Tag Archives: Jim Mastro

Man Singing Rock

I am so over this winter weather. It’s spring and you would think it would be warmer and it is, but it’s in the low 40’s and damp out. Not very pleasant at all. Grey skies all day. I had lunch with Juan, just some pizza on Washington Street. He got a job at a place that I interviewed with. It’s a card shop and I walked by last month to drop off a resume. To my surprise it turned into an interview with me in torn jeans and smelling like cigars. The interview lasted about an hour, 45 minutes with the owner and 15 minutes with his wife.

I thought it went well but apparently it didn’t. I even suggested Chaz apply there which he did, but since Chaz and I are in that age group that no one wants anymore, they went with Juan who is half my age. Turnabout is fair play since I did snatch the Maxwell’s job from under Juan. Well probably Juan and several other applicants. I used my history with the principal players as well as the club itself. Juan might have been annoyed but I told him that he was the one that employers want these days. He can speak 3 languages and is in that desirable age group.

I did attempt to get Juan a bussing position, as a way to get his foot in the door at Maxwell’s but he was snatched up by a tony restaurant down the street. So he has 2 jobs, the card shop during the day and the restaurant at night. It’s not 7 days a week and the schedule is a jumble but he works it out somehow.

Once again a lot of laughs were had with Juan. I do love having him around. Bill enjoys him too and they both gang up on me when they’re together. I take consolation in the fact that it takes 2 of them to attack little old me. It may happen again tonight, Bill is out and about and Juan might stop by on his way home after work. I wouldn’t mind if it did happen again. I can dish it out and I can take it. So can the two of them, up to a point I reckon.

I stopped by the Guitar Bar and had a nice chat with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. We talked about Bob Dylan coming to Hoboken in July which is very exciting. Unfortunately it will be a Friday night and I will likely have to work. I already made arrangements to have off this Friday to see Bill sing at CitiField and also the first week in May when I am attending a lecture by Brian Eno at Cooper Union.

I was definitely in Eno mode last night, watched a couple of documentaries on Brian Eno on YouTube and thought about having those 8 Eno albums re-autographed. I met Brian Eno at Skyline Studios when he was producing Laurie Anderson and asked if he wouldn’t mind signing his first four solo albums as well as his first four Ambient releases. Unfortunately he signed them with a thin sharpie which doesn’t really show his signature very well.

But after what happened in Boston during the marathon I suppose security will be tight and I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ carrying around a bunch of stuff which may or may not be signed. Still I am very excited at the prospect of hearing just what it is that Brian Eno will have to say. No matter what I am sure it will be interesting to say the least.

And my friend Jimmy Seltzer was briefly glimpsed on the Colbert Report.
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I Remember- Keyshia Cole

Well it’s Friday today and that’s good I guess. I am sure most of you made it through the week safely with no squabbles. It was a bit bumpy here but things have gotten better. It’s was that time, when Bill gets so tired and not much fun to be around. Nothing bad on his part, he just over does it and stretches himself too thin. And sometimes no matter how good the news is, or how happy someone is to see you, you’re just not in the mood and generally cranky. It happens to me and it happened to Bill.

But things are better, like I wrote. Hurt feelings don’t last mostly and there is no point in hanging onto them, they do not do anyone any good. Bill is off to Atlantic City once again and I am tracking him to give myself some peace of mind. Already he is at the border of Lodi and Hackensack. I guess he is picking up in Bergen County before heading south. I will hear from him once he gets to Atlantic City. Hard to believe but it was only a month ago that Atlantic City was almost under water. Nothing will prevent people from gambling I guess.

Today has been alright. I slept fairly well, waking up to Bill’s farewell kiss before he headed out. I got out of bed a little while after that. I had a dream that seemed to take place down the shore at a house that my family rented. My siblings were all there and at one point I decided to go to the beach and walking in the direction of the ocean I found myself at the intersection on Route 36 where Highlands borders with Rumson. That was about as far as I got before turning around in the dream.

Then I got back to the house and found that in order to get to one room, you had to climb a ladder and move a curtain so that a door could be opened. No one seemed to mind despite the fact that it was an odd way to go from one room to another. The dreams seem to have gotten very interesting, enough that I can actually remember them when I usually forget them once I am awake and starting my day.

I saw Shlomo today and talked with him for a bit while enjoying a cigar he blessed me with. I mentioned that he should get one of the Shop Local/Rebuild Hoboken signs that most stores have in their windows. I knew Jim Mastro created them so I had an actual reason to go to the Guitar Bar. And there was Mr. Wonderful himself and he did have a few of the signs. So I got one from Jim (who also loaned me a Bee Gees CD- Spicks & Specks) and headed back to the cigar shop where I gave it to Shlomo.

He set about putting it in the window and I headed out, picking up Raspberries for Bill since he asked me to get him some. Now I am home again, about to make some dinner. Nothing planned for tonight. I was invited to join the people who voted to save rent control at a nearby pub, but I reckon I will just be staying at home and saving some money. Next Friday, Bill and I are going to see Sinbad at the Apollo Theater.

It was my birthday present to Bill back in June, and now the date is here. Bill’s never been to the Apollo, where I have been a few times. It should be fun, we have good seats. It will be interesting since Bill loves Sinbad and has been reluctant to see live comedy since Bill has quite a rambunctious laugh, the type that could possibly draw the attention of the comic. So we shall see how that works out. It’s next Friday so there’s plenty of time to think about that.




Guitar Bar



Feels So Good

I Pity The Poor Immigrant

A Thursday, and it’s been a good day. Yesterday after the adventure on Tuesday, I had the usual blues. A good time was had and for me depression sets in. It was nothing crippling, nothing a banana couldn’t change but still it happens. It’s been happening all of my life. I certainly appreciate the good times, the good days spent with Bill and friends and family. It’s just like the next day I feel like Wile E. Coyote treading air as I stepped off the cliff chasing the Roadrunner. There’s no descent, just a simple about face and all is well.

Last night was cool and mellow, just me and Bill hanging out watching the television. After the Ed Show we watched Modern Family just so we could have something to laugh about and then we watched Suburgatory which was alright, a Thanksgiving episode. And Thanksgiving is a mere week away.

Bill was up and out before the sun rise this morning, leaving a farewell kiss to me. I stayed in bed waiting for the sun to rise but fell asleep once again, only waking until after the fact. No one seemed to mind, let alone me.

I went out and about once again. More debris has been crated off only to be replaced by more debris. The bibliothèque has reopened and the staff was there, grumbling since the person in charge had left already. They’re all full timers so they got paid even though they couldn’t make it in. They all seemed to have been safe while the waters rose and receded. And there was quite a back log of books and other items to be returned and audited before going back on the shelves. I returned Naked Lunch, a movie I had seen with William Charas at the Galaxy Theater 20 years ago.

A movie I only needed to see once. It’s good and I remembered that it got my creative juices flowing back then, nowadays I just saw it as a valiant attempt to film the unfilmable. Peter Weller did do a great job of channeling el hombre invisible, William S. Burroughs. Adaptation is another movie like that. Of course both movies are related to the writing process, as is the Shining when you get down to it. I prefer not to think of myself as a dull, dull boy but ultimately that would be up to you to decide.

On my excursion I swung by the Guitar Bar, and there was Jim Mastro moving amplifiers around and not letting me help him. I did pester him enough that I might be able to help him out on Sunday, that is if his lovely wife Meghan is unable to help. I’m not looking to get paid, I just want to help him out since he helped me and so many others out a couple of weeks ago. After that I walked to the new cigar store and chatted with those guys. Got a freebie which was nice.

I was looking over something I wrote last month regarding Zack and his lack of response to my email. Still no response at this date which I suppose I should have expected. That ‘Caesar’ should be fine with a ‘Brutus’ at his side. No one will tell him the marsupial keeps his shiv in his pouch. Of course those that don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and I am sure I will hear about whatever happens somehow.

Customers are chatty and my lines of communication with them are still open. Still no new point of sale system from what they tell me, the music sucks there without me and I am sure the employees still aren’t a part of the TransitChek system despite overtures and promises from the inhuman resources director. Don’t worry, Zack is not one to make waves.

It’s a good thing they don’t know about the Bizarro cigar shack blog that was created shortly after my departure. Names, faces and the kitchen sink I tell ya!

goodbye tree









Sign in the now gutted liquor store window.



05 The Great Pretender

I Predict A Riot

The guy who lives across the street from me and Bill had a 1957 Corvette convertible in the basement garage, just below street level. I found out today that the car was ruined by flooding. I also heard that the guy has a 1956 convertible at his house down the shoe, but as it turned out that was destroyed by the flooding down there. This was all told to me second hand by neighbor Chris from next door. He still doesn’t have power. The liquor store on the corner is still out, doing business by generator until nightfall.

And now it’s nightfall, a little past 5:30. I’ve been to the supermarket, the only one around these parts, and found it swamped with people. I only needed to buy coffee for tomorrow, I’m using the instant coffee I bought last week as emergency provisions. Of course we are much more prepared for a major storm now than we were. We were OK, but didn’t expect an electrical outage for 5 days. We anticipated running out of food and water, so that we stocked up on. He had heat as well. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I am grateful we had what we had.

It’s hard to believe that last Saturday was when the power came back on.

I walked around town today, stopped by the Guitar Bar on Newark Street where I saw Jim Mastro. I try to make it a point to see if he needed anything. I offered my services if he ever needed something dropped off at the bank or even if he needed to get something from Guitar Bar to Guitar Bar Jr. on 11th Street. He didn’t need anything and hardly ever asks for anything, but one day he will and I am hopeful to be there if and when he does. That includes getting plastic cups.

I am in for the night once again. Not even 6:00. I did not sleep well at all last night. Kept waking up and when I finally had some deep sleep, I wound up waking up shortly thereafter. Bill was not around and that is what I would attribute the fitful sleep to. I have been wary about getting those leg cramps and figured I should eat more bananas. I had a banana yesterday and this morning around 6:00 I had a leg cramp. Not a good way to wake up even if I wasn’t that fully asleep anyway.

Last night I had a phone call from a former co-worker. It was a lot of fun she kept me informed about what was going on, how so and so is up to her usual shady tricks. It proved to me that there were certain aspects of this particular job which I can look back fondly upon, but overall I am quite happy not to be there anymore. The mere mention of certain names made my stomach curdle. I am still trying to improve my lot in life, trying to get to a better station if you will. Time is on my side.



Sts. Peter & Paul Church, where we charged up last week.


