Tag Archives: Brian

I Still Believe In You

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s been a good one so far. Woke up to find a heart shaped box full of Godiva chocolates on my computer. An hour or so later I found a video of Bill on my tablet, stating his love for me. Nice to have a record of that. I responded with a video of my own which hopefully won’t wind up on Tumblr. And I’ve been busy sharing videos and posts on Facebook stating my undying love for Bill. I’ve enjoyed it and so did a few of our friends so it was nice it worked out.

Last night Bill and I had a talk which was overdue. Things were said and we cleared the air. Then he went to bed. Bill hoped that the Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV (aka the Olivia Show) episode that he was a part of a few weeks ago was going to be broadcast last night but halfway through he realized it wasn’t so he went to bed. I watched the whole thing, then watched The Last Word and the news before going to bed myself where I slept quite soundly. I woke up with Bill kissing me goodbye once again.

There was a plan to go to lunch today but I mentioned that we should use the gift certificate that we got in 2010 from Jim and Meghan and Lily and Ruby for our civil union for dinner tonight. I called the restaurant and the certificate was still good. We’re going to Helmer’s right across the street from Maxwell’s. I’ve been in the Hoboken area since 1984 and I have never even set foot in the restaurant though I have certainly walked by it in various states of mind and body several times. It should be interesting to say the least.

I spent some time messaging with my brother Brian last night. It started with his posting the Isley Brothers singing Work to Do. I remarked that the first time I heard the song was when he was driving back from the Parkway Lanes with my mother on a Monday night and the version I heard was by the Average White Band. I did not hear the Isley Brother’s original until a few years later. Somehow the messaging turned into growing up in Lodi under the watchful eye of Sauron, also known as Dad.

How Brian and I weren’t the best students but having us both sit at the dining room table for two hours under the premise of ‘doing homework’. Even if the homework was easy and done in 15 minutes, there would still be one hour and forty five minutes to fill. And mere feet away, Dad with his fading hearing would have the TV blaring. Nothing was achieved except for Dad’s hearing getting worse. Our grades certainly did not improve and for me all it did was foster my dislike of education in general. I would eventually copy by hand pages of an encyclopedia to pass the time.

Brian learned how not to raise his kids though so that was good.
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ABC- Valentine’s Day

I Like What You’re Doing To Me

Another overcast day, productive though I would say. Laundry basically and a trip to the supermarket. That’s how my day has been. Haven’t played much guitar since Sunday’s event. And with the cloudy skies there really hasn’t been much of a reason to go out and play, especially if seems like it is going to rain. Perhaps when the weather improves I will be out there strumming again, with the guitar case open should anyone have any extra change they would like to get rid of. Until then, the guitar will stay where it is and I will likely stay where I am.

Last night was a very nice night. Bill came home and like a dutiful spouse I greeted him at the door with a kiss and a smile. It was great to have him home. He needed to get to bed early since he was distracted and has not been going to the gym as much as he had hoped to. We watched Michael Eric Dyson subbing for Ed Shultz on MSNBC and then after that I changed the channel to The Social Network. I had seen it before and recognized it for being a very good movie indeed, but felt that watching it more than once was enough.

Watching it for a second time I realized that it does bear a repeat viewing. Great script by Aaron Sorkin, great cast and of excellent direction by David Fincher. Jesse Eisenberg is great as a reasonable facsimile of Mark Zuckerberg. I still think that if a movie of Yo La Tengo is ever made, Eisenberg would be great as Ira Kaplan. And I mean that with utmost sincerity since I do consider Ira to be a friend, though I do not take his helpful dairy suggestions with much consideration.

I had a few texts with my brother Brian the other night. Brian wants to see the Feelies all of a sudden. He mentioned wanting to see them at Maxwells on June 29, but that is Bill’s birthday so it will be unlikely that I will be going that night. Unfortunately it might be the only night Brian is available since the following Saturday and Sunday are somewhat booked. I told him to remind me as the date approaches, maybe I could work something out. I wouldn’t mind seeing Stan or Andy at the show, and perhaps they can put Brian on the list, with a plus one.

Brian never expressed any interest in the Feelies before so it did strike me as odd. In any event it would be good to see Brian again and hang out at a show for a few hours. I know I’ll be seeing enough of him in July when Annemarie arrives. Apparently there is a lot of interest in joining Annemarie and myself for our escapes down the shore. It’s fine by me, and I am sure it is fine by Annemarie. I am certainly looking forward to just sitting under an umbrella on the beach and staring out at the ocean, which is one of my favorite things to do in the world actually. And though you can see New York City from the beach, I am sure there won’t be any of that queasiness like previous years when looking in that direction.

I do occasionally think of some customers that I used to have at the cigar shack, I wonder how they’re doing. Despite the strife there were a few guys that I enjoyed interacting with, sitting in the man cave and chatting with them as I counted the money, or just taking a load off of my feet for a few minutes. Whether or not I ever hear from them, or even see them again remains to be seen. I know I won’t be setting foot in the cigar shack ever again, but I wouldn’t be averse to meeting up somewhere for a cigar and a chat.

poison!


another day in Hoboken


13 Crazy (Original)
01 I Got A Man

I Got Nothin’

This morning started out OK with regards to the weather. A bit nippy with occasional drizzle. Now it is mainly cold and damp. Tomorrow is a day off and from what I have heard, it is supposed to be warm and damp. January 2012 has had some crazy weather.

I’ve taken Harpy’s suggestion and decided to remove music from my smartphone. Do I need music on my smartphone, especially when I have a 30GB iPod? No, not really. According to Harpy it takes up too much space on the smartphone and with extra space the phone operates better without music.

I don’t really know about that since there are maybe two people I speak to on the phone, Bill & Annemarie. Well maybe three if I include Harpy, and I will include Harpy since no one includes Harpy enough if you ask me. And waking up was difficult this morning. I could have used at least another hour of sleep but obviously that was not going to happen.

I watched Chronology last night. It is a collection of live clips of Talking Heads from 1975 to the 1990’s. I don’t think it includes any footage from Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads- Jonathan Demme movie from 1984. I stopped watching the DVD when they showed Talking Heads at the Capitol Theater from November 1980.

I went to that show with my brother Brian and we had seats in the 2nd row. The Psychedelic Furs opened up the show and I didn’t know them then and did not like them much. I thought Richard Butler was a weird mix of David Bowie and Johnny Rotten, sounding like Rotten and throwing shapes like Bowie.

Anyway Talking Heads were fantastic and I remember dancing in front of the stage, I don’t recall anyone else around, just me dancing in front of people sitting down. I had seen Talking Heads in August 1980 with my brother Frank and that was quite magical. A couple of thousand of us, all dancing to music that no one had heard yet, Remain in Light had not come out at that time.

I’m sure that by November Remain in Light had come out and I was more than likely blown away. It is my favorite album of all time. As much as I love the Fabs, I still think Remain in Light is the best. Perhaps it is my generation’s Sgt. Pepper, as I can hear it’s influence on a lot of music in the years that followed it’s release.

The DVD is excellent, interesting to see them as a three piece for a few clips then seeing Jerry Harrison really flesh things out. And by the time I saw them there were ten people on stage. I’m sure my brother Brian was embarrassed by my frentic dancing but I didn’t care. I remember leaving the Capitol Theater and hearing that Jimmy Carter had just conceded the election.

It was election day after all. I voted for John Anderson in my first election, voting with my conscious. Brian told me I was supposed to vote for whomever I thought was going to win and he voted for the ‘winner.’

another shop bites the dust



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01 Positive Vibration

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.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Well right now it’s 25 degrees and it’s supposed to be a major snowstorm, but I can still see Penn Plaza, I can still see Jersey City and Marineview Plaza in Hoboken. The streets are wet but it’s not really sticking.

The local news channels are on full alert, alarming people but so far there’s really no need. My brother Brian texted me and said that the supermarket up by his neck of the woods was a madhouse. Here in Hoboken it’s windy and cold but really nothing to be worried about.

I say that of course since I don’t drive. Walking proved to be no problem, and I even strolled to the end of Pier A in Hoboken and took a snapshot or two just to show that it isn’t so bad.

Julio is flying to Denmark tonight and that hasn’t been much of a delay. He did call to tell me Helena Christiansen was on his flight. We’ve seen her around the village, having dinner a few tables away from us at Benny’s Burritos on Greenwich years ago.

So they are saying the 15 inches are expected but so far less than an inch has fallen in Hoboken. Bill is in the city doing some theater stuff. Last night we watched 2 hours of Chris Noth in Lawn Hors d’œuvre on the Sleuth channel.

Bill definitely enjoyed it. I remembered who the bad guys were or bad chicks actually. Bill didn’t despite his claims to have the memory of an elephant. I told him he must have been right next to me when we first watched the show, since I don’t watch it on my own.

More weather hype with the Winter Alert in effect until 11:00 tomorrow morning. Bah!

