Tag Archives: Roda

Rocky and Fumble

What a day. If there was a day to run into friends it would be today. But no one is around it seems. It started with a phone call from someone I used to work with, Dave who reminded me of someone I used to work around, Rocky. Dave is in the cigar business and was calling to shoot the shit as it were. As he talked about his adventures and misadventures I was walking to the bibliothèque. He knows Shlomo and Israel from the other cigar store and dished the dirt on them.

I had to get off the phone and told Dave that he should call me over the weekend, when my calling plan is not as restrictive as it is during the week. In fact anyone calling me would have the best chance of getting me on the weekends and that means you too Mr. Chasm.

I got home and found some emails from Bill and his former boss. It’s a mishegas to say the least and I replied that ‘Yeah what happened was uncool but Moe was a dick and karma’s a bitch.’ And just like when you close that door, that moment that you realize you just locked yourself out with the keys on the other side of the door, I realized after I hit the send button, the email went to Moe and not Bill, followed by a manic cackle from me that was tempered by regret at this fumble.

Moe responded soon enough, stating that he did not deserve to be called that and I said I was sorry. But it did weigh heavily on my conscience. All afternoon it weighed me down. So after roaming around Hoboken heavy hearted, I wrote once again to Moe, stating that what I wrote was not intended for him to read but once something is seen it can’t be unseen. Moe should understand that since he had been known to reply to ‘all’ on emails (throughout the company) that should only have been sent to the original recipient.

I closed with my sincere regret and sorrow that things ended the way they did. He replied that he was sorry they ended that way too. Where things stand, I don’t know. I do know that I won’t be seeing Moe at the Mets game tomorrow, now that this has happened. Then again, I wasn’t really planning on seeing him anyway. It would have been too awkward for all concerned and now it is really awkward.

Other than that, it is back to Maxwell’s for me again tonight. RoDa is working as well and I have something in mind that he might be interested in. Not going to say what it is right now, but it is something that came to me last night when I went to bed. Something that was so compelling that I got out of bed and wrote it down, sketched it down really, a germ of an idea. I just have to convince RoDa to use Google Drive, which is a great program that everyone should use.
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Rocky & Fumble (with friends) from Los Bros Hernandez- Love & Rockets

Rocky & Fumble (with friends) from Los Bros Hernandez- Love & Rockets


Don’t Pass Me By

Stage Fright

“It’s my 30th birthday…” said Rachel, the sister in law of the bartender. Rachel is from Charlotte, South Carolina. “Happy birthday Rachel.” “thank you. It feels different being 30 and all…”
“30’s nothing” I tell her and ask her and her friend to guess my age.
“42”. That was nice to hear and their faces dropped when I told them that I was 50. They didn’t ask for proof so they could think I was putting them on, they were tipsy and celebratory.

I am old enough to be the father of several of these twenty somethings. It’s humorous.
They’re not like Juan though. Juan does his own thing and doesn’t care what other people think mostly.
I wrote ‘mostly’, since no matter what, people do care what others think of them.
Juan doesn’t even give a shit about what I think of him. Off to Leonardo and the Principal Crawfish for him it is.

I worked Saturday night and Rand came by and RoDa was managing so that made for a good night. It was busy enough and as usual the stage fright or anxiety I get before going to work dissipated. It was a good staff and fairly crowded. At one point as I was winding my way through the crowd (I mangled the nail on my left hand and needed to get nail clippers from my bag) I tried to maneuver my way around a short woman. She was trying to maneuver out of my way and I wound up grabbing her breast.

I immediately apologized and she accepted the apology, knowing that it was purely an accident. I’m sure I blushed and when I returned to my spot on the floor, I mentioned to RoDa and Rand that I just grabbed a woman’s breast and that it felt like a bag of sand. Rand got the joke immediately and explained to RoDa that it was a line from the 40 Year Old Virgin. For me it was the first and probably last time I’ve ever touched a woman’s breast. I’m pretty sure I was bottle fed when I was a baby so I didn’t even see my mother’s breasts at feeding time.

I worked the whole shift and came home and tried watching Saturday Night Live with Melissa McCarthy as the host. It looked funny and decided to hold off from watching it so I could see it with Bill and or, Juan. Once again I slept really well and woke up refreshed. Bill was driving from Atlantic City and after that headed to check in on his mother. My anxiety kicked in again as the day progressed, I ran a few errands but mainly stayed indoors until it was time to go.

I was scheduled to work at 6:00 so I had dinner around 5:00. I walked up Washington Street and started seating people almost immediately after getting to Maxwell’s. There is a Sunday evening special which goes from 5:00 to 8:00 and there were a few families taking advantage of the three course meal plan. Bands were scheduled in the back room and the restaurant was busy but not excessively busy. Allie stopped by for dinner with his friend Kevin. Allie is an old friend from Maxwell’s and it was good to see him, albeit worrisome since he was walking with a cane.

And Allie was let go from his job last week as well. He’s older than Bill and myself, but has a steadier head on his shoulders so he’s probably prepared for this type of thing. Bob Bert also came in for dinner and it was cool to have a few words with him. I actually had a dream that had Bob Bert on a beach, a few feet away from Brian Jones and Keith Richards. I told Bob about that and he said it would have been cool if it were true. But Brian Jones died in 1969 and Bob being a couple of years older than me would have been an adolescent then. Of course I am reading too much into that.

Bob left and soon Allie and Kevin did too. I made friends with a German couple who were there to see some American rock and roll. Nice couple, they were headed to Florida for the rest of their holiday and enjoyed Maxwell’s very much. I consider myself the cruise director onboard the SS Maxwell’s, perhaps from watching Love Boat too many times when I was growing up- but I feel so Lauren Tewes when I am at the door.

Today was the day that spring finally arrived and after doing laundry, I took a walk around Hoboken, winding up by the river where I sat and continued reading ‘Across the Great Divide’, Barney Hoskyns book about the Band. I don’t really care for the band, I just enjoy Barney’s writing. It has gotten me to listen to their music, primarily their well-known songs, which is better than nothing I suppose.
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Sugar Sugar

It’s very strange, how if I don’t eat, meaning skipping a meal- my spirits just plunge into despair. It happened today and it was very bad. Last night I saw RoDa and it was good. We talked as he worked at Maxwell’s. I helped out some as he worked and since we are both fans of Jean Michel Basquiat it was planned to go see an exhibition in Chelsea that ends this week. RoDa and I have a habit of trying to see shows and postponing over and over and before you know it the exhibition is over.

RoDa is a bigger Basquiat fan than I am and it seemed imperative thatw e go today. Hundreds of other people had the same idea apparently. I met up with RoDa with his wife and kids and we all headed onto the Path train. It was good that RoDa brought them though I think a lot of the art was over their heads and they wound up going through the exhibition leaving RoDa and I to check out each and every painting. It was very crowded and that meant inching along.

After the show we met up on the sidewalk. The kids were hungry and wanted McDonald’s and I was tired and wanted to take a nap. The cement floors of the gallery and the slow pace did not help my back at all, neither did helping out at Maxwell’s last night which was also standing around for a spell.

Let’s face it, I am getting old. RoDa understood my desire to go home so he and his family went one way in search of the golden arches and I went towards the Path train. When I entered the station I could feel the air hitting my face meaning a train was about to arrive. I was lucky and nabbed a seat and sat reading Barney Hoskyn’s Across the Great Divide, his book about the Band. I sat next to a man and woman who were discussing how books are read and how information is gathered from them.

I got to Hoboken and my spirits crashed. I just wanted to get home. I called Annemarie who was happy and funny and me on the other end just emotionally flat lining. She hit the nail on the head, I skipped a meal, low blood sugar equals crasherama. So I made a quick peanut butter and jelly sandwich which I washed down with some lemonade and then tried to take a nap. The food helped but the sugar in the lemonade did not help the napping. Instead of an hour like I hoped I got about 20 minutes.

But I do feel better and I will likely follow my sister’s advice and graze throughout the day, healthily rather than depend on the 3 meal plan I’ve been following. And now a cup of coffee since I do have things I have to do tonight.
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RoDa and daughter

RoDa and daughter

And rest in peace Phil Ramone. I worked with Phil in the 1990’s at Skyline Studios and Right Track Recording. Great guy and quite a character, very funny.

Produced by Phil Ramone.

I Still Call Australia Home

Saturday night’s alright for something. I am trying to figure it out, just what it’s alright for. Fighting? Smiling? Making love? Going to parties? Writing a blog? I am pretty sure it’s the last one and I am now doing that. After this here thing gets posted what will I do? I am always content to stay home but I was invited to a party tonight and the last time I went to a party thrown by these people I had a good time. I was talked into going by Rand & Lisa and we wound up dancing and having a really good time.

