Tag Archives: Cigar

I Stole Your Love

It’s been a rainy and cold Saturday in Hoboken. It’s not so bad, I have been enjoying myself. I just watched Argo. Bill received a screener last month and he watched it and liked it. I finally got around to watching it and it is really a very good movie. Yes, Ben Affleck was robbed of a best director nod. That will probably go to Steven Spielberg for Lincoln. I have to say from the beginning of Argo I was engrossed. It’s funny that it wasn’t that long ago that the events happened and scary that I forgot so much since then.

I knew the ending of course, anyone who knows late 20th century history knows the ending but still I was yelling at the TV, ‘Run run run. Fly fly fly’. Ben Affleck certainly did good with the suspense. And of course being the 1970’s everyone smokes. I highly recommend it, the movie, not the smoking. Of course Bill and I will be watching the Academy Awards tomorrow. I’ve seen both Lincoln and Argo, and I think Bill has seen Les Misérables. I’m in no rush to see that, having passed a few chances to see it on Broadway I’m not running to the movie theater nor am I taking the DVD out of the slip case.

Tonight Bill is driving to Atlantic City. Last night it was Foxwoods. Last night I went out to the Mercury Lounge. I saw Port St. Willow which was a very good show. It was an early show, doors at 7:30 for an 8:30 show on the ticket. And for some reason I always believe those things, though having worked at Maxwell’s for so many years you’d think I’d remember that if a show it scheduled for a certain time, it’s not going to happen at said time.

The bar and the club have to make some money so hang out and drink while you wait. I didn’t expect an opening act but once again I was fooling myself. I got to the Path train and found a train waiting for me. An early Friday night crowd headed into the city and I found myself sitting opposite a guy who looked like Roland Gift. It wasn’t but he did remind me of the Fine Young Cannibals singer. I got off at Ninth Street and walked across town once again, basically retracing steps I last took in October when I went to see Jane Scarpantoni play with Chris Stamey.

I got to the Mercury Lounge around 8:15 and headed in. I picked up a Guinness and headed to the back where Salt Cathedral was doing a good job opening up, a five piece band, the singer sounding a bit like Bjork, a bit like 4AD stuff. She was also treating her vocals as she sang and the band were really into it. I thought they were good, running through management ideas in my head. The guys should wear suits and ties, the singer- maybe a dress.

After they left the stage the room thinned out a bit, and I got another Guinness and found a spot on a bench very close to the stage. I found my spot for the night. A few minutes later Port St. Willow came on, led by Nick Principe. As good as they are on record. And they’ve added a keyboardist which helped with the filling out of the sound, and she helped with vocals too. The drummer is so very good as well. It seemed to go by so fast but since Port St. Willow was playing the early show, it was all over by 10:00. No encore. I told the keyboardist that I liked them and hoped they play Maxwell’s soon. She remarked that they hope so too.

I also met Nick Principe and found him to be a nice guy, as well as great on guitar and such sweet vocals. He was busy getting his gear off the stage so I didn’t linger but I told him I hoped to see them playing again soon.

Then a walk back to the Path train, enjoying a cigar. Once again, a train pulled up once I got to the platform and I was home by 11:00. Bill phoned thinking I was going out at 11:00, not realizing it was an early show. Of course I listened to Port St. Willow on the way home.

I’ve posted this before and I am posting it again.

Port St. Willow

Port St. Willow


Nick Principe of Port St. Willow

Nick Principe of Port St. Willow


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I See Houses

There’s a reason I take notes, hell there’s a reason anyone takes notes- to remember things. And so yesterday I took notes on what happened between the last posting and today. Since I wasn’t writing yesterday the notes served as a jumping off point instead of just staring at a blank screen on Microsoft Word. And now I have the notes to the right of a blank Microsoft Word screen. I have a poetic license to kill and will use it anytime that I see fit. And that time should be now but then again it is and it isn’t.

Back to the notes, I left the apartment on Saturday night, meeting Rand & Lisa at 7:00 PM at 8th and Park, just a block away from my humble hovel. The plan was to walk up to Chez Chaz since there was no Path train for Hoboken this weekend. I’m one of those guys that like to have a cigar when I walk sometimes and knew that Shlomo was working and he owed me a cigar. So I left the 8 pack of Guinness on a bag on the first floor landing and headed over to the cigar shop.

Of course it’s a little busy when I get there and of course I help out, steering guys to the cigars they might want. Shlomo was busy with other customers and since I had a few minutes I didn’t mind helping. And I got a free cigar for that so I walked out with two cigars, one lit and the other stashed safely away. I walked back home, ran in and got the Guinness from the landing and headed out mere seconds later. I waited for a few minutes, puffing on a stogie when Rand and Lisa came forward.

We headed west, to the elevator up the Palisades. I discreetly kept my cigar out of view on the elevator. It goes up to one level and the disheveled man who ride the elevator didn’t seem to notice. From the elevator, a walk up Congress Street to Central Avenue. And then it was a bit of a hike to the park where we made a right and walked past the park into the neighborhood of Chez Chaz. We were a block away on Beach Street which did not seem beach like at all.

Chaz let us in and we climbed the stairs to his abode. Chaz brother and my former roommate William was there as was Chaz and William’s old friend Andy & their schoolmate Annemarie. I’ve known Andy for about 25 years so I guess he’s my old friend too. We all settled in, eating bowls of vegetarian chili as well as other foodstuffs covering Chaz kitchen table. It was all very adult as other guests arrived, faces seen maybe once a year at Chaz’ parties. We sit, we talk, and we drink. It’s all quite civilized. No standing out on the patio for ciggies this time around, I would have been the only smoker anyhow.

I reconnected with some people I see once a year at Chaz’ soiree. One of them Mary Anne Mistretta has a blog and we had a fun talk. I added her to the blogroll. The talk was about how the last year was and it was pretty bleak for most everyone, though the Hoboken stories were the wettest and most harrowing.

After a few hours of having a good time, it was time to head home. We thought about walking back but we were all pretty much tuckered out so it was all about cabbage back to Hoboken. And it came soon enough, Rand and Lisa in the back, me riding in the front with the driver from Eastern Europe who didn’t seem to like anyone. Still he got us back to Hoboken safe and sound and without seat belts. Rand & Lisa and I got out near my house, which is also near their house. Hugs and kisses and they were on their way and I was on mine.

Saturday Night Live was a repeat and a good one at that, Louis CK was the host and it was pretty funny again. After that I went to bed, Bill was asleep in Atlantic City once again. Surprisingly I slept OK, waking up with Bill getting into bed when he returned. I farted around, not doing much of anything. My friend Lois asked me if I wanted to go to Guitar Bar with her and so I did. It was good to get out and interact with Lois and the day was nice enough to go out and enjoy it.

Lois dropped off her ukulele to have a pick up installed on it and then she tried some other acoustic guitars while I took some pictures. Then it was hopping into various shops so Lois could get whatever it was she needed to get. Finally it was my turn and we walked to the supermarket which was crazy crowded and caused us to turn right around and head out empty handed. We went to another store nearby which wasn’t as cheap but affordable in terms of time and lacking in frustration.

That was it. Lois went home and I went home where I found Bill getting ready to go out. I just situated myself and helped Bill get himself together. Then I just watched TV and surfed the net for the rest of the day. Ho hum indeed but it was worth it.
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Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.

Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.


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Cracked Actor

I Run to You

Another day spent helping out Shlomo at the cigar shop. I thought Hanukkah was over but for Shlomo it’s all holidays, not just Chanukah. I don’t mind, a free cigar and someplace warm with a view of the street is all I need right now. I am happy,they are happy so everyone is happy, at least in the square footage in which I sit. And isn’t that what is most important at the end of a fiscal quarter when working retail? Israel just popped in looking for Shlomo who seems to have escaped from his electronic ankle bracelet.

A friend asked me the other day if I was going to the Maxwell’s Christmas party which was last night. I wasn’t invited and I was fine with that. I have a history there but it’s really not my scene anymore. I don’t know anyone that works there except for RoDa and Todd and neither of them invited me. It’s not like the Steve Fallon days where it was an open bar and filled with White Castle burgers. I did go a few years ago and tried several times to leave early but was stopped by various friends and acquaintances. I eventually did leave and wandered the streets of Hoboken for a few hours with RoDa.

