Tag Archives: Pedro

Only Tomorrow

Quite a rainy Sunday and Saturday was not so bad but overall it’s been a sub par weekend. I’ve been busying myself doing this and that, here & there so that went well. A sort of big day tomorrow which brings with it some anxiety. I talked about it with Bill this morning, he was reasonable and I was of course ill prepared for it. We will talk more about it later. Going out tonight is out of the question, so if and when Juan asks I have a perfect excuse. Pedro made an appearance as well online, finishing off with ‘sheep’ to which I ended with ‘pigs’.

I wasn’t sure if he meant sheep as singular or plural and the word is not as clearly defined as pigs is. I have minimized any post notifications that he has and he only seems to communicate with me when posting the same ignorant republican talking points that I doubt he has the time to research. I sat at home waiting for Bill’s return. He was away for three days driving a high school class on a trip. I knew he would be tired and also have luggage so I went down to the street and waited for him to return. I enjoyed a cigar, just sitting on the steps and I heard his luggage being pulled as soon as he stepped onto our block.

Bill called me as he was on his way home, asking if Juan was around. I hadn’t heard from Juan all day and Bill was fine with that. Bill was tired and just wanted to chill out with me and only me. Of course who phones shortly after that, but Juan asking if he could come by. I explained that it was not a good night and he jokingly bitched about it but had no choice but to get over it. Bill and I watched some of Saturday Night Live before he was off to bed.

I slept really well last night and woke up to a rainy morning which really was not so bad. Plans that were made have fallen by the wayside, not going to Monroe Center, not going on the studio tour, not going to Pier A, not going to Chilltown. I am cool with it and will just have to adjust into tomorrow.

Now I am home. Bill naps. No word from Juan, but it’s early. Steady drizzle day, no other way to describe it (besides sculpture).






Your Silent Face

It was another beautiful day today and it truly felt like spring so that was nice.

Last night I worked at Maxwell’s. And as usual it had gotten fairly dead by 11:00 which meant it was better to go home than stand around and do nothing for that last hour. Bill had stopped by earlier for a burger and his waitress Chloe thought the world of him. So did the other waitress Jessica but Chloe was the main one. It was good to have him there if only for a little while and he was in good spirits.

I came home last night and there was Bill overturning so many things. He spent part of last night most of the morning looking for paperwork for his mother. That is when he wasn’t distracted by a documentary on Rowdy Roddy Piper or Star Trek Voyager. He finally found it and was going to do what he had to do tomorrow. I mentioned that it might be better to get it over with today rather than run around frantic before he drives a bus tomorrow.

He actually listened to me and left. It was good to have him out of the apartment because with the two of us here at the same time all the time, it does get troublesome or at least has the potential to be that way. I wandered around Hoboken, stopped by the Guitar Bar to see Jim Mastro who wasn’t in. I raved about Rare Books to the guy who was there and since he wasn’t what you would call engaging, I left and wound up by the really big supermarket.

Juan was interesting the other day. He texted me about how his last boyfriend might have been ‘the one’. All I could do was remind Juan of the things that he sent me, the shitty things this boyfriend did. And to read Juan’s side of it, the guy is a total douche bag drug addict. But love is not only blind, it’s incoherent and I saw that Juan had friended this thing once again on Facebook. Not my problem and all I will do is offer a shoulder once again when Juan needs something to cry on.

And Pedro is going full blown teabagger. He has gotten so bad that I removed one comment from a post I made (& I never do that) and changed the settings on his newsfeed coming in from All Posts to Only Important. Not the end of the world but I don’t need his constant barrage of negativity.

Other than that, there’s not much else to write about, for now.




Released 30 years ago today: New Order- Power, Corruption & Lies

My Brain is Hanging Upside Down

Watching Mad Men on TV, the main event is the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. I was in kindergarten and have no recollection at all of when it happened. I just looked it up and it was a Thursday, so I would have asleep by the time the news would have been broadcast. Like most days back then it is all a blur. Consciousness of the outside world, meaning the world that wasn’t Riverview Avenue or St. Francis de Sales school or the Romaine – Sinniger VFW Post, did not arrive really until maybe 1972. I did know of death, but it was more familial than anything else.

Before Mad Men I found myself to be more jazzy than anticipated. No plans were in the works, except for Juan suggesting a pint. I begged off pleading being at a cash disadvantage and Juan said he would pick up the tab. I was thinking Maxwell’s, Juan was thinking of The Pint, a gay bar in Jersey City. And not right over the border Jersey City but a few stops away on the Path train. Juan doesn’t know that gay bars are anathema to me and pleaded and texted to no avail.

He even played the guilt card and despite my atheism, I do have a catholic background riddled with guilt and it really has no effect on me at all. So when Juan texted that he was going to go home and stick his head in the oven, I asked if his mother’s oven was an electric oven. In the midst of all this Bill had come home after looking after his mother all day and was incredibly stressed from that as well as other things. Bill didn’t stay up that late and I wound up staying in and watching Mad Men.

The schedule at Maxwell’s is supposed to come out on Sunday nights. I called around midnight and there was no schedule sent in. I called again this afternoon and still no schedule. I can guess that since the next time a band is playing would be Thursday so I will probably be working then. I will call later on to find out what’s what.

The past couple of nights when working at Maxwell’s the jukebox has been untouched and someone’s iPod has been playing the songs. It certainly is a mind fuck to hear New Order sing True Faith, The Ramones with Bonzo Goes To Bitburg and Echo & the Bunnymen sing Lips Like Sugar (a crap song). It causes flashbacks to way back when, bar backing and cleaning glasses while singing along with Joey Ramone and talking with Eve, Carol and Steve Saporito as I worked alongside Martha Griffin and Declan.

Now Pedro is on my Facebook page trolling, calling friends ‘sheep’. He claims Obama voted “yes’ to invade both Afghanistan and Iraq. Pedro doesn’t know or refuses to acknowledge that Obama was a state senator in Illinois at the time and was vocal about his opposition to the Iraq invasion. But Pedro doesn’t let facts get in his way these days. I’m sure he is getting his info from Joe Farrah and his ilk. Which is too bad since I consider Pedro to be intelligent but with postings like that I begin to harbor doubts.

C’est la vie.











A Big ‘W’

Well today has been a day in the doldrums. Not much to be enthusiastic about. Not even sure where this is going if it goes anywhere. Just so much bad news out there. Pissed at Obama, pissed at my friends. Pissed at the situation I find myself in.

Still I have to get it together for work tonight. It shouldn’t be a problem, excepting the stage fright that occurs between now and then. I did go out today, walked around Hoboken. Sat and read more of the Barney Hoskyns book on the Band. I know where it’s going and I know how it ends. Maybe I should quit while I am ahead. I do have an Oliver Sacks book that is on loan from the bibliothèque.

I returned two DVD’s which should have been returned yesterday but didn’t. One was Moonrise Kingdom which I saw with Annemarie in the cinema, and at home with Bill a few weeks ago. Juan mentioned that he wanted to see it so I got it and then Juan did not come over. I hung onto it in the hope that he would and the way things stand now, who knows if he’s ever coming by.

I also got into a heated comment discussion with Pedro in which he picked up on my anger and suggested I call him. I declined by saying ‘later’. I won’t call him and deleted all my comments on his wall. I also deleted some things I sent to Juan’s wall. In the parlance of Pedro and Juan as well as the kids today, I am ‘the wrong nigga to fuck with’.

Things are looking up but then again from my vantage point, looking at the bottom of my shoes could be seen as looking up. I am so disappointed in Obama with the ruse of cutting Social Security and Medicaid. I know the line that since he is including closing tax loopholes for the rich the idiotic republicans won’t go for it, but the mere thought of putting Social Security and Medicaid on the table is troublesome. I can safely say that I do not think I will support anyone running for office again, at least not in the manner that I supported Obama. And forget about the Republican Party. They are just shit.

