Tag Archives: Chaz

I Say A Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

Well I haven’t been here since last year and what a time that was. Wow seems like only yesterday or at least a few days previous since I last saw you all. How was your New Year celebration? Did you have one or were you in bed early and under the covers when neighbors started clanging pots and pans? I’ve done that once before, in the early 1980’s while apartment sitting in Inwood. That was an adventure in itself. Didn’t do much of anything then and was in bed a little bit before midnight. That must have been 1982 I think.

On Sunday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my niece Corinne. We had a great time, opting to drive in, instead of relying on public transportation. It was too cold, and I have to admit I was a bit cranky. Corinne cheered me up and we enjoyed the Regarding Warhol exhibition. It was crazy crowded since it was about to end it’s run. I was able to explain the stories behind some of the art work and I think Corinne enjoyed herself. We made it back to Hoboken and had a late lunch at the Malibu Diner. A mellow night in was in the cards for me. Bill was home and was not driving to Atlantic City.

On New Year’s Eve I got a phone call from Shlomo. It’s getting to be a habit with him. Cheap labor, paid in cigars and I am dependable and trustworthy and they probably won’t find anyone like me to work for them at such a low rate. I headed to the cigar shop and as I told Shlomo a week earlier, it will probably be crazy on New Year’s Eve. And it was. I called it. I knew groups of guys would be coming in to buy cigars for the night and I knew they wouldn’t know what they wanted.

It was busy and the time flew and I was glad for that. Cigars are generally mild, medium or full bodied. I like full bodied cigars myself, but I’ve been smoking cigars since the 1990’s. An occasional medium might come my way as well as that mild cigar, so I know what I am talking about when describing cigars to the newcomers. Sure enough within about 5 hours most of the mild cigars were sold. I explained that to the customers and would steer them to the medium cigars, something not too overwhelming. Sometimes they would understand what I was saying.

And when you smoke a cigar, like a medium cigar, it would start out medium but as you puffed further and further it might start to get full bodied. They knew what they were getting and by the time they would light them up while being well lit themselves I would be long gone and probably forgotten. Brandon came in on time and I was explaining to him what the deal was. Shlomo was around and seemed pissed that I didn’t replenish what was sold, and I explained that I couldn’t find the cigars to refill. At that point I walked out with a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

Shlomo looked for the cigars to replenish and couldn’t find them either. I came home and there was Bill happy to see me. The usual plan was to go to dinner at Arthur’s Steakhouse at around 8:00, I had somethings to take care of and hoped for a nap but hope was all I got. Bill was busy doing his thing, music, headshots and stuff like that. I did my best to get in the mood. We headed to Arthur’s at 8:00 and ordered our usual steaks and Guinness, followed by chocolate mousse cake. We’re so predictable. We got an Arthur’s gift certificate for Christmas and put it to good use, thanks to the Garfield relatives.

After dinner we walked home, puffing on cigars. We relaxed once home and chilled out until it was time to go. I baked some cookies, bought some Guinness, got my Bass together and some photographs I had printed out for Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred. Mike from down the street was going to be there so I printed a picture for him and his girlfriend Sarah. I used a gig bag for the bass as we walked to Rand and Lisa’s around 11:00. I forgot the reason why I don’t use the gig bag. I goes on your back and it’s really constricting. Plus it adds a few inches to your height and me being 6’2”, I got snagged in a tree branch once or twice.

A young woman saw me getting snagged and expressed concern if I was OK when she saw it happen. I wasn’t happy about it but I trotted onward with Bill and thanked the young woman for her concern and Bill and I wished her a Happy New Year. We got to Rand and Lisa’s and met Rand outside his apartment. We walked in and saw everyone I mentioned, plus Chaz but no Sarah. The group was all watching a Godzilla movie since that was the theme of the night.

After unloading my stuff I plopped down on a couch next to Chaz and not seeing the window ledge jutting out, leaned back rather quickly and hit my head loudly on the windowsill which caused everyone to stop and watch me. We checked for blood a few times but it wasn’t bleeding. Just a dull pain and anticipation of a bump or a knot. It’s a good thing I have a thick skull having hit my head several times throughout my life and needing stiches on three separate occasions.

I announced that I had giving up smoking cigarettes which didn’t get the reaction I had hoped. I got ‘but you’re still smoking cigars’ instead. Lois was more impressed when I told her at Maxwell’s the week before but no one was more impressed than my sister Annemarie who stated that I didn’t need to get her anything for Christmas, my no more cigarettes was enough. And I am sticking by her edict.

Midnight came, Mike left before that so he can ring in the year with Sarah who was home sick with a bug she picked up while visiting her family in England. Champagne, pots and pans and kisses for Bill and everyone else was in order and then that was over. Rand had set up a keyboard so Bill could play it. I brought the bass, Lois was on Rand’s guitar, Rand on trombone and Lisa on shakers. Fred and Chaz were not into it at all and watched TV in the next room.

It was a sloppy jam but it was fun. I played what I knew on bass, which was Talking Heads Warning Sign and Psycho Killer, Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ and something that I think I based on How many More Times by Led Zeppelin and something that could have been by Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn from Booker T & the MG’s. Bill played some Stevie Wonder, I Wish, Sir Duke and a few other songs, but we were all politely buzzed and kept messing up the words.

We had a great time but I was tired though and very sweaty and Bill and I left around 2:00AM. I was wary about having a concussion so I stayed up a bit later once we got home after Bill went to bed. Slept really well that night and woke up feeling OK. New Year’s Day is a nothing day really, at least for us. We were invited to parties, but neither one of us wanted to do anything or go anywhere, so we stayed in all day.

We had enough food and if we wanted Guinness we had that too. But we stayed with the food, saving the Guinness for another time, perhaps Chaz’ party this upcoming weekend. Bill napped while I watched a marathon of Bunheads. Bill woke up by the time the marathon was almost over and I explained how similar Bunheads was to Gilmore Girls.

After that we decided to not watch the bad news and watched ‘The Music Never Stopped’ which I wrote about before. Guy with brain tumor comes alive from a catatonic state when he hears music from the 1960’s. His dad reconnects with him after not speaking to each other for decades.

We also watched Prick Up Your Ears, the Joe Orton movie with Gary Oldham, Alfred Molina and Vanessa Redgrave. Good and brutal but still enjoyable. I saw that in the theater when it came out and I think I wrote about that last week or last year. I hit my head last night and today. I think I will wear a hard hat for the rest of the year, just to be safe.

Overall, despite head injuries it was a good New Year’s Eve, spent with good friends.

And I love Bill so much, it just keeps getting better all the time.

I’m a lucky guy.

Corinne with Warhol's Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with a Picasso

Corinne with a Picasso

Oxidation painting!

Oxidation painting!

New Year's Eve panorama

New Year’s Eve panorama

Winding down with Chaz

Winding down with Chaz

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he's walking a catwalk.

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he’s walking a catwalk.

09 My Lover’s Prayer

I Only Said

I went out. On a Friday night. Not much to anyone really but I hardly ever go out these days. I took my time getting it together, not 100% sure if I was going out. I told Rand about it and he seemed ambivalent and then yesterday he told me he was staying in. No bother, I readied myself and was soon on the street. In the back of my mind I kept trying to talk myself out of going but as that was going on, I continued walking, one step after another and I enjoyed a cigar as I walked to the Path train.

Crossing Hudson Street, a jogger ran past me and instead of the usual complaint or look of disdain, the jogger said, ‘Even though I am running, that smells nice’ and I smiled at her as she kept on running. With Halloween on Wednesday this year and with the possibility that it might be canceled, there were a lot of people all going out in costume, headed to parties and bars. I of course was not one of them. I lucked out and when I got to the Path train, I was the last one on before the doors closed and found a seat.

The show was nice, it was certainly good to see Jane again and it was over within an hour. We were able to catch up only for a few minutes before Jane had to leave with the band to store their instruments. She couldn’t hang out today either since it was rehearsal before another gig tonight. Still, I was glad to spend whatever time I could get with her since I hadn’t seen her in a few years. I walked back across the East Village, to the Path train which departed as soon as I got to the turnstile.

It was a brief wait and I was back on the mainland in no time. Plenty of parties and party goers on the street since it was Halloween weekend. I watched some TV before heading off to bed, sleeping uneasily once again since Bill was not around.

I woke up with the alarm clock this morning and set about starting my day. I entered my name for a chance to attend a listening party for the latest Brian Eno release and the other day I found out I made the cut. I had a Plus One and since Bill was driving I asked Chaz to come with me. Chaz has taken me to things like this in the past and it was good to take him along this time. Notoriously we went to a god awful early screening of Howard the Duck in the 1980’s.

