Tag Archives: Mr. L’s

I Care

A day off and a Saturday. It doesn’t happen often and I am glad when it does. Last night was a mellow night at home, Bill was driving to Atlantic City and I just watched TV until late. I slept alright, reaching out for Bill even though he was sleeping on a cot in a bus depot employee lounge.

I got up around 9:00, about an hour earlier than I usually do when I have off. I wanted to get busy since there was a load of laundry to be done, errands to be run and groceries to be bought. And I was able to get them all done early enough.

I also watched some more TV, Burlesque at around noon, and then a few hours later, The Lovely Bones. Both featured Stanley Tucci. In one afternoon I watched him being Cher’s gay sidekick to being a serial killer. I don’t know which was more frightening actually.

I walked around Hoboken after getting my haircut at Mr. L’s this afternoon. My regular guy Tony was in and he once again did an excellent job, trimming as much white out of my goatee (which I am growing back again, having shaved it to look ‘more professional’ for interviews that never happened).

Tony also does my nose hair, ear hair and eye brows earning his 71.5% tip (just used the tip calculator). I asked where his son Nick was and he told me that Nick was running an errand and started feeling ill, so he went back to the barbershop where he called his doctor.

The doctor told him to get to the hospital so he drove to Morristown (!) where the doctor met him and diagnosed 3 blocked arteries. 5 stents were inserted, just like his father who also has 5 stents, and was once known as ‘5 Stents Tony’ or it may have been ‘Tony 5 Stents’.

It was a very nice day and I walked around a bit, down Washington Street. Didn’t see anyone I knew and after a while just came back home. Bill came home around 10:00 and immediately went to bed and when I came home he was up and getting ready to drive once more to Atlantic City. He had me worried last night since it was raining so hard, today I’m not so worried since it really is a beautiful day.

Back to work at the cigar shack tomorrow, where I will be working with Thomas and Jerry Vale. It shouldn’t be so bad, I already have low expectations. Monday is going to be more difficult since I have to be at the cigar shack on the east side at 8:00 for an extremely wasteful refresher course from the New York State tobacconists group.

I did it already in June 2010 and now I have to go in 3 hours early. It’s pure bullshit and I am not looking forward to it. I do feel somewhat bad for Thomas since Monday is his day off and he still has to go. He does have the option of going to Inwood, Long Island and sitting there like I did last June, but he’ll be there on Monday.

I would much rather go to Inwood. Just for the change of scenery and to keep my day off for myself.

I Don’t Want To

A day off and it’s been a good one. Yesterday I worked with Calvin and it wasn’t so bad, and though I wrote the other day that I felt I was accepting of the retail situation, I’m not so accepting after all. I am still trying to get out of the habitrail called retail.

Calvin was alright to work with, he was in before I was and at the end of the day I was the one to leave first which rarely happens.

I came home and watched the Fantastic Mr. Fox again on cable and I love the movie. It’s just so sweet and quick. Oh that Wes Anderson, he can do no wrong. Though the Darjeeling Limited left me wanting, most everything else has been superb. After the Fantastic Mr. Fox, I watched Shameless.

Shameless was so damn good last night. It’s really one of the best shows on I’ve never seen the British version, but this one is top notch. And the return of Chloe Webb was a surprise. Showtime has the best shows on TV lately. Nurse Jackie is returning in a few weeks as is the United States of Tara.

I don’t watch Tara that often but it is very good and I do enjoy Nurse Jackie a lot. And then there is Weeds and The Big C. It’s all very good, adult television. After Shameless I watched Southland which Bill & I both like a lot.

Bill had the foresight to record the episodes and it has been worth it. We watched the show when it was on broadcast television and skipped a season but now we watch it regularly. It helps to be a fan of the great Regina King and the other actors are almost as good. We love Regina King.

And then it was bedtime for me. Slept really well and vaguely remember Bill kissing me good bye once again. He was up crazy early though I do believe the sun was up already. I got up at my usual time and made some coffee before jumping in the shower.

After a couple of cups I was on the streets, dropping off shirts to be laundered, getting the paper and some bagels. I also made time to swing by Mr. L’s where I got a much needed haircut. It’s been growing quite thick and unmanageable. Tony was available, only in 2 days a week.

The TV was playing Mutiny on the Bounty, the one starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. The other barber Nick was there, Tony’s son. They didn’t know that Mutiny on the Bounty was a real story. They did know it was remade a few times.

I mentioned the Marlon Brando version and Nick said there was one with Humphrey Bogart. I corrected him and told him that was the Caine Mutiny, with Bogart as Captain Queeg. I never saw that movie, but I knew of it from my mother comparing my father to Captain Queeg a few times when I was growing up. It was on TCM the other week, and I saw a bit of it but figured it would make more sense if I watched it from the beginning.

I had a lot of laundry to do today and it was done, now it’s hanging on racks and in the bathroom. Miss one week of laundry, then pow! Too much laundry!

Bill is off doing theater things and I look forward to some quiet time, just sitting around and watching TV. I am off again tomorrow, then its five days straight.

Another reason to get out of retail- Crap scheduling.




Bessie Banks – Go Now

I Can Help

Today was a day off. I had about 8 hours of sleep, it was so good. Slept until about 8:45 this morning and got out of bed. I had a meeting with Donald the K this morning at 11:00 and did not want to be late or miss it.

All I had was a little bit of milk for coffee and not enough for cereal, so I fortified myself with a few cups before heading out. I donned a grey wool pinstripe suit, a Paul Frederick shirt with a black & white & grey flowered tie.

It was chilly outside so I wore an older overcoat as well as my apple jack or newsboy cap. I was about 15 minutes earlier than I usually am and found a totally different scene. Different commuters, different bus driver and instead of sitting on the left side, I sat on the right and looked at things I normally don’t look at.

And once again the bus filled up with people, some of them not having correct change and asking the people already on the bus if they had change for a five dollar bill. I made it into the city and headed east to 6th Avenue.

I walked past Bill’s office building and merely took a camera phone picture as I passed by. I made it to the building where Donald the K’s company is and after a few minutes with security, I gained access to the 19th floor.

I met with Donald the K and we sat in a conference room. I was impressed with the size of their offices. Donald the K was dressed casual and mentioned that I didn’t need to be wearing a suit & tie. I told him I didn’t mind. We talked for a while and he seemed sincere in trying to get me into the job.

The whole meeting lasted about 20 minutes and while I waited for the elevator, he asked what I was making at my last job. I told him the extravagant figure I was paid and that I would have been happy with 15 thousand less.

During the meeting Donald the K told me about how a former co-worker Andrea comes in once a week to do whatever needs to be done on the secretary side of things. She commutes from down the shore in New Jersey and Donald also told me that she had died for a few minutes while delivering her second child.

That was something I did not know about. I did send Andrea a message on Facebook telling her I was meeting with Donald and how I did not want her to think I was gunning for her job. She responded a few hours later saying that she would love to work with me again, so that was cool to know.

I also got an email from another former co-worker, Brenda who’s last day was today for the now non-existent Putnam Lovell. I responded and tried to be supportive. At least she knows from my experience how hard it is out there. But she’s smart and savvy and should have no problem getting something lined up. Exploit those connections!

Made it back to Hoboken safe and sound. I needed a haircut but my barber Tony was not in today. He only works Monday and Saturday now and I guess I will have to wait until next week and get it done. It’s been an adequate day off, not the best but far from the worst.

Back to work tomorrow and off on Thursday. How I yearn for a Monday to Friday job.


I Hear a Rhapsody

And it was back to work for me today. And I went reluctantly. I took 2 melatonin tablets last night and had a really restful sleep, including a dream where I was planning on traveling to Africa, and was worried about Somali pirates even though I wasn’t going anywhere near Somalia.

I got up this morning, made some coffee and went back to sleep for a few more minutes. It was pouring rain and sleeting outside with ice covering sidewalks making walking somewhat difficult and slow. I took my time, getting ready before I headed out into all that mess. Coffee and cereal after a shower and a shave. Soon I was out in the slosh, walking carefully up to Washington Street.

I walked by Mr. L’s. They took Tony off of Tuesdays so now he only cuts hair on Monday and Saturday. According to Tony it was all orchestrated by his son Nick, but I think Nick is trying to ease Tony out ever since he fell a few months ago and hasn’t completely recovered. In any event, the day where I have to find a different barber will be somewhere down the line.

