Tag Archives: Guitar

I Love You Forever

A nice day, not too hot. Nearly perfect actually. Been a busy day. Bill was off from work and had to go to Philadelphia for some reason. He told me and I of course forgot about it. He’s been busy with the stage managing and all that. Last night he came home, had something to eat then went back to his office to do some work for this play he is involved with. I did not stay up, but when he was leaving this morning, he told me he didn’t get back home until 3:00AM. Now that is dedication I suppose.

The play has the potential to be a headache. And since Bill has a day job, he can’t be there for all the rehearsals so that seems to be a problem with the cast. They knew when they hired Bill that he had a day job but still there are some bumps in the road. But Bill is a trouper and is up for the challenge. IN fact he seems to welcome them. He called me from the office last night, a few pieces of paper were left behind and he definitely needed to know what was on them.

I was up and around early enough this morning. No need for the supermarkets, I stayed in until about 1:30 and walked over to the waterfront for some more strumming. I saw Tariq about a block away, he had his guitar and was walking away from the waterfront. Then he went into a store and I just kept going on my way. I figured he might be back but once I was set up and strumming, there was no Tariq to be found. That was alright, I just kept on strumming, causing some toddlers to dance with my guitar playing as they went on their afternoon walks.

I am planning on going back to Pier A tonight. Not to play but to watch a friend of mine play as part of a tribute to Woody Guthrie turning 100 years old. It’s going on before the movie on Pier A. They’re showing The Help tonight. I’m not much interested in seeing that, though if it was the Beatles in Help! I would probably see that, even though I do have the DVD of that at home. Still going out is something to do, since Bill does not expect to be home until midnight.

I did not make any money today as I was busking on the waterfront. I also did not have the guitar case open to invite anyone to throw some change in. I did not have my steno notebook of quick and easy songs to play, though I did have the envelope and wound up playing It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry by Bob Dylan. It didn’t sound half bad I thought. Having the capo helped for sure. No singing once again, just strumming.

A busy day overall. Tomorrow, The Guitar Bar All Stars are playing and I am looking forward to that. Some other things were planned but this is an annual thing that I do and I always enjoy it, plus I get to see the funniest girl alive, Meghan Taylor once again. And of course Lily & Ruby will more than likely be there as well as Mr. Wonderful, Jim Mastro. I wish I could attend that and Lois finishing up her improv class, and I probably could, I just have to try to figure that out. And there is also the barbecue that Tariq invited me to. Can’t do all three, not even sure if I can do two things. We shall see I reckon.





Shake Off The Ghost

Touching Me, Touching You

Just woke up from a nap. Set the cellphone alarm for an hour, only a half hour was needed. I did try to sleep some more but my mind wasn’t having it.

Woke up thinking of Maggie Alexandre. She was the inhuman resources director at Wanker Banker. She claimed to be at the Human Be-In in San Francisco during the summer of love back in 1967 but I have my doubts about that.

The thing that stuck in my mind was the fact that she was responsible for the hiring of some rotten lying conniving office manager and when it was revealed that the person she hired was such a beast the only thing old Maggie could do is try to get me fired.

I know it’s old news but for some reason the hunchbacked crone known as Maggie Alexandre seeped into my consciousness like so much ergot fungi. Maybe it’s because she reminds me of the natural gas spokeswoman for the energy today website.

Today has been an alright day. Went and played guitar for a few hours by the river. Tariq was there, after a few cocktails. It was a bit chilly and he claimed to have been strumming since around 11:30. I didn’t show up until 2:00 and by that time he wasn’t strumming much.

He did try to follow me on a few songs but gave up after a couple of strums and spaced out a bit. He did offer to show me how to play some grunge, and I knew what he meant when he said grunge.

Pearl Jam. A soulless band full of testosterone. I put my foot down and instead played Twist & Shout. He’s getting into the habit of repeating stories that he told me a few days previously and when I tell him he told me that already he merely says, ‘Oh yeah, I forgot that I saw you.’

Still he’s a nice guy. He likes to drink and always has an eye out for the ladles.

It was a bit cooler than it’s been the past week and a lot breezier. I stretched my arms and fingers and neck before and during playing but it was a might bit too chilly. Tariq also talked about building up a set list for playing on the street.