Since I wanted this to be a surprise I told him we were going to see the restored version of Howard the Duck. Chaz and I met up in Hoboken and took the bus in. We walked up Ninth Avenue to the Church of All Nations, where the listening party was going on. We were probably fourth and fifth in line. We sat in the church, in chairs not pews, perhaps because it was a Lutheran church, no gold, no glitz, no glamor.

The music started at 1:00 and it was nice chill out music, like the music that Brian Eno has been doing lately. Apparently it’s one piece in four sections. The type of music that would be played in Weehawken late at night, just hanging out and talking with William and Julio. The other people attending took it so seriously, sitting eyes closed. I mentioned to Chaz afterwards that if I closed my eyes I would likely be fast asleep in no time. The new release is called ‘Lux’ and I’ve been saying that he named it after the late lead singer of the Cramps.

75 minutes later it was over. It was pleasant and I will probably buy it when it comes out. Chaz and I walked around Columbus Circle, hoping to see the installation at the Columbus statue but not wanting to wait 30 minutes, we moved on with Chaz telling stories about meeting Marc Bolan here, David Bowie there. Chaz has been an active fan since the early 1970’s and has seen a lot of shows and acts and has the ticket stubs to each and every show as well as set lists for all of the above.

A walk to the Path train once again, this time quite crowded. I got off in Hoboken and Chaz continued to Jersey City. That’s basically the day. Bill is driving to Atlantic City once again, the Frankenstorm approaches. I haven’t been to the supermarket but from what I heard the shelves have been wiped out. I may still go to see what I can get though we do have enough, one can’t be too sure.

Chris Stamey, Andriana Markano & Jane Scarpantoni


10 Taking Tiger Mountain

I Must Be Seeing Things

They tell me it’s a Friday and judging by the lack of foot traffic on the waterfront I have to agree. It’s been a rollercoaster of a day. Maybe it has something to do with my staying up later than usual, watching Singing in the Rain on Turner Classic Movies. Yes I’d seen it before but it really is such a good movie and after watching The Artist last week, it was an interesting comparison to make. Both movies take place in Hollywood, the late 1920’s and dealing with the advent of talking pictures. It helped that both Gene Kelly and Jean Dujardin are easy on the eyes.

I think the last time I watched Singing in the Rain was with Bill and Juan. Well Bill came home last night and soon after that he was in bed. I did my thing and watching Singing in the Rain until 2:00 in the morning should have helped me go to sleep better, or at least I thought it would. No, I would sleep for about 20 minutes, then wake up and try to go back to sleep for 10 minutes then repeat the cycle all over again. Bill was up and out in the morning leaving me to toss and turn some more.

Chaz was planning on stopping by this morning and after showering and some coffee I did my best to tidy up the apartment which in this case meant making room on the coach so Chaz would have a place to sit down. He had a few photos he wanted me to scan and so that is what I did with Chaz. Some old pictures of friends from the Maxwells days, and quite a few pictures of Chaz with rock and roll celebrities, like Donovan, Elvis Costello, Marky Ramone and Peter Gabriel.

I am sure there are a number of other photos somewhere. We plan on doing more scanning next week, unless we both find jobs. Which leads me to the rollercoaster of the day. This morning I get a phone call from an unknown number. I usually ignore those (since I am on a restricted plan) but I felt I should take this one. On the line was a woman named Jane who works for an agency I met with in 2009. My former supervisor Bobby Risotto set the whole thing up back then. I went no further than that meeting.

It was a good phone chat with Jane, she now had my file and wanted to meet with me. It was too late for today so she scheduled a meeting on Monday morning at 11:00. I felt hopeful and excited since this was the first bit of good employment news (a possibility actually) since May. I had to run a few errands before Chaz came over so I went to the bibliothèque and hit Washington Street. As I was leaving Hoboken Daily News, my phone rings. It was Jane again.

I guess she spoke with the woman (Melissa) that I met with in 2009. Jane was calling me to tell me not to bother, there was no need to meet on Monday. A polite brush off. I spoke with Chaz about it and he had heard that song before. My hopes were dashed once more. Jane did request my updated resume which I will send, but I feel it’s pointless. I was all set to go on Monday but the polite brush off as well as inquiring about your age (they can’t ask that outright, so they ask when you graduated from high school) is the way staffing agencies work these days. Perhaps it’s not the experience their looking for, it’s the potential. And I can’t help but feel that is something I am sorely lacking in.

But who cares? It’s Friday, right? Busking went alright today, like I said not so much foot traffic, and some competition from a guy named Rick who set up about 20 yards away from me. I thought it was rude but that’s how it goes. Tariq was hanging out with him and not me but I did feel inspired by the competition and so I sang and played Twist and Shout. It’s hard to do the three part harmonies but I got by.

This is the 2,348 posting.

Here are some of Chaz’ photos. All photos © Charles Charas 2012

13 Right Back Where We Started From

I Missed Again

So it’s a Wednesday here in Hoboken but it’s even better than that, it is my sister’s birthday today! She is one of my favorite people on the planet so I am happy to send her birthday greetings, as well as a nice package that I made and sent off on Monday. It’s due to arrive in foggy California this afternoon and I am awaiting confirmation via tracking. Just something to obsess upon today. I was running low on obsessions and this came along quite nicely. I did speak with Annemarie on the phone and she sounded great and is going out to dinner tonight.

As for me, I took some melatonin last night and had difficulty waking up. Going to sleep was slow going, but as usual the waking up is difficult. But I rallied, I shuffled out of bed a mere fifteen minutes later than usual. That meant catching up to my daily routine wasn’t that hard to do. And it wasn’t. There was nothing out of the ordinary (except for Annemarie’s birthday) today. Laundry was done, resumes sent out once again, busking planned. It was all rather low key, almost humdrum. It’s been a nice enough day.

I was out busking this afternoon, slow going this weekend. I really think a lot of people took this week off from their jobs. Can’t blame them really. I had a visitor this afternoon, good old Chaz stopped by. Once again if a friend is near I have no problem singing and playing. With no friend around I merely play, rarely singing. Though the toddlers usually get me singing when they come by. They marched on over and I sand Sunshine Superman to them. I was going to do Rock Around the Clock when they returned but it didn’t happen.

It seems that when the toddlers got to their turn around point they ran away from their minders. So they were all sullen and hanging onto the rope when they walked by. No stopping for the guitar man this time. It was good to have Chaz around though. He’s still looking for work. He’s been doing the Geico dance. They’ve been after me for a while and they got Chaz in their sights. And it costs money to get a job with them. Seemed fishy when I first heard about them and now Chaz has confirmed the fishiness of it.

Some dark clouds (literal not figurative) came rolling in so my busking time was cut short. I walked Chaz back to his car, on the way stopping and buying two CD’s, the Priscilla Queen of the Desert movie soundtrack and Big Audio Dynamite II, The Globe. Not bad at fifty cents each. Last night Bill and I watched a documentary on Joe Strummer- The Future is Unwritten. To my surprise Bill seemed to enjoy it, Punk and the Mescaleros. Bill didn’t know how much The Clash meant to me and I explained it all. He seemed to have gotten something from the documentary and how I feel about music.

I thought he knew already.
Package delivered to Annemarie’s mailbox! Woo hoo!

I Go To Extremes

Back to work at the cigar shack again. Not so bad, Zack is out of town at some meeting, Bradley was off so it was Thomas and Jerry Vale and myself today. We all get along quite nicely and are very supportive of each other as well as cracking wise about each other.

Bill went back to work today, after having last week off. He spent most of last week organizing his stuff which was all over the place. To the surprise of the both of us we found a couch underneath all that mess. If only Juan were around to be able to sit comfortably. But Juan is doing his thing in the Trenton area, leaving Bill to sit on the couch solo and me in front of the computer which is my usual spot.

Chaz threw a great party, his best in years on Saturday night. His wife Kathe was up from Florida and Connie made it up from down the shore. Kathe was her old self, very funny and silly. Connie was apologetic for having a bad year.

She is quite ill and there were times when I was headed down the shore that I would call her to see if she wanted to join us at the beach but she was too weak to answer the phone. She mentioned that there were times that she was too weak to even work the remote control for her television set.

Bill rented a car for the night and picked up Rand & Lisa and the three of them met me by Journal Square. From there it was off to Chez Chaz. The smell of vegetarian chili wafted through the air, drinks aplenty and great company all around. Unfortunately, we had the car only until midnight so we had to head back to Hoboken just as things started to get interesting. Before we left, both my former roommate William & Rand mentioned they expect interesting things to happen in the spring, something big. They don’t really know what exactly but something is bound to happen.