The other night I had a dream where I had to drive around the Garden State Plaza in a car with Alexander Lopez as my passenger, not in a baby seat. The objective was to get him to 13 Riverview Avenue which I did, safely.

Last night’s cannabis free dream, I was in the Riverview Avenue neighborhood, this time as a passenger. The driver was President Gerald Ford. Nice guy. I told him I saw him speak in 1976 at the Garden State Plaza and almost shook his hand.

That was true. I was on the line outside of Gimbels after he spoke outdoors at the Plaza but the Secret Service caught off the handshaking a few people before me. He dropped me off across the street where I grew up and I walked into a house devoid of people.

I woke up at 7:30 and almost woke Bill up as well, thinking that he was late for work. Oh, I’m in the unemployment zone where the days blur into one another. Then I went back to sleep.

From that dream of Lodi, I wound up in Chelsea where I then had an argument with Bill. I wrote these down when I woke up. The last notes I wrote with regards to dreams were about me being in the Office and talking to Jim Halpert about coffee.

It didn’t go well and I felt slighted when awards were being given out. So I split that scene and wandered to a bar located in a empty lot at 16th Street between Park and Willow Avenues in Hoboken. Lot’s of commuters getting off their buses and passing through and sometimes sitting on rusty lawn furniture from the 1950’s. And it wasn’t that good a bar since there was no booze.

Oh these dreams go on when I close my eyes. Every moment I’m awake, I live another life.

Looking north, up Park Avenue, 3PM

Looking north, up Park Avenue, 3PM

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Looking souht on Park Avenue

Looking south on Park Avenue

Not so bad, is it?

Not so bad, is it?

On NBC News, some guy with a tan is pushing the snow hype, live from Times Square.

Cherry Bomb

Well I know it’s Saturday because I wrote Friday’s entry earlier today. Obviously my powers of deduction are still functioning. It’s been a pretty good day despite intermittent rain. Been watching TV most of the day, including Bill’s favorite Lawn Hors d’œuvre.

The original series with Jerry Orbach.

Then we watched what is fast becoming another favorite of Bill’s The Closer. It’s our Saturday morning viewing lately. After that we started to watch Poseidon which is a remake of The Poseidon Adventure from the 1970’s.

My brother Brian and I went to see that when it first came out at the Century Theater in Paramus. It was a Saturday night and we bought tickets but as we tried to get into the theater we found that even though it was PG and we were of age, I was 10 and Brian was 15, we still needed an adult or guardian to accompany us to the evening showing.

If I recall correctly after we were dropped off at the theater by my father, we had to call home and ask to be picked up since we were turned away. We did see it another time at an earlier showing.

It was one of a few big Hollywood blockbusters with a few stars in the billing. Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Stella Stevens and the Ernest Borgnine, as well as the former child star of ‘Al Green Was My Valet’, Roddy McDowell.

This one had Kurt Russell and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas. They were the only famous people I recognized. And Andre Braugher as the doomed ship’s captain and Fergie’s husband, oh and Richard Dreyfuss playing Dick Cheney.

That didn’t hold my attention that long so I wound up watching Woody Allen’s Manhattan. That I remember seeing with my sister Annemarie at the dollar movies a long time ago. Annemarie and I saw a few Woody Allen movies with her, starting with Sleeper when I was 11.

I distinctly remember 2 elderly women sitting behind us saying that Woody Allen’s feet (wrapped in aluminum foil) looked like baked potatoes.

Love and Death followed that, then Annie Hall when I was 14. We even saw Interiors, Woody’s first ‘serious’ movie, which I enjoyed. I think Manhattan was the last Woody Allen movie we saw together, the 2 of us misty at the end, Mariel Hemingway flying off to London saying, ‘You’ve got to have faith in people’.

I did see Stardust Memories opening weekend at the Century Theater. Sold out show and I found myself the only one laughing in the theater. I think that was when I started to realize that I was not going to live in Bergen County much longer.

I went with Ellen Schermerhorn and another girl and they didn’t laugh either. I heard a story about Ellen who was a sweet girl. A story designed to make her look bad but in hindsight she comes out quite admirable.

The type of girl any father would be proud of. Someone knows of what I write and I’m not going further into it.

That’s it. That’s my penance. I wrote over 500 words earlier today as well as 500 words now. Ta da!

Aftermath

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Let’s see. It’s Wednesday, that much I know. It’s definitely a lot cooler out. And it’s now 6:00 and I was supposed to call Juan between 4 and 5:00. I just remembered that. What else? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Tried going to bed earlier than usual but couldn’t fall asleep so I wound up staying up until the usual time. No it’s not caffeine. I don’t drink caffeine after noon. It wasn’t so bad in any event. I did fall asleep eventually after following my own advice, to get out of bed instead of tossing and turning and my advice proved right.

I’ve taken to going out and getting the paper in the morning, if only to put away the garbage cans I put out the night before. Last week I had a talk with Julio about it. How I put out the garbage most nights, including the recyclables, but no one can put back the empty cans in the morning.

Julio claims he did and I cut him some slack, saying that 9 times out of 10 I’m the one who does it. He is that 1 time. I did not bring that up with Bill since it took a while to get him to stop putting the recyclables in with the trash.

When I was employed, I would leave the building after Bill, I would reach in the garbage cans and pull out empty Vitamin Water bottles that were recently in the kitchen here. In a suit and tie yet. It only took over a half dozen times before he eventually got the message.

Today I decided to go to Shop Rite in Hoboken. The A&P is closer but Shop Rite is much larger and has better selections and generally better prices, though I usually spend more money at Shop Rite. I don’t know how that works. Also ran into Roda and his son Logan, food shopping.

Midway through my shopping experience, I get a phone call from Bill. I suggested that if he has to sing a song for an audition and he’s no so sure, that he should write out the lyrics by hand so he will, in effect own those words and make them more personal by writing them out by hand.

He was calling to thank me for that idea. It’s something I picked up when growing up and had to sit at the dining room table for 2 hours, ostensibly to do homework. Even if I had homework that could be done in 10 minutes, I would still have to sit there for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

My brother Brian would sit opposite me for those 2 hours. It was mainly because we weren’t the top notch students our father encouraged us to be.

That was a joke. Our father never encouraged us to do anything.

So while my father sat about 15 feet away, my mother 9.5 feet away and the TV blaring quite loud since my father was losing his hearing, I would get one of the books from the encyclopedia and start writing out by hand various pages that caught my eye.

Brian, sitting where he was, would try to steal a glance at Johnny Mann’s Stand Up and Cheer.

The 2 hours at the table didn’t achieve much but some improvement did have to be shown in our grades. I don’t know how that worked out, but I certainly benefited from social promotion.

Remember, I’m the guy who wrote an essay on his Algebra final. And I’ve held up my end. Haven’t used Algebra since.
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Hold Still

Well I had better get started before True Blood starts. A bit tired after walking around the canyons of midtown Manhattan in sheer mugginess.

There was a threat of rain so I carried a big ass umbrella and wore my work boots. Last time I was in Central Park and it rained it was a mess, so I tried to be prepared. It made for a cumbersome walk around Central Park but I managed.

Summerstage is mainly over except for a few paying shows and lot’s of strollers had taken over Bear Hill. I guess there are a lot of people who couldn’t get out of town or were tired of being cooped up yesterday from the rain.

A lot more musicians and street entertainers all out trying to make that elusive tourist buck. Not many places to sit and chill out.

Before I went into the park I did stop by the office to see if there were any more updates on the project I’ve been assisting Greg Stevens with. Part of that is reading his emails and I was surprised to find that the project that I was doing under the auspices of it being under the table doesn’t seem likely.

I came across an email from the check writers in Los Angeles asking that I fill out an I-9. Which would not make it under the table, nor off the books. And it’s an uneasy position that I find myself in since the email was not one of the emails I should have been looking for.

Greg Stevens is on vacation and to bring it up to him could mean I invaded his privacy. I could email the check writer in Los Angeles directly and ask her the status then break it down t her without leaving a paper trail.

To them it’s not a lot of money, but for me it could definitely help me out. So I guess I will do that tomorrow.

Last night Bill and I watched The Panic in Needle Park, from 1971. Definitely the seedy side of New York City. It was good, not great.

I told Bill of how my Uncle Joseph would call every park in New York City ‘Needle Park’ and he was probably right about that, even though when visiting Uncle Joseph and Aunt Lil in the Bronx, Needle Park was where we would sometimes go when the grown ups had enough of me and my brother Brian being antsy from sitting around my Uncle’s house for so long.

Sad to say my Uncle Joseph isn’t the guy he used to be. It turns out that Brian visited him in his nursing home today and he didn’t know who Brian was. Sad, he was always a funny outgoing guy to us. I couldn’t really say how he was to other people though.

He was a bit racist and I used to make excuses that he was from the old school and resistant to change. Now he sits blind and legless in a nursing home, unable to recognize one of his few living relatives.