He’s been busking longer than I have and always brings up his friend Steve as a human jukebox. He plays with Steve at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue across from the Plaza Hotel where they supposedly make good money playing for the tourists.

Steve is also the guy I saw playing with Tariq singing Melissa by the Allman Brothers a few weeks ago. That is when I realized that I didn’t want to play the songs that everyone else plays. I’d rather play Instant Karma and Love Shack.

In the back of my mind I see myself playing at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue. Perhaps if the weather gets warmer and I am still looking for work, that is what I’ll do. I actually envisioned that a year or so ago, before I ever started playing my guitar outside.

This week promises to be a better week weather wise and will provide some opportunities to go out and play by the river once again.

Last night I watched all of the first season of Tales of the City. Still as charming as I remembered. I put in the first disc of More Tales of the City. It was a bit of a let down.

Some cast members did not return and the ones that replaced the originals in my eyes didn’t make the cut. I only watched the first episode of the second set so maybe it gets better. I think

Bill wants to check it out so I’ll hang onto it for as long as I can.
JOTTTTTTTTTT

Turn the Heater On

It’s a Tuesday. Not necessarily a sunny day but it was OK enough to get me out of the apartment after job searching for a good part of the day. Last night’s cannabis free dreams involved being in a taxi on Eighth Avenue with a former co-worker who was a composite of a few different co-workers.

In the dream I started out wandering lost in the Port Authority bus terminal. Larger and more sprawling than it actually is. Caught a cab with the co-worker, and as we sat in traffic the cab driver decided to take a short cut which was basically a parking lot with only one way to get in and out. Bumper to bumper traffic.

The co-worker left when we got back into the traffic and I eventually woke up. Made some coffee, had breakfast and showered. Yes, all blah blah blah. Living on the 5th floor of a building means that it’s generally cooler five stories up than it is on the street.

I usually turn on the heater built into the stove for a little while to warm things up but found that when I went to turn on the heater, there was no heat. I checked and the pilot was out. SO I lay on the floor trying to turn it on to no avail.

I texted Julio to see if he could help me with it, but they have a similar problem with the heater in the bedroom and even a handyman like Julio couldn’t fix it so they’ve been using a space heater. He suggested calling PSE&G for an appointment so they’re scheduled to come here tomorrow between 8AM and 12PM.

And since the stove which is pretty old is not under warranty it could cost us some money for the visit. The stove works, but not the heater. I called Bill and left a voice mail for him.

I’ve been doing good. Avoiding most TV news. No more MSNBC on during the day. Instead I watched the Gilmore Girls and wanted to move to Stars Hollow. I watched a repeat of the Daily Show from last week and then headed out.

Wandered around Hoboken, making my way up to 14th Street and then over to the river. Bill called back a few hours after I called and he was his usual ebullient self. He asked what I was up to and I told him I was walking around Hoboken, glad to get out of the apartment.

I also remarked that I was glad to be away from people and he laughed at how I was alone in the apartment and now alone outside. I told him that there was no one around where I was walking, that that was what I meant.

He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was reluctant to tell him about being a little depressed. He didn’t mind hearing it, saying that I would be there for him if the situation was different. And it’s true, I would be and I have been.

But this has been going on more and more lately, hence my reluctance to say anything. Then Bill had another call and said he’d call me back. That was about 6 hours ago, not that I’m counting. He’s at work and doesn’t need to hear the crap I’m going through.

Walked towards the train station, circled around Pier A. In the distance I saw Tariq, packing up his guitar and heading away from me. I could have yelled out to him but decided not to.

I made my way home, and called my brother Frank. It’s been hit or miss with him lately and decided not to let him interrupt. Told him about the guitar playing and the keyboard playing the other day and even how I’ve been a little bit depressed lately.

He suggested playing the guitar some more and once I got off the phone with him that is exactly what I did. And he was right. It took my mind off my problems and gave me a feeling that I was accomplishing something.

I’m trying to build up a repertoire for when I actually try my hand at busking and for the past couple of hours I’ve been playing Paul Simon songs courtesy of the Ultimate Guitar website.

One song in particular stands out and it’s a from a video by Gary Weis from the early days of Saturday Night Live, just footage of people coming home for the holidays at various terminals and meeting their loved ones.

