Category Archives: Wonderful World Beautiful People

Once Burned- Todd Rundgren

One door closes, another opens. Thank you universe and thank you Bobby Risotto.

The truly cosmic joke thing is, I just got a phone call from a former Maxwell’s employee (totally out of the loop) who works with Bobby Risotto and just set up a position that starts Monday. And after today’s event- no need to try to arrange my schedule for Maxwell’s since I am no longer at Maxwell’s!

From the RUNT album by Todd Rundgren.

Everything Goes

Worked at Maxwell’s again last night and it’s true, no two nights are the same. Where last Saturday it seemed like a bus full of drunks were dropped off right outside- last night was quite the opposite. It was busy but not overwhelming and the only noisy people were a group of Yankee fans who quieted down once their alpha male showed up. Slow and steady seemed to be the rule last night.

The first two hours turned out to be akin to daycare. Families and baby strollers filled the majority of tables and once the kids had eaten a few of them were just running all over the place. They definitely raised the stress level in the restaurant and most everyone was grateful when they all left, roughly in the same time frame.

I recognized a few people from way back when but they didn’t remember me. It was two guys with their girlfriends or wives. One of the guys hadn’t changed much, just aged a bit. His friend used to be exceedingly handsome but man it was a reminder of how beauty can fade. He used to be as good looking as Robert Redford in his heyday, but now- not so much. Redford still has it, a bit craggy but he wears it well. Of course this guy from the past does not have the access to whatever resources Redford has.

And of course at 1:01AM I was out of there, lighting up a cigar for my walk home. The local Elk’s club were celebrating their 125th anniversary which explained the people strolling around in black tie and ball gowns and cloven feet and antlers. By the time I walked by after Maxwell’s things had calmed down and there were just some elk smoking outside their lodge.

I got home, Bill was fast asleep wearing his headphones so he did not hear anything at all. I wound up watching the last half of Rio Bravo before going to bed myself. I slept incredibly well and had a dream where Bill threw a ‘sex party’ for me which was unusual. Not getting into any detail at all here, but somehow Jimmy Seltzer was in it too, wearing a three piece suit. Never considered him sexy but there he was, full of sex appeal.

Bill was up before me this morning and as he was kissing me goodbye I told him about the ‘sex party’ dream. It was a great dream because it was all geared to things that turn me on. In the dream I walked into a somewhat dilapidated warehouse where I identified myself as a police officer (really). From what I gathered Bill was intrigued by my telling him about the dream, but then again I was semi awake and eager to get back to the dream, so I may have been projecting.

Heard from Juan this morning. He expressed a desire to have a few pints tonight and of course I am hesitant. One reason is Bill is looking after his mother today and he is quite stressed out and I promised him a hug when he gets home. The other reason is what I was discussing with one of the servers last night. Working in a service industry does do a number on one’s social life.

After having to serve and look after so many people, sometimes you’re resistant to going out and being one of those people and dealing with crowds and noise and whatnot. I would prefer a quiet night at home with Bill and of course Juan is invited to join us, but then again- Juan is probably bored with hanging out in this apartment. Too early to say what will happen, I can definitely use a nap though. And Juan doesn’t know what time he is working until and that doesn’t really help me with scheduling.






Brought to my attention via my great nephew earl and his mom Annemarie.

I Stay Inside

I didn’t do much of anything. About 10-12 inches of snow fell and it was still quite windy out today. One trip to the supermarket was it, and it was nothing to write about. It wasn’t crowded and that could be since the better supermarket reopened this morning or the snow kept everyone away. So, since a picture is worth a thousand words here are a few thousand words. No filter, I just use the camera as is.

The snow storm last night.

The snow storm last night.















I Saw Him Standing There

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.
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The wonderful Karyn Kuhl

The wonderful Karyn Kuhl

No Fine Lines

Hoboken Post Sandy Part Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hoboken Post Sandy Part One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Never Cry

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

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

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

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

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

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

03 I Found Out

I Need You- Tim McGraw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

$2.00 pints of Yuengling is quite agreeable.

Rand in front of the Kirby birthplace

Me in front of the Kirby birthplace

03 Living Too Late

I Need To Know- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

friends and family

11 In My Life

I Need To Be In Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me and the one I love.

03 Oh Babe, What Would You Say_

I Miss You- Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes

Well it’s a bittersweet symphony this life…I’ve been playing that song lately on the guitar. Easy to play, with many lyrics to remember. I was playing that this afternoon while busking by the river. I know I have the chord sequence down, just the words are a problem. I remember in the nineties that Julio really liked the song and I was fairly indifferent. Nowadays, I am into the song and Julio is the one who is indifferent. Well he does have a kid so that is the perfect excuse, knowing that there are more important things in life besides a 5:58 song.

Yes today I was busking and I think it went well. I taught myself Rock Around The Clock for the toddlers who wander by and of course they loved it. They get so excited when they see me, though today they all hung onto the rope until their minders said it was OK. Once they got the OK they scream and dance and throw twigs and leaves into my guitar case. And I form a chord on the upper part of the neck, and I allow them to strum or actually hit the strings on the guitar.

Once again they made my day, such excitement in their eyes. One their return back to the day care center I basically played a three chord mish mosh and took one of the minder’s requests to sing the rope song, aka ‘Get On the Rope’ sung over and over again. And the kids listen and get on the rope, walking away they all yell ‘bye bye’ and I tell them to be good and I will see them tomorrow. It’s a good feeling. I think I will sing ‘Why’d Ya Do It’ by Marianne Faithfull next time, if I could find the chords.

I went to see the Tokyo Police Club on Saturday night on Pier A in Hoboken. I met Rand & Lisa in the beer garden that was set up and had a great time with them. Tokyo Police Club was ‘meh’. They had the right chords and were certainly earnest in their playing, but they lacked any edge to their songs which rendered them instantly forgettable to my ears as well as Rand’s. After a trip to the train station’s loo, the three of us walked haphazardly around Hoboken, running into Tariq busking on the sidewalk on Washington Street.

He saw me and asked where my guitar was, inviting me to play along. The guitar was home and not coming out. Plus he seemed to be doing alright without me. Rand and Lisa and I walked to their house and sat on the stoop. Rand was lending Bill some computer thing so that meant Bill was coming over to get it, though I could have just as easily brought it home. I entertained Lisa with the Cookie Monster version of Call Me Maybe, the summer hit, this time called ‘Share It Maybe’. I like it more than the original.

