Tag Archives: Busking

I Need You- The Beatles

A lovely Saturday. For the first day of autumn it isn’t so bad. Quite agreeable actually. Last night was mellow and quiet with Bill driving down to Atlantic City. I stayed home of course, watched Bill Maher and had two pints of Guinness. They’ve been in the fridge since early thi year and for some reason I had a hankerin’ for it. Took me a couple of hours to finish them. It’s not like hanging out with friends when they go down like water. A limited supply means to hold back on drinking in a hurry I suppose. And that’s what I did.

Probably because of the Guinness I slept quite soundly and since I only had 2 pints there was no hangover this morning. I was grateful for that. There was a certain reluctance to get out of bed, but I managed. Coffee was made and I stepped into the shower. Bill arrived as I was lathering up and soon he was going to bed. Driving back down to Atlantic City you see. He was fast asleep and I had some breakfast and after that the running of the errands to the nearby supermarket. Soon I was home in front of the computer again.

While in front of the computer I sent an email to my former boss, the one I had written about as Zack. I had a request to ask of him. When I go on interviews they always ask what happened to my job at the cigar shack. I tell them that I was let go due to slow sales. I heard from some customers that when they asked about me, they were told I went off to do office type things which is fine. The truth is too muddled (though a very good story I found).

My request was that if some calls about my employment at the cigar shack were made, would it be possible for Zack to tell them I was let go because of slow sales. I sent that out earlier this afternoon and I hadn’t heard anything from Zack yet. I would hope he does this for me, it’s a simple, yet minor request. I was sincere in telling him that I hoped all was well with his wife and kids and I also mentioned that how on the Facebook page for the cigar shack I posted the text to the spread about Zack being a black entrepreneur, underneath his photos.

I was surprised no one else had done that. After that I just chilled out around the apartment while Bill slept. I was feeling antsy and decided to take the guitar out and do some busking. It was more productive than yesterday and I won over a toddler who tried mimicking my playing. The boy’s dad gave him a dollar to put in the guitar case. There were a lot more people out and there was also a scavenger hunt going on. I sold a guitar pick for a dollar to a group of guys following a list.

I Love You More Today Than Yesterday

I Need You- America

The last day of summer, that would be today. It’s been an interesting day, best one of the week as far as I can tell. I could look back at what I had written previously this week but I know it was just overall rather blasé. But where I was subject to the weather, today I was out and about and actually saw a few friends. Like I said, it’s the last day of summer, autumn starts tomorrow morning at around 10:45 I think. I’m not too happy about summer going away but what can I do? Not much at all.

Bill was at the Yankee game last night, came back happy that they one. He went with a classmate that he reconnected with at his reunion. I of course stayed home. Seeing a Yankee game isn’t really for me, a lesson learned a few years ago when I went to a game with Bill and found myself really bored. We were sitting with the bleacher creatures so a lack of back support probably added to my discomfort. I also wore an old pair of glasses which while they looked good on my face, did nothing for focusing on the game at hand.

And now Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again. It’s a good thing he loves to drive a bus. Still I worry, I worry about other drivers doing something stupid, I worry about the passengers doing something stupid. I know Bill won’t do anything stupid, and it’s the other things that are a concern. I expect the usual phone call at around 11:00, letting me know that he has dropped off his passengers and is headed to the depot so he can catch some shut eye. And I will be following him via Google Latitude just to be sure.

The weather was most cooperative today, so much so that I went busking for the first time since last week. I was in contact with my former roommate William on and off through the week, he has been itching to see me playing by the river. I sat and strummed for a while and William showed up. Once he showed up it was more conversation and not too much busking. The toddlers from day care made an appearance and William was going to take some pictures but the minders put a stop to that and I also told him, no pictures.

We hung out for a couple of hours before he hopped on his bike back to Jersey City and I packed up my stuff and headed home. It was great spending time with William.

Walking through Church Square Park, I saw someone with a scarf who looked like Julio’s wife Stine and it just so happened to be Stine. She was with Julio’s sister Maria and cousins Anna and Adela. They all had kids and were wrapping things up, heading to Anna’s house to get some dinner. I headed on home after chatting for a few minutes and got my own dinner.

I texted Julio about who I just saw and he knew already. He asked me if I wanted to grab a beer but I was too hungry and needed to eat. I treated myself to some pizza and now I am just chillin’. It was a good day, a mellow end to the summer. And I hope Annemarie made it to Florida. No news otherwise so I can guess that all went well. I am sure her arms are tired. Not much else to do, not much else to write so I guess I will just end everything right about now.

14 Used To

I Need To Hear A Country Song

It must be a Friday since there weren’t that many people out while I was busking this afternoon. The toddlers were kept in a short leash and the infants were just a drive by. No matter, I just practiced my playing, I’ve been focusing on the Beatles so today was I Dig a Pony and I Saw Her Standing There. I figure that most everyone likes the Beatles (it’s odd to meet someone who doesn’t) and their songs are easy and fun to play and recognizable. I’ve been wrestling with Baby’s In Black, it is easy enough with the chords, it’s the waltz timing that I am having trouble with.

Get Back is incredibly easy to play and sing along with and tomorrow I will see if I can get some backing vocals on Twist and Shout. Tomorrow is the party that Rand, Lisa and Lois are having for me, bring a guitar, a musical instrument and some food. Some people have RSVP’d and some have contacted me telling me they can’t make it. That’s too bad but them’s the breaks. Some people have to work, some people have to work around the house. Still it should be a good time with the friends that do arrive.

I texted my former co-worker Thomas today, wishing him and his fiancé a wonderful time at their wedding. Bill and I were invited but we couldn’t afford a gift and a rental car, and since we couldn’t very well show up without a gift we opted out. Thomas did express regret that Bill and I weren’t going to be there, and I bet as soon as the texting stopped he forgot all about it and continued to feed those butterflies in his stomach. As it should be. Thomas is a good guy, good enough to call him his real name, Brian.

I heard from my dear friend Billie from DC a few times this week. Apparently he sent me a birthday card which never arrived. He told me he sent a card to a friend in Baltimore in June and the friend didn’t get her card either. Both cards had cash in them. Someone in the USPS is a thief and stealing cards, or at least what accompanies the cards. Billie was justifiably pissed off and filed a complaint with the post office. Nothing will be done and no money will be recovered.

And Bill has been stressed. His aunt died last week, a week after his cousin was murdered in Puerto Rico. Bill’s mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s was sharing a room with her late sister at Bill’s cousin’s apartment, and now it seems that Bill’s mother will have to go to a home. Bill’s mother has gotten worse, to the point where she doesn’t recognize her own son anymore. Obviously she can’t be left alone and a rest home seems to be the only way to go. So there is a sadness that is mixed in with the happiness of the week.

I suppose that’s how life is- you have to take the good with the bad. We’ve had some wonderful times this week and of course there is the underlying current of sadness. I am just glad that I can be there for Bill, if only to offer a hug and a shoulder to cry on. My life would be a mess if he wasn’t around and I am certainly glad he is, just as he is glad I am around. You’re riding high on Monday, and you’re shot down on Thursday. But we’ve got each other and that’s enough.

I Need This

Yes it’s that time of year again. Sadness and melancholy fill the air. Memories of what was and how things were, haunt the airwaves. Some television stations go so far as to play their original broadcasts from 11 years ago. Down to the last second. I suppose it’s needed for some people but personally I have no need to relive those events today since it is always in my mind. The fact that the weather is just like it was 11 years ago doesn’t help. It’s a bad, sad day and I guess it will continue to be so for a long time.

10 years ago was the last time I spoke to Derry Gelaney. She and I worked together 12 years ago and I was let go from that position during the summer. When the first anniversary of the tragic events came up, I called Derry to see how she was doing. Her response was along the lines of ‘why are you calling me?’ Not what I expected, since I thought she might have been feeling the way I was feeling since we were at each other’s side then. I had seen her twice since then but never said anything since she didn’t seem to recognize me.

Last night I went out. I walked over to Maxwells to see Mike Cecchini’s band, the Neutron Drivers play. They were very good, cracking power pop. I enjoyed them a lot more than the headliners who were just alright. Rand & Lisa were there as was Sarah who is Mike’s girlfriend.

I had two Corona’s and that was it for me. I just wasn’t feeling the music and if I’m not feeling the music then I generally try to leave. I think Rand was disappointed in my early departure but I didn’t want to spend any more money and wanted to be with Bill.

And there was Bill, so happy to have me back home. And of course soon after I came home Bill went to bed. I stayed up of course watching Harry Potter. After that I too was in bed, sleeping soundly despite having a very nice nap earlier in the day. Apparently though, when Bill’s alarm clock went off I started yelling at Bill to turn it off. I have no recollection of this but Bill told me when he called me this morning. I do remember him kissing me goodbye and I’m sure I was somewhat pleasant.