Bryan Ferry – Slave To Love 12 Inch Mix

I Miss You- DeBarge

This week is turning out to be quite a washout. Rain and threats of rain have kept me indoors more than I would like. I am not too happy about it, but what can I do? I have no say in the matter. At least I did go outside last night and I am glad I did. I went to the bibliothèque to pick up Me’Shell Ndegeocello release, aptly titled ‘Weather’ and the Carole King memoir, Natural Woman. While there I ran into my friend Lois and walked her over to the church where the Hoboken Fair Housing Association was having a meeting.

We had a good talk before she went inside and I enjoyed a cigar and walked over to Shipyard Park at 13th Street and Hudson Street. The Guitar Bar All Stars were playing and I could hear them a block away. Since the area was quite residential, it was only an hour long and was over by 8:00. Jim Mastro was running the show and Meghan was there with their daughter Ruby. Ruby had her nose in a book when I first got here while she was taking care of the Ukulele table and info on kids lessons.

Meghan looked great and it was good to see her. Karyn Kuhl was also there with her pretty girlfriend Christina. They make a nice couple. And it was all over with a ukulele version of Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones. There was a plan to meet up at Guitar Bar Jr. on 11th Street and they started packing things up as I wandered over to the river to enjoy my cigar some more. Then I realized I would have to let it die out since I needed to stop by Maxwells on my way to Guitar Bar Jr.

The Hoboken Fair Housing Association is hoping to have a benefit and they’re hoping that Maxwells could give them a night in late October before the election. I was asked to see if Todd was around and ask him myself or get him ready to be asked by someone in an official capacity. But Todd wasn’t there, it was Dave Post who told me that Todd does all the booking and is usually there on Wednesday and Friday nights. I left Maxwells and walked the 2 blocks to Guitar Bar Jr., just as they were unloading the car with equipment.

Meghan and Ruby made their way, Ruby carrying a bag of ice. Jim appeared with some Pabst Blue Ribbon as well as some wine and some pale ale. I didn’t have a drink though, I just talked with Meghan and a friend of hers, talking about politics and Facebook. I got a call from a frazzled Bill who asked me to get him some soy milk at the supermarket so I cut short my time at the party and did some grocery shopping. I didn’t mind since it was getting noisy and hot in the Guitar Bar Jr.

Bill was home when I got home and proceeded to tell me about his day and his headaches dealing with this cast, but mainly the director of the show. Lots of phone calls between Bill and the producer and the director as well as Bill’s assistant. After that he went to bed and I stayed up. Apparently the night before I started watching From Here to Eternity on Turner Classic Movies and went to bed soon after Donna Reed appears. Bill had never seen it before and stayed up to watch the whole movie to my surprise.

This morning I got a phone call from downstairs neighbor Deborah. She found out that Chief’s name was actually Spence and told me how he wound up talking to her the whole ride into the city. He was asking lots of questions about me and also telling Deborah that there was a woman who was very much into me and supposedly on her behalf he was pumping Deborah for information about me. Deborah told him that I was gay and he seemed surprised since I didn’t seem to act gay, whatever that means.

Something else I find interesting, I used to go to a website called song facts to get a list of songs that start with an “I”. A week or so ago Firefox deemed the website unsafe. No matter, I use Chrome mostly and had no problems logging in until yesterday. And now, as of today, the website is inaccessible, perhaps shut down. I never went for the lyrics just the song titles. So if anyone has a link to song lists, do let me know.







Rain

I Believe Frankie Laine

It’s been another Saturday at the cigar shack. Not a bad day despite it being the Saturday in a holiday weekend. The shack has done well today despite a lot of people not being around. Most of the regulars came in yesterday to buy cigars for the weekend.

Better selections in Manhattan than in the Hamptons or wherever it is that they go. The day started out quite nice, I slept incredibly well and woke up in a good mood. Bill was en route from Atlantic City.

First off a stop at his gym since he thinks he may have left his iPhone at the gym. They didn’t have it, and if they had it, it might be in the gym’s safe since the manager would have locked it up in there and the manager won’t be back until Tuesday. At least that is what they told Bill.

I saw Bill for just a few minutes this morning, he was coming in as I was soon going out. Better than nothing I reckon. I caught an early bus which afforded me a nice cushion of time, enough for me to walk up the avenue and getting an egg sandwich on the way to the shack.

I got to the shack about 15 minutes early and immediately went to work alongside Calvin. Bradley was on his way in and tit was fairly busy throughout the day. 82 degrees when I went out for lunch, sitting on a bench near the park where I enjoyed a nice cigar.

Got back to the shack and the day progressed nicely. I was manning the music controls and it was alright, I was hitting all the right buttons. Right now Morrissey is playing, his first singles collection, Bona Drag. I believe he now has about 9 collections of his singles and greatest hits out there.

Probably more collections than actual albums. I think he’s a better singles artist than an LP artist, but I’m sure most Moz fans would disagree.

Bradley and I are closing, and now it’s dead in the shopping area. After 7:00 things really slow down and of course during a holiday weekend it’s really slow.

I bought a box of cigars for myself and had them shipped to Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. He was supposed to drop them off at a bar near his shop last night but he didn’t. He did it this morning so that means I have to stop by the bar and pick them up.

Hopefully the doorman won’t have any problems with me doing just that. We shall see I suppose. I guess I will give you all the low down when I finish writing this at home later.

And now I am at home and it went well. There was no doorman and the bartender at Mulligans was pretty funny when he said it would be $10.50 since he went and got the box of cigars that Jim dropped off. I laughed and skedaddled out of there.

I am happy to be home, happy to have my cigars. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am working but I won’t be writing.

Smell ya later.





I Am Mine

Monday Monday, Can’t trust that day. And here I am on a Monday and it hasn’t been so undeserving of trust. Yesterday was quite an interesting day, much more so than today.

For one thing, it was a Sunday and it was a day off. I requested it earlier at the beginning of April. I had plans to visit Hyman Gross in the hospital, first visit post-surgery. His bone density was enough that the surgeon felt setting a pin in his leg/foot/ankle would suffice.

I only expected to be there for an hour but it turned into 2 hours. Hyman had an ultrasound on Friday pre-surgery and while he was waiting there was an alarm in the hospital causing most of the staff to abandon Hyman on a gurney in the hallway, leaving him to holler in vain as he heard the scurrying of mice around the wheels of the gurney.

I hung in there with Hyman, and even offered to move the gurney back to his room so I could get moving along myself, but it was advised to have an orderly do it. I figured it was no big deal since 20 years ago I carried dear Harpy from one floor to another when he was in the hospital.

Luckily Harpy weighed less than the 98 pounds he usually weighs and carried him in my arms down a flight of steps. It all went well with Hyman and I was able to head to the Hoboken Art & Music Festival, a little later than I expected but really it was no big deal.

My main goal was to see Ian Hunter and the Rant Band playing featuring Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro. And with Jim involved that meant it was more than likely that Lily, Ruby & the funniest girl alive, Meghan would be there. And they were. As was Chaz!

I met Ivan Julian who I have seen on stage a few times. Ivan played with Richard Hell & the Voidoids as well as the Outsets. He looked great then and hasn’t aged one bit, looking as sexy as ever these days. Steve Fallon was around as were several other people from the Maxwells days. I kept mainly to myself though, after saying hello to Steve.

I missed the Steve Wynn & Peter Buck thing, the Baseball Project but I didn’t really know they were playing until about an hour or two before I left the apartment. It was great to see Meghan and the girls, Lily off to Bard, Ruby to be a sophomore next semester and Meghan maintaining her reign as funniest girl alive.

Ian Hunter took the stage, opening with All the Way from Memphis, and doing Mott the Hoople and solo hits, Cleveland Rocks, Once Bitten Twice Shy among others like Somewhere from West Side Story, finishing off with a sing along of All the Young Dudes.

It had gotten cooler and after saying my goodbyes to Meghan and Lily & Ruby and the Jack of Hearts I started for home. Ran into Rand & Lisa, and then the three of us ran into RoDa & Elly with Logan and Autumn in tow.

RoDa, born & raised in Hoboken knows everyone and we lost track of him. Rand & Lisa walked me to the corner of my block before they headed to their home. I came upstairs, quite slowly since once again I was standing on concrete for a few hours, though wearing Airwalks helped.

I turned on the TV and noticed there was no audio. Instead I watched a DVD via Netflix. An Australian movie, Animal Kingdom. I heard it was like the Australian version of Goodfellas and this was way more intense than how I remember Goodfellas to be.

It was so good, nicely paced and so intense that at one point I thought about turning off the movie, it had gotten that far under my skin. Jacki Weaver who plays the matriarch was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar, but went home empty handed. This movie was bound to give her more notice, worldwide if not the States.

Bill came home in the last 20 minutes of the movie and I told him about the cable audio being out so he called the cable company as I watched the extras on the DVD. The woman on the other end of the line instructed Bill who instructed me to unplug the cable box and plug it in again so the box would reboot.

Fair enough. But before that I had turned on the TV to show Bill how it was not working when we saw the Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Big news indeed and here we were without any TV News.

The NY Times website had the info and Bill relayed the news to the woman on the phone who was understandably excited. We eventually got the audio back and watched the news being repeated eventually deciding on the BBC and waiting for President Obama to make the announcement regarding Osama Bin Laden being killed.

Bill went to bed after a little while, I stayed up late watching and not getting anything but the basic information. Tomorrow I have off from work. Bill is taking a half day since he is singing the National Anthem at CitiField before the NY Mets/ San Francisco Giants game tomorrow night. Very exciting and we are understandably nervous.

Bill more so than I am, but still I will probably catch up eventually.

Ian Hunter's Back!


Ian Hunter & Jim Mastro



Baby, It WAS You


Just Like (Starting Over)

Well today has been a busy day. After some weeks in planning Bill and I finally had our civil union officiated by then one and only Jim Mastro. The whole thing was under 2 minutes and that was a factor in not really telling anyone about it.

I’m sure there was bewilderment and perhaps even some hurt feelings but we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and when there is marriage equality in New Jersey, that is when people will be invited. Until then a civil ceremony would have to do.

The whole thing started on March 11 when Bill and I went to the Soviet bloc building to fill out paperwork for a civil union with Stine and Alexander. Stine was our witness while Alexander was fascinated by the Soviet kitsch.

They asked when the ceremony would be done and I said July. They said too late, has to be within 30 days so I quickly rethought and came up with April 1. Seemed like an apt day to get civil unionized in my book.