Last night I was glad to be home. Bill had a lot on his chest that he needed to unload and it was my turn to listen. In fact I had to remind myself to just listen, not suggest anything, let him vent. I was happy to be there and gave a hearty ‘pshaw’ when Bill apologized for venting, I had to remind Bill that he listens to me vent often enough he should be certified for HVAC work or at least a listing as a casual therapist.

I do have a modest complaint. Some friends have taken to complaining about their bonuses this year. I am usually silent as they complain, waiting for my moment when I can remind them that they are complaining about their bonuses to someone who is currently out of work. Sometimes they understand, sometimes I get ‘Yeah I know but…’ In my years of working I have gone without bonuses more often than I had actually received them. There was that last Christmas at Wanker Banker where they were so desperate to get rid of me, they surprisingly screwed me over.

My assistant Ms. Miro and I discussed what we had gotten and she had gotten double what I had received. Then came the memo from good ol’ John Griff who said we weren’t allowed to discuss our bonuses with our co-workers. Once again a day late and a dollar short for that pretty polly John Griff. My co-workers and most of the people I supported heard about my being screwed and rallied enough to pass the hat making for a nice Christmas bonus despite what the useless and spineless Maggie Alexandre and her human be-in cabal had to say on the matter.

Today has been an interesting day otherwise. Leaving the building this morning on one cup of coffee I waved to people I did not immediately recognize, Julio & his father in law. Julio could tell I didn’t know it was him at first and of course mocked me for it. Later I ran into Tom, Mike and Juan at separate intervals. Good to see everyone, and everyone seemed to be in the holiday spirit. Now I am home, just had some dinner and not planning on doing much of anything tonight. That could all change once Bill eventually gets home.
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Make The World Go Away

I Must Be High

It’s a Monday and it’s been a weird weekend. There was the play Bill was stage managing on Saturday evening during which I nodded off about a half dozen times. Then there was an associate of Bill’s that wanted me to write a review which I did and it turned out to be quite nasty, so nasty that I assigned yet another pen name to it. I wasn’t even done with the review when Bill read it and loved it and sent it off to his friend. The next day was even weirder than anyone had anticipated and it was bad.

It turned out one of Bill’s cousins in Puerto Rico was murdered. No information besides that bad news. Bill was planning on going to the funeral which meant flying down to Puerto Rico for the day, but with the timing and the hurricane weather he couldn’t do it. Plus, he is singing the national anthem and Zeus Bless America on Saturday before the Staten Island Yankees game on Saturday night. I reassured Bill that his family in Puerto Rico are sure to understand, but Bill is understandably upset with what happened. And for Bill that is simply not enough.

He came home after an audition yesterday afternoon followed by some wandering around Central Park. I sat by the river and smoked a cigar and read the Carole King memoir. Bill came home midway through the True Blood season finale and I paused it, eventually stopping it all together so Bill can get things off his chest and perhaps cry on my shoulder. I was glad I could be there for him. He came down to earth just in time to watch the season finale of the newsroom which we both enjoyed very much. After the news Bill went to bed and I of course stayed up.

Bill took off from work today to visit his family in Manhattan and I did some grocery shopping before a major rain storm. Thanks to some rare good thinking on my part, I brought an umbrella and was home just a few minutes before the skies opened up and it started coming down in sheets. No busking for me today but I wasn’t too keen on staying inside, so once it stopped and the sky was blue again, I headed out to read some more Carole King by the river, on the way running into a lovely couple, Karyn and Christine.

I sat and read and enjoyed a cigar. I got to the part where Carole King was an abused wife. Really bad, punched in the face by her boyfriend (not Gerry Goffin). It was a bit harrowing told in Carole’s voice, how she never could understand why women stay in abusive relationships and then all of a sudden she was an abused wife. The guy eventually died of a cocaine overdose, found in a shooting gallery in Los Angeles. I met Carole King once and thought she was very nice and humble and proud of her daughter Louise who I had seen perform a few nights earlier.

Now it’s later, the sun is going down in a grey sky. Learning some new songs on the guitar, this time I am trying to figure out Jeepster by T. Rex. Easy enough but the chord changes are tricky.

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?














I Have The Touch

Finally back at home after a long day. I suppose the long day started last night when I was going to bed. As I was getting into the bed, a small voice in the back of my head said ‘you should check to see if you are opening the cigar shack tomorrow’. I didn’t pay any attention to it and soon was fast asleep.

Bill was above me a few hours later giving me a kiss goodbye and I went back to sleep. The alarm was set for 8:00 and I figured that it was a normal day with me headed in to the cigar shack at the usual time of 11:30. But the small voice was a bit larger this morning and I was compelled to listen to it, so I got out of bed, walked over to computer and pulled up the schedule.

It turned out that I was opening the cigar shack this morning after all, meaning I had to be there by 9:30 to open at 10:00. I got myself together, quick shower and shave, fast bowl of cereal, one cup of really good coffee that Bill made and after putting on a suit & tie with shoes & socks I was out the door, headed down the stairs.

Much to my surprise there was a line of people waiting for the bus. The 9:15 bus. I knew I wasn’t going to make it at 9:30 and hoped I would be there by 10:00. The bus filled up and we flew through the tunnel, a slight delay underground, someone tapped someone else’s bumper. Nothing major but slowed things down enough for me to send a text to Zack that I was stuck in the tunnel.

The schedule said he was going to be in as well so I wasn’t worried as I hustled through the bus terminal and out on the street. I wisely decided to hoof it up to the cigar shack since the subway is so undependable and I did not need that stress. I made it to the cigar shack at 9:55 which wasn’t that bad. A regular customer was waiting outside and I let him in, glad to have some company.

Zack phoned a bit frantic. Apparently he was not coming in at his usual time, he was at the doctor’s office and worried that I was going to be very late. I reassured him that it was all good, no worries and set about starting and opening the cigar shack and counting the registers.

Bradley soon made it in about an hour later and like I’d written before, he’s been alright now that he is the assistant manager and he was pretty funny once again. Thomas came in a little while after that and he wasn’t too happy. He had gone out the night before with a customer, had a few drinks and was feeling angry since his commission check wasn’t all that he had hoped it would be.

I was satisfied with mine but then again I did have top sales in February. He didn’t do so bad either and I did remind him that the numbers he adds up in his head aren’t necessarily the numbers they crunch at the headquarters. The day was busy enough, Zack eventually made it in and was hidden away in his office.

The man cave was bustling as usual. It was a nice day, warm enough to sit on a bench near the park and enjoy life going by as I enjoyed a small cigar. I was back at the shack and made it through the day unscathed. Glad to be home and happy to know that my hours will be back to normal tomorrow.





bus queue


02 Wax And Wane

I May Hate You Sometimes

Last night was a good night on TV. Weeds had it’s season finale and it was the best episode of the season. It was followed by the season finale of The Big C and that was very very good. Perhaps The Big C is the most moving show on TV.

Laura Linney can do no wrong in my book and her oncologist is mad cute. A scene involving Laura Linney’s character Cathy’s son was just perfect. Got me all misty. He was such a douche bag throughout the season, perhaps playing your typical teenager, but last night he was on point.

As good as Weeds was, The Big C gets the top honor. It should win some awards down the line. I highly recommend viewing it when it comes out on DVD.

And Gregg Gillis broke the Internets with his Girl Talk release. I was able to download the entire mp3, mixed as one track, but I cannot get the breakdown of individual tracks. I have to say that I am not digging All Day as much as I dug Feed the Animals.

That might be because I don’t know the samples as I did the samples on previous Girl Talk releases, and maybe it is because there’s a lot more metal and gangster rap on it. I’m not writing it off totally. There’s still a chance it could grow on me. It’s just not as clever as Feed the Animals.

I went to bed while Bill was on his way home from the awards ceremony in Harlem. He was part of a group award for his stage managing for Pekong, a play I saw up in Harlem earlier this year. I didn’t get a chance to see Bill in his tuxedo much to his dismay.

I woke up the morning around 6:00 to relieve myself and saw Bill getting dressed. I wasn’t sure if he just got home, but he told me he was home and slept for a few hours and now it was time for him to go to work.

Today was a rainy Tuesday. But not steady enough to warrant an umbrella. I had one just in case. I headed into the city and saw Bill again. I stopped by his office to pick up some fresh copies of the resume, tailor made for this evening receptionist position.

I am so fortunate to have a good man like Bill at my side. He’s so supportive in so many ways and I am so grateful. I made it to the interview early once again and filled out whatever forms they asked me to fill out.