With all the melancholy in the air today I did make it out busking. A memorial was set for 6:30 this evening so I figured it would be alright to play some songs this afternoon. Tariq made it by and I showed him how to play Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith. I even gave him the chord sheet since I think I know it well enough, but having written that I will probably freeze up and forget all that I had learned. The toddlers did not make it by me today but their younger counterparts, infants did make it and they clapped and swayed in their four seat strollers as they were pushed by.

Not too many people out and about this afternoon. It has gotten cooler and I wore blue jeans instead of shorts. I think next time I will wear a long sleeved shirt as well. I don’t know if I will be busking tomorrow since tomorrow is my birthday and Bill told me to keep tomorrow night free. I may head into the city and check out some art galleries, and of course pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut Magazines.

What Bill has planned, he won’t say. He likes surprising me and so tomorrow I think I will be surprised. Rand, Lisa and Lois have planned a birthday party for me on Saturday at a park I Hoboken so that should be fun. If you’d like to join us, drop me a line and I will give you the info.

Neutron Drivers

07 Love

I Need Love

And so today, I find myself on September 10. Not a bad day, it’s been alright thanks. Yesterday wasn’t so bad either. No busking but I did sit by the river and enjoyed a cigar as I read. After the maelstrom on Saturday it was good to be out and about. And there were a lot of people out and about. There was also the last day of the Italian feast on River Road which accounted for the marching band and the testing of fireworks in the afternoon. That was why a quarter of Pier A being inaccessible to the out and about crowd.

I was home at an all too decent hour and once again, once home I am in for the evening. That meant no going to see any acquaintance play. I did intend to go but the four flights of stairs defeated me and I wanted to spend time with Bill who had spent the day with his cousin and her family since his cousin lost her mother earlier in the week. I didn’t know what type of mood Bill would be in so I waited with tea and sympathy, or rather a Klondike bar and a hug.

He was OK and we just hung out watching TV, nothing in particular just the news. Then he went to bed and I stayed up watching more of nothing in particular. Slept well last night and woke up easy as well. I was up and out rather quickly, a trip to the bibliothèque and then a walk to the really big supermarket. It was the right time, apparently if you go before noon there are significantly less people which makes for a pleasant shopping experience as I walked up and down the aisles humming along to She’d Rather be With Me by the Turtles.

Though it’s unofficial, today felt like summer was over with the air feeling quite autumnal. I decided to go out and do some busking. I practiced Maggie May by Rod Stewart at home and did alright, but once I was on the promenade it did not go over well. It was too windy to pull out the sheets of songs and chords so whatever I had memorized would have to do. Well that and whatever I had on Google Drive which is also on my smartphone, just much smaller. And since it was September 10, the song of the day was One After 909.

The other night for a lark I decided to see if I could download the movie, Let It Be and I did. Not exactly the feel good Fabs movie as they’re falling apart and Paul’s trying to keep it all together. But it’s the rooftop concert which is the best part and what inspired me to figure out One After 909. Easy enough to play and I had the Google Drive to back me up should I falter. Mike Cecchini walked by and we had a good talk before I started playing.

I reckon that I will have to dress a little more appropriately for the weather which means I would have to wear pants. Since May I’ve only worn pants once and that was for an interview a week or so ago. From what I heard I might have a good foot in the running. It was getting too cold to continue busking plus nature was calling so that meant I had to pack everything up and go and answer the call which I did. Then I came home and opened a box that Annemarie, Rex and Earl sent for my birthday and once the box was opened cookies and brownies were enjoyed.

I Need A Silent Night

It’s a Friday and so far so good. Last night did not go so well. Fell asleep for about an hour or so then I woke up with the Everly Brothers singing Cathy’s Clown in my head. I did the right thing and got out of bed around 3:00 and surfed the net for a while before heading back to sleep for a few more hours. That went well, then Bill kissed me goodbye as he was headed off to the gym and then work at 6:00 then I woke up again for a little while before I was able to sleep again.

I did have a plan today. I had been corresponding with Payless since my sneakers started to fall apart soon after I bought them, but they were still wearable and they matched the chip on my shoulder. About a week after that they fell into further disrepair and I stopped wearing them. Of course I did not have the receipt but according to customer service that would be no problem. So I trooped over a couple of miles to the Newport Mall, Airwalks in my bag. I called customer service once again to make sure it was OK that I didn’t have the receipt.

And it was OK. I walked in and stood by an empty register. Just then a manager appeared and I told her my tale of woe. She understood and directed me to get a new pair if I wanted to or get store credit. I opted for the new Airwalks and after a quick and easy transaction, I was walking back to Hoboken. It was quite hot too, dense heat and a cloudless sky. I came home and took off the work boots and put on the new sneakers. Then after a few minutes I headed out again.

Busking was on the agenda for today and it had been a number of days since I last busked. I found a decent spot under a tree and set about playing some songs, A Hard Day’s Night, Walk on By, and Hateful by the Clash. It was going well. Tariq even showed up and was enjoying my playing as he was cocktailing. He is a good player and has the cojones to play on Washington Street at night, where he probably makes good money. I opt for the waterfront and the adoration of toddlers and change.

Tariq mentioned how much he enjoyed what I used to do, which was some improvisations. I play a few chords and sing about the people walking by in front of me. The color of their clothes, what’s on their t-shirts, the fact that some people look serious (but when they hear me singing about them they smile). I also sing about students from Stevens Tech and the amount of backpacks they carry to the trains and also sing about the nannies pushing strollers. So I did it again and had Tariq doubled over in laughter.

The funny thing is I am more comfortable doing that improve thing when there is a friendly face around and Tariq had the friendly face. If I had the nerve to do it without anyone around I would but since that rarely happens I rarely do it. Plus, when I do such a thing the people smile or smirk and just hurry along. They don’t linger and they don’t dig for change. But today turned out to be a good day, things went well and the toddlers showed up so happy to dance and clap along as I play. And you know that can’t be bad.

I Live For You

Wow. Just coming back to life. Been a weird day and that was partially from not eating much. Had a bowl of cereal this morning and then this afternoon for lunch I had two eggs. I bought a dozen eggs this morning and when I brought them home found two of them were cracked so I decided to fry ‘em up and eat them for lunch. Well apparently that wasn’t enough. I went out busking this afternoon, there were no toddlers (who always bring a boost of energy and happiness) but still I played for about two and half hours.

I think I am getting better and today’s new song was You Won’t See Me by the Fabs and I even sang along to it. So I strummed along while being bitten by flies and hopefully not fleas. That was troublesome, I’d strum and then have to stop to scratch my legs and occasionally pour some Purell on the gams. Not too many people around today and in the distance I could hear someone with a conga. I decided to stay put and continue playing. After a while I moved up the promenade and sat and read Mojo magazine and enjoyed a cigar.

I came home after finishing the magazine and the cigar and just felt so fatigued so I took a nap. I set the online alarm clock for an hour and slept about 50 minutes. I figured I needed something to eat and set about making some dinner. As I was getting started the phone rang and it was Bill and he sounded stressed. He did take a day off from work yesterday so the work had probably piled on his desk and still his mind and heart is reeling from his cousin’s murder so that would stress anyone.

He was frantic since he had clothes at the dry cleaners that needed to be picked up and they were closing in five minutes. So I put on my flip flops and walked around the block, putting my food prep on hold. I was still pretty much tired but Bill needed his clothes so off I went. I was back in ten minutes anyhow and set about finishing getting my dinner ready. And it was a good dinner, still reading Carole King’s memoir and careful not to get any pesto on the pages. Carole is getting sued by the neighbors in Idaho.

As I was eating I had the TV on MSNBC and the orange man himself John Boehner was on doing his shtick. I started to lose my appetite and had to get up and walk into the next room and change the channel. I suppose it’s going to be like this for the rest of the week should I choose to watch the news channels. I am tempted to watch at 10:30 when the New Jersey governor Chris Christie is making the keynote speech. I have money on this speech, or rather that the stage will collapse under his weight, but more so under his ego.

Last night Bill and I finally watched the Road Warrior. We’d both seen it before but I think I had seen it more. It is truly one of the best action films ever, George Miller did a fantastic job. Despite seeing it maybe a dozen times more or less, it still amps up the intensity. It is definitely a film to own. Just incredible 30 years later. And of course there is the homoerotic vibe of the bad guys in leather, specifically Wez and his blonde boy toy on the back of his motorcycle.

And I still say the prologue of The Road Warrior is almost exactly what is going on today and where this world could be headed.

peek a boo

09 – Breakin’ in My Heart

I Miss You- Randy Newman

You must be happy it’s a Friday. After all, you are probably in that Monday through Friday mindset and having worked those five days, you are ready for the weekend. I can’t say I am ready for the weekend since all the days seem to blur into one another. I could tell it is the weekend in Hoboken since there are plenty of parking spaces to be had. Those spaces will likely be taken up by the party people coming to town to get down and do whatever it is party people do these days. I don’t party anymore so I wouldn’t know.

