Tag Archives: Mike Cecchini

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

It’s been an alright day today. I was out and about, ran into some friends, Mike Cecchini and then RoDa. I saw Mike as I was off to the really big supermarket and we each had tales to tell about the bibliothèque. Mike volunteers there too. Some notes were compared and some laughs were had. He’s a supportive chap and says he will be at Maxwells on October 25 (next week!) to see me play and support the Hoboken Fair rent Association. I’ve noticed some guerrilla tags popping up around town so someone is on the case, reminding people of what’s going on.

I walked by RoDa’s neighborhood and I heard him call my name. He was about 50 yards away and I was on a mission. I waved and pointed to where I was going, thinking I would swing by on my way back. It’s incredible that by walking about 15 minutes out of my way I could save quite a few dollars. And that is just what I did. Bought a few more items that would have been a few dollars more at the local supermarket, and despite its proximity it isn’t that convenient. And it’s double coupon week too!

After that I walked back past where I saw RoDa but he wasn’t around. He was probably waiting for his son to come home and when he did, they went home. I did see RoDa the other day so I am sure there were no hard feelings. When I came home I found I had a Facebook message from Chaz. He was off to see New Order somewhere in the city, but not only that, he wanted to tell me there was a cigar shop opening up in Hoboken on Washington Street. So once again it was outside for me.

I had walked earlier down the avenue but did not see it, but then again I wasn’t looking for it. I did have my resume and looked funky business casual when I walked into the shop which is being reconstructed. Unfortunately, none of the principals were there, just a guy who was doing some touch up painting and didn’t speak much English. He was concerned about me getting paint on what I was wearing but it seemed to be alright since I left without a smidgen of paint on my person. I walked back along the riverfront promenade.

No one I knew along the promenade. I suppose the other buskers were in for the season, it has been getting darker earlier and it is considerably cooler. Just as well, I didn’t feel like playing catch up with Tariq though it would have been good to see him. I came home and practiced the guitar, figuring out some songs to play next Thursday. I’m not going to say what songs since I haven’t fully decided on what I am going to play. I hope they will be inspiring or at least different than what anyone else would be playing.

I think I am fourth in the lineup and I have been told I will have four songs to play. This will be the first time I am playing solo. Rand declined my offer so I am on my own. I did think about asking Mike Cecchini but his band is playing around the same time and he will probably be busy practicing with them, though he did say that he will be showing up at Maxwells to see me play. So far I have three supporters, Mike, RoDa, and of course Bill- who will be recording my short set.





15 Use Ta Be My Girl

I Miss You Joe Strummer*

A nice day in Hoboken. Nice enough that there was plenty of parking meaning that a lot of people are out of town this week. Maybe they wanted to use their vacation time and head down the shore or wherever it is that they go. It’s been a cool day, not too hot at all. A little cloudy which could account for the cooler temperatures. On the west we have a cold front moving in with a 40% chance of a storm later in the night. Here’s your seven day forecast and now over to Knob Dore with sports. Knob?

Last night I went out again. It’s amazing the fact that in the past three days, I have gone out twice. A major accomplishment for the shut in that I seem to have become. I went to DC’s Tavern a few blocks away from my apartment to see a friend Mike play an acoustic set. I foolishly got there at 8:00 like the time was posted. You’d think that after working at Maxwells for over 10 years, I would know that the scheduled show time is hardly ever the actual time that bands or acts appear and last night was no different.

Rand and Lisa were coming and I decided to wait outside and have a smoke. The music inside was a bit too ugly for this sensitive lad and it’s one thing to sit there and listen to it and suffer but to have two good friends there to suffer with can make it somewhat enjoyable. It was actually the second time I had been to DC’s Tavern. The first time was a couple of years ago with Rand & Lois and last night was Rand and Lisa. I guess having rand there with a woman whose name starts with an ‘L’ is the way to go.

I gave Mike a bobble head Mr. Met badge for him to wear for good luck. He claimed to have a sore throat and feared he wouldn’t be able to sing the way he usually does but he was fine. There was no need for him to explain the condition of his voice but he did it anyway. DC’s Tavern is a small place and I don’t know how they could have any major events going on. It seems to want to be a roadhouse or something like that but it was cozy.

