Tag Archives: Chris Repella

Touch Me

Watching Tales of the City on a blue gray Saturday afternoon. Endearing. I have the first series which was on PBS and the next series, More Tales of the City w3hich was on Showtime after PBS got cold feet.

It was odd because the first series was a big smash ratings wise but the timing was bad since it was around the time Newt Gingrich and company started attacking Public Television and the NEA. And from there it went to Showtime where it did well enough.

I didn’t have cable then and never saw the succeeding episodes. But I’m reviewing the first series and forgot that Syd Straw, Country Joe, Mimi Farina, Parker Posey all pass through. Olympia Dukakis is excellent as is Laura Linney and Chloe Webb et al.

Today is also Record Store Day. I usually visit the local store here in town every now and then. I was there the other day and picked up some good used CD’s a really cheap prices. Today being Record Store Day it was a bit more crowded with guys like me, they’re just wider, balder, sometimes hairier and more often than not, straighter in most every sense of the word.

But I do like the whole aspect of buying a CD, and I really like paying $1.99 for it, Pretenders- The Isle of You. But I think, and I could be wrong, but I think they jacked up the prices of items because it was Record Store Day.

That would be tacky, but having been there the other day I don’t recall things being what they were today. I lucked out and snagged a CD of Lene Lovich, Lucky Number, a best of compilation. I probably could have picked it up for $3.99 the other day.

I’ve always liked her, a special place in my heart for Lene Lovich. I did see her at the Meadowbrook in 1982 and she was electrifying. I was going to head into the Village to check out the Budos Band at Generation Records, but the weather is crappy.

Last night I did head out in a rainstorm and walked up to Maxwells where I saw Glass Trees, the band my friend Chris Repella is in. Rand was there and Roda was managing the place. Glass Trees were pretty good, though Rand and I both preferred the instrumentals to the songs with vocals.

The instrumentals were other worldly whereas the songs with vocals brought the back room back to Earth. They reminded me of My Bloody Valentine and Neu!. Chris was a regular Brian Eno on the synthesizer.

Rand had seen them before and they were accompanied by some visuals. Not last night though. I would have focused on the noisy instrumentals rather than the vocal songs which killed whatever momentum existed from the previous song.

For the past week, Monday through Friday I had 239 visits from 140 cities around the world. From New York City to Winchester, Arcata to Zagreb. Edinburgh to Xuzhou. I think that’s impressive. Some of the visits were just a glance, lasting less than a minute. Some were sent via Google word or name searches and some were return visits.

Still no one in Hoboken reads it. I have no problem with that. In fact I might prefer it that way.

Glass Trees

Glass Trees


Glass Trees

Glass Trees


glass trees 0131
Hoboken 003
A Double Doodle

A Double Doodle


Hoboken 007
Photo-0124

A Well Respected Man

Well I was a bit crabby yesterday. The disheveled drunkards can do that to you. On my way home I got a text message from Rand who was telling me about his buddy Karl having an art opening last night at Maxwells.

Yes that’s right, I wrote Maxwells.

I was weary, and merely replied ‘Sweet’. Rand invited me and I couldn’t say yes or no. I came upstairs and wrote over 1000 words and felt a bit better, and less bitter. Bill came home as I ate a turkey sandwich.

He was pretty tired. I continued writing and thought about going to the art opening. Last time I went it was pretty crowded and all I could do was think about how the art openings at Maxwells were so much more fun 20 years ago. Free beer and wine and familiar faces made the difference.

Bill went to take a nap and asked me to wake him up in a few hours. I mentioned that I was probably going out. Though his body was tired, his mind was racing and was unable to nap so he wandered around the apartment.

By the time I was done writing and posting entry 1601 I had decided to head out. As I walked down the stairs I texted Rand and told him I was on the way.

Got to Maxwells and it was crowded and loud but I enjoyed Karl’s artwork. Very comic book style, a lot of fun. Talked to Rand and Mike C and Mike’s girlfriend Sarah who was very sweet. I talked about busking and music and made Sarah giggle a bit.

Chris Repella showed up and bought some artwork. I thanked her once again for the photographs of the civil union thingamajig on Saturday. She joined Rand and Mike and Sarah as well as Lisa, Rand’s wife. I spotted Todd and told him I needed to talk to him.

Todd and I used to butt heads back in the day. We went out side and I told Todd about the civil union and asked if he would let me use the back room for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in the summer. To my delight he said yes.

