Tag Archives: Garfield

I Didn’t Know What Time It Was

And here we are, two days after Christmas. And it was a snowy day, in fact it was such a snowy day that it was a snow day. Meaning that I had off from work, officially. I started the suggestion last night, sending an email to Calvin who stated that it was up to the building management some Kumpus Group, or Unrelated Companies nonsense in which they excel in a lack of subtlety as well as genuine bad decision making all around.

Calvin actually got back to me and wrote that he had gotten in touch with Marcus who declared the store to be officially closed. I don’t know if the customers knew about the store closing but if the staff from Long Island couldn’t make it in with the subways being shut down and NJ Transit buses not running at all, you really can’t have a store being open.

I found this out around 10:00 this morning, about 4 hours after I had been awake. Too late for me to go back to sleep so I puttered around as well as made use of the new HP computer I got from Bill for Christmas.

I was also up until about 2:00 last night exploring the computer and filled with wonder when YouTube videos loaded and played almost instantly with no jumpiness involved. I have to admit, I had gotten used to the videos loading forever so when the video for The Hardest Part by Blondie played almost instantly I was taken aback.

Bill also had off from work today and for most of the day, we were just hanging out in the apartment, watching TV and listening to music. I made a trip outside to the supermarket. Someone shoveled the steps and sidewalk in front of the building and I was glad it wasn’t me.

A lot of people were digging out their cars and a lot of cars were stuck in the snow and ice. I maneuvered my way around them and got the basics from the market.

I came home and had something light to eat. Bill and I had plans to go to Hillsdale to see my brother Brian and his family, as well as seeing my brother Frank and his family again. We were going to rent a Zipcar but the roads seemed too treacherous.

Brian phoned and suggested the train which made the most sense. We decided on the 5:35 train and left with enough time to find out the train had been canceled and the earlier, 5:16 train would be the one to be on.

So that’s what we did. Brian met us at the station and soon we were in the warm and cozy house of love. Brian and Karen and Hillary and Cassie as well as their brother Brian the prodigal and Cassie’s boyfriend Dylan were soon joined by Frank and Elaine with Meg and Rob and Corinne’s boyfriend Vic.

Annemarie was once again in California with her family and made her presence known by way of my cellphone. Dinner and gifts and some guitar playing by my nephew Brian was all enjoyed greatly.

But being tied to a train schedule we had to make it back to the train station a little after 9:00. Still cold and windy in Hoboken as Bill and I walked down the streets, stopping by neighbor Claire’s apartment to help the people who were staying there turn on their heat.

And now, thanks to Bill’s help, the old computer, Randenstein is now sort of hooked up to the new computer. I have two towers going and about 3 internal hard drives as well as the 2 iPods and one screen.

I actually finished this a while ago, just got very distracted by District 9, a very good movie, worth seeing. Out of the ordinary.

and down goes Uncle John with a left hook!

I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night

Well the last posting was a bit intense, all about the managerial shenanigans at work. That was then, this is now. I worked yesterday and as it turned out Calvin’s holiday get together was postponed until January. It was busy and we were supposed to close at 5:00 but at 5:15 people kept coming in.

I didn’t leave until a little before 6:00 and walked down the avenue listening to the first 4 songs on the B-52’s second album, Wild Planet. Chasing rainbows in the mud. I caught a waiting bus and soon I was home for only a little while.

I called my sister in law Elaine and told her we would get there around 8:00. Bill got the car as I got things ready. He texted when he was outside and I joined him, trying to figure out how to operate the controls on the car seat.

Garfield was nice and warm and cozy as we sat in the house where Frank and Elaine live. Elaine made a leg of lamb which was very good and I ate a lot of it as well as couscous, potatoes and veggies. And a whole lot of cookies and brownies to bring home. Rob & Meghan joined us a little after we got there and it was a good thing they ate already since Bill and I were starving.

Corinne surprised me and Bill with Guinness cans and pint glasses from Dublin, when Corrine was last in Ireland earlier this year. And a lovely Beatles fleece blanket which came in handy last night. Bill and I came home a little before midnight.

We were both tired from the previous 24 hours, with Bill driving a bus to and from Washington DC and me working retail and as being sick midweek Still, despite being oh so very tired, we managed to exchange presents once it was officially Christmas.

I got Bill an electronic keyboard which rolls up. It’s quite flat. We don’t know what it sounds like but there are supposedly 100 sounds available at his fingertip. I gave him his leather jacket last week since I had a limited amount of time if it needed to be returned and it didn’t need to be returned.

He’s been wearing it more often, but not for work as it’s not long enough to cover the hem of his suit jackets. Bill gave me a brand new HP computer, my first ever brand new computer. I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet since I don’t know how to join this computer and the new one, or at least transfer files.

If anyone has any ideas or directions on how to do such a thing I’d be glad to follow them.

Bill was much more frustrated with the breakdowns of the computer this past summer and Rand, who created this here computer reminded me that ‘you get what you pay for.’ That’s going to be my project the next few days, at least Tuesday or next weekend which will be my next time off.

Juan was here for a few hours. We basically had some sparkling wine, ate some pasta and watched the Freaks and Geeks marathon. He just left a little while ago. He’s always good to have around, if only for a little while. He’s headed back to Trenton tonight.

Back to work tomorrow, Boxing Day. Back to ‘normal’ hours, which means earlier hours. Monday night, a trip to Hillsdale. Hope you had an excellent Christmas holiday or whatever it is you choose to celebrate.

Be good.

Diamond Smiles

Well today has been a fartin’ around day. I know some of you would love a day like this, but you should be careful of what you wish for.

So since I didn’t do much of anything today, (hello laundry) I’ll spare you the iPod shuffle thing and look back at the previous entries for the third of September.

