Tag Archives: Samuel Beckett

I Saw Red

Well it’s the Dorothy Parker/Samuel Beckett steel cage death match. Miss ‘I hate having to write but love having written’ vs. Mr. ‘I can’t go on- I’ll go on’. That’s basically where I am at right now. I told Bill a little while ago that I don’t think I will be writing tonight and here I am doing just that, writing. Crazier things have happened I can tell you, but this isn’t one of those. Whether or not this entry makes it to 500 words remains to be seen. So far it is not looking too good but I have rallied in the past and will do so again.

Let’s see when I was last doing this here blog thing, I had just gotten back from helping Shlomo out at the cigar shop. Oddly enough that is what I did today. Shlomo has been a bit under the weather and sent an urgent text to me this morning. He did order the cigars I asked for and would I mind working for him today at the cigar shop, in effect making my cigar request no charge. How could I refuse an offer like that? And what would the GZA have to say about that?

Monday I also helped out at the cigar shop. I had a feeling that Shlomo would need some help. Israel and Brandon were not to be found and so stopping by on Monday afternoon I was corralled into helping Shlomo. I was out of there by 4:30 and came home to find Bill getting himself together for a trip out to Bergen County. I was starving and looking forward to the trip, seeing my family and stuffing myself with food. It was infinitely better than being with some guys who did their best to avoid expectant spouses and nervous gym working cousins on Christmas Eve.

And once we landed in Bergen County, all was well. Brothers and their wives and children and their boyfriend/girlfriend were all assembled and it made for a lovely time, and the phone was handed around once again so that everyone could have a word with Annemarie. After a few hours that went by too fleetingly we all headed back to our homes. It was all very pleasant and the buildup and the hype takes so much time and effort and it is all over much too soon. A ride back past the house I grew up in was nice, the neighborhood all decorated nicely.

Back home Bill and I exchanged gifts and went to bed fairly soon. It had been a long day and now it was basically over. Christmas day, Bill was up before me and made coffee. I showered and looked forward to doing not much at all, but Bill wanted to shoot a video with a Christmas message. So we trooped out to Wally World and I recorded Bill driving a very large vehicle and him making a very nice, very funny holiday greeting. It’s on his Facebook wall if you’re so inclined.

That’s it. I said I wasn’t going to write and here I did write. Hope you had a good Christmas!

There it is, The Smoke Shop

There it is, The Smoke Shop

You can smell like Antonio Banderas

You can smell like Antonio Banderas

or you can smell like Jennifer Aniston...

or you can smell like Jennifer Aniston…

while watching Daniel Stern in A Christmas Story 2...

while watching Daniel Stern in A Christmas Story 2…

I Love You- Avril Lavigne

Yes once again it’s a Samuel Beckett kind of day. I can’t go on. I’ll go on. Nothing bad is happening, just an overcast day. Major storms broke out last night and it’s just as well I did not go to the really big supermarket since a little while after I finished the posting, I checked a local blog and there were pictures of flooded streets surrounding the really big supermarket. I did make it to the store today and there were signs of flooding. I spotted a woman headed in that direction about 40 feet in front of me, making a U turn with her stroller.

She walked past me and I asked her if the street was flooded and she said, ‘Yeah, I think so’ and scampered off. I thought something was a bit off about her response and proceeded to see for myself. Sure enough, there was no water, some mud, some sludge but that’s about it. I guess she did not know what a flood was and seemed to hurry off to the smaller supermarket. I admit it would have been a drag if I was unable to shop where I was, after walking all the way there.

I do love Hoboken and I am nostalgic for the time when a young family had a child and soon left town to raise their kid somewhere else. Nowadays they stay and clog the streets with their strollers. I must have passed a half a dozen strollers in a block and a half, opting to walk in the street rather than get hit by an oncoming mother pushing her kid in my direction. I suppose it’s nice that Hoboken is more child friendly but since I don’t have kids I really could care less. Off to the suburbs with them!

Another visit to the bibliothèque this afternoon, I picked up The Life Aquatic, deciding to give it another chance after seeing Moonrise Kingdom with Annemarie the other day. I do like the soundtrack, but after seeing The Royal Tenenbaums and absolutely loving it, whatever followed was bound to be a letdown at least for me. So another chance it is then. I do love the soundtrack. David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese by Brazilian actor/singer Seu Jorge. Bowie reportedly loved it as well. Too bad no one has heard anything from the Dame since his heart problem in 2005.

