Tag Archives: Guinness

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch(2011)
Filmmaker Sari Gilman explores the lives of America’s senior citizens, focusing on their desire to live independently yet still be part of a community.
Sari Gilman, Jedd Wider, Todd Wider

This was listed in the New York Times TV Grid today. I don’t think it is the actual Sucker Punch movie.

Last night I took a trip up to Harlem to watch a staged reading of War of the Roses by William Shakespeare. When I left Hoboken it was raining, and when I got to 125th Street it was snowing. It was in a converted firehouse and they did a good job. They only rehearsed for a week and it wasn’t a table reading, this involved walking around and mock swordfights while the actors held onto their scripts and said the words on the page.

Some actors were better than others of course and once or twice an actor would lose their place in the reading which slowed things down for a moment. I don’t know why they picked War of the Roses, perhaps since it isn’t as well known as the other plays by the Bard. Unfortunately I did not eat and midway through my spirits started flagging.

I spent parts of the day in bed feeling crappy and today I realized that I was more than likely hung over from the four cans of Guinness I had on St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t pounding them down and it took me about 3 hours to drink the four cans. Back in the day that would be no problem and if I was hung over the next day, well then that was a reason to drink some more. The hair of the dog.

There was a cocktail party, a meet and greet after the show but I was fading fast and it was still snowing out. I told Bill he should stay at the theater but that I was going home. In hindsight I should have just ran around the block and gotten a Subway sandwich and gone back but my mood was just plummeting. I did make it back to Hoboken and got a slice of pizza on the way home. Bill came home an hour or so later, telling me I should have stayed and that people were asking for me.

Next time I suppose. Today was spent cleaning up the apartment and while I was doing that I heard some pounding in the building. I figured some work was going on somewhere in the building and didn’t pay it much attention. I was in the loo as the pounding increased in volume to the point where it was on the door to the apartment.

As I was zipping up I asked who it was and heard ‘NYPD’. I opened the door as I continued zipping and tucking my shirt in. They asked if I was Mike and I said I wasn’t. They were looking for my neighbor Mike who now lives with his girlfriend and their dog on the first floor in Claire’s apartment. Crazy cross subletting in this building.

I convinced them that I was not Mike, pulling out my cock and saying ‘Does Mike have a cock like THIS?’ They apologized for taking my time as well as taking photos of my member and headed off saying that Mike is not in trouble and not as well hung as yours truly.

It’s been one of those days wouldn’t you say?





Now that I look at both writings side by side, it seems that they are eerily similar somewhat…

Going Out Of My Head

Pictures of You

Well today has been a good day for me, internet wise. Been in front of the computer, looking at pictures that Rand scanned last night. Oldies of Rand and me in San Francisco, playing as the Art Hams with Mike Weinert at Maxwells for the Martha-thon back in 1986 or so, playing the River City Fair was the Art Hams with John Hamilton of Tiny Lights, who advised us not to drink beforehand and we didn’t follow his advice and performed a sloppy and silly set.

Last night I had a really good time, drinking pints with Rand at his apartment. One of the things Rand did was set me up so my blog postings will feed directly into Twitter as well as Facebook. Nothing about YouFace yet though.

Rand also turned me onto Pandora which we used for music last night. My sister uses it as well and I actually signed up for it a few years ago and set up about 20 stations before forgetting about it. So I’ve been playing that most of the day.

Bill just left for his bus driving gig once again, off to Atlantic City. Pictures of You by The Cure just played on Pandora which made me miss him even more than I usually do. Curse you Robert Smith and your melancholy airs!

It’s a rainy gray day which seems perfect for The Cure. They came up through the Cocteau Twins station that I just created.

Facebook has been busy, at least me and my friends. Thanks to Rand’s photos lot’s of people are showing up and commenting and others are compelled to post pictures of their own.

Great day like I said, reading about my niece Cassie doing work for the homeless this morning for her confirmation duties.

There are plans in the works for an Art Hams reunion in May, perhaps in upstate New York. More remains to be seen on that front but if it goes through it promises to be a lot of fun. But that’s way down the line.

I’m certainly glad I went over to Rand’s last night and I also think it was rather smart of me to write and post yesterday’s entry before I started drinking. I certainly wasn’t in the state of mind to do so when I came back.

Not that I was out of control or anything like that. On the contrary, I felt relatively OK after about 5 pints of Guinness. I don’t think I would pass a sobriety test if I had to despite all the studying I had done before.

Now on Pandora is Julee Cruise singing Falling which was produced by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti and used in Twin Peaks, at least the instrumental version was.

Also trying to track Bill on Google Latitude. It was track him through his phone from my location here in Hoboken. That should be fun. I do worry about these trips to Atlantic City. And I double worry when it’s cold and rainy.

Currently listening to Brian Eno station on Pandora while downloading a Brian Eno podcast from 1988.