I asked Jim Mastro if he could say the magic words and he was more than happy to help. As April 1 approached Jim suggested meeting at the Guitar Bar before the store opens at 11:00 in the morning. Fine with me, not so fine for Bill since he’s employed.

We thought after work at around 6:00 but that wasn’t too good for Jim.

So we aimed for today, April 3. It worked out for the best for all concerned. Since I was putting it all together somewhat I thought Bill should see if he could find a witness. He asked his friend Tom from work. I had a feeling that was who he would ask.

Tom’s a really nice guy, former Marine and a guard in Bill’s office tower. Jim asked if we were going to have anything to say vow wise and I figured if we did, I could at least say something off the top of my head.

I asked Bill last night if he had planned on saying anything and he felt the same, off the top of his head. As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep I kept in mind that whatever I would say I would think of right then and there but I tossed and turned trying to thing of what I would say.

Crazy dreams followed. Jake Gyllenhall and I at the Elysian Cafe joined by my friends Connie, her sister Jennifer and Susan Sher. Then a dream about a Caribbean cruise with my sister. Clear blue water. Both dreams had ominous overtones though.

Bill was up first this morning, I followed groggy from not sleeping that well again. A shower, a shave and a nice breakfast fixed all that. We were on our way to the Guitar Bar, Bill trying to keep track of where Tom was.

Tom was bringing his wife Carmen, their son Sebastian and Carmen’s daughter Ashley and her son, all coming in from Harlem. We got to the Guitar Bar where Jim and Ruby Mastro were waiting. Spoke with Meghan Taylor Mastro on the phone, beating herself up for not being there like she said she would. It was OK, it would have been nice though.

Sorry Harpy.

We were thinking about heading over to the Hudson river to do the civil union thing but Tom and company arrived late and we wouldn’t make it there and back in time for Jim to open the store at 11:00.

Jim suggested the back of City Hall so that’s what we did, on the grass, in the sun, next to a big tree. All very nice. Chris Repella witnessed along with Tom and she also took some pictures. Ruby recorded it on a flip cam.

I set up my camera to record it all. You can see it but you can’t really hear it so I’m depending on Ruby’s video.

After all that Jim and Ruby went back to the Guitar Bar and Bill and I went with Tom and company to the Spa restaurant, a true greasy spoon for breakfast. My second, their first.

Then a walk to Pier A where we ran into Tariq. He went off to get some plectrums and I strummed his guitar a bit which had a calming effect on Tom and Carmen’s kid. The sun was certainly beaming.

We were soon joined by Ruby and her sister Lily and a friend. They were all heading into the city to take part in a pillow fight in Union Square.

Tom and family were headed out to New Jersey in their Zip Car and so Bill and I walked them to the car and thanked them once again. Then Bill and I came home, he was off to rehearsal for yet another play, this time playing a child molester. Eww.

I uploaded my video, tagged the pictures Chris took and an hour or so later was headed to Pier A to play the guitar again. No guitar improv this time, no one there to back me up. I did play for about 45 minutes but it had gotten considerably colder and so I came home.

And that’s where I am now.

We hope to have a party in Hoboken on July 11 for all of this to do, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

You, meaning you.


Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned


'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

And of all my entries, this is #1,599.

The Right Stuff

Holy Thursday Batman! That’s what today is on the 4:30 Movie. The Robe and the Matching Slippers. Blessed art thou who weareth the slippers.

I just got back from some busking. Played for about 90 minutes until my arm cramped up. You’d think my arm would be used to repetitive motion, I mean I even shaved my palms and wear corrective lenses. I made $1.77.

Didn’t do any singing, just strum strum strum. I played Love Shack, Hercules, Good Lovin’, All My Loving, Please Please Me, So It Goes, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, Surrender, Take Your Mama, Brown Eyed Girl, Peggy Sue, The Letter, Half a World Away and a little bit of Mr. Tambourine Man and a slightly askew version of Fourth Time Around. Also 2000 Miles.

It’s a good thing I didn’t sing, especially with 2000 Miles being a Christmas song of sorts. But the chords have a nice progression. Stopped by the Guitar Bar and firmed up plans with Jim Mastro for Saturday morning.

He asked if I had anything planned to say and I told him I didn’t because I don’t. Jim was very supportive of my busking and recommended having the guitar case open to collect bills and change.

I had a phone call from Pedro who prefers Riker’s Island to home. Cabin fever pitch. He was heading into Manhattan and asked me to join him. So now, I’m home and called him to make sure since last time he said that, I went into the city and was unable to contact him.

I didn’t mind, I was able to go to JR Cigars and pick up some cigars anyhow. This time, I’ll just stay in Hoboken and see if he calls before I do anything. Annemarie planted that idea in my head, to make sure Pedro would be around. I was hoping he would be, not just to hang out with him but to also pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut.

Got another US Census form in the mail. I got one a few weeks ago and duly mailed it in. Now here it is again. I marked Bill as my unmarried partner. If I fill it out again, maybe I will mark him as my husband.

Crazy cannabis free dreams again last night. One involved living back in Lodi with two terriers named Jackie and Jibby. Frank and Elaine were living in the Iwanicki house next door and I could hear Elaine and my niece Corinne have a heated discussion about something. There were also some ominous overtones with regards to something in the backyard of 13 Riverview.

And Starlings. Did you know Starlings aren’t native to North America and that someone imported them with the concept of having all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare living in North America? And now the Starlings are taking over the Sparrows? I read that somewhere. Bad idea, not fully thought through.

The other dream took place in Manhattan where I was pedaling a Pedi Cab on Seventh Avenue then lending it to Rachel Maddow for the opening of City Boys, a musical about Cowboys in Manhattan.

I was also wearing a cowboy hat and my former coworker Sarah Pierson was in the dream as well, and I took her on a bicycle tour of Hoboken. Strange dreams indeed.

Other than all that, it’s been a beautiful day. I heard from the Hudson Reporter about a letter I wrote supporting the bibliothèque. Just confirming that I was who I said I was.

I always need to confirm that, if not to other people then to myself.

And twice I’ve been in the supermarket and both times I’ve heard The Right Stuff by New Kids on the Block and I found myself singing along.

WTF?

I am who I say I am

I am who I say I am

The Telephone Always Rings

Oh it’s been a big blue sky today. After the past couple of days of gray and rain, it certainly is nice to be out and about in sunlight. I made it a point to go out and walked over by the river, by Pier A and checked out things.

Lot’s of people out and about. The unemployed, the dog walkers, the stroller set, the runners & joggers and the employed out for their lunch break. I made my way up there after stopping by the Multi Service Center on Grand Street in Hoboken to pick up the papers from last week’s civil union thing.

I was told to look over to see if the info was correct and it was except for them having Bill’s birthday as June 26 instead on the 29th. If I didn’t catch that I would have been marrying a fraud and you know that would just be so wrong. What’s the point of having second class marital status if it’s a sham?

Such a depressing place to work, but it’s a job and I suppose it’s what you make of it, so who am I to talk? I ran into 2 Irish gents who were wandering around Hoboken looking for Piccolo’s, which is a cheese steak sandwich shop where they play all Sinatra, all the time.

I hadn’t been there since the 1980’s but I did give them the proper directions which the Hoboken natives sitting around outside the center were unable to do. I wished them well saying ‘Good luck Lads’ even though they were considerably older than me.

I saw Jim Mastro once again, annoyed the hell out of him I’m sure. We discussed a unique guitar that I saw the other day, not that I want to for myself but I had never seen a guitar like that before. It’s a Hanson Guitar, and it looks cool.

large-HansonCigno

Jim said he plays one, but I have yet to hear it for myself.

Then I wandered up to Pier A and took some snapshots, before walking over to Sinatra Park where I sat and read in Mojo magazine, articles about Judy Collins, Serge Gainsbourg and Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators.

I took plenty of pictures mainly through the cellphone which get uploaded to Facebook almost immediately, or as long as it takes to go from my phone to the satellite. Came home, read emails, read the New Yorker from weeks ago and spoke on the phone with Juan who was hilarious.

He may be up in this area on Saturday so it might be nice to see him. Also heard from Casey Chasm who wished Bill and myself ‘mazel-tov’ on our marriage. I had to correct him and thank him at the same time, telling him that it was just a civil union, not a marriage. Yet.

Last night, or rather this morning I had a dream that my brother Brian was singing at Lincoln Center. Annemarie flew in for it, a lot of relatives and friends were around. I was living in Lodi and could not get a ride to Lincoln Center.

I walked down to Route 80 and tired to hitchhike to no avail. Tried to get a ride on a coach bus but the driver wasn’t paying attention and smashed into a tree by the VFW Circle on Saddle River Road. I wound up yelling at everyone at the Saddle Brook Howard Johnson’s and in so doing I woke up angry.

Not the best way to start the day, upset at imaginary situations but some coffee and the beautiful day took care of all that.

3.16.10 Hoboken 002
3.16.10 Hoboken 008
3.16.10 Hoboken Rooftoppers 014

What A Wonderful World

A new week, a new day, a new entry for johnozed. Isn’t life grand? Today was the first day since last week that I had actually walked around Hoboken, besides the supermarket and Washington Street. Oh and the library. Nothing has changed it’s still the same. And as usual I’ve got nothing to say but it’s OK.

I got a nice St. Patrick’s Day card from my cousin Theresa. That was nice. I would have sent her one in kind if I had known and it’s not too late to do that I suppose. It just won’t get to her by Wednesday.

That is what actually got me out of the apartment and into the damp streets of Hoboken. I bought a St. Patrick’s Day card for Bill and wanted to get it to his office, hopefully by tomorrow. He won’t be in on Wednesday since he has something MAJOR going on, something that he asked me not to talk about.

So getting it in the mail to be delivered across the river within 24 hours is the goal. Then again you hear of people mailing letters decades ago and never making to the receiver, and I hope that’s not the case this time.

But if it doesn’t get there by tomorrow I take comfort in the fact that he’ll have something nice on his desk when he returns on Thursday.

I also stopped by the Guitar Bar and said hello to Jim Mastro. I hope he doesn’t think I’m a nuisance. I just pop in for a quick chat, say hello and I’m out of there. If I’m headed to the post office I usually ask him if he has any mail to be dropped off, but today I was going in the opposite direction.

He was playing Booker T & the MG’s McLemore Avenue, which is their take on Abbey Road. I bought it last year from iTunes and hadn’t played it since so when I came home I made sure to play it, as well as burn it so some people (maybe you) might get a copy somewhere down the line.

