Tag Archives: Rita

Day Tripper

I can’t go on, I’ll go on. Part 4.5

Yes here we are. Another Memorial Day weekend is upon us. The unofficial start of summer. The exodus from Hoboken begins. The residents with homes down the Jersey shore are en route, if not there already.

I spent some time once again playing and singing by the river. As I played, three little kids came over and the two girls danced while I played. The boy that was with them just sat and watched. They didn’t know any of the songs that I played, except for The Lion Sleeps Tonight and All My Loving.

I also played Good Lovin’ by the Rascals and a trainer from the gym nearby sang along with that as he trained his client. He wasn’t too much interested in training her but she was ‘in the zone’ and didn’t realize his inattention.

Time flies when you’re playing guitar and before I knew it I was strumming for almost 3 hours. I headed back home after attempting Rocket Man by Elton John. Not sure if all the chords are correct and will have to figure that out.

This is the 1,655th entry that I’ve written. That’s an accomplishment of sorts. I’m sure that for some of you, it’s small change. Since I’ve written about my day and I have nothing else to write about, let’s have a look back.

May 28, 2006- The night before I elbowed Bill twice in the head. By accident. It was a Sunday and I went out and bought bagels for Julio and Stine. Alexander hadn’t arrived on the scene yet. Juan started working and seemed to be enjoying it. A bike ride to Liberty State Park was accomplished with Julio and Stine with some Frisbee tossed back and forth.

A ride back home, burgers at O’Neill’s and then drinking Stella Artois on the front steps and then a look at the backyard, overrun with weeds and smelling of cat shit, courtesy of Chris G next door. Juan came over and we watched Bjork videos, Juan saying ‘Homegirl is crazy’.

May 28, 2007- Bill and I not talking for some reason. Julio & Stine inviting me for a ride and I didn’t go since I didn’t want to be a third wheel. A crappy Memorial Day weekend. Laundry and me feeling melancholy, sitting by the river, bashing my dirty laundry against a rock and listening to Rufus Wainwright and Scritti Politti.

Also watched Pan’s Labyrinth which was not as good as I had heard. I think I was still in shock after my brother Frank had a brain attack.

May 28, 2008- It was a Wednesday and I was working for Vivek and company. A receptionist was needed and my request fell on deaf ears. They decided not to hire a receptionist after all. I was hoping to get Juan in there for a summer job.

I watched Lars & The Real Girl and a documentary called American Hardcore which was actually pretty good. I knew some of the people in it though I wasn’t involved with the Hardcore scene.

May 28, 2009, A phone call with my friend Rita. I noticed that Rita seems to have a problem saying goodbye on the phone. Always a bit awkward. My brother Frank had retired from his job and was having a difficult adjustment.

A humid and drizzly day and 2 movies about Quentin Crisp from Netflix were available, The Naked Civil Servant and Illegal Alien, both starring Mississippi John Hurt as Quentin Crisp.

Not much has changed for this May 28. I have 500 Days of Summer, An Education and 2 versions of An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge from the bibliothèque to watch over the weekend. Bill is driving to Atlantic City again.

Mississippi John Hurt

Quentin Crisp

Me, May 28

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…

More Volts

OK. Yesterday I wasn’t in the best of moods and I did feel let down by some readers. Thanks to people like my sister in law Karen, my sister Annemarie and my pal Foot Foot Harpy I was brought down to Earth. And even Juan chimed in. And Debra W, Yoga instructor. And..and…

You see, part of me wants to know how many people read this blog and another part of me doesn’t want to know. The thing is when I know who is reading this, like family members, I generally tone it down.

Not wanting to offend them or getting them upset with my usual sacrilegious views, my anti religion stances. They know about my politics and generally take them with a grain of salt. But some of them do believe in a higher power and often go to church.

Bill too, but he’s immune to my attacks on religion. His father was an atheist and his mother was evangelical. Most of my friends feel like I do towards religion, and some of them don’t.

Luckily religion hardly ever enters the picture. I’ve had the religious schooling, 13 years of it. I was agnostic until 9/11 when I decided for myself that any god that would allow such heinous acts doesn’t deserve my worship or attention.

I’m sure if I were alive during World War 2 I would say the same after seeing the horrors of the holocaust.

So occasionally I try to tailor what I write so as to not offend.

And I did think what I wrote on October 7 was pretty funny and silly. A slight return to a form that I started a few years ago, also involving a parrot I think.

So despite my feeling down yesterday about the lack of feedback or comments, I think I’d rather not know. Still since this is my blog I have license to whine and bitch and complain if no one writes anything in return.