Last night or rather this morning I had 2 cannabis free dreams. One involved me fighting with the guy from Across the Universe in various bistros and bars in the West Village and Soho/Tribeca. I think I had some sort of superpowers, either able to fly or shrink down my size.

Then I sort of woke up when Bill came home this morning and I said when I saw Bill, ‘Mom?’

Back to sleep after that and had a dream where all the women in the world were killing all the men, except for boys and old men and gay men. I suppose I had dreams like this when I was smoking the weed all the time, just never remembered them.

Too clouded a mind for them to really sink in. Sometimes the dreams are troubling and not ensuring a good night’s sleep. Nothing much else planned for today.

Going to make some dinner in a few minutes.

That’s my first entry to go out onto the web via Twitter and Facebook

♫ Take it or leave it, we’ll carry on regardless/If you don’t like it, you don’t have to dance. ♪

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me

Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

2010 JOZ

2010 JOZ

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You Didn’t Hear It

Well here we are, January 1, 2010. So far so good. No known superstitions or rituals to go through and no hangover either. Been a pretty good day. Last night was pretty good too. Bill woke up from his nap and we had dinner at Arthur’s Steakhouse on Washington Street.

We’ve been doing that for the past 8 years, New Years Eve dinner. A few pints, some steaks, some garlic bread. It’s never been crowded and quite cozy that last night of the year. We came home and watched some TV before heading over to Rand and Lisa’s apartment around 11:00.

On the way we saw various party goers outside different buildings having a smoke. One guy at the corner of 7th and Park Avenue called us over for a light. As I lent him my lighter, he farted. Many laughs all around.

I brought some Guinness, not sure if Rand had any or if anyone else would be drinking it. Apparently Rand had some on hand already, not that it mattered though I’m sure I will have to pay him a visit and take those off his hands. Also pick up some socks that were left behind a few months ago. Arrangements will have to be made.

I did go out around 3:00 this afternoon to get some groceries. It was a nice afternoon, a balmy 40 degrees. I ran into Martin Kelly, good to see him. Had a few laughs with him. Spoke with Annemarie when I got back. She had a great time seeing X in San Francisco last night while her husband Rex and their son Earl went to see the Dead play for 4.5 hours. I would have been at the X show of course.

In Hoboken, it was low key last night. Rand & Lisa, Lois & Fred and Bill & myself. Nice amount of people. All rather perfect actually. We all sat around the TV, Rand controlling the TV. NBC, CBS, ABC & CNN as well as a video of a video of Lady Gaga on TV.

The countdown went well and I decided to record it. I sound like a big gay goofball but I guess I sound like that all the time, though I did sound campier than usual when I tried reassuring Lois that the champagne blindness in her eyes. At least I sound that way to my ears.

I even played Rand’s guitar and played some Beatles tunes, All My Loving, She’s A Woman and Please Please Me. That was fun. I was surprised to see Bill singing along to All My Loving. According to him, he’s been paying attention all these years and was learned the lyrics from my constant playing. It was fun and Lois complimented me on my guitar playing.

I guess she hadn’t heard me play in a while. Perhaps all those years of playing on my own has given me a unique style of playing.

Bill and I were home a little after 2:00, passing plenty of party people heading to various other parties. I remember those times, not wanting the party to end. Now I’m content to let it end when it may, not caring since I was going to bed.

I have to wake Bill up in a half hour, he’s driving to Atlantic City again. Of course I’ll be worried until I hear from him in Atlantic City. I’m in for the night, been invited to a party but I’m feeling reclusive.

Hope you all had an enjoyable New Years Yves.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s nice when that happens.

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

Tammy Faye Starlite

Tammy Faye Starlite

George Usher

George Usher

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Individuals with Jim Mastro (left)

The Guitar Bar All Stars

The Guitar Bar All Stars

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band

Elena & Boo from the Demolition String Band



Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Dennis Diken with Bell Sound

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

Chris Butler singing Christmas Wrapping!

The Schramms

The Schramms

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Kate Jacobs and her Band

Freedy Johnston

Freedy Johnston

Lady Godiva’s Operation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quite a nice thing to wake up to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So drinks after dinner was in order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I'm in there somewhere

I'm in there somewhere

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By me!

By me!

By me too!

By me too!

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I May Be Wrong (But I Think You’re Wonderful)

Well it’s Thursday but it feels like Friday. A holiday weekend Friday no less. But still it’s a Thursday and I made it through ok. My brother in law, Rex had his heart procedure this morning and it went beautifully, thanks to the Italian cardiologist in Cleveland. I said she was Italian because she’s from Italy and apparently the only one in North America who could do the procedure that the numb skulls at UCSF did not follow up on, throwing their bloody hands in the air saying, ‘oh Rex should have come in for a follow up. I guess we should have told you, but we didn’t so you’re fucked. Bye!’ Yeah fuck you too bitches.

I got a phone call from my sister Annemarie, happy to answer it, but dreading what I might hear, but it was Annemarie crying tears of joy, that it went so well. A relief to be able to call my family and tell them the good news. Everyone happy on the family front for Rex. Good news at last.

