Tag Archives: Farfetched

I See Love

Well today has been spent in the cigar shop. All day and a lot longer than I expected. Last night, an urgent text from Shlomo came in, asking me to stop by the cigar shop. Since I had nothing on the agenda today I told him that I would stop by. I had a feeling that once again it would be ‘can you sit in the shop for an hour or two’. I was partially correct and glad I brought a lunch with me. Sure enough it was that but instead of an hour or two it was about four hours.

It keeps me out of trouble and off the streets and stocked with cigars so I am not complaining. I have my iPod cranking out Blondie, The New Yorker and my tablet so I am set. It’s fairly quiet in the cigar shop, the January doldrums in the retail world. I remember it well from Farfetched as well as other establishments I have frequented. I still miss Farfetched. It was this time of year in 2009 that that ship was slowly sinking due to unwanted pressure from that neighboring idiotic goth store. I still can’t believe they’re in business.

Last night Bill came home full of ideas for his one man show. It should be good, I had some ideas for him. He was getting so far ahead of himself and I felt he needed to be reminded to reel it in somewhat. Bill was taken aback slightly but once I made my case he seemed to understand it. He wants to shoot a video as part of the show and since I did a bang up job on Christmas Day out in Wally World, I will be recording this next installment. He’s been storyboarding what he wants which should help.

Of course between now and then anything could happen. He told me on Christmas Day what he wanted then left me in the cold as he jockeyed buses to and fro in that Arctic parking lot by the former National’s Department store. By the time Bill was ready I had a new idea which worked just fine. He posted it on Facebook so some of you have seen it, for everyone else you should friend Bill. I forgot how good I am behind the camera, it had been a while despite having over 150 videos on YouTube of myself.

But those of course are mainly still shots of me smoking a cigar. Sure some guys in Taiwan enjoyed looking at my over the calf socks and let me know how much they enjoyed my socks and how they wished that they were 6 inches tall so I could step on them to their sexual gratification. I was more than happy to oblige since they are all the way on the other side of the world and actual shrinkage to 6 inches is impossible for even me, thereby disproving the Irish curse once again.

“I love destroying myths”, said the spouse of a size queen.

The Madonna singer was wearing lipstick today (not pictured)

The Madonna singer was wearing lipstick today (not pictured)

McD's renovation on store, food remains the same.

McD’s renovation on store, food remains the same.

Rock On

I Like How It Feels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the hostess with the mostest with the birthday geezer


my stage

my audience

01 Give Peace A Chance

Too Tender (To Touch)

Well here I am writing again even though I said I might not. Force of habit I suppose. Today was somewhat different. I got my bicycle together, inflated the tires and went out for a ride.

Lovely day for it. I decided to stay away from the guitar as much as possible today. Just a break. Will return to it fresh tomorrow.

But in honor of Albert Hoffman and his fateful bicycle ride on April 19, I decided to take the bike out for a spin on April 20 (4/20 for some). I rode up Park Avenue, feeling a bit naked since I didn’t have the rear view mirror that I usually strap to my left wrist.

I had a feeling it was somewhere in my backpack and made a note to check it when I had the chance. I found the strapped mirror and put it on. I bought three of these things at Farfetched back in the 1990’s, one for me, for Julio and one for my then roommate William. I know I still have mine.

I rode up to 15th Street and Park Avenue making a right to head into the Lipton Tea Building complex. No one around except for nannies and their charges. Beautiful day, blue skies, a few clouds. Rode along the river past more nannies, past Maxwell Place onto Sinatra Drive.

The skateboarders were out as I rolled past. Decided to head into Jersey City and pedaled over to the train station. Had to walk through the station but once I got back to the light rail station I hopped on and started pedaling again.

Saw a baby blanket on the river walk and asked a few nannies up ahead if they lost a blanket. If they did I would have turned around and picked it up. They said they hadn’t but each nanny thanked me for asking.

I rode along the Newport river walk, past office workers out having a smoke. Found a nice spot across the river from the Winter Garden and sat for a spell, just staring across the river. It was nice and quiet, no one else around, save a guy who decided to take a nap a few yards down.

Back up on the bike, I rode around again, past OfficeTeam when I was interviewed by Omar Castillo back in November and who called me up about a possible job, or a lead in Hoboken. Told him I was interested and sent an email back to see how it went but haven’t heard anything yet.

Perhaps if he Google’s his name he’ll see this. Then again the name has been changed to protect the innocent.

Back up to Hoboken. On te way I bought a banana. In Hoboken at Natural & Plus they usually cost 45¢. On weekends they weigh the banana and will charge you the extra 2¢. From a cart in Jersey City it was 25¢. (I do like Alt 155).

Back through the train station where I bought the Daily News and sat by the river and read the paper, had a banana and smoked a cigar. Even rode the bike down the bike path to see if Tariq was out with his guitar but I guess he was singing ‘Melissa’ across the street from the Plaza Hotel.

Just rode back home after all that and had an earlier supper than usual since I was plenty hungry when I got home.

That’s about it. An easy peasy day.

Tomorrow night is the Specials concert. Have to figure out whom I am meeting and where.
Hoboken 002
Hoboken 003
Hoboken 005
Hoboken 009
Hoboken 010
The bicycle
JOT Bike break
Hoboken 001

Dirt Road Blues

Well I am writing this on Google documents since Open Office is behaving rather testily right now. I just got back a little while ago from an interview. I think it went well. It’s for a temp to perm position and now that I am in their system I will wait and see how that works out.

I have plans to meet up with Harpy and Susan, part of an unofficial Farfetched reunion. It should be fun. I begged off initially but Harpy twisted my arm so to speak.

Everything seems to be working fine. It was the browser and a program I was running that made everything difficult. Now that the program is finished, all seems well.

So the interview went well despite the grouchy receptionist. Asking her for a key to the men’s room was like I was asking her for a bone marrow donation.

Since I am going out in a few minutes I decided to stop by McDonald’s and pick up a couple of burgers. Good to have something in your stomach before drinking. I know I started boycotting it a few months ago, but damn it I was hungry and making dinner for myself would take too much time.

As I sat and had a burger and some fries the cellphone rings. It was another interviewer that I met a few weeks ago. Actually the woman who set up the interview. She asked if I was still interested in the position and I of course said yes, that I was, but telling her to keep in mind that I have been going on other interviews since we last met.

Perhaps that will light a fire under their collective ass. She said that the guy who interviewed me a few weeks ago should call me back in a few days to let me know that I got the job. I guess if he doesn’t call that means I didn’t get the job.

Last night had a strange dream. I won a trip to England, staying in a town called Letterhead, which I think was somewhere between Manchester and London. Met some nice people there, had a lot of drinks and soaked up the local culture. There was something else that occurred in the dream, the day after I got to Letterhead, I had to fly back to Newark to for another job interview.

It was all paid for. Like I said it was a strange dream. Felt rather comfortable while visiting Letterhead.

Bill noticed that I did get up out of bed and write about the trip to Letterhead, England and then went back to bed. Bill also wore his sleep apnea mask which guaranteed sleep for me, but it was uncomfortable for him.

I have to say it was nice to put on a suit and tie and head into the city again. Tomorrow I am heading back to my old office to help Greg Stevens make his move from the old office at 800 Third to the new office across the street at 825 Third.

Now that I’ve hit my 500 word goal, I can safely say I am done with today’s entry and after I post, I can head into the city. Here are some pictures from the interview.

Tomorrow, pictures from drinks with Susan and Harpy.

Where they sat

Where they sat

Yours truly

Yours truly


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It’s Friday, last day of a 4 day work week. And it was quite an interesting work week. I’m not going to rehash the week, you can always go back and read what I wrote. Today was something else. I mainly played DJ today.

Some of the sub-subtenants enjoyed what I was playing and told me so. I mentioned that I used to do it for a living. But that wasn’t true. I never made a living from it. Maybe $30.00 and a burger or cavatelli with broccoli.

Occasionally I DJ’d someone’s wedding. That was always a nerve wracking experience. The first time I really DJ’d at a friends wedding was in 1986. I borrowed equipment from Ulysses Sankitts, a friend I had only met a few days before at a job I started one day before Ulysses.

He trusted me enough and talked it over with his brother Tony and they brought it to a loft on Broadway right above Canal Street. Eve who was a waitress at McSwells married Jeff a bartender at a bar in the city, so the guests were mainly the hip crowd. I guess I did well. It was a blur really.

I did spend more money on records than I was actually getting paid. Back then if given a choice between music and food, I would pick music. I was spinning records on off nights at McSwells, eventually taking over Guy Ewald’s shift. Charlie had Saturday nights so I had Fridays.

Occasionally we would switch shifts. McSwells was so insular then, whomever would DJ would sometimes work the door, always for $30.00 and the aforementioned dishes.

One time I was DJ’ing a wedding and the couple gave me a list of what they wanted played. I didn’t have Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton and it was the main number. They provided a copy but I never got around to it. The marriage was doomed anyway. The groom had quite a wandering eye and I think within a year it was kaput.

Another time a couple a few doors down from McSwells were getting married and I had the whole place swingin’. I remember a conga line snaking through the crowd at 1st and Clinton while I played the extended dance mix of Konk Party, still a favorite song 25 years later.

They paid me with a check that I cashed at McSwells even though McSwells never did that. Of course the check bounced and I got an earful from Steve Fallon’s sister Ann. But I loved to play music for other people and I still do.