Write your own blog and I’ll comment early and often.

No one besides Annemarie and Harpy. I do wonder where that Dave McKenzie has gone. I hope he’s alright.

Last night I slept really well, partly because Bill took the initiative and fixed his sleep apnea mask and also because of the Xanax I had taken earlier in the day.

Also gave me a very pleasant hangover, causing me to say ‘Good morning’ to various strangers as I walked to get the paper.

Today being today meant that today was laundry day and laundry is what I did. But I also had to get a new clothes rack since one of the two that I had broke last week. I balked at the first store selling one for 17.00 and walked towards the other hardware store (which is the hardware store I prefer).

On the way I saw an old friend of mine, actually an old friend of Rita’s. I smiled and I was about to say hello to her she turned and hastened her pace. That was odd so I called Rita and asked ‘What was up with Karen Bunny?’

I thought maybe she was a reader of this here blog, but no, Rita just said that Karen Bunny is a crazy person. Generally nice but a bit crazy and maybe a touch homophobic. That was oddly reassuring, it had nothing to do with me or my blog nor anything that I might have said or done.

Had a good talk with Rita anyway, the usual larfs.

I did wake up this morning to the news that our President, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. A nice accomplishment, more for changing the climate of the world stage after eight years of the bully boys and Condoleezza, to won where Obama has said we will shake your hand if you unclench your fist.

I’m proud of Obama and this country for trying to make this world a better place. I did spend a good portion of the day posting and rebutting comments on the Yahoo/AP news.

Anyway, do what you want. Comment if you’d like, or don’t.

It’s funny, a few years ago when ill and I were seeing Philip Beansprout for our couples counseling, both Philip and Bill were pushing me to try and make money from my blog. I didn’t see it being possible then and I don’t see it now.

The only sponsors I can imagine are pharmaceutical companies with an ad that could change day to day, perhaps saying, ‘If you feel the same way John Ozed feels in this entry, maybe it’s time you had a talk with your doctor regarding Zimdon.’

That might work.

I’d be rolling in the bucks.

And once again this was written on Bill’s Mac.

and happy birthday Dr. Winston O’Boogie!

Recent Title

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.

The Cutter

So happy it’s Thursday makes for a good acronym. The week went by not too fast but not too slow either. Keep your head down and muddle through is basically how its done.

I am through with the Today Show. One day they cancel Ann Cunter, the next day they have that anorexic twat on anyway. Matt ‘Sans scrotum’ Lauer talked with her in the first 10 minutes and I of course caught it like a bad cold.

I never heard of her until 9/11 and when I heard about how the US should invade foreign countries and convert the inhabitants to christianity, I figured she was just an old hag like Phyllis Schafly. Nope, I was wrong. She’s a middle aged hag. And the less said the better.

It seems like this might be a busy weekend coming up. Jeff the guy who works at Empire Coffee has a band that’s playing at McSwells tomorrow night. I think Jeff’s band is called the Poconos. He’s a good guy and I told him I would make an attempt to see him.

I also told him that I’m supposed to go out for a cigar and some whiskey with Steve like I did last week. I feel bad for Steve, he’s having a tough time trying to find a new job. So is Harpy, Rita and a few others that I know.

It used to be that I was the one who was unemployed and everyone else was working. Except for Harpy who was living the life of a country squire in upstate NY. I am keeping my ears open for all concerned, but I’m not hearing anything.

Last night was another in a series of quiet nights. Olbermann, but I turned off Rachel Maddow. I watched the recording of the Daily Show which was funny of course, but I was disappointed when the recording of The Colbert Report didn’t take. Does my DVR have something against Stephen Colbert?
It did erase the Colbert Christmas Special after all. I’m trying again tonight.

I might forgo Olbermann tonight and watch Ugly Betty. I need levity damn it! Since I missed the Colbert Report I was able to watch the new episodes of what else, but Scrubs. And they were actually pretty funny, though the second one was a touch sad with Glynn Thurman playing a dying man.

Good new characters introduced and I’m glad they kept Keith who was dumped a few days before his wedding to Eliot last year. That was a good way to resolve that plot line.

Saturday is Chaz’ party which Bill and I are attending. Kathe is supposed to be there as well as Connie, who I can’t believe I haven’t seen in a number of years. Just maintaining contact via the phone. I hope to see them as well as a certain commenter on this blog.

Just planing on relaxing tonight. Some TV, some reading, and probably a lot of surfing online. Don’t really have much else to write about so I should end it here. Or here.

