Tag Archives: Lois

I See Houses

There’s a reason I take notes, hell there’s a reason anyone takes notes- to remember things. And so yesterday I took notes on what happened between the last posting and today. Since I wasn’t writing yesterday the notes served as a jumping off point instead of just staring at a blank screen on Microsoft Word. And now I have the notes to the right of a blank Microsoft Word screen. I have a poetic license to kill and will use it anytime that I see fit. And that time should be now but then again it is and it isn’t.

Back to the notes, I left the apartment on Saturday night, meeting Rand & Lisa at 7:00 PM at 8th and Park, just a block away from my humble hovel. The plan was to walk up to Chez Chaz since there was no Path train for Hoboken this weekend. I’m one of those guys that like to have a cigar when I walk sometimes and knew that Shlomo was working and he owed me a cigar. So I left the 8 pack of Guinness on a bag on the first floor landing and headed over to the cigar shop.

Of course it’s a little busy when I get there and of course I help out, steering guys to the cigars they might want. Shlomo was busy with other customers and since I had a few minutes I didn’t mind helping. And I got a free cigar for that so I walked out with two cigars, one lit and the other stashed safely away. I walked back home, ran in and got the Guinness from the landing and headed out mere seconds later. I waited for a few minutes, puffing on a stogie when Rand and Lisa came forward.

We headed west, to the elevator up the Palisades. I discreetly kept my cigar out of view on the elevator. It goes up to one level and the disheveled man who ride the elevator didn’t seem to notice. From the elevator, a walk up Congress Street to Central Avenue. And then it was a bit of a hike to the park where we made a right and walked past the park into the neighborhood of Chez Chaz. We were a block away on Beach Street which did not seem beach like at all.

Chaz let us in and we climbed the stairs to his abode. Chaz brother and my former roommate William was there as was Chaz and William’s old friend Andy & their schoolmate Annemarie. I’ve known Andy for about 25 years so I guess he’s my old friend too. We all settled in, eating bowls of vegetarian chili as well as other foodstuffs covering Chaz kitchen table. It was all very adult as other guests arrived, faces seen maybe once a year at Chaz’ parties. We sit, we talk, and we drink. It’s all quite civilized. No standing out on the patio for ciggies this time around, I would have been the only smoker anyhow.

I reconnected with some people I see once a year at Chaz’ soiree. One of them Mary Anne Mistretta has a blog and we had a fun talk. I added her to the blogroll. The talk was about how the last year was and it was pretty bleak for most everyone, though the Hoboken stories were the wettest and most harrowing.

After a few hours of having a good time, it was time to head home. We thought about walking back but we were all pretty much tuckered out so it was all about cabbage back to Hoboken. And it came soon enough, Rand and Lisa in the back, me riding in the front with the driver from Eastern Europe who didn’t seem to like anyone. Still he got us back to Hoboken safe and sound and without seat belts. Rand & Lisa and I got out near my house, which is also near their house. Hugs and kisses and they were on their way and I was on mine.

Saturday Night Live was a repeat and a good one at that, Louis CK was the host and it was pretty funny again. After that I went to bed, Bill was asleep in Atlantic City once again. Surprisingly I slept OK, waking up with Bill getting into bed when he returned. I farted around, not doing much of anything. My friend Lois asked me if I wanted to go to Guitar Bar with her and so I did. It was good to get out and interact with Lois and the day was nice enough to go out and enjoy it.

Lois dropped off her ukulele to have a pick up installed on it and then she tried some other acoustic guitars while I took some pictures. Then it was hopping into various shops so Lois could get whatever it was she needed to get. Finally it was my turn and we walked to the supermarket which was crazy crowded and caused us to turn right around and head out empty handed. We went to another store nearby which wasn’t as cheap but affordable in terms of time and lacking in frustration.

That was it. Lois went home and I went home where I found Bill getting ready to go out. I just situated myself and helped Bill get himself together. Then I just watched TV and surfed the net for the rest of the day. Ho hum indeed but it was worth it.

Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.

Lois and a guitar she really, really liked.

Cracked Actor

I Saw Him Standing There

Been a bit under the weather the past 24 hours. Mostly congestion right behind my left eye leading me to believe that it’s an allergy. Like a mote of dust flew up my nose and is just bouncing around tickling and turning on the faucet. I slept fine, no problems then it seemed, but as today went on I would feel considerably congested. I don’t feel achy or fatigued – just ‘meh’. I did not do much of anything. Slept in, slept right through Bill kissing me goodbye and saying something to me and I grumbled something in return, perhaps a request to simply let me sleep.

There was interaction with people, a visit to the bibliothèque. They’re closed from 5PM today until Wednesday and I had a DVD on hold for me that I needed to get. I think I have a nice selection of DVD’s should things get dire with what’s on TV and all. I have Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Get Low, A Colbert Christmas and The Shop Around the Corner.

I saw part of The Shop Around the Corner a week or so ago and found it charming. I’d never seen it before you see. I do know, You Got Mail is based on it, but I never saw that. Just some trivia attached. I have seen A Colbert Christmas before and it’s funny and great and features John Legend dressed as a park ranger and he’s not really my type but…

Last night after posting I received a text from Lois. She was at Maxwell’s and ran into my friend Karyn Kuhl and her girlfriend Christina. Lois wanted me to go out and initially I begged off, saying my head was stuffed like a cabbage. But once I sent that, I decided that maybe going out for a pint wouldn’t be such a bad thing, so I texted once again and said I would be on my way.

I got myself together and headed out, I saw RoDa as soon as I walked in and there was Lois by the bar. I talked to Ro da for a few minutes before stepping over to Lois. A welcoming pint of Guinness from RoDa and a holiday toast to Ro Da and Lois. Quick catching up and quite a few people I knew walking around. I ran into Brian who lives in Saddle Brook. It had been probably over 10 years since I last saw him. He’s still a sweet guy and will talk your ear off.

Lois wanted to hear some dish and I had a few choice morsels to tell her about various people that were fluttering about including a certain artist bloke who was celebrating his birthday with garlands draped around his shoulders. Also told a story about the local coffee maven who surprisingly despite my distaste for her, actually sounded alright when she sang.

There was also dish from Lois involving some people we used to know. Hearing the news I told Lois I was glad Mary Bailey wasn’t going to be a spinster librarian anytime soon. Yes its code, just for the sake that the subject might be reading this or hearing the podcast.

I saw Jon and Deena and though I was having a good time and had a few pints under my belt, I wasn’t feeling 100% and my spirits were flagging at that point. I stayed long enough to see Karyn Kuhl do a couple of songs, but after that I had to go home. My mind was telling me it was 1:00AM but it was actually 10:30 when Lois and I left, and after a quick chat with Ro Da outside on 11th Street, I walked Lois home.

And no, there isn’t a podcast. Perhaps there should be.
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The wonderful Karyn Kuhl

The wonderful Karyn Kuhl

No Fine Lines

I Like It Like That- Pete Rodriguez

I had difficulty sometimes knowing what day of the week it was while I was working retail with an erratic schedule. Now being out of work, all semblance of organized time has been thrown out the window. Well actually not 100% true. I can tell by the fewer amounts of people on the street or more often what is on TV. Nurse Jackie, The Big C and Mad Men were on last night so that makes it Sunday, dunnit? I wrote the first two lines last night and the rest just a few minutes ago. It’s been a lazy day after a night of some not very good sleep.

Looking at Saturday night’s entry, wow. I was quite drunk. Each word was a struggle and the fact that I was able to do it, albeit badly, has to say something. Not one of my best and better off ignored. I did have a good time and once I settled in at home I soon sobered up and eventually went to sleep. Waking up wasn’t so bad on Sunday. I slept in later than I expected, just as Bill was going to bed after returning from yet another drive to Atlantic City.