Almost time for True Blood. See ya.

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Time After Time (Annelise)

Nice and tired. Did a lot of walking last night and slept well, did even more walking today. Would have been a good day for a bike ride, but it was way too warm for that.

Since I did some work for Greg Stevens yesterday I decided to head back into the office and just tidy things up for when Greg got into his office tomorrow morning.

I did my usual Sunday morning thing, bagels, newspapers and whatnot. No murderous impulses towards my fellow Hobokenites, it was a warm morning all around. Bill was gone by 7:00 this morning, some big church function.

Came home, had a good breakfast and read the papers. After a while I figured it was now or never so I headed into the city around 1:30. Ran into Rand and Lisa on the bus, they were going to see Billy Elliot on Broadway with some of Rand’s relatives, already in the city.

I explained to them what was going on with me with regards to the Xanax and I was surprised to see Rand have a frown about it. Well it’s working well for me, even at half the dosage prescribed.

He recommended exercise, much like Annemarie did the other day, but there’s no one around to exercise with basically.

There are those Tai Chi classes in Bryant Park on Thursday mornings that I never had time for but now I might be able to find time. Well see about that come Thursday morning.

Made it to the office, wisely sidestepping the Madison Avenue street fair. No one in the office at all today and I was able to get somethings together and make life a little bit easier for Greg Stevens.

Grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge and decided to head up to Central Park. I did not want to see or hear Dinosaur Jr so I walked over to the skate circle.

Found a seat by the flagpole monument and sat down, enjoyed a cigar and read the Tom Waits biography. Almost done with it and it’s due back at the library tomorrow.

A beautiful day, lot’s of people in the park. No bears on Bear Hill, but quite a few baby strollers. I guess the bear thing is a Saturday event. The music was classic disco mainly and when it started getting all housy housy I made my way out.

Still people were streaming into the park, lot’s of tourists. I strolled down Sixth Avenue to catch the Path train and one pulled into the station just when I got there. More reading about Tom Waits in an air conditioned train car.

It’s just been a nice, calm day. Really stress free, not even relatively.

I know why that is and I’m sure you have a pretty good idea as well. Feeling the way I am now is so much better than the internal rage that I carried around and never really wrote about except one or two times, which inspired my brother Brian to write that I sounded like our father.

Things have been getting quite intense for me and I needed something fast. And I think I found it for the time being.

So I’m cool.
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Suffer Little Children

It’s Monday again. Fence mending day as well. First off I called that certain someone who drive me all over Brooklyn as well as driving me crazy on Saturday. I actually started it off, responding to that someones wife’s email.

She explained that a lot of his problem stems from the aphasia he suffers from. It was a good email exchange. As the day progressed I decided to call him and see how he was doing. Immediately we were able to clear that shit out of the air and get an understanding again.

So it was a good talk with himself on the phone and I am happy to report that things are back to normal or what passes for normal in our lives. Spoke with my brother Brian today as well. We talked about what was going on in his life.

The turning of a corner. Not necessarily the easiest thing to do, but it was definitely the best for all concerned.

It was a good day for communication. Exchanged emails with Annemarie as well. She’ll be here in a little over a month. That’s definitely something to look forward to.

Last night Bill and I renewed our Gay cards and watched the Tony awards from start to finish. It was actually a good show. Neil Patrick Harris was funny and entertaining. Sound problems marred some of the show but a highlight was watching Bret Michaels miss his mark and get clocked in the head by some scenery.

A broken nose and a cut lip was the result, nothing worse. Unfortunately he will live to sing another day. Roger Robinson won an acting award for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, after decades of toiling in the theater.

I said to Bill that one day that would be him on stage accepting a Tony award which made Bill’s bladder move that much closer to his eyes. We enjoyed the whole show. I would like to see Billy Elliot, West Side Story and God of Carnage and Exit the King. But prices of Broadway tickets being what they are right now it seems unlikely.

Work was busy today. More with dealing with the nightmare that is Greg Stevens Vonage account. A cheap phone service which is not worth the aggravation.

I was on the phone with Vonage a few times last week, all the time they were apologizing. Apologizing so much that it eventually meant nothing. You know they were trained to say I’m sorry whenever they’re found to be in the wrong.

Tomorrow is the run off election for the Mayor’s office in Hoboken. I’m voting for Dawn Zimmer who is the voice of change in Hoboken.

Running against her is Peter Cammarano who has ties to the present ineffectual Mayor, so much so that he voted for every plan that this present Mayor had.

Which left Hoboken so much in the hole that the New Jersey state government has taken over the finances of Hoboken and is suggesting a 47% tax increase.

Most of the people that were born and raised in Hoboken are voting for Cammarano since most of them have relatives working for the city of Hoboken, not to mention the housing complexes in Hoboken that were designed for the lower middle class residents in town.

Funny thing is a lot of those people living in these subsidized buildings have houses down the shore, so they definitely do not want change.

They would like to have their children get their apartments, not lower middle class people that actually do need the apartments, people that do not have second homes down the shore.

So they’re voting for Cammarano who says he’s for change despite his record and his co-opting of the Obama logo, where Obama had an ‘O’ with some red white and blue stripes, Cammarano yields a ‘C’ with a similar design.

Vote for Dawn Zimmer.

Hoboken, oh Hoboken, So much to answer for…

I’m No Superman

Today was not as bad as yesterday. Last night I talked about it with Bill and I felt better. There were a few things I told him that didn’t make the cut here. Nothing major. It was a good talk though.

Bill and I watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre SUV last night. Weird episode with Swoosie Kurtz who probably enjoyed playing a corrupt conservative activist judge.

Overall, as exhausted as I was carrying around that frustration didn’t allow for a good night’s sleep. I woke up more tired that I was when I fell asleep. And I had to hustle this morning since my computer crashed last night and the tech guy was coming in.

It’s $100.00 a visit from the tech guy and you have to catch him when he’s in or else it’s another $100.00. I made it in before the tech guy came in and told Tom Chin, former employee, now consultant that the tech guy was en route.

He of course snapped at me about how I’m spending money that I shouldn’t be spending. I just walked away from him and let him rant. I avoided him most of the day. It was best for all concerned. He just loves snapping at me, even when he’s wrong.

Basically Tom Chin is an asshole.

I also helped out Greg Stevens quite a bit today which kept me in his office away from everyone else. I am grateful for his ineptitude and always happy to help him out. I mentioned to him the other day that I wanted to work for him rather than Vivek, but we both know that’s not going to happen.

He is renting out his office space until February 28, 2010 when the lease expires for the office. That should be the end of my time there, that is, if I can hang in there.

Got a call from my brother Brian today, singing ‘Hooray for Bollywood!’ He’s a joker that brother of mine.

We’re going to a show together at the Highline Ballroom tomorrow night. I was second choice, his wife Karen didn’t want to go to the city.

He won tickets on the radio to see Eric Hutchinson. I haven’t been to the Highline Ballroom yet so that should be something. Eric Hutchinson opened for Marshall Crenshaw a while back at McSwells and I guess Brian liked him.

I missed his set apparently and don’t really know what he sounds like. I’m sure he doesn’t sound like Gwar or Flipper since that’s not Brian’s kind of thing and he probably wouldn’t enter a contest to see those groups. In any event it will be fun to hang out with Brian for a little while.

I’d like to go home and change my clothes and that might involve a lie to get out early. So maybe I’ll tell them something. Maybe get out at 4:00. That would be nice.

I deserve it.

Still pretty tired and watching Scrubs which is the last episode with JD. I can’t see the show continuing without Zach Braff. It’s a bittersweet episode and I’m just waiting to see if they say the Janitor’s name, which will prove it’s the final episode.

Glenn Matthews?

It was a very sweet, lump in the throat ending with a beautiful Peter Gabriel song and one or two moments where I said, ‘Awww’.

Cool for Cats

Wow. I was a basket case. I was certainly surprised at the depth of my Gmail addiction. I was totally lost without it. It is where all the comments for this blog go through and the main point of contact for me.

I was very pissed off about it and was even told by my brother Brian, that that was too much information despite spelling it as ‘pist’ on Facebook.Maybe I should have written psst. It was supposed to have taken 24 hours to access it again.

My sister sent me an email to the Gmail account, asking if I was still having problems with Gmail. If I was, I wouldn’t have gotten that email.

Around 10:00 this morning I was able to regain access. In February Rand told me that my Yahoo mail was compromised and to change my passwords. The same password I was using for years had to be change and old habits do die hard.

I think mis-entered the password a couple of times effectively getting locked out. And Gmail is tough with passwords. When did you start using Gmail? Were you sent an invite for Gmail? Who sent it to you? Give 5 email addresses that you email often. Things like that.

It wasn’t the 24 hour lock out I anticipated and was quite happy to be back in the thick of it. My behavior was a bit on the ridiculous sided.