About Richard Klatt. Richie, as he was known in my neighborhood was the younger brother of Marge Williams, a wonderful woman who lived a few doors down from my family in Lodi. Richie was a bit femme and his obvious sexuality was unspoken. He wore wigs and smoked a pipe and loved the Supremes and was in the Navy before working for the post office.

He stopped by the house after my mother passed away and I remarked once he left ‘there goes my role model’ which got a laugh from Frank, Annemarie and Brian. I do hope Richie didn’t hear that and take offence. I know that it is life, people come and go. Doesn’t necessarily bring a smile to the face though.
I was going to post this last night but obviously did not. Went to work last night, the restaurant was quite slow. I was lucky enough to miss major rain storms. I just got to Maxwell’s when the sky opened up, therefore insuring that people would not be going out for dinner. There were no bands playing so it was all restaurant.

After 3 hours it seemed like it was not going to get any better. I headed home and within minutes of sitting down with Bill who just got in a few minutes before me the skies opened up again with lots of lightning, some close enough that we could hear the air sizzle with electricity. It was intense.

I heard from Juan again which was good. He’s got his problems which I know nothing about. I have a full plate so it’s just as well that I know nothing about them.

Now I am making dinner and plan on heating it up before I head back to work. And tonight I will stay no matter how slow it is. There are bands playing so that should account for people showing up. Let’s hope so. Time goes faster when you’re busy.



Sex Pistols- Satellite

A Secret Life

Juan and Pedro. The day ended with one and started with another. Mainly texting or online. Who knows where it goes. I admit a mistake I made with Juan, expressing displeasure with his on again off again boyfriend. I should have realized that doing so would only reinforce his feelings for this principal player and with Juan’s feelings of being unloved and alone while getting messages from this principal who treated him like shit and then does an about face and claims that he misses Juan. I told Juan that if he went back then he could count me out of our friendship.

You see, I got a phone call from Juan a month ago, frantic and in tears along with some very incriminating photos. Of course I was worried and did what I could to make him feel better, but there was something missing from his life and it was either the principal player or some absence of chemicals in his system. Perhaps it was both. I was disappointed and he picked up on that via text. So Juan may be out. Who knows if I will see him again? Who knows if he will stay in Leonardo with Principal Mike and Tina Crawfish or live in Hudson County and commute? I don’t. I can’t care, I have my own problems.

And then there is Pedro. Pedro I have known since Juan was just a sperm and an egg. I posted a petition online against something that President Obama was going to do and Pedro jumped on it, ‘surprised’ that I was against Obama’s plan. You would think that knowing me for decades he would figure out that I do speak up and out on issues that concern me and the people I care for as well as what I think is best for the country. But no, he seemed to have forgotten that aspect of my personality.

It seemed he was gloating albeit half assed gloating. While he was too busy sniffing Boehner’s scrotum he doesn’t seem to know that that scrotum and the party behind it has done nothing at all while Obama has been in the oval office. And if he does know, he seems fine with it. If it’s attacking or blocking Obama then he’s good with it. He fully supported Bush and his policies including invading sovereign nations. Like most pseudo tea baggers he can’t see much further than behind his nose.

I don’t know. To me it doesn’t seem to be a good idea to alienate the one who holds the secrets. And I do hold their secrets. Juan is ambivalent to the secrets and Pedro seems to be ignorant or forgetful of those secrets. I’m not giving them up though. Not without a reason.

Other than that it was an exceptional day, summer like temperatures around 80º . Pleasant enough to go out and finish an issue of the New Yorker and continuing to read the Barney Hoskyns book about the Band. So that’s what I did while smoking a cigar.
sinatra park panorama 4.9.2013





A Secret Life

And Richard Klatt is dead.

Know news

I try to do well in avoiding the news. Such an overload is possible and today, or the past few days I had been plugged in, the Supreme Court taking on DOMA and Prop 8 and yesterday with the water main breaks in Hoboken have proven to be stressful. I have to go back to rationing the amount of news information that I take in. And I’m not talking about TV. I mean, TV is a part of it, but it’s this here internet thing, instant news and information in the blink of an eye and it’s relentless.

Certain Facebook friends probably feel the same way, ¬¬and can bear witness to my political posts on my Facebook page, at least the volume of political posts. And the majority of FB friends don’t even get the majority. There is a group that I am a member of that I send even more reposts to other people that feel the same way. I don’t want to overload my ‘regular’ FB friends. The majority of those regular people luckily feel the same way.

And then there’s Pedro. A dear friend for over 20 years has becoming more and more reactionary and right wing. I used to think that my progressive views had some influence and I guess they have, he is gay friendly which is a plus, but lately he’s been more gun crazy which is disturbing. He’s living in a more rural area which can ‘justify’ his owning of firearms but overall I tend to avoid any talk of guns or right wing bait that he might set for me.

And now in news you can use, Hoboken has another water main break and the boiling of water continues on its third day.




08 – Gay Messiah [Explicit]

I Know A Little

Well today was a day off. Yesterday wasn’t. Yesterday was working with Thomas and Jerry Vale. Thomas and I finally had our talk, about how upset I was when he stole a customer from me. According to Bill when I am upset with someone I freeze them out, or in Bill’s words I send them to Siberia.

I got that from my father. Not the best way to handle a situation, but it beats biting someone’s head off. But the talk was had and Thomas seemed contrite, saying that if he ever does that to me again to let him know and he would rectify the situation. It made for an easy afternoon.

Jerry Vale was out of sorts though. He messed up a shipping order earlier in the week and still has difficulty on the cash registers. So after all this time, he still needs to be watched closely. I came home last night, closing my register and leaving Jerry Vale in the shop. He’s been hiding out there avoiding his roommate until it is time to go home.

I had a cigar and walked down the avenue to the bus stop. It was a great feeling knowing that I had a single day off which is better than no day off. On Saturday the sales were very good and warranted an email from Zack telling us what a good job we had performed. Yesterday the sales were not as good therefore no email was forthcoming. I had top sales both days by the way which was nice.

I got home, Bill fast asleep. I chatted with him as he slept and grumbled, eventually watching Nurse Jackie which was very good thanks to the appearance of Rosie Perez. The Big C was also very good as well, once again with guest stars Susan Saradon and Victor Gerber.

I saw John Benjamin Hickey on the street the other day, he plays Laura Linney’s brother. Being in New York I didn’t say anything or make a scene. I think I saw Rupert Murdoch the other day as I was heading into work. He had a big bodyguard as he left the overpriced supermarket nearby. I didn’t say anything to him though I did meet him twice before. I shook his hand which felt like I was squeezing mashed potatoes and thanked him for the great party that I was attending.

I watched Mad Men which was good but not as good as the week before which had Roger’s trip on LSD as the centerpiece. I stayed up for a while watching the news and whatnot, Bill had gotten out of bed for a little while before heading back.

This morning I had a telephone interview which went well. Whether or not anything comes of it remains to be seen. I can’t afford to invest hope in these matters since my spirit gets crushed each and every time. So ambivalence is the way to go.

I called Bill as I do most mornings and tried to tell him about the interview that I just had but he wasn’t much interested since I had so many of these things the past few years. I should try apathy next time he goes up for an audition. I won’t but the devil on my shoulder insists.

I also heard from Pedro who I had no contact with for the past few months. He wrote that he hates my Trayvon Martin Facebook hoodie profile picture, labeling it white guilt. He’s getting to be more of a reactionary conservative (probably because of the lack of contact between us, me offering the liberal voice of things which usually opens his mind somewhat).

For me there was no white guilt involved, it had more to do with a sense of injustice. Of course I didn’t tell Pedro that, the guy who was so upset when Radio Raheem gets killed by the police in Do The Right Thing.

My how we’ve grown since 1989.

there is a hawk in this photo

10 Five Years

I Don’t Want Your Love

Well it certainly has been a strange day. It started out with a very good night’s sleep, had two dreams which involved Pedro. Good dreams he was alright, it was like being back in the old days.