Oh wait I should also send some good thoughts to my brother in law Rex who is en route to San Francisco with Annemarie for some tests to figure out what the hell is wrong with him.

So good thoughts are on the way!

Love Reign O’er Me

Last night I inadvertently watched a repeat of Keith Olbermann, or at least I think it was since it was playing in the next room as I was on Bill’s Mac. It certainly sounded like a repeat, lot’s of Saturday Night Live and David Letterman clips.

That followed into Rachel Maddow which I did sit down and watch up to a point. I remembered the Kennedy Center Honors were on and I did want to see what they were doing for the Who, who received some of the honors that were doled out.

I turned in just in time to see Joss Stone do an adequate job of My Generation, the same with Dave Grohl on Who Are You, when out walked Bettye LaVette who I had read about several times before but never went beyond that.

Well she came out and basically stole Love Reign O’er Me from Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey who just sat there gobsmacked as I was on a couch in Hoboken.

A moving enough performance that I called Rita who was a Who fan from back in the day when they were doing 7 shows a day at the Paramount with Murray the K. She too was blown away.

I also called up California to tell Annemarie to keep an eye out for it. I posted it on my Facebook page and quite a few people were turned onto it and seeing it for the first time.

After Bettye LaVette came poor old Rob Thomas who did an ok job of Baba O’Riley saved by the participation of a choir comprised of members of the NYPD and the FDNY which was oddly rousing to see these uniformed representatives shouting ‘They’re All WASTED!’

But Pete and Roger loved it and it seemed like a thank you from the New York City departments for that Concert for 9/11 all the way back in October 2001.

So here we are, at the end of a calendar, ready to start a new one within hours. I had originally planned on doing a recap of the year, as I do every year. I have been doing this since October 2005 mind you.

This and a certain other thing that I do every day are about the only constants in my life and both probably lead to blindness.

I tried going back to January of this past year but just found myself reliving the feelings (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) that I had while I was writing it plus who wants to read recaps of my sometimes maudlin writing? Not me, that’s for sure.

Tonight Bill is returning to Hoboken for the night. Ending the year and starting a new one together. It’s been a rough year for the both of us, him more so I might add. He lost his father in February so his loss is that much greater.
I lost mine already so it’s a proper win for him on the sad scale for the year. Like Oscar Wilde wrote: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

And that is the first time I have ever used a semicolon on this blog. It all stems back to what started this blog, or at least the concept of it. Bill and I attending An Evening of American Satire at the Society for Ethical Culture that October night in 2005.

It featured Art Buchwald, Barry Crimmins, Paul Krassner, Lewis Lapham (who said those magic words that motivated me to write every day) and Kurt Vonnegut who stated that semicolons should never be used under any circumstances and on that point I held up my end until tonight. Blame Oscar Wilde.

I also had the plan to go to work today, just to check in and see if there was anything I needed to put in order. But Janice Huff the weather forecaster said it should be a treacherous morning and since I didn’t really have to go in I decided not to, expecting to wake up to snow drifts and glaciers creeping down Washington Street.

It didn’t happen and whatever motivation I might have had slipped away while I slept away the morning. I did wake up and turned on the TV just so I wouldn’t drift too far away in slumber.

But I did anyway. The snow started around the time Janice Huff said it would end so I tidied up the apartment a bit and did some laundry.

Stopped by the liquor store and picked up some Guinness for Rand and Lisa’s New Years Eve get together. The Latino kid from the shoemaker was there too and I wished him a happy new year.

He remembered the last time I saw him, the day before Thanksgiving trying to pick up Bill’s shoes which weren’t ready a month after they were dropped off. He wished me a happy new year as well and mentioned that he read what I wrote online about the service that day.

And he agreed with the review, at least that’s what he told me as he walked back to the shoe makers store in a brand new Michael Vick football jersey.

So tonight, Bill and I plan to go to Arthur’s for a steak dinner, then maybe a walk around smoking cigars, coming home and then heading over to Rand and Lisa’s to ring in the New Year.

I hope you and yours have a very happy New Year and I wish you all only the very best wishes for the New Year.

Now strap yourself in, cause it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Here is the Hoboken twilight sky on a New Years Eve.


Learn to Learn

Ahh… just woke up from an hour long nap. It was well deserved after walking basically the length of Hoboken. Not the width mind you, just the length, which was enough. I wandered up to the Burlington Coat Factory and bought a new tie (pink) and some undershirts.