Last night Bill came home, the third time in a row this week. It’s so good to have him around. He didn’t drive me crazy like he sometimes does. I don’t mind the crazy. I mind the moments of solitude when he’s not here. We watched the season finale of Lawn Hor d’oeuvres. And like the Olivia Show on Lawn Hor d’oeuvres SVU it had an extremely weak ending.

I could have written a better ending than what was presented. Jack McCoy, car chase, shoot out, love scene would have been miles better than the Elliot Spitzer rehash with the governor played by the young Tom Hanks look alike from That Thing That You Do getting off the hook. Bill was vocally disappointed, I wasn’t paying that much attention. I didn’t stay up for the news, I went to bed and fell asleep rather quickly. Woke up Bill still asleep next to me, looking so cute.

I got myself together and was out the door, dropping off God is Not Great at the library having finished it last night. Reading the New Yorker about a club in Hollywood called Largo. It seems it’s the in spot for hipsters and musicians, probably much like McSwells used to be in the eighties and nineties. Almost made me want to go there but realizing that if it made it to the New Yorker it’s time had come and the time will soon be past. Been there done that.

True, John Paul Jones never played on stage at McSwells but hey, we had Peter Buck having French onion soup in the front room with Julie Panebianco and that has to count for something doesn’t it?

Also read about a Jazz afficianado, or Jazz queer as Ann Boyles like to say. A fanatic, the last of a breed searching out Charlie Parker 78’s or Bix Beiderbecke sides from the 1920’s. He has a radio show on WJCR at Columbia University. It was a good article, and I related to it somewhat, though not a jazz fan per se, but the hunting down of records that I loved or heard about was close to home. It almost got me interested in jazz. Almost.

Today was the penultimate day for the sweet receptionist Lydia. That meant going out for drinks. I was smart enough to hit McDonalds and have a little something in my system before quaffing a few pints. It was me and Lydia plus Allen and Rossi. A few laughs over pints with the guys, Lydia sipping a glass of white wine. Marty Allen and I bought a few rounds, I used petty cash, Marty Allen out of pocket. Vivek showed up and gregarious as usual bought the rest of the round as well as some snacks that we could munch on.

Somehow my age came up and I was compelled for the past year to keep it under wraps, but since I was on the spot I had to tell the truth, I am 45. Their reaction? I was a young looking 45. I actually look as young or younger than them, excepting Lydia who’s 21. I act younger than them that’s for sure, excepting Lydia once again. After 4 pints, 2 more than I had planned I made an exit with Lydia, walking her to her train.

Here I am now, hearing that John McCrazy disowned John Hagee’s endorsement which is good news for the country and showing that John McCain really isn’t a good judge of character or a good judge of anything really worthwhile. Now, let’s arrest Karl ‘Big Ass Closet Case’ Rove.

Time to chill. Peace out cub scouts.
Here’s Ian Hunter, a dedication for Annemarie, Rex and Earl


Well I’m probably going to post later, it’s 6:53PM now. I thought I’d get started after I see Nick Lowe at McSwells with brother Brian at McSwells. It’s a foggy, balmy day always feeling like rain. Ran a few errands today around midtown and I heard a few people complaining about how cold it was. These people were spoiled last week when the temperature was in the upper 70’s. Work was interesting, a deal seems to have been made, a meeting went on all day long and when I left everyone involved in the meeting seemed content.

I had to go to the post office this afternoon for myself. I heard from the company that made the earphones I got from Julio and Stine this past holiday season, once again giving me an RA number so I can send back the earphones for the fourth time. I waited a short time on line then I got to the counter.

The Mailman behind the counter asks me:
‘Name 4 US Presidents not buried in the US.’ I answered correctly.

Then he said, ‘There is a race, and you overtake the guy in 2nd place. What place are you now in?’
This I answered incorrectly.
Finally, he riddled,
“There are 2 coins that add up to 30 cents. One of them is not a nickel. What are those coins?”

That one I knew from Scrubs, and no, it’s not a penny and a button with 29 cents written on it. It actually made for an interesting and fun experience at the post office for once. I did wonder, that if I hadn’t gotten any of the riddles right, would he refuse to handle my mail? It was reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, crossing over the Bridge of Death. I would have been prepared, I know my sparrows.

What are your answers?

Well here we are later, and by ‘we’ I mean the royal ‘we’ and by that I mean ME. Several pints later. I really don’t do this that often, despite being in quite a similar state last weekend. By this I mean, drinking. Nick Lowe, very good. Excellent, in fact. Sold out show, jam packed. Also found out the secret word to tell the door people and get you into a sold out show. Me, 3 sheets to the wind. If it were 4, you would not be reading this. A good time had by Brian and special guest Chaz. Chaz duly writing down each song for his endless compilation.

I wound up going to bed immediately after writing those lines. Couldn’t focus and my fingers weren’t doing what I wanted them to do. Sleep uneasily, of course. A number of pints will do that to you.