I had to take a typing and grammar test again and today I typed about 30 words per minute, 15 words less that the last time and I was in bad shape last time. No shower in the morning left me quite groggy. Today with a hot shower and some coffee I did less than I expected. Grammar was OK though, I scored 95%.

After the testing, I met with Amy who was very nice and answered all of her questions. It went well and I left there after about an hour. I decided to drop in on Greg Stevens unannounced. I made my way up his floor and ran into Deborah who works with Greg’s wife.

She told me that Mr. & Mrs. Stevens were in Arizona where they maintain a second house. And have their photograph taken with John McCain. I chatted with Deborah and Jennifer for a few minutes before I headed back to the Path train.

I got a message that the people I interviewed with want to see me again tomorrow so that’s been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:30. Then it’s back to the cigar shop.

When I got back home I got a phone call from a recruiter that I used to email every Monday morning. I didn’t this week and here he was calling me up for another position.

When it rains it pours.

♫ Meet Cathy who's lived most everywhere...♪

I’ll Cry Alone

It’s now Monday. It’s been a good 24 hours mostly. There was some difficulty getting back to Hoboken last night. One bus is late and that creates a backlog. I hustled to get from the cigar shop to the bus terminal and made it in good time, but I was surprised to find a line snaking around the corner on the second floor.

It wasn’t that bad, actually. The line moved rather fast and when I got onto the bus, I was annoyed by the fact that some choice seating was taken up by a young woman with one of those suitcases that you drag around.

The suitcase was a little bit larger than the young woman. And across from the young woman with the suitcase was a larger woman, larger than the suitcase. It made for an interesting scene, with the Inmates cover of Dirty Water playing in my head.

Came home where Bill greeted me at the door like he has for the past few days. We watched Boardwalk Empire and Bored to Death. Boardwalk Empire was good as usual, gets better with each episode and Bored to Death was charmingly funny as it usually is.

Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up not watching anything in particular. I went to bed a little after midnight. Slept alright and woke up a little later than usual. Went to the cleaners, the supermarket and the bagel shop all before noon.

Spoke with Bill who was working today. I sent Connie a birthday card and walked around Hoboken this afternoon, stopping by the Guitar Bar and chatting with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. He just played a few dates with Ian Hunter.

He asked if I saw Richard Barone at Maxwells this weekend and I told him I hadn’t. I’m simply not interested in seeing Richard Barone anymore. I would have rather seen Ian Hunter in any event, but I had to work.

I walked around the waterfront, nobody I knew there except for the usual panhandlers who don’t get anything from me these days. They seem resentful. I walked onto the latest pier in Hoboken, one that was supposed to be open during the summer. Better late than never I guess.

I enjoyed a cigar as I walked around. Bill mentioned that he had some shirts that needed to go to the cleaners so it was a return trip back there. He’s off to an awards show in the New York State Office Building on 125th Street tonight.

While I was on the pier, I received the number 212-123-4567. I recognized the number as the number that comes up when the last staffing agency that I signed up with calls. I decided not to take the call and a few minutes later I was notified on a voice mail.

Apparently the last position I interviewed for was back in play and the company wanted to meet with me. I called back the agency and now I have an interview tomorrow at 10:00. I was told by the recruiter that the interview might last 2 hours, and I might meet more than one person.

I got off the phone with the recruiter and called Bill and told him. I had forgotten the fact that the position was for the 5:30PM until 1:00AM shift. That’s doable, it will take an adjustment, but it can be done. More importantly it’s for a little more money and it is a Monday through Friday job.

I told Bill that it was funny, I become settled in the job that I have at the cigar shop and decide to stop looking for a new position until next year and I get a call with regards to a new job. I also told Bill that I was feeling a bit guilty, thinking of leaving the cigar shop right before the holidays, and also thinking of Don who is leaving this weekend.

Once again I am getting ahead of myself, not knowing what tomorrow will hold, as usual.

There is a new Girl Talk release, available for free at http://illegal-art.net/allday/ . It might take a while since it’s quite popular.

Tonight I am going to put a cover on Hyman Gross’ air conditioner. He’s been after me for a while. I told him that 8:30 would be the cut off for me to come over. Quite an arbitrary time, but I do have to do some research for the interview tomorrow morning.


Girl Talk


I’m All Over It

What a beautiful day it has been. Simply splendid. Nice weather, not humid, an occasional breeze.

I slept soundly last night. Bill didn’t. When we left East LA last night it was cool and breezy and the comment was made about having the windows open while we slept. I was hesitant, figuring it that it still might be too hot.

But when I finally went to bed, Bill had the air conditioner on. I decided to turn it off and open the window. I don’t know if the open window prevented Bill from a good night’s sleep, but I think it helped me. I suppose we’ll continue the experiment tonight and see how that goes.

I was up hours after Bill left, and after breakfast and showering I dropped off a suit at the Cary’s Dry Cleaners and went to the bibliothèque. On the way I spoke to Pedro who got back from South Beach the other day.

He had a blast and recommended that I visit there some day. Unlikely, but I did not say no.

In the bibliothèque, Diane the librarian, remembered a DVD she recommended the other day, Role Models starring Paul Rudd. So I picked that up.

But my main thing was the fact that a book about the Beatles, You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett finally came in. It was released earlier this month and for once BCCLS did not say it was too new, like the message I got when I requested Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power remaster. And I requested it from the Hoboken bibliothèque.

So far so good with regards to the Beatle book. The prologue was all about 8 December 1980, how Paul was shocked, George wouldn’t answer the phone and Ringo was drunk. Cynthia Lennon was staying with Maureen Cox, Ringo’s ex when she got the call.

John’s Aunt Mimi was in bed drifting in and out of sleep, listening to the BBC World Service and not know if she was dreaming or not when she heard about John’s brutal murder. That was the prologue, not I’m in chapter one, where Brian Epstein has died and the Fabs are starting up Apple Corps. The book promises to be full of Apple juice and so far I’ve been entertained.

I sat by the river and read, smoking a cigar. The sweet Karen Kuhl stopped by for a minute. She’s playing the Pier 13 show tomorrow night, but I won’t be able to make it since it ends at 10:00 and I won’t be getting to Hoboken after work until 10:00.

She’s also unsure if she could make the party in 12 days (!), and that’s too bad since I had hoped she’d sing a song or two from the Gutbank days. She’s unsure like I said so who knows? She just might. Then Karen split and Rand pulled up on his bike, and we had a nice chat as well.

It was almost like a talk show, I’m on a bench and a few friends stop by for a chat. Simple premise. It could be done I suppose. I’d be willing to do it on Public Access, even in the winter and in the rain.

It would be a surreal affair and with me being me, I don’t see how it could be any other way.

I always wanted to have a talk show. I remember way back, growing up and sitting in mounds of snow with Donna Foglio and playing talk show. I wanted to be Mike Douglas and she was a reluctant Totie Fields.

A Beautiful Day in Hoboken

This Wheel’s on Fire

Today is all about the damp and the rain. I knew it was going to be this way and was prepared. Ah foresight! Why hadn’t I used that before? I went out a few times before it started to rain so human contact was completed early on.

Bill’s been home all day as well, so while he’s watching the TV and shredding documents and papers, I’ve been on his Mac. Hopefully not too much longer since my computer is now at Rand’s apartment.

Brought it over on Thursday night before heading to McSwells in an Ikea bag they were handing out at the Art & Music Festival last month.

So while keeping out of Bill’s way I watched a movie that Roda recommended a while back. It’s called The Fall and it has nothing to do with Mark E. Smith. It was directed by Tarsem who is most known for directing the R.E.M. video, Losing My Religion.

It’s definitely a beautiful film with lush locations and fantastic images. The story doesn’t hold up to the images. It’s not bad though and worth seeing. I also watched the ‘making of ‘ documentary, which showed the difficulty in directing child actors.

You can see Tarsem climbing the walls trying to get the 6 year old girl to cry or say her lines just the way the director wants them to be said.

Tonight Bill and I are going to watch ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’ adapted from James Baldwin’s classic novel and starring Paul Winfield and Olivia Cole. I’d only seen a short clip of it on a James Baldwin documentary and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of it.

It all depends on whether the Yankees game will go on. It’s raining out right now with flashes of lightning. I personally don’t care either way.

I can easily watch the DVD on Bill’s Mac like I had done earlier today. I’ve been in front of the computer screen most of the day anyway.