Rand and Lisa showed up right before Mike started playing. I was working on some Guinness while Rand had some wine and I don’t know what Lisa was drinking. There was a funny moment when I looked down the bar from my end of the bar and if there were a dozen people sitting, at least 10 of them had their smartphones out, texting or looking things up online. I did the same, checking in via Facebook, and posting some pictures of Mike as he played his guitar. And Mike did a very good job despite his misgivings about his voice.

We stayed for the other two singers who followed Mike. I wasn’t planning on it but since Rand and Lisa were staying I did too. Rand made a good point of how these acoustic players singing their own songs seem to sing very sad, maudlin songs. That’s no fun. Laughter between songs but the songs themselves seem to be filled with some god awful sturm und drang. I resolve not to do that if and when I start writing my own songs. I already wrote some lyrics last week, now I just have to find where I put them and then put some music to it.

Had a good walk home with Rand & Lisa afterwards, many jokes about Harry Chapin and his song ‘Taxi’, a song that qualifies as ‘deep’ when you’re 13 years old but after that it is a bit of an embarrassment. I did my busking routine this afternoon, playing for the toddlers. They just love the guitar as much as they like giving me a high five. Today’s songs were I Want to Hold Your Hand and Hateful by the Clash, in honor of Joe Strummer’s birthday. If there is an inspiration for me with regards to busking, it would be Joe Strummer.

I also had some fun today with a scam artist who was trying to get my bank info since I “expressed interest in working for his company”. The funny thing is he was emailing my general address, not the ‘official’ address that I use when sending out resumes. I get a few potential scammers a week and today was fun making them chase their tail around until they got tired and realized they weren’t getting shit from me. This guy couldn’t even tell me where the CH Foundation is or where “Social Care Families” Charity Organization might be. Sure, here’s my bank info! Tell all your scamming friends!

*not an actual song. not yet at least.

Mike Cecchini


Thanks Joe, wherever you are in the universe.


06 (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
04 – Bhindi Bhagee

I Miss You- Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes

Well it’s a bittersweet symphony this life…I’ve been playing that song lately on the guitar. Easy to play, with many lyrics to remember. I was playing that this afternoon while busking by the river. I know I have the chord sequence down, just the words are a problem. I remember in the nineties that Julio really liked the song and I was fairly indifferent. Nowadays, I am into the song and Julio is the one who is indifferent. Well he does have a kid so that is the perfect excuse, knowing that there are more important things in life besides a 5:58 song.

Yes today I was busking and I think it went well. I taught myself Rock Around The Clock for the toddlers who wander by and of course they loved it. They get so excited when they see me, though today they all hung onto the rope until their minders said it was OK. Once they got the OK they scream and dance and throw twigs and leaves into my guitar case. And I form a chord on the upper part of the neck, and I allow them to strum or actually hit the strings on the guitar.

Once again they made my day, such excitement in their eyes. One their return back to the day care center I basically played a three chord mish mosh and took one of the minder’s requests to sing the rope song, aka ‘Get On the Rope’ sung over and over again. And the kids listen and get on the rope, walking away they all yell ‘bye bye’ and I tell them to be good and I will see them tomorrow. It’s a good feeling. I think I will sing ‘Why’d Ya Do It’ by Marianne Faithfull next time, if I could find the chords.

I went to see the Tokyo Police Club on Saturday night on Pier A in Hoboken. I met Rand & Lisa in the beer garden that was set up and had a great time with them. Tokyo Police Club was ‘meh’. They had the right chords and were certainly earnest in their playing, but they lacked any edge to their songs which rendered them instantly forgettable to my ears as well as Rand’s. After a trip to the train station’s loo, the three of us walked haphazardly around Hoboken, running into Tariq busking on the sidewalk on Washington Street.

He saw me and asked where my guitar was, inviting me to play along. The guitar was home and not coming out. Plus he seemed to be doing alright without me. Rand and Lisa and I walked to their house and sat on the stoop. Rand was lending Bill some computer thing so that meant Bill was coming over to get it, though I could have just as easily brought it home. I entertained Lisa with the Cookie Monster version of Call Me Maybe, the summer hit, this time called ‘Share It Maybe’. I like it more than the original.

Tonight I am going to see Mike Cecchini play at a local pub, DC’s. He’s going on first so that suits me just fine. I think Rand and Lisa are going to that as well. I really should spend more time with Rand & Lisa instead of sitting around at home. They’re good people and out of all my friends I’ve known Rand the longest. That is all I have planned, low key, not spending much money if I can help it. True Blood was very good last night, one episode left for the season. Newsroom was also good.

Bill and I finally watched The Artist on Saturday night and it was great. Such a charming film. I could easily see why it won the awards that it did. Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were just so perfect in their roles it was a bit unnerving to see them in color as well in contemporary settings on the extras. And now I want a Jack Russell terrier. Luckily Pedro had a Jack Russell, Snoop- who passed away a year or so ago, so I know how much of a high energy dog it is, too much energy for a railroad apartment in Hoboken.

Not crowded and quite comfortable on Pier A for the show


Rand


Lisa


Inside the waiting room at the train station





LOVED it!


01 I Can Help

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 Hear Voices

Well yesterday was a Sunday and it wasn’t so bad. I worked of course. Bill was coming back from Atlantic City so there was no seeing him until last night. Work wasn’t so bad though it was a bit slow. I managed to grab the lion’s share from Thomas who basically ruled the roost the previous 2 days.

Thomas’ fiancée stopped by for a visit towards the end of the day, she’s nice and definitely makes Thomas a better man. I made it home earlier than usual since Thomas was closing. I lucked out with a train pulling into the station once I got to the platform, then a short wait for the bus.

And walking up the stairs, there was Bill waiting for me in the open doorway. He was happy to see me and I was happy to see him. He was watching Hot in Cleveland on his laptop and after the Simpsons/Bob’s Burgers (which I think is really funny) I threw Beginners in the DVD player. Beginners is the movie starring Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor and the movie that won Christopher Plummer the Academy Award.

It was a good movie, just a bit too slow for tired ol’ Bill to stay awake for. I’m glad I did though. It was an interesting film to see Plummer & McGregor interact as father and son as well as watching McGregor & Mélanie Laurent try to figure out where their relationship is headed. Both stories were compelling and show the flaws in relationships as well as the strengths. And the dog was cute.

I didn’t watch anything in particular after that, just surfed the net as the TV droned on and on. I did go to bed eventually and slept quite well, perhaps making up for the hour lost when the clocks moved an hour ahead for daylight savings. And I slept so well that I slept later than I expected to. Still, it was alright since I had nothing planned for today.

Laundry was done the other day so all I had to really do was go to the supermarket. And once again it was fairly empty and once again I had Isis as my cashier. A brief chat while checking out, she was saying how tired she was, probably from the daylight savings thing. I recommended a nap and she planned on it between getting out of work and picking up her son after school.

I came home and cleaned up a bit. It was a gorgeous day so I headed out in the afternoon. I walked down Washington Street where I ran into Rand & Lisa coming back from lunch. Lisa had a surgical pin removed from her toe. Apparently she smashed it up and it was badly broken. Bill saw the toe a few weeks ago and was grossed out. I only saw the pictures of the surgical pin being removed with needle nosed pliers.

We chatted outside of Hoboken Daily News and were joined by Mike Cecchini and his pal Ahmet. They were all walking uptown and I was headed downtown, taking a walk along the river. It was nice by the river and I figured I would see somebody I knew and there was Tim, a teenaged guitarist that played with Lily a few years ago as the Street Corner Mourners.

The Street Corner Mourners (Tim & Lily) played the party that Bill & I had at Maxwells in July 2010. Tim was singing ‘A Friend of the Devil’ and doing a good job. He mentioned he needed a pick since his hand was getting bloody from strumming. I walked over to the Guitar Bar where I saw Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro and got some picks for myself as well as for Tim.

Tim was making some good money playing there, much better than what I did when I was busking almost every day. He does keep his guitar case open in front of him where I would keep my guitar case to the side due to an embarrassment of sorts. I sat and listened to Tim play and took some snapshots as well as shooting a video.

It was a pretty good day and I am glad I went out and saw some friends. I should really do that more often.





Tim


3rd & Washington



02 Most of the Time [Alternate Versi 1

I Don’t Want To Change The World

Well today has been somewhat productive and even better, sociable. Having off today afforded me some more relaxation time. That’s what I’d call it since I basically woke up at the same time as when I have to go to work. So I got out of bed and made some coffee. A trip to the supermarket was once again in order since after this pot of coffee there was no more coffee to be had.

So after a couple of cups I headed out, with the shopping bag filled with shirts and trousers to be cleaned. I walked by Mr. L’s, my barber and did not see anyone in Tony’s chair. Once I stepped in I saw that Tony wasn’t their either. His son Nick told me that Tony was at the market getting milk for the coffee. I set down the canvas bag and told Nick I would be right back, and went out to vote.

The precinct is only a few doors down and I was in and out in less than five minutes. When I got back to Mr. L’s, Tony was back and waiting for me, even though by this time there were two other guys waiting for a haircut. Maybe they were waiting for Nick and didn’t care much for Tony’s methods, but in any event I walked over to Tony, shook his hand and sat in his chair.

He asked how the cigar business was, telling me that he had gone to a wedding with his wife and at the reception there was a man rolling cigars. I like Tony’s work, he goes so far as to trim nose hair, eye brows and ear hair, and takes extraordinary measures to get as much white hair out of my goatee, so I don’t wind up barba blanca.

Then it was off to Cary’s Dry Cleaners where I dropped off my shirts as well as Bill’s stuff. Then a trip to the supermarket which was not very crowded but I felt like either I was stalking or being stalked. I would go to an aisle and there would be the same woman each and everytime, eyeballing me.

Perhaps I was being cruised but as usual I had no clue. Came home and texted with Mike Cecchini who lives up the block. I saw him on Sunday at Maxwells and told him then I had a few CD’s from Mojo and Uncut to lend him. He was coming over as I started the laundry so I gather 33 CD’s and put them in a bag and walked them down to the street.

The apartment was a bit of a mess to have him come up and it was a beautiful day outside anyhow. I never even opened some of the CD’s and told him he could hang onto them for as long as he’d like. I did upload some of them but the majority of them have been unheard by me, and it’s mainly since I was not so interested in the genre, be it Heavy Metal or the dreaded Americana. Metal I am almost always ambivalent about and Americana is best served in small doses.

I was out and about in the afternoon and enjoying a cigar as I walked up Washington Street I ran into the always wonderful Thaler Pekar, a very smart and brilliant woman. And despite her saying that she was feeling so tired, she looked great. Her husband Tom is a lucky guy and I’m sure he knows it. He’s a nice guy too. Maxwells people keep popping up.

She was off to the Farmer’s Market which I believe is it’s last day today for the year and I was heading back home. So that’s about it, been a nice day, saw friends, did laundry and now Bill is home too so it’s all good.

Rest in Peace Joe Frazier and Heavy D.






Bobbi Martin – For the Love of Him – 1970

Crazy Rhythms

Last night was a nice time. A bit low key. I walked over to Louise & Jerry’s. Hadn’t been there in about 5 years. Last time I was there I was with Rand and we had left McSwells and walked down to Louise & Jerry’s.

I think I was smoking a cigar which meant the last time I was there it was before the smoking ban went into effect in NJ. I was early it seemed. I walked in and sat at the bar, next to a guy named Keith who I used to know vaguely.

He was roommates with my friend Maurice’s brother Raul and also a DJ. He always was a bit flaky though. I saw him a few months ago on the sidewalk outside of Louise & Jerry’s and actually said hello to him, since he was looking right at me.

His response was to give me a look, like ‘Who the hell are you?’. He was a flake then and he’s a flake now. I sat and had myself a pint of Guinness.

Mike wasn’t around yet and so neither was my guitar. I looked around, not too many people. Keith had made a hasty exit so I didn’t mind that. I asked the bartender, Brian if there was music tonight. Apparently they seemed to be waiting until someone asked about music before they did anything.

At the far end of the bar, a flat screen TV showed the Yankees game. Closer to my end, the TV showed the Mets game. Mike eventually showed up, thanking me for letting him use my guitar and buying me pints for the rest of the night.

People started to come in and someone started playing guitar towards the back by the pool table. I wished they would have turned off the TV’s but they stayed on. Rand texted me, asking what was going on. He was on his way to the bar.

I went out and met him before Mike came on. Each person did a couple of songs, surrendering the mike to the next player. There were four guitarists total. When Brian the bartender heard that Mike was using my guitar he asked if I wanted to play as well. I begged off.

Rand and I sat at the bar while Mike played. He’s a pretty good guitarist and singer, sounding a bit like Tom Petty and Graham Parker and that’s not too shabby. Everyone else was singing in a folk manner, Mike was singing in a rock & roll manner making him stand out from the crowd.

The hat was passed, but it wasn’t in my direction and I wasn’t about to go chasing after it. Lisa eventually joined me and Rand and we all sat around listening to music and having some pints. The singers rotated every few songs and everyone was having a good time.

I headed to the men’s room and was surprised at how narrow it was. Apparently it’s always been narrow, it’s just that I’ve gotten a little bit wider since I was last there. Barely enough room to have your arms at your side for a proper pee.

Outside the men’s room there was a chap wearing a t shirt that said Paladins Track & Field. I asked him if he went to Paramus Catholic since the Paladins is the name of the sports teams from my high school. He said no, but his daughter is graduating from there in two weeks.

He asked how I knew about the Paladins and I explained that I went there. Before it went co-ed. It turned out that Rand’s high school when he was living in Florida was also the Paladins.

The guy’s name was Ken and he lives on Castle Point which is a very nice and quiet block in between most of Hoboken and Steven’s Tech. The whole thing ended around 10:45 and with 6 pints of Guinness I was feeling pretty good but knew it was time to go home.

Mike thanked me once again for the guitar and I thanked him for the Guinness. It all worked out quite nicely. Unfortunately the Guinness left me with a slight hangover today which matched the off white sky today.

the very narrow mens room.

the very narrow mens room.


A Starling and a Mourning Dove eating some stale bread

A Starling and a Mourning Dove eating some stale bread

Crazy About Love

Photo-0177
Well it’s Monday again. Hoboken was semi deserted yesterday, my guess is that a lot of people were off visiting their mothers. It was a gloomy and windy day and I didn’t do much of anything.

Last night Bill was home after spending the day with his mother. He was back I time to catch The Pacific which was of course quite intense. One more episode next week, which involves the Marines coming home to the lives they left behind and that will be that.

Bill and I watched Treme after that, which carried over the feeling from The Pacific that something terrible was about to happen. Can’t change gears so easily after such intensity. Treme was good too. Excellent cast and we will watch basically anything that Khandi Alexander is in.

Last night I lent my guitar to Mike Cecchini. Nice guy, I know he’ll take care of it. He kept calling it ‘she’, but I think it’s a ‘he’. Hung out with him for a few minutes on my front steps. I’ll probably go and catch his set at Louise & Jerry’s tonight, to hear him and to also hear my guitar.

I’m always playing the guitar and can’t really tell how it sounds even though people have told me it sounds good. Me. Going out. On a Monday night. What am I nuts? Mike’s paying for the pints since I’m doing him the favor.

I also invited Mike and his girlfriend to the party in July. He might get up and play a song or two. So far for that I have Lily & Tim, two of the Street Corner Mourners and Jon & Deena, two former Cucumbers. It could turn into a hootenanny.

I really miss my guitar. Last night I looked up Dreadlock Holiday by 10cc and wanted to play it, but…

I neglected to write about Smoke. I know I wrote about my disdain, but actually there is a redeeming part to the movie. Specifically the last five minutes or so. Auggie’s story of finding the wallet of some kid who stole from his cigar store.

He decides to go to the address in the wallet on Christmas day and finds an old blind woman living there. It turns out she is the shoplifter’s grandmother. He tells the story and during the credits it’s acted out by Harvey Keitel and Clarice Taylor.

It’s so sweet and with Tom Waits ‘Innocent When You Dream’ playing it’s tear inducing and almost makes you forget the rest of the movie.

This afternoon I watched Down to Earth on cable which was a movie Bill & I saw when we first started going out. It’s basically Chris Rock’s remake of Heaven Can Wait which was a remake of Here Comes Mister Jordan.

It’s a cute movie, not too shabby and has a few giggles in it. It was a good date movie and still easy to watch years later.

A visit to the bibliothèque was in order. I returned Smoke, Black Dynamite which was funny and very short, Rufus Wainwright: Milwaukee At Last! And No Wave, a book about the No Wave scene of Lower Manhattan from 1977-1980 by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley.

No Wave was a good book, though I would have used a larger typeface. The Rufus Wainwright CD was good as well. It also had a DVD of the live concert as well as some extras of some songs from the Montreux Jazz festival and a short bit of Rufus and his band backstage practicing some Italian operas for a wedding I guess they were hired to play. That was beautiful.

I was also able to get from the bibliothèque the boxed set of the Beatles mono albums which is everything up to the White Album, though the singles are also available on the Past Masters double CD, included and also in Mono.

I heard from the restaurant that Bill and I went to on Saturday. They read what I wrote to them in an email and they were very apologetic. They said the tip was generous and the server was quite happy about it. Why she went from hot to cold so fast could not be explained, especially since the server said she was happy about the tip.

Both Bill & I noticed her sudden change though and the gent on the phone told us to give a call when we come back in again and mention his name or the hostess’ name and we will have our meal comped. That was nice of them. I told Bill and he was thrilled.

So that’s about it on this end. Fairly busy. Can’t wait to get my guitar again tonight. Me miss him.

Support your library!

From Smoke:

Photo-0176

Crazy to Exist

Well here we find ourselves on May 9. It’s a Sunday. Just got back from a short walk around Hoboken on a chilly and windy afternoon.

Once again I find myself not wanting to write and once again I find myself writing. Nothing else to do. Too cold to play guitar by the river.

Tonight I am lending my guitar to Mike Cecchini. He’s a musician who lives down my street, a friend of Rand’s. He has a gig tomorrow and needs a guitar to practice on.

Specifically an acoustic guitar. He asked and I figured he’s a nice enough guy so I said yes. He’s supposed to give me a call later to pick it up.

Last night Bill and I watched Saturday Night Live, hosted by Betty White. It was really one of the best episodes in a long time. She held her own with the help of some former cast members, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Ana Gestheyer and Maya Rudolph.

Not much of the current cast was prominently featured. The digital short was hilarious as well. It probably got the highest ratings in a long time. Is it because of Facebook?

It was Facebook which seems to have gotten Betty White to host the show and a lot of my Facebook friends were watching the 88 ½ year old actress do a pretty good job of it.

Jay Z was the musical guest and I have to say, I really don’t get Jay Z’s style. Just not the kind of rap that I like. Of course I seem to be out of step with most people since Jay Z is quite a successful rapper and entrepreneur. I just don’t get it.

It was a good ending to a good day spent with Bill. We decided to just stay home last night, forgoing the party that we were invited to by Lois who was actually invited. We did think about going but Bill was awfully tired.

Today I watched Smoke which I had seen before and gotten from the bibliothèque. I had forgotten how much I don’t care for the movie. It does seem to be a cool indie movie, but I can’t get past the broad Brooklyn accents. And I really don’t care for the characters. Not very sympathetic.

Now I’m watching the Matrix which I’ve also seen before. I know I’d seen it in the movies, and it was OK then. One movie was enough. Three movies was too much. Good special effects carry the movie.

Too many people really saw a lot into it, a lot more than I saw or cared to see. But it’s good mindless entertainment and it’s too windy and cold out to do much of anything so I might as well stay in an watch a shoot ’em up movie.

Anytime Joe Pantoliano appears in anything, you know he’s going to be the bad guy. I knew that when I first saw the poster for the Matrix. And I’d be worried if the fate of the world depended on Keanu Reeves shoulders.

Remember, if you’re being shot at, do a cartwheel. A lesson learned I hope.
Photo-0173

Ruby, My Dear

Thank goodness it’s Friday. Been a while since I’ve written that. I’ve worked 4 days this week, and with 3 days last week I have a total of 24 hours under my belt. Already it’s more than an unemployment benefit.

Oddly enough, I’m not as tired as I’ve been the past couple of days. Pretty much awake. Last night was quiet mostly. Bill was off to see a rock and roll guitarist friend of his friend Tom, at the Bitter End. I was asked to go, but it was at 10:30 and I didn’t want to go.

If I couldn’t get it together to see Karen Kuhl last week with Alice Genese, I’m going to get it together to see somebody I don’t know? At the Bitter End? Oh I think not. I was more than content to stay home. Bill came home, then went out again which is more than I would do. Generally, once I’m home, I’m home.

I just watched TV and actually went to bed before midnight. It was something definitely out of the ordinary. Haven’t been to bed before midnight in months, at least not when I’ve been out of work. It was all good since I had to be at Greg Stevens office at 10:00 this morning.

I was out of bed before 8:00 this morning, got it together and was out headed to the bus stop at 9:00. It was 16 degrees out and I put on some thermal underwear under my blue jeans, thick socks, a long sleeved cotton shirt and a sweater on top of that. And a wool hat, my pea coat, gloves and work boots. Once again, affecting the longshoreman look.

Comfortable on the bus, reading the last issue of 2009 of the New Yorker and started on the January 4, 2010 issue. Nice to be in the same month and the same year. I’m catching up. Sat in the back of the bus where there’s more room and more comfortable.

On the bus my cellphone rings. It’s my old Rasta pal Jesse. He hasn’t heard from me in a while and was just checking in. At least that’s what I thought he was saying. With his patois and the noise of the bus I couldn’t really hear him so I told him I would call him back in 10 minutes when I was off the bus.

When a Rasta calls so early in the morning, I felt he couldn’t have good news. I thought, someone must have died. I hung out with a group of Rastas in the day with my friend Miriam and thought I was going to have to call her with bad news.

When I got off the bus I got back to Jesse, who like I initially heard, was just checking in. No bad news. He was wondering how I was doing. I said I was fine and would try to see him after I get through with my project today.

I hustled through Grand Central Station, using it as a short cut to get in from the cold. As I walked up Third Avenue, my phone rings. It’s 10:05 and it’s Greg Stevens wondering where I am. I was a block away and was in his office in 5 minutes.

Alex, an IT guy was there helping Greg with his computer. Or rather was setting Greg’s computer up, with Greg just standing there. Greg doesn’t know computers at all, in fact the other day I had to explain over the phone what a lap top was.

I set about unpacking the moving boxes and Greg made himself scarce. After an hour or so, Greg was en route to the Hamptons and Alex was done doing as much as he could. He’ll do more next week when the Los Angeles branch of Greg’s company is in, after being out this week.

I had a break and wandered over to Cohen’s Fashion Optical where I got my glasses a year or so ago. A few months ago, my glasses fell apart. One of the screws became loose and fell out rendering them useless.

I did my best, took a screw from an older pair of glasses and somehow, without wearing glasses was able to get a screw back in. But it wasn’t the right size screw and left my glasses a bit lopsided. So I went back to the store and explained what had happened and low and behold a few minutes later they fixed the glasses and they were as tight was they were 2 years ago.

Still a bit scratched even though I’ve used special cloths to clean them. While they were fixing the glasses they asked if there were any frames I would like to see and so I looked around. The woman behind the counter was helpful but came up short when I explained that I didn’t want any brand names on the side of my glasses.

No branding for me, thanks. I left the store with coupons for a free eye exam and a 20% discount on my next frames.

I did some more work at Greg’s office and submitted my hours. Also decided to send an email to a recruiter that I was in contact with a few months ago. Cathy Cline.

Cathy was the recruiter who was disappointed in me when I went behind her back and contacted the employer since I thought Cathy was bullshitting me.

She called me the next day and chewed me out, mentioning that she knew how hard it was out there to get a job, even her son was unemployed. Presumably still unemployed since his mother wasn’t getting him a job. I did try to remain in contact with her, wishing her a happy holiday and also mentioning that I was still looking for a job.

She never responded to me.

I sent an email that was written like it was a form letter, thanking her for all that she had done for me and that I had a new job that I would be starting next week and should I need staffing, and I would be in the position to choose staffers (a lie) I would keep her in mind.

Almost immediately she responded. Not to reply in kind to any holiday greetings, or any encouraging words regards to job searches. Just congratulations. I had to laugh.

I left Greg’s office around 3:00 leaving it looking like an office rather than a collection of moving boxes. On my way out, I talked with Eric who was sitting at the front desk. He works for a company called Regal which rents out office suites to small companies that can’t afford expensive Manhattan office rents, which is where Greg Stevens is now located.

I told him I had a friend who was starting a job with a company called Executive Suites, one of their competitors. Eric said he’d rather work at Executive Suites. I asked him why and he said he was the only guy in an office surrounded by women and their drama. He also didn’t like the artwork on the walls of the office. I didn’t think it was so bad. A Hopper print in the kitchen area, a Miro print in the hallway.

I guess I’ll find out about Executive Suites on Monday, when I start.

Back out in the cold I walked my old route to the Path train. Now I’m home, feet are still cold despite wearing socks and slippers, and waiting for Bill to come home.

It was a good day overall.