It was a fairly busy day, but each time I decided to go out and play the guitar by the river, (not actually busking since I am too intimidated to have an open guitar case in front of me) it looked like the skies were about to open up. And it did rain hard a couple of times. After an hour or two of that and with seeing the sun come out, I headed to the river and just played whatever songs I could figure out from memory. That meant Shame Shame Shame, All My Loving, Please Please Me, Kansas City/For You Blue and a variation of Take Me to the River.

Rand was practicing with Lois, the three of us will be playing together next Sunday as part of the Sounds of Hoboken thing. I had hoped to be playing around where I was strumming yesterday, but it seems we will be at the mews uptown around 14th Street. I think I am going on around 3:15 with Rand. Rand is also performing with Lois as Trombolele, and then Lois doing something called ‘Stump Granny’ where the object is to stump Granny (Lois) with song requests and win prizes or something.

I walked over to the river and set myself up and di what I did. The skies did ipen up and I was under a tree so I had some shelter. I also looked around for something better than some leaves on a tree, but after walking around to nowhere in particular I realized that my original spot was the best so I went back, opened an umbrella and waited it out for a few minutes. And I was right, the storm passed, leaving a rainbow over Manhattan. I could see about two thirds of the actual arc and a few minutes after that, a second rainbow appeared.

It was a nice sight to see and I played my guitar, wishing I knew the chords to She’s A Rainbow by the Rolling Stones. After an hour of strumming it was time to go home since darker clouds were gathering in the west.

I came home, Bill was off to a wedding that I was supposed to attend, but I requested the time off from the cigar shack and the RSVP was needed by a certain date which had passed by the time of my dismissal. So Bill took his dear friend Theresa who needed to go out and have a good time more than I did. They had a good time and sent me a nice video from the reception where they told me that they loved me and they were having a great time indeed.

It’s getting better all the time.

04 Getting Better

I Heard It Through The Grapevine The Slits

Yes it was back to work for me today, after 2 days off. Saturday was spent doing laundry and strolling around Hoboken. No corned beef and cabbage for me. I never had it and don’t recall my mother making it. Maybe she did and I just never ate it, which is odd since my mother was not running a diner and you ate was put in front of you.

So like I wrote, I went to Maxwells. I had a pint in the apartment before I left and was soon on my way to have a pint with my dear friend Lois. Bill was driving to Atlantic City so I went solo. No iPod so I listened to the sounds of the streets, a very John Cage thing to do. I was not impressed with what I heard but maybe the whole thing is about not passing judgement.

Lois was there with a bag of socks for me. She’s been hanging onto them for a few months and our schedules finally coincided enough that Saturday was the night. She also had some women’s socks and tights which she gave to our lovely bartender. She was a cutie and quite nice.

Lois had about 2 pints and a plate of artichoke hearts. I had about 5 or 6 pints and felt fine. Spoke with Bill once he got to Atlantic City. Took the call on the sidewalk so I could have a quick smoke away from the noise inside. I didn’t recall it being so loud when I worked at Maxwells in the last century, but then again they did not have Bose speakers above the bar.

Much time was spent asking each other to repeat what was just said. Lois is great though, so creative and very supportive of other artists and musicians. She loves my photographs, how I seem to see things that other people just don’t see. She did confess that she doesn’t read this here blog that often which was perfectly alright by me.

After the pints and the gossip and talking about our respective mates, I walked Lois home with a paper bag and a dozen socks. Some water and a quick check of email once I got upp the four flights of stairs before I turned in.

The next morning, some more water to tend to my headache. I didn’t feel drunk, just politely buzzed but it was enough to remind me why I don’t really drink these days. The next day is so wasted.

Bill was home and quite energetic. He went to the gym as I licked my wounds. I did make it out and went to the store. I almost talked myself out of it but persevered. Once I was home I merely watched the TV until Bill returned. I did not feel like cooking and instead ordered in from Johnny Rockets. I had a hankering for a big ol’ greasy burger and they delivered.

Now it’s a day later. It was a weird day at work. I did resent Thomas asking me to switch days with him in a few weeks. It certainly could have waited until today but hearing it on Friday planted a seed that started to sprout in the back of my mind all weekend.

And it was not so busy but the store did alright I guess. Zack was back in the game contacting his deep pocketed clients. My clients wear speedos it seems. I did post the blog for the store once again. I usually write on Thursdays and Saturdays but since I was out on Saturday, I wasn’t about to write for the cigar shack.

I saw Mike Cecchini on the way home, he was strolling the avenues with his lovely girlfriend Sarah. That was nice and brief. They invited me to join them but I wanted to be home with Bill.

Trayvon Martin

01 If I Didn’t Care

01 If I Didn’t Care

I Heard It Through The Grapevine Creedence Clearwater Revival

A happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. It’s a Saturday this year and the weather was most cooperative. I’ve been through St. Patrick’s Day in the cold, in the rain, but today was very agreeable. Not pleasant enough to motivate me to head into the city to see the parade. Those days are long gone. No more hoping on a NJ Transit bus with my brother Brian, or with Paul Hanley who I went to high school with for two years.

No, today was spent in Hoboken. I slept enough and woke up, made some coffee and showered. Bill came home a little after that, Kelly green tam-o-shanter and an Ireland scarf with one of my green ties. He looked so cute and so tired. Almost immediately Bill was in bed, sleep apnea mask in place and sleeping soundly, as soon as his head hits the pillow.

I did some laundry and posted a slew of Irish musicians on YouTube to my Facebook page. Boomtown Rats, Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy, the Undertones, the Pogues, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, stuff like that. The Kate & Anna McGarrigle was also for my sister who had gone to Mendocino last weekend.

I also posted John & Yoko singing the Luck of the Irish on the Mike Douglas Show and Macca’s Give Ireland Back to the Irish. I don’t think George or Ringo had any Irish/Ireland themed songs. And I threw in Public Image Limited, Rise. The line May the Road Rise with You is the chorus lifted from an old Irish blessing which we have here hanging on the wall of our apartment.

Bill slept and after the laundry died I was out and about. A trip to the dry cleaners and then the bibliothèque where I picked up a book of Kurt Vonnegut from American Classics. I never read Kurt Vonnegut before but I had seen him enough times when I used to drive for HBJ and he was living on 48th Street.

And he was also one of the speakers at the Evening of American Satire that Bill and I attended in 2005 at the Society for Ethical Culture. He is the reason I eschew semi-colons. And it was soon after that evening that I decided to start this hear blog. So perhaps blame could be laid at the feet of Kurt Vonnegut. Or Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins, Paul Krassner or the more than likely culprit from that satirical rogues gallery, Lewis Lapham.

While walking around Hoboken I did run into my friend Lois who was returning from the veterinarian with her cat. She looked great with her new pair of glasses which are similar to mine. She has some socks for me from a job she worked on and we made plans to meet up for a pint at Maxwells later on.

She mentioned that Maxwells was hosting a Shamrock & Roll karaoke in the back room, which is free and seemed most interested in going to that. That wasn’t in my plans but after a pint or two who knows?

♫ when Puerto Rican eyes are smiling ♪

07 Nothing Happened Today

I Hear A Symphony

I slept really well last night despite the fact that Bill was not in bed next to me. I don’t usually sleep that well when he is away but I guess since I did not sleep that well the night before, my body made up for it. My good friend Lois was working retail in Hoboken today and had a quandary as to what to play while she was working.

I asked if she had an iPod but she didn’t. On the way to the bus stop this morning I figured that since I have an extra iPod I would lend her the extra. I was listening to Hot Chip as I waited in the sun across the street from the bus stop. I decided to make a playlist from one of the tracks when all of a sudden my iPod up and died. Or actually went into a coma.

Being in the sun I couldn’t read the message on the device. I tried to reset it a few times to no avail and did not look forward to the music choices that Bradley or Thomas might present. I know they’re good guys and generally have good taste in music but I used to be a DJ and I guess I like to control the music at the cigar shack.