Old friends were there then and I don’t know if it would be the same this time. Some of those old friends are no longer friends and they might be there and that is a reason I might not go. I asked Rand & Lisa and also asked RoDa if they wanted to go with me but they seem uncommitted. If they were going I would have no problem if I ran into that badly drawn woman and her consort the former drunkard. I heard they were in a civil union nowadays so they would likely be a pair.

The former drunkard was sober at the last party a few years ago and he was with his then wife, before he kicked her and before she licked him out of her life. The badly drawn woman was there by herself (the former drunkard did not profess his eternal love for her yet since he was still married to the mother of his children). The badly drawn woman was being hit on by a wallflower coming into bloom and she being totally non-confrontational allowed the wallflower to harass her until I spoke up and put him in his place.

This happened right in front of badly drawn woman, and not hearsay from a few years before regurgitated like a drunk after a three day bender. The thought of seeing the badly drawn woman with her fingers in her mouth and the idiot former drunkard by her side, chin jutting out attempting to be clever is off-putting enough to make me just stay home which would be too bad, but then again the hosts are mutual friends to both parties. Absence is hardly ever noticed at parties, the hosts are too busy attending to the people who are there not the people who aren’t.

RoDa has backed out and Rand & Lisa are unsure and don’t know and won’t know until after they have supper. So it is still up in the air.

Last night I watched Drive starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan with Albert Brooks. I heard it was good but did not realize how good it as until about 10 minutes in. I enjoyed it but it had about 85% of my attention. That was fine since I do plan on watching it again with Bill and I will be able to see all that I might have missed or overlooked. I highly recommend it though it is a bit violent.

I just had dinner myself and now I am writing this. One down, two to go and that should probably decide what I will do tonight. I am in my slippers though and that is something that I should consider.

I did hear from a friend I used to work with. She has big plans to get out of the place where she is at, some place free from marsupials she hopes. Apparently there is an infestation of the marsupials currently on the upper west side having migrated from North Carolina.

PS- I went to the party and had a good time.
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96 Tears

I Saw the Light- Todd Rundgren

A snowy and rainy day in Hoboken. And it’s been a lazy day. Last night I was active for a bit, I actually went out and walked the streets of Hoboken. It was a good night for it, much better than now. Last night I walked up to Maxwell’s. I wanted to see RoDa and give him a photograph and CD I had burned for him. I would have stayed at Maxwell’s but it was crazy crowded with a sold out show by Deer Tick. In total I was probably at Maxwell’s for about five minutes before hitting the streets once more.

I was home about an hour after leaving. Not much going on and since I didn’t want to deal with the crowds at Maxwell’s and there was no one that I knew besides RoDa I went home. RoDa was quite busy with the crowd. I did run into Tariq on the street, busking in 32 degree weather. Once again he tried to get me to play his guitar and once again I begged off. I did sing Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, a song that I taught Tariq earlier in the summer and for which he is most grateful.

Can’t say my singing caused any dollars to drop into Tariq’s guitar case, but I could say that money was not taken out of the case. Then again it was too cold for anyone to stand around and appreciate Tariq’s playing or my warbling. I made it home safe and sound and sweaty. That’s a problem with me lately. I sweat a lot. By the time I get to where I am going I am usually wearing a t-shirt drenched in sweat and for that I try to have an extra under shirt to change into if I get the chance, and a bag to carry the sweaty under shirt.

Not much happening at home, just watching the TV or at least having it on for background noise. I picked up a few movies, for Bill’s viewing mainly. I picked up The Music Never Stopped, which Bill and I discussed a few weeks ago about how music can get through to people who have had some sort of brain injury or brain attack. I had picked that up from the bibliothèque before and also picked up a DVD I requested, Prick Up Your Ears, a movie that I saw with Steve Saporito back in the days when I carried a torch for Steve Saporito.

It’s about Joe Orton and his boyfriend Kenneth Halliwell. I knew it was directed by Stephen Frears but didn’t know it was written by Alan Bennett who also wrote The History Boys and The Madness of George III (which had to be called The Madness of King George in the US since audiences might wonder if this was the third part and wondered if there was a Part I & II). I watched a bit of The History Boys on cable yesterday, remembering how much fun it is, how clever and ultimately bittersweet it ends.

Tonight Bill is driving once again to Atlantic City. He didn’t quite make it last night with his bus breaking down on the Garden State Parkway, the passengers transferred to another bus. Bill of course had to stay with his broken bus and wound up back in Wally World. Tonight, another broken down bus. This time it was before the parkway and on the cold, wet streets of Bergen County. I’ll be receiving updates throughout the night so I won’t worry too much. Still some worrying will be involved.

No posting tomorrow on Sunday and once again with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I might not post until Wednesday, but we’ll see about that.

So Happy New Year! 2013 should be an improvement I hope!

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM

Tariq on the street busking, 32° weather, 8:30PM


Rusty box o'tools

Rusty box o’tools


That moon

That moon


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♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪

♫ If I was a sculptor, but then again- NO! ♪




Rolling Stones – Happy

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden

It’s been an alright day today. I was out and about, ran into some friends, Mike Cecchini and then RoDa. I saw Mike as I was off to the really big supermarket and we each had tales to tell about the bibliothèque. Mike volunteers there too. Some notes were compared and some laughs were had. He’s a supportive chap and says he will be at Maxwells on October 25 (next week!) to see me play and support the Hoboken Fair rent Association. I’ve noticed some guerrilla tags popping up around town so someone is on the case, reminding people of what’s going on.

I walked by RoDa’s neighborhood and I heard him call my name. He was about 50 yards away and I was on a mission. I waved and pointed to where I was going, thinking I would swing by on my way back. It’s incredible that by walking about 15 minutes out of my way I could save quite a few dollars. And that is just what I did. Bought a few more items that would have been a few dollars more at the local supermarket, and despite its proximity it isn’t that convenient. And it’s double coupon week too!

After that I walked back past where I saw RoDa but he wasn’t around. He was probably waiting for his son to come home and when he did, they went home. I did see RoDa the other day so I am sure there were no hard feelings. When I came home I found I had a Facebook message from Chaz. He was off to see New Order somewhere in the city, but not only that, he wanted to tell me there was a cigar shop opening up in Hoboken on Washington Street. So once again it was outside for me.

I had walked earlier down the avenue but did not see it, but then again I wasn’t looking for it. I did have my resume and looked funky business casual when I walked into the shop which is being reconstructed. Unfortunately, none of the principals were there, just a guy who was doing some touch up painting and didn’t speak much English. He was concerned about me getting paint on what I was wearing but it seemed to be alright since I left without a smidgen of paint on my person. I walked back along the riverfront promenade.

No one I knew along the promenade. I suppose the other buskers were in for the season, it has been getting darker earlier and it is considerably cooler. Just as well, I didn’t feel like playing catch up with Tariq though it would have been good to see him. I came home and practiced the guitar, figuring out some songs to play next Thursday. I’m not going to say what songs since I haven’t fully decided on what I am going to play. I hope they will be inspiring or at least different than what anyone else would be playing.

I think I am fourth in the lineup and I have been told I will have four songs to play. This will be the first time I am playing solo. Rand declined my offer so I am on my own. I did think about asking Mike Cecchini but his band is playing around the same time and he will probably be busy practicing with them, though he did say that he will be showing up at Maxwells to see me play. So far I have three supporters, Mike, RoDa, and of course Bill- who will be recording my short set.





15 Use Ta Be My Girl

I Gotta Get to You

Well after having the past Saturday and Sunday off, it was back to work for me on Monday and now a day later I am off of work again. I’m not complaining. I am looking down the road of a four day stretch at the cigar shack and that shouldn’t be so bad. Still I have my reservations since whenever I think I have a grip on things at work, something goes awry and I realize my grip is not so firm after all.

Today has been an alright day, Bill was up and out at the craziest time of 4:30AM. He was driving a bunch of people from a non-profit theater group up to Albany NY for a rally regarding arts funding. Last night we exchanged Valentine’s gifts, I gave Bill a gift certificate for the Dramatist’s Book Shop and a card with cars on it that light up and flash underneath the statement, You Drive Me Crazy.

He gave me a heart shaped box of chocolates from Godiva. When I opened the box I found all the chocolates melted and fused together. I was surprised and Bill was greatly disappointed. I wasn’t upset but Bill certainly was and will return the heart shaped box with misshapen chocolates tomorrow.

He went to bed soon after that since he had to get up so early in the morning. I stayed up and watched nothing in particular since there was nothing on anyhow. I slept quite soundly and was awoken briefly by Bill kissing me goodbye and wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day and I mumbled in return for Bill to be careful.

I wanted to sleep later than I did and I guess a half an hour of extra sleep was good enough for my body. I was up and out at the supermarket, thanks to Bill making another pot of coffee before he left. I did not need too much just some milk and rolls.

