Tag Archives: Annemarie

I Still Miss You

Another cold day. Sunny and cold. Out and about, in and out and now I am in. But enough about that. I got two comments for yesterday’s entry. Of course it was Annemarie and Harpy, but they count. They were confounded by the fact that I am taking a break from writing this here blog at the end of the month. I haven’t decided exactly what it is I will do. Like I wrote last night, it could be for a day, a week or a couple of months. I could have also mentioned that it could be an intermittent thing.

Meaning that I might post something every other day, if at all. I might just post photos. So you see the whole thing hasn’t been figured out and anything is possible. I’m not even sure if I will meet the 500 word quota. I have shown that I could throw down 500 words with no problem on a daily basis. There are other things going on and I just need a break. A change will do me good and perhaps when I return it won’t be so much navel gazing. Like I said, anything is possible.

When I play guitar after not playing for a while, when I get back to it after shaking off the rust, occasionally there is a new, slightly different technique. Hopefully that will be that way for writing. The gears are grinding down and some lubrication is in order. I was surprised by the fact there was not a peep regarding no more cigarettes, no more diet soda and no more Ocean Spray/Apple & Eve juices. I am grateful for the concern about the state of flux this here blog may or may not be in.

And fear not, there are over 2,000 entries posted. If you’d like you can go through the trough and drop me a line, saying this was a good one, this one sucked, this one needs some work. Much like Jimmy Seltzer (aka Peter Pepsi, aka RC Koala, aka Peter Kehoe, aka Nick Colas) would do when I was still working at the cigar shack. I do miss those brief intermittent chats with the aforementioned character and I certainly hope he is well. Texts were sent but went unanswered so it is entirely likely that I have fallen off their radar. I am out of sight so it stands to reason that I am out of mind.

There was an article on the New York Times website yesterday about how hard it is to get the most entry level job if you do not have a 4 year college degree. I related to that and posted a comment, a comment which had 175 recommendations when I last checked before the pay wall came up restricting my access. You have 10 free articles to read a month but whether a month starts at the beginning of the month or merely 30 days after reading the first article, remains to be seen.

I do not regret ending my education after high school. After all- I hated school from day one, from kindergarten to the last day of high school. How I got through those years, I’ll never know.

I did ask my friends on a Facebook page if anyone was going to see Port St. Willow on Friday night at the Mercury Lounge. One guy replied and said he was not going but wouldn’t mind reading a review of it. That is cool, an assignment of sorts, something I have been hoping for since 2005. Of course it comes near the end but it’s better than not coming at all.

Can’t seem to post pictures tonight. A foreboding perhaps?




Fuck forebodings!
01 The Boxer

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 Nightlife (Disco Round)

Another splendid day at Gateway National Park, also known as Sandy Hook. It’s a national park so cigar smoking is permitted and today I was not the only cigar smoker. I counted at least three other guys. It was certainly more crowded today than it’s been the previous days. And only one life guard station was being operated, so it seemed even more crowded with a lot of families all located between the red flags that signify where the area where the life guards watch is. Today was also pretty good since the life guards were not playing club music on their boom box.

It was certainly a lot windier than we expected or hoped for. It was alright and manageable when we first got to the beach. Both Annemarie and I ate our lunches which was smart since the wind really started kicking up and that would mean for every bite of a sandwich, it would likely be accompanied by wisps of sand flying into our mouths and food. The water was warm like bathwater once again and that was enjoyable. In fact with the wind, it was a little bit warmer in the water than it was on the beach.

The day started out nicely with me asleep in bed, Bill kissing me good bye for the day. I could not wake up when the clock radio went off and hit the snooze button a few times. I finally did get out of bed, once again before 9:00 and set about making coffee, pouring cereal and stepping into the shower. Annemarie has been on top of using the correct sun block, something with zinc in it, something without fragrances since I do not want to attract flies and be swarmed like I was last year which was embarrassing.

Annemarie made it down to Hoboken once again, this time with no extra passengers and very little traffic. Neither of us mind the extra passengers since they are family, and even if they weren’t family they would be welcome. But it was just the two of us and we headed down the highway while listening to the CD’s I burned last night and talked about the familial drama that seems to ensue every time Annemarie comes to the Garden State. “Why did they do that” “Why didn’t they do that” “What about me?” usually comes up with some hurt feelings that are not so easily assuaged.

No names please. Still things get done and we usually do all get together for a good time since it is the only time of year my sister can get together with her three brothers and their families. And I am the only one that makes time to spend with Annemarie, if I was working I would take my vacation time while she was visiting. But right now I am not working so I do have all the time to spend with her, and I am willing to share the time that Annemarie is here with anyone who is interested and able.

I was comfortable at the beach sitting in the sand, it was so windy it was a very clear day, Manhattan, Coney Island and Rockaway beach were all quite visible. The sheet that we use on the beach was covered with sand though and like the other people around us, we decided enough was enough and packed up a little bit earlier than we would have liked. A visit to Crazee’s in Rumson was in order, since who doesn’t like ice cream after a day at the beach? It has become a routine that we are most happy to follow.

Annemarie on her path

2-09 Love’s Easy Tears

I Love The Night

As nice as the weather was today, today was not a beach day. Tomorrow will be and Friday will be and Monday definitely will be beach days. Today was spent in Manhattan. Annemarie hardly ever makes it to New York City when she arrives, usually spent going up and down New Jersey highways and parkways between Hoboken and various points in Bergen county and then down to Sandy Hook. So today the plan was for Annemarie to come to Hoboken and then take the Path train into Manhattan. Annemarie and her husband are friends with a chap named Gary and he wanted to meet up for dinner.

The plan like I said was to park in Hoboken which is hardly ever an easy task. There are so many rules and regulations plus if you slip up it’s a $200.00 boot on the car plus the parking ticket and whatever other penalties they could throw at you. The official way to get around it is to get a parking permit. You can park on the street for four hours but anything longer than that will be a pain in the tuchis. So we discussed what we had to do about it yesterday.

I woke up with the alarm clock and was content to keep hitting the snooze button but remembered that I had to go to city hall and visit the parking authority and get a parking permit for the day. I had done it before and it was never much of a problem, usually the whole thing could be taken care of in 15 minutes. So I made some coffee, had some cereal, jumped in the shower and walked to city hall this morning. I got it together and brought a credit card bill, my passport and my voter registration card.

I got on the line in the basement of city hall, there was a window to get your boot taken off your car and two windows for permits. On the other side of the glass things move quite slowly. N front of me on the line were a couple of parents with their kids. One was fairly docile in the stroller and the other was rambunctious three year old girl. After 45 minutes I had my chance at the window. I stated what I wanted, one day pass and showed my passport, my credit card bill and the voter card.

