Tag Archives: Birthday

I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know

Well it’s a Monday and I am off of work today. I was able to arrange it a few weeks ago. Off yesterday for my birthday and today, just in case I had to recover from something. But I didn’t have anything to recover from.

Saturday night came home from the cigar shop and posted. Bill was out and came home sometime after midnight. He said he wanted to come home for my birthday, and he did. Walking through the door with a big bag with a gift wrapped box inside.

I opened the card first and found an iTunes gift card inside. Then I opened the box and found three very nice monogrammed shirts. Really beautiful. Can’t wait to wear the, only wish it was for an office job, and not for the cigar shop.

Still I look forward to wearing them in the cooler weather. They’re all contrasting collar & cuffs and if it gets cooler I won;t have to worry about sweating through them. It was incredibly nice of Bill. We stayed up and talked and watched whatever was on TV.

Around 2:00 I decided to go to bed and walked into the kitchen. I smelled gas and asked Bill if he did too. He said he did. With the explosion out in San Bruno, CA the other day we decided to call PSE&G and let them know about the smell of gas.

They said they would send someone out within an hour. I went to bed and Bill dealt with the PSE&G guy who turned off the gas at 3:00AM.

Woke up and took a shower on Sunday morning not realizing that that was the last of the water in the hot water heater. Bill and I went out for breakfast at Stacks, the pancake house. It was quite crowded with a line of people waiting for tables stretching out into the sidewalk.

We opted to eat at the counter where I met Anthony Cohen who is the owner and Judy who is the hostess. Both know Bill fairly well since he’s taken to eating there when he comes home from his bus driving duties.

It was a great and filling breakfast, better than anything I could have whipped up for myself. A walk to the supermarket for some items with Bill. We sort of had plans to go to the Whitney Museum to see an installation but the weather was dreary and I was still tired and didn’t want to have to head into the city.

Bill was probably a bit disappointed since it was his idea, but when we came home, he was interested in going back to sleep. I stayed awake and watched TV, saw the first half of Up In The Air.

A few hours later, Calvin calls, first wishing me a happy birthday, then asking where the envelope was for the DVD of the Sugar Ray Leonard fights from Friday night. I told him to check the drawers in the back room. Calvin thanked me and since he never called back, I can only guess that he found the disc.

I woke Bill up a little after 4:00PM, getting him up so that we could go to the Hoboken Museum instead. We looked out the window and saw it was drizzling, but when we got to the street it was teeming. We climbed back up the 4 flights of stairs and Bill went into the bedroom to study the lines for a play he is working on.

He’s actually playing Allen Ginsburg. Yes that Allen Ginsburg. And they know that Ginsburg was not a Puerto Rican man of color.

Around 7:00 we headed out to Arthur’s steakhouse, our spot of choice for celebratory dinners. We sat in the front instead of the backroom which I liked since there are no TV sets in the front room.

Came back and watched True Blood and Mad Men. True Blood had some twists and a few cliffhangers, but over all it merely left me whelmed. They will be back for a season four, since the show’s creator, Alan Ball came on and said so at the end of the season finale.

Mad Men was enjoyable and Bill went off to bed shortly thereafter. I stayed up for a while watching TV and thanking everyone who sent me birthday greetings on Facebook.

Woke up and tried to take a shower, forgetting that there was no hot water. It bummed me out and set the tone for the rest of the day.

I really have to thank Bill for everything that he’s done. He’s really good for me and it’s strange to say, but I’d really be lost without him in my life. He really is my rock. He says I do the same for him but I don’t really see it.

He drives me up the freaking wall most of the time when he’s here but when he’s not here, I miss him terribly.

I had some coffee and looked online at the job listings and there is still nothing out there, adding more to my mood. Plus the low key fun I had with Bill yesterday made me miss it and Bill that much more.

I called the landlord and told him about the gas leak and PSE&G. I also left him a message yesterday about it, but he said he didn’t get it. This is the downside to having an absentee landlord.