I do not like the new Facebook layout. It updates by itself, but I preferred doing the updating. And when you hit home the page from a few hours comes up. Then if you hit it again it’s more current. Me no like. Me wish they asked whether or not I wanted it done.

Of course being online most of the day, yesterday and today, I noticed the initial change yesterday. I don’t see anyone else complaining about, nor do I hear the scratching of heads.

Just heard from Annemarie in Ashland, OR where she is having high tea on the porch of a Bed & Breakfast. Just Annemarie and a friend getting out of Arcata to look at Mount Shasta and the surrounding area.

She deserves a break from Rex and Earl I suppose. She did sound a bit disappointed in the fact that I hadn’t done much of anything today, due to the weather.

Now lightning flashes again. No word on whether the Yankees will be playing. I’m sure their fans are out in the rain waiting at the stadium. Even if I was a fan, being nice and cozy and dry here in Hoboken is much more preferable.

I just asked Bill if he would go to the Bronx if he had tickets. The short answer is, yes. He would be in the Bronx wearing a rain poncho.

Of course his initial answer involved a bus. I had to put the brakes on that, fast. I apparently needed to rephrase the question without any bus involvement even though there wasn’t any reference to begin with.

If you had a ticket, would you have taken the subway to the Bronx, in the rain to see the Yankees tonight?

The wheels keep turning.

August Day

Well today is Saturday, I figured that out by myself. Bill is here and we’ve been cooped up all day. It’s been raining on and off but I was able to get out for an hour or so.

So I walked by the river and sat, reading the New Yorker and enjoying a cigar. Deep sea diving without scuba apparatus is not on my list of things to do. That was one of the articles I read.

The other was a pretty funny piece by David Sedaris about going to Australia as well as about living with his father when he was growing up and singing a song about the Kookaburra bird with his sister Amy.

It was funny until he was smacked with a fraternity paddle by his father after being told to go to bed 3 times. Ah memories.

Not much of anything going on today, just waiting for the next rainstorm I guess. The cicadas are still doing their thing and it’s quite humid out.

I have some DVD’s from Netflix that Bill and I are planning on watching tonight. One is the Luis Bunuel directed version of Robinson Crusoe.

The other is John Huston’s production of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, but I think Bill would be more interested in the third DVD, The Panic in Needle Park.

My Uncle Joseph lived in the Bronx for a time and called basically any NYC playground Needle Park. When visiting we would sometimes go play in Needle Park, or what he said was Needle Park.

It didn’t sound charming but it was somewhere to go while the adults kibbutzed. I’ve never seen the movie before but it should be an interesting period piece of Manhattan starring a young Al Pacino.

Right now we’re watching the end of The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. I pointed out former Chicago politician, now US Senator Roland Burris in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

I’m just waiting for the Janitor from Scrubs to make his appearance as the cop on the train. They even mentioned it in an episode of Scrubs a few years ago.

Today is also my sister’s birthday! Happy birthday to Annemarie! Tried calling at my usual weekend time but there was now answer so Bill & I left a nice happy birthday greeting accompanied by Altered Images singing Happy Birthday.

I’ll be giving a call later so hopefully Bill and I can sing live rather than committing to tape. That’s what I think would be preferable, don’t you?

No other plans for the evening and what I do tomorrow would depend on the weather as well. I’m hoping for a nice day. I guess a trip to Central Park would be nice.

Now Harpy is on the phone, bemoaning the fact that it’s so humid. As if it wasn’t humid here in the swamplands of Hoboken. But it’s an outlet for him and I’m glad to oblige. It gives him a cooler head somewhat which is good for him and the rest of Washington Heights I suppose.

Bummed Out City

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

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

Like I wrote yesterday there were no survivors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I should have gone into Manhattan.

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News crews in their tents

News crews in their tents

Forgetful Heart

So here I am again, this time it’s Tuesday. Oh, I neglected to mention that I wrote yesterday’s entry using Google Docs. As I am today. I usually use Open Office but it was annoying me. This is quite user friendly which is why I using again today. I’m still at work.

Going to a wake tonight in Manhasset, Long Island. A former co-worker’s father passed away and since the co-worker was a nice person I thought I would show my face. I’m meeting up with 2 other former co-workers, Robert and Gazi.

I’m meeting Gazi in front of the library then heading into the subway to meet Robert where we will ride to Gazi’s house in Queens and then drive to Manhasset. So that is all out of the ordinary.

Last night was nothing special again. Wound up alternating between listening to music and watching TV.

Today is the dreaded May 12. A foul day for me and my siblings. In 1991 May 12 was Mother’s Day which turned into the worst day of my life. Or one of them at least. Since I wrote about it previously on May 12, 2006 there’s no need to go and write about that sadness again, at least not today.

Work has been weird today, but what else is new? Vivek was in this morning and asked me if I was going to be able to work with him on his latest project. Of course I said yes. I mentioned that despite a few stumbling blocks once they’re out of the way I could only see clear sailing.

I think I have the gift of telling people what they want to hear. He was somewhat subdued but seemed to appreciate what I was saying. But there is always this anxiety that invades my consciousness throughout the day. It usually happens when I’m out of the office running an errand or something.

Today I had to deposit some dosh for Vivek and as I walked to the bank it struck me. Just the uncertainty in my employment. My sister Annemarie nailed it before I even recognized it. Working in what used to be a financial firm that is teetering on the brink of disaster is freaking me out in moments where my mind is unoccupied.

On the way to the bank there was a Salsa band playing and that certainly took my mind off my woes. I’m a sucker for a trombone.

I’ve done all I can do for the day here in the office and now it seems I’m merely killing time until 5:15 when I will leave, light up a cigar and wander over to the Public Library on Fifth Avenue and meet up with Gazi. I haven’t seen him in a few years so that should be a hoot, if only the circumstances where more entertaining than going to a wake.

I’m just glad to be writing this now rather than trying to write it later. I hope to get home at a decent hour.

Tomorrow I’m going to see the Ludes at Kenny’s Castaways on Bleecker Street. The Ludes are John and Donna Hamilton and Dave from Tiny Lights with Lois DiLivio performing a tribute to the Carpenters. It’s a free show so if you find yourself on Bleecker Street around 9:00PM, stop by.

It’s also a farewell for John Hamilton who is leaving NYU to teach at Harvard. I suppose I’ll be writing early tomorrow as well since it makes sense to stay in the city, rather than head home and then back into the city again.

Plus they do want me to stay late here at work so if I stay until 8:00 that should make them somewhat happy.

Now here’s some Salsa!
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Lip Service

And we’re back on Monday again. And that means back to the bullshit. I was more anxious about it last night than I was this morning. But I put on my brave face and headed in.

I decided to listen to Elvis Costello & the Attractions, This Year’s Model. Good way to start off the week I thought. That brought back the memory of being such an Elvis Costello fan that I really wanted (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea and it wasn’t on any US versions.

I wound up taking a bus to a record store next to the Oritani theater in Hackensack and buying a Canadian EP which cost me my bus fare. causing me to call home and my brother Frank picked me up, understanding my love of music while upset that he had to pick me up.

I should have walked home and could have but I was scared from all of the stories I heard about Hackensack in those days.

Vivek and Sanjay were back from India with their crazy plans. Today I was told to find them a suite in National Harbor in Maryland, checking in tomorrow, checking out on Wednesday. Of course since it was less than 24 hours to check in, hotel rooms were unavailable.

And they were very specific on which hotel they wanted. Which made it impossible. It was out of my hands. I do wonder whats going on with them.

This morning I received a phone call for Vivek. He wasn’t in yet so I took a message. It was all about some woman they are hiring in June.

I did wonder if she was being hired for my job. Not that I want to be out of work, but to go through the anxiety that Vivek creates, is it worth hanging onto a job like that?

Abby was in today and though he’s a nice guy, he’s also a liar. I caught him in a lie. I asked him if he got his car back to the dealer before the lease expired, causing me to go into the office on a Saturday. He told me he lied to the dealer, saying that he was awfully sick and wouldn’t be able to return the car on time.

It’s good to know the people you work for.

I left the office around 6:00 tonight which was early for them, but since I had been there since 9:30 it was getting late for me. Enjoyed a nice cigar walking across town, a Saint Luis Rey. It was a nice evening, New Order- Power, Corruption and Lies on the iPod.

Last night Bill came home, stressed out as usual and needing a big hug which I gladly gave him. I was happy to have him home and we watched Scrubs from last week, the penultimate episode and the season/series finale. He got weepy which made me get weepy at the end. Not sobbing, just a bit of the bladder moving closer to the eyes.

