Tag Archives: Padron

Landslide

It’s been a very nice Friday, best day of the week and I don’t mind telling you that. Last night I was extremely tired. Just felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. A lot of it was probably from lacking a decent night’s sleep for the past few days.

I am happy to report that I slept peacefully for about 9 hours last night. Much needed.

Last night Bill had his pizza and I sat on the front steps, enjoying a Padron, chatting with various neighbors as well as a phone call with Casey Chasm. I was worried about him since Mrs. Chasm was out of town when I visited the other day and while I was visiting we had quite a heavy conversation.

He’s a good guy and I am happy to call him my friend. I certainly hope he has a rosy future ahead of him and it looks like he does. He had some good advice for me regarding work which was worrying me.

I’m going to hang in there as best as I could. That’s all I can do. I came upstairs and Bill was watching a repeat of the Office, followed by 30 Rock which definitely boosted my spirits. Then we watched the season finale of Southland and yes it was very good.

The ending had Willie Nelson singing What Was It You Wanted. I thought it was a Leonard Cohen song but it turned out it was by Bob Dylan. A little research showed that it was from Oh Mercy. I had some downloads from Oh Mercy but none of them was the song I heard.

I made a note to go to the local record store and see if they had it in stock today. I walked around Hoboken around noon and wandered into Tunes.

Looked in Willie Nelson’s section for On The Borderline which is where the song was from. Of course it wasn’t in stock. Juan’s doppleganger was working but I decided to search on my own, finding it too unnerving to speak with an ersatz Juan.

I walked over to the Bob Dylan section and once again I was let down. Oh Mercy was not to be found. Perhaps they had the Budos Band who I saw at McSwells a few months ago. No Budos Band either.

I thought I would see if they had Who’s Next in stock since that’s been on my mind lately and of course that was a ‘no’. I even checked to see some Fleetwood Mac CD’s since I saw an excellent and beautiful video of the PS 22 chorus do a moving version of Landslide by Stevie Nicks.

I left empty handed and disappointed. Still I had some money in my pocket.

I got a text message from Roda last night. He was working at McSwells and said it was dead. Why don’t I come by for some cocktails? It’s always good to see Roda but I was really fatigued, too much to head out and socialize. Bill was about all the socializing I could deal with last night.

I was on Facebook earlier, I know, what a surprise. I saw a link to check up on my high school classmates and I almost connected with a couple of them. Then I remembered how I felt after my high school reunion 9 years ago and decided against it. Some things are best left in the past in my case.

Tonight I am going to McSwells too see my old pal. Not staying out too late since I have to get up and help Julio in Van Saun Park for Alexander’s first birthday party. I got Alexander a Beatles onesie and a toy duck on a stick with wheels that quacks and flaps it’s wings as you push it.

I just downloaded Willie Nelson’s version of What Was It You Wanted so I’m a happy pirate. A happy and relaxed pirate at that. I hope all of you, the six of you that is, have a happy and safe holiday weekend.

Maybe I’ll see you at the VFW Circle on Monday morning on Saddle River Road in Saddle Brook?

Here is that beautiful video.

Um “oh” e um “ah!”

What a day this has been. First off, I broke the rule of going to sleep the same time as Bill and wound up not being able to sleep well. A few interruptions and before I knew it, Bill was kissing me goodbye, telling me that I looked angelic laying there.

A few minutes later the alarm clock went off, no music- just the buzzer. I got it together and looked forward to an easy going day. Vivek in Las Vegas, and Sanjay flew in last night from Florida thanks to my ticket purchases.

Last night after finagling the tickets Abby was in the office. I need this I need that. Fine, whatever. I left around 5:00 and didn’t say goodbye. He was on the phone.

I left and halfway through my walk to the bus terminal, I get a phone call. It’s Abby. He couldn’t believe I left when he needed envelopes and stamps and copies to be made.

Not for work, but his own personal accounts. I told him to go to my cube and instructed him where to find the things he needed. Then he needed copies to be made and I instructed him on how to operate a copier. Hit the green button!

This morning after Bill left I did my thing and made it to the bus. As I sat down on the bus I realized that I left my cellphone at home. I almost got off the bus but decided to proceed with the day.

A nice walk across town and I soon found myself in the office by 9:15. At 9:16 I get a phone call from Sanjay. Tomorrow is a conference call at noon and I’m expected. I mentioned that I thought I was off on Fridays.

Sanjay says, no problem, we’ll just do the conference call on Monday. I explain to him that Monday is a federal holiday. No problem for him, they’ll just conference me in from home. Oh what a thrill.

Sanjay eventually made it in the office right around the same time as Abby. That made things busy and not as easygoing as I had hoped. A quick demonstration on how the Movie Box works in hotel rooms.

If you want to watch a crappy movie that went straight to DVD then this Movie Box is for you. And the adult fare is strictly hetero and boring.

The day went on and on. At one point I had to go to the post office for Abby and get some mail certified. I warned him that the lines in the post office can be long and I wasn’t sure when I would be back.

The line wasn’t that long and afterwards I used the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around midtown and enjoyed a Padron.

I figured out that I knew what I had to do and as I finished my cigar I went back to the office with a new, fresh outlook. It was 3:00.

At 3:01 the phone rings, It’s Nash who works in Kent, Washington. He’s frantic, telling me the conference call is going on and I should be in on it.

Sanjay was in a meeting and Abby was somewhere. So I followed Nash’s instructions and jumped in on the conference call. I didn’t know what was going on and all these instructions were being thrown at me.

There was no one I could turn to or ask anything of so all I could do was take notes and I wound up transcribing most of the call.

I was in over my head. It seemed that anytime I get a grip on the situation the rug gets pulled out from under me. I am really at the end of my rope and I am considering telling Vivek when he returns that I don’t think it’s going to work out.

It’s not what I was hired for and I don’t like the hours. I’m sure they would be better off with someone else who could do the job. And the hours, the dirty looks that I get when I try to leave at 5:30 or 6:00. They seem to be nice people but I don’t think I can work with them.

And it’s soon enough that they wouldn’t have invested that much in me.

I’d be willing to continue supporting the office, booking conference rooms, ordering supplies, being the liaison between the office and the building personnel who like me a lot.

I’m well liked by the office personnel and even the conservatives seem to like me enough to make unofficial overtures that they’d take me on if it doesn’t work out.

But this dealing with hotel and motel owners and the insane hours and tardiness of these guys is really wearing me down. Perhaps that is what is causing me to lose sleep at night.

Right now I’m so tired that when Harpy called I could only respond in monosyllabic words.

I come home, not wanting to cook so I pick up two slices of pizza. Bill comes home and a few minutes later the buzzer rings. It’s a pizza that Bill’s ordered. He doesn’t care. He hasn’t had lunch and will eat the whole pie himself.

This day, will it ever end?

Bill before pizza
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Shake Shake Mama

OK, I have a half hour to write. Julio just called inviting me down to his and Stine’s apartment. The baby’s asleep in bed and he’s offering a glass of wine.

How could I resist?

Julio called earlier today asking if I could write a letter on Stine’s behalf so she can get citizenship and not be deported. That should be no problem. So I have 30 minutes to write this entry tonight.

Last night wasn’t as bad as I anticipated, regarding Pap Smear. It was a reading and not an actual play. It started as soon as I sat down. It seems they were waiting for me.

It was supposed to start at 7:30 and I got there at 7:15 after braving the crowds in Times Square as I puffed on a Padron.

Since it was just a reading the performances weren’t as over the top as last time and you needed to use your imagination so that helped. It was painless and over before I knew it.

Came home and watched some TV while having a good talk with Bill. He went to sleep as Bill Maher was starting and I stayed up until 1:30 watching whatever it was that I was watching.

I took a ‘There was cool music before Nirvana’ quiz on Facebook. My friend Betti Cola took the test and scored in the low 90’s. Andy, former sound man at McSwells got in the upper 90’s.

I scored a perfect 100% which another friend, Thaler commented on saying she and her husband Tom were waiting for my results and not surprised by my score.

There was some guesswork involved and despite what some people might say, I did not cheat.

I was too tired to cheat actually.

I went to bed feeling good as Bill wore his sleep apnea mask which was louder than usual. It was white noise, like a very loud waterfall, but still I slept until 8:00.

I had a phone call from Abby who had some boxes in his car for work that he could keep in his car since his car was leased and had to be returned today. I told him to call me at 8:00 and I would go to the office with him and get the boxes stored.

He called at 8:15. He picked me up around 10:00 and we rode into the city. Cleared a few things up between us. He’s always late as most Asian Indians are. He said they operate on IST, Indian Standard Time. His words not mine.

Still I proved that I was a team player and sent him off on his way once we got the boxes to my office.

I walked across town were I ran into Lois and Fred who were online outside of Midtown Comics where it was comic book day and they were getting some free comic books. Perhaps they will sell them at their Gate Sale, weather permitting.

I came home, Bill was still here. We watched King Kong by Peter Jackson on TNT and it was fun. I loved the original and thought I loved the Dino Di Laurentis version, but I didn’t.

Peter Jackson was really faithful to the original and it was fun to watch, even with my sweaty hands towards the end scenes on top of the Empire State Building.

Still a very sad story, yes it wasn’t the plane that got Kong. Twas beauty that killed the beast. But I’m sure you knew that already.