I think my co-workers recognize that if I can pick the music then I am happy and I think they like to make me happy. Or maybe it’s simply a case of ‘letting the baby have it’s bottle’.

No iPod meant I had to listen to people on the bus, in the bus terminal and in the street as I walked to the cigar shack. I was determined though, to find out whether or not I could reset the iPod once I had access to a computer. As luck would have it as soon as I plugged the iPod in the AC outlet it came back to life. Who knows? Maybe when I unplug it it will go back to being Karen Ann Quinlan.

The day at the cigar shack was slow enough for me to write another blog entry for the cigar shack. http://cigarshackasaurus.com It was an easy write as it usually is. Just show me what to write and I will write it Wow 13 minutes left. I just sold a lime green pen case to a woman named Lynn somewhere in Michigan. Poor thing sounded like she had a behemoth of a head cold.

I just want to go home now. Thomas kicked ass all day, definitely getting the lion’s share and then some in sales. I came in second, happy to have put Bradley in third place. Now the Feelies are playing and I can hear the great Stan Demeski on drums loud and clear. Dave Weckerman’s percussion too.

Crazy wiring on the speakers here. I can here the percussion and drum and the bass and guitar sound far away. On the whole, I’d rather be in Haledon. Not really. First we’ll take Hoboken.

The iPod did work on the bus ride home and I listened to Another Day on Earth by Brian Eno. I don’t think I had heard it on the iPod with the ear buds in but it really is a beautiful piece of work. Jeez I love that Eno so much, I even downloaded an app for Oblique Strategies. I’m pretty sure it’s not official but it’s light hearted entertainment, all the same.

Tomorrow is Sunday so that means I won’t be writing. Why don’t you do some writing? Perhaps leave a comment here, or write your own blog.

01 This

I Feel Better

This morning I saw Donald Faison (Turk from Scrubs) and Wayne Knight (Newman!) walking together and the guy who played Carmela’s father on the Sopranos as well as Kelly the woman who maintained the flora when I worked at Staffmark.

I got a big kick after seeing Kelly. We cross paths intermittently in Manhattan throughout the years. She looked good, had some dental work done. She’s a sweetheart. She always pops up when and where she is least expected. It was a very long day for me at the cigar shack, 11 hours.

It was rough but bearable. Zack was in and he opened with Jerry Vale. I was in next at 11:30 followed by Thomas coming in at 12:30. Zack and Jerry Vale were in good spirits, Thomas and I- not so much. I was not into working the very long shift but there I was rolling up my sleeves.

It was quite a busy day at the cigar shack, I sold a few expensive pens as well as a humidor and Thomas did the same but despite all that neither of us could catch up with Zack and Jerry Vale, which could account for the very good moods they were in.

The man cave was occupied most of the day, including a certain subset that was there from opening until a half an hour before the man cave was closed. Then the subset went across town to yet another cigar shack. It was enough for Zack to call them sad.

Bill of course was great throughout the day. Always supportive, he is a fantastic spouse. A few phone calls filled with laughter and love filled the lines as the day progressed. Now he sits behind me with his headphones on trying to figure out a horn part from Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Wish’ which he and Tom and Kirk and a bass player (hopefully) will be playing at Bill’s company holiday party.

I love writing ‘holiday party’, it’s so much more inclusive rather than drab old ‘Christmas party’ which is so old hat. At the end of the day at the cigar shack I apologized to Thomas for being a pain in the ass and he responded by apologizing for being such a bitch. It’s nice that we can make amends before the day ends. He’s a good man that Thomas.

Thomas closed the cigar shack and I made my way to the subway where a train pulled up within a minute of my arrival. Crediting that to some karmic retribution I rode to the bus terminal and climbed four flights of stairs. Upon getting to the upper level I saw a very long line which did not seem promising.

I saw my old friend Lois on line and gave her a kiss as I passed. She was awfully kind telling me I looked beautiful which was a nice way to end the work day. I did not cut in line and took my place at the end of the line. Soon I saw Denise Foster, another sweetheart from my past. I said hello to her and she stood next to me as the line started moving.

I was surprised that there was enough room for me and Denise and let Denise sit down near Lois where I introduced them to each other. Lois started to stand up to let me sit, but I wouldn’t have it. Besides being an artist I am also a gentleman.

I stood in the well of the rear exit and each time the bus stopped I had to get off and let people disembark. Soon I started acting like a stewardess, thanking them for riding New Jersey Transit and saying ‘buh bye’.

That got a few laughs from Lois, Denise and some of the other passengers. A nice end to a hectic day.


02 Come Down In Time

Rest in peace, George ‘Jet’ Watley, Alphonso Portillo, John Iserra and others who have fallen.

I Don’t Want To Be A Bride

Yes yesterday was a day off and yes it was good. I slept in of course, and got up an hour later since I changed every clock except for the alarm clock which is probably the most important clock to set. It didn’t matter much since I figured out what had happened or did not happen and went back to sleep for another hour.

Still I was up earlier than I anticipated and proceeded to get my day started. A trip to the supermarket and soon I was home having breakfast and reading the papers. Bill was driving a bus for the first time in two months.

A trip to Nanuet then to Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem and finally a ride to see Sister Act on Broadway. Yesterday was the Artists Studio Tour in Hoboken and I had arranged to take off and attend, to visit some good friends.

I walked up to Maxwells where Rand and Lisa were hosting the Kirby Enthusiasm event. Chaz Charas was there so it was good to see all three. Not much of a turn out while I was there I’m afraid. Mike Cecchini arrived to relieve Rand and Lisa who were off to the Biergarten in Hoboken. I made tentative plans to meet up with Mike tomorrow on my day off again.

From Maxwells I went to Neumann Leather where Tim Daly was working and his wife Sheilah Scully was there too. Some catching up with them and a visit to other artists in the building. A phone call to Annemarie then a walk to the first building I lived in at 201 Madison Street where I saw Hiro Takeshita. He was a bit under the weather so I did not stay long.

A short break at home to upload photos I had taken and then I was out again, this time to the Monroe Art Center where Lois was performing and my neighbor Deborah was supposed to be singing. But Monroe Art Center is a big old industrial building and it’s very easy to get lost in there.

I wound up hanging out with Lois and she played the violin and I played some guitar and a little bit of piano. I said my goodbyes after about an hour and walked on home to a nice dinner. Then it was watching TV and surfing the net. Bill expected to be home around 11:00 but was home at 9:00 in time to watch Boardwalk Empire.

Then he went to sleep and I stayed up for a few hours more, watching Pan Am and then the news and then a documentary on A Tribe Called Quest. I haven’t finsihed it yet and I understand Q-Tip did not want to have anything to to do with the finished result.

I don’t see why since he comes off as quite intelligent and reasonable. Phife Dog, not so much but Ali Shaheed Mohammed is crazy cute. I intend to finish watching it tonight when I get home.

And now I am home, poor Bill. My baby is so exhausted. He never rests. And after a few weeks of that he crashes hard. And that is what he is doing right now. A day off for me tomorrow which is nice. I’m looking forward to it. And today wasn’t so bad.

I Beg of You

It’s been a soggy Friday. Still it’s a day off and I’m happy about that. I finally started getting into the New Yorker. And specifically an article about asteroids hitting the earth. How that was what probably killed off the dinosaurs and how it’s likely to happen again.

That started bumming me out and for a quick second I looked out the window to see if any asteroids were headed to Hoboken. I would probably do a Wile E. Coyote thing and pull down the shade and hope for the best.

And if I’ve learned anything from movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the catastrophic event would be known for some time. When you think about it and look at the fact that it probably happened again, the world caught fire from the asteroid crashing into the Yucatan peninsula, it really throws the concept of religion out the window.