Tonight I am going to see Mike Cecchini play at a local pub, DC’s. He’s going on first so that suits me just fine. I think Rand and Lisa are going to that as well. I really should spend more time with Rand & Lisa instead of sitting around at home. They’re good people and out of all my friends I’ve known Rand the longest. That is all I have planned, low key, not spending much money if I can help it. True Blood was very good last night, one episode left for the season. Newsroom was also good.

Bill and I finally watched The Artist on Saturday night and it was great. Such a charming film. I could easily see why it won the awards that it did. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were just so perfect in their roles it was a bit unnerving to see them in color as well in contemporary settings on the extras. And now I want a Jack Russell terrier. Luckily Pedro had a Jack Russell, Snoop- who passed away a year or so ago, so I know how much of a high energy dog it is, too much energy for a railroad apartment in Hoboken.

Not crowded and quite comfortable on Pier A for the show



Inside the waiting room at the train station


01 I Can Help

I Love You #19

Yesterday was a Sunday and so no posting. I was busy though. Visited my friend Clark in his office and helped him out for a bit. He’s a nice guy, we both worked at Maxwells back in the day and we reconnected a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned he needed some help and since I was available I helped. Nothing too major, just some mundane office tasks all done for a sandwich. I was glad to help and glad to eat. And the office was nice and air conditioned and the sandwich was very tasty. And Clark’s a nice guy so it worked out well for everyone. I will work for food.

Rand sent me an email, telling me our mutual friend Jose was going to be in town with his wife Melinda and daughters Eliza and Alice. I had never met Melinda and the girls so it seemed like something to do. Bill was invited to join us but he’s busy doing the stage manager thing again. Lois was also invited and mentioned that she was laying low due to a bad back. Rand sent the email earlier in the week and I hadn’t heard much about it since until the flurry of text messages yesterday afternoon.

After helping Clark out I just came home for a little while. Actually I had a nap. It was supposed to be an hour but once again I was only afforded about 15 minutes. I had something to eat and got myself ready to go out. I was a little later than I hoped, walking over to a beer garden on Pier 13 in Hoboken. A nice walk, Hoboken still somewhat deserted for the weekend but filling up slowly as the residents returned from wherever it was they were.

I walked in behind a nun walking a dog with what I believed were her relatives. I saw Jose sitting at a table surrounded by Rand & Lisa, Lois and of course Melinda and the girls. I introduced myself, Melinda being quite gracious when she corrected me when I called her Melissa. And then about five minutes later Melinda and the girls were heading back to New York. Manhattan was a quick stop on their way to Europe. Jose stayed behind and we sat and drank and talked. It was quite comfortable but a little on the cool side so we adjourned to Maxwells.

I immediately took over the jukebox when we got there, 18 songs in total. More drinks, more laughs all around. I toasted Rand and Jose, telling them it was about 30 years since I had first met them working for the book publisher where we all used to work. Eventually Lois had to bail though, her husband Fred had come home from work, plus her back was acting up. Lisa & Rand and Jose and myself hung out for a little while longer before settling the bill and heading to the Path train so Jose could reunite with his family. The option was to either walk down Washington Street, or Hudson Street or the river walk. Since Jose was visiting he chose the river walk.

I enjoyed a nice cigar while walking with Lisa, Rand and Jose about 20 feet ahead. We stopped and walked out onto one of the piers and took in the sights. Back toward the Path we strolled. Soon after we started walking we ran into a 24 year old woman, quite drunk and walking her dog, barefoot. Quite a ways away from any apartments and she was barely coherent. Her name was Nicki and the dog was named Kia.

She was a bit lost in the mile square city waterfront. She was out with her boyfriend Sean earlier and they had been drinking by the river, then she said they went to the St. Ann’s Feast. And she lost her bag and her credit cards and all she had were her keys which she said were in the dog’s mouth. Nearby were some sketchy types who both Rand & I believed would have taken advantage of drunken Nicki. Jose took the dog’s leash and Lisa and I walked with Nicki, trying to get whatever information she would slur.

I was able to get a phone number for her boyfriend Sean who did not answer the phone. No one knew where Sean was it seemed. But she did have a roommate, her twin sister Chrissie. I got that number and called. Nicki said that Chrissie would not answer the phone the first time so I called a second time and Chrissie answered. I mentioned who I was, who I was with and that she should come and collect her sister.

We walked again, Nicki walking arm in arm between me and Lisa while rand and Jose had Kia the dog. As we approached Washington Street, Nicki kept insisting that Kia needed to take a dump before going home and walked into a park where she drunkenly plopped down on a rock. We were all concerned that she would hurt herself and I called her sister Chrissie once again, telling her to meet us at Fourth and Washington. After scraping Nicki off the rock and Jose and Rand taking the dog, we once again walked to the main drag.

I stood behind Nicki as she tottered on the sidewalk barefoot, not wanting her to fall backward and crack her skull open. In a little while Chrissie showed up with a friend and they thanked us as Nicki apologized as they took her home. We continued on Washington Street towards the Path train, all of us missing the dog and wanting to take the dog with us. We got to the Path train and we walked down the stairs to say goodbye to Jose.

Then after Rand, Lisa and I hot footed it to the train station to use the facilities since we all had to go. A walk back along the waterfront, it had been a while since I had been on the promenade so late at night. It’s been a while since I had done anything outside so late at night. Rand and I agreed that Nicki would have been in possible danger if we didn’t take her home, since once we decided to take care of her, the sketchy types all got up and walked back to their car.

So a good deed was done. We looked after a woman who was young enough to be our daughter. Rand & Lisa walked me home which was nice, hugs and kisses followed. I climbed the four flights of stairs and as I fumbled with the keys, there was Bill waiting for me to come home so he could go to bed. Actually he was going to bed anyway but it was still a nice gesture. I stayed up and watched some television. It was a little after midnight so it was too late for True Blood which had already started. Then I too went to bed where I slept really well, probably thanks to the four pints of beer that I had.

Rand, Jose and Me

Rand, Lisa, Jose & Me at the Path train turnstiles

02 Tiger Nights

I Love You- The Zombies

Another hot day, even hotter than yesterday. In fact the highest the thermometer said was 102 degrees. That is hot. The day started out nicely, woke up in air conditioning and slowly got myself ready for the day. I was up and out after cereal, coffee and a shower. Today was going to be the last day I had to spend with my sister this year before she flew out to California and I had a cigar for her husband Rex and wanted to get a Hoboken t-shirt for her son, Earl. Of course when I walked up to Washington Street, the place that sells cool Hoboken t-shirts wasn’t open yet.