We seemed to be hanging out in River Edge where the old Disc-O-Mat was on Route 4. Also a fleeting dream featuring Takashi Moriuchi, a nice guy I used to work with bank in Wanker Banker days and the Takashi dream took place near Wright’s Village in Lodi or South Hackensack.

Bill was up and out and I was sleeping so well I barely noticed. After a five day shift of 10 hour days, having at least one day off was quite nice. It was not so bad getting up this morning and I slept a few minutes later than I usually do. I got myself together and headed out to the bus stop.

Pedro did phone me but that was because I texted him before I headed out. We have a great bond, the two of us. Truly one of my dearest friends.

Right now in the cigar the usual crap holiday songs are on repeat, and it adds to the hellish situation.And in the cigar shack, things have taken a turn for the worse. The neighbors a really big bank, started complaining about the smell of cigars and they’ve been doing that since way before I started working here.

There was an agreement to talk to us before going to the landlord, but tha has fallen by the wayside and now lawyers are involved. So at 12:30 the man cave was shut down, costing us quite a bit of business since it’s too cold to go outside and smoke (though I did just that at lunch time).

Certain trolls won’t be around so that’s not so bad but this is a crippling blow to the store on the brink of the holiday saeason which is beaucoup bucks for most retailers. A lot of regulars came in looking forward to a smoke and a smile and they left crestfallen. Even Jimmy Seltzer who is driving with his wife to Nashville for the holiday was dismayed.

What can you do? Now the lawyers are involved. The cigar shack lawyers, the big bank laywers and the landlord’s lawyers. I am a Cassandra in this, meaning I knew this was going to happen and even told Calvin that back in January. Our days may be numbered oddly enough and even then who knows?

I am sick of Christmas and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. These horrible New Orleans Dixieland songs probably picked by Wynton Marsalis are terrible. Perhaps once in a while they would be fine, but this loop that is playing is wearing me down. This is more than likely a violation of the Geneva convention.

Now I am home and surprisingly met Bill while on line for the bus. A nice ride home with the man I love. And now we are home watching part two of the American Masters series, this time all about Woody Allen. Quite insightful and worth watching.

08 Hey, Snow White

I Can See Your Spirit

Here it is a Saturday on a holiday weekend. It’s been an alright day, working with Jerry Vale and Bradley. Bradley has been pretty funny and Jerry Vale is still learning the ropes. A few glitches here and there but nothing overwhelming.

Many laughs were had today, some at my expense but I wisely laughed along. Of course now that it is the end of the day the computers are freaking out. And by freaking out, I mean acting quite slow and so far having difficulty contacting the home planet and that is something I will definitely have to do before I close.

It’s me and Jerry Vale right now, Bradley left for the day. Things are quiet and we are listening to the Supremes. I always equate the Supremes with Richie K who lived in my neighborhood when I was growing up. He was quite swish and probably still is.

He seemed to worship Diana Ross and the Supremes which made them off limits, sort of gay by association. Despite my avoidance I still turned out gay.

Last night was more fun than I expected. Juan stopped by late in the evening and we hung out, drinking Three Philosophers beer which was quite potent. Rather than kick Juan out when I wanted to go to bed, I invited him to stay over and since Bill was down in Atlantic City I thought it best that he sleep over.

He was up for a day trip to a water park somewhere with his sister and friends. I am not sure if he made it, but I am sure he left behind his Blackberry charger which he asked me to mail to him. I just need his address and his will be done.

Bill came home this morning just as Juan was heading out the door. I left a few minutes after that since I had to go to work, and work was alright like I said. I was able to get an egg sandwich on my way and was early enough to enjoy it instead of wolfing it down.

Pedro made an appearance and though he wanted to go to a bar and have drinks on my lunch hour I insisted on sitting on my bench near the park where we talked and enjoyed cigars. He definitely wanted to check out the NY Mets vs. Yankees game somewhere so I sent him to a bar nearby where he was put off by the patrons on Ninth Avenue.

He stopped by again after running into his brother in law and nephew and now I believe they are all at Hooters where you will more than likely never find me.

I myself am home now and happy to be here. No Juan in sight and hopefully Pedro will get home alright. Bill is en route once again to Atlantic City.

And its official, Julio, Stine & Alexander have moved out of the building. Much to Julio’s chagrin he is now in debt, possibly for the first time. He’s good with money. I rarely saw them when they were two floors down from me, but now I will hardly ever see them, now that they are quite a number of blocks away from here.

Jerry Vale's balancing act

found sunglasses

Bradley as Pitbull

My man Pedro

1 + 2 ?

I Understand Just How You Feel

Oh how the past 24 hours have been a rollercoaster. Lazy start in the morning yesterday, heading into the city to have lunch with Pedro, fun phone call with Annemarie. It was a fun time with Pedro, meeting up at the Astor Place cube.

We walked down St. Mark’s Place and wound up at BBQ, which is tacky but where we’ve eaten before. Lots of stories from Pedro, not about Rikers, but rather about his life. I’m not one to spill the beans, it’s his story and not mine and way too personal.

Over a few drinks we laughed and talked and eventually wandered around the East Village. Pedro dropped me off near the bus terminal after unsuccessfully trying to talk him into dropping me off in Hoboken. He probably would have done it if it weren’t for the bumper to bumper traffic.

I came home and took a nap. Bill had ordered a pizza and after a few hours’ sleep I woke up again, hungry for some pizza. No pizza to be had. An argument was to be had though. A loud argument, in each other’s faces. Accusations thrown back and forth. It got ugly fast and ended just as fast.

Bill apologized and I accepted. I did not sleep well at all last night and woke up feeling quite queasy and dehydrated. I figured there was no way I would be able to get through the day, spending 9 hours on my feet, so I called Marcus’ cellphone and left a voice mail message explaining my situation in semi graphic terms.

I knew I made the right decision in not going into work, still there is some regret and a feeling of dread that I will certainly hear about it tomorrow when I get in. I did follow their rules though and called directly, but I did not call Calvin since he was off today.

Bill had kissed me good bye for the day and he was very apologetic for last night. As I went through the day today I found a few reasons for me to apologize as well. He should be home in about an hour and I can’t wait to see him.

He was an asshole last night and I was an asshole too. I suppose we’re lucky to realize and accept that both of us were right on some things, and wrong about other things, or at least the way the other things were presented.

For me today was a day of feeling a bit unwell as well as regret for the way things turned out to be last night. Things will be better later when Bill gets home and will be better tomorrow. And as for me, I’m not so much a drinker these days and I’m sure alcohol had some say in what happened last night.

Bill and I chatted online earlier, and we both realize we need each other, really yin and yang stuff. I think we turned a corner last night, a hard turn but a turn nonetheless. Bill is home now, and I was able to have a short nap before he came home. And I am glad he’s home.

I Wished On The Moon

Wednesday Wednesday, can’t trust that day. And that’s what today is, Wednesday and oddly enough it wasn’t so bad. No pharmaceuticals involved either. I thought about it though but decided not to. Slept well last night, enough so that I did not want to get out of bed.

Bill was off today and that meant there was no 6:00 goodbye kiss, no short chat as he hovers over me as I sleep. I just kept hitting the snooze button.

Last night I watched a movie, Champagne for Caesar, a movie I had seen once in the 1970’s. Not a bad movie, though it’s no Casablanca. Ronald Coleman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price and Art Linkletter in a breezy comedy about a game show winner.

I enjoyed it more in the 1970’s and watched it again last night since I never knew the title of it, or actually had forgotten the title. Actually when looking at the TV listing grid online, as soon as I saw the title I knew what it was.

And so I stayed up until 1:45 or so watching it. No Richie Crist to talk to about it in the playground afterwards on a Sunday afternoon, which is what I also recall from the 1970’s. I’ve been watching some older films lately, perhaps making up for Pedro’s disdain of black & white films.