After that I walked Bill to the bus stop and I wandered over to Tunes where I bought the latest Bob Dylan cd which I already like more than the last one, Modern Times.

David Hildago from Los Lobos and his accordion are one it throughout, giving it a Springsteen feel as well as a New Orleans Zydeco sound. I recommend it.

That’s it for me. Time for some wine with the Alexander’s parents downstairs.

Cheers!

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The Whole World

Let’s see. At 12:30 this afternoon it was 89 degrees out. On April 26. I can see it being like that in July or August but this makes it seem like we’ve bypassed Spring and jumped right into Summer.

Well you know, that global warming myth. It’s all a scam you see. They say it’s a man made problem, but of course this has happened a few times already. Unfortunately there are no records of the polar ice caps melts, ice shelves collapsing in Antarctica.

Greenland must have been green at some point, why else would it be named Greenland? Too bad Leif Erickson isn’t around to explain that one.

I believe global warming is a fact, and I believe it’s a man made problem. Not so much from car emissions, though that is a factor. It’s from the destruction of the rain forests and what I think no one wants to talk about.

It’s because there are a lot of people exhaling carbon dioxide. A lot more people now than ever before and without major rain forests converting the CO2 to oxygen, we are in the mess and on the slippery slope where we find ourselves today.

I was surprised that one of the people in my office say that she believed global warming was a falsehood. I usually hear that from the conservative blow hards, but that was a surprise and her standing in my view was diminished somewhat.

After having napped and written yesterday, I sat on the stoop in front of my building, enjoying a Padron and sipping on a Guinness. My landlord walked by, apparently he was inside the building.

He said he was planning on calling me since he got the note I sent in February, saying that it was posted on the wall by his phone at home. Now that he had me, he asked if I was still willing to vacuum the hallway in my building.

I told I was and we worked out a deal. He said he couldn’t reduce my rent, but would write me a check each month. I agreed to the deal. Julio says it would be a pain in the ass at first and maybe I could hire someone to do a deep cleaning to start off with, and then my cleaning on top of that would be a lot easier.

It does sound like a good idea. I already started today, sweeping up the front of the building and cleaning out leaves and garbage on the stairs outside that lead to the basement.

Last night was an adventure of sorts. Definitely out of the ordinary. Bill and I headed into the city, I still didn’t have a definite idea on where we were going but I did get an inadvertent clue.

A former co-worker on Facebook, Janelle, wrote that she was taking her mother to dinner for her birthday and after that, taking her to see John Leguizamo. I know Bill loves John Leguizamo so that was the clue.

I did a search for John Leguizamo NYC but all that came up was his IMDB entry. A put that in the back of my mind walking down the gentrified Christopher Street scene. Lot’s of bridge and tunnel LGBT teens hanging out but mostly the gay scene in now in Chelsea.

We walked over to Seventh Avenue South towards the Actor’s Playhouse where I saw a poster for John Leguizamo. I told Bill I guessed it, but not really since we were right on front of the box office.

The show was good, it was a work in progress titled, A Work in Progress- Don’t Hate. Bill loved it of course, laughing uproariously throughout.

One or two times I was the only one who laughed at Leguizamo’s jokes, making him mention that he would wait for everyone else to catch up.

I did see Janelle and her mom and hoped to see them after the show, but it was such a warm night and all the bodies in the Actor’s Playhouse made it like wearing a wool sweater inside, plus the seats were a bit on the small side, not really geared for a 6’2” frame like myself or Bill.

After the show we made a beeline for the street afterwards, hanging out in the fresh air for a few minutes before giving up and heading towards the Path train on Ninth Street where we rode the train up to 33rd Street and then back towards Hoboken so we could get a seat.

By the time the train made it back to Ninth Street most of the people were standing up against one another. Young couples heading home early after getting their drink on.

Bill and I made it back to Hoboken were young patrons were either lined up to get into crowded bars or standing outside of those establishments smoking.

Back home Bill went right to sleep and I stayed up and watched a repeat of Lost that they show on Saturday nights.

Woke up, Bill was on his way to clean out his mother’s apartment, I was off to get breakfast. After that, with the temperature rising, I decided to clean up the front of the building.

Then I fixed up my bike and called Rand and we went cycling up to Guttenberg, as far as the Galaxy Towers. A fun ride, haven’t hung out with Rand in a while.

Lisa stayed home, she doesn’t ride a bicycle lately I guess.

An entertaining couple of hours with an entertaining friend from years gone by. And he’s right.

Lost is better than Heroes.

Pics? Pics!

My buddy Rand

My buddy Rand

Galaxy Towers

Galaxy Towers

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34th Street heading east

34th Street heading east

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Garbage Peeps

Garbage Peeps

Kids

Well today turned out to be quite alright. Greg Stevens returned, no longer working for my company. That would make it 3 employees and there’s only 2 left and I’m the one who’s getting paid.

The day started out threatening to rain but it turned out not to happen despite people walking with open umbrellas, not wanting to be caught, no way, no how.

Very good New Yorker last week. Reading about exotic animals who were brought into this country, mainly Florida, then when they got to be too much to deal with, were released into the wild.

So there is a population explosion of Burmese pythons slithering about down there. Yet another reason, not to go to Florida. Never liked snakes and I’ve never touched one. Same thing with guns. Never liked them and never touched one.

Guns and snakes, two things not to give me for a present. Hope you kept the receipt just in case.

I was a bit busy dealing with Vivek’s business partner on the phone, getting things done for Greg Stevens, and the usual maintenance of the office, which included booking conference rooms and all three were reserved.

That made the conservatives a bit upset since they usually just take any room that’s available and leave it messy. But like Annemarie said, it’s job security to clean up after these do nothings.

One of the conservatives was mouthing off about how President Obama is going to release so ‘terrorists’ in this country. Of course he was stoking the fire, making it sound like Khalid Sheik Mohammad would be selling fresh Kalkalash from a food truck outside the office.

It actually means that they will be tried and held in US prisons and they will stay there if guilty and likely deported if not guilty. This one guy looks like Senator Boehner and seems to get all of his information from Fuck Snooze.

Last night Bill was off doing his reading series and I was home while a maelstrom raged outside. I watched Heroes which was ok. It was mainly about Sylar and it was a bit of a let down. I knew he wouldn’t do anything to Rebel Micah, and his scenes involving Ellen Greene as his mother were good.

But he seems to be going off the deep end in a mostly boring way. And Hiro is really quite annoying, mostly through his Japanese accent. I don’t mind the subtitles but he sounds like a moron most of the time when he’s speaking. Peke pani?

Tonight promises to be quite mellow which is always welcomed. Board of Education election was today and I usually don’t vote in those since I don’t have any kids. But Sheilah Scully asked that I vote, well asked me and her other Facebook friends, so I did.

The polling place is only a hundred yards from my apartment so it was no big deal. I voted for the Kids First slate.

Also moved Casey Chasm closer to my former co-worker, Austin. Perhaps they’ll work something out. I know Casey and the Missus read this here blog, so I hope they realize that the people I work with do not know anything about this here blog. Ya heard?

Really diggin’ that one song from MGMT, which happens to be the title of today’s entry. t

Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock & Roll)

Well today was an even more gorgeous day than it was yesterday. No Juan today though he did stop by last night. We watched Vicky Christina Barcelona which was good. Not his best and the movie does brighten once Penelope Cruz comes on screen.

Funny how she basically eclipsed Scarlett Johansson. And I had never heard of Bridget Hall before. Don’t know where she’s from. Juan pointed out that Rebecca Hall’s fiancé in the movie was Ted who was Claire Fisher’s boyfriend in Six Feet Under.

The great Patricia Clarkson was in Vicky Christina Barcelona as well as Six Feet Under and I think there were one or two other actors in the movie who also had small parts on Six Feet Under. It was good, but not one of Woody Allen’s best. Bill came in on the second half of the movie, but it didn’t really matter and there was no need for him to be caught up.

After that ended Bill was off to bed and Juan was heading back to Union City. I was soon fast asleep I woke up early, around 8:15 and did my Saturday morning thing, bagels and newspapers. Got Bill some bagels as well. He likes to toast them in the oven until they are almost charred.

Whatever works I guess.

I decided to head into my office and clean the bamboo shoots. They’re contained in vases by the windows in one of the conference rooms and after a month and a half they start to get covered in algae. I like to come in on a Saturday since it’s a messy thing, cleaning the vases, scrubbing the rocks and cleaning the shoots.

An added bonus is the fact that no one is in the office on Saturdays. As I was scrubbing who should appear but Vivek. He and his business partner were in for a conference call at 1:30. Vivek phoned the other day when I was in my blue mood and wanted to know what was wrong.

I didn’t want to talk about it with him, not then at least. He saw the opportunity to talk to me today after their conference call which should have been over at 2:00. At 2:45 I left a note saying that I had to get back to Hoboken.

Nice walk across town, enjoying a cigar and taking surreptitious photographs of various people. I had a nice call with Annemarie while I rode the bus. I never have phone conversations on the bus but this time I simply didn’t care.

Anne recommended seeing the Love Guru which I was surprised to hear her recommend. She liked it enough, telling me how it was really funny in some scenes. I told her if it was on cable I would watch it, but I wouldn’t rent it.

It looked terrible and even the giant poster that advertised the movie in Times Square was another deterrent to seeing it.

