Tag Archives: Corinne

I Say A Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m a lucky guy.

Corinne with Warhol's Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.


Corinne with a Picasso

Corinne with a Picasso


Oxidation painting!

Oxidation painting!


New Year's Eve panorama

New Year’s Eve panorama


Winding down with Chaz

Winding down with Chaz


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

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


09 My Lover’s Prayer

I Remember- Deadmau5

Well today has been an interesting day. Bill made it home safely this morning. Once again, since he wasn’t home I did not sleep so well. I am usually awake by the time he gets home but this morning I was sleeping quite well. I didn’t exactly wake up refreshed but I wasn’t dragging ass either. Bill made coffee and brought home some bagels so that was good. I showered and proceeded to start my day. I decided to make some eggs for breakfast and in between the refrigerator and the stove, gravity played a trick on my and snatched an egg from out of my hands.

It was an auspicious start to the day but nothing too terrible. A sweep and a clean and I still had other eggs to fry. Once that was done the day lay ahead. My sister in law Elaine contacted me the other night. She and her daughter Corinne were planning on coming to Hoboken to do some shopping, throw some cash into the local economy. I was ready for them, though they were running a bit later than they hoped. Corinne went to see the Dave Matthews band last night so that was a factor.

They got to Hoboken a little later than planned but that was alright. Hoboken had a plan, you spend $20.00 at a local merchant, and you can park for free in one of the garages. I told Elaine that as Corinne was driving and met them soon after by Church Square Park. They had Corinne’s friend Felicia with them and Felicia remembered me, but I drew a blank. Elaine specifically wanted to go to Guitar Bar so that was our first destination. A few Snark tuners that I recommended and some other odds and ends and Elaine’s purchase made the parking free.

Then we went to City Hall were an Arts and Crafts thing was going on. Some nice things but I only bought a button and a card. Felicia and Elaine bought some items and soon we were back on the chilly Washington Street. We walked by the smoke shop were Israel looked fairly busy, which was good. Hunger came to us all at once so we wound up eating at Qdoba, a Mexican restaurant. My former favorite Mexican restaurant has been closed for weeks, possibly from the storm, possibly from the food being bland after new management took over earlier this year.

We walked around some more before walking back to the parking garage. I got a ride from Corinne and we drove to the gate where we showed the receipt to the attendant. She said she was going to keep the receipt and I told her she couldn’t do that, since the items on the receipt might have to be returned. She said the receipt would go to City hall and that didn’t make a difference at all. Cars were honking behind us, so Corinne wound up paying the $8.00 charge.

I came home after they dropped me off and I went online to the Hoboken Facebook page and complained, saying it was bogus. They replied that the attendant had it wrong, the receipt gets stamped and they were informing the attendants to let them know. Of course this was information that was useless since at this point, Elaine, Corinne and Felicia were headed back to Bergen County. It was the only drag really today. Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City, I am staying home.

Last night I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. It wasn’t bad, there was a certain charm to it. It’s not a great picture but it was enjoyable. I also watched My Week with Marilyn the other day and that was very good. Michelle Williams was excellent.

Corinne and Felicia


A Super Hero bar crawl…




Waiting For Your Taxi

I Never Lost My Praise

A dream was had where I found myself working for the cigar shack again, only this time it was in an office setting. Many rooms shut off from me as I tried to track down Zack/Calvin/Hot Sauce to tell him that I shouldn’t be there, that I no longer work there. Then I was in a room with my father of all people, who asked me how my dentist visit was. I admitted that I lied, that I wasn’t off to see the dentist, I was actually looking for my mother which seemed to upset him somewhat.

Yesterday was a very good day. It was a Sunday and Bill came home in the morning after driving from Atlantic City. After giving me a bagel he went to take a nap. The plan was to head out to Saddle Brook to celebrate my brother Frank’s birthday. Frank turned 61 on Friday. Bill rented a Zip Car for the occasion and that definitely made it easy to get out there. On the ride we played a game, I picked out songs on the iPod and he tried to guess the artist. He did well, though got hung up on a Carpenters song.

We got to Meghan and Rob’s house and settled in. There was some catching up to do since I hadn’t seen Meghan or Rob since July. My sister in law Elaine was there and soon Frank showed up with his daughter Corinne, followed by Brian and Karen. Brian and Karen’s kids were busy so it was mainly a grown up gathering. Corinne had her ankle wrapped up in an Ace Bandage since she was out the night before at a Bachelorette party in heels. Bill, Brian and Frank were downstairs watching the football game and I sat upstairs with my sisters in law, Elaine & Karen.

Soon dinner was had and then we had cake. It was all very nice and good to see everyone, well mostly everyone once again. Then it was time to come home. Goodbyes were made, kisses and hugs exchanged. No guess the artists game on the way home, just an easy ride, avoiding the Sunday night tunnel traffic. We were home by 7:00. A wonderful afternoon was had.

Bill and I settled in, watching Boardwalk Empire before he was off to bed. I stayed up watching Night of Too Many Stars, the autism telethon on Comedy Central which was very funny. And touching, watching an autistic girl onstage playing piano and accompanying Katy Perry on the song Fireworks. I stayed up and watched the first half since I missed it during Boardwalk Empire, which was also good.

I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill kissing me goodbye for the day once again. I got out of bed after that and started my day anew. After showering and breakfast I sat with a cup of coffee in front of the computer. One of the first things I saw had me gutted. It seemed a friend from a Facebook group passed away the night before. A nice guy named Jeff Lunger. I never met Jeff though he lived in Jersey City, but we had many chats online and enjoyed posting videos of different performers and songs. He was good friends with Galt McDermott and from what I understand was working on a documentary about him.

It really floored me to hear of his dying. He hadn’t been online in a while but I just assumed he was busy. Death was the last thing I expected. I posted on his wall my condolences and posted in the mutual Facebook group some videos. I had hoped to meet him at some point, at a show or at Maxwells but now that isn’t going to happen.

Rest in peace Jeff Lunger.





I Love to Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt)

Oh I certainly don’t feel like writing tonight. But here I am doing just that. It’s been a weird day and it is July 13, 2012 and it’s a Friday. That means its Friday the 13th. Not that I put any stock in that but it has been a weird day for me. It started out alright I guess. Nothing major. A beach day was planned and it was going to be later than usual. Sister in law Elaine and her daughter Corinne- our niece, were on board as well. They were working half days at their work gigs hence the later departure.

Elaine’s father isn’t doing so well, he had a major brain attack and can’t be left alone. Elaine has a sister who was supposed to come down and assist Elaine for a day or two but she proved to be unavailable for reasons that are unknown to me. So that meant Elaine would have to stay. Corinne was coming along with us which promised to mean a real good time. Annemarie and Corinne made it down to Hoboken between 12:30 and 1:00 and after heading down the stairs to meet them on the street we were soon headed to the NJ Turnpike.

Once again I made a few CD’s for the ride but left them in the apartment. It seemed to be smooth sailing with an occasional jibe that is expected from families. As we got off the turnpike and onto the Garden State Parkway, Annemarie’s cellphone rang. I answered it and heard Annemarie’s husband Rex on the other line. Apparently there was a problem. Rex and their son Earl were going somewhere and from out of nowhere a crack in the window was discovered. I was relaying the message from Rex to Annemarie as she drove onward down the parkway.

I told Rex that Annemarie would call back once we hit the rest stop. She can talk on the phone and Corinne and I could go have a pee. There was nothing that Annemarie could do 3000 miles away and she did make a few suggestions. Later once we got to the beach, Annemarie texted Earl and all seemed to be alright, they were continuing on going wherever it was they were going. There was a tension in the air though. It was probably me. Little things had been occurring in the previous hours and I was hoping music would take me away from all that.

But Annemarie wasn’t in the mood for what I was playing and told me so as she shut off the music. I of course, being who I am (and according to Corinne- I am just like her father) was put off by the turning off of the music. I take music much too personally and after that I shut down myself. Didn’t really have much to say or add which I usually do since the alternative of me saying just what was on my mind would not do anyone any good and make whatever situation was at hand, worse.