Those things were no longer accepted I was told. What was accepted is a driver’s license (I don’t drive), a cable bill (not in my name) and a lease (which we never got 12 years ago when we moved in). The chunky chick behind the glass couldn’t understand that I did not have a license, or a lease. A US State Department document is no good, nor is a Hudson county voter registration card. I was visibly upset and asked for the 45 minutes I lost waiting on line for no reason. There were no signs stating what one might need by the way.

I walked back home, called Annemarie and told her that she should forget about the parking permit. I decided to stop by a parking garage and check the rates for an 8 hour visit and it was not as bad as one would think. That was our only option. So Annemarie picked me up and we dropped off the car and headed into Manhattan. We decided to see Woody Allen’s To Rome with Love and checked out a gallery, just one gallery. That’s all we had time for. The move was OK, not Woody’s best, not as good as Midnight in Paris. But it was the first time Annemarie and I saw a Woody Allen movie together in decades and the first time we saw one in Manhattan.

After that we wandered around trying to find a shop that had the new Mojo and Uncut magazines and we found one of Seventh Avenue South. Then we headed back to Chelsea where we met Gary and had a very nice dinner at Rocking Horse Café on Eighth Avenue. A very nice time was had, a few drinks a few beers and many laughs. Stories about the cigar shack were asked for and I certainly delivered leaving a few dropped jaws.

Gary headed back to Park Slope and Annemarie & I stepped onto the Hoboken Path train which pulled up just as we stepped onto the platform. A grand day all around for all concerned I think.

01 All the way to memphis

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 Love That Man

This has been the best Monday in a long time. It started out with me getting up with the alarm clock again, about an hour after Bill left for the day. The goodbye kiss and Bill telling me to have a good day at the beach with Annemarie was a very nice send off. I got up, made some coffee and poured a bowl of cereal and stepped into the shower. After the shower and the cereal and the coffee I was applying sun block that expired last year. I didn’t think anything of it as I checked the emails.

I met Annemarie on the street as she pulled up and after an errand or two we were on the road to Sandy Hook once again. I hadn’t seen Annemarie in a year and since she came in yesterday we talked a few times in the past 24 hours. It was just us two going to the beach, we wanted some time alone, time to catch up. I was fine with that. No music on the way down the shore, just us talking. A short stop at Foodtown on Route 36 and soon we were looking at the majestic ocean.

We asked at the entrance to Gateway National Park if there was a pass we could buy for the week and the park ranger said no. Annemarie mentioned that we would be fine with the daily pass (which went up $5.00 from last year) since she was on vacation from California. The park ranger then waved us through without having to pay which was awfully nice of him. As usual we drove to the farthest beach from everything. Less people basically means easier parking. We unloaded everything and carried it as we strolled towards the sands, finding a spot between life guard stations.

We settled in under an umbrella and ate some food before jumping into the water. It was warmish at first, the temperatures posted were between 75 and 78 degrees which made it very comforting. After that it was more lounging under the umbrella just having a real good time. I told Annemarie that I was a lucky guy. I have got good friends and a loving family and some people do not have that. I am humbled and grateful by my family and my friends. And I am fortunate to have a good friend as well as family in my sister Annemarie.

She really is the best and my favorite sister. It’s safe to say that since Annemarie is my only sister. After a few hours at the beach and another dip in the ocean we headed back to civilization. We drove to Rumson and went to Crazee’s Ice Cream Parlor and enjoyed ice cream cones before jumping onto the Garden State Parkway and then the Turnpike. We had dinner in Hoboken at Mamoun’s Falafel followed by a stroll through Hoboken. Now she is back in Saddle Brook, I am in Hoboken with my loving spouse, Bill. Back to the beach tomorrow!

"then she jumped on a Caterpillar bulldozer, causing mayhem in Hoboken...!"

Lazy Day

I Heart You

Monday again. How did that happen? It doesn’t matter really how it happened. It’s almost over after all. A little over 2 hours left actually. Where did it go? How did it get here? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Anyway, here I am home from work.

I was in an hour earlier today. The schedule to prevent Thomas from whining is in effect. Yesterday was a nothing kind of day. Did do much, didn’t go anywhere. I did go to the record store after I joked with Annemarie on the phone about applying for a job there.

On the door was a help wanted sign, full & part time. I dare not apply since I have butted heads with them a few times, basically about how when CD’s are used in listening posts, the CD should be labeled as used, not sold as ‘new’. It’s a sticking point and I’m sure most record collectors would be on my side. Despite all that, I wandered around looking at stuff and left empty handed. I generally buy my Mojo & Uncut magazines there, that’s it.

Something like Kindness, a band from the UK that I bought last week, I bought on iTunes. This just reminded me, that I need to make a CD of it as a backup of sorts.

Bill was fast asleep when I headed out around 3PM, a vanilla sky overhead and me on the phone with Annemarie. I came home and Bill was still asleep. I don’t recall what I was watching on TV, I was watching Philip Glass on PBS, a performance of Satyagraha. I wasn’t watching it, just listening to the music which of course, sounded like Philip Glass. It’s a good thing I like Philip Glass.

Bill woke up and I decided to take a nap. It wasn’t that relaxing since Bill was talking to the TV and I have no idea what he was watching. I did ask him to wake me up in about an hour, which he did, then I asked for another half hour which was granted though I only slept about 10 minutes more, giving up and calling it fruitless.

We watched 60 Minutes, then The Simpsons, then Bob’s Burgers which I really like. It was all leading up to the season premiere of Mad Men which I allowed myself to be swept up in all the hype. I enjoyed it somewhat, as did Bill but he went to bed halfway through and I stayed up keeping one eye on the computer and another on the TV, making me look a little like Marty Feldman.

I started watching Capote which Bill and I saw in the cinema when it came out and yes it was still very good. Philip Seymour Hoffman was outstanding as Truman Capote, certainly deserving of the Academy Award. Midway through I went to bed.

Not a good night’s sleep like the other night, but enough to get through the day. And it was a nice day at the cigar shack. Zack and Thomas and myself. I have to admit that I was hesitant about working with Thomas. He’s got a lot on his plate and it’s been wobbly as of late. Today he was fine and no need to be hesitant.

Zack was cool as usual. I had a nice salad for lunch and as I was eating I got a call from Zack, asking me to visit the other cigar shack nearby and pick up some cigars for the store as a swap. Since I did the leg work, I got the sale, so I was happy about that.