I had a tentative plan to attempt once again a visit to the Doug Wheeler installation with RoDa but I had too much to do today and that would have done me in. I texted RoDa about it and he was OK with it. I also suggested that he should go alone and that perhaps that might improve his chances. Since I had seen it in January the installation would not have the same effect.

I think he thought it was a good idea though I am not sure if he had gotten it together to go. I had laundry to do and I also wanted to head into the city. I decided to go once again to get some under garments as well a water filter for the pitcher that Bill and I have in the fridge. Last week I blanked on the type of pitcher we have but this time I was quite sure what kind it was.

So I got the under garments and the filters and since it was a nice afternoon, I walked up the avenue to the bus terminal, enjoying a cigar. I would not have been able to squeeze in the visit to the art gallery and do all these things.

Now I am home again, did not watch much TV, instead watched quite a few Al Green videos on YouTube and posted most of them on Facebook. I also posted some Otis Redding, Elvis Costello and ABC with their song Valentine’s Day.

It was a productive day somewhat and now I sit waiting for Bill to come home. He’s made it back to Wally World so it should only be a short time.

Happy Valentine’s day y’all.




11 – Love Letters Ketty Lester

I Got You (I Feel Good)

Today was a day off and it was a decent day. After last night and my godforsaken mood it was bound to be good. My cooler head prevailed and I edited my original posting after a rethink. I felt better after having something to eat and I stayed up watching TV for a while.

Bill was fast asleep when I came home and soon I found my place beside him in our bed, falling asleep sooner rather than later. Bill was up and out quite early, he was doing some volunteer work for WBAI and their pledge drive. I used to do that for WFMU when they were broadcasting from East Orange and my faux alma mater, Upsala College.

A sweet kiss goodbye was what he gave me as I lay there half-awake before he headed out into the world. I got up a while after that and puttered about doing my thing. A trip to the supermarket was in order and so after a cup of coffee from the morning pot that Bill made for me (he loves making me coffee in the coffee maker he gave me as a Valentine gift a few years ago, though he doesn’t drink the stuff).

It was a nice morning and I got my items and found Isis at her register. I was ahead of an elderly woman with a shopping cart filled with items so I helped her unload it and placed her items on the conveyor belt, for which she thanked me, as did Isis who usually does that sort of thing. A stop at the dry cleaners to drop off my shirts as well as Bill’s and soon I was home having a nice breakfast that I made for myself.

There was a tentative plan once again to see the Doug Wheeler installation with RoDa this afternoon and RoDa texted me asking if we could go around 2:00. That would be fine with me, except an hour later he texted me asking to move meeting up to after 3:00. I texted back saying I hoped we could go earlier, but since he has kids as well as an ailing mother that wasn’t going to happen.

So we put it off once again, with the hope that we could get it together this Saturday, and he can join Bill and me and RoDa could even bring his son Logan. So now the plan is to go Saturday afternoon at 1:00. I am fortunate to have both Saturday AND Sunday off this weekend, like most other working stiffs.

I had decided to head into the city, not to go to the gallery but to see if the new issues of Mojo and Uncut were on the shelves. I rode the Path train where I ran into my old friend and neighbor Claire. She was heading into the city for her own personal business and we had a nice chat en route. I got off at Christopher Street and she continued on her way. I stopped into Rebel Rebel on Bleecker Street and found they did not have the latest issue, the bloke behind the counter telling me it might be in by the week’s end.

I continued on my way, up to Sixth Avenue. I stopped into Old Navy where I thought I would buy myself a nice pair of trouser since I did get a gift card from my sister, but once in the store I checked my wallet only to find I left the gift card at home. Still I didn’t mind. I walked to TJ Maxx and hoped to buy some micro-fiber boxer briefs and after getting a few pair, I walked to the registers and found an unbelievably long line.

I just dropped off the boxer briefs and walked out the door. It was a nice day so I then decided to just walk up to the bus terminal where I got a ride back to Hoboken. I stopped by the Guitar Bar and spoke with Mr. Wonderful Jim Mastro for a few minutes before heading home. All that walking made me tired and I tried to take a nap for an hour but lasted about 20 minutes. Now Bill is home, watching Lawn hors d’œuvre on his laptop. Harry Potter is on the telly and that’s about it for me.



06 We All Fall In Love Sometimes
Also quite happy to congratulate the state of California on the overturning of Prop8. NJ soon come!

I Got Rhythm

Well today has been a day off, and a mostly rainy day off at that. Still I was glad to have some time to myself and set about doing the things I had planned. Last night I came home, Bill was staying up for me and I walked in with a bit of anxiety regarding how many things I had to do today.

It’s true mostly that depression is from living in the past and anxiety is from living in the future. Last night I was a few hours ahead of myself so I was a little bit anxious. I calmed down soon enough thanks to Bill’s support. He went to bed a while after I came home and I stayed up watching some TV.

I slept fairly well last night and woke up at my usual time even though I had the day off. I had a meeting at 11AM so I had to follow my daily routine once again. I trimmed my goatee somewhat last night and shaved this morning after a shower. Bill made a nice pot of coffee for me again. He’s really enjoying making me coffee even though he doesn’t drink the stuff.

I was dressed and out the door once more, this time headed to the Path train. I stopped at the bibliothèque to pick up a biography on Marvin Gaye written by Michael Eric Dyson but I was too late. I ordered it but you only have five days to pick it up and today was day seven. I wasn’t sure what day I received the notice, so I was too late.

It wasn’t raining when I went into the bibliothèque, but it started to pour when I left. I hopped on a bus to the Path train and got on board a train to the World Trade Center. It was still pouring rain when I got downtown and made my way through Zuccoti Park where Occupy Wall Street had it’s start in September. Now it was empty and it was just me and one other guy walking through.

I made it to the meeting right on time and it lasted longer than I expected and I think it went well. Soon I was back on the street, talking to Bill and walking around Wall Street, killing time. I had plans to meet up with RoDa at 1:00 and it was only 11:45. I bought a Brian Eno EP at JR Music and hopped on an uptown train.

I got off at Union Square and thought about walking past where Farfetched used to be but figured that would be pointless and a bit of a downer so I mainly stayed on 14th Street. What used to be the Virgin megastore is now a Chase Bank.
Bleecker Bob’s which was one of the first places where I used to buy my import singles and albums as well as clothes is being shuttered to become a Starbucks. I hadn’t shopped in Bleecker Bob’s since the early 1980’s and I suppose my lack of loyalty is a contributing factor in it’s demise.

RoDa was only 15 minutes late which wasn’t so bad and we proceeded to walk over to Chelsea. I really wanted Roda to see the Doug Wheeler installation that blew me away a week or so ago but where it was nearly empty that Tuesday afternoon, today it was quite crowded and very stuffy. We decided to head out and wander around a bit, eventually deciding to give it another go next Tuesday.

We wandered to a few other galleries, RoDa being quite impressed with a few things we saw. We walked around a bit more before we both decided we were pretty tired from trooping along in the damp weather.
Then it was back to Hoboken where everyone knows RoDa. He can’t walk down Washington Street without a lot of people greeting him, he is so beloved in this town. We parted ways with a nice hug and made plans to try to hit Chelsea once again on Tuesday.

I was glad I was able to help lift his spirits since they were quite low the other day.












RoDa says 'Peace'


Killer Queen

I Don’t Love Nobody

Another day at work. I have a swiss cheese schedule this week. Off tomorrow, on Wednesday and off Thursday. Then two days on and one day off. It’s a job and yes I am happy to have one. Yesterday was also a work day. It was Zack and Jerry Vale.

I struggled to get out of the apartment in time to catch the 9:00 bus since last time, the 9:30 bus didn’t show up until 9:55 making me late for work. I would rather be early than late so I did my best to hustle without enough sleep. I was still groggy as I headed out, Bill telling me he loved me and I grumbled my way down the stairs. I wish I could have been more animated for him but he knows I am not a morning person.

I made it to the bus stop and a few minutes later the 9:00 bus showed up. It was fairly crowded and at the next stop, RoDa and his son Logan got on board. They didn’t see me since I was in the back of the bus and of course, most everyone in Hoboken who is someone knows RoDa. So he situated Logan in the seat and chatted with a few people around him.

I sent a text, ‘Hello from three rows behind you’. He turned around and gave me a great big smile and a wave and we planned on meeting t the bus terminal. It turned out Logan and RoDa were headed in the same direction as I was, plus they were walking. So we walked up the avenue together, me making a pit stop to get my egg sandwich. We parted ways, RoDa and Logan to get tickets for the New York Comic Convention and me off to work.

When I got to the cigar shack it was 10:00, I was a half hour early. I expected to be able to chill out on my own for a little while before Zack and Jerry Vale appeared, but to my surprise they were there already, smoking cigars. I sat and ate my egg sandwich and once I punched in set about starting the store while Zack and Jerry Vale smoked.