I was having a slight meltdown when there is Bill dealing with his mother’s Alzheimer’s which is definitely a much bigger issue. Bill was quite supportive throughout the meltdown. Perhaps it was a welcome distraction to his problems.

Bill knew it wasn’t the end of the world. I didn’t have a clue.

Work was quiet and easy enough for me to leave around 2:30 this afternoon. My people were out and most of the other occupants in the office were out due to the holiday where the angel of death flies over peoples houses and kills the first born son, Passover.

I always thought that was cool when growing up, even though I didn’t want my brother Frank to die. I wondered if people actually painted their doorway with lamb’s blood like in the bible. I was disappointed to find it not to be.

10 years ago I lost one of my best friends ever, my cat Zed. I first got Zed in 1984 from the ASPCA. One night while living in my first apartment at 201 Madison, I was making a mix tape.

I had my records spread out, a glass of soda positioned nearby when I saw a mouse. Up went my knee spilling soda all over me and the records and everything else in the room.

I called up my friend Martha Keavney who had a cat named Ivan and asked if I could borrow him for the evening. She brought Ivan over and the cat cried and caterwauled all night not giving me much sleep and probably kept the mice awake too.

The next day I realized that I needed my own cat. I never had a cat before and never considered myself to be a cat person. I found time in between driving from Saddle Brook NJ to 757 Third Avenue in Manhattan to head up to the ASPCA.

I found an older orange and white cat that seemed ok and filled out the paperwork. When it came time for me to get the orange and white cat, the cat spit and hissed, It seemed like the cat from hell.

Directly below that cat was another cat. A black paw reached out and grabbed my pant leg. I looked down and the cat looked up and meowed. We connected.

I asked if I could change my mind and the woman who was helping me grumbled and tried to dissuade me by saying there was more paperwork. I told her that I didn’t care I was taking this little guy.

Obviously we hit it off and became good pals. It wasn’t easy raising a cat since I never had one before. But Zed loved me and I loved him.

For fifteen years Zed was by my side, in various apartments that I lived, even moving up to Lodi for a few months after my mother died. I had to keep Zed in the basement since my father loathed cats.

Poor Zed, stuck in the basement. He spent a lot of time on the cellar stairs trying to get to where the people were on the other sde of the cellar door.

My father swore that Zed was trying to kill him since Zed wouldn’t move when my father went down the stairs to do laundry.

Who knows? Maybe Zed was trying to kill him.

After a few weeks of that, my father had Zed banished to the backyard which was tough since Zed only had limited experience with the outside world and there was also a rabid raccoon scare at that time.

But my father didn’t care. He hated cats. Eventually I moved out of Lodi after 3 months and moved to Weehawken where Zed was welcomed and loved by my roommate William. It was a good run for Zed from 1991 to 1999.

Lot’s of room to roam and also lot’s of fun to be had. Zed started to get ill in March of 1999, around the same time I had gotten my first computer from Harpy. I do think deep down that Zed thought he was going to be replaced by a computer but then again he was 15 years old and starting to have seizures.

It was sad to see him deteriorating. One night in April, I knew he was going fast and I held him in my arms as he passed away. I was devastated and couldn’t believe it even though my cat died in my arms and was now in a shoe box.

I had to ask William to check to see if Zed was dead since I was in such a state of denial. William confirmed what I tried to deny. The next morning I was in the backyard digging Zed’s grave.

I was working at Arista Records at the time and I couldn’t get anything done. All I could do was cry. Suzanne Savage my boss was most sympathetic, and allowed me to leave early. I went back home and sat in the backyard. I had a Guinness and poured one out for my homey.

Then I went inside and cried making guttural sounds that I had never heard before. I could never get another cat, or a dog since I couldn’t go through that again.

If I had a cat or dog that died the day after I died, that would be fine. But I couldn’t go through that heartbreak again.

I had an Irish wake a few days later, Rand and Lisa, Martha and a few other friends stopping by for drinks and reminiscing. I moved on soon after that and moved from Weehawken a few years later. Still, occasionally I can feel Zed’s presence when I sometimes lie in bed drifting off to sleep.

I swear I can feel his presence, Zed curling up behind my bended knees as I lay on my side. It’s always a good feeling. He’s out in the universe somewhere probably, waiting for me.

I still miss him so very much.

These sketches were done by my friend Doug Maxson who cat sat for me back in the day.

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This was done by Denise Donnell
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My Boyfriend

I’ve been showing restraint lately. When commenting on various websites or even Facebook, I start to write, then I think, ‘Is this worth it? Do I want to continue this line of thought and further antagonize people?’ Then I realize that I don’t.

Case in point, on Facebook, Andy Peters, former sound man at McSwells, now in Arizona commented on how can anyone take John McCain seriously especially with economic matters, then mentions the Keating Five. Good on Andy.

I commented, ‘Gerroff my lawn you kids!’ and then someone mentioned that it’s time for McCain to retire, calling him a war hero. I was about to write, ‘How is McCain a war hero? Former POW, yes, but war hero?’ That’s when I stopped and decided not to add to the comments.

Just didn’t feel that adding my two cents was worth it. I’ve even stopped commenting so much on the tabloid websites. I still do it from time to time but overall I don’t do it as much as I used to. A lot of people are dumb and stooping down to their level doesn’t do my back any justice.

I just watched a report on Michelle Obama in London and I couldn’t help but smile at how she has the British enthralled, as well as most of the world. She just seems so down to earth. What a lovely couple she and Barack are. A strong unit.

Today was not as busy as it’s been lately. I spoke with both my brothers, Brian and Frank. It was good to speak with both of them. Brian is buying an iTunes gift card for Frank since Frank was able to help Brian and Karen out and chauffeur their son around the other day.

Brian wanted to know if Frank had an iPod and I know he does since I gave him my old iPod a few years ago, fully loaded. I hope he still has it.

I ran an errand this morning and after that wound up in Syms buying two new Ben Sherman skinny ties on sale. Tomorrow I’m going to the United Nations. An old friend, Jon Fried from the Cucumbers is involved with a group called Sing Out SOS which has to do with autism.

He invited me, and since I work only a few blocks from the UN, I accepted. It’s after work and I wanted to look bangin’ hence the new ties. I haven’t been to the UN or at least inside the UN since the 1960’s I think.

I haven’t seen Jon Fried in about five years. Last time was at Rutgers University where my niece Meghan was running the NJ Folk Festival. Jon’s wife Deena Shoskes was performing at it and they were nice enough to give Bill and I a ride back to the train station. That was different than the last time they gave me a ride home.

It was in the 1990’s and I ran into them at the Knitting Factory where my dear friend Jane Scarpantoni was playing. It was a bit late and I was downtown. I knew they were headed back to NJ and I might have asked Deena who said no. Then I asked Jon who said, ‘of course’.

Oh what an uncomfortable ride that was. Deena in the back seat shooting daggers with her eyes at me with such intensity it was palpable. To her credit, it was one of the rare moments where they were able to be away from their sons and here am I, the big goof in the front seat cutting into some heavy petting and necking I guess.

For the ride to the train station, Bill and I were in the back seat doing some heavy petting and necking.

My Old Man

Well so far this spring has been nothing but overcast and not that warm. I’m sure things will pick up eventually but so far I haven’t been impressed. Last night after posting I went out again. Not to anywhere in particular just took a stroll down Washington Street smoking a Padron.

No one I knew was out, but then again I never see anyone out. Possibly because they see me first, or possibly because they don’t go out. I walked until the cigar was halfway through, then I turned around and was finished by the time I came home.

It was a nice walk, iPod plugged in, listening to the Bird and the Bee’s latest release. Bill was planning on staying in the city and surprised me when he walked through the door an hour after I got back.

I was in the middle of watching yet another disc of Freaks and Geeks and it’s been enjoyable but by 10:00 I had enough of reliving someone else’s high school memories.

As far as I know my high school memories on celluloid were Square Pegs and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or at least my high school years were bracketed by the time periods of the aforementioned show and movie.

I guess the class of 1980 just weren’t up to snuff and who can blame them. As far as I’m concerned I was the most interesting person in my class and I was barely noticed. I know that’s a presumptuous statement but then again my father was a presumptuous guy.

I did try watching Mad Men on DVD. Watched a few episodes and still I find it interminable. Once you get past the fact that everyone is smoking and drinking I don’t see any reason to watch it. And I smoke and drink so there’s no novelty there.

I spoke with my brother Brian today and he mentioned that what I wrote the other day about my problems with ‘stupid’ people was just like something my father would have written if my father wrote.

And I had to agree with Brian since as soon as I wrote what I wrote the other day I felt I was turning into my father. And that’s not such a good thing at all.

Disdain for one’s fellow human beings is something my father always had. There was always some shit head on the train or on his way to work, or even Chuck Ferguson my father’s co-worker, who when listening to my father describe him, you would think Chuck Ferguson was king of the shit heads.