And it was noticed. Corinne remarked to Annemarie that I must be having my period. I just kept walking and read Uncut magazine before going into the water by myself. Annemarie did get up and I thought she would have jumped in but she stood by the water line as I floated off shore listening to teenagers talk while they swam, chatting about sharks and generally causing me to revisit the ocean shark paranoia that pops up whenever I am alone in the water. After a while I got out and dried myself off. The afternoon got a little bit better but overall it was breezy and overcast and for me, weird.


Me & Corinne


Annemarie & Me


the three of us at the end.


11 Road to No Regret

I Hate Everything

It has been a nice day off and it was as I expected, pleasant and productive. Bill was still getting out of bed, several times during the night. I was up late watching All The President’s Men. I originally saw that with my parents at the dollar movies in 1976.

My brother Frank saw it first and told me that the movie starts off with a drunk and suicidal Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, drinking with a rifle nearby when the phone rings. The caller telling him of a break in at the Watergate Hotel. Of course that is not how the movie starts but I have to admit it was a good start.

I was a precocious 13 year old and my parents who both voted for Nixon took me to see it. I admit a lot went over my head then but I think it did inspire me to write. So last night had some memories but since the movie is over 2 hours long I couldn’t stay up to watch the whole thing, but I did save it on the DVR. Nixon emerges unscathed, right?

Bill and I had an interesting chat while he was taking a break from his bathroom break. He ran into Bobby Risotto the other day and Bobby told him about how he felt bad that I didn’t get the job that he offered me. It was nice to know and I guess hearing it from Bill was good.

Basically it was a temp to perm position and that if I left the cigar shack job for the new position, I could be dismissed at any time for any reason and that would more than likely jeopardize any unemployment benefits that I might need. I didn’t know it was temp to perm but I did know it more than likely had a probationary position.

After that chat Bill went off to bed in between pee breaks. I woke up, Bill was gone for the day- to work and more visits to the urologist and other doctors. After a couple of cups of coffee I headed off to the dry cleaners and the supermarket. When I got back home I was eating breakfast and then doing laundry.

The plan to meet up with my niece Corinne was delayed about an hour. She decided to drive to Hoboken instead of taking the train and ran into traffic on Route 3. I was waiting at the train station when I found out she was driving, and was a little upset. Still, when I saw her that was all forgotten.

We rode the Path to 14th Street and had a nice adult chat about relationships. We waited for a few minutes on the line to see the Doug Wheeler show (which closes on Saturday) before deciding to check out other galleries rather than stand on line. Hard to believe it was less crowded the week after it was written up in the New York Times than it was a few weeks later with a queue outside with each attempted visit.

We did see a few other shows which were good but not necessarily overwhelming. It was great to hang out with Corinne though. She enjoys my company and I enjoy hers. It was something different for her, for both of us really. Just walking around the city on a really nice, 60 degree afternoon and seeing the work of various artists. I explained some art works to her, telling Corinne who Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat were. I think she enjoyed it.

We were back in Hoboken after a stop at Payless where I was able to finally get a pair of Airwalks. Slim choices but I bought a pair just like the sneakers I had on. I was worried for Corinne’s car since parking in Hoboken can be difficult and did not want her to get a ticket, or worse, a boot or a tow.

The car was alright though and we had a late lunch or early supper at the Malibu Diner where we enjoyed each other’s company some more before she headed back to the suburbs. We made plans to meet up again when our schedules permit. She’s a good kid and a smart and pretty woman.

after the fire










t'is Herself


Squeeze – Black Coffee In Bed

I Get Around

Well just because it is a day off, doesn’t mean it’s going to be all peaches and cream. It started last night, really bad shit. Shit so personal and involved that I won’t get into here but I will tweak your curiosity. And no worries, none of you will ever find out what it is, even if you phone me I won’t tell.

I won’t know how it turns out for another week but it was stressful. Stressful enough that Bill had to take over since I was at wit’s end. He basically became me for an hour on the phone, talking to various supervisors and underlings. With his cool head and my frayed nerves it was all for the best and we arrived at a somewhat satisfactory conclusion though like I said, it won’t be known for at least another week.

Basically, be very very careful with online transactions. I like to think if myself as somewhat computer savvy, but I obviously tripped. And not tripped in the fun way of psilocybin or LSD or even Ecstasy, three methods of which I am well acquainted. But it’s all better now (he cautiously wrote with fingers crossed).

Today was another day spent sleeping in. I mainly stayed in today and surfed the net, readins updates and postings on Facebook. Not much worth watching on Turner Classic Movies as far as I could tell though I didn’t really look past a Dr. Kildare marathon to see what was on after those melodramas. Apparently it goes on until 8:00 when the Paleface with Bob Hope and Jane Russell comes on.

I still have some other movies to watch so I might just do that. I am slowly getting used to watching movies on the computer. Last night on TCM Bill & I watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind which he had never seen from start to finish. I am not sure if he watched the whole movie last night since he was also doing stuff on his computer.

But he was impressed by what he saw, despite the fact that the storm was wreaking havoc with the cable broadcast, with the screen dropping out for a few minutes every so often. When the storm died down the broadcast improved. We also watched part of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I can understand how some friends said ‘enough with the CGI’.

True it’s loaded with CGI, and Andy Serkis does a commendable job of wearing the green suit once again, but I had no real problem with it and it did thrill the 12 year old boy inside of me. Bill went to bed before the finale and after that I stayed up watching something on TV before turning in at my usual time.

And so I slept late once again, getting out of bed at the time I am usually about to head out to the bus stop. A tentative plan was underfoot, me hanging out with my niece Corinne for a bit this afternoon. And as an added bonus, my niece Cassie was joining us. A few hours with my favorite nieces who’s name starts with a ‘C’.

It was an eye opening chat as we sat at the local diner eating a late lunch. I was certainly surprised and certainly supportive and told one of my nieces that if she ever needed to talk I would be available to her 24/7 and Bill will be as well. Now it’s another night at home. Bill and I received our invitations to Rand & Lisa’s New Year’s Eve thing. Of course we’re going, it would be foolish not to.




2-13 September Girls

I Can’t Wait #3

And it’s back to work for me today after 2 magically nice days off. With the play, ‘Destinations’ at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, seeing Bill and a very good cast onstage and the trip to Sandy Hook with Bill and Corinne, it was certainly bound to be a disappointment to have to go back to work today.

I tell you a Xanax certainly helped. No despair though it was there when I was putting my eyeglasses on this morning. No, a wait at the bus stop was quite pleasant as I sat there finishing up a cigar. The bus ride was OK enough, a nice chat with Deborah my neighbor about nothing in particular.

The subway was the same as it ever was. People asleep, junkies on the nod and me staring into space. A walk around the block while talking to Bill on the phone was in order since I was quite early, too early to actually head into the cigar shack. And the cigar shack was alright, though that might be the Xanax writing.

It was Thomas and Calvin and that made it alright. Calvin seems to be stressing out from becoming the head cheese in the cigar shack. A friend suggested I help him out with the scheduling which would free him up to concentrate on the additional tasks he’s taken on. I mentioned it to him and he seemed to think it was a good idea and then he went and did the new employee schedule.

I was talking to Thomas and we both agreed that Bradley wants to be the assistant manager under Calvin. That’s fine by me, I just wanted to lighten Calvin’s load, but of course there could be a problem if Bradley tries to tell me what to do.

It circles back to a conversation I had with Jerry Vale the other night. Jerry Vale is a part timer and Calvin’s been talking to him about being full time. But the store can’t carry 4 full timers so someone would have to go and I reckon that someone would be me.

Especially if Bradley is chomping at the bit for an assistant manager position and with my lack of ambition and relying on merely wanting to help out there’s no other way I can see it. Thomas is an ace at sales, Jerry Vale is learning the ropes and can be molded into something that I’m not and Bradley when not punching walls, shows phenomenal skills when he deals with inanimate projects.

I could be wrong, I could be right, I could be prepared for whatever happens. I’m not bitter, but that could be the Xanax again. The friend who suggested I help out the scheduling for Calvin is a sometimes regular customer from the Bay Area. He thinks I should move to the Bay Area.

He’s a talented entrepreneur trying to sell a lesson guide for children to learn about money management. Something I could have definitely have learned when I was growing up instead of being taught that money was a mystery and a magical thing that would be exploited once I got my grubby hands on it.