Money counted, both drawers counted, petty cash counted. Everything was in order. It was an easy day and I once again grabbed top sales. I walked down to the bus terminal after work, leaving Zack to close the shack. I hadn’t walked down to the bus terminal since earlier in the year, and a few things changed. New restaurants, new buildings were noticed as I strolled down the avenue enjoying a cigar.

A short wait for the bus and a standing room only ride back to Hoboken. There was Bill waiting for me and ordering a pizza from Grimaldi’s. Love and pizza, two of the finer things in life. We watched Boardwalk Empire which is getting better and better each week, more complex, more characters and more depth.

After that was Pan Am which is a decent soap opera and usually fun to watch. Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up for a little while after that. A good nights sleep was had and it was off to do the same thing again. Thomas and Bradley and I working shoulder to shoulder and it was an OK day. Things were slow but still numbers were posted.

I had volunteered to work the Monday Night Football event despite my aversion to most things athletic. Yesterday Zack told me that Bradley would be working the event and not me. In an email sent earlier Zack wrote that Thomas and I would both have to work a Monday Night Football and since I was off tomorrow it seemed OK for me to do it.

But no, it went to Bradley and it was fine with me. Why it went that way, I don’t know. Perhaps Zack took my concept of the West Side Story update, instead of Jets vs. Sharks it would be Jets vs. Dolphins. I made that joke a few times and got a few good laughs, but perhaps Zack thought I would actually do a few songs from West Side Story at halftime. I did rehearse One Hand, One Heart just in case the halftime show wasn’t cutting it.

In any event, I was out of there at 9:05 instead of 12:30AM and that was fine by me. There was also drama happening amongst the staff, drama that I witnessed and was not part of which was odd for once. I happily rode the bus home and chatted with an old Maxwells friend, Ally on the way back, talking about Bob Mould and Steve Fallon.

Now I am home and extremely happy to be here.






I Beg of You

It’s been a soggy Friday. Still it’s a day off and I’m happy about that. I finally started getting into the New Yorker. And specifically an article about asteroids hitting the earth. How that was what probably killed off the dinosaurs and how it’s likely to happen again.

That started bumming me out and for a quick second I looked out the window to see if any asteroids were headed to Hoboken. I would probably do a Wile E. Coyote thing and pull down the shade and hope for the best.

And if I’ve learned anything from movies like Deep Impact and Armageddon, the catastrophic event would be known for some time. When you think about it and look at the fact that it probably happened again, the world caught fire from the asteroid crashing into the Yucatan peninsula, it really throws the concept of religion out the window.

All religion actually. Oh the universe is such a cold, heartless place. It doesn’t matter how evolved you are, if and when it happens we’re all going together. This can be a nice thing. I didn’t even finish the article, it was way too heavy. Great drawing by Jaime Hernandez which is what drew my eye in depth.

Last night was quite pleasant and a surprise to some that I had actually gone out and socialized. It was a nice enough walk up to Maxwells, listening to Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Do It Yourself and enjoying a cigar as I strolled up Hudson Street.

It was a nice enough evening and I walked in and saw Rand at the bar, talking to a woman named Stacy. I ordered a pint to no one’s surprise and Rand ordered one for himself. Lisa showed up and had a Mojito and then Lois arrived and had a red wine. Throughout all this RoDa was wandering around being the manager of Maxwells for the night.

I mentioned a concept I had to Rand & Lisa as well as Lois and they all liked it, but had no idea on how the next step should go. A few minutes later I’m out on the sidewalk having a smoke with RoDa and I tell him about the concept (not writing about it here) and he is most enthusiastic.

We agree to be partners on this with a handshake and a hug, which with no notary public available, a hug will sometimes suffice depending on what county of New Jersey you might be in as well as what voting district.

I dominated the jukebox inside as we all sat and drank. Scott Harbison made a cameo appearance looking for Todd or Dave about some work, then leaving after finishing a ginger ale. After a few pints and many laughs it was time for me to go.

Actually Lois started making her move and I asked her to wait and I would leave with her. That’s all it took for Rand & Lisa to join us, leaving RoDa to pilot the ship solo. I was home by 11:00, a little wobbly on the way.

I was home before Bill who when he did arrive told me he was feeling ill and was very quickly out in bed. I stayed up watching Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall. And today I woke up to rain. Cut short my plan of maybe heading into the city and checking out some art galleries.

But doing it alone and in the rain didn’t seem too appealing. So I stayed local, a trip to Burlington Coat Factory was about it. Just a grey, grey day.




I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man

It’s a new day and quite an eventful 24 hours. It didn’t start out too easy since I closed the store on Friday night and had to open the store on Saturday morning. All part of switching hours with Calvin. The day was a good one, I sold about $6000.00 worth of merchandise.

It wasn’t easy, there were a few tire kickers that stopped by, people that take up a lot of time and energy and never buy anything. You never can tell though so one has to go through the whole process in order to get to the disappointment when they say they’ll think about it and walk out the door.

Calvin said he didn’t care if I left an hour earlier, at 7PM instead of 8PM. The store really slows to a crawl once night falls. I’m sure they did alright with 3 on staff, no need for 4 people. I left the store at 7:00 and was soon on a downtown train to Madison Square Garden.

At 7:11 I sent a text to Roda, letting him know I was at 33rd and 8th Avenue. We had a plan to take a quick stroll before the show so we could get a little jazzy for the concert. These days the sweet smell of cannabis no longer wafts through the arenas or any other venues.

I waited about 30 minutes when I heard from Roda. He was held up by the Path train and I walked over to 32nd and 7th to meet up with him. He almost fired up a one hit before going in, but I stopped him, pointing out a few police officers about 10 feet behind us.

We walked to the turnstiles, Roda giving me a printed ticket as well as half a tablet. I trust Roda implicitly so I swallowed it and we made our way to our seats, buying $5.00 bottles of water so that we wouldn’t be dehydrated during the show. Being impetuous, we drank the water too fast and eventually had to get 2 more bottles.

Larry Graham and Graham Central Station opened the show and after One in a Million You, his big solo hit, Prince came out and joined him for a Sly & the Family Stone medley.

Meanwhile the pill started to take effect and there was a mild panic within me, my first instinct was to get out of there, but the voice of reason spoke to me, reminding me that I was with Roda and he wouldn’t let anything happen to me, plus it was all good vibrations all around. Roda sensed something was amiss and asked if I was OK and I assured him I was.

Prince hit the stage after being introduced by Sinbad and soon we were off on a trip through nothing but hits from the former Imp of the Perverse. Prince was astounding as we sat and watched from our seats right above the floor. Let’s Go Crazy, 1999, Raspberry Beret, Nothing Compares 2 U, Uptown, Kiss, U Got the Look (with Sheila E, who looked positively HOT), The Beautiful Ones, Purple Rain. Sheila E also sang The Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre.

Though Purple Rain isn’t one of my favorite Prince songs, the version he did last night was incredible. It flew by all so fast, perhaps due to our altered consciousness. The last song had the stage filled with celebrities like Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Sinbad, Jamie Foxx, Alicia Keys and quite a few more. It was over by 11:00 and we took our time getting out of the Garden.

On the sidewalk opposite the Garden we ran into my neighbor Claire who also saw the show and was headed back to Montauk. That was a surprise, though I had a feeling I would run into someone I knew.

Roda and I made it back to Hoboken safe and sound and we spent the next hours just hanging out, listening to Prince songs and drinking beers while finally getting jazzy. Really a fun evening with a really good friend. I am quite a lucky bastard.

THIS IS THE SHOW




Blurry cellphone pic from the Garden


I Concentrate on You

It’s Monday and I have been off of work today. I slept in later than usual, took a melatonin after watching Time Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Shameless, the William H Macy show on Showtime. It doesn’t start until January but somehow I found the first episode.

It was pretty good actually, though William H Macy made his first appearance in the last minute. Right now, I am oddly entranced by Claire Danes performance as Temple Grandin in the HBO movie of the same name.

She plays the autistic researcher named Temple Grandin who streamlined the cattle herding industry, which lead to the slaughterhouse (abattoir is a much nicer word). Improvements for the cattle industry, not so much for the cattle themselves.

It’s a very interesting movie, and Claire Danes is unrecognizable as Temple Grandin. It’s a welcome distraction from the day I’ve been having. I’m also watching Temple Grandin instead of the frustration of the news, International, national, local and political.

The day started out alright I guess but the blues did creep in. Just the blues for no reason at all. Perhaps it was because of different things, like books and CD’s I dropped off last week are still listed on my bibliothèque card as being out.

Or going to the dry cleaners as Bill asked to pick up clothes only to find that they couldn’t find them. As I climbed the stairs to the apartment, the dry cleaners phoned to say they found the clothes. They giggled and I grimaced.
.
Just one of those days. The temperature dropped considerably and earlier when I was outside there were snow flurries. I got a text from Roda, who invited me to the Maxwells Holiday party. I’m not going, last year was too awkward and I felt really out of place.