I thanked him profusely and offered an invitation to join us. He asked that I send him an email today to remind him to keep the date booked for us. Quite nice. I called Bill and told him the good news and also called Annemarie.

After Maxwells I walked home with Chris Repella, walking with Mike C and Sarah. Chris and I sat in front of her building just talking about music. Mainly about the Kinks and how she doesn’t like the Beatles. Chris went off to either the supermarket or to Starbucks to see her daughter and I came home and invited about 120 Facebook friends to the summer Civil Union event.

Then I remembered that not all of my friends are on Facebook or even online so I text messaged about 20 more friends about it. I know that not all of the invitees will be able to make it, so I’m not worried about too many people.

Anyway if it gets too crowded there could be a nice back and forth between the front and back room at Maxwells.

A few trays of pasta and salad, paper plates and plastic utensils on the back bar and if you want a drink, you’ll have to pay for it in the front bar.

Today was a good day for busking. Yesterday while playing I spent too much time in the sun and my nose was bit red. Bill mentioned that this morning while kissing me good bye. So today I applied the sun block and wound up playing in the shade.

Today’s songs were Lola, Sunny Afternoon, I Should Have Known Better and You Can’t Do That, as well as the toddler’s favorite, The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I even sang today. Loudly and to the sky. Tariq joined me. Couldn’t keep up though. Not good with the sevenths still.

I indulged Tariq somewhat and we played Hotel California. Then the guy who sat next to me on Sunday showed up and it turns out Tariq knew him. The guy asked how to pass a screening for alcohol and I said the best way to pass the test is to not drink.

Tariq went off to buy some beer and asked me to watch his guitar again. I did and played my guitar while ignoring the guy to the best of my ability. Tariq came back with some beer and I took that as my opportunity to leave, saying that I had to bounce.

Sorry if this was a little disjointed tonight, but there were a few phone calls going on while I wrote. Perhaps I should shut off the phone while I write.

But still it was Jane who called who was thrilled to hear about the party and she said she will be there this summer, as will be Connie who plans on buying a new dress for the occasion. And Harpy who will probably show up naked.
FLOWERS

Just Like (Starting Over)

Well today has been a busy day. After some weeks in planning Bill and I finally had our civil union officiated by then one and only Jim Mastro. The whole thing was under 2 minutes and that was a factor in not really telling anyone about it.

I’m sure there was bewilderment and perhaps even some hurt feelings but we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and when there is marriage equality in New Jersey, that is when people will be invited. Until then a civil ceremony would have to do.

The whole thing started on March 11 when Bill and I went to the Soviet bloc building to fill out paperwork for a civil union with Stine and Alexander. Stine was our witness while Alexander was fascinated by the Soviet kitsch.

They asked when the ceremony would be done and I said July. They said too late, has to be within 30 days so I quickly rethought and came up with April 1. Seemed like an apt day to get civil unionized in my book.

I asked Jim Mastro if he could say the magic words and he was more than happy to help. As April 1 approached Jim suggested meeting at the Guitar Bar before the store opens at 11:00 in the morning. Fine with me, not so fine for Bill since he’s employed.

We thought after work at around 6:00 but that wasn’t too good for Jim.

So we aimed for today, April 3. It worked out for the best for all concerned. Since I was putting it all together somewhat I thought Bill should see if he could find a witness. He asked his friend Tom from work. I had a feeling that was who he would ask.

Tom’s a really nice guy, former Marine and a guard in Bill’s office tower. Jim asked if we were going to have anything to say vow wise and I figured if we did, I could at least say something off the top of my head.

I asked Bill last night if he had planned on saying anything and he felt the same, off the top of his head. As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep I kept in mind that whatever I would say I would think of right then and there but I tossed and turned trying to thing of what I would say.

Crazy dreams followed. Jake Gyllenhall and I at the Elysian Cafe joined by my friends Connie, her sister Jennifer and Susan Sher. Then a dream about a Caribbean cruise with my sister. Clear blue water. Both dreams had ominous overtones though.

Bill was up first this morning, I followed groggy from not sleeping that well again. A shower, a shave and a nice breakfast fixed all that. We were on our way to the Guitar Bar, Bill trying to keep track of where Tom was.