Last night I was pretty tired after having walked around midtown yesterday afternoon. I just chilled out at home, Bill came home from the play he is stage managing. They ditched the director and the lighting designer so it will hopefully be smooth sailing for the remaining shows. But of course since it’s the Fringe festival with stringent rules, there was not a lot of time for Bill to figure out the light board and so there were a few glitches that Bill had to work through. Two thirds in, he figured it out so that was good.

I went to sleep a bit later than the night before and fell asleep for an hour. Then I woke up again and tried falling asleep, with some difficulty. This occurred several times through the night and when Bill kissed me goodbye this morning, instead of some reaction from me, apparently I could not be roused despite three attempts. I slept through it and when I started to wake up, I had no recollection of Bill kissing me goodbye and feared he was out cold on the floor in the next room. I always assume the worst. Happily I was wrong.

It’s been another gorgeous day, and I was psyched for some busking this afternoon. It had been a number of days when I last strummed the guitar by the river and I was somewhat eager to give it a go. After lunch I got my gear together and headed out. Still working on Can’t Find My Way Home as well as I Want to Hold Your Hand, which still has some problems, but overall it has improved. It being a Friday, not too many people were out but the toddlers were. They love me, they scream, they squeal and dance up and down while some of the kids put leaves and twigs in my guitar case.

One of their handlers was kind enough to throw a buck into the case as I was requested to sing the ‘Get on the Rope’ song. It’s just a few chords and the lyrics are ‘Get on the rope/get on the rope’. The kids all walk together holding onto a rope under the watchful eyes of their handlers. I think they like that song more than I Want to Hold Your Hand so in their eyes I have a leg up on Lennon and McCartney. After two and a half hours I had enough playing, the kids were gone for the weekend.

plus ça change

this guy is always eyeballing me…

04 Missing

I Miss You- Blink 182

Yesterday was such a nice day. Nice enough that I don’t feel like writing today, but here I am writing again. If Truman Capote were around and reading blogs he might have said ‘That’s not writing, that’s typing’. That is what Truman supposedly said about Jack Kerouac. I can’t fill Kerouac shoes, he was a 10.5 and I am a 12. It would be painful and awkward and I would be in dire need of an orthopedic shoe. I just returned from busking again, not too busy a day though my guitar playing has improved somewhat. I hadn’t busked since last Thursday.

Like I wrote, yesterday was nice, really a top day. Pleasant weather, nary a cloud in the sky. I did some filing, my nails have gotten back to where they should be. I strolled the waterfront promenade once again, enjoying a cigar. I found a spot and sat and read Lucking Out by James Wolcott. I’m enjoying reading about his exploits with Pauline Kael, hanging out at CBGB’s and a fixation on porn. When I finished reading yesterday, AIDS was beginning to make its appearance. The grim reaper and it’s scythe taking out a generation of gay men and soon to spread to non-gay men.

I remember hearing about GRID- Gay Related Immune Deficiency, or the gay cancer as it was first known. It was the beginning of the paranoia of the pandemic and I was still deep in the closet, living the two lives that I led back in the day. One of the symptoms was a loss of appetite, a wasting away. I told someone that in the future, overweight men will be the desirable set following the death of the clones. It didn’t take into consideration that there would be two sets, the gym bunnies constantly fixated on chiseled abs and toned bodies and the other group being the bears, the hirsute, stocky men.

Having never set foot in a gym I lean towards the bear contingent though I consider myself to be a wolf, and a lone wolf at that. When smoking was permissible in Central Park, when I would have the time to check out the disco skate circle I would be either opposite the bears on Bear Hill or above the bears at the top of the hill enjoying a cigar and enjoying the tunes. Since the smoking ban I haven’t been in Central Park. In fact since I was dismissed from the cigar shack I haven’t gone north of 47th Street.

While sitting and reading I got a phone call from Billie in DC. It had been a while since we last spoke and we kept missing each other on various phone calls. He’s doing well, working and in good health thanks to the government of Washington DC. I told him the story about my dismissal, how the guy who claimed to have no ego was pissed off and his ego bruised by what I wrote exactly. Billie was great and laughed several times at my tale. He knew I was unhappy there and claimed it was god’s doing that got me out of there.

He mentioned that he was thinking about taking a Bolt Bus from Washington DC and having a day trip to Manhattan. That would be great and since I have the time it seems likely that it would happen. It would be easier for Billie to come up here than for me to get to DC since in DC we would need a car to get around where in Manhattan no car would be needed. Billie’s visit is something to look forward to and hopefully we will get together soon enough.

I walked around Hoboken afterwards, talking on the phone with Lois and running into my friend Roger with his wife Dina and their 3 month old son Kennedy. What a happy chubby baby. Dina looked great as did Roger. It was fun catching up with Roger for a while and I walked them back to their car before heading home. Bill was home when I came home, so happy to see me. He was in better spirits than he was earlier. He had gone to Philadelphia on Saturday and while there his wallet was stolen, pickpocketed.

He had enough to get to Manhattan but had to borrow some cash from the producer of the play he is working on. We watched the closing of the Olympics, annoyed with Bob Costas and Ryan Seacrest endlessly talking over whatever as going on. We surmised it was because Americans needed to have things spelt out for them, instead of just showing the images without comment. They cut out Ray Davies singing Waterloo Sunset, and also Muse while postponing the Who, who were mediocre. And still no Elton. What was that about?

And I am DJ’ing from home again at the local tavern right now…


The Nick Colas haircut!

Jimmy Roselli

05 All Night Long

I Might Be Wrong

All hail Thor, for today is Thor’s day or Thursday. And the god of thunder has been heard with his goat driven chariot a little while ago, going across the skies. It’s been a good day, my laundry is mostly dry now. I saw my old friend Martin Kelly this afternoon. He’s a shift supervisor at the local CVS and he’s a good man. We both worked together at Maxwells years ago and I have a fond memory of having dinner with Martin and his late mother a long time ago. We chatted for a while before he was called off to do something.

Last night was pretty mellow, me and Bill hanging out. We watched The Ed Show and some of the Olympics while he got his stuff together for the opening of the show he is stage managing tomorrow. Lots of drama going on, more than usual. Then again it is theater and what would theater be without drama? Comedy? I’m the sounding board for Bill and his daily tales of the problems with the cast. They’re his stories and so I am sure they will come out one way or another. I’m content to sit and listen to Bill.

I went to bed earlier than usual, not out of being tired, but rather out of being bored. I slept well and remember a dream I had regarding an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In the dream I touched whatever it was that Mary was appearing on and all of a sudden I could fly or rather float around. No one else in the dream had the ability to do this. Maybe it was from being under a yellow sun as opposed to the red sun I was initially born under. ‘Born under a red sun’, that sounds like a blues song.

Since I went to bed earlier it stands to reason that I woke up earlier. I busied myself soon enough, a shower, some coffee and cereal and a trip outside where I met Martin Kelly and then a trip to the mediocre supermarket nearby. I came home, sent out some resumes and read emails.

Apparently the Marlee Matlin/David Patterson job that I interviewed with in early May have filled the position and the underling I met with sent me an email to let me know. How nice of them to remind me of something I had totally forgotten about. I guess dropping Jimmy Seltzer’s name (as a friend of David Patterson) did not help me in the least.

Today was a good day for busking and last night I brushed up on Can’t Find My Way Home by Steve Winwood when he was in Blind Faith. I played it for Bill and all of a sudden he got real serious. It was unnerving but it turns out he might use that song for his one man show that he plans on putting on next year. Don’t worry I will relentlessly remind you of this grand event. Perhaps the two people that comment (and therefore I know that read this here blog) will be able to attend.

I showed Bill the Steve Winwood video from last night’s entry and explained to Bill that yes indeed that was the same Steve Winwood who sang ‘Higher Love’. Bill and his lack of knowing rock and roll can be quite charming. When Bill went to bed I continued practicing the guitar and figured out how to play Make Me Smile by Chicago. I never really liked Chicago but it is a good pop song. And after about a half hour I was swinging.

So I was busking this afternoon and came across a guy that I see from time to time. I don’t know his name but he’s a pleasant enough dude. And he can talk quite a bit. I was itching to play but he kept going on about meditation and Krishna consciousness. During a break in the conversation I finally was able to play Can’t Find My Way Home and sure enough a string broke. I can’t change a string to save my life and packed up and walked with the dude towards the Guitar Bar.

He talked about mantras and I told him a story from when I was growing up. It was a late Saturday afternoon and my father decided I needed a haircut. I didn’t want a haircut but I had no say in the matter. We got in the car and drove from Lodi to Fair Lawn. My father’s friend- John Fontana was a barber and had a shop. On the way there I chanted, Hare Krishna, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, Jai Guru Deva and anything else I could think of.

We got to the barber shop and I was happy to see that it was closed. But inside was John Fontana and he opened just for us and I got my unwanted haircut. So the chanting helped to a point, the shop was closed. But to my dismay it was reopened just for me. Silly, tricksy gods.