Now I am home, got out an hour early. I walked down to the bus terminal, listening to Led Zeppelin, once again figuring they would provide the best soundtrack as I stomped my way down the avenue. And they did the job.

the Moon with Venus...?

07 O-o-h Child

I Can’t Get Next to You

A Wednesday night and I am home early. I opened the store this morning and in doing so, I got to leave early. Of course there was traffic entering the tunnel so that meant we sat on the bus (air conditioned) for a while before lurching into the tunnel. I think I am going to have to seriously consider taking the Path home.

Maybe take the first train that pulls into the station and if it is a train that goes to the bus terminal I’ll take it. If it’s going to the Path train, I’ll take it. Not really digging sitting on the bus and waiting and waiting and waiting.

So it was my first day back at work after 3 days off in a row. Sunday was a good day, spent a number of hours with my brothers, sister and sisters in law and their families in Saddle Brook. It was a nice barbecue with my niece and her husband and their dogs.

A nice time, with a few beers & hot dogs and hamburgers in the heat and me playing guitar. It was all rather pleasant. I saw my nephew who cleaned up his act and seems to be doing nicely, a day after he sky dived.

Annemarie drove me home in time to watch True Blood and it was good. The next day was a beach day with my niece Meghan joining Annemarie and myself. The water was a bit cold and the bug spray that I bought in 1999 turned out to be a bug attractor and I found myself in the midst of a swarm of biting flies.

They did not bother Annemarie or Meghan, just me and my bags. It was embarrassing enough that I waited for people to pass so they wouldn’t see the swarm on my legs and following me.

All it took was a quick shower to wash the bug spray away for the flies to leave me alone. Annemarie, Meghan and I made it back to Hoboken where we had a very nice pizza at Grimaldi’s on Washington Street, only an hour or so after having ice cream in Rumson NJ at Crazies.

After dinner a quick walk up & down Washington Street before Meghan dropped me off in front of my building and heading back up to Saddle Brook with Annemarie in tow. I climbed up the stairs and soon jumped in the shower washing the beach and bug spray fully off of me.

The next day, yesterday was just Annemarie and me at the beach. We left earlier than usual and were down there a little after noon. We had sandwiches and iced teas and swam a bit and before we knew it, it was after 3:00 which was the time Annemarie decided that we had to head back to Hoboken.

A nice and early Mexican dinner, then she was off. She had packing to do and wanted to visit Garfield the way she visited Hillsdale the night before. And just like that it was all over.

Like a child waiting and waiting for Christmas, it finally comes and then it’s gone too soon. Annemarie and I had been talking about her visit for a few months and now it was all over. She got on a plane early this morning as I was making my way to the cigar shack. It wasn’t easy to go back but it was air conditioned at least so that was something to take under consideration.

I really miss my sister and wish I could do more and contribute to the expense of her traveling back east. Maybe I’ll start saving now like a Christmas Club account. Makes sense since when Annemarie visits it’s like Christmas in July.

I Can’t Explain

Last day before 3 days off. One would hope, one would think that it would be smooth sailing but in reality (a place I am most unaccustomed to) it’s been a bear of a day and I don’t mean heavy set, hairy hirsute gay men.

No it’s been like fighting a grizzly all day long. I did not sleep well last night mainly because Bill was not around. I simply do not sleep well when he’s driving to Atlantic City. Lots of tossing and turning and of course when I finally was able to acquire something resembling sleep that was when the alarm clock would go off.

I woke up to Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones then hit the snooze button, 10 minutes later it was Fleetwood Mac singing Gypsy. Not the Jules Styne / Stephen Sondheim effort, but Stevie Nicks version. I did get myself together, shower and no breakfast. Not enough milk for cereal AND coffee, so it was coffee only.

That was alright since I planned on getting my customary egg sandwich on the way to the cigar shack. A call from Bill asking me to call Annemarie in Saddle Brook to see if she could pick him up at the garage and drop him off at the train station.

If he didn’t catch the 10:00 train, he would have to wait until 1:00 and that would be no good since he needed to be back at the garage at 7:00 again. So I called and left a voice mail for Annemarie and she called me back a few minutes later. I told her the address but she didn’t know where it was.

I explained to my sister where it was and I guess she figured it out. But she didn’t get there in time for Bill to make the 10:00 train so she wound up driving him back to Hoboken. I knew that since Bill called me and asked what stop was I at. He called as my bus was ascending the ramp at the bus terminal.

I was now in Manhattan. And I always catch the bus at 5th street. I headed out the terminal, not in the best mood due to the lack of sleep and was cut off by a taxi running a red light. I punched the taxi.

I then walked over to Smiler’s for my egg sandwich and that went relatively well. I headed out and up the avenue enjoying a slightly damaged cigar from the shack that was headed for the bin.

Quite a few people walking the streets and some were slow so I avoided them by walking close to the curb. At one point as I walked 2 women were taking their time strolling so I walked curbside again.

Coming towards me and the 2 women was an elderly woman with a shopping cart. She motioned to me to tell me something and I took off the iPod thinking she needed help. She did not need help.

She needed to tell me that how I was walking was wrong that people walking on the right side heading in one direction and other people walk on the left in the other direction.

I was disappointed that she did not need any assistance and when I heard what she had to say, I told her that I had no time for her nonsense. She started squawking about something I yelled at her to shut up. Just another nutter on the street that always happen to find me.

I think from now on no matter what, I will keep my iPod on and ignore just about anyone that crosses my path. It will probably be best for all concerned.

I Can’t Drive 55

Yes it’s Friday. Let’s hear it for Friday! Or let’s not. Some of us have a weekend, some do not. Myself, I have to get through tomorrow and then it’s off for me for 3 days. I was looking forward to seeing my nephew Earl who was flying in on Saturday.

I haven’t seen Earl in a couple of years and now his flight is canceled, upsetting his mother Annemarie and his cousins as well as me and Bill and his aunts and uncles. I was excited about going to the beach with Earl on Monday and Tuesday but it’s all fallen by the wayside.

I hope Annemarie has no difficulty getting a refund back from United Airlines. Facebook friend Neal says the United has the worst customer service so I guess we’ll find out whether or not that happens to be the case.

In the world of employment it wasn’t so bad at the cigar shack. Thomas and Jerry Vale and I were manning the shack. It was a good team, we balance each other very well. Thomas was impeccably dressed as ever, I was wearing my shark skin suit with a skinny tie and Jerry Vale was in his usual duds.