Maybe my father was a pretender to the throne. Or the heir apparent.

So that’s something I have to work on. Being understanding, not condescending. It’s not going to be easy I’m sure. I was reminded of a picture taken of me at my niece Meghan’s wedding back in June 2007 and I can easily see myself looking a bit too much like my father.

Perhaps a little too close for comfort with that look of incredulousness.

Perhaps a little too close for comfort with that look of incredulousness.

Not that my father would agree, or even be proud since he wasn’t the most supportive person. But he’s not here and I am so I still have a chance to take this sad song and make it better.

That means stop complaining about the people at the supermarket, stop yelling at the feeble minded helpers at the shoemakers, stop cursing people that pull the door instead of pushing at the bus terminal. No more of feeling an air of superiority.

I was too insecure to pull that off, but when wearing a suit & tie, I do get treated as such. Let karma take care of it. Let karma separate the wheat from the chaff. No sweat off my back.

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Well it was back to work for me and I made it until 3:00PM. I had an errand that was close to the Path train which allowed me to leave early. I wasn’t feeling 100% and Tom Chin mentioned quite a few times that I don’t look so well and I sounded congested.

I thought I looked ok but it’s true I was still congested. It seems like the cold or bug or whatever has moved from my sinuses to my chest. Some coughing, in a Flemish style.

I spoke with my brother Frank and texted with my brother Brian as well as emails with my sister Annemarie. I seem to be the conduit for all three. Brian asked me to forward an email to Bill which I did, and later speaking with Frank about an email I offered to write it for him, saying ‘Duh’ a lot as well as ‘I forgot what I was trying to say’. He laughed at that which was good.

Annemarie, 3000 miles away was expressing concern for me and my ailment, suggesting various things to make me feel better, which I did but still never got the zinc lozenges. Think it would be best for all concerned, meaning co-workers, that I stay home tomorrow.

Fridays are generally slow and quiet and I usually leave early anyhow and who knows how many people I’ve infected just by going to work. That’s probably how I got whatever it is that I’ve got. I just made some pasta which took care of some hunger.

On the way home I ran into William Charas my former roommate from my Weehawken years. It was good to see him but I didn’t stick around much since he was heading into the Hoboken Farmboy and I was heading home and it was 25 degrees out with a whipping wind.

Going to be 7 years since I moved from Weehawken and 6 years since he was forced out of a lovely living situation at 127 Jane Street. We definitely get along better now that we don’t live together. We had gone through a few ups and downs, the loss of our fathers but through it all we occasionally did get on each others nerves.

The last part of our living together was silently wishing the other one would move out. Since both of us were friends with Julio, Julio got to hear both sides of the problem, eventually telling me of the apartment on the top floor of his building.

It turned out to be the right choice since within a year William, his brother Chaz and his wife Kathe in 129 Jane Street were all forced to move due to the hideous landlords. The landlords were such a pain in the ass to deal with that in order for Bill and myself to have a fun time, we rented a hotel room in Manhattan for the weekend. Things were cheaper then and the hotel had a really good deal.

But it was great seeing William, we parted ways telling each other, I love you. I came home feeling good and lucky to know that I had so many good friends that love me, and I of course love them right back.

The Wolves (Act I and II)

Fucking hell. That’s the type of day it’s been. Didn’t start out that way surprisingly despite the fact that I wasn’t able to go to sleep when I wanted to. Wound up falling asleep around 1:30. It seems the 2 hour nap that I had taken earlier stole some much desired sleep. I lay in the dark and laughed about how fat I am.

Still with about 5 hours of sleep I felt pretty good as I woke up and got my act together and headed out to catch the bus. Almost finished with the Lennon bio and of course it’s due today. I figured I would be able to find some time and read it, maybe at lunch, maybe on the bus ride home. It was not to be.

On Friday I got an email from Tom Chin telling me to get a few expense reports together and he wrote especially that I shouldn’t wait until Monday to do it. I took care of most of that as well as some expenses Vivek had me do for his other company that he and his business partner are doing.

They claimed $8000 and change, I found they were owed $8200. I could only do so much on Friday since I was the only one in my company in. Greg Stevens seems to be fading from the company. I guess being the president of nothing in particular will diminish one’s enthusiasm, Vivek was travelling for his other company and Tom Chin doesn’t come in on Fridays.

So today there was a lot of things that hit me as I walked through the door. Some company needed our tax ID number which I tracked down and when I sent an email to Tom Chin and Vivek, Tom Chin said he was working at home, feeling ill. He told me I had the info available but I couldn’t find it.

That’s when I found it looking in other years files. He started yelling at me telling me what I had (which was what was asked for) was wrong. He’s a jerk in person and a fucking bitch when he’s sick on the phone.

Then it was the expenses which out of $1700 was listed, I found $1600. I told Vivek about it and he insisted I call the bookkeeper. I decided not to call her and figure it out myself. An hour after I usually leave, I was still there. I had everything spread out on a table and showed Vivek, ‘I have this, I have that. This is that, that is this.’

After a day of looking at these expenses I was toast. I even told him I was toast, two hours after I usually leave. He had me call the bookkeeper and started screaming at her. It was ugly. Apparently he was on a yelling kick today, going so far as to scream at his pregnant wife that she’s ruining his life over the phone.

I didn’t hear that but heard about it. I cleaned up whatever I had on the table which was no longer in neat stacks. I was really toast and all the stress started to mess up my back. Back in his office I can hear Vivek yelling at Tom Chin that he had to fire the bookkeeper after tax season. I know this will bite me on the ass tomorrow as well as Thursday when the bookkeeper comes in.

But I didn’t do anything but just tell him that he might be getting less than $1700. My name was mentioned but it was about ‘why should John have to file those papers? Why doesn’t the bookkeeper do it?’ I don’t mind doing the filing, I’ve been doing it since day one at the firm. But man, I don’t think in all the jobs that I’ve had, I’ve never bore witness to such an ugly scene.

I asked a question which opened a whole can of worms which I will hear more about this week. Usually I rearrange the deck chairs on this Titanic, but now the captain is losing his mind and the crew is turning on each other. Left the office feeling lousy and even though I smoked a Padron, it didn’t really give me the satisfaction it usually does.

Made it to the bus where I had to stand, lower right part of my back throbbing. No reading the Lennon bio. I should return it tomorrow, it ends badly I know.

Came home, my brother Brian called. He’s stressed and I talked with him for a while but I don’t think it helped either one of us.

I really hoped to talk to someone, but it turns out, I don’t have anyone I can talk to. Julio is busy with Stine and Alexander, no time for this big baby. Annemarie is too far away and plus she was unavailable since she was working or en route from work.

Forget about my brother Frank, he’s no help these days unfortunately, and Bill is directing his first play tonight and when he calls later he’ll be all about how the directing of the play went, and I wouldn’t want to rain on his parade.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day, but I obviously have my doubts. It’s all about the economy, my company trying to stay afloat and get whatever monies owed to us and it is stressing everyone the fuck out.

Oh yeah, the coffee maker crapped out and I spent a good part of the day filling it with white vinegar to clean it out.

Oomingmak

It’s Saturday. And it’s freezing outside. Right now, according to the New York Times it’s 18 degrees. That’s 11 degrees more than it was when I woke up this morning. Still alive, carbon monoxide detectors are doing their job and not beeping. That’s a good thing I think.

Last night was a quiet night, just me and some Bushmills. Perfect for a winter night, some sipping. I watched Elvis Costello’s TV show on the Sundance Channel, Spectacle. Watched 2 episodes. The first featured the Police, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

The first time I heard the Police was in 1978, riding to school in Scott Miskuff’s car. It was his brother’s 8 track actually and to my ears it sounded like Boston was doing reggae. I don’t know why I thought that, especially since they don’t sound like that at all.

Roxanne was the big hit and they were considered Punk so I eventually bought it. It was ok, their better record was the second album, Regatta de Blanc. I was more into Elvis Costello at the time so when he was putting down the Police, I paid even less attention to them.

Elvis: I just wish Sting would stop singing in his cod Jamaican accent.
Sting: I wish Elvis Costello would stop singing in his cod American accent.
Meow!

Now they are all nice nice. It was ok. Andy Summers in now 79 years old, Stewart Copeland is a gangly goofy father of 7, and Sting has gotten handsomer and his voice carries a resonance it never had 30 years ago. The Watching the Detectives/Walking on the Moon medley was adequate.

After the Police I watched Elvis Costello with Rufus Wainwright. That was ok. Rufus to me, came off like a 30 something gay guy from Manhattan, which is exactly what he is. He did part of Memphis Skyline which is his song about the late Jeff Buckley and a complete version of My Phone’s on Vibrate for You which was great as it always is when Rufus hit’s that high note.

He really is a good singer songwriter. He’s playing the Wellmont Theater in Montclair in a month or so, just him and his piano. His half sister Lucy Wainwright Roche is opening so I guess there will be a duet or two. I’m not going. Not in the budget you see.