Leggy

I Can’t Wait #2

It’s nice having two days off in a row. And though it was not a Saturday and Sunday off, Sunday and Monday did the job just right. I slept fairly well on Saturday night and woke up after Bill left for the first performance of Destinations at Le Poisson Rouge, I headed out to the supermarket, somewhat groggy from not enough coffee.

I bought what I needed to get and headed home for a hasty breakfast before heading out into the rainstorm to the Path train. It was a good uneventful ride into Manhattan and I was earlier than I expected. I was in the Village before noon and had about 45 minutes before the show was going to start. I had a small cigar and walked the outskirts of Washington Square Park which was deserted due to the rain and construction machinery and trash.

I sat across the street from Le Poisson Rouge which used to be the Village Gate, on two milk crates underneath a disused marquee. I saw Bill heading in and shouted ‘Bill! Bill! Vila! Triple 5!’ but he was with a cast mate and didn’t hear me. A queue started and I eventually cross the street and joined the line, standing underneath my umbrella.

The crowd was eventually let in and I stumbled through the darkness and found a seat next to a piano. I knew Bill would be playing the piano at some point and thought it would be a nice surprise. The show started and a few people played the piano throughout the show, besides Bill.

I actually enjoyed Destinations. It was a good story, good songs, all performed by a talented cast. I enjoyed it so much that I look forward to seeing it again. After the show I met one of the other actors and she was most appreciative to hear my compliments.

Bill and I headed back to the Path train in a steady rain and were soon back in Hoboken, lucky since the trains to Journal Square in Jersey City were not running due to the rainstorm. We settled in the apartment, both of us talking about the show and how Bill felt about how it all went. I plan on seeing the August 24th show on a future day off.

Bill took a nap, as I surfed the net and made some dinner. A few hours later Bill was awake and watching me text my niece Corinne with regards to today’s plan on going to Sandy Hook. Corinne was in Asbury Park where it was pouring and supposed to be raining for a few days. It didn’t matter to Bill and I about the weather, Bill rented a car and we would be doing something. Plus when it rains up in North Jersey, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be raining down the shore.

This morning it was still raining and we were still heading down the shore. Not enough time for a real breakfast, coffee would have to suffice. Bill had to stop by his bus depot and pick up a check. That was OK, the bus depot is in Wallington which is right next to Garfield.

We picked Corinne up and soon we were on the Parkway headed south. And it was steadily raining on the way, so much rain that I was starting to have doubts about what we were doing. I did call Connie in the Highlands and she was busy driving a friend to cataract surgery. And she said it was raining there and that people were told to move their cars to higher ground.

We made it to North Beach on Sandy Hook and almost as soon as our feet were in the sand, it stopped raining. A few minutes later the sun was out. There were maybe 12 people on the beach, not including the lifeguards. We wound up getting about 4 hours of sun, and thinking that this could be the last time this year that I would be at the beach, I went into the water for a spell, a bit put off from the flotsam and dead jellyfish, washed up from the storms in the past 24 hours.

Corinne noticed some dark clouds coming in from the west and we packed up rather quickly, with the good timing of being in the car when the skies opened up again. A ride to Rumson for some ice cream at Crazies. A good day at the beach with good company and once again, I’m a lucky guy.

headed down the shore


the shore, in rain




incoming storm, outgoing Sandy Hookers




I Can’t Love You Back

I just got back from a visit down the Jersey Shore, yes the Jersey Shore. Specifically Seaside Park, right next to Seaside Heights where the TV show Jersey Shore is filmed. Lots of clones there, girls with big hair and guys with wife beaters and tilted baseball caps. Nice to look at from a distance, but one doesn’t want to get close enough to hear them speak.

I went down with my niece Corinne and we visited her sister Meghan and her husband Rob. It was a late start and we got down there later than expected but it all worked out in the end. The water was 72° and the beach was crowded. Not at all like Sandy Hook where some space could be had away from other people. Still it was nice to be able to swim in the water and not look up and see Manhattan in the distance.

Then a walk on the boardwalk where the gelled hair set started to come out once it started getting dark out. Nice slabs of beef roaming around but like I said, one doesn’t want to get too close. The four of us devoured a very large pizza on the boardwalk, then checked out some rides, but didn’t get on any.

A storm was approaching and since Corinne and I were driving back, along with Corinne’s puppy Brady- we didn’t want to get caught in the rain. Luckily the storm was passing to the south of us and we didn’t get any rain. Still it gets quite dark on the Garden State Parkway and I didn’t want to keep Corinne out too late.

Yesterday was quite out of the ordinary. I traveled to Poughkeepsie and then onto Millbrook. I was representing the cigar shack at a rifle range. They were having a shootout, different teams skeet shooting or clay pigeons. Prizes went to the best score in each group.

I was out of the apartment at 8:30AM and headed to the Path train. I was hot and sweaty when I got to the Path and got on an air conditioned train, standing all the way from Hoboken to 33rd Street. From there I walked over to Grand Central Station.

Another crowded train but I at least was able to sit from Manhattan to Poughkeepsie. I stared out the window, looking at Harlem, the Bronx all the way up the Hudson Line. When I got to Poughkeepsie I found a taxi, a van actually. I told him where I wanted to go and he said he knew where it was. Halfway there he pulled over and asked me to call the rifle range and ask them where they were.

Once I got to the rifle range, I was fed and set up with 270 cigars to hand out. As soon I was set up, about 30 guys lined up all wanting a cigar. I would ask if they wanted a mild, medium or full bodied cigar and gave each to whomever requested one. Then I was set up in the woods under a few trees situated at a crossroads where various rifle men would stop by and get some more cigars.

I networked, handing out cards for the cigar shack and enjoying a couple of cigars myself. It was great to be out of town, in the woods and getting paid for it. Yes I was working, but at least I wasn’t in the shack. A good crowd of men, the agreeable type all enjoying the cigars and the camaraderie that goes along with smoking cigars. The brotherhood of the leaf.

I was able to secure a ride back to the train station after that, in time to catch the 6:40 train which was actually the uncatchable 6:35 train. I was able to have a pint in a nearby pub and killed some time before catching the 7:40 train. I was home around 10:45 and quite happy to be there.

Bill came home a few minutes after me and I was so happy to see him. I love him so.



I Can’t Control Myself

Let’s see. I haven’t written since last Thursday, July 7. I was planning on it but it wound up taking 2 hours to get home when in the best circumstances it takes maybe 30 minutes tops. I was on the bus, in the queue at the top of the exit ramp and thanks to a car accident in the Lincoln Tunnel (2nd accident in 2 hours) I waited for about 45 minutes before I persuaded the bus driver to let me off.

I had thought that if I get off the bus the traffic would start moving, but I was getting impatient. I read a few pages of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad and decided to do something instead of just sitting there. The bus driver bent the rules and allowed me off the bus.

I wandered down a few flights of steps and exited through a door that a few women couldn’t see even though it was right in front of them. I stepped out into the mist/drizzle and headed towards the Path train, lighting a small cigar as I stomped my way down the street listening to Public Image Limited.

I waited just a few minutes for a train and hopped aboard. It wasn’t that crowded on a Friday night and I was home almost 2 hours after signing out at the cigar shack. I was toasted but off for 5 days. I watched some of Bill Maher with the hideous Ann Coulter on and yes even though I didn’t think it possible I loathe her even more than ever before. I loathe her like cancer. She was quite annoying as if she could be any other way.

The next day was a Saturday. My sister was flying in from the west coast and we spoke briefly, her plane was delayed, late enough that she would probably head to my niece’s house instead of stopping in Hoboken first. It was a drag but I got over it.

It freed up a lot of things that I had to do, I was able to take my time and do whatever it was I had to do and forgot to do what Annemarie asked me to do which was to call my sister in law and tell her that Annemarie wouldn’t be stopping by over there either. Don’t know why I spaced on it, but I did totally. I don’t even remember Annemarie asking me make the call.

Annemarie made it safe and sound and a bit peeved at my space cadet status. I was embarrassed myself. The next day was Sunday and Annemarie and I finally connected. She was earlier than I expected and after coming up to the messy apartment where Bill & I live, we walked around Hoboken for a spell, walking by the river, down Washington Street and stopping by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro.

