to the car and thanked them once again. Then Bill and I came home, he was off to rehearsal for yet another play, this time playing a child molester. Eww.

I uploaded my video, tagged the pictures Chris took and an hour or so later was headed to Pier A to play the guitar again. No guitar improv this time, no one there to back me up. I did play for about 45 minutes but it had gotten considerably colder and so I came home.

And that’s where I am now.

We hope to have a party in Hoboken on July 11 for all of this to do, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

You, meaning you.

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

And of all my entries, this is #1,599.


Well it certainly has been an interesting 24 hours. I’ve been busy. I made it up to the Park Theater, riding with the proletariat in the mass transportation system here, this time using a bus. Got to Union City with enough time to treat myself to a Hamburger Deluxe and a chocolate milk shake at the Four Star Diner.

Had enough time for a cigar before the show. Hanging around outside the Park Theater on 32nd street. Meghan and Ruby were in traffic en route. I few sidelong glances from some father’s walking by wondering who this bloke was, smoking a cigar outside the theater.

I was glad I didn’t wear my raincoat. Humming Aqualung might have been a mistake though. Meghan and Ruby and 2 of Ruby’s friends showed up soon enough and we all headed into the theater. Meghan knew the sidelong glancing fathers and introduced me to them, causing them some relief.

They in turn whistled Locomotive Breath.

We found some good seats and soon Jim Mastro as well as Frank Giannini and his son sitting behind us. The Street Corner Mourners were as excellent as I had hoped, Tim having a mandolin strap malfunction seemed like it was all part of the show.

Six songs were their set, all covers, all nicely played. Lily has an incredible voice. If she keeps it up, in ten years she will sound amazing. The Street Corner Mourners are so inspiring. After their set Meghan, Ruby and the friends saw Frank Giannini and his son off and went across the street to the Four Start Diner.

I had a coffee and a slice of cake while everyone else had entrees. It was a fun group, we were served by Mo, short for Maureen who looked a it like Shirley Stoller. They all went back to the theater, I decided to walk back home to Hoboken.

I enjoyed a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700 and listened to The Beatles, Revolver on the iPod. I walked down Palisade Avenue past Jane Street where I used to live. It was an enjoyable walk. I timed the cigar walk perfectly and finished it by the time I had gotten to my building in Hoboken.

I came upstairs and set about uploading the videos I had shot. It wasn’t exactly happening on my PC so I did the work on Bill’s Mac. I checked my Facebook messages and there was a message from Ruby.

Little did I know that after the show, Tim, the ace guitarist/Banjo & mandolin player was hit by a car outside the theater. Some driver had run a red light. Tim had done a flip over the car. The driver stopped, the police came and shut down that section of 32nd Street and it was decided that Tim go to the hospital in an ambulance.

They ran an MRI and had him overnight in the hospital to be on the safe side. Some short term memory loss but other than that he’s fine. Apparently 16 year old boys can bounce back like that. I hope he can still play his instruments.

All that walking from Union City to Hoboken had me tired but I think that last cup of coffee with Meghan and the girls kept me up while I tried to sleep. It wasn’t easy but I eventually did fall asleep.

Bill was soon in bed after coming home from Pecong, the play he’s been working on. He has a mouth apparatus which he wears with the sleep apnea mask. Still he snores and I wake him to let him know he’s snoring.

He says ‘Well you snore too you know. How do you know it isn’t you?’ I groggily try to explain that the sound was coming from his side of the bed.

I was up and out around 9:30, bagels and the paper. I got bagels for Stine & Alexander. Julio answered the door with Alexander on his shoulder as Julio was singing a lullaby to the baby. It was yet another beautiful day, the temperature was up to 73 degrees.

I walked around Hoboken a few times this afternoon, even taking my guitar out and playing along the river walk. I had seen Tariq earlier, playing a drum alongside an older hippie guy playing Melissa by the Allman Brothers.

I definitely could not get into it so later when I brought my guitar out I was about a quarter mile up the river walk. They were making some money but I didn’t feel up for that, not as confident as I was last summer and this being the first time out for me this year, I just played with the guitar case closed and didn’t do much singing.