Like I said, when I woke up it was 7 degrees outside. Bitterly cold, I walked outside, past Mr. L’s. I was due for a haircut but I didn’t have enough cash on me. I went and got bagels instead and stopped by Alexander Lopez’s apartment and talked with his dad.

It had been about a month since I last saw Alexander so he had completely forgotten about me, making me this exotic thing in a leather coat in the middle of his kitchen. Julio was telling me that Alexander weighs 22 pounds now and wears the clothing of a 12 month old. He’s only 8 months old. It was good to see them. Stine was in the shower and I only saw her briefly, clad in a bathrobe.

After doing laundry I decided to head into the city and visit Farfetched. Lois and Harpy were working and it was busy. Not much left in the store, everything was up for sale, sometimes with an 80% discount.

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Lois & Harpy

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That didn’t stop people from trying to haggle. Things that were on sale for $50.00 were marked down to $10.00 and that was still too much money for some people. Some woman wearing a big ass fur coat was the Marvin Hagler when I was there. And she wasn’t marvelous.

For me it was a bittersweet visit. I got a bib for Alexander and some cards as well as a Wicked Witch of the West key chain that has Margaret Hamilton’s voice cackling, saying ‘How about some fire Scarecrow?’ among other things.

It was too cold to enjoy a Padron and walk up to 33rd street so I made a beeline to the 14th street Path station. I also bought Elton John’s Madman Across the Water for $5.00 in the soon to be shuttered Virgin mega store on Union Square, next to the rapidly closing Circuit City.

Also picked up Bon Iver, whom I saw on Letterman last month and posted their appearance on this blog. While walking around I was playing Bob Frank and John Murry, World Without End. That’s a album of murder ballads, each and every one quite gruesome, but it sounds amazing.

I bought that last night using the iTunes gift card my brother Brian and his family gave me over the holidays last month. I heard one song by Bob Frank and John Murry sometime last year and it was really good and when I picked up the latest issue of Uncut and saw they had another track on the free CD I decided to dive in and buy the album.

Like I said, it’s gruesome, hearing them sing, ‘He cut her throat and gutted her insides’. Basically they took murder stories from the past 100 years and put them to some down home country tinged music. Murder ballads aren’t new at all, a strain of folk music for the past century.

Worth checking out I think, both Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever ago and Bob Frank and John Murry- World Without End.

Also bought a new CO detector and got a haircut from Tony at Mr. L’s. He once again outdid himself, trimming gray hairs from my goatee, trimming my nose and ear hair as well as trimming my eyebrows. He earns his tip every time.

Bill is quite ill right now, laid up in Stuyvesant Town with a fever and sore throat. That sounds like what I had back in October. I hope to go see him tomorrow and on the way I’ll pick up some chicken soup from a Chinese kitchen on the way. A quart or two for Bill and his mother.

It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow they say. Could make it into the 20 degree range. Almost beach weather.

Add my friend Billie in Washington DC to the unemployment rolls. He invited Bill and myself to stay with him if we wanted to go to the inauguration, but I said thanks but no thanks. It’s going to be too cold and very crowded. I can watch it on TV.


Don’t Come Around Here No More

Well Harpy swore me to secrecy, that Farfetched will be closing at the end of February. Yesterday I found out that they will be closing at the end of January. Everything must go. They’re even selling the shelves. Harpy just called and wondered why I wasn’t there at the store.

After a 28 year run, Susan Zappone and Lois Marsilio are being forced out of business. The raising of the rent you see. It was outrageous rent to begin with, now it can only be described as out of control.

I started working there on and off about 10 years ago. The store had just been robbed by a guy named Delroy Kemp. He had a gun and not only did he rob the store, he robbed the customers as well. The employees at the time were women, Susan, Lois and Denise. Harpy was living the life of a country squire in Rhinebeck or La Grangeville.

I was working at Right Track at the time and was invited to a gathering at the Paramount Hotel that Harpy was having for his then companion, Carol. That’s where I met Susan. Actually I think it might have been when I passed a package of powders to Harpy.

Harpy mentioned that I might be interested in extra money and it would probably be a good thing to have a big guy behind the counter. I qualified as a big guy. Still not sure how intimidating I could be. No robberies on my watch I have to say.

For a while I mainly worked with Denise on weekends. Me coming in at 1PM and working until 7PM for $10.00 an hour. I enjoyed working there though even after all these years I never really felt I fit in. I knew the writing was on the wall the past holiday season where I usually would work one or two days to help out with the rush, this year there was no rush, therefore no need for me.

I helped them out however I could though. Even standing behind the counter when someone needed to go to the bathroom or put quarters in the parking meter. I did see Susan Sarandon shopping there as well as Tim Robbins on a different day. Also Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt.

The celebrity that stands out for me would be Joey Ramone buying about $100.00 worth of discounted holiday cards the day after Christmas. I didn’t get a chance to see Robert Plant shopping there a few months ago. I did alert Gawker Stalker on that celebrity sighting of Percy but they ignored that as well as other postings I sent them, so I don’t read Gawker anymore.

So it’s sad to see some friends business go belly up. I don’t know what’s in the works for Susan and Lois and I don’t think they know either. I do wish them well and I plan on visiting them soon enough before the end and before it turns into the hot spot to buy some authentic cruddy Goth shoes and boots which seems to be in the works.

Susan and Lois were at my 40th birthday surprise party that Bill threw 6 years ago at Rand and Lisa’s apartment. I wonder if Susan figured out her digital camera yet…

In other news, I have been home for an hour, heater is on, no carbon monoxide detectors going off. My brother Brian called me, a bit alarmed at the CO problems. CO meaning Carbon Monoxide, not Corrections Officer. That’s Pedro’s department and he doesn’t care. Great to hear from Brian despite the messed up news he had to say. And that’s all I have to say on that.

Let’s Take a Walk

It’s the first Tuesday of the new year. Quick! Make a wish! I am not saying what my wish was since if you say it out loud it doesn’t come true. I actually didn’t wish for anything, succumbing to the adage, be careful what you wish for. Last night was a few steps back. O & RM again followed by Scrubs. And it was an hour of Scrubs.

I didn’t mind. I did not stay up and watch the episode at midnight. I was in bed, fading fast asleep. I usually listen to a snippet of a song before I go to sleep on WCBS. I like the oldies, the familiar, I suppose.

Sunday night was Your Song by Elton John and last night was Get Down Tonight which always reminds me of driving around in Susan Sher’s roadster and sing ‘Woo woo woo woo woo woo woo woo’ and laughing hysterically. It is one of my all time favorite songs. It always makes me feel good and it’s good to go to sleep laughing.

Waking up laughing is always much more difficult. This morning I got up on time, 6:15 and as I got out of bed I was struck by a thought, ‘Why bother?’ and went back to sleep for a few more minutes. There’s really no need for me to hustle into the office at 8:00 anymore. 8:30 is fine. Today was 8:45.

Still one of the first people in the office. That’s the thing, the subtenants are in before me now and they can make their own damn coffee. I do like the subtenants, they’re a lively group.

They love to play tracks from the 80’s and this afternoon they were playing JJ Fad, Supersonic. A one hit hip hop wonder. Of course that stuck in my head like a nasty ear worm. Actually it was De La Soul’s take on JJ Fad, De La Cratic that played for a while in my head.

Somethings are going on in the office to which I am not privy to. One thing I did do today, for myself, not work oriented was to change my Facebook profile picture. I used a picture of pudgy little me from 1976 wearing a Cap and Gown with a bicentennial Liberty Bell medallion hanging around my neck. Vivek stopped by soon after that and asked me to scan some documents.

No problem with that. I scanned and converted to a pdf and sent it to Vivek who in turn sent it to a client. Unfortunately, I sent him the cap and gown picture and he sent that to the client. Oh embarrassing.

He came up to me and asked me to rescan since someone’s graduation picture was sent. I had to own up to it and there was a laugh about it, and I re-sent the proper documents. Who knows if it will bite me on the ass? In any event it was funny.

I was out and about quite a bit today, wearing my late cousin Jackie’s overcoat with a velvet collar. The overcoat was made specially for Jackie and says so inside, stitched above an inside pocket.

It’s a great looking jacket that was originally given to my brother Brian but since it didn’t fit him that good it went to me instead and it’s a good fit. So thank you Brian and thank you Jackie.

Scrubs is back on TV tonight, new Bat channel. Same time as Rachel Maddow so I’ll record it and basically repeat last night, O & RM followed by Scrubs.

Does anyone else think it’s oddly convenient that when Israel kills civilians they say that the civilians were around Hamas strongholds in the Warsaw ghetto Gaza?
To be balanced, or at least appear so, Saudi Arabia beheaded 2 men accused of ‘raping each other’. added 9:15PM EST
That’s it for me on this side of the microscope. How are things on your end?