The usual customers came in, but not too many. Most came by yesterday, buying their cigars for the weekend and taking off on Friday. In the man cave yesterday it was packed, today there was plenty of room.

It’s hard to say how it will be from day to day, for some it’s too crowded and for others it’s just right, they’re content to stand and smoke a cigar. There really is camaraderie among cigar smokers and they are generally a friendly bunch, always welcoming new faces, a brotherhood of the leaf is what it is called in some quarters.

Bill is off to Atlantic City again and will be doing the same tomorrow. He was feeling very fatigued the other night and skipped a rehearsal which he made up for last night. Tonight, no rehearsal and so it’s off to Atlantic City.

I will probably see Bill for a few minutes as I wait for the bus tomorrow morning if I am lucky. But he had a late start tonight driving and will probably be arriving later so there’s a good chance that we will miss each other. That’s the gist I suppose. It happens from time to time.

I am happy tomorrow is a casual day in any event. Too hot really to wear a suit, shark skin or whatever. I am almost done with ‘Our Band Can Be Your Life’ by Michael Azerrad. It’s an interesting book, reading about all these bands that played Maxwells when I was there, DJ’ing, working the door, bar backing or checking ID’s.

I just finished reading about Beat Happening and I’m sure I had seen them at some point. One of their last gigs was a sold out show at Maxwells according to the book and I was more than likely there doing something. Hell I practically lived there in the eighties. At one point I was even having my mail delivered there since my mother thought my neighborhood at 2nd and Madison was too unsafe for postal delivery.

‘Our Band Can Be Your Life’ is a good book, thoroughly enjoyable but personally I think bands like Pylon, Let’s Active among others should be written about. I suppose that is what Steve Fallon is working on. I have to find some of my writings and sort them out and send them to Steve for his approval. I hope it’s an oral biography.

I Can’t Control Myself

Let’s see. I haven’t written since last Thursday, July 7. I was planning on it but it wound up taking 2 hours to get home when in the best circumstances it takes maybe 30 minutes tops. I was on the bus, in the queue at the top of the exit ramp and thanks to a car accident in the Lincoln Tunnel (2nd accident in 2 hours) I waited for about 45 minutes before I persuaded the bus driver to let me off.

I had thought that if I get off the bus the traffic would start moving, but I was getting impatient. I read a few pages of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad and decided to do something instead of just sitting there. The bus driver bent the rules and allowed me off the bus.

I wandered down a few flights of steps and exited through a door that a few women couldn’t see even though it was right in front of them. I stepped out into the mist/drizzle and headed towards the Path train, lighting a small cigar as I stomped my way down the street listening to Public Image Limited.

I waited just a few minutes for a train and hopped aboard. It wasn’t that crowded on a Friday night and I was home almost 2 hours after signing out at the cigar shack. I was toasted but off for 5 days. I watched some of Bill Maher with the hideous Ann Coulter on and yes even though I didn’t think it possible I loathe her even more than ever before. I loathe her like cancer. She was quite annoying as if she could be any other way.

The next day was a Saturday. My sister was flying in from the west coast and we spoke briefly, her plane was delayed, late enough that she would probably head to my niece’s house instead of stopping in Hoboken first. It was a drag but I got over it.

It freed up a lot of things that I had to do, I was able to take my time and do whatever it was I had to do and forgot to do what Annemarie asked me to do which was to call my sister in law and tell her that Annemarie wouldn’t be stopping by over there either. Don’t know why I spaced on it, but I did totally. I don’t even remember Annemarie asking me make the call.

Annemarie made it safe and sound and a bit peeved at my space cadet status. I was embarrassed myself. The next day was Sunday and Annemarie and I finally connected. She was earlier than I expected and after coming up to the messy apartment where Bill & I live, we walked around Hoboken for a spell, walking by the river, down Washington Street and stopping by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro.

Then we walked up to Julio & Stine’s new apartment, otherwise known as Alexander’s domain. A lovely space, two bedrooms and a view of the neighborhood where the cigar shack is in the city. Some wine, some fruit and good conversation was the way to go for the next couple of hours.

Annemarie and I left and walked back over to Washington Street where we devoured a small pizza at Napoli’s. Then a walk back to where Annemarie parked her car. She was back to my niece’s house and I chilled out upstairs.

The next day was a beach day with my niece Corinne joining us, followed by another beach day with my niece Hillary in the back seat, followed by my niece Meghan on Wednesday. It was all good and of course it had to end, since I had to go back to the cigar shack today. It wasn’t that bad after all.

The 5 days off did me good. Just2 more days left before another 3 days off and another trip to the beach with Annemarie and her son Earl hopefully joining us. That’s about it.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write tonight and you know what? I’m still not sure. It wasn’t as hard as I thought and I’m sure it was as entertaining as you thought it would be.

I Am Loved

Back at work today. Woke up to a maelstrom outside my window. Definitely a day to sleep in and how I would have loved to have done that. But no, some misguided sense of duty called and I just had to answer that call.

I granted myself about 15 extra minutes of sleep which eventually amounted to about 10 minutes. What I bargained with for those extra minutes I have no idea but something would come up eventually no doubt.

Last night I should have gone to see Lois DiLivio performing in a shop window on Washington Street, one of the few shops I did not apply to. I thought about going, and thought about not going but once I was settled in at home, it was extremely doubtful that I would head out again. My loss, truly.

Just one picture from Lisa Rigoux Hoppe’s camera made me realize that I should have at least made an appearance. Regardless, home is where I stayed, waiting for Bill to come home from the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe, a celebration for Miguel Algarin.

By the time he came home I fell into the comfortable rabbit hole of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Yes, I own the super deluxe version but this was so comfortable and familiar that I opted to watch it.

Bill walked in, tired and happy to be home. He did some computer stuff on his iPad or Mac Book or possibly both before he went to bed. I stayed up and watched the Simpsons before I went to bed. I should have taken a melatonin like I did the other day and like I did a few months ago.

Things were going well for a while but lately I’ve been stressed and my sleeping has been a bit fitful, so a melatonin tablet is on the menu.

Got a text from my brother Brian this morning as I was getting ready to go to work. He was 2 blocks away. I would have loved to have met up with him, but no, it wasn’t in the cards. He did warn me about the maelstrom and told me to be careful and I told him the same.

I walked up to Washington Street, to the bus stop and called Bill as I waited. He was his usual effervescent self and I was the usual grouchy baby on the other end. After getting off the phone with Bill I decided to call my brother Frank to see how he was.