I waited in the rain for the bus, carrying Bill’s boots in a plastic bag. For some reason he’d forgotten the boots and was going to need them tonight. I didn’t mind bringing them in for Bill. He’s been so great, so supportive for me, how could I not help him out? It’s love baby. Nothing but love love love.

As I waited for Bill to come down from his office I got a phone call. It was a 330 area code and it was in response to a resume I had sent out earlier. The office was in Colorado but the job was downtown for a position I feel I am uniquely suited for.

The phone call was brief but it went well and I told the caller that I would be available on Thursday for an interview if that would be possible. I am off on Thursday and I hope I can set something up tomorrow.

I got to the cigar shop a little late but not caring about it. I was bound to be late what with the weather and all. Marcus was out sick and so it was me and the Bradley. Calvin was out today since he and his wife were going to see Prince, deciding to do so after my glowing review last month.

It was a weird day. Yesterday the back room man cave was shut down due to a ventilation problem and it hadn’t been corrected yet. The HVAC people were supposed to be in around 8:30 this morning, they didn’t arrive until 12:30. And the second cash register was broken down due to a power strip problem.

Not much money was made today. The regulars stayed away in droves, the ones who did show up were quite upset with the fact that they couldn’t smoke their cigars in the man cave, walking out dejected. It made for a long day. I wound up working with Sean and the Bradley and we all got along fine.

I forgot to write about the bus ride in this morning. I was sitting behind Linda Weinstein who was using the bus as her office, making arrangements and planning Ray’s memorial service, scheduled for the first weekend in February. “Ray’s a bigger pain in the ass now that he’s dead than he was when he was alive!”

I thought about offering her my resume but thought again and decided not to.



I Haven’t Time to Be a Millionaire

A day off which happened to coincide with many others (but not all) having off for Martin Luther King’s birthday, or the recognition of it as a Federal holiday. And it was a good day. I went to bed earlier than usual last night after watching the Golden Globes with Bill on TV.

We both enjoyed the telecast, thought Ricky Gervais was pretty funny with his accurate putdowns on Hollywood and the star system. I watched the second episode of Shameless last night after Bill had gone to bed. But there was so much going on in the episode I couldn’t keep up and went to bed halfway through, around 12:30.

I slept fairly well, Bill get up this morning around 5:00. He was off to Philadelphia on his day off to meet some people in a casting agency and was on a Greyhound bus around 6:30. I was up and about at my usual time, 8-ish and set about starting my day. Shower, coffee before heading out to the grocery store.

I walked by Mr. L’s barber shop on my way to the supermarket. Tony my barber was cutting someone’s hair so I would have to wait until later to get my hair cut. Came home and had a nice breakfast and started my laundry.

Plenty of clothes to wash so I was busy. After the washing was done I headed out once again and walked to the barber shop where Tony was available. He was sitting watching an old movie on Turner Classic Movies with another bloke who turned out to be Joe Pantoliano.

I didn’t let on that I knew who he was and let him watch the movie undisturbed while Tony set about cutting my hair. Soon other customers came in and Joe Pantoliano made his way out without anyone paying him much notice. He was bundled up somewhat and also wearing sunglasses.

Another customer and I started talking about the current situation. He used to work at JP Morgan Chase and now he’s an engineer for the MTA. I explained that I was an office manager for an investment bank which went belly up and now I sell cigars and expensive pens.

I think he was looking for sympathy to which I replied that he was making more money than I am, mentioning that I took a 20 thousand dollar pay cut where he is still making a lot more money than I am. He does have a Master’s degree which he pointed out. He was trying to blame the economic climate on government being out of control, and I agreed that it was out of control and has been for the past 10 years.

He wasn’t expecting to hear that, nor was my mentioning that invading Iraq which cost billions of dollars helped put us where we are now. And also the deregulation of the banks which the right wing (who I did not mention by name) had been working on since the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I ended it with that and came home looking rather snappy with my hair nicely trimmed.

Hadn’t gotten a haircut since November I think and it was getting to be unmanageable. Came home and ran into Stine who told me she was making her excellent meat sauce and would make me a package when she was done.

When she was done and Julio came home, she invited me to have dinner with them. Alexander was wonderful as usual, sometimes putting on a show for me, fake laughter and all that. He does love being the center of attention and does not hesitate to scream my name to get my attention.

A wonderful spaghetti dinner with Stine, Julio and Alexander, some wine and some grapes for dessert. Alexander was getting sleepy when I made my way back upstairs, soon after Bill had come home. Now it’s now and here I am, a container of meat sauce in the fridge and me trying not to think about going to work tomorrow.

Bill and I are watching Shameless and William H Macy reminds me of someone.


I Know I’m Losing You

Maybe I go looking for trouble. But when I see something that seems fishy I will speak up. Now it seems inconsequential to most, but to a music fan on a tight budget it seems strange. It’s a problem that happened a number of years ago when I bought a birthday present for Julio, The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.

I bought it at the local record shop, Tunes and it was in a plastic envelope, not factory sealed like most new products are. As I was wrapping it I heard something rattling inside. The jewel case was broken. It could have scratched the CD.

They had no answer except the robotic line that just because we played it in the store doesn’t mean it’s been used, it’s still new. So today after hearing about the stripped down version of Double Fantasy I felt I had to get it. A treat, a reward for a pretty good day for me.

Before I left the apartment I called to see if they had it in stock. They said they did so I went before doing some errands. Stopped by Mr. L’s where I saw Tony the barber. He cleaned me up nicely this morning.

I walked over to Tunes and sure enough there was one copy, in a plastic envelope, next to Milk & Honey, Walls & Bridges, Mind Games, Imagine etc, all factory sealed. I asked why Double Fantasy wasn’t sealed like the others and was told because it was in the listening post.

I asked wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here. I decided to push it along a bit and said, if it was played wouldn’t that make it used? No, that’s how we do it here.

Once more, I asked the girl behind the counter, clearly annoyed with my question what’s the difference between something being taken home and played and something for sale that was played in the store, to which she replied, that’s how we do it here.

I made the purchase anyway but couldn’t let it go. I called the other Tunes store in NJ and asked for the manager who I figured would be the owner. The one whom I had the almost exact same chat a few years ago.

The girl who answered the phone couldn’t handle my question after a few minutes and then some guy came on the line. He asked what was the problem and I repeated it. He too had the same answer as the robot girl, “No, that’s how we do it here.”

Then he mentioned they had a shrink wrap machine in the back and sometimes they repackage used items which seems dodgy to me.

He said he was sorry I felt the way I did and I said I accepted his apology which greatly upset him, causing him to say that he wasn’t apologizing to me exactly.

I did mention that I do try to support bricks and mortar record stores but I wouldn’t have this problem with Amazon or iTunes. ‘Well, we’re not Amazon’ said the manager. ‘What is the point of this call’ he asked and I said I just wanted an answer to why used items are sold as new.

I also mentioned that I was writing this for an article (this here article). ‘Why did I buy the CD then?’ he asked and I mentioned that I bought it because I wanted the package. I could have just as easily gone to the bibliothèque and gotten it from there and burned it. I’ve already burned the two discs (one stripped down John & Yoko, the other the originally released 1980 version).

According to the receipt, If I still have the original packaging and the receipt I can get a full cash refund within 14 days. I might just do that. The CD is back in the plastic envelope and the receipts are intact.

What do YOU think about this ‘issue’? I’d really like to know.

It was a good day regardless. I had two interviews scheduled, one asked for a reschedule and the other went as planned. And it went well. Really well. Well enough that I have an interview with the client tomorrow.

Things seem to be moving fast. It’s similar to 8 years ago, when I first moved back to Hoboken, almost to the date. I was between jobs and the first night (or close to it) I plugged in and went online searching for a job.

The next day, Matt Semegram from ATS called and asked to see me regarding the position. I scheduled an interview with Matt the next day. He said I was a good fit and they would probably like me. He emailed me some tests which I completed and sent back after I finished it at home.

Matt called the next morning and said that they wanted to meet with me that afternoon. I went in the middle of a monsoon and spoke with Bobby Risotto. I started the job the next day.

Today while filling out the forms at the staffing agency, and after I met with Angela and her supervisor Lorraine I came home after seeing Bill for a few minutes and dashed off a thank you email. I wrote I would be able to start October 18.