Tom was bringing his wife Carmen, their son Sebastian and Carmen’s daughter Ashley and her son, all coming in from Harlem. We got to the Guitar Bar where Jim and Ruby Mastro were waiting. Spoke with Meghan Taylor Mastro on the phone, beating herself up for not being there like she said she would. It was OK, it would have been nice though.

Sorry Harpy.

We were thinking about heading over to the Hudson river to do the civil union thing but Tom and company arrived late and we wouldn’t make it there and back in time for Jim to open the store at 11:00.

Jim suggested the back of City Hall so that’s what we did, on the grass, in the sun, next to a big tree. All very nice. Chris Repella witnessed along with Tom and she also took some pictures. Ruby recorded it on a flip cam.

I set up my camera to record it all. You can see it but you can’t really hear it so I’m depending on Ruby’s video.

After all that Jim and Ruby went back to the Guitar Bar and Bill and I went with Tom and company to the Spa restaurant, a true greasy spoon for breakfast. My second, their first.

Then a walk to Pier A where we ran into Tariq. He went off to get some plectrums and I strummed his guitar a bit which had a calming effect on Tom and Carmen’s kid. The sun was certainly beaming.

We were soon joined by Ruby and her sister Lily and a friend. They were all heading into the city to take part in a pillow fight in Union Square.

Tom and family were headed out to New Jersey in their Zip Car and so Bill and I walked them to the car and thanked them once again. Then Bill and I came home, he was off to rehearsal for yet another play, this time playing a child molester. Eww.

I uploaded my video, tagged the pictures Chris took and an hour or so later was headed to Pier A to play the guitar again. No guitar improv this time, no one there to back me up. I did play for about 45 minutes but it had gotten considerably colder and so I came home.

And that’s where I am now.

We hope to have a party in Hoboken on July 11 for all of this to do, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

You, meaning you.


Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned


'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

And of all my entries, this is #1,599.

Come See About Me

It’s Friday and it’s considerably cooler than it’s been the past couple of days. It’s drier than it’s been but about 20 degrees lower. It’s been a busy day though. Laundry, library and some food shopping basically.

I had hoped to go see Pecong tonight. That’s the play that Bill has been stage managing for the past month. I know I told him the 26th when he offered me a ticket for last Friday, the 19th. That was when I went to see the Street Corner Mourners and opted for the following week.

Bill didn’t hear it, or forgot about it and focused on Saturday instead. It’s no big thing, I’m still seeing the show but I was also thinking about seeing Chris Repella and her band Glass Trees in Jersey City tomorrow night.

I’m not sweating it, I’m sure I can catch Chris and her band play another time. Plus Bill’s been a victim of allergies and a bit stressed so he gets a pass. Sunday is the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at McSwells, this month, the Scottish Play aka Macbeth.

I picked up 2 copies from the library, one of them being a Cliff Notes version. Today at the bibliothèque I also picked up Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood which for those playing at home, is his take on Macbeth. I also picked up Ian McKellan and Judi Dench in a BBC production of the Scottish Play.

The librarians were all a bit out of it due to some painting being done in the basement. They were a little loopy. It was cute though.

I told them about my writing a letter to the Hoboken Reporter with regards to Governor Christie’s plan to cut the budget and close the libraries. I wrote a letter a few years ago praising the library and it was my pleasure to write one again after going to the bibliothèque almost every day and seeing how busy it is and how helpful they are to the community.

Christie is also planning cuts in education, so much so that some schools will not have any sports programs after school. Not that I am a sports enthusiast but I do recognize the need for such activities for the young folk these days.

Of course Christie plans on tax cuts for people making over $400,000 a year. Scum bag? Bastard? Fat Fuck? All labels apply here.

I also got from the bibliothèque Tom Waits- Glitter and Doom Live, Van Morrison’s Greatest Hits, A collection of the Supremes and Spoon- Transference. Also on DVD Joni Mitchell- Painting with Words & Music and Auntie Mame.

I requested Auntie Mame after watching on YouTube, Steve Hayes ‘Tired Old Queen at the Movies’. Steve Hayes is a NY resident and old school movie queen. He posts one review a week, usually about 3 minutes long about different movies from the golden age of Hollywood.

Last week was Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell and it was such a fun review I thought I’d watch it again.

I did watch it once before when in 1990 I wound up at Uncle Charlie’s in the Village with my then boyfriend Gus Mackenzie. I think it was the night before Thanksgiving and it was Gus’ idea.