After that he just sat on the couch with his eyes closed. I suggested he go to bed and he did. I watched the Alzheimer’s documentary on HBO which was depressing and sad.

Bill really wanted to watch it and I’m sure he will. I’ll probably need to have some more tissues around for that. Bill’s mother has Alzheimer’s and there are a lot of people that are a lot worse than Bill’s mother in the documentary.

There really wasn’t anything lightweight to watch after that. And I certainly did look up and down the dial.

I wound up reading some more of Uncut magazine before going to bed after the news.

That’s about all that’s going on around here and in my mind. How are things on your end?

M386

It’s Sunday and though it’s beautiful day, there is a feeling of anticipation in my gut. More like anxiety. It comes and goes, not a constant thing. As long as my mind is occupied I’m fine.

Last night I watched discs 3 & 4 of a series from the 1970’s called ‘All You Need is Love- The story of Popular Music’. It went back to the beginning of the 20th century with vaudeville and Tin Pan Alley up to about 1975 with the cutting edge music of Black Oak Arkansas.

It did have a lot of footage that if I hadn’t seen before, then I saw it when this series was first broadcast on PBS in the 1970’s and if that’s the case, I had forgotten I had seen it.

3 hours each disc. I watched disc 5 this morning into the afternoon, so ask me anything about Black Oak Arkansas. You’d still get the dumbfounded look that I would have given you then. I’m glad I watched it, but it was a bit much.

I gladly walked to the Post Office, enjoying a cigar to drop off the Netflix discs. I actually bought a book the other day, I couldn’t resist. I was reading somewhere about a biography on Brian Eno and ordered it promptly.

So far, up to chapter 2 and it’s a very entertaining and informative read. Brian Eno has always been a fascinating person in my world. I even had the pleasure of meeting him when I worked at Skyline Studios and he was producing some things for Laurie Anderson.

He was a nice guy, very quiet and startled me a few times when he suddenly would be standing right next to me. He was also quite kind enough to sign his first 4 solo albums and Ambient Volumes 1-4 and a book.

Still within reach and in good condition too. Last night, Saturday Night Live was really funny, excepting the Jimmy Fallon guest spot as Barry Gibb which was about 25 years too late and 10 minutes too long.

I doubt that the 20 somethings that watch it or are the target demographic would actually get the joke.

The stand out bit was the digital short with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake reprising their roles from Dick in a Box and becoming Mother Lovers for Mother’s Day. Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson played the mothers. It was very laugh out loud funny.

I was up until 1:30 reading Uncut magazine. Did not want to get out of bed this morning, just so comfortable. Bill was off to get his mother and bring her to church. I eventually did get out of bed around 8:30 and was soon getting the Sunday morning supplements.

Then after reading the papers I watched the discs and headed out to mail them back. And after enjoying a cigar I met Bill on the street and we just enjoyed a pizza from Grimaldi’s courtesy of Bill’s largess.

Now he catnaps on the couch and I sit a few feet away writing this and playing selected ambient Eno tracks for his napping pleasure.

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Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock & Roll)

Well today was an even more gorgeous day than it was yesterday. No Juan today though he did stop by last night. We watched Vicky Christina Barcelona which was good. Not his best and the movie does brighten once Penelope Cruz comes on screen.

Funny how she basically eclipsed Scarlett Johansson. And I had never heard of Bridget Hall before. Don’t know where she’s from. Juan pointed out that Rebecca Hall’s fiancé in the movie was Ted who was Claire Fisher’s boyfriend in Six Feet Under.

The great Patricia Clarkson was in Vicky Christina Barcelona as well as Six Feet Under and I think there were one or two other actors in the movie who also had small parts on Six Feet Under. It was good, but not one of Woody Allen’s best. Bill came in on the second half of the movie, but it didn’t really matter and there was no need for him to be caught up.

After that ended Bill was off to bed and Juan was heading back to Union City. I was soon fast asleep I woke up early, around 8:15 and did my Saturday morning thing, bagels and newspapers. Got Bill some bagels as well. He likes to toast them in the oven until they are almost charred.

Whatever works I guess.

I decided to head into my office and clean the bamboo shoots. They’re contained in vases by the windows in one of the conference rooms and after a month and a half they start to get covered in algae. I like to come in on a Saturday since it’s a messy thing, cleaning the vases, scrubbing the rocks and cleaning the shoots.

An added bonus is the fact that no one is in the office on Saturdays. As I was scrubbing who should appear but Vivek. He and his business partner were in for a conference call at 1:30. Vivek phoned the other day when I was in my blue mood and wanted to know what was wrong.

I didn’t want to talk about it with him, not then at least. He saw the opportunity to talk to me today after their conference call which should have been over at 2:00. At 2:45 I left a note saying that I had to get back to Hoboken.

Nice walk across town, enjoying a cigar and taking surreptitious photographs of various people. I had a nice call with Annemarie while I rode the bus. I never have phone conversations on the bus but this time I simply didn’t care.

Anne recommended seeing the Love Guru which I was surprised to hear her recommend. She liked it enough, telling me how it was really funny in some scenes. I told her if it was on cable I would watch it, but I wouldn’t rent it.

It looked terrible and even the giant poster that advertised the movie in Times Square was another deterrent to seeing it.

Bill and I met up in Hoboken and we checked out my friend, Hiro Takeshita’s art exhibit at the Hoboken Historical Museum. I’ve known Hiro for about 25 years. He lives on the second floor of my first apartment building at 2nd and Madison.

His latest medium is/are cut outs which are quite intricate and beautiful. Nice turn out at the museum, lot’s of familiar Hoboken faces that I’ve seen for a long time but never knew their names. Still don’t mainly though I did get the name of one familiar busy body, Marion who used to be the court clerk.

I sort of remembered her from when she rented videos from a video store I worked at. That’s how I remember a few faces, from the video store. ‘Oh that’s the guy who rented Butt Bongo Fiesta’, ‘She’s the woman who rented Ghost every weekend for six months.’

Can’t put a name to the face but I do remember their viewing habits and fetishes.

Here’s some pics of Hiro Takeshita’s art exhibition

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

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Me, Hiro Takeshita, & Bill

Me, Hiro Takeshita, & Bill

Waterloo

Well today is 180 degrees from yesterday and I mainly owe it to Juan. He didn’t make it by last night, I figured it would be too late. He planned on showing up around 11:00, that meant more than likely showing up around 11:30, after finding a parking spot. So we decided to meet up today.

I just hung out last night, not doing much of anything, not even turning on the TV until Keith Olbermann which I then ignored basically. Bill came home, very tired. By that time my mood had lifted considerably. I knew avoiding most everyone would do the trick.

I did watch Southland which replaced ER. I was initially resistant to it, mainly due to the ad campaign, but I did watch the first episode last week and found myself getting into it. I watched the news and the Simpsons and even part of Scrubs before turning in.

Bill said that I was snoring pretty loudly last night which I guess could be attributed to my bad mood. I felt I slept really well and woke up to Bill kissing me good bye after which I fell back asleep, not getting out of bed until 8:30.

I had some coffee and cereal after showering and wondered what would be a good time to call Juan when all of a sudden, Juan was calling me. He had just woken up and wanted to vent and then go to Ikea.

He vented about some parental troubles then we headed to Ikea. I hadn’t been there in a few years. Juan was hilarious as usual. It was a great day anyhow. Ikea is by Newark Airport and I still get a thrill out of seeing tons of metal flying off and coming in.

How can anyone not be impressed? It hasn’t even been that long since the Wright brothers flew their plane at Kitty Hawk NC.

Right now it doesn’t look like I will post tonight.

I keep getting a message from Word Press, Fatal error: Call to undefined function: preg_replace() in/home/randy/www/johnozed.com/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 982 and having written that, it seems to be back up so you will be reading this tonight.

I hope the 5 of you are happy.

I would have said 6 but I don’t think Juan reads this anymore.

Rand just called. He’s Mr. Aces tonight. He upgraded my Word Press account and fixed that fatal error. Rand is having an impromptu family gathering with mojitos. Salud Hoppes!

It was weird for a few minutes. Writing and it not going anywhere. What is this? A diary?

Julio and Stine just got a new car. A Volkswagen Passat. It’s good for the family, so I guess they’ll be keeping Alexander, and that’s a good thing since it increases their familial value. So after I write this, my plan is to go downstairs and enjoy a cigar and look at the car.

