Tag Archives: Passing Strange

Fela’s Riff (Unfinished Outtake)

Well here we are on a Monday. The Lady Maurice could be gone for good. I can only hope that it’s so. The only time I intend on mentioning that name is perhaps when writing about Charlie Brown’s sister.

It’s another beautiful day today, temperatures close to 60 degrees. Last night wasn’t so bad even though I didn’t go out, I did have the window open.

I planned on watching the Academy Awards in the bedroom since there was a fight between ABC TV and my cable provider Cablevision. I had the foresight, or rather Bill had the foresight, to get a digital converter box. I had the coupon for the box, Bill actually went out and got the box.

A part of the day was spent online advising friends on Facebook who also were in the same cable TV boat to go out and get the box if they intended to watch the Oscars.

I settled in expecting to be running back and forth, from room to room, bedroom to computer so I can provide my witty and insightful updates. OK, updates. Perhaps not so witty and probably not insightful.

About 15 minutes into the awards show a scroll at the bottom of the screen announced an agreement between ABC and Cablevision, that while they are still negotiating, ABC will still broadcast on Cablevision’s system.

I turned on the big TV and there it was as they said, just a foot or two from the computer. I announced on Facebook what had happened and apparently some Facebook friends didn’t know. I even called my niece Meghan to let her know since she had mentioned earlier how disappointed that she was going to have to watch the Oscars on her computer screen.

I enjoyed the Oscars and enjoyed exchanging snarky comments with my online friends. I’d like to think we all enjoyed ourselves. I stayed up and watched Jimmy Kimmel after the news following the Academy Awards which was generally pretty funny.

I wound up staying up until 2:00. Bill hadn’t come home yet and I was a bit worried but opted to go to sleep. He was home about 45 minutes later, trains and things run much slower after midnight and this play is definitely taking on a life on it’s own.

Woke up before he did this morning, I was in a better mood today than I was yesterday. I showed Bill yesterday’s post, he agreed that I was standoffish in the morning which I expected. He situated himself in the bedroom, working on his laptop and making phone calls to the stage hands.

Around noon I headed out, wandered around Hoboken. Saw Jim Mastro at the Guitar Bar for a little while. Also ran into my former roommate William on Washington Street with a friend of his David, a 75 year old gent that William seemed to be escorting around town.

Good to see William and nice to meet David. William’s friend Lisa showed up as well and we all parted ways after a bit, William and David off to feed quarters in the meter and Lisa and I headed uptown.

Came home, Bill en route to Manhattan. I decided to watch the DVD of Passing Strange which was most excellent. Bill and I had seen it at the Public Theater in 2007 and we both loved it, and Spike Lee decided to film the last night that it played on Broadway.

Forgot how good and touching it is. Definitely worth catching if you have the chance. I got it from the library so I guess it is available in most DVD rental stores.

Being the last show, weepiness abounds on both sides of the screen, them more than me. Still it’s a powerful, funny, sad and touching show and worth watching.

Will someone please beat Tom DeLay within an inch of his life? I have a ruler if needed.

Dear Mr. Fantasy

Listening to Mumford & Sons. They were on Letterman the other night. I really liked the song. Enough so to download a few tracks. Well it’s not all that. Perhaps they pull it off live, but all the songs have sameness to them which isn’t very exciting.

The song they sang on Letterman was Little Lion Man which was excellent. The studio version is decent. Another good song is Dustbowl Dance. But the rest merely leaves me whelmed.

What is actually really good are the tracks I’ve gotten from Hot Chip. Now that is something special. Well worth investigating. And danceable in parts. They’ve even taking to use a live drummer on some songs which could only help.

I watched the rest of the Terry Jones documentary on Barbarians and that was very good. Left me wanting for more, but there were no extras. They should hire Terry Jones to do more things like that. I received my bus pass in the mail yesterday and today I returned it via the mail.

No need for it. I was going to drop it off last night but I was here waiting for the cable guy to arrive. The scheduled visit was until 8:00 but Cablevision found someone in West New York who drove down here.

He was a handsome chap who thought I was smoking a blunt which I wasn’t but wished I was. He swapped the swapped box with an HD box which is fine if we had an HD TV but since we don’t all the channels that are in HD are now in letterbox format and if it’s not in HD then the whole screen is filled.

The cable guy noticed a picture of my mother and me in Amish country, 1976. We’re standing next to a sculpture of a pretzel and the cable guy asked if it was a real pretzel. I explained that it wasn’t. He asked when the picture was taken and I told him 1976. He then mentioned how cool it must have been living in the 1970’s!

Mom-Me

According to Harpy we’ll have more space on the DVR to record. But we haven’t recorded anything yet. Bill came home after rehearsing his latest play. He says I will love it and I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that. I am looking forward to seeing it though.