He was just coming out of the closet and wanted to go to all the gay places that he had read about in the closet. I was infatuated with him enough to go along with it. As time went on to show, Gus was a frigging idiot and a liar and we broke up a month or so later.

No regrets and after seeing him once a year or so later, I have no idea where he is now. I do hope he’s alright though.

And here’s Steve Hayes, the Tired Old Queen at the Movies:

Take It In

Another Friday. What else is new? Pretty tired. It’s been a somewhat productive day. Laundry mainly. That’s productive. Laundry isn’t about to clean itself. Last night was low key. Just TV basically, as usual.

It being a Thursday night I did not watch Keith Olbermann and still neglecting Rachel Maddow. By the time Rachel comes on I’ve had just about enough. So I watched Community which was very funny. I think the Indian dude, Abed (whom I thought was called Op-Ed) is the best thing on it.

Parks and Recreation was also funny, John Larroquette playing the old flame of Amy Poehler’s mother, played by Pamela Reed was silly. The Office was the best with Kathy Bates playing the southern owner of Sabre, the printer company that has taken over Dunder Mifflin.

It was a return to form for the Office, with the past couple of weeks being sub par at best. 30 Rock was also very good. Not too much Tracy Morgan which is a very good thing.

Tracy Morgan is probably the luckiest guy in television. His best routine on Saturday Night Live was Brian Fellows I think and that wore thin rather quickly. Elizabeth Banks played Alec Baldwin’s love interest and she was great as usual. And the hallucination after Liz Lemon had dental work done was tops. Jon Bon Jovi was actually good as well.

Bill came home in time to watch the 10:00 broadcast of Keith Olbermann but since he decided to clean up around his computer, I opted to play music instead of listening to Keith Olbermann. Bill had his laptop repaired by TekServe so after finally throwing out a lot of crap that piled up around his Mac, he started working on his laptop which needed to be reloaded with just about everything.

He was up until 1:30 doing that. He’s driving to Atlantic City tonight and tomorrow so I won’t be seeing him until Sunday, and most of Sunday will probably be spent sleeping in bed. The Winter Olympics start tonight. I’m fairly ambivalent about them. I may watch the opening ceremony though.

Nothing else seems to be on. But that won’t probably happen until later so I might as well catch Keith Olbermann. This afternoon while walking around town I ran into Chris Repella and her daughter about to go to lunch at Cafe Karma, or Karma Cafe.

Chris was talking to Eileen Lynch who I hadn’t seen in a few years. I think she might have moved but now she seems to be back. Also ran into Thaler Pekar who is a real sweetheart. She was looking good in her winter wear. Thaler and I talked for a while, she’s taking an improv class and I told her of my improv class story.

It seems to work for her, but I could never get past the most important rule of improv. Don’t say ‘No’. If you say no it ends the sketch you’re working on. If you say yes the sketch can continue in many directions. And my first reaction all those years ago was no.

Not too wordy tonight, so I will just end it right here.

To all the visitors who visit this blog and wonder ‘what the fuck is this?’, sometimes I have things to write about, sometimes I don’t. The thing was back in the day, I established a goal of writing at least 500 words a day. I was thinking of John Hughes, and felt I had to explain, and no, not that John Hughes.

Rand suggested putting it up on a blog so he created johnozed.com for me. Since I really didn’t have anything to write about today, I still felt compelled to write the daily allotment. And here we are with now over 600 words.

I guess I was wordier than I expected. Cheers!

Back Off Boogaloo

It was a humid day today, but maybe that was me. But when walking around Hoboken I saw people that weren’t bundled up, in fact I was relatively overdressed. A bit sweaty when I came home. I didn’t mind, it wasn’t raining and the temperature has been predicted to drop quite a bit.

Last night I went to the McSwells holiday party. I wasn’t invited per se, but I did go as Chris Repella’s chaperone and also as Roda’s guest. I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t been to the McSwells holiday party in a long time, at least when I used to write it as Maxwells.

I don’t recall it starting at 9:00, maybe it started at 8:00. I DJ’d it a few times, Steve Fallon would make a run and brings back dozens of White Castle burgers. An occasional pot luck and an open bar with 2 irregular regulars behind the bar, one a high school teacher and the other part of the scene at the Elysian Cafe down the block.

It was always a good time, drinks flowing, people running upstairs to various apartments to sniff or smoke various things that couldn’t be done in public. Nobody got hurt, no fist fights, just a general good time.