About two hours ago, I got a call. The client wants to see me tomorrow morning at 9:30. They will be calling me tonight to confirm and let me know where to go. Fingers crossed.

Do not call me between 8:00 and 10:00PM tonight. You know who you are.

That's him. That's my Bill. Over there.


After a shave and a visit to Tony the barber at Mr. L's.

I’m a Boy

I am now back home. Tonight after work, I was listening to Born Under Punches, Cross-eyed and Painless & The Great Curve by Talking Heads, from Remain in Light tonight, and it got me to the bus terminal in 17 minutes. I should walk on the east side of the street, where there seems to be less people.

Songs with a good beat really gets my momentum going. And I side step the pedestrians as I charge my way down the avenue to the bus terminal.

Today was the late shift. Before I headed in, I got my hair cut at Mr. L’s, where my barber Tony was ready for me. I was his first customer at 8:00. He’d been there since 5:45, mopping the floor, opening the barber shop at 7:00.

I got it cut very short, with a light fade. My hair grows thick and it’s been so hot lately I couldn’t take it. It made for difficult sleeping. Freshly shorn of my locks, I came home and had some more coffee before donning my suit and heading out.

I also applied sunblock on my face since it was quite bright outside. Stood in the shade waiting for the bus next to some woman headed off to yoga. Read the New Yorker on the way and soon I was in the bus terminal.

Pedro called as I was descending the stairs and I told him I would call him back. Once again I was early and sat in the shade of a nearby skyscraper when I climbed the escalator from the subway. Called Pedro back who told me of his really fun time at Summerstage and the skate circle.

I wished I could have been there, but this is my lot in life lately. It was a brief talk as we were both heading into work. Pedro remarked yesterday when we were hanging out that it looked like I lost weight. I think he’s right, I do think I lost some weight.

It was Calvin and Don Birch in the store. After listening to what Raymond had to say last night, I was wary but didn’t show my cards. Played it close to the vest. Jazz was playing of course when I walked in, but it was Thelonious Monk playing Duke Ellington so that wasn’t so bad.

When it ended Calvin asked that I put something on. So I put on some Cole Porter stuff on my iPod.

The day progressed in it’s regular manner. Today being the first day of Summer, meant that it was the longest day. It didn’t necessarily feel that way since we were somewhat busy. Of course there was a glitch in the way the day was going.

Last week I was entered into the computer system and able to make sales. But no one told me about how to make sales my own, therefore getting the large share of a commission on items that I sell. The other day I made some big sales but since I opened the register, my name was the default for sales.

Today I didn’t open the register and when I sold a pen for $340.00 I didn’t get the sale. Instead it went to Calvin. I was upset with that but kept my displeasure under wraps. Calvin went out for a little while and I complained to Don Birch.

When Calvin came back I went out for a short walk. I tried to call Bill but got his voice mail at work. Then I remembered that he was taking half a day at work and called his cellphone. I dialed and whomever answered said the name of a restaurant. I called again and was hung up on, adding to my frustration.

I decided to give it one last shot and finally Bill answered, telling me he was driving his friend Tom home. That made me think that he had Tom answer the phone and thinking he was being funny, answered the phone the way he did, saying it was a restaurant.

It was a brief call with Bill and I once again internalized my frustration.

I came back to the cigar shop and Calvin mentioned he was going to make things right and deleted the transaction and reentered it, making me the seller of the $340.00 pen. I thanked Calvin for doing the right thing.

Calvin soon went home and it was me and Don Birch. A few customers came in, including one guy who was the personal assistant to one of the stars in Grown Ups, a comedy that is being released this Friday. Nice guy, very friendly and bought about $350.00 worth of cigars from me.

I made sure the sale was in my name this time.

Not sad

Day Dreaming

Well first off, it’s a lot cooler today than it was yesterday. Somewhere in the 70 degree range. Nice. Not too hot, pretty cool. The weather people kept talking about rain, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I can see ominous clouds approaching from the west. It’s now supposed to rain tonight. I’m not going anywhere. I never do anyhow.

Yesterday was an accomplishment, going out and seeing the Hoboken Memorial Day parade. Once I’m in, I’m in.

I did go out and play guitar for a while this afternoon by the river. Tariq showed up so I sang. Why can’t I sing when I’m alone? I sang Hercules by Elton and also Make the World Go Away by Eddy Arnold.

It was a good day and I enjoyed playing. Made some pocket change thanks to two generous teenagers. I only played guitar for about an hour and a half.

Walked back with Tariq, he was off to his studio. I needed a haircut. Hair was getting thick and the heat yesterday made it feel like I was wearing a hat. Tony was in at Mr. L’s despite usually having Thursday and Friday off.

The other barber, Louie (Mr. L himself) was on vacation in Italy. I walked in, and Tony was free having just had a nap. He did a good job as usual.

We talked about cigars and the new job with my new role in a male version of The Mystery of Marie Rogêt. Oddly enough, Marie Rogêt’s body was found floating in the Hudson River just off the Hoboken coast.

It was way before my time in Hoboken so don’t look at me.

Now it is thundering and raining with the occasional flash of lightning.

Had a good phone call from an old friend and ex-roommate Kevin. He actually called after Lost on Sunday night and after talking then I told him I would call him during the week. So I called today.

He’s out in Pennsylvania living his life to the best of his ability. It was good to talk to him. He’s a good guy. I don’t think I would live with him again and I’m sure he feels the same way about me.

We talked about various friends of ours, mainly people we hadn’t seen in a while. He’s someone who should definitely have a blog. He’s still quite opinionated and also very funny. I would read it daily.

He sometimes reads this here blog so maybe he should get to it. He knows a lot about my online life. Maybe too much. Then again, it’s all out there for the world to see.

I ran some errands for Bill, dropping off his laundry and dry cleaning and then picking it all up later in the day. I also did my own laundry which of course is hanging in the kitchen and bathroom and now with the rain, should be dry by Saturday or Sunday.

That’s about it on this end. Playing guitar, laundry and errands. Another day closer to being employed. And that’s a very good thing.
seen on Eighth Avenue

seen on Eighth Avenue



O Solo Mio

It’s a dismal Tuesday, I did my best to make it less dismal but despite my best efforts it’s all fallen by the wayside. I can only guess this is how it is in Bala Cynwyd, day after bleedin’ day.

Been gray at times, then it was sunny with blue skies. Then a few drops of rain would appear. Too windy and nippy to play guitar by the river.

I ran into Tony, my barber at Mr. L’s. He saw me carrying my guitar the other day and told me it would be a good way to make some money, playing in restaurants.

He’s from Italy and told me his favorite place in Italy is Naples. He doesn’t like Rome. And the thing he likes about Naples is the fact that there is music everywhere. Old timey Italian music that is. I doubt if their playing the Beatles or Talking Heads.

Maybe they are. Maybe I should hot foot it to Naples.

I saw Tony on my way to the Soviet bloc building in Hoboken. I had called a few times to inquire about the Civil Union certificate. Left voice mail which went un-returned. Nice hours they have. 9AM to 3:30PM with an hour off for lunch.

A job for life it is, especially when they got the job because they knew someone at City Hall. That’s how Hoboken used to run until recently and probably still is. I finally did get through and showed up. I brought my passport as my identification figuring it would be enough.

At the bulletproof glass they asked for a driver’s license. I live in Hoboken and don’t need a car to get around. Then again, these are the types that work four blocks away and drive to work.

I mentioned that no one said on the phone that I would need 2 forms of identification and they merely replied, ‘well you probably didn’t ask’.

Touché.

I did have a feeling that might happen and resigned myself to the fact that I might have to go through all this tomorrow. But I did look in my wallet and found my Voter Identification Card which was good enough with the Passport.

Paid them $10.00 and they gave me an embossed document. I bet they pocketed the $10.00 once I left.

Wandered around Hoboken for a while after that. Spoke with Bill and told him we were now legit. He seemed annoyed. I mentioned now we can get divorced. He said ‘that’s good’. Maybe we’re both getting on each others nerves as it sometimes happens. Maybe our cycles are in sync.

On my way home I ran into barber Tony so I decided to get my hair cut. A trim. Give it some shape. My hair is so bloody thick that I sweat a lot. Some people would say I had a thick skull but it’s really the hair.