A ride back with Rand & Lisa and soon Bill and I were back in our apartment by midnight. He went to sleep soon after and I stayed up watching Saturday Night Live. We both slept really well, some tossing and turning on my part since I did have a few beers. Sunday was a do nothing day basically.

A bit hungover, I went to the supermarket where it was more crowded than I would have liked. Then I stayed in for most of the afternoon. Bill headed into the city and I lounged about. I did go to CVS to drop off some photographs which I paid for but were not mine. There was no problem with that, I had the receipt and was able to get my money refunded.

On the walk back home I notice a brawl erupting across Washington Street. A group of drunken twenty somethings spilling out onto the sidewalk, fists a flying. I called the Hoboken Police who sent two cop cars. I didn’t stick around to see the outcome, just kept walking. A crowd did form to watch the fight though and I’m sure someone else blogged about it.

Bill and I watched Shameless which I enjoyed more last year. I just wasn’t in the mood for it last night and I guess neither was Bill since he went to bed halfway through. I also watched House of Lies, starring Don Cheadle and I did not like that one much at all. Thank goodness it was only a half hour long, since that was barely tolerable.

Tonight former employee Raymond came into the store tonight, just getting off from work and buying a cigar. We commiserated somewhat and I found I always feel worse about the cigar shack gig after talking to him so it’s probably best that we don’t talk about the cigar shack.

Killer Queen 1

I Go Crazy Paul Davis

A Saturday in the cigar shack. I had to open today which was not so bad. Last night, a mellow night at home spent with Bill. Watching TV mainly as well as a few laughs as usual. I love him so much, he really is a good guy. I would be so lost without him and I can be sure that he feels the same way about me.

We’re going into our 12th year together and mainly it’s been a lot of fun. He is renting a Zipcar and I will meet him and Rand & Lisa at Journal Square, where from there we will head to Chaz’ party. Bill was up before me yet again this morning, asking if I wanted to get up at 7:30. Since it was 7:20 and the alarm did not go off by then I must have given him the look of ‘what the fuck are you doing?’.

He scurried off and 10 minutes later I got out of bed. He was situated in front of the TV, watching the Today Show. I shuffled on by, making coffee before stepping into the shower. Soon I was at the bus stop waiting for my 8:30 bus. After a stop to get an egg sandwich I continued my way up the avenue to the cigar shack. Where it was 14 degrees the other day, today it is going to be close to 60 degrees. Quite nice again.

I was 10 minutes early and set about starting up things in the shack. A few minutes later I hear someone opening the door to the cigar shack and to my surprise it was Bradley. I asked what he was doing in so early and apparently he had forgotten that he was not due in for another 2 hours. So instead of going out and enjoying the very pleasant morning, he sat in the man cave with an extremely regular customer until his shift started. I didn’t really mind, it was not busy for at least the first 90 minutes.

Tonight is Chaz’ party. It should be fun, especially since Kathe will be there as well as possibly Connie. Not that it wouldn’t be fun without them,it’s just that I hadn’t seen either of them in quite some time. Well, besides seeing Kathe at the Path train, I hadn’t seen Connie since Bill and I had our civil union party at Maxwells in the summer of 2010.

I also feel really good today. Perhaps I turned a corner, perhaps something good is going to happen. In any event I am going with the good feeling for as long as I can, for as far as it will take me. I will be taking lunch in a half hour.

It’s nice enough to spend the lunchtime outdoors, but then again some food would be nice and that would make it an indoor thing. I suppose I have enough time to make up my mind sooner or later.

Just got home from a really fun party. Too many Lowenbrau! And one hidden Amstel!

Little Anthony and the Imperials – Shimmy Shimmy Coco Bop

I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues

Today is Sunday which means yesterday was Saturday. I worked yesterday, today I have off. It’s been a productive day, cleaning the apartment, which Bill started yesterday. Perhaps if we both work in tandem we will have a really clean apartment. But for today we will settle for functional.

Work was long and slow yesterday and I did not want to go in. My resolve to get out of this retail circus remains strong. I waited for about 30 minutes in the cold for the 10:30 bus which did not arrive until 10:50.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to Chaz’ party that night. I wasn’t feeling on top of my game and I was staring down the barrel of a 10 hour shift. I texted Chaz letting him know I wasn’t sure and also texted Rand with the same message.

Bill was going to be driving a bus to Atlantic City and I also didn’t feel like going by myself. As things turned out, Atlantic City had a big snowstorm and so bus trips down there were canceled. So Bill stayed home and cleaned the apartment while I watched the clock move ever so slowly from 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM.

Somewhere in the middle of that I read online of the shooting of the congresswoman in Arizona, as well as the murder of a 9 year old girl, a federal judge and four other people. It was terribly sad and I didn’t know how bad it was since the cigar smokers in the man cave would rather watch college football on the TV than watch the events as they unfold.

Of course if they did watch the news, it would be the same regurgitated mess repeated over and over. It was reported that Rep. Giffords was shot in the head and had died, but then another report came online saying that she was not dead, just in intensive care.

And the latest is that she has been able to respond to simple questions from her doctors. It’s been a sad story all around, for the victims, their families and for the United States overall.

The work day continued on, working with Calvin and Sean. Sean helps me out a lot with sales, usually ringing things up on my register so that I get more of that 1/3 of 1% commission. But Calvin caught on and made sure than any 3 figure sales that Sean was about to complete were done on Calvin’s register. Calvin is the boss you see and doesn’t do much of anything for Sean except for threatening him, whereas I usually buy Sean food, like a burger or some pizza.

I do feel pity for Calvin, for here he is an assistant manager with a wife and kid to support and I really don’t mind him getting whatever commission happens. It would be nice if I got that 1/3 of 1%, but I’m not going to sweat it. And I’m sure Calvin gets more than 1/3 of 1% anyhow.

Calvin split at his appointed hour and it was Sean and myself for the remainder of the day, or by this time, night. Finally it was time to go.

Bill decided to go to the party and even rented a car so that we wouldn’t be at the mercy of a car service to bring us back to Hoboken. I got the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines for Chaz and gave him 2 passes for the American Museum of Natural History.

I met Bill after taking the Path train to Journal Square in Jersey City and we drove up to Chez Chaz. Most of the usual New Year’s crowd was there, Andy, Deborah and Rand & Lisa as well as a few other people that I see year to year but forget their names and too embarrassed to ask after all this time.

It was all rather adult, sitting there, chatting and having beers. Chaz made some excellent vegetarian chili which hit the spot after being outside waiting for Bill to arrive in the black Beetle he rented. Many laughs and stories as well as information about Representative Giffords.

We left around 12:30, giving Rand & Lisa a ride back to Hoboken. I came home to find Bill had done an awful lot of cleaning which impressed me enough to do my share this afternoon.

It’s been a good day, though I did watch a lot of news concerning Tucson, AZ.

Sad sad sad.

Christina Taylor Green 9/11/2001 - 1/8/2011

I’m In Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awfully sweet.

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

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

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

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

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

It ended basically when the World Cup ended.

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

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

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

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

I was able to get this one uploaded!

I’m a Flirt

I love being Chris Frantz Facebook friend. I sent him a message earlier today, saying that I love the Beatles, but Remain in Light is my favorite album of all time.

He replied that he too loves the Beatles and went so far as to say that if there were no Beatles, there would be no Remain in Light. What a nice guy.

I also found out via a mutual friend of Chaz and me, Dave McKenzie, that Chaz encountered the geriatric accountant/sex worker on Friday. Same spiel, same general location.

I am enjoying my day off from work today. Did laundry, ran some errands, bought some groceries. Also played guitar for the first time in 4 weeks and to my surprise I sounded good.

I am thinking of playing by the river today. That didn’t work out since it started to rain a bit. Glad to know I can still play All My Loving and Shame Shame Shame though.

Had a nice phone conversation with Connie, who sounded happy & healthy. Her sister Jennifer is going through some rough times though, so good thoughts and vibes should be sent to her in Oxnard Shores.

Connie is excited about the party in a few weeks. Going to be here before I know it. Pasta, salad and pizza is the menu. Perhaps someone can make some cakes. And by someone I mean a few people. Chocolate is preferred, of course. My sister in law Elaine used to make a nice pistachio cake.

I did visit the bibliothèque today. I do miss going there. They liked my new haircut. I picked up Donnie Darko from the bibliothèque today as well as a CD set of Ella Fitzgerald. Also ran into the Patrick Murphy there. I guess he’s living in Hoboken.

I had plans to meet up with Chaz today but he was ankled to his apartment waiting for PSE&G to arrive. As far as I know he’s still waiting there in the dark. And he is. I just got a text from him, saying they’ll be there by 11:00, which is just crazy in my book.

