Tag Archives: Ruby Mastro

Just Like (Starting Over)

Well today has been a busy day. After some weeks in planning Bill and I finally had our civil union officiated by then one and only Jim Mastro. The whole thing was under 2 minutes and that was a factor in not really telling anyone about it.

I’m sure there was bewilderment and perhaps even some hurt feelings but we didn’t want to waste anyone’s time and when there is marriage equality in New Jersey, that is when people will be invited. Until then a civil ceremony would have to do.

The whole thing started on March 11 when Bill and I went to the Soviet bloc building to fill out paperwork for a civil union with Stine and Alexander. Stine was our witness while Alexander was fascinated by the Soviet kitsch.

They asked when the ceremony would be done and I said July. They said too late, has to be within 30 days so I quickly rethought and came up with April 1. Seemed like an apt day to get civil unionized in my book.

I asked Jim Mastro if he could say the magic words and he was more than happy to help. As April 1 approached Jim suggested meeting at the Guitar Bar before the store opens at 11:00 in the morning. Fine with me, not so fine for Bill since he’s employed.

We thought after work at around 6:00 but that wasn’t too good for Jim.

So we aimed for today, April 3. It worked out for the best for all concerned. Since I was putting it all together somewhat I thought Bill should see if he could find a witness. He asked his friend Tom from work. I had a feeling that was who he would ask.

Tom’s a really nice guy, former Marine and a guard in Bill’s office tower. Jim asked if we were going to have anything to say vow wise and I figured if we did, I could at least say something off the top of my head.

I asked Bill last night if he had planned on saying anything and he felt the same, off the top of his head. As I lay in bed last night, trying to sleep I kept in mind that whatever I would say I would think of right then and there but I tossed and turned trying to thing of what I would say.

Crazy dreams followed. Jake Gyllenhall and I at the Elysian Cafe joined by my friends Connie, her sister Jennifer and Susan Sher. Then a dream about a Caribbean cruise with my sister. Clear blue water. Both dreams had ominous overtones though.

Bill was up first this morning, I followed groggy from not sleeping that well again. A shower, a shave and a nice breakfast fixed all that. We were on our way to the Guitar Bar, Bill trying to keep track of where Tom was.

Tom was bringing his wife Carmen, their son Sebastian and Carmen’s daughter Ashley and her son, all coming in from Harlem. We got to the Guitar Bar where Jim and Ruby Mastro were waiting. Spoke with Meghan Taylor Mastro on the phone, beating herself up for not being there like she said she would. It was OK, it would have been nice though.

Sorry Harpy.

We were thinking about heading over to the Hudson river to do the civil union thing but Tom and company arrived late and we wouldn’t make it there and back in time for Jim to open the store at 11:00.

Jim suggested the back of City Hall so that’s what we did, on the grass, in the sun, next to a big tree. All very nice. Chris Repella witnessed along with Tom and she also took some pictures. Ruby recorded it on a flip cam.

I set up my camera to record it all. You can see it but you can’t really hear it so I’m depending on Ruby’s video.

After all that Jim and Ruby went back to the Guitar Bar and Bill and I went with Tom and company to the Spa restaurant, a true greasy spoon for breakfast. My second, their first.

Then a walk to Pier A where we ran into Tariq. He went off to get some plectrums and I strummed his guitar a bit which had a calming effect on Tom and Carmen’s kid. The sun was certainly beaming.

We were soon joined by Ruby and her sister Lily and a friend. They were all heading into the city to take part in a pillow fight in Union Square.

Tom and family were headed out to New Jersey in their Zip Car and so Bill and I walked them to the car and thanked them once again. Then Bill and I came home, he was off to rehearsal for yet another play, this time playing a child molester. Eww.

I uploaded my video, tagged the pictures Chris took and an hour or so later was headed to Pier A to play the guitar again. No guitar improv this time, no one there to back me up. I did play for about 45 minutes but it had gotten considerably colder and so I came home.

And that’s where I am now.

We hope to have a party in Hoboken on July 11 for all of this to do, and of course I’ll keep you posted.

You, meaning you.


Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned

Jim Mastro, Me & Bill getting Onioned


'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

'I now pronounce you Dude & Dude!!

And of all my entries, this is #1,599.