Despite the gray day, overcast skies I’ve been enjoying myself somewhat. Posting a lot onto Facebook. Found a hero and friend to LGBT people in young Will Phillips.

He’s the young man from Arkansas who got into trouble at his school when he refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance sine gay people are not afforded liberty and justice. 10 years old and he recognized that liberty and justice was only for some, not all.

Posted a video from YouTube and commented on his YouTube page. Of course there are the usual wankers who wrote, people will marry their dogs, their children or have many wives. You know, the usual ignorant bullshit.

In a retaliatory move, I posted a clip of Mandy Patakin singing ‘You Have to be Carefully Taught’ from South Pacific on Facebook. I tried posting the video on the YouTube page but was unable so I posted the lyrics instead.

Last night I posted an interview from the Village Voice with Henry Rollins. Ol’ Henry’s a great guy, and quite a few people dug the interview. In the interview it’s mentioned that Henry is friends with RuPaul and will be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, which is a fun show in itself.

Well according to Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod, that show is on tonight so I will be watching that.

Last night I watched The Pacific, the story of the battles in the Pacific theater of World War II. As I watched it I couldn’t help but think of the men that my father drank with at the VFW when I was growing up.

Like I’ve written previously, I spent a lot of time, perhaps too much time at the VFW. I didn’t mind then and looking back I still don’t mind. Gave me insight on how these men were.

Like how they saw atrocities, perhaps performed atrocities then came home and didn’t really say anything about it. Going to a psychiatrist or psychologist was a sign of weakness.

And don’t forget, men don’t cry.

Which is bullshit.

I know this is a Hollywood version and nowhere near as horrible as it actually was, but it’s a glimpse nonetheless. It was well made and when it was rebroadcast at 11:00 Bill and I watched it together and Bill was blown away as I was earlier.

Will Phillips is my hero!

Will Phillips accepts the award for Outstanding TV Journalism Segment at the 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 13, 2010. Phillips appeared in the award winning segment “Why Will Won’t Pledge Allegiance” from CNN’s American Morning.

From Rogers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific: Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be taught/To hate and fear,You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,It’s got to be drummed In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught!

My Love

It’s Thursday once more. It’s been an out of the ordinary day for me and Bill. Today was the day Bill and I decided to get a civil union from the city of Hoboken.

The whole idea started a few weeks ago when Joe Jervis of Joe My God posted on Facebook that a friend of his was looking to interview same sex couples who happened to be interracial. Seeing that Bill and I fit the bill I volunteered us.

It was for an article in a national magazine. Joe asked if we were married, domestically partnered or what. Living in New Jersey, civil unions were the only was to go. We discussed getting a civil union a few years ago but I guess both of us were distracted by whatever and so we never got around to it.

Now the subject matter came up again and since I am unemployed and fighting off troglodytes online it seemed like a good idea. I did the research and found out what we needed, photo ID, proof of residency, Social Security card, $28.00 and a witness.

I asked Stine the other day and she said she would be able to after she and Alexander came back from the Romper Room. So after a weird dream involving an occult warehouse and some demon looking for a pair of orange footwear I woke up and started the day.

Bill was awake soon after me and we both started donning suits and ties. Stine phoned that she and Alexander were on their way so I went downstairs to meet them. Bill soon came out and joined us and the four of us were soon headed to the Multi Services center of Hoboken on Grand Street.

I wisely mentioned not going through the park so Alexander wouldn’t insist on playing there. Stine was impressed by that. We walked over to the center and walked into the wrong room.

When we asked about civil unions the older woman behind the counter didn’t know what we were talking about, but a young woman behind us overheard and pointed us in the right direction and offered us congratulations.

We made it to the correct room a few doors down and spoke with a woman behind 2 inches of bulletproof glass. They asked what my father’s name was, my mother’s name, where were they from, were Bill and I related.

They also asked if I had my birth certificate (which they didn’t mention so I didn’t bring it) since my passport only has my middle initial. She asked if my birth certificate had my full middle name and it did. She decided to bend the rules and let it slide.

The same questions for Bill. Stine seemed to like the fact that Bill’s middle name is Julian. The woman behind the bulletproof glass asked Stine if to the best of her knowledge, what we said was true. Stine doesn’t do well with authority figures and immediately got flustered. I had to intervene and tell Stine that she was asking if we were lying.

We all then raised our right hands and swore an oath that we were all telling the truth and not communists despite the room seeming like it was designed by a Soviet bloc interior decorator. We walked Stine and Alexander back to the building where they got into their car and drove off to a play date with Julio’s sister’s twins.

Bill and I walked up to Stacks, a new pancake restaurant on Washington Street for a civil union breakfast. Quite nice. We went home and changed out of our suits, then Bill was off to Harlem to continue working on the play.

I walked over to the Guitar Bar where I informed Jim Mastro that I gave the city of Hoboken his name as the officiator for our ceremony. He was up for it. At the center when they asked when the ceremony would be and I said July, for when Annemarie will be around. But that’s too far off so I told them the date would be April 1.

I also had a great talk with my dear friend Connie on the phone for about 90 minutes. She may be getting a computer since its the only way she can watch Star Trek. I’m glad she’s doing better.

Here are some pictures from today’s lovely happening.

Bill and Me

Bill and Me


Cori and Magazines and NYC 006
That's my Bill.

That's my Bill.


We're almost legit!

We're almost legit!

Fela’s Riff (Unfinished Outtake)

Well here we are on a Monday. The Lady Maurice could be gone for good. I can only hope that it’s so. The only time I intend on mentioning that name is perhaps when writing about Charlie Brown’s sister.

It’s another beautiful day today, temperatures close to 60 degrees. Last night wasn’t so bad even though I didn’t go out, I did have the window open.

I planned on watching the Academy Awards in the bedroom since there was a fight between ABC TV and my cable provider Cablevision. I had the foresight, or rather Bill had the foresight, to get a digital converter box. I had the coupon for the box, Bill actually went out and got the box.

A part of the day was spent online advising friends on Facebook who also were in the same cable TV boat to go out and get the box if they intended to watch the Oscars.

I settled in expecting to be running back and forth, from room to room, bedroom to computer so I can provide my witty and insightful updates. OK, updates. Perhaps not so witty and probably not insightful.

About 15 minutes into the awards show a scroll at the bottom of the screen announced an agreement between ABC and Cablevision, that while they are still negotiating, ABC will still broadcast on Cablevision’s system.

I turned on the big TV and there it was as they said, just a foot or two from the computer. I announced on Facebook what had happened and apparently some Facebook friends didn’t know. I even called my niece Meghan to let her know since she had mentioned earlier how disappointed that she was going to have to watch the Oscars on her computer screen.

I enjoyed the Oscars and enjoyed exchanging snarky comments with my online friends. I’d like to think we all enjoyed ourselves. I stayed up and watched Jimmy Kimmel after the news following the Academy Awards which was generally pretty funny.

I wound up staying up until 2:00. Bill hadn’t come home yet and I was a bit worried but opted to go to sleep. He was home about 45 minutes later, trains and things run much slower after midnight and this play is definitely taking on a life on it’s own.

Woke up before he did this morning, I was in a better mood today than I was yesterday. I showed Bill yesterday’s post, he agreed that I was standoffish in the morning which I expected. He situated himself in the bedroom, working on his laptop and making phone calls to the stage hands.

Around noon I headed out, wandered around Hoboken. Saw Jim Mastro at the Guitar Bar for a little while. Also ran into my former roommate William on Washington Street with a friend of his David, a 75 year old gent that William seemed to be escorting around town.

Good to see William and nice to meet David. William’s friend Lisa showed up as well and we all parted ways after a bit, William and David off to feed quarters in the meter and Lisa and I headed uptown.

Came home, Bill en route to Manhattan. I decided to watch the DVD of Passing Strange which was most excellent. Bill and I had seen it at the Public Theater in 2007 and we both loved it, and Spike Lee decided to film the last night that it played on Broadway.

Forgot how good and touching it is. Definitely worth catching if you have the chance. I got it from the library so I guess it is available in most DVD rental stores.

Being the last show, weepiness abounds on both sides of the screen, them more than me. Still it’s a powerful, funny, sad and touching show and worth watching.

Will someone please beat Tom DeLay within an inch of his life? I have a ruler if needed.

Earthquake Weather

Let’s see. What’s new?

Not much actually.

Earthquake, a 6.0 off the coast of Northern California. Annemarie felt it while home for lunch. Bill knew about it before I did. I found out when I called him just to say hello. He was quite serious on the phone.

Apparently he had just sent me a text about it. I called Annemarie who was back at work and she told me about it. I guess it wasn’t so bad that she went back to work after the earthquake.

Today I spent a good couple of hours pounding the cyber pavement looking for work. Even went so far as to apply for a job that required a four year college diploma for doing the same bloody job that I’ve done for 10 years.

I mentioned that in the cover letter, just did not use those exact words. Would be bad form you see. I’m definitely aiming a bit higher than I did. No need to spit in the face of employers.

I had a somewhat busy day. After pounding the cyber pavement I was in the library, visited Jim Mastro at the Guitar Bar and wandered around Hoboken a bit today. No sightings of Stine and Alexander today. Did clean the apartment some.

Still more to be done.

Bill started cleaning a bit last night, then we watched The Dead Zone. The David Cronenberg movie, starring Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen, not the TV show starring Anthony Michael Hall. I read the book ages ago, enjoyed it quite a bit while I was in the midst of reading most everything Stephen King had written.

I remember seeing the movie when it released. It is one of the better versions of a Stephen King story. When The West Wing was on TV starring Martin Sheen as President Bartlett, I couldn’t help but think of him as Greg Stillson, who ran for Senate and eventually occupies the White House.

Too creepy, but the future was altered despite the name change and eventually Jimmy Smits occupied the Pennsylvania Avenue address and the word was safe.

Lot’s of 1970’s/80’s actors in the Dead Zone. Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, and Brooke Adams who is now Mrs. Tony Shaloub. Colleen Dewhurst is in it for about 5 minutes as well. That actually stopped Bill from his cleaning routine.

The other night Bill and I watched 3 hours of Lost. First the recap before the two hour premiere. After 6 seasons, Bill is into watching the show. The recap helped Bill catch up and he was oddly silent for three hours, except for his Craig Ferguson impersonations. “I know!”

Time moves on and the unease I felt at the beginning of the week is dissipating.

I was invited to Otisville on Sunday for a Super Bowl party but I am sticking closer to home in case Greg Stevens rings that bell for some work on Monday. Other than that, I would be totally clueless with regards to the Super Bowl. I have no idea who is playing anyhow.