Looking out the window I can see dark clouds on the horizon. It’s supposed to rain tonight. I guess the drops that fell earlier when I was headed to the Pier A area were just a preview.

With my new ever changing schedule at work I easily lose track of whatever day it is. Today is Tuesday. Took me all day to figure that out.

I guess I’ll watch Donnie Darko tonight while uploading Ella Fitzgerald. Nothing else to do. I could watch my clothes dry on the racks and hanging in the bathroom.

I already have my suit ready for tomorrow. It’s supposed to be another scorcher. Not looking forward to the heat. The 9:30 to 7:30 shift tomorrow, with Raymond, Sean and Don Birch, Marcus in for the first half of the day. It should be an interesting day again.

The New York State legislature raised the cigar tax from 46% to 75%, which is better than raising it to 90%. We’ll see what happens next. I have no clue obviously but still I am a bit nervous being the last hire for the shop.

And now the rain falls steadily on Hoboken streets and rooftops.

Peter Gabriel – The Power Of The Heart

The Hardest Button to Button

Well last night I wrote after thinking I wasn’t going to write. It came easily despite not really having anything to write about. After I wrote, Bill came home from his rehearsal and got himself together before we headed out again.

We walked to the Path train where in Hoboken it wasn’t that cold. Hopped on a train to Journal Square in Jersey City right before the train doors closed. Train was not that crowded, at least our car wasn’t. When we got into the open air my phone buzzed telling me I had a voice mail.

I checked it and it was Annemarie telling me there was a major earthquake in Northern California. She asked if I was still at home to check the USGS website. Luckily I was with Bill who has a Droid and an iPhone. But the iPhone was home.

It didn’t matter Bill was able to check the information with the Droid, which was that a 6.5 earthquake had struck off the coast of California. There was also a 3. something in San Francisco the day before. Even though Annemarie said there was no need to call, I called.

Spoke with my nephew Earl and asked him what was shakin’. Earl laughed and told me that the power was out and they had all been on the street where all you could hear were car alarms going off. Aftershocks continued no doubt and I talked to Annemarie who said it was the worst they had felt but all was OK.

Bill and I walked up Kennedy Boulevard to Carlton Avenue, in the bleedin’ cold, stopping every now and then to write down phone numbers regarding apartments for rent for Bill’s friend Tom who is looking for an apartment. It was so cold that it was easier to take a photo with the Droid rather than write down the phone number.

We made it to Chaz’ apartment soon enough which was comfy and cozy and quite warm. Lot’s of food and alcohol to drink. Chaz’ brother, my former roommate, William and Andy, one of Chaz’ oldest friends were there as were a few people from previous holiday parties that Chaz had thrown.

Jennifer Poulakos as well, all the way from California by way of the Highlands in NJ. She’s looking after her sister Connie who had surgery last month.

We settled in and chatted throughout the night many laughs, Bill telling his story about singing the National Anthem before the NY Knicks game last month and me talking about the Dark Was the Night CD and Paul McCartney at CitiField in July.

Unfortunately we had to be the first to leave since Bill was scheduled to drive a bus to Atlantic City today. Hasty goodbyes and all that and soon we were in a taxi coming back to Hoboken. Back in the apartment Bill found he had a message on his voice mail on his iPhone from the bus company.

It seemed that the full time drivers were resentful of the part time drivers taking weekend work from them and so Bill’s services wouldn’t be required for the Sunday morning trip. Bill seemed to get over it but was annoyed since we left a pretty good party so he could come home early and go to sleep.

He did go to sleep a little while after that and I stayed up watching Saturday Night Live. I thought it was pretty funny and of course the Digital Short was the best. I woke up before Bill and set about making coffee when I got a text from Julio asking if I wanted bagels.

Of course I did and I did not want to go out in 15 degree weather. I called him up and asked him if he wouldn’t mind getting a few bagels and the paper and Julio was more than happy to oblige.

He was knocking on the door a little while after that and I told Bill I was going downstairs with Julio to give Alexander his Cookie Monster toy. A nice hug and kiss greeted me at the door and Alexander though smiling was determined not to shake my hand or give me a high five.

He speaks a lot of Danish lately and ‘Ni’ or in English- ‘No’ is his word of choice. Eventually he did warm up to me after prodding from his mother and father. I eventually made my way upstairs to find the door locked.

I knocked but there was no answer. Apparently Bill decided to go to church. I knew he was thinking about it but was surprised that he didn’t even say goodbye and locked me out. I did have the foresight of having a key hidden somewhere in the hallway so I let myself in and made myself breakfast.

After that I decided to watch The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which I enjoyed a lot more than I though and was chocked up at the end. Watching it by myself I couldn’t help but think how much Bill would enjoy it.

Soon he came home, all silent and not saying much at all, just filling the apartment with a foul mood. I asked a few times what was wrong to no avail. I decided then to go out into the cold weather were it was a lot warmer.

After talking to Annemarie while walking around Hoboken I came back home and watched the second DVD, the extras of Benjamin Button. Bill had woken from his nap and I once again inquired what was wrong.

He reassured me that it wasn’t anything that I had done, he was just incredibly bitter about being knocked off the bus driving schedule. That was a relief of sorts and I asked him to next time, let me know what was going on instead of letting me feeling like I had done something wrong.

He responded that way back when, when I had a job, sometimes I would come home in a foul mood and despite his pleas I wouldn’t readily tell him what was going on. I told him that, that was true, but usually within a half hour he would hear all about it.

Things are back to normal relatively speaking, Bill is watching Benjamin Button as I write this and really enjoying it and here am I, with over 1000 words under my belt.


To write or not to write? I sent a message to Harpy and Annemarie telling them I wasn’t going to write tonight but here I am with nothing to do, so I thought I would write. Sometimes when I have nothing to write about, it just flows out of me, and I can easily post 500 words.

Other times when I do have something to write about, it can be a chore, trying to find the right words, the right turn of phrase. But here I am now trying the same old thing.

It’s quite cold out. I oughta know. Just walked over to the main post office and thought the outdoor thermometer at the bank said it was 32 degrees, it was certainly colder than that. I had gotten some photographs from my cousin Joe who’s father, my uncle Joseph just passed away.

He entrusted me to send them to the proper people and as far as I could tell, the only proper person was my cousin Theresa. So I wrote a quick note and put the photographs in an envelope, taking care to put them in with some cardboard so they wouldn’t get bent.

And with a hop, skip and a jump I was in the post office where it was nice and toasty. I was going to walk by the Guitar Bar, but I didn’t agree with their menu.

Instead I continued trucking along to the supermarket to buy some juice. I was going to buy a four pack of Guinness to bring to Chaz’ party tonight but thought the price of it, $8.79 was a bit much. With tax that would make it $9.00 and change. I held off and bought my juice and some diet 7Up.

I usually make an orange juice, cranberry raspberry juice and diet 7Up beverage to drink and soon found myself on a very long express line. As I inched closer to the register I side stepped and picked up 2 copies of the Hoboken Reporter, one for myself and one for Julio.

The elderly gent in front of me thought I had cut the line and turned around to tell me so. I explained to him that I had been behind him for the past 10 minutes and that the people behind me would more than likely have something to say if indeed I did cut.

He asked for my forgiveness after clearing up the matter and I forgave him. He said he was going to have to hit me over the head with his loaf of Italian bread if I did cut. I told him that I have quite a hard head and that I would do more damage to the bread if that was the case.

He laughed and I guess he felt bad and offered to drive me home. I told him there was no need, that I would be just fine. The cashier and the guy behind me chuckled to themselves. I passed the gent in the parking lot and wished him a good night and continued on my way home.

I went into Garden Liquor and bought the Guinness there which was a dollar less than it was in the supermarket. The store owner was surprised when I told him that his price cheaper than the supermarket. He also told me not to buy any beer there or he would hurt me.

And once again I have written over 500 words without any problems and without anything to really write about, but then again, do I ever have anything to write about, really? Had some ravioli for dinner, not sure if Chaz would have any food.

Bill is in the city doing some rehearsal for a reading on Monday. He’s going to text me when he’s en route to Hoboken and I guess we’ll head over to Chaz’ house soon enough.


Glory Bound

It is really one of those days. Yesterday seemed better and yesterday wasn’t all that. Just a malaise basically. I’m pretty tired. Walked over to Target and though it isn’t far the cold exhausted me. Came home, made some dinner and thought that would get me going but no, I’m still tired.

Sent out more resumes, not too many since there aren’t that many offerings. I guess with every up feeling there is a corresponding down feeling. Yesterday was up, today is down. Tomorrow, who knows?

Saw Rand on the street this afternoon as I was headed to Target. He was heading home after buying food for his lunch. I thought he and Lisa had lunch together at various spots each day but I guess I was wrong. They’re not going to Chaz’ holiday party as they have a family party they’re committed to.