I prefer to make people dance than actually dancing myself. The last time I DJ’d was at Lois and Fred’s wedding party in August and no one danced. I played nothing but hits and surefire things to move some butts and get asses wiggling but it never happened.

I guess I would be better suited for small situations without a dance floor, like office cubicles. When I worked at Farfetched, I would try to carefully select the music for the store, but sometimes Lois or Susan (or Denise) wouldn’t like what I was playing and I would get a puss on, taking their rejection of my musical selections so personally.

I think I would do well as a radio DJ, but that is my brother Frank’s area and I wouldn’t dare encroach on his space, no way.

I will say being a DJ with an iPod is a lot easier than lugging crates of records around. I would lug about 6 crates sometimes. On New Years Eve at McSwells I would bring 10 crates. That was always a big money night, $150.00 (maybe more) and various potions and drinks.

Good times from what I could remember.

Let’s Go Away for Awhile

Well here I am over 24 hours after the last posting. What did I do? Where did I go? Well, after writing I walked from 50th street and Third Avenue to 12th Street and Fourth Avenue, enjoying a Padron and listening to a play list for the Farfetched finale. After 28 years, Farfetched has bit the dust. Not that Susan or Lois did anything wrong.

Lousy landlord wouldn’t renew their lease since there seems to be quite a demand for Goth shoes in the neighborhood. Well, we’ll see how that goes. Raccoon eyed customers with deep pockets always shop during economic downturns.

Even if the landlord did renew the lease it probably would have been a stressful year for Susan and Lois. They were clobbered for the holiday season and that’s their best time of year. So a whole year of that wouldn’t have done them well and they would possibly end the year with multiple ulcers.

I got to the store which was barren and sparsely decorated. Plenty of wine to accompany the six pack of Heineken’s I bought. $13.00 for a six pack is a bit much. I could get two six packs in Hoboken for the same price, but I was on the island of Manhattan where everything is imported. Lois, Susan and Harpy were in the store and we were anticipating a few guests.

We were fine with it being the four of us, but we welcomed the incoming well wishers. And that’s what they were, well wishers coming to wish Susan and Lois and quite possibly Harpy well. The night progressed, I’d say about 50 people were there at one point. Actually more like 25 as I was seeing double.

People came in from as far as Ohio to say goodbye. Bill even was there for a while, taking it all in as well as taking a few photos. I just drank and drank, my hand always having a green bottle in my hand. I had to replenish my supply and I went over to Third Avenue at Harpy’s suggestion and bout 2 six packs at $10.00 per, a slight improvement.

Jen, Me, Sharon, Jessica and Harpy (missing: Amy who left early)

Jen, Me, Sharon, Jessica and Harpy (missing: Amy who left early)



We were a festive crowd, even when Skeletor from the Halloween Adventure Store had the gall to stop by and collect the keys from Lois. After Skeletor left it seemed to be the proper time to throw many bags of shredded paper in the air creating a snowstorm of confetti a few inches deep.

Music was constantly played supplied by Harpy, myself and Sharon, another former employee. Susan’s sister Karen recited a poem, I mistook Susan’s other sister Linda to be a guy, as she’s quite a butch lesbian. Sharon, the distaff DJ was there with her husband Jocko who told me that he doesn’t use Facebook since he thinks it has a cult like mentality.

Perhaps he’s right. I’ve never been much of a joiner but I am enthralled by the Facebook and the connections it allows. Some hooliganism was underfoot during the party with the toilet getting backed up as a welcoming for the Goth shoe store.

That should have been done at the end of the party but someone (and it’s not me) thought otherwise. Some squatting in the basement occurred after that and that wasn’t me either. It was a happy/sad occasion over all.

I stumbled out a little after 12:30 after kissing Susan and Lois and Harpy. Plodded my way to 14th Street and Sixth Avenue to a crowded Path station. Had to ride uptown to get back to Hoboken and I found myself a corner seat, hat pulled down to my eyebrows and waited to get to Hoboken where I walked very fast towards home since I really had to pee.

In bed soon after that and tossed and turned all night. This morning I saw Julio and Stine with Superboy as they were headed out. I made breakfast, did some laundry, watching a movie called Human Traffic on DVD.

Obligatory picture of Alexander Lopez

Obligatory picture of Alexander Lopez

Pretty funny movie about a group of British youths doing ecstasy and partying for a weekend. Some very funny, very true things in the movie, though I still can’t figure out why I rented it.

After that, a much needed nap for about 3 hours and now I find myself in front of the computer again.

Other pics are posted in Facebook under my nom de blog, John Ozed
and some short vids on YouTube under johnotoole99 whomever that is…

I Feel It All

Well since I doubt if I’m going to get a chance to write this later at home, I figured I would start now while still rearranging the deck chairs. Woke up at the usual time this morning, 6:30 and wondered why would I be in a hurry to get to work.

There was a chance that Tom Chin might be in, that rare Friday, but he said only in the morning. I had a plan to leave work around 3:00 like I usually do on Fridays, but decided against it.

I knew I would be going to attend the ‘Irish wake’ at Farfetched tonight and rather than go home and then come back into the city, I decided an extra hour of sleep would suit me fine.

I would go into work later than usual and stay later than usual and head down to Farfetched. I also wanted to be in the office since it was Trudy’s last day. Once again nothing that she has done, just the economy is such that the charitable foundation couldn’t afford her to come in four days a week.

They offered her two days a week but really, who can live and work on two days a week? So she asked them to let her go and since it’s the end of the month its ‘good bye Trudy’.

She works with a woman named Debra and I was asked to join them for lunch which I did. A new restaurant in the next building. Italian food, nice décor, but we sat in the upper level which ascetically was nice but in reality we were that much closer to the ceiling which meant it was over warm and quite stuffy.

I had the chicken picata by the way which was ok though I should have ordered a side dish of pasta since this was just two pieces of chicken in a lemon sauce with capers. Hit the spot in any event.

Now it’s 4:30. I was planning on staying until 6:00 but Vivek just walked through the door, stressed and I certainly don’t want to deal with that, not on a Friday afternoon about to go to a party of sorts.

Just finished talking with Vivek, he’s stressed of course but in a good mood. His partner is planning an extravagant birthday weekend for himself so I guess there should be an all points bulletin for two rowdy Indian guys on the loose in Manhattan. Mothers lock up your daughters!

Trudy just gave me a weepy hug, thanking me for being her friend since she started working here. She’s a wonderful woman, from Northern Ireland. A real sweetheart who will be missed and not only by me.

She’s another friend I have to keep an ear open regarding jobs, if I hear of anything. So much of that going around I can only hope my ears are big enough since I know my arse is big enough.

I’m sure I will fill you all in with details and pics from the Farfetched finale.


Nice to write on a Friday evening. Been a long week though it was only a 4 day work week. Haven’t heard of any other friends getting laid off today. Trudy whom I wrote about yesterday is leaving next Friday. Farfetched, according to Susan’s Facebook page will probably be shuttered this weekend.

Next Friday is a farewell get together at the store and Harpy wants to dance with me. ♪’I’m Harpy just to dance with you’♫. I may fob Bill off on him since Bill is more of a dancer, I’m more of a music selecter. No typo or sic, just an homage to a favorite 2 Tone band.

Tonight I’m not doing much of anything except for laundry. I’m off to Otisville, land of the alpha male Pedro. Trying to figure out how to get that nude shot of him from his phone to mine. The nude shot that sobered me right up last May, burned into my consciousness.

Speaking of nude shots, I saw (and saved) a video of two hot guys going at it a while ago. That’s one of the advantages of not having children around, graphic images and their availability. Well the other day I am pretty sure I saw one of the participants on the street the other morning as I was going to work.

I wasn’t sure since he was fully clothed and couldn’t tell since I didn’t hear his voice. Of course ever since I saw him I made it a point to walk the same bat route at the same bat time but he was nowhere to be found this morning.

Just 2 ships passing in the night (or morning) and one with quite a heavy anchor. What would I say? What would I do if I saw him again? Just a daydream again, albeit a lustful daydream. Oh sex, such a welcome distraction from life’s drudgery.

That was a return to the early days of this blog when I wrote freely about sexual matters, now I use discretion and ennui. Last night was nothing extraordinary. No O & RM, watched Ugly Betty. It’s been awhile since I watched it and while it’s still sweet I really don’t know what’s going on.

Easy to jump back in though. Bill is into the show and I could always ask him who’s who and what’s what. I had no idea that Betty was living in Manhattan with Amanda and I had no idea Amanda could be nice. Amanda is the receptionist and also the illegitimate daughter of the horrid Gene Simmons from Kiss.

I never liked Kiss and always felt their fans, the Kiss Army were a bunch of suckers. They were big but never reached the upper echelons of the Rock and Roll hierarchy and are rarely mentioned in those Rock and Roll documentaries on VH1 Classics.

Unlike Led Zeppelin who I used to resent, but now I respect, I will never like Kiss.

Harpy called midway through Ugly Betty, reading me the pulse on Farfetched and then proceeded to froth at the mouth about something. I don’t remember and as Harpy was nearly 3 sheets to the wind I doubt if he will remember.

I do recall his mentioning Ambien and how he took it once only to find himself on the living room floor surrounded by stacks of books that he piled up when sleep walking. That sounds like fun, if only as an experiment.