So Far Around the Bend

I do legitimately worry for Obama’s safety. Perhaps there are rabid elements of the right wing that will attempt something and I certainly hope not. But watching Bill Maher tonight I was struck by a thought.

It didn’t actually hurt by the way.

Chris Matthews and Martin O’Malley both said regarding Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that Obama will overturn it in due time. And that’s what I feel as well. But the thought that struck was that perhaps subconsciously, people feel that Obama won’t live long, and want him to get things done before a tragic, horrible ending.

There’s that JFK thing too. And that guy walking into Jim Mastro’s store telling him to get a gun since the revolution will be occurring soon enough.

Or is it because we, perhaps exclusively Americans, are impatient? Everything is so fast and of the instant, that we get impatient when something that didn’t exist 20 years ago (like cellphones) doesn’t work as fast as it should.

Louis CK has a YouTube clip that’s been going around that’s about that same thing. It’s pretty funny. I’m sure it’s a stretch. Is Obama the first post-Internet President?

I wrote that last night after the initial post. I felt compelled to write that. Funnily enough, almost 24 hours later I’m not embarrassed as I am sometimes, after writing in a pique of righteousness.

Last night before Bill Maher, and before the last inning or so of the Yankee game which Bill watched, I watched Marathon Man. Hadn’t seen it in a while.

Still a good movie, Laurence Olivier is great of course. The ‘Is it safe’ scene still makes one’s skin crawl.

For me, one of the most affecting scenes occurs on 47th Street in the Diamond District of Manhattan. Christian Szell is trying to get some diamonds appraised and is spotted by two former inmates from Auschwitz.

I so wanted them to exact their revenge on ‘the white angel’ as Szell was known then. But he gets away after slicing the throat of one of the survivors.

Dustin Hoffman did an decent job pushing 40 and playing a 20 something graduate student. It’s a good movie, but not a great movie. Definitely of it’s time.

Stayed up for a while after that, finally going to bed around 1:00. Woke up as Bill was getting ready to go see his mom and his aunt. Both have Alzheimer’s and need to have someone watch them at all times.
Today was Bill’s turn.

I got out of bed soon after that, went out and bought the paper and came home to a nice breakfast. Still a gray day outside.

Around noon I walked over to Tunes and bought the first record by the Feelies, Crazy Rhythms. My friend Andy who used to do the sound at McSwells while I spun records next to him recorded and mixed 2 live tracks that are available for download.

But since I don’t have my own computer I will wait to download that stuff. It’s still a very good record. I like it more now that I did when it first came out. There are bits that were used in Susan Siedelman’s Smithereens and hearing those tracks can remind me of that very downbeat movie.

I was thinking about going to Queens to take part in the march protesting the beating and hospitalization of Jack Price. But being cold and rainy put me off, plus I am a little burnt out on the activism lately.

I’ll still get involved but I needed some ‘me’ time. I’ve been fighting the morons online for the past week or so. I’d be useless if I didn’t recharge my batteries and the past few days have been a bear for me and I don’t mean ‘bear’ in a good way.

And I’m more wolf than bear anyhow. I do hope it was a good turn out.

I did hang out with Meghan Taylor, the funniest girl alive and her daughter Ruby and their dog, Doon. A restoration of my flagging spirits.

We sat at a café here in Hoboken, the Frozen Monkey outside having coffee and sharing a brownie. Couldn’t sit inside since we had the dog.

Meghan is one of those friends who can tell something is wrong with me by just hearing it in my voice when I answered the phone. Pedro and Julio are the same. I’m fortunate to have good people like that in my life.

Ruby is always fun to be around and it was a pleasure to wander around Hoboken. I had Doon on the leash and I enjoyed running with him for a bit. Meghan said it was a boy and his dog and I guess I’m still a boy at heart, even at 47.

Stopped by the Guitar Bar where Meghan’s husband Jim Mastro was minding the store, sans uptight redneck revolutionaries. Meghan gave me a ride back towards my apartment, and I got out at Church Square Park where I got a call from Julio who of course spied me as I was walking home.

I did an about face and hung out with him and his adorable Superboy, Alexander on the swing set. The boy is simply amazing.