I always think of Gary Weis’ video when I hear Homeward Bound, and just sent him an email telling him so. Another person sent an email to him saying basically the same thing. A short 3 minute video that resonated so deeply 30 years ago, still resides in my mind and my heart.

Heart of Gold

It’s a cool Saturday night. Been an alright kind of day. Somewhat busy with things like laundry. Last night wasn’t anything special. Which was fine. It had been an up and down kid of week and I’m glad it’s over. Whatever happened, happened.

It’s all in the past. It was good to have Bill around. He’s so supportive, I can only hope I am that way for him. He claims I’m so easy to love. That’s something that throws me for a loop. I’m grateful though. With the way things have been lately, I would have said I was difficult to love.

But I’m not going to disagree and I usually keep my mouth shut when he says that I’m so easy to love.

We watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent which made up for the fact that we missed the episode broadcast last night. It was a good one, with Chris Noth as the main detective and Julianne Nicholson, about a closeted fireman who was murdered. Bill and I had seen it a few times and I didn’t mind much, it was that good an episode.

Bill ordered a new sleep apnea mask which was a size too small which was upsetting for both of us. I convinced him to open the package a few hours before bedtime which is when he noticed it was too small. Better to find out then, rather than right before he was going to sleep.

So Bill had to use the old mask which by the time I went to sleep last night was making sounds like a muted trombone. That wasn’t so bad to fall asleep to. It certainly was better than his snoring.

Bill was up and active by the time I got out of bed. He also bought bagels and the paper for me. He was cleaning up while I ate breakfast. After that I did some laundry. Decided to head out this afternoon, with my guitar.

Since last Sunday was the dipping of my toe in the waters of busking and the fact that today was a nice day weather-wise, it seemed like the thing to do. Bill was getting ready for a nap when I was getting ready, and when I told him my plans, he was very excited.

He’s driving down to Atlantic City again and won’t be back until the morning.

I got some guitar chords together, written on post its as well as sheets of chords that I’ve downloaded over the years. The Smiths, some Rolling Stones. An Elton John song, Hercules and a song by The Roches, Losing You. The Roches song was too delicate for outside and perhaps too obscure.

When you’re busking you have to play songs that people recognize.

I stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim Mastro and he was also excited that I was out playing the guitar. I walked over to the spot by Pier A where Tim and Tariq were playing last Sunday and there they were again.

They were happy to see me and liked the sound of my guitar playing. Did what I could with regards to playing with Tim. Tariq fancies himself more of a percussionist, but Tim knows a lot of songs so I just tried to follow him as he played.

Tim had a buddy of his hanging out and had been playing a while. His fingers were getting cold so he split. He made a couple of dollars. Tariq was off talking to someone and a guy named Richard came up and started playing Tariq’s guitar.

Richard taught me some Blues chords structure and I have to admit that I didn’t really know that much about the blues. Richard reassured me, telling me not to worry, most blues songs are only three chords and I wound up playing a three chord blues for about 15 minutes.

Obviously my fingers weren’t bothering me too much. It was fun to play and I was out there for a couple of hours which was the longest I’ve played guitar for a long time. Another week, playing outside in the fresh air.

Richard split and Tariq and I walked up Washington Street, he was headed to his studio and I was off to McSwells. Andy Peters, Super nice guy and ace sound engineer was in town for the Feelies show tonight. They’re performing their first album Crazy Rhythms tonight. I needed to find out about the set up for when I DJ there next month on the 13th, for a benefit.

It was a brief visit. The Feelies were getting ready to sound check for their sold out show. Met the sound guy Carson and he will be doing the sound for the benefit. I just have to buy a cable since I’m not lugging around CD’s or vinyl. It’s all in the iPods.

On the way home I had the Elton John song Hercules in my head so I walked by my apartment building and sat in Church Square Park for a little while playing some more in the evening. I’m getting back into playing guitar and that’s pretty exciting. Practice practice practice!

I might even go to Tariq’s studio and jam with him and his friends tomorrow afternoon. I’ll let you know.

I’m Not Scared

Yep, it’s a Monday again. Some of you had to go back to work. Some of you just had to get out of bed. I of course am in the latter category. Last night was the testing. Still no feedback on it.