Take an Ambien and let the camera roll. Of course someone would need to use the camera and prevent me from doing something really stupid. The perfect person to man the camera would be Juan who just called me a little while ago wondering if we were going to meet up later.

He gets out of work at 10:00 and he’s in Princeton which is a few hours away which means midnight, and that might be too late for me. Still, I told him to call me to gauge the situation. I’m hopeful since I haven’t seen him since last year.

I just wouldn’t want him to come over and then me kicking him out soon after. He’s working and going to school so he has a full dance card.

I doubt that I’ll be posting tomorrow night since I’ll be in Otisville with Pedro and Connie, as well as Excer and his girlfriend and Gary- a friend of theirs from back in the day. I meet Gary every couple of years and the last time was last year.

And last time I saw Excer he was complaining about how his girlfriend wants to get married and that’s something Excer doesn’t want to do again. Another friend, Ulysses may show up but I’m not placing any bets on that.

It would be fun if Ulysses showed up, it would raise the party to a whole different level but I’m not holding my breath. Ulysses is such a cool name though, isn’t it? I suppose it made him tough, much like A Boy Named Sue.

Aretha’s hat takes over the world!

Touch Sensitive

It’s Thursday and a melancholy Thursday at that. Another co-worker has been given her walking papers. Well a subtenant actually. Trudy who I wrote about the other day as well as a couple of times before.

Through no fault of her own, just the economy. She was an assistant working Tuesday through Friday for a charitable foundation but since the donations aren’t coming in, they can’t afford Trudy.

On my front, my company is making sure that I’m getting paid but who knows how long that will go on for? Till March 2010 is what they told me but anything is possible.

Trudy had tears in her eyes as she told me her bad news and made me swear not to tell anyone and I’m sure I can count on the five or six of you that actually read this to keep Trudy’s secret.

Spoke with Harpy last night and it’s getting sadder each day at Farfetched. Susan and Lois did everything right for 28 years. The holiday season didn’t come through though, and even if they did spectacular, they’d still have to close the store since the landlord wasn’t going to renew their lease. So it’s quite gloomy at 110 Fourth Avenue. There was nothing they could do.

I bought a lottery ticket which I plan on winning so maybe I’ll be able to help everyone out somehow. That’s the only plan I have at the moment. Check with me on Saturday to see how it turns out and think positive people!

Last night I watched the Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both of them funny, but The Colbert Report was that much funnier since it was decidedly hilarious to see Stephen Colbert’s mascara running down his face and gross to see the snot running from his nose due to his being so happy about Barack Obama being sworn in as President.

After that was Lost. The TV show not the actual fact of being not able to find one’s way. It was a good two hours. No Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, just escapism. The second half was the more interesting part, the first half was all about the set up for the season.

And apparently this season will be all about time travel and it’s implications of what you can and cannot do. Since it’s science fiction they can do anything, bring people back from the dead, unleash smoke monsters or even travel through time.

After that it was the news and then bedtime which was earlier than it’s been, 11:45. I made sure to set the alarm a little earlier on the alarm clock so I can get the day started a little bit earlier. Bill texted me warning about a water main break at the Holland Tunnel and that traffic was piling up at the Lincoln Tunnel.

I took my chances and called Bill on the cellphone when I got on the bus. Two seats in front of me, some dork thought I was talking loudly, when I wasn’t and luckily for him, my death glare wasn’t working properly so he lived. It seemed there were assholes all over the place.

Almost saw a fight on an escalator when one guy wouldn’t step to the right to let people pass on the left. He was adamant about not moving, one of those people who just stand on the escalator and stand there. He got called an asshole and not by me. I can only assume there is a proctologist convention in town.

Wear You to the Ball

After all the inaugural footage and festivities have wound down, it feels like the holidays are over. I know they ended a few weeks ago but to me it seemed like it was finished. I mainly watched MSNBC covering the balls and the events of the day regarding the incoming president.

I have to say after hearing the Etta James song, ‘At Last’ nine times I had had enough. A James Brown song would have done better but hey, it wasn’t my party and I wasn’t the guest of honor. A few twirls around the stage and a few words from the president and then it was off to the next ball for them.

Somehow Barack Obama was able to get up and go to work this morning. I did too but all he had to do was get out of bed and walked through the White House from the east wing to the west wing. I’m sure he had a busy day and I was busy myself. Finally.

Things were quiet on the conservative front this morning. Perhaps my comment to them yesterday shut them up, perhaps they were hurt or perhaps they realized they can’t just spew their ignorance around anymore without anyone else speaking up against what they had to say.

What I said yesterday was nonsense though and though I sort of expected the other shined shoe to drop, it never happened. A lot of running around in the cold streets of midtown. Just quick jaunts here and there, nothing too insane.

Got an email from Susan regarding a party for the closing of Farfetched. Harpy mentioned that it might be this weekend so I should keep this weekend open. I committed to this weekend when Pedro called inviting me up to Otisville for a get together to watch a boxing match.

He’s big into boxing. I told him about Farfetched and their closing party and of course he berated me for not going up to see him. The email that Susan sent this morning was announcing the party being on January 30.

I texted Pedro this morning, letting him know I could make it after all. Effectively giving him another opportunity to bust my balls and telling me that I wasn’t invited after all.

I told Bill about Otisville and he wanted to go, but when I told him it would be an overnight trip, a two hour train ride each way he said he wouldn’t be able to make it after all since he has to do a reading at his church on Sunday morning. We’ll probably be just getting up when he mounts the pulpit.

Bill and I will have to work out a visit later in the year when it’s warmer. Then it would be up to Pedro and Connie to invite us up. But that’s further down the line and a few flips of the calendar pages and right now I’m just too tired to really care.

Hopefully I will get to sleep at a decent hour but having said that, it seems unlikely, what with Lost returning to TV tonight in a 2 hour season premiere.

Here’s a picture of Superboy that Julio took with his cellphone last month.



Bring Me Closer

It’s a Sunday and if you’ve been keeping score you probably knew that already. That means last night was Saturday and I’ll tell you what I did. Basically watched TV. Watched the DVR of the second half of last week’s Saturday Night Live which was ok, also The Office which was somewhat sad for Andy.

The showdown between Dwight and Andy for Angela’s had (or body) came to a head. I think Andy won the duel from driving under 5 miles per hour in his Prius and pinning Dwight’s legs to the shrubbery.

30 Rock was good though not one of their best, but of course the scenes with Alec Baldwin and Salma Hayek were the funniest.

I channel surfed and wound up on Back Beat, the 1994 movie about the Beatles in Hamburg with Stephen Dorff as Stu Sutcliffe and Sheryl Lee as Astrid Kirscherr and Ian Hart as John Lennon. The guy who played Paul McCartney was too tall, a few inches taller than Lennon but only trainspotters like myself would know or care about something like that. It was an enjoyable way to kill an hour or so, despite the movie being hokey at best.

After that I watched Saturday Night Live which had Rosario Dawson hosting and Fleet Foxes as the musical guests. I read about Fleet Foxes a lot lately in Mojo and Uncut, so apparently they’re big in England and only starting to make a splash here in the states, despite coming from Seattle.

I thought they were ok, a bit like Crosby, Still and Nash which if you like CSN you would probably like them. Me, I am fairly indifferent towards them. A bit twee as Lennon supposedly remarked when CSN tried to sign with Apple Records back in the day. Rosario Dawson was good but overall the show lacked.

Right now Jamie Foxx is doing an impersonation of Barack Obama on the HBO rebroadcast of the Inaugural concert this afternoon. Jamie Foxx is the new Vaughn Meade?

Betteye Levette is doing a duet with Jon Bon Jovi of Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come. I’m sorry but I don’t think Jon Bon Jovi should ever sing this song at all. Either in a duet or solo. It’s hard to imagine Jon Bon Jovi being oppressed and denied his civil rights.

Betteye should have kicked his butt off the stage. Nothing against Jon. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy and I’m friends with his cousin.

This afternoon I made it into the city again, stopped by Farfetched and saw Harpy, this time working with Susan. Good to see Susan, both she and Lois are going through the stages of grief over the loss of their business. It’s a sad thing.

Have to get Susan a job somehow, as well as Harpy, Billie, Rita, Steve and various other friends who are presently out of work. Bill is still sick but a little bit better than he was yesterday.

I picked up 2 quarts (a half gallon) of chicken soup as well as a hero from Subway for Bill and walked over to Stuyvesant Town and dropped them off. I sat with Bill for a little while, then headed out and decided to finish the last of my La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero cigars which should make Harpy happy since I don’t think

I’ll be writing about them again any time soon. It was a difficult cigar, not an easy draw and I’ll stick to my Padron cigars from now on. Since I was smoking a cigar I decided to walk from 14th street and Avenue C to 32nd Street and Broadway and it was a good walk, listening to D’Angelo.

Got a seat on the Path train back to Hoboken where I ran into (or was almost run into) by Julio, Stine and Alexander. They were driving to Jersey City to see if they could see the US Air airbus in the Hudson River. Stine and I walked over to the river’s edge while Julio and Alexander stayed in the car. Couldn’t see much but I think I got one workable picture.

A little fuzzy but the US AIR airbus is right in the middle

A little fuzzy but the US AIR airbus is right in the middle




Came back and took some more pictures of Alexander and Stine took a picture of Alexander and myself. Now I’m just watching the rebroadcast of the inauguration which was good, but still I’m glad to watch it here though I wish Bill were here to watch it with me.