Nice cotton shirts by Nautica, I’ve been buying them up whenever possible. Very comfortable, thick cotton, not thin like Fruit of the Loom. Alas when getting jazzy a few weeks ago, a crumb burnt a hole in a shirt I was wearing so it needed to be replaced since that t-shirt is now a rag.

I’m also on the look out for microfiber boxer briefs so if anyone sees them on sale somewhere let me know. Also quite comfortable, I find microfiber more agreeable than mere cotton. I’m just saying.

It wasn’t as cold out as it was yesterday but there were not too many people out wandering about in Hoboken. I enjoyed a cigar after walking from Burlington to the main post office to drop off The Dark Knight DVD from Netflix.

I watched The Dark Knight last night and yes it was very good. Heath Ledger was great in it, actually he was the best thing in it. Definitely the best Batman movie, ever. Miles ahead of Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson which in hindsight looks like a crap movie almost 20 years later.

After that I watched Saturday Night Live which overall was sub par. Hugh Laurie was ok, the sketches were iffy, the digital short was lame and Kanye West sucked big time. It was disappointing about Kanye since he usually is quite a dynamic performer.

Off to bed after that and today was all about walking around Hoboken. Saw Julio, Stine and Superboy for a spell this morning. I did hang out with Julio for a few minutes last night. Stine was with the baby at Julio’s cousin’s house and I ran into him on Washington Street.

We had a seasonal shot of Aquavit. Obviously so much has changed for him in the past 9 months so I can’t really say it was like old times, more like a close approximation which was still good. The three of them are flying to Denmark on Wednesday and won’t be back until the first Monday in January.

I talked to Rita a couple of times today. An old friend of ours, who is also a friend of my brother Brian got in touch with me via Facebook, Dave Bell. I became Dave’s Facebook friend and told him of the plan for Rita and I to go gallery hopping on Friday and invited him to join us.

Dave couldn’t make it but suggested having dinner during the holiday break. So I called Rita and she was into it, so we just have to wait on Dave. Again. That was what we used to do. It should be good to meet up with Dave & Rita after all these years.

Back to work tomorrow, have to un-forward my phone from the fax machine. It was a deterrent for the Korean stalker to stop filling my voice mail with her screaming and crying and pleas for marriage.

Got my clothes all picked out, including the pink tie.

From the Daily News/Associated Press:
An Ecuadorean immigrant viciously beaten by men who yelled anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs at him and his brother has died, nearly a week after the attack, a family spokesman said Saturday.

Jose Sucuzhanay died late Friday at Elmurst Hospital as his mother was en route from Ecuador to see him, spokesman Francisco Moya said. Sucuzhanay, a 31-year-old real estate broker, had been listed in critical condition since the assault early on Dec. 7.


Empty Landscape

Well today is quite cold. Last night was when the temperature started to drop. I was safe and sound in the apartment. Watched O & RM, then the Daily Show which had Darryl Hall and John Oates on the show backed with T Bone Wolk on acoustic bass singing a song about Allen Colmes leaving Hannity & Colmes, sung to the tune of She’s Gone. Very funny, Jon Stewart looked genuinely thrilled to have them there.

They were followed by my ersatz doppleganger Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I don’t care what anyone says, I do not look like him. He’s a good actor, that’s a given, but he’s a lot rounder in the midsection than I am despite Vivek mentioning my gut the other day at work.

Yeah I’m a bit sensitive about that.

A few years ago when Bill and I started going out, we went to the Lure in the Meatpacking district, (before it became boutique central) for some sort of party. Lot’s of heavyset guys there, some were pretty fat I thought to myself, when Bill walks up and tells me all these guys reminded him of me.

My first thought- he’s saying that I was fat. That’s what I was thinking while mingling around the heavyweight set. I was horrified, and Bill was totally innocent since he had no idea what I was thinking. I still chuckle about that years later.

After the Daily Show I watched The Colbert Report, once again very funny. He has Michael Phelps on and it was a very funny interview.

I also watched the Office which was surprisingly downbeat. It had some funny moments but overall it was one of their odder episodes. 30 Rock was way funnier with Elaine Stritch playing Alec Baldwin’s mother.

After that I went to bed around 1:00AM. Woke up around 8:30, got bagels and whatnot. Saw Julio, Stine and Kal-El for a little while. They were getting ready to go out and I was getting hungry. Had a nice breakfast, read the news and did some laundry, all finished by 11:00.