I wasn’t happy about it but what could I do? I walked back home without the t-shirt and had some more coffee, iced coffee. The plan was for Annemarie and me to see Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Annemarie showed up on time and I gave her Rex’s cigar and mentioned the t-shirt fiasco. Then she mentioned that I had already given many t-shirts to Earl already. Following that she suggested a Guitar Bar t-shirt. We were coming up on the second Guitar Bar, Guitar Bar Jr. and I had Annemarie pull over and I ran over to the Jr. store.

They opened at noon and it was only 11:40. We couldn’t wait since the movie was at 12:10 so we headed to the movie theater instead. Since it was the first showing of the day, the tickets were half price which was nice. We sat in the darkened theater watching the coming attractions with two other people. The movie was joyous. Very whimsical and a wonderful movie to watch on a hot summer afternoon. It was so good that I would very much like to see it again.

And I probably will when it gets released on DVD. Great performances all around, especially the two children who are the leads. Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and even Bruce Willis all gave good performances. We were both very hungry when the movie ended and wound up going to Whole Foods in Paramus to get some lunch. We also stopped by Old Navy where I was finally able to use the gift card Annemarie and her family gave me for Christmas last year. I got a nice shirt, buttoned down of course, white striped short sleeve.

From Paramus we went to Hillsdale to my brother Brian’s house. Today was Brian’s birthday. Yesterday was his son Brian’s birthday. It was a might bit tense in the house so I went and sat on the porch and had a cigarette and read Mojo magazine. Even though we had just eaten about an hour before, we were soon going out to dinner. Neither of us was hungry anymore but still we went. Things got better once everyone ate, as Annemarie and I ate some more.

We were in the parking lot afterwards, hugging and kissing, saying goodbye and happy birthday. Brian and family went home for cake and Annemarie and I made it to the Garden State Parkway, heading to the Lincoln Tunnel. Of course there was a lot of traffic at the tunnel and we decided to take a short cut through Union City. But that shortcut was crowded and Annemarie started getting stressed. I knew the lay of the land pretty well and guided Annemarie north to the north parts of Union City where she could get back on the highway back to Saddle Brook and I would just walk down to Hoboken from there. Hugs and kisses once more, Annemarie getting weepy.

It turned out to be the right thing to do since she was basically home in a half hour, before I had made it home myself. And it was the right thing for me as well as I was able to walk off a leg of lamb sandwich and a hamburger that I had eaten only a few hours before. I walked through my old neighborhood, surprised to see new buildings constructed and old buildings torn down, while enjoying a cigar that I had been carrying in my pocket all day long.

There was a plan for Bill to come downstairs and say goodbye when Annemarie dropped me off in front of my building but since she didn’t do that, there was no need. It was just as well since when I made it home, Bill was nowhere to be found until I walked in the bedroom. There was Bill in bed with a killer headache, probably from the heat. I got him some Motrin and some ice water and he went back to bed. I just checked and he’s alright.

It’s been one of those days. I think next year I should find a place for Annemarie to stay in Hoboken so we could do whatever we want and not see anyone else in my family until a day before she heads back. It’s too stressful for most everyone concerned, arguing with their spouses, hurt feelings, invalid parents. It might sound cold but Annemarie doesn’t need all that, and no one needs all that. Fun and relaxation and hopefully stress free times are what she deserves and everyone else as well. I know since I also contributed some stress which I regret.

Both Annemarie and I highly recommend Moonrise Kingdom though.

Saturday’s flower

Tuesday’s flower

Outside the cinema 100º

dead daddy long legs spider in pint glass

01 Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)

I Love U

Yes I am back so that means it is a Monday. Yesterday was a Sunday and I don’t write on Sundays. Even Nick Colas could tell you that. It being a Sunday that meant being Hoboken bound mostly. A reunion was planned for later n the afternoon, the usual gathering of the tribes when Annemarie is in town. It also coincides with a slew of birthdays in July, also keeping Bill’s June 29th birthday in mind. Annemarie picked up Bill yesterday morning in Wally World and brought him to Saddle Brook at my niece Meghan and her husband Rob’s house.

I kept busy most of the day. It was quite humid out as I strolled the shady streets of Hoboken and when I got where I was going I was quite sweaty. That was alright since I was soon in a nicely air conditioned place and cooled off that way. Soon Annemarie stopped by and a little after that I was in her rental car headed to Saddle Brook. It was still quite humid and the rain was promised but had yet to arrive. Once at Meg & Rob’s house I went up to see Bill and there he was awake and online.

We settled down in the living room while Meg & Rob got things together and refused most offers of assistance. Bill played with the dogs Kara and Hunter and I mainly stared off into space. My brother Brian and his wife Karen showed up with their daughter Hillary. Their other daughter had to work. We sat outside in the warm air, Rob being the grill meister and Brian getting some beers for me, him and Bill. Burgers and hot dogs, kielbasa with sauerkraut and sausages were all scoffed down. My brother Frank also made the scene too.

Frank’s wife Elaine couldn’t make it, she had to stay with her father at home. Frank and Elaine’s other daughter showed up a day after her birthday and her cousin, Brian and Karen’s son Brian showed up a day before his birthday. It was all quite nice and friendly as the dark clouds started rolling in. After some photographs outside we went inside for the Happy Birthday song and some cakes. Annemarie was driving Bill and I to Hoboken and I did not want her driving in the upcoming thunder storm. We headed out as did everyone else after cleaning up Rob and Meg’s house a bit.

Corinne rode with Annemarie, Bill and myself so Annemarie would not have to drive back home by herself. A ton of traffic by the Lincoln Tunnel meant that a short tour through Union City and Jersey City was in order. It made a difference in time, and as Bill and I got out of the car, the skies really opened up and we were caught in a downpour. Annemarie and Corinne made it back safely to Saddle Brook and Bill and I settled in on the fifth floor.

Too late to watch True Blood, so we watched a documentary on PBS about John Leguizamo and then we watched The Newsroom on HBO. After that bedtime for Bill and I soon followed, tired from the heat and the beers that I had earlier in the evening. I slept really well, waking up when Bill kissed me goodbye for the day and getting out of bed an hour later. A beach day was planned with Annemarie. The last beach day for Annemarie and possibly the last beach day for me this season, unless someone asks me to join them on the sand by the sea.

Meg and Rob had something they had to do down the shore and they joined us later in the afternoon. Annemarie and I went in the water a few times, the water at first was a bit cold but our bodies acclimated soon enough. Rob and Meg took naps on their towels as I finished the third volume of Love and Rockets, Perla La Loca. It did not have the Death of Speedy in it, which apparently in the second volume but still it reminded me of how much I love Love and Rockets.

