Tag Archives: Bus driving

Que Te Quiero

Just woke up from a nap. All of a sudden I was tired and felt a nap would be the way to go. Could it have been the turkey sandwich I ate? The tryptophan?

It was a nice nap though. A nice half hour. Didn’t seem like it though. Left the TV on in the next room, so as to act like a life raft and I would drift too far off into the land of sleep.

Last night I had 2 weird cannabis free dreams, one was about Lost and in the dream it turned out that Sun was pregnant with Jin’s baby, and the baby was Jin’s! Yes that doesn’t make sense but I’m talking about Lost here and that show defies the rules of logic and physics. And dramatic structure.

But like I’ve been reading in various articles regarding the 20th anniversary it all stems from Twin Peaks and how that show went so far into left field with it’s dramatic theme. A direct line through the X-Files can be drawn to Lost and it’s meandering plot and into my dreams!

It’s a conspiracy I tell you!

The other dream involved me being in a Yeshiva with some of my male co-workers and getting thrown out. My last words to my fellow Yeshiva students were, ‘Goodbye. I always liked you guys, and not in THAT way.’

I told you they were weird dreams.

Last night Bill and I watched Saving Private Ryan. He had never seen it from start to finish and I figured that since we were both watching The Pacific on HBO he should watch Saving Private Ryan.

I saw it when it first came out at the Ziegfeld with Rand. I figured that since both our fathers were in World War II it might be worth checking out.

The first 40 minutes are still as harrowing as it was the first time I saw it. Great characters, good cast. Bill was tired at first when the movie started but after the invasion at Omaha beach he was at the edge of the futon.

Probably one of Senor Spielbergo’s best. Bill really enjoyed it and I did too and I’ve seen it a few times.

Tonight Bill is back to bus driving. He claims it’s to give me a break from his snoring. The other night he was snoring again and it woke me up.

I woke him up and told him he was snoring. Then after that he was eerily quiet. Too quiet. I was worried and I woke him up again. He was irate and snarled, ‘What? I’m not snoring!’. I told him I wanted to make sure he was still alive.

The sleep apnea thing, death. You understand.

So he’s back to driving a bus to Atlantic City and I know it’s not to give me a break from his snoring. Bill loves to drive a bus. He’s always been fascinated by buses ever since he was a kid and now when he has the chance he wants to drive a bus.

I don’t mind.

And the weather seems to have gotten back to normal.



Not Claire!

Not Claire!


She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

Well today has been quite an interesting day. Interesting enough that I am not going to write about last night. It started out with Bill leaving the apartment at around 5:00 this morning.

He was driving a bus to Atlantic City. Bus driving is his passion and he has a gig working for a company based out of Garfield NJ. I vaguely remember Bill kissing me goodbye and me telling him to be careful.

I was fast asleep by the time the apartment door closed.

Woke up around 9:00 and showered, had some coffee and then headed out into the cold damp morning for the paper and some bagels. Spoke with Julio. He called me and asked if I would be available between 2 & 4 o’clock this afternoon.

I said sure and since I was headed out I asked if he wanted any bagels. He said no for himself but asked for a plain bagel for Stine and a cinnamon raisin bagel for Alexander. Not a problem.

The usual canary face behind the counter at the bagel shop. I was online behind the Jesus guy. Jesus guy is an acid fried casualty from the 1970’s, and went to school with Martin Kelly so he probably graduated from high school in 1978.

I’ve never seen Jesus guy inside before, and here I was right behind him. The bagel shop owner saw Jesus guy on line and asked what he wanted, then signaled for him to wait outside and someone would bring him a cup of coffee.

Jesus guy doesn’t ask for money, he just stands and stares all day long.

I got my bagels and headed to the supermarket, then stopped by Julio & Stine’s apartment. Julio asked Alexander where is John and Alexander pointed at me with a big smile on his face.

I gave him a Chewbacca holler, which made him laugh. I’m also known as Chewbacca thanks to Julio.

Stine, Julio and I made plans for me to come down while Alexander napped around 1:00. About 15 minutes later, back in my apartment, Julio calls. Stine would like me to come down around 12:45. No problem for me.

I was there on time, as Julio and Stine got ready to go to a wake a few blocks away. I brought a few issues of the New Yorker to read since I am now behind a few weeks.

Who knew I used to read so much while commuting?

Alexander was fast asleep, and the apartment was quiet enough that I could hear him breathing while I read. Of course a few times when I couldn’t hear him, I went in and checked to make sure.