I texted Julio about taking a shower in his apartment tomorrow morning which got a quick response. He called and asked what happened. I gave him the lowdown and he said that if was slow at work he’d see what he could do.

Julio came by around 7:00 tonight and was going to hook up the pipes so at least I would have hot water since the concept of me showering in his bathroom was too strange for him to contemplate.

He figured out that it was the pilot lights that had gone out and re- it them. There was no explosion, no blackened faces with singed eyebrows. I keep checking every now and then, lighting a cigar and hoping for the best.

When I called this morning, the landlord said he would have his handyman give me a call. The not so handy man called about a half hour ago, nine hours after the landlord told him to call. PSE&G is still scheduled to come by on Wednesday morning, between 8:00AM and 12:00PM.

Bill arranged to take the first half of the day off and I will be here until 10:10 or so. I called the landlord to tell him just that, and that Julio fixed everything once again.

I did watch the second half of Up In The Air and though it’s a good movie, still it’s a bummer. Watching people lose their jobs, it’s not the laugh riot I had hoped for.

I also listened to some the new Arcade Fire CD which Annemarie burned for me and it’s quite good. I recommend it. And I also recommend the Blushing Roulettes and Nick Drake, with once again, special thanks to Anne and her wonderful brownies.

My Boo.

(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lawrence & Joe

El Stiffo & the Birthday boy

The Peanut Vendor

Late posting tonight. But I have a good excuse, no really I do! Bill and I went out for his birthday today. I had off from work today. Just 2 more days of real work then I guess I’m on the dole.

Today I slept in, until 10:00 and got myself together and set about running errands. I had a schedule to follow since we had tickets to a Broadway show, In The Heights.

Bill had laundry to be picked up so I did that for him. I ran into Stine and Alexander who was fascinated by a string on a tree. Also stopped by the Guitar Bar where I lent Jim Mastro the Brian Eno biography I just finished.

It was a beautiful day once again, no rain. I headed into the city and wandered around before meeting up with Bill at 6:30.

I was early and so was Bill. That was nice. We walked around Times Square before heading into John’s Pizzeria on 44th Street. It’s the midtown branch of the John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street.

This is a nice place, high ceilings and loads of tourists. Good pizza though. I really like the stained glass ceiling.

I also spoke to the waiter and told him it was Bill’s birthday and had 2 slices of chocolate cake, one with a candle on it. No singing from other customers just me and Bill doing a quick run through. A few pints of Guinness were involved as well.

I was lucky and surprised that I was able to keep Bill out of the loop with regards to the show we were seeing. A few weeks ago on PBS we watched a documentary on the making of In The Heights, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008.

There’s nothing quite like seeing live theater and this was a very special show. We both loved the documentary but I didn’t think about getting tickets for the show until last week.

I get email subscriptions for some Broadway ticket discount groups and In The Heights was having a special. Orchestra seats for about $50.00 a ticket which is quite a bargain these days.

I had seen the commercials for In The Heights on TV and you can feel the emotion of it’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in the ad. Maybe it’s because he just won the Tony, but hey, the guy followed his dream which took him to the Great White Way.

He’s not in the show anymore but his replacement Javier Munoz did a very good job

Did a better job than Paul Simon’s The Capeman too. Also Justina Machado is in the play, she played Fernando’s wife on Six Feet Under. Man, she could sing!

Just a great, fun and moving show. Gets close to cliché but doesn’t cross that line. In fact there were one or two times I found myself getting misty during some songs.

Really a well done show that both Bill and I enjoyed very much. Bill also thanks the many friends that sent him birthday greetings.

A nice walk to the bus terminal where we both helped a little old lady across the street. Really, we did. Another splendid day, all for Bill which was quite nice.

So far we’ve seen shows both on and off Broadway for the past three years. In 2007 we saw Passing Strange at the Public Theater. That was really good.

Last year we saw Xanadu which was a lot of fun and also a thrill having seats on stage. We’re doing our bit keeping theater alive, as are the thousands of tourists roaming around. If you get a chance, see In The Heights.