Saw Roger, Ira Hubley and Georgia Kaplan as well as Thaylor and her husband Tom. Nick Lowe sang his hits, I Knew The Bride, Cruel to Be Kind, What’s So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding) as well as some new ones which were quite good. He’s very personable on stage, telling stories about his tour. He mentioned that it was the first time he was ever in Hoboken, after touring the US for the past 30 years, which was somehow fitting since it was the last night of his tour. Brian gave me a ride home and that is where I am now, waiting for Julio to play the role of Egg Man on this foggy day in Hoboken town. Sorry you had to wait, but the bottom of those pint glasses were so engrossing.

Here’s the best pic of the Basher himself. It’s a bit blurry but then again, so was I.

Yes I finished this this morning, and since I started it last night, I’ve post dated the entry.

She Brakes For Rainbows

Well I just got home from Martha Keavney’s party for her newest edition of Badly Drawn Comics which aren’t so badly drawn any more. In fact they’re now called Spelt-Rite Comics. Haven’t read the latest edition so I couldn’t tell you how it was. The first page looks drawn well enough, but I didn’t want to get into it since I was at a party and I was supplying the music. I got to the party at 3:59. It was supposed to start at 4:00. Martha was there with Garry Rindfuss a name from the past.

I hadn’t seen Garry in a long time. Tried keeping in touch via email but he never reconnected. Still it was good to see him. Martha looked good, her sister Eileen was there helping set up. I was asked to supply music for Martha’s party and for the past couple of weeks I was adding and subtracting tracks to a playlist on the iPod. I wasn’t sure who was going to be there, I figured there would be a few people from the past that both Martha and I knew. I was expecting a crowd, and I think Martha was as well.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a crowd. I invited Chaz, Kathe and Roda and none of them showed up. Kathe works across the street from the bar where the party was, but she forgot. I told Harpy and saw him on the street but he just kept on walking past. Rand and Lisa were there and once again they provided excellent company. One or two faces from the past made appearances but didn’t stay long.

I was fortifying myself with pints of Guinness seemingly making a connection with Kevin, off the boat from Eire. Talking about music, how Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine almost rented a space above the bar a few years ago but it didn’t work out. At $4.00 a pint I could listen all night. Too bad that it wasn’t as crowded as expected so Kevin closed the back bar where the party was. It turned out the pints in the main bar were a dollar cheaper at $3.00 a pint, leaving me to believe Kevin was skimming off the top, a dollar or two more than he should have been charging. Shite they call it.

Bill stopped by for about 5 minutes. Had to plead for him to wait a minute so I could pee and then see him off to the show he is stage managing. It all ended rather quietly. No one I expected to show up was there. I hope Martha wasn’t disappointed. I hope she didn’t spend too much on the space and snack. I baked cookies this morning for the party but never took them out. So I now have a bag of cookies which is nice I suppose.

Rand and Lisa were going to Benny’s Burritos but I wasn’t feeling it so they went east and I headed west to the Path train. Perhaps if I knew about going out for some food I would have been willing, but it was right at the end and I didn’t feel like being a third wheel. That’s about it. I’m coming down from my buzz and probably going to bed soon.


Martha’s comics

Lady Gigglepuss

Garry Rindfuss, Lady Gigglepuss, El Jefe

Danny Boy

St Patrick’s Day in New York City. Been here many times in many conditions. Presently sober, but Bill wants to have a pint after work so we’ll try to figure out where to go regarding that. Right across the street from work is Smith and Wollensky, a steak house where I know they have Guinness. So that seems to be the place to go. Or maybe somewhere else if Bill can think of it. My niece, Corinne texted me earlier (12:20AM) about wanting to have a St. Patrick’s Day drink with me so I’m meeting her at McSwells around 8:00.

I sort of fortified myself with McDonalds just to have something in my stomach. Not the best thing, but it was close, cheap and convenient. And it hit the spot, filling the post lunch salad void. And I only eat McD’s a few times a year. Not as exotic to me as it was in my childhood years, when going to McDonalds was a big deal. I chatted with both of my brothers today, Brian and I texting and eventually talking about our St. Patrick’s Day exploits 30 or so years ago, as well as what is going on in Hillsdale. With my brother Frank it was a talk about TV and movies and an invite to go out to Garfield on Sunday for dinner.

It’s Easter and it’s also my niece Meghan’s birthday. I accepted on my behalf, while Bill got an invite from his cousin Elsie for the same day. I am not sure if I was also invited, but Bill mentioned it so perhaps I was or perhaps Bill was overstepping on his invite. In any event, I’ll be Garfield bound and Bill will be in Stuyvesant Town. Just as well. Spoke to Bill and hour ago, he said he was leaving and would meet me here at the office in a few minutes. Now it’s been an hour. Perhaps he was held up walking across town, pushing past parade partiers.