There went my idea of asking Rand to bring a some of the Guinness that I added to his collection of Guinness on New Years Eve. I suppose I could just buy another couple of cans on Saturday before Bill and I head over.

Heard from Pedro today who was about to tell me something but then said he’d call me back in a few minutes. That was hours ago. I can’t say I’m sitting next to the phone waiting, especially since the phone is in my pocket and follows me wherever I go.

I also went to the supermarket where I got on a longer line just so I could see the cute cashier who reminds me of Karen Kuhl twenty years ago. She had a sketchbook with her, she’s going to school for illustrators somewhere in New Jersey and her name is Brittany I think.

She asked if I was an artists and I told her I wasn’t, just that I know quite a few other artists and also go to various galleries in the city. Warmer weather should get me to the galleries once again.

Still have the winter in my bones, makes me want to go to sleep early, but I know that if I went to sleep now, I would only wake up, perhaps in the middle of the night.

Looking at some of the jobs that I applied for, I wonder if I did the wrong thing by answering what my last salary was truthfully. I wonder if I priced myself out. I think next time I will cut my salary considerably and hopefully increase my chances.

I suppose the concept of taking a pay cut is inconceivable to these people.

Julio & Stine are back, they came home last night. I’m sure seeing Alexander would bolster my spirits but so far no contact. I’m sure that will be forthcoming. I picked up The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Adaptation from the library. I saw Adaptation in the theater when it came out and hadn’t seen it since. After watching Synecdoche, New York- another Charlie Kaufman confection I think I should watch it again.

I got some new slippers at Target and a laundry rack for drying clothes that I had to assemble but that was a pain in the ass and midway through I decided to try it again tomorrow. I should have bought one that was ready made since putting together this tinker toy isn’t as easy as I had hoped.

I also bought a talking Cookie Monster for Alexander. That should drive Julio and Stine crazy.


Never Can Say Goodbye

Well David Bowie did not show up at the Ian Hunter show which went on according to schedule. Joe Elliott from Def Leopard was there instead.

This just in, Michael Jackson has died at age 50. Wow that is big news. He was gigantic for a while there, still is around the world.

A month of concerts scheduled for the O2 arena in London are now scrapped, so those thousands of tickets are now collectors items.

Not the same as a ticket to Elvis Presley’s (Michael Jackson’s late father in law) last scheduled concert but close enough.

Harpy left a message on my voice mail, livid that Michael Jackson’s death was being compared to John Lennon’s death. That’s upsetting, there is no comparison. Lennon was assassinated outside of his home. Not the same thing, not close at all.

Harpy reminded me of how when we worked together at 2 Park Avenue, we shut down the office to watch Martin Scorsese’s video of Michael Jackson’s Bad, a 20 minute video. About 25 people hunkered down to watch a video.

Right now, LA Reid is on Dateline and saying that no one did what Michael Jackson did. I beg to differ, Elvis Presley did it better, and personally for me,the Beatles did it waaaay better. Both were more influential that Michael Jackson.

What the hell does LA Reid know anyway? He’s merely a record executive.

He was certainly talented and certainly a fucked up person. He got off the hook a few times with regards to the molestation charges and now that he’s dead I’m sure more will be heard about that.

Also Farrah Fawcett died today after a long battle with cancer. That was sad.

Can’t say I watched Charlie’s Angels that much, though being a child of the seventies it was on my radar. In my freshman year of high school while on the spring track team at Paramus Catholic I did have a picture of Farrah in my locker.

I was just trying to fit in by lying and to have a picture of some hunk in my locker just wouldn’t do.

Last night I watched an excellent program on PBS about Music and the Brain. Oliver Sacks was in it of course as well as a few other people including Richard Hawley and from Pulp, Jarvis Cocker, 2 British musicians.

Neither made it big on this side of the pond but Jarvis Cocker did make some headlines about 10 years ago when he invaded the stage at the Brits awards while Michael Jackson was performing as some Messiah figure surrounded by children.

Jarvis Cocker made some rude gestures and threw 2 fingers up in Jackson’s direction. Jarvis became a hero to most in the UK music scene, Jackson’s fans were upset and the Jackson camp threatened to sue, like most messiahs do.

Now Al Sharpton is being interviewed by Keith Olbermann saying that Michael Jackson started We Are The World and no one ever did anything like that before. For me, Do They Know It’s Christmas rings a bell, as does The Concert for Bangladesh.

Maybe it’s a black/white thing. I didn’t see the influence of Michael Jackson, didn’t see kids picking up guitars or keyboards and forming bands trying to be like Michael Jackson. Wearing one glove perhaps.

I did make it to see the Guitar Bar All Stars tonight. Jim was as good as ever. Chaz stopped by as did Lois and Fred & Rand and Lisa. Rand and I pulled out a big chunk of Styrofoam out of the Hudson River.

All in all, a nice night, no rain with some good friends. Here’s some pics!

Mr. Nice Guy, Jim Mastro

Mr. Nice Guy, Jim Mastro

Mr. Wonderful

Mr. Wonderful

6.24.09 Hoboken 008

6.24.09 Hoboken 010

The Styrofoam

The Styrofoam

6.24.09 Hoboken 013

a moon for Farrah

a moon for Farrah

Born on A Bayou

Well it was back to work for me today. Nothing really happened, nothing to really write about. The mail was on my desk since people just didn’t know what to do with it while I was out.

Vivek and Sanjay are in India again. I did some snooping and saw they both got paid. Word from Vivek was that he hadn’t gotten paid in 3 months. Well a five figure amount should make him happy.

So who knows what’s going on? I don’t and the guy who actually might have a clue is now on the other side of the planet.

Last night was good but weird. Weird after drinking in the afternoon and then the come down during the night. Also weird since Bill gave up his Lawn hors d’eourve and stayed in the bedroom hunkered down over his laptop.

True Blood was good. That Maryanne. What’s her story? Ancient demon methinks. And Lafayette! What a story! That’s all I’m saying on that since I don’t want to be a spoiler.

Right now I’m so hungry, but not making dinner. I ran into Stine with Alexander on my way home. They were off to the park. Stine said she was making some dinner and was going to drop off a plate for me. That was more than fine with me.

Now Julio calls and it turns out I’m having dinner downstairs with the three of them. I’m looking forward it. Good to know that I won’t be the only one wearing a bib.

It rained a bit today, but not too much. Still it’s all hummus outside. I saw Chaz yesterday morning. He finally returned the Brian Eno/David Byrne CD, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Not that I was jonesing for it. It was a bit of a letdown. That’s what I told the bartender at the Half King Bar yesterday. How once I got it and played it, I immediately lent it out.

Good old Chaz, always has some fresh music reading material, bless his heart. And it was nice of Andy to send me an email, telling me that Yes it is Howard, not Harold.

The two of them had a gay old time, much more social in those circles than me. I guess I am too standoffish. Not with Andy and Howard but with just about everyone else.

I did my best though. Will I go again? Unlikely. There is a plan about going out on Friday night, Bill, Juan and myself. Dancing if you can believe that.

We had been talking about it on and off for the past year or so and since Bill’s birthday approaches, in one week, it might be fun to do something over the weekend. Bill said he was into it, Juan is definitely into and me I am relatively ambivalent.

Time to go downstairs for dinner. Full review when I return.

And it was yet another Five Star Dinner by Stine, a beef stew which was way better than any stew that I’ve had before. I was never fond of my mother’s beef stew by the way.

Julio and I had polished off a bottle of wine, Stine had her Zinfandel and Alexander pointed and shouted a lot trying to get my attention. No more baby food for him!

It was a nice evening , very adult. Good times, good food, good people.

I came home with leftovers which I promptly reheated for Bill who had just gotten home. Now it’s time for this weeks Weeds and Nurse Jackie.

Walk Out to Winter

Well Chaz once again threw a pretty good party. All very adult, chit chat and cocktails. The promised snow storm didn’t happen. I was starving beforehand so I ate a light supper about two hours early. Bill was in the city, fortifying himself with Claratin. Chaz has a cat, Lily (who once tried to take my eye out) and Bill is hyper-allergic to cats.

Rand and Lisa were going too so plans were made to meet at the Path train. I stopped off at Karma Cafe gingerly stepping over the kitchen help laying about the floor and got a gift certificate for Chaz. I started walking down Washington Street when I got a phone call from Bill who was in the city and about to head into the 14th Street Path station.

He mentioned meeting at Journal Square which made sense since the train he would be on would be going to Journal Square after Hoboken. But he wasn’t going to make a move until I gave the go ahead. The plan was to meet at the station so I told Bill that yes we would meet in Jersey City.