I’m trying to get into the swing of the inaugural spirit but I can’t. The pRick Warren debacle just tarnished Obama in my eyes. I can’t help but feel spurned after the work I did for the campaign. And more and more bad news about pRick Warren keeps seeping out.

How the work against AIDS in Africa that Warren has done mainly consists of meeting up with anti-gay religious nut jobs who’s work counted on faith based initiatives and abstinence only programs that don’t do anything but offer the damaged hope that people just won’t have sex until they’re married as well as pRick Warren actively participating in the demonstration of setting condoms on fire which certainly doesn’t prevent the spread of HIV.

This seems to be the thinking that that is what the sky god from the iron age wants them to do. And I can’t omit the video of the Saddleback Church 25th anniversary celebration from 2005 where pRick Warren implores his followers to be like the followers of Hitler with their devotion to pRick Warren’s plan for the next 25 years of Saddleback douche baggery.

It seems that each time I inch closer to how I felt on November 5 some more news about pRick Warren emerges.

He’s a dangerous man and I still feel he is the wrong choice to deliver the invocation for the inauguration of Barack Obama, but then again I feel religion should have no place at all in the inauguration (or government) and we know that will never happen as long as the belief in an iron age sky god exists.

Old subway cars being sent off shore to be deposited into the ocean and hopefully create man made reefs.

Old subway cars being sent off shore to be deposited into the ocean and hopefully create man made reefs.


this little guy makes everything worthwhile again....

this little guy makes everything worthwhile again....


It’s Saturday. And it’s freezing outside. Right now, according to the New York Times it’s 18 degrees. That’s 11 degrees more than it was when I woke up this morning. Still alive, carbon monoxide detectors are doing their job and not beeping. That’s a good thing I think.

Last night was a quiet night, just me and some Bushmills. Perfect for a winter night, some sipping. I watched Elvis Costello’s TV show on the Sundance Channel, Spectacle. Watched 2 episodes. The first featured the Police, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland.

The first time I heard the Police was in 1978, riding to school in Scott Miskuff’s car. It was his brother’s 8 track actually and to my ears it sounded like Boston was doing reggae. I don’t know why I thought that, especially since they don’t sound like that at all.

Roxanne was the big hit and they were considered Punk so I eventually bought it. It was ok, their better record was the second album, Regatta de Blanc. I was more into Elvis Costello at the time so when he was putting down the Police, I paid even less attention to them.

Elvis: I just wish Sting would stop singing in his cod Jamaican accent.
Sting: I wish Elvis Costello would stop singing in his cod American accent.

Now they are all nice nice. It was ok. Andy Summers in now 79 years old, Stewart Copeland is a gangly goofy father of 7, and Sting has gotten handsomer and his voice carries a resonance it never had 30 years ago. The Watching the Detectives/Walking on the Moon medley was adequate.

After the Police I watched Elvis Costello with Rufus Wainwright. That was ok. Rufus to me, came off like a 30 something gay guy from Manhattan, which is exactly what he is. He did part of Memphis Skyline which is his song about the late Jeff Buckley and a complete version of My Phone’s on Vibrate for You which was great as it always is when Rufus hit’s that high note.

He really is a good singer songwriter. He’s playing the Wellmont Theater in Montclair in a month or so, just him and his piano. His half sister Lucy Wainwright Roche is opening so I guess there will be a duet or two. I’m not going. Not in the budget you see.

Like I said, when I woke up it was 7 degrees outside. Bitterly cold, I walked outside, past Mr. L’s. I was due for a haircut but I didn’t have enough cash on me. I went and got bagels instead and stopped by Alexander Lopez’s apartment and talked with his dad.

It had been about a month since I last saw Alexander so he had completely forgotten about me, making me this exotic thing in a leather coat in the middle of his kitchen. Julio was telling me that Alexander weighs 22 pounds now and wears the clothing of a 12 month old. He’s only 8 months old. It was good to see them. Stine was in the shower and I only saw her briefly, clad in a bathrobe.

After doing laundry I decided to head into the city and visit Farfetched. Lois and Harpy were working and it was busy. Not much left in the store, everything was up for sale, sometimes with an 80% discount.



Lois & Harpy


That didn’t stop people from trying to haggle. Things that were on sale for $50.00 were marked down to $10.00 and that was still too much money for some people. Some woman wearing a big ass fur coat was the Marvin Hagler when I was there. And she wasn’t marvelous.

For me it was a bittersweet visit. I got a bib for Alexander and some cards as well as a Wicked Witch of the West key chain that has Margaret Hamilton’s voice cackling, saying ‘How about some fire Scarecrow?’ among other things.

It was too cold to enjoy a Padron and walk up to 33rd street so I made a beeline to the 14th street Path station. I also bought Elton John’s Madman Across the Water for $5.00 in the soon to be shuttered Virgin mega store on Union Square, next to the rapidly closing Circuit City.

Also picked up Bon Iver, whom I saw on Letterman last month and posted their appearance on this blog. While walking around I was playing Bob Frank and John Murry, World Without End. That’s a album of murder ballads, each and every one quite gruesome, but it sounds amazing.

I bought that last night using the iTunes gift card my brother Brian and his family gave me over the holidays last month. I heard one song by Bob Frank and John Murry sometime last year and it was really good and when I picked up the latest issue of Uncut and saw they had another track on the free CD I decided to dive in and buy the album.

Like I said, it’s gruesome, hearing them sing, ‘He cut her throat and gutted her insides’. Basically they took murder stories from the past 100 years and put them to some down home country tinged music. Murder ballads aren’t new at all, a strain of folk music for the past century.

Worth checking out I think, both Bon Iver- For Emma, Forever ago and Bob Frank and John Murry- World Without End.

Also bought a new CO detector and got a haircut from Tony at Mr. L’s. He once again outdid himself, trimming gray hairs from my goatee, trimming my nose and ear hair as well as trimming my eyebrows. He earns his tip every time.

Bill is quite ill right now, laid up in Stuyvesant Town with a fever and sore throat. That sounds like what I had back in October. I hope to go see him tomorrow and on the way I’ll pick up some chicken soup from a Chinese kitchen on the way. A quart or two for Bill and his mother.

It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow they say. Could make it into the 20 degree range. Almost beach weather.

Add my friend Billie in Washington DC to the unemployment rolls. He invited Bill and myself to stay with him if we wanted to go to the inauguration, but I said thanks but no thanks. It’s going to be too cold and very crowded. I can watch it on TV.

Don’t Come Around Here No More

Well Harpy swore me to secrecy, that Farfetched will be closing at the end of February. Yesterday I found out that they will be closing at the end of January. Everything must go. They’re even selling the shelves. Harpy just called and wondered why I wasn’t there at the store.

After a 28 year run, Susan Zappone and Lois Marsilio are being forced out of business. The raising of the rent you see. It was outrageous rent to begin with, now it can only be described as out of control.

I started working there on and off about 10 years ago. The store had just been robbed by a guy named Delroy Kemp. He had a gun and not only did he rob the store, he robbed the customers as well. The employees at the time were women, Susan, Lois and Denise. Harpy was living the life of a country squire in Rhinebeck or La Grangeville.

I was working at Right Track at the time and was invited to a gathering at the Paramount Hotel that Harpy was having for his then companion, Carol. That’s where I met Susan. Actually I think it might have been when I passed a package of powders to Harpy.

Harpy mentioned that I might be interested in extra money and it would probably be a good thing to have a big guy behind the counter. I qualified as a big guy. Still not sure how intimidating I could be. No robberies on my watch I have to say.

For a while I mainly worked with Denise on weekends. Me coming in at 1PM and working until 7PM for $10.00 an hour. I enjoyed working there though even after all these years I never really felt I fit in. I knew the writing was on the wall the past holiday season where I usually would work one or two days to help out with the rush, this year there was no rush, therefore no need for me.

I helped them out however I could though. Even standing behind the counter when someone needed to go to the bathroom or put quarters in the parking meter. I did see Susan Sarandon shopping there as well as Tim Robbins on a different day. Also Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt.

The celebrity that stands out for me would be Joey Ramone buying about $100.00 worth of discounted holiday cards the day after Christmas. I didn’t get a chance to see Robert Plant shopping there a few months ago. I did alert Gawker Stalker on that celebrity sighting of Percy but they ignored that as well as other postings I sent them, so I don’t read Gawker anymore.

So it’s sad to see some friends business go belly up. I don’t know what’s in the works for Susan and Lois and I don’t think they know either. I do wish them well and I plan on visiting them soon enough before the end and before it turns into the hot spot to buy some authentic cruddy Goth shoes and boots which seems to be in the works.

Susan and Lois were at my 40th birthday surprise party that Bill threw 6 years ago at Rand and Lisa’s apartment. I wonder if Susan figured out her digital camera yet…

In other news, I have been home for an hour, heater is on, no carbon monoxide detectors going off. My brother Brian called me, a bit alarmed at the CO problems. CO meaning Carbon Monoxide, not Corrections Officer. That’s Pedro’s department and he doesn’t care. Great to hear from Brian despite the messed up news he had to say. And that’s all I have to say on that.

I’m Telling You Now

Well today has been an off day. Started out that way, me being out of step with just about everyone. Nothing bad mind you. Just unable to get it together throughout the day. It started off with Love Me Do by the Beatles on the radio. Not a bad track to wake up to.