He hates them. No Casablanca, no Citizen Kane, no It’s a Wonderful Life, Some Like It Hot, or Dr. Strangelove for him. Definitely no A Hard Day’s Night since he doesn’t like the Beatles either. But he does like Raging Bull. His loss, though I fear that a lot of younger people feel the same way. It’s a shame I suppose and shows a distinct lack of imagination.

I’ve been watching a few older movies lately, late at night. The other night I watched the Treasure of Sierra Madre which I had never seen before. I never saw Bogart like that in a movie and Walter Huston was quite good as well. I kept thinking I’ll watch a little bit and then go to bed but was thoroughly engrossed throughout the movie.

I also watched My Man Godfrey last night, that William Powell, so classy. Carole Lombard was a lot of fun, great cast, screwball comedy, fast talking, all very good. Tonight it’s Lawrence of Arabia which I have never seen from start to finish. I have it on DVD somewhere anyhow and can’t make the 4 hour investment tonight.

I was once Lawrence of Lodi back in the day for a Halloween costume. I didn’t have anything to do with it and don’t recall how old I was when I wore it, but I am pretty sure it was my first Halloween, or at least the first one I can remember. If you can remember the sixties, then you probably weren’t there. I don’t remember the sixties, so I guess I am part of that counter culture.

At work, Marcus and Calvin decided to get rid of Der Fred, the Palindrome. But he was off today and so they were going to do it tomorrow. He was originally hired as part time seasonal help and now the season was stretching into March and the Palindrome was getting to be a grumpy old lady.

Then Calvin got a text message, that the Palindrome was released from his day job, assistant manager at the hotel and since he was qualifying for unemployment benefits, he wouldn’t be able to work part time at the cigar shack. So Marcus and Calvin had their dirty work done for them inadvertently.

Funny how that worked out.

I Believe in You

Woodland Reserve. My bourbon of choice. Does the trick in silencing a toothache and enables a good night’s sleep. Not slugging from the bottle, just a couple of fingers does the trick.

I was talking to Pedro on the phone yesterday, playing catch up. Mentioned the bourbon and that’s one liquor he won’t touch. No to bourbon.

Once again I woke up, the inner voice pleading with me to take the day off, play hooky. With the toothache I had a legitimate excuse. And I was thisclose to actually calling in, but no. I rallied and shuffled along.

Much care in the drinking of coffee. That went well actually. I eventually found myself on the bus which actually was on time this morning. And the bus wasn’t crowded.

No Angie Baby on the bus either. Her bleached blond hair was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps sitting next to me has caused her to catch an earlier or later bus. I didn’t mind. I’ve been such a zombie lately that I don’t even read in the morning, I just sit and look out the window.

Made it to the shop on time. Actually with time to spare which I spent in the backroom and just chilling out and cooling off. No humidity today, just heat. And it was hot. And of course I wear a suit & tie.

I had a flask which I filled with some Woodland Reserve and not long after getting to work I took a few sips that quieted down the toothache. I alternated the sips of bourbon with sips of water which did the trick.

Bill stopped by the store since he called me before I left the apartment and asked if I could bring his keys to work. He noticed the bourbon on my breath. It was nice to see him in the middle of the day. It was actually the highpoint.

I called Bill’s dentist to tell them what was going on in my mouth. Bill scheduled an appointment for me on Friday and when I called on my lunch hour I spoke with Dawn. I told her the story and she told me that there was a cancellation and that they could see me on Thursday instead of Friday.

That was fine by me, the sooner the better. I went back to the cigar shop after my lunch and told Calvin the latest news. He mentioned that I could go on my lunch hour on Thursday.

The backroom was crowded with cigar smokers including one who had smoked too fast and got dizzy and dehydrated. He had to lay down on the floor of the bathroom and get himself together for about a half hour.

I neglected to mention that Marcus had posted on Facebook and Twitter this morning, that the first 10 people to call the cigar shop with a $50.00 order will get a free lighter or cutter. The phones went crazy and the first 8 calls were some of Marcus’ NYPD buddies.

Apparently he has quite a few of NYPD buddies. They stop by, a few patrolmen each day. On top of that, or perhaps under that, there were a few bent nose types hanging around. Guys you wouldn’t want to mess with.

Guys that look like they were from Lodi, or even Hoboken back in the day. They don’t take part in Facebook/Twitter viral contests. And they only pay cash.

Made it from the cigar shop to the bus terminal in 16:30 thanks to the Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady.

I need a new job.

I’m Alive

What a long hot day. For some reason Papa Gene’s Blues by the Monkees is the song I’m playing right now and could really relate to it. Now I’m playing Pleasant Valley Sunday. Why the Monkees? More than likely because they require little or no thought.

It’s been in the upper 90 degree range, no matter where you are, in the shade it still feels like an exhaust fan is blowing. Bill is napping right now in the air conditioned bedroom. He came home last night, not completing a drive down to Atlantic City due to a collision on the parkway.

It wasn’t his fault and the woman who sideswiped his bus admitted so to the police. He was nervous that he would be fired but right now he is on stand by for yet another drive to Atlantic City tomorrow morning.

I, of course worked today and it was slow going. The only people that bought cigars and whatnot were mainly tourists. The first customer I had was a guy named Guy who seemed nice enough I suppose. He was very interested in buying a $200.00 lighter.

That was the price I quoted him, but when I ran it through the computer it came up as $175.00. Raymond mentioned that there was a mistake after I mentioned it to him (in front of the customer). The customer wasn’t too pleased by this and felt we were screwing him.

Still he bought the lighter at $200.00 and then asked about the return policy. I explained there were no cash refunds, just store credit and then the guy named Guy got all huffy and decided to not buy the lighter after buying it.

That was the first customer and I hoped the rest of the day wouldn’t be going in the same direction. It didn’t really but it was an arduous day nonetheless.

One more day then I’ll be off on Tuesday, then three days of work then three days off. One regular came into the store, a wanker named Nelson who gladly shook hands with Raymond and Sean but scowled when I nearly offered my hand.

I didn’t mind but said to myself that I will minimize any future contact with this wanker. I could swear he gives me dirty looks and I’m not being paranoid. Perhaps he too is yet another one in the closet and sees me as a disruption to their life of deceit.

In any event, I just wanted the day at the shop to end and go home. I thought most of the week I would take the Path home but decided to take the bus since I have a bus pass. On Sundays the buses run every half hour.

I got to the bus terminal in 14.9 minutes, listening to what was the first side of the Ramones first album. There was a bus at 6:30 and I was at the escalator to the gate at 6:25. Unfortunately there were a lot of people in the queue before me so the bus at the gate filled up leaving me 25th in the queue.

A half hour wait, luckily I had You Never Give Me Your Money to read and that made the time go by faster. Snagged a nice seat. Lot’s of people walking around with beach chairs, headed towards the river.

Last year Bill and I met up with the Mastros. This year they’re not here and Bill & I are more than likely staying home, or at least very close to home.

Just heard from Juan, he’ll be up next Sunday for the party. Heard from Pedro who won’t be at the party as he’ll be working.

Bring cake.

I’m a Boy I’m a Girl

Well it was my first Sunday working at the cigar shop. I once again made it in on time. Sundays are a shorter workday, the back room is closed at 5:00 and we close the door at 7:00. Today was certainly interesting.

It was Raymond and Sean and I. Sean was 45 minutes late. He’s 19 years old and a part timer, so for him it’s no big deal. We thought it would be busy today but it wasn’t. Yesterday was busier, people shopping for their Father’s Day gifts.

Fortunately no wives came in complaining about their husbands chopping off fingers. There were some last minute shoppers, feeling the pressure. I just told them what to buy and they bought.

I did miss out on a commission since I couldn’t find a $400.00 box of cigars. Dave found the box and so he got the commission. It bothered me a little bit, but all I can do was get over it.