All religion actually. Oh the universe is such a cold, heartless place. It doesn’t matter how evolved you are, if and when it happens we’re all going together. This can be a nice thing. I didn’t even finish the article, it was way too heavy. Great drawing by Jaime Hernandez which is what drew my eye in depth.

Last night was quite pleasant and a surprise to some that I had actually gone out and socialized. It was a nice enough walk up to Maxwells, listening to Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Do It Yourself and enjoying a cigar as I strolled up Hudson Street.

It was a nice enough evening and I walked in and saw Rand at the bar, talking to a woman named Stacy. I ordered a pint to no one’s surprise and Rand ordered one for himself. Lisa showed up and had a Mojito and then Lois arrived and had a red wine. Throughout all this RoDa was wandering around being the manager of Maxwells for the night.

I mentioned a concept I had to Rand & Lisa as well as Lois and they all liked it, but had no idea on how the next step should go. A few minutes later I’m out on the sidewalk having a smoke with RoDa and I tell him about the concept (not writing about it here) and he is most enthusiastic.

We agree to be partners on this with a handshake and a hug, which with no notary public available, a hug will sometimes suffice depending on what county of New Jersey you might be in as well as what voting district.

I dominated the jukebox inside as we all sat and drank. Scott Harbison made a cameo appearance looking for Todd or Dave about some work, then leaving after finishing a ginger ale. After a few pints and many laughs it was time for me to go.

Actually Lois started making her move and I asked her to wait and I would leave with her. That’s all it took for Rand & Lisa to join us, leaving RoDa to pilot the ship solo. I was home by 11:00, a little wobbly on the way.

I was home before Bill who when he did arrive told me he was feeling ill and was very quickly out in bed. I stayed up watching Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall. And today I woke up to rain. Cut short my plan of maybe heading into the city and checking out some art galleries.

But doing it alone and in the rain didn’t seem too appealing. So I stayed local, a trip to Burlington Coat Factory was about it. Just a grey, grey day.

I Have Been in You

Well this is different. It’s a Sunday and I am writing but not about Sunday. About Saturday actually. I planned to write last night, but was sidetracked by Rand’s requests that I join him and Lisa for a drink. He wasn’t taking no for an answer.

I mentioned money and the lack thereof, the need to eat something before eating and he responded that he would pick up the tab. I mentioned the need to write, and the fact that I had to deal with people all day and the thought of hanging out, not so much with my friends, but surrounded by people didn’t appeal to me.

With a final : ) Good night, the guilt was cast and I decided to make an appearance at least. But that was the end of a day filled with oddness.

I rode the bus in as I usually do and since it was a Saturday I walked from the bus terminal to the cigar shop. Stopped in a deli and got an egg sandwich. Made it to the shop early enough to enjoy the egg sandwich and started work soon after that.

It’s a holiday weekend and it did not promise to be busy. Harpy stopped by for a few minutes to my surprise. It was good to see him and I introduced him to Raymond and Sean. Don Birch met him earlier when Harpy came in before I arrived, telling him that I would be in by 11:30.

After about 2 hours we received word that we will have to evacuate the building. A suspicious package was found outside the building. Raymond, Don Birch and Sean got the 2 regulars who were in the back room and got them out.

I locked up the store and we went outside. Hundreds of customers from the nearby stores and the employees were gathered out in the street, and Raymond, Don Birch, Sean and I stood and proceeded to light up.

It turned out the suspicious package was just an empty box and we were allowed to go back in. A few members of the security team came by to thank us for cooperating with the evacuation, one of them telling me that the box was directly on the other side of the wall, which meant if it was an actual bomb we would have been blown to bits.

That was slightly unnerving.

About an hour later I went out to lunch where I found it was quite smoky outside. Most people on the street were looking westward so I did too. I could bare see buildings a block a few blocks away. Sirens going off in the distance.

I made my way to my usual bench by the park and called up Bill who had just gotten home a few hours before. Unfortunately I woke him up from his nap. I asked him if there was anything on the TV but there wasn’t, but he could see the smoke from the bedroom window in Hoboken.

He told me he would call if he heard anything and I went back to reading Mojo magazine. Bill texted a little while later telling me that it was a fire at the New York City Sanitation building by the river. It seemed to be under control as I headed back to the cigar shop.

It wasn’t that busy like I mentioned earlier. Raymond, Don Birch and Sean all did their best to get along without the usual sniping and ball busting that occurs. Don Birch left early leaving the three of us to manage the store for a very long two and a half hours.

I’ve certainly gotten better at closing the store, now taking me about 10 minutes to do the task. I was soon out on the street headed to the bus terminal listening to the Dame’s Station to Station, Golden Years and half of TVC 15, making the hike in about 17 minutes give or take a few seconds.

As I approached the gate I think I saw Abby, the thorn in my side from a few years ago. He fancied himself an Asian Indian playboy, leasing flashy cars, now downgraded to being kicked off the bus since he and his girlfriend did not have tickets and thought they could pay cash, which you can’t do anymore.

I got off the bus at 12th Street and headed towards Maxwells. I expected Rand & Lisa to be on their way but there they were, with Lois by the jukebox. Quite crowded for a sold out show in the back and the look on my face probably registered uncomfortableness as well as being tired.

Lisa gave up the seat she had stolen at the bar and I sat for a Guinness. I thought about eating when I saw a bar pie go by. I saw the guy next to me at the bar eating a pizza and asked him how it was, since I was thinking about ordering one.

He turned and told me that he was enjoying it, but had his fill and offered me the rest of his plate, about 3 slices. How could I resist? I said yes and he slid the plate over. I, in turn offered to buy him a beer which he gladly accepted and which Rand would not allow me to pay for.

Many laughs ensued after that, the gent next to me headed into the back to see the show. Todd stopped by and shook my hand, thanking me for the thank you note I sent. He was happily hectic dealing with the crowd.

I stepped out for a quick smoke, having a mini cigar which I put out before I went in earlier. I talked to Ken the big bouncer outside and wound up giving him the very nice cigar in my pocket. We talked last week about cigars and since I had this freebie I figured I would give it to him.

He was grateful and I headed back in for more pints and laughs. I also threw some money in the jukebox, thinking that if we were going to listen to loud music it might as well be music that we all knew and liked.

Played Jump in the Fire by Nilsson for Lois as well as Wrong ‘Em Boyo by the Clash. Rand remarked at how London Calling was considered so punk and daring when it came out 30 years ago (!) and now today it sounds like a simple rock and roll record.

We soon got the bill which Rand picked up, generously tipping the bartenders, both named Heather. Said good night to Ken the big bouncer as we left and crossed the street against the light.

There was a bloke at the corner waiting for the light to change and he eventually passed us on the sidewalk, telling us that he was Canadian, which was why he waited for the light to change. We promptly joked with him, gently mocking the Canadians, saying ‘eh’ a lot.

His name was Seth and we all introduced ourselves, me saying my name was Pierre Trudeau and pointing to Rand and introducing him as my wife Margaret. He was only in town for a few more days he explained as we parted ways.

We walked Lois home and then saw a guy pissing outside of an apartment building while his girlfriend stood watch. He was mocked by us for his absolute rudeness. A nice parting of ways by Rand and Lisa and myself, me coming home around 1:15.

Too tired, and a little drunk to write, so I decided to do it today which by now, I have done. Off today, back to work tomorrow. Most every other store is closed for the Labor Day holiday, but not the cigar shop.

Lois, a Heather, Rand & me. Photo by Lisa

Crazy Water

Just got home from spending a few hours with Bill in Manhattan. It doesn’t happen as often as you might think. Bill and I volunteered to be part of a photo shoot for Pride magazine’s article on interracial gay couples and today was the date.

Bill was in the city already rehearsing for his play and I wound up taking the train in around 3:00 this afternoon. I did know what to wear so I followed Bill’s suggestion to don a suit & tie.