And I was broke last year and could barely afford a pint. This year, I do have some money and could buy myself a pint or two, but I’m really not drinking these days and I do have to go to work tomorrow. Perhaps I will go, if only to drop off a DVD that Kevin Craughn made.

Kevin burned The Radiant Child the documentary about Jean Michael Basquiat that Roda and I had seen a few months ago. But already that feeling has left me and I would be content to stay home. Just stopping by would be impossible since I’m sure a few people I know would be at the party and wouldn’t allow me to leave without having a drink.

I think I prefer to stay home. I have It’s Complicated starring Meryl Streep (an excellent skater btw), Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin. I also have a 2 DVD set of Citizen Kane. Both from the library. I also have Shutter Island from Netflix, so I have choices.

Guess I won’t watch Keith Olbermann tonight. I think I’ll steer clear of frustration, anger and depression. That’s not so bad. At least I don’t think so.

Plenty of things to watch until Bill comes home.

I Won’t Back Down

Well it’s later than I expected but really can’t say I have any regrets. Just got back home after spending the day celebrating my dear friend Rand’s birthday. He’s turning 50 years old in a matter of days and today seemed like a good enough day to celebrate it.

He was able to have Maxwells available to him from 12 to 5PM this afternoon. It was a great party, quite a few friends from Rand’s past as well as Rand’s relatives were there to partake in the festivities. Karaoke, food and drinks available to all.

As I stood outside at one point having a cigarette when up walked the wonderful Jose Blackorby. It may have been 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and it was a thrill to see him once again. He’s married now and living in Oakland with his wife and 2 daughters.

Fortunately he was on the east coast this weekend and able to make the party. Rand’s sisters and family made the scene as did Lois & Fred and Roda. Cheryl Welch, Chris Repella, Rob La Rosa and a few others all made appearances. Drinks were had, food was eaten and talk abounded.

So many friends from Rand’s past that I knew and liked (John Donovan and fiance). Bill and I had a lovely time, Bill connected with Mike from the Neutron Drivers, Chaz was there connecting with Mike’s girlfriend Sarah about matters relating to Paul Weller and British music in general.

Songs were sung, stories were told told, catching up as much as possible was attempted. I suppose even some networking was done as well. I tried to avoid telling stories about working at the cigar shop but I guess it was inevitable that they would eventually surface.

Some of us had comparable stories to tell. Mainly it was between me and Fred. I suppose Fred and I are lucky enough to have spouses that are understanding and supportive at our sides. Many chats many drinks and quite a few bites to eat. Can’t say that enough apparently.

War stories were exchanged between Fred and myself and sad to say but Fred is in a worse position than I am. He’s within walking distance of his hell where I have to take a bus and a subway to get to mine. Fred wins.

And like Bill and I, Lois & Fred are lucky to have each other. Lisa looked as great and sexy as ever. It had been maybe 15 years or so since I last saw Jose and I didn’t realize that he was and perhaps still is a positive influence on my life.

I can’t say whether or not he knows that to be a fact but I walked him to the bus stop and as the bus approached, I realized what a lovely man he is, such a positive person. If he’s ever had a problem, I’ve never seen it. Perhaps he hides it well, doesn’t wear it on his sleeve like I do. Perhaps he’s the Buddha.

Needless to say, I teared up, giving Jose a hug & a kiss and telling him I loved him.

Don’t know what else to write. I’m tired and had a few drinks already. Perhaps a few too many, though I could be wrong. Glad to have been able to celebrate Rand’s 50th birthday with his friends and family.

Rand is also a great guy and a good friend and I am quite happy to have him and Lisa in my life. Been almost 30 years that I’ve known Rand and I look forward to many more years of friendship.

Despite the bullshit, the small stuff that I’m not supposed to sweat, it’s people like Rand and Lisa, Lois and Fred, Jose, Julio and Stine and Alexander and Bill of course, as well as Annemarie, Frank and Brian and their families (as well as others that I am not writing down here) that really make life worth living.

Chaz


Lois


Lisa


Roda


Lady Gigglepuss y El Jefe


Jose and Bill



photo by Jose Blackorby

Work tomorrow, not expecting to post, but you never know…

I’m Not In Love

Another day off. Having two in a row is pleasant. It’s my Saturday and Sunday I suppose. It would have been nice if it were actually on Saturday or Sunday but who am I to complain?

I slept really well last night, so much so that Bill had difficulty rousing me to kiss me goodbye this morning. I vaguely remember it. I slept until about 9:00 this morning.

Woke up, showered, had coffee and cereal. Tentative plans to see Radiant Child, a documentary about Jean Michel Basquiat with Roda.

Whenever there is something Basquiat related going on, I always try to involve Roda. It was a good documentary, ultimately sad. Forgot that Jean Michel died at the way too young age of 27. That dreaded number. I’m 20 years past it so I’m not especially worried.

I was in the end stages of laundry when Roda ambled on by, sitting on the stoop and waiting for me. I almost made us late, but pushed enough to make the 1:15 show.

Saw coming attractions for two other documentaries, one about Nazi propaganda made in the Warsaw Ghetto and the other one about a French contest for the best pastry chef. I would wait until both are shown on cable.

Next week a movie excursion to see Inception is in the works with Bill and his friend Fred. That should be interesting. Also looking forward to dinner at the Rocking Horse Cafe beforehand.

It was fun walking around the Village if only for a little while. I was right around the corner from Wolff Olins, where I worked 4 years ago. I don’t know if I would recognize anyone still there, in fact the people I really liked have moved on.

I did run into the newsstand in the building and picked up the latest Mojo & Uncut magazines. A walk back down Carmine Street to the Path train meant a stop at the Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Bookstore.

I enjoy going in there, lot’s of good, cheap remaindered books on sale. Saw a few things that would make for good books for various people.

Path train home was comfortable, new car, air conditioned and the fact that it wasn’t rush hour meant we had seats. Back in Hoboken, Roda opted for the light rail since he had a birthday party to attend.

I opted to walk along the river for a while before heading to the supermarket and then home. Laundry done, hanging on racks and in the bathroom.

My Netflix account was activated again and I have Terry Gilliam’s Jabberwocky here. I saw that in the 1970’s with my sister at the Bergen Mall. I recall both of us being disappointed that it wasn’t as good as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Maybe 30 years or so will allow me to look at it with fresh eyes, or at least an informed outlook. Then again, the DVD looks like it’s in bad condition.

I also have The Wonder Boys from the bibliothèque. I never saw it, Julio recommended it when it came out and I just read a review in the New Yorker that mentioned it as Michael Douglas’ best film. It’s always available at the bibliothèque so I thought now would be the time to check it out.

Also after reading a review in the New Yorker, I have a copy of Duke Ellington’s America by Harvey G. Cohen. That’s a tome with a small font.

I am looking forward to Leo and His Circle, a biography of Leo Castelli. That looks like a more entertaining read, I think.

Jean Michel Basquiat


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Michel_Basquiat:_The_Radiant_Child

It

Well I am better today. Still a little bit nervous about tomorrow and the return to school. Last night was a bit of a low until I took half a Xanax and then things got mellow. The melancholy edge was gone but it still didn’t help me enjoy (500) Days of Summer.

It simply wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be and I do like both Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt. I just didn’t care for it, the story or the characters. I watched the news after that then a repeat of the last episode of last season’s True Blood. Now that was good.

After that I was off to bed where I slept quite soundly. I don’t recall any specific dreams from last night but the night before I did have a dream involving the family dog, Bojo, from when I was growing up.

Bojo was quite a neurotic dog and the only person in my family that he actually liked was my mother. That was because she was the one who fed him all the time. In the dream he was quite a friendly dog and living with Bill and I in the apartment and he would slip and slide on the tile floors.

I made a note of it, waking up and writing it down in the notebook I keep next to the bed.

I woke up this morning with Bill walking into the bedroom after returning home from yet another bus driving gig to and from Atlantic City. He was checking in on me since I seemed so morose when we last talked.

I woke up and showered as Bill sat on the couch and watched Wacky Races in the Cartoon Network. I woke up in my usual crabby mood, but still it was better than last night. Bill went to bed and I was out on the street after a couple of cups of coffee to get some milk for my cereal.

On my way down I saw the door to Julio & Stine’s apartment slightly ajar. I knocked and Stine came out and told me Julio and Alexander were at the park. I headed there and talked to Julio and pushed Alexander on a swing which is something I always wanted to do, push Alexander on a swing and talk to Julio. Or vice versa.

Got the milk and the paper and came home and had a nice breakfast. For some, the Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer, for me it’s like the end of summer and I’m going back to school tomorrow. And by school I mean work.

Bill woke up a few hours later when I had Zoolander on. Bill had never seen it before and loved it. Really loved it, so much that he was howling. It is a silly movie and enjoyable. I suggested we take a walk around Hoboken which is something we should do more often.