I played for about 90 minutes until my right arm locked up a bit. I tried shaking it out but decided I had played long enough. I played Please Please Me, She’s A Woman, Love Shack, Surrender, Wild Horses, Maybe I’m Amazed and Kansas City among a few other songs.

Then I came home and finished an animation I had also been working on this afternoon.

I wrote over 800 words, shot and uploaded 6 video clips, created an animation and played guitar in public for 90 minutes. It’s been a creative day, and a good day at that.

The Irish Rover

And today is St. Patrick’s Day. The real thing, not the Fake Patrick’s Day which left Hoboken crowded with newly of age drinkers. And my niece. Bill was up and out early this morning, gave me a nice kiss before he left while I was still in bed.

Groggy eyed and without glasses on I asked him if he was wearing green and he said that he was so I had to take his word for it.

Me & Bill St. Pats NYC 2008

Me & Bill St. Pats NYC 2008

I suspected he had his kelly green beret on and, I then rolled over and continued dreaming about redesigning the artwork for Elvis Costello & the Attractions ‘Punch the Clock’ album which was being reissued for the ninth time.

That’s something about Elvis Costello, new packaging for his back catalog several times over with each re release.

Woke up to find a St. Patrick’s Day card on my computer as well as one in the kitchen and a drawing from Bill on a paper towel professing his love for me, covering up a bowl of cereal that he had poured before he left.

Jeez I love this guy.

It was a gorgeous day, a great day for the Irish. First time in a long time that I didn’t see the parade in NY. When I was working I would take a slightly extended lunch hour and check out the parade. Not this year obviously.

No suit for me today which meant no green tie either. I didn’t even think about going into the city. Not much fun to do it on my own, missing the hordes of kids playing hooky. Been there, done that and did not buy the t-shirt.

Today it was close to 70 degrees, bright & sunny. I decided to head out early this afternoon and stopped by CVS to get a last minute St. Patrick’s Day card for my cousin Theresa.

From there I walked up to 15th Street, up to the Lipton Tea building. It’s been months since I’d been up there and took the standard photo of the Empire State Building seemingly at the end of the walkway.

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It was a beautiful day. I wore my late cousin Jackie’s Chesterfield coat and even wearing just a long sleeved t-shirt, it was a bit too warm. Still I like the way it looks.

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Once again many photos were uploaded to Facebook. Just give me a compliment on my photographs and I am inspired to photograph more and more.

Enjoyed a nice La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero 700 as I strolled. Sat by Sinatra Park as I did yesterday, only this time read the New Yorker instead of Mojo. After an hour or so I came back home and wrote out the card for my cousin Theresa.

I wanted to at least get it postmarked for today so it was back outside for me. This time, putting on a greenish shirt and a suit jacket. On the way over to the post office, a guy asked for money, saying ‘Do you have any change for a homeless man?’ I couldn’t help so I said, ‘Sorry I can’t help you, I’m an unemployed man’.

And it’s true, when I had money, when I had a job, I wouldn’t think twice about helping out other people. Now on a tight tight tight budget I can’t do it. At least I communicated and didn’t shun him like other people do.

Outside the post office I ran into a friend, Jared and we talked. Mainly I talked about the upcoming Street Corner Mourners show on Friday night at the Park Theater in Union City. We did talk about young people playing music as well as the state of the music business.

He bemoaned the fact that there weren’t as many venues for live music, I mentioned the fact that these kids just set up and play on the street, albeit acoustically. We parted ways and I promised to send him a link for Friday night’s show.

Then I ran into Ralph, a former McSwells patron. He’s working as a conductor for NJ Transit and was on his way to work so it was fleeting. I re-lit the cigar I had earlier and continued on my way up Washington Street where I ran into Jennifer, Ralph’s wife. She had their boys who were most anxious to get to some practice they were running late for.