Don’t have to tell me twice.

Rode the train into the city, getting off on 23rd Street. Seemed like a long time since I’ve ridden the train on a weekend, when the Jersey City and Hoboken trains are combined making it a bit crowded. Still it wasn’t so bad.

I walked over to Madison Square park and sat and waited for Bill. Chatted for a bit with Annemarie on the phone, part of the weekend phone calls. Bill arrived and we walked over to 88 Lexington Avenue where the photo shoot was.

Got to the 15th floor but no one was responding to the knocking on the door. The door was unlocked and we walked in. The type of Lawn Hors d’œuvre scenario, bodies on the floor and what have you. But it wasn’t like that at all.

Joe Jervis of JoeMyGod greeted us. He arranged the whole thing. He introduced us to Warren and Marius, the director and photographer respectively. It turns out our timing was perfect since some previous couples did not show up or canceled.

Of course our timing was perfect, we were on time, we’re not your average gay people. A few pictures of Bill & I together, followed by separate shots of Bill and finally myself. The whole thing was over in about 20 minutes.

Quite painless. It was a fun time. The issue should be out next month and we hope to have some copies to share to the ones we know and love. We also invited Joe, Warren and Marius to the party in July.

Bill and I were back on the street where we both enjoyed our cigars. Bill had a plan to head over to Arthur’s for dinner, but I had the idea to use a gift card that I got a few years ago for a restaurant group in Manhattan.

The restaurant is part of the Madison Square Garden complex and we walked over there from Lexington Avenue. We were a little early for dinner so we wound up sitting in a concrete plaza across the street.

We killed about 20 minutes before heading in. I had the hostess check my gift card to see if it was still valid. I knew that it was since last time I check I was told they never expire. We sat down, ordered some Guinness, had a salad.

I ordered Filet Mignon and Bill had a T Bone steak. It was a good time. In a restaurant of maybe 100 tables there were only 5 occupied and Bill and I were the youngest patrons, not that it mattered.

We had chocolate mousse cake which was OK. Arthur’s has better chocolate mousse cake, we agreed. The time came for the bill and it was reasonable.

Arthur’s would have been cheaper but this was a special thing. With a 20% tip the gift card was all used up which was fine by me. The waitress came up and I explained that she can put it all on the gift card, her tip included. I thought that was fine, she was fairly attentive.

But whatever cheeriness she had before then totally dissipated when I gave her the gift card. Was I wrong to include her tip in the gift card? I didn’t think so. Did we commit a faux pas?

It was off-putting to say the least and even Bill noticed the change in her demeanor. Needless to say, we never saw her again. The hostess and staff were cheerful enough but that waitress left us with a weird feeling.

Of course we’re not going to let her ruin our otherwise perfectly nice day.

Now we are home. We were invited to a party, or rather our friend Lois was invited to a party and we’re thinking about going, but Bill is napping. If he’s up for it, we can make an appearance, that is when Lois gives us a heads up on the party. We’ll see.

Other than that, we’re content to stay home which is really no surprise to anyone who reads this or the Bala Cynwyd Penny Saver daily.

Just heard from Lois. ‘Heavy Metal. Low Key. Drinking.’ I respond, “Heavy metal too heavy for us. Have fun!”
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 003
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 005
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 009
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 011
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 008
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 015
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 012
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 021
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 024
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 018
5.8.10 Bill JOT NYC 020
Just a couple of gay geezers.

This is Marius’ link
We’re in good company.

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

3.28.10 Pecong vs Shakepeare reading 003
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.


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, Steve H, Lois

Rand, Steve H, Lois

Twelfth Night readers

Twelfth Night readers

Sir Toby

Sir Toby

Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew

The Weight

What’s with the early posts? Actually, these aren’t early posts. They’re written earlier but sometimes, like last night, posted later. Tonight since I am meeting up with Lois DiLivio and going to see Inglourious Basterds I thought I would get an early start.

Last night I came home, Bill was awfully quiet. Beating himself up for not getting the part that he auditioned for. I chalk it up to nerves, but it’s not my blackboard and not my chalk. It wasn’t easy sitting a few feet away from him and I guess it wasn’t easy sitting a few feet away from me, which is why he went into another room and shut the door.

I only wanted to help bolster his flagging spirits and end his self-flagellation. But he wasn’t into it and you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. He went to bed early enough and I stayed up until midway through Craig Ferguson.

He was up and out before me of course, off to work for our Bill. He gave me a nice kiss so I guess he is on the mend. I didn’t speak to him after that until he gave me a call around noon, telling me that he wanted to hear the sound of my voice and that he loved me.

So he’s progressing and perhaps learning from his mistakes. Before Bill called, I got a phone call from my brother frank, who had 2 words to say to me. Not, ‘drop dead’ nor ‘bad mood?’ but rather ‘I’m sorry’. I don’t know where that came from, prompting from Elaine? His shrink? Or perhaps he read what I had written the other day.

I, of course accepted his apology and that was that.

It’s been quite a humid day this day of Equinox, 12 hours of day, 12 hours of night. Perhaps the equinox helped Frank and Bill out or perhaps they worked it out for themselves. It’s quite humid here, the first full day of Autumn.

No haircuts today since barbers are closed on Wednesday. I asked about that a few years ago with Tony, my barber. He said all barbers close on Wednesday. I told him growing up in Lodi, the barber was closed on Monday. That sounded like crazy talk to him and it didn’t go much further than that. My hair is manageable though and no need to fret about it.

My old work neighborhood is under lock down again due to the UN Security Council holding their meetings. The President is staying at the Waldorf Astoria which is right around the block from my old office.

That would have been a thrill but since I’m not there anymore, not so much. Lot’s of protesters around so while I sit in Hoboken thinking that’s it’s quite exciting to be there, if I was there I’d more than likely be complaining what a pain in the ass it is to get around with the lock downs and restrictions.

That’s about it for now, it’s 4:27PM. Maybe I’ll write about the movie and spending time with Lois when I get back tonight. Inglourious Basterds was all that and a bag of chip. Entertaining revenge movie. More about it tomorrow, it’s late, I’m tired and it’s hummus out and it’s 10:47PM..

Banzai Pipeline

Well today is Tuesday. Nothing much happening today, the potential job I had for Greg Stevens fell through. Still I was handed a nice $20.00 bill for my services yesterday.

Today was a beautiful day. Now all the kids are in school, but still the stroller set roam, free range style throughout Hoboken.

No need to head into the city so I didn’t go. Last night came home in time to catch the first episode of the Jay Leno show and to my surprise is wasn’t that bad. Sure there is no edge to his comedy and I do like edgy comedy, but I did chuckle at one or two bits.

The now more than ever, infamous Kanye West was on with Jay Z and Rhianna, before that Jay had him out for a conversation about his being an asshole at the previous night’s MTV awards.

He got choked up when Leno asked him how he thought his mother would react to his behavior of bum rushing the stage and stealing Taylor Swift’s time. I didn’t see the show but I did see the clip and found myself so far removed from this modern day pop scene that I really didn’t care.

I don’t know most of the songs these days. In fact last week was the first time I actually heard Rhianna’s Umbrella and that song is two years old. I heard it twice in one day.

I heard from Juan yesterday asking if I would be around today. I told him then that I wasn’t sure but sent a text last night saying that I would be free. We spoke today and he said he was heading up and wanted to hang out.

I was hoping he would be up this afternoon but here it is 8:00 and no sign nor word from him. It’s OK, I didn’t sit around the apartment waiting for him. I walked over to the river and read for a bit. Nice day for it.

Also looked into some Karaoke places to go to for what I guess might be for Rand’s birthday. There is a place, Pulse on west 41st near the bus terminal that I passed by many times. I sent a link for that place to Rand, Lois and Bill.