It’s a good idea I think, to look snappy whenever possible. You never know when a job interview might be happening. Tony certainly agreed.

I really tower over him, which in the eight years he’s been cutting my hair, I never really noticed. I have maybe a little over two feet on him, which means the barber chair gets lowered greatly.

And I also have to say I am simply thrilled that Chris Frantz from Talking Heads (and Tom Tom Club) is my Facebook friend. He comments on my videos from time to time and I think it’s so great.

I mean, who cares if he writes, ‘What the fuck do you know about anything? John Ozed, you’re an idiot!’ *
Chris Frantz ladies and gentlemen!

Dog owners now put their dog shit in bags, but they still don't throw it out

Dog owners now put their dog shit in bags, but they still don't throw it out


Parking garage

Parking garage


JOT
Photo-0115 JOT

*Chris Frantz has NEVER written anything like that at all.

The Barber Feel It

It’s been an interesting 24 hours. First off, though I really didn’t care, I am happy that the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl, just for the fact that it more than likely bolstered the spirits of the residents of New Orleans.

The TV was on during the first half of the game, but the sound was off and I was listening to music. Led Zeppelin, the Bee Gees and Chicago, hence the title of last night’s entry. It’s funny, like my antipathy towards Zeppelin back in the day turning into an appreciation, I find myself liking certain Chicago songs, specifically Does Anyone Really Know what Time It Is and Make Me Smile.

I suppose it’s the late Terry Kath’s songs, definitely not the Peter Cetera songs, though who knows? Check back in 20 years and I could be writing about how good Just You & Me and If You Leave Me Now actually are. By then though, it might be attributed to dementia.

Bill came home and was surprised to see the game on, and asking me who I was, since the ‘real’ me wouldn’t have the game on. I explained that I was waiting to see the Who, or rather “’alf the ‘Ooo”. Which is what they would have been 41 years ago if John Entwhistle and Keith Moon joined up with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page when Page was putting together Led Zeppelin.

The Who came on and did a good job, Roger & Pete with Pino Palladino on bass and Ringo’s son, Zak Starkey on drums and Rabbit Bundrick on keys. I thought it was Wix Wickens from Macca’s group but Wikipedia says otherwise, so no Wix, yes Rabbit.

It was a decent show. Daltrey straining to hit some notes, and Pete not being able to windmill on the guitar wearing a suit jacket. The stage design was really cool, Bill mentioned that it looked like the 1980’s electronic game, Simon, which it did at points.

Zak Starkey had the Mod bull’s eye on his cymbals and that looked really cool. Lily Mastro commented on Facebook that Zak looked like Terry Gilliam, and he did. I called up Rita after the Who. She was a major Who fan when they first came over in the 1960’s and she loved it saying that Pete could do no wrong.

It was a fun talk with Rita who invited me to go along with her to a Jim Carroll memorial on Wednesday. I asked that she remind me on Wednesday.

I wrote about 2 people last night that I came in contact with today. One was Pedro whom I wrote about doing the Roof Top dance 22 years ago. We talked on the phone about a plan that I have which my sister mentioned that would be good for me. A different career path. Not corporate, no suits involved, though I’m sure if I wanted to wear a suit I could.

I also ran into Damian, Julio’s buddy. I wrote about them last night also attending a party after seeing Led Zeppelin at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert. I run into Damian more than Julio does, I think the last time I saw him was in 2006. Damian’s a Hoboken police officer now and I ran into him on the street. So good to see him, such a nice guy. We did some catching up standing on the corner. Wife and kids are good, he’s happy with his life.

Funny how both Damian and Pedro are now law enforcement officers considering how wild we all used to be.

During the second half of the football game with the volume up and Bill cheering and shouting I researched different beauty schools in the area. I am seriously considering becoming a barber.

Yes, you’ve read that right.

It seems like a smart move, everyone needs a haircut every now and then. I already have an appointment at one school in Manhattan tomorrow and another on Thursday in West New York on Bergenline Avenue.

No more barber colleges, now I would have to take a cosmetology course. Also looking into getting stimulus funding for the schooling as well as financial aid. Pedro thought it was a great idea and was very supportive as a few other people I talked about it with were.

I also made it a point to visit with my barber at Mr. L’s. He thought it was a bad idea as did his son. Their whole point was that it was a lot of standing around waiting for customers, Tony mentioning that you’re always being watched by the person who’s hair you’re cutting.

I don’t watch what Tony’s doing since I don’t have my glasses on while he cuts my hair and I just tell him what I want and trust him to do the job. Last time I had gotten my hair cut from him, I told him to do what he wanted and I think he did a good job.

Tony who’s in his 70’s, also mentioned that during the depression a barber he knew had 3 kids to support as well as a wife and did not go on public assistance like a lot of people, since as Tony put it, a barber always has a dollar in his pocket.

It’s definitely an out of left field idea but it seems right to me, obviously since I am checking out 2 schools this week. I told Tony and his son that after I visit the school tomorrow I would stop by and let them know how it went.

I don’t think they’re afraid I would be taking away business, in fact I would be willing to pick up any slack. Since they’re closed on Wednesday and Sunday, I might be willing to rent a chair and work on those days. I’m only a few doors away anyhow.

But that’s a ways down the line and I’m getting ahead of myself. It does seem like a job that I would be pretty good at. And then there’s that whole Sweeney Todd thing.

What do you think? Your comments would be worth reading should you care to write them…

Many Rivers to Cross

Well last night was cool. Mellowness abounds. Bill came home early and was in bed by 10:00. Juan came by about a half hour later, heeding my request not to show up empty handed. He came with 2 six packs of Heineken. The perfect choice it was.

Good to see Juan. It was only a month I think since I last saw him, but seemed longer than that. In the interim he had flown out to California and spent time with his uncle in Berkeley. We just drank beer and watched Almost Famous which I had gotten on loan from the library.

I do love that movie and think Patrick Fugit is adorable in the movie and Kate Hudson is beautiful. Juan says she has horrible teeth. Juan had seen it on a flight years ago and oddly enough the only scene he remembered was the scene where the plane looked like it was going to crash.

Of all scenes to watch on a plane, that wouldn’t be the one I would want to see. He was off to his sisters house in Bayonne via the light rail so he was out of here by 1:00. I can only guess he made it in time since I didn’t get a phone call.

And we didn’t finish off the beer, there are still a few cans in the fridge. Still, Bill was surprised by the amount of empty cans in the recycling bag.

Bill was up and active around 8:00. I slept until 8:30, when I couldn’t sleep anymore and didn’t want anymore dreams that took place in Iraq. The dream I had involved me in a situation like The Hurt Locker. Not very pleasant. Oh these cannabis free dreams, so unnerving.

Bill had gone and got the bagels and the papers, even getting a bagel for Stine. He also was able to practice the Danish phrases that the people who stayed in Julio & Stine’s apartment when they were in Denmark over the holidays. Alexander was playing with his Thomas the Tank Engine train set and didn’t speak much to Bill except to say ‘bye bye’ when he left.

Bill was off to the gym and I went to the supermarket to get some items on sale. More chicken. More pasta. Some pesto. Some juice.

Bill was taking a nap when I came back. I also stopped at the library and returned Almost Famous and picked up The Land of the Lost starring Will Farrell and also a Real World compilation, Peter Gabriel’s label, called Big Blue World.

I think I will burn it for my brother in law’s birthday in a couple of weeks. Bill was up and getting ready for his bus driving gig to Atlantic City. It was a nice day, 40 degrees or so. Felt like spring.

I walked around a bit, stopped by the Guitar Bar and returned a book, Redemption Song, about Joe Strummer, that Ruby Mastro lent me. I had it for a couple of months and didn’t want to hang onto it since I have so many other things to read.

I guess I might be able to get that through the library when the time is right. Also got a haircut for any job interviews that might be on the horizon. Gotta look sharp and my hair wasn’t growing long, it was getting thick and unmanageable. Makes a difference.

My head doesn’t resemble the Irish blockhead, now it looks oval. Which I think is an improvement.

Tony the barber at Mr. L’s told me about how he had to have dental surgery which cost him $1710.00. No insurance for the removal of wisdom teeth. He was surprised at the cost. Luckily for him it was no problem which leads me to think there’s money to be made in cutting hair.

Is there a barber college in my future? I do watch Tabatha’s Salon Takeover and sometimes think that that might be a good gig.