Dark clouds rolled in but that didn’t stop any of us from jumping in the water. It was getting close to the time to go and when the flies once again started biting my legs, I hastened the departure and said ‘Fucking flies’ many times. Rob went back to Saddle Brook to take care of Kara and Hunter and Annemarie, Meghan and I went to Rumson for some Crazee’s Ice Cream which of course was very good. We made it back to Hoboken with no problem and went to Mamoun’s Falafel once again, the third time in a week for dinner.

Now they are back in Saddle Brook and here I am in a very hot apartment in Hoboken at the start, day one of the fourth heat wave this summer. Annemarie leaves on Wednesday morning so tomorrow will be a low key day. Perhaps a movie, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. That’s all we have planned. I will miss Annemarie once again, the phone calls on Saturday and Sunday afternoons just aren’t the same as hanging out with my wonderful sister. But that is modern life I suppose and it’s best to enjoy the time you have got with the ones you love.

♫ get your kicks on Route 36…♪

I Am The Sea

you’ll see glimpses

nothing like a beach cigar

01 I Am The Sea

I Love To Watch A Woman Dance

A Saturday night in Hoboken. I just got back from dinner and a stroll with my sister Annemarie and our niece Meghan. We had some pizza at Grimaldi’s on Washington Street, much like we did last year. Annemarie and I eat at Grimaldi’s at least once each time she is back on the east coast. Last year Meghan joined us. Bill usually joins us too but his schedule did not permit it this time around. We’ve also been joined by Earl, Julio and Stine at various times, but this year was a repeat of last year, sitting in the sidewalk café.

It’s a beautiful night and perfect for a stroll. There were a lot of other people who had the exact same concept it seemed. Tons of people and families roaming about on the shores of the Hudson River. A nice breeze and a few photo opportunities to be had. There was even a local production of The Pirates of Penzance going on. Unfortunately Gilbert & Sullivan operettas aren’t my thing and the novelty soon wore off fast despite the noble efforts of the acting troupe. I enjoyed a very nice El Rey De Mundo 60 gauge cigar and also did not want to smoke around the ‘theater goers’.

Things of course were better than yesterday, Annemarie’s husband and son made it to Eugene, OR with little difficulty. Earl was participating in a trivia event and texting his mother for answers which is actually cheating. My family is all about trivia it seems and I am often tempted to enter a trivia competition at one of the many bars and pubs in Hoboken that have those events. I think my only drawback would be sports trivia of which I know little. Music and movies I think I would excel at.

One of these nights I will give it a try I reckon. Right now The Hustler is on PBS. I never watched it before and since I am writing this while it is on, I am barely watching it now. Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again, same as he did last night, and some weekends previous. Surprisingly enough I slept quite well last night, so well that I had difficulty waking up this morning. The clock radio goes off, Elton John is singing Philadelphia Freedom and I go reaching for the snooze bar.

I was out and about soon enough and once again being a summer weekend, Hoboken had half the population it usually does or so it seemed. I visited some friends in their office and sat with them for a while, talking and sometimes even answering the telephone for them. They’re nice people and I had nothing better to do anyhow. Weekends down the Jersey shore are too crowded so staying in Hoboken is just fine by me.

Annemarie flies back west on Wednesday so we plan on one more trip to Sandy Hook on Monday. Tuesday is a chill out day. Tomorrow is a family reunion of sorts at Meghan and Rob’s house for a barbecue.

All is well.

Meghan, Annemarie and me

19 The Worst That Could Happen

I Love to Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt)

Oh I certainly don’t feel like writing tonight. But here I am doing just that. It’s been a weird day and it is July 13, 2012 and it’s a Friday. That means its Friday the 13th. Not that I put any stock in that but it has been a weird day for me. It started out alright I guess. Nothing major. A beach day was planned and it was going to be later than usual. Sister in law Elaine and her daughter Corinne- our niece, were on board as well. They were working half days at their work gigs hence the later departure.

Elaine’s father isn’t doing so well, he had a major brain attack and can’t be left alone. Elaine has a sister who was supposed to come down and assist Elaine for a day or two but she proved to be unavailable for reasons that are unknown to me. So that meant Elaine would have to stay. Corinne was coming along with us which promised to mean a real good time. Annemarie and Corinne made it down to Hoboken between 12:30 and 1:00 and after heading down the stairs to meet them on the street we were soon headed to the NJ Turnpike.

Once again I made a few CD’s for the ride but left them in the apartment. It seemed to be smooth sailing with an occasional jibe that is expected from families. As we got off the turnpike and onto the Garden State Parkway, Annemarie’s cellphone rang. I answered it and heard Annemarie’s husband Rex on the other line. Apparently there was a problem. Rex and their son Earl were going somewhere and from out of nowhere a crack in the window was discovered. I was relaying the message from Rex to Annemarie as she drove onward down the parkway.

I told Rex that Annemarie would call back once we hit the rest stop. She can talk on the phone and Corinne and I could go have a pee. There was nothing that Annemarie could do 3000 miles away and she did make a few suggestions. Later once we got to the beach, Annemarie texted Earl and all seemed to be alright, they were continuing on going wherever it was they were going. There was a tension in the air though. It was probably me. Little things had been occurring in the previous hours and I was hoping music would take me away from all that.

But Annemarie wasn’t in the mood for what I was playing and told me so as she shut off the music. I of course, being who I am (and according to Corinne- I am just like her father) was put off by the turning off of the music. I take music much too personally and after that I shut down myself. Didn’t really have much to say or add which I usually do since the alternative of me saying just what was on my mind would not do anyone any good and make whatever situation was at hand, worse.

And it was noticed. Corinne remarked to Annemarie that I must be having my period. I just kept walking and read Uncut magazine before going into the water by myself. Annemarie did get up and I thought she would have jumped in but she stood by the water line as I floated off shore listening to teenagers talk while they swam, chatting about sharks and generally causing me to revisit the ocean shark paranoia that pops up whenever I am alone in the water. After a while I got out and dried myself off. The afternoon got a little bit better but overall it was breezy and overcast and for me, weird.

Me & Corinne

Annemarie & Me

the three of us at the end.

11 Road to No Regret

I Love The Dead

Today was another beach day and another excellent day. Today it was Annemarie and myself along with our nieces Hillary and Cassie, our brother Brian and his wife Karen’s girls. They have a son also who was working and couldn’t make it. It was another gorgeous day with temperatures in the upper 80 degree range and the ocean temperature was about 76 degrees. Annemarie has been staying in Saddle Brook and this morning drove up further into Bergen County to pick up the girls while I waited in Hoboken. There was traffic and things started a bit later than we had planned.