The dude left me at Washington Street with a prayer, ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. I went to the Guitar Bar and saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. I explained that my string broke and he asked if I wanted the one string changed or all of them. I said all of them and then he asked when I needed it. I said as soon as possible. He was in the middle of something important, more important than little old me and lent me an Ibanez to use.

I strummed and made a couple of bucks again and a few hours later I came back and just like the old British TV show, ‘Jim’ll Fix It’, Jim fixed it. And at a good price. He’s a great guy. Love him. I left with a newly strung guitar, fourth time this week I have visited the Guitar Bar. Jim’s going to be touring with Ian Hunter & the Rant Band in a few months. See them if you can.

13 Can’t You Hear Me

I Might

Apparently it’s hump day. That’s the word on the street. I am still hamstrung by what a friend said to me back in May. I was trying to do something that was out of the ordinary and thought I was doing well with it, until I got the phone call. The friend was annoying and perplexed and irate and wouldn’t listen to my explanation, instead telling me how they would do things which were opposite the direction that I was going in. It did my head in and the train of thought was derailed, enough so that I have not been able to get back to what I wanted to do.

I think if I didn’t take the phone call I would probably be in a better writing place right now, further ahead than I had ever been before. Thinks would be progressing quite nicely. Or perhaps I would have derailed myself eventually. But in any event, the concept is still in the back of my mind, quite a distance from my fingers on the keyboard. Why they didn’t just write their comments in the comment section instead of calling me and stopping the train is beyond me. I am resentful.

So that’s my hump. Today was a laundry day, lots of t-shirts and underwear and socks. And shorts since it’s been months since I’ve worn pants. And also months since I wore a suit & tie. The job listings are slim. I get emails about jobs in Hoboken and when I check, they’re in Rumson or Princeton or Roseland. Any place besides Hoboken. The resumes dutifully go out, nothing biting, no responses. I can understand why certain people would be reluctant to suggest me for a job at their companies since they read this here blog and figure I would write about their job.

So it goes.

After the laundry I headed out to do some busking. I was a bit anxious about running into Tariq and the drunkard set and it was unwarranted since they weren’t around. I did figure out how to play Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith and I played that for a while, even doing my best to approximate singing like Steve Winwood. It really is a beautiful song, beautiful enough to make me forget that the dreaded Eric Clapton is in on it. I prefer to ignore that fact and concentrate on Steve Winwood.

The first time I heard Can’t Find My Way Home, was on a stellar episode of the long forgotten television show Homicide: Life on the Street. The way it was used was brilliant and obviously it struck a chord with me. It wasn’t until last night that I figured out what those chords were. And don’t forget I did meet Steve Winwood while working at the cigar shack in 2010. Nice guy, a day off a tour and did not want his photo taken which I was cool about. I did shake his hand though and I do have the memory.

I did see the toddlers again. They get so excited to see me, they clap and jump and attempt to dance to whatever upbeat things I play. It really is a highpoint to my busking afternoons. The women who watch over the kids seem to like it as well. But once the kids settle down and sit on the curb to listen then it is time for them to go. The idea of being out and about is to keep moving, not to sit down. They always wave and yell ‘Bye bye’ when they are heading back to day care.

A few adults watch it and are generally amused and for me I’ve been timing my busking to coincide with the toddlers outing. I was hungry when I finished and decided to treat myself to Mamoun’s Falafel on the way home. I hadn’t been there since Annemarie left the east coast and I am glad I went. I sat inside and read James Wolcott last book, ‘Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York’.

Now I am home, probably in for the night and it’s not even 7:00. Not much to do and no one to do it with. Bill will probably be home soon, so that will be nice. That’s it for my plans.

So it goes.

Can’t Find My Way Home

I Met Him On A Sunday (Ronde Ronde)

Well it’s been an interesting 24 hours I think. Last night I wound up DJ’ing at local tavern Louise and Jerry’s for about 4 hours. It went fast. It was a reggae thing in celebration of Jamaica’s independence 50 years ago. That enabled me to go back to my reggae roots in the 1990s and get down to it. Rand joined me and we ‘spun’ records with the bartender Brian. Of course I wasn’t there, it was all done via the internet. My choices as well as Rand’s were queued up with Brian and it was all playing live at the tavern.

Bill enjoyed it but went to bed really early due to exhaustion. I picked tracks from around 6:30 until 11:00. Both Rand & I quit at the same time, which means we might have left Brian high and dry. I did hear the Easy Star All Stars version of With a Little Help from my Friends and Radiohead’s Karma Police which was a real treat. So much of a treat that I snagged both the Sgt. Pepper and Radiohead dub versions. Very cool I think. At 11:00 came the news and of course it was mainly all bad.

I slept fairly well, under a sheet with the air conditioner on. Bill was out cold of course by the time I joined him in bed and I had to make sure he was alive since his skin felt a bit cold. But he lives and I was greatly relieved. Once again he kissed me goodbye in the morning, leaving me with a smile on my lips and words of encouragement in my ears. I of course was grouchy. I made up for it hopefully by getting Bill his unsweetened Almond soy milk which isn’t cheap by the way. Plus Bill knows I am not a morning person.

The Airwalks I bought a while ago have finally bitten the dust. At least I could feel the dust through the hole in my sneakers. I guess I wear them often enough and they served me well. The only place that sells Airwalks these days is Payless and luckily there is a store in the Newport Mall about a mile or so away. I was going to go yesterday but decided not to, so it had to be today. I walked over to the mall around 11:00 this morning after sending out the resumes once again.

I listened to the Easy Star All Stars on the iPod and picked up a few cigars at Hoboken Cigars by the Path train. It was a lovely morning as I walked and inside the mall it was not crowded at all. I was the only customer in Payless and picked out my new Airwalks and after I bought them, I put them on, throwing out the older pair in the garbage bin. They served me well. Some window shopping before heading back to Hoboken on a lovely afternoon.

I came home and had some lunch before heading out for some busking. I walked over to the promenade and saw Tariq with another dude. Tariq’s guitar was in his gig bag and I set up next to the other dude’s bicycle. Tariq is fond of playing songs that all the other buskers play, I am not. He’ll see a kid in a stroller and play for them Guns and Roses, Sweet Child of Mine. I play Roadrunner by the Modern Lovers.

Some toddlers made their way and I dutifully played for them. They were soon on their way and I decided to pack up my stuff and move to a location where I could be alone. I didn’t want to infringe on Tariq’s space since he was there. And some of Tariq’s friends came by with a guitar and a conga and a fifth of vodka which was passed around.

I declined and started to make my way. Tariq and the others said I didn’t have to go but I lied and said I needed to practice. The guy with the vodka said there’s no rule that says I had to move to practice, and I said I know and I don’t play by the rules anyhow and headed farther away. I don’t think it went over well but why would I care what a bunch of drunks think?

I walked away from Pier A to Pier C and found it sufficient enough to play there. And I made some money while playing so I was happy. It is a nice thing to make a couple of bucks and seeing people enjoying my playing. I think my time spent with Tariq is dwindling. I don’t like the crowd he hangs out with. I certainly enjoyed my playing and I think I will spend more time at my new spot rather than the spot where the other buskers usually play. Perhaps I will play on Washington Street eventually.


02. With A Little Help From My Friends

I Me Mine

Friday in Hoboken. The streets are clearing out, plenty of parking once again. And hardly any money to be made busking. I should have known but still I enjoyed myself and came home with fifty cents more than I did when I left earlier. A meager profit for this meager prophet. Still it was somewhat productive. I try to learn a new song every now and then and last night I taught myself Blondie, Heart of Glass. Of course not a synthesizer in sight and none of Clem Burke’s excellent drumming. Just me on my trusty Fender F-210 acoustic guitar.

There was hardly anyone around on the riverside promenade. My trusty toddlers with their guardians made their way past me and of course they jumped up and down and clapped their hands as I played the Modern Lovers, Roadrunner. Tariq was nowhere around though his woman Francine walked by and I chatted with her for a few minutes. She left and a little while later I started to get my stuff together as Tariq walked up. I was playing for two hours and sweating quite a bit. Tariq hit me up for a smoke and once he got his another friend of his showed up and asked me for a smoke, offering me a swig from his bottle.

I declined and made my way home after showing Tariq the chords to Heart of Glass which I am certain he has forgotten by now, instead focusing on whatever everyone else plays when busking. That’s a reason why I don’t play with other buskers generally. I will not lay Sweet Child of Mine by the ultra-horrible Guns and Roses. Oddly enough, other buskers don’t play the Beatles at least not while I am around. I guess I don’t play well with others.

Last night I attended a meeting of Hoboken Fair Housing Association. The local developers are trying to get rid of rent control here in Hoboken like they’ve done in a few other towns. Hoboken being the jewel in the crown for New Jersey is now in the crosshairs. Last year a provision was on the ballot in November with a slippery wording included at the last minute, changing that if you were for rent control you should vote NO. So a lot of people voted YES and hobbled the rent control laws inadvertently. I would have been involved anyway, and a friend of my brother Frank is involved and has gotten me involved as well.