Then we walked up to Julio & Stine’s new apartment, otherwise known as Alexander’s domain. A lovely space, two bedrooms and a view of the neighborhood where the cigar shack is in the city. Some wine, some fruit and good conversation was the way to go for the next couple of hours.

Annemarie and I left and walked back over to Washington Street where we devoured a small pizza at Napoli’s. Then a walk back to where Annemarie parked her car. She was back to my niece’s house and I chilled out upstairs.

The next day was a beach day with my niece Corinne joining us, followed by another beach day with my niece Hillary in the back seat, followed by my niece Meghan on Wednesday. It was all good and of course it had to end, since I had to go back to the cigar shack today. It wasn’t that bad after all.

The 5 days off did me good. Just2 more days left before another 3 days off and another trip to the beach with Annemarie and her son Earl hopefully joining us. That’s about it.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write tonight and you know what? I’m still not sure. It wasn’t as hard as I thought and I’m sure it was as entertaining as you thought it would be.



I Don’t Know Why

OK. I was using Microsoft Word to write and three times I tried to past the word bibliothèque into the text. It caused the document to close and the whole program to shut down. Don’t know why, but here I am writing again.

I wrote about Calvin sending me email asking me to come in today since the trains were running as was NJ Transit buses. He wasn’t sure if the Bradley was going to be in and did not want to work 12 hours by himself. Oh the price of being management.

Then there was a second email about a minute later, telling me to ignore the previous email, since the Bradley was in the cigar shop after all. I ignored both messages and set about getting busy, cleaning up the apartment as much as possible.

My niece Corinne mentioned stopping this afternoon while we were both in Hillsdale. It sounded like a fun idea and I was game. I started cleaning last night but there is only so much you can do while people are trying to sleep.

Corinne caught a train from Garfield, winding up in Hoboken around 1:15. I was planning on meeting her at the station but she was on here way to the apartment when she contacted me. We hung out for a while before I had to run some errands.

A trip to the dry cleaners as well as the bibliothèque where I returned Whatever Works, the Woody Allen movie starring Larry David. I enjoyed it, Bill loved it, laughed out loud several times. I also returned The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks. Recommended reading.

We walked through snowy Church Square Park and had lunch at Oneal’s Restaurant, across from the park. It was nice, burgers and a pint for each of us. We came back to the apartment after that, watching Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Corinne had never seen it before and it may have been a bit of an eye opener. Still a good, fun movie and I’m sure she enjoyed it. She had a train to catch back to Garfield so I walked her back to the train station, on the way leading her into a deceptively deep puddle of slush and getting her Uggs and her feet wet.

I felt bad about that and let Corinne lead the way after that. We got to the station and I bought three pair of socks from a push cart vendor for $5.00, so that Corinne could at least change into dry socks on the train, an attempt to minimize her discomfort.

We parted ways at the station after I made sure she got on the right train. They’ve been changing the schedules at the last minute and they did it again, operating on a weekend schedule but not mentioning it on their website.

Good old NJ Transit. Last night they canceled the train Bill & I were going to take and we found out once we got to the station, needing to take an earlier train than planned. But it all worked out and it was good to have Corinne around, bringing her energy and color to an otherwise drab day off.

Walking back through the train station I was reminded of when I accompanied my father to work in 1977. I didn’t want to go, he probably didn’t want to take me but since he took my brothers at some point in their lives (and maybe my sister) I had to go.

I was reminded of this since it was around the same time of year, 33 years ago. Different times indeed, all those years ago.


Before the Parade Passes By

Well it’s been a day unlike any other like all days are. Today, the first Saturday in March is the Fake Patrick’s Day parade, which causes a lot of youngsters to come to town and get properly shitfaced.

For some odd reason, they decided to allow the bars to open at 9:00AM instead of 11:00 like most weekends. I really couldn’t say since I am not a fan of drinking during the day. Maybe if at a barbecue that’s acceptable but otherwise it just screws up my sense of time.

Last night, Bill wore his mouth apparatus and his apnea mask so no snoring from him. We both got up around 8:00 and I found myself online outside the bagel shop at 9:00 while newly legal boys and girls were queuing up outside bars and pubs.

All these newbies on line to get green bagels. Bill was across the street waiting for his bus and by the time I made it into the store, Bill was on the bus and Rand was at the end of the queue for bagels. I hooked Rand up and got him 2 everything bagels and half a pound of tofu so he didn’t have to wait as long as I did.

I came home, and fixed myself a nice breakfast. I made plans last night with Rand to check out the parade with him and Lisa at 1:00. Bill and I were invited to a brunch next door in the building and I did have plans to check it out.

A few years ago Bill and I bought Kelly green scarves at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan and I spent some time looking for mine to no avail. I did find a big bag of photographs which I had forgotten all about when I moved back to Hoboken 8 years ago.

Back then, before digital cameras I would have my photos developed onto a Kodak CD. This morning I found myself pouring through a bunch of photos and CD’s and decided to upload some pictures from August 2000. A party in Hillsdale with my brothers, their wives and their kids.

Annemarie wasn’t there and I hadn’t met Bill yet. I did have to resize about 15 photographs. Before I knew it, it was time to go to the parade.

Instead of just showing up at the brunch for a few minutes and leaving I opted to head for the parade instead.

I stopped off at the library and dropped off Old Boy, a Korean DVD which I was disappointed by. Perhaps it was because I chose to watch a dubbed version instead of subtitles, but I knew what was up when the lead character was in the sushi bar. I

t seemed obvious to me and by the end I didn’t care a bit.

The streets were crowded with people wearing the green. I wandered over to my usual spot at Sixth and Washington and started taking pictures of various characters and what was going on around me. Rand and Lisa eventually showed up and the parade was highly entertaining.

On the way down Rand and Lisa heard a drum and bagpipe corp playing a Lady Gaga song. By the time the drum and bagpipe corp got to me they were playing Louie Louie while all the other corps were playing When the Caissons go Rolling Along. Made for a very swingin’ difference.

All together the parade lasted for an hour. No once accosted the Guinness guy which was nice. There seemed to be a lot of watchers this year than previous years. Perhaps it was because it was 57 degrees out, whereas last weekend we were all digging ourselves out of 14 inches of snow.

During all of this I got a phone call from Pedro who was asking what I was up to. He was headed into the city, had to get out of Otisville. He mentioned some art show he wanted to check out on 34th street. I told him I would give him a call when the parade was over.

Rand and Lisa walked me over to the Path train through the throngs of drunken revelers. The train was pretty crowded to 33rd street so I stood. When I got off the train I called Pedro and got his voice mail. It was OK, I had a back up plan to go up to JR Cigars and get some discounted cigars.

Spoke with Annemarie on the phone after dealing with a guy in the cigar store who didn’t know too much about cigars. I admit I was a bit gruff talking to Anne on the phone. She thought I was wrong not to go to the brunch where I didn’t think it was that big a deal. I did buy my neighbor a silk rose in the colors of the Irish flag and taped it to her door with a note.

I made it back to the Path train and git a seat for myself for the ride back to Hoboken. Had to pee so I went to the train station lavs which smelled of stomach acid. Had to pull my pea coat over my nose to mask the smell.

More drunken revelers on the way home.

Ran into Julio, Stine and Alexander who lost some weight from being so sick the past week. Julio asked who John was and once again Alexander pointed to me, which was so sweet. He also shook my hand when I decided to head upstairs.

Took over 100 photographs today which I spent time uploading to Facebook. Finally after not eating anything since breakfast, I decided to make some dinner. As I sat, about to eat my cellphone goes off. It’s my sister in law Elaine.

She’s worried about Corrine who was having a lousy time in Hoboken. She wants to come over but doesn’t remember where I live. I tell her she’s more than welcome. Corinne called Elaine from somebody else’s phone since her own phone died.

I leave my food on the table and walk downstairs where I see Corinne outside with some guy who was nice enough to see her crying and loan her his phone. She thanked the guy and came upstairs a little bit drunk.

We passed some drunken party-goers or leavers from the brunch next door on the stairs. I hooked Corrine up with some water and sat her on the couch. I offered her some food but she wasn’t hungry. I played some ambient stuff sat and ate in the kitchen while she fell asleep on the couch.

After I ate I called Elaine to let her know Corinne was alright, still breathing and asleep. We discussed getting her on a train home but decided to have Elaine and Frank come down to Hoboken to pick her up.