Bill and I met up in Hoboken and we checked out my friend, Hiro Takeshita’s art exhibit at the Hoboken Historical Museum. I’ve known Hiro for about 25 years. He lives on the second floor of my first apartment building at 2nd and Madison.

His latest medium is/are cut outs which are quite intricate and beautiful. Nice turn out at the museum, lot’s of familiar Hoboken faces that I’ve seen for a long time but never knew their names. Still don’t mainly though I did get the name of one familiar busy body, Marion who used to be the court clerk.

I sort of remembered her from when she rented videos from a video store I worked at. That’s how I remember a few faces, from the video store. ‘Oh that’s the guy who rented Butt Bongo Fiesta’, ‘She’s the woman who rented Ghost every weekend for six months.’

Can’t put a name to the face but I do remember their viewing habits and fetishes.

Here’s some pics of Hiro Takeshita’s art exhibition

click to embiggen

click to embiggen

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Me, Hiro Takeshita, & Bill

Me, Hiro Takeshita, & Bill

Down in the Depths

The day is Thursday. Oddly enough it’s been a bright and sunny day. Me, I’ve been morose at best.

It was most noticeable this morning while walking to the office in midtown Manhattan. The day started off kind of depressing. Nothing in particular but then again everything in particular. Perhaps it’s all from waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but then again if that was the case, everyday would be like today.

And it isn’t like this everyday..

What happened? Let’s see, I was almost hit by a Coach USA bus in midtown. The driver insisted he was in the right since the Don’t Walk sign started flashing as I was midway through the intersection, enabling him to justify almost killing me.

Flipping him the middle finger didn’t bring the satisfaction that it used to. I got the bus number, but not the ‘How’s My Driving?’ 800 number. Took a picture of it but by the time I got to my office I stopped caring. What is it with bus drivers? Why are they such an unruly sort?

Shortly after the bus incident, I walk past some guy with what appears to be Tourette’s Syndrome screaming quite loudly either at me or in my direction. So that is basically the start of my day.

My sister seemed to pick up on my blue mood 3000 miles away. She suggested taking a walk to clear my head, but having walked from 50th Street and Third Avenue to 30th Street and Sixth Avenue and then from the Path train to Sixth and Park in Hoboken didn’t clear my head to begin with.

I think staying in and not seeing anyone is the perfect remedy.

Last night after vacillating back and forth about whether to go out, I went out. I walked up to the Whiskey Bar a little after 9:00 and saw my friend John Williams play in his band, The Caterpillar Book.

Why the Caterpillar Book for a band name? I couldn’t tell you. They were good, competent musicians, John was a tasteful guitarist.

They write their own songs which made it odd to see them at the Whiskey Bar since it’s mainly a place where cover bands play. Pearl Jam & U2 tribute bands, but on Wednesday nights, bands playing originals are welcome.

The Caterpillar Book is pretty much a Jersey Shore band, good but a little too AOR for my tastes. But like I said they were good, but not my cuppa.

I also got carded at the door by a handsome cugine who could have been my son if not for the bulging muscles in the tight black t shirt and the black hair straight out of Bensonhurst.

I know this blue feeling, or period, won’t last and will probably be gone by tomorrow.

My three day weekend begins with laundry and then who knows?

I hope to get some bike riding in. Don’t know where to or how far but if the weather is permitting, that is what I might just do.

Right now I’m just glad to be home, away from people.

Ha! Juan just called, he might be stopping by. He’s not people.
"How's My Driving?" The bus that almost ran me over.

The bus that almost ran me over. “How’s My Driving?”

In the Ditch

It’s a Monday and all is ‘meh’. Just one of those days. Last night was quiet as well. Bill came home after 2 church services, dropped off his mother with Elsie and Andy Capp and came home depressed and in need of a nap.

He napped for a few hours and then I woke him up around 7:00. Our usual show on Sunday nights, 60 Minutes was late due to golf and that gave me an opportunity to watch a Bill Moyers rebroadcast from Friday about Abraham Lincoln with Sam Waterson and a Lincoln scholar.

Since Bill had just woken up he was confused that 60 Minutes wasn’t on and hearing Sam Waterson’s voice thought Lawn hors d’oeuvre was on. He soon got into Bill Moyers though.

After that, The Simpsons which was as good as expected. Worst Couch Gag ever! Bill wasn’t feeling King of the Hill. Maybe he doesn’t like Tom Petty and is more of a Billy Bob Thornton fan.

We watched some of Metallica’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, more ugly women in his eyes though there were no women on stage. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ronnie Wood, Metallica, Flea and Joe Perry all on stage playing Train Kept a Rollin’ at the same time. It was a bit much, but over within minutes.

I told Bill the tale about how Metallica took over the recording studio I worked at for a few months and how they treated us all nicely. Food for days, weeks and months. Generally they were alright, though Kirk Hammett and Jason Newsted were outgoing and willing to talk to the common folk, Lars and James were aloof at best.

Once again the people around them were obnoxious, the band themselves were ok. Q Prime is their management. A room full of wankers, one of whom got into an argument with me and threatened to have Metallica leave and go to another studio.

I knew that wasn’t going to happen and called him on it. He never called again.

Bill and I then watched an early episode of Lawn hors d’oeuvre: SVU which was good. Well paced and ended leaving us hanging and wanting more. Then Bill went to bed and I stayed up watching Peter Gomes, the Harvard theologian at a book signing from 2007.

I could listen to Peter Gomes talk all night. He was on a book tour for his then current book, The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus. Entertaining and informative, I would love to have dinner with him sometime. It would be enlightening. Even Luis Buñuel counted clergy as friends despite his atheism.

Off to work today. Vivek came back from Mexico and of course didn’t show up until an hour before I left. He sounded like hell and in turn he said I sounded hungover, which I wasn’t. Hardly anyone was in the office and that made the day crawl by.

4:30 couldn’t arrive soon enough so I left at 4:15. Tomorrow I have to go to the Indian consulate for Vivek and get a work visa for someone coming in from India.

That should be interesting. Never been to the Indian consulate before.

I Am the Walrus

Easter Sunday. That’s today. Apparently a big deal. It’s just another Sunday for some, a major religious holiday for others. It’s a big holiday for Bill, since he’s the religious minded one in our relationship.

Last month he asked me if I wanted to go to services with him and his mother at church and I figured why not. He’s always mentioning how his church friends always ask about me so I decided to show up. Bill’s mother was able to make it.

She’s now ensconced at Bill’s cousin Elsie’s apartment. He knows better than to deal with Andy Capp, and so far so good. His mother seemed alright at the church. She was obviously welcomed and looked after.

Bill is a Deacon in his church so that meant midway through the service he had to go and hand out the bread and the wine. It was a full house and unlike the catholic ceremony where you have to go and get it yourself, here they brought it to you on a silver platter and it gets passed down the pew.

It was the usual length for a service, a little over an hour. This was interesting for me, when the Pastor started his sermon I immediately went heavy lidded.

I remained awake and it was a fairly interesting sermon but like in the past when I used to attend mass, meaning when I was forced to attend mass, I would invariably drift off when the priest would sermonize.

And this guy was more interesting than the sermonizers I had when growing up. Except for Reverend Pat at Bill’s former church, Metropolitan Community Church. The LGBT church.

She was a fired up pastor and usually politicized her sermons which always got my attention. But Bill doesn’t go there anymore and neither do I, obviously.

Bill and his mother were staying for the next mass as well. Deacon duties you see, plus his mother can’t get enough church.

I walked from 85th street and Park Avenue down to 42nd Street and Eight Avenue, enjoying the sunshine and smoking a Padron.

Quite a few people on Park Avenue dressed up and either going to or coming from their respective churches. I crossed over to Madison Avenue when Park started getting crowded, then over to Fifth Avenue when Madison Avenue was getting crowded.

I had an idea to check out the Easter Parade on Fifth but when I saw the crowds headed towards it I had a change of mind. Walked down Sixth Avenue then over to the bus terminal, timing it so I would only have to wait for a few minutes for the bus back to Hoboken.

Came home and turned on the news which was all about the ship captain that was being held hostage off the shores of Somalia was freed. Didn’t end well for the pirates though. 3 of them killed, one captured by the US Navy.

Here is a link to an informative article from the Independent in the UK about the climate that has created these Somali pirates.

Cut n’paste if you will….
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-you-are-being-lied-to-about-pirates-1225817.html

I am the Eggman

I am the Eggman

They are the Eggmen

They are the Eggmen

I Am the Walrus! G'oo G'oo G'Joob!

I Am the Walrus! G'oo G'oo G'Joob!

Ugly

Ugh. What a day. Some of it could be blamed on last night. Drinks and some noshes with Pedro did my head in later in the night. I fell asleep at a decent hour and slept ok I guess. Well not really since I was a bit drunk.

Woke up ok. Bill kissing me goodbye, me sleeping until 6:30 which is better than the 7:15 that it’s been the past couple of days. Not enough milk for cereal but enough for coffee. It was in the 30 degree range this morning and an occasional snowflake drifted down to the ground.

The office was buzzing along though I felt like I was invisible. I said good morning to the usual drones and didn’t get anything said back to me. I didn’t care but I did notice so maybe I cared a little bit. Vivek was off to Mexico leaving me with a few tasks to do, including an errand down to 28th and 7th Avenue.

That warranted a subway ride to 28th street then a walk across town. I decided to walk back, listening to Simple Minds. Got back to the office feeling ok but as I waited for the final hour of the day to be over I started to feel tired.