It ended badly once again with Frank last week and figured I might catch him at a moment when songs from Sweeney Todd weren’t being sung. The songs weren’t being sung, but he had no time as he was heading out the door for an appointment.

He did mention that he was worried about me and I told him I knew that. I didn’t say it was from Annemarie telling me.

Soon I was at the cigar shop working alongside the Bradley. Let’s face it, there is no love lost between us. It was sort of fun working at the cigar shop when Raymond and Don were working there, but they’re no longer around and the only fun comes from Sean who works part time.

It was a long day and there was the Big Smoke event going on a few blocks away this evening. The Big Smoke to-do is a show where cigar makers as well as scotch makers hand out free cigars and samplings of scotch all for the admission of $250.00 in advance, $265.00 at the door. Some cigar makers did stop by the cigar shop and blessed the staff with free cigars which was quite nice.

Marcus hung around the cigar shop most of the afternoon making things a bit uptight. He eventually left, leaving Sean and the Bradley and myself to man the shop. And it’s been not as busy as it’s been the past few weeks.

The Bradley left later than usual hanging out with David Dexterport, a fairly regular customer. I have to admit, I enjoyed chatting with David Dexterport in the past but now I’ve been superseded by the Bradley. That’s the way things turn out I suppose.

As I got my ducks lined up to close the store and make that 10:30 bus the cigar shop door opened and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that guy looks just like Marcus.’ It was Marcus. He was coming back from the Big Smoke event with yet another cigar maker who blessed Sean and myself with cigars once again.

I flew down to the bus terminal, a few steps removed from my closing the store since Marcus was there to finish what I could not do since he was staying behind. Made it to the bus terminal, next to last passenger before the doors closed.

And now here I am, at home in Hoboken on the mainland.

Dedicated to Jet Watley.

I Like It

And now I find myself on a Saturday night. Some friends are probably seeing Tiny Lights somewhere on Ludlow Street, other friends are doing who knows what. For me it’s been a long day and after having to deal with people all day, the last thing I want to do is actually be around people.

Bill is about all I can handle and he’s 3 feet behind me watching something on PBS with the volume louder than usual. I sit and type, my back to Bill listening to Brian Eno and J. Peter Schwalm on my computer with the headphones on, though I can still hear the TV behind me despite the fact that the volume is all the way up on the computer and headphones.

Last night was an interesting night somewhat, at least it was to me. Had a talk with Bill on the phone while he was in Atlantic City, and then a talk with Annemarie. Both conversations were concerning the job which I interviewed for and was told I would start on December 6.

Now at this moment in time it seems like that is unrealistic. I don’t have the paperwork they require for the background check and even if I did the fudging of the start date on the resume would seem certain to derail any offer. Live and learn I suppose.

Today at the cigar shop, it was Don’s last day. He’s leaving to work for a start up internet company. So the cigar shop is in the lurch with Don’s departure and if I left, it would more than likely cripple them. Yeah I have problems sometimes with working at the cigar shop, but more often than not, it’s manageable.

And I am loyal, loyal enough that today when Calvin asked me if I could work, dangling the prospect of overtime to entice me into such a situation. I said I would work half a day if needed, since he was trying to convince Marcus into coming in to fill in.

Calvin is driving to Ohio with his wife and kid at 4:00AM Sunday morning, taking his first vacation in a year, or so he said. Now at home, the news is on and the volume is a little bit lower, making it bearable, though the news is still generally bad.

Calvin said a few minutes later that I would not have to come in, an employee from another cigar shop will be coming in to help out Bradley. I also spoke with Bradley when he called to ask about the alarm when he comes into the shop.

I told him to call me if he had any problems while he worked. Now with Ron gone, I’m the senior employee. Of course there is no extra money in the new title.

After dealing with people all day long the last thing I want to do after work if deal with idiots. Unfortunately I missed the 9:35 bus by 1 minute and had to wait for the 9:55 bus which idled at the gate for 10 minutes. And this bus seemed to be filled with inconsiderate self centered people all headed to Hoboken.

That’s it. I’m done. Over and out.

Not posting tomorrow.

I’m Not Afraid

It’s Wednesday I think. Annemarie flew off to California this morning. She had an early flight and stayed at a hotel near the airport. When she was getting on a plane, Bill was heading off to the gym before work and I stayed asleep in bed.

I heard While My Guitar Gently Weeps playing as I eventually woke up and started my day. A shower and a skipping of the shave, breakfast cereal and coffee.

I headed out and went to the cleaners to pick up some shirts and also to the supermarket and bought some groceries, and a rain check since they didn’t have my cereal on the 2 for $5.00 deal on my cereal. Back home for a few before I changed into my suit, tie in the bag.

Headed up to Washington Street and once again my shirt was translucent in parts. My bus arrived and I got on, sitting on the left side so the sun wouldn’t be beaming upon me as we rolled towards the Lincoln Tunnel. I decided to play Madness, One Step Beyond as I walked through the terminal. Still a classic record.

As I approached the subway turnstile I was directed by a police officer that I needed to have my bag checked. I obliged of course, knowing that I had no bombs or drugs or paraphernalia inside.

Sweated as I waited for the train and then chilled as I got on the A train, strong air conditioning. Headed into the shop a bit early. No rock stars from the 1960’s nearby.

I swear since I’ve started working this gig on June 1, I lost weight. 17.5 shirts are no longer tight around my neck, and the trousers I wear also have ample room. I’m not complaining. It must be from standing on my feet 9 hours a day.

Most of the usual customers came in. I went outside for lunch and had a very good cigar from La Flor Dominicana. It was unbearably hot and humid out and I wasn’t enjoying myself so I headed back to the shop and sat in the back.

It was crowded when I left for lunch and when I came back it was empty. And that was how I liked it. Someone left a New York Post behind and I read some of it, all the while feeling my IQ slipping a few points.

Hard to believe I would read it fairly regularly, now maybe I’ll read it if someone leaves it behind, like today. Calvin joined me for a bit and we talked about Lindsay Lohan and the mosque that is planned for construction down near the World Trade Center.

Calvin agreed that it was basically my god is better than your god. It’s all bullshit to me. The afternoon went by without much notice. I closed the shop once again and decided it was too hot to hustle on down the avenue to catch a bus.

And because I did not hustle, I missed the bus by a minute.

I was alone at the gate for a few minutes before other people showed up, including 2 twenty something girls who were having a conversation about living in Hoboken and how much they like it and that they don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

That’s basically all that happened today. Annemarie is back in Arcata, safe and sound. Bill is behind me, watching Lawn Hors d’œuvre and dealing with a bottle of soap that opened in his backpack.