After I get something to eat, I’m going over to Rands for some cocktails.

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Somebody Else’s Guy

Yesterday was definitely a better day than the sturm und drang of the days preceding it. Last night Bill came home from his deep tissue massage therapy and I was clearly in a better mood and happy to see him.

All the worries from the days before were talked about and resolved nicely. We watched some Herbie Hancock on Sundance channel and also enjoyed some Grimaldi’s Pizza. Also watched a documentary on Cary Grant which was very good. Bill once again went to bed earlier than me and I stayed up watching who knows what.

I do remember the Simpsons which was great as usual. After that, it was off to bed for me as well. Bill was up early, rented a Zip Car and drove out to Clifton NJ for a medical exam so he could change his license from New York to New Jersey. Since he’s a professional bus driver there’s a hoop he has to jump through.

I of course slept in. Rainy and gray outside. Bill was picking up the paper and the bagels so there was no need for me to go outside. Eventually I did go outside. I needed a haircut and walked by Mr. L’s. Of course my barber, Tony was busy.

Walked over to the library and dropped off some items. Did not bring and umbrella and I should not have been surprised that when I left it was pouring out. Once again Tony was cutting someone else’s hair.

I came home a little bit soaked. Bill came home from Clifton. Unable to get his exam completed since there were a few people ahead of him and he needed to return the Zip Car to Hoboken by 11:00. He took a nap and I watched a DVD about Beyond the Fringe. It was definitely funny.

Watching Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett in the early 1960’s doing their final performance on the West End. Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett are still alive perhaps they decided early on that the life of a performer wasn’t for them.

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore obviously thought otherwise and made big names for themselves but both came to untimely ends.

Bill was out on the road once again this afternoon and I sat and watched various clips about Peter Cook. I ventured out into the rain again, this time armed with an umbrella. And since I had an umbrella it didn’t rain.

A trip to the supermarket was in order so I walked by Mr. L’s once again and once again Tony was busy. Dropped off the items in my hallway for a trip to Hoboken Daily News that has milk cheaper than the supermarket.

Walked by Mr. L’s and saw Tony was free. He was happy to see me. Hadn’t sat in his chair since July. No more monthly haircuts since I didn’t have any need for upkeep. Just a trim for me. My hair grows thick and not long so it was a few layers taken off which made everything lighter and cooler.

And a haircut will do me some good in case some job interviews appear on the horizon. Tony did his usual ace job, trimming most of the gray hairs from my goatee. I was growing a beard but shaved it the other day before the interview.

Bill is in Atlantic City leaving at 1:30 or so and coming back to Hoboken around 7:00. I’m laying low as usual. Planning on watching Adventureland and probably some more Beyond the Fringe clips online. It’s going to be a mellow, quiet Saturday night and I am fine with that.

Behind Bars

Well it’s been an overcast and blustery day today. It’s a Saturday and it’s definitely an improvement from yesterday weather wise. I Bill and I watched TV last night O & RM actually. It’s a been a while and we caught as RM & O since we caught Rachel Maddow first. Bill went to sleep soon after the O show which wasn’t hosted by Keith Olbermann last night.

I stayed up and watched Bill Maher which was so so, I can’t stand David Frum, so smug he makes Christopher ‘itchens look ‘umble. Tried catching Letterman after that but couldn’t get into it. Went to sleep feeling good and woke up pretty much the same way.

Quite nice waking up next to Bill who has a lot on his mind. I just try to be there and listen. He was still sleeping when I went out and did the morning supermarket thing. Planned on getting a hair cut but my barber Tony was busy at 9:00.

Bagel shop was crowded again so maybe I have been catching it on down times and they’re not hurting from the economic climate. Nice breakfast, Bill up and about, cleaning. It’s an ongoing struggle. I figure once his end is cleaned up I’ll do my bit. Really!

And it won’t all go under the bed, out of sight.

I tried again for a haircut and I lucked out. Tony’s chair was vacant and he was puttering around in the corner making some French Vanilla coffee which I was offered and declined. Tony noticed I did get my monthly haircut last month and I explained how my work week has been shortened.

He understood and asked for some encouraging words. I guess he turns to me for information about the present situation and I did my best. Not so much doom and gloom, little or no sturm und drang. Y

ou have to be careful with that sort of thing when there’s someone standing over you with sharp objects. Tony did a good job and also trimmed my goatee.

Bill was gone by the time I came back and I did various things around the apartment meaning listened to music and surfed the net. I decided to head out after watching the Broken Hearts Club which was a movie that Bill and I saw when we first met. A gay date movie, and it’s actually pretty good. I liked it more now that I did 9 years ago.

It was pretty windy and cool out but I didn’t mind. Had a good talk with my nephew Earl which was fun. I look forward to seeing him this summer, hopefully I’ll be able to take some time off. As I was walking around I ran into Karen Kuhl who I’ve loved for years.

I first saw her in Gutbank which was a local Hoboken band in the 1980’s . I found her charismatic and I loved her songs. Then Gutbank broke up and reformed as Sexpod with some new members. Now she performs as herself, in the Karen Kuhl Band.

She was feeling a little down and I was pouring on the positivity. Something about her and few other women that I just get energized by and love to make them laugh which I did with Karen for a few minutes this afternoon. I should make it a point to go check her out next time she plays.

Other than that, it was just a gray Saturday afternoon in Hoboken.

I also heard from Juan on the phone today. He might be stopping by tonight. He wanted to go out, perhaps in the city but I had to bring him down to Earth with explaining to him that money was tight.

Buds

Buds

moving out

moving out

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4409-hoboken-sky-019

E-Pro

It’s a Monday again, but it’s a federal holiday, Presidents Day. I have the day off but still I write at the usual time. Been active today, don’t know about busy. Active is better but it creates the image of exercise. I don’t exercise.

I don’t even consider riding my bicycle 40 miles exercise. I call it bike riding. I couldn’t fall asleep last night, been drinking a lot of juice so I thought maybe the sugar in the orange juice was keeping me awake but upon reflection I would say it was more than likely, the Cuisinart coffee maker Bill got me for Valentine’s Day.

I drank a lot of coffee, all in the name of making sure the coffee maker was working properly. I think I drank more than 10 cups. I know I made 2 pots and each pot is 10 cups so you do the math while I sit here vibrating. I do like the coffee maker though, I like it very much.

I’m sure Bill was nervous getting me the present, since a few years ago I was a bit sniffy about an expensive sauce pan he bought for my birthday a couple of years ago. In fact, I was so sniffy I didn’t use it for a year, just kept it in the cupboard still in the box.

I resolved never to behave like that again and to be grateful for whatever it is I got. It has now gained a position in my pantheon of cookware, and it is now the ‘special’ sauce pan.

So either because of the sugar in the orange juice or all the coffee I was up until 1:30 watching From G’s to Gents on VH1. It’s about taking some thugs and thug wannabes and turning them into what passes for gentlemen on VH1.

Farnsworth Bentley is the host and the final judge on whether these hoodlums from around the country, (including Union City) have what it takes to be a gent. They also get 100k if they make it to the end. It was mindless entertainment and perfect for someone who couldn’t fall asleep.

Then I fell asleep and woke up around 7:30, coffee pot a brewing and since I didn’t have to go to work today, I went back to bed, waking up at around 9:00. I showered and after watching the second half of A Hard Days Night on IFC I went out, bought some bagels, the papers and was able to get a haircut.

It wasn’t too crowded at Mr. L’s but apparently I got there at the right time since midway through my haircut, the place got crowded. Tony worked his magic, earning his tip by trimming the goatee and reducing the gray hair, as well as trimming eye brows, ear hair and nose hair. Above and beyond the call of duty.

They were watching Angels with Dirty Faces on TCM. Tony remarked about how well dressed everyone was back then, mentioning that even when they would show footage from baseball games the men were all dressed in suits and ties, not to mention hats, which seem to be coming back.

I was home soon enough in time to head out to have lunch with Casey Chasm. He suggested McSwells, but they weren’t open. I suggested the Malibu diner which was adequate. It was good catching up with Casey who is going to be a father and also studying for the New York Bar exam next week.

He’s nervous about the whole thing and I tried to reassure him. It was good to see him, both of us doing a rapid recent history much like one of those 5 minute date things you see in the movies. I did think it was odd when he left almost immediately after getting the check.