I gave Roda a call since he mentioned he was having a cookout today and he invited us over. Lot’s of people and family there and we were most welcome. I had two and a half spiked punches and was feeling a nice buzz.

After an hour or so we said our goodbyes to Roda and his family and had a nice dinner at Arthur’s. We would have eaten at the cookout but Bill wasn’t particularly hungry at that time. After walking around Hoboken some more he was hungry.

It rained a bit while we were in the restaurant but had stopped after we ate so we continued our walk around Hoboken, on Pier A. I spotted the dreaded Mister Softee and had to express my feelings somehow. It seemed most apt.

Now we’re home. Lawn Hors d’œuvre Criminal Malcontent is on so Bill is happy. Me? I’m anxious about tomorrow and the new job. Perhaps a cigar will be relaxing.

Touch Me

Watching Tales of the City on a blue gray Saturday afternoon. Endearing. I have the first series which was on PBS and the next series, More Tales of the City w3hich was on Showtime after PBS got cold feet.

It was odd because the first series was a big smash ratings wise but the timing was bad since it was around the time Newt Gingrich and company started attacking Public Television and the NEA. And from there it went to Showtime where it did well enough.

I didn’t have cable then and never saw the succeeding episodes. But I’m reviewing the first series and forgot that Syd Straw, Country Joe, Mimi Farina, Parker Posey all pass through. Olympia Dukakis is excellent as is Laura Linney and Chloe Webb et al.

Today is also Record Store Day. I usually visit the local store here in town every now and then. I was there the other day and picked up some good used CD’s a really cheap prices. Today being Record Store Day it was a bit more crowded with guys like me, they’re just wider, balder, sometimes hairier and more often than not, straighter in most every sense of the word.

But I do like the whole aspect of buying a CD, and I really like paying $1.99 for it, Pretenders- The Isle of You. But I think, and I could be wrong, but I think they jacked up the prices of items because it was Record Store Day.

That would be tacky, but having been there the other day I don’t recall things being what they were today. I lucked out and snagged a CD of Lene Lovich, Lucky Number, a best of compilation. I probably could have picked it up for $3.99 the other day.

I’ve always liked her, a special place in my heart for Lene Lovich. I did see her at the Meadowbrook in 1982 and she was electrifying. I was going to head into the Village to check out the Budos Band at Generation Records, but the weather is crappy.

Last night I did head out in a rainstorm and walked up to Maxwells where I saw Glass Trees, the band my friend Chris Repella is in. Rand was there and Roda was managing the place. Glass Trees were pretty good, though Rand and I both preferred the instrumentals to the songs with vocals.

The instrumentals were other worldly whereas the songs with vocals brought the back room back to Earth. They reminded me of My Bloody Valentine and Neu!. Chris was a regular Brian Eno on the synthesizer.

Rand had seen them before and they were accompanied by some visuals. Not last night though. I would have focused on the noisy instrumentals rather than the vocal songs which killed whatever momentum existed from the previous song.

For the past week, Monday through Friday I had 239 visits from 140 cities around the world. From New York City to Winchester, Arcata to Zagreb. Edinburgh to Xuzhou. I think that’s impressive. Some of the visits were just a glance, lasting less than a minute. Some were sent via Google word or name searches and some were return visits.

Still no one in Hoboken reads it. I have no problem with that. In fact I might prefer it that way.

Glass Trees

Glass Trees


Glass Trees

Glass Trees


glass trees 0131
Hoboken 003
A Double Doodle

A Double Doodle


Hoboken 007
Photo-0124

Back Off Boogaloo

It was a humid day today, but maybe that was me. But when walking around Hoboken I saw people that weren’t bundled up, in fact I was relatively overdressed. A bit sweaty when I came home. I didn’t mind, it wasn’t raining and the temperature has been predicted to drop quite a bit.

Last night I went to the McSwells holiday party. I wasn’t invited per se, but I did go as Chris Repella’s chaperone and also as Roda’s guest. I didn’t really know what to expect since I hadn’t been to the McSwells holiday party in a long time, at least when I used to write it as Maxwells.

I don’t recall it starting at 9:00, maybe it started at 8:00. I DJ’d it a few times, Steve Fallon would make a run and brings back dozens of White Castle burgers. An occasional pot luck and an open bar with 2 irregular regulars behind the bar, one a high school teacher and the other part of the scene at the Elysian Cafe down the block.

It was always a good time, drinks flowing, people running upstairs to various apartments to sniff or smoke various things that couldn’t be done in public. Nobody got hurt, no fist fights, just a general good time.

The first time I went I did feel privileged to be there and had Rand as my guest. One time his sister showed up after seeing him and Rand had to tell her she couldn’t stay, she wasn’t invited. That was how exclusive it was, if exclusive was the right word.

Mainly it was all about the love for Steve Fallon and his family, from the workers and regulars. Last night it was a different scene, quite crowded and no open bar. That was a shocker. I had a couple of singles for tips but not enough for an actual drink, thinking that it would be a freebie.

I met up with Chris and we strolled up. Once inside, I saw Rand & Lisa chatting and it was crazy crowded in the front room as a two man band played some funk and soul classics. It was fun for me but for others it’s was the same bloody thing they’ve had the past four years.

I saw Roda and he is much loved there, or at least he was last night with various people among his co-workers saying and slurring how much they loved him. He is a loveable guy. I tried to get a Guinness but couldn’t get served though most everyone else around me at the bar seemed to have no problem.

I decided to leave, perhaps vanish and no one would notice, I hoped. But the coat rack was laden with winter coats and I couldn’t find my navy pea coat on a rack, mixed in with other coats, much the same color.

After about 10 minutes of searching, Lisa and Chris both saw what I was doing and asked where I was going. I said I was going to the ATM to get some cash and they both said forget about it, they’d buy me a beer.

So I stayed and had a beer. I was swept into the backroom where a DJ was playing some old and obscure 45’s of soul and garage songs. Lisa was on the floor dancing and Rand and I were holding up the wall when Chris grabbed me by the arm and soon had me dancing on the floor.

It was fun, Rand & Lisa, me & Chris, Todd Abramson and his wife, Gaylord Fields and his wife, and quite a few others all doing whatever frugs or watusi’s or foot stomping required. I wished it was Madison Time myself.

I was quite sweaty by then. Went out for a smoke with Roda and should have worn my coat, but got over it. More dancing in the front room to the two man band playing Brick House by the Commodores and Give It To Me Baby by Rick James.

It went on like that for a while. Finally Roda got me and asked if I wanted to take a walk so walk we did. A good walk, a bit gossipy and a bit fan boy, talking about the Dark Knight movie and how good it was. Also how McSwells had changed from people that showered daily (when I worked there) to guys that proudly did not.

Heard about one guy who used to be quite friendly, Chris Ward and no longer around in NJ, out west somewhere who treated Roda like crap, enough so that Roda had to threaten to belt him just to get out of his face.

Yep, Maxwells had changed into McSwells and apparently I got out at just the right time. And so did Steve Fallon. Who would want to deal with the ABC, the Health Inspector, taxes, Hoboken politics and various bands? After almost 20 years, that would be enough.

Still times being the way they are lately, if offered a job there I’d probably take it. But that won’t happen since Todd doesn’t like me very much.

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Me & Roda are 'The Thing with 2 Heads!' Photo by Lisa

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Lisa & me dancin' dancin' dancin'! Photo by Rand

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Getting my groove on, thumbs aloft! Rand's forearms! Photo by Lisa

Intergalactic

OK, I’m cheating. I am writing this the next day since it was too late last night and I just didn’t wanna. The cheating part will be when I post it under yesterday’s date. Yesterday was a slow day. Slow enough to warrant a nap.

And nap is what I did. After running errands, doing laundry and cleaning up the apartment some more. Heard from Rita, thanking me for her birthday card. Also heard from Earl, thanking me for the Beatles CD’s I gave him.

Since I bought myself the remasters I decided to give him my older copies. Heard from my brother Frank who was just checking in. Told him all about seeing Leon Russell the previous Sunday. He was off to his 40th High School reunion.

Nice that he goes to these things. I doubt if I would ever go to my 30th which would be next year. I learned my lesson at the 20th year reunion. I lived life for 20 years without seeing my former classmates and plan on continuing to do so without seeing them ever again.

I was invited to a Yahoo groups function in the city and was mostly wishy washy about going. When I woke up from the nap I was still wishy washy. But like the drone I used to be when I was working, I got out of bed and put on a suit and tie and got myself together.

I have been meaning to mention that now I feel really unemployed since I canceled my bus pass and since I don’t have a bus pass anymore I decided to take the Path train into the city. Plus at the hour of 6:00 it made more sense to do that rather than sit in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel.