The first time I went I did feel privileged to be there and had Rand as my guest. One time his sister showed up after seeing him and Rand had to tell her she couldn’t stay, she wasn’t invited. That was how exclusive it was, if exclusive was the right word.

Mainly it was all about the love for Steve Fallon and his family, from the workers and regulars. Last night it was a different scene, quite crowded and no open bar. That was a shocker. I had a couple of singles for tips but not enough for an actual drink, thinking that it would be a freebie.

I met up with Chris and we strolled up. Once inside, I saw Rand & Lisa chatting and it was crazy crowded in the front room as a two man band played some funk and soul classics. It was fun for me but for others it’s was the same bloody thing they’ve had the past four years.

I saw Roda and he is much loved there, or at least he was last night with various people among his co-workers saying and slurring how much they loved him. He is a loveable guy. I tried to get a Guinness but couldn’t get served though most everyone else around me at the bar seemed to have no problem.

I decided to leave, perhaps vanish and no one would notice, I hoped. But the coat rack was laden with winter coats and I couldn’t find my navy pea coat on a rack, mixed in with other coats, much the same color.

After about 10 minutes of searching, Lisa and Chris both saw what I was doing and asked where I was going. I said I was going to the ATM to get some cash and they both said forget about it, they’d buy me a beer.

So I stayed and had a beer. I was swept into the backroom where a DJ was playing some old and obscure 45’s of soul and garage songs. Lisa was on the floor dancing and Rand and I were holding up the wall when Chris grabbed me by the arm and soon had me dancing on the floor.

It was fun, Rand & Lisa, me & Chris, Todd Abramson and his wife, Gaylord Fields and his wife, and quite a few others all doing whatever frugs or watusi’s or foot stomping required. I wished it was Madison Time myself.

I was quite sweaty by then. Went out for a smoke with Roda and should have worn my coat, but got over it. More dancing in the front room to the two man band playing Brick House by the Commodores and Give It To Me Baby by Rick James.

It went on like that for a while. Finally Roda got me and asked if I wanted to take a walk so walk we did. A good walk, a bit gossipy and a bit fan boy, talking about the Dark Knight movie and how good it was. Also how McSwells had changed from people that showered daily (when I worked there) to guys that proudly did not.

Heard about one guy who used to be quite friendly, Chris Ward and no longer around in NJ, out west somewhere who treated Roda like crap, enough so that Roda had to threaten to belt him just to get out of his face.

Yep, Maxwells had changed into McSwells and apparently I got out at just the right time. And so did Steve Fallon. Who would want to deal with the ABC, the Health Inspector, taxes, Hoboken politics and various bands? After almost 20 years, that would be enough.

Still times being the way they are lately, if offered a job there I’d probably take it. But that won’t happen since Todd doesn’t like me very much.

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Blockheads

Well last night, or rather prior to last night I was fraught with anxiety which both my sister Annemarie and my brother Frank detected when they called me on the phone. I tried working through it on my own, having a hearty dinner and decided some music might be good to clear the decks.

I picked Sweeney Todd and got through the first 2 songs then I asked myself, ‘Is this supposed to make me feel better?’ It wasn’t working and went to the tried and true record that always gets me out of my blues, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, ‘Do It Yourself’. And it worked.

I got my stuff together, 2 iPods, cables for the iPods as well as AC cables and the new cables to connect to the soundboard. I checked a few times to make sure it wasn’t forgetting anything. It was pouring rain as I walked up to 14th Street and got some cash from the ATM, just in case I wanted a drink.

I initially thought I wasn’t going to have a drop, but then I thought ‘why the hell not?’ Also enjoyed a cigar on the way, walking under my big umbrella and took some pictures of various holidays lights with my cellphone which I sent to Facebook.

Got to McSwells as one of the bands were sound checking their way through Rock & Roll by Led Zeppelin. Carson was the sound man as expected and he was a pleasure to work with. Since they don’t employ DJ’s anymore at McSwells, they usually play CD’s between acts nowadays, there was no mixer so I was going to use 2 channels on the soundboard to switch back and forth from the iPods using volume control.

I went outside for a smoke while the sound checking continued and saw someone who looked familiar. I asked if he was Chris Butler and it was. I introduced myself as Frank’s brother and told him that Frank would not be coming but he told me to say hello.