Rand and Lisa were a block or two behind me so when I got to the station I called them. They thought we would all be taking a cab from Hoboken to Jersey City Heights and I explained the situation. Rand and Lisa and I met on the platform, Bill on a train already, somewhere.

Nice ride and a few laughs along the way. We got off at Journal Square where we found Bill disembarking from the same train that we were on. He was in a different car, you see. I figured we would be taking a taxi from Journal Square so I bought a six pack of Stella Artois which cost more than usual since it was part of the train station.

When I left the store, it was suggested that we could walk. That was fine by me and I was surprised to find out that Lisa and Bill were into it. I know Bill isn’t a fan of the cold. I could have bought a six pack closer to Chaz’ house but it didn’t matter. Rand and I led the way with Bill and Lisa chatting it up a few feet behind us.

It wasn’t too bad of a walk, a frozen drizzle would rain on occasion but overall it was harmless. We were on Carlton Avenue before we knew it and soon we were in Chaz’ warm living room next to a kitchen table crowded with food and snacks.

Chaz made some excellent vegetarian chili as well, which I only had a tiny portion. Chaz’ lifelong friend Andy was there with his friend Howard. They made for a nice couple as well as Debra and Roy another couple that I only seem to see at Chaz holiday party.

No Dave McKenzie, no Connie and no Kathe. Dave was in Kentucky, Connie was fearful of the blizzard that wasn’t happening and Kathe had gotten out of work in Astoria and was just too tired to make the hike. And it would have been a hike for Kathe from Astoria and Connie could be excused since it would be unnerving to drive home in the middle of the night back to Highlands.

From what Chaz said, Connie was angry with the fact that she wasn’t going to be at the party.

Chaz had presents for most everyone, Bill and I getting a Simpsons calendar as well as a Simpsons bottle opener and two DVD’s, the Outkast movie Idlewild and the Paul Giamatti movie Sideways. You could tell it was a good party, lot’s of food, and drinks and before we knew it it was 1:00 in the morning and Bill was on the phone calling for a taxi to take us back to Hoboken.

Bill was heading back to Stuyvesant Town so Rand, Lisa and I rode to the Path train and saw Bill off. The three of us walked up Washington Street in a light drizzle past people lined up outside of bars trying to get in. I parted ways with Rand and Lisa on 7th Street with hugs and kisses.

I came home and watched Saturday Night Live for a bit while enjoying a night cap before going to bed myself. I waited to hear from Bill to make sure he got home alright. He did but was waylaid by his allergy since the Claratin wore off.

That’s it for now, back to rearranging the deck chairs tomorrow.

Here’s some pics.

Chaz, the host with the most

Chaz, the host with the most

Lovely Lisa (always photgraphs beautifully)

Lovely Lisa (always photgraphs beautifully)

Ernie photographed by Bert

Ernie photographed by Bert



William and Marianne

William and Marianne

Andy & Howard

Beatles in a tree

Beatles in a tree

Smokers lounge

Smokers lounge




a John Lennon apparition

a John Lennon apparition

"where is the eye?!?"

A splendid time was had by all

A splendid time was had by all

The Charging Sky

Saturday, a day to sleep in, but for me it was the day that somebody was moving something in the neighborhood on a truck which made a loud enough sound to wake me up. That, and my cellphone ringing at 8:00. Still I didn’t get out of bed until 9:00.

I texted the parents on the third floor to see if they wanted bagels and Julio replied that they did. By the time I got back from the supermarket which was being depleted of supplies due to the oncoming snowstorm Julio and Stine were at the pediatrician’s office for Alexander’s monthly checkup. I left their bagels in a bag hanging on their doorknob as I went upstairs and made myself a hearty breakfast.

So far it’s been snowing on and off all day. I haven’t left the building since 10:00 this morning and I have no idea how much has fallen. It’s almost 6:00 now so I’m sure the local news would have some information on the snowfall.

Tonight is Chaz’ party for which I am meeting Bill at the Path train along with Rand and Lisa I think. Then it’s to Journal Square and a taxi to Charlton Ave. Hopefully we’ll get a taxi. Right now the ending of the PBS documentary on Pete Seeger is finishing up. I watched it the other day as well. It’s a lot better than the Isn’t David Foster Great show that was on endlessly last month.

I didn’t write about something that one of my sock puppets was involved with the other day. It seems that the sock puppet had been arguing online in You Tube with a homophobic troll. Actually the sock puppet was the troll since it was a video against same sex marriage.

For the past couple of months it went on, name calling, curses and disparaging remarks about parents. Finally it came to a head. My sock puppet told the other guy to show up at 50th st and Third Avenue so they could duke it out. The sock puppet said he would be wearing a black leather trench coat.

Where he was going to get that, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t have a black leather trench coat. Looks too much like a 1980’s coke dealer’s apparel.

At the appointed time I was out there and looked around. Didn’t see anyone except for a soldier dressed in fatigues. I went back to my desk after a few minutes and figured the guy didn’t show. Hours later when checking the sock puppet’s email, there was an email from the guy who the sock puppet was supposed to battle.

It turns out it WAS the soldier. He called the sock puppet a coward for not showing up, the sock puppet in turn posted a video showing that the sock puppet was there. A few hours later the sock puppet got another email from the soldier who was apologizing for being such a jerk.

He said he’s usually not like that and blamed it on post traumatic stress disorder, saying he’s done 2 tours in Iraq (where he said he enjoyed killing Hajis). He ended the email, wishing the sock puppet, peace be with you. The sock puppet instantly replied, ‘and also with you’ but it was too late, the soldier shut his own account down.

A day later another email from someone with a different name. It was the soldier saying that he shut down his account since he couldn’t believe how far his anger had taken him.

Once again he wished the sock puppet peace and hoped that the sock puppet and his partner, Anklet, have a happy life together. The sock puppet thanked him once again and suggested he get help for his PTSD


Ugh. So muggy out. And constant rain rain rain. It’s actually tropical storm Hannah which so far killed over 100 people in Haiti. Today was also the day that the B-52’s were doing a free show in Cranford NJ.

The original flyer said that in case of rain the show would be moved to Kean University where my niece Corrinne goes to school, but checking the website today, the promoters stated they they have taken provisions and the stage will be weather proofed and the show will go on as scheduled, outside.

It’s just as well that we didn’t go, Bill and I had planned to go with Chaz, because the rain has been steady and sometimes blowing sideways and it promised to be muddy and not much fun. Last night Bill and I hung out.

Bill was rather subdued. He was told at work that he will probably have to change his schedule. Right now he’s flexible as a part timer working 37 hours a week. But their not happy with that and want him to go full time.

That would close the window that he currently has which allows him to go on interviews and go sees for his acting career as well as allowing him to run down to his mother’s apartment should something go wrong. So he was understandably bummed.

All I could do was suggest that he try to forget about it for now, get a good nights sleep and see how he feels about it tomorrow. Some advice that I should probably heed. He listened and went to bed after a few laughs courtesy of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

I stayed up and watched Bill Maher who had Dan Savage on so that was pretty good. Michael Steele is not the same Michael Steele from the Bangles. The one on Bill Maher’s show last night was a real jerk. Of course he towed the republican line until it became so much static.

Slept like a log last night, Bill was up and working on a script when I got out of bed. Went out and ran errands, needed some more Stevia and got the bagels and the papers. Then proceeded to watch the rain come falling down.

Just got back from visiting Julio and Stine and Alexander two floors down. Haven’t seen the peanut in over a month and he’s now 15 pound and 25 inches. And quite active too. He can now focus and he’s always looking around.

And he can turn over by himself now, and can also support his head on his own. Still adorable, quite the little man. Gurgle and goo goo is his vocabulary so far, and if he’s anything like Julio, he’ll never shut up. But the space monkey is adorable and everything is good physically with him.

Right now Carole King is on Public Television. She’s nice. I met her at Right Track, where I wrote about last night. How can anyone not like Carole King? If only for the songs that she’s written.

Well thats about it now. Too sticky and hummus here.

Late addition:
from John Ridley/Huffington Post
cut n’ paste

Ya Ya

Well back to work, back to normal. The nap helped yesterday afternoon. Still out of it somewhat last night. Bill was also out of it. The weather has gotten considerably cooler so perhaps thats why we were both fatigued. It’s the only explanation I could think of and the idea was placed in my mind from Chaz and a co-worker.

Though I was plenty tired last night, the nap didn’t help with sleeping though. Bill went to sleep around 9:00, I hung in there until after Hillary Clinton spoke at the convention. That didn’t get me fired up not did it tire me out. It was just there. Juan wanted to come by, but things being what they were it was better off that he didn’t. Tonight would have been fine though.