Watched It Came From Beneath the Sea, a 1950’s sci-fi movie about a giant octopus that attacks San Francisco. I saw it a few times in my childhood. Never really heard a certain line from the movie until today when one male character says to another about how today’s woman (in the 1950’s) isn’t afraid and is quite courageous, and able to do a lot of things men can do. Of course this is said right before the octopus attacks the Golden Gate Bridge so it was quickly forgotten.

I decided to head into the city and check out some art galleries. I waited for the bus and I ran into Meghan Taylor Mastro with her daughter Ruby who has sprouted up quite a bit since I last saw her during the summer. Quick plans to meet up when Ann Louise Boyles comes to the area next week.

I decided on Chelsea since there’s a lot of galleries all within walking distance. I started out at the Cindy Sherman show but I wasn’t too impressed. I guess I have to be in the mood for her.

I was impressed by Eric Fischl’s sculpture show. That was very good and very powerful. A few more shows which were ranging from fun to okay. I do enjoy art when it makes me laugh or smile.

I called up Rita after leaving the Eric Fischl show remembering she liked him way back when. Just a quick word telling her to check out the show before it closes this Friday. If she’s into it, maybe I’ll leave work early on Friday and we can check it out.

After that I had a La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero that I had extinguished before heading into the galleries. Walked over to the Path and started reading last week’s New Yorker.

Walking up Washington Street I noticed about 30 Santa’s heading downtown. Apparently it’s Dress As Santa day and lot’s of guys were in the pubs and bars dressed like Kris Kringle with their girlfriends dressed as Mrs. Claus or elves and reindeer.

It reminded me of dreams that I used to have when I was actually killed by Santa Claus. Basically the dream was with me playing in my parent’s driveway and looking up to see his sleigh landing on top of me much like the house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. It was one of those dreams that I used to have frequently when I was growing up.

Other dreams featured a large box, designed as a book that my mother used to have photographs in. In that dream I was told never to open that book/box but of course I did, unleashing a river of blood that Jesus would surf on, never helping me as I drowned.

It was the same Jesus who’s picture hung on the wall above my parents bed next to a picture of his mother Mary, both with their sacred hearts out of their chests.

Then there was the Black Ghost, a shroud reminiscent of the ghost of Christmas Future from a Christmas Carol. The Black Ghost would appear down the block in front of the Crist’s house and summon me towards him despite my resistance.

Then we would go flying over Lodi. In retrospect, the Black Ghost treated me better than Jesus or Santa.

There was also the Red Devil (who looked like the bad guy/wolf from Underdog) who used to make hot dogs in my backyard and threatened me with eternal damnation.

The Black Ghost and Red Devil eventually faded away when I had a dream in which I overheard my sister Annemarie and my brother Brian discussing who was going to be the Black Ghost and who was going to be the Red Devil that night.

I took a few pics this afternoon, but being on Bill’s Mac I can’t upload them. I’ll try later in the week.

Right now, It’s A Wonderful Life is on in the other room. I can hear Old Man Gower wailing on George’s ear. Ouch! ‘Please Mr. Gower, I know you’re sad, it’s not your fault’ Smack! Smack! ‘Don’t hit my sore ear again!’

Ask Me Why

It’s a dreary gray Friday afternoon. I got out of work around 2:30 this afternoon and rather than walk across midtown enjoying a birthday cigar I took a subway which I rarely do. It was raining but not hard enough to warrant an umbrella since I only had to walk a block or so.

Now I have that ‘I might have napped too long’ feeling despite the fact I didn’t really have a restful nap. Phone calls and phone buzzing kept interrupting. Missed a birthday greeting from Chaz, but earlier I did speak with my sister Annemarie, as well as a voice mail from her and my nephew Earl.

Also heard from Queen Jane Approximately, Constant Connie, Sweet Sarah and Brenda Bubbles, Adorable Adrienne and Lovely Rita and Harpy and Julio and Stine with a picture of that adorable little man, Alexander.

Text messages from assorted nieces and maybe my brother Brian or his son Brian. I just can’t tell. Actually I can tell. I just checked and it was from my brother. My other brother Frank hasn’t called and that means if he doesn’t call later, he will call on the weekend and feel bad about not calling on my birthday.

It’s not a big deal. It would have been years ago. It might have been last year. But this year? Eh, no biggie. Last year Bill gave me a saucepan for a birthday present. I found it an odd present since I’m not much of a cook or a foodie.

I don’t watch the Food Network, or Armenia’s Next Top Chef or Gordon Ramsey or whatever. But since the spot where I get my penne, pesto and chicken in Manhattan, Cafe Fonduta went under I have been lacking pesto in my life.