Chris Butler was quite nice and I mentioned that I would be playing a song that he wrote later in the night, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses. I do love that song and he said thanks and ran off.

I went inside and started playing, figuring that things would be delayed a while, starting off with Wah Wah by George Harrison.

Soon the first band came on, Tammy Faye Starlite featuring Miss Tammy Faye with assorted musicians that would appear later on in the evening. She was good, at least singing wise. Her between song patter was best described as crude. I suppose it was funny but lacked in sophistication and wit.

Ran into Rand who was by the bar and wound up hanging out with him through the night. Also saw Roger Johansen and it’s always good to see him. George Usher was next, he played an earnest set. I mainly know him as having lived in the same building as Jim and Meghan when they lived in Hoboken last.

The Individuals were next, Jim Mastro filling in on guitar playing with Glenn Morrow, Janet Wygal and Doug Wygal. I love watching Jim play, he certainly brings a spark to the proceedings. Then up came the Guitar Bar All Stars, various employees of my favorite shop.

They opened with Heroes by David Bowie which I had to then scratch off my playlist, then they played Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat and that made another song I had to cross off. But it was all in fun. In between acts I only had one or two songs to play, the changeover from band to band was that smooth and swift.

I did play Christmas Wrapping and a couple of guys came up to me saying that Chris Butler was right there as I was playing it. Yes, it was a thrilling moment. A few other guys came up to me throughout the night, telling me how much they liked the tunes I was playing, how it brought them back to the 1980’s-90’s when I last DJ’d at McSwells.

Sweet.

Up next was Elena & Boo, doing a nice country & western set of duets, guitar and banjo. While the bands were on I usually took a picture of who was playing, then ran out front and had a pint with Rand, timing it to be back in time, but just in case, I told Carson the sound guy which iPod was cued up.

The big surprise was Antietam. They were old friends from the Louisville contingent that Rand and I et al used to occasionally hang out with. It was great to see them again and they looked great and they sounded better than they ever did before, even covering a song written by Terry Karydes who the benefit was for. Melodies mean a lot!

Everyone’s favorite nice guy drummer Dennis Diken was up next with the Bell Sound and they were fun. Chris Butler was playing with them and much to my surprise, they covered Christmas Wrapping! It was a lovely surprise and I found myself singing along, spurred on by what was now a few pints of Guinness.

Next up were the Schramms which was the band that Terry Karydes played with back in the day. They rocked of course,, and of course I was getting rocked myself.

The wonderful Chris Repella made an appearance, just hanging out. She lives around the block from me. She’s another sweetheart. Then Kate Jacobs followed with her band and played a sweet set. Then closing the show was Freedy Johnston who opened with Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes.

All in all a very lovely evening. Guy Ewald was there, he was the guy I replaced when he gave up DJing, John, Toni and Mark from Speed the Plough were also there, asking about Frank and once again I gave the spiel.

Also spotted was the legendary and beloved Bill Ryan who hardly anyone sees these days and he was with Suzanne who used to be around a lot. She looked as great as ever and still one of the prettiest and sweetest people.

I actually saw her at the Library the other day, I was heading out and held the door for her as she was heading in. I descended the steps and thought, ‘Was that Suzanne?’ and lingered outside thinking she’d be back out. I asked if she was at the library and she said she was and thought basically the same thing about me.

I spoke with Dennis Diken who’s a really nice guy, and he remembered Frank of course, and also my brother Brian. He asked if there were any more of us, and I mentioned Annemarie but she’s in Northern California. Rand, Chris Repella and I just hung out by the front bar drinking more and more Guinness and having many laughs.

We almost closed the bar but there was a table of 6 people who came in late for some cocktails, so technically we weren’t the dirty stay outs. Once again, I had a much better time than I expected to have.

It’s nice when that happens.

Here’s the playlist from last night and pictures of all the bands….
Wah Wah- George Harrison
Cut it Out- The Go Betweens
Time to Pretend- MGMT
Joy to the World- The Fab Four
Winter of Love- Chris Stamey
The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot- A Girl Called Eddy
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Husky Team
I’d Like You for Christmas (Ursula 1000 Remix)- Julie London
Love in the Year 3000- The B-52’s
Christmas Time is Here Again- The Beatles
Inspiration Information- Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas- The Staple Singers
2000 Miles- Pretenders
Purple Snowflakes- Marvin Gaye
Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Backing Track with Vocals) The Beach Boys
Two Weeks- Grizzly Bear
Jack the Ripper- Raybeats
Shakin’ All Over- The Yardbirds
Christmas Wrapping- Waitresses
A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)- The Flaming Lips
Marshmallow World- Darlene Love
Jump in the Fire- Harry Nilsson
Well Alright- Spoon
Lenin- Arcade Fire
Buzz- Pylon
Fairytale of New York- The Pogues
My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)- Regina Spektor

Tammy Faye Starlite

Tammy Faye Starlite

George Usher

George Usher

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Guitar Bar All Stars

The Guitar Bar All Stars

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Antietam!