I puttered around, showered. Not enough milk for cereal but enough for coffee so I went out caffeinated but still fasting. Not too much of a problem, there’s plenty of places to get some food in Manhattan and I do know some cheap spots.

Made it to the office, nothing going on. I just keep rearranging the deck chairs. Right now, I’m pretty beat. Had some bourbon and a cigar with Steve a former co-worker. It was good seeing him.

Last week we basically had the cigar lounge to ourselves, this week it was crowded with men in suits smoking cigars. I of course was not suited, it being a Friday I went casual. Strangely enough after dressing casual or even more laid back than that, I can’t do casual anymore.

It’s more like sloppy than anything. I prefer the suit and tie. We finished the bourbon in Steve’s flask around the same time we finished our cigars. We plan to meet every Friday for cigars and booze. I walked back to the office, feeling good but still out of step.

A nap would reset my body clock but I couldn’t do that until I got home. I left the office around 3:30, caught the bus and did some food shopping at the supermarket. I was planning on going out to McSwells to see Jeff from Empire Coffee with his band, The Poconos and also see Roda but the way I’m feeling now, the way I’ve been feeling all day and the fact that it’s very cold out, makes me want to just stay at home.

Plus there is Chaz’ party tomorrow and that’s supposed to be in the middle of a snow storm. Hearing about the snow storm approaching made me think of 2 snow storms. One was back in 1970’s. It snowed enough that my father didn’t go to work and I had no school.

I mainly recall the 2 of us walking to the A&P which was usually a 20 minute walk but the snow made it an hour long jaunt.

The other time was in 2000 when Bill and I started going out. I was working at Farfetched and living in Weehawken. It was snowing quite heavily and enough so that NJ Transit ceased operations on everything.

Bill had told me about NJ Transit shutting down, but I wasn’t so sure. We had just started going out you see, and I didn’t know how in tune he was with bus schedules and information.

I was in the city and needed to get home somehow. No one was shopping so I got the go ahead to close the store and go home. I wound up taking the train to Herald Square and catching the Path train to Hoboken.

From there I walked up the middle of Washington Street since there wasn’t any traffic at 2:00 in the afternoon. I couldn’t see past a block ahead and anyway I was walking directly into the storm and my glasses had caked with snow and ice. All I could do was look at my feet as I trudged through the snow, telling people waiting for the bus that there was no bus service at all.

It took me about 2.5 hours to get from the Path train to Jane Street. By the time I got home I was plenty tired. Now I’m just tired and there’s no snow.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll make it up there after all. Maybe I won’t. I did give Jeff the heads up yesterday, letting him know that my afternoon would consist of scotch and cigars and he said he understood. Plus I’m generally reluctant to see friends in bands play. If they suck you have to lie and I find it hard to lie about music.

Meeting Across the River

Saturday night. Things are getting back to what could only be described as relative normalcy. Last night was quiet. Juan was out gallivanting, Bill back in Stuyvesant Town.

I watched Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, which was actually the first Charlie Chaplin film I had seen from start to finish. Also the first Chaplin film that I had seen where he actually speaks.

I never knew that he spoke in his later films and often wondered how long he would have done silent roles. Apparently in 1940 he was speaking in films. According to Wikipedia it was Chaplin’s first talking picture.

It was a daring movie that he made, since the US was at ‘peace’ with Germany at the time and it certainly pissed Hitler off which was an added bonus. A year later we were at war with the Axis powers.

After that I basically started reading a book that I had gotten from the library, John Lennon- The Life by Philip Norman. Supposed to be the best biography of Lennon so far. It is pretty good.

Philip Norman wrote an excellent biography on the Beatles in the 1980’s called Shout! The Lennon book was written with Yoko Ono’s blessing and she asked her son Sean and Paul McCartney to cooperate with the author, which they did.

But as luck would have it, once Yoko and Paul read the galleys they both did some furious backpedaling and denounced the book.

So far the only dodgy thing was John accidentally touching his mother’s breast and wondering what else he could get away with.

That would raise some eyebrows, but Yoko did give access to Lennon’s diaries and journals and as great a songwriter and musician Lennon was, he was also a flawed individual and he would probably be the first to admit it.

It’s a weighty tome and carried some heft as I had it in my shoulder bag and wandered around Manhattan en route to the Guggenheim Museum where I was meeting Bill and Meghan Taylor Mastro with Lily and Ruby, as well as Pat Paterson and his wife, the one and only Ann Boyles Paterson.

I do prefer going to art galleries instead of museums but the Guggenheim was on the agenda so it was off to the Upper East Side. Bill got there a minute or two before me and as we were waiting for the others Juan called wondering what was going on.

It was around 3:00 and he had just woken up. Nice life, which Juan has. I would have invited him along but this was the first I had heard from him since yesterday. He was cool with it, he had to go back to Trenton anyhow.

The Glen Ridge contingent arrived and soon we were inside the Frank Lloyd Wright designed building. I’m always reminded of the roller skating joke from Hannah and Her Sisters regarding the rotunda of the Guggenheim.

After walking around being nonplussed at the exhibitions we were on the street again, $18.00 lighter in each of our wallets. We could have gone to the Bergen County History Museum and looked at the mastodon bones, that would have been cheaper.

I used to go there with Annemarie when I was growing up. It was cheap then, but could be about the same price as the Guggenheim nowadays.

We decided on a bus downtown so we would roll past the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Unfortunately it was stop and go traffic for about 40 blocks which screwed up my spine somewhat.

Still the company made all the difference and we had shared some truffles and other chocolates and had many laughs as well as taking snapshots of each other. Bill and I got off at 14th street, the others continued onto the West Village to meet up with Jim Mastro.

After parting ways with Bill I stopped by Farfetched to try to persuade Harpy to come with me to see Ann and Meghan but he just wanted to go home after working retail in a shop that’s taken quite a beating this holiday season.

Nothing that Farfetched has done, just that no one is buying anything anywhere these days.

So now I’m home, just had a nice dinner, watched a decent documentary on Groucho Marx and here I am sitting at Bill’s Mac and writing this.

What have YOU been up to?

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Bill outside the Guggenheim Museum

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Me outside the Guggenheim Museum on cellphone with Juan

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Ruby, Meghan and Lily outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum

Pat Paterson, Ann Boyles and Meghan outside the Guggenheim Museum



Inside the Guggenheim

Inside the Guggenheim

What happened to Pinocchio?

What happened to Pinocchio?


Ann & Me

Ann & Me

Meghan with her camera phone

Meghan with her camera phone

some words, between children

some words, between children

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Super Mastro girls outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Kisses outside the Guggenheim Museum

Awesome foursome on the bus

Awesome foursome on the bus

Ruby's patented pose

Ruby's patented pose

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Harpy outside of Farfetched

Me and Harpy

Me and Harpy

Rebel Waltz

Well I am in a much better mood, still angry with the Obama team though, and with him, himself. Today he commented on the Rick Warren pick for the invocation and one particular ting that Obama said stuck I my craw.

He mentioned that we can disagree without being disagreeable. That’s all well and good.

For me to disagree is like this, “I support same sex marriage” someone else, “I do not support same sex marriage”. To me that is how people disagree as an example.

Disagreeable could be seen as “I support same sex marriage” someone else, “I think same sex marriage is just like bestiality, child rape and incest between a brother and a sister”.

This is the reasoning that Barack Obama uses to explain why he picked Rick Warren to say the invocation for his inauguration.

Where is this atmosphere that Obama speaks of that he would like to create? What type of atmosphere could exist between a group of people that love each other and want the SAME RIGHTS THAT HETEROSEXUAL COUPLES GET, and a group that says that we are going to molest their children, we can’t be trusted to teach in schools, we spread disease (thanks Dad) and we are all going to hell.

One group advocates love and equality and another condemns and shames. What type of atmosphere will exist in such a vacuum?

It really is a sickening feeling that someone who actively courted the gay vote and dollars thinks it’s all right for Rick Warren to grace his inauguration. An inauguration that I worked towards, millions of people worked towards and donated money to. And then to hear from some ‘allies’ saying we’re making too much of a big deal out of it.

Obama’s people are claiming to be all inclusive. If that’s so, can we expect to see representatives from the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation, maybe even some Black Israelites, and the Army of God up on the stage with Obama and Warren?

No we know that’s not what’s going to happen, because when you boil it down, it’s perfectly all right to treat LGBT like shit.

C’mon, it’s true. Everyone hates LGBT people, it’s the one thing christians, jews and muslims can all agree on. And atheists are hated too. I am doubly cursed!

The right wank is gloating over this of course, claiming liberals (read gays) are so intolerant of different views. I know it’s not the case, we just resent having our relationships compared to child rapists.

I ran into Casey Chasm on the bus this evening and he suggested that the whole Rick Warren fiasco is a distraction from the fact that the economy is getting worse than was originally imagined.

That may be true and it also maybe much like a Monty Python sketch where a door to door salesman is trying to get a couple interested in a home made TV show.

When the couple’s attention span is on the wane, a mollusk is tossed out described as a filthy, disgusting pansy which gets the couple riled up enough to curse and stomp on said mollusk.

So the economy is in the toilet and people are tired of hearing about it…hey, look! A homosexual! How disgusting is that? Something everyone can rally around and hate with all of their hearts and the justification of their religion to feel like that.