Nevertheless I walked back across town to the bus terminal, enjoying a Padron. Got on the bus which wasn’t crowded at all but right in front of me a woman complained to another passenger across the aisle and loud enough for me to hear that ‘it smelled like someone was smoking a cigar here’.

I just sat and read the New Yorker. Went to Empire Coffee at 4th and Bloomfield in Hoboken. My old pal Jeff wasn’t there. They cut back his hours so maybe today was one of the days that were cut.

Then it was office to the supermarket where there was a girl with a pierced face, dressed all in black with purple extensions in her dyed jet back hair to compliment the gigantic platforms she clod hopped around in. Ever since the demise of Farfetched I have no tolerance for Goth brats.

Came home very tired. Could barely stay awake during Harpy’s Heckle and Jeckle impersonation. He does both parts.

Tired to access my gmail account but it tells me my password is wrong. I enter it again same message. I go to help which tells me it will send my information to my Verizon email account, which I haven’t used in years since I no longer use Verizon.

I don’t even remember my Verizon log in name and gmail asks when I started my account. What month and year. I guess and say February 2004. Still no access.

My other gmail account is fine and despite me contacting gmail telling them to send it to that working gmail account. Now I am tired and frustrated and trying to write at least 500 words. Yes, I am hitting that wall while going back and forth trying to see if gmail is of any assistance to me.

Basically I am pissed off. The latest message from the lack of help department of gmail is that it may take 24 hours to get me a new password. That is infuriating. I use Firefox and the password is saved in my browser and somehow it’s wrong. I am now suffering from gmail withdrawal.

Argh!

Bullshit!
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So Hard

So last night, Bill was at St. Luke’s / Roosevelt Hospital being tested once again for sleep apnea. He had to wear that mask thing, which if you remember the Sopranos, Uncle Junior had to wear one for a few episodes. Not the most comfortable thing to sleep in.

Bill likened it to sticking your head out of the window of a moving car and trying to breathe. He should be coming home tonight so I’ll be getting the whole story.

His mother is not being moved to the nursing home on Roosevelt Island after all. She had a panic attack on Friday when they told her and she then had a panic attack which led her to wind up in the cardiologist unit since her heart started beating irregularly.

She is now going to be staying with Bill’s cousin and her husband Black Hitler. The bright side of that is the fact that Bill knows what he’s getting into this time.

This morning without Bill not being around to kiss me goodbye I over slept. Actually forgot to set the alarm so I woke up at 7:15 when my cellphone alarm went off. The steady rain outside didn’t make it worthwhile to get out of bed but I had to nonetheless.

Walked to the bus stop and got on, rode the bus to 11th Street when the bus crapped out and it was everyone off the bus to wait in the rain for the next bus. I didn’t like the look of the crowd standing in the rain so I walked down to 9th Street where thee was an even more unsavory group.

7th Street was just too crowded and I wound up walking to 5th Street where I originally boarded the bus. Read the New Yorker and was soon walking in the rain across town to the office.

By the time I got in I was wet despite wearing a raincoat and carrying a large umbrella. Tom Chin is still around and he looks at me saying, ‘You look wet’.

Today was very busy. Vivek is due to join his business partner in Acapulco tomorrow, Greg Stevens is in Arizona and Tom Chin is more than likely wanking somewhere.

And of course there were errands to run in the pouring rain. Three indifferent bankers at three different banks. After work, I wasn’t sure whether or not to take the subway across town or enjoy a Padron and walk.

Since it was only drizzling on and off I decided to walk. And the cigar was excellent.

Got a phone call on the bus from Pedro who’s going to be in the city tomorrow and wants to hang out. I’m game for it, especially after seeing his latest picture, all tight with six pack abs.

That’s something to look forward to. He needs to get a haircut and he always get it cut in the Village so that’s the plan. What happens after that I couldn’t say.

He wants to have a drink which is fine with me. I can’t stay out late since it is a school night so I’m sure I’ll get an earful on that. Can’t think of anywhere to go though. I’m sure we’ll think of something.

In the meantime, here’s a video that my sister sent me yesterday which made my day.

Me want to go there.

Down From Dover

It’s a late Friday posting. And what a day it’s been. No word from Harpy all day so I guess I’m on his shit list. I couldn’t tell you if it’s a long list or a short list or even if there is a list at all.

Still he’s back in the good graces of Susan and so I guess I’m out of his good graces, or graces period. A gray cloud of Harpiness hung overhead through most of my day.

I did enjoy sleeping until 9:00 this morning, woke up checked some email and found I had a new T Mobile bill. A bill that is over twice the usual amount. Apparently according to them I went over my 600 anytime minutes.

I suppose that was possible since there was a few long calls with Harpy before 9:00 and I found out today that mobile to mobile calls aren’t free. And a few long calls with my brother Frank during daytime hours too.

Plus a $9.99 text charge which more than likely came from the ‘IQ’ test I took via Facebook and had the answer sent to my phone. Apparently having an ‘IQ’ of ‘145’ isn’t smart enough to outfox a texting scam like that so be forewarned and learn from my mistake.

So a part of my morning was arguing with Tiffany and Chris from T Mobile. Actually there was no arguing, it was me venting as I drank my first cups of coffee and Chris and Tiffany thanking me and apologizing.

It was a drizzly gray morning as I did my laundry which now hangs on racks and in the bathroom drying in the dampness. I had a plan to meet up with Mr. & Mrs. Casey Chasm this afternoon. Casey Chasm asked if I liked lasagna and I said I sure did.

Around 1:30 it was still drizzling out as I headed over to the Chasm residence. It wasn’t so bad when I left my building but as I walked a few doors up the block, the sky opened up and I reached for my umbrella which didn’t do any good besides keeping my upper torso and head relatively dry.

Everything below the waist was wet. I needed to run to CVS and when I left CVS it was still pissing out. I decided the best thing to do would be to head home since the sneakers, socks and blue jeans I was wearing were quite soaked. Up four flights of stairs for a quick change and then I was out on the street again where it had stopped raining.

I hung out with Mr and Mrs Chasm, chatting. They even got me to play Wii which I did for the first time. I did good on bowling, on tennis I won over Mr Chasm though Mrs Chasm wiped the virtual tennis courts with Johnno’s body.

Then came boxing and it wasn’t foxy boxing to my chagrin. Casey Chasm went easy on me but my left uppercut was most ineffectual which was understandable since I didn’t think an uppercut was actually possible.

He set the Wii for training after a practice round, me throwing punches all arms akimbo, Casey Chasm all tight and controlled. I was getting hungry, looking forward to some lasagna when Bill called.

His mother was being moved from Beth Israel hospital to a center on Roosevelt Island. He asked if I could go with him and of course I said yes. I made a hasty exit from the Chasm abode and on my way home had a slice of lackluster pizza which while filling couldn’t compare to homemade lasagna.

I went home again, up four flights again and unloaded some crap and got some new crap. I needed something to read since I was going to be back on the bus on a late afternoon on Friday.

That meant some rush hour traffic which like last time, brought me closer to 34th street rather than 42nd street where the bus terminal is. Two other passengers and myself persuaded the drive to let us off on 35th street and I once again navigated the crowds milling towards either the bus terminal or Penn Station.

I got to Bill’s office building and he came down a minute or so later. We then caught an F train to Roosevelt Island. The plan was to have Bill and I there at the facility when he mother arrived, to have two friendly faces to make her transition a little bit easier.

We got there a little after 6:00 and waited for nearly two hours when we found out that Bill’s mother wasn’t going to be transferred tonight after all. Bill handled that news admirably and we had a pleasant walk to the Tram which we took back to Manhattan.

I had never been to Roosevelt Island so I took a few snapshots.

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from the Tram

from the Tram


We got off the Tram on 59th street and would have walked back to the bus terminal smoking our cigars, but of course that wasn’t going to happen since it was raining once again. We rode the subway to the bus terminal and caught a waiting bus. And now we’re here. The day ended better than it began oddly enough.

Where are you?

Alpha Beta Gaga

Well it’s Thursday. I found that out the hard way this morning. I lay in bed, barely remember Bill saying good bye like he always does. I lay there, the alarm on my cellphone going off to remind me not to forget it.

I drifted closer to the shores of being awake when I realized that as comfortable as I was in bed, it was Thursday and not Friday and I had better get moving.

Interruption at present: Harpy being a most curmudgeonly curmudgeon. Drunken call at 9:15 whining about how much he hates that I post things on Facebook that his other friends have posted already. It’s so cute to be berated by the drunken Harpy.

He complains that everyone is dumping on him so the thing to do is to call the guy who always takes his call and give him (me) a hard time. Oh he’s just dripping with charm tonight.

Anyway back to me, I got my act together and walked across midtown to the office winding up in the office at 9:20. No one seemed to care or notice. I ran a few errands and picked up a bagel. I actually had a few projects going on.

Next week I’ll probably be alone in the office since Greg Stevens will be back in Arizona and Vivek will be in Acapulco. Still there are four other companies I have to support. Harpy called me Apollo since out of most of his friends I am getting a steady paycheck.

I stayed a little later in the office since I had plans on going to the United Nations to support Jon Fried and Deena Shoshkes as well as their friend John O’Neil from the New York Times. It was a concert of sorts in support of World Autism Day.