Bill was up and out by 6:00 this morning, I dragged my ass out of bed and got myself ready. On the bus again, no Casey. Read the New Yorker, all about Myanmar/Burma/Rangoon. A definite totalitarian regime, military rulers not allowing aid to come in after the disaster there earlier this year.

The rulers don’t care about what the rest of the world thinks and they don’t care (in every sense of the word) for their own people. Of course since we created the Iraq fiasco, the US credibility is totally shot so if we have anything to say about anything, who would want to listen to us?

Like a few weeks ago, the US stamping it’s feet about Russia going into Georgia, US saying ‘You can’t invade a sovereign nation!’ and the world taking note of that and remembering that, that was exactly what we did when we went into Iraq.

I guess Afghanistan was necessary, sort of going after the Taliban who was fingered as being behind the attacks on 9/11. But you knew all this already.

Meanwhile back in the island off the coast of America called Manhattan, tourists are everywhere, most workers and residents have taken off this last unofficial week of summer. The office wasn’t doing much.

A few more people in, but for me it was like crossing paths since I have taken off tomorrow and Friday. I made a point to write down instructions on how to use the coffee pot. They will have to put their own paper in the printers, and I expect my desk to be covered with mail that arrived when I was out. Not that big of a deal, at least I know what I’m headed towards, come Tuesday.

I saw Chaz after work. He asked me to take his picture in front of the Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture on west 55th street and 6th avenue. So after work I walked over there and took 2 pics. The whole thing took less than 30 seconds.

Afterwards we walked down 6th avneue, just shooting the breeze. He was going to the Virgin Mega Store, and I was headed to the bus terminal. I could have walked over to Times Square with Chaz but if there were hundreds of tourists on 6th avenue, there were more than likely thousands in Times Square and I was not going to walk through that.

No line for the bus and I nabbed a seat in the back, reading some more of Alan Bennett, who’s mother has Alzheimers in the 1970’s. Not the fun, witty stories I envisioned when I took the book out of the library, but I’ll hang in there. He’s bound to eventually get to Oxford and then Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller.

More of the convention on the schedule for tonight. Bill’s home and he’ll probably go to bed soon. I’m off until Tuesday so who knows? I may stay up until midnight and watch the day begin.

and on today’s streets

Rest in Peace Del Martin
Lesbian rights pioneer Del Martin died Wednesday. She was 87. She and her partner Phyllis Lyon were the first to be legally married in the state of California.

All The Young Dudes

Well the past 24 hours have been quite nice. Yesterday I went into the city and met up with Bill in Bryant Park. We caught the 7 train to Flushing, to Shea Stadium. I wanted to go since it’s due to be torn down and it was a chance to say farewell. The ride was entertaining since I’d never taken the train to Shea Stadium before.


Pretty crowded with Mets fans who are a quiet sort. Bill noticed that. The Yankee fans are louder and more rambunctious. Mets fans are more well behaved and loyal but not rabid. We walked off the subway with hundreds of Mets fans. We missed the National Anthem as we climbed the escalator to our seats. Got some 2 hot dogs and a beer and the total was $20.00/ $8.50 for a Budweiser and $4.50 for each hot dogs.

Vendors now expect a tip. Give them a twenty and they ask how much do you want back. I suppose they earn it for lugging beer and hot dogs around so an extra buck or two is a nice gesture. It really makes a difference to see a baseball game live as opposed to watching it on TV. The excitement of the crowd, the whole atmosphere beats watching a game on a box.

Our seats weren’t bad, we were in the upper tier. It was cramped in our row and since no one was sitting behind us we climbed back and were able to stretch out a bit. The Mets were playing against the Houston Astros and they won 3-0 which definitely made everyone happy.

I took a snapshot with my camera phone and sent it to a few people who basically all asked the same question, ‘Where are you?’ I sent a pic to Pedro who couldn’t believe that I was at Shea Stadium. He said he was at Shea too with some corrections officers (CO’s) he works with.

After the game we wandered around trying to find him and his buddies but to no avail. He jokes around like that with me from time to time and after a while we gave up at my insistence. We did talk on the phone but he kept hanging up and thats when I gave up.


He sent me 2 pics that could have been anywhere and it wasn’t until I saw them on my computer did Bill tell me that he was in the parking lot as Bill could see the 7 train behind the CO’s. I didn’t believe Pedro and he called me a jackass and a jerk.

Oh well.

It would have been a strange scene anyway since the CO’s are mainly right wing reactionaries. And Bill and myself are, well… Bill and myself. I told Bill that we might have been shanghaied to a strip club if we met up with the CO’s.

Took the bus home, happy and cozy with each other and made it to Hoboken safe and sound were we both slept really well. I woke up around 8:00, went out got papers and bagels and had breakfast while waiting to hear from Chaz.


We planned on going down the shore to Sandy Hook. Chaz called around 9:00 and by 9:20 I was in his car headed down the shore. Wide range of topics we talked about, no music, but talk about music.

Some traffic but not too bad and we were on the beach itself a little after 11:00.We found an area with not too many people around but as the day progressed more people showed up and sat around us.


Chaz made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches which were perfect and brought some baklava that his Aunt made last night. Played some Frisbee and I have to admit Chaz is a very good Frisbee thrower, and considering it had been over a year since I last threw I wasn’t so bad either. I did take a spill in the sand which I thought was rather humorous.

After getting sweaty we jumped in the ocean which was a little bit dirty with some trash that Chaz had collected and gave to me to toss in the trash. Every litter/little bit helps. An enjoyable ride home, listening to music on the radio, singing along to I Am The Walrus and Superman by the Kinks on the progressive modern classic rock station.

Stopped off for way too much ice cream, yes there is such a thing. I followed Chaz’ lead and got the double hot fudge brownie sundae with whipped cream. Ugh. A meal in itself.


Now I’m home, watching the History Boys again since I chatted it up with Chaz this afternoon. If I see him tomorrow I should make sure to have it on me so I could loan it to him, with the latest Mojo magazine that I just finished. Also finished 2 short stories by Alan Bennett and promptly started his autobiography, Untold Stories.

So far so good.

Anna (Go To Him)

Friday comes and Thursday goes. Last night was a lot better than the night before. Good feelings all around. Nothing much happened and judging by the comment, nothing much happened with you. That’s what I’m writing about today. You. How are you doing? It’s been a while and I hope you are well. Feel free to get back to me when you figure out how you are doing.

Tonight Bill and I are off to Shea Stadium which is being torn down this year to make way for a new stadium, to be called Citi Field since I guess Citibank put up some money to rebuild. I wonder how the Shea family is dealing with it. I mentioned to Bill earlier in the season that I would like to attend a Mets game for old time’s sake.

I used to go to Met games every now and then with my family, with the Boy’s Club of Lodi, and sometimes with a bus load of drunken veterans with a garbage can filled with cans of beer.

There’s also the thrill that the Beatles played Shea Stadium. Once in 1965 and again in 1966. I wasn’t at either show since I was too young, and neither were my brothers or my sister. It was actually 42 years ago tomorrow that the Fabs played there.

I’m pretty much excited, I haven’t been to a professional baseball game in decades and I’ve never taken the train there. It should be a fun time all around. Bill is a Yankee fan so who knows how he’ll deal with it. I have a feeling he’ll be fine, putting up with it because of me.

I went to work today and took a half day so I could go home and nap, get ready and do some laundry as well as pick up 2 tickets for myself and my brother Frank for The Bird and The Bee at McSwells in October. Hoboken is deserted again, most residents went down the shore already, so if you’d like to park in Hoboken, now would be the time.

Tomorrow the plan is to go down the shore with Chaz. That was all his idea. I bought a new umbrella and this will probably be the only time this season to use it. Sandy Hook I guess will be our destination and who know, perhaps meeting Connie will be in the cards. That is if Connie will be back from California.

Speaking of California, today is my sister Annemarie’s birthday. I planned on burning some cd’s as I’ve done the past few years, but I can’t seem to burn a cd anywhere. Plan B was getting a copy of the new David Sedaris book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

I hope she likes it. I plan on getting a copy from my library as soon as it is no longer labeled as being a new book. So a very happy birthday to my favorite sister. That’s a safe thing to say since she’s my only sister.

Happy birthday Annemarie. You don’t look like a monkey, and you don’t smell like one either.

Small Electric Piece

A Friday night, unlike most Friday nights lately, yet similar to Friday nights from years ago. Just got back from seeing a free show at the South Street Seaport, with a band from my past headlining, Wire. Nowadays Wire is known as post punk, which is another name for New Wave, minus skinny ties I suppose. Still when people asked who is Wire, I generally say they are a punk band from England, class of 1977. It’s a catchphrase that fits the occasion.