There were a few people from the past at the meeting, some people I had seen around town for years, others I knew like Fred and Lois. They made an appearance before going out for an anniversary dinner. Things are planned, things need to be done. I was reminded by one of the speakers that there are more tenants in Hoboken than there are landlords. If people can be reminded of this as well there might be a chance that rent control could be stabilized.

Unfortunately I also learned that no one on the city council is a renter, they’re all property owners so we can’t really expect much help besides empty words from our local government. Half the council seems sympathetic to the rent control cause and the other half sides with the developers. I remember Jim Mastro organized a protest in the 1980’s against overdevelopment of the waterfront.

I went with some Maxwells people including Julio, who out of the Maxwells people was the only one born and raised in Hoboken. The protest march started at 14th & Washington Streets and at every cross street we would stop as a bell tolled and we decried the death of the waterfront. As we got closer to midtown Hoboken we passed a stronghold for the then mayor, Steve Capiello. They recognized Julio and gave him shit for marching with us, these interlopers. How could Julio betray them in such a way?

You’d think with the internets it would be easier to get people involved, since in the 1980’s it was mainly through fliers and word of mouth. There were I guess maybe 30 people last night. Word is getting out, some people planning on guerilla tactics on putting up fliers to educate people. Others making plans for more civilized things. Less than three months to go. Baby steps last night, hopefully we will be walking fully in a week or two with more people!

07 Maybe Tomorrow

I Made It Through The Rain

Yes another blasé blah kid of day. It’s totally hummus out. I just got back from some busking. I couldn’t do it yesterday since it was raining on and off most of the day and plus my usual spot was closed off for the Mumford and Sons show. Last night’s blog came pretty easily. I can get fired up and the words start pouring out. It took me longer to post the photographs than it was to come up with words. I thought it was a good posting and judging by the comments, no one else did. So it goes.

I met Rand and Lisa by Pier A. Not actually on Pier A since that is where the concert was and it was a ticketed show and since no one I knew had tickets, I knew I would see someone outside the event. It was good to see them, and it was good to get outside since I was cooped up most of the day. I listened to Nirvana as I walked over, specifically In Bloom since that song had been playing in my head most of the day. I also enjoyed a nice cigar and stood away from most people during the show.

As I got nearer to the concert the one song I knew by Mumford and Sons was being performed, Little Lion Man. The first time I heard the song was the first time I saw them on Letterman. I liked it and sought it out immediately. It still is the only song I could identify by them and I figured it would be their big finale but there it was being performed in the middle of their set. They were entertaining but it was not enough for Lisa, Rand and myself to stand there and watch.

So we walked from Pier A winding up on Pier C. It was a gorgeous evening especially after all the rain that fell previously. Unfortunately Pier C closes at 9:30 so we were only there for about 20 minutes before being booted out. The three of us walked out back into the streets, Mumford and Sons still carrying on. Our interest had faded and we all wanted to go home, especially Lisa since she actually had to work yesterday. I’m sure Rand worked too, but Lisa has a straight up 9 to 5 job dealing with people so she won the award.

We walked through Stevens Park where I saw Tariq hanging out on a bench with some street guys. I also saw Tariq earlier in the day when I was out and about and was within a foot of him but he was too far gone and wrapped up in a conversation so I just kept on truckin’. I did ask Tariq when we were walking through the park if he would be out today and he said he would be. I came home, Bill was watching the Olympics and I just did my usual thing as Bill readied himself for bed.

Once again it was a difficult night of sleep despite staying up later than usual. It made for getting out of bed this morning a bit difficult but I managed. I got some things done and eventually I went outside into a beautiful afternoon with my guitar for some busking. I spied Tariq wandering around with someone but I just kept to myself. Eventually Tariq sauntered up alone and asked if he could play too. I couldn’t say no and we strummed together, eventually making $6.00 which I split 50/50. He kept drinking from a bottle in his pocket and kept to himself but since the money didn’t appear in the case until he showed up, it was only right to split it with him.

So that’s about it. Off to a rent control meeting at a nearby church. Hoboken renters are fighting off developers who are trying to get rid of rent control in Hoboken. A friend of my brother who lives in town has organized it and since I support it, being a renter, it would be in my best interest to attend.

near the show

062 – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man

I Luv That

So now it’s Tuesday. It’s been a laundry day, a grocery shopping day and a busking day. So I’ve been busy. Nothing too major, I did things at my own pace. I was surprised to hear from Jerry Vale who seems to be doing alright, working with a marsupial doesn’t seem to be his thing but he does the job as I did, keep your head low and just do the work. He mentioned Tony Garnier was in today and Jerry Vale helped him out. I would have liked to have met Tony Garnier.

A few years ago I met two friends of Tony Garnier and they mentioned what a great guy he was. I happen to think he’s a cute guy and also a very good bass player. It also helps that he is Bob Dylan’s bandleader and has been so for a number of years on Bob’s Never Ending Tour.

Yeah I reckon it’s not much fun working in the cigar shack these days. Zack is down south at a tobacconist retailer convention where he can mingle with the waistcoat turncoat Marcus. Both of them can have their drinks, Marcus slurring his words and Zack generally nodding off as usual.

There are a few customers that pop into my head from time to time and I had to contact one of them today to see if I can get Luis Bunuel’s autobiography, ‘My Last Sigh’ returned. I had copies of it before and lent them out and never saw them again.

Now I am tired of getting new copies and figure if I can get Lou Moreno to return it, I mean I would go wherever he is to pick up the book then it should be all good. Now I just have to wait for Lou Moreno’s reply.

I did some busking once again this afternoon. I don’t think it will be possible tomorrow since Mumford and Sons are playing on Pier A in Hoboken and it is sold out. About 15,000 tickets sold and there won’t be any room for buskers like myself.

I did see Tariq who showed up with his guitar but didn’t take it out. He just sat there, bumming smokes off me and talking on his cellphone. I did not have to consult my notebooks much at all today. Usually all it takes is a glance at the chord progressions and I am fine.

I do plan on hearing Mumford and Sons tomorrow night as are a couple of thousand of other people who could not or would not pay the $55.00 for a ticket. I suppose we will see how close we can get. I do know a few other Hoboken residents as well as the daughters of some former Hoboken residents who will be doing the same thing. I did see a few of them at the Farmer’s Market this afternoon and I will likely cross paths with them at some point tomorrow night.

Other than that, not much but it has been a fun day so I will just leave it at that.

06 Ask Me Why

I Love Your Smile

It’s a Monday. I hope you all had a good Sunday. Mine was alright, nothing too special. Just another day, yet a day when I went to town on my fingernails. I’ve had a nail biting habit for most of my life and finally got it under control until yesterday. Fingernails in mouth. I didn’t bite my fingernails but I did clip them pretty low. I don’t know why, a nervous habit perhaps. Luckily I still had some Mavala, a nail polish that is designed to stop one from biting their nails. It’s a bad habit and once I got home I was able to apply it to my fingers.

It’s a nasty habit and I’m hopeful it’s behind me once again. Perhaps it was spurred on from playting the guitar and needing to trim my nails. I usually have a nail file or a clipper nearby but still there are moments when it wasn’t enough. I wish I knew why I felt the way I did so I could avoid situations like that. But I don’t and they’re growing back as they should. I always felt there should be a support group for nail biters, a Nail Biters Anonymous perhaps.

A group of people sitting on chairs in a circle or however those anonymous groups do their meetings. “Hello my name is mumble mumble” “What? Speak up. We can’t understand you. Take your fingers from your mouth!” That’s as far as I have gotten in my plan for a support group for nail biters. A good routine maybe for somewhere down the line.

I walked around the waterfront again, strolling the promenade. Dark clouds seemed to follow my every step but I had hope that they would roll on by. I sat under a tree on a bench and read some more from the Love & Rockets collection, The Education of Hopey Glass. It wasn’t all about Hopey and it was once again stories I had read years ago. I read about Ray Dominguez and his regret for splitting up with Maggie Chascarillio, the mechanic. It’s bittersweet, how romances fade all set with a punk rock and comic books backdrop.

As I sat and read I looked out on the Hudson River and saw a rain storm, a wall of rain steadily approaching. It came and since I was under a tree I kept relatively dry. I knew it wasn’t going to last, staying dry, so I got out my umbrella and put my books away and stood there for about 20 minutes waiting for the heavy downpour to let up somewhat. I was hungry and determined to get a slice of pizza so I walked over to the boulevard and stood in a bus shelter for the rain to stop.

It did and I was able to get my slice and bring it home without getting wet. And that was it for yesterday, just watched TV after that and went to bed a little after Bill turned in. This morning was a beautiful morning and I did some grocery shopping. Then I was back on the waterfront, strumming my guitar. I’m having a better time busking lately than I did in previous attempts. Tariq made an appearance, then stepping off saying he’d be back.