Corinne eventually woke up in time to watch the Office before we headed downstairs. She’s a good kid, just a little drunk, a little forlorn. Who wasn’t at age 23?

Now I’m writing this, the TAMI Show is on public television. Quite good. James Brown definitely stole the show. The Rolling Stones, so stiff compared to the Godfather.

That’s about it for a busy day. Here are some pictures from today. Enjoy.

My Bill

My Bill


Out in force today

Out in force today


Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 006
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Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 025
This bald dude said he received a $2000.00 summons for an open container

This bald dude said he received a $2000.00 summons for an open container


Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 042
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 044
El Jefe y Lady Gigglepuss aka Rand & Lisa

El Jefe y Lady Gigglepuss aka Rand & Lisa


My Guinness guy

My Guinness guy


Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 080
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 094
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 104
Green shirts are for Pimps

Green shirts are for Pimps


Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 120
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 122
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 125

Twist and Shout

So nice to sit down in a comfortable chair, he wrote after coming back from spending a good part of the day with his sister in law and his niece. The three of them had gotten together after a plan was hatched a couple of weeks ago.

The niece had texted him about meeting up on February 21, which is today, to visit the exhibition of Titanic artifacts. His niece loved the movie Titanic and wanted to see the exhibition before it closed.

So today was the day and it was a lot of fun, if looking at the effects of a disaster could be called fun. Actually the fun was in spending the time together. It was crowded a bit. Who knew so many people would still be interested in such a thing almost 100 years later?

We had all met up in Hoboken at a Dunkin Donuts by the Path train. We sat and drank coffee and chatted for about an hour. Some catching up had to be done. Soon enough though, we were on the Path train headed to 33rd Street, where we then walked up to 44th Street, in the old New York Times building.

When I was first asked about going I explained that it might have been too pricey, but the niece insisted on paying and that she wanted to see me so she made it so. As we entered we were given cards with various passengers and crew and instructed to check at the end to see who survived and who didn’t.

I was a third class passenger from Ireland traveling with the missus. I had a pretty good idea how it was going to turn out. My sister in law and my niece were first class passengers, boarding in Southampton, England.

A few tools, and mechanical things from the ill fated ship were on display. As we continued on through the exhibition the items got more personal, clothes, hats, and personal effects were on display as were coins, change purses, personal correspondence. As was a piece of an iceberg that we were encouraged to touch.

It could have been macabre but it really wasn’t, it was quite tasteful. We were also encouraged to touch some brace that was used to hold the ship together. Everything was arranged in air tight, climate controlled boxes except for the iceberg and brace.

There was even a replica of the staircase which features prominently in the movie. My niece and I were photographed on it We got to the end of the exhibition, and my outcome was assured.

White Star Line passenger Mr. John Bourke, accompanied by his wife Catherine, his sister Mary and a group of passengers from County Mayo boarded the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland, perished at sea when the ship sank.

Dishes and cutlery recovered from the ocean floor were displayed relatively intact in sand. The crate carrying them disintegrated from the pressure of being 2 miles down as well as worn away by salt and the currents.

After that we opted to leave, rather than pay for green screen photos, or shots of my niece and I on the fabled stairway. We were trying to do things on the cheap you see.

Then the three of us were hungry and we walked over to the midtown branch of John’s Pizza. I’ve eaten there a few times with Bill and I pointed out to my sister in law and niece that the restaurant used to be a church. Stained glass ceiling and windows still intact.

We left sated and I reassured them that whatever we ate, we would walk off, as we headed back to the Path train.

It was all well and good and I had a most excellent time, spending the day with Elaine and Corinne.

Corinne

Corinne

Elaine & Corinne

Elaine & Corinne

The meeting of the sunglasses

The meeting of the sunglasses

Corinne & me

Corinne & me

Me & Elaine

Me & Elaine

Run Run Run

Well it’s a Sunday evening. Clocks were moved back an hour last night/this morning so though my body is saying it’s 6:24PM, it’s actually 5:24PM. That should take some getting used to but I think I might be used to it already.

Last night I sat at home, in front of the computer, just playing music through iTunes. Bill came home and started to go into the bedroom to watch the World Series. I suggested he watch it in the TV room since I wasn’t watching just playing music.

I thought he would have the sound down while the game went on and the music played. But he needed to hear the commentary so he sat with headphones on. I didn’t realize it until I actually turned around. I was playing for his benefit so that was a bit of a downer for me.

I even went in a Jazz direction with some Miles Davis, Cesaria Evora and Chocolate Genius to name a few. I decided to let him listen to the game without the headphones and sat and listened to Bill yell at the TV.

The only time I yell at the TV is when I watch Millionaire in the afternoon. I grew up in a house where my father would yell at the TV during sporting events and now, here’s Bill yelling at the TV. He didn’t stay up to watch the game and I certainly didn’t watch it after he went to bed.

I stayed up watching part of ‘Australia’ until 1:30/12:30AM. Today my niece Meghan was running in the NYC Marathon and the plan was to meet up with my sister in law Elaine and Corinne, Meghan’s sister at the train station.

They were coming in from Garfield at around 8:30. I was up at 7:00 and got myself ready. Got a call at 8:00 from Corinne, they were one stop away. I hustled a bit more and soon was on my way. I met up with them in the Dunkin Donuts by the Path train and soon we were in the station.

Meghan’s husband showed up after driving from Staten Island, seeing Meghan get to the starting line. We all rode up to 33rd Street in a very crowded train. Rob took off to queens hoping to catch Meghan before she crossed over the 59th Street Bridge. Corinne, Elaine and I trekked up Sixth Avenue, through a street fair, past the HBO store with a pit stop in the Hilton to hit the head as it were.

Then it was up to 59th street where it wasn’t too crowded. I let Elaine call the shots and we wound up walking to First Avenue where I ran into Steve Dressel who I used to work with earlier this year. He got a job up by Tarrytown and now he and his wife are likely fleeing Manhattan and moving to Croton on Hudson.

I could only stay for a minute since Elaine was chomping at the bit to find a better spot to try and catch Meghan. After moving about for close to an hour we finally saw Meghan running by. I yelled out Meghan and she turned and waved.

It was a relief to see her since Elaine and I secretly were worried and hoped she was able to make it this far. After that came the plan to head into Central Park which was the first time for Corinne.

We found a not too crowded spot in the east drive and we sat on the wooden rail like a few other people were. Unfortunately a volunteer across the drive shouted that we couldn’t sit on the wooded rail so for some reason we all got up and stood just inches from where we sat.

I was tired and my lower back was killing me and sitting down brought some relief. I looked down about a hundred feet or so where I saw a few other people sitting on the wooden rail opposite a few police officers who weren’t telling them to move.

I mentioned to Elaine that I was going there to sit. It was a great place to sit, right off a curve in the road. There were so many runners that I looked up the road towards Elaine and Corinne, scanning their faces for enthusiasm for when Meghan was running by. I had my cellphone camera all set to go, my digital camera all set to go, and my GO MEGHAN sign ready for viewing.

I sat there for about 20 minutes when some guy next to me asks what mile this part of the marathon was. I guessed about 2 miles to go so that would make where we were, at the 24 mile mark. He mentioned that his daughter was in the marathon and I said that my niece was too.

I then looked up to see Elaine & Corinne but I couldn’t find them. That meant Meghan had run by as the neckbone next to me was telling me about his daughter. I saw Elaine and Corinne and they asked if I saw Meghan and of course, I hadn’t.

Oh I was so pissed at the guy next to me, I should have just ignored him. I could only hope pigeons attacked his eyes as his daughter approached. I did stop complaining about him since I noticed I sounded like ‘himself’ or ‘himself’s eldest son’.

We did make it over to the west side where families and friends could meet up with the marathon runners. Rob had run with Meghan for a bit but was ejected at the 400k mark since he wasn’t registered. He would have run the whole marathon with Meghan but did not qualify.

26.2 MILES. 3HRS 21MIN. 7.67 MIN PER MILE

We had a good walk to the subway after meeting up and a quick ride on the Path train home. Some pizza in Hoboken before we parted ways, they going back to Garfield and me, back home in Hoboken. It was a very good, if not tiring, day. And if I’m tired Meghan is more than likely far more tired than I could ever be.