And I contacted former co-worker Janelle who suggested Sing Sing on St Marks Place and Chorus on west 23rd St in Korea-town. It all depends on how many people want to go basically. The more people coming, the less costly it will be for all concerned.

I know Bill would love as will Lois, Rand & Lisa. I would like to give it a go, try out my Boz Scaggs number. I think I could do it. I still don’t know the rules of Karaoke, are you supposed to sing just like the song or do a radical deconstruction?

Leave people in awe, or leave them laughing. And if they laugh, will it be at you or with you? I suppose it remains to be seen. If you want to go, let me know.

I think the date is September 26 before Rand flies off to Florida.

Juan called, he’s visiting his mom and then heading over here.

Creeque Alley

Well I hope you are all having an enjoyable 4th of July. Independence Day. It’s been a lovely day here in the Hoboken area. Sun is shining brightly and there’s a nice breeze.

Some streets are closed in Hoboken since the fireworks will be on the Hudson River and the city of Hoboken is expecting huge crowds. At 8:00 it will be very difficult for cars to drive into Hoboken.

I don’t know how the other waterfront towns are dealing with it, but Hoboken does have it’s sometimes exaggerated self-importance.

I went for a ride today, solo. Rode into Manhattan and checked out Jenny Lewis who was opening for Conor Oberst. It was crowded but not like it was for the Feelies and Sonic Youth show last year.

I did see Meghan Taylor for a few minutes. She was in the guest area with her super girls, courtesy of Jim Mastro. I wasn’t on the list and didn’t want to lock up my bike. Jenny Lewis sounded good at some points in the park, I kept moving around and found the sound to be dodgy in some areas.

There was a hole in the fence which various hipsters were going through, but you had to have a 28” waist to get through.

I decided not to watch Conor Oberst and rode around downtown. It was fairly crowded with tourists on this holiday weekend. Caught the Path to Exchange Place in Jersey City and rode back into Hoboken from there.

Did about 15 miles all together. Last night I went up to McSwells where I met Eddie Narucki and his wife. Eddie used to work at McSwells back in the day.

Rand and Lisa showed up as well as Lois. Roda was managing the club. It was a good time, lot’s of laughs and a few rounds which we were only charged for one round. Quite nice. My brother Frank showed up with his friend Rusty as well.

Didn’t get a chance to talk with Frank much since he was often around people that wanted to talk to him and I was with people that wanted to talk to me.

I saw Guy Beard, former McSwells DJ who I never really got along with and his wife Zena whom I did get along with. She was friends with Arif Mardin’s family so that was why we got along so well. She’s a bubbly spirit when compared to Guy’s dour personality.

The night ended when it should have and I decided to walk home and enjoy a cigar. As I got to my building I noticed I didn’t have my keys.

I retraced my steps to McSwells, contacted Roda and asked if anyone turned any keys in. They didn’t. I came home and called Bill who was sleeping.

He let me in where I found my keys hanging on the hook where I always leave them. All I could do was laugh at that. Bill went to bed and I soon joined him there.

7.4.09 etc 001
7.4.09 etc 007

hipsters (sans hats)

hipsters (sans hats)

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7.4.09 etc 019
7.4.09 etc 020
Wild Turkey in Battery Park

Wild Turkey in Battery Park

Eight Miles High

Well today has been a lovely Sunday. Bright and sunny with only a few minutes of drizzle then it all went back to being sunny and gay. Well it’s always gay for me and maybe for some of you too.

Sorry about the late posting last night. Firefox has been misbehaving lately. Each time I would try to upload pics to the blog the Firefox browser would crash.

Over and over again.

Then I went out to meet up with Rand and Lois to discuss plans for their short film that might be shot over a weekend in a few weeks. I am game for it and told Lois that I would be willing to do just about anything she might want me to do.

It was a good meeting with laughs liberally applied. I’m not getting into any further for now. Don’t want to give anything away or offend any gentleman’s sensibilities though Clive Davis should be worried.

Some musical instruments were played with, a piano, a ukulele, a eastern European harp of some sort and a double necked bass & guitar as well as Lois’ Fender Squire which I liked. Lois asked if we were up for some drinks and Rand said yes and I said no. Then I thought about it and said why not?

It was off to DC’s Tavern on Eighth Street all the way in the back of Hoboken. Everyone’s friend Pat Longo DJ’s there sometimes and I can’t say I’ve ever made it to his spinning sessions. Finally making it there I wondered where does Pat Longo set up his turntables and whatnot.

It’s not that large a space and a lot smaller than I had imagined. It seems like DJ’s Tavern would really like to be a roadhouse. Streamers advertising Pabst Blue Ribbon were hanging underneath beer trays for Pabst as well as other beers.

I expected to see some Rhinegold, Ballentine’s and Schaffer beer trays hanging but didn’t see any from my angle. Cute bartender though, shaved head and inked which isn’t normally my style but any port in a storm. Alas, there was no storm though.

It was a good evening with more laughs with Rand and Lois who I’ve known since 1983. I definitely look forward to the filming of their filmic world. After a few pints of Guinness and some cocktails for Lois we headed out, I was able to light up a San Luis Rey Rothchilde for the walk home, with even more laughing with old friends.

When I got home I checked the blog and was surprised that what I had written a few hours previous wasn’t posted. I was able to figure out what happened wrong on that front and re-posted. Then I watched some rebroadcasts of Lost from the first season.

Posted the pictures this morning on Internet Explorer. As I am doing right now.

With the Guinness and walking around Manhattan in the afternoon with Bill I decided to head to bed with Bill sleeping quietly under his sleep apnea mask. He was up and about around 7:00 which was just wrong in my book. I finally got out of bed myself around 9:00 after Bill had headed off to collect his mother.

I made some coffee, showered and was soon out and about picking up newspapers and other weekend morning items. Saw Julio with Alexander from a distance as they were waiting for Stine and her family from Denmark. I was off to the supermarket so a wave would have to suffice.

It was a nice morning and I wound up playing selections from Woody Allen’s movies, which were mainly songs from the Big Band era. Bill and I watched a little bit of Peter Marshall on PBS hosting a pledge time Big Band special.

I knew most of the songs last night and with Bill’s Shazam application for his iPhone we were able to identify and tell the difference between Chick Webb and Harry James.

My sister Annemarie had burned the Woody Allen stuff a few years ago but they couldn’t be identified through Gracenote on iTunes since I think Annemarie had her son Earl do the CD burning. Too complicated for her and some fun for Earl since he threw everything out of order and it took me a couple of years to figure out what’s what.

It was too nice to stay in today so I walked over to the Hudson River and sat by the soccer pitch and read the New Yorker and enjoyed another San Luis Rey Rothchilde.

I’m still trying to get my brothers and sister on board for what could be Paul McCartney being the first concert at the new Mets stadium in Flushing in July. Right now it’s only a rumor, but it’s a fab rumor.

a brief approaching storm from the west of Hoboken

a brief approaching storm from the west of Hoboken

Radio Gaga

Friday afternoon

Friday afternoon

Just got back from another lovely day outside. Today was even nicer than yesterday. Clear skies, nice temperature. Almost perfect. Last night was mellow, Bill was off rehearsing with his church choir for a big thing on Sunday.

I watched TV, played some bass, some guitar. Watched on 20/20 an episode about Etan Patz who was abducted 30 years ago on his way to the bus stop in Soho. An unresolved story, which is still sad 30 years later.

I remember seeing his 6 year old face on the cover of the Daily News when it happened. Etan’s parents still live in the same loft on Prince Street, perhaps in a vain hope that Etan might return someday.

After that I watched Bill Maher which I thought was tedious. Bill came home when I switched over to the last Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Conan O’Brien was the guest with James Taylor coming out and singing Sweet Baby James, requested by Jay Leno.