I got a text from Pedro. He was thinking about stopping by. I didn’t dissuade him from doing so. About an hour later, he comes walking in. Big hugs. He liked the shop, met Raymond and Sean and bought a cigar.

I thought it would be cool to hang out in the back room but the Yankee game was on as well as a few guys watching it. We decided to head out towards the park to smoke cigars. It was stifling outside. Worse than I imagined. Just sitting on my usual bench was overwhelmingly hot.

We sat and talked about our lives. A conversation that we certainly could not have sitting in the back room. He has stress at home and his mother is not doing well, been fading since his father passed away in December.

I told him my stories about the shop the drama that keeps getting revealed to me with each passing day. Lunch was almost over and we walked towards the shop, Pedro headed towards Summerstage and me back to work.

The afternoon crawled quite a bit, not much in sales. Tomorrow the NY State legislature will vote on whether or not to increase the sales tax on cigars from 46% to 90%. I may be screwed after all.

The work day finally ended after I had a talk with Raymond and Sean about the use of Fag and Homo and saying something is ‘Gay’ like it’s a bad thing. This is what I have to work with. They were cool about it though and I think I got through to them.

I also heard from Raymond that Calvin uses Homo a lot and not when talking about Sapiens.

He also tried to get Don Birch and Raymond to complain about the play lists I made for the store so they wouldn’t be played and we would have to listen to his favorite, dreadful Jazz music which is just horribly boring.

I like Jazz, but only when it’s performed live.

According to Raymond, Calvin is two faced. So much for bringing life into the store. Mournful, doleful tones of muted trumpets is so blasé.

I left the store, the sun was still up and I decided to walk to the Path train and enjoy a cigar. As I crossed 57th Street at Broadway, I noticed an older woman walking a few steps behind me. I thought she might need help so I unplugged the Rolling Stones from my iPod and offered my ear.

She mentioned how busy the street was with the cars and how I looked like someone she used to know. She told me her story about how she studied accounting and offered to do my taxes in her apartment on west 57th Street. Her name was Jill.

I said thanks and she gave me her card, mentioning that she also does oral and penetration. I did not do a double take just kept walking down Broadway. Is she a former working girl? Are times that tough that geriatrics are turning tricks on Broadway?

Quite disconcerting. I texted it to Facebook as well as Pedro who asked if I asked if she does anal.

After that it was uneventful and I rode the Path train reading Uncut magazine’s account of David Bowie recording and touring for Station to Station which is probably my favorite album by the Dame.

Walking down Washington Street I passed the Patrick Murphy who asked if I was the same John O’Toole who wrote to the Daily News. I replied that yes it was me and he proffered his hand to shake.

I have to say, Patrick looks good and relatively healthy. I harbor no bad feeling towards him since he never did anything bad to me, but did to other people I know, and when I was down on my luck 20 years ago, he would give me $5.00 to put the chairs up at Maxwells when the evening was ending.

The Right Stuff

Holy Thursday Batman! That’s what today is on the 4:30 Movie. The Robe and the Matching Slippers. Blessed art thou who weareth the slippers.

I just got back from some busking. Played for about 90 minutes until my arm cramped up. You’d think my arm would be used to repetitive motion, I mean I even shaved my palms and wear corrective lenses. I made $1.77.

Didn’t do any singing, just strum strum strum. I played Love Shack, Hercules, Good Lovin’, All My Loving, Please Please Me, So It Goes, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, Surrender, Take Your Mama, Brown Eyed Girl, Peggy Sue, The Letter, Half a World Away and a little bit of Mr. Tambourine Man and a slightly askew version of Fourth Time Around. Also 2000 Miles.

It’s a good thing I didn’t sing, especially with 2000 Miles being a Christmas song of sorts. But the chords have a nice progression. Stopped by the Guitar Bar and firmed up plans with Jim Mastro for Saturday morning.

He asked if I had anything planned to say and I told him I didn’t because I don’t. Jim was very supportive of my busking and recommended having the guitar case open to collect bills and change.

I had a phone call from Pedro who prefers Riker’s Island to home. Cabin fever pitch. He was heading into Manhattan and asked me to join him. So now, I’m home and called him to make sure since last time he said that, I went into the city and was unable to contact him.

I didn’t mind, I was able to go to JR Cigars and pick up some cigars anyhow. This time, I’ll just stay in Hoboken and see if he calls before I do anything. Annemarie planted that idea in my head, to make sure Pedro would be around. I was hoping he would be, not just to hang out with him but to also pick up the latest Mojo and Uncut.

Got another US Census form in the mail. I got one a few weeks ago and duly mailed it in. Now here it is again. I marked Bill as my unmarried partner. If I fill it out again, maybe I will mark him as my husband.

Crazy cannabis free dreams again last night. One involved living back in Lodi with two terriers named Jackie and Jibby. Frank and Elaine were living in the Iwanicki house next door and I could hear Elaine and my niece Corinne have a heated discussion about something. There were also some ominous overtones with regards to something in the backyard of 13 Riverview.

And Starlings. Did you know Starlings aren’t native to North America and that someone imported them with the concept of having all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare living in North America? And now the Starlings are taking over the Sparrows? I read that somewhere. Bad idea, not fully thought through.

The other dream took place in Manhattan where I was pedaling a Pedi Cab on Seventh Avenue then lending it to Rachel Maddow for the opening of City Boys, a musical about Cowboys in Manhattan.

I was also wearing a cowboy hat and my former coworker Sarah Pierson was in the dream as well, and I took her on a bicycle tour of Hoboken. Strange dreams indeed.

Other than all that, it’s been a beautiful day. I heard from the Hudson Reporter about a letter I wrote supporting the bibliothèque. Just confirming that I was who I said I was.

I always need to confirm that, if not to other people then to myself.

And twice I’ve been in the supermarket and both times I’ve heard The Right Stuff by New Kids on the Block and I found myself singing along.


I am who I say I am

I am who I say I am

In the Pines

Another day. Another Wednesday. Right now, the sun is shining. It hasn’t rained today. At least not since I’ve been awake. It was a pleasure to get out of the apartment without an umbrella. Last night was a monsoon though.

I stayed in and watched Lost which while good, was not as good as the previous week which was all about Richard Alpert and not Baba Ram Dass. It was enjoyable. I think Jack will become Jacob and Locke will be the Smoke Monster.

It certainly isn’t a comfortable show, not that it ever was, but with Sayid being an automaton, Sawyer double dealing, Kate hanging with the wrong crew, the Professor & Mary Ann getting it on, it seems a bit much.

6 more episodes left so I guess things should bet getting tied up soon enough. I did read somewhere, the Jacob and the Smoke Monster could be Cain & Abel. Or Thor & Loki. Or some other mythological characters.

After that instead of watching what I’ve usually been watching I watched Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent. That was odd since Bill wasn’t around when it started at 10PM. It was one of the last episodes with Katheryn Erbe and Vincent D’onofrio.

Quite a surprising turn of events as well. I’d love to write about them here but I don’t want to be a spoiler. For once. Bill came home when there was 15 minutes left. Surprisingly though, Bill did not know that D’onofrio and Erbe would only be on for a few episodes this season, then it’s adios for them.

Off to bed for Bill and I joined him after watching Craig Ferguson. It was cold last night and I had to turn on the heater. We’ve been trying to keep things down. Slept better once it warmed up.

Bill was adorable as he kissed me good bye. I think he asked me what I was doing and all I could say was ‘sleeping’. In other words, ‘I love you but you had better leave me alone right now.’ I did get up a short while later and though the skies were gray I knew it would get better.

I walked around Hoboken, stopped by the Guitar Bar and made some arrangements with Jim to officiate the vows that we will do, more than likely on Saturday morning. In the Guitar Bar. I don’t have anything written and I don’t know if Bill does.

