Tag Archives: Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at Maxwells

I’ve Seen That Movie Too

This the second attempt at writing is underway. It’s been a day where things are a bit off. Bill rented a Zip Car since it’s the last day of the play Pecong and couldn’t find the key card which is usually in his wallet. I have have to confess my relief at not having anything to do with the missing card.

I did see the play last night, Pecong and it was an enjoyable show. Based on Medea and set in the West Indies. A few members of the audience did not know about Medea and so were surprised by the way things turned out.

A very good cast, wonderful lighting and an amusing and sometimes funny script kept the tragic events unfolding hidden from the eyes of the audience. Bill was a most able stage manager and from what I gathered was well regarded by the cast and crew. And it was a good turnout as well, nearly all the seats were filled.

Bill being the stage manager had to make sure everyone was out of the theater space since it gets used as a church on Sunday mornings. I mingled with the cast and crew and soon Bill and I were on a local 3 train downtown to 34th Street.

We walked through Penn Station and up to the street level. As we headed down the stairs to the Path train I spied some guy checking Bill out. When Bill tells me some guy is checking me out I continue on with my usual obliviousness. When I tell Bill the same thing, Bill scans the area.

It turns out he knew the other guy, a bloke named Richie from Bill’s old church. The stood and started chatting to each other as I turned and saw the 12:30 train about to leave the station. Of course by the time Bill was done the train had left the station and I didn’t have many kind words at all to say about Richie, though it wasn’t his fault.

I dreaded having to wait another hour for the next train but as we stood on the platform another train arrived about 15 minutes later. Not a comfortable ride though. For Bill and myself it was but a smallish woman and her oafish boyfriend sat next to Bill.

The smallish woman kept making faces at the size of Bill. I pointed it out to Bill and he didn’t care. As we left the train in Hoboken the woman was throwing knives with her eyes. Bill turned and started to say something but I advised him not to since the moment had passed.

And it was chilly as we walked home, Bill went to bed almost immediately and I followed soon thereafter. Finally I slept really well and probably would have continued sleeping if it weren’t for the fact that today was the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at McSwells.

And today the play scheduled was Macbeth, which happens to be my favorite Shakespeare play. I was up and out to get bagels and the paper and a little while after that I was walking up to McSwells. Bill had left and came back when he realized he couldn’t find his Zip Car key.

I would have helped him look for it but I was pressed for time and not one to favor being late.

On the way there I got a phone call from Lois who was wondering if I was coming. Most of the participants usually have brunch at McSwells, I eat at home. As I walked in there were Lois and five others eating brunch, not even close to being finished.

I sat in the fishbowl in the front room of McSwells and pulled out my notebook, waiting for the others to finish. They eventually joined in the fishbowl, Lois filling a bag with roles for the Scottish play.

As luck would have it, I pulled out the plum role of Macbeth. 685 lines. I also pulled out a few other roles since we only had five other readers and multiple parts are needed. I opted to read Macbeth in what I approximated to be a Scottish burr. By the end my throat was shot.

Still it was a fun time and once again I was glad that I did it. Next month I believe is The Tempest. Lois would love to have other readers to join in, no skills beside a reading comprehension is needed.

So if you find yourself in Hoboken on the last Sunday of the month and it’s around noon and you’re around McSwells, do stop in and join us. Extra copies are generally handy and you never know, you could be Prospero next month.

I just watched the BBC production of Macbeth by the Royal Shakespeare Company starring Ian McKellan and Judi Dench, and not for nothing, we had a better time this afternoon at McSwells.

The National Black Theater

The National Black Theater


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Bill and some cast members and a fan

Bill and some cast members and a fan


Today's Shakespeare readers

Today's Shakespeare readers


A nonplussed Macbeth

A nonplussed Macbeth

Oh and the head of the RC crutch feels that any connection of him to child rape is merely gossip.

He Ain’t Give You None

Today has turned out to be quite a nice day. 62 degrees said the thermometer on Washington Street. A bit windy but that was OK by me. Had a nice walk around Hoboken, visited that socialist institution and dropped off some DVD’s.

One of the DVD’s, Sleeper- turned out to be unplayable thanks to some cracks in the center of the disc. I seem to be the one who discovers things wrong with the DVD’s at the bibliothèque. No one else seems to even after they return them.