Or visit Harpy in the heights, and I’m sure he will do his interpretive Anglicized version of it. You might have to ask nicely. Or merely ask.

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Bill's Birthday 2009 007

Penny for Your Thoughts

Well it was back to work today. I did my best to go to bed at a decent hour last night after watching Towelhead. That was a difficult movie. Edge of the seat type stuff, the sexual awakening of a 13 year old girl. Creepy indeed!

Summer Bishil played the 13 year old girl. She was 18 when the movie was made but still…Aaron Eckhart played an even creepier neighbor and Peter Macdissi who played the douche bag Olivier on Six Feet Under played the girls father who once again plays a douche bag. Toni Colette was great as usual. I love her. She reminds me of Meghan Taylor a bit. It was well made but still you’re left with an uneasy feeling at the end.

I can’t even say if I would recommend it. It was creepy like a Todd Solodnz film, and if you’ve seen any of his films then you’ll get the picture. Towelhead was directed by Alan Ball who made American Beauty and created Six Feet Under.

After that was the news then Scrubs then bed. Unfortunately I’ve been going to bed around 1:30 the past week so going to sleep before then wasn’t easy. And waking up on time wasn’t easy with since I woke up at 7:30, which is usually the time I am on a bus heading into the city.

I didn’t hustle since I was going to be later than usual andf felt, In for a penny, in for a pound’. I got to the office by 9:00. No one noticed. No one from my company was in yet. The day was fairly quiet. Steve the guy I had whiskey and cigars with last week came in to look for a job. It was good to see him, though he is looking a bit dissolute, he stopped shaving.

I had some errands to run and before I knew it it was afternoon. I spoke with my brother Frank on the phone to tell him about a Stax Soul Review from 1967 in Europe was going to be on WLIW tonight. Footage of Otis Redding and Booker T and the MG’s, something to look forward to.

At one point this afternoon, right around 1:30 actually, Vivek the managing director comes up to me and asks what time I was leaving for the day. I told him the usual time, 4:30. He says I could leave early if I escort his niece to Penn Station.

His niece is 15 and goes to school in Pennsylvania. I had no problem with that and helped his niece out to the street to a waiting taxi. It reminded me of Towelhead a bit, though of course I made no overtures towards her sexuality.

We rode through midtown to Penn Station and I helped her once again with her suitcases eventually leaving her outside the station as she insisted. Instead of taking the Path train I walked up to 42nd street where I saw Bill for a few minutes.

He’s such a nut. Just so goofy on the street, videotaping me wearing my late cousin’s overcoat with a velvet collar and showing off the braces he got me for Christmas. Whether or not I ever see this video entirely depends on him.

A quiet bus ride home. No Casey Chasm again. Certainly didn’t see him this morning. Today is his birthday though and I wished him well and read his venting about his father who seems like a cad who has attempted to steal his identity again.

He told me stories about his dad and we compared fathers a while ago on the bus. He won since his father is still alive.

Happy Birthday Casey Chasm!

Ask Me Why

It’s a dreary gray Friday afternoon. I got out of work around 2:30 this afternoon and rather than walk across midtown enjoying a birthday cigar I took a subway which I rarely do. It was raining but not hard enough to warrant an umbrella since I only had to walk a block or so.

Now I have that ‘I might have napped too long’ feeling despite the fact I didn’t really have a restful nap. Phone calls and phone buzzing kept interrupting. Missed a birthday greeting from Chaz, but earlier I did speak with my sister Annemarie, as well as a voice mail from her and my nephew Earl.

Also heard from Queen Jane Approximately, Constant Connie, Sweet Sarah and Brenda Bubbles, Adorable Adrienne and Lovely Rita and Harpy and Julio and Stine with a picture of that adorable little man, Alexander.

Text messages from assorted nieces and maybe my brother Brian or his son Brian. I just can’t tell. Actually I can tell. I just checked and it was from my brother. My other brother Frank hasn’t called and that means if he doesn’t call later, he will call on the weekend and feel bad about not calling on my birthday.