I have a few movies from the library that are recommended. My brother Frank suggested The Changeling by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich. Old Boy, a Korean film was suggested by Michael Hill, a friend from McSwells days whom I ran into the other day.

Hellboy which I hadn’t seen but caught part of it’s sequel, Hellboy 2 last night and I was entertained. Next Day Air got some decent reviews when it came out last year and I do like Donald Faison and Mos Def, so it’s good that they’re in it.

And finally Passing Strange which Bill and I saw at the Public Theater a few years ago. We loved it and it was on PBS a few weeks ago, so we recorded it. Never got around to seeing it that way since the box went kaput, so here is the DVD. So I have plenty of things to watch if I’m in the mood.

Tomorrow I’m going to see an exhibit of artifacts from the Titanic with my niece Corrine and my sister in law Elaine. Corinne asked me and I simply couldn’t refuse, nor did I want to. It should be fun, something out of the ordinary which is what I am always after.

I did get a haircut for the occasion. A trip to Mr L’s where Tony did his magic. He asked me about how the research for hair cutting was going and nearly dropped his shears when I told him one school wanted $12,000 and the other wanted $16,000.

Not like the $900 he had to pay all those years ago at Atlas Barber School. I would go there if they had financial aid but they don’t.

If I was a veteran or had a disability or in their words: No financial aid is available. We are approved for Veterans, Immigration, and for Vocational and Educational Services of Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). I tell you they (vets, immigrants and the disabled) have it dead easy.

And that’s the thing I want to do, be a barber. Not a stylist. Don’t want to learn make up, manicures, pedicures, rinsing, coloring or any of that stuff. Just a hair cut.

And it’s the other stuff that is putting me off.

2.20.10 etc 002

Gulls!

Gulls!


Nice enough day for some painting I reckon

Nice enough day for some painting I reckon

Me, post haircut
Photo-0087Photo-0088Photo-0089Photo-0090

Pictures of You

Well today has been a good day for me, internet wise. Been in front of the computer, looking at pictures that Rand scanned last night. Oldies of Rand and me in San Francisco, playing as the Art Hams with Mike Weinert at Maxwells for the Martha-thon back in 1986 or so, playing the River City Fair was the Art Hams with John Hamilton of Tiny Lights, who advised us not to drink beforehand and we didn’t follow his advice and performed a sloppy and silly set.

Last night I had a really good time, drinking pints with Rand at his apartment. One of the things Rand did was set me up so my blog postings will feed directly into Twitter as well as Facebook. Nothing about YouFace yet though.

Rand also turned me onto Pandora which we used for music last night. My sister uses it as well and I actually signed up for it a few years ago and set up about 20 stations before forgetting about it. So I’ve been playing that most of the day.

Bill just left for his bus driving gig once again, off to Atlantic City. Pictures of You by The Cure just played on Pandora which made me miss him even more than I usually do. Curse you Robert Smith and your melancholy airs!

It’s a rainy gray day which seems perfect for The Cure. They came up through the Cocteau Twins station that I just created.

Facebook has been busy, at least me and my friends. Thanks to Rand’s photos lot’s of people are showing up and commenting and others are compelled to post pictures of their own.

Great day like I said, reading about my niece Cassie doing work for the homeless this morning for her confirmation duties.

There are plans in the works for an Art Hams reunion in May, perhaps in upstate New York. More remains to be seen on that front but if it goes through it promises to be a lot of fun. But that’s way down the line.

I’m certainly glad I went over to Rand’s last night and I also think it was rather smart of me to write and post yesterday’s entry before I started drinking. I certainly wasn’t in the state of mind to do so when I came back.

Not that I was out of control or anything like that. On the contrary, I felt relatively OK after about 5 pints of Guinness. I don’t think I would pass a sobriety test if I had to despite all the studying I had done before.

Now on Pandora is Julee Cruise singing Falling which was produced by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti and used in Twin Peaks, at least the instrumental version was.

Also trying to track Bill on Google Latitude. It was track him through his phone from my location here in Hoboken. That should be fun. I do worry about these trips to Atlantic City. And I double worry when it’s cold and rainy.

Currently listening to Brian Eno station on Pandora while downloading a Brian Eno podcast from 1988.

Last night or rather this morning I had 2 cannabis free dreams. One involved me fighting with the guy from Across the Universe in various bistros and bars in the West Village and Soho/Tribeca. I think I had some sort of superpowers, either able to fly or shrink down my size.

Then I sort of woke up when Bill came home this morning and I said when I saw Bill, ‘Mom?’

Back to sleep after that and had a dream where all the women in the world were killing all the men, except for boys and old men and gay men. I suppose I had dreams like this when I was smoking the weed all the time, just never remembered them.