John O’Neil would say a few words, ending on a keyword that would be the title of a song that he wrote with either Jon or Deena. It was quite nice and they had a good crowd. A few researchers and teachers of children with autism also said a few informative and encouraging words.

It was a nice change of pace and definitely good to see Jon and Deena. I always liked the Cucumbers, from the first time they played McSwells. I even gave their first EP as a holiday gift when it came out.

I didn’t get a chance to speak with Deena but I did speak with Jon. We gave each other a hug and he told me that his mother in law Googled his name and what came up was John Ozed, specifically last night’s entry about how Deena was shooting daggers at me from the back seat as Jon was driving me close to my apartment in Weehawken.

We had a larf about that, and Jon said he remembered the night perfectly and that Deena was shooting the daggers at him, not me. I was only collateral damage.

It was all in all a pleasant evening, topped off with a Padron as I strolled down 42nd Street, from the United Nations to the bus terminal where a bus was waiting.

Jon Fried & Deena Shoshkes

Jon Fried & Deena Shoshkes

Jon

Jon

Deena

Deena

almost like the Exploding  Plastic Inevitable

almost like the Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Me

Me

My Boyfriend

I’ve been showing restraint lately. When commenting on various websites or even Facebook, I start to write, then I think, ‘Is this worth it? Do I want to continue this line of thought and further antagonize people?’ Then I realize that I don’t.

Case in point, on Facebook, Andy Peters, former sound man at McSwells, now in Arizona commented on how can anyone take John McCain seriously especially with economic matters, then mentions the Keating Five. Good on Andy.

I commented, ‘Gerroff my lawn you kids!’ and then someone mentioned that it’s time for McCain to retire, calling him a war hero. I was about to write, ‘How is McCain a war hero? Former POW, yes, but war hero?’ That’s when I stopped and decided not to add to the comments.

Just didn’t feel that adding my two cents was worth it. I’ve even stopped commenting so much on the tabloid websites. I still do it from time to time but overall I don’t do it as much as I used to. A lot of people are dumb and stooping down to their level doesn’t do my back any justice.

I just watched a report on Michelle Obama in London and I couldn’t help but smile at how she has the British enthralled, as well as most of the world. She just seems so down to earth. What a lovely couple she and Barack are. A strong unit.

Today was not as busy as it’s been lately. I spoke with both my brothers, Brian and Frank. It was good to speak with both of them. Brian is buying an iTunes gift card for Frank since Frank was able to help Brian and Karen out and chauffeur their son around the other day.

Brian wanted to know if Frank had an iPod and I know he does since I gave him my old iPod a few years ago, fully loaded. I hope he still has it.

I ran an errand this morning and after that wound up in Syms buying two new Ben Sherman skinny ties on sale. Tomorrow I’m going to the United Nations. An old friend, Jon Fried from the Cucumbers is involved with a group called Sing Out SOS which has to do with autism.

He invited me, and since I work only a few blocks from the UN, I accepted. It’s after work and I wanted to look bangin’ hence the new ties. I haven’t been to the UN or at least inside the UN since the 1960’s I think.

I haven’t seen Jon Fried in about five years. Last time was at Rutgers University where my niece Meghan was running the NJ Folk Festival. Jon’s wife Deena Shoskes was performing at it and they were nice enough to give Bill and I a ride back to the train station. That was different than the last time they gave me a ride home.

It was in the 1990’s and I ran into them at the Knitting Factory where my dear friend Jane Scarpantoni was playing. It was a bit late and I was downtown. I knew they were headed back to NJ and I might have asked Deena who said no. Then I asked Jon who said, ‘of course’.

Oh what an uncomfortable ride that was. Deena in the back seat shooting daggers with her eyes at me with such intensity it was palpable. To her credit, it was one of the rare moments where they were able to be away from their sons and here am I, the big goof in the front seat cutting into some heavy petting and necking I guess.

For the ride to the train station, Bill and I were in the back seat doing some heavy petting and necking.

You’re Not From Brighton

It was back to work for me today. Fewer and fewer people have been able to say that lately. Last night Bill and I watched 60 Minutes, then watched the Sex and the City movie. It was one of the few gay things we do.

It was enjoyable though midway through I thought it would take a dark macabre turn ala Lawn Hors d’oeuvre with Steve separated from Miranda, he was going to take their kid and do a murder/suicide. Of course that didn’t happen.

Happy endings all around. We both enjoyed it though not enough to actually go see it in a theater. A Sunday night viewing on HBO was enough.

Bill was off to bed and I soon joined him as he snored quite loudly. He got his results from the sleep apnea test and it turns out he has sleep apnea. So he has to go back for more testing. I told him if he dies on me I would kill him. There- I put it in writing.

I woke up and got my act together in time to see Bill heading out the door. I had a nice breakfast and soon I too was out the door heading to the bus. Made it to the office with no problems. Came in though and saw milk that was left out for a few days, most of the office and conference rooms in disarray.

I grumbled but it is my job to put things in order.

On Facebook this morning I wrote: Dumbfounded by the people I share office space with and their overwhelming ineptitude. But still I am not complaining since their foolhardiness gets me out of the office. So there!

I thought it was humorous and hit the nail on the head. Harpy tells me later that he was worried because so many people in the world use Facebook, but I think the people I work with, if they went looking for me on Facebook they would not be looking for John Ozed. They would be looking for that other guy.

I think Harpy’s fear while appreciated was unwarranted. And what I wrote wasn’t so bad after all. And if they called me on what I wrote, I could back up what I wrote.

I was out running errands earlier than usual this morning. I needed to buy milk for the coffee I made so I was out and about. I was busier than usual as the day went on, and was also able to leave early. I had to run an errand for Vivek and his partner which meant going down to the printer in Chinatown and pick up some more business cards.

That was fine by me. It was a nice enough afternoon to walk around the City Hall area and enjoy a Padron while heading to the Path train.

Couldn’t get a seat on the train so I stood and read the new book from the library that I have taken out, April 4, 1968. It’s about Martin Luther King’s death and how it changed America and written by Michael Eric Dyson who was really good on Bill Maher a few weeks ago.

So far it’s a good read. I’m looking forward to reading more of his books.

I love my library and not because it’s a block and a half away from my apartment. I loved the Weehawken library too and that wasn’t that close to my apartment. I love the fact that if there is anything I might want I could go online and order it from the cooperative system and within days it will be available to me in Hoboken.

DVD’s books, CD’s all available but not always in good condition. When I took out Bruce Springsteen’s The River, it looked like someone was practicing ice skating on it. But hey, you take your chances.

How Will the Wolf Survive?

Well it’s another lazy Saturday. I’d like to apologize for the posting fiasco last night. Word Press is set 4 hours ahead to Greenwich Mean Time or in the middle of the ocean, I don’t know. Thanks to my sister Annemarie for asking me what happened to last night’s entry.

I was surprised that Harpy or bhikku didn’t say anything. Then again, I think they might have lives that are not centered around this drivel passing as a blog, this mutton disguised as lamb. There I said it! Drivel! Mutton! I don’t really think of it as such.

It’s a column.

It’s a diary.

It’s a letter.

It’s a discipline.

It’s an exercise.

It’s a blog.

Last night my sister in law mentioned that I had to get home so I could write. Not that she reads this. I doubt it, she’s not that involved with computers and proudly so. She certainly doesn’t like Facebook.

Bill and I watched Bill Maher last night which was pretty good. Mos Def and Salman Rushdie were the panel and Christopher Hitchens was the special guest. Mos Def was hilarious. He sounded a lot like Pedro.

Then it was off to bed. I woke up a little before 9:00. Bill was busy doing something as I shuffled though into the shower. Went out and got a few items and that was basically it. I went to the library and dropped off the Freaks and Geeks DVD set that I had out. Didn’t watch all the discs as I had my fill of the early 1980’s.

I tried watching What Just Happened, directed by Barry Levenson and starring Robert De Niro and Catherine Keener with Bruce Willis and John Turturro. Midway through watching it my brother Frank called. Had a long talk with him about yesterday and music. He mentioned a few days ago that talking to me was therapeutic for him.

We’re alike in a few ways, but unlike him I will talk to him even if I’m watching a TV show or a DVD. He tends to get very up tight if you call him during on of his shows and will let you know. The flow of the movie was disrupted and I couldn’t get back into it.

I did go almost all the way back to the beginning though. Bill was headed out the door since he had watched most of it while I was on the phone with Frank. Then as I get back into the movie, Bill calls. He was on the slowest bus heading into the city and proceeded to tell me all about it.

I guess What Just Happened is an apt title for the movie since I kept asking myself that exact same phrase before I eventually gave up and put the DVD back into the Netflix envelope. That got me out of the house.

I headed to the post office and dropped it off and then strolled around Hoboken on a partly sunny day, enjoying a Padron. There must have been a baby boom since there are more strollers around and they tend to travel in packs.

Last night my niece Corinne told me I was the coolest gay man that she knew. Not that she knows that many. She mentioned one friend of hers which by the way she imitated him, was a bit swish.

That got me remembering how years ago, in the 1980’s in the midst of the AIDS holocaust, I had a feeling that heavy set, overweight men would suddenly be desirous. I thought that since one of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS was a sudden weight loss, emaciated bodies.

That was something to look out for then. Still is I guess though I couldn’t tell you since when I happen to go to a gay bar I become the invisible man. Neither customers nor bartenders see me, and I rarely go out to gay bars, or bars in general.