I walked up to west 46th Street to the Ritz Bar where the function was taking place. It was similar to the Yahoo group parties I used to go to a few years ago. I met the guy who invited me, Gary from Los Angeles and he was quite happy to see me.

I almost didn’t go but Gary was glad that I did. Also met Rob who is someone I’ve chatted with a while ago. He used to live in Hillsdale, now he lives in Freehold. It was a nice group and it was definitely good for my ego. And it was a good networking opportunity.

I had a few Stella Artois and after an hour or two I was headed to Hoboken to have drinks with Rand & Lisa, to celebrate RoDa’s birthday. I had burned a few CD’s of Girl Talk, Air & Scritti Politti for RoDa. I’ve talked those groups up often enough that it made sense that RoDa should actually hear them.

I stood outside having a smoke when Bill ambled up. I told him about meeting up at McSwells and was surprised to have him show up. He likes RoDa too so it made sense.

Lois and Fred showed up with Rand and Lisa and we all sat at a table, munching on curly fries and having a few drinks. RoDa was actually working so he couldn’t sit with us the whole time but did hang for a few minutes here and there. It was a nice, sort of impromptu night.

For me, there was enough Stella Artois to not want to write last night, but here I am now, trying to make amends. So there.

The apartment next to the Ritz Bar.

The apartment next to the Ritz Bar.

Far Away Eyes

It’s quite a gray day again. When I woke this morning, the western half of the sky was dark and ominous. Now some blue peeks out. When I spoke to Julio the other day, he made a comment about me taking a nap.

I said to him that I don’t really take naps these days. In the past few days I’ve taken 3 naps. I suppose it could be the sudden drop in temperature, causing my lethargy. The lack of sunlight is also a factor I am sure.

And also Julio suggesting that I take naps when I haven’t probably influenced my taking of naps.

Did some running around, paying bills and whatnot. Also called my insurance company since the blood tests I had in August weren’t paid. Seems that Quest Diagnostics sent the paperwork to the wrong address. So I hope that gets taken care of. Also tried to check my bank account online but that was unavailable for the past 48 hours.

Watching some Glenn Beck on TV right now. Just for a morbid curiosity. He really plays to the elderly people sitting at home, having dinner at 5:00 (like I just did) and preying on their fears with an ‘Oh shucks’ attitude and forced indignation paired with the occasional crocodile tears.

He is quite like an asshole now and probably was one when he was doing coke and smoking weed all the time. Then he became a Moron. I mean, Mormon. I seem to always misspell that. But he’s gone and his words and seeds of fear with more than likely take root in the minds of his viewers.

And right now I am having problems with http://johnozed.com , establishing a database connection. This happens from time to time. Only usually after I’ve written something., not while I am writing. Such a cold message, Error establishing a database connection.

I have a web cam. Had it for a while. Finally hooked it up. Now Harpy has found me and we are in the midst of a web chat. I didn’t know I had a microphone on the cam but apparently he can hear me. I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t say anything bad.

Next week is a March on Washington. I thought about going and visiting Billie, but I think Billie would rather be out of town since there will be so many out of towners coming in. I asked Bill about it but he can’t go since he’s doing something for Amiri Baraka’s birthday.

It would seem like something perfect for the both of us to do, but that seems unlikely. I was also invited to Juan’s place in Trenton this weekend, an over night thing, Saturday into Sunday. No communication on that today.

Instead, I take naps.

I might take a walk up to McSwells as it’s Roda’s birthday tonight. I burned a few CD’s for him so it might happen. It might happen sooner rather than later since I still cannot establish a database connection. Benjamin Netanyahu can. He uses Word Press too.

Bah!

Still the idea of going to DC for such an event as the March on Washington weighs on my mind. I will have to call Billie about that this weekend. I’ve been bad with calling some people back the past week. I always think these people are sitting by their phone thinking, ‘Why hasn’t John called?’ but I know that isn’t the case.

Last week I tried calling Annemarie on the weekend like I always do, but their phone was messed up. I could hear them but they couldn’t hear me. I could hear the aggravation on the other end. That was what put me off calling other people. ‘What if they can’t hear me either? Wouldn’t they be aggravated too?’, I thought to myself.

So in a way it’s good that I never called, isn’t it?

And thanks to Rand my database connection to Word Press has been reconnected. Perhaps we will meet up for a Birthday drink with RoDa tonight.

Aftermath

9.29.09 025

Let’s see. It’s Wednesday, that much I know. It’s definitely a lot cooler out. And it’s now 6:00 and I was supposed to call Juan between 4 and 5:00. I just remembered that. What else? I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

Tried going to bed earlier than usual but couldn’t fall asleep so I wound up staying up until the usual time. No it’s not caffeine. I don’t drink caffeine after noon. It wasn’t so bad in any event. I did fall asleep eventually after following my own advice, to get out of bed instead of tossing and turning and my advice proved right.

I’ve taken to going out and getting the paper in the morning, if only to put away the garbage cans I put out the night before. Last week I had a talk with Julio about it. How I put out the garbage most nights, including the recyclables, but no one can put back the empty cans in the morning.

Julio claims he did and I cut him some slack, saying that 9 times out of 10 I’m the one who does it. He is that 1 time. I did not bring that up with Bill since it took a while to get him to stop putting the recyclables in with the trash.

When I was employed, I would leave the building after Bill, I would reach in the garbage cans and pull out empty Vitamin Water bottles that were recently in the kitchen here. In a suit and tie yet. It only took over a half dozen times before he eventually got the message.

Today I decided to go to Shop Rite in Hoboken. The A&P is closer but Shop Rite is much larger and has better selections and generally better prices, though I usually spend more money at Shop Rite. I don’t know how that works. Also ran into Roda and his son Logan, food shopping.

Midway through my shopping experience, I get a phone call from Bill. I suggested that if he has to sing a song for an audition and he’s no so sure, that he should write out the lyrics by hand so he will, in effect own those words and make them more personal by writing them out by hand.

He was calling to thank me for that idea. It’s something I picked up when growing up and had to sit at the dining room table for 2 hours, ostensibly to do homework. Even if I had homework that could be done in 10 minutes, I would still have to sit there for 1 hour and 50 minutes.

My brother Brian would sit opposite me for those 2 hours. It was mainly because we weren’t the top notch students our father encouraged us to be.

That was a joke. Our father never encouraged us to do anything.

So while my father sat about 15 feet away, my mother 9.5 feet away and the TV blaring quite loud since my father was losing his hearing, I would get one of the books from the encyclopedia and start writing out by hand various pages that caught my eye.

Brian, sitting where he was, would try to steal a glance at Johnny Mann’s Stand Up and Cheer.

The 2 hours at the table didn’t achieve much but some improvement did have to be shown in our grades. I don’t know how that worked out, but I certainly benefited from social promotion.

Remember, I’m the guy who wrote an essay on his Algebra final. And I’ve held up my end. Haven’t used Algebra since.
9.29.09 026

Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Well this starts at rock bottom. Been a good day so far, but now Bill has flown off a handle the size of a aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. A ton of resentment has collapsed upon me. Oh, and we’re about to go out and actually do Karaoke which is beneath Bill.

But he says he’s going to make me happy which right now means putting me through hell in order to get to that happiness.

I myself am exhausted from the Gate Sale which was successful, just four hours but it was tiring. Then I met up with Rand and went over to Roda’s daughter’s first birthday. Her name is Autumn.

Bill said some heinous things once again. I’m no innocent, surely I added to the fire, but reined it in. He was anger on a short leash. All about who cleans up more. I’m pretty sure I do and he’s pretty sure that I’m wrong.

We were supposed to meet up at Rand & Lisa’s since he arranged the whole thing. Some drinks and snacks beforehand. We’re taking a pass on that obviously.

I suppose I wear my emotions on my sleeve whereas Bill’s simmer at a low boil just below the surface and tonight’s match was the concept of going out and doing something fun and silly which Bill feels he is not when he leaves the apartment.

I’ve generally been in a good mood all day, talking to people and selling my past. Bill was upstairs cleaning the apartment in his way while the Lawn Hors d’oeuvre Criminal Mischief marathon played on the TV.

Well we didn’t make it to Rand and Lisa’s beforehand. Things were too ugly, too heated to inflict upon my friends and some of Rand’s family. We caught a bus into the city which at the next stop turned out to be the bus that Rand, Lois spouses and family also got on.

Unfortunately Bill and I were starting to open up on our feelings. Once the others joined us, I saw it a chance to avoid Bill altogether and focus on the other people. And it worked somewhat, once everyone settled in their seats I said that I was glad everyone could make it to the meeting.

Bus ride, subway ride and we were around the block from where I used to work a few months ago. Songs were sung and at one point The Wind Cries Mary came on and no one was singing so I took the mike and did what I thought was a decent cover of Jimi Hendrix.

It helped that I knew the song inside out and knew the inflections of Jimi’s delivery. I surprised myself actually.