And here we go.

Disney’s Dream Debased, 2006.
I sit around for Bill to deliver a California King sized bed. It wasn’t a beach day since I had to sit and wait for Bill and the bed. I watch a DVD that I got for Bill’s birthday, a Herbie Hancock DVD. Brian Eno is in it so that’s what got my eye.

I was working at McMann and Tate, and very unhappy. The night before Juan came over and we riffed on some jazzy type things. Watched the Dave Chapelle Street Party DVD directed by Michel Gondry.

I enjoyed watching Chapelle with Juan more than I did seeing it with Bill in the theater. Bill and I had a major fight that night months previous. Also drank a lot of wine in 2006.

Eventually had to kick Juan out since the jazzy things and the wine made my eyes heavily lidded. The bed is still here and big enough for two big guys like Bill and myself.

The Last Thing You Should Do, 2007.
Sat around and watched TV with Bill. It was a Monday. No longer at McMann and Tate, but working for the Biotechnology Investment Bank. Content with the job, settled in after starting a few months before.

We watched Big Love on HBO the season finale. I write about Bill Paxton being in a band called Martini Ranch. I wrote about my musical snobbery towards Los Angeles which was unfortunate since I missed a few good bands while my nose was up in the air.

It being Labor Day weekend, there was a BBQ in Garfield. Bill and I got there via Zip Car. I bring a dozen CD’s for a 30 minute drive.

Bill and I arrive before most everyone else. Brian and Karen and the kids show up, and Frank is on the mend from his stroke the previous May. Rob cooks on his grill.

Hot dogs, Hamburgers, Coronas and Guinness. Apparently on the way home and drove by 13 Riverview Avenue as there are pictures that prove it.

Thank You, 2008.
In the midst of the election season. I’m on fire. Sarah Palin. Cotton Hill. John McRage. It’s the republican convention! There are a lot of hands grasping at only a few straws in that crowd.

Everything is anti-Obama. Oddly enough, things are more tense now in 2009 then it was last year.

Tropical Storm Hannah approaches putting the free B-52’s show in Cranford NJ in jeopardy. I run into Casey Chasm twice, in the morning when I’m not at my best and on the return trip when I am at my best.

Work is getting back on it’s knees. The economy is tanking in September 2008. Today they try to pin it on Obama.

I just got a new suit, navy blue wool/cashmere blend, two button. I’m asked to wear a suit since a big wig is expected in the office, a white knight who didn’t do anything.

And the program Open Office was giving me problems, but a year later it’s fine, just fine thank you.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the chest under the rib cage.

Corinne, the Graduate

Corinne, the Graduate

Meghan, 2009 Garfield Hall of Fame inductee

Meghan, 2009 Garfield Hall of Fame inductee

Elaine & Frank

Elaine & Frank

Cake Stabbing Corinne

Cake Stabbing Corinne

Boom Boom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I Was a Boy From School

Well it’s Easter and it’s also my niece Meghan’s birthday which to me is more important than mythology. Meghan has also been named Teacher of the Year for Garfield High School which is quite an accomplishment. No bonus, no special parking space, but still a nice citation all around I think. It was a nice day out there in the suburbs and I was glad I could make it since last night I had my doubts. It seems after heading off the bed around midnight last night, awfully tired I came down with a chill. Not a good chill at that, mind you. Just suddenly cold, shivering.

I went into my bedroom intending to dive under the comforter, but I neglected to turn on the heater. So I turned on the heater then stumbled into the kitchen and stood next to the heater I had just turned off yet still warm. I also took my temperature and the thermometer read 98.5. After a few minutes I decided to go back to the bedroom and though still a bit cool in there I went to bed, fully dressed which wasn’t the first time I had done that, but perhaps the first time I had done that sober. As the night wore on and my body temperature became normal I was able to shed the clothes and sleep as normally as I could.

I awoke at 9:00 to the sound of my cellphone ringing. It was Julio who was headed out to get bagels. That was a nice switch and soon he was knocking on my door with bagels and the newspapers. He did have a good laugh as I opened the door in my underwear and I was glad to be able to make him laugh despite my of shortcomings as it were. After a nice breakfast and the reading of the news I checked the schedules and planned my trip out to Garfield. I was on a train at 2:25 after being gouged by the Natural Plus flowers across from Hoboken City Hall. Usually a bouquet of flowers is about $8.00 or $9.00 but today they were $12.99 and up. Whereas I balked a few years ago at this floral skulduggery, this year I kept my mouth shut and paid the price.

On the train it was fairly empty, me and a few people including three people who I was reminded of the characters in Y Tu Mama, Tambien. Just 2 guys and a slight older woman out for a bike ride, leaving Hoboken and going to Garfield. We didn’t chat but were courteous to each other, they allowed me off the train before disembarking avec bicycles. My niece Corinne picked me and and soon we were at the Garfield house. Frank was watching TV, Elaine puttering about the kitchen cooking up ziti and a nice leg of lamb with string beans and baked potatoes. Soon Meghan and Rob joined us and we sat for a very nice meal.

Frank was ok talking wise, mentioning that sometimes he goes off on tangents which we both used to do but where we used to be able to get back to the original point, sometimes he has great difficulty doing so. I asked him that if I see him going off like that would he want me to rein him in and he said he would appreciate it if I did. I’m sure it’s going to go well, since I’ve been doing it for most of my life. After dialing a call to Annemarie in California, the Hillsdale contingent of the family arrived for some cake for Meghan’s birthday. Got a ride home from Corinne and Elaine and now I’m here watching a Hot Chip dvd with Juan who is up for Easter to see his family, headed back down to college later. And that’s the name of that tune.


Alex P. Kitten

Where’s my CAKE???