It was all good though, I was sitting on the stoop as they pulled up. Cassie was in the front seat not willing to give it up. I rarely pull rank but this morning I had to. I am an adult, much older than Cassie and therefore she had to sit in the backseat while I took the front seat. Though the car manual says there is an adapter for an iPod or some other device, there was no adapter so last night I made a few CD’s for the drive down the Jersey shore and I think they went down well.

An uneventful ride to Sandy Hook, no need to stop off for food or snacks or sun block since we got what we needed yesterday and also made food to bring down. It was a tight schedule since Cassie had to be back home by 6:00 this evening. The ocean was like bathwater once again, we all went in except for Cassie who just stood at the waterline. We tried talking her into jumping in with us but she was not having it and would rather see us frolic in the water. To each their own, so we frolicked.

The time flew by as we had fun and huddled under the umbrella and before we wanted to, we had to head home. There was no time for an ice cream stop which turned out to be the smart idea since we hit bumper to bumper traffic on the way home. We made it just a few minutes past 6:00 which was just fine. There was Brian and Karen waiting for Cassie. Hillary being 20 years old does her own thing lately. Whatever functions they had to attend was their own business and Annemarie and I were back on Route 17 headed south.

We were both pretty hungry and decided on pizza once we got to Hobkoen. Being in a car meant parking would be a problem but I remembered a coal oven pizzeria across from Julio & Stine’s place. Since we were so close I invited Julio to join us, he’s going to Denmark tomorrow. But Julio was stuck at work, needing to stay longer than he liked. We sat outside on the sidewalk and enjoyed a so-so pizza near a mockingbird’s nest with newly hatched mockingbirds making noises while mama flew around looking for food.

Now I’m home, and that’s about it. Tomorrow won’t be a beach day. We’re heading into the city to have dinner with a friend of Annemarie and her husband Rex. Instead we will probably check out some galleries in Chelsea and maybe check out the latest Woody Allen movie. It seems fitting since Annemarie and I saw a few Woody Allen movies back in the day when we were both living in Lodi. Tomorrow would make it extra special since it would be the first time we’d be seeing a Woody Allen movie in Manhattan. Who cares that it takes place in Rome?

Hillary, Me, Annemarie and Cassie


I Like How It Feels

Ah yesterday when I was young. Yesterday was Sunday and the day before was Saturday and on that day, dear Harpy turned a ripe old age of 60. No one won the pool so the money stayed put. It was a beautiful day and I slept relatively well. I got up and did my thing, intending to go to the supermarket for myself as well as picking up a few items for Bill. Bill’s diet lately consists of almonds, raspberries and soy milk. I don’t know what he eats when he is not home, but that is what he eats when he is here.

I was working on a cuppa before heading out and in walked Bill with his almonds, raspberries and soy milk, so that saved me some dosh. Bill puttered about as I got myself together and headed to the market for my things. He was off to bed since he drove the night before to and from Atlantic City. By the time I came back he was fast asleep. I don’t know how he does it. As soon as his head hits the pillow he is out cold, yet if he needs to he is wide awake in a flash. I sometimes wish I had an on/off switch like Bill does.

There was a plan to go up to Riverdale to celebrate Harpy’s birthday. I invited Bill but he was not going, he needed to sleep and rest since he was driving to Boston today. I hopped on a bus and then onto a train. I picked up a few soft packs of Marlboros for Harpy since they are considerably cheaper on this side of the river. I rode the A train up to 175th Street and walked over to Harpy’s place. He and his girlfriend Deborah were getting ready and I waited a few minutes before we all headed out to the street.

We walked down to Columbia Presbyterian hospital where we caught a town car up to Riverdale. Susan, formerly of Farfetched had it all together. I had asked for the day off from the cigar shack while I was still there and if it weren’t for what happened last week, I would more than likely been unable to attend. But what happened happened and here I was in Riverdale. At the party were Susan and her boyfriend Mitch, as well as other people.

Lois the co-owner with Susan of Farfetched showed up as did Amy Allison. It was all giggles and smiles and hard to believe that we hadn’t seen each other since January 2009 when Farfetched closed down. It was a beautiful day and it turned into a beautiful night with Mitch cooking in the kitchen. I certainly scoffed a few things and was nicely buzzed after a few Sierra Nevada Pure Ales. A poem and some birthday cake followed and then it was time to go.

Lois gave Harpy, Deborah, Amy Allison and myself a ride to Manhattan and we all parted ways. Harpy & Deborah back home, Amy & me to the subway. It was only a few minutes wait before we hopped the A train downtown. I was home by 11:00, after leaving Amy to continue onwards to Brooklyn. Bill stayed up for me and after a few minutes hit the pillow again, out cold. I stayed up and watched some TV before I got into bed next to Bill.

He was up and about once again as I lay sleeping. He gave me his goodbye kiss as he was headed for another bus driving expedition. I slept and slept, eventually waking up and headed to the supermarket after a few cups of coffee that Bill made for me before he left. It was quite warm and muggy and I decided to do some laundry. I figured it would dry soon enough, but there is so much hummus in the air that it’s taking it’s time, a warm and damp experience.

After the laundry I got my guitar and my songbooks and headed out. It was relatively cool by the river and I set myself up and started strumming. I didn’t sing since I wasn’t that comfortable yet but did play a few songs for about two hours. It was crowded and once again I did not put the guitar case in front of me to encourage some money flowing. I wasn’t ready for that and just played songs that no one really knew, and surprised a few toddlers as they went by with their parents, seeing and hearing a guitar right in front of them. The looks of astonishment were priceless.

I got hungry and my hand started cramping up a bit so I headed home. It was a good day overall. Bill just called from Boston, he is on his way back and I hope he does so safely. I may be up when he gets home since he’s expecting to come home around 1:30 and that’s the time I’ve been going to bed lately, so it all might work out nicely.

Entertainment on the platform. La Bamba and Guantanamera were the songs I heard.

the hostess with the mostest with the birthday geezer


my stage

my audience

01 Give Peace A Chance

I Just Want To Be Your Everything

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. Yes, that song has been playing in my head since I got home this afternoon. Earlier it was Half Breed by Cher. Cher is still alive as I write this, but Levon Helm passed away this afternoon after a battle with cancer which he seemed to be winning but apparently did not.

Today was out of the ordinary for me. I slept later than I had in a while, waking up at 10:00. No worries, everything was alright. Just slept a really good sleep and had no need to rush out of bed. Nothing scheduled really, perhaps a bike ride with Rand which was brought up a few days ago.

A trip to the supermarket was in order so after a cuppa I was on my way. Did not run into anyone I knew at the grocery store, no almighty Isis either. The woman she was training was at the register and she took quite a while to get things done. The new cashier is an older woman and a bit overwhelmed by the buttons and the scanning of items that needed to be done. And the person on front of me was an older woman as well who was having her groceries delivered so that added some extra time.