Stine made it back and left Julio at the funeral parlor. The wake was for a relative of Julio’s. Of course Alexander was wide awake a few minutes after Stine came back.

Well in that nether land between sleep and being awake at least. I made my way upstairs again and got ready to head out. I was going to check out the Hoboken Artist’s Studio Tour again.

Only 2 artists I wanted to see, Hiro Takeshita and Tim Daly. I spoke to Annemarie on the phone as I headed towards 2nd Street & Madison Street. Earl had seen MGMT last night in San Francisco and had a great time she reported.

I also had a cigar, which went out all by itself as I walked u the stairs of the first apartment building I lived in, back in 1984. Hiro buzzed me in and asked ‘Who is it?’ I yelled up ‘Konnichi Wa, it’s John.’

He was very happy to see me and showed me his latest artwork. Had a really good time visiting him. He remarked that it was so cold and damp, that he hadn’t had many visitors.

Bill and I went to his exhibition at the Hoboken Historical Museum and he told me he sold all the works in the show, which was good news. Had a couple of glasses of wine with Hiro.

He saw I had a cigar and said I could smoke it, he didn’t mind and enjoyed the smell of the cigar. So I lit it up again and a few visitors stopped by. One seemed enthusiastic about Hiro’s work (which I posted on Facebook) and I hope he wasn’t talking through his hat.

I exchanged info with Hiro and made plans to stay in contact. He said he was going to give me an artwork for Christmas, which was embarrassingly generous. I stammered and he insisted.

We left it at that as I headed over to Tim Daly’s studio. I went in the back entrance at the Neumann Leather Building where Tim’s studio is and found myself in a totally different building.

I did see Jean Paul Picard’s photography. I didn’t take any pictures since I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. I thought it would be odd taking pictures of a photographer’s work with the photographer himself so close by.

Nice work though. He has a show coming up at the Hoboken Historical Museum next month so that’s something to look forward to. Jean Paul pointed me in the direction of Tim Daly’s studio in the building next door.

I passed by some rock group/performance artists outside doing something but since it was cold and damp I kept on truckin’.

Made the way to the 5th floor studio and saw a neighboring artist, Tim Heins whose work was a lot of fun. Tim Heins seemed like a lot of fun as he and 2 other people were packing up a piece of art to go.

I took a few snapshots, and someone asked if they were for a newspaper or magazine. I explained that they were for my blog, of which a few people read, maybe 6 that I know of, including Kap in Australia. Hi Kap.

Made it into Tim Daly’s studio where Tim’s wife Sheilah was sitting on the couch talking. I kissed her hello and looked around. I love Tim’s work. I wish I could afford it. It’s cool that I can’t, gives me something to aim towards, some art to buy if and when I win that lottery.

I met Mike Longo who also has a current show at the Hoboken Historical Museum. I know his brother Pat from McSwells and he’s also a friend of my brother Frank. Some talk between Mike and myself.

I told him I enjoyed his show and I really did. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have brought it up at all. I can’t lie about things I don’t like so I’d rather not talk about it at all.

Took some pictures of Tim’s stuff and wandered around for a while, having a giggle with Sheilah and 2 other guys who’s names I can’t remember. No good with new names lately. It was almost Seinfeld like, talking about people with nicknames we gave them like Cave Man and Pixie Spiky.

It was a good time but the tour was closing down so I said goodbye and headed out. I did stop at another studio neighbor of Tim’s, a gent named Santiago Cohen.

It was a familiar name and when I saw him I recognized him as a customer from the video store I worked at almost 20 years ago. A name like Santiago Cohen isn’t that common or easily forgettable.

I told him I remembered him from the video store and he used to come in with his son. Well his son is now taller as Santiago gestured with his hand, and probably 25 years old now I reckon.

A few times today I told people about the blog, how I write at least 500 words a day, and that it’s generally a personal thing, my observations and occasional (!) rants. I joked that if I stub my toe in the morning I try to figure out how to get 500 words out of it.

Of course I haven’t done that.


But the day wasn’t over. In the middle of the tour I got a call from Julio. Turns out he left his keys in Stine’s handbag and the handbag was in their apartment and could I buzz them in the building?

I told him I was in the Neumann Leather Building. He said OK, I could see them later when I get home, that they would just go to Julio’s aunt’s house and wait.

As I walked up Washington Street on the way home, I knew I was in Julio’s aunt’s neighborhood so I called him. He said I could just leave the keys under the mat outside their apartment.

So I did that and came home and struggled with the uploading of the tour pictures into Facebook on Bill’s Mac. A little while later, the buzzer buzzes. It’s Stine with Alexander.