Today I sat by the river and read the latest Mojo, finished up reading about John Lydon and Public Image Limited as well as an interesting cover story on Brian Jones. John Lydon, easier to get along with sort of, Brian Jones, great musician, lousy human being. Almost got into the record reviews but held off for another day. I came home as it started to rain a bit and that’s about it for my day so far. Resumes still going out, job listings still being perused, emails and contacts resent and reestablished. Same old same old one would reckon.

So it goes.

Before the feast

05 The Great Pretender

Beautiful Boy

OK, so it’s Monday and it’s a soggy Monday. Nothing but rain. Much like yesterday. It’s supposed to rain every day except for Wednesday, at least that’s what the meteorologist says.

It’s funny, I’ll watch the news to get the weather, then when the weather comes on, I totally blank. I think it’s because of their voices. I hear the voice and I am a million miles away.

Since we have digital cable, I usually wind up rewinding a minute or two to get that five day forecast. That happened last night but I didn’t care since I would catch the weather on the Today show.

And the forecast was rain.

Last night I didn’t watch TV, just played music. I played music instead. Started out playing Bob Dylan’s latest, Together Through Life. I really like it. It’s a fast 45 minutes and quite good.

Then I listened to Jenny Lewis ‘Acid Tongue’ and that is quite good as well, perhaps even better than Bob Dylan. The last song on Acid Tongue is ‘Sing a Song for Them’ and it ended with a familiar string section that reminded me of Old Dirt Road by John Lennon off of Walls and Bridges so I played that.

That set me on a John Lennon kick, through most of his catalog, a few things from Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, the Acoustic album and the Lennon Anthology. I played Beautiful Boy, the studio version and the acoustic version.

Bill was home by that time and he really only knows Beautiful Boy through Mr. Holland’s Opus, one of Bill’s favorite movies. A few more Lennon songs, finishing up with ‘Sean’s Little Help’ where 5 year old Sean Lennon is singing ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ which provided a perfect closer with the Beatles version.

Then it was time for the news and for me to blank out on the weather. Bill had his sleep apnea mask on and I soon fell asleep next to him and his buzzing apparatus. I woke up a little before 8:00 this morning, surprised to see Bill still in bed.

I nudged him and asked if he was going to work and he said he was taking a day off. That through me off a bit but I recovered and found myself in the shower getting ready for work. Donned a suit and headed out into the rain.

Caught the bus and buried my face in the New York, reading about Rwanda. Made it to the office, a few people out today making it very quiet.

Quiet enough that I was able to catch a crosstown bus and walked over to Studio 54 to see if I can join the Roundabout Theater’s Usher Program for the latest production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

The guy in charge of that is a guy who sits in a chair all day with binders. I asked to sign up for the play but he told me it was all filled up for the season. So I signed up for the waiting list.

It’s probably not going to happen and if it does happen it will probably be on a date that is inconvenient for me. Oh well.

I came home from work, and got a letter from my bank.

Out of 4 illicit charges on my card, 2 were disputed in my favor. The other 2 which were the items that were actually shipped to me, according to the bank, seemed authorized.

So I was on the phone for an hour dealing with 2 different customer services.

One issue has been resolved after getting on ‘Mary Jo’s’ nerves, the other I will have to deal with tomorrow during daylight hours, as per ‘Vern’s’ suggestion.





Rock Around The Clock

Well it’s a Saturday and it was a pretty good day. Bill was up and out this morning, he needed to go to his parents apartment to meet the latest home health care aide. Last night he had to dismiss the previous aide since she wanted $200 under the table to take care of Bill’s mother as well as what she was contracted for, his father care. Funds being tight, she had to go. She wasn’t much help either, lot’s of attitude, so it’s bye bye for her. Bill gave his goodbye kiss and was out the door. I woke up at 7:30. I wasn’t feeling that so I went back to sleep, getting out of bed at 9:00. I had my coffee and was out to get the sundries. Back home for breakfast and I plotted my day.

I was reluctant to do anything but I had planned on heading into Brooklyn to see a Samuel Beckett play, Happy Days, starring Fiona Shaw who I loved ever since I first saw her as the physical therapist in My Left Foot. She also plays Harry Potter’s aunt in the movies, in case you wondered where you might have seen her. But the scene in the restaurant in My Left Foot is incredible and quite intense, she playing Daniel Day Lewis’ unrequited love. It’s sad and scary to see the Christy Brown character go out of his mind with anguish, and the look on Fiona Shaw’s face just adds to the despair. Fantastic. I headed towards the bus so I could catch a subway to Brooklyn. Ran into Gary Jennings with his boyfriend on the bus. Don’t know the boyfriend’s name, but I met him a year or so ago at the Hoboken St. Patrick’s day parade. Nice guy though. It was a nice chat with Gary, catching up. We seem to meet on buses these days, rather than the bar at McSwells.