Much like religion was used all those years ago when it was against the law for Barack Obama’s parents to marry.

Obama’s people are saying that it’s a balance since Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery is going to deliver the benediction at the inauguration.

Dr Lowery has long been a supporter of civil rights for ALL people whereas Rick Warren, aka Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt actively works to take civil rights away from certain people.

That is the face that the Obama administration wants to present. A balanced face like Bell’s palsy. Yeah, I am still pissed off.

The day wasn’t all about being fired up though. I heard from Maurice Menares and that was a good laugh. He’s in Oregon married with a kid. He’s doing well and working for Adidas.

He suggested looking him up if I find myself on the west coast. I mentioned Arcata and a sketchy plan of perhaps going out there for my nephew’s graduation next year. A side trip to Oregon, is it possible? It all remains to be seen.

I had to run an errand to Chinatown this afternoon and I finagled that into a detour to Farfetched where I picked up a present or two for Bill and some cards for the nieces and nephews.

There was also a plan to hook up with Pedro but he backed out due to the incoming snowstorm which is expected to leave a foot of snow in Otisville making his return home that much more difficult.

I was also supposed to go visit the Mastro’s where Ann Boyles is supposed to make an appearance like Mary on a half shell but I haven’t heard anything about that. So it’s all up in the air, but at least I am home and happy.

I would be happier if Bill were here driving me up the wall, but we do have a plan to take part in a demonstration on Saturday night for Marriage Equality. That could very well turn into an anti Rick Warren/No Thanks Obama rally.

It doesn’t look like Obama is going to do a thing about it and Rick Warren has congratulated Obama for taking a stand AGAINST the people that voted him into office. A stand against the LGBT community, women, and science.

After eight fucking years of having the religious right shoved down our throats, Obama’s people decide to open the show with a nutjob with left over, reheated bull fucking shit not that different than James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the shit sleaze they had to say.

Remember, according to Falwell and Robertson, 9/11 was a reckoning for LGBT people and women having the right to choose. Meet their devil spawn, Rick ‘Purpose Drivel Strife’ Warren.

Hell hath no fury like an LGBT community/women/scientific community scorned.

Since You’ve Been Gone

A blasé Saturday and that’s fine by me. Stayed up last night watching Elvis Costello interviewing Elton John. It was quite good. Elton discussing Leon Russell, Laura Nyro and David Ackles and how much of an influence they were on him.

Some footage of each artist, each clip less than a minute though. Elton is so pudgy now. He looked comfortable with it, so good for him. Elvis opened the show singing Border Song with Allen Toussaint who may be his musical director.

They did release an album a while ago, singing songs about Hurricane Katrina. They also sand Working in a Coalmine, which is a Toussaint song. Elton sang a good portion of Burn Down the Mission, which was a favorite Elton song for me a number of years ago. It was worth watching.

After that I went to sleep waking up around 9:00 this morning. Pretty cold, temperatures in the low 30’s. Bill in Stuyvesant Town, we talked on the phone. I got the papers and some foodstuffs then started the laundry after breakfast.

Watched the Office and 30 Rock, recorded on Thursday night. Very very funny. 30 Rock was the funnier of the two.

Stopped by the Hoboken library to pick up a book I ordered a few weeks ago and forgot all about it. Turned out to be Frontman by Richard Barone. I was embarrassed and promptly put it in my bag.

I don’t know what made me order it in the first place, I think it was an online article from Popdose, an email I get daily. It was from an interview with Richard Barone and how great he is blah blah blah.

I used to think that, but as time went on I changed my feelings and now think Jim Mastro is great and Richard Barone, not so much. He’s genuinely nice that Jim, as are Rob and Frank. With Barone it seems like it’s phony.

Never got around to buying the Bongo’s Drums Along the Hudson on CD though I did take it out of the library and now it’s an mp3.

Decided to head into the city to visit Farfetched. Before that I went to Virgin and bought the latest Mojo and Uncut magazines. Big sale on cd’s. Guess they’ll be liquidating soon since the Virgin Mega-stores will be shuttered in the next year I think.

People roaming around but not really buying anything. That’s the case at Farfetched as well. No one has much money for anything this year during the holiday season and of course there is the worry about whether or not they will have jobs come Monday or the week after that or the week after that and so on.

It was good to see Harpy and Lois behind the counter. It seems pretty much definite that I won’t be working there this season. I’m pretty sure I would have heard something by now. But it’s cool.

I have a day job and this is Susan and Lois and Harpy’s main source of income. I’m not greedy.

Walked through Manhattan having a Padron and headed to the Path train. That’s about it.

The Vatican will NOT support a UN resolution to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. I’m so glad I have nothing to do with those ‘men’ in fancy dresses and hats anymore. Somethings are just too gay, even for me.

What did YOU do today?

That’s My DJ

Monday today. Yesterday was all about relaxing and coming down from the night before, Girl Talk with Juan which in hindsight was magical. On my Facebook page I posted quite a few live videos of Girl Talk live which isn’t the same thing as being there but you get the picture.

Six of the clips are from the Roskilde festival in Denmark, no dancers on stage, but there is also a full live video from New Years Eve 2006 which is joyous ecstatic pandemonium. There also some videos online that may be homemade by fans one of which has fleeting glimpses of Ira Kaplan from Yo La Tengo which gave me a chuckle. You just can’t go wrong mashing up Rod Stewart with Young Jeezy.

If you decide to check out my Facebook page you will also see a posting from Gawker about Prince declaring his homophobia. That’s too bad, but then again I had written about writing Prince off a few weeks ago and now I guess it’s official.

No need to buy any more products from him. He obviously made his money off of me and he isn’t going to get anymore of my cheddar. He’s now a Jehovah’s Witness thanks to Larry Graham. The high heeled shorty has been known to occasionally knock on people’s doors proselytizing and pushing the Watchtower on people who don’t know any better.

Last night was quiet and good. True Blood was very good, not as good as the week before but still better than anything else on at that hour. Personally I think Tara has been taken from her jail cell by the devil herself. And Sookie uninviting Bill from her home to save Sam who Bill caught kissing Sookie was quite a twist.

Next week is the final episode of the season and I really hope they bring it back next year. Entourage was also very good. Ari Gold versus the German director on Vinnie’s behalf. I think next week they go back to Queens which should be interesting. Nice to see Jerry Ferrara is actually going out with Jamie Lynn Siegler in real life, like his character Turtle on the show.

Today was mainly still rolling with the effects of Girl Talk, so much so that it was all I listened to, to and from work today. Great big smile on my face. Just Tom Chin and I from our company today. We got along ok.

I mentioned that I might be out today so he was surprised to see me, but I didn’t think that that would go well with the new subtenants, so I will be off this Friday and since next week is Thanksgiving it’s a two and a half day work week which is very nice.

I don’t know if I’ll be helping out at Farfetched this holiday season but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

I saw Bill fleetingly after work today which was nice but awfully short. I had to pick up something from him on my way home so I swung by his office. He was working so he couldn’t stay too long on the sidewalk talking to me plus it was a bit nippy and he’s not one to work the high beams.

Here’s my Facebook link, I think….
cut n’ paste cut n’ paste

Solar Prestige A Gammon

Late posting on a Saturday night. Out of the ordinary. It’s been a busy day somewhat. Last night watched Bill Maher on HBO and once again he was alright, nothing much to write home about. I was home and I didn’t write anything to myself so that proved that point.

Bill’s still out of sorts, dealing with his cousin in law and his mother. The cousin in law pursuing his career, not working and yet somehow busy enough to be able to put Bill down for not doing enough. It’s a good thing I guess that he says this shit to Bill when I’m not around.

If I was there to hear the shit that Bill tells me he said he would be in trouble. The guy’s a washed up crooner with a foot in the early 1970’s glitter rock era. A dick bag that was lucky enough to get his songs on iTunes somehow.

I went into the city today. It was a gray day today, but no need for a umbrella. I was fortunate enough to have timed it well so it was just foggy, no ‘real’ rain. I stopped by Farfetched and saw Harpy who was rather curmudgeonly, enough so that I didn’t want to stay too long.

He was off to a party that he didn’t want to go to, such is the nature of relationships, compromise. I was there for about 20 minutes before heading over to Stuyvesant Town to see Bill. He’s been trying to clean out his father’s stuff and figured there would be some books that I would be interested in. There wasn’t anything really.

I’ve stopped buying books, too expensive a habit to maintain and plus I have a decent public library down the street from my apartment. I found a paperback from the 1960’s about Martin Luther King Jr that I took with me.

I left the apartment and headed to St. Mark’s Place where I met up with Excer. Excer and I were supposed to go to Otisville today and hang out with Pedro and Connie but since Pedro has the bug that I had, Excer and I decided to have dinner together instead. It was his suggestion to go to BBQ which isn’t the best place to go, but since I drew a blank it was where we wound up after having a few pints at a dive a block away.

Some catching up, he’s divorced and his oldest kid is about to turn 21. He also has 2 girlfriends but that’s nothing new since I’ve always known him to have 2 girlfriends. BBQ once again provded a lackluster meal but since he picked up the tab I wasn’t going to complain.

Excer suggested going back to the dive for a few more pints but I begged off saying that I needed to go home and write and that’s where I am now. Home. Writing. It’s best for all concerned I think. Next week is Girl Talk with Juan and that should be more than enough for the month of November.