Well we met up outside my building. Bill decked out in his Kelly green beret and Ireland scarf, looking dapper and happy. So many people on the streets I couldn’t think of a spot to go to, then I looked across the street at Smith and Wollensky. It used to be my cousin Jackie’s favorite spot for a steak. I didn’t think it would be too crowded and as we walked through it wasn’t. We walked up to the bar where the barman asked what we were having. I asked for two pints of Guinness and the barman said in a lilting Irish brogue that they don’t have Guinness. We thanked him and we were on our way.

All the pubs were filled to capacity and others were charging a cover just to get in and spend money. Bill mentioned that tomorrow there would be no charge and he was right about that. So we smoked cigars and walked across town, talking. That was nicer than any pub, just strolling and chatting and smoking. He walked me back to the bus terminal and we chatted some more before parting ways, me headed to Hoboken, Bill to Stuyvesant Town. I texted Corinne asking to move our arrangement up an hour. It was no problem for her and I sat on the bus and finished last week’s New Yorker.

Got to McSwells in no time, sat at the bar, ordered a pint when Corinne and her boyfriend Jonathan came in. Hadn’t seen him since the wedding in June and he looked good, soft spoken, well behaved, after all I am the uncle. The bar was getting crowded so I suggested moving to an off the bar area where we sat and I regaled them with tales of my errant youth. Corinne asked about her father’s past and illicit substances and I played dumb. I had three pints of Guinness, Jonathan had two Corona, and Corinne had most of one pint, then switched over to a Blue Moon which I had never heard of before alcohol wise. We parted ways, Corinne and Jonathan off to Clifton for more merriment and me at home to write this. And that’s where we are right now. Where are you?

Here’s some pictures from the parade and thereabouts this St. Patrick’s Day 2008
Everyone had some green on.


Party Lasses

A gaggle of cuties



a sea of green ♫

randy gams

Iraq vets







Bill McVila


photo by Lisa Rigoux Hoppe from Hoboken St Pat’s 3.1.08

and for making it this far, a video sent to me from Rand Hoppe

Ring The Alarm

St. Patrick’s Day in Hoboken. At 10:00 this morning there were crowds congregating on street corners. Not waiting for the parade, but waiting for the bars to open, or heading off to parties. At 10:00AM, you can hear various parties going on in apartments, walking through Hoboken this morning. The bagel shop had a line out to the street and most bagels were sold out. I was lucky to get a green poppy seed bagel. And the supermarket was filled with newly of age drinkers, buying all the beer they could carry. I had to go to the library to pick up a book that I had on hold and Diane, the head librarian likened Hoboken today as being one big frat party. And she hit it on the head.

It was packed everywhere I went. Lines out the door into the streets. And all before noon. I got what I could and headed home, for breakfast, followed by laundry. I had a few errands to run so I timed it that after the laundry I could do the errands which was paying the cable bill and getting my new Stevia. It was time for the parade and so I found a good spot on Washington Street to wait. In between two bars in the sun.

I spoke with Rand aka El Jefe and mentioned that he and Lisa aka Lady Gigglepuss were planning on watching the parade. I told them were I was and soon enough they joined me. Lot’s of pipe and drum and bagpipers and kilts. In 35 degree weather which occasionally felt a lot colder. We were situated next to a few guys who I dubbed the Horny Boys. Just because every vehicle that went by they pleaded with the driver to honk the horn or sound the siren or ring the alarm. And the Horny Boys would get so jubilant when the request was granted, no matter how squeaky the sound. It was very funny and everyone in the area had a good laugh every time, including the marchers.

This year the person in the Guinness suit, someone who looks like a big pint of Guinness was on the back of a pick up truck, more than likely due to the fact that Mr. Pint of Guinness has gotten jumped by various drunker parade watchers cum participants. It’s a short parade with representatives from as far as Somerset and Passaic. Some Hibernians marched but I don’t think they had any connection to the ancient twits that run the New York parade. Even though online Hoboken is Gay City, on the street it’s mainly invisible and I don’t think there’s ever been an attempt to march in the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade and I doubt there would be any problem, but who the hell wants to march in freezing cold weather? Been there, done that. Next!

It’s now about 6:00 and I need to run to the store. I’m thinking of going down Washington Street just to see what that looks like three hours later. How strong are these kid’s livers? Or their stomachs? We shall see.

I just got back from walking down Washington Street at 6:00PM. Craziness. Now there are still crowds of young drinkers queuing up outside of various bars, and occasional singles and pairs walking all over the place, unable to walk in a straight line. Drunken young men yelling into cellphones, ‘That’s not what I said! That’s not what I meant!’

Drunken Firefighters off duty in dress blues passively fending off drunken young women. Most stores have signs on their doors saying that the rest rooms are out of order, and they probably are. People new to the country, new to Hoboken look on bemusedly and confused by all the festivities of young women teetering on too high heels and young men in green t shirts with thermal tops underneath. Now is the time to stay inside. Plus Bill just got here and I think it’s the first time in a long time that he can be himself. Which means he will drive me crazy in an hour. That was a joke. Two hours at most.

