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Well I went back to work today, on a Friday. No one was expecting me to come in, but still, I donned the suit and tie, looking rather sharp I might add. I also looked good on Wednesday morning but that ended badly. I slept ok last night though I did wake up before the alarm clock and could not get back to sleep.

So I got up earlier than usual which was ok. Puttered about, taking my time getting ready. Had a bowl of cereal which made me think, what if the cereal got me sick, not the peanut butter and jelly sandwich I had the night before? I gambled and won. I didn’t get sick from the cereal.

I checked my email again, basically repeating the routine I did on Wednesday and was reminded of a chat I had with an online friend yesterday. He had mentioned that I seem to always be sick. He occasionally read this here blog you see.

I protested that I was sick in October, January and now in February. Not always sick. October and January were viruses, Wednesday was obviously food poisoning. Same symptoms as salmonella and with all the news about peanut butter or peanuts in general I think I put 2 and 2 together. Only it didn’t last that long.

We chatted online about a few things and I brought up my lack of self confidence. He was surprised to hear that. We had met once quite by chance on the street and I guess that’s where he got the idea that I exude self confidence. It must be the suit and tie. I wear a suit and tie and I don’t slouch when I walk, I have my chin up, eyes looking forward and I do feel confident.

ooh! it's Mister Confident!!!!

ooh! it's Mister Confident!!!!

In jeans and t shirt I slouch and generally look unkempt. It’s a good thing I suppose putting forth an air of confidence, it certainly has gotten me some good jobs. You want a good job, you gotta dress the part. At least thats how it used to be.

I’ll find out next March how that works out I guess.

But it weighed on my mind all day, my chat and the perception of being confident when behind the fabric I’m still the same old John, a neurotic, insecure mess at times.

It being a Friday, I planned on leaving early, and of course that didn’t work out. I was busy running around to the bank, to this place and that place errands for everyone. I don’t mind, it’s my job and it’s obvious, if I don’t do it, no one will.

I came in this morning and there was the mail from the past 2 days all over my desk. I sorted it out and delivered it to the proper people. I left around 3:00 this afternoon and made my way over to Bill’s building. It was around 50 degrees this afternoon so that afforded us some extra minutes together which of course was nice.

I got him a nice, cheap pair of cuff links for St. Patrick’s Day of 4 leaf clovers. I got the same for myself. It was a nice deal and I gave them to him this afternoon rather than wait. He loved them and we talked a bit about how we might spend March 17 which will be here before we know it.

No bars, we tried that last year and found every place jam packed with some charging an admission. We just walked around last year, smoking cigars and will likely do the same, staring at the visitors and the vomiters.

I was saddened and gobsmacked to read an email from Harpy yesterday, that Randall Bewley, guitarist for Pylon died the other day after having a heart attack at age 53. I met Randy a few times at McSwells when Pylon played.

Pylon was a band from Athens GA that I first saw with my brother Frank in August 1980, opening up for Talking Heads at the Wollman Rink in Central Park. I can’t say I was ‘ready’ for Pylon, I was definitely more into Talking Heads, plus there was so many people there that August night that Randy, Michael, Vanessa and Curtis from Pylon were swallowed up in that summer night.

Even though I was a big B-52’s fan, it didn’t register that Pylon were from Athens, unlike REM who a year or so later, I first saw opening up for Gang of Four and walked away from my prime spot near the stage saying ‘the only thing they have going for them is that they’re from Athens.’

Maybe a few months after that I was in that long lost record store on Second Avenue in the East Village, Free Being where I saw the cover for Chomp, Pylon’s 2nd album. I bought it just for the cover, vaguely remembering who they were and immediately loved it when I played it.

Played it for my friend Jet as well and he loved it too. Pylon was quitting the music biz at that time, it wasn’t fun anymore. They did get back together a few years later and played McSwells where I was able to DJ for the show and got Jet in to see them not long before Jet passed away.

I vaguely remember Rita having a problem with Pylon, Vanessa might have been off-putting with her style of singing after seeing them a few times opening up for some band Rita would rather be seeing, but I did thank Vanessa after a show and Rita was there and felt her opinion of Pylon was wrong since they were all such genuinely nice, sweet people.

And you could dance to their songs.

Now Randy is gone, and Pylon will be no more. He Left behind a wife and 2 kids. Notices from the B-52’s, REM and even members of Gang of Four among others have come in on various websites stating that they were one of the best bands ever and that Randy was certainly a one in a million guitarist.

Sad to see him go as he was one of the nice ones.

Ages of You

It’s Monday again. How that happened I’ll never know. Woke up to the sounds of the Rascals singing ‘It’s a beautiful morning…♫ and I searched for the snooze button while the Arif Mardin production went on. No fault of the Rascals and definitely not Arif’s fault. It was battleship gray outside once again and I just wanted to sleep. But no, work was waiting and I had to get out of bed. Made coffee, had cereal, showered and then I was out after getting dressed. I no longer hustle to get the 7:10 bus, instead I take my time and catch the 7:20 bus. Not as nice a bus, but usually less crowded.

Got to the city and for some reason I decided to play REM’s first album, Murmur on my iPod. I remember when I first got the record around the same time I got my first Walkman. It was the beginning of the cassette age for me. I wanted a Walkman for Christmas a few months before, but my father, figuring that I was mentally retarded said no. I would more than likely be crossing train tracks and playing music so loudly that I wouldn’t hear the oncoming train taking me to my death.

Instead of a Walkman I got a Sears cassette deck with an AM/FM radio. I was crestfallen that Christmas upon opening the box and instead of seeing Sony, I saw Sears. Still I had to show some gratitude and thanked both my parents for the tape deck before going up to my room and beating up my bed in frustration. I didn’t have a car at that time and still trucked around wherever it was I had to go with the tape deck cradled in my arm. It was 1983 so I was probably jazzy all the time. I walked to the 7 Eleven in the snow, just to get out of the house, just to get high.

Eventually I got a car and wound up driving the company van for the book company I worked for. On one lunch hour I decided to take my cash and go to one of the rip off shops by Grand Central where I bought a Walkman II for about $80.00. Soon enough I was putting everything on cassette and playing it wherever I would go. I wasn’t stupid enough to wear it while driving, I did have the Sears cassette deck for that.

One occasion, one of the last reunions of a sort while my mother was alive, had my parents and me with brother Brian and his then fiancée Karen driving down to Bordentown NJ. I was playing Murmur over and over, and loudly too. Loud enough for my mother to complain that I was going to go deaf playing it that loud. I grumbled and lowered the volume, staring out the window at whatever it was that we were driving past.

We made it to my cousin Eileen’s house, where we sat in her backyard and smoked cigarettes (everyone was doing it) and drank Budweiser (everyone was doing that too). Don’t remember much about going home but we made it all in one piece and didn’t get pulled over. All these memories came flooding forth while playing Murmur, which still stands up on it’s own, a near perfect record. Finally got to see REM at McSwells touring for Murmur.

It was one of the first shows that they sold tickets to, and I swear there were only about 30 people in the back room watching a shaggy Michael Stipe hang on the the microphone for dear life while tossing his curly locks to and fro. Won’t be seeing that again anytime soon. Michael Stipe with hair that is.

Here are some pics from an errand this afternoon in midtown.


Neighborhood with Slow Children

Gray Manhattan

Silver Cup Studios where Julio was working today