Bill thought this was my brother Brian in the picture.

Bill thought this was my brother Brian in the picture.

1609-jot-018
This is me tonight in my late cousin Jackie’s overcoat. Snazzy, no?

Ready for the Floor

It’s all overcast and gray today. My brother Brian is going to the Giants game tonight, which to me is madness. According to the NY Times, it’s 34 degrees out. Intermittent rain, slush and ice most everywhere.

Not an ideal situation for fun. I doubt if alcohol would make it work. Then again, I don’t really enjoy football (though some of the players I do like to enjoy watching) so no matter what circumstances I probably wouldn’t have a good time.

Bill has never ever been to a professional football game so he probably wouldn’t mind despite the fact that he hates the cold.

I’m watching The Cleaner on cable. It’s a show with Benjamin Bratt as a former junkie/meth head whatever. It’s ok, though a bit annoying with the actors all ‘doing drugs’.

And occasionally they use a split screen for the same shot, which is a foolish attempt to be edgy. I liked Benjamin Bratt on Lawn Hors d’œuvres. Anything else, not so much. I just don’t see him as being as ‘street’ as the role needs but overall it’s dumb. Characters stitched with cliché’.

The sun came out for a little while and I took advantage of it with a stroll to the post office, listening to Hot Chip on the iPod and smoking a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero.

Ran into Eddie Lopez, a former chef at McSwells. He was looking svelte. He always was a good guy, quite nice and agreeable. I’m pretty sure he had a thing for me, something that Julio noticed, which was confirmed after hearing that Eddie and I made out at a wedding years ago.

I barely remember but I guess it’s true. Neither Eddie nor I ever brought it up. Not many people around on the streets this afternoon. It wasn’t that cold out either. It was a balmy 34 degrees, which was quite comfortable.

Other than that, it’s just hanging out at home. Not watching anything in particular. Two days of work this week, which is probably one day of work, meaning 2 half days and that depends on the weather. We may have another snowstorm in this metropolitan area.

I did watch Get Smart earlier. The remake with Steve Carrell. Actually I was on in the next room as I am still on Bill’s Mac. And obviously I have figured out how to post pics like I did on yesterday’s post.

Also I have been communicating with a commenter named JohnsonTech in the Times of Your Life posting. I don’t know who he or she may be but I was sort of reprimanded for thinking Barack Obama was more than he actually is.

Also accused of acting like a teenage girl over something regarding David Archuletta who I looked up online and found that he was on American Idol. When I stated that I don’t watch American Idol I was labeled a sophisticated obscure pretentious art gallery patron, which I thought, was pretty funny. I was never called sophisticated before.

My ignorance of gay pop culture was thrown into question too. Anyone know who this JohnsonTech might be?

This afternoon on Pier A
1

Empty Landscape

Well today is quite cold. Last night was when the temperature started to drop. I was safe and sound in the apartment. Watched O & RM, then the Daily Show which had Darryl Hall and John Oates on the show backed with T Bone Wolk on acoustic bass singing a song about Allen Colmes leaving Hannity & Colmes, sung to the tune of She’s Gone. Very funny, Jon Stewart looked genuinely thrilled to have them there.

They were followed by my ersatz doppleganger Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I don’t care what anyone says, I do not look like him. He’s a good actor, that’s a given, but he’s a lot rounder in the midsection than I am despite Vivek mentioning my gut the other day at work.

Yeah I’m a bit sensitive about that.

A few years ago when Bill and I started going out, we went to the Lure in the Meatpacking district, (before it became boutique central) for some sort of party. Lot’s of heavyset guys there, some were pretty fat I thought to myself, when Bill walks up and tells me all these guys reminded him of me.

My first thought- he’s saying that I was fat. That’s what I was thinking while mingling around the heavyweight set. I was horrified, and Bill was totally innocent since he had no idea what I was thinking. I still chuckle about that years later.

After the Daily Show I watched The Colbert Report, once again very funny. He has Michael Phelps on and it was a very funny interview.

I also watched the Office which was surprisingly downbeat. It had some funny moments but overall it was one of their odder episodes. 30 Rock was way funnier with Elaine Stritch playing Alec Baldwin’s mother.

After that I went to bed around 1:00AM. Woke up around 8:30, got bagels and whatnot. Saw Julio, Stine and Kal-El for a little while. They were getting ready to go out and I was getting hungry. Had a nice breakfast, read the news and did some laundry, all finished by 11:00.

Watched It Came From Beneath the Sea, a 1950’s sci-fi movie about a giant octopus that attacks San Francisco. I saw it a few times in my childhood. Never really heard a certain line from the movie until today when one male character says to another about how today’s woman (in the 1950’s) isn’t afraid and is quite courageous, and able to do a lot of things men can do. Of course this is said right before the octopus attacks the Golden Gate Bridge so it was quickly forgotten.

I decided to head into the city and check out some art galleries. I waited for the bus and I ran into Meghan Taylor Mastro with her daughter Ruby who has sprouted up quite a bit since I last saw her during the summer. Quick plans to meet up when Ann Louise Boyles comes to the area next week.

I decided on Chelsea since there’s a lot of galleries all within walking distance. I started out at the Cindy Sherman show but I wasn’t too impressed. I guess I have to be in the mood for her.

I was impressed by Eric Fischl’s sculpture show. That was very good and very powerful. A few more shows which were ranging from fun to okay. I do enjoy art when it makes me laugh or smile.

I called up Rita after leaving the Eric Fischl show remembering she liked him way back when. Just a quick word telling her to check out the show before it closes this Friday. If she’s into it, maybe I’ll leave work early on Friday and we can check it out.

After that I had a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero that I had extinguished before heading into the galleries. Walked over to the Path and started reading last week’s New Yorker.

Walking up Washington Street I noticed about 30 Santa’s heading downtown. Apparently it’s Dress As Santa day and lot’s of guys were in the pubs and bars dressed like Kris Kringle with their girlfriends dressed as Mrs. Claus or elves and reindeer.

It reminded me of dreams that I used to have when I was actually killed by Santa Claus. Basically the dream was with me playing in my parent’s driveway and looking up to see his sleigh landing on top of me much like the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. It was one of those dreams that I used to have frequently when I was growing up.

Other dreams featured a large box, designed as a book that my mother used to have photographs in. In that dream I was told never to open that book/box but of course I did, unleashing a river of blood that Jesus would surf on, never helping me as I drowned.

It was the same Jesus who’s picture hung on the wall above my parents bed next to a picture of his mother Mary, both with their sacred hearts out of their chests.

Then there was the Black Ghost, a shroud reminiscent of the ghost of Christmas Future from a Christmas Carol. The Black Ghost would appear down the block in front of the Crist’s house and summon me towards him despite my resistance.

Then we would go flying over Lodi. In retrospect, the Black Ghost treated me better than Jesus or Santa.

There was also the Red Devil (who looked like the bad guy/wolf from Underdog) who used to make hot dogs in my backyard and threatened me with eternal damnation.

The Black Ghost and Red Devil eventually faded away when I had a dream in which I overheard my sister Annemarie and my brother Brian discussing who was going to be the Black Ghost and who was going to be the Red Devil that night.

I took a few pics this afternoon, but being on Bill’s Mac I can’t upload them. I’ll try later in the week.

Right now, It’s A Wonderful Life is on in the other room. I can hear Old Man Gower wailing on George’s ear. Ouch! ‘Please Mr. Gower, I know you’re sad, it’s not your fault’ Smack! Smack! ‘Don’t hit my sore ear again!’

Homosapien

Oh yes it was one of those days, and it was a Tuesday. Nothing to report. Last night, watched O & RM. Actually they were on in the next room, I was here in front of Bill’s Mac.

I did get my own computer back from Rand on Sunday night but haven’t been able to log onto the network. Need Bill here to do that. Some mumbo jumbo, magic numbers and all that.

So for the past few days I’ve been in front of Bill’s Mac, which is fine by me. I’ve become acclimated and generally remember that the TV is no longer to my immediate left.

After listening to O & RM I watched the recording of Heroes at 10:00. I enjoyed it mostly, but once again the last couple of minutes were cut off due to the timing of the DVR, 9:00-10:00.

It happened last week too, but I didn’t mind since last week’s episode was sub-par. Last night I was almost at the edge of my seat when the screen froze, meaning the episode was over for me at least.

I went to bed following the news but find myself still waking up late. Not terribly late and I am in the office before everyone anyway. Just a busy day, running around midtown, doing errands, which is always a good thing. Breaks the day up somewhat.

Before I knew it, it was 3:00 which was almost time to go. A few more things to do before I snuck out 9 minutes earlier than usual. A pleasant walk across town, enjoying a Padron, this time taking the Path train back to Hoboken.

Stopped by Empire Coffee and picked up a few pounds for the office. For every 10 pounds you buy you get one free, which is usually my pound of coffee.