It’s a beautiful night and I wouldn’t mind sitting there watching whomever strolling down Park Avenue.

I picked up a Saint Luis Rey Robusto and it’s a good cigar, if you’re into that sort of thing. I hope you have a good night. Spell check doesn’t recognize johnozed and suggested Johnnycakes. Johnnycakes!

You Spin Me Round

Yes, it’s a Friday night and yes I know I’m posting later than usual. Almost 3 hours later. What do you want from me? I just got back from Manhattan where Bill had a surprise for me. Tonight he took me to see Black Violin at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street.

Black Violin are 2 black guys playing violin basically. They play some classical, some R&B, pop and hip hop. It’s really good and ironically earlier this week Pedro sent me a link about them. He loves them so much he bought the CD and proceeded to tell me all about them.

I had actually heard about them and possibly saw them on TV. They’ve played with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z among others. It was really a fun show. Lot’s of families with kids making lot’s of noise which despite being the theater, was encouraged.

It was a very pleasant surprise. Bill loves to surprise me. I’m not one for surprises but that doesn’t stop him. He loves to tease me and all this week he teased me about how he got me a present, texting IGYP (I Got Your Present) followed by IASS (I Ain’t Sayin’ Shit).

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The plan was to meet outside his office building at 6:30. I got on the bus in Hoboken and sat in traffic on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel. I was able to convince the bus driver to let me out at west 38th street and 10 Avenue. I hustled through midtown fighting the crowds trying to get out of the city. I showed up on time, smoking a cigar.

Bill came down and we hung out for a few minutes. It was a wonderful evening which may not be over yet. A good band is playing McSwells and Roda just texted me about it. I haven’t seen Roda since last year and a visit is due so after this posting I’ll more than likely be heading over to McSwells to check out the Budos Band.

I first heard of them from Jockohomo-Datapanik (located in the blogroll on the right) a while ago and downloaded 2 songs which I can’t find at this moment. Before heading into the city I watched a few episodes of Freaks and Geeks.

My sister recommended it as did my brother Frank. It’s produced by Judd Apatow and has Jason Segal, James Franco and Seth Rogan among others. I tried watching it once and I couldn’t really get into it, but since it was available at the library I decided to give it another chance.

Also picked up from the Hoboken library, the first season of Mad Men, another show I tried to get into but couldn’t. I did see an ad for the DVD set and it looked good enough to give it another shot. It’s also something that Frank recommended.

First Day of Spring, with snow

First Day of Spring, with snow

Writing about Natasha Richardson last night was cathartic. Today there was a wake for her at the Irish Heritage Society on Fifth Avenue. Not my thing and I’m not one to join a group of celebrity watchers fenced in across the street.

And to end tonight’s posting on a positive note, here’s some pictures of Alexander Lopez from the morning. He always makes my day and always seems genuinely happy to see me.

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one more baby picture

My Bill

My Bill

You Are The Blood

It’s been a gray day all day. Nothing special. Just ‘meh’ which is an expression that I’ve been using quite a lot these days. Didn’t sleep well. Left shoulder blade achy. Could be worse I’m sure. Bill was up and out by the time I got out of bed. Off to church for him, leaving me reveling in my atheism.

Didn’t do much of anything today. Got bagels, newspapers, went to the supermarket. Sat around and watched The Lucky Ones, a straight to Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams and Michael Peña. It’s a road movie about 3 soldiers just back from Iraq.

They’re stranded in DC and Tim Robbins decides to rent a car to drive to his wife in St. Louis. He’s a reservist who has finished his tour of duty. Rachel McAdams and Michael Peña have been wounded and back in the United States on a 30 day leave. Soul searching and misadventures go on and before you know it, they’re in Las Vegas at the end of the movie.

Strange ending for sure. Who would have thought a zombie attack would have made them all heroes? Not me and I guess the film makers didn’t think so either, hence the total lack of zombies. Would have made more sense though. I do like that Michael Peña….

Bill came home and immediately took a nap before he headed back into the city. His church had their annual pancake breakfast today and he was the official greeter. Then he was off to check up on his mother in Beth Israel Medical Center.

As he napped I wound up watching Sicko, the movie by Michael Moore about the US health care system. I tried watching it a few months ago when I rented it but couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t get past the guy who accidentally chopped off 2 fingers and the insurance company would only pay for one to be reattached. One finger cost $60k and the other $1200 I think.

I enjoyed watching it though if enjoyed is the right word for it. It made me want to live in Paris that’s for sure.

Towards the end after bringing back the rescue workers from Cuba after securing them free treatment, Michael Moore mentions an anti-Moore website that needed to be taken down since the guy who ran it couldn’t keep up the expense now that his wife had fallen ill.

So Michael Moore anonymously paid the insurance bill so the guy could continue running his anti-Michael Moore website. It was a pretty good documentary and it did show how some insurance companies are really rotten to the people they are supposed to ‘look after’.

I know I had my problems with the insurance company from work and then it turned out months later the ‘board’ they sent the claims to for review was owned by the insurance company and rejected many claims, including my own since it wasn’t in the best interest of the insurance company.

In my case they felt that 2 procedures done in the same day disqualified me for coverage, but if I went in Monday and then had another procedure on Tuesday that would have been perfectly alright. I’m now on Bill’s coverage from his job. Better plan I think.

I’m glad I picked out what to wear to work tomorrow. I already know what I will be wearing on Tuesday. It is St. Patrick’s Day and I have to do my bit. Tomorrow night I think I’m supposed to be taking photographs of Bill’s jazz combo as they lay down some tracks at Smash Studios.

That’s what my calendar told me, though Bill hasn’t brought it up since he first asked me if I could do it. So tomorrow I may be posting early from work.

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Have Mercy on the Criminal

It’s Thursday again and it’s a bit drizzly outside right now. I only say that since I tied up the newspapers and left them at the curb and that’s when I noticed the drizzle. Last night, a quiet night again. No raucous nights anymore. All very quiet and I’m fine with that.

Spoke with Bill on the phone last night and I think I bummed him out somewhat. Either I did or he’s coming down with a cold. I prefer the cold, not for health reasons but rather to ease my mind and free it of guilt. It’s a cold. I know this since I am presently on the phone with him. Runny nose, scratchy throat are his symptoms.

I restored the factory settings on the iPod, effectively wiping out 7000 tracks. Been reloading the iPod and I am up to over 5000 tracks. This is the point when I look for a favorite song while walking around then I realize that it hasn’t been reloaded. That will probably happen a few weeks from now.

Also the tedious anal retentive part where I restore an album like XTC’s Drums and Wires to the original vinyl track listing rather than the revised listing on the cd. Yes, I am that anal when it comes to music.

Have to make sure all of Grace Jones is there and most but not all of the 6 disc Beatles Anthology. I also collect all the downloads of let’s say, the Police, maybe 8 tracks which I re-edit and re-label as C.O.P.S. instead of the different titles from the albums they were originally on.

I recorded the Elvis Costello talk show on Sundance Channel called Spectacles. His first guest for the whole show was Elton John. Elton was responsible for me getting into Elvis Costello 30 effin years ago.

I remember (more anal retentiveness) listening to WPIX FM and they announced that Elton had received an award in the UK naming him the Artist of the Year. Elton supposedly refused the award since it was in one of his ‘retirement’ years and announced the award should go to Elvis Costello who to me was that guy who looked like the child of Buddy Holly and Woody Allen.

Elton has great taste in music though and also inadvertently turned me onto Massive Attack. I haven’t watched the show yet so who knows what the hell they talked about.

I did win a pass online to see a taping with Elvis and Rufus Wainwright. 20 years ago I would have been there, but it was at the Apollo Theater and it was scheduled 3 hours after I left work and finding something to do for a few hours paled when I thought about just going home, so I didn’t go. No regrets though.

I woke up earlier than I have the past few days and was out the door just as Matt Lauer started running his mouth. As I turned the corner onto 6th Street I noticed I left my wallet at home so I had to climb 4 flights of stairs for it so I probably missed Casey Chasm.

Bus ride was uneventful and once again I was disdainful of the other riders. As I was crossing Eighth Avenue in the city I had to walk with my fellow commuters into oncoming traffic since a flat bed truck had blocked the pedestrian walkway.

It was reassuring to see 2 traffic cops having a nice little chat while a few dozen people faced impending vehicular homicide. It was more of the same, some really dumb people always in my way.