Lunch was on me as was planned, but I figured we’d walk afterwards, he back to his law books and me to Shop Rite but he was fast out of there. The man has got the Bar review on his mind.

I wound up walking alongside the viaduct, past the 5 screen movie theater under construction, past the recently completed and still quite vacant mini-mall and past 3 fire fighters who were doing some kind of training in the northwest quadrant of Hoboken.

I walked into Shop Rite which is much larger than the A&P a block away from my apartment. Shop Rite is maybe a 20 minute walk which is cumbersome if you’re carrying a few bags of groceries. That was basically my day. Really nothing much else to report so I think I’ll just stop it here.

Or here.

Or maybe even….here.

Across the Universe

A Saturday night and a later posting than usual. It’s after 9:00 and I’m only just getting started. It’s been a busy day for me. Last night wasn’t. Didn’t go to McSwells with a holiday hug for Roda. Way too ugly out, snow, sleet and rain. I was content to stay inside and watch TV.

O & RM again, followed by the second half of the DVD of Stop Making Sense, the live concert film of Talking Heads. Been a while since I saw it and started watching it the other night when Bill was here.

He knew right off the bat that it was Talking Heads, just from looking at David Byrne’s sneakers as he performs Psycho Killer by himself. I had stopped it that night as they were about to do Life During Wartime and that’s where I jumped in again.

Still a great film, they were a great band that will probably never get back together again, which may be a good thing (no pun intended).

After that I did watch the news and the Simpsons following with Scrubs and then I went to bed. Woke up to the sounds of people digging out their cars and shoveling sidewalks. Soon enough I was outside walking past them with trepidation since it was quite icy outside.

Came home after some early errands, walked by Mr. L’s. Tony, my barber was busy with customers and it promised to be a busy day for all concerned in the barbershop. Last weekend before the holiday.

After a few more errands I saw Tony’s chair unoccupied and walked right in. There were a few other guys waiting but they didn’t want Tony’s expertise so I jumped into his chair.

About 45 minutes later he was done, my goatee trimmed nicely, he does a great job of snipping out whatever gray hairs he sees. He doesn’t like gray hairs. His hair is white naturally but every month he dyes it, sometimes magenta, sometimes a reddish brown like today.

He’s about 70 something and lives with his wife in South Hackensack. His son, Nick also cuts hair in the barbershop. I did some laundry at home then had to run out when the wooden clothes rack I use snapped and I lost few rungs. The story of my life.

Bought a new clothes rack as well as a flashlight for the Same Sex Marriage/Anti Rick Warren Rally in Manhattan. Around 4:30 I hopped on the Path train and rode to 33rd street where I was supposed to meet Bill at 5:45. I was there at 5:15 and needed to pee.

Ran into the Manhattan Mall where I found there were no bathrooms due to reconstruction. I had no choice but to go into a pub and have a pint and relieve myself in their facilities.

After the pint I went out and had a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero and waited for Bill who was in great spirits despite the cold. I too was in a good mood and we walked to the staging part of the rally at 35th and Sixth Avenue.

After standing around for a long time in the cold, a few hundred of us chanted and marched up to 42nd st and Seventh Avenue where we chanted some more shone our flashlights and lit our candles and listened and cheered to a succession of speakers.

A good friendly crowd, LGBT people well represented as well as some of our straight supporters. It really made a difference for me, to have Bill at my side marching for equal rights. It made all the difference in the world actually.

He walked me back to the gate at the bus terminal where a bus soon pulled up. We kissed goodbye and he was heading back to Stuyvesant Town as I settled into a seat on the bus and read the New Yorker, which I am practically finished with.

Ran into Chris, who used to be a waitress at McSwells back in the day. She was in the Jersey Journal the other day protesting the 47% tax hike that homeowners in Hoboken received due to the tragic ineptitude of the Mayor, Dave Roberts who basically screwed the Mile Square City raw.

I did see Jim Mastro who told me Ann Boyles will be in town on Monday or Tuesday and we might just meet at McSwells for all those people in Hoboken who would love to see Ann Boyles once again and it will give me a chance to say hello to her on behalf of bhikkhu.

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Yummy Yummy Yummy

Well today they promised rain and it rain for a bit but overall it turned out ok. Temperatures were close to the 70’s making it a muggy November afternoon. I was going to participate in another demonstration, this time at New York City Hall, but the threat of rain kept me away, making me a fair weather protester, or perhaps like Sarah Vowel had written, a Partly Cloudy Patriot.

It turns out that it was actually very nice for the hours of the demonstration, and on the news they said hundreds of people had shown up, then they said they covered a few city blocks which, judging by the crowd on Wednesday night, I would say it was more like a thousand or so.

It was also easier to go to the demonstration on Wednesday since I was in the city already. Today I was safely ensconced in Hoboken, far from the maddening crowds. Plus it sucks to go without Bill who is still indefinitely in Stuyvesant Town. I miss the big lug.

Last night was relatively quiet. Watched O & RM, and I have to ween myself from them soon. Daily Show and Colbert Report can stay though. Last night’s repeat of Thursday night’s show had Bill O’Reilly on and he is such an ass. He was trying to be so hip, and he only came off as smug. Jon Stewart had him on the ropes though. Stephen Colbert was actually funnier than the Daily Show. Had me laughing out loud. They’ll repeat both on Monday night I think and both are worth checking out.

Started to watch the news when I remembered Bill Maher was on. Thankfully I missed his monologue. Ashton Kushner was surprisingly outspoken and presented his views quite well. Even rebuffed Dan Savage’s overtures, reminding Dan Savage that he had sent Savage a letter which was replied with some really foul and nasty language.

That seemed to have put Dan Savage in his place. Dan Savage has been in the hot seat this week due to some comments regarding 70% of black people that voted in favor of Prop h8 and were construed as racist following the passing of Prop h8. They didn’t bring that up though and Dan Savage has deleted that column from his archives and is singing quite a different tune.

Then it was a good night of sleep. Waking up this morning had a shower, some coffee then a walk a few doors down my block to Mr. L’s for my monthly haircut. Tony was free and I was determined not to paint as grim a picture on the economy as I did last month. I think my generous tip helped proved my point. He’s a great barber. Gets the gray out of the goatee, and trims eye brows, ear and nose hair. When my goatee gets bushy I know it’s time for a hair cut.

cellphone pic

Went to the market, dropped off some bagels with the Lopez clan on the third floor. Superboy has changed since I last saw him three weeks ago. After that I had breakfast and surfed the net, made some new friends and freaks and walked to the post office to drop off some Netflix dvd’s and enjoyed a Padron.

Now I’m having some pizza waiting for Juan so we can go to the Girl Talk show tonight at Terminal 5 which is at 56th street and 12th avenue. That’s it in a rather large nutshell. The liquor store on the corner has a Christmas display in their window already, Santa and his reindeer on a motorized see saw.

Hoboken’s very pricey (millions!) new World War 2 memorial.

And now that I’m finally getting ready to go out with Juan tonight, the downpour begins….

I’m Only Sleeping

Last night mellow. My evening routine was askew since I wrote before I came home. Nothing to worry about. I was home by 8:00, Bill was watching the convention on MSNBC. I planned on watching Weeds at 10:00 but neither of us wanted to miss Michelle Obama’s speech.

Ted Kennedy was pretty good, with his swan song. The fat lady off stage, waiting to sing for Ted’s political career. I mentioned to Bill that as Ted had gotten older, he became a great statesman. Though the grumbling about windmill generators off Hyannis Port was a bit troubling.

I told Bill that Caroline will probably become the head of the Kennedy family once Ted moves on. Bill went to bed soon after Michelle Obama and I watched the news, eventually going to bed around 11:45, which is a bit late for my ass.

Slept like a rock or so I thought. I woke up tired and slept a little later than usual. I saw Casey on the bus yesterday but since I was late, no Casey today. Walked across town, still a bit groggy, figured once I had a few cups of coffee I would be alright. Well it didn’t turn out alright as I kept getting more tired as the hours crawled by.

Bill was feeling quite the same way. Today I left work early. Yesterday the other two left early, but today was my day. And I’m still taking off Thursday and Friday. Juan’s in town today but since Bill and I are fatigued for no reason at all, it’s probably best that he stays away. Plus it promises to be an early night for the both of us.