But I was in no hurry and looked at my smartphone. The woman behind me knew the woman in front of me so I was caught in the crossfire of chit chat. I walked home with my canvas bag full of groceries and saw the older woman from the line wobbling down the street. I asked her if she needed help but she didn’t so I continued on my way.

More coffee and breakfast awaited me once I got home and I set about eating that and listening to the television in the next room. I did get a phone call from an agency from a while ago. They’ve been stringing me along with a prospect at a ‘really cool company that has a ping pong table in their offices’ based in Newark. Prior to the phone call I got an instant message from Rand with regards to bicycling this afternoon, and I suggested we roll at around 1:30. It proved to be a good time for the both of us.

I told the agency that I would be available for a phone interview until 1:30, and then I should be back around 4:00. They told me the really cool company with the ping pong table would be calling me this afternoon. At 1:25 I was done inflating my tires and on the sidewalk with Rand when the agency called, confirming I was still available. I mentioned that I was and told Rand that we might have to pull over so I could take this call and Rand was OK with it of course.

But they never called until about 3:15 by which time Rand and I were at Liberty State Park, on the Hudson River where it was mighty windy, so windy I did not hear the phone call. I did get the voice mail from a guy from the really cool company with the ping pong table and told Rand we should probably head back so I could call this guy without the wind blowing so hard.

I hadn’t been bike riding since Memorial Day weekend in 2010, and that was with Rand as well. He’s a great bicycling companion. We headed back through the streets of Jersey City, not backtracking along the river which is how we got to where we were. I was apprehensive about bike riding, getting scared in my old age I suppose. But it went well and I could still find enough balance to ride with no hands on occasion.

Rand went back home and I climbed the four flights of steps to the apartment. I called the guy at the really cool company with the ping pong table and left a voicemail. It was now around 4:30 and figured they had gone for the day, but he called back a minute or so later and had a short interview. The job is in Newark and I have no idea where exactly it is, though Google Maps was able to chart my course should I have to go there for a face to face interview.

I also got a phone call from a company that I emailed my resume to through Craigslist. I have had some luck with Craigslist, some good, some bad and didn’t give it much of a thought. But here they were calling me for a phone interview. I think this went well. They’re located in Manhattan which is a heck of a lot easier to get to than Newark. I hope to meet with them soon.

Tomorrow it’s back to the cigar shack where I will have a meeting with Zack with regards to a performance review for January to March 2012. I already told him I agreed with most of what he had written about me, I am my own worst critic after all. I think he was expecting a confrontation with me, but how could I confront him when I agree with a lot of what he said?

I do have to say, thank you to Rand for getting me out of my apartment, out of my own way. Too much time has been spent on my days off in despair and today, though not as warm as it has been lately, was perfect enough for a ride with one of my oldest and dearest friends. And I’m pretty sure he enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed his. The two of us being big overgrown kids at heart, and you now that can’t be bad.

Paulus Hook, Jersey City

Rand & his shadow

Rand & Lady Liberty

Rand Running Up That Hill

I Just Want To Be Your Everything

I Just Can’t Help Believing

Ah, I just had a nap. Nothing spectacular, just a nap for about an hour. A few miles away from here, the meadowlands are on fire. There hasn’t been much rain in this region lately so brush fires have been happening for the past week or so. Hoboken doesn’t seem to be in any danger.

Yesterday was a work day, after a day off on Monday. It was full staff which made for some difficulty sales wise. I came in second behind Jerry Vale so that wasn’t so bad. It was a long day, made longer by a staff meeting which promised to be short, but really wasn’t.

Many things were covered in the staff meeting led by Zack and Bradley. And also performance reviews were handed out. I can’t speak for anyone else but of course it was mentioned there was room for improvement. My emotions do get in the way and affect the atmosphere of the store which is true. I have to do better at concealing how I feel. I suppose that is where Xanax would come in. But since I don’t use that too often I generally wing it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

I was a bit anxious anyhow since the great and wonderful Steve Fallon was in town and I did not want to miss him. A whole slew of old faces promised to make an appearance to wish Steve a happy birthday and good old Rand kept me abreast of what’s what and who was there.

After the meeting I hot footed it to the subway and caught a train to the bus terminal. And since it was after 10:00, I had to catch a bus on the third floor. It wasn’t so bad, only a short wait of about 10 minutes.

The bus ride was fast enough and I got off at 12th Street after listening to See No Evil by Television. I walked into Maxwells where See No Evil was playing on the jukebox. I saw Rand and Lisa, Mike Cecchini and Sarah Baker (so that’s her last name!). I was offered a drink but wanted to eat something since I hadn’t eaten since 3:00 in the afternoon and now it was past 11:00.

I nabbed a seat by the jukebox where Rand was entertaining with his gimlets. I ordered a bar pie and had a pint of Stella. I ran into Christine and Alirio who were quite happy. Alirio is a sweetheart and also went to Maxwells a lot in the past, but never really spoke to anyone. Now thanks to Facebook he is known to everyone and quite chatty.

Also in attendance was Chaz who had his birthday last week, as well as Butch who I totally forgot about from back in the day. Sure enough up walked Steve Fallon, a bit grayer than he used to be with some longer hair than he used to have. He was great as usual and we had a nice hug and kiss. All these years later he still looks out for me somewhat and will always have my eternal gratitude and friendship. Steve’s partner Arnold was also there and I hadn’t seen him since the 1990’s. Great to see him as well.

It was one of those nights where every time you turned around you saw someone you hadn’t seen in years.

Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, Emily Hubley, Glenn Morrow, Michael Hill , Christine Repella, the lovely Suzanne, Julie Panebianco, were all spotted and kissed and hugged. I found myself talking to someone then excusing myself for a moment to say hello to yet another friend passing by. Quick catching up, and then it was back to whomever it was I was talking to.

Sadly I was too late to see Patti Quinn. She left a few minutes before I got there, had to go home and deal with her kids which is totally understandable. Rand did send me a picture of Patti and Lisa which was quite nice and both women looked great in the photo, which was in 3D, though only visible in 3D on Rand’s camera.

Drinks were had by everyone and none of the nonsense that occurred in the past seemed to be going on which was quite nice. I said hello to Mike Mills and clinked pint glasses with him since he was standing next to where I was sitting. Peter Buck was there as well and I didn’t see Steve Wynn, but Suzanne told me they covered a Dream Syndicate song in the back room, Tell Me When It’s Over. I think Rand, Lisa and I left Maxwells around 1:30, walking home and being a bit noisy.