I didn’t get much of a chance to watch anything on TV until Bill went to sleep. I did watch the second half of Pulp Fiction since there was nothing else on. It’s a good movie still. Certainly inspired quite a few other movies.

I saw Pulp Fiction when it came out with Julio at a run down theater in Times Square. The ticket seller outside kept calling it “Pole Fishin'”

Did Tarantino ever reach that level again? Maybe Kill Bill in moments, but as a whole it missed the mark. It ended around 1:30 in the morning and that’s when I went to bed.

I didn’t fall asleep though. Bill wasn’t wearing his sleep apnea mask and was snoring. Funny that I wrote how I missed the sounds he makes when he was away the night before. I take it back.

When he was leaving this morning Bill was apologetic. I just wanted him to go so that I could finally sleep soundly without sound. He called later in the morning apologizing again and promising to wear the sleep apnea mask tonight.

I will hold him to that.

Other than that it’s been a quiet day. Sent out some resumes, communicated with a fellow named JohnsonTech in the comments section of Revolution #9 which I wrote a week or so ago. He felt I was stressed out when I wrote about the gay bashings and murders.

Funny thing is, most of the entries are quite boring and tedious and finally I write something that I was passionate about and I wind up being told that I’m unnecessarily stressing.

It’s actually the boring everyday entries that I stress out about. What am I going to write about? Will I reach 500 words? What will my brother Brian think? Yes this is what I stress out over.

Like right now.

Didn’t do much today except what I wrote about. Am I at 500 words yet? I usually try for 600 hundred, but will be happy with 500 if it’s been one of those days.

I also played some guitar today. Since I played outdoors yesterday with ace guitarist Tim I felt inspired enough to scrape the rust off my guitar strings. And I also became friends with him on Facebook which was nice.

Tonight Bill is at his theater group meeting up in Harlem. I have got nothing scheduled for myself. I’ll watch Heroes and I’ll likely be disappointed.

I returned Adventureland today. It was a day late and cost me a dollar.

I’ve been weaning myself off the news programs since I have enough upsetting things in my life and do not need anymore.

Still I watched a few minutes of the idiot Sara Palign on Oprah this afternoon. Why is she liked? Why are people dumb and lazy and not willing to see that she has nothing to say. A true definition of vapid in my book.

I like the word ‘vapid’ even though it has a harsh meaning and once called a woman I was friends with vapid one drunken evening. She called me up the next day and told me she would never be my friend after calling her that. And she stayed true to her word, I’ve never heard from her again.

I was the vapid one and proved it by my careless use of the word.

It’s one of my regrets. It’s one of those things that floats in my mind as I’m laying in bed listening to Bill snoring.

Ain’t That a Kick in the Head

Well I just had a burger from Burger Heaven. It was pretty good. I hardly ever eat burgers anymore. And a chocolate shake. And French fries.

I’m still in the office, basically killing time now. I’m going to see Bill in a play that I saw a few years ago. It was horrible then, but the audience loved it. It’s a farce for lack of a better word.

3 married men think their wives are cheating on them since the wives are going to an OB/GYN to get a pap smear. This being the 21st century, the men have no idea what an OB/GYN is or what a pap smear is for that matter.

Every thing is played broadly and they do get laughs but not from me. When I saw it last time, I sat there taking notes while the audience laughed uproariously. It was obvious what I was doing and either the playwright or the director noticed it.

Then I came home and wrote about it. Apparently the playwright or director did a Google search and my blog came up. From what Bill told me, she printed it out and acted like it was a glowing review, which it wasn’t.

So now I sit at my desk writing this, waiting for 7:00 to come so I could walk across town to check it out. The main reason I’m going is because Bill is singing a song at the end. But I didn’t know it was for this play.

It was a very quiet day today. Quieter than the previous days, still due to the fact that Vivek, Sanjay and Abby aren’t around. I did contact Abby last night, telling him that I would be in the office today, but as of 5:25, 6 hours after emailing, I haven’t heard anything from him.

That’s ok by me, I’m not complaining.

Last night I entertained myself by figuring out the bass line to One Step Beyond by Madness. I think I figured it out.