Antietam!

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

The Schramms

The Schramms

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston

That’ll Be The Day

Well it rained quite a bit overnight. So much rain it woke me up. Why, I was awake before 9:00 it was so loud. Bill was off to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles in Bayonne so he could have a legitimate New Jersey address.

It could come in handy should we decide to tie the knot. The other night I showed him how to make a square knot, which is something my brother Frank taught me way back when.

Right over left, left over right. Ta da!

Have some good news possibly. Juan might have been misdiagnosed. What they thought was kidney cancer might actually be a tumor. A type of tumor which is sometimes mistaken for cancer. More info next week on that.

You’d think he’d be over the moon but he had just made arrangements with school to suspend his studies, spoke with his landlord who canceled his lease.

It turns out he didn’t have to do all that. I told him he now has an opportunity to restart his life, but oddly enough he’s worried that his friends and school will think he was trying to get over. I wrote oddly since he never cares what other people think.

And in any event, if he has this tumor, an operation will more than likely need to be performed so he will have the scar to show that it wasn’t cosmetic surgery. He’s on his way over right now and I guess things are back to normal since he’s basically furious with certain members of his family.

I expect him to initially be as charming in person as he was on the phone. I’m so HVAC sometimes.

Made fast friends with Kurt who runs The Hoboken Journal blog. He’s anti-Hoboken411 too so it’s good to have an ally in the blogosphere. I did visit that other accursed site, Hoboken411 and saw how good ol’ ‘Libertarian’ Perry so damn excited that a 7/11 is coming to town.

He’s more than likely angling for free Slurpees and burritos. Across the street is Hoboken Daily News which is a nice little store currently run by Andy and his brother, both upstanding gents. I’ve been going there since I moved to Hoboken in 1984.

Andy and his brother are worried since 7/11 is a big impersonal powerhouse and these newcomers to Hoboken probably have no loyalty and will cling to the comforts of the suburbs that apparently have followed them to Hoboken.

Andy is a great guy and will let you slide if you don’t have enough cash, just pay the next day. In this day and age that is a rare thing.

Last week while I was in there getting my smokes, a thug wannabe was hanging out reading the magazines. Apparently he’d been there long enough so Andy told him he couldn’t read the magazines anymore.

The wannabe was indignant despite standing directly in front of a sign that said ‘Please Don’t Read the Magazines’. It’s OK to thumb through but to stand there and read an article is fairly enough, not allowed.

So the wannabe throws the magazine to the floor gets behind me muttering to himself that he’s going to ‘duff’ this guy. For those playing at home, ‘duff’ means to deliver a severe beating. I heard this and said ‘Whoa. Easy with that duff talk’.

The thug wannabe was obviously surprised that a white dude like myself would know what it means and challenged me on what it meant. I told him using the Queen’s English and he asked how I knew. I told him I knew because I knew.

I didn’t say my good buddy, Pedro the corrections officer told me. Anyway the thug wannabe buys himself a cheap ass plastic tipped cigar like the kind Snoop Dogg smokes and tries to walk all hard out of the store. Andy was most appreciative. I kept it gully. It was all on tape.

I picked up the magazine the thug threw down after saying that Andy wasn’t respecting him, and ironically enough, the magazine’s title was Respect.

I know, I thought it would be Cat Fancy or Modern Bride too.

I don’t usually involve myself in situations but I do consider Andy to be a friend.

This afternoon I had a nice little chat with Andy and his wife about blogs, told him about mine and Kurt’s Hoboken Journal. Kurt had posted about Hoboken Daily News and a few people commented how much they liked the store and Andy was very much interested so I gave him both blog addresses, telling him that Kurt’s was more political and social whereas mine was ‘all up here’ and pointed at my head.

I heard crickets in a hollow hall.