So having watched the guys prepare the pesto, I think I can do it myself and finally have a reason to break out that sauce pan. It’s still in the box. I figure I can take a teaspoon of pesto, some heavy cream, some olive oil and imitate the guys. Or I can try to look it up online somewhere.

Perhaps there’s a video on YouTube that shows the How To.
Or perhaps you dear reader, would have a recipe to make a nice pesto sauce.

Bill just came home and we’re going to go out for some steaks at Arthur’s steakhouse on Washington Street. Hopefully it will be better than last year, when we went for my birthday after a few other things going wrong earlier in the day.

My churlishness towards the saucepan (embarrassing 365 days later) and the fact that some disgruntled mail room worker wished that I would die since I had decided to smoke a Padron and walk along Park Avenue during my lunch hour.

Birthday wishes also came from some new Facebook friends (Andres et al.) as well as a dear friend, Betti Cola. It’s still raining and my bones are tired after tossing and turning in the late gray afternoon but in a few minutes Bill and I will head over to Arthur’s where hopefully they will have their credit card machines up and running, unlike last year.

Just got back, excellent dinner with Bill. Arthur’s wasn’t too crowded, credit card machine in order and I was caught by surprise with a few waitresses singing Happy Birthday to me with a wonderful slice of chocolate mousse cake with a candle on top. I turned a thousand shades blushing.

A walk around Washington Street followed, me finally enjoying my birthday cigar in the misty evening.

That seems to be it for the day. Loveliness abounds.

Here’s some quite recent snaps as well as something else. Thank you for your good wishes

and here I thought I wasn’t going to write tonight!

I Will

Writing a little later than usual tonight. Actually went out and did something after work which didn’t involve just going home. No, tonight I had plans to meet Rita for dinner. Apparently she’s just like me, go to work. Go home. Repeat five times a week.

So tonight since she’s off from work Sunday and Monday and I was going to be in the city anyway for work, we decided it would be as good a time as any to meet up for a supper.

But of course, me being me, there’s usually something in the way.

Last night was very quiet. Bill in Stuyvesant Town looking after his mother, me at home watching Where Angels Go Trouble Follows (WAGTF), and I really appreciate all the comments regarding the first movies you all saw for the first time in a theater.

I had no idea that there were so many readers closed off from society when growing up. I mean it was really sad. I don’t know what was sadder, me expecting some responses, (a single response would have been nice not counting Betty who couldn’t figure out how to post after reading the Laughter Yoga link I provided) or no responses at all.

I’m basically a slave to this blog now. It consumes my life, everything I see and experience throughout the day I consider it for this blog. Things were going well, I had comments from four people generally. Not consistently mind you, but feedback means that someone has been reading this. It crushes me when there are no comments at all.

Now that I am coming up on posting 1000 entries, perhaps it’s time I give it up. I’ve proven to myself that I can write at least 500 words a day, but without comments or feedback I feel I am writing to myself, for myself.

I was just hoping for some sort of interaction with the 6 people that sometimes read this. I figured writing about the first movies that people had seen in a theater would be a good way. Boy was I wrong. My sister gets a pass since she’s on vacation without a computer. And because she’s my sister.

Don’t worry, I’m not expecting an avalanche of comments saying ‘ no don’t give it up’, in fact I’m not expecting comments of any sort at all. I will be taking on co-editing another blog soon enough, something that you probably won’t know anything about since I don’t plan on writing about it here.

So anyway, after WAGTF, found myself watching Lawn hors d’oeuvre Criminal Intent which was good but sicked since Bill wasn’t around to watch it with me. Almost got caught up in another episode, but wound up watching a documentary on National Geographic about earthquakes. Very intense.

Then I went to sleep. Woke up at what I thought was 4:00 AM and looked out the window. Was the sun up then? Was I dreaming? It looked foggy and the sun was coming up. I wasn’t sure and went back to sleep.

2 hours later I was awake, it was raining hard out. I shuffled about, wishing I had the day off, but not really since no one is around to share a day off these days. After showering and futzing about, the lights went out in my apartment.

I hoped it was the whole building, or the whole city, but no, it was only my apartment. I didn’t want to have to go to the basement and flick the switch so I did my best with the little sunlight coming in through the windows. After 20 minutes I knew I would have to go downstairs.

Got my shit together with a flashlight and trudged down 5 flights to the cellar and flicked the switch and climbed up 5 flights of steps. Ate my breakfast, finished getting dressed and was soon out the door. Looked in my bag for my umbrella but couldn’t find it so it was up the stairs again and got a back up umbrella.