I’m Sticking With You

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

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

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

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

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

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

She’s my dearest, best friend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anne, Cori, Me, Elaine & Bill

I’m Gonna Be A Teenage Idol

And it was back to work for me today. Thanks to Annemarie, I remember to live in the present. I’m trying to stop looking back at the past, thinking that ‘things were so much better then’. They may have been but they don’t exist anymore and there’s no going back.

At the beach yesterday, I found myself thinking about the future, specifically today. Today meaning work. Thanks to Annemarie I snapped out of it. She’s good like that. And it was thinking like that, that had me prepared to face today. And it wasn’t so bad after all.

Lately my mantra has been, ‘At least you have a job’. True, the pay could be better, the hours could be better, but this is the situation I am in and I have to make the most of it.

My computer has been acting up. Right now it says there is no internet connection, but I know there is one. It’s been difficult to upload pictures and videos, mainly of the party on Sunday.

I have Jon & Deena of the Cucumbers singing My Boyfriend, I have Tim & Lily of the Street Corner Mourners singing an old Irish Folk song “I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Every Day” and “Thirteen” by Big Star.

I don’t know if I have Bob Pierson singing Roy Orbison’s Sweet Dreams Baby and I don’t think I have my performance of the Fabs’ All My Loving or Bill singing Picture in a Frame by Tom Waits, accompanied by Lois DiLivio.

Maybe I do. It’s just that the computer is so slow. It’s been slow since the heat wave last week.

I did see Rand this morning at the bus stop. He was actually there to see me, but as I met him, my bus pulled up and I got on it and Rand walked. I’m sure if he ran alongside we could have had a quick little chat, but it didn’t matter since I couldn’t open the windows enough.

The day went by as it generally does. At first it was waiting for Marcus to leave, then waiting for Calvin to go home. There was a difference of 7 hours between the former leaving and the latter going home.

I had a cigar at lunch, a $25.00 cigar and since it was raining, I actually ate in the backroom with some customers, and had a nice chat with Mona about the far right and their wish to turn this country into a theocracy.

We talked about our spouses as well, she being hitched to a woman from Holland and me with what’s his name, Bill.

I made a deal with Don Birch and I counted the safe while he closed the register. That made me out of the store at 9:05. According to iTunes I made it from the shop to the bus terminal in 13.5 minutes.

But that is an error since I didn’t start playing the Talking Heads ‘Naked’ album until I got a block away and the third song, Totally Nude ended when I set foot on the corner of 42nd Street and Eight Avenue.

So it wasn’t really leaving the shop and entering the terminal, but it was close though. And 13.5 minutes to walk down 15 blocks isn’t so bad either.

Good ol' what's his name....Bill.

I’m In Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awfully sweet.

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

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

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

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

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

It ended basically when the World Cup ended.

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

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

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

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

I was able to get this one uploaded!

I Wanna Be Sedated

Well here we are, Christmas Eve 2009. An early posting for me. Won’t have time later since Bill and I are expected in Hillsdale, the home of the Relatives of the Powers. Brian, Karen, Hillary & Cassie. Little Brian is away at the moment. Frank, Elaine & Corrine are expected as are Meghan and Rob.

This has been going on I guess, since my mother passed away in 1991. The house in Lodi was more like a tomb at that point and I was no longer welcome in the house where I grew up. I guess we went up to Montvale for that first haunted Christmas without Mom.

My father and I weren’t speaking to each other and I started the first of several years of putting out my hand and wishing him a Merry Christmas only to have him look the other way. One year I stopped and at both Brian and Frank’s insistence I put my hand out once again and once again I was rebuffed.

I then had to chastise both of my brothers, saying in effect, ‘how many times do I have to show that I am the better man?’ . My father came around the year before he passed in 1999. Just a handshake and a hug. No apologies were expected and none were given.

I used to go up with William when I lived in Weehawken. He was welcomed in by my family, but looking back I have to wonder if they thought William and I were an item. I know a few people mentioned they thought we were, but no we weren’t. We certainly weren’t each others type, that’s for sure.

When I started going out with Bill in 2000, Bill replaced William as my companion of choice. And he’s been welcomed with open arms, with a provision that signs of affection between Bill and myself were to be kept to a bare minimum, or better yet, invisible.

That was no problem since relatives of the Powers aren’t known for open displays of affection anyhow.

This year is a bit tighter, tightest since the 1980’s. I tried my hand at homemade presents which over 20 years later I am embarrassed by but find that the original recipients trot them out each year, not to embarrass me, but for sentimental reasons.

Earlier this year when I heard about the Bob Dylan Christmas album I thought it would be nice to get a copy for my siblings. I shopped for the best present and with the fact that all of Dylan’s royalties were going in perpetuity to Feeding America it seemed like the best gift for a tight budget.

I didn’t expect the difficulty I would go through in getting people to merely accept it and perhaps just saying thanks, rather than a lecture and the browbeating that came along with it. Annemarie & Frank have both been told what the gift was so the only one who doesn’t is Brian. Unless he reads this before I get there.

In any event what’s done is done and I’m over it. It is the Christmas spirit to forget and forgive and move on so having written that, I am gone already.

Already did whatever I had to do today, wrapped Bill’s gifts, a walk to the post office. Stopped by the Guitar Bar where I saw Jim Mastro of course, but also Lily & Ruby. Meghan was home, baking cookies and dinner. Or maybe cookies for dinner. I

t was a nice afternoon. Bill should be home soon, he worked today and then I guess we will be off to Hillsdale.

Last night I watched the Paul McCartney performance on the marquee of the Ed Sullivan Theater from July, when Macca was the guest on the Letterman show. So exciting. I really enjoyed the Fireman album so hearing it live in that situation was pretty cool. Wished I was there, but I wasn’t.

This has been my 1500th posting. Yay Me!

Cranberry Sauce.

Two Sevens Clash

Despite my occasional insisting that I don’t take naps, I took a nap. And it was good. I was tempted to write ‘winter time nap’ but we all know that it’s not winter time yet. That would be December 21, 2009 at 12:47 PM EST. And by ‘we’ I mean Harpy & Annemarie. That’s right, I’m down to 2 regular readers.

Or rather one regular reader and one irregular reader. I’m not naming names but the irregular reader is not my sister.

It was a good power nap, set an alarm so I wouldn’t oversleep. I woke up and cooked some chicken and made some pasta. The metropolitan area is bracing for a big snowstorm, 10 inches expected. I expect that the supermarket has been cleared out and most corner shops were ready for gouging.