If need be I will have to wing it. Perhaps a belt of Irish whiskey will loosen my tongue beforehand. I could be like my Grandfather and just pour it in my coffee in the morning. Bill’s friend Tom will be our witness and maybe Tom’s wife.

After the Guitar Bar I walked along the riverfront and ran into Tariq, who was playing guitar. We talked for a while, and when he ran off to the bathroom I played his guitar, strumming quick versions of Please Please Me, All My Loving and So It Goes. Tariq was impressed.

I told him since tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day I might bring my guitar out there. He was going to be busking in Central Park with his pal, Steve who was the guy who was singing Sweet Melissa a few weeks ago. They make good money at 59th and Fifth.

Nice tourist spot and with the salt & pepper musicians, the Euro tourists will more than likely drop some cash on them.

I also heard from Pedro today. Always good to hear from him. He was complaining about his hillbilly neighbors and the fact that since he’s been on disability he has cabin fever. I thought I had it bad, but at least I’m in an area where if I needed to or wanted to I could head into the city for whatever.

He’s out there in the sticks and with the weather being what it was the past week or so, he was climbing the walls. So he’s going back to Riker’s Island just to get out of the house.

I think I figured out that when I see guys going home in the mid-afternoon, dressed in a suit & tie, they;re probably coming back from an interview.



Construction, a few building down the street

Construction, a few building down the street

Before the Parade Passes By

Well it’s been a day unlike any other like all days are. Today, the first Saturday in March is the Fake Patrick’s Day parade, which causes a lot of youngsters to come to town and get properly shitfaced.

For some odd reason, they decided to allow the bars to open at 9:00AM instead of 11:00 like most weekends. I really couldn’t say since I am not a fan of drinking during the day. Maybe if at a barbecue that’s acceptable but otherwise it just screws up my sense of time.

Last night, Bill wore his mouth apparatus and his apnea mask so no snoring from him. We both got up around 8:00 and I found myself online outside the bagel shop at 9:00 while newly legal boys and girls were queuing up outside bars and pubs.

All these newbies on line to get green bagels. Bill was across the street waiting for his bus and by the time I made it into the store, Bill was on the bus and Rand was at the end of the queue for bagels. I hooked Rand up and got him 2 everything bagels and half a pound of tofu so he didn’t have to wait as long as I did.

I came home, and fixed myself a nice breakfast. I made plans last night with Rand to check out the parade with him and Lisa at 1:00. Bill and I were invited to a brunch next door in the building and I did have plans to check it out.

A few years ago Bill and I bought Kelly green scarves at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Manhattan and I spent some time looking for mine to no avail. I did find a big bag of photographs which I had forgotten all about when I moved back to Hoboken 8 years ago.

Back then, before digital cameras I would have my photos developed onto a Kodak CD. This morning I found myself pouring through a bunch of photos and CD’s and decided to upload some pictures from August 2000. A party in Hillsdale with my brothers, their wives and their kids.

Annemarie wasn’t there and I hadn’t met Bill yet. I did have to resize about 15 photographs. Before I knew it, it was time to go to the parade.

Instead of just showing up at the brunch for a few minutes and leaving I opted to head for the parade instead.

I stopped off at the library and dropped off Old Boy, a Korean DVD which I was disappointed by. Perhaps it was because I chose to watch a dubbed version instead of subtitles, but I knew what was up when the lead character was in the sushi bar. I

t seemed obvious to me and by the end I didn’t care a bit.

The streets were crowded with people wearing the green. I wandered over to my usual spot at Sixth and Washington and started taking pictures of various characters and what was going on around me. Rand and Lisa eventually showed up and the parade was highly entertaining.

On the way down Rand and Lisa heard a drum and bagpipe corp playing a Lady Gaga song. By the time the drum and bagpipe corp got to me they were playing Louie Louie while all the other corps were playing When the Caissons go Rolling Along. Made for a very swingin’ difference.

All together the parade lasted for an hour. No once accosted the Guinness guy which was nice. There seemed to be a lot of watchers this year than previous years. Perhaps it was because it was 57 degrees out, whereas last weekend we were all digging ourselves out of 14 inches of snow.

During all of this I got a phone call from Pedro who was asking what I was up to. He was headed into the city, had to get out of Otisville. He mentioned some art show he wanted to check out on 34th street. I told him I would give him a call when the parade was over.

Rand and Lisa walked me over to the Path train through the throngs of drunken revelers. The train was pretty crowded to 33rd street so I stood. When I got off the train I called Pedro and got his voice mail. It was OK, I had a back up plan to go up to JR Cigars and get some discounted cigars.

Spoke with Annemarie on the phone after dealing with a guy in the cigar store who didn’t know too much about cigars. I admit I was a bit gruff talking to Anne on the phone. She thought I was wrong not to go to the brunch where I didn’t think it was that big a deal. I did buy my neighbor a silk rose in the colors of the Irish flag and taped it to her door with a note.

I made it back to the Path train and git a seat for myself for the ride back to Hoboken. Had to pee so I went to the train station lavs which smelled of stomach acid. Had to pull my pea coat over my nose to mask the smell.

More drunken revelers on the way home.

Ran into Julio, Stine and Alexander who lost some weight from being so sick the past week. Julio asked who John was and once again Alexander pointed to me, which was so sweet. He also shook my hand when I decided to head upstairs.

Took over 100 photographs today which I spent time uploading to Facebook. Finally after not eating anything since breakfast, I decided to make some dinner. As I sat, about to eat my cellphone goes off. It’s my sister in law Elaine.

She’s worried about Corrine who was having a lousy time in Hoboken. She wants to come over but doesn’t remember where I live. I tell her she’s more than welcome. Corinne called Elaine from somebody else’s phone since her own phone died.

I leave my food on the table and walk downstairs where I see Corinne outside with some guy who was nice enough to see her crying and loan her his phone. She thanked the guy and came upstairs a little bit drunk.

We passed some drunken party-goers or leavers from the brunch next door on the stairs. I hooked Corrine up with some water and sat her on the couch. I offered her some food but she wasn’t hungry. I played some ambient stuff sat and ate in the kitchen while she fell asleep on the couch.

After I ate I called Elaine to let her know Corinne was alright, still breathing and asleep. We discussed getting her on a train home but decided to have Elaine and Frank come down to Hoboken to pick her up.

Corinne eventually woke up in time to watch the Office before we headed downstairs. She’s a good kid, just a little drunk, a little forlorn. Who wasn’t at age 23?

Now I’m writing this, the TAMI Show is on public television. Quite good. James Brown definitely stole the show. The Rolling Stones, so stiff compared to the Godfather.

That’s about it for a busy day. Here are some pictures from today. Enjoy.

My Bill

My Bill

Out in force today

Out in force today

Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 006
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 009
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 019
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 025
This bald dude said he received a $2000.00 summons for an open container

This bald dude said he received a $2000.00 summons for an open container

Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 042
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 044
El Jefe y Lady Gigglepuss aka Rand & Lisa

El Jefe y Lady Gigglepuss aka Rand & Lisa

My Guinness guy

My Guinness guy

Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 080
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 094
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 104
Green shirts are for Pimps

Green shirts are for Pimps

Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 120
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 122
Fake Patrick's day 2010 1 125

The Barber Feel It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, you’ve read that right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is

Well I went outside today. After staying inside most of the day yesterday it was a treat. It wasn’t as cold as it was yesterday and it was actually bright and sunny. Last night I watched Led Zeppelin, downloaded a slew of tracks as well.

And I had forgotten that John Paul Jones, perhaps my favorite Zep was on Saturday Night Live as part of Them Crooked Vultures. Didn’t really care for them, but it’s a treat to see JPJ playing bass and having a good time, and despite what some people say, I do like Dave Grohl. Seems like a nice guy.

And while thinking of Led Zeppelin, I thought of a party I had thrown at my basement apartment at 1124 Willow. No real theme or reason for the party, just the idea of having a party. I knew a lot of people then, many people came, maybe 50.