Heard from my brother Brian, telling me the latest woes. Not good news to say the least. His story- not mine so you will have to read his blog and since he doesn’t have one, you ain’t reading anything.

I’m pretty much beat right now, perhaps from all the running around and the change in temperature. Tonight I have to be asleep by 11:30. And up at 6:00 like I used to.

Haven’t seen Casey in a while. He’s back working in midtown and I guess he’s still catching the early bus. So if I play my cards right we may cross paths. If I wake up on time.

Juan just called, he may be in the area tonight and he may stop by. I asked him to give me a call when he gets up here and I’d let him know the status of my mindset.

Tomorrow I am leaving work early to attend a free lecture at Stevens Tech. Dr. Oliver Sacks, author of Musicophilia, Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. All best sellers by the way.

Rand is promoting it on Facebook and that’s how I found out about it. I’m pretty psyched for it, though I did invite a few local friends but I don’t think many, if any are coming. So at least I’ll see Rand and maybe Lisa too.

I was finally able to watch the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special and it was so great. Very funny. I don’t care what anyone else says, he’s very Jack Benny on it.

That’s it for today. I am tired and my diet pill is wearing off…
(score bonus points if you can identify that last line)

Why Dontcha

It’s a Tuesday and it’s gotten mighty cold. Had to break out the winter hat and gloves. Spent some time last night looking for them actually. I found a pair of gloves that I found 15 years ago which was nice, and a hat I bought last winter. It’s all good though. I enjoyed the cold. Cuts down on the sweating that I do.

I am a bit worried about Harpy who seems despondent despite his callous demeanor. He’s losing his job and it’s actually a job he liked. I advised him to go out on a positive note rather than making a scene. That was something I learned from Miriam when I was being dismissed from Arista Records the first time.

Obviously it worked since I was asked back for a project a few months after that. It’s best to leave that way since it’s the last thing they will remember. I think things will turn out well employment wise for Harpy. If anyone here knows of a need for a part time bookkeeper, contact me at this blog. Look at me, posting jobs wanted on my blog.

Last night was O & RM hosted by the Legion of Substitute O & RM’s. Some guy sitting in for O. Doesn’t have the same bellowing tone as O so he couldn’t hold my attention for long so I wound up watching Girl Talk videos on YouTube. RM was hosted by Arianna Huffington so that was interesting but not interesting enough so it was more Girl Talk for me.

Then I watched Heroes which was good. A lot of online reports were about how lame last night’s episode was but I thought it was alright. Not WTF alright, but it satisfied the comic book guy within me.

Just got off the phone with my brother Brian who is currently in his own personal hell. I love Brian, he is truly one of the genuine nice guys on the planet and they don’t make them like him anymore. I can’t get into what he’s going through but he has my full support on whatever it is he has to do or needs to do.

He’s a hard worker, and puts food on the table and clothes on the back of his wife and kids, as well as a roof over their heads. He’s doing an admirable job in the face of tremendous difficulty.

Our father would have definitely handled things differently. Not saying that the way our father raised us was the best way, but we didn’t do anything bad when we were growing up, mainly out of fear of dad.

I think if I was in Brian’s shoes I would probably be looking for my father’s book on life with one hand and the back of the other hand swinging in the air. But it’s not my place and it’s not my problem and I can only stand on the sidelines and be there for Brian should he ever need my help or an ear to listen.

Most of the time when Brian and I were growing up we were at each other’s throats most of the time. Now we’re good friends. Can’t talk politics or sports (though my talking sports with Brian would probably get him laughing) but we can talk music and we share a mutual like of various artists like Bruce, Nick Lowe, The Fabs etc.

I truly love Brian and I want for him only the very best and that he gets through this situation with a peaceful and intelligent resolution for all concerned.

Love you Briando.

In The Name of Love

It’s a gray day, it’s a Thursday. Last night was an experience, another in a line of protest marches that I have taken part in. Meeting Andres from Blabbeando last night was cool. He’s a nice guy and it was good that we finally connected. Dinner is planned somewhere down the line.

There were a few other bloggers I would have liked to have met but sometimes you don’t know who they are or what they look like. I also didn’t see Whoopi Goldberg or playwright Tony Kushner, (Angels in America), or Larry Kramer who helped start GMHC and then ACT-UP in the 1980’s.

What was amazing though was the fact that thousands of gay people and their supporters were mobilized in a matter of days, mainly through Facebook. Kudos for Corey Johnson for that. So many blogs that I read had pictures and videos of last night’s demonstration and of course the people who are against same sex marriage are up in arms.

They feel so persecuted, claiming that their faith encourages them to feel this way, or actually their faith demands that they feel this way. LGBT demonstrations against them attempts to prevent THEIR persecution and that makes them feel threatened.

They have no problem persecuting, but when the mirror is held up to them they cry foul. What’s foul is their hatred and fear cloaked in the name of religion and it’s sickening. They claim activist judges, when it was activist judges that enabled interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia), and various civil rights rulings among others that if they were put to a popular vote would not have passed.

I hate to quote Joe Scarborough, but he’s the one who said that an activist judge was one that you disagree with. In a way the attempt to slur judges by calling them activists is very much like the anti-intellect feeling in this country.

The attempted put down of the elite which we saw during the presidential campaign. I think it would be a better thing to have some one who is more intelligent than I am, who can make better decisions and has a coherent view of the world today rather than some guy who I’d like to have a beer with.

That is bullshit and look what that type of thinking has gotten us for the past eight years.

Just fired up after arguing the same points online on a discussion board which I am still doing at this moment. Every now and then someone will react or post some ignorant thing and I just have to go after them.

I do love my brother Brian, despite the mix up with text messages this morning.

“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

So how has your day been?

Every Kinda People

Well it’s Sunday night. No feeling of dread, the feeling that I had better get my homework done. No spending the afternoon training with the Junior Rifle Squad, no going with my brother Brian to pick up a pie from Lodi Pizza. All is well though the pizza idea is a pretty good one.

But no, I just ate dinner. Or was it supper? Which one is later? Dinner or supper? My family used to eat dinner/supper around 2:00 in the afternoon on Sundays and then have the pizza later around 8:00. It was always a treat to have pizza on Sunday nights, something to look forward to.

No pizza for me, maybe some organic dark chocolate with raspberries instead. Once I open it, it has to be devoured. It rarely lasts through the night.

Last night was a pretty good time with Excer. I’ve known Excer for about 20 years and he is the only person I know named Excer. He’s a good guy and plays keys for Conjunto Imagen. I met him initially though Pedro when we were both working at 2 Park Avenue for Rupert Murdoch. It didn’t go well.

Excer pulled up in his red Honda and Pedro was in the front seat and I was in the back. We were all sharing a spliff in the parked car. It was the 1980’s so things were a bit lax as regards to law enforcement.

On the sidewalk 2 guys were walking up Park Avenue, they were a bit on the swish side which of course didn’t bother me since it’s the swish guys that are the bravest. But it bothered Excer enough to make a comment. I took that as my cue to go back in to the office, leaving Pedro and Excer in the car.

From what I heard, Pedro gave Excer an earful about how uncool it was for him to say what he said about the gay guys. Excer didn’t think he was that wrong at the time until Pedro told him that I was gay. This is one of the reasons I love Pedro so much. He honestly cares for me and looks out for me like that.

Eventually Excer came around and we became good friends, which is why we were hanging out last night at a bar called Kabin on Second Avenue. Kabin was a decent bar, great Happy Hour. One freebie for every drink purchased. Excer and I drank some Stella Artois before heading over to BBQ for some mediocre hamburgers.

Then instead of going out for more beers, I decided to head on home, Excer kindly dropping me off at the 9th Street Path station. I slept ok, Saturday Night Live was a repeat and I didn’t want to watch Kings of Leon again.

Woke up with the sun beaming on my face at 8:00. Went out and did my thing, and came home and made breakfast. Rand and Lisa were going to be at the McSwells flea market and I was planning on making an appearance until Bill called and asked if I could help him move his late father’s documents to a shredder truck that was going to be at Stuyvesant Town.

I took the Path once again into the city. Twice in one weekend is an accomplishment. After helping Bill, we sat and talked and looked at photos of Bill and his parents as well as his sister who died when she was just a child before Bill was born. Bill was such a handsome lad when he was growing up. What happened? Just kidding of course.

Portrait of Bill playing piano 1990, by William Vila Sr.

Had a Padron as I walked from 14th Street and Avenue C to 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue and listened to a playlist that I’ve been compiling while reading the latest Mojo and Uncut music magazines. Just made the train before it pulled out and was in Hoboken in 20 minutes.

Called Rand to see if the flea market was still going on but I missed the whole thing as they were packing up. And now I’m here at the beginning of tonight’s entry.

One more thing, Bill and I will be protesting against the church of latter day Twits at the Manhattan mormon Headquarters at 65th and Broadway at 6:30 on Wednesday night. Hope to see you there.