Here are some pics

Before the parade

Outside of many bars




The worst job, luckily only one horse

The Grand Marshall

Weehawken Flag Twirlers (with a male flag twirler)


Just a bagpiper

Hoboken Roller Girl

El Jefe and Lady Gigglepuss

The Black Irish

Guinness under protection

selling Irish pretzels

Two of the Horny Boys (quite handsome, no?)

Too Much Monkey Business

Friday has arrived. Took it’s sweet time getting here. It was a relatively productive day, but first, last night’s TV. Yes, Lost was on and yes it was good. All about Desmond. No barrow. No marketplace. Not much in the memory department either. It was good and the scene with Penelope was sweet. A happy ending of sorts. Talked to Annemarie on the phone for a while last night. Just family drama, too personal to write about here. How’s that for a tease?

Things have been very tense in upper Bergen County for a while and they all came to a head. Fucked up teenagers, damaged parents makes for a emotional maelstrom. And then in lower Bergen County, my sister in law Elaine is having an angiogram, and Frank is stressed. With the cutbacks in state employees I wonder if Frank will be affected. He’s a country employee you see, and shit rolls downhill. Annemarie is trying to organize a laughter yoga group and that’s slow going. I hope it works out, though all you need is one person. Or maybe one other person. You can laugh by yourself, but it’s easier to laugh with someone else.

I laughed loudly watching the Daily Show last night with Jason Jones jonesing for Starbucks coffee, going so far as rooting through garbage cans and drinking a used condom filled with coffee. Yes it was gross and it was also hilarious. I slept incredibly well last night, woke up really rested and in a decent mood. I timed myself and I can wake up and be out of the apartment in 45 minutes, including a shower and coffee. I didn’t shave today, since it’s Friday. Also cut my forehead with my thumbnail. Not used to having nails, you see.

For most of my life I bit my nails, and for the past couple of months I haven’t. I haven’t even used the bitter nail enamel that I was using for years. It’s bitter, it’s probably poison and it did deter me from biting my nails for a while, until I washed my hands a few times and the poison would wash off. Now I compulsively file my nails and that seems to be the tact that works. I still want to write something about Nail Biters Anonymous, which involves someone like me, or actually me, going up before the group and saying , ‘Hello I’m John and I’m a compulsive nail biter’ only to get the response of ‘What? We can’t understand you, take you fingers out of your mouth!’. That’s as far as I got. If anyone else has an idea on how to follow that, I’d like to hear it.

Bill is hoping to come over this weekend, if just for the opportunity to sleep in our bed, he’s been couch bound for a few months now, and not sleeping well. I’m looking forward to sleeping next to him again. Hopefully I won’t hit him while I’m sleeping. It’s been known to happen. Got my Guinness for the weekend, I’m set for what comes before Part B.


Thursday today, all day. Nothing but Thursday. I wonder where Harpy is? No phone call, no comments. I wonder if he’s still alive. I’m sure if he wasn’t someone would have told me. In any event I hope he’s alive. Not going to compliment him, since he doesn’t take compliments well. So, he’s a dumb ass then. Last night, Lawn Hor d’oeuvre, both Criminal Investigation as well as the original. Both very good, though I’d give intensity points to Criminal Investigation. Lesbian psycho blackmailer/killer. Can’t say that they have LGBT killers or crooks all the time, they don’t. Not always victims either, I guess that makes Lawn Hor d’oeuvre, a true New York show. LGBT are everywhere.

Chatted with Juan last night online. He’s alive. Craziness in Trenton but it’s not my story so I ain’t gonna write about it. I’d recommend going to his blog to read it, but he probably isn’t going to write about it as well. Blogging is for losers I believe he said a while ago. I know he’s wrong, but he has youth and impetuousness on his side so I’ll give him that inch.

Bill is back at work, and barely keeping his head above the emotional waters. I sympathize and tried to be supportive, telling him he just has to get through this week. He was crashing from a lack of food, so I recommended getting a couple of bananas. They help stave off depression and they do give you energy and they’re good for you. He wisely took my advice and noticed a difference. It was bitter cold outside today, a bit windy but sunny. I enjoyed it surprisingly. Kept a lot of people off the streets and out of my way as I strolled through midtown at various times today.

Office was busy, most everyone in, including clients. Hard to believe I haven’t worked a full week in two weeks. I guess next week will be the first since then. I hope I can make it. Now I have a nagging feeling I jinxed it. Oh me and these superstitious ways. Looking forward to Lost tonight. Bill has a tentative plan to see Medea up in Harlem this weekend. I think that might be too much for him. It might be bes for him to just chill out and do nothing, and maybe avoid Greek tragedies about a woman who murders her children.