Rand insisted on walking me to the corner near my house which was awfully kind, even though Lisa did have to work today. He was three sheets to the wind and Lisa wasn’t so I can only guess it wasn’t that difficult for her to start her day. I was invited to visit Steve and Arnold at their house and certainly hope to work something out somehow. It really was great to see all these old friends and faces and it was special seeing Steve, and seeing the love that so many people have for him.

Some people didn’t know Steve was going to be in town even though he did announce it on Facebook which made for a lot of interest. I came home and posted the pictures I had taken and put on Facebook which when I woke up had many likes and comments on all of them. All the good parties have to end and last night ended on quite a nice note.

I slept fairly well, I wasn’t drunk just buzzed. Bill kissed me goodbye once again and I slept until 9:00 this morning when the workers in the apartment below ours started hammering and drilling. Not the way I wanted to wake up but still it wasn’t so bad. A shower and some coffee and a trip to the supermarket was in order. I did see Isis and asked about how she was doing, and she was doing fine.

I walked around Hoboken and stopped by the Guitar Bar where I gave Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro a tin of Winston Churchill Spitfires. A mini cigar, and a way for saying thanks for accepting my packages. He was most appreciative and told me he was taking daughter Ruby to see Pulp at Radio City Music Hall. He was also at Maxwells last night but oddly enough we didn’t see each other. He was in the back room where I was mainly in the front room.

It was a cool day in Hoboken so I didn’t stay out too long. Came home and chatted with some friends online and posted comments to friends’ comments with regards to my pictures. Then I had a nice nap which brings me to where I began at the top of this entry.

Mike and Rand

Rand, Lisa & Sarah

Georgia & Ira and Karl the bartender


Arnold & Butch

Georgia, Steve & Emily

Me & my dear friend, Steve Fallon

Rand and tree stump outside Christine's house.

Lisa & Patti Quinn

05 Brushfire In Hoboken
A lot of love was had by all.

I Hear Voices

Well yesterday was a Sunday and it wasn’t so bad. I worked of course. Bill was coming back from Atlantic City so there was no seeing him until last night. Work wasn’t so bad though it was a bit slow. I managed to grab the lion’s share from Thomas who basically ruled the roost the previous 2 days.

Thomas’ fiancée stopped by for a visit towards the end of the day, she’s nice and definitely makes Thomas a better man. I made it home earlier than usual since Thomas was closing. I lucked out with a train pulling into the station once I got to the platform, then a short wait for the bus.

And walking up the stairs, there was Bill waiting for me in the open doorway. He was happy to see me and I was happy to see him. He was watching Hot in Cleveland on his laptop and after the Simpsons/Bob’s Burgers (which I think is really funny) I threw Beginners in the DVD player. Beginners is the movie starring Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor and the movie that won Christopher Plummer the Academy Award.

It was a good movie, just a bit too slow for tired ol’ Bill to stay awake for. I’m glad I did though. It was an interesting film to see Plummer & McGregor interact as father and son as well as watching McGregor & Mélanie Laurent try to figure out where their relationship is headed. Both stories were compelling and show the flaws in relationships as well as the strengths. And the dog was cute.

I didn’t watch anything in particular after that, just surfed the net as the TV droned on and on. I did go to bed eventually and slept quite well, perhaps making up for the hour lost when the clocks moved an hour ahead for daylight savings. And I slept so well that I slept later than I expected to. Still, it was alright since I had nothing planned for today.

Laundry was done the other day so all I had to really do was go to the supermarket. And once again it was fairly empty and once again I had Isis as my cashier. A brief chat while checking out, she was saying how tired she was, probably from the daylight savings thing. I recommended a nap and she planned on it between getting out of work and picking up her son after school.

I came home and cleaned up a bit. It was a gorgeous day so I headed out in the afternoon. I walked down Washington Street where I ran into Rand & Lisa coming back from lunch. Lisa had a surgical pin removed from her toe. Apparently she smashed it up and it was badly broken. Bill saw the toe a few weeks ago and was grossed out. I only saw the pictures of the surgical pin being removed with needle nosed pliers.

We chatted outside of Hoboken Daily News and were joined by Mike Cecchini and his pal Ahmet. They were all walking uptown and I was headed downtown, taking a walk along the river. It was nice by the river and I figured I would see somebody I knew and there was Tim, a teenaged guitarist that played with Lily a few years ago as the Street Corner Mourners.

The Street Corner Mourners (Tim & Lily) played the party that Bill & I had at Maxwells in July 2010. Tim was singing ‘A Friend of the Devil’ and doing a good job. He mentioned he needed a pick since his hand was getting bloody from strumming. I walked over to the Guitar Bar where I saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro and got some picks for myself as well as for Tim.

Tim was making some good money playing there, much better than what I did when I was busking almost every day. He does keep his guitar case open in front of him where I would keep my guitar case to the side due to an embarrassment of sorts. I sat and listened to Tim play and took some snapshots as well as shooting a video.

It was a pretty good day and I am glad I went out and saw some friends. I should really do that more often.


3rd & Washington

02 Most of the Time [Alternate Versi 1

I Got A Name

It’s been a day off and a decent one at that. Of course there is always room for improvement but alas it’s too late for that. It’s a little past 7:00 and the day is mostly gone. A lot of the time was spent sleeping and that was good. Can’t get enough of that.

It’s Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday so Bill had off today. That was a surprise to me, but it was a pleasant surprise. There was some awkwardness on my part since I am not a morning person and we did get in each other’s way as we both puttered about the apartment.

I made coffee and showered and Bill had a bowl of soup for breakfast. He enjoys Progresso soup and it’s his main meal most days. I don’t understand but then again I am not that big a fan of soup. I headed out to the supermarket to get some things and came back from the cold world. Bill supplied the warmth indoors and once I had eaten some breakfast I was somewhat civilized again. Bill spent his time doing his thing and I spent my time doing likewise. He also went to the gym and I took a nap. That’s about how the day has been.

Yesterday was quite slow at the cigar shack. Me and Jerry Vale, Zack in the office getting some paperwork done. I opened the shack and found Zack in the back, enjoying a cigar. I told him how the week had been without him, how Bradley did a good job of holding down the fort.

I also mentioned that it was a good idea having Bradley as the assistant manager, to which Zack said that I was more like his right hand man, working behind the scenes, making sure that items were ordered and things were in place so everything could run smoothly. That was a surprise and a very nice compliment.

Zack was sequestered away in the office and asked me to keep people away, not to be disturbed. It was easy enough to do mostly though maybe two times, someone did pop their head in, interrupting his paperwork when I was otherwise unavailable. The man cave was filled most of the day and though it usually closes at 5:00 on Sundays, there was a NY Giants game on at 4:30 so it was decided to play it by ear.