Anyway, as a way of showing that they were healthy, relatively speaking, that beer belly would somehow become attractive. This might have given cause to the rise of the Bears. Bears in gay culture, are heavy set, hirsute, overweight men.

At the other end of that spectrum are the Twinks, who are younger and generally hairless and extremely body conscious men. There are more breakdowns in each set but I think you get the idea.

Corinne’s friend would be a Twink and I guess I would lean more towards Bears. I tried to identify as such, but Juan strongly disagreed a few years ago. I guess he might be a Bear aficionado. I suppose I would be a Wolf then.

More Wolf than Bear, that’s me.

Giant

It’s Wednesday again. An out of the ordinary day. One day left for me this week at work. Last night Bill was doing the sleep apnea test thing and it went well I suppose. I’m sure I’ll hear all about it later. More than likely during the last 5 minutes of Lost which will have steam almost leaving my ears. I do want to hear all about it, but not between 9:00 and 10:00.

Harpy is scheduled to go to the NYU Dental Clinic for dentures. He needs ’em. He’s been getting a little too close to Shane McGowan’s dentistry as of late and this should improve his chances of getting a job and perhaps eating solid food again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me my Harpy and only want the best for him. This morning I was out on an errand and saw in my building, at the Staples store a notice on the window for positions opening up downtown at Broadway and Vesey Street.

I only glanced and called Harpy to tell him. It probably wouldn’t be his thing so I asked him to forward the info to Susan, former co-owner of Farfetched. The news about Harpy’s scheduled dental visit was posted on Facebook and commented on by Susan and myself.

When I finished my errand I stopped and called Susan who immediately was in attack mode, thinking that I was calling up about the dentist. I had to raise my voice a bit to let Susan know that I was calling to let her know about the possible job info and to help her out.

Still she filled me in about Harpy’s problem which I knew all about from Harpy himself. She dutifully wrote down the info that I recited over the phone, where to log in and apply, where to go for the actual store. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a madhouse, with hundreds of people lined up around the block.

That’s how it’s been lately. I spoke with my former boss, present friend Risotto see how he was doing. He is in a human resources position and told me how he listed a job for sales and was inundated with a couple of thousand applicants, for one job.

Robert and I made plans to see a mutual friend, Fay Victor singing at 55 Bar on Christopher Street when the weather gets warmer and when Fay returns to the States from Holland.

Work was all deck chairs today. Steve, former co-worker who’s been lingering and using the office facilities to get a new job since he was released from his job in October when he came back from his honeymoon in Greece, came in again.

It seems that he has gotten a new job in Tarrytown, just finalizing the details. He asked me if I wanted to go have a cigar with him to celebrate and of course I said yes. We headed out around 2:30, no one really noticing that I was out of the office, but I left a note letting them know they could reach me on my cell.

He brought along a bottle of Woodland Reserve, a nice bourbon that went very well with the San Luis Rey cigar I picked out. We sat in the lounge at the Cigar Inn on Second Avenue and sipped and puffed with quite a few other men smoking cigars on a Wednesday afternoon.

A nice mellow scene indeed and quite aromatic. Of course that ended about an hour later, Steve was off to his wife and me back to the office, quite buzzed and wondering what the hell was I doing there.

After a half hour of bewilderment I got my stuff together and headed towards the bus terminal. Finally coming down from the cigar/bourbon buzz and not complaining at all, just wishing I had another cigar and more bourbon.

The fact that Steve was able to get a new job, really gives me hope for my other unemployed friends.

You Can’t Catch Me

Well it was back to Southampton today, boarding the White Star Line for the HMS Titanic. Deck chairs all in in disarray. Someone needs to tidy them up, put them in their proper places and it might as well be me.

They have told me that I will have this job until next March, but of course there could always be an iceberg between now and then, between here and there. Today was nothing extraordinary. I was alive, which was a good thing (depending on who you talk to) I guess.

Bill was up before me, and he bellowed that it was 6:45 and his bellowing was more effective than an alarm clock. I shuffled past Bill as he gussied himself up in the mirror, and jumped into the shower. I was out in time to kiss him good bye.

He reminded me he has a sleep apnea test tomorrow night so he won’t be around. It’s a sleep over thing. My brother Frank did it last week and he complained how uncomfortable it was.

I spoke with Frank for an hour this morning which shows how busy I’ve been. There was the usual initial difficulty in connecting but it lasted only about a minute. We talked about a wide range of things. He finds talking to me therapeutic which is fine by me.

We made plans for me to take a train out to Garfield on Friday to play guitars together. I’ll take a train out there, we’ll play and he can drop me off at the train station so I can get back to Hoboken and beat the rush hour. I’m not as intimidated as I used to be.

Playing guitar in front of him was nerve wracking for me at times. A few years ago Bill and I drove out there during the holidays and I brought my guitar. It turned out he wasn’t into playing guitar. I tried showing him a Beatles song that I had taught myself, so proud I was, only to find him saying, that’s not how it goes.

It sounded fine to me. No, I didn’t play the Fmaj7, instead choosing a simple F barre chord. I was discouraged and put the guitar away. Last time this past holiday season I tried it again, with his guitar, played my version of Nick Lowe’s So It Goes, as well as Macca’s Maybe I’m Amazed and he was intrigued enough to suggest getting together and playing sometime.

So I guess that time will be this Friday. Since he had the stroke he hasn’t played that much and I guess he’s itching to play with someone. Even his baby brother. I’m looking forward to it and will bring a few songbooks out.

I reassured him that playing Graham Parker’s Squeezing out Sparks is easy to play since most of the songs are 3 or 4 chords. I’ll even show him some websites that have chords to songs that wouldn’t be in the songbooks.

I took the Path train back to Hoboken this evening, enjoying a Padron on the way. Chuckled out loud on the train as I was reading David Sedaris which probably raised a few eyebrows but I didn’t see them since my nose was buried in the book.

Nice walk back home in the chilly spring air. Saw Stine with Alexander and I was more than glad to help her out by carrying Alexander up to their apartment. Of course I was nervous, ‘don’t drop the baby…careful…now wouldn’t be a good time to fall down’ all running in my head.

Of course I had the camera available and took some shots of Superboy who is now walking, a bit like a drunken sailor, but still- he’s walking. And saying ‘Oooo’ every now and then.

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Me and Superboy

Me and Superboy


Jeezy Creezy- I love this kid!

My Old Man

Well so far this spring has been nothing but overcast and not that warm. I’m sure things will pick up eventually but so far I haven’t been impressed. Last night after posting I went out again. Not to anywhere in particular just took a stroll down Washington Street smoking a Padron.

No one I knew was out, but then again I never see anyone out. Possibly because they see me first, or possibly because they don’t go out. I walked until the cigar was halfway through, then I turned around and was finished by the time I came home.

It was a nice walk, iPod plugged in, listening to the Bird and the Bee’s latest release. Bill was planning on staying in the city and surprised me when he walked through the door an hour after I got back.

I was in the middle of watching yet another disc of Freaks and Geeks and it’s been enjoyable but by 10:00 I had enough of reliving someone else’s high school memories.

As far as I know my high school memories on celluloid were Square Pegs and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, or at least my high school years were bracketed by the time periods of the aforementioned show and movie.

I guess the class of 1980 just weren’t up to snuff and who can blame them. As far as I’m concerned I was the most interesting person in my class and I was barely noticed. I know that’s a presumptuous statement but then again my father was a presumptuous guy.

I did try watching Mad Men on DVD. Watched a few episodes and still I find it interminable. Once you get past the fact that everyone is smoking and drinking I don’t see any reason to watch it. And I smoke and drink so there’s no novelty there.

I spoke with my brother Brian today and he mentioned that what I wrote the other day about my problems with ‘stupid’ people was just like something my father would have written if my father wrote.

And I had to agree with Brian since as soon as I wrote what I wrote the other day I felt I was turning into my father. And that’s not such a good thing at all.

Disdain for one’s fellow human beings is something my father always had. There was always some shit head on the train or on his way to work, or even Chuck Ferguson my father’s co-worker, who when listening to my father describe him, you would think Chuck Ferguson was king of the shit heads.

Maybe my father was a pretender to the throne. Or the heir apparent.

So that’s something I have to work on. Being understanding, not condescending. It’s not going to be easy I’m sure. I was reminded of a picture taken of me at my niece Meghan’s wedding back in June 2007 and I can easily see myself looking a bit too much like my father.

Perhaps a little too close for comfort with that look of incredulousness.

Perhaps a little too close for comfort with that look of incredulousness.

Not that my father would agree, or even be proud since he wasn’t the most supportive person. But he’s not here and I am so I still have a chance to take this sad song and make it better.

That means stop complaining about the people at the supermarket, stop yelling at the feeble minded helpers at the shoemakers, stop cursing people that pull the door instead of pushing at the bus terminal. No more of feeling an air of superiority.

I was too insecure to pull that off, but when wearing a suit & tie, I do get treated as such. Let karma take care of it. Let karma separate the wheat from the chaff. No sweat off my back.

You Spin Me Round

Yes, it’s a Friday night and yes I know I’m posting later than usual. Almost 3 hours later. What do you want from me? I just got back from Manhattan where Bill had a surprise for me. Tonight he took me to see Black Violin at the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street.