I do know it is not the Jets.

JOT RAY

Bony Moronie

Wow it’s chilly out today. Been in the 30’s most of the day. No way was I going out to play guitar. No way, uh uh, not me. Julio came up last night after seeing Stine and Alexander to the airport. They were en route to Copenhagen where they eventually arrived safely.

Julio was of course feeling lonely, no little guy excited to see him and I’m not the guy excited to see him anymore either. Sure it’s good to see him but it’s not like how it used to be. I told him he was welcome to come up to watch a movie on the provision that he does not criticize the shape of the apartment.

Apparently he has a problem with rectangular apartments, the rail road style even though he lives in almost the same type of apartment. I asked if he had seen Snatch, to which he asked if that was the one with Brad Pitt, where you can’t understand a word he says. It was and he didn’t want to see that again.

He’s always had a problem with seeing a movie more than once, so that meant the Dark Knight was also out of the picture. We agreed on The Lives of Others which takes place in East Berlin in 1984. I had taken it from the library a few weeks ago but wasn’t in the mood for a subtitled movie after all and returned it unwatched.

I have to say it was totally engrossing and an interesting view on East German lives while the wall was up. Bill came home midway through and it was too late for him to get into, plus he was driving a bus to Atlantic City today and had to plan his routes, so he set himself up in the kitchen while Julio and I sat in the darkened media room/living room- room where the couch and the TV are and were both taken by the film.

The film was really quite good and I can’t recommend it enough. Julio also brought up the rest of the Galician wine we had the night before in his apartment and we polished it off. When the movie was over, Julio went home and fell asleep, Bill moved into the now lit media room and continued plotting his course.

Soon he too went to bed, and I went out after not really watching Saturday Night Live to get some money to lend to Bill since he’s broke at the moment. I also chatted on Facebook with a grammar school classmate, Donna who asked if I knew if another classmate had died. Jimmy Murray did overdose a few years ago, from what my brother Brian told me. On August 21, 2011 I heard from another classmate from St. Francis de Sales that Jimmy Murray is still alive.

Brian worked with Jimmy on a job a number of years ago. Jimmy grew up faster than I did, was groping girl’s breasts in 6th grade and probably smoking weed around the same time. After 6th grade he left parochial school and went to public school which was the last I heard of him.

Donna also mentioned another classmate, Steven Bronder also passed away, likely from an overdose as well. When I went to my high school reunion for the first and only time, I ran into another former grammar school classmate Jimmy Bartoli who told me that Steven was a crackhead who was busted for lurking about the elevators in an apartment building across the street from the Lincoln School on Main Street in Lodi.

Donna made overtures about an informal reunion of my grammar school classmates after the holidays which made me think that informal meant that black tie was not required. I told her that it would be in the timing since I was presently unemployed. She remarked her boyfriend was also out of a job.

I also told Donna that I don’t drive, not because of a DUI or DWI or anything like that, just that I got burnt out on driving and after having not driven for over 20 years now, I certainly have no desire to do so again. Having been a pedestrian all these years I see how horrible drivers are these day and plus, I wasn’t that good a driver to begin with.

Donna’s still in Lodi, raising her 2 boys, one is looking at college now. She asked how long Bill and I have been together and yes, it’s been 9 years. She was impressed by that and happy that I was happy. She was OK with my being gay since her older brother was gay as well. I sort of figured that out in 1976 since all her older brother listened to was the soundtrack to A Chorus Line nonstop.

It was a fun chat and it lasted longer than I anticipated. At 1:00 I told her I needed to get ready for bed and thanked her for the chat. It should be nice to see her again. I haven’t seen her or most of our classmates for over 30 years. Maybe that was enough, maybe not. It remains to be seen.

I did have a nice walk around Hoboken today, running from health food store to health food store, pricing Stevia. Decided to forgo the Hoboken Farmboy since they were about $4.00 more. Stopped by the Guitar Boy where Jim Mastro was busy. Just saying hi and took his picture.

Tim, the teenage ace guitarist popped in. His banjo needed new strings. I asked him how many instruments did he play and he wasn’t sure so he rattled off guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo and maybe one or tow others which my older graying mind forgot.

I told him he was an inspiration and I think that made him uncomfortable. I did see him and Lily Mastro playing on video at St Peter’s Prep school and I told him how good it was. Then after wishing him a Merry Christmas I was out of there, to smoke a cigar and wander around Hoboken on my own for a little while.

When I got home, I picked out my suit and polished my shoes for an interview tomorrow morning. It was a decent day today and I hope yours was as well.

What is it?

What is it?

Mister Wonderful Jim Mastro

Mister Wonderful Jim Mastro

from Times Sq 12.2.09- courtesy of Joe Jervis/Joe.My.God.

from Times Sq 12.2.09- courtesy of Joe Jervis/Joe.My.God.

I Stand Accused

I woke up this morning with a lyric in my head. Not going to write it down here, I wrote it on some paper, but I think it’s a decent lyric. Just a couple of lines, but it’s a start. Roam wasn’t written in a day you know.

I am still digging the fact that Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro really fixed up my guitar. Can’t stop playing. Today I taught myself, Surrender by Cheap Trick. That is a lot of fun to play, and I don’t even mind singing about Kiss. A lot easier than I expected.

Also 2 Grizzly Bear songs, Deep Blue Sea and Two Weeks. I am really digging it and been exercising my left index finger since it’s a bit stiff. I exercise it by bending it up and down which if I did it in public, it looks like I would be telling people to ‘come here’.

I should be grateful that it’s not my middle finger, but I’m really not.

I was so excited about the guitar that when Bill came home I showed him and played Half a World Away by R.E.M. and 2000 Miles by the Pretenders. This afternoon I also played Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Reg Dwight.

Had a good talk with Juan last night. He’s not in a good way though. Not my place to write about it since it’s not my life, and I don’t want his resentment, but like I said, it ain’t good.

Not much TV today. I watched Cash Cab, a game show set in an actual taxi in Manhattan. It’s a fun show, the cab driver is pretty silly and goofy.

Tonight I’m supposed to have a coffee with a friend of Julio’s, Lisa. She’s a sweetheart, we really enjoy each others company. She’s been working in real estate in Hoboken and I don’t recall if I wrote about this last week, but I’ve been toying with the idea of working in real estate.

My friend Vinnie says I would be great at it, a natural, and having written that, I’m pretty sure I wrote about it. I’m going to have to suggest something other than coffee since I don’t drink coffee after 12:00PM. I have enough difficulty going to sleep and caffeine would certainly do a number on me at 1:30 in the morning.

I watched Heroes last night. It’s great when you DVR it, the whole show is about 40 minutes sans commercials. And once again it was lackluster. They should pull the plug on the show. Really, make this season the last season. It’s going nowhere and not even Milo Ventimiglia could save it.

Most of the day has been playing music and listening to music. Much like when I was growing up. Music music music. I hear a song, check the chords online and start strumming away.

I’ve been meaning to write about a Facebook experience I’ve had. No, not like that. I came across someone from high school’s name and checked out his friends. I knew some of them. One of them was this kid named Brett who lived in Rochelle Park, the town next to Lodi where I grew up.

Brett was so obviously gay, I don’t know if he knew but I knew I was and my early gaydar certainly pinged on him. Not my type, he was maybe 98 pounds soaking wet and being a boy named Brett, I guess it was destiny that he would be gay.

So I’m going down this former classmate’s friend list and saw Brett’s name there. But the picture was of a roided hairy muscle bear. It was quite a mind fuck. I initially thought that Brett had his favorite porn star’s picture there, but no it was Brett.

Definitely did a number on my head. Still not my type and despite his hirsute looks and macho exterior, I am sure that when he opens his mouth to speak, it’s ‘Hello Mary’.

Another Facebook thing that popped into my head was the fact that I was so excited to make $3.00 on Saturday while busking that I wrote about it as my status. Today I thought that some of my friends from grammar school that I am friends with were probably tsk tsking when they read it, that is if they don’t hide my postings, anti catholic/religion, anti republican, pro gay stuff.

Then I realized that I’ve done perfectly well without them in my life for the past 33 years and I really don’t give a damn what they think.

Now I’m off to see Lisa after I post this.

Smell ya later.

Today is World AIDS Day. Remember those who have fallen and celebrate their brief lives.

Star Me Kitten

Yesterday I saw my first Hybrid car. I may have seen them before, but I saw one pulling out of a parking space on my street and I was somewhat surprised at how quiet it was. Surprised enough to write about it today, but not so surprised as to write about it yesterday.

I came home and wrote, and ate dinner and burned Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water and Honky Chateau for Jim Mastro. Can I just say again that Jim Mastro is one of the best people on the planet?

I stopped by the Guitar Bar with the CD’s and asked him to show me how to change the strings on my acoustic guitar. He showed me once a while ago but I was probably somewhat addled and as you know, lately I’m not so addled.

So I paid attention this afternoon. I was just me and Jim in the store. I babbled and made jokes. Since there’s usually no one around to talk to, when I see friends I am usually so happy to have someone to talk to I am like a faucet that you can’t turn off.

It took Jim about five minutes whereas if it were me it would have taken an hour or more and I would most likely wind up bloody and possibly break the guitar from using the wrong tools to do so. Who knew you weren’t supposed to use a crowbar? Not me.

And Jim even adjusted the neck of the guitar which was great and something I would never have thought of. Oh he’s just great and I love him. Meghan Taylor is not only the funniest girl alive, but also the luckiest.

Now the guitar sounds brand new, and I’ve been enjoying it even more than ever. I did ask Jim what I owed him for the strings and he said three Elton John CD’s so I was fortunate to have those handy. He’s been working with Ian Hunter lately, and we talked about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert on HBO last night.

We both agreed that Mott the Hoople should be in the Hall of Fame, Ian Hunter is 70 years old, still rocking and the idiots at the Hall of Fame should get their act together instead of fellating Bono. I watched the concert on TV last night, Jim didn’t.

I thought it was merely OK. I think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a sham. Many great groups will never be in the hall. The people that decide who are in the hall are record company executives who sidestepped the tar pits and Jann Wenner.

It’s crap, but I watched it and occasionally watch the inductions from the Waldorf Astoria. True, some bands that I like are in the hall, The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Beatles etc, but David Bowie isn’t. It does give a bump in record sales for the artists so that’s good. And I did see the Rascals rehearsing when they were about to be inducted, thanks to Arif Mardin getting me in to the rehearsal.