I’d rather chill out in Hoboken, though it is St Patrick’s Day in Hoboken, making it a major destination for newly legal drinkers. At 3:00 in the afternoon the bars should be packed after the parade, and on Sunday morning there will be a mess throughout town. At least it’s no surprise. More than likely they’ll have green bagels too, or maybe they’ll wait until March 17 which is the actual St. Patrick’s Day. They just celebrate it the first Saturday in March so there wouldn’t be any competition with New York. I’ve had a few experiences in Manhattan on St. Patrick’s Day and I’ll write about them some other time. Maybe March 17. I do know if I want Guinness on Saturday, I had better get it tomorrow.

Fly Me To The Moon

It’s Thursday. No big deal. Last night was no big deal either. There was the dental appointment which went well. Only spent $90.00 for that visit. Spoke to my sister Annemarie on the phone. Her son Earl is sick with the flu and that sucks. But it’s the flu, he’s healthy so he’ll rebound with no problem. Came home, watched Law and Order Criminal Investigation and that was good. It was a repeat and it didn’t get hairy until the last ten minutes. After that was Law and Order the original that Bill was supposed to be in as an extra but they cut his scene. Nevertheless it was a very good episode and dealt with Jack McCoy in the second half, ending with a Bobby Kennedy tie pin from 1968 which touched Jack greatly.

Then it was bedtime for me. Slept really well, woke up on time too. Of course the first instinct was, ‘I don’t wanna go to work today’, but I had to. Many things to do today. Clients coming in, and I had to set up Greg Stevens conference call. I swear, if Greg ever figured out keyboard shortcuts I’d likely be out of a job. At least several times a day, he calls me into his office to fix something on his computer. This morning he needed to get the Microsoft Office helper off his screen. It just popped up and made Greg feel distracted.

There were a few other tasks that I had to do, and one of them was staying the hell out of Tom Chin’s way. He was on the warpath, but it didn’t have anything to do with me. Today is Valentine’s day. I ordered some flowers on Saturday to be delivered yesterday to Bill’s office. Of course they were delivered after Bill left for the day. But technically they were delivered on time. Apparently Bill ordered flowers for me on Tuesday, for a Wednesday delivery before I went to the dental appointment. By the end of the day today, Thursday, they still hadn’t arrived.

We made plans to go to Arthur’s for steaks for Valentine’s day, a nice idea since Bill and I haven’t seen each other in weeks, but somewhere down the line the plan changed and we’re staying here, Bill sleeping over, and having Grimaldi’s pizza which is how my birthday wound up last year. At least then we made it to Arthur’s, and since their credit card machine wasn’t working we bailed and came home for Grimaldi’s pizza on my suggestion. Today it was all Bill’s suggestion. Arthur’s, no Arthur’s, pizza instead. I don’t mind I’m pretty tired but I must confess I was looking forward to having a pint or two of Guinness, a juicy steak and perhaps a cigar while walking around Hoboken.

Still, now I’m in slippers, housecoat and curlers and I’m not going anywhere. Definitely looking forward to a three day weekend, have some dvd’s to watch. I have The Namesake, The Bourne Ultimatum and Hard Eight. I heard good things about all three, and I do enjoy the Jason Bourne movies. Hard Eight was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson so that should be interesting at least. And The Namesake is directed by Mira Nair so let’s hear it for Indian Chick directors! Namaste bitches!

And here is a pic of me in my Valentine’s Day finery. A red tie basically.

And what is going on with the school shootings? Lawrence King, 15 years old killed at his middle school the other day in Oxnard, today a shooter goes shooting at Northern Illinois University. Crazy.

One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer

It’s back to work for me and millions of other people today. It wasn’t so bad. Last night was a definite chill out time, came back from seeing Cloverfield, and I finished reading the days papers. Almost done with the latest New Yorker so I might be up to date next week when the new issue comes in. The tooth still acting up a bit, not haywire like it was Saturday night but I took precautions. Bill had a bottle of whiskey, Canadian Mist that has been on the shelf since we moved here, and I decided to numb out the tooth with a shot or two. It certainly did the trick, took the edge off my mouth.

I settled in for the night, watching the Grammy’s which is something I hadn’t done in years. Just because the music I generally listen to doesn’t make the cut. But being it was the 50th broadcast I thought something might be happening. Kanye West was amazing with his Daft Punk single, Stronger, was just really good, almost as good as Ricky Martin when he blew the roof off. Not that I’m a fan of Ricky Martin’s music, but he sure is easy on the eyes. He’s also the second musician that I had an erotic dream about. The first was Ruben Blades years and years ago. Kayne West also did a number about his mother. It was written before she passed away a few months ago but it was touching nonetheless.

The Wire came on at 9:00 and I switched over while recording the rest of the awards program. The Wire was once again, intense. Just waiting for it all to come down. Marlo should be getting his, but since this show is relatively true to life, Marlo might get away with it all. Omar, after jumping four or five flights to the ground wound up hiding in the same building in the janitor’s room with a busted ankle. And McNulty kept getting drunk while the reporter kept making up stories though the noose is tightening on his neck with each keystroke. After that hour long trip to the depths of Baltimore, I switched back to the Grammy’s.