Black Violin are 2 black guys playing violin basically. They play some classical, some R&B, pop and hip hop. It’s really good and ironically earlier this week Pedro sent me a link about them. He loves them so much he bought the CD and proceeded to tell me all about them.

I had actually heard about them and possibly saw them on TV. They’ve played with Kanye West, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z among others. It was really a fun show. Lot’s of families with kids making lot’s of noise which despite being the theater, was encouraged.

It was a very pleasant surprise. Bill loves to surprise me. I’m not one for surprises but that doesn’t stop him. He loves to tease me and all this week he teased me about how he got me a present, texting IGYP (I Got Your Present) followed by IASS (I Ain’t Sayin’ Shit).

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The plan was to meet outside his office building at 6:30. I got on the bus in Hoboken and sat in traffic on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel. I was able to convince the bus driver to let me out at west 38th street and 10 Avenue. I hustled through midtown fighting the crowds trying to get out of the city. I showed up on time, smoking a cigar.

Bill came down and we hung out for a few minutes. It was a wonderful evening which may not be over yet. A good band is playing McSwells and Roda just texted me about it. I haven’t seen Roda since last year and a visit is due so after this posting I’ll more than likely be heading over to McSwells to check out the Budos Band.

I first heard of them from Jockohomo-Datapanik (located in the blogroll on the right) a while ago and downloaded 2 songs which I can’t find at this moment. Before heading into the city I watched a few episodes of Freaks and Geeks.

My sister recommended it as did my brother Frank. It’s produced by Judd Apatow and has Jason Segal, James Franco and Seth Rogan among others. I tried watching it once and I couldn’t really get into it, but since it was available at the library I decided to give it another chance.

Also picked up from the Hoboken library, the first season of Mad Men, another show I tried to get into but couldn’t. I did see an ad for the DVD set and it looked good enough to give it another shot. It’s also something that Frank recommended.

First Day of Spring, with snow

First Day of Spring, with snow

Writing about Natasha Richardson last night was cathartic. Today there was a wake for her at the Irish Heritage Society on Fifth Avenue. Not my thing and I’m not one to join a group of celebrity watchers fenced in across the street.

And to end tonight’s posting on a positive note, here’s some pictures of Alexander Lopez from the morning. He always makes my day and always seems genuinely happy to see me.

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one more baby picture

My Bill

My Bill

Don’t Tell Mama

Oh it’s Wednesday and it’s been merely alright. Of course there was room for improvement but I wouldn’t know where to begin. Most likely I would begin on Thursday. Pet peeve time. I usually zoom around the city, I’m a fast walker.

In never ceases to fail that I can pick someone who maybe be 20 feet away from me that they will stop exactly where I need to walk. Every single time. It’s almost like they see me coming and think, “See that big guy, 6’2” coming in our direction? I’m going to stand right here and I don’t care if he’s bigger than me.”

I’m convinced that people are getting dumber. Even in the bus terminal. It’s so much easier to push the door rather than pull it, but 9 times out of 10 they pull. I wait until it’s clear then I push making it easier for all those behind me.

Last night was ok. Bill came home after my niece Corinne dropped me off. Gave her and her mother Elaine a nice big hug and kiss before I climbed the 4 flights of steps to my apartment. Bill came home a little after that and told me of his plans for me to write a play that they could work on for the workshop he attends.

Sounds like a good idea but I was trying to figure out what I should write. He mentioned 10 pages should be enough and that’s the rule of thumb, one minute for every page. It’s mainly an African American theater group but Bill says that doesn’t matter.

I’m sure I could write something color blind, but I think it might lean to existentialism and I don’t know how that would go over. I’m thinking like maybe a Beckett play. Write now I am writing about writing which could be a line of thought, a one person play.

Still looking for things to do. I did go out on a personal errand. I need hair gel. As usual the things I use seem to be on the way to being discontinued. I like hair gel and where I bought a few jars of it last year, now they’re unavailable online.

So I walked from 50th and Third Avenue to 36th Street. That’s where I almost ran into the various people in my way.

At one point as I was waiting for a light to change, some handsome young man in a truck says, ‘Hey hows it going?” I say, ‘It’s good. How about yourself?’ ‘Good good’ he says, adding ‘Are you still working over there?’ I say, ‘No man, I’m working over here now’

The light changed and he was on his way. Turns out he was a fling from many years ago, Jose. Still handsome and hot but he was the passenger in a delivery van so it obviously couldn’t get much further than a 30 second chat.

I didn’t figure out who he was until I was in the line to get my hair gel. And that was odd. The bill came to $6.13 and I had $6.12. I asked if they had a save a penny/leave a penny and she looked at me as if I was speaking Latin.

All I had was a $10.00 bill and wound up with a pocket full of change which seems to be heard by anyone standing on the street asking for change.

Another interesting thing happened to me while I was running around outside. I’m heading back to my office building when an attractive woman jumps in front of me.

She asks where I got the suit I was wearing and I tell her Syms, where an educated consumer is their best customer. She asks if I ever heard of Tom James. I did and ask if it was the maker of bespoke suits and it was. She tells me I look good and asks for my card which I gave her in exchange for hers.

I’d love a bespoke suit, which is basically a suit made from scratch. You pick out the fabric and they make it according to your size and tastes and will alter it if you gain or lose weight.

That was nice, telling me I looked nice, and it’s also a nice selling point, compliment the potential customer and maybe they’ll spend $1000.00 on a new suit, with 3 free shirts! That Amy Sacks knows her stuff, but I have about 12 suits now and I really don’t need anymore.

I am saddened by Natasha Richardson’s accident. Falling while on a beginner slope while skiing. Apparently something happened with her brain even though she was walking and talking afterwards.

I’ve hit my head many times, one particular incident was when I was working in a book warehouse. I was under the racks getting some books and I thought I had cleared the steel rack and stood up and smacked my head. I literally saw stars and had to sit down for a few minutes.

I guess having such fatty tissue for a skull had an advantage. Now apparently I would be taken to a hospital to be checked out. Not then. And now if you’re going skiing, helmets are almost mandatory.

I didn’t see Natasha Richardson on Broadway in Cabaret but I know the soundtrack inside out and she’s on it. She certainly was a beautiful actress and a pleasure to watch and to listen to. It doesn’t look good for her, reports are that she’s brain dead.

It’s been said that she was scheduled to be on Broadway again with her mother the great Vanessa Redgrave in A Little Night Music, but now that isn’t going to happen. I would have loved to have seen it.

8:08 PM- New York Times
Natasha Richardson, Actress, Dies at 45, Family Says

Natasha Richardson, a Tony Award-winning actress whose career
melded glamorous celebrity with the bloodline of theater
royalty, has died following a skiing accident on Monday north
of Montreal, her family said.

She’s So Modern

Yes, it’s a late posting tonight and yes I went out and had a few pints after work. And yes I have a good excuse. Being St. Patrick’s Day my niece Corinne and I have decided to continue something from last year, basically creating a tradition of going to McSwells and having a pint for this day of enforced Irish-ness.

Last year it was Corinne and I with her boyfriend who shall be known as Doofus. Corinne and Doofus are no more so he wasn’t around. Corinne’s mother, my sister in law Elaine joined us. It was good. Elaine definitely needed to get out and let her hair down. No table dancing, just some pub grub sitting at the bar and chatting.

A nice end to a decent St. Patrick’s Day. The day started ok, Bill telling me it was 6:40 as he lay in bed next to me, me telling Bill to go ahead and do whatever it is he has to do, I’ll keep sleeping. That lasted about 5 minutes once he got out of bed. I couldn’t sleep anymore so I got out of bed.

Bill was getting himself together, doesn’t take as long as I do since he just puts on clothes and goes to the gym. I shower and shave here, not being a gym person. I wore a double breasted suit with a green pattered tie and my late cousin Jackie’s overcoat.

Made it to the office a little after 8:30 which is earlier than it’s been the past couple of weeks. Quiet again, though on the street were occasional groups of people, mainly in green headed towards Fifth Avenue. The St. Patrick’s Day parade was scheduled at 11:00 and at 9:00 that was the destination, to get a good spot on the curb.

My day was quiet enough that I was able to go and check out the parade for an hour. That’s what I’ve been doing the past few years, checking out the parade on my lunch hour. Previous years had easier access to the parade route, but not this year. I walked over to 50th and Madison where I found out that I would have to go to 42nd Street or 55th Street to get to the parade.

I asked why they were doing it this year and the cop told me he didn’t know. I wound up walking up to 53rd Street where there wasn’t a police office controlling the flow of people to the parade. It wasn’t like Hoboken’s parade a few weeks ago. This was more subdued despite 5 times as many people.

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The weather was agreeable and I smoked a Padron and took some snapshots. I would have stayed longer but the batteries in my camera died after 48 pictures. Back to the still quiet office, looking around for things to do, things to pass the time. Somehow I did find things and soon enough it was time to go home.

The original plan was to meet Corinne at 6:00 so I took my time, enjoying another Padron, weaving my way through the crowds and saw Bill for a few minutes. He looked good in his green tie. Didn’t get a picture of him in his green beret and scarf.

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"Ernie"

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That’s how he dressed for St. Patrick’s Day. I had the green patterned tie and 4 leaf clover cuff links that I got cheap a few weeks ago. Got a pair for Bill as well.

Walked to the bus terminal, taking my time again. It was 5:30 when I got a text from Corinne asking if we could meet at 6:30 instead. I said ‘ok’ and decided to go home and change out of my suit into more casual fare.