I did run an errand and wound up meeting up with Vinny of Wanker Banker days as well as Dave G and Renee who still work there. Some catching up, who’s where, who’s looking, who’s about to lose their job. It was all good though.

Walked with Dave G as he was on a hunt for smoothies. It was good catching up with good people like that. Seems long ago that I worked with them though it was less than two years.

Walked across town, enjoying a cigar and got on a bus where I was joined by Casey Chasm. More catching up. It was good to see him. He’s a good egg man and I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.

Maybe Your Baby

It’s certainly not a good time to be working in the financial world. Unfortunately I work in the financial world. Fortunately I don’t make enough to be worried about but things do change. What I have to my advantage is the fact that the people I work for are hopelessly inept and can’t do much for themselves.

That’s where I come in, making coffee, filing, distributing mail, making sure things are tidy and ready to go as well as knowing who to call when something goes wrong. It’s really easy to do but like I said, they’re inept. Total deja vu feeling, even writing about the deja vu was deja vu like.

Thank you Mr. Reagan and your cronies for the deregulation of banks. May you rot in the ground you wrinkled fuck.

So after eating last night I felt a lot better, and even sat on the stoop reading Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories. He finally touched upon Dudley Moore and Peter Cook. Dudley had insecurity to deal with, Peter had major alcoholism. Alan Bennett felt that part of Dudley’s insecurity was from the fact that he wasn’t a writer.

An entertainer, an actor, a jazz pianist but not a writer. He wasn’t a funny guy it seemed. Thanks to the movies he became more famous but it didn’t really help matters much.

Bill showed up as I sat outside enjoying a Padron. He was tired and carrying groceries that were perishable so he made it upstairs while I sat and read and puffed on my cigar.

Got a phone call from my sister in law Elaine last night. Initially I thought it was a belated birthday call but no it was bad news. My brother Frank had a seizure on Saturday night and was rushed off to Hackensack Hospital. By the time he got to the emergency room he was relatively normal and Frank and Elaine were back home at 4:00AM.

He last had a seizure in April. It seems stress might be or is a major factor in this situation, but what could be done about stress? I know there are many things that could be done regarding stress, but we’re talking about my brother and for him a lot of things are a chore.

Things such as taking a walk is a chore. As much alike as we are (and we are) things like that, walking, riding a bicycle are just some of the things that make up the difference between us. I called Annemarie and Brian and left messages for them.

Eventually they both called me back and I told them the news. Frank was home today and I spoke to him briefly and I could hear how annoyed he was with all this, the seizure and the medications.

Last night Roda came over. I had invited him a few weeks ago to come over and watch True Blood anytime he’d like. Last night he liked to come over and I couldn’t say no, nor did I want to. He’s always good company and it’s great he and Bill get along so well.

It was a rather low key affair, the two of them on the couch, me sitting where it seems I always sit, close to the computer. He stayed for Entourage then split, before heading down the stairs, telling me that he was going to be a father again, this time they’re having a girl.

I didn’t ask who the mother was, thinking it was Elly the mother of his son Logan. I’m sure I’ll find out eventually and how does one ask that question anyhow?

Tonight Bill and I are going to an art show at McSwells. It’s a show for the artists in the Neumann Leather building on Observer Highway. They’re in danger of losing their space, what maybe the last frontier from the artsy bohemian days of the late seventies, early eighties when I came into the Hoboken picture.

Bill’s having a nap right now, so there is a good chance that he won’t make it. I was surprised when he said he’d go with me this afternoon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t want to go after napping.

Here are today’s New Yorkers.

Easy to Love

Last night was nice and certainly not as raucous as other birthdays that I’ve had. I’ve had birthday evenings filled with whippets, acid, coke, booze but not any more. It was the first time in a while that a hangover did not follow the next day. I’m not complaining though some madness would have been nice last night.

After dinner Bill went right to bed and I watched TV. Just like any other night. Bill was up and out at 4:00 this morning. Some church function in upstate New York. A nice kiss goodbye, then he was out of the apartment leaving every light on in every room but the bedroom. I stirred about 5 hours later, waking to find the news of Hurricane Ike kicking Texas ass.

Pretty bad down there. I was telling Bill last night about my father working for the Port of Galveston years ago. From the reports this morning there might not be much of Galveston left, not to mention the ports themselves.

I stopped buying the New York Post this morning. I’ve been buying it for a while now, a perverse thrill but it’s mainly been pissing me off. I can read it online and save myself $0.50. Why should Murdoch get any of my hard earned cash? I can afford it, but it’s the principle.

Just too stupid and wrong wing and I admit a certain snobbery when I would see people reading it on the subway or the bus while I sit and read the New Yorker. It’s not right but it’s a fun moment being judgmental. I have had my moments and I’m pretty sure I’ve been judged for doing a lot worse than reading a tabloid. I

was planning on going for a bike ride this afternoon but it looked like rain so I didn’t. Stayed local and walked over tot he river and read the latest Mojo. Ran into Michael Hill who’s always a nice guy to talk to.

I forget who it was a while ago who had something to say about Michael but I’ve never had any problems with him. He even tried to get me a job at Warner Brother music a couple of decades ago but that didn’t pan out. He was soon on his way and I finished the cigar I was enjoying and walked home as it started to drizzle a bit while talking to my sister on the phone.

15 minute walk from Sinatra Park to my apartment all the while talking to my sister about making pesto sauce. I did try to make the pesto sauce and it certainly was not like the pesto that I would have for lunch. I did not buy heavy cream and following Harpy and Annemarie’s instructions it came out badly.

When I would get the penne pesto and chicken for lunch it was creamy and the pasta was covered in a green sauce. This was speckled with some pesto and rather bland.

Annemarie is worried about the cholesterol with the heavy cream but I was planning on only using a dash of it, to liquefy the pesto which is clumpy. And I couldn’t find any info online.

Plenty of info on how to make pesto sauce from scratch, but nothing about a recipe if the pesto sauce has been store bought. We’ll see about tomorrow.

Today’s weather

Sea, Swallow Me

It’s Sunday yet again. Summer is unofficially over next week. Well next week is the last weekend that lifeguards will be working and from then until next years Memorial Day you can swim at your own risk. Hopefully I’ll get a chance. Not that I’m much of a swimmer, but I can float with the best of them.

Chaz dropped me off last night and I came home and wrote, and noticed that I didn’t apply sun block to my thighs right above the knee. Guess the trunks were rolled down then. They’re pink, my thighs are. Not painful or anything, just last night it was a bit uncomfortable.

I watched the first half hour of a DVD that was advertised on Rod2.0’s blog, called The DL Chronicles. Oh it was bad. Let this be a lesson when you give porn actors non porn roles it usually doesn’t go too well. And this did not go that well. It was 4 episodes from Here TV the Gay premium channel and a half hour was barely all I could take.

That’s when I threw in the History Boys, but I was basically toasted from the day, the sun and the ocean took it’s toll and by 11:15 I was ready for the rack. Bill was with his mom last night so I had the bed all to myself which was good. Had the air conditioner on and slept like a rock.

Woke up around 8:30, slept late. Went out and got the papers and some breakfast. Helped a friend with his photo blog, then walked around Hoboken around noon. Bought some t-shirts at Burlington and some spray on sun block at CVS. Talked to Chaz about the plan to go to Lincoln Center Out of Doors at Damrosch Park.

Patti Smith was headlining a free show and there were a few other bands on the bill including The Knitters, featuring Exene, John Doe and DJ Bonebrake from X and Dave Alvin from the Blasters. I took the bus into the city, reading Alan Bennett.

Wandered around on my way up through Central Park where I saw an excellent Trombone Quartet. I’m not a fan of most brass, but I do love the trombone. Could be from my ska days. Any decent ska group had to have a trombone player, excepting Saxa from the (English) Beat.

Hung out and listened to them for a little while, eventually making my way to Damrosch Park where the Knitters were halfway through their set, ending with a rockabilly version of Born to Be Wild. Met up with Chaz for a few minutes, lent him the latest Mojo as well as the DVD of The History Boys.

He probably found me from the smell of my cigar. We talked for a bit, both of us explaining how exhausted we were from yesterday’s beach excursion. I was sweaty and hungry by then and Bill was home so I bailed before Patti Smith, leaving Chaz to wait for his brother William, my ex-roommate to show up.