A few other songs were sung, You Shook Me All Night Long, Save the Best for Last and Oklahoma are what springs to mind.

I had a good time, but I’m sure it would have been a better time if Bill didn’t have a loud argument beforehand. Spent too much avoiding Bill which did not make for a fun time. For one thing, I didn’t know when it was announced after leaving McSwells on September 12 and walking back with Rand & Lisa and Lois & Fred, that Karaoke might be a fun thing to do and that Bill had horrible times once or twice doing it.

You don’t speak up, how is anyone going to know? To find it out an hour or so beforehand seemed underhanded to me, even after giving him many opportunities to back out.

I also gave him excuse to go though. He mentioned that it might be too expensive for him, though saying that to an unemployed guy while he works a good job was ridiculous.

Bill and I did have a good talk, no raised voices, just the two of us talking in inside voices and each of us explaining why and how they were feeling did help.

Overall it was a good day with a hellish intermission but it definitely could have been a lot better.

Autumn
Roda’s daughter, Autumn

Dancing Machine

Well it was a strange day basically. Did I work? Sort of. I went to the office and did things. Did I work a full day? No. I was in at 9:00 and out by 1:30. Will it be the same tomorrow and other days? Yes I think so.

It will get even stranger when my sister comes to town. The plan for then is, to come in earlier and leaving earlier. I’m looking at being in around 8:00 and out by 11:30 or 12:00. And I don’t even know if I will be working 4 or 5 days a week.

I did not see Vivek at all during the hours I was in today. I asked the intern if she had heard from Vivek and she didn’t but one of the neo-cons piped up and said that Vivek had a meeting at 3:00. It was a good reminder of the bullshit of non-communication that Vivek excels at.

Someone who has nothing to do with Vivek knows more about his schedule than the people that support him.

I did get a green light from New York State and that’s a good sign. I was a bit worried about that. I do have a phone call to make on Wednesday to complete that process. I was fairly busy today and it was weird to be leaving in the middle of the day.

But it was a beautiful day and I got over it soon enough. There is still a mellow sense in Hoboken, like a pleasant hangover from the past weekend. The weekend was a three day holiday, but oddly enough it felt longer than that.

I came home and changed out of my work clothes and into the summer wear of shorts and a t-shirt. Fiddled around at home and then realized that I needed to get some food for dinner.

It was an nice enough day so I walked over to Shop Rite which is further away than the supermarket around the block from my apartment. It’s cheaper at Shop Rite and the employees aren’t as surly. Of course I walk through the door and forget what it was I was there for.

I recovered and picked up some pesto and a few other items. On the way home I walk by where Roda’s mother lives and I see Roda having a BBQ.

I hung out with Roda and his mom and his cousin Tony. Roda’s kids, Logan and Autumn were there of course as well as a few other friends and family members. They invited me to stay for dinner but I had a bag full of groceries.

It was tempting but I came home and made myself my usual weekend fare of pesto, chicken and pasta. It was good and I’m satisfied. I’m going to try and use Rand’s method of eating.

No food after 6:00 for him, but for me it will be 7:00 since I didn’t get started until after 6:00 so some adjustments had to be made.

Roda and Autumn
Roda and Autumn

ps- I heard a club music version of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ this afternoon. It chilled me to the core.

Creeque Alley

Well I hope you are all having an enjoyable 4th of July. Independence Day. It’s been a lovely day here in the Hoboken area. Sun is shining brightly and there’s a nice breeze.

Some streets are closed in Hoboken since the fireworks will be on the Hudson River and the city of Hoboken is expecting huge crowds. At 8:00 it will be very difficult for cars to drive into Hoboken.

I don’t know how the other waterfront towns are dealing with it, but Hoboken does have it’s sometimes exaggerated self-importance.

I went for a ride today, solo. Rode into Manhattan and checked out Jenny Lewis who was opening for Conor Oberst. It was crowded but not like it was for the Feelies and Sonic Youth show last year.

I did see Meghan Taylor for a few minutes. She was in the guest area with her super girls, courtesy of Jim Mastro. I wasn’t on the list and didn’t want to lock up my bike. Jenny Lewis sounded good at some points in the park, I kept moving around and found the sound to be dodgy in some areas.

There was a hole in the fence which various hipsters were going through, but you had to have a 28” waist to get through.

I decided not to watch Conor Oberst and rode around downtown. It was fairly crowded with tourists on this holiday weekend. Caught the Path to Exchange Place in Jersey City and rode back into Hoboken from there.

Did about 15 miles all together. Last night I went up to McSwells where I met Eddie Narucki and his wife. Eddie used to work at McSwells back in the day.

Rand and Lisa showed up as well as Lois. Roda was managing the club. It was a good time, lot’s of laughs and a few rounds which we were only charged for one round. Quite nice. My brother Frank showed up with his friend Rusty as well.

Didn’t get a chance to talk with Frank much since he was often around people that wanted to talk to him and I was with people that wanted to talk to me.

I saw Guy Beard, former McSwells DJ who I never really got along with and his wife Zena whom I did get along with. She was friends with Arif Mardin’s family so that was why we got along so well. She’s a bubbly spirit when compared to Guy’s dour personality.

The night ended when it should have and I decided to walk home and enjoy a cigar. As I got to my building I noticed I didn’t have my keys.

I retraced my steps to McSwells, contacted Roda and asked if anyone turned any keys in. They didn’t. I came home and called Bill who was sleeping.

He let me in where I found my keys hanging on the hook where I always leave them. All I could do was laugh at that. Bill went to bed and I soon joined him there.

7.4.09 etc 001
7.4.09 etc 007

hipsters (sans hats)

hipsters (sans hats)


7.4.09 etc 018
7.4.09 etc 019
7.4.09 etc 020
Wild Turkey in Battery Park

Wild Turkey in Battery Park

What’s In The Middle

Well so far today has been a very good Saturday. But first, last night. I actually went out last night after posting. I put down the knitting, the book and the broom. I admitted that between cradle to tomb isn’t that long a stay and got it together and headed out to McSwells.

Bill was getting ready for bed and I kissed him good night and went out. It was something I hadn’t done in a while. Walked up Washington Street, a few people out, going to bars, leaving restaurants, visiting friends. Saw Roda outside, he was surprised to see me and I was happy to see him. We chatted for a few minutes and then he asked if I wanted to see the band.

It was sold out, but being friends with the manager of the club for the evening got me an easy entry. The Budos Band were playing, and from I gathered, they are a funk band from Staten Island. Maybe about 10 guys on the tiny stage, when I walked in they were cookin’. I got myself a Guinness and Roda hooked me up with a shot of tequila.

Crowded room, with about 150 heads all bobbing in time for the music. They reminded me of one of my favorite bands from back in the day, Konk. Another group of guys playing funk, or attempting to at least. They approximated the funk enough to come up with something new and that’s what the Budos Band seemed to be doing.

Just laying down really funky grooves that lasted a while. I only saw Konk once and that was at a decrepit grammar school on the lower east side. I had an interesting history with Konk. I first heard them on WNYU, the 12 inch single, Konk Party. A killer tune with a “Latin” beat which is what they were trying to achieve.

My Spanish friends laughed when they heard it but I loved it and wound up getting a few copies of it. My friend Jet was living up in Inwood and told me about how he answered his phone one night and the caller asked if he was interested in a Konk Party.

It turned out to be the wrong number but Jet was intrigued. He told me about it and I explained what I knew about Konk. A few years later, I’m living in Hoboken with Jimmy Lee. Nice guy, quite a muso on the guitar.

Jimmy had taken some guitar lessons from Vernon Reid of Living Colour and was looking for a band to play with. As fate would have it, Konk was looking for a guitarist and Jimmy Lee got the gig. He told me that Geordie Gillespie lived in Inwood which made me think that it was Geordie that might have called Jet a few years before.

A while after that Rand, Wolf Knapp and I drove into the city to see Konk. A good show, Jimmy Lee was excellent as was the rest of the band. The Budos band really did a great job and it was fun to be somewhere close to home, within walking distance and seeing a really good band.

I only stayed for the first set but I would check them out again if given the chance. I did tell them during their break down in the basement that they sounded great and they seemed to appreciate the compliment.

I really should get out and see Roda more often, and not just for a free show and the occasional cocktail. He’s a genuinely nice guy.

Today was very nice, waking up next to Bill, a bit chilly but a sunny day. I got back from Manhattan a little while ago and I’m feeling good. Maybe it’s because of spring, or maybe…

Oh yes, one more thing. I got a letter from the New Yorker, telling me my subscription was about to expire in a month or two and to subscribe again it would be $57.00. I checked one of the fly away cards in the magazine and the offer there was $47.00.

So I called them and asked what was up. They had no clear explanation. I then mentioned how my sister was subscribing for a cheaper rate than that. Well she was at one point. I was able to get a 2 year subscription for the price of one. Woo hoo!