By that time it mainly stopped raining. I read on the bus, Simon Rich ‘Ant Farm’ on the bus ride in, pretty funny stuff, very short stories. Martha Keavney would like it I think, but who knows what Martha Keavney likes these days? She could be an anthropologist on Mars for all I know.

I read about the New Yorker to do. The cover had Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and Michelle Obama dressed like Angela Davis. It’s the New Yorker. It’s satirical. They didn’t get it. Obama’s camp upset. McCrazy even weighed in saying it was wrong.

G. Gordon Liddy loved it, saying it was the first time the New Yorker was right about anything. Lot’s of press for the New Yorker including a lot of people who never read it, or heard of it before. Work was busy and that made the day fly by.

I was soon walking across town from Third Avenue to Ninth Avenue, enjoying a Padron and listening to the B-52’s which I had also burned for Rita. Had a good time with Rita at the Film Center Cafe which was showing Marie Antoinette in honor of Bastille Day. The 1940’s version, not the Sofia Coppola version.

After dinner I walked Rita home, sitting outside her building singing a Beatles song. I could have gone up and met her dog Lulu and seen Rita’s boyfriend Jerry, but no, I had to come home and write. I finished the Simon Rich book on the bus ride home.

Happy Bastille Day

You’d Better Move On

A lovely Sunday afternoon, especially if you’re in the shade. It’s in the upper 80’s but it’s not humid. The sun is beaming. Once again I liberally put on sun block if I’m going to be outside for an extended amount of time. I wrote yesterday about having sun poisoning a few times when I was growing up. It was bad.

As far as I knew, or my family knew was the only thing known as sun block was called shade. But we never rented an umbrella when we would go down to Wildwood Crest years ago. My family would go down for the VFW convention every June. It was usually a good time, that is when I wasn’t burnt to a crisp.

It was an alcoholic weekend for most of the veterans and their wives, leaving their kids to run around careless and carefree. We would drive down on a Thursday and come back on Sunday. One time I was covered in blisters due to a bad sun burn. A lot of people had different remedies, Noxema, rags soaked in tea, rags soaked in vinegar.

It was so bad that you could feel the heat emanating from my body by holding your hand about 5 inches away from my skin. I did love going to Wildwood Crest despite often coming home smelling like bacon.

Another time, years later I was visiting my sister Annemarie in New Hampshire and we decided to go to the beach in Maine a few hours away. I put lotion all over my body, but forgot my feet. A few hours later my feet were swollen so much that I had to wear my mother’s fluffy slippers for about 2 weeks.

Good times.

These days I walk in the shade.

Today I watched Mad Max on cable. Great movie, but The Road Warrior is the best out of the 3. Beyond Thunderdome was crap, dreadful stunt casting of Tina Turner. Boo! And the children! We don’t need another hero, my ass!

It’s too late for it but a movie about what happened to Max between Mad Max and The Road Warrior would have been great.

My good friend Rita called. I’ve known Rita since the early 1980’s. We were in a band together. We were called The Nift. What is a nift? I couldn’t tell you. Just a nonsense word I made up. We never played anywhere except a rehearsal room.

I wrote a song with Rita’s sister in law, Loren, and we covered Anytime At All by the Beatles and Gloria by Them. We had a pretty good drummer, Dave who was more insecure than the 3 of us combined.

We were all too insecure to play anywhere though we entertained the idea of playing McSwells eventually. I haven’t seen Rita in a few years so we’re planning to have dinner tomorrow night at the Film Center Cafe.

Rita used to be a teeny bopper hanging outside whatever hotel the Who were staying at in the early days. She has lot’s of stories to tell. Her brother Ronnie used to be a staff photographer for Columbia Records back then and also freelanced for Tiger Beat and 16 I think.

Rita and I had an idea to write a book with Ronnie’s photographs and Rita’s anecdotes, but alas it went along with the Nift, into the dustbin of history.

I also heard from Lois, another old friend. Lois got married to her longtime paramour Fred in May and they”re having a party upstate somewhere on August 2. I told her I was planning on going, Bill- I wasn’t so sure about. She was happy to hear that at least I was coming.

Lois asked me if I could DJ and I said yea, but I’d only bring my iPod. She offered to pay my expenses, but I don’t know what expenses there would be. I asked Rand, who is officiating the ceremony for friends and family to bring his iPod, figuring that between the 2 of us, we’d have enough songs between us to handle any Tarantella or Electric Slide.

If you’re looking for any Alley Cats or Hokey Pokey, you’d better move on.