I do need to go to the supermarket after writing this. It could wind up looking like ‘The Road’ which is a movie I want to see. It’s supposed to be very depressing, but t’is the season and spirit of the holidays, right?


I followed Betty Colatrella’s advice and rented Shine A Light, the Martin Scorsese concert film of the Rolling Stones. I should have stayed with my first opinion that it wasn’t worth seeing, since it wasn’t worth seeing. Perhaps the Stones shot their wad in the 1970’s.

I didn’t finish watching the DVD and plan on dropping it off at the library en route to the supermarket. I did watch the Monk finale finally and it was a nice finish to the end of the series. I didn’t watch it regularly but I usually enjoyed it when I did. Can’t remember a bad episode really and I suppose it was typecasting when Craig T. Nelson played an asshole.

Burned some more CD’s today and have a few more to burn. Something to do when hunkered down this weekend I suppose. More people are joining my Hoboken Daily News group on Facebook which is nice. Andy is still thrilled even though he doesn’t know a thing about Facebook or the Internets.

I am also quite happy that Mike Watt is now a Facebook friend. I requested his friendship and sent a note about how great it was, seeing the Minutemen playing McSwells back in the day. He was touched by that and replied in kind, signing off, ‘On bass, Watt’. Can he get any nicer or cooler?

Uploaded Count Basie’s Greatest Hits on my iTunes. Perhaps I’ll burn that for someone. But who?

I did scrimp and save and cut off all my hair and sold it to get Bill a watch fob for Christmas. Sure I look demented but isn’t that what love is all about? No plans for me tonight except going to the supermarket. I suppose my bald look will draw some stares but I don’t mind.

December 18, 2005 I wrote about the previous evening’s Saturday Night Live which had Lazy Sunday, the rap by Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg. Also wrote about seeing Devo at the Palladium.

December 18, 2006 was all about me having 2 weeks off after leaving Wolff Olins. Expected my year end bonus but they didn’t give it to me since I quit. I did work at Farfetched at the time. I wish I was still doing that. I miss Farfetched.

December 18, 2007 was the day of the holiday party at Bio-IB. Quite an awkward party, at least for me. No bonus in December, it was coming in February which I was surprised to learn. Also the start of the troubles between me and Tom Chin who is also known as Harry Wong in real life.

December 18, 2008 was all about my anger with the choice of Pastor Rick Warren to say the magic words to the iron age sky god during the Inauguration. P.Rick Warren was in the media lately with his friends in Uganda and Rwanda introducing legislation for imprisoning and executing gays and lesbians. He’s still a fat little turd.

Just because he wrote a few bestsellers only means that a lot of misguided or stupid people bought his books.

Most of The Time

Last night was melancholy. It was a slow descent into melancholia. In the back of my mind was the anxiety of the job interview this morning. Well maybe it was more like a full occupation of my mind, the melancholia.

I had a fun phone call with Annemarie and a good time with Bill but I couldn’t enjoy things like Curb Your Enthusiasm. There were aspects that I did laugh at but most everything was clouded by the anxiety. And it wasn’t so much the interview, it’s the whole idea of being unemployed.

It’s really a drag and that is really an understatement. I’ve been unemployed before and knew it was only a matter of time before I would land another gig. But it really is scary out there. I didn’t know how scary it was until I became part of it.

I had an appointment for 11:00 this morning for an interview and felt that the tutorials I did a few weeks ago would help me out. I set the alarm clock for 7:00. Bill was up and out around 6:00, giving me a kiss goodbye and wishing me well.

He’s so great. Drives me crazy sometimes, but any relationship usually involves one party driving the other party crazy. The toothpaste cap. The dishes in the sink. Neither one of those issues concern us, just using it for an example.

He’s so incredibly supportive of me, believing in me when I don’t. And that’s a lot of the time.

Yesterday when I was at Tariq’s studio, the two of us were on the fire escape having a smoke. He had some good advice having been through a lot in his own life. It was advice that I had given to people from time to time and I had forgotten it.

There’s always someone who has it worse than you. As he was saying this I saw two people in electric wheelchairs in the distance headed to the light rail. How’s that for reality? I told Tariq I know I have it good. I have a roof over my head and I have someone who loves me. And some people don’t have either. So I’m grateful.

And if I am asked on Thursday to state what I am thankful for I can just point at Bill and say ‘Him’.

I reset the alarm clock to 9:00 and finally got some real good sleep. Woke up to the music of War singing Low Rider. I even said an affirmation. ‘Good day, good day, it’s gonna be a good day’ I kept repeating that to myself and I got myself ready.

Had to print out three references, got a nice suit & tie on. Braces, socks, sock garters (hate droopy socks), lightly polished my shoes and had my passport for government ID, my resume and I was out the door.

The light rail was at 10:38 and I thought I had enough time but by the time I was about 150 yards from the light rail I looked at my watch and it was 10:35. I ran through the terminal, jammed my credit card in the ticket machine, had it validated, time stamped at 10:38 and saw the light rail pulling away.

I called up the agency, getting the number through Google411 and dialed the number. No answer. I called Bill and asked him to go into my email and get the info from the email that the counselor Rainier sent me.

Bill was great and asked if I was going to call the counselor. Steam leaked a little bit from my ears but I kept it cool. He got the info and told me and I called, telling Rainier that I was going to be 10 minutes late.

He was fine with it, but I hate being late. Generally I’m early. Good day good day, it’s gonna be a good day. Got off the light rail in the middle of the Harborside complex which consists of a few post modern buildings.

Which one? I called Bill once again and once again Bill came through.

Got to the office, filled out paperwork. Took an Excel, Word and Outlook test. Oddly enough I did better on the Excel than I did on the Word. Outlook was a walk in the park.

I was in a tiny room with four other guys, all of us intensely focused on the computer screens in front of us. I was gassy. Not releasing gas mind you, but it was moving it’s way through my body and was a little bit noisy. At least noisy to me.

Don’t know if the others heard it. It was like an interview I had tears ago for a production company called Geronimo. Same thing happened but that was during the interview. No gas, just internal noise.

Finally met Rainier who was a crazy cute guy. We went over the tests and he remarked that I did better than most which was a pleasant surprise. I have a good feeling about this agency. Perhaps they’ll place me somewhere.

Maybe it was butterflies in my stomach from talking with Rainier, maybe it was gas. It went well and I wished him and the receptionist and Happy Thanksgiving which is the thing to say this week.

Even though it was cold and windy I decided to walk back to Hoboken through the Jersey City waterfront. I enjoyed a cigar on the way and listened to the iPod. Overall I think it went well. A positive way to spend a few hours.