I did catch earlier, The Time who were great, playing with Rhianna who sang Umbrella, her big hit single from last year. And Amy Winehouse was very good via satellite from London. I went to bed after watching Herbie Hancock win his Album of the Year, River: The Joni Letters which are his interpretations of Joni Mitchell’s songs. I guess. Fell fast asleep, thanks to the one Advil PM and slept quite soundly. I woke up around 6:30 which is a half hour later than I should. I was in the middle of a dream where I was being chased around a beer hall/refugee camp by none other than Siouxsie from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Normally I’d probably stop and chat but she was pissed off at me for some reason and every time I would close a door on her she would blow the door down with her singing. I woke up groggy and tried to get back to the dream after texting Linda the receptionist that I was going to be late.

Plus it was 10 degrees outside and I couldn’t deal with that right away. No more Siouxsie dream as I lay there trying to get back to the beer hall. I got out of bed fifteen minutes later and that’s when the day began for me. I told Bill about what was going on with my tooth and how I opened the bottle of Canadian Mist whiskey, all covered in greasy dust. Even through an online chat I knew something was wrong and there was. It turned out Bill was saving that bottle for a special occasion. I wondered what kind of special occasion would it take for someone who rarely drinks, his limit is usually one pint of Guinness, to open a bottle of whiskey?

I asked why the bottle was for such a special occasion and he said that some guy he was trying to date/get laid/whatever gave it to him at a Hope and Remembrance gathering and that’s when he wanted decided to save the Canadian Mist for a rainy day. He’s still upset and trying to forget it. There is still more than 2/3 left and I lit a candle, pouring wax over the top of it so he could reopen and break the new seal should he ever cross paths with the enabler of Hope and Remembrance.

Fool In The Rain

Didn’t write last night and judging by all the emails I received (read: NONE) I was surely missed. Actually more like surely mist. Last night was the party at Bill’s law firm. I wasn’t too sure whether or not I would be admitted, but of course had it all planned out. Then there was the weather to contend with. It was sleeting out and quite windy and icy. That held up a few people coming into work and promised to make going home difficult too.

There’s been a lot of tension in the office this week, none of it was my doing, but of course I was affected by it as were other people. Someone may be getting the ax, and I don’t think it’s me. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Three Stooges. It’s funny though since two of the stooges have been friendly lately. They even asked me out for beers this afternoon, but I decided not to go, having had a few pints last night, and I really don’t like to drink during the day. I don’t know when that started but I prefer to get my drink on once the sun goes down. Unless I’m at the beach or hanging out with Harry. Or Pedro. Ok, it depends on who’s asking me for a drink. There. Happy?

Yesterday while getting my lunch in the sleet I had my Putman Livell umbrella, big red and white golf umbrella I was walking back to the office when I see Danny Putman walking down the street. His office is across the street from mine and I see him from time to time. He liked me when I worked for him and when we see each other he usually says keep in touch as we walk away from each other. This time I saw him, he didn’t see me and I didn’t care to chat. I had an umbrella, he didn’t and he was getting wet in the cold icy rain. I had to laugh as I passed him since his name was on my umbrella. I imagined him wrestling me for it and me shouting for him to get off, ‘You’re name’s not on it!’ but in all actuality, his name was on it. I also saw two other people I used to work with yesterday, one I said hello to but didn’t remember her name but commented that she looked great since she was pregnant. I would have said the same thing even if she wasn’t pregnant.

The day crawled, and with the rain it seemed even slower. Eventually I made my way across town to Bill’s office, making it there before 6:00 as the plan was planned. I gained admittance into the very big building on Times Square. Met Bill at his desk where I stowed my gear and Bill and I made it down to the party in the cafeteria. It was a good time, Bill introduced me to so many people that I forgot their names. It was sweet though, Bill introduced me as his partner and his coworkers seemed all very happy to see me. Had some appetizers then we started drinking Guinness which instantly replaced food.

At one point Bill and I went down to the street so I could have a smoke. There I saw yet another former coworker who’s name I could not remember. He didn’t see me so I just let him pass without any awkward introductions. We got back upstairs, the DJ started playing dance tunes, which according to Bill are the same dance tunes he plays every year. Bill danced with his coworkers I held up the wall talking to a couple of Bill’s friends. Eventually, Bill and I split having been there for about three and a half hours. Bill all sweaty from flipping and flopping on the dance floor. It really is a good time to watch Bill dance, he just loses himself. Bill was going to book a town car to take us home, on his dime, but I suggested just taking the bus since we were so close anyhow and he needed to watch his spending. Ha! Me, counseling someone on their spending habits! Ain’t that a kick in the head?

And now, some pics….

The view from the party

I just love this pic. It reminds me of what I love about Bill.

Me photographed by Bill talking to Billie in DC


Bill on the dance floor