Right now, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows is on Turner Classic Movies. This was one of the first movies I ever saw in a theater. The now gone Century Theater in Paramus.

I think Annemarie and our brother Brian went as well as some of the Foglio girls who lived down the street from us. They were waiting for a bus when we picked them up.

The other first movies that I saw in a theater were The Jungle Book, The Happiest Millionaire and Oliver! At least that’s what I remember.

What are the first movies you saw in a movie theater?

Cut n’ paste this! Do it! NOW! hee hee:


Here are some pics. Have a good week.

Last night’s moon

Today’s Empire State Building

Yesterday’s mural

Tomorrow’s memorial

Next year’s sail boat

History Never Repeats

This is from a few years ago. Taking a break from writing today.

A handsome ransom

It’s been a musical week people beeples. Starting on the jazz tip and ending up drinking from the well of glee. My honey Triple-5 and I started off on Tuesday seeing Diane Schuur at the Blue Note. Diane was wonderful. The company, Triple-5, and Danielle who is married to the sax player Triple-5 knows, Michael J. “Big Mac” MacArthur and I sat next to a trio from some where else besides metropolitan New York sitting next to a birthday woman and her husband, not interacting between Triple-5, myself and Danielle. Dianne Schuur was wonderful as I said. A wide range of songs including one written by Barry Manilow and Johnny Mercer which was quite touching, quite entertaining, and not the old badalax I heard she was.

Thursday morning, I got a call from Rita asking me if I wanted to see Cheap Trick. I said sure. I asked her where it was. I thought she said Roseland, but it was the Beacon Theatre. Quite a comfortable difference. I agreed in the morning, but in the afternoon I was frazzled. Didn’t want to go. Spoke to Triple-5 on the phone and wise-being that he is, told me that by the time I got to Rita’s apartment, I would be mellow. Since I would walk, Triple-5 reasoned, I’d probably smoke a cigar and be quite mellow by the time I got to Rita’s.

He was right.

I got to Rita’s, hung out for an hour or so, watched TV, which I haven’t done in a while and went to the show with Rita and her man Jerry. Saw the Jon Spencer Blues Experience open up, but they had lousy sound and being in the Beacon balcony, the sound was worse. They did a good version of what I think was “Yer Blues” by the Beatles. Cheap Trick hit the stage with excitement. They’ve been at it for 30 years and it being my first time seeing them, quite entertaining. It was the original band. Rick, Robin, Tom and Bun E. They seemed to love each other and the audience, and performed all their hits with no apologies. And Thom {Tom} Peterson is still very cute; Rick Nelson is still the showman; Robin Zander is still the voice and Bun E. the beat.

Got home mad late from that show to find Triple-5 waiting for me with candles and incense burning and a pizza in the oven and looking quite fabulous. The cherry on top of the evening.

Saturday; dismal day. Rain, rain, rain. I don’t mind. My niece Meghan is Festival Director of the New Jersey Folk Festival to which I volunteered Triple-5 and myself. It was rainy, rainy, rainy, but a good time. Felt good to help out. The usual gnat-like neurotics popped up from time to time but being armed with psychiatric off made all the difference in the Folk Festival world. Saw old friends Jon and Deena from The Cucumbers as Deena was doing a solo gig. Someone blessed Jon and Deena. Thank you. Great seeing brother Frank, his wife Elaine and daughter Meghan again. They would be off in a few hours to meet daughter Cory at EWR Airport returning from merry old England with a class trip. What a wonderful time to be 16.

Sunday had the weather that Saturday should have had. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, but since Sunday was a indoor thing, and Saturday was an outdoor thing, the gods of weather really screwed up BIG TIME. Triple-5, Mr. Isizm (Rode), el Jefe and his father and stepmother saw lady Gigglepuss perform with the Stevens Institute of Technology Glee Club. Being parched of glee, we drank deeply from the sit well of glee. The lady Gigglepuss dressed matronly with cummerbund and matching red bow tie. Sang beautifully with the women who dressed the same and the men in matching tuxedos from old Anglican spirituals to Elton and the Lion King. Their voices soared with varied accompaniments from alumni and professors. Wonderful, wonderful. I loved the lady Gigglepuss. What a wonder.

Quite a musical week. It’s been a while since I’ve had a varied musical pallet. Also bought the latest Ibrahim Ferrer, Orchestra Baobab and the White Stripes. All very good CD’s.

It was great seeing Mr. Ism at the glee function and wonderful to have him visit the crib after the show. Thanks for the truism, Mr. Ism.

Love, love, love.