Too clouded a mind for them to really sink in. Sometimes the dreams are troubling and not ensuring a good night’s sleep. Nothing much else planned for today.

Going to make some dinner in a few minutes.

That’s my first entry to go out onto the web via Twitter and Facebook

♫ Take it or leave it, we’ll carry on regardless/If you don’t like it, you don’t have to dance. ♪

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me

Art Hams- 1st incarnation, Mike Weinert, Rand Hoppe, Me


Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

Art Hams 2nd incarnation Rand Hoppe, Me, John Hamilton

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

1981 JOT photo by Derry Pedovitch

2010 JOZ

2010 JOZ

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Just Like Heaven

It’s a late entry tonight due to the fact that I was taking some office skills tests from the interview. I’ve been doing tutorials for Excel, Word, PowerPoint & a typing test for the past few days.

Finally felt comfortable enough with Excel which was my main sticking point. Word I was good at, Power Point I never used before and abandoned after being stuck on question 6 for about 20 minutes.

Bill was here, trying to to coach me during various parts but it was also during Lawn Hors d’œuvre followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm so I didn’t have his full attention. Surprisingly enough Excel wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not bad for learning it on the fly.

Bill did his best, but both of us were waylaid by Power Point. It was sort of like coming home after having fun outside on a Sunday and then having to do the homework which was put off a few times. But my frame of mind was best for it as the previous 24 hours were very good.

Last night I watched Adventureland which was mostly enjoyable. Nice refreshing look on the 1980’s. Some bits of that decade I remember and that was through the songs they used in the movie. One song in particular stood out, besides Rock Me, Amadeus.

Just Like Heaven by the Cure. I’ve liked the Cure, have one of their greatest hits collections and some of their vinyl somewhere. I remembered hearing Just Like Heaven over and over at McSwells when I was a bar back.

Hearing it last night was like hearing it for the first time and it sounded easy to play. I looked up the chords online and yes, it was quite easy to play. A E Bm D with the chorus of F#m G repeated and followed by a D & E. That’s it. I played it a few times last night and downloaded it since it wasn’t on the Staring At The Sea Greatest Hits compilation.

Saturday Night Live was alright, funny in parts. The Black Eyed Peas were OK. After that I wound up watching ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’ which was about how the Beatles were a major force in the cultural upheaval and eventual downfall of the Soviet Union.

Before I knew it it was 2:00. Bill was driving a bus back from Atlantic City so he wasn’t home and I missed his snoring/sleep apnea mask noises. Woke up around 9:00 this morning. Message from Bill that he was driving back to Atlantic City. Then another message that he wasn’t driving back to Atlantic City.

So he was getting the bagels after all. He came home and promptly went to bed while I ate breakfast and read the paper.

I decided to enjoy the nice day outside and called Julio who was napping. Called Rand and left a message. Walked around town, headed towards Pier A.

Up ahead I saw Tim, a 15 year old red headed guitar player who I saw a few weeks ago. He was doing some Dylan songs last time. This time he was also doing some Neil Young.

There was another guy who bummed a cigarette off me, Tariq. I saw Tariq playing the other day and he was a decent player as well. While Tim played Tariq and I talked about how good Tim was. People were throwing change and dollar bills into his guitar case.

Another guitar player showed up but I didn’t get his name. He sort of took over whatever was going on which was a bit of a drag. Stones, Skynyrd was the direction he was trying to go towards.

Earlier I mentioned to Tariq that I sort of play the guitar and he offered me his guitar. I begged off. He insisted and finally said, ‘Listen man, I gotta take a piss. You can hold the guitar for me, alright?’

So I did and sat next to Tim. I asked Tim if he knew any Cure songs and he asked which one. I said Just Like Heaven and he said it was one of his favorites. So we played that for a while.

Another guy joined us reading lyrics off his Blackberry to whatever was being played. As I sat and played I looked across the Hudson River and the city had turned green. The sun reflecting off the water was very impressive and I had to ask the others if they saw what I saw, that’s how impressive it was. They saw it too.

I found out that playing outside isn’t so bad after all and these guys were supportive which was something I wasn’t that used to regarding my guitar playing. I was even asked back and I told them I would bring my own guitar next time when the weather was nice.

Then I caught up with Julio and Superboy. They were on Washington Street and we strolled along. Alexander hung onto his rubber ball even when we made it to the park and he would climb the kiddie slide.

It’s funny to see Julio and Alexander together. It’s like Julio has his own Mini Me. A walk home with Alexander flying with Julio and I grabbing each of his hands and lifting, one, two three!

Tim the guitarist

Tim the guitarist

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

Tariq, Skynyrd guy, Tim

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 009

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11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 008

11.15.09 Hoboken Alexander 010