Still, I am open to suggestions.

Rescue Me

What a fucking day it’s been. Ugh. It started out with me sleeping a little later than usual. About 11 minutes later. I knew it was 11 minutes. Made a big difference. Everything is more crowded, and busier than what I am used to.

I did not like it at all, but made the most of it listening to Konk! which made it to my playlist finally. That pseudo Latin 1980’s East Village dance groove made a nice walk across town.

Got to the office about 25 minutes late and to my surprise no one was in. I was glad at that fact. Allowed me to take my time in setting things up. Soon people came in and everything hummed along nicely. No one said anything about how they had left the office early yesterday leaving me holding the bag. I didn’t bring it up and neither did anyone else.

At one point I had to run an errand which I was glad to do. I brought along my trusty camera and took some pics. As I was crossing Lexington Avenue I spotted some who looked recently familiar. Prior to the errand I was reading AM New York, one of the 2 free newspapers given away at most subway stops for free.

The other is the Metro but Metro doesn’t have dependable people at the stations so I didn’t get one of those. Their both good reading during a morning, how you say….evacuation.

So I am at Lexington and 50th Street, still an intense police presence since Bush Co is still in town. I spot a guy wearing a hat and sunglasses and crocs. Normally I find crocs offputting but I made an exception since I had a feeling I had seen this guy before.

I decided to take a chance since we were both walking up Lexington Avenue and with him I said slight yet loud enough for him to hear, ‘Loudon’. He stopped and turned around. I wonder what he thought when he saw me, in a navy blue pinstriped suit with a light blue tie and light blue cuff links.

I say that because there were a lot of gents like myself dressed in such attire, meaning Secret Service and NYPD Detectives. Of course I am neither but he wouldn’t know that. Perhaps I’ll wind up in one of his stories. Anyway I said I was a fan, didn’t mention Rufus or Martha, deciding to let him have some John time for himself.

I told him that I was just reading about him in the paper. He asked which one and I told him, but held back on what was going on while I read about him. I mentioned that an upcoming show sounded cool. In December he’s playing in Tarrytown with the Roches, another group that hits a soft spot for me.

I was off on the errand but before I left I asked if I could take his picture and he said yes, so here’s a picture of Loudon Wainwright III.

Work was weird when I got back to the office, I didn’t know it then but it seems that the renting of the office is now something that other people are involved in. I wasn’t bringing in the results they wanted, but then again I was trawling on Craigslist whereas they know a few people with the money to rent an office in midtown. I don’t mind that at all.

After work I decided to take a train downtown and check out Oliver Sacks who was giving a free lecture at Cooper Union. I stopped by Farfetched where Harpy was next to Susan. Had a glass of sparkling wine and picked some birthday cards and had a good time with the two of them. An interesting chemistry between the 3 of us.

Back on the street I walked over to Cooper Union and found a daunting line wrapped around the Cooper Union. I turned back, popped into Farfetched again and then I was on my way, walking up Fifth Avenue enjoying a Padron and listening to Raphael Saadiq’s new album.

Got to the Path train and found that I missed 3 of Bill’s calls. I was nervous and considered getting back up to the street to see what was the matter. I was worried that things may have taken a turn for the worse regarding his mother.

I decided to head back to Hoboken and check once I got up to the street again. I checked the voicemail that Bill left and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. His mother did have a stroke though, affecting her speech center and with a paralysis on the left side.

She’ll be in the hospital for a while, then the varies therapies that are required. And she’s disoriented with being in the hospital as a patient when she was a nurse for a number of years.

Now I’m home with Bill and special guest, Juan. We’re all pretty tired.

El Cuarto de Tula

“People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power. “ Bill Clinton said that last night. Bill and I watched the convention again. A rousing speech by Clinton & John Kerry. But Beau Biden introducing his father was touching as was the embrace by Joe Biden when he came out for his speech.

Really a beautiful moment. I don’t recall my father ever hugging me like that, then again I don’t recall my father hugging me at all.

I sincerely hope that Barack Obama wins the election in November. I can’t afford to be optimistic but I can be hopeful. One of the most depressing days in my life was when John Kerry lost the election in 2004. I certainly don’t want to go through that again. But watching Obama come out after Joe Biden’s speech was electrifying.

I just think it would be phenomenal if he would win. A black man as President of the United States was something I thought I would see in my lifetime, just didn’t expect it so soon, and now that it’s a distinct possibility it really gives me a hopeful feeling. And whatever ambivalent feelings I may have towards Joe Biden have fallen by the wayside.

I didn’t know his story before and now that I do I am impressed. I stayed up and watched the entire convention last night. We’ve been watching it on CSPAN, rather than MSNBC. Occasionally we catch it on PBS, but CSPAN doesn’t have commentators, just a nonstop camera on the stage. No talking heads there. No advertisements. And it’s up to us to make up our own minds thank you very much.

Woke up around 8:00 which was pleasant. Went out got the papers, went to the supermarket. Did laundry, talked with Angry Juan who was very angry. Not at me, but rather mad at the world. It’s a good thing they have a cooling off period when buying firearms. Not that he bought firearms.

But if he did…

I went into the city, saw Bill, saw my friend Jesse and watched a building on fire, or rather watched a fire being put out on top of a building. I was going to head down to Farfetched and came close to jumping on the subway but wandered around midtown instead and went back home.

I had other things to do, co-edit the other blog and see if my sister got the Mets souvenir visor I bought at Shea Stadium on her birthday. Heard from Song who was asking me if I wanted to have dinner with him and Ray in the city, but since I was mere feet away from the bus terminal I passed.

I had hoped to meet up with Song and Ray when they were in town but things being what they are, it didn’t work out. I found out Raphael Saadiq was playing the South Street Seaport tomorrow night and I am definitely going to that. I saw Raphael Saadiq last in 2000 on tour in Lucy Pearl.

He was so magnetic on stage and when he smiled I could have sworn he was smiling right at me. Who knows? Maybe he was. I was smiling at him thats for sure. Anyway, that’s where I will be tomorrow night. Last show of the season at the Seaport, featuring Raphael Saadiq.

Do youself a favor and check out his website: http://www.raphaelsaadiq.com/ I just love his voice, ever since hearing him sing with his cousin and brother in Tony Toni Tone. Good for the soul. I’m psyched!

Here are some pics!

This afternoon’s fire

wrist bone

This perhaps, did not end well

I’ll Follow The Sun

Well I just got back a couple of hours ago from Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island. All is well. The ocean was like bathwater, it was that warm. A few jellyfish but that’s sort of expected in August down the shore. There were reports of lots of jellyfish off the coasts of NJ and Long Island, but it wasn’t too bad at least in Ship Bottom.

Thursday morning Bill was off to work after a nice dinner with Casey and his wife. It was at McSwells and it was a bit on the loud side. I don’t recall Steve Fallon allowing music that loud to be played in the restaurant, but these tattooed kids today…

Roda was managing and we saw him for a spell before heading home, Bill went right to bed and I soon after, after realizing that I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Plus I had the trip down the shore the next morning. Bill was gone after a nice kiss and I was up getting things together.

Made sure the iPod was charged, had plenty to read and headed off to the bus having decided to avoid the stress of the morning rush hour which I deal with every day. Why should I have to deal with thousands of people on my day off? It was a lot less crowded and I was able to walk outside to see if the latests Mojo and Uncut magazines were on the stand yet.

They weren’t, and I still had the New Yorker and Rip It Up by Simon Reynolds. Got on the bus to Toms River where I would have to transfer. Listened to Scritti Politti and read the sad article about the gay soldier killed in Iraq. Then some of Rip It Up and soon I was asleep, waking up just outside of Toms River.

The Toms River sky

About 20 minutes later the transfer bus shows up and I’m on that heading down the back streets of Highway 9. Contacted my sister in law Elaine and let her know I would soon be in Manahawkin. I was unfamiliar with the route and the map on the schedule was no help at all.

The bus driver told me she would drop me off at the Manahawkin library but I got out a before that at Lake Manhawkin, walked 100 yards and found Elaine with her friend Irene. Got to Ship Bottom where Frank was on the couch watching TV, much like he does on Garfield. But it’s his vacation and he’s entitled to do whatever he wants to do.

Elaine and I walked over to the beach around 4PM. Still hot and bright out and the water must have been in the 70 degree range. Elaine’s not one to play in the ocean so I floated around and got beaten up a bit by the waves, which I definitely enjoy, though it’s always more fun if there’s someone else with you getting knocked around by the tide.

Frank and Elaine

After an hour or so of that we headed back home, Frank in a different position on the couch, Irene on the porch reading a book. I showered and alternated sitting outside with the women and sitting inside with my brother. We microwaved some vittles and watched some TV, Frank and I going for a ride in his car, looking for some place featuring a Grateful Dead cover band the next night.

Thankfully we couldn’t find it. No Deadhead me, whereas Frank used to be and still is somewhat. We talked about music and somehow Pat Boone came up. We also talked about how he is trying to be more positive and stop being negative which in an amazing coincidence for someone who looks a lot like Frank, I am trying to do the same.

I had gotten an email before I left from Casey who said he had a good time and that Bill was one of the most positive people he’s ever met. And it’s true Bill is so damn positive and I’m not. Sometimes a conversation between Bill and myself goes,
Bill: Isn’t it great that so and so had this happen to them?
Me: No. No it isn’t.