Bowie turned then down from what I understand, feeling pretty much the same way as I do about the hall. Rock & Roll is free, the music of the streets, not some falsely hallowed hall.

First up on the show was Jerry Lee Lewis, playing with his Great Balls of Fire. I think the people were still arriving at their very pricey seats and not playing much attention to the Killer.

Then they wheeled out Crosby Stills and Nash. Not my favorites by any means, though I do respect Graham Nash somewhat, David Crosby a bit too, but Steven Stills is quite a burnout who from what I understand, thinks he was actually in the Vietnam War.

Not protesting it, but fighting in the rice paddies.

I was talking with Harpy on the phone while they were playing, surprised that Harpy kept insisting that Stills is still a great guitar player. That was enough for me to tweak Harpy and say that Stills may have been a good guitar player, but what has he done for me lately?

Harpy feigned being indignant. Maybe he wasn’t feigning but it was fun twisting Harpy’s pierced nipple over the phone.

Bonnie Raitt came out and she was fine. Jackson Browne came out and Harpy incorrectly said Jackson beat up Nico when he was going out with her in the 1960’s. When Jackson was 16. Wrong. It was rumored that Jackson beat up Darryl Hannah (pre Kill Bill, otherwise she would have mopped the floor with him) and Joni Mitchell wrote a song about how Jackson is a serial abuser, driving his first wife to suicide. Ouch!

In any event Jackson and Darryl never said anything about it, at least not to me.

James Taylor came out and sang Love the One You’re With with CSN. You know, the song that excuses cheating on your partner because they simply weren’t around.

Then Stevie Wonder came out like a breath of fresh air. He sang with Sting, BB King and Smokey Robinson. John Legend came out and they played The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson, causing Stevie to breakdown mid song sobbing.

The song carried on and then Jeff Beck came out and played Superstition with Stevie while dressed like Chrissie Hynde.

Paul Simon was next, along with Crosby and Nash. Stills was probably having Nam flashbacks. Then out came Dion followed by Little Anthony & the Imperials and then Art Garfunkel came out and sang a few of their hits and everyone clapped.

Aretha was up next looking good and sounding great. Aretha lost a few pounds and made a dedication to Ahmet Ertegun. Then Annie Lennox came out wearing a shirt that said HIV Positive. I don’t think she’s HIV Positive just showing awareness that anyone could be HIV Positive. They sang Chain of Fools and that was it for them two.

Then came Metallica, by which time Bill came home and said, ‘Is that Metallica?’ never knowing or even saying the word ‘Metallica’ prior to that.

Joe Piscopo Lou Reed came out and sang Sweet Jane, with a big picture of the Velvet Underground (Doug Yule version, NOT John Cale) projected behind Lars Ulrich. Yes, everyone has a Lou Reed story. He’s probably one of the most disputed men in rock & roll.

A love him or hate him kind of guy. John Cale said it best, ‘How could such a horrible person write such beautiful songs?’

Then out came Ozzy who sang some Black Sabbath crap, followed by Ray Davies who seemed like he couldn’t wait to get off stage, like he met Metallica for the first time onstage. U2 were next and to their credit had Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith together singing Because the Night while Bono looked like a dork. Patti split, Bruce stayed and sang ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ with the band.

Bruce split and out came Mick Jagger singing Gimme Shelter with Fergie who may have hurt herself trying to imitate Merry Clayton’s vocals on the original. Some other Black Eyed Peas may have been on stage at the same time but you couldn’t tell.

Jagger was hilarious, being ‘Mick Jagger’. Mr. Low Percentage Body Fat he is. Bill was amazed, that this guy on stage doing those patented Jagger moves could have been Fergie’s grandfather, as well as Bono’s dad.

Mick split and out came Chrissie Hynde Jeff Beck. Sting popped up again sang People Get Ready which Rod Stewart sang with Jeff Beck in an aborted reunion in the 1980’s. Buddy Guy came out and he was classy, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top came out and played Purple Haze with Jeff Beck under a big projection of Jimi Hendrix.

Bill asked if all the guys from ZZ Top had beards and I told him out of the three guys in ZZ Top, only two have beards. The one who doesn’t is named Frank Beard. True story!

Then out came Bruce and the E Street Band. Sam Moore from Sam and Dave came out and sang Hold On I’m Coming & Soul Man. Tom Morello came out and sang the Ghost of Tom Joad ( I heard it took a few attempts for Morello to get his guitar part down. Same with Patti Smith earlier. A few attempts for Because the Night)

Then John Fogerty came out for Fortunate Son and Pretty Woman. Bruce and the E Street Band played Jungleland after Fogerty left, then out came the great Darlene Love singing A Fine Fine Boy.

Darlene left and then it was time to give the accountant some. Some guy looking like Mr. Weatherby from Riverdale High sat at the piano and sang New York State of Mind, sounding just like Billy Joel. Big finish with Born to Run and Jackie Wilson’s Higher & Higher.

It was a really long concert. A little over 4 hours. Bill went to bed, I stayed up and watched The Day the Earth Stood Still which was terrible.

It had promise but the plugs for products where overwhelming and the part of the little boy should have gone to a different actor rather than Will Smith’s son.

The part that really threw me was a scene where the major characters are speeding up Sixth Avenue to Central Park. Then they switched to that street in Los Angeles that they use for shots of Manhattan. Too many trees to be real.

And it was hilarious when the world is about to end, and the earth stands still. Throughout the movie, people are panicking, no school, people fleeing where ever it is they are. Then the world stands still and bewildered people are shown leaving their offices and assembly lines, because you know people would still go to work and those cars still need to be made when the world is about to end.

Truly a crap movie, not even John Cleese could save it.

Bruce playing while Creed from The Office sings

Bruce playing while Creed from The Office sings

Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)

It’s a Friday, feels like a Saturday. Back in the day, when I lived in Lodi, this would be the day that my parents would go off to Cherry Hill, coming back on Sunday. That usually left my brother Brian and myself at home.

I would spend the day, walking up to the Garden State Plaza, buying records at Sam Goody, books at Schiller Books and then walking across Route 4, over the cloverleaf to Alexanders where records were $4.99 generally.

Maybe some cookies at David’s Cookies in Bamberger’s, or a cheap sandwich at Kresge’s. Then a walk home walking faster than the cars stuck in traffic on Rochelle Avenue. A simpler life it was then.

Don’t recall what Brian and I did for food, but being after Thanksgiving there were bound to be leftovers, pies and brownies and Pfeffernusse which would usually stay in a glass canister for months on end.

I remember one time Brian had a small party, I was upstairs watching Yellow Submarine on a black & white TV. Some friend of Brian’s was playing Dear Prudence on guitar which to my ears was amazing. I don’t remember his name but he also kept his pack of Marlboro in his Frye boots which I thought was sooo cool.

I suppose it must have been 1977 since I bought the 10th anniversary issue of Rolling Stone which made me somewhat hip, or so I thought. And that’s my memory from 32 years ago.

Right now, since nothing else is on I’m watching A Hard Day’s Night on VH1 Classics. Sure it’s distracting me from writing but it’s a fun distraction.

It’s been a giddy day for me today. Don’t know why but I’m not about to question it.

Maybe it had something to do with yet another cannabis free dream last night. This one, I was Bob Dylan’s assistant at his hotel somewhere in Manhattan. I had a problem dealing with his barbecue utensils & tongs so I asked a New York Times reporter in the next room what I should do with them.

Just then Bob entered and said not to touch them. Fine enough, I said I was leaving and I would see everyone tomorrow. As I was leaving the hotel room, in the hallway some guy grabs my arm and tells me to come with him.

Having no say in the matter I go with him and we wind up on the roof of the hotel. He starts telling me that he’s upset with the fact that I’ve been dealing weed in his hotel. Apparently he, and only he was allowed to do such dealings.

I plead my case, stating that it’s impossible, that I hadn’t smoked any weed in over a week! That actually got me off the hook.

I woke up to Bill watching Sanford & Son in the next room. After I got myself awake and alive, Bill and I walked around Hoboken a bit. Stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim.

I bought a guitar strap with the Guitar Bar logo on it which Jim graciously took a couple of bucks off the price. I’d still love Jim even if he charged me full price.

Then it was off to the Post Office to pay some bills. Bill saw me put the local mail in the wrong slot and after the letter left my fingers he asked if I had put a stamp on it.

I know at the apartment I thought about using a Homer Simpson stamp and when Bill mentioned that I thought I did. But doubt being what it is, I got back on line and told a postal worker about what I might have done.

He directed me to walk down the hall to the customer service window. I rang the bell and told them and they retrieved the letter, with no stamp on it. Then I had to get back on line and buy some stamps.

Being in a giddy mood, almost manic, I chatted with the man behind the glass, answering his question about using a credit card with a ‘Yes, Ma’am’. ‘Ma’am?’ he remarked and I apologized with him saying in turn, ‘It’s OK, Miss’. It was all a big giggle.

Came home Bill took a nap since he’s working from 6:00PM to 6:00AM. Overtime rarely comes to his office and he jumped at the chance. I changed my guitar strap, played some songs, Elton, Beck, Simon & Garfunkel, and Elvis Costello. Trying to figure out La Vie en Rose as well.

Woke Bill up at 4:00 by standing over him and playing The Lion Sleeps Tonight. A giddy day. Giddy I tell you, Giddy!

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.

Dream On

Another wet, gray day in Hoboken. Yesterday wasn’t so bad. In fact the day was pleasant enough that I took a walk. I walked by Vampire Coffee where I noticed that they had a Help Wanted sign in their window. I was on the phone at the time with the baby broker/used car salesman, Casey Chasm so I didn’t stop by.

After I got off the phone with Mr. Stork, Casey Chasm, I went into the Guitar Bar like I sometimes do and chatted with Jim Mastro for a bit. I mentioned the situation that I was in and brought up Vampire Coffee. It seems the owner is a friend of Jim’s and so Jim suggested that I mention his name.

I then walked over to Vampire Coffee where Jeff was behind the counter. I’ve written about Jeff before. Nice guy, his band is playing McSwells the day after Thanksgiving. He gave me a piece of paper and I wrote down my contact info, also mentioning that I was a friend of Jim Mastro’s.

Came home after that and didn’t do much of anything, except shredding some more papers. Had a nice dinner of penne, pesto and chicken, which is my ‘go to’ meal.

Bill came home and that was a lot of fun. Seriously, no snark involved. Made me laugh out loud a few times. I watched Heroes which was rather lame again even while drinking some wine.