If there was a crowd then it would stay open longer, and if there was no crowd then it would close at the usual time. Well of course it was crowded. It was in the 20 degree range and once most of the guys came in, they stayed in. So at 5:00 there were about 10 guys hanging out and smoking cigars so the writing was on the nicotine stained walls.

Jerry Vale enjoys football and didn’t mind staying so after getting the front of the cigar shack cleaned and in order, I headed out, close to 7:30. Zack was finished with his work and was smoking in the man cave with the other man cave men. I headed out into the cold, taking a subway to the bus terminal.

I lucked out, there was a bus running a few minutes late so it was waiting for me when I got to the gate. I liked to think it was because it was so cold out that the driver took it upon himself to wait for a little more time so no one would have to wait. Of course I could be wrong and it could simply be because the driver was running late. I was OK with that, since it got me home that much faster to Bill’s loving arms.

05 Ain’t Got No – I Got Life

I Go Crazy Paul Davis

A Saturday in the cigar shack. I had to open today which was not so bad. Last night, a mellow night at home spent with Bill. Watching TV mainly as well as a few laughs as usual. I love him so much, he really is a good guy. I would be so lost without him and I can be sure that he feels the same way about me.

We’re going into our 12th year together and mainly it’s been a lot of fun. He is renting a Zipcar and I will meet him and Rand & Lisa at Journal Square, where from there we will head to Chaz’ party. Bill was up before me yet again this morning, asking if I wanted to get up at 7:30. Since it was 7:20 and the alarm did not go off by then I must have given him the look of ‘what the fuck are you doing?’.

He scurried off and 10 minutes later I got out of bed. He was situated in front of the TV, watching the Today Show. I shuffled on by, making coffee before stepping into the shower. Soon I was at the bus stop waiting for my 8:30 bus. After a stop to get an egg sandwich I continued my way up the avenue to the cigar shack. Where it was 14 degrees the other day, today it is going to be close to 60 degrees. Quite nice again.

I was 10 minutes early and set about starting up things in the shack. A few minutes later I hear someone opening the door to the cigar shack and to my surprise it was Bradley. I asked what he was doing in so early and apparently he had forgotten that he was not due in for another 2 hours. So instead of going out and enjoying the very pleasant morning, he sat in the man cave with an extremely regular customer until his shift started. I didn’t really mind, it was not busy for at least the first 90 minutes.

Tonight is Chaz’ party. It should be fun, especially since Kathe will be there as well as possibly Connie. Not that it wouldn’t be fun without them,it’s just that I hadn’t seen either of them in quite some time. Well, besides seeing Kathe at the Path train, I hadn’t seen Connie since Bill and I had our civil union party at Maxwells in the summer of 2010.

I also feel really good today. Perhaps I turned a corner, perhaps something good is going to happen. In any event I am going with the good feeling for as long as I can, for as far as it will take me. I will be taking lunch in a half hour.

It’s nice enough to spend the lunchtime outdoors, but then again some food would be nice and that would make it an indoor thing. I suppose I have enough time to make up my mind sooner or later.

Just got home from a really fun party. Too many Lowenbrau! And one hidden Amstel!

Little Anthony and the Imperials – Shimmy Shimmy Coco Bop

I Don’t Have To Be Me ‘Til Monday

I won the Mega Millions the other day. $2.00 which is $2.00 more than I had when I first walked into Hoboken Daily News. Now I just have to get the remaining $999,998 and I should be set. I can wait, but hopefully it won’t be too long.

Today has been a day off. Nice and sunny, it made for a beautiful autumn day. I planned on getting up early, but not as early as it was when I woke up to Bill going through his laundry as I lay sleeping. Who knew folded clothes in a bag could be so noisy?

Bill left wearing clean clothes and kissed me goodbye as I lay trying to go back to sleep. I intended to get up even earlier than I do when I have to work but of course that is not how things turned out. I slept a few minutes later than I usually do. Not that I am complaining, I do enjoy my sleep.

So I got up, made some coffee and showered. I emailed an associate of the do nothing counselor Joe Monaco who Joe arranged a meeting with. I had big plans and I know I could have worked it all out with some hustling but I didn’t need the stress. Plus I had a lot of laundry to do.

After a cuppa I headed to the supermarket to get some items that we were running low on. Not too many people roaming the aisles, no rock stars (Ira!) suggesting I buy organic milk so I was in and out in no time.

Came home and had a nice breakfast and started on the laundry. Three loads altogether, and after it was done I headed out into a beautiful afternoon. A stop at the bibliothèque to pick up two books I requested on impulse. The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929-1940 and a bilingual edition of Waiting for Godot/En Attendant Godot.

I keep going back every now and then to Samuel Beckett for some reason. He is/was stimulating. I planned on heading into the city to visit Occupy Wall Street, the encampment down on Liberty Street by the World Trade Center. I made plans to meet Jimmy Seltzer there.

On the way to the Path train I stopped by the Guitar Bar and said hello to Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro. Jim is on Letterman tonight playing behind Garland Jeffries so I definitely plan on catching that. I stopped off and bought a few pounds of bananas for the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

They’ve been out there for weeks and could use the food, and most everyone likes bananas. And they are good for energy, stave off the blues and help prevent nasty leg cramps in the middle of the night!

The Path train from Hoboken to the World Trade Center is remarkably fast, must faster than it is to Christopher Street and midtown. It being a Friday afternoon, quite a few people were leaving work early, and there were also a lot of tourists as well as hawkers of 9/11 memorabilia.

I called Jimmy Seltzer once I followed the sound of the drums to the demonstration and we met up. He was with a co-worker who split after a few minutes leaving Jimmy and me to walk around and chat. I took a few pictures of the people and their signs.

Jimmy soon headed back to work and I hung about for another hour. I thought I would see someone I knew but didn’t. Once again they must have seen me first. I decided to head uptown and take the bus. In midtown I ran into my old pal Jesse and we talked for a few minutes.

After that I was in the queue at the bus terminal. I nabbed a seat as the bus filled up and once again stared at my smartphone. At one point I looked up, past the heads of people seated in front of me and saw a young woman who looked a lot like Lily Mastro.

I texted her and she eventually scanned the bus and saw me. I waved and decided to get off the bus a few stops after mine and walked her to the Guitar bar where she was meeting up with her father. We hugged once we got on the street, and she’s enjoying college life and majoring in Biology.

After using the loo in the Guitar Bar I left my faux daughter with her real father and headed home. It was a good day off and a great day out spent with some really nice people.

Bag O'chalk