I’m still pretty much out of it even though I came home and napped for two hours. I did finally get my hair cut from Tony at Mr. L’s down the street. I walked by and he was free so I popped in for a quickie. My hair grows thick and at a certain point it can be too much.

So a trim was in order. Tony always does a good job and mentions most times that a lot of guys would love to have my hair. He’s a 60-70 something Italian immigrant who lives with his wife in South Hackensack by Lodi, not the South Hackensack by Teterboro.

Uses a color rinse on his hair every month and a half and cuts hair next to his 50 something son. He goes the extra mile, trimming nose hair, ear hair and selectively removing gray hairs from my goatee earning a decent tip. So now I feel a lot cooler physically and mentally but still pretty much tired.

I’m sure a good nights sleep would do me good as well as doing Bill good. I got an email from Pedro with a pic of 30 fellow CO’s tailgating in the parking lot at Shea. He was there, I was wrong. We cleared it all up on Sunday on the phone so that’s good.

Pedro 5th from right

Still reading Alan Bennett which is slow going. Right now he’s talking about his Aunties. All well and good but for me it’s been dragging. Maybe it’s my fatigue. It just reminds me of the boring visits to my Aunt Diddy in Flushing.

She was my father’s sister and her house was not child friendly. There was nothing to entertain a 10 year old boy and I could only get some money from my mother so often to go get comic books a few blocks away. But obviously I’m veering into Alan Bennett’s style and I’m very tired.

I’m surprised I got this far tonight.

Love Plus One

It’s another scorcher, this being a Saturday. Last night was hotter, yesterday was hotter. I watched Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. A very good documentary on the former John Mellor. Those who knew the Clash story knew that Joe’s father was in the civil service in England, Joe was born in Ankara, Turkey. Being middle class didn’t help with one’s punk credentials in England at least.

It was done similar to the Beatles Anthology, and what they did regarding John Lennon being dead. They used countless interviews to tell Joe Strummer’s story. It wasn’t all favorable. Joe dicked some people in his life and they tell their side of the story. Joe regretted some his his actions, like kicking Mick Jones out of the Clash.

The documentary was filmed around campfires, in London, Los Angeles and New York as well as other places. Mick Jones was indoors though. No campfires for him. Topper Headon, excellent drummer kicked out for being a junkie, tells of living skint while hearing Rock The Casbah playing somewhere. Joe also slept with Topper’s girlfriend, as well as other girlfriends of various people.

It was Topper’s song, Rock The Casbah. I’m sure he gets royalties, since by the time of Sandinista, all the songs were credited to the Clash, rather than Strummer/Jones, or Simonon. Not much Paul Simonon in the documentary. Thats something that keeps bands together, songwriting royalties, U2 does it. Everyone shares in the money. Joe Strummer was also upset that Rock The Casbah was being used as a soundtrack to the first Gulf War.

Songwriting breaks up bands usually. It caused stress in Talking Heads. The band would jam and David Byrne would write the lyrics and get all the songwriting royalties. Eventually they changed it to Lyrics by Byrne, Music by Talking Heads.

But the Clash dissolved, and forget about the Cut the Crap Clash, they barely got a mention. It’s a very good documentary directed by Julien Temple who made The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and The Fury about the Sex Pistols. Worth watching if you’re a Clash fan. Some of the footage is also from Dick Rude’s excellent documentary on Joe, called Let’s Rock Again. Also worth watching.

Manager Bernie Rhodes comes off badly. He hated Mick Jones and Topper Headon and set about working Joe and Paul against Mick after Topper got the boot.

I started watching the extras on the dvd, Mick Jones getting fucked up as he tells the story of the Clash over a few hours. Really a spliff too far. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I started to look like Mick Jones so I wound up asleep in my air conditioned bedroom by 11:15.

Didn’t sleep too well. Pillows went bad. Sometimes they just get uncomfortable. Since I was off yesterday I bought the papers instead of reading them online and saw a sale at the Newport Mall on pillows. That was my plan for the day. Make it to the mall. I walked by Mr. L, my barber and at 8:30 there were guys waiting for a haircut.

Not being one to wait, I got some bagels and the papers and came home for breakfast. An hour later I was out on the street, more guys getting haircuts. It’s so hot out that a lot of guys are getting shorn today. So I headed to the train station, walking in the shade and hopped on the light rail to the Newport Mall.

I was there before most of the stores were open. Bought some pillows on sale, bought some nice Airwalk sandals at Payless for $15.00, and microfiber underwear marked for clearance at Macy’s. I can’t wear cotton underwear anymore. I find it uncomfortable, and microfiber is more comfortable but seems hard to find. I found it though.

Made it back to the light rail, back to Hoboken where it was still too busy to get a haircut. Came home, had a bagel and decided to take a nap with the new pillows. It was a much needed nap. Had a dream that my brother Brian was calling me to tell me he had some really good acid.

I slept for 2 hours, air conditioned and happy. It felt like the nap made up for the uneasy sleep of the night before. I finally felt on track. Went out to try to get a haircut again, but still, no luck. Bought groceries and talked to Annemarie while I shopped in the air conditioned supermarket.

Mr. L’s closes at 5:00 on Saturday so I went down at 4:45. My barber, Tony was finishing up for the day. The other barber told me that I was next in line 3 times. This time I was staying. Just as well since I was Tony’s last customer. I told him to cut it all off. He knew better than to listen to me. I just got a nice close cropped haircut. Not a crew cut, more like a suedehead, and it feels great.

PS I Love You

Well later than usual that’s for sure, but here I am, just slightly inebriated. It’s been a fun day, low key on my end. Kudos to Stine, for pulling it all together in five days. Today was the birthday of my dear friend Julio Lopez.

A man I used to be in love with but now I just love him, which is probably better for all concerned. And I love Stine as much as I love Julio which is another good thing for all concerned, but whats best of all I love Alexander most of all. I’m sure they wouldn’t have it any other way.

All I could focus on today was getting to Julio’s surprise luncheon this afternoon on time. Which I did. No latecomer me. I was up at 6:00 this morning which was too early for a day off. No snooze button to hit, so I slept another hour or so. At 8:00 I roused myself and jumped into the shower and soon I found myself at Mr. L’s for a short back and sides haircut from Tony, my fave barber.

That took about a half hour and then I found myself in the queue to buy bagels for myself since the family two floor down were at the pediatrician. Nothing major, just a scheduled appointment for the lad. I was home soon enough having a pleasant Saturday morning breakfast. Then it was laundry for me, some undergarments I wore while sick were in desperate need of a washing among other items.

Next door, day laborers labored doing whatever it is that they do. I played DJ for them as well as myself, though I couldn’t tell you if they appreciated it or not. Regardless I busied myself knowing that I would have to be at Charitto’s by 1:00. I did good, getting there to meet Julio’s sister and brother in law, Maria and Paul and Stine’s friend from Denmark, Ditte.

Julio’s cousins showed up soon after, all very nice people, I’ve met them several times over the past couple of decades that I’ve known Julio, as well as Lisa who Julio has worked with for a number of years. A very nice lunch was ordered and the tab was picked up by Stine which was her present to Julio, as well as a present to all that had attended.

After a wonderful lunch and instead of heading to Pier A which was promising to be hot and humid while it was actually unbearable most of us wound up at Julio’s cousin’s house which is basically the building Julio grew up in. More beers, as well as cake and presents were enjoyed by all.

We even played the latest B-52’s release for a spell which was then overtaken by the Beatles White Album which was fitting somewhat since Julio’s cousin in law was a guy that I first met about 15 years ago when the cousin in law was known as Bungalow Bill. He’s from Salamanca, Spain and barely speaks a lick of English which makes for interesting attempts at conversation between the 2 of us as we stood outside sharing a cigarette.

Everyone soon made their separate ways home or wherever, me spending time with Julio and Stine while Alexander slept a few rooms away. He was tuckered out since he had 2 inoculations earlier in the day. That’s about all you’re getting for today.

Hope you had a good day, I sure did.

Pictures tomorrow.