I didn’t see my brothers or my sister’s kids growing up the way I see Alexander and I am filled with wonder and hope for humanity when I see how he progresses through life.

My heart fills with joy when I see him, but then again I don’t have to deal with the messy stuff that Julio and Stine have to deal with.

It started to drizzle and so we headed home, Julio on Alexander’s left side and me on the right, doing the 1-2-3 lift off every couple of feet to Alexander’s obvious delight. I remember being in the middle all those years ago and was mighty glad to be part of the action with Alexander.

Though the day started and ended with gray clouds, being with good friends like Meghan and Julio and their kids definitely were the brightest spot in my life that I was sorely missing the past few days.

The Pressure Of Life (Takes the Weight Off the Body)

OK, back to the present day. The past few weeks have been quite stressful for me. Job loss, staying home climbing the walls, planes and helicopters crashing nearby.

Plus my people skills have been non-existent. Going to the supermarket would leave me enraged. Crossing the street was a matter of life or death with me tempting fate.

Not that I was trying to get hit by a car, but rather looking for trouble as a pedestrian yelling at and sometimes smacking the trunk of a car as it rolled through a stop sign.

The sort of thing that occasionally winds up with someone getting shot and since I do not own a gun, the person who might get shot would be me.

I discussed this with Casey Chasm who is fleeing Hoboken with the missus at the end of the month since Hoboken is so bleedin’ expensive. He’s been unemployed longer than I’ve been and went through similar feelings.

He recommended a prescription for Xanax. I’ve used Xanax back in the day, usually from Susan Sled’s pillbox hat. Didn’t do much for me 19 years ago, but it was for recreational purposes then, and foolishly so.

Now I had an actual reason.

Casey suggested seeing his doctor and since the doctor I used a few years ago has quite a flaky schedule I called up Casey’s MD and got an appointment for the same day.

So following Casey’s well timed advice I went and had an EKG, and some lung capacity tests and they were fine. Of course the discussion about quitting cigarettes came up and it will be discussed further once I get my blood work done next week.

I do like the doctor though, and his staff were very nice as well. So after picking up the prescription, I took one. The recommended dosage was 2 a day, but 1 was enough. Plus it was late afternoon. Within about 20 minutes, things started to get warm, edginess fading.

Ran into the funniest girl alive, Meghan and her daughter Ruby. All very pleasant, even more pleasant than usual. And I still had a sense of humor. Walked around with Meghan and Ruby, saw Jim at the Guitar Bar where Jim was putting stuff in the car for the Guitar Bar Summer Camp show at the Frozen Monkey Cafe.

Jim & Ruby drove up there, Meghan and I walked up. I was feeling generally pretty good and Meghan was feeling pretty much the same way.

I decided not to stay to watch the kids playing whatever it is they were going to play. A few weeks ago all I needed to hear was the opening notes to Sweet Child of Mine by Guns & Roses to get me out of there.

I opted to go to the supermarket to see if my murderous rage was suppressed enough. On the way there I talked on the phone to my sister in law Elaine since my new doctor asked me for info on my brother Frank’s stroke in 2007.

Got the info and headed into the store which was crowded and staffed with the usual belligerent people. This time it didn’t bother me. It didn’t bother me either when on the express line someone ahead of me had 20 items instead of the limit of 15.

Had a light supper when I came home, a few hours later, a walk around Hoboken once again with Julio. And that was pleasant, none of the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I know that weight is still there but not crushing me like it’s been lately.

I could have used a Xanax the other night when I went to the Yankee game with Bill. That didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

I was pretty much miserable and Bill had a feeling that was going to happen. Overall that was a bad night. Sitting in the bleachers with no back support, my neck was stiff and I was wearing an older pair of glasses that I thought looked better but with a weaker prescription, I couldn’t focus on much at all.

Bill enjoyed himself despite me. And it made for an uncomfortable ride home.

I can be quite an asshole sometimes. Hopefully now I’ll have a better grip on that.

Today I’m going into Greg Stevens office to do some coconut work, then heading across town to see the play that Bill has been stage managing the past few weeks.

I think this weekend or early next week, I’ll have a return trip to Lodi, a family friend passed away this morning. Back to the social milieu of wakes and funerals.

Bill & his friend Kirk

Bill & his friend Kirk