Walked around after taking pics of Andy and his wife as well as the exterior of Hoboken Daily News. Ran into Chris Repella on the street. Ran into her yesterday too. She was with her charge, a young autistic boy. She was a bit blue, broke up with her boyfriend and her cat died this week.

I did my best to bolster her spirits and told her that she’ll be OK. I love her and told her so. She’s a sweetie from the McSwells days 20 years ago. She appreciated it and I was glad to say it.

Now Juan is here reading and cutting up magazines and slowly coming in off the ledge. He wasn’t going to jump, just scream at the world about his frustration.

Also spoke this afternoon with that Chasm fella in Vermont. Mr. & Mrs Chasm and the baby are doing OK, Casey is trying to figure out some major life choices. He was surprised with the fact that I’ve been cannabis free for about 3 weeks now. He asked why and I told him financial. He asked if I had a job would I go back to it and I said probably not. I really don’t miss it.

OK that’s a bit of a lie. I miss it when trying to go to sleep at night.

Oh, last night Bill and I watched the Dark Knight on DVD. Bill had never seen it before and it was than Lawn Hors d’œuvre repeats. He loved it, sitting at the edge of the couch throughout the movie. We will probably watch it again before I return it to the Library. That’s where I get my DVD’s now since I suspended my Netflix account.

Flowers while on the phone with Casey Chasm

Flowers while on the phone with Casey Chasm

Hoboken City Hall

Hoboken City Hall

12.9.09 Hoboken Daily News 007

12.9.09 Hoboken Daily News 006

Not the job for me...

Not the job for me...

Andy and the Missus

Andy and the Missus

Hoboken Daily News @ 500 Washington Street

Hoboken Daily News @ 500 Washington Street

If Wishes Were Horses

Today has been a more productive day than yesterday. I did the laundry, trying to do the wash while Bill got ready for his bus ride. Timing was a bit off, he needed to shower in between my white and color clothes cycles.

Soon he was off to hit the road, leaving me with the laundry hanging in the bathroom. Last night was a quiet night. Bill and I watched Let the Right One In, a Swedish vampire movie.

I would have preferred subtitles to the terrible dubbing. Casey Chasm said it was really good, but it was OK. Chris Repella, formerly of McSwells recommended it as well. Perhaps it was too much hype, leaving me somewhat whelmed.

Bill thought it would have been gruesome but it wasn’t really. I’d watch it again if it wasn’t dubbed. Casey Chasm was right last week about the ‘fuckitall’ though. Made a difference today.

Last night I did go out for a short walk and ran into another former McSwells employee, Larry Heineman. Larry has been the musical director of the Blue Men Group since the beginning.

It was a good talk, Larry telling me about his world travels and asking about various people from our mutual past. It was just a quick chat on the sidewalk, but I left feeling that Larry recognized me and seemed happy to see me, but didn’t know my name.

The reason I had gone out was that there was nothing in the apartment for Bill to eat so I offered to pick up his usual Subway sandwich. I called him from the store and he proceeded to tell me what he wanted on his sandwich.

Within a few seconds the guys behind the counter knew who I was talking to on the phone since Bill always gets the same thing several days a week. He greets them with a ‘Namaste’ and that’s how they refer to him. ‘Namaste’ means ‘Blessing’ in Hindi.

And with a Namaste from myself I was out the door, which is when I ran into Larry, who’s wife is named Nancy but I always think it’s Marianne.

Stayed up and watched TV with Bill. Billy Crystal and John Fogerty were the guests. After that I went to bed, leaving Bill to prepare for his bus drive today.

This morning I was up and out early enough to run some errands. It was weird though. It seemed most everywhere I went there was someone sneezing without covering their mouths. It was disgusting.

All within about 20 minutes. And with all the news about N1H1 Swine Flu it was alarming. At the supermarket, the cashier kept cleaning her hands with Purell. I told her to go easy on the Purell since it can reduce the body’s natural immune system.

She asked me how I knew that and I simply told her science.

Speaking of science, I read a terribly sad and infuriating article in the New Yorker about how the state of Texas executed an innocent man. The state said he committed arson, ultimately killing his 3 children.

He swore he was innocent and after years of appeals and pleas for clemency he was put to death by lethal injection.

The state of Texas rejected the scientific process that deduced how the fire started and spread in favor of folklore and 19th century thinking. So terribly sad.

What good is a death penalty when the risk of killing an innocent man can occur?