He did come back with a sketchy character friend. Tariq didn’t play guitar, seemed to be nodding off before walking with his sketchy friend to find some food. I told him I would be leaving around 4:30 and he said he would be back so we could play together. I left at 4:45 with no Tariq in sight. I did enjoy playing for the toddlers again, who get so excited hearing music and seeing a guitar that they do a little up and down dance while squealing with delight and constantly saying hello.

It really makes my day.

here comes the rain

I love your smile

I Like How It Feels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the hostess with the mostest with the birthday geezer


my stage

my audience

01 Give Peace A Chance

Like A Hurricane

Monday again. It’s sort of been a rather blah day. Not even blasé, but rather ‘blah’. Woke up this morning, still asleep with Bill kissing me good bye and asking what I was doing. I said sleeping and tried to get back to sleep.

He was snoring again last night. It doesn’t make for a restful sleep. Usually when he leaves for work, that is when I finally can get some rest. The last thing I needed was for Bill to ask what I was doing when it was plain to see that I was sleeping.

A letter I wrote was recently published in the Hudson Reporter, singing the praises of the bibliothèque. They’ve published me before, but this time I’ve used my pseudo real name instead of Anonymous.

I pointed it out to the librarians when I returned the DVD of The September Issue, a documentary on the making of the September issue of Vogue magazine. Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington and Andre Leon Talley.

It was a fascinating documentary on how a magazine is put together and reminded me of the time I spent at People Magazine. But Carol Wallace certainly did not have the clout of Anna Wintour. And Anna Wintour was the inspiration behind The Devil Wears Prada.

I wanted Bill to see it since his office building is shared with Conde Nast publications. But instead I returned it and will take it out again at another time.

I neglected to mention that yesterday while busking with Francine I also played along with Teach Your Children. Today I went to the river, not too many people around, despite it being a nice day. No Tariq around and the drunkards were nowhere to be found.

I played Walk On By without the capo that’s suggested and also The Wind Cries Mary. No singing, no encouragement. Nearby there were three women doing a modeling shoot. A photographer, a stylist and the model. They paid me no mind and I did the same.

While the model was changing clothes the photographer asked if she could take my photo. I said sure, and also gave her my camera and asked if she could take a couple of snaps with it. She gladly obliged. She said she was going to take my photograph when I wasn’t looking so she might have done just that.

I was only out for a couple of hours before heading back home. Bill is at rehearsal tonight, I’m watching TV once again. I did spend some time this morning listening to my brother Frank’s podcast.

It sounded good. I hardly listen to the radio though. He’s the exception. I’m embedding his podcast below for you to hear for yourself.

Not much going on other than that. Just a rather dull day. Bright and sunny, but a bit cool. Maybe tonight I will sleep well. I would appreciate that. But that’s more up to Bill than me.

Should be a nice quiet time tonight here at home. Hope you have the same, even if you’re in Bala Cynwyd.

While passing through Algiers...

While passing through Algiers...

The photographer, the model and the stylist

The photographer, the model and the stylist

Me, taken by the photographer with my camera

Me, taken by the photographer with my camera

Me again, taken by the photographer with my camera

Me again, taken by the photographer with my camera

Well Did You Evah

Sunday. Another day out by the river. Francine (Tariq’s girlfriend) was there as well as Tariq. I taught Francine how to play Twist & Shout. We also played I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash. I added an extra middle eight which I thought worked better.

And I made a concession, I learned how to play ‘Feelin’ Alright’ by Joe Cocker. Two chords is easy enough and it is rather soulful. It was a slow starting day and I wasn’t sure whether or not I would go out to play.

I picked a few songs off of Ultimate Guitar and chose them because of the lack of chords and my familiarity with them. Old Brown Shoe and The Ballad of John & Yoko were but two songs I learned.

Julio mentioned he would like to learn some guitar at some point and I offered to show him a few chords. That should be fun. It will be somewhere down the line since he really doesn’t have much time for that sort of thing.

Last night I sort of watched Saturday Night Live. I was actually more interested in recording songs for ring tones on my phone. Of course since I did that, no one called. And I forgot what song I picked.

Maybe the version of Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows from the Beatles Love album. Maybe Human Fly by the Cramps. Maybe the Telephone Call by Kraftwerk. I honestly don’t remember. And though the phone is right in my pocket I can’t be bothered to open it up and check it out.

It could also be You’re Wondering Now by the Specials who I am going to see on the 21st at Terminal Five.

And though I sent out online invites for the party this summer, a few people, friends and family thought the party was this weekend. I do hope no one showed up at Maxwells looking for me and Bill. That would be embarrassing for all concerned.

So I wasn’t all that interested in Saturday Night Live, but I did try to pay attention in parts. After that I started watching High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Music by Cole Porter.

I knew most of the songs from the Red Hot & Blue Cole Porter compilation from 20 years ago. I actually prefer those songs.

I know, sacrilege!

Also prefer George Harrison’s version of True Love to Bing & Grace’s version. I feel Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop’s version of Well Did You Evah to be much more fun than Bing and Sinatra.

And I do prefer The Philadelphia Story to High Society. I would take Katherine Hepburn to Grace Kelly, Cary Grant definitely over Bing Crosby and Jimmy Stewart over Frank Sinatra any day. Before I knew it it was almost 2:30.

I stumbled to bed where I had a dream I was working for a company that was changing management, much like what happened in 1982 when I was working for HBJ. I certainly saw what was going on and got a job that eventually changed my life. But that’s another story for another time.

Hope everyone has a good week. More resumes going out. Hope springs eternal.

From last week. I generally don't wear a suit when playing guitar, unless Mr. Epstein insists

From last week. I generally don't wear a suit when playing guitar, unless Mr. Epstein insists


OK. Maybe it’s me. It probably is. I am at odds with the world.

Dave McKenzie sent me a joke, ‘They now have fat free communion wafers which left the recipients to say, ‘I Can’t Believe it’s not Jesus!’ I just tried to tell the joke to Bill.

I say the set up to which Bill replies, ‘They had fat in the communion wafers?’ No wonder I have a fat ass.’ I say ‘There goes that joke’. Bill says ‘No wonder I’ve gotten so fat’. I say once again, ‘There goes that joke. I’m trying to tell you a joke.’ He goes ‘I know’. The joke remains unsaid.

There’s a song that I like, Overkill. Originally by Men At Work, Overkill. I liked it then and liked it more when Colin Hay made an appearance on Scrubs singing the song. It’s a nice haunting song. I found a nice version of the song to play on guitar, not too many Norwegians involved. I wrote it in my trusty notebook and hoped to practice it today.

Today I went to the Soviet bloc offices in Hoboken and handed in the paperwork for the civil union from Saturday.

Also got an email from my sister in law who expressed some disappointment that she didn’t know about it. Well for me it was no big deal really. It’s just a civil union, not a marriage and akin to getting a library card.

No need to have people travel to see something that lasted almost 2 minutes. And once again, if I can arrange it, Bill & I will have a party, reception, get together in July, and that is when everyone can come. We’ll even redo the ceremony. The paperwork was handed in an I’ll find out whether or not well get whatever certificate they hand out.

After that I came home, did some laundry, had a sandwich and decided to go busking when the laundry was done.

I wandered over to Pier A where I saw Tariq and Tim and Tim’s buddies. I said hello and seeing they had the guitar case open to collect money I decided to move on. Tariq protested and insisted that I stay and play.

Tim mentioned that he was leaving. As much as I like Tim and his guitar playing, I think I freak him out. Here I am, this guy- perhaps his father’s age who raves about him and offers support and encouragement. Perhaps a little too enthusiastic.

Plus I find him intimidating, he’s that good on guitar and banjo and mandolin. And I don’t want to play The Weight or Down By the River. I like pop. Anyhow, Tim and his buddies split and I sat with Tariq. An older gent, older than me rode by on his bike and asked if he could listen.

He mentioned that he was learning how to play guitar and I suggested taking some lessons at the Guitar Bar. Tariq and I showed him how to play Sympathy for the Devil which has a total of 4 chords, just to show this guy how easy it is to play.

There was some grounds keeping going on, making a lot of noise and dust so I suggested moving onto the Pier and playing there. There were a herd of strollers on the grass and Tariq and I found a nice spot on a bench to play.

After a few strums, a disheveled drunkard wanders up pushing a cart. Tariq knew him and the guy sat down, eying me suspiciously. He pulled out a bottle which Tariq had a few shots from. It was offered to me but I refused.

The disheveled drunkard also pulled out a harmonica and attempted to play along, off key and out of tune. After sharing the bottle Tariq was a bit out of it and insisted that I play something original. I didn’t have anything original to speak of so I just played a few chords that I diddle along with from time to time.

The chords spell out a word which is the easiest way to remember the order. Then Tariq tried to show me how to play Black by Pearl Jam. I don’t like Pearl Jam and can proudly say I don’t know any of their songs. I fumbled along and when the opportunity presented itself I played Love Shack which got Tariq very excited, singing like Fred Schneider.

He doesn’t know 7ths very well so he just played major chords to the best of his ability. Then Tariq tried to show me how to play No Rain by Blind Melon. Another song from a crap band that I definitely do not want to know how to play.