It’s not a big deal. It would have been years ago. It might have been last year. But this year? Eh, no biggie. Last year Bill gave me a saucepan for a birthday present. I found it an odd present since I’m not much of a cook or a foodie.

I don’t watch the Food Network, or Armenia’s Next Top Chef or Gordon Ramsey or whatever. But since the spot where I get my penne, pesto and chicken in Manhattan, Cafe Fonduta went under I have been lacking pesto in my life.

So having watched the guys prepare the pesto, I think I can do it myself and finally have a reason to break out that sauce pan. It’s still in the box. I figure I can take a teaspoon of pesto, some heavy cream, some olive oil and imitate the guys. Or I can try to look it up online somewhere.

Perhaps there’s a video on YouTube that shows the How To.
Or perhaps you dear reader, would have a recipe to make a nice pesto sauce.

Bill just came home and we’re going to go out for some steaks at Arthur’s steakhouse on Washington Street. Hopefully it will be better than last year, when we went for my birthday after a few other things going wrong earlier in the day.

My churlishness towards the saucepan (embarrassing 365 days later) and the fact that some disgruntled mail room worker wished that I would die since I had decided to smoke a Padron and walk along Park Avenue during my lunch hour.

Birthday wishes also came from some new Facebook friends (Andres et al.) as well as a dear friend, Betti Cola. It’s still raining and my bones are tired after tossing and turning in the late gray afternoon but in a few minutes Bill and I will head over to Arthur’s where hopefully they will have their credit card machines up and running, unlike last year.

Just got back, excellent dinner with Bill. Arthur’s wasn’t too crowded, credit card machine in order and I was caught by surprise with a few waitresses singing Happy Birthday to me with a wonderful slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle on top. I turned a thousand shades blushing.

A walk around Washington Street followed, me finally enjoying my birthday cigar in the misty evening.

That seems to be it for the day. Loveliness abounds.

Here’s some quite recent snaps as well as something else. Thank you for your good wishes

and here I thought I wasn’t going to write tonight!

Slippery People

It’s hummus out once again. Much like sitting in a sauna, wearing a damp wool sweater that itches. Today was the day of Bill’s birthday. Bill is 44 today and at heart he’s 14. Which is a nice position to be in sometimes.

Last night Bill stayed at his mother’s apartment in Stuyvesant Town, he’s been keeping an eye on her since her supposed leaving the apartment the other night and getting lost on 14th street. Bill was able to take his mother to church today and then they had a nice lunch, finally dropping her off at the apartment.

Bill and I made plans to go out to Garfield for my niece Meghan and her husband Rob’s first wedding anniversary, so a BBQ was in order. I made arrangements to have Meghan’s sister Cory pick Bill and myself at the train station, as well as getting a ride back to Hoboken.

Everyone was there excepting Annemarie, Rex and Earl since they’re stuck in Northern California much to their consternation? Dismay? Rotten luck? And it’s smoky out there, no sun which a 50 degree average temperature.

Unbearably hot and sticky here with intermittent rain showers that make the humidity worse. Much like it is now. It was good to see most of my family again, Brian and Karen with their three kids, Hillary, Brian and Cassie. Brian’s got summer school this year which is something both his father and I could relate to.

I told Brian how I used to have to go to Hackensack High School my junior year for summer school, usually hitchhiking up Essex Street. I was able to get a ride a few times with no bad results and I eventually passed the class somehow while my parents went on vacation to Disney World without me. Brother Frank was there of course, with Elaine.

Brother Brian mentioned to me that he sometimes reads this blog of mine which was a trip to hear. I guess he knows about it, he sends me emails to johnozed, so perhaps he took it a step further and did a search, or more than likely I told him about it back in 2005 while we were both getting our drink on at his wife Karen’s 50th birthday party. I didn’t think he would remember it, but here he was telling me about reading it. I mentioned that he should write a comment about it, which is what I tell everyone.