That probably helped with the crazy dreams I had last night. The only dream I can remember had me flying around and running into Aerosmith who did not have Steven Tyler with them. Not one of my favorite bands at all and I only remember seeing them, not much conversation involved.

I’m pretty sure that dream occurred just before Bill was kissing me goodbye for the day. It being rainy and gray outside made it easy to stay under the covers and I didn’t get out of bed until 10:00 and that was because I heard my cellphone ringing in the next room.

I missed the call from Vampire Coffee and after having a cup of coffee myself I called them back. Spoke to the proprietress and we had a quick little chat on the phone.

She asked if I ever made espresso or cappuccino and I mentioned that the last time I did that as about 15 years ago when working at Right Track. I mentioned my 12 years of retail experience at Farfetched but I don’t think that mattered.

What mattered was the fact that I had no real experience making coffee. And that’s totally understandable. We made arrangements to meet around 1:00 for an informal interview.

I got there around 12:50 and hung out talking to Jeff and politely turning down his offer of a free coffee. The owner was in the office interviewing someone else. It certainly is a busy store. No real downtime, always some customers coming in.

The previous interview ended and I was soon talking with the owner. It was an awkward conversation for me. I wound saying that it was totally understandable that they would hire someone with experience over someone like me.

The owner mentioned that I had only came in for the summer when it’s a bit slower, they would have had the time to train me, but as it is later in the year, it’s just too busy for something like that.

She would keep me in mind she said and we parted ways when there was a knock on the door from an employee needing to ask her about something. Part of me thought it was a prearranged knock, after 10 minutes come knock on the door and get me out of this interview.

It was only a part time gig, a few hours a week and it doesn’t seem likely that I would get it.

Tonight Bill and I are taking the 5:55 train to Hillsdale to see my niece Hillary in her school’s talent show at 7:00. I plan on checking out the Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing outside of City Hall beforehand.

So here’s an early entry for today, October 27.

Working for the Clampdown

It’s Tuesday again. Today I sent a few resumes to different staffing agencies. I won’t work at a staffing agency again but if they can find me a gig somewhere that would be nice. I’m sure they’re inundated with resumes.

The staffing agencies used to have resumes piling up by the fax machines when I was working for Staffmark and Golden Staffing and things were relatively good then. Haven’t heard anything yet, but maybe tomorrow. All I can do is continuously check the email.

I felt October would be a good month so here goes. I have been checking out jobs on my own for a while now, so if the staffing agencies want to take me on, they’ll be doing all the searching. I’m ready.

Last October, while I was still employed I think I had the Swine Flu or the H1N1 virus. I had never been as sick in my life as I was for that week and a half last year. I was so sick that I wound up going to the emergency room and left with a prescription for anti-biotics, which knocked the flu out of my system 5 days later.

I do remember when I came out of it, that I had turned a corner in my life. And I believe that was the Swine Flu. And I’m not getting the shot since I had never gotten one before.

Today I heard from Andy, an old friend of Chaz. Andy was at the National Equality March on Sunday and I might have seen him but wasn’t sure. He mentioned that several of his friends say that all the time.

That Andy, has such a familiar face and body type that other people get mistaken for him a lot. Such is the life of a bear and I’m glad I am a wolf.

Also heard from Kathe, Chaz’ wife. She’s back in Jersey City with Chaz but is heading down to Florida to help an aunt who has Alzheimer’s disease.

I was on the phone with Kathe for about 40 minutes. It was fun. I really hadn’t spoken with her since she left Jersey City a couple of years ago. We made tentative plans on gallery hopping next week.

I’ll try to steer the hopping in a different direction and perhaps see some art that I hadn’t seen before. There is that Dennis Hopper photography exhibition that I’d like to see that I missed last week with Harpy.

Juan stopped by last night. Always good to see him. He was looking good. No computer or TV so he doesn’t know what’s going on. His broken heart has healed and he’s happy about that, things back to the way they were, shuttling back and forth between Trenton and Ocean Grove.

I may even see him later in the week when he returns his mother’s car which he borrowed since his own car went kaput. He was only around for a couple of hours, before Bill came home.

Bill told me the other day that he will be singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden again for the fourth time, this time, singing before the NY Knicks basketball game on December 20. Very exciting news indeed. Something to look forward to.

I watched the Love Guru this afternoon. A certain someone said it was really funny and I listened to her. But man I had never seen a movie as bad as that since I don’t know what. I do like the way Romany Malco shaves his goatee. That’s about the only thing I ‘got’ from the Love Guru. I don’t think I can pull off his goatee though, literally or figuratively.

Today while wandering around Hoboken in the afternoon, I stopped by the Guitar Bar to say hello to Jim Mastro. It seems every time I’m walking around I stop by and say hello to Jim. He’s a nice guy.

When I stopped by on Saturday he was very busy which was good for the Guitar Bar so we didn’t have much time to chat. But we chatted this afternoon.

He mentioned a guy was in the store earlier today, talking to Jim and saying that the revolution will be coming and suggested that Jim get a gun for the upcoming insurrection. Jim is an Obama voter, which the tea bagger didn’t know.

Scary times and a bit unnerving to say the least. What the hell is going on with this country? Why do they hate Barack Obama so much? I disliked Bush intensely, for myriad reasons but still I never fomented revolution.

Is this the road we are headed down? Or are they just loud mouthed squeaky wheels making the most noise?

.

Saturday Gigs

It’s 5:55PM on Bill’s Mac and I’m tired. It’s been an out of the ordinary day. But first a recap of what happened before. Watched Bill Maher last night, he was very good, Lincoln Chafee, Cornell West and Richard Belzer were the panel, Bill Frist (intelligent jerk) was the opening interview and Sarah Silverman was the final guest with the panel.

Her video on how to solve world hunger was the tops. A simple idea. Sell the Vatican, make the Pope super popular. He would be a superhero of sorts since he already has the cape and any Vatican involvement with the Holocaust would be forgiven.

With the proceeds of the Vatican sale all the billions of dollars could be spent solving world hunger. It would be the christian compassionate thing to do. Sell the house which is a city, take some of those proceeds and make a condo for the Pope and his friends.

It was as irreverent as only Sarah Silverman could be.

I recorded it so Bill could watch it, it was that good. I stayed up watching Craig Ferguson who really is the funniest guy in late night television. Then I went to bed, Bill sleeping under his apnea mask. At some point he took the mask off and started snoring, but by then I was pretty much far gone in slumber land to really notice.

I slept really well, woke up to find Bill about to go out and get the paper and some bagels. The laundry I did yesterday was still damp which required another day of it hanging around the kitchen.

He came back and hurried about trying to get ready for his stage manager gig for Amiri Baraka’s birthday event tonight. Not being much of an Amiri Baraka fan, I just made myself a nice breakfast and read the paper.

Bill was soon on his way into the city. I farted around, ran some errands and argued with strangers online about Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. A lot of people are against it, but mainly these people who were against it, never gave two shits about the Nobel Peace Prize before.

In fact one of them brought up how Nobel invented dynamite and what an odd fact that is. Of course anyone with an inquisitive brain knew this ages ago. But there they were arguing their ‘Obama wasn’t born here’ ‘the Socialist president’.

I had read somewhere that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in Soho was free yesterday and today for John Lennon’s birthday yesterday. That’s seemed like a fun thing to do so I got my act together and headed into the city on the Path.

Swung by The Guitar Bar where the ever lovin’ Jim Mastro was back from England. He was the guitar tech for the Mott the Hoople reunion shows, having played with Ian Hunter on his solo gigs here and abroad.

The shows were a success, and Jim met both Jimmy Page and Mick Jones from the Clash backstage. Page was a contemporary and Mick was a Mott the Hoople fan from way back in the day.

I anticipated that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex might be jammed since it was free but it was only a 15 minute line outside and a 10 minute wait inside. Overall the experience was underwhelming.

The main exhibition was John Lennon: The New York Years and seeing his personal items was nice but no photography was allowed. And I thought that to be very odd. The final part was a paper bag behind glass, containing the clothes John was wearing when he was brutally murdered 29 years ago. But then again it was free so I really shouldn’t complain.

Now I’m back in Hoboken, tired and a little bit hungry despite having just eaten a bagel from this morning.

I have to get up early in the morning, like around 4:30 to be at 7th Avenue and 33rd Street at 6:00 for a 7:00 bus to Washington DC. It’s Bill’s suggestion that I get there an hour early since it’s sometimes a mess queuing up for the Bolt Bus.

And since Bill is almost always spot on regarding matters involving buses I’m taking his word. So a nap is out of the question. I’ll figure something out I’m sure.

Since I’ll be en route tomorrow and without internet access, you might expect a very late posting, which will more than likely be done on Monday.

one illegal photo

one illegal photo

two illegal photo

two illegal photo

three illegal photo

three illegal photo

the last illegal photo before they stopped me. James Brown live.

the last illegal photo before they stopped me. James Brown live.

I think Bowie is right. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is bullshit. There are tons of great, fantastic bands that will never make it into the Hall since it’s mainly all about who sold the most. And that’s not Rock & Roll!

And tomorrow is National Coming Out Day, so come out of the closet whomever, wherever you are!

Faust Arp

Something happened yesterday that I forgot to write about. A nice thing, doesn’t happen often, at least not to me. I was at the supermarket buying groceries. I try to buy what’s on sale and use the store shopping card to get the necessary discounts.

At the express line the total came out to be $20.10. I checked my wallet and had the 20 dollars but no change. That meant I was going to have to charge it, which I was hoping not to do.

It’s not like Farfetched where when I was working I always made sure I had some extra coinage in my pocket so if someone couldn’t make the full total, maybe off by a quarter I would cover it for them.

That never really happened often but I had the money and didn’t really mind and it helped make Farfetched such a good place to shop, at least when I was behind the counter.

So at the supermarket in the express line I was short 10¢ and I said aloud that I had the 20 but no 10. I swiped my credit card when a young woman behind me offered me 10¢. Awfully nice of her and I took advantage of her generosity.

I thanked her profusely and wished her a good evening and headed out the door. Quite nice and almost restored my faith in the kindness of strangers.

I made myself a decent dinner of ravioli and after that started to watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann. But Olbermann was off and Laurence O’Donnell was guest hosting. In the middle of the first quarter, I got a distress call from Planet Bernadette.

The Planet just needed a ear to vent into and I was more than willing since I’ve done the same to her once or twice. I tried to reassure her that she was in a temporary set back, and sometimes 19 year old boys are just that, boys.