Tariq insisted on playing jam songs and I told him I had the best jam song and proceeded to play Jamming by Bob Marley. After a little while the disheveled drunkard fell asleep and Tariq zoned out while I played The Lion Sleeps Tonight for a little boy and his Australian nanny.

Tariq eventually came out of his zone and had to head to the port-a-san. He asked me to keep an eye on his guitar while disheveled drunkard was passed out. I just played guitar when a slightly less disheveled drunkard came ambling up and picked up Tariq’s guitar.

I sprang to action, taking the guitar from him and telling him to go away. He insisted it was his friend’s guitar. His friend, Robert. I said that I didn’t care and to get the hell out of here.

He walked off and a few minutes later he was walking back with Tariq who apparently is also known as Robert. Tariq understood and said he would have done the same thing, not let anyone else touch my guitar if I was away.

The thing is I wouldn’t leave my guitar behind if I had to go somewhere.

The slightly less disheveled drunkard put his fist out for a bump and said his name was Eric. I told him my name was Allen. Tariq and the slightly less disheveled drunkard called Eric started singing one of Tariq’s songs called Dusty Roads.

I took that opportunity to say good bye and got my stuff together and headed home.

Ran into one of the workers at the bibliothèque. She was getting into her car and told me how she was looking forward to sitting on her balcony overlooking the river and watching the ships go by. She works at the library and lives about 5 blocks away and drives to work.

Spring is here and my disdain for most Hoboken residents is in bloom once again. Sleeves are shorter and shorts are being worn and the sight of stupid, idiotic tattoos are revealed.

Ah, Spring.

Disheveled passed out drunakrd, slightly less disheveled drunkard & Tariq with guitar

Disheveled passed out drunakrd, slightly less disheveled drunkard & Tariq with guitar

Blog entry 1601

Heartbeat (It’s a Love Beat)

Well I just got back from almost three hours of busking. I’m getting better at playing, but the fun that I had on Friday hasn’t come back. No support you see. I had hoped some friends might stop by but no one did.

Some drunks stopped by though. One guy who’s front teeth broke a fall, walked by then turned around and asked ‘Do you know ‘Every Rose Has it’s Thorn’?’ I replied that I didn’t. Boy was he surprised to hear that.

I know it’s a song by Poison and I also know that it’s a song that if I hear on the radio (which is rare since I don’t listen to the radio) or if the video comes on TV I change the channel.

Then another drunkard walked up and asked me to play some Dylan, which I had just played a few minutes earlier. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues which is the perfect Easter song. So I played a little bit of that before taking a break.

Drunkard situates himself on the bench next to me and asks me to tell him a joke. I oblige with my Easter joke. ‘What is Easter? Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb and if he sees his shadow it’s six more weeks of Lent.’

Oh the drunkard was offended by that and that was fine my me. He starts going off about how I shouldn’t say anything like that. He has Muslim friends.

I say so what. Religion is bullshit. There is no god. This is all there is. Make the most out of it and be nice to others. What more can you ask for? He asks about heaven and I say there is no heaven and there is no hell.

He asked if I was an atheist and I told him yes. He goes on about how he was an altar boy and believes there is a god. I tried to just say the most outrageous things in order for him to move on but he wound up sitting there on the bench mumbling to himself.

A woman came up to me just then and told me she had a brown guitar she was looking to give away and did I want it? I told her no. The drunkard asks if she’s a gypsy and she said she was Albanian, Russian, Italian, and a few other ethnicities thrown in the gene pool.

The two of them had a conversation while I turned my backs on them and played whatever songs came to mind. Though I don’t play for the money, it is nice when someone throws some money in my guitar case.

If I was in it for the money I certainly would be discouraged.

I made a dollar today and I can’t say it’s a dollar more in my pocket than there was when I left the apartment since I went to the ATM and took out a twenty. But like I said, my playing is improved and today added Rebel Rebel to my repertoire repertoire.

I did run into Tariq. He and another guitar player were heading into the city to play at Washington Square Park. I showed him quickly how to play Rebel Rebel and also Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.

The other guitar player was impressed, she was a John Lennon fan and also told me I had a nice voice. Ah but I don’t sing unless there’s a friendly face around.

They invited me a few times to go with them but I begged off, thinking that some friends might stop by. But the friends did not stop by and I didn’t sing. No big deal. I will still go out and play.

I don’t think I would be comfortable playing in Washington Square Park since from what I’ve seen when walking through is just some perfectly horrid songs being played and sung. I won’t do Dust in the Wind or crap like that.

I think it all boils down to the fact that I don’t play well with others. I have no problem with that.
Heart stoop

Walking Spanish

It’s Adequate Friday. And not for nothing, it’s been a good Friday. The day started with Bill kissing me good bye as he roused me from my sleep. Quiet nice to have that done. I stayed in bed a little bit longer, eventually getting up and starting my daily routine.

Usually I am out on the street getting bagels but forgot all about that oddly enough. It’s part of the Friday thing you see. I had cereal, made some coffee and took a shower. It wasn’t the usual day, not the usual Friday at least.

During most weekdays, I catch the Today Show and then in order to avoid the Belle of Bala Cynwyd, Kathie Lee Gifford, I switch over to MSNBC, then I usually catch the last minutes of the 700 Club with Pat Robotson or his ill begotten son Robotson Junior saying prayers for their viewers who are being cured as they end the show.

Then come the Gilmore Girls. Today was the introduction of Jess, played by Milo Ventimiglia. He was such a brat that I decided not to watch the whole episode and walked over to the mall.

I needed a new pair of Airwalks and Payless is the only place that carries them these days. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed walking over along the river walk from Hoboken to Jersey City, through the Newport complex were my friend Robert Risotto lives.

Not his real name and I had to change it since I accidentally outed him in December. His parents Googled his name and up came my entry about his holiday party that he threw with his partner Gregoire.

Walked through the mall, which was deserted last time, but today being a holiday of sorts it was a little more crowded. Went to Payless, found my Airwalks, showed a text message from Payless to the cashier and got 20% off. I needed some socks too and oddly enough they didn’t offer to sell me any. I went to Kohl’s where they did have some socks and soon was walking back to Hoboken.

Walked by Pier A, thought I might see Tariq and his guitar but there was no sign of him. Ran into Rand and Lisa on Washington Street and chatted with them before they went off to lunch with Rand’s cousin. I came home answered emails and put on some new socks and my new Airwalks.

After a quick lunch I decided to head out and do some busking. My sister sent me a link in the comments last night about what to do when your arm cramps up when playing guitar and what to do to prevent it.

So I did some of those exercises and played a bit, mostly the same songs from yesterday, added Brand New Cadillac by the Clash. Rand and Lisa stopped by and sat on the next bench and made out. It was the first time anyone I knew stopped by and I found myself singing.

Usually I strum and don’t sing but somehow I felt confident enough to sing. Rand sang also and we sang together somewhat Dirty Back Road by the B-52’s and Whatever Gets You Through the Night by John Lennon. Lisa took some pictures which I lightened up and posted below.

Lisa had broken her wrist a few weeks ago and was off for some physical therapy now that the cast was off. Rand walked Lisa to the bus and came back with a bottle of water for me which was nice. We talked a bit while I took a break.

Dogs and babies seem to be the most interested in me while I play. Rand said ‘Hunka Hunka’ a few times, as in ‘A Hunka Hunka Burning’ Love’ by Elvis Presley. Rand mentioned a guy on Chat Roulette who plays piano and improvises on what he’s seeing from other people’s cams.

All of a sudden I found myself playing some chords and commenting on what I saw before me. Then I started sounding like Tom Waits and sang about a ‘black dog on a red leash’. Or that woman buttoning up her overcoat and me singing ‘Better button up that overcoat’.

A jogger about to take off and I sang ‘You better run’ He smiled and I sang ‘keep running’. A few young people, one of them carrying a baby and I sang to them ‘Don’t drop the baby’. They stood around laughing a few benches down, one of them smoking a cigarette and I sang ‘Does your mother know you smoke? You shouldn’t smoke so close to the baby’.

All in a Tom Waits, or as Rand later mentioned Will Farrell doing his impersonation of the late Harry Carey. Two boys walking behind their father hitting each other, I sang ‘Don’t hit your brother, you’re gonna need him later in life’ which got a giggle from the father.

A woman pushing a stroller and me singing, ‘She’s pushing a baby in the stroller. In 20 years that baby will be pushing her’. ‘Don’t I know it’ she replied.

Oh my, it was a blast. I had so much fun. Rand was laughing and also kept me in check, reminding me not to be mean. Don’t say someone should lose a few pounds.

Hoboken hat, Orange Syracuse T shirt, Yankees apparel all got a mention when they walked by. I didn’t make any money at all but I had a great time and people laughed when they saw I was singing about them.

I have found my niche.