A few minutes after that, Stine knocks on the door with the baby in her arms. Those aren’t the right keys. I could have sworn they were, I’ve been carrying them around for years now. But they weren’t.

I went down there and tried them thinking that maybe Stine didn’t know how to get into her apartment and I did.

Then I had them come upstairs and wait in my not baby proofed apartment. Alexander was of course all over the place with Stine directly behind him. Luckily the apartment wasn’t as bad as it was when Annemarie stopped by over the summer.

But still compared to Stine’s Scandinavian sense of order it’s a friggin’ pigsty.

I played the guitar for Alexander, D/A/E chords singing ‘Alexander’ over and over. He loved it and rocked in the chair. He is so like his father. With a more civil tongue.

Julio showed up from the funeral home, dressed in his funereal best. He was going to have to climb down the fire escape and in through his bathroom window.

In the dark. In the drizzle. In his funeral suit.

Stine worried that he was going to slip and fall and I hoped he would at least yell if that happened so we’d know he didn’t make it. Still, I kept playing guitar for Alexander’s enjoyment.

Finally someone likes my guitar playing! And he’s 18 months old!

Julio phoned, letting me know that he was in so Stine and Julio went down, Stine thanking me profusely for the shelter. I asked Alexander for a high five and I got 2 of them from his excited self.

But wait, that’s not all. After all that I get a call from Bill. Remember him? The guy from the beginning of the story?

He was driving on the parkway, and wasn’t sure if he would make it back to catch the 10:00 train back to Hoboken from Garfield. He asked if I could call my niece Corinne and ask if she could drive him back to Hoboken if he missed the train.

I called Corinne and she said she would help him out. I also told her that there was $20.00 in it for her.

It’s almost 10:00 now and I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m fine with that.

All the pictures have been uploaded on Facebook.

cut and paste if the link doesn’t work

after 1880 words written and many toes stubbed I am too tired to upload the photos from Bill’s Mac to this here blog.

Bummed Out City

Yeah, It’s been one of those days. I should have stayed in bed until the afternoon instead of rising at 9:00.

Last night Julio and I took yet another walk along the river, a few other people looking at the wreckage or at least trying to. It was dark and all that could be seen were police boats anchored around the site where the helicopter and the plane hit the Hudson River.

Like I wrote yesterday there were no survivors.

Not much to see yet people kept coming and staring into the darkness that lay between the shores of Hoboken and Manhattan.

A block or so away the girls were all dolled up for a Saturday night on the town. Big bouncers stood next to them as the girls tried to entice Julio & myself into various bars and clubs.

We just wandered up the boulevard, running into the Latino kid who works at the shoemaker shop around the corner. He invited me to stop by the store sometime, saying he had a gift certificate for me.

Since the last time I was there in November 2008, things had gotten ugly real fast. It wasn’t his fault, it was the runner they have, some GED program drop out who turned up the heat on the problem at hand. A born & raised Hobokenite from way back when with nary a tooth in his head.

The Latino kid was gracious and shook my hand and wished me a good evening before going on his merry way.

Julio and I continued walking when we ran into Bill who was just getting back from stage managing a play in midtown, off off Broadway.

Actually we heard him first, saying that Julio and I made for a nice couple. The three of us walked back to our building, Bill explaining his plan for the night at 10:00.

He was going to rent a Zip Car at midnight so he could drive around Bergen County and explore the routes for the bus company he’s going to be driving for.

Having grown up in Bergen County I knew of some of the routes, but I wasn’t about to head out there and go driving. He expected to get back in a few hours, like around 2:00 or 3:00.

I didn’t stay up, I just went to bed. When I woke up this morning, there was Bill in bed. I asked him what time he got in and he said 5:00 making me feel I did the smart thing and stayed home.

It’s ridiculous, but Bill wants to drive a bus that badly and who am I to say otherwise? He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs. He just wants to drive a bus.

Now I’m at home after walking around by myself. I was going to head into the city, just to get out of Hoboken and brave what appeared to be approaching storm clouds.

But, I missed the bus and walked along the river and sat, enjoying a cigar and finishing up the New Yorker and reading some of the Tom Waits biography by Barney Hoskyns.

Not much to see again, just some boats and some buoys making where debris was submerged as well as various news trucks parked alongside the road.

I should have gone into Manhattan.

8.9.09 Recovery boats 001
8.9.09 Recovery boats 002
8.9.09 Recovery boats 003
8.9.09 Recovery boats 004

News crews in their tents

News crews in their tents