So to hear Frank talk about trying to be positive was a weird thing to hear.

I took a walk by myself when I came home, to the beach where I was a bit intimidated by the vastness of the ocean, at night, seeing a boat far away in the darkness. Looking north I could watch a lightning storm miles away, all the while amazed by the hundreds of suns far away in the universe, some dying, some dead with the light just reaching us now.

The beach at night

I am always in awe of just looking up in the sky and seeing all that, but you really can’t see it in Hoboken due to the light pollution of New York City. I came home to Elaine and Irene soon going to their bedrooms and I stayed up with Frank watching some of the Colbert Report but the waves beating me up in the afternoon took it’s toll and soon I was asleep in bed.

And that’s where I had this odd dream about Pat Boone coming onto me, wanting to get a threesome going with Scott from Stevens Tech, unseen in the next room. In the dream Pat Boone was really hung. I woke up just then, and no I didn’t try to go back to sleep.

Got out of bed, and went and got coffee for the coffee drinkers. Went to the beach around 10:00. Not too crowded save for a group of Christianists praying in the sand. A youth group actually repeating whatever it is they were told. There were about 50 kids ranging from about 8 to 16, led by slightly older teenagers, cheerleaders for god.

Took a while for the water to warm up again, Elaine, Irene and myself enjoyed ourselves, the two of them collecting shells. After getting lunch for everyone I jumped in the water. We were sitting in the surfing area so I had to walk about 100 feet north. By that time there were a lot of people on the beach, a lot of families.

When I would go to the beach with Julio and Stine, we would make a point to get as far away from people as possible. It was impossible to do that at Ship Bottom but I made the most of it.

Elaine and Irene left around 2:00, I stayed until about 5:00, going back in the water and occasionally silently freaking out when my hand would brush a dead jellyfish. Dinner was Italian take out which was mediocre.

Just sat around and watched TV with Frank and drank sangria with Elaine on the porch. Since I was beaten up by the ocean so much more in the afternoon I wound up falling asleep at 9:00.

This time I dreamt I was driving the brown Ford Econoline from my HBJ days, driving in Manhattan with Zed my late cat and the namesake of this blog. Like I used to do, in the dream I was driving through Central Park and heading for Farfetched which was now located in a glitzy store in Times Square.

It seemed to be quite a success, enough so that neither Susan nor Lois, not even Harpy were working. I had to pick up something behind the counter and though I didn’t know the girl behind the register, she knew me. Zed and I were back heading through Central Park when I woke up and took a picture.

Then went back to sleep, waking up a little while later, Elaine and Irene cleaning up since we needed to be out by 11:00AM. I went out and got coffee and helped clean up when I got back. Took a walk on the beach, just a handful of people, fishermen and surfers out so early.

We were on the road in two cars, Elaine and Irene in one car, Frank and myself in his. Had a nice ride home talking about familiar subjects in every sense of the word. Now I am home and ready for a nap. Tonight’s plan, dinner with Julio and hanging out with Juan. So perhaps a disco nap is in order.

No nap, second wind, more pics…


♫ everybody’s working for the weekend ♪


Who Do You Love?

Monday again, and it wasn’t so bad. I think it’s because Sunday night went so well. I did see Julio, Stine and Alexander, hence the photos of that lovely boy. Came home reheated some leftovers from the night before, I can be so domestic these days. True the apartment is always a mess, but that’s not my doing. On weekends I usually make a chicken with pasta and a tomato cheese sauce. Very good and filling.

It just takes too much time for me during the week, I don’t know how my mother did day after day, year after year, for a family of six, then five, then four, then three. When it was down to two, my parents started to go out to eat frequently.

I tried watching Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling but couldn’t get into it, and though Patricia Clarkson is in it, she hadn’t appeared after a half hour. By that time Bill came home and I switched to a very entertaining and inspiring documentary about Pete Seeger on PBS. Ol’ Pete is 89 years old nowadays and he’s still active and vital.

Just an amazing story and a stand up gent. If you get a chance to see it on PBS, do so. Bill and I really enjoyed it. I remembered when we marched in an anti war rally before the start of the current war and on the bus into Manhattan we each had an ear bud in our ear listening to Pete Seeger making a speech then singing a song. I think that was as close as I got to seeing Pete Seeger sing live, in traffic outside the Lincoln Tunnel.

Soon after that it was bedtime. Bill snoring up a storm, me staring at the ceiling before drifting off. Brilliant morning to wake up to, Bill was out by 6:00, I was out a little before 7:00. A busy day lay ahead. New people were having a meeting in the office and since I am currently without an assistant/receptionist that meant I had to do everything. Not that I minded, being busy does make the day go faster. And it’s been so slow lately that the days have been crawling.

I did have errands to run and that got me out of the office. That was great since it was a beautiful day. After work I wandered down to Farfetched and talked with Susan for a spell. New landlord so there’s lot’s of worry regarding the store. So far it seems good, they are an established store but with the greed a lot of landlords have whether or not the store stays open when the current lease expires would be up to him.

It’s not a heavily trafficked area, the store across the street turned over a handful of times in the past eight years, so if the landlord was smart, he would just leave things the way they are now. So understandably, Susan was a bit stressed. I was glad I was able to listen and make her laugh a bit, before I walked up to the Path train at 33rd street, enjoying a Padron and listening to Led Zeppelin which is great to listen to while strolling around Manhattan.

That’s about it for now, have a good night. Rest in peace, Bo Diddley.

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


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

Mystery Dance

Just got back from Manhattan. Just wandered around, stopped by Farfetched saw Lois and Harpy. It’s funny, usually when I go there it’s often Harpy by himself. Today Lois was there and I love Lois but it was like there was no cutting up while Lois was running the show. Lois, I guess plays the more mature role, the schoolmarm. Susan I suppose would be the hip teacher and Harpy plays the role of Karen Valentine, the substitute or rather, the student teacher. It was a nice chat with the two of them, Lois asking about various people in my life, who happen to be going through tough times of their own.

After that I wandered over to Whiskers, the holistic pet store and visited with Kathe, my former next door neighbor in Weehawken, also Chaz’ estranged wife. It was great to see Kathe, it had been a number of months. She was glad to see me as well. But it being a nice Saturday afternoon everybody seemed to be shopping for holistic items, lambs lung and other disgusting items that dogs like. Too hectic to hang out so I said good bye, agreeing to meet for a drink sometime one day when she’s not working.

Before I went into the city I watched Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I saw it when it came out in the theaters and I liked it but didn’t get most of it, one of the first instances where there was so much going on, on the screen that I couldn’t figure out or even remember different parts of it. The first Lord of the Rings movie was the same. So much going on, but seeing it years later on video made me ask where was I when I first saw this in a theater?

Cloverfield was the latest movie, though I think it would be better to watch it on a TV since it was filmed on a digital camera. Watching it on a big screen was a little too much. That bothered Pedro when I told him about the movie after I finally saw it, weeks after he saw it and months after I originally hyped it up. He really wanted my opinion and all I could say was I’d rather wait for the DVD. It would be better to watching it on his giant flat screen TV in Otisville.

Tonight is the infamous Black Party at Roseland in midtown. It’s a 36 hour bacchanal,and for me occasionally tempting. But I always remind myself that it is nothing but club music and I generally dislike club music. That would be hell for me, though when in the act, I’d rather hear something I don’t know. But me and club music? Forget it.

One blog that I read had an article about the Black Party, the blogger had gone a few times already and posts something about it every year. This year while hyping it, he followed that entry with one about HIV infections being up 48%. Now there’s a reason NOT to go.

Potential anonymous sex with a thousand men? Hmmm… and even if you don’t get HIV there are a few other STD’s that you might catch. Not to mention the headache of club music. I don’t know what it is, but I am out of step with most of the human race and definitely out of step with most of gay men. I don’t dress like them, I don’t listen to the same music, I don’t go to the same bars. Just about the only thing I have in common with them is a predilection for play mates of the same sex. And it’s always safe, by the way.

It’s always been like that. From the early 80’s when I was attending meetings for the Gay Activists Alliance of North New Jersey or GAANNJ, even though I tried, I just couldn’t connect with my fellow gay men on a social level. True, I was young and impetuous and they were in their 30’s and 40’s but there was nothing at all that could form a bond. I never really talked to anyone, they didn’t talk to me. I would sit in the back and listen to whatever was going on, close to the exit.

It was there that I first heard of AIDS, in 1982 when it was called GRID, or gay cancer. But no one asked my name and I didn’t ask for theirs. I am usually the invisible man at gay bars, that is when I actually go. I’m often ignored by bartenders. It generally provides me with a reason never to go back to that particular bar again, only I rarely go to bars these days. Maybe once or twice a year.

McSwells was a cool bar, listed in the Gay Yellow Pages back then as a gay/straight bar and it was. Most of the guys there were gay, and there was some cliquishness but overall it was a friendly spot. Never had any hook ups there, by the end of the night we were all more interested in getting party supplies to the after party. I started out going to McSwells for the music, and while it was the main reason, at some point I was spending more time socializing in the front room rather than the back room where the music was.

Still I am a gay man and the LGBT are my people. I will march with them or cheer them on and stand with them should the need or outrage arise. I am also part of the generation of LGBT people that have buried quite a few friends.

And here is my gayest look for Jay Leno
cut n’ paste