Maybe they’re the ones who break the discs and don’t say anything for fear of having to buy a new one. I’ve never been accused and then again I’ve never broken a CD or DVD from the library.

Yesterday I took out Taking Woodstock and Hippie, a book by Barry Miles. I watched Taking Woodstock last night. It was cute, it was fun. Wasn’t the worst movie I saw and not the greatest Ang Lee movie but it wasn’t as bad as the critics made it out to be.

No footage from the Woodstock movie, but some of the same techniques were used. No music from the movie either, probably kept costs down. A version of Going Out to the Country which may or may not have been by Canned Heat was the only song I can remember being in the both movies.

I enjoyed it. Demitri Martin was good and I could have sworn Andy Samberg was in it, but it turned out to be Jonathan Groff. So it wasn’t by the book as some Woodstock memoirs would have it, but it was still enjoyable.

I didn’t watch the extras since I have quite an extensive waiting list at the bibliothèque and I needed a copy of The Scottish Play for this Sunday’s Open Reading of Shakespeare at McSwells this Sunday. I do like the Scottish Play, having read it in high school.

After the library I wandered over to the river and read the January 25 issue of the New Yorker. Man I am behind. Since I’m not commuting anymore I don’t read it as often as I did, I’ve fallen behind. And my behind might have gotten a bit bigger since I’m not walking all over Manhattan like I used to.

Been a gray and wet couple of months so I’ve mainly been inside. I hope to change that soon enough now that the weather is getting better.

Stopped by the local record store, Tunes just to see if there was anything special about the latest album by The Bird & the Bee, their tribute to Hall & Oates. They didn’t have it in stock, claiming they sold it out. I doubt if they even ordered it since it came out yesterday. They said it should be in on Friday.

Instead I was able to snag Bang Masters by Van Morrison. A collection of his tracks for Bang Records from 1967. It was a used copy at $2.99 and since it had T.B. Sheets on it, a song that I’ve been playing once a day lately I had to have it. It should make for a nice burned CD for someone in August.

I’ve also become friends with Chris Frantz and Pat Irwin on Facebook. Chris Frantz was the drummer for Talking Heads, as well as for the Tom Tom Club and married to one of my favorite bass players, Tina Weymouth.

And Pat Irwin was in the Raybeats on guitar, keys and saxophone and also played guitar and keys for the B-52’s. A nice guy, I met him by the rock outside of Summerstage a few years ago. Answered my questions about the Raybeats and the B-52’s.

Chris Frantz is supposed to be a nice guy as well. I saw him at a Television show at the Academy theater in the 1990’s but was too nervous to go up to him and say anything.

I guess Facebook is the way to go then.
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Air

Got back a little while ago from the Last Sunday of the Month Shakespeare Reading at Maxwells which is organized by my friend Lois. This time we read Twelfth Night. I had about 4 or 5 roles, Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and an Officer as well as another character with one or two lines.

I forget his name since the index cards go back to Lois at the end of the reading. It was fun and I did my voices, but Rand stole the show with his voicing of Feste. Had me laughing quite a bit, he did.

My 2 lead roles, Sirs Andrew and Toby were in conversation a few times which had me on my toes. I decided to try to make Sir Toby sound like Cary Grant and in my mind I thought I was close enough, but in reality I fell far short.

Sir Andrew I portrayed as a swishy queen and the Officer sounded a bit like Grover from Sesame Street. If only there were lines relating to the difference between here and there and I would have been set.

There were only 6 of us participating in the reading this month but I think we handled it with aplomb.

On the way to McSwells I ran into Stine and Alexander. Alexander has had a virus the past couple of days and was completely out of it. Nothing sadder than a sick toddler. He did give me a high five which was encouraging to me. I’m sure he’ll be OK.

Last night was pretty mellow. Just hung out, watched TV and listened to music. Also played some guitar. I’ll be reading something in Mojo or Uncut and decided to see if there were any available chords. Last night was some Pretenders songs mainly. That was fun.

Watched more news on CNN about the Chilean earthquake, and the tsunami that was approaching Japan. Bill was off at his rehearsal which opens in 2 weeks, I watched Jennifer Lopez on Saturday Night Live. It was lackluster as was Jennifer Lopez’ singing.

I only listened to the first song, the second song I was listening to something else until she finished. The best thing on the show was the digital short. Pretty much a disappointment all around.