Rand & me, 'Whatever gets You Thru the Night'

Rand & me, 'Dirty Back Road'

John Ozed Guitar

The Right Stuff

Holy Thursday Batman! That’s what today is on the 4:30 Movie. The Robe and the Matching Slippers. Blessed art thou who weareth the slippers.

I just got back from some busking. Played for about 90 minutes until my arm cramped up. You’d think my arm would be used to repetitive motion, I mean I even shaved my palms and wear corrective lenses. I made $1.77.

Didn’t do any singing, just strum strum strum. I played Love Shack, Hercules, Good Lovin’, All My Loving, Please Please Me, So It Goes, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, Surrender, Take Your Mama, Brown Eyed Girl, Peggy Sue, The Letter, Half a World Away and a little bit of Mr. Tambourine Man and a slightly askew version of Fourth Time Around. Also 2000 Miles.

It’s a good thing I didn’t sing, especially with 2000 Miles being a Christmas song of sorts. But the chords have a nice progression. Stopped by the Guitar Bar and firmed up plans with Jim Mastro for Saturday morning.

He asked if I had anything planned to say and I told him I didn’t because I don’t. Jim was very supportive of my busking and recommended having the guitar case open to collect bills and change.

I had a phone call from Pedro who prefers Riker’s Island to home. Cabin fever pitch. He was heading into Manhattan and asked me to join him. So now, I’m home and called him to make sure since last time he said that, I went into the city and was unable to contact him.

I didn’t mind, I was able to go to JR Cigars and pick up some cigars anyhow. This time, I’ll just stay in Hoboken and see if he calls before I do anything. Annemarie planted that idea in my head, to make sure Pedro would be around. I was hoping he would be, not just to hang out with him but to also pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut.

Got another US Census form in the mail. I got one a few weeks ago and duly mailed it in. Now here it is again. I marked Bill as my unmarried partner. If I fill it out again, maybe I will mark him as my husband.

Crazy cannabis free dreams again last night. One involved living back in Lodi with two terriers named Jackie and Jibby. Frank and Elaine were living in the Iwanicki house next door and I could hear Elaine and my niece Corinne have a heated discussion about something. There were also some ominous overtones with regards to something in the backyard of 13 Riverview.

And Starlings. Did you know Starlings aren’t native to North America and that someone imported them with the concept of having all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare living in North America? And now the Starlings are taking over the Sparrows? I read that somewhere. Bad idea, not fully thought through.

The other dream took place in Manhattan where I was pedaling a Pedi Cab on Seventh Avenue then lending it to Rachel Maddow for the opening of City Boys, a musical about Cowboys in Manhattan.

I was also wearing a cowboy hat and my former coworker Sarah Pierson was in the dream as well, and I took her on a bicycle tour of Hoboken. Strange dreams indeed.

Other than all that, it’s been a beautiful day. I heard from the Hudson Reporter about a letter I wrote supporting the bibliothèque. Just confirming that I was who I said I was.

I always need to confirm that, if not to other people then to myself.

And twice I’ve been in the supermarket and both times I’ve heard The Right Stuff by New Kids on the Block and I found myself singing along.


I am who I say I am

I am who I say I am

I Blew Up The United States

Here we are on a Tuesday. Another gray day. Not as rainy as yesterday but still it’s misty. I made it outside though. Nice for a walk. Last night I filled out the Census form while Bill slept.

Checked off the Puerto Rican and Black boxes for Bill. Went Albino Chinese for myself. Just to tweak the system you see. A little fun, a little socialist skulduggery never hurt anyone, or never put anyone in front of a death panel.

After I filled out the Census I played guitar. Eight Days a Week actually. Fun to play. My friend Lois offered to busk with me sometime, she playing the violin and perhaps accompanying me on vocals.

Sounds like a plan and it sounds like I should get a solid repertoire of maybe 10 songs I can play solidly. All My Loving, Please Please Me and So It Goes are just a few. And Hercules by Elton John. That makes 5 songs. 6 including The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

There is also Surrender by Cheap Trick, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues by Bob Dylan (Boob to his friends) and Tracks of My Tears by the Miracles need some tightening up. I’m sure I can write one or two other songs myself just so that I can have some originals going on.

I watched Lolita and of course it was very good. Peter Sellers, oh Peter Sellers. Such a genius, such a troubled man. The whole movie is great but really gets kicked up a notch when Sellers is on screen.

I returned Lolita to the socialist institution and took out Taking Woodstock by Ang Lee. That got terrible reviews. I want to see what’s so terrible about it since Ang Lee generally makes top notch movies.

Also Sleeper by Woody Allen. That piqued my interest after reading an article on cryogenics in the New Yorker. Also to see if the song ‘Rebels are we, born to be free/Just like the fish that swim in the sea’ is sung. It’s also in Bananas and I’m pretty sure it is, but I just want to make sure.

I also picked up Doubt, starring Phillip whatshisname and Meryl Streep. I heard it was a laugh riot, the feel good film of the year and the car chases are supposed to be excellent.

I keep trying to get Black Dynamite but as BCCLS keeps telling me it’s too new. And only 2 libraries have it, Englewood and Upper Saddle River. Perhaps by next year I’ll get a chance. And here in NJ as well as around the country I’m sure, the libraries are in danger of closing.

Right now in Hoboken the library is open 7 days a week. Perhaps if they closed on Sundays they could save some money. But closing the library beyond that would be a big mistake. I am there almost every day and I have seen traffic increase week after week.

I plan on writing a letter to the Hoboken Reporter and letting them know what I think.

I wrote that shaking my fist to the sky.

Just had a very good dinner. Some pasta and a meat sauce made by Stine. She gave me the sauce a week or so ago, and it was frozen like a brick. Now it’s thawed out and edible. Quite good, but then again Stine is one of the best cooks who’s food I have ever eaten.

Can’t wait for the weather to improve. Looking forward to bringing my guitar out and playing and also just to walk around Hoboken and enjoy a cigar.

And very happy birthday wishes to my niece Meghan who is 29 today! Woo hoo!

Meghan and her husband Rob.

Meghan and her husband Rob.

The Letter

Well just got back from some busking yet again. This time I was closer to Pier A. I expected to see Tariq out there with his drum or even the hippie that was out there yesterday but to my surprise there was no one near.

Perhaps the engine of the Mister Softee truck nearby kept them away. I set up shop once again, playing 2000 Miles by the Pretenders, Half A World Away by REM and the Letter by the Box Tops which I taught myself last night, as well as my standards of Love Shack, She’s A Woman, Please Please Me and Hercules.

It all went unnoticed. It was a bit cooler out today but I situated myself in the sun. From about 2:30 to 4:00 I played until the sun went behind the building and my arm started tightening up.

I ran into Roger and Dina on my way home and had an enjoyable chat with them for a few minutes on the street corner. It’s been a pretty god day so far. Bill is driving a bus named Laverne from Woodcliff Lake NJ to Allentown PA.

Some metal band is playing and someone from Bill’s church rented the bus. He just phoned, he’s having a good time. I reminded him to flash the devil horns.

Right now CSPAN is on, watching the House of Representatives going on and on about the Health Care Reform bill. The party of No steps up to the microphone and keeps mentioning the ‘flawed’ bill. What do they offer in it’s stead? Any suggestions except for starting all over again? No, not at all.

Last night I watched Observe & Report starring Seth Rogen. It was OK. A little bit more violent than I expected. No need to watch it twice that’s for sure. Also tried watching Bruno but that was just asinine. Could not get past the first half. It was just stupid.

Borat was funny but this was just dumb. After Observe & Report I took the DVD out and turned the cable back on and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married was on. I never saw it before, and I’ve never seen a Tyler Perry movie before either. I had a feeling something else had to be on so I scrolled through the TV listings.

I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth was on and decided to catch that. I’ve seen that a few times, a couple of times in the theater and I even own the DVD. Still a good movie, I’m pretty sure that’s when David Bowie started to lose his mind and had to flee Los Angeles for Berlin.

Too much of the snow white for the Thin White Duke. Each time I see the movie I end up getting something from it that I had never noticed before. And yes, they showed Candy Clark getting the piss scared out of her, by Thomas Jerome Newton.

The movie is like a work of art that you do not get tired of watching again and again.

After that I watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I had also seen that a few times in the movie theaters, specifically the Oritani Theater in Hackensack. Went with my brother Brian a few times to the midnight show. It’s a fun movie, not the greatest.

Bill walked in halfway through and I needed to explain to him that the best way, perhaps the only way to see it is at a midnight movie with a hundred crazy people singing and talking back to the screen as well as throwing rice for the wedding scenes, toilet paper when Professor Scott appears among other things.

But I watched the whole thing until the end when I went to bed. That’s about it, it’s been a low key day, much cooler than yesterday.

Callouses are coming along nicely on my fingers again. And I just got an email from Lois who wants to busk with me on her violin. She’s more than welcome to join me whenever she would like.

No news on the status of Street Corner Mourner Tim’s progress, but I guess no news is good news.

Me via web cam.

Me via web cam.

This song has been on my playlist a lot lately…