Rob De Carlo, Ace coach

Rob De Carlo, Ace coach

Elaine

Elaine

Elaine and Corinne

Elaine and Corinne

2009 NYC Marathon 007

Meghan!

Meghan!

2009 NYC Marathon 026

Lady Godiva’s Operation

Well this is a twist and a bit of a cheat. Writing about yesterday the day after. The cheat part is that I am going to post it for yesterday. Even though it’s now 12 hours since the day has passed, which also happens to have been my birthday.

Yes, I am now 47. No one is more surprised at that than I am.

The day was cloudy and drizzly and of course quite humid. The day started with Bill all dressed up heading out. I thought he had a call back or something, it turns out they were having a Super Saturday at his office.

Super Saturday is when college students come in to take a tour of the offices and learn about the company that they hope to work for when they get out of school. Wanker Banker used to have Super Saturdays also.

They get shown around, taken to a nice dinner and set up in a nice hotel. So for Bill it was an opportunity to get some rare overtime. Bill and I had plans to do something when he was free in the afternoon.

I got out of bed, found a bag of Godiva chocolate and a few premium cigars by my computer. Turning on the screen of my computer was a sweet message from Bill, flashing words in color, Happy Birthday Mi Amor.

Quite a nice thing to wake up to.

Better than coffee. But coffee was needed in any event. After a cuppa I headed out to get some bagels and the paper. Talked to Julio for the first time since his return on Tuesday. Every little detail that occurred was revealed.

A bit much especially since I only wanted to know if he wanted any bagels. Not enough coffee on my end made me shorten the call, especially since I was outside the store in the drizzle, and he and Stine didn’t want any bagels anyhow.

I came home, had a nice breakfast. Had some cookies and brownies that Annemarie made for me, opened birthday cards from Robert, my former boss, Connie and Rita. I heard from Bill who had a moment to check in and see what was up.

We talked about what to do in the afternoon. Gallery hopping seemed to be the plan. I also thought about a jaunt to Governor’s Island, but figured that since it was so wet out and Bill was dressed quite nicely that that probably wouldn’t be a good idea though Bill was game.

Heard from a few friends and family through phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages, all very nice. Had a fun chat with Karen Kuhl on the Path train and I met Bill at Tekserve on 23rd Street.

We walked over tot 10th Avenue and went into a few galleries there, me pointing out some Warhol pieces and some Keith Haring art as well. It was fun, but Bill was very tired and his knees were bothering him.

Not that he was complaining, he was doing this for my birthday.

We hit a few other galleries and after an hour or so we decided to head back to Hoboken. He was nodding off as we sat and rode back to Hoboken. Bill was very uncomfortable because of his knees and very quiet. We decided to head home so he could take a nap.

On the way home, I got a call from Rand offering to buy me a drink for my birthday. I told him that we were on the way home. Rand said he wanted to catch us before we climbed the four flights of steps to the apartment and were in for the night but I assured him that it was so Bill could have a nap before we went out for dinner.

So drinks after dinner was in order.

We headed out to Arthur’s Steakhouse around 7:30, outside the building, Julio hanging out of his window wishing me a happy birthday and commenting about how we always go to Arthur’s for special occasions. I was surprised to see him awake since he still is on Euro time.

Arthur’s was crowded and there were a few other birthdays last night. Steaks and Guinness and a nice slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle in accompanied by Happy Birthday sung by the staff and a few customers clapping along.

Former NY Giant Carl Banks was having dinner at a table a few feet from us with a group of big guys.

We headed out after that, Bill and I enjoying cigars. We walked through the Italian festival along the river. Not too crowded since the weather was so damp.

Got to McSwells and finished out cigars before heading in. Rand and Lisa were there with Lois who was soon joined by her husband Fred. My niece Corinne joined us as well. She texted me to see what Bill and I were doing and I invited her to join us.

She looked as smashing as ever. She’s a sweetheart and she bought me a Guinness, one of several that I had last night. Gifts from Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred were greatly appreciated. Corinne’s friends showed up as well. I met some of them before at Cory’s barbecue for her graduation but by that time last night I couldn’t remember their names, I just smiled and shook their hands.

Soon they were off to a real club, ostensibly to hang out with people in their own age group with music they could dance to and boys they could flirt with. Us older folks didn’t stay much longer after that.

After all the Guinness and good times we parted ways at 9th and Bloomfield, making tentative plans for a night of Karaoke sometime in the future, perhaps for Rand’s birthday next month. Too tired to write, too drunk in any event, last night so here it is, now.

9.12.09 NYC Galleries 006
9.12.09 NYC Galleries 008
9.12.09 NYC Galleries 009
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I'm in there somewhere

I'm in there somewhere


9.12.09 NYC Galleries 023
9.12.09 NYC Galleries 024
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9.12.09 NYC Galleries 037
9.12.09 NYC Galleries 038
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By me!

By me!


By me too!

By me too!


9.12.09 NYC Galleries 044

Bridge

Sunday night, the big whoop di doo. Just got back an hour or so from Garfield. My niece’s graduation party. Corinne has graduated from Kean University so kudos and congratulations to her.

It was nice to see my brothers and their families. Of course Annemarie and her family were missing being in California and all, but they will be here in July so we will all have to wait.

My niece Meghan’s husband Rob was an able grillmeister. Brian and Karen were underneath the patio umbrella which was set upon the new patio. Since my last visit Elaine and Frank had some bricks laid down so that was nice.

My other nieces Hillary and Cassie were being teenage girls since they are teenage girls, Hillary is a voracious reader, always a book nearby. Cassie had boys on her mind. My nephew Brian alternated between the barbecue and inside watching TV.

The original plan was to take a train out to Garfield from Hoboken but Bill decided to rent a Zip Car. That made things a lot simpler. No need to pick Bill and I up at the train station.

Bill’s mother was invited but she wasn’t up for it and since it was a bit nippy outside by the barbecue it was for the best that she didn’t join us.

A few of Corinne’s friends were there, they seemed like a nice bunch. Before they arrived they attempted a game of beer pong which didn’t go that well due to the wind.

We all went inside for cake which Brian and Karen and family had to forgo since my nephew had a matter that he needed to attend. That was too bad since they missed a good cake.

Bill and I had a nice ride home, by passing the usual drive up Riverview Avenue where I grew up. That always leaves me with bittersweet feelings. Most of the people that I grew up with have either died or moved on.

Last night I watched most of a 2 disc DVD from the BBC about Glastonbury. Glastonbury is a major rock and roll festival, quite big. It’s been going on for decades, from the beginning with maybe 20,00 people over 3 or 4 days to 300,000 punters.

All the top name UK & US music acts usually perform, R.E.M., Macca, Moz,Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (guess the roster includes Australians), Radiohead and Coldplay. Quite a distance from the Incredible String Band.

It’s pure escapism usually accompanied by tons of mud. It does look like fun though and a pair of Wellies would definitely be recommended. But I fear my days of major rock festivals are over.

The last festival I attended was the first Lollpalooza which didn’t end well. It started off fine, I went with Chaz and Steve Saporito and a few other friends, mainly to see Siouxsie & the Banshees who cancelled that date.

We saw Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Butthole Surfers, Ice-T’s Body Count and Rollins Band. It was mediocre at best, still I was entertained.

Things were partially trippy, then the other half was ingested which was a slippery slope.

It was a few months after my mother suddenly died and things were getting dodgy in my conscious mind.

Luckily Steve Saporito talked me down as Jane’s Addiction hit the stage at sundown which in my mind turned the crowd into outtakes from Apocalypse Now. Not a good position to be in, in my state of mind.

On the ride back I kept asking to pull over so I could get a drink to counter the lysergic in my head, which didn’t seem to leave until a day or so later.

All I got was ‘Oh John, you’re such an alcoholic.’

SNL was good last night, Will Farrell hosted and there were a few surprises like Norm McDonald, Maya Rudolph and Amy Poeler as well as Tom Hanks. Green Day was Green Day which was boring. Buzzcocks did it better, but I guess Green Day’s hearts are in the right place.

In the chest under the rib cage.