Everyone was in good moods and having a good time. All very pleasant, no heavy drama and just a thunderstorm that lingered for about 15 minutes before turning the Field of Gar into a swamp once again. Excellent cake by Elaine as well a great grilled food by my nephew in law, Rob. Bill enjoyed the cuff links I got him and I told him about the tickets, but not actually showing him our access to Xanadu.

Bill brought up that when we watched a clip of the show on TV, there were people on the stage sitting there. Originally he thought that it was a chorus, but then noticed that they weren’t singing. He asked me about that and I decided to tell him that was we were going to be seated.

On stage, watching the show from behind the performers. He got super excited about that, and I have to admit, I am super excited about it too. That’s next Sunday, something to look forward to.

Tomorrow is back to work, a full three day work week, how horrible. Boo hoo.

Does sarcasm translate online?

Time to chill out for the evening. Bill’s coming back later with some things from his mother’s apartment so I have to wait for Bill to ring the bell so I can go down stairs and help him up with whatever it is that he has.

Here are some snaps from todays festivities. Have a good week and Happy Pride to all!

The birthday boy, farty far this year.

Some of the party goers

The Bruthas

my niece Hillary

my niece Corinne

Mr and Mrs DeCarlo

cake! again!

Teacher of the Year 2008!

Gay Pride Day 2008


Well it’s been an odd week certainly. Me being sick the first two or three days was out of the ordinary. I feel like I’m 100% better. Talked with Harpy on the phone (which resembled listening to talk radio) about body temperatures. I think my average temperature is in the 97 degree range which means I’m cool most of the time. I always knew that deep down, my being chill, well it was in the blood all along. You can stop laughing whenever you’d like.

Bill spent the night at his mother’s apartment last night. So I was alone which was ok. Nothing on TV at all, and Olbermann and the Daily Show and The Colbert Report eats up the evening. I’ve prepared a cd of pictures of Alexander Lopez. That kid just makes me smile. He’s going to be something else when he grows up, and I’m glad I’m an uncle of sorts.

Tomorrow is Julio’s birthday. He turns 40. Tomorrow is also Bill’s mother’s birthday, she turns 85. Today was so slow at work that I was able to catch a crosstown bus and go to the box office to pick up the Xanadu tickets for Bill’s birthday.

I walked back across town and stopped in the soon to be shuttered Virgin Mega Store in Times Square. I got the new B-52’s for Julio as well as a decent Elvis Presley 3 disc collection from the UK for 10.00. Elvis is always a giggle between Julio and myself.

Got a nice salad for lunch and after that, with my work being done for the day I left the office at 2PM after putting in six hours. I expect next week to be slow again but I only have to work 3 days (like this week).

I was taking off this upcoming Monday, thinking and dreading that Bill and I would be in the Gay Pride parade on Sunday but things being what they are with his mom, and the fact that we wouldn’t be marching (or rather walking) down Fifth Avenue until 2PM, we wouldn’t be finished until 5:00 if things went smoothly.

I was asked to come in since the office would be empty on Monday so I switched my day to Thursday, July 3. So I’ll be off from Thursday until the following Tuesday. I took July 7 off as well. Tomorrow Stine has planned a surprise luncheon for Julio’s birthday at Charrito’s which used to be Ricco’s, an Italian restaurant on Washington Street at 1:00, followed by cake on Pier A if the weather is permitting. Sunday is the first anniversary of Meghan and Rob’s wedding and they’re having a BBQ on Sunday afternoon.

Not making the BBQ on time was also a factor in deciding to forgo the Pride parade. It’s all good so far. Back on my feet relatively, work was slow yet productive and now I’m home writing this. I slept like a rock last night and hope for more of the same tonight. That’s it for now, anything else I’ll let you know.

Here are some pictures from this afternoon.

Panels from the AIDS quilt in Saks Fifth Avenue windows

and neo-Spartans on Union Square, or are they Neosporin?