Never really cared much for Leno and can’t say that I ever watched a complete episode of the Tonight Show when he was hosting. It was OK overall. I am looking forward to see how Conan holds up on Monday.

Bill stayed up watching Craig Ferguson and I went to bed. I slept in while Bill went off this morning to get the bagels and whatnot. Eventually I got myself together and made some breakfast for myself.

Julio stopped by to get his Frisbee since he and Stine and Alexander were going down the shore with Stine’s sister and her family who are visiting from Denmark.

It was brief visit. I was soon walking up and down the aisles in the supermarket, replenishing the juices that I bought the other day.

Cut back on drinking soda you see, and been I’ve drinking juice lately.

Bill and I had plans to make it into the city to see a friend of his performing at the Lincoln Center library. Nice ride into the city as well as a stroll up Eighth Avenue on a spring afternoon.

We ran into another friend of Bill’s (which sounds like an AA meeting) Jesse and after chatting with her outside the library we all headed in.

The performance was titled When She Was King- D.R.E.D. : Daring Reality Every Day. The artist was Mildred Dred Gerestant who performs as a drag king. Same premise as a drag queen only with the gender reversed. It was a lot of fun, and a few laughs.

Definitely not what I was expecting to say the least.

Bill directed Mildred in her everyday drag in a workshop reading. So that’s how they know each other. It really was an entertaining performance that I would check out again if the circumstances were permitting.

After that Bill and I walked up to Gray’s Papaya and got some hot dogs and headed into Central Park. We wandered over to the skate circle where the disco was in full bloom. Lot’s of the same people that were there 10 years ago are still there skating around in circles.

The DJ was quite good as Bill and I watched from on top of the rocks. There were a few bears opposite on Bear Hill, a few that were probably in the demonstration on Tuesday night. We didn’t stay too long and caught the 1 train from 72nd street to the Path train.

A nice evening walking back to the apartment. Twilight in Hoboken can be quite nice. Now I’m waiting to meet up with Rand and Lois to discuss something that Lois has planned.

I’m not going to get into it right now, but it promises to be a fun endeavor.

heading in...

heading in...

..the city

..the city

Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center

Mildred 'Dred' Gerestant

Mildred 'Dred' Gerestant

Central Parkers

Central Parkers


Let’s Go Away for Awhile

Well here I am over 24 hours after the last posting. What did I do? Where did I go? Well, after writing I walked from 50th street and Third Avenue to 12th Street and Fourth Avenue, enjoying a Padron and listening to a play list for the Farfetched finale. After 28 years, Farfetched has bit the dust. Not that Susan or Lois did anything wrong.

Lousy landlord wouldn’t renew their lease since there seems to be quite a demand for Goth shoes in the neighborhood. Well, we’ll see how that goes. Raccoon eyed customers with deep pockets always shop during economic downturns.

Even if the landlord did renew the lease it probably would have been a stressful year for Susan and Lois. They were clobbered for the holiday season and that’s their best time of year. So a whole year of that wouldn’t have done them well and they would possibly end the year with multiple ulcers.

I got to the store which was barren and sparsely decorated. Plenty of wine to accompany the six pack of Heineken’s I bought. $13.00 for a six pack is a bit much. I could get two six packs in Hoboken for the same price, but I was on the island of Manhattan where everything is imported. Lois, Susan and Harpy were in the store and we were anticipating a few guests.

We were fine with it being the four of us, but we welcomed the incoming well wishers. And that’s what they were, well wishers coming to wish Susan and Lois and quite possibly Harpy well. The night progressed, I’d say about 50 people were there at one point. Actually more like 25 as I was seeing double.

People came in from as far as Ohio to say goodbye. Bill even was there for a while, taking it all in as well as taking a few photos. I just drank and drank, my hand always having a green bottle in my hand. I had to replenish my supply and I went over to Third Avenue at Harpy’s suggestion and bout 2 six packs at $10.00 per, a slight improvement.

Jen, Me, Sharon, Jessica and Harpy (missing: Amy who left early)

Jen, Me, Sharon, Jessica and Harpy (missing: Amy who left early)



We were a festive crowd, even when Skeletor from the Halloween Adventure Store had the gall to stop by and collect the keys from Lois. After Skeletor left it seemed to be the proper time to throw many bags of shredded paper in the air creating a snowstorm of confetti a few inches deep.

Music was constantly played supplied by Harpy, myself and Sharon, another former employee. Susan’s sister Karen recited a poem, I mistook Susan’s other sister Linda to be a guy, as she’s quite a butch lesbian. Sharon, the distaff DJ was there with her husband Jocko who told me that he doesn’t use Facebook since he thinks it has a cult like mentality.

Perhaps he’s right. I’ve never been much of a joiner but I am enthralled by the Facebook and the connections it allows. Some hooliganism was underfoot during the party with the toilet getting backed up as a welcoming for the Goth shoe store.

That should have been done at the end of the party but someone (and it’s not me) thought otherwise. Some squatting in the basement occurred after that and that wasn’t me either. It was a happy/sad occasion over all.

I stumbled out a little after 12:30 after kissing Susan and Lois and Harpy. Plodded my way to 14th Street and Sixth Avenue to a crowded Path station. Had to ride uptown to get back to Hoboken and I found myself a corner seat, hat pulled down to my eyebrows and waited to get to Hoboken where I walked very fast towards home since I really had to pee.

In bed soon after that and tossed and turned all night. This morning I saw Julio and Stine with Superboy as they were headed out. I made breakfast, did some laundry, watching a movie called Human Traffic on DVD.

Obligatory picture of Alexander Lopez

Obligatory picture of Alexander Lopez

Pretty funny movie about a group of British youths doing ecstasy and partying for a weekend. Some very funny, very true things in the movie, though I still can’t figure out why I rented it.

After that, a much needed nap for about 3 hours and now I find myself in front of the computer again.

Other pics are posted in Facebook under my nom de blog, John Ozed
and some short vids on YouTube under johnotoole99 whomever that is…

Throw That Beat in the Garbage Can

Well here we are on a Saturday. Day of the dead or Dia de los Muertos for those playing at home. So far it’s been a good day which promises to be a good evening. Last night I did go out after all. Walked up to McSwells where Rand was dressed as a zombie cracker pimp and Lisa was his ho. Lois was dressed as a zombie cannibal Wall Streeter.

I of course didn’t have a costume. It took a lot for me to get out of the house. Bill had gone to be early and I was content to do nothing. Rand called and texted me, effectively cajoling me to go out. So I got my act together and headed out. It was a Friday night and walking up to McSwells I thought about how rarely it is that I go out.

I used to work at McSwells on Friday nights as a bar back so I didn’t really know how things were on the outside. Perhaps it was different then, but last night there were mobs of people in their Halloween costumes all queuing up to get into various bars and pubs. When I lived in Weehawken I really didn’t go out on Fridays. I was definitely content to stay in an do whatever it was that I used to do, which was watch TV and play with Zed.

I had my ID checked at the door which should have been flattering and then waited for a pint of Guinness. $6.00 a pint and with a tip it made for $7.00. Found Rand and Lisa and Lois in the back all dressed up. On stage was a woman dressed as Sarah Palin singing what may have been a Carpenters song.

It was my first time at karaoke and it wasn’t quite what I expected. Not that it was bad or anything like that, just that I expected something different. I felt a bit out of place not being in a costume but then again I wasn’t planning on staying long. I didn’t understand whether people are really bad singers, or just mangling a song because they could.

I’m sure there are different types of people that go to karaoke. There are the ones who do their best and take it very seriously and then there are those who are simply out for a laugh. I understand both camps. I did entertain the idea of getting up on stage and singing a song, whether faithfully or interpreting the song as a way of overcoming my terrible stage fright. But last night wasn’t the night for me to do that.