Back then I used to say 100 people came but I was probably seeing double at the time. I was working for Murdoch Magazines at the time during the day and also working at McSwells at night.

The date was May 14, 1988 and I remember that since Julio and his buddy Damian came later in the night after attending the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert at Madison Square Garden, where they saw a version of Led Zeppelin.

People did not come empty handed and we wound up keeping the beer cold in the bathroom, in an ice filled bathtub. The McSwells crew all came after the bar closed at 3:00AM, with more supplies and one or two bar flies/party crashers.

I remember Martin Kelly, after closing McSwells and coming over, telling me that when he walked through the door and down the hallway it looked like a certain friend of mine was eating powdered donuts from a bag, and I should be more careful that the police didn’t come.

I wasn’t worried about that since next door was a school and the apartment directly above was vacant. I did have the party crashers thrown out as well. I think either they or someone else stole someone’s jacket.

Another memory was some friends, Sean & Susan (?) doing ‘Da Butt’ by E.U. which was a hot song at the time, while my other friends laughed with them since they had it going on so well. Steve Fallon might have even made an appearance before the party ended at what I guess was about 5:30 or so.

The powdered donuts guy left Rand and myself a nice little mound of confectioners sugar which thrilled us some more for a while after that. It was a rousing success even though my answering machine was trashed, but then again, so most everyone was.

I did tried to duplicate the party again a few months later and it was not as successful but still a good time was had. I was psychedicized for that one as were a few other guests. Made changing records a major challenge.

One of the tripping guests who was tripping for the first time, the late Tony Sankitts, wound up feeling queasy and I set him up in my roommate’s empty room, where Tony threw up on the carpet. Pedro danced a dance called the rooftop in the back yard.

Like I said while it was a fun party, it wasn’t the event that the first party was. Couldn’t duplicate it I suppose. Last night I watched Saturday Night Live like I wrote about earlier. It was OK, could have been funnier.

The funniest sketch was towards the end, featuring a wedding reception and the former band of the bride’s father who were a hardcore band in the early 1980’s. Oh man it was classic.

I wasn’t really involved with the hardcore scene, I tended to listen to more melodic stuff. I think that’s when the music scene became fragmented, bands that were hardcore emerging and other bands with more tuneful songs which also fragmented into the silly new romantic crap of which hardcore was probably a rebellion against as well.

Became of a US vs UK thing as well. Still there were lots of interesting things happening with X, the Minutemen and REM as well as XTC, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads among others holding up the late 1970’s style, going forward for a spell.

I should write about the acid resurgence in the underground scene of the mid 80’s sometime. Just not this time.

Bill decided not to wear his sleep apnea mask last night which made him snore like he was playing a horn. I tried to fall asleep, pleading with him to at least give me 10 minutes to sleep then he could perhaps snore all he wanted, but he was unresponsive and asleep.

I decided to record him snoring and at one point, getting out of bed and uploading 5 recordings into the computer. Wound up with about 10 recordings overall. After the last recording, I said loudly ‘That’s a wrap’ which woke him up. I think when he woke up he jumped up and his head hit my hand holding the recorder.

This morning, I asked him if he slept well and he said he didn’t. He did ask, why did I hit him in the head last night and I swore I didn’t but he insisted that I did. Tonight I will crazy glue the sleep apnea mask to his face.

Hoboken scenes.

2.7.10 Hoboken 001

2.7.10 Hoboken 004

2.7.10 Hoboken 006

2.7.10 Hoboken 007



JOZ Colorize

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

Pedro Ramos- LOADED

looking up, looking ahead

looking up, looking ahead

Just A Minute

It is back to work for you lot. But not for me though. Once again on the outs with employment. It’s a Monday. Things got better between Bill and myself which I wrote about yesterday.

He was upset that the full time bus drivers pulled rank over the part time drivers. I can’t really blame the full timers. If I was in their position I would more than likely be trying for some overtime.

Occasionally I flashback to when I worked at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, my first job. Dave Manzo, my comically inept supervisor would ask around 4:00 if anyone wanted to work overtime. I usually raised my hand.

Things in the warehouse would be quieter and calmer. Sometimes I would work until 6:00, other times until 7:15. And yes, I would work on Saturdays as well, from 8:00 to 1:00. Most everyone would leave at 4:15 in the afternoon, and at 4:30 there would be a 15 minute break.

It was a decent job, though I have no contact with anyone from those days. I worked there from 1978 to 1984. Both my brothers also worked there as well as my mother. My brothers and I didn’t work together though, not during the same time period.

I used to dream about going back to the warehouse but I haven’t lately. I suppose my time of working there was part of my formative years. High racks of books and materials, 100 feet high. A very rough estimate since I can’t really tell how high things are, especially from 25 years ago.

I do think it was one of my better jobs (maybe I’m just being naive, and it was a different time) and I left while the leaving was good.

Last night I had 2 dreams related to being a DJ. The first dream concerned me spinning records at McSwells again, but this time in the front room, and not just in the front room, but alongside in the cafe area. Not enough room actually for my records or whatever I was using as turntables.

I was set up in the front room despite the fact that there was a poetry group going on at the same time. They weren’t too happy about it. Chaz and Andy the sound man were involved with the dream, as well as the angry poets.

I think Bill had kissed me goodbye which was an intermission of sorts regarding the dreams. After Bill left for work, I carried on dreaming, this time, being a DJ in Lodi, in my parents house, with the DJ set up in my parents bedroom.

In the dream I spent a lot of time on our back porch looking for a Grace Jones record as well as being on the phone with Pedro who was bemoaning the fact that he was looking for a job. I told him I had a job for him, nudge nudge wink wink, but he wasn’t at all into that sort of thing, just like in real life.

I remember these dreams since I’ve taken to having a notebook next to the bed so I can write these things down.

Right now I am watching disc 2 of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all about the effects which were so well done you couldn’t really tell that they were using special effects, or more precisely, CG effects.

I watched it again last night with Bill and once again I was choked up at the end. Bill was surprised by that and said it was reminiscent of how choked up I was at the end of final episode of Six Feet Under. And I can definitely understand that.

If you saw the finale of Six Feet Under you would probably understand by what that meant.

99 Bottles of Beer

Don’t know what to write about since there’s nothing really to write about. I went for a walk around Hoboken. Saw a few other unemployed people, all with the same look on their faces as me. Though I’m reluctant to describe it this way, it certainly was a vanilla sky.

I tried watching Gran Casino by Luis Bunuel finally after getting it from Netflix back in September. I did some reading about it online and read that Bunuel felt it was one of his lesser films so I stopped halfway through. I really didn’t care for the story and didn’t have the attention span to sit and watch it.

So that got me out of the apartment. Things being tight financially made buying anything risky behavior.

Heard from Pedro who is in Puerto Rico since his father is not doing that well. He called me up the other night to ask me about what type of luggage could be carried on board. I explained that a 2.5 foot bag worked for me when I last flew and that I was able to stow it in the overhead compartment.

When he called he asked me to guess where he was calling from and when I answered, Puerto Rico he was surprised, having forgotten that he actually called me telling me what he was doing and where he was going. Such is his state of mind lately.

Sent out a few resumes today, with hope mixed with antipathy. I almost wrote despair but I know how that would go over with some people. Antipathy is a better word anyhow. Almost like antipasto which is more repugnant to my delicate palette.

Having this time is good though sometimes.

I’ve been cleaning the apartment, bit by bit. Unfortunately there are quite a few bits.

Last night, being a Monday night meant Heroes is on. I feel I’m committed to seeing it all the way through. Bill was home when I started watching it and he remarked that he likes the show but finds it difficult to follow.

He hasn’t seen all the episodes like I have. Bill also mentioned that it reminded him of Lost. Well Lost is something totally different though also in the realm of science fiction. And that’s scheduled to wrap up next year.