Corinne, the Graduate

Corinne, the Graduate

Meghan, 2009 Garfield Hall of Fame inductee

Meghan, 2009 Garfield Hall of Fame inductee

Elaine & Frank

Elaine & Frank

Cake Stabbing Corinne

Cake Stabbing Corinne

Boom Boom

Well it’s Friday again. I just got back from a quick dinner with my sister in law Elaine and my niece Corinne. I was going to take a train home but they insisted on dinner before that and since I had pizza 2 times last night, pizza in Garfield was out of the question.

We wound up going to a restaurant named Charlie Blood’s where Corinne was able to schmooze with a few board of education people since she’s trying to get a job in education when she graduates from college this year.

I didn’t mind, I got some food and all I had to do was leave the tip. Elaine picked up the tab since I paid last time on St. Patrick’s Day. I was out in Garfield to play guitar with my brother Frank. The original plan was for me to go out there around noon and be back in Hoboken around 4:00.

Of course when dealing with Frank time is never of the essence. He thought he’d drive me home around 7:00. I first said no and stuck to my guns but as the morning passed I found that I didn’t want to hustle for a noon train. Plus I was still doing laundry.

I got it together eventually, burned a handful of CD’s for him, getting some old Mojo and Uncut magazines for my brother, brought some songbooks of Bowie, The Beatles, Macca and a download of Graham Parker & the Rumour’s Squeezing Out Sparks. Loaded them all into a now quite heavy bag.

It was good to see Frank, and I think he got a lot out of my visit. The train ride was uneventful. I wasn’t
the only person with a guitar. That was unexpected.

Across the aisle from me was a young man with a military type jacket with brass buttons, bed head and a Jay-Z patch as well as a Pink Floyd patch with hammers from the Wall movie. You’d think we’d communicate since I had a guitar and so did he, but no, it didn’t happen.

This wasn’t the early days of rock and roll where you would see someone else with a guitar and strike up a conversation and perhaps start a band.

I got off the train at 3:00 in Garfield and Frank showed up a few minutes later. He was the only one at home, now that he’s retired. Frank likes to warm up playing along to the blues channel on cable. He was surprised to learn that I don’t know anything about the blues.

Surprised since so much of the music I like is based in the blues. I’m not an Elvis Presley fan but a few bands that I like loved Elvis. Maybe it’s because I had seen too many bad blues bands, and I tend to avoid the blues at any cost. Maybe a John Lee Hooker song every now and then but really, no thanks.

I think I did a good job of following his lead but I tend to spend too much time trying to figure out the chord formations as he played. When it was my turn I started playing She’s A Woman by the Beatles. Easy enough, 5 maybe 6 chords total. Frank was playing lead to my rhythm since I can’t play lead to save my life.

It was going well until Frank turned the TV back on and threw in a DVD of Ken Kesey and Neil Cassidy at the World’s Fair in 1964. I learned years ago from Ann Boyles that a TV really takes away from a party or scene that might be happening.

I think next time I will have to insist that no TV will be turned on after he gets warmed up. Despite the stroke I think Frank is still a good guitar player, still way ahead of me on that.

Don’t Tell Mama

Oh it’s Wednesday and it’s been merely alright. Of course there was room for improvement but I wouldn’t know where to begin. Most likely I would begin on Thursday. Pet peeve time. I usually zoom around the city, I’m a fast walker.

In never ceases to fail that I can pick someone who maybe be 20 feet away from me that they will stop exactly where I need to walk. Every single time. It’s almost like they see me coming and think, “See that big guy, 6’2” coming in our direction? I’m going to stand right here and I don’t care if he’s bigger than me.”

I’m convinced that people are getting dumber. Even in the bus terminal. It’s so much easier to push the door rather than pull it, but 9 times out of 10 they pull. I wait until it’s clear then I push making it easier for all those behind me.

Last night was ok. Bill came home after my niece Corinne dropped me off. Gave her and her mother Elaine a nice big hug and kiss before I climbed the 4 flights of steps to my apartment. Bill came home a little after that and told me of his plans for me to write a play that they could work on for the workshop he attends.

Sounds like a good idea but I was trying to figure out what I should write. He mentioned 10 pages should be enough and that’s the rule of thumb, one minute for every page. It’s mainly an African American theater group but Bill says that doesn’t matter.

I’m sure I could write something color blind, but I think it might lean to existentialism and I don’t know how that would go over. I’m thinking like maybe a Beckett play. Write now I am writing about writing which could be a line of thought, a one person play.

Still looking for things to do. I did go out on a personal errand. I need hair gel. As usual the things I use seem to be on the way to being discontinued. I like hair gel and where I bought a few jars of it last year, now they’re unavailable online.

So I walked from 50th and Third Avenue to 36th Street. That’s where I almost ran into the various people in my way.

At one point as I was waiting for a light to change, some handsome young man in a truck says, ‘Hey hows it going?” I say, ‘It’s good. How about yourself?’ ‘Good good’ he says, adding ‘Are you still working over there?’ I say, ‘No man, I’m working over here now’

The light changed and he was on his way. Turns out he was a fling from many years ago, Jose. Still handsome and hot but he was the passenger in a delivery van so it obviously couldn’t get much further than a 30 second chat.

I didn’t figure out who he was until I was in the line to get my hair gel. And that was odd. The bill came to $6.13 and I had $6.12. I asked if they had a save a penny/leave a penny and she looked at me as if I was speaking Latin.

All I had was a $10.00 bill and wound up with a pocket full of change which seems to be heard by anyone standing on the street asking for change.

Another interesting thing happened to me while I was running around outside. I’m heading back to my office building when an attractive woman jumps in front of me.

She asks where I got the suit I was wearing and I tell her Syms, where an educated consumer is their best customer. She asks if I ever heard of Tom James. I did and ask if it was the maker of bespoke suits and it was. She tells me I look good and asks for my card which I gave her in exchange for hers.

I’d love a bespoke suit, which is basically a suit made from scratch. You pick out the fabric and they make it according to your size and tastes and will alter it if you gain or lose weight.

That was nice, telling me I looked nice, and it’s also a nice selling point, compliment the potential customer and maybe they’ll spend $1000.00 on a new suit, with 3 free shirts! That Amy Sacks knows her stuff, but I have about 12 suits now and I really don’t need anymore.

I am saddened by Natasha Richardson’s accident. Falling while on a beginner slope while skiing. Apparently something happened with her brain even though she was walking and talking afterwards.

I’ve hit my head many times, one particular incident was when I was working in a book warehouse. I was under the racks getting some books and I thought I had cleared the steel rack and stood up and smacked my head. I literally saw stars and had to sit down for a few minutes.

I guess having such fatty tissue for a skull had an advantage. Now apparently I would be taken to a hospital to be checked out. Not then. And now if you’re going skiing, helmets are almost mandatory.

I didn’t see Natasha Richardson on Broadway in Cabaret but I know the soundtrack inside out and she’s on it. She certainly was a beautiful actress and a pleasure to watch and to listen to. It doesn’t look good for her, reports are that she’s brain dead.

It’s been said that she was scheduled to be on Broadway again with her mother the great Vanessa Redgrave in A Little Night Music, but now that isn’t going to happen. I would have loved to have seen it.

8:08 PM- New York Times
Natasha Richardson, Actress, Dies at 45, Family Says

Natasha Richardson, a Tony Award-winning actress whose career
melded glamorous celebrity with the bloodline of theater
royalty, has died following a skiing accident on Monday north
of Montreal, her family said.

She’s So Modern

Yes, it’s a late posting tonight and yes I went out and had a few pints after work. And yes I have a good excuse. Being St. Patrick’s Day my niece Corinne and I have decided to continue something from last year, basically creating a tradition of going to McSwells and having a pint for this day of enforced Irish-ness.

Last year it was Corinne and I with her boyfriend who shall be known as Doofus. Corinne and Doofus are no more so he wasn’t around. Corinne’s mother, my sister in law Elaine joined us. It was good. Elaine definitely needed to get out and let her hair down. No table dancing, just some pub grub sitting at the bar and chatting.

A nice end to a decent St. Patrick’s Day. The day started ok, Bill telling me it was 6:40 as he lay in bed next to me, me telling Bill to go ahead and do whatever it is he has to do, I’ll keep sleeping. That lasted about 5 minutes once he got out of bed. I couldn’t sleep anymore so I got out of bed.