On the way home I decided to pick up a small bouquet for Stine as a way of thanking her for witnessing the filling out of paperwork for Bill and my civil union. Spent some time with her and Alexander who had just woken up from a nap and was playing with his Thomas the Tank engine train set. Alexander loves Thomas the tank engine.

Then I came home and since I hadn’t eaten since some Irish soda bread and coffee for lunch I had dinner around 6:00.

Julio texted me that he was going to the park with Alexander so I thought I would meet them there and run to the library and return the CD’s I took out earlier in the day. St. Vincent- Actor. Very interesting. Haven’t heard the whole thing yet. Also Phillip Glass’ interpretation of the songs of David Bowie and Brian Eno from ‘Heroes’.

Julio hadn’t left his apartment so I just sat on the stoop and played with my camera. Then Julio and Alexander came out and the 3 of us went to the park where Alexander was just running around and climbing over as many things as he could.

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Being such a warm evening there were a lot of children and toddlers out. Julio encouraged Alexander running around just to tire him out. It was a fun evening all around. A near perfect day.

No Guinness yet, but it may be just a matter of time since I do have a few cans in the refrigerator.

camera play

camera play



Eye see you

Eye see you

Uhh Davey...

Uhh Davey...

Hope you had a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Hope you had a happy St. Patrick's Day!

What A Wonderful World

A new week, a new day, a new entry for johnozed. Isn’t life grand? Today was the first day since last week that I had actually walked around Hoboken, besides the supermarket and Washington Street. Oh and the library. Nothing has changed it’s still the same. And as usual I’ve got nothing to say but it’s OK.

I got a nice St. Patrick’s Day card from my cousin Theresa. That was nice. I would have sent her one in kind if I had known and it’s not too late to do that I suppose. It just won’t get to her by Wednesday.

That is what actually got me out of the apartment and into the damp streets of Hoboken. I bought a St. Patrick’s Day card for Bill and wanted to get it to his office, hopefully by tomorrow. He won’t be in on Wednesday since he has something MAJOR going on, something that he asked me not to talk about.

So getting it in the mail to be delivered across the river within 24 hours is the goal. Then again you hear of people mailing letters decades ago and never making to the receiver, and I hope that’s not the case this time.

But if it doesn’t get there by tomorrow I take comfort in the fact that he’ll have something nice on his desk when he returns on Thursday.

I also stopped by the Guitar Bar and said hello to Jim Mastro. I hope he doesn’t think I’m a nuisance. I just pop in for a quick chat, say hello and I’m out of there. If I’m headed to the post office I usually ask him if he has any mail to be dropped off, but today I was going in the opposite direction.

He was playing Booker T & the MG’s McLemore Avenue, which is their take on Abbey Road. I bought it last year from iTunes and hadn’t played it since so when I came home I made sure to play it, as well as burn it so some people (maybe you) might get a copy somewhere down the line.

Despite the gray day, overcast skies I’ve been enjoying myself somewhat. Posting a lot onto Facebook. Found a hero and friend to LGBT people in young Will Phillips.

He’s the young man from Arkansas who got into trouble at his school when he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance sine gay people are not afforded liberty and justice. 10 years old and he recognized that liberty and justice was only for some, not all.

Posted a video from YouTube and commented on his YouTube page. Of course there are the usual wankers who wrote, people will marry their dogs, their children or have many wives. You know, the usual ignorant bullshit.

In a retaliatory move, I posted a clip of Mandy Patakin singing ‘You Have to be Carefully Taught’ from South Pacific on Facebook. I tried posting the video on the YouTube page but was unable so I posted the lyrics instead.

Last night I posted an interview from the Village Voice with Henry Rollins. Ol’ Henry’s a great guy, and quite a few people dug the interview. In the interview it’s mentioned that Henry is friends with RuPaul and will be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is a fun show in itself.

Well according to Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod, that show is on tonight so I will be watching that.

Last night I watched The Pacific, the story of the battles in the Pacific theater of World War II. As I watched it I couldn’t help but think of the men that my father drank with at the VFW when I was growing up.

Like I’ve written previously, I spent a lot of time, perhaps too much time at the VFW. I didn’t mind then and looking back I still don’t mind. Gave me insight on how these men were.