Stayed up posting videos from You Tube to Facebook in response to a few friends posting videos that they liked, as well as exchanging snarky comments with my brother Brian. I stayed up longer than I expected, but long enough to be awake for when Bill came home.

He now has a piece, sort of like a mouth guard to help with his snoring. I went to bed before home and while I slept he recorded me snoring to prove that he isn’t the only one who snores. Even though I might snore, I think he snores louder than I do.

Yes, it’s sometimes a competition around here.

Tonight Bill is at rehearsal again, I’m just hanging out. Had a burger for dinner which was great. Had a hankering for one the past couple of days.

Get thee behind me penne, pesto and chicken!

Rand

Rand


Rand, Steve H, Lois

Rand, Steve H, Lois


Twelfth Night readers

Twelfth Night readers


Sir Toby

Sir Toby


Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew

Burn Down the Mission

Ugh, so tired. Been a good day though. Mainly spent by myself. Whatever manic high I was on the past couple of days has faded along with the sun on this autumn evening. Ooh, how poetic.

Last night Bill was driving off to Atlantic City again, so I was home alone. Following my sister’s advice, I looked up some holiday songs to play. Had an idea, that since I made $3.00 yesterday, if I can play some holiday songs during the holiday season, I might make some more money. Maybe $5.00 next time.

I looked up Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Sleigh Ride, Winter Wonderland all of which were OK. But the song I was more interested in was 2000 Miles by the Pretenders. I love Chrissie Hynde’s voice and in my head I can approximate her vocal stylings and I wouldn’t change the pronouns.

I’d sing, “He’s gone, 2000 miles/It’s very far” and be happy with it. Any eyebrows raised by the fact that a guy is singing about missing another guy wouldn’t be my problem. The fact that it’s easy to play is a definite plus. I practiced that for a while.

Also reacquainted myself with the Rolling Stones Wild Horses, as well as Bob Marley’s Jamming. No TV really last night, mostly listening to music. Saturday Night Live was a repeat and I didn’t want to watch Shakira again for some reason.

I did watch Live from the Artists Den which had Aimee Mann on. To my chagrin I enjoyed her performance. I suppose since she’s put Till Tuesday behind her, I can too. It was live at a church somewhere in Los Angeles.

After that I went to bed and the dream I remember was me being a good friend of Belle Du Jour, or rather Billie Piper from Diary of a Call Girl. She was fun to hang around with and it was an interesting and erotically charged dream.

Nothing happened, just sexuality was in the air. One big bloke was definitely into me and I was feeling the same way but one or two anti-Semitic comments from him put the kibosh on whatever was going to happen.

Some disappointing things happened last night, both involving Facebook. One person who I suggested something to, did not take my suggestion under consideration which made me think whatever it is they’re planning will only go so far. Damn cannabis clear thinking!

Another Facebook contact, did not get a joke I made and took it too seriously which made me think that this person I thought was cool at one point is really a big jerk. Too bad I didn’t know it earlier, having known this person for about 20 years or so makes me want to wash my hands of their project and walk away.

Not terribly anxious about the thing that they have planned either and wish it was behind me already. But that’s life.

Bill came home this morning around 11:00 and went to bed. I told him I might be gone by the time he wakes up and he was fine with that. I decided to go out and play by Pier A again around 12:30.

I had no idea whether Tim or Tariq would be around and they weren’t. I was armed with new songs to play and gladly set myself up in the sunshine and played from 1:00 to about 3:45.

2000 Miles was enjoyable and I sang it a bit, which was fun. Not too loud though. As the sun went west, I went south a few benches to stay in the sun and out of the shadow of the buildings. I played the hell out of Maybe I’m Amazed, so much so that my arm locked up a bit.

Easily shook it off though and played open chords until I felt comfortable to play barre chords again.

At one point, a shabby couple came up to me, both wearing plastic rosary beads around their dirty necks. The woman asked if she could strum my guitar a bit and being a nice guy I said sure. She did a little doodle on the guitar, played for less than a minute and gave the guitar back.

They walked off and I started to play again, but couldn’t play a complete song without making a mistake. The woman, Linda was the succubus’ name, stole my Mojo. Horrifying!