Bill was getting himself together, doesn’t take as long as I do since he just puts on clothes and goes to the gym. I shower and shave here, not being a gym person. I wore a double breasted suit with a green pattered tie and my late cousin Jackie’s overcoat.

Made it to the office a little after 8:30 which is earlier than it’s been the past couple of weeks. Quiet again, though on the street were occasional groups of people, mainly in green headed towards Fifth Avenue. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was scheduled at 11:00 and at 9:00 that was the destination, to get a good spot on the curb.

My day was quiet enough that I was able to go and check out the parade for an hour. That’s what I’ve been doing the past few years, checking out the parade on my lunch hour. Previous years had easier access to the parade route, but not this year. I walked over to 50th and Madison where I found out that I would have to go to 42nd Street or 55th Street to get to the parade.

I asked why they were doing it this year and the cop told me he didn’t know. I wound up walking up to 53rd Street where there wasn’t a police office controlling the flow of people to the parade. It wasn’t like Hoboken’s parade a few weeks ago. This was more subdued despite 5 times as many people.

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The weather was agreeable and I smoked a Padron and took some snapshots. I would have stayed longer but the batteries in my camera died after 48 pictures. Back to the still quiet office, looking around for things to do, things to pass the time. Somehow I did find things and soon enough it was time to go home.

The original plan was to meet Corinne at 6:00 so I took my time, enjoying another Padron, weaving my way through the crowds and saw Bill for a few minutes. He looked good in his green tie. Didn’t get a picture of him in his green beret and scarf.

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"Ernie"

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That’s how he dressed for St. Patrick’s Day. I had the green patterned tie and 4 leaf clover cuff links that I got cheap a few weeks ago. Got a pair for Bill as well.

Walked to the bus terminal, taking my time again. It was 5:30 when I got a text from Corinne asking if we could meet at 6:30 instead. I said ‘ok’ and decided to go home and change out of my suit into more casual fare.

Walked up to McSwells a little before 6:30 and got to the bar where it was fairly quiet. Not much going on which was fine by me. Elaine and Corinne were looking for a spot and I suggested parking in a garage, I would pay the cost.

It was $7.00 easily affordable but they had to pay once they got there so I was off the hook for that one. They showed up and we sat at the bar, eating and drinking and catching up. I had 4 pints, Corinne had 1 and Elaine had 2 Coronas.

Nobody out of control and after an hour or two it was time to go. A very nice, nothing over the top St. Patrick’s Day. That’s about it. No complaints.

Elaine, Me, Corinne

Elaine, Me, Corinne

Certain Harbours

A very cold Sunday. Snowed a bit last night, but not enough to stick around this morning. I watched Hancock last night. It was alright. Not very good. Decent special effects. After that I watched the first half of Saturday Night Live and that was merely alright too.

TI was the mediocre musical guest, John Malkovich was the guest host and he was a bit out of step with the rest of the cast it seemed. Good to see Amy Poehler back. But it wasn’t enough to make me stay awake until the end, wound up going to sleep after Weekend Update.

I recorded it so I can always catch the rest of it some other time. Slept until 8:00 and was out at 8:30. No contact with the Lopez family on the third floor despite my efforts of texting and voice mail.

Had an easy breakfast and was reading the papers and watching Barack Obama on Meet the Press when my niece Corrine called, letting me know that she was playing volleyball at Stevens Tech.

She told me about it yesterday and I asked that she call me when she had a clearer time of when she was actually playing. With 30 minutes notice I was soon in the bleachers next to my sister in law, Elaine cheering Corinne on.

They were doing well and with the help of two other spectators we made a four person wave which ebbed and flowed and may have helped Corinne’s team win a game or two. Well that’s what the two guys said and I was prone to agreeing with them.

After that Elaine and I walked up to Starbucks where we waited for my brother Frank to pick her up and drive back to Garfield. Frank being Frank was late by 45 minutes. Luckily we were indoors since the wind was bitter and cutting like a knife. I rarely go to Starbucks and on those rare occasions that I do, I don’t stay there.

Today we needed to be there and I don’t understand the protocol of the store. If someone is sitting at a table with three chairs reading the Sunday Times with various sections of the Times on the 2 empty chairs, do you ask the person sitting there to move their papers so you can sit there?

It didn’t matter since we did find a table that was quite dirty since the people sitting there just decided to walk out and not clean up after themselves. This Starbucks is at 12th and Hudson Street, which isn’t the same Hudson Street it was when Betti Cola was living above McSwells.

It’s populated with newcomers to Hoboken who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for their condos, i.e., no one I know. Rude and self centered which seems to be the way of life up there.

The only contact I really have with these people is when they get on the bus in the morning upset that all the seats are gone and they have to stand.

Frank did show up I was dropped off in front of my building, Frank and Elaine heading back to Garfield. Nice to be in from the cold.

Back to work tomorrow. Blah blah blah.

I have taken some photos but since I am on Bill’s Mac still I can’t figure out how to post them to this blog. I can make them appear as wallpaper though which isn’t what I want. Someday, perhaps before the end of the year I’ll be back using my computer and writing and posting online. I’m not holding my breath.

Back to Life

I actually had most of an entry written last night before the power went out. And since it was a complete system shutdown, nothing was saved. Thank you Annemarie for posting in my place, you did an admirable job. It was quite a storm last night high winds and pounding rain and with the power out there was no air, meaning I couldn’t open a window making it quite stuffy.

I would up reading a book by flashlight when not pacing back in forth in the apartment which has been my world for the past four very long days. Bill came home through darkened streets and moments after his arrival the power came back on so I crown him Sun King for the day.

He’s been quite a help and a rock that I can rely on. Of course he’s been worried about me. I have been worried that he doesn’t catch whatever it is that I’ve had. I’d like to think that I’ve turned a corner health wise, still not 100% but I do have to get it together somewhat and get to the office tomorrow.

I think the corner was last night, probably while everyone was having a nice dinner and a good time at the Hamilton household. I was able to sleep much like I used to, and only had to change my t-shirt three times as opposed to something like ten times a few nights previous.

Saturday Night Live was good, the digital short was hilarious, ‘Are you there Jah? It’s me Ras-Trent’. Coldplay were interesting, I really liked their first song a lot. Jon Hamm was the very funny host and it got me interested in Mad Men again. Tonight is the season finale and you would think AMC would have a block of shows leading up to it but instead they have horror movies for Halloween.

Yesterday was the first time since Wednesday that I left the apartment and it was a bit like a psychedelic experience. First off I was still a bit light headed and walking to the supermarket was a bit of a trip. There were a handful of customers, some in pajamas and with the lights down low to save electricity made for quite a surreal experience. By the time I came home I was drenched in sweat once again and found myself in bed under the covers.

Juan stopped by yesterday, fearless of the bug that I have. I attempted to stay awake through the day so my night sleep wouldn’t be disturbed but while watching a documentary on quantum physics and Mark Everett of Eels who’s father was a prominent physicist. But physics started wearing me down and getting drowsy so I went for a lie down and Juan was on his way. Can’t really say it went downhill from there, more like it was a slow decline.

Right now I’m watching a dvd of the Jack Benny show which is still pretty funny and I can see a connection from Jack Benny to Stephen Colbert. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that they’re both better known for their characters than for themselves.

Both play characters named after themselves. Has anyone else noticed this? Over half a century later Jack Benny still has some great laughs. It’s all in the timing. Still, laughter is the best medicine and this is helping greatly.

Another good medicine is homemade soup which my sister in law Elaine just dropped off with my niece Corinne. Luckily Elaine had given me a heads up and I was able to clean up the hovel a bit which was looking even worse than usual since it had been my prison/hospital room for the past two weeks.

It wasn’t much that I could do but clean up the couch so they could at least sit them both comfortably. They were here for about an hour and it was a nice visit and I’m sure the soup is good, just haven’t warmed it up yet.

So far I’ve been outside three times today which is an accomplishment. Tons of strollers out. Too many all rolling down the sidewalks with parents behind them sometimes three or four strollers abreast. I doubt if I’ll be heading out again today. Got to reserve power so I can go to work tomorrow and deal with that mess.

I’ve only been out since Wednesday but it feels longer. With the power outage last night it really made me feel out of sorts this morning. Time is relative, and for the record my temperature is basically ‘normal’ 98 degree range. And there is nothing like homemade soup, made with love.