Like how they saw atrocities, perhaps performed atrocities then came home and didn’t really say anything about it. Going to a psychiatrist or psychologist was a sign of weakness.

And don’t forget, men don’t cry.

Which is bullshit.

I know this is a Hollywood version and nowhere near as horrible as it actually was, but it’s a glimpse nonetheless. It was well made and when it was rebroadcast at 11:00 Bill and I watched it together and Bill was blown away as I was earlier.

Will Phillips is my hero!

Will Phillips accepts the award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 13, 2010. Phillips appeared in the award winning segment “Why Will Won’t Pledge Allegiance” from CNN’s American Morning.

From Rogers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific: Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be taught/To hate and fear,You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,It’s got to be drummed In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught!

My Love

It’s Thursday once more. It’s been an out of the ordinary day for me and Bill. Today was the day Bill and I decided to get a civil union from the city of Hoboken.

The whole idea started a few weeks ago when Joe Jervis of Joe My God posted on Facebook that a friend of his was looking to interview same sex couples who happened to be interracial. Seeing that Bill and I fit the bill I volunteered us.

It was for an article in a national magazine. Joe asked if we were married, domestically partnered or what. Living in New Jersey, civil unions were the only was to go. We discussed getting a civil union a few years ago but I guess both of us were distracted by whatever and so we never got around to it.

Now the subject matter came up again and since I am unemployed and fighting off troglodytes online it seemed like a good idea. I did the research and found out what we needed, photo ID, proof of residency, Social Security card, $28.00 and a witness.

I asked Stine the other day and she said she would be able to after she and Alexander came back from the Romper Room. So after a weird dream involving an occult warehouse and some demon looking for a pair of orange footwear I woke up and started the day.

Bill was awake soon after me and we both started donning suits and ties. Stine phoned that she and Alexander were on their way so I went downstairs to meet them. Bill soon came out and joined us and the four of us were soon headed to the Multi Services center of Hoboken on Grand Street.

I wisely mentioned not going through the park so Alexander wouldn’t insist on playing there. Stine was impressed by that. We walked over to the center and walked into the wrong room.

When we asked about civil unions the older woman behind the counter didn’t know what we were talking about, but a young woman behind us overheard and pointed us in the right direction and offered us congratulations.

We made it to the correct room a few doors down and spoke with a woman behind 2 inches of bulletproof glass. They asked what my father’s name was, my mother’s name, where were they from, were Bill and I related.

They also asked if I had my birth certificate (which they didn’t mention so I didn’t bring it) since my passport only has my middle initial. She asked if my birth certificate had my full middle name and it did. She decided to bend the rules and let it slide.

The same questions for Bill. Stine seemed to like the fact that Bill’s middle name is Julian. The woman behind the bulletproof glass asked Stine if to the best of her knowledge, what we said was true. Stine doesn’t do well with authority figures and immediately got flustered. I had to intervene and tell Stine that she was asking if we were lying.

We all then raised our right hands and swore an oath that we were all telling the truth and not communists despite the room seeming like it was designed by a Soviet bloc interior decorator. We walked Stine and Alexander back to the building where they got into their car and drove off to a play date with Julio’s sister’s twins.

Bill and I walked up to Stacks, a new pancake restaurant on Washington Street for a civil union breakfast. Quite nice. We went home and changed out of our suits, then Bill was off to Harlem to continue working on the play.

I walked over to the Guitar Bar where I informed Jim Mastro that I gave the city of Hoboken his name as the officiator for our ceremony. He was up for it. At the center when they asked when the ceremony would be and I said July, for when Annemarie will be around. But that’s too far off so I told them the date would be April 1.

I also had a great talk with my dear friend Connie on the phone for about 90 minutes. She may be getting a computer since its the only way she can watch Star Trek. I’m glad she’s doing better.

Here are some pictures from today’s lovely happening.

Bill and Me

Bill and Me

Cori and Magazines and NYC 006
That's my Bill.

That's my Bill.

We're almost legit!

We're almost legit!