It was getting cold out and I was back in the shadow of the buildings but I would give up until I can play a song without any major mistakes. It took a while but I was eventually able to play Wild Horses at a slower tempo.

I didn’t make any money today and was ignored by most everyone that walked by this afternoon. I was fine with that though. That’s the thing about busking, sometimes there’s money, sometimes there isn’t.

Maybe Saturday is a better day, with people giving away their change to various churches and other superstitious institutions that they get dressed up for and attend on a Sunday. I’m very annoyed with the news this morning that NJ catholic churches were announcing their fight against same sex marriage.

After reading about how for the past 30 plus years the child sexual abuse that has been going on in Ireland and covered up by both the church and the Irish government, I can’t help but think these bastards in gowns are using same sex marriage as a boogeyman to distract people from the fact that children have been routinely raped and sodomized by this world wide ring of pedophiles.

I think Sinead O’Connor was right. Fight the real enemy.

Diggin the New

A blessed fatigue. Not overtly so. Let’s see. Last night, watched the second half of the Dark Knight. Still blown away by Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker. Truly deserved the Academy Award for it I think.

The whole movie is so very good, but Heath Ledger stole the movie. It’s still a shame that his life was snuffed out like it was. It was on HBO and I knew if I waited I could catch the west coast broadcast and so that’s what I did. Caught the first half up till the convoy destruction scene in the middle of Gotham City.

Bill was working the 6PM to 6PM shift so he wasn’t home. I slept soundly when I went to bed, but missed his warmth in the night. He got home around 7AM with the sun shining through the blinds. And as usual after he put his sleep apnea mask on, his head hits the pillow and he is out like a light.

He was good enough to bring home the paper and bagels saving me from the trouble of doing it myself this morning. I puttered about on the quiet side as Bill slept.

Still avoiding the news programs and watched Across the Universe a few hours later. Bill was awake by that point and wondered what it was I was watching. He enjoyed it, as I slowly indoctrinated him into the Beatles music some more.

It’s a beautiful movie to watch, a bit over the top sometimes, sometimes a bit wonky but overall an enjoyable movie. I knew there was a Lawn Hors d’œuvre marathon on and I wasn’t in the mood for that. I wanted to be entertained.

After Across the Universe ended I searched on the TV and saw that All Together Now was about to begin and switched to that. Bill got a kick out of that. It’s about the making of the Beatles LOVE Show in Las Vegas with Cirque de Soleil. More Beatles, Paul & Ringo with Yoko and Olivia.

Bill enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the show in progress over the course of almost a year, asking me would I do some of the high wire acrobatics in the show for $1000. If there was no risk of life or limb of course I would. Hell, right now there isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do for $1000.00.

But I do have my limits and some principles and those can always be negotiated.

Just got back from Julio & Stine’s. They’re still having problems with their heater so I brought down the 2 Allen wrenches I had which we of no use and some matches. Alexander is now chatting somewhat.

The parents are clearly getting on each others nerves which makes me think that mother and child flying to Denmark next week might be a good thing for a break.

Alexander is quite amusing and always angling for my attention just like his parents. Now I’m being pulled in 3 directions, but I focus on Alexander since he’s less stressful.

Just checked my cellphone and I missed a call from my nephew Brian. I left the phone in the apartment while I was downstairs. That sucks but he sounded really good, saying he misses Bill and myself and he loves us and hopes to see us soon. He also said he’s feeling good so that is excellent news! Wow!

Today was a nice enough day that I went to the river with my guitar expecting to maybe see Tariq or Tim. Neither was around so I just played guitar by myself. Didn’t really sing, maybe grunted a bit.

Played a bluesy slower version of Love Shack, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and Elton John’s Hercules, Please Please Me, Me & Julio by the Schoolyard.

It was a lot of fun, and I made $3.00 which isn’t a lot to most but it was a slice of pizza for me, and officially makes me a busker, having made some dosh while playing.

I’m very happy with that result. I think The Lion Sleep Tonight will be my go to song since it’s really easy to play and only three chords. And as Annemarie remarked, a lot of kids probably know it from the Lion King. I wouldn’t know since I’ve never seen it. But I think it’s a nice feather in my cap.

Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be even nicer and I plan to go out earlier. Not for the money, but for the practice.

The money is nice though, but as usual, I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it for the music, for the art, for the X Ray Style.

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.