I first heard of Wire in 1979 when brother Frank gave me a copy of their third album, 154. I liked it, but for almost a year I only played side one. It was good enough and I had little faith that they could top that one side. Of course eventually I played side two and found it to be as good as side one. I don;t know why I did that. Took me nearly a decade to play side two of Paul McCartney, Ram. Lazy? Remember this was the time when you would actually have to get up, walk over to the record player and flip the disc. I don’t think it was laziness, some strange aesthetics on my part.

I entertain the idea of me being partly responsible for Wire playing McSwells when they reunited. I recall being in the kitchen with Chaz at McSwells, counting out the door money and talking about Wire reforming and doing a tour. Steve Fallon was listening to us and I like to think we prodded him to get the band to do a show in Hoboken. Of course I could be miles off base, but I’m printing the legend. When given the choice to print the fact or the legend, go with the legend. I loved Wire, and got a few friends into them.

Very abstract and arty, and when I met them for an interview a bit standoffish. Bhikku said it best a few weeks ago, never meet your heroes. It was a let down, but I was trying to be hipper than most, and they seemed to see right through it. They weren’t mean or anything like that, and in hindsight, I probably played the role of gushing fan boy. They were good tonight though, not mind blowing and it would have been ok if I skipped it altogether.

But it was a chance to hang with Chaz and Andy and surprise guests, Susan Sher and Steve Saporito. I told Susan about the show a week or so ago in a brief email since she was something of a fan. She told Steve. They’re tight like that. Steve is now a successful movie producer, having had his film Squeezebox in the most recent Tribeca Film Festival. I have had antagonistic relationships with both Sue and Steve and I think I’ve matured. I congratulated Steve on Squeezebox which I meant sincerely when I told a mutual friend who told me about it.

Really, I told the friend to tell Steve I meant it sincerely, no cynicism or sarcasm attached. The friend took it as cynicism and sarcasm. I’ve known Steve for about 20 years, even fell in love with him for a few minutes back then. He didn’t feel the same hence the sarcasm and cynicism from my part. But time heals most wounds and I’ve moved on and so has he. I don’t love him like that anymore, and since it’s been a long time I’ve seen him it’s almost like meeting again for the first time, with a mutual history between us.

I know I’ve written about him previously so do a search for Saporito if you’re so inclined. Wire was ok, better than they were in the 1980’s. Back then they wouldn’t perform the songs that everyone knew, instead having a Wire cover band open up the shows playing the 5 year oldies so Wire could concentrate on their newer material which in hindsight wasn’t up to snuff. Now they mix some oldies in with the new stuff which is good for the older set like Chaz, Andy Susan, Steve and myself.

We rattled our walkers along to Being Sucked In Again and 12XU. A funny thing, my hand always had a beer in it, much like last weekend. Who was buying I couldn’t tell yet gave gratitude each time. I couldn’t help but feel that as good as Wire was, maybe it would have been better if they stayed broken up. Bands like Wire and Gang of Four on these reunion tours for me turn into catching up with friends I haven’t seen in years, yelling to each other about what we’re up to lately.

Twenty years ago the bad would be the focus, now it’s ‘so whats going on with you?’ or ‘have you heard from so and so?’. I guess that’s the nature of the beast. 3 years ago, Gang of Four reunited and played Irving Plaza, I hung out in the back talking shit with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in sometime. We never caught up before the show and never did after the show. It was during the show, yelling, drinking and partying that we caught up, just don’t ask me what was said. Same thing tonight.

I have no idea what Susan is up to, and my relationship with her is even more antagonistic than my relationship with Steve. Steve I know is going to Los Angeles next week. I really do wish him well.

Runaround Sue

Rainy Sunday. At least partly. Last night was a bit rainy but I was in watching the third Pirates of the Caribbean. I watched the first two at various parts of the day, before going out to the city, coming back from the city. It was a marathon on one of the cable channels so I was able to drift in and out and not miss much of anything. It was ok, definitely the franchise has run aground.

Keith Richards as Johnny Depp’s mumbly father, ‘He has his father’s mascara.’ Actually Johnny Depp’s Keith impersonation was better than the real thing. I think I saw Bill Wyman but that may have been a barnacle in the background. Who could tell? Then I watched Saturday Night Live which I thought was disappointing. It’s getting hard to see Steve Carrell as something other than Michael from the Office.

I think in previous years the last show before the winter holidays and the last show of the season were usually what I thought the funniest and they would put these sketches on that were so ‘out there’ that I couldn’t help but love them. Last night wasn’t the same. It all just petered out. And Usher wasn’t all that either. Can’t say that I’m much of a fan of Usher’s but I just wasn’t feeling his first performance and went to bed before his second.

Slept really well and I confess I had one cigarette last night coming off the beer buzz. Didn’t enjoy it though so I probably won’t be doing that again. Woke up feeling fine this morning, though it was a little early. So I made some coffee and went back to bed. A decent hour was 8:30 so I started moving about then. Got sundries for the new parents, and for myself, set about reading the papers, having a nice breakfast and after an hour or two, a nap.

Got a phone call from Roda. He was working at his art studio in the Neumann Leather building which for the past 20 years has been a series of art studios, including Tim Daly’s. That’s supposed to all end in December. They’re having an open house and Roda asked me to stop by. I planned to then Chaz called. I forgot about seeing Iron Man this afternoon, we’d planned it a few weeks ago. Chaz came by and picked me up and we drove up to Edgewater, maintaining the deal of Chaz driving and me buying the tickets.

We caught up on shows that were coming up this summer, shows that neither one of us could actually afford. Luckily there are a lot of good free shows on the menu, and if not free, then you could at least hear the music but not see the bands, like at Summerstage. The theater was packed by the time the movie started. Robert Downey Jr. was great.

Everybody likes Robert Downey Jr. and I had noticed that only the villains smoke in the movie. I guess that’s the wave of the future. A very good comic book movie, with of course an open door at the very end, after the final credits, for a sequel. And already they’re complaining about the casting of Nick Fury on IMDB. Back to work tomorrow. If you have any good thoughts, send them to the care Rex Dippre, my brother in law who is undergoing a heart procedure in Cleveland this week. I would appreciate it and so will my sister and her family. Thanks.

Please forward this to 10 friends if you know whats good for you.

For All We Know

It’s Friday and it’s good. How’s that for a positive spin, eh? It’s been an okay day, got things done, both work wise and personal stuff. Left work around 4:15 this afternoon, after not doing much in the afternoon having done it all in the morning. Last night was pretty good too. Chatted a bit with Juan online. He’s coming up this weekend and I told him I had the Across The Universe dvd from Netflix. He implored me not to watch it without him. He saw it when it came out in December and liked it a lot I believe. So I’m holding off on that.

I did watch Lost which was very good. Interesting plot lines developing. Sawyer beating the shit out of Ben, who had it coming, being evil and all. After Lost I watched the new show Lipstick Jungle which is a very watered down Bizarro version of Sex and The City. I’m not a fan of Kim Raver. I think everything she is in gets canceled soon after. Brooke Shields is definitely wooden and I wanted to smack her hands when she kept messing with her hair in one shot, then another shot the hair is the way it was before she was messing with it. Maybe I should smack the editors hands instead. And the other woman, the ersatz Shannon Doherty was really annoying. And that was the first 10 minutes!

After that it was off to bed. I woke up in a good mood and a little later than I should have but that worked out when I left the apartment early somehow. No hustle either, rather lazy. I ran into my old friend Lois DiLivio yesterday at 51st and 2nd Avenue, of all places. She only lives a few blocks away form me in Hoboken but I hardly ever see her. Bill sees her on the bus from time to time, but not me. She was looking good and headed off to work, after telling me she has a lot of men’s socks and offered to give them to me. I plan on accepting them on behalf of the academy this weekend.

That and laundry are all I really have to do. Oh and maybe seeing either Cloverfield or Michael Clayton with Chaz on Sunday. I’m pulling for Cloverfield, since Pedro berated me for not seeing it yet after hyping it up so much before it came out. Michael Clayton could probably wait until cable. But I have Chaz to consider and he’s driving, but I’m buying. That’s the deal. I buy, he drives. I also have to get my new suit tailored, so it’s looking like I’m going to be busy this weekend, despite what I wrote only a few lines ago.

I also have the rest of the McCartney Years live footage to finish and also Superman 2 The Richard Donner cut, which I’ve never seen. The version that came out in the theaters was started by Richard Donner but when he was fired from the movie, Richard Lester finished it. For those that are playing at home, Richard Lester directed A Hard Day’s Night and Help! I made a dental appointment for Wednesday at the NYU Dental School. That’s going to be fun. A little more positive spin with a touch of anxiety.