After a long wait for a second pint I saw Lois sing Money (Thats What I Want). Money as well as human flesh is what she actually wanted. Rand and I joined in from the audience with Lois’ request for human flesh. Unfortunately the karaoke machine broke down in the middle of Lois’ song and as a way of making it up to her offered another song to sing.

Unfortunately the song was One Eyed One Horned Giant Purple People Eater which wasn’t the same thing and a bit lame. Who knew there were actually lyrics to that song?

I had enough by then and didn’t feel like waiting a long time for another pint so I made my exit after wishing Rand and Lisa and Lois a good time. I would have stayed to hear Rand and Lisa sing but I was getting cranky. Two pints seemed to be enough for me and I wandered on home, avoiding groups of costumed revelers.

Bill was still fast asleep, he didn’t even realize I had gone. I watched the rest of Bill Maher and then went to sleep myself. Got up ran some errands, saw Linda the former cashier at the supermarket who hung on my arm as we walked into the store. She then went her way and I went mine.

After a few hours I went out and bought myself an Obama as Superman t-shirt to wear to the B-52’s tonight, then walked over to the Obama Headquarters where I phoned over 100 people in Kearny to remind them to vote on Tuesday.

Mostly I left messages and only spoke to two McCain supporters who I still reminded to vote on Tuesday and to have a good day today. So now I’m just getting ready to see the B-52’s which really should be a good show.

Busy Bodies

Oh what a day it’s been. And by that I mean what a long day it’s been. Hopefully you’ve seen what I had posted last night. For me it was a labor of love, and hearing Bill sing the national anthem a few times today made me realize how much I love him.

Sure he drives me crazy like no one else, but when he’s not around I miss him a lot. I guess that’s what love is, in case you wanted to know what love is and you wanted me to tell you. Slept really well last night, and woke up reluctantly. Bill still asleep beside me.

Nope, he wasn’t getting up first. That left it to me, to make my own coffee. By the time I was ready to go Bill was stirring. Got to the office, did the usual bullshit. Now there are 4 people I work with in my company.

Though I’ve written that I would stay until the end if something came up I would be a fool to let it pass me by. And Tom Chin is really making it easy to think about leaving. Today’s foible from Tom Chin was him asking me if I had made a photocopy of a check from June 30. I told him I wasn’t sure.

He was upset with that answer. He poured through the files, I checked my email regarding the check and sure enough on June 27 I sent him an email asking him if he wanted me to deposit it to which he responded that he would do it himself the following Monday.

So it was on him to make a copy of the check as well as the deposit himself. Yes, Tom Chin is a fucking idiot who will turn 60 at the end of the month if he’s lucky. As the afternoon passed I was getting more and more tired.

I was supposed to meet Lois this evening, for a walk around Hoboken but now that I am home, home is where I want to stay. At this moment I feel like I could go right to sleep. Bill and I were supposed to go to a Mets game tonight, but I found out that he didn’t get the tickets after all which was fine by me.

I spent a good part of the afternoon bubble wrapping various artworks that were the property of the latest partner in my firm to be shown the door. It’s a glass door and you can see right through it. The city, or at least midtown is overrun by tourists and fashionistas.

Big fashion shows going on around town, way too thin girls on too high stilettos trying to walk on sidewalks. A good bet could be placed that one of them will take a spill. I have no need to see this so I keep walking.

Right now on the news is the news about Obama talking about McCrazy, saying ‘if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.’ The republicunts are up in arms, saying that Obama called Sarah Pallid a pig.

No, he didn’t called her a pig, but it is refreshing to know that when you say ‘pig’ the republicunts immediately think of Sarah Pallid.

Can’t believe it is only Wednesday but then again this is the first full week of work in a couple of weeks. I was talking to Trudy, a very nice woman who works for a company that sublets space from my company.

September 11 came up in the conversation and I started to tear up when I was telling her about calling my brothers and sister, leaving messages telling them I loved them, while unsure whether or not I would be able to get out of the city. Tears took me by surprise, but then again tomorrow is the anniversary of that horrible day.

Here’s some pics from last night from the dressing room.

You’d Better Move On

A lovely Sunday afternoon, especially if you’re in the shade. It’s in the upper 80’s but it’s not humid. The sun is beaming. Once again I liberally put on sun block if I’m going to be outside for an extended amount of time. I wrote yesterday about having sun poisoning a few times when I was growing up. It was bad.

As far as I knew, or my family knew was the only thing known as sun block was called shade. But we never rented an umbrella when we would go down to Wildwood Crest years ago. My family would go down for the VFW convention every June. It was usually a good time, that is when I wasn’t burnt to a crisp.

It was an alcoholic weekend for most of the veterans and their wives, leaving their kids to run around careless and carefree. We would drive down on a Thursday and come back on Sunday. One time I was covered in blisters due to a bad sun burn. A lot of people had different remedies, Noxema, rags soaked in tea, rags soaked in vinegar.

It was so bad that you could feel the heat emanating from my body by holding your hand about 5 inches away from my skin. I did love going to Wildwood Crest despite often coming home smelling like bacon.

Another time, years later I was visiting my sister Annemarie in New Hampshire and we decided to go to the beach in Maine a few hours away. I put lotion all over my body, but forgot my feet. A few hours later my feet were swollen so much that I had to wear my mother’s fluffy slippers for about 2 weeks.

Good times.

These days I walk in the shade.

Today I watched Mad Max on cable. Great movie, but The Road Warrior is the best out of the 3. Beyond Thunderdome was crap, dreadful stunt casting of Tina Turner. Boo! And the children! We don’t need another hero, my ass!

It’s too late for it but a movie about what happened to Max between Mad Max and The Road Warrior would have been great.

My good friend Rita called. I’ve known Rita since the early 1980’s. We were in a band together. We were called The Nift. What is a nift? I couldn’t tell you. Just a nonsense word I made up. We never played anywhere except a rehearsal room.

I wrote a song with Rita’s sister in law, Loren, and we covered Anytime At All by the Beatles and Gloria by Them. We had a pretty good drummer, Dave who was more insecure than the 3 of us combined.

We were all too insecure to play anywhere though we entertained the idea of playing McSwells eventually. I haven’t seen Rita in a few years so we’re planning to have dinner tomorrow night at the Film Center Cafe.

Rita used to be a teeny bopper hanging outside whatever hotel the Who were staying at in the early days. She has lot’s of stories to tell. Her brother Ronnie used to be a staff photographer for Columbia Records back then and also freelanced for Tiger Beat and 16 I think.

Rita and I had an idea to write a book with Ronnie’s photographs and Rita’s anecdotes, but alas it went along with the Nift, into the dustbin of history.

I also heard from Lois, another old friend. Lois got married to her longtime paramour Fred in May and they”re having a party upstate somewhere on August 2. I told her I was planning on going, Bill- I wasn’t so sure about. She was happy to hear that at least I was coming.

Lois asked me if I could DJ and I said yea, but I’d only bring my iPod. She offered to pay my expenses, but I don’t know what expenses there would be. I asked Rand, who is officiating the ceremony for friends and family to bring his iPod, figuring that between the 2 of us, we’d have enough songs between us to handle any Tarantella or Electric Slide.

If you’re looking for any Alley Cats or Hokey Pokey, you’d better move on.

Right now, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is on Turner Classic Movies. This was one of the first movies I ever saw in a theater. The now gone Century Theater in Paramus.

I think Annemarie and our brother Brian went as well as some of the Foglio girls who lived down the street from us. They were waiting for a bus when we picked them up.

The other first movies that I saw in a theater were The Jungle Book, The Happiest Millionaire and Oliver! At least that’s what I remember.

What are the first movies you saw in a movie theater?

Cut n’ paste this! Do it! NOW! hee hee:


Here are some pics. Have a good week.

Last night’s moon

Today’s Empire State Building

Yesterday’s mural

Tomorrow’s memorial

Next year’s sail boat