Heroes doesn’t seem to have an end date and they keep introducing ludicrous characters that no one (at least in the forum that I read about it) cares much for the new actors. They should definitely tie it all together as much as they can and pull the plug.

You might have noticed that it was a late posting last night. That was mainly because I was distracted by the Google Chrome browser that I started using. Harpy suggested it so I downloaded and played with it, figured out the ins and outs.

I had actually finished the post before 6:00 last night, but when I went to check it still wasn’t up. Then I checked out the Word Press dashboard and there it was, forlorn and forgotten. So I posted after midnight even though the time stamp was something like 17:45.

I can tell how alarmed you all were, being inundated by emails showing concern. Well rest assured it will not happen again, at least not tonight.

11.10.09 Sun

Yalla Yalla

It’s been another quiet day, especially since Hoboken kids went back to school today. Even though there are 2 schools within 100 yards of my apartment I heard nothing.

I was so tired from going to the museum and walking downtown afterwards that I slept really well which may have helped not hearing the kids on their way to school.

Oddly enough, I’m not feeling the pit of despair that I would feel for the first week or two of September. That sinking feeling of the beginning of the school year followed me throughout my life.

But apparently not this year.

Last night I watched Weeds with Bill. Well he was partially awake and only watched part of it.

What a surprise ending. Blew me away enough that I might have ruined the season finale with my reaction of the Facebook.

I certainly would not have expected the HBO/Showtime crossover with Eric draining Esteban of his Mexican blood, and neither should you.

Then I watched Letterman and Conan, alternating during commercial breaks. The Dirty Projectors were on Letterman and Pitbull, a reggaeton singer was on Conan. I opted for the Dirty Projectors.

Today, like I said, was quiet. The streets of Hoboken were devoid of kids. I made tentative plans to go gallery hopping next week sometime. There will be different shows than those that were hanging in July when I went with Annemarie and Earl.

Juan has extended me an invitation to visit him in Trenton but with his schedule he will have to tell me when it would be good since I have no set schedule to speak of, really.

And Pedro mentioned a visit to Otisville again this Friday but I am waiting to hear whether or not that’s still going on.

And Billie in DC has invited me down to Washington DC, perhaps in October if I’m not working, and I might even be able to go down there for the march on Washington. But that, as most everything else remains to be seen.

So things are low key and percolating along nicely.

Bill is at rehearsal tonight, getting ready for a reading in a week or so. He’s also singing at a NY Liberty game a little ways down the way, I think on the 14th. The play is the 14th, NY Liberty is the 8th.

Weather permitting, it would be a good reason to doff the suit and tie. Believe it or not I’ve been jonesing for it.

When the weather gets cooler and things start happening, I’ll be going out on interviews wearing a suit and tie.

I don’t know how guys do it during the summer. I think they really don’t spend any time on the street. They go from air conditioned apartment or house to air conditioned Town Car to air conditioned office. Maybe an out of office air conditioned lunch and then back to the air conditioned office.

Me, I like to walk and that makes me sweat like a horse.

That is what you get for shank’s mare I guess.

Hymn for the Dudes

It’s Wednesday and once again it’s raining out. Well, not at this very moment but it’s been pouring then stopping then pouring again.

My plan to see Ian Hunter (featuring Mr. Nice Guy Jim Mastro) has been literally washed out. I signed up to receive a text from River to River which is the organization that puts on these shows, but no response regarding the show.

If you go to the River to River website it doesn’t say anything about the show being moved, canceled or rescheduled.

Many people have posted on how much rain is falling, but as of 17 minutes before show time, nothing. I was planning on meeting Meghan and her daughters at the show, but things being the way they are, I called a few times and left messages.

No response at all. Oh well.

I held up my end. Tomorrow, provided it doesn’t rain is another opportunity to see Jim Mastro and the Guitar Bar All Stars but no Ian Hunter. C’est la vie.

Today I was a bit busy. Running errands for myself. Since Bill, Juan and I are planning on going out on Friday night, I bought tickets for Blow Off. That’s what it’s called.

It’s a DJ thing with Rich Morel and Mr Happy Go Lucky himself, Bob Mould. That was sarcastic. Calling Jim Mastro ‘Mr. Wonderful’ is not sarcastic.

I remember hanging around Bob Mould at McSwells back in the day with Husker Du as well as during his solo stuff. Wouldn’t say he was a grump but not much fun to be around. He had too many demons I reckon.

Things were slow enough in the office that I hopped on a train to go to Chelsea and pick up the tickets at a charming establishment called The Nasty Pig. It was $10.00 cheaper if you bought the tickets in advance.

I asked for 3 tickets and of course the guy behind the counter didn’t have change. ‘There’s a deli around the corner so you could get change there’ said the twink.

I walked around the corner and wound up buying a bottle of seltzer, mocking the twink’s tone of voice to myself which brought me some enjoyment. Actually I sounded like Pedro making fun of me, which made me laugh to myself.

The twink was apologetic, but all I could think of was when I was in a similar position I made do with what I had, but then again I was never caught short when selling tickets for McSwells or whatever.

Now it is overcast and it looks like it will rain again. It’s too bad. I was hoping to make it to the show. Meghan did call this morning, she was getting me backstage so that would have been fun. But I made my mind up and now I’m home drying out and comfortable.

Whatever happened to my Rock and Roll? The sun is shining now, the show is probably going on as planned. I need TV but I got T Rex.

The show is in Tribeca. Bowie lives in Tribeca. Bowie and Ian Hunter are friends. Hmmm.

On The Run

Well it’s 4:41 on my computer and 4:44 on my desk phone. I am still at work, killing time until Pedro calls. He phoned a few minutes ago, on the West Side Highway heading downtown to get his haircut.

I expect to hear some questions about what am I still doing here. So far no one asked, but then again most of ‘mi gente’ aren’t here at the moment. Pedro just phoned. His alternate spot is out of business.

He’s about to check another spot. So I may be here for another hour. Who knows? He has a plan to go to his ex-girlfriend’s place of work, a Puerto Rican restaurant on east 57th Street. I’m sure I can hang in there.

Last night I watched Keith Olbermann who had a nice touching item about his mother who passed away on Saturday. Not morose, but sweet.

Bill came home during Heroes and we watched it, or rather I watched it. Bill was busy reading his Bus Ride magazine which is almost like porn to him.

It was an okay episode, 3 left for the season which seems to be enough for me. After that I asked what he wanted to watch and he said the NCAA Finals. So we watched that, or rather he watched it.

I occasionally glanced. Couldn’t really root for either team, Michigan State or North Carolina, both were admirable.

I came up with a movie idea though.

A college basketball player, going to a tough school. He’s quite good at the game but his studies have been lacking. The school is tough enough not to give him a pass and he keeps failing his finals. Somehow he signed up for quantum physics.

So he stays for a couple of years, unable to graduate and unwilling to drop out. He continues playing basketball and the school routinely has been winning each year. His skills have increased on the court and he’s basically playing ‘professional’ ball while in college.

Eventually he hits the books and crams and gets his masters in quantum physics. He then accidentally invents a machine (or something) which enlightens the world. Unfortunately the enlightenment happens 1000 years before it actually should. This causes problems.

The world has arrived at ‘peace’ but without learning the lessons it should have learned in the interim. The basketball player has to get it together and figure out what to do to make things right. I think there was a little bit more to it but I can’t remember what it was right now.

Still in the office, things have been quiet. Vivek is supposed to be flying to Mexico. He offered the use of his condo to me and Bill this summer. I don’t think so. Nice to offer it anyhow.

10:23 Just got home. Had a great time with Pedro as I usually do. I play the role of Father Confessor I guess. Anything on his mind, he feels comfortable to unload on me. I don’t mind. After over 20 years of being his buddy, I’m more than willing to oblige.

A few beers a few shots and all was well. It certainly wasn’t as raucous as previous get togethers. It was all about love tonight and it was good. He’s a good man and I’m proud to call him my friend.




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.