Walked up to McSwells a little before 6:30 and got to the bar where it was fairly quiet. Not much going on which was fine by me. Elaine and Corinne were looking for a spot and I suggested parking in a garage, I would pay the cost.

It was $7.00 easily affordable but they had to pay once they got there so I was off the hook for that one. They showed up and we sat at the bar, eating and drinking and catching up. I had 4 pints, Corinne had 1 and Elaine had 2 Coronas.

Nobody out of control and after an hour or two it was time to go. A very nice, nothing over the top St. Patrick’s Day. That’s about it. No complaints.

Elaine, Me, Corinne

Elaine, Me, Corinne

Regulate

Back to work for me today. Not such a bad thing considering whats going on these days.

Something interesting happened just now. Actually over the past few hours. Quite inconsequential I’m sure, but as I was walking to the bus terminal I was thinking of the Roches, specifically a song, called The Death of Suzzy Roche.

All about how the people in the laundromat want Suzzy Roche dead since she puts on airs and acts like the queen of the laundry. I thought of it a few months ago and texted Kathe Charas with the line, ‘Everyone in the laundromat is equal’ to which Kathe texted back, ‘Suzzy Roche!’

And I was thinking about that and then thought about Seinfeld, the episode where Elaine goes by the name of Susie which made me think about Suzzy Roche. Well that particular episode is coming up tonight on a repeat of Seinfeld.

Synchronicity- it hardly ever happens. I guess that’s the high point of my day. Sad isn’t it?

I got up earlier this morning than I’ve been getting up lately. 6:30. I did my thing and Bill eventually got up and dressed while I was still puttering around. I was out at the usual time oddly enough. Walked though midtown to my office, in earlier than usual despite catching a later bus. It was quiet again.

A large part of my day is now spent looking for things to do. I did spend almost an hour at the post office, it was that crowded. A never ending snaking line. I wisely brought my iPod and listened to N.A.S.A.

Got back to the office about 15 minutes before it was time for me to go. Of course Vivek was in by then and asked if I wouldn’t mind going to the post office for him. I rolled my eyes and gritted my teeth, (or was it rolling my teeth and gritting my eyes) and Vivek said I could just put it in the mail box tonight so I did that.

Came home and as I was changing out of my work clothes, I get a call from Julio. He never calls anymore. He asks what I’m doing and I tell him I’m hanging up my suit. He asks if I would like some ice cream and he knew what my answer would be.

He came up a few minutes later with a few gallons of Breyers chocolate ice cream and chocolate velvet ice cream and low fat chocolate ice cream and some Klondike Bars. Apparently they’re shooting a table top for Breyers Ice Cream and have a lot at his studio. I

t was fun to hang out with him if only for a few minutes. He had to leave shortly after coming up since Stine was making dinner and climbing the walls. Julio told me that Alexander is now walking and you have to keep an eye on him all the time.

Poor Stine, with the baby all day. Nerves are frayed for all concerned with the exception of Alexander. We did have a shot of Gammel Dansk, a Danish liquor that I’ve had in my refrigerator since Julio and Stine gave it to me a few years ago. A bit like Jagermeister. A nice buzz that is gone now.

No photographing Bill at the studio tonight, no session at all. I don’t mind, I’m home and I have a lot of ice cream. Not that I’m eating it all tonight. Not me.

Though those Klondike bars do look enticing. I can hear them calling my name. Must. Resist. Cannot. Succumb. Must…be…strong. So far so good. It’s been 5 minutes and I’m good. No chocolaty goodness for me!

This just in: Dick Cheney is STILL A DICK!

Atomic Moog 2000

Well So Happy It’s Thursday is an apt acronym. It fits. Last night, thanks to Harpy’s heads up, telling me that Lost was a repeat I watched part of Religulous, the Bill Maher documentary about religion. Maher is predictably snarky through out and I have to give him some reluctant credit, going up to people and asking them questions that I would love to ask but never have the opportunity.

Plus I’m too nice a guy to be so snarky. And I don’t have a film crew and or some security behind the camera. It was ok. Bill came home after seeing his mother in the hospital a little before 10:00 and asked to watch Lawn Hors d’oeuvre which was fine by me. I could easily jump back into the Bill Maher DVD whenever I want to.

It was a return to the old days with Bill and I watching TV together. It was an ok episode though. Still haven’t caught on to the current cast like Bill has. He went to bed after that and I watched the Daily Show which was funny as ever with Paul Rudd as his guest. Tonight though he has James Cramer as the guest.

Jon Stewart has been riffing on CNBC and especially James Cramer, deservedly so. Tonight Bill is staying in Stuyvesant Town after visiting his mother again. He has a stress test at 7:15 in the morning and doesn’t want to be late. He didn’t ask for me to go with him, though my sister Annemarie thinks that I should.

Bill is ok with the fact that I’m not going. He knows it’s way too early for me, that it would involve me getting up around 5:30 to hop on a bus and get to 59th street for the appointment. He’d rather go by himself. I didn’t put up any argument.

Work was the quietest it’s been lately. The right wing subtenants were all out at meetings, Vivek still out. I had to send info regarding flights back from Florida yesterday for him and his business partner and I hope he got the info. I haven’t heard otherwise, not that that eases my mind.

No email, no voice mail. And since I won’t be back in the office until Monday, if there is anything to be said I should hear it then.

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I did my best to look natty today. I wore my sharkskin suit and the Ben Sherman skinny tie I bought yesterday Sort of my Mad Men look. I think I looked nice. Bill said so this afternoon when I stopped by his office building and he came down for a few minutes.

I puffed on a Padron, Siouxsie & the Banshees with Monitor all queued up as Bill and I talked about the stress test. No big deal for him though he did appreciate Annemarie’s concern. He told me not to worry about it.

Pleasant enough bus ride home, reading David Sedaris “When You Are Engulfed in Flames” which is always a macabre chuckle. Tonight promises to be quiet, just TV. Bill in Stuyvesant Town, me in Hoboken.

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Bedsitter

Well last night was Tuesday night and actually the first night since New Years Eve that Bill was able to sleep in our bed. He came home around 8:00 and was very happy to be home. I greeted him with a hug and a kiss.

Almost immediately we fell into our old routines, he sitting on the couch and me sitting where I am now, in front of the computer. Also like our old routine, we watched Scrubs from this past season which is now on ABC. And we had seen both episodes already.

I was surprised that he went to bed before the old stand by, Lawn Hors D’oeuvre SVU. It was a decent episode, but it lacked the made up lyrics that Bill and I used to sing over the theme song.

I watched the Daily Show after that, more of the Jon Stewart/Jim Cramer showdown, of which Jon Stewart has been hitting home runs with a ball that might as well be shaped like Jim Cramer’s face. Jon Stewart was on point.

I tried watching the Colbert Report but couldn’t keep up and soon went to bed. There was Bill, fast asleep and snoring. That kept me awake for a while but soon he stopped and I was able to fall asleep to the sound of the recyclables being dragged to the curb a little after midnight.

Getting up was out of the ordinary. It used to be that Bill was up around 5:30 to head to the gym but he was up around the same time as me after both of us kept hitting the snooze button on our respective alarm clocks. He was gone before I was, and I made my way to the bus stop.

One aspect of getting up earlier is the fact that it isn’t as crowded at 7:00 in the morning than at 8:00. Lot’s more people but still I found a comfortable seat and finished the article in the New Yorker about David Foster Wallace and the depression that eventually caused him to take his life.

It mentioned a few of his books, except for the book that I received as a gift about 5 years ago from Sarah Fortner, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again. I tried reading it but found it too dense for my taste. Sad that he killed himself, the medications he was on didn’t help him at all.

I remember a quote but can’t figure out who said and I probably have it wrong anyway, but basically I relate it to how if a person would take their medications to deal with their inner devils, their inner angels would never forgive them.

The inner struggle that takes place and can cause creative urges. I still have the David Foster Wallace book and one day I’ll get around to reading it, perhaps with the proper dose of medication.

Work was quiet for me, and I wound up being more of a DJ than an office manager. Not much going on, Tom Chin out, Vivek still on the road. Since I wasn’t busy at all, the day crawled.

No ‘real’ errands to run, so I found the time to go to Sym’s where I bought a nice Ben Sherman tie, a skinny tie for $15.00, originally priced at $30.00. I plan to wear it tomorrow, Thursday which is the last day of my work week.

Bill is coming home tonight again, which makes it the first time since October where he’s spent 2 consecutive nights here in Hoboken. His mom is being monitored in Beth Israel hospital and she seems to be doing better.

Bill has a stress test on Friday morning so he’ll be staying in Stuyvesant Town Thursday night so he can get to the test on time with a minimum of fuss. Me, I’m looking forward to Lost tonight. Probably won’t be as focused on Sawyer as it was last week, but I do hope it will be as good as it was.

I’ve been playing the War Child- Heroes CD and so far it’s pretty good. Rufus Wainwright does an excellent cover of Brian Wilson’s Wonderful/Song for Children from Smile, and Franz Ferdinand’s live cover of Blondie’s Call Me is killer!

Beck’s cover of Dylan’s Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat isn’t as good as it should be. He changes the line, ‘I saw you making love to him/you forgot to close the garage door’ to ‘you forgot to close the Pill Box door’ which makes no sense at all.

Damn thetans!