I did my best even though I don’t think it was enough but I did get her to chuckle by the end of the call. When the distress call came in I turned off the TV and when the call was over, I headed out for a walk around Hoboken.

No Bill, no Julio to accompany me and I didn’t bring the iPod. I did have a nice La Flor Domincana Double Ligero cigar that Bill got me for my birthday and walked up Bloomfield Street to the Lipton Tea building at 15th Street on the border of Weehawken.

On my way up there, walking past Rand’s house where the lights were out I got a phone call from Harpy. His disembodied voice made for some pretty good company. We were on the same page basically, ‘fucking republicans’ etc.

It was a 45 minute call with both ends making some pretty good points. I wasn’t red eyed and he didn’t seem too drunk. Came home finishing the cigar around 9:00 and settled in after walking around the Hoboken waterfront.

Around 10:00 I get a call from Lois whom I’ve been hearing a lot from lately and that’s a good thing. She was calling from a bar and she sounded drunk. She had 2 words to say to me, Art Hams.

The Art Hams were a band that Rand and I created about 22 years ago to play at the Martha-thon for Martha Griffin who was trying to make a movie at the time. I figured she was hoping to get Rand and I active again and I really didn’t see any reason we couldn’t do it.

Perhaps these Nurk Twins will ride again someday. Then Lois drunkenly slurred that she loved me and hung up.

It’s funny, nowadays when rand, Lois and I go out we’re usually home by midnight which moves the time for drunk dialing up a few hours, from 3:00AM to 10:00PM which is acceptable.

Then after that a text from Rand basically saying Art Hams. I figured that he was out with Lois. I was slightly put off by the fact that I wasn’t asked but I had just gotten home from walking around Hoboken and probably wouldn’t have gone out again, but with some prodding I probably would have made an attempt as my sneakers were still on my feet.

Am I a recluse? Is that why I wasn’t asked? Am I Greta Hughes or Howard Garbo or something? I didn’t care anyway, it was a momentary thing.

Bill was off in Elmira and after watching Bill Maher I watched the news, then the Simpsons and then started clearing out the DVR recorded list.

Such an exciting Friday night.

Wound up watching Scrubs from the last season and eventually deleted most of them except for the last 3 episodes. Then I went to bed, not because I was tired, but because I was bored.

Couldn’t fall asleep easily, perhaps because Bill wasn’t there next to me sleeping. I listened to the garbage truck roll up the street picking up the trash and my gigantic computer monitor that I had no use for and no one would want it since it was a big tube thing and not the flat screen that most everyone uses these days.

Woke up OK. Got a text from Casey Chasm, which is what actually woke me up. Mrs Chasm had a baby girl, Anna I believe, 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Beautiful news to wake up to.

Casey and Baby

I got myself together and headed out after a cuppa. Got some bagels and the paper and came back home where I noticed a bicycle lock, cut open.

Julio’s bike was no longer in the front of the building like it’s been for weeks. Gone. Not his $1,000 Bianchi but his everyday street bike. Douche bags a plenty. He was sad as was I. He was off with Stine and Alexander when I called.

After that I walked over to Target to get an over the door coat rack since I broke the one we had a week ago. A nice walk on the new walkway between Hoboken and Jersey City and within minutes I was in Target.

I found what I needed and also picked up a cool t-shirt and an iTunes gift card for a certain nephew who’s birthday is next week or so. Also picked up some t-shirts for Jim Mastro who asked Meghan to ask me.

Not a problem.

Ran into Rand (and also saw Patrick Murphy for the 2nd time today). Rand was on his bike and pedaled next to me as we headed back to Hoboken on the walkway.

Rand went his way and I gave Jim his t-shirts. He’s off to the UK to possibly play with Mott the Hoople at their reunion next month.

I came home, had a salad and headed to the Hoboken Historical Museum where my friend Pat Longo’s brother Mike has an exhibition. It was fun, good to see Pat who was spinning records and Allison Lee his wife, partner and mother of Hank. Allison and I share a birthday. After a crunchy Boca burger I was out of there.

Super nice guy Pat Longo

Super nice guy Pat Longo

So that was that.

Planet Bernadette still is a bit shaky but like Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius by way of 24 Hour Party People says: It’s my belief that history is a wheel. “Inconsistency is my very essence” -says the wheel- “Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don’t complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away”.

Probably said it in a bathhouse, but it’s the message, not the medium damn it!

9.19.09 Around HOB 001

This piece got my attention.

This piece got my attention.

9.19.09 Around HOB 010

Empire State Building out for a cruise

Empire State Building out for a cruise

The Planet Bernadette Dancers

The Planet Bernadette Dancers

9.19.09 Around HOB 019

The Pressure Of Life (Takes the Weight Off the Body)

OK, back to the present day. The past few weeks have been quite stressful for me. Job loss, staying home climbing the walls, planes and helicopters crashing nearby.

Plus my people skills have been non-existent. Going to the supermarket would leave me enraged. Crossing the street was a matter of life or death with me tempting fate.

Not that I was trying to get hit by a car, but rather looking for trouble as a pedestrian yelling at and sometimes smacking the trunk of a car as it rolled through a stop sign.

The sort of thing that occasionally winds up with someone getting shot and since I do not own a gun, the person who might get shot would be me.

I discussed this with Casey Chasm who is fleeing Hoboken with the missus at the end of the month since Hoboken is so bleedin’ expensive. He’s been unemployed longer than I’ve been and went through similar feelings.

He recommended a prescription for Xanax. I’ve used Xanax back in the day, usually from Susan Sled’s pillbox hat. Didn’t do much for me 19 years ago, but it was for recreational purposes then, and foolishly so.

Now I had an actual reason.

Casey suggested seeing his doctor and since the doctor I used a few years ago has quite a flaky schedule I called up Casey’s MD and got an appointment for the same day.

So following Casey’s well timed advice I went and had an EKG, and some lung capacity tests and they were fine. Of course the discussion about quitting cigarettes came up and it will be discussed further once I get my blood work done next week.

I do like the doctor though, and his staff were very nice as well. So after picking up the prescription, I took one. The recommended dosage was 2 a day, but 1 was enough. Plus it was late afternoon. Within about 20 minutes, things started to get warm, edginess fading.

Ran into the funniest girl alive, Meghan and her daughter Ruby. All very pleasant, even more pleasant than usual. And I still had a sense of humor. Walked around with Meghan and Ruby, saw Jim at the Guitar Bar where Jim was putting stuff in the car for the Guitar Bar Summer Camp show at the Frozen Monkey Cafe.

Jim & Ruby drove up there, Meghan and I walked up. I was feeling generally pretty good and Meghan was feeling pretty much the same way.

I decided not to stay to watch the kids playing whatever it is they were going to play. A few weeks ago all I needed to hear was the opening notes to Sweet Child of Mine by Guns & Roses to get me out of there.

I opted to go to the supermarket to see if my murderous rage was suppressed enough. On the way there I talked on the phone to my sister in law Elaine since my new doctor asked me for info on my brother Frank’s stroke in 2007.

Got the info and headed into the store which was crowded and staffed with the usual belligerent people. This time it didn’t bother me. It didn’t bother me either when on the express line someone ahead of me had 20 items instead of the limit of 15.

Had a light supper when I came home, a few hours later, a walk around Hoboken once again with Julio. And that was pleasant, none of the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I know that weight is still there but not crushing me like it’s been lately.

I could have used a Xanax the other night when I went to the Yankee game with Bill. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I was pretty much miserable and Bill had a feeling that was going to happen. Overall that was a bad night. Sitting in the bleachers with no back support, my neck was stiff and I was wearing an older pair of glasses that I thought looked better but with a weaker prescription, I couldn’t focus on much at all.

Bill enjoyed himself despite me. And it made for an uncomfortable ride home.

I can be quite an asshole sometimes. Hopefully now I’ll have a better grip on that.

Today I’m going into Greg Stevens office to do some coconut work, then heading across town to see the play that Bill has been stage managing the past few weeks.

I think this weekend or early next week, I’ll have a return trip to Lodi, a family friend passed away this morning. Back to the social milieu of wakes and funerals.

Bill & his friend Kirk

Bill & his friend Kirk

Hymn for the Dudes

It’s Wednesday and once again it’s raining out. Well, not at this very moment but it’s been pouring then stopping then pouring again.

My plan to see Ian Hunter (featuring Mr. Nice Guy Jim Mastro) has been literally washed out. I signed up to receive a text from River to River which is the organization that puts on these shows, but no response regarding the show.

If you go to the River to River website it doesn’t say anything about the show being moved, canceled or rescheduled.

Many people have posted on how much rain is falling, but as of 17 minutes before show time, nothing. I was planning on meeting Meghan and her daughters at the show, but things being the way they are, I called a few times and left messages.

No response at all. Oh well.

I held up my end. Tomorrow, provided it doesn’t rain is another opportunity to see Jim Mastro and the Guitar Bar All Stars but no Ian Hunter. C’est la vie.

Today I was a bit busy. Running errands for myself. Since Bill, Juan and I are planning on going out on Friday night, I bought tickets for Blow Off. That’s what it’s called.

It’s a DJ thing with Rich Morel and Mr Happy Go Lucky himself, Bob Mould. That was sarcastic. Calling Jim Mastro ‘Mr. Wonderful’ is not sarcastic.

I remember hanging around Bob Mould at McSwells back in the day with Husker Du as well as during his solo stuff. Wouldn’t say he was a grump but not much fun to be around. He had too many demons I reckon.

Things were slow enough in the office that I hopped on a train to go to Chelsea and pick up the tickets at a charming establishment called The Nasty Pig. It was $10.00 cheaper if you bought the tickets in advance.

I asked for 3 tickets and of course the guy behind the counter didn’t have change. ‘There’s a deli around the corner so you could get change there’ said the twink.

I walked around the corner and wound up buying a bottle of seltzer, mocking the twink’s tone of voice to myself which brought me some enjoyment. Actually I sounded like Pedro making fun of me, which made me laugh to myself.

The twink was apologetic, but all I could think of was when I was in a similar position I made do with what I had, but then again I was never caught short when selling tickets for McSwells or whatever.

Now it is overcast and it looks like it will rain again. It’s too bad. I was hoping to make it to the show. Meghan did call this morning, she was getting me backstage so that would have been fun. But I made my mind up and now I’m home drying out and comfortable.

Whatever happened to my Rock and Roll? The sun is shining now, the show is probably going on as planned. I need TV but I got T Rex.

The show is in Tribeca. Bowie lives in Tribeca. Bowie and Ian Hunter are friends. Hmmm.