They and I parted ways and I wandered through the bus terminal headed across town to Grand Central Station. Midtown Manhattan is a haven for tourists on weekends and they were everywhere. I did my best to avoid them but there they were standing on escalators, not moving, and not allowing anyone to pass, or they’re having conversations on top of stairways or at the bottom, or just stopping right in my path when I have a good trot going on. I hopped on the 4 train to Brooklyn and was soon on Flatbush Avenue. I looked at a street map to figure out where the BAM Harvey Theater was but couldn’t figure it out, so I just turned the corner and there it was a half block away. I walked to the box office, explained to them that I couldn’t make last night’s performance and that I was told I could get a past date ticket in exchange. That worked out quite nicely. Whereas yesterday I would be in the balcony for last night’s show, this afternoon I was in the 10th row in the orchestra.

I hung outside the theater having a quick smoke, when I saw Kathleen Turner walk by, then Lisa Gay Hamilton, then someone who could have been Peter Coyote, but I wasn’t sure. He had one of those four footed canes to help him walk, and he looked like he could have been a Digger in a previous life. Got to my seat where I was totally mesmerized by Fiona Shaw waist deep in dirt. The stage design was decidedly post apocalyptic. A Fantastic play, bravura performance by both her and Tim Potter who played Willie to Fiona’s Winnie. It was a full house, though the three people seated in front of me didn’t stay for the second act. I don’t think they understood the play, and it’s not easily understood, it does border on the absurd. I never saw Waiting for Godot, another Beckett play but from what I understood, sometimes half the audience is in stitches and the other half deep in though trying to figure out a deeper meaning. Samuel Beckett never gave anything away and took the secrets to his plays and other work to the grave. At intermission they actually played the theme from TV’s Happy Days. ♫Sunday Monday Happy Days ♪ I swear I am not putting you on.


Photos: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

The second act lasted what seemed to be about 20 minutes. I walked out into the Brooklyn daylight and saw Lisa Gay Hamilton walk by. Bill and I saw her in an episode of Law and Order a few times and she is simply amazing. She was also in The Practice years ago, and she also directed a documentary on Beah Richards another great and overlooked actress. Beah Richards played Sidney Poitier’s mother in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. She more than likely broke your heart in other shows and movies, just look her up on IMDB. I called out, Miss Hamilton and Lisa turned around. I explained that Bill and I were fans and we loved that episode of Law and Order SVU with Ludacris, which was amazingly powerful. She was great and charming and has a beautiful smile which she showed when her sister took our picture.


I was feeling game and remembered that before the show I saw Fiona Shaw walk in the direction of what I figured out to be the stage door, and me being a stage door Johnny, I made a bee line over there. There was just one guy besides me standing around, then Kathleen Turner came out, smoking and chatting with a friend. I was going to ask her for her picture but I was intimidated actually. Fiona Shaw appeared and was talking to Kathleen Turner while trying to get in a taxi. I just asked if she would sign a copy of the play that I bought after the show in the lobby and she did, then asked for a picture and she insisted on having a picture with Kathleen Turner.


Fiona and Me

No problem, then I asked if Kathleen Turner’s friend would take a picture of Fiona and myself which he did. I was going to ask for a picture with both Kathleen and Fiona but once again Kathleen Turner intimidated me, not by her doing, but by her persona. After that I giddily walked away. I walked down Fulton Street listening to the Kinks, then onto the Brooklyn Bridge, still a marvelous thing, it is my favorite bridge. I’ve ridden my bicycle across it many times, but never walked across it. Still a thrill and tourists aplenty taking snapshots.

Fulton Street





I decided to walk over to JR and pick up a copy of My Left Foot, but they were out so I bought a copy of My Beautiful Laundrette instead which isn’t anywhere near My Left Foot, but both star Daniel Day Lewis and start with My. Then I walked over to the World Trade Center Path train where I missed a train since I helped tourists figure out what train to take. That was it, all in all a really good day. I have to stop being lazy and get out more. It was all worth it, it was fun, and I finally saw my first Samuel Beckett play starring the wonderful Fiona Shaw.

What did you do today?