I walked back down to the bus terminal, talked to Pedro on the phone who told me that he was hanging out in the Shea Stadium tailgating with 30 other corrections officers. He was ok with the fact that we missed each other, and we both agreed that it was pretty odd that we were both at the same game.

Back home now, relaxing. Bill is on the couch watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, I’m listening to his colorful commentary on everything including commercials. Back to work tomorrow. Should be painless and slow.

Have a good week and enjoy the rest of the summer!

Lenny Kaye’s back!

The Knitters

Sister Midnight

Well Saturday came and here it is. Turned out to be nice weather after a day and night of rain. Watched the TV last night, chatted with Juan before that. He made some suggestion about going out, I plead poverty. He lost his cellphone and doesn’t have internet where he’s been living at school. He did have a sketch of a plan to come up and visit his mother in Union City, so I told him to give me a call if he was in the area.

By 11:30 I was having difficulty staying awake so I went to bed, only to be woken by the buzzer at midnight. It was Juan looking to hang out. I was almost asleep and had to turn him down which sucked, but perhaps if I had gotten a phone call I would have made an effort. But he didn’t so I went back to sleep.

Then the phone rang and it was Bill calling to wish me a good night as well as tell me the latest tale of woe with regards to looking after his mother. I tried to reassure him that he should get some sleep and it might be better in the morning. When we spoke this morning things hadn’t gotten any better but they didn’t get any worse either. Poor Bill, at wit’s end. His mother can’t be left alone yet Bill has to get on with his day to day routine somehow.

I did my Saturday morning routine and shocked at what used to be cheaper a month or so ago has nearly doubled in price. Everything is getting more expensive. Even bagels which I now butter myself at home, thank you very much. Did the laundry, read the papers had breakfast. I also watched the Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer.

If you were a fan of the Fantastic Four like I was and knew the Silver Surfer saga you will be disappointed. A real must to avoid. Stick to the comic books. I still want to see Iron Man though, which would probably be the first time I listen to a Black Sabbath song with out the urge to leave the room.

Decided to head into the city after that. Took the Path train in and got off at Christopher Street which I hadn’t done in a long time, not in a year maybe. Walked around neighborhoods that were very different years ago. Favorite stores gone, even Washington Square Park is being redone. I think they were re-centering the fountain that used to be in the middle, a little off of center, which added to the charm but the new powers that be decided it must be aligned with something so now a good portion of the park has been dug up, behind fences and unaccessible. The Bottom Line is gone, Tower Records is gone, and we all know CBGB’s is gone too, and Washington Square isn’t the same. .

Sheridan Square/Christopher Street

Sixth Avenue and West 4th Street

Washington Square Park

The former Bottom Line

formerly Tower Records

Lafayette Street and Fourth Avenue

I walked up Lafayette Street, overhearing a conversation on Leslie Van Houten, one of the Manson Girls. Walked up to 110 Fourth Avenue which is where the best god damned card shop in Manhattan is, known as Farfetched. Farfetched is owned by Susan Zappone and Lois Marsilio, 2 old friends of Harpy’s that I’ve known about 10 years now. Farfetched is a fascinating store full of knick knacks and do dads and the occasional whatnot. Harpy was working with Susan and the atmosphere was full of happiness and good music. The customers were plenty and in need of a lot of attention, excepting the steadfast customers who have been shopping at Farfetched since 1945. I believe Harry Truman bought himself a picture frame on a whistle stop tour of Manhattan in 1947. Either Truman or Eisenhower, I don’t know, I could be wrong on that count.

Harpy and Susan at Farfetched

I then walked around a bit, chatted with Annemarie on the phone too near cell phone dead zones and avoided the recently infested with bed bugs, Union Square. I walked up Park Avenue, puffing on a Padron and listening to the B-52’s Funplex which gets better each time I play it and I’ve been playing it once a day at least.

Walked up to 33rd Street so I could finish my cigar and get a seat on the Path train back to Hoboken. An uneventful ride with me reading ‘God is Not Great’ by Christopher Hitchens. Hoboken was busy, people walking up and down the boulevard and shopping. Since tomorrow is Mother’s Day, the card and gift shops were busy, which explains the busyness of Farfetched.

Pretty Pretty

Abstraction

Good doggy

Cement crib

Pigeon frenzy

Got a call from Julio, he was out shopping for Mother’s day gifts and I shopped with him for a bit. Of course we hit the card and gift shops and after spending time in Farfetched I headed out to the street to wait. I ran into Steve Pierson a former executive director from my Wanker Banker days. He was with his wife Stacy and their darling daughter of 20 months, Abby. Steve is a nice guy, he grabbed my arm as I was headed out to wait and got my attention. He and Stacy moved to Hoboken a few years ago. He’s a really nice guy, a bit right wing but I don’t hold it against him.

Looks great in a suit and tie though, really woof. I did have a chemically fueled discussion over cigars and drinks (I was fueled he wasn’t) at a holiday party a few years ago. About Bush. He was for him, and guess who wasn’t? I think I’ve been proven right, but it didn’t come up. They left and I wished Steve’s wife a happy Mother’s Day.

Julio bought all the proper things for Mother’s Day, presents for his wife who’s a new mom, a card from their son for Mother’s day and as well as for his grandmother, Julio’s mom. Julio told me he was going to be an uncle, his sister Maria is having twins. Baby crazy I tell you. None for me thanks.

Pimpin’ ain’t easy

This Is What We Find

Ok, a pretty good day. Teeth still in the head, some money still in the bank. Bill came home to my surprise last night. Unfortunately he called during the big revelation during Lawn hor d’oeuvre SVU so I have to admit I was distracted. He noticed my lack of enthusiasm, but when the killer is about to be revealed and to get a phone call… well, I hung in there and paused the show thanks to the gadgetry of modern cable TV. And was it worth the pause? No. This is the second week where it seemed they were stuck for an ending.

Last week they had Robin Williams jump in the river and never looked for his body. This week, the 98 lb. killer took her unrequited love who weighed lets say, 170 lbs and jumped off the edge of a building ending the show with Stephen Collins screaming “No!” as his son landed on a car several stories below. Next week is the season finale which looks to be extra lame. I went to bed after the news, Bill stayed up watching David Letterman.

I woke up earlier than I had been since clients were coming into the office for a breakfast meeting, meaning I get a free breakfast. I asked Lydia to come in early and offered her a free breakfast, but she ate already. The people that came in were nice, I had met them before. Slowly the office is coming to life. Moe Stooge sat in his soon to be rented office and grunted a few times as I walked by. I guess I am now ‘the enemy’. He’s a dick, and a tiny dick at that.

Spoke with dear Connie. She’s been sick for a while, she got the lupus. She was able to get herself together to make it to a party in Manhattan a few weeks ago and I admit that I was hurt that I didn’t get a chance to see her, but then again I wasn’t invited to the party. She told me she has been off her meds since they didn’t seem to be helping, but after a considerable amount of time, she’s going back on them. There are some days she can’t even get out of bed, and it seems out of most of her friends I am the only who doesn’t give her a hard time when she doesn’t answer the phone. I can be the forgiving type.

It’s hard to believe but I haven’t seen Connie in a few years, and this summer seems unlikely since Annemarie and company aren’t making it to NJ this year, and Julio and Stine now have Alexander to consider, effectively making me the number 2 baby, so no beach days I guess. Wah wah wah.

On one of my errands I saw someone I used to work with 25 years ago. Just a guy from the mail room, Lloyd I think his name was. He didn’t recognize me and for an instant I thought about introducing myself but changed my mind. I figured there would be too much catching up on who was dead, who’s alive what’s what so I kept on walking. Perhaps if I saw him again I’ll say hello. Perhaps.

Had a good ride home, reading Christopher Hitchens, ‘God is not Great’. I love it, I’m chuckling throughout. Hitchens can be a boor, but he is erudite and occasionally funny. And I appreciate his take on religion. As I was climbing the stairs, I heard an infant crying. It was Alexander Frederick Sorensen Lopez! With his mom, dad and Grandma who is going back to Denmark with Grandpa tomorrow. Alexander was hungry and just like his father, incorrigible.

No, Alexander is not incorrigible. He’s a sweet little angel with quite a head of hair coming out. I saw that a package came from Arcata arrived and I handed it to them. But Alexander was hungry and you don’t get between a Lopez and their food so I quickly took a few snaps and made a hasty exit to the fifth floor.

And here are those snaps.

Alexander Frederick Sorensen Lopez for President!