I feel a lot better tonight and shook a rosebush when I got home.

Here’s some pics from the walk home.

9/11 Memorial @ Harborside

9/11 Memorial @ Harborside

11.23.09 Jersey City area 002

11.23.09 Jersey City area 003

11.23.09 Jersey City area 004

11.23.09 Jersey City area 005

Tiny terracotta warrior @ a Cooperative school

Tiny terracotta warrior @ a Cooperative school

Elephants by an ice rink

Elephants by an ice rink

11.23.09 Jersey City area 008

11.23.09 Jersey City area 009

11.23.09 Jersey City area 010

11.23.09 Jersey City area 011

11.23.09 Jersey City area 012

Just keeping it Gully.

Just keeping it Gully.

This Wheel’s on Fire

Today is all about the damp and the rain. I knew it was going to be this way and was prepared. Ah foresight! Why hadn’t I used that before? I went out a few times before it started to rain so human contact was completed early on.

Bill’s been home all day as well, so while he’s watching the TV and shredding documents and papers, I’ve been on his Mac. Hopefully not too much longer since my computer is now at Rand’s apartment.

Brought it over on Thursday night before heading to McSwells in an Ikea bag they were handing out at the Art & Music Festival last month.

So while keeping out of Bill’s way I watched a movie that Roda recommended a while back. It’s called The Fall and it has nothing to do with Mark E. Smith. It was directed by Tarsem who is most known for directing the R.E.M. video, Losing My Religion.

It’s definitely a beautiful film with lush locations and fantastic images. The story doesn’t hold up to the images. It’s not bad though and worth seeing. I also watched the ‘making of ‘ documentary, which showed the difficulty in directing child actors.

You can see Tarsem climbing the walls trying to get the 6 year old girl to cry or say her lines just the way the director wants them to be said.

Tonight Bill and I are going to watch ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ adapted from James Baldwin’s classic novel and starring Paul Winfield and Olivia Cole. I’d only seen a short clip of it on a James Baldwin documentary and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

It all depends on whether the Yankees game will go on. It’s raining out right now with flashes of lightning. I personally don’t care either way.

I can easily watch the DVD on Bill’s Mac like I had done earlier today. I’ve been in front of the computer screen most of the day anyway.

I do not like the new Facebook layout. It updates by itself, but I preferred doing the updating. And when you hit home the page from a few hours comes up. Then if you hit it again it’s more current. Me no like. Me wish they asked whether or not I wanted it done.

Of course being online most of the day, yesterday and today, I noticed the initial change yesterday. I don’t see anyone else complaining about, nor do I hear the scratching of heads.

Just heard from Annemarie in Ashland, OR where she is having high tea on the porch of a Bed & Breakfast. Just Annemarie and a friend getting out of Arcata to look at Mount Shasta and the surrounding area.

She deserves a break from Rex and Earl I suppose. She did sound a bit disappointed in the fact that I hadn’t done much of anything today, due to the weather.

Now lightning flashes again. No word on whether the Yankees will be playing. I’m sure their fans are out in the rain waiting at the stadium. Even if I was a fan, being nice and cozy and dry here in Hoboken is much more preferable.

I just asked Bill if he would go to the Bronx if he had tickets. The short answer is, yes. He would be in the Bronx wearing a rain poncho.

Of course his initial answer involved a bus. I had to put the brakes on that, fast. I apparently needed to rephrase the question without any bus involvement even though there wasn’t any reference to begin with.

If you had a ticket, would you have taken the subway to the Bronx, in the rain to see the Yankees tonight?

The wheels keep turning.

The Lumberjack Song

Back in the 1970’s on Sunday nights, my sister and I would watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus at 10:30 on Channel 13 on a small black & white TV in my parent’s bedroom.

My parents were watching something on the color TV in the living room so we had no other choice but to watch it in black & white. That was fine.

I remember before we started watching the show, asking Annemarie what Monty Python’s Flying Circus was, having seen it in the TV Guide listings. She didn’t have much of an idea but suggested we watch it.

So we started watching what would soon be a Sunday night ritual. I remember howling with laughter at Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Salad Days’. Who knew dismemberment and wide scale bloodletting would be so hilarious?

My parents probably thought we were insane with the peals of laughter. It was then I became a Python devotee. Not many people knew about Python then, and I’m sure it had a definite influence on my view of life.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was when a lot of my friends caught up. Routines of yelling ‘Ni’ at each other. Mock battles between imaginary knights, killer rabbits were the rage for a time in the playground across the street from my house.

Annemarie & I did see Jabberwocky at the Bergen Mall movie theater but that went over our heads somewhat. Probably was an accurate depiction of life in the middle ages, but for the 2 of us, we just didn’t get it. It’s probably worth a look see again.

Never saw them live, but I did see the movies. I had the Live at City Center album, which was enjoyable, but nothing compared to the TV show.

Lately there is a series on the IFC about Monty Python. An authorized biography. I DVR’d it last night since I was in the midst of writing 1880 words. I looked forward to watching it when I was done writing and about an hour after, I watched it.

It seemed a bit odd, and I thought it was a surrealist gag. The sound was a few seconds behind the video and I hoped it would clear itself up. It didn’t. In fact there were some gaps in the program where the screen went dark.

Very disappointing.

I wound up reading while it was on since it was so annoying to try to watch it. It felt like a radio documentary while reading. I did eventually watch it at midnight and the IFC situation seemed to have cleared up.

I also posted on the IFC website but I don’t think anyone else had the same problem as I did. It was informative. Some footage of The Goon Show with Spike Mulligan and Peter Sellers as well as Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller.

And I just placed both Jabberwocky and Beyond the Fringe in my Netflix queue. Once I view Gran Casino by Luis Bunuel I’ll be able to see Beyond the Fringe.

Had that one for a few weeks but haven’t found the time or frame of mind to sit down and watch the surrealist master.

Funnily enough, it’s because of Monty Python that I first heard of Luis Bunuel. Back in the day when I used to read Rolling Stine and take it seriously, there was an obituary of Luis Bunuel, written by Eric Idle in the pages.

Eric Idle basically said, or from what I can remember that if it wasn’t for Luis Bunuel, Monty Python probably wouldn’t have existed.

That was high praise indeed for me and soon after that I traveled to the Public Theater, when they used to show films and watched my first Bunuel film, El Bruto with Stan Bogdansky.

I think a documentary on Luis Bunuel is way over due and I’m sure the Pythons would agree.

A very happy birthday to my brother Frank!