Playing 3 strings instead of the usual 2 strings that I’m comfortable with. So it was a bit of finger stretching and coordination. I think I got the basics of it, and in so doing, got the bass basics for just about every 2 Tone Ska song.

And if I didn’t get it figured out, then I guess I just came up with some new bass lines.

One of these days I have to get it together and use Bill’s drum machine and make some home recordings. I can get a song together, playing the guitar and bass and maybe dabble on Bill’s keyboards.

I’m sure I can get Bill to record and engineer it. 4 tracks should be the limit since that is all I would have to record on. It’s just an idea that I’ve been kicking around in my head. And kicking around an idea in my head is infinitely better than a kick in the head.

I had a feeling I would hear from Abby late in the day and I was right. Abby just called me with a problem. He has a TV and some movie boxes in his car and the lease on the car expires tomorrow.

What to do?

Well I told him to give me a call at 8:00 tomorrow morning and I will come into the office with him so we can store the TV and boxes here.

He can’t do it himself since he never acted on the set up I had made for him to get access to the building.

See? I’m thinking out of the box and doing my best for the ‘team’.

And tonight I’m taking one for the John/Bill team by going to see that play again.

I guess I’m a team player after all. Or am I a team ‘playa’?

here is the link to the previous entry regarding Pap Smear
http://johnozed.com/?p=2244

filed under Bostitch

You Can’t Catch Me

Well it was back to Southampton today, boarding the White Star Line for the HMS Titanic. Deck chairs all in in disarray. Someone needs to tidy them up, put them in their proper places and it might as well be me.

They have told me that I will have this job until next March, but of course there could always be an iceberg between now and then, between here and there. Today was nothing extraordinary. I was alive, which was a good thing (depending on who you talk to) I guess.

Bill was up before me, and he bellowed that it was 6:45 and his bellowing was more effective than an alarm clock. I shuffled past Bill as he gussied himself up in the mirror, and jumped into the shower. I was out in time to kiss him good bye.

He reminded me he has a sleep apnea test tomorrow night so he won’t be around. It’s a sleep over thing. My brother Frank did it last week and he complained how uncomfortable it was.

I spoke with Frank for an hour this morning which shows how busy I’ve been. There was the usual initial difficulty in connecting but it lasted only about a minute. We talked about a wide range of things. He finds talking to me therapeutic which is fine by me.

We made plans for me to take a train out to Garfield on Friday to play guitars together. I’ll take a train out there, we’ll play and he can drop me off at the train station so I can get back to Hoboken and beat the rush hour. I’m not as intimidated as I used to be.

Playing guitar in front of him was nerve wracking for me at times. A few years ago Bill and I drove out there during the holidays and I brought my guitar. It turned out he wasn’t into playing guitar. I tried showing him a Beatles song that I had taught myself, so proud I was, only to find him saying, that’s not how it goes.

It sounded fine to me. No, I didn’t play the Fmaj7, instead choosing a simple F barre chord. I was discouraged and put the guitar away. Last time this past holiday season I tried it again, with his guitar, played my version of Nick Lowe’s So It Goes, as well as Macca’s Maybe I’m Amazed and he was intrigued enough to suggest getting together and playing sometime.

So I guess that time will be this Friday. Since he had the stroke he hasn’t played that much and I guess he’s itching to play with someone. Even his baby brother. I’m looking forward to it and will bring a few songbooks out.

I reassured him that playing Graham Parker’s Squeezing out Sparks is easy to play since most of the songs are 3 or 4 chords. I’ll even show him some websites that have chords to songs that wouldn’t be in the songbooks.

I took the Path train back to Hoboken this evening, enjoying a Padron on the way. Chuckled out loud on the train as I was reading David Sedaris which probably raised a few eyebrows but I didn’t see them since my nose was buried in the book.

Nice walk back home in the chilly spring air. Saw Stine with Alexander and I was more than glad to help her out by carrying Alexander up to their apartment. Of course I was nervous, ‘don’t drop the baby…careful…now wouldn’t be a good time to fall down’ all running in my head.

Of course I had the camera available and took some shots of Superboy who is now walking, a bit like a drunken sailor, but still- he’s walking. And saying ‘Oooo’ every now and then.

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Me and Superboy

Me and Superboy


Jeezy Creezy- I love this kid!