The Bitch is Back

Oh what a crappy day. Weather wise it’s not so good either. Mainly all the turmoil is internal. Can’t seem to get a haircut and I need one. Just don’t feel like waiting in the barbershop on the corner. I’ve walked by a few times today and there are guys waiting for haircuts, and someone is always in my barber Tony’s chair. So I walk on by. It’s a Dionne Warwick kind of day. The high point of the day was this morning seeing Julio and Stine for a few minutes. Nice little chat, Stine’s ready to have the baby, just a few more days. Wednesday is the due date. She’s uncomfortable with the baby kicking her internal organs. That’s gotta suck.

After that, a nice breakfast for me and time to think about what to do. Bill called and professed his love for me which was nice. But as nice as it is, I’m getting tired of the way our relationship is going. Almost flat lining. I haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks, though he has been here, in the apartment when I’m not. He left work once or twice to come here and take a nap, gone my the time I came home. And it’s not just that I hardly ever see him anymore. At least to me it does. How Bill feels about it, I couldn’t tell you.

I have had so much time to myself, that I can focus only on what is missing from my life. A lover is missing, that’s for sure. Human contact would be nice, someone to make love to and then cuddle with afterwards. It’s been years since that happened. I’ve thought about seeing a shrink, but I only want to talk about the matter at hand and they want a long commitment, which I am not willing to commit to. Once again I headed into the city to check out some art galleries. That seems to be the thing that I do lately. Bill asked me to call him if I went into the city so I did.

He told me that he was almost through with his voice class, then he was headed up to Washington Heights to see his friends and talk. They have a therapy like thing happening up there. Then he was off to the play he is stage managing at the Theater for the New City. He offered to meet me before tonight’s show, but as ‘appealing’ as that sounded it seemed highly unlikely. It would require me killing some more time just to see him for a few minutes and I just didn’t feel like doing that. It wouldn’t do me any good, since I’m not feeling that good about it. He wouldn’t be in the right frame of mind to listen to me talk about all the things I am writing here. He’s done it to me before, but I won’t do it to him. Unload a bunch of grief before having to do something else.

The Chelsea galleries were a disappointment. Same crappy art from a few weeks ago and I couldn’t find the gallery where the Fluxus show was which may have been the whole point of a Fluxus show. My attitude is presently, ‘fuck it’. I’ve cleaned house in some ways, deleted Facebook contacts that I don’t know, having never met them at all, friends of ‘friends’ and guys that think I was hot. No more, they are gone. More than likely they’ll never know and I won’t be getting any more stupid invites from them, to buy and sell people or some other crap nonsense like that. I changed the status of my relationship on Facebook and noticed that Bill has done the same. restored it actually.

I am happy to be back in the apartment, not dealing with anyone. The streets are rife with people pushing baby strollers, groups of people walking en masse on the street, not moving out of the way. Just tired of it all. Not suffering fools gladly or sadly.

After writing that I went out and finally got a hair cut. Tony did a good job. Mainly I go to Tony since he trims my goatee as well, trims it down nicely and cuts out a lot of gray hairs. Then I went to Empire Coffee to get my free pound of coffee. I used to get Goya or El Pico but I’ve been buying coffee for the office and with every ten pounds you get a free pound. It went well.

Unloaded my grief onto Annemarie via a phone call. She of course was as understanding as usual. Probably saw where this was headed before I did. Where am I in this relationship? Where is this relationship going? Is it a ‘proper’ relationship? What is a ‘proper’ relationship anyway? I do love him.

street level

waiting for a dance partner

Chelsea blossoms

a wooden bicycle

fellow travelers

Outside my window

Singing In The Rain

Well it’s been an interesting day to say the least. Woke up with a headache, feeling dehydrated, drank some water, went back to sleep, but the headache wouldn’t go away so I got out of bed and had 2 gel caps. Showered and went out for the bagel and newspaper routine. Called Julio and Stine to see if they wanted anything and Julio requested bagels. Picked those up and did some grocery shopping. It rained quite a bit last night and today promised more rain, but I was relatively lucky and rain free at that moment.

Came home, had breakfast, decided to get a haircut. Mr. L’s on the corner of my block seemed empty when I walked by so I walked in. Unfortunately there were a bunch of guys waiting before me sitting below the window pane. I decided to run some errands instead of waiting and hope for the best later in the afternoon. I did go to the library and picked up the dvd of The History Boys. Bill hadn’t seen the whole thing and getting the dvd was a pretty good idea I thought. Also ran up to the produce store on Washington Street and bought a head of lettuce.

Back at the apartment I chilled out and started to do the laundry. First load was colors as usual. Seemed to go well. I surfed the net as the white started to do their thing. Midway through, I hear a clunk clunk. I don’t pay too much attention since it stopped and I thought it was the construction next door in the rain. Then I started to hear water spilling on the floor and thought the sink might be backed up. It happens. I get up and step into a puddle. There is water pouring out of the top of the hot water heater. Puddles throughout the kitchen heading into the bathroom. I recycled all the newspapers the other day so I scrambled to find something else to sop up the water with.

Found a bunch of rags and set about on my hands and knees mopping up the water after I figured out how to turn off the water. Then I called Peter the landlord who said he’d call someone. I called Julio for some advice but he was in West new York and couldn’t really help. Didn’t matter since the water was turned off anyway. I mopped for about an hour, wringing out rags and dumping the water in the toilet. Then with that done I sat and waited for the guy to show up and do something about the hot water heater. Three hours later I decided to get a haircut since I never heard from this guy. The barber shop was empty when I walked in and I was out of there in about thirty minutes, looking less shaggy but still bangin’.

Called landlord Peter again who explained that the guy named Robert was in the city and would be back soon enough. Robert called about an hour later said he’d be here in about thirty minutes. An hour later Robert appears. Robert is the building handyman, and last I saw him he was painting the fire escape last July at 10:00 at night in the dark. He came over and drained the rest of the water from the heater and he and I moved it into the hallway. He left after that, leaving his tools behind, saying that Bill and I will be getting a new hot water heater tonight.

That was about ninety minutes ago. So Bill and I here now, outside a storm rages from the southwest. No hot water, but we have The History Boys.

Mamunia

A nice Saturday. A bit cold though. Now it’s dark. The sun has gone down. It was an uneventful day and I appreciated that. Stayed local, walked around Hoboken for a while this afternoon. Perhaps I’ll head into the city tomorrow. Woke up initially at 7:30 this morning, but I wasn’t having that so I fell back asleep, not getting out of the bed until 9:00, a more than decent hour. Last night I tried watching Sicko, but after a few minutes I found it to be too depressing. I know how bad it is without health care and simply wasn’t in the mood for it. And I read a lot about it when it first came out, so there wouldn’t be any real surprises. Hey sometimes you’re in the mood for Michael Moore, sometimes you’re not. Last night I wasn’t. I do like his documentaries mainly. I do have Fahrenheit 911 somewhere.

I watched The McCartney Years on DVD instead. It was ok up to a point, the point being it stopped playing. I put it back in the envelope. It was pretty good, especially the older 70’s stuff but the Ebony and Ivory video with Stevie Wonder is terrible. It so obvious that Stevie was edited in. But that was technology then, though they did pull it off on the Patty Duke Show back in the 60’s. The commentary for the videos is pretty good, self effacing Paul and it’s worth watching. He’s probably a bastard to work with, but still I love him. Some of his stuff lately is pretty good, I never heard some of it, hearing it for the first time on the DVD’s. There is still one more DVD I’ve yet to watch, and I won’t get that until Tuesday or Wednesday, Netflix you know.

This morning after doing what I do, and I do do that voodoo so well, I watched 3.5 hours of the Peter Bogdanovich documentary on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was pretty good, they interviewed just about everyone associated with band and made me realize how many Tom Petty songs I like. Quite a few actually. Even guys that were kicked out of the band or quit, ex-managers, producers and Stevie Nicks, who according to the documentary, wanted to leave Fleetwood Mac and join the Heartbreakers. That didn’t happen thankfully and Miss Nicks is still ankled to the Mac.

After that ended I decided to head out into the Hoboken world. Not much was going on, I spoke with both Annemarie and Bill on the phone, both very heavy discussions. Also got a haircut on the corner at Mr. L’s barbershop. They’re featured on DIY TV next week, something about man caves, how they had the barbershop made over last year for a show about man caves. Mr. L’s and the firehouse on Washington Street. Unfortunately, the DIY network is unavailable on cable in Hoboken, and haven’t been able to see anything about it online either. The guys in